Ally (quest FLAG)

This page is about the FLAG that appears in quests. For other uses of the word "ally", see ALLY (page command), ALLY (mapsize code), (Allied Ship, ally_muk and ally_zor.

The word "ally" serves as a FLAG in quests. It appears only in the first FLAG line, at the start of a quest.

  • The "ally" flag must be included if the quest can give you a new ally (ie. a starship).1
  • The flag is the only randomization flag necessary for giving you an ally - the game generates a set number of allies, from the total pool of quests with this flag. If you add more quests with "FLAG ally", it will slightly decrease the odds of getting any of the existing allies from the main game.
  • This flag makes sure you get no more than a set number of allies. On a small map, that's 2 allies. On a medium map, it's 3, and on a large map it's 4.
    • You can change those numbers / frequencies by altering the ALLY line of gamedata/distribution.ini.
    • Going above 4 allies in a game is risky.
      • If you up the number without adding new ally quests, you'll make the game crash. It'll try to generate a fifth ally, and crash when the KEYS prevent it from happening.
      • Even if you do add new ally quests, it may make complications if you have too many ships in your flotilla. The ship's system's screen is unable to display them all elegantly. The fifth ship ends up hidden behind the pause and fast-forward buttons. The game only has combat hotkeys coded for the first 5 ships of a flotilla. The result is that you can't see the systems or firearcs of your ships, can't change what gear they have installed, and have a harder time controlling them in combat. It's not recommended.
  • It's possible for a game to have the mainquest FLAG as well as ally. In the maingame, the only instance of this is the damocles quest, which has the line "FLAG ally mainquest". It appears the game loads mainquests first, and then later, when loading allies, it checks to see if mainquests already gave you one.

Ally Quests in Default Game

Here's a list of all the ally quests in the main (unmodded) game, organized by race and ship class.

Race Capital Ship Ally Fighter Ally
Damocloid Damocles n/a
Garthans Bloodfang Slasher
Muktians Farseeker Mephit
Terrans Marauder Ripcord
Zorg Kuti Sotapanna

Due to the way the KEYS are set up in the main game, you can't have more than 4 allies generated in the game, and only one of them will be a fighter. Here's another way of looking at it:

KEYS Ally quests that have it
allyfighter mephit, ripcord, slasher, sotapanna
garthmerc bloodfang, slasher
mukmerc farseeker, mephit
terranmerc marauder, ripcord
zorgmerc kuti, sotapanna

On a certain level, the existence of these KEYS effectively reduces the number of available allies in a mod. If you set the large map to require 5 allies, for example, the game would crash unless you added new quests and ships of your own. As it stands, there game can only generate at most 4 allies, one of each of the four races.2

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