Die a Weird Death: Mothra Plays The X-Com Files


For most of the pandemic, I’ve been playing this insane megamod for the original X-Com entitled “The X-Com Files”, which I was turned onto thanks to Toad22484’s playthrough.

I’ll be using this thread to document my playthrough of this absurdly robust mod, posting what screencaps I’ve taken up until present, and adding new ones as I keep playing.

If anyone would like a character named after themselves, let me know in this thread.

Ostensibly themed around The X-Files, this mod combines like 500 other mods into one pretty impressively cohesive game. There’s a huge number of new factions, enemies, units, weapons, armor sets, base buildings, interceptors, UFOs, environments, and delightful one-offs, all well-balanced and metered out at a reasonable rate.

I’m a big sucker for any game that lets you capture or control some of the more bizarre units you encounter, and X-Com Files essentially lets you play as some version of most things you encounter. I have a rag-tag group of attack dogs, humans, giant cryptid rats, AI cores installed into tanks, sectoid/human hybrids, just, a lot of weird shit. Gives you squad a lot of flavor.

I also love that X-Com lore, and this mod does a great job essentially bringing every tangentially-related piece of X-Com property together into a cohesive universe - Enemy Unknown, Terror from the Deep, Apocalypse, The Beureau, XCom 1 and 2, and even shit like Rebelstar. It’s a real treat.

To start, I'll list off a few of the key adds this mod makes to classic X-Com:
  • XP and awards system for individual units. My AI core, giant rat, or greenhorn rookie will all gain experience from scoring kills, healing, or being wounded. Over time, this increases their time units, health, reaction speed, yadda yadda. There’s a lot of individual stats that increase based on what the unit has lived through.

  • Weaponry has been greatly expanded, perhaps too much? You have access to like every modern firearm I can think of - P90’s, colt commandos, AKs, pump-actions, jackhammer auto-shotguns, deagles, sniper rifles, flamethrowers - which in most cases is great, but does result in you doing a lot of inventory management and stat-comparison to find the One Actually Good Rifle to use.

  • Morale systems that expand on the “panic” and “berserk” states. If you can kill enough commanding officers and heavy units, the weaker humanoid enemies may reach a point where they just surrender, ending the mission and granting you large amounts of live hostages for interrogation. That “routing” is a great quality of life change.

  • Research teams in different bases can collaborate on the same project. This means you can put every team at every base on the same task and get it done much more quickly.

  • Lots of “sell all”-type options for inventory management.

  • Expanded base building options, including buildings that require certain other buildings (and materials) to be constructed.

  • Your unit will stop when they have spotted an enemy, rather than continuing forward until complete. You can toggle this on/off, as you can with everything.

  • Interrogated aliens will show up in your inventory as corpses to be sold at the grey market.

  • Percentage to-hit is shown right above the aiming reticle, giving you a clear idea of what kind of a chance in hell you have of landing this shot.

  • Vehicles now require an AI core, which can be moved from vehicle body to vehicle body. I love this addition a lot, it allows tanks and drones to become true units with experience and growth.

  • Greatly expanded UFO types, making interception a mini-game of its own, with you picking certain specialized craft for certain UFO types.

I'd say for downsides...

…you are going to be doing a LOT of missions. Too many. The amount of content in this mod means that in order for them to show it all, you are inundated with encounters for a long while. Those encounters are also pretty difficult! I would strongly recommend going with a medium or easy difficulty, because the sheer number of enemies in most encounters is pretty impossible to survive without save-scumming or an easier difficulty. It remains a flaw with this genre - the punishment for losing a squad is far too great to survive it happening more than once. A system that would keep all soldiers but leave them greatly wounded for a period would be welcome, in my eyes, because resetting to 0 with a fresh squad of rookies even slightly later in the game becomes impossible.

I would also say the sheer number of weapons leads to a ton of bullshit to sort through and sell off. I wish there was an easier way to compare these million different gun variants. I’d love to use all AK-47s for flavor, but if I have M4s right here that have better stats, there’s zero reason I would use the AKs. You end up with a lot of garbage that you wonder why they included.

So, I’ll begin adding entries into this as time permits. I started playing this in February of this year, so, five months of very constant play so far. Lot of bang for your buck.


The year is 1996.

I am the administrator of the newly formed X-Com organization, a project of the UN designed to investigate abnormal events on our planet. We’re located in Siberia.

We have a repurposed Soviet missile silo, no fighters, a few dozen scientists, and 5 mil in the bank.

We have just two special agents: Ivan and Rutger. Ivan has a 1987 Honda Accord, our primary mode of transportation.

First Call

Got a call from Indonesia involving reports of people getting quote unquote “eaten”. No other details.

The boys in the lab have cracked a new technology that might make all the difference here…

We roll up.

Oh fuck! Fellas… We got…

B-big frog???


Ivan is instantly tongue-lashed by this beefy motherfucker, knocking him out cold.

It turns to Rutger.

(I reload the save)

This time we approach from a bit of a distance, peppering it with bullets from our shitty, shitty pistols.

It gets VERY ANGRY and travels a horrifying large amount of distance!

The second turn, we’re able to beat it with a lead pipe until it is unconscious.

The boys in the lab have a look at it, literally dissecting a giant frog for their second-ever project.


Put me in!

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First UFO

A Mig for the Russian Federation tracked an unidentified flying object as it put down over Nizhny Novgorod. Ivan and Rutger piled in the Honda and began to drive over a distance of exceeding the entire continental united states. I have to assume this took days. Somehow, the UFO was still parked there when they arrived.

We just pull the car up to the UFO like it’s a fucking Dunks.

Folks??? Aliens exist!!

Hopes for a peaceful first contact are put on the back burner as boiling hot jets of plasma fly out from the nearby marshland, melting huge slags of the Accord.

We exchange fire with what can only be described as theeee most basic-bitch alien you could possibly imagine. Just right off a Whitley Strieber book cover.



Rutger charges into the marshlands, lead pipe in hand. He graphically beats the alien unconscious with the pipe, then drops a blood-soaked handkerchief on the body all like, “Clean yourself up”. It’s pretty brutal but he be like that.

Rutger carts the alien back to the car and handcuffs it. Also, handcuffs are a thing in this game, it makes it so even if they wake up again, they can’t move.


He grabs the medpack and gets to work on Ivan. Ivan is stabilized and wakes up. Ivan pumps himself full of painkillers and joins Rutger as they move up to the UFO.

Both trade more fire with another E.T. and down it. A few others start moving in, tossing grenades that explode in green fire, which I’m going to assume are plasma grenades. None of them hit, but the car is fucking toast.

They bust in the front door and gun down the two aliens inside, then they prepare the lead pipes by the doorway and start knocking the next wave of em unconscious as they pour through the front door.

Ivan starts losing it, dropping his pipe and running around. Rutger stays frosty.

A few near misses and a hit on Rutger as we breach some kind of control room.

There’s one room left.

Ivan and Rutger bust in with the pipes and get to work on the head honcho. He goes down after a few good licks.


The boys in the lab are like kids on christmas. They get to interrogating these fucked-up monsters.

And it’s not without its immediate benefits, either. The lab now has been able to crack some pretty interesting tech…




put me in coach


My only advice is… beware the Minotaur…

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Cania reporting for duty

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Throw my name in there too

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I volunteer to be a meat shield.

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I’d like to do my part in the defence of our mother earth too, if you’d be so kind

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Please name a character after Wisely for me, the famous adventurer and raconteur, constantly beset by aliens and German communists in the pages of Hong Kong pulp sci-fi novels


I too will volunteer.

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Alright so I have 5 months of backlog to get through, so I will be replacing existing names with you guys. For example, Rutger is now Geoff, Ivan is now Cania, and so on. In my current game, I’ll update the names so that it’ll be seamless when the LP catches up.

The Van

With the Honda Accord now a melted slag of metal half a country away, we’re back in the market for a vehicle.

Typically we buy and sell everything we need on “the grey market”, which is a fun name for the black market, which for you Gamers is a sort of analog dark web. And it looks like they got a van for sale!

The X-Van is pretty sweet. Holds 4!

Cryptid Sightings

Calls keep coming in about, well, monsters, cryptids, abominations.

In this case, giant rats.

Following standard protocol, Geoff, Cania, Daphaknee, and Meauxdal beat it with baseball bats like a field printer until it loses consciousness. They do a four-man carry and lob it into the back of the van.

Over the next few missions, they bring back more and more. The entire eastern bloc is suddenly, suspiciously lousy with these things.

This culminated in an absolutely horrifying encounter with a sort of sentient slime, one that mortars acid across the entire map to bombard the X-Van.


A LOT of people died in that one. Tried this mission four or five times until I found a way to rush the slimers through a patch of cover. I got lucky, for the most part. Zero civilians survived.

The boys in the lab took a swing at figuring out what the fuck these things are.

Not really much came of this yet, beyond an extraction process for removing “Energetic Blood Plasma” from cryptid corpses.

This fluid was extracted from a creature with rich deposits of high-energy biochemicals. It contains complex, exotic molecules which naturally enhance human healing abilities.

The Chupacabra burn through energetic blood plasma reserves to achieve an otherwise-impossible rate of movement.

For our purposes, we can use it to manufacture health kits.

The Dog

Turns out you can hire dogs??

The team has named this lil’ fella


Doing a decent job so far growing our brand.

This mod added random events, which aren’t common but are sometimes beneficial, such as this one:

We continue to track the odd UFO and drive over if they land.

More sectoids, sadly.

Some digging through records revealed that, evidently, X-Com is not the first time this type of project has been attempted. There was a Japanese progenitor that was disbanded in the 80’s:


The council is pleased enough by our handful of positive alien engagements that they’ve allowed us to rent an interceptor craft from the Russian Federation.

Should make the job a little easier to be able to shoot down UFOs with a plane, instead of driving around in the general vicinity of UFOs with the X-Van and hoping they land.


can’t believe this dog has two dog heads for hands


Alrighty, here’s the krew. Let me know if any genders or races needs swapping and I’ll see what we have to work with:













X-Com was founded by the UN, but funded by “the Council.” We haven’t really… directly interacted with the UN that much, since we started.

It’s starting to seem like this Council the real seat of power for our world.

Red Dawn

The Council has warned us about a number of active cults and paramilitary factions that are known power-players in this world. We're apparently small fish in a big ol' shadow-warey pond.

We’ve started butting heads with them, the more active we become. A lot of groups overlapping on similar interests.

In particular, while out in the field, we encountered dozens of members of the “Red Dawn” faction. They were hostile, so the team wiped them out.

Mostly seemed to be armed with Warsaw Pact weaponry - AKs, SVDs, Scorpions, that kind of thing.

We siege some compounds, tie some guys to chairs with holes cut out of the bottom, hit some balls with a pendulous bag thing, etc etc.

Of note, the SVD, this Soviet sniper rifle, absolutely kicks ass. It’s become the standard-issue weapon for X-Com.


Just been parking the X-Van, handing them out to the team, going prone, and picking off goons at a distance. Then, once the numbers are thinned enough, we go in with the baseball bats.


incredible loadout