Well, I did it. I finished the game. It took longer than the average time compared to what I looked up on line too. I had about 78 hours in. I attribute that to not having much experience playing this type of game, enjoying the scenery (esp in VR) and doing as much sightseeing as storyline work, and not a little bit of trepidation in some of the scarier biomes (Blood Kelp trenches esp!). This last was something I attribute to the VR experience - the feeling of being there is really intense, and in that environment I was more cautious than I think I'd have been staring at a screen. Unfortunatley, I found myself a little burned out toward the last few hours of the game, and I felt like I was forcing myself to finish because I knew I was close to the end. I think it it was twenty hours earlier, I would have tried to stretch it out more (of course, that's what got me here in the first place!)

Spoiler time!

I wound up building a base in the Lost River at the Giant Cove Tree. Since I've completed the game, I looked up a bunch of the lore stuff in the Subnautica wiki, as well as checking out things I didn't scan (ie Sea Dragon Leviathan and some others). I spent a little time more thoroughly exploring the river and found another alien base I had missed on my first time through. Looking back at my screenies, I realize I found the arch as well, though I didn't know what it was at the time.

I found the entrance to the Inactive Lava Zone while on a resource run in my Prawn suit. I saw the lava and jumped down to look, and realized I had entered a new zone. Eventually, of course, I had to take my Cyclops down there to hunt for the thermal plant. That took a long time! The session of hunting for it (and evading the Sea Dragon) ended with my finding the entrance just as I was turning around to head back and call it a night. The beacon I had taken with me wound up getting used to mark the location of the Primary Containment base. In the course of evading the Sea Dragon, I wound up in the Active Lava Zone. So I took out my Prawn and wound up finding it and dropping the beacon on it. I tried but couldn't get in since I didn't have the right tablet to unlock the force field. I assumed I'd get that in the thermal plant.

So now I didn't have a beacon on me to drop on the thermal plant, and I had to try all over the again the next night. By the time I found it, I had turned myself around so much I didn't have a good sense of where I was in the space to be able to retrace my steps and spent a good hour searching for it on the next hunt.

Of course I did wind up finding it, and the info for the already found Primary Containment Facility, and the tablet to get in there. Nothing really much to say about that except I jumped through those hoops. The arch transports were nice and convenient to pick up the needed plants for the enzyme. I had assumed I'd find them all in the aquarium at the facility, esp since I found one of them there, but of course that didn't happen. I actually figured out the arch thing by accident. I wanted to see where they went (I hadn't started them up upon first locating them, I was looking for storyline stuff) so I went into one that took me to the Koosh Zone and of course, I needed a bulb plant sample from there. I deduced (correctly) that the arches would then take me to each of the needed biomes, and found the proper plants conveniently close to the arch bases in those biomes.

From there I hatched the critters and watched them kill their mother. Ok, that's a bit harsh - I watched her play with them and succumb to her age after willing herself to live long enough to see them born. And then I was stumped. No magic fairy dust to cure me, no parting data download to give me the antidote, just...nothing? I ran back to the other non-arch rooms in the facility, and...nothing there either. Finally I remember that it she revealed the arch in the aquarium, and said that was where her children would go, so I followed them out. Sure enough, there they were pooping out cures. Since it was labeled "Concentrated Enzyme 42" I tried to grab it and it wound up healing me.

Ok, almost done! Disable the gun, build the ship, fly home.

I packed up all my belongings and returned to my Mushroom Forest base. From there I completed the Neptune Escape Rocket. Before I left I did a couple of things. First, I went back to my first base. In there I had built an aquarium and put an Ezyme 42 Peeper in it. The scan said it required further study, so I figured I'd grab one and see if I could get anywhere with it. I let that little guy go and do his duty. Then I chased down my cuddlefish (all three of them) for one last time. I found an option to "Say Goodbye" so I did so. They stopped and stared at me. A little odd, but....ok.

Ready to go now, I loaded myself into my rocket and began getting prepping it for launch. In my time capsule, I put a repulsion gun and two Ion Power Cells. I figured those would be handy at almost any point in someone else's game. Two ion power cells would have made a huge difference for me in the late game in the Inactive Lava Zone. I kept losing battery due to the sonar, shield, and lava larva. I used sonar and shield sparingly, and even with the thermal recharge upgrade I had to replace my power cells (I had 10 fully charge cells with me as backups) a couple of times while chasing around that zone. Active zone wasn't as bad, but the inactive zone sucked my power cells dry.

Then...I left. Not much else to say. The end of the game was satisfying. I stayed through the end of the credits for any extras that might pop up, and I heard that I owe them 1 trillion credits. They can talk to my lawyer and we'll just deduct that from the amount I'll be suing them for.

Some other thoughts...
The game was satisfying in the end. The story was good, I thought. My personal pace was a bit slow, and that lead to a feeling of dragging a bit. I was burned out in the ILZ, but once I was through that I was back to enjoying the final phase of building the rocket. I was ready to launch at night, but chose to wait because I wanted to get a good view of the planet from the top of the gantry.
Some things that bothered me - I'll confess that for the last 12-15 hours of my playthrough I changed my game type from Survival to Freedom to avoid having to deal with food/water. Again going back to the burnout I was feeling after so long in game, I wanted to get it over and the food/water grind was slowing me down from doing that. It was easy to do - there's a line in the save file where the game type is indicated by a number. Change the number, change the type.

Some production issues that bothered me were some graphical glitches. I don't know if it was a VR thing or if it happens in all versions, but I kept seeing things (ie sea creatures) going through solid objects. For example, I had schools of fish coming through my walls in my bases, sea grass coming in the bottom of my cyclops when I rested it on the ocean floor, and smoke coming through the cyclops floor when I parked it over a heat vent at my Lost River base. These were little breaks in the immersion that didn't effect game play but bugged me a little. The things that did effect game play bugged me a lot.

Sand sharks coming through bulkheads and interacting with me were bothersome. The worst example was the Sea Dragon grabbing my in my prawn suit while I was deep in the Lava Castle just outside the Thermal Plant. He carried me a bit and dropped me into the lava. It was bad enough I was watching him appear through the walls of the structure I should have been safe in, but to take damage (fortunately not fatal) was ridiculous. I also had a Ghost Levi come through the Arch room in the Lost River, and a Sand Shark came into the Arch room passage (through the force field and into the non-underwater section). Those bugs annoyed me the most.
Of course, the silliest one was when I jumped into the inactive zone in my Prawn suit the first time and fell through the planet. I just kept falling and falling and falling...the depth kept ramping up, up, up. (Or is it down, down, down?) Anyway I quit the game and restarted when I was about 4k deep, since no end was in sight. I had saved just before jumping so I didn't lose any progress.

And then there were the near game-breaking Cyclops anomalies, but I've been through those before.

Warts and all though, I enjoyed the game and am glad I gave it a chance.

Elite Dangerous: CMDR JohnnyChemo
MWO: Johnny Keemo

Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman.
Then always be Batman.