In order to gain access to the data stored within an Ancient Data Terminal, the Terminal must first be powered up. This is achieved using Energy Pylons around the site; there are six Pylons in total: two adjacent to the Terminal itself, and four more scattered around the site. Pylons can only be raised by driving an SRV up to them, and the two pylons adjacent to the Terminal must be raised before any of the others can be raised. It is generally recommended to raise all six pylons before attempting to charge them all.
Note that raising/charging pylons and unlocking the Terminal will activate hidden defenders - ancient Guardian Sentinels - that will attempt to defend the site from intruders. Small sites are guarded by at least 6 Sentinels (3 will emerge whilst raising Pylons, 1 after all have been charged, and 2 after the Terminal has been unlocked), whilst up to 12 have been encountered at Larger sites.
Pylons are charged simply by shooting the glowing core with either SRV or ship-mounted weaponry; the more damage the weapon does, the faster it'll charge the Pylon. Starting to charge any Pylon at the site begins a countdown timer (displayed at the top of the HUD) and all six pylons must be fully charged within the time limit to fully activate the Terminal. A Pylon's charge status is indicated by a rising pillar of blue material within its core; when it is fully charged, it will emit a blue beam directly into the sky and make a distinctive noise, and a message will appear on the top right display indicating how many pylons have been charged.
Once all Pylons are fully charged, the Data Terminal is activated. Depending on the site, an Ancient Relic or Ancient Key must be jettisoned from SRV cargo into the glowing opening on the ground in front of the Data Terminal; this will cause the Data Core to emerge from the Data Terminal and become scannable with the SRV's Data Link Scanner. Doing so will award the scanning Commander a single Guardian Module Blueprint Segment, Guardian Weapon Blueprint Segment, or Guardian Vessel Blueprint Segment, depending on the site size/type. When investigating Guardian sites as a Wing, each Wing member will need to scan the Terminal individually, though it can easily be repowered after each scan and no additional Sentinels will appear.
Module and Weapon Segments require an Ancient Relic and are acquired at specific Small sites, while Vessel Segments are acquired at various Large sites and require an Ancient Key; up to 3 Ancient Relics can be found at Small Sites, while the Ancient Keys must be sourced from a Guardian Beacon.
In Summary Edit
- Land at the site and deploy SRV
- Drive SRV up to the Ancient Data Terminal to raise the first two pylons
- Drive around the site until the remaining four pylons are raised - destroy Guardian Sentinels as they appear
- Charge pylons by shooting the glowy core using the SRV's Plasma Repeater (full power to WEP will help a lot here)
- Once all six are charged, place an Ancient Relic or Key in the glowing slot - more Sentinels will spawn at this point
- Scan the targetable Ancient Data Terminal 'core' to receive 1 Guardian Module, Weapon, or Vessel Blueprint Segment
- If in a Wing, return to Step 4 until everyone has their Segment
- All done - either go home, or reset the site and do it again for more segments/materials
Known Terminals Edit
|HD 63154||B 3 A||Module||High-altitude, rough terrain; very little clear space nearby for anything larger than a Diamondback variant|
|Synuefe NL-N C23-4||B 3||Module||Higher concentration of Sentinels than other sites|
|Vela Dark Region DL-Y D112||1 A||Module|
|Synuefe GT-H B43-1||C 4||Module||Difficult to find landing nearby. Avoid if you have anything larger than a Diamondback Explorer.|
|COL 173 Sector GS-J B25-4||D 2||Module||Lots of room to land large ships.|
|Synuefe EU-Q c21-10||A 3||Weapon||Reasonably smooth/flat surroundings|
|Vela Dark Region EG-X B1-1||A 1||Weapon|
|COL 173 Sector HR-M B23-3||B 7||Weapon|
|Synuefe ZL-J D10-109||E 3||Weapon|
|Synuefe CE-R C21-6||C 1||Weapon|
|Synuefe SP-F B44-0||C 1||Weapon|
|Vela Dark Region DL-Y D91||5 A||Weapon|
|COL 173 Sector OD-J B25-2||B 1||Weapon|
|Vela Dark Region JS-T B3-0||A 3||Weapon|
|COL 173 Sector LT-Q D5-82||A 3||Weapon|
|COL 173 Sector ZL-L B24-2||B 1||Weapon|
|Synuefe FK-P C22-2||E 1||Weapon|
|COL 173 Sector CC-K B25-8||A 5||Weapon|
|COL 173 Sector ME-P D6-92||B 5||Weapon|
|Vela Dark Region EL-Y D55||1||Weapon|
|COL 173 Sector RU-O D6-16||A 2 A||Weapon|
|COL 173 Sector KY-Q D5-26||6 A||Weapon|
|COL 173 Sector HN-I B26-5||A 1||Weapon|
|COL 173 Sector ZS-F C12-27||B 3||Weapon|
|Vela Dark Region ZE-A D66||6 B||Weapon|
|NGC 2451A Sector IR-W D1-77 AB||1 A||Weapon|
|COL 173 Sector PZ-O D6-110||5 A||Weapon|
|Synuefe BH-J D10-68||C 1||Weapon|
For large sites, see Guardian Beacon for a list of known Beacons and their associated Ground Sites/Terminals.
These terminals were used to store schematics for weapons and other sophisticated technologies. They are linked to energy pylons, scattered across Guardian sites, by some form of computer program. Of course, this system has been dormant for millennia. But targeting the pylons with an energy weapon will increase the change within. Essentially, we can awaken the system.