[ NOTE: This post might be considered to be a bit of a spoiler. Be warned! ]
I remember the first time it happened. I was mining rocks on some planet’s surface in order to load up on Pure Ferrite and Ferrite Dust for a base I was putting together. After a while at this tedious task — lo and behold — the rock I was mining sprang legs and started to run away from me! I was hundreds of hours in the game before seeing this, and it jarred me, taking me completely by surprise. Doing a little research for this post, I see that these “Sentient Minerals” are a thing that was announced in the No Man’s Sky Visions (v1.75) update, back in November 2018. They attempt to flee the heat of a mining laser and, if you can catch them, provide concentrated resource rewards. (Somehow I had missed that detail on the Visions release page way back when.)
Since then, I’ve encountered these fleeting boulders a handful of times in the game, but it’s still a rare thing. Not nearly as rare, however, as something I saw in a screenshot posted about a year ago on one of the social media feeds.
The screenshot in question showed a floor panel held high in the air above a planet’s surface by four gigantic legs, apparently running away from the player. The poster indicated that they were mining the rocks sitting within a decorative planter in a side room (which requires an Atlas Pass v2 to enter) of an Observatory building when not just the rock but the building itself sprouted legs and began to walk away. It was an absurd looking situation, and I wasn’t sure whether the poster was using some mod to get the effect, or if what was reported actually had happened in the game. Since then, however, I’ve gone out of my way to mine any rocks I’ve encountered inside Observatories, sadly with no dramatic results.
Until this weekend, that is, when all that mining paid off. When it happened, it was even more of a jump scare than my encounter with that first fleet-footed rock, despite the fact that I was specifically trying to get the Observatory to sprout legs with said mining. A couple of rocks into it, the room fell away and I was outside, four enormous legs towering high above me. The floor panel of the room I had been standing in was aloft and on the move. I chased after it, but it disappeared after getting some distance on me.
In hopes of capturing such an event, I turn on video recording (via OBS Studio) whenever I am mining in an Observatory, and so managed to get video of the initial event. I was then able to restore my save and repeat the process several times in order to get some additional footage, which I have put together in the video seen here.
Since I was able to reload and repeat the process, it occurred to me that others can probably experience the same thing upon visiting the Observatory in question, so I have built a “tiny home” base, “The Traveling Observatory Outlook”, on a hill above the settlement in question to mark the spot (and serve as lodging to the weary traveller who may have journeyed long to experience this unusual building).
The Observatory is located on the planet Gusoinol XIII in the Fanniah-Yanai system in the Eissentam galaxy. Its coordinates are +13.60, +91.88. In a Normal mode save, it is marked by the aforementioned base. Come take a walk with this unusual building.
Oh, and…uh…watch out for the “Immortal Worms” that run the place.