Part 19: The Plan Caution: Massive SpoilersThe Plan (or "Where we've been, where we're going and how we're going to get there") Caution: Massive Spoilers
Right then, if you don't want to be spoiled about certain things relating to the endgame, please look away now. Not going to spoiler tag this because it would be a whole post full of black bars, and where's the fun in that?
Where we've been
Okay, have they gone? Okay. Good. First let's talk about all the stuff we've just done. It can be summed up in this handy-dandy flowchart:
"Gosh! What is this mysterious Final Battle of which you speak?" Well, at the risk of stating the obvious, it's last mission of Campaign (most of the time). And it plays out as the player controlling three small allied armies against this one huge army controlled by the main villain of the piece... "Him" (or, well, Sturm. You might have already met him in the AW2 LP).
The three COs you get to use are determined by the paths you take through Campaign. You always have Andy in the centre, but on the left you get Max, Grit or Olaf, depending on your route. Pick Max at Max Strikes!, you get Grit (weirdly). Pick Andy at Max Strikes! and HQ Capture on Olaf's Navy!, you get Max (probably the best option). Rout Olaf's Navy! instead and go through Olaf's Sea Strike, and you get Olaf (probably the worst option).
So far so good. My original plan at this point was to ask you guys which of these you wanted to be our "canon" route, for our choice in The Final Battle. But you know what? I've now got three separate saves, one where Max would show up in The Final Battle, one where Grit would show up, and one where Olaf would show up. So let's have some fun.
Where we're going
Ladies and gentlemen, here is my proposal: four Final Battles.
Operation Golden Ending: Andy, Max and Eagle. Well, not literally the golden ending. But Max and Eagle are pretty much the best choices you can have for The Final Battle, and Eagle gives you the extra bonus mission after TFB, Rivals!
Operation Nap Patrol Redux: Andy, Grit and Drake. Ah yes, the Wars World Nap Patrol - sadly missing its most vital member due to him not being in this game, but two out of three ain't bad. And Andy apparently hates getting up in the mornings, so he can be an honorary member of the crew. Grit and Drake were also the pair of COs I first used when I beat The Final Battle. It was a rough ride, but I got through it.
Operation Dunderhead: Andy, Olaf and Kanbei. Featuring everyone's favourite trio of idiots. Olaf is kind of infamous in TFB because snow screws over allies just as badly as enemies. But he's a solid all-round CO that I reckon should be able to do something useful, and with a bit of luck I should be able to minimise inconvenience for my allies. Hopefully pairing him with Kanbei will help alleviate the damage. I've never used either of these COs in TFB before, so this'll certainly be an adventure.
Operation Orange Star: Andy, Max and Sami. Sami is another CO who's infamous in Final Battle terms, because of how slow footsoldiers are. Never played through TFB with her, but if I pair her with Max then hopefully that'll help us pull through.
The beauty of this setup? It's going to help us show off every mission with (hopefully) minimal repeats.
How we're going to get there
Well, we've already got three different saves with Max, Grit and Olaf ready to go. But how to go about getting the CO on the right sorted out? Well, here's the rules:
- You get Eagle in The Final Battle if you play as Sami in all four missions of the Green Earth section of Campaign (doesn't include Air Ace! or Sami's Debut!)
- You get Kanbei if you beat the Kanbei missions fast enough to unlock the Sonja missions and play through those, and you don't fulfil the requirements for Eagle.
- You get Drake in The Final Battle if you play as Andy in all four missions of the Green Earth section of Campaign (doesn't include Air Ace! or Sami's Debut!), and you don't fulfil the requirements for Kanbei.
- You get Sami if you fulfil none of the requirements for Eagle, Kanbei or Drake.
* Green Earth is a little like Blue Moon, only instead of being forced to go on one chain or the other, you get to choose your COs randomly. However, each CO gets a different map for each mission (except in one specific case, but even then), so it's worth showing them all off. When we get to Green Earth I'll let you vote on the order we take to do these twelve different missions.
So bearing all that in mind, how is this going to play out for our Final Battle teams? Well:
Operation Dunderhead: On the Olaf save, show Sami's Debut in the thread, get through the Kanbei missions fast and show them in the thread. Show off the Sonja missions, then show off all the Max missions in Green Earth.
Operation Nap Patrol Redux: On the Grit save, cheese through Sami's Debut and Yellow Comet offscreen, failing the speed requirement on at least one of the Kanbei missions. Then show off all the Andy missions in Green Earth.
Operation Golden Ending: On the Max save, cheese through Sami's Debut and Yellow Comet offscreen, failing the speed requirement on at least one of the Kanbei missions. Then show off all the Sami missions in Green Earth, but make a separate save before the last one.
Operation Orange Star: From this separate save, do the final Green Earth mission as either Andy or Max offscreen, thus breaking the Eagle chain.
This way I reckon I should be able to show off pretty much everything with minimal redundancy (granted I'll still have to play through... thirteen? redundant missions offscreen. But most of the time's taken up with writing the posts, so hey).
So... yeah. Hope that checks out okay. Should be all right, unless I get hopelessly stuck trying to get Olaf and/or Sami through The Final Battle...
... I might just go insane by the time I've done all this .