Part 28: Alaska
Well shit. This isn't good.
This starts a 3 mission sequence I call The Grizzly Theft. It's similar to the Neo missions in the LC campaign as each mission plays off the previous one. The successful completion of this arc gives you Something Really Good and the failure of this campaign puts you at a serious disadvantage. It's not quite as good as the Neo arc but it's still pretty neat. Unfortunately the opening to the sequence is one of the most boring missions in the game (even more boring than LC Baikal).
The ED have already stolen our data and breached the base defenses. There are exactly 10 tanks and you need to kill them all. So hurry up and get some units there!
They'll blow the power plant before you have a chance to do anything so don't even try.
Thankfully the LZ is positioned a bit away from the base, otherwise this mission would be impossible.
Additionally, it appears there may be a traitor in our midst who misreported the strength of the ED assault force. Actually, how the hell are the ED operating this deep in UCS territory anyway? And how did they know we had a secret research base here?
Our forces arrive only to see the ED commandos scatter.
We manage to get a few of them but the rest are hidden somewhere around here, probably waiting for an evac transport. We cannot let them escape!
We're never going to find them with just our Tigers looking, we need to bring in the Gargoyles.
Hmm what's this?
These are artifacts, specifically ammunition reloads. We saw a shield artifact way back in ACME Labs 3, but they're much more common in the ED and UCS campaigns. These ammunition artifacts exist in case you don't realize you can build an Aerial Supply Center + power plant on this map to provide resupplies. Since all your units are either 20mm, grenades or rockets at this point you'll need ammo to win this map.
While I wait for my units to collect their reloads, I call in the last of my Tigers. The entire UCS army under the President's command is now searching for these commandos. The seriousness of the situation cannot be overstated.
And now he's dead. It'd be nice if the game gave you a count on how many tanks were left because at this point I have no idea how many I'm looking for.
We find more ammo and reload. It also looks like there aren't any tanks up here in the northwest corner. Where the hell are they?
Our Gargoyles can find the enemy units faster than the Tigers so I split the fleet up and send each one scouring the landscape for the commandos.
But it's the Tigers, moving back to the LZ to regroup who find the last tank. Bit of a surprise really.
Damn! Now we've lost the plans for the Grizzly unit and we have no idea where they've sent the data. This is an absolute disaster.
Nothing left to do but send everyone home. I'm sure KAIN IX has all his ED spies working on finding that transmission location.
10 tanks go in, none come out. And we only lost one unit in the process.
We've found them.
Also, before we start Japan I want to emphasize how really, really, really important it is you don't lose Japan. If there is a single mission in the game you should try your hardest on it's Japan. Why?
Because Japan is the only mission in the entire game that gives you a punishment detail if you fail it. I've never, ever been able to beat that mission. To make matters worse, Japan is an extremely tough mission and will require your best thinking. I beat it before I wrote this update and it took me over an hour and a half to complete when most missions in this game take only half that time at worst.
Don't fail Japan.
Our final UCS song (at least until TMP and LS!) is the 2nd combat theme. I'll give the UCS credit, they know how to when they fight.