The Let's Play Archive

Freespace 2

by Psion, BloodWulfe, & Gasket Basket

Part 30: Into the Lion's Den

Into The Lion's Den
Here is your briefing. / Mirror

You should watch this, for the following reasons:
1) It's Snipes, therefore you must watch it.
2) I'm not going to rehash what's covered in this video, because it's Snipes and because there's no real way to put it into words properly.

So watch it. Seriously, click that, wait for it, watch it, then come back and read the rest of this update.

I'll wait for you.

Don't worry.
Seriously watch this okay stop cheating and scrolling down. / Mirror

Once the Shivans get close to you, your cover's blown, and everyone starts shooting.
Alpha 2: All units, return fire! IFF status has been revised. The honeymoon is over. Repeat. The honeymoon is over.
Alpha 2: Our objective here, pilots, is to neutralize all targets of opportunity before time runs out. Alpha 1, take out that device.

So the Mara's pretty sweet, I might add. Fit it out with Kaysers (only 4 guns, but hey) because the primary weapon bank is deep - you'll really have to try hard to shoot it dry - and you've got a heavy fighter that manuevers and flies damn close to an interceptor, is fast, tough, and has the largest fighter secondary bays in the game, packing in an extra 20 Tempests per rack over anything else in the GTVA arsenal.

This here is a Shivan comm node. I know this because it's marked as that in the tables, though in-game you never find out what they are, and for all we know these are actually Shivan drive-through (well, spaceship fly-through) restaurants.

Pound on it long enough with Tempests and Kayser fire, and Snipes warns you it's looking like a pretty big bang.
Alpha 2: Alpha 1, I'm getting some anomalous energy readings off that device. You better stand clear when that thing blows.

You really should, too - it hurts.

Alpha 2: Outstanding, Alpha 1. Whatever that thing was, the Shivans got less of them now. Let's take out what we can before we get back to the node.

There are some Shivan fighters and bombers (and a couple Rakshasha cruisers) floating around and about, but let me tell you - the Mara dices them. It's no contest. You're flying the closest thing FS2 has to a superfighter and it shows. This mission is just fun - chill out, see some pretty explosions, have fun talking with Snipes, who is a cool guy.

You can see the second comm node device in the center of my HUD; and while these Sathanas juggernauts aren't close by, I'm still disinclined to go say hello.
Another one jumps in, too:
Alpha 2: Sensors reading a fifth juggernaut. We've got a problem here.

The weak point on these, by the way, is that red central crystal. I've never done it myself, but other FS2 players swear that if you hit the center just so with a pair of Trebuchets, it's an instant kill; if the central crystal goes, so does the entire structure (it's a targetable subsystem, too). Frankly I find the Tempest and Kayser storm works quite well, so I've never bothered to retry this 15 times with Trebs before I figure it out.

I pause to take out some fighters which were trying to crawl up my tailpipe, and as I finish them off and return to blasting the second node, we tick over the five minute mark.
Alpha 2: Here's a safety tip for you, pilots. We've got ten minutes before we jump. Don't stray too far.

Alpha 2: Sathanas number six now in system. At this rate, we'll have a hundred Juggernauts bearing down on Capella in no time.

We are so totally screwed it's not even funny at this point, just by the way. Two Sathanas Juggernauts already in the nebula beyond Gamma Draconis, and we're up to three more in this system on their way over, I'm sure.

Alpha 2: Okay, that makes two. Good teamwork, squad. Let's go for the triple play. Seek and destroy.

I roll out and head for the third and last comm node - getting even more good news on my way over:

A Rakshasha seems to dislike what we're doing here. Dodging its beams isn't hard, but it's yet another complication I don't need - the clock's ticking.

Still, it dies like the rest to volleyed fire, and the Shivans sent in their bomber wings (loaded out with anti-fighter munitions, mind you) a bit too late:

Alpha 2: And that's a clean sweep. Nice work, Alpha wing. Makes me proud to be SOC. Now let's get back to the node. Binary systems give me the creeps.
As the node goes down, another Sathanas makes its appearance.
Alpha 2: Juggernaut number seven has jumped in. We've got to warn the Alliance. Don't do anything stupid. Just stay alive.

With the comm nodes out, Alpha heads for the jump node. Me, I turn around and take on the wing of bombers, Gemini, head-on. I dislike pursuit, okay?

After clearing out the local bombers, I point to the node and step on it. I've got plenty of time, but it never pays to be late. You can also see the binary stars Snipes mentioned.

Alpha 2: Clock is down to five minutes. Get ready to make our run.
And, just in case we're not TOTALLY BONED ENOUGH:
Alpha 2: I'm picking up Sathanas 8 now.

I make it to the node with a shade over two minutes to spare, and the announcement of a ninth Sathanas.
Alpha 2: I've got another reading on sensors. Number nine.

We tool around in the node, with a wing of Astaroths showing up, and against four elite Maras (the pilot AI for your wing is set to the highest level for this mission; it's a hand-picked squad, remember?) they don't exactly cause much trouble.

Speaking of which, remember back in the briefing? The one you SAID YOU WATCHED? Yeah. "Xinny and Zero" aren't names picked out of a hat. If memory serves, those were the handles of two of the top FS1 pilots on Parallax Online - the Freespace ranking server run cooperatively between Volition and Outrage (who were, before they split, Parallax Studios - makers of Descent and Descent II). It's a little nod to the fans.

With one minute left, Snipes warns us to get our ass to the chopper - I mean, the node - but also lets us know our jump drives are about to be re-activated.

Alpha 2: We got incoming! Ravana-class cruiser. Designation Nebiros. Hit your burners and evade. We gotta reach that jump node, kids.

Alpha 2: Avoid the beam salvos off that destroyer! We're almost there! Stay inside the node! You miss your window, you're MIA!

A little dodge, a little weave, a little screw you Shivans ... by which I mean this destroyer rammed me, and I bounced the hell off and it hurt:

Alpha 2: Alpha wing, we're in the node and drives are back on line! We'll rendezvous with the recovery ship on the other side! Engage!

...I can't make a Picard joke, because Snipes is cooler than that. None of you try it either, or else.


(I specifically didn't link this at the top, but here is the nowhere near as awesome MP3 sound-only of the above video which you DID watch, right? MP3 here / Mirror)
Watch the video here. Just in CASE. / Mirror

I'm serious. / REALLY.