The Let's Play Archive

Freespace 2

by Psion, BloodWulfe, & Gasket Basket

Part 35: Apocalypse


(Click for 1600x1200)
Listen to the briefing here / Mirror (594KB)

This mission is a 'Red Alert' mission - you get no choice to rearm and repair from your last mission, it's "you start with what you've got." So if your hull was at 45% at the end of Clash of the Titans II, you start Apocalypse with 45% hull.

You'll note I kept mine at 100%

But basically the idea is you're immediately scrambled to this mission because there isn't time to send you back to the Aquitane, repair and rearm - and there isn't. The clock's ticking before the GTVA has to send in the Nereid - in short, we're losing at the Vega node. It ain't pretty.

Apocalypse is really one of my favorite missions in the game - it's pretty much nonstop action and it's got great atmosphere - really hectic. Given that the basis here is convoy escort, my strategy is to prioritize bombers and put Trebuchets in their faces as quickly as possible, and if I'm really good, set myself up to rearm where I can act as a stationary gun turret to shoot down more guys while getting more missiles.

I also got bored and kicked the difficulty up a notch, because it was not hectic enough on my usual difficulty level. So if you notice my performance isn't as awesome, it's intended for effect. It _should_ play out (both from a "chances are this will happen to you" and a "the storyline works better this way") the way it does here.

Anyway enough with words, time for ACTION:

Command: We have four freighters, one gas miner, and a transport now en route to the Vega node. The GVC Ptah-Nu and the corvette Lemnos will provide fire support.
Hez-Ur: Command, we're sustaining heavy fire! If we don't get fighter cover pronto, we'll never reach Vega!
Command: The SC Thanatos has been engaged. Two wings of Nahemas and a wing of Nephilim are inbound.

Ah, it's great to start a mission with twelve Shivan bombers already inside weapons range. Plus a cruiser just to make things difficult!

I order all fighters to engage at will, and start pumping Trebuchets into the nearest bomber wing. I don't have enough to engage everyone, so my plan is to hit as many as possible from range, then tear them apart with guns up close, rearm and repeat. The "plan" doesn't work all the time. :\

While I'm busy taking out Sagittarius wing's bombers, the other eight put a hail of torpedos on the GVC Ptah-Nu, too many for it to intercept.

Command: The Shivans destroyed the Ptah-Nu!

It's going to be a loooong mission.

Thankfully, the GTC Malta, still in action (barely) after defending the Bastion, combined with the GTCv Lemnos, take on the Rakshasha cruiser, Thanatos.

Cancer, 4 more bombers, comes in - but thankfully from long range. I take apart three with my Trebuchets at range, and call for a rearm. As I do, my wingmen and the Serapis interceptors from Theta wing already defending the convoy takes apart the last bomber from Cancer.
Meanwhile, I'm shooting at Gemini's newly arrived quartet of bombers as they attempt to engage the Malta and Lemnos.

The Lemnos pulls in close to the Thanatos, and lets go with every gun it has - not only its main anti-capital ship beams, but it buries the Rakshasha in a halo of flak fire.

Even the anti-fighter beams on the Lemnos get tasked to hitting the Shivan cruiser, freed from the distractions of Gemini's bomber by the arrival of several Air Trebuchet postal packages.

The Thanatos can't take that much of a pounding for long, and finally goes down to the combined Allied fire.

Command: Allied forces have neutralized the Thanatos!

In response, the Shivans send in two Cain cruisers, the Bane and the Melchom. Both turn from their initial jump point and start chasing the convoy - specifically the GTM Sydenham and the GTM Herophilus - two of our medical ships.

The Lemnos takes a slash at the lead Cain cruiser, and to make matters slightly more annoying, the Shivans send out 5 Dragon class fighters, Scorpio wing, who have an unfortunate habit of latching onto your tail. Now I'm in an Ares, which is not exactly going to cut it in a dogfight with a Dragon, so what's my strategy?

Get them on my tail first, then loop around the Lemnos:

And let its flak and beam cannons take care of that problem.

Command: The Ennead and the Hez-Ur have jumped safely to Vega.
(That'd be the GVG Anuket gas miner Hez-Ur and the GVFr Satis Ennead)

After these two ships make it through, Command deploys the second convoy - two more medical ships and a science vessel, the GTSC Darwin, followed up by a Triton transport, the Miranda, and their escorting Leviathan cruiser, the Zollner.
Command: All units, be advised a second convoy group is entering the field of engagement. A science vessel and two medical ships are inbound. More freighters are on their way.

Unfortunately while I'm engaged with 5 Dragons at once, Libra wing's Taurvi bombers tear apart the GTM Sydenham, even while its escort, the Leviathan-class cruiser Zollmer, also begins firing on the Cain cruisers.

Command: We've lost the GTM Sydenham!

Still, when those same Shivans try to mess with the GTFr Miranda, they got cold stopped. I was in awe here - the Miranda took out a spread of almost a dozen torpedoes by herself.

I'm serious, too, I was out of range and afterburning hard to get in range, but the Miranda just kept picking off bombs. They detonated close, sure, still causing damage from the near misses, but there were zero hits.

I take back everything bad I ever said about Triton transports, especially back in Battle of the Wilderness where I claimed they didn't have enough "real firepower."

Most of the second convoy survived, so I slot in riding shotgun and take a look over towards the Capella sun.

Oh that's not ominous or anything.

Command: The third convoy is in position! Two medical ships and four troop transports are now heading for the node. The GTC Sparta will help cover their escape. We will deploy the final convoy momentarily.

The Shivans send in two wings of bombers, Seraphims in Leo and Nephilims in Virgo. One of the Theta interceptors and I polish off the Nephilims in Virgo, but the Shivans were tricky and deployed both bomber wings at damn near point blank range from the convoy, and at opposite ends; they're jumping out of subspace inside of guns range, giving you no chance to intercept both groups at once. And to make matters worse, a second quartet from Virgo jumps in right under my nose as I'm trying to turn to take out the Seraphims.
Command: Lambda transport down!

While we're busy tearing apart Virgo, the Leo Seraphims are having a damn field day killing my transports - two of them go down near instantaneously, as I sit there and cycle my guns down to 0% reserve energy and take point-blank Trebuchet shots to finish these guys off fast before they take out a third transport from Lambda wing.
Command: We've lost another transport! End this massacre now, pilots!

After tearing apart the Nephilim bombers, I finally get after Leo - but Seraphims, as I've said before, are tough nuts to crack. You can probably see in the right side of my center HUD that my gun capacitor reads 1% - I shot my Kaysers empty trying to smash these Shivans as fast as possible, but they just keep taking the hits.

Command: The Miranda has escaped the Capella system.
Awesome. Best freighter in the fleet right there. Hell, it did a better job shooting down bombs than a Vasudan Mentu cruiser.
You get about the only breather this mission has here. So what do I do?

Rotate a 180 so I'm in the same orientation as my convoy of course!

Command: We are detecting a massive shockwave emanating from the Capella sun! All units, proceed to the Vega node! You are advised to leave the system immediately!

Massive shockwa....wait a minute.


Oh shit.

GTCv Lemnos: This is the Lemnos. Now proceeding to disengage and depart.
I swear that sun looks bigger.

4 kilometers! Go, go faster, go very much faster you damn Ares!

No seriously ... it's getting bigger.

Command: Capella has gone supernova! Repeat! Capella has gone supernova! You must get to the Vega node and engage your jump drive now!

Let me repeat that Capella has gone supernova part. RUNNING AWAY, COMMAND!

It IS bigger. GREAT! I always wanted a supernova explosion chasing me down when I'm driving this damn pigboat of an Ares!

Command: This is Allied Command, signing off. Godspeed, pilots.



Guys it's getting kinda bright out here...

Main Ending Cutscene, Part 1 / Mirror (High Quality, 37,904.4K)
Low-Quality Youtube, Part 1 / Backup

Now, depending on whether or not Alpha 1 made it to the node in time:
Main Ending, Part 2 (Player Survives) / Mirror (HQ, 20,480.0K)
Low-Quality Youtube, Part 2 (Player Survives) / Backup

Main Ending, Part 2 (Player Dies in Capella) / Mirror (HQ, 20,488.2K)
Low-Quality Youtube, Part 2 / Backup

Thanks for reading.
One last mirror. Thanks, BloodWulfe!