Part 14: Visari Palace
Part 2 of the 10th Chapter. CJacobs and JameTheD join nine-gear crow and I. The fighting is about to get intense.
We are now in the courtyard of Visari Palace, and about to encounter the most defiant Helghast opposition yet.
For the most part, what we encounter here is nothing but combat. Wave after wave of Helghast soldier, desperate to stop the invading ISA from capturing their beloved leader. (Wait--when I say it like that, it makes the ISA sound like bad guys???). This area is short, but due to the amount of fighting, it's a slow process making our way through it. So let's take a brief moment to take in the sights.
Perhaps the most obvious structure is the statue of Visari greeting us upon entry. It's befitting a conqueror like Visari stand proud with a sword in his hand. It brings to mind statues of Alexander the Great:
(Statue is in the city of tip in Macedonia)
Though of course, the difference here is that Alexander's sword arm is raised and Visari's isn't. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that while Alexander the Great conquered MANY territories, Visari conquered none.
Banners, flags, icons--you name it, all sorts of Helghast iconography litter this area. You get up close to the walls and you'll start noticing tiny Helghast triads. (You will get up close to the walls, you will need to take cover at some point). The best part is, if you recall from waaaay back in our earliest updates and back in Killzone 1, the triad was simply a Helghan Corporation logo, symbolizing cooperation with each branch symbolizing a member planet of the space-faring alliance: Earth, Vekta, and Helghan. Of course, that meaning has been twisted, but it makes sense that the symbol is plastered everywhere. Not only are we in the
Which we'll be seeing soon.
Closer up, the building itself is, of course, also covered with Helghast symbols and icons.
Here's a statue that more resembles Lenin:
(Statue in, I believe, St. Petersburg, Russia)
Note, Visari still has to have a sword in his hand.
nine-gear crow posted:
I mentioned in the video that the golden statue in the main hall of Visari Palace was Visari "getting his Kim Il-Sung on", and this was what I was referencing:
The (allegedly) bronze statues of North Korean dictators Kims Il-Sung (left), and Jong-Il (right) at the Grand Monument on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang. You can see the similarities between Sung's and Visari's monuments pretty clearly.
Originally, the monument consisted of just Kim Il-Sung's statue and was finished in 1972 as a tribute to Sung's brutal cult of personality. As you can see in the above post, it was clearly modeled after Lenin's various statues. Lenin was one of Sung's communist heroes, by the way.
In 2012, the monument was modified to install a similar statue of Sung's son and successor Kim Jong-Il after his death in December 2011. (FYI: Kim Jong-Il is propterted to have died in "a fit of rage" over the failure of a power plant construction project. I point that out just because the idea of Kim Jong-Il dying of a literal rage stroke is hilarious.)
Also at the Mansu Hill Monument is a tribute to North Korea's "Socialist Revolution". It features Kim Il-Sung at the head of a swelling army of citizens of all walks of life, leading them onward in a pose somewhat similar to the beckoning posture of Visari's statue as well.
Because remember, Visari's regime has element of all major 20th century dictatorships to it, including North Korea's Juche, which also has its share of tripartite iconography symbolizing the key elements of North Korean society; the farmer, the worker, and the intellectual. Its all a lie, of course, as the one true valued element of the DPRK populace is the soldier, but that's kind of par for the course for any military-backed dictatorship, regardless of its political or social philosophies.
See: the Helghast.
There's a bunch of cool artwork in this building too, which you've all seen in the MISCELLANEOUS sections of the LP already, except for this piece here:
Which I can't find the original concept art of, which is too bad, because it's a cool shot of all the Heghast leadership. It's hard to see, but from left to right you have: Colonel Mael Radec hovering behind Visari's shoulder, Autarch Scolar Visari himself, Colonel Tendon Cobar unfortunately obscurred by my crosshairs, General Armin Metrac, and General Joseph Lente.
We can't look at the cool artwork for too long, though, because Radec and his personal guard show up to try and add a few more notches in their kill count. With Garza, Templar, and Batton all dead at the hands of Radec and co., I'd say they're doing pretty well. Hence, Radec's smug comment here.
Aaaaand now starts THE single most difficult encounter in the game.
Now, don't get me wrong, that courtyard battle is hard. Especially on--you guessed it--Elite difficulty. Wave after wave of Helghast Advanced Troopers respawn, supported by Flamethrower troopers in key locations (such as that balcony I had a difficult time claiming in the video), while people throw Teslite Grenades back and forth. That's only in the first segment, too--but the Radec fight is even more challenging.
But hey, before I get there, I'm going to take a brief moment to talk strategy through the courtyard. If you're playing on any difficulty but Elite, you won't have too difficult a time since you an just pick up one of the many Helghast LMGs that the LMG Troopers are using. Crouch and hip-fire to save time, and you'll be able to kill most enemies, even Pyrotroopers, quickly. BUT on Elite you don't get crosshairs, so you really want to stick with the ol'reliable ISA Assault Rifle and stick aiming down the sights to get headshots. It'll be slow and tedious, since the enemies respawn, but you'll have constant ammunition in the form of the ISA troops who are always at your back--and I mean that you need to be scavenging guns off their corpses :/
Like the Salamun Bridge encounter and the earlier Lazar Highway encounter, as you push forward, your allies will advance. If you retreat, so will they. On lower difficulties, they can usually hold their own for a while as you run back and forth, but on Elite, you'll need to stay at the frontline to keep it from collapsing. This first segment in the courtyard is the easiest one for the battle to sway back in the Helghast's favour. Don't feel down if you get pushed right back to where the ISA intruders keep landing. Try not too let yourself get bogged down into an extended firefight by taking out the Pyrotroopers as soon as possible, claiming that central raised platform above all else. If you can claim it, you're over the worst of it. Be careful in your approach, as the Helghast have a perfect view and excellent cover. In the video, I divert their attention by entering a tunnel underneath the platform, emerging up a stairwell behind their location. It's risky on any difficulty, but especially on Elite, as you're now completely surrounded by Helghast. Though slower, you may find it safer to slowly pick off reinforcements from one of the two side approaches, slowly making your way up to the top--at least you'll have allies behind you pulling fire away from yourself.
Once you make it to the lead up to the front door, you'll get a checkpoint and an ATAC will appear. This ATAC is super easy to kill since it remains mostly stationary and will be otherwise engaged with other ISA mooks. Keep your distance and shoot at it till it explodes. Bullets will kill it eventually (and if you leave it long enough, your allies will kill it for you), but it's super satisfying to take it down with the grenade launcher.
Past that, you now have to work your way around the Heghast's improvised cover of sandbags, boxes, and barbed wire. On either side is a turret you need to be wary of, since they will occasionally reinforce them. The biggest threat will be the Pyrotroopers near the front. Honestly, this part is much easier than the first one, and if you can kill those Pyros, it's a fairly easy matter of slowly working your way up the line, killing enemies when you can, and otherwise taking cover. In this smaller space, your allies will be far more useful, as they'll be able to concentrate their fire on the Helghast (as well as provide more targets).
Of course, the Radec fight is a whole 'nother set of problems since you only get Sev and Rico. I play it in the "normal way", but there's a much easier way that I'm considering re-recording with crow later on. The normal way is as follows, though:
- Stay with Rico--he'll pull fire as long as he's alive and will sometimes kill Helghast for you, so keep him up.
- Stay near the entrance area. The entrance area itself is small, yes, but it's covered and has a weapon rack nearby. The pillar will provide some great early cover, and will wind up being a safer place when SMG Helghast start spawning and try to outflank you. Rico will prefer to stand further up, so keep an eye on him as you may need to run in and heal him.
- Ignore Rico when he gives the order to take up an overwatch position on the balcony. You'll just wind up making yourself a bigger target. Now, SMG Shock Troopers and Pyrotroopers can attack you from two flanks. At least in the entrance area, they sort of need to funnel towards you as long as you don't get surprised by troopers dropping down from the balcony. Also, you'll avoid the chandeliers dropping on you and be able to ignore the whole burning curtain stage hazard.
- When the rockets start firing, run, get a rifle with decent distance, and take cover behind the furniture piles in one of the upper balcony corners. From the entrance, I prefer the furniture pile on the left-hand side. Yeah, I die a lot in the video, even on Normal difficulty, but you're gonna die a lot anyways. This place provides the most cover. The entrance way is now a death trap, so stay away from it. The statue of Visari provides good cover, yes, but you can easily be flanked by other troopers. Furniture piles are the best cover. If you've used up the ammo in your ISA assault rifle, you'll need to run and grab the sniper rifle--while it's possible to use the Helghast assault rifle, it isn't as accurate, so the process becomes tedious. The ISA assault rifle is actually pretty solid for this job, and I prefer it to the sniper rifle. You get more shots, so you can at least stun the Support Troopers if you miss a head shot. Since there's no additional ammo pick-ups until the intruder crashes through the window, you'll have to ditch it safely early on in the fight to be picked up later, though--keep track of where you drop it if you do this.
- If the Support Troopers aren't dead by the time the Intruder crashes, charge them. They'll panic and won't be able to fire up close. I do this in the video.
- Don't let Radec train his guns on you. For the most part, this won't be a problem. Every once in a while, Radec will find himself in a perfect position to shoot at you and he'll rain down LMG bullets. Running is an option, but you can also cause Radec to disappear for a while if you fire back. He'll activate his teleporter and move somewhere else.
- Stay healthy. Checkpoints are few and far between. If you're too cavalier, you'll probably die and lose progress. On reflection, I don't believe this final fight actually has respawning enemies. That's a problem you deal with in the courtyard battles, yes, but my experience with the Radec fight is that there's a limited number of guards. It's a large number, but if you're constantly killing soldiers--it doesn't matter what type, you'll eventually trigger the next segment. SO DON'T PLAY RECKLESSLY!!! Even if the battle seems to be stretching, the enemy forces will eventually run out and you'll trigger the next wave and a checkpoint.
Cool. If you can do that, then--
--you get to fight Radec. Now, like the lead up, there's the "Normal Way" and the "Easy Way". I play the normal way in the video. Radec has a few dedicated attack patterns: 1) spam Teslite grenades, 2) use his LMG, and 3) use his Rambo knife. In between attacks, he'll disappear and teleport around the room. His teleportation device makes a noise when activated, so if you have a decent sound system or headphones, you can actually hear where he's appearing. Watching for the flash of light will also help. Mostly, just keep moving. If you stay in one place, he'll easily overwhelm you. Ignore Rico, except to heal him. Radec is smart enough to know that you're the bigger threat, so he'll mostly ignore Rico, but having Rico up means he'll occasionally provide additional fire support.
W/r/t his attack patterns, here's how to deal with them:
1) Teslite Grenades - Keep moving. Teslite Grenades deal damage over time, so as long as you're moving, you shouldn't take enough to die. The grenades themselves don't disappear with Radec's cloak, so keep an eye out for a floating Teslite Grenade and shoot at it. After enough damage, he'll usually switch to--
2) The LMG - deals a tonne of damage, and Radec's a good shot! If you can put something between yourself and Radec, do it, but don't rely on cover. Remember, he can teleport behind you. If he appears in front of you, back away while keeping sustained fire on him. The Helghast SMG is ideal for this since he'll usually teleport pretty close and the sheer amount of bullets you spit out will keep him from shooting at you.
3) The Rambo Knife - is what he'll start using more often near the end of the fight. He can basically one-hit kill you on Elite, so keep your distance. It's not worth it trying to knife him back. Same deal with the LMG, though. When he appears, back away and lay down sustained SMG fire on him until he disappears.
If you feel like making him suffer, don't forget about the flamethrower. The flames mark where he is, making it easier to shoot at him. However, the persistent damage means he'll be constantly be teleporting around the room, which might actually make the fight more difficult for you. Also, a burning Radec is just one more stage hazard, so keep your distance. I use it in the video for effect, but honestly, it's simpler to forget about the flamethrower.
(Note the statue: triads within triads. The texture detail is wonderful in this game.)
Eventually, he'll teleport back up to the balcony and stay there. Take cover, as you don't want to redo the fight leading up to this point, and shoot at him at your leisure. He'll eventually fall over, triggering the cutscene:
Okay, if you managed to beat the Radec encounter on Elite difficulty the normal way, then pat yourself on the back. Hot damn, that's one of the single-most difficult FPS boss fights I have ever fought. Anyone else fought Radec? Please chime in with your experience. The man is damn good at killing, and you will die, again and again and again.
Fortunately, there is an easier way to win--and it's HILARIOUS.
The key to an easier victory is--
Wait for it--
Are you ready?
No, that's no joke. See, the doorway you enter to get to the final encounter? That door doesn't close until both Sev and Rico are through it, but the Radec fight encounter triggers once you enter that room. See where I'm going with this? Knife Rico outside of the room until he collapses. DO NOT HEAL HIM. Go through the doors as Sev, trigger the fight, retreat back through the doors, wait. Don't use your ISA assault rifle, as you'll want to save its ammo. Use your ISA revolver, since it has infinite ammo. Wait for troopers to funnel their way through the door and kill them one by one. Use one of their rifles, if you feel it's going slowly, but don't risk your neck.
Now, be careful when you reach a checkpoint. Remember, whenever a checkpoint is triggered, all your allies are healed, so be ready to re-knife Rico. Once he's down again, resume the fight. Eventually, you'll trigger the Support Trooper wave. Be wary of their rockets! Grab your ISA assault rifle, and carefully take them out. You may need to stick your neck out to mop up a straggler or two, but eventually you'll trigger Radec.
At this point, let Rico get up and enter the room. Honestly, the Radec fight is made more difficult if you try and use the extra space. Run into the room, grab the nearest SMG, and run back to the doors that just closed. The plan is to now hole up in this little hole-in-the-wall. Crouch down and face outwards--Radec will only be able to approach from the front. In such limited quarters, he generally sticks to using his LMG and knife attack patterns to flush you out. LMG is dangerous, since he keeps his distance and you need to hit him with the SMG. Knife is less dangerous. He'll charge your position, giving you free reign to lay down sustained fire. If he does switch to Teslite Grenades, you may need to temporarily abandon your position, but I've found that to be a rare occurrence. It won't take long for the damage to add up, even on Elite, and Radec will teleport to the balcony. Shoot at your leisure.
Congratulations! You just absolutely trivialized Radec's defenses.
Radec and his personal guard:
Aaaaand here's some images of large groups of Helghast:
Planning for Vekta's invasion:
Helghan Administration meeting?:
nine-gear crow posted:
It's really kind of a shame that we didn't use the original footage we recorded for the Radec boss fight here because a couple of amazing things happened during it:
1. We set Radec on fire a hell of a lot more than we do in the "official" footage. And we also kill him quicker the first time too
2. If Radec is on fire when he dies in gameplay, he will temporarily be on fire in the post-fight cutscene.
And 3. The game glitched out and didn't despawn the hunting knife from Radec's grip as he pulls out his service pistol.
Which leads to amazing screenshots like this one (Warning, slight spoilers in this screenshot, click at your own risk)