The Let's Play Archive

Killzone: Liberation

by nine-gear crow, Blind Sally, CJacobs

Part 10: Chapter 5 (DLC), Stages 3, 4 & Credits

Alas, we arrive at the end of the beginning. The final update of Killzone: Liberation (storyline-wise), and our final foray into Killzone 1-era Killzone. From here on out we migrate on up to the PlayStation3 for the rest of the “trilogy”.

Templar, Hakha, and Rico emerge from the sewers in the devastated downtown core of Sedah City. Here they face the bulk of the Helghast remnant on Vekta which stands between them and the Vektan Royal Palace in the centre of Sedah where General Murphy lies holed up. Can they reach him in time before General Stratson can murder him and take control over the Vektan military completely?

Let’s find out.



Again, I’m not really sure who this one refers to, as we’re technically going to be doing some invading of our own this stage.

Stage 3 opens with a pair of hapless Helgoons on patrol duty. You just know things are gonna turn out terrible for these two.

Case in point: Rico is nearby with a weapon.

The Before.

The After.

Just one thing I want to point out that I learned from watching the Making Of video that came with the bundle of unlockable goodies I linked in the last update: Guerrilla made a point of showing off how the colour of the Helghast soldiers eyes reflects their disposition in-game.

You’ll see in the video that this Helghast grenadier’s eyes go from yellow, to red, and finally to black. It doesn’t translate all too well because of the shoddy rendering abilities of the PSP when it comes to cutscenes in Ad Hoc multiplayer mode, however.

Yellow eyes indicate “passive” Helghast troops, ie; ones you who aren’t alerted to your presence which can sneak by.

Red eyes indicate “aggressive” Helghast, and they will actively attack and track you through a level to the best of their ability.

And finally black eyes indicates a dead or incapacitated Helghast.

Yes. It’s good to have you back murdering people for our side again, and not someone else’s, Rico.

I don’t know why you’d need to do both those things to hide an army, but whatever, Evelyn.

So Chapter 5 Stages 3 & 4 are a soft rehash of Chapters 2-4 of Killzone 1, where you spend most of your time just trying to get out of Vekta City. It’s a bombed out metropolis setting, but at least there’s a fairly recognizable path through it and it’s brightly lit, so at least it have that over the sewer level.

The big gameplay element of the first part of the stage is that there’s four manholes scattered around the city square which the Helghast are using to flood up into the city now that Rico and Templar have rendered the service elevator inoperable.

You’re gonna need to collapse all four of them with C-4 charges to stem the flow of troopers. You’re gonna be under near-constant assault for this part as these manholes will keep spawning troops at a constant rate. Even worse, the more manholes you seal, the quicker they start coming out through other manholes until you seal all 4.

Meanwhile, Evelyn gets in touch with the Vektan Defense Department and finds a piece of corroborating evidence to back up Rico’s allegations against Stratson.

So the bad news is that Stratson was planning a coordinated assault on every major Vektan city as well using the sewers, but thanks to Evelyn getting the word out to ISA command, it looks like they’re being dealt with before they can launch their attacks.

Three cheers for the good guys.

The last part of the stage is another survival mini-boss. More on that in a moment.

Blind Sally also picks up a flamethrower and to our surprise, in Liberation it does indeed have some sort of drum backpack attachment. It’s not quite the 200L monster chitoryu12 showed off in the thread, but well, it’s close…

And as you can see it’s got quite the firing arc to it.

So like I said, the finale of Stage 3 is you and Rico (and your potential co-op partner) holding your own against a few waves of Helghast soldiers. On the one hand, in co-op mode, this section is kind of easier because you’ve got three sets of guns instead of just two there, but you also face an increased number of Helghast each wave than you would in single player.

There’s a turret there just in the lower frame which Blind Sally hops in which is meant to help the defense section go more smoothly…

Mid-way through the attack, Evelyn gives us an update on the situation, it’s pretty much what I outlined at the start of the post, but this is the first time it’s mentioned in-game.

And then once you’ve worn your way through their entire platoon of Helgoons, the Helghast deploy their “oh fuck off” option and just send a tank over the barricade to take you on next.

So the thing about the tank is…

It literally runs over your little cover barricade and into your defensive zone. It’s coded to do this, so there’s no stopping it.

…Unless you have a flamethrower that is. Like Sally mentions in-video, the Helghast tanks don’t differentiated between damage types, so it reads the persistent fire from the flamethrower as individual hits from any other weapon. Which means it goes down like a chump with like three pools of napalm on it.

Bam, boss over.

Yes, thoughtlessly murdering people you are on record as regarding as sub-human. Truly, you are doing God’s work in the most resplendent of ways, Rico.

Regardless of how awful the Helghast are, Rico is one of the most disgustingly unselfaware characters I’ve ever encountered in fiction.

Suddenly an ISA trooper appears over the ledge to lend Jan a hand.

He throws down a pair of ropes for Templar and Rico. Hakha gets nothing because Hakha doesn’t exist.

But then Templar orders Rico to help with the clean up effort because Templar wants to go after Stratson alone. Probably because Rico would fuck up along the way and get captured again or something.

And that’s it for Stage 3.


I don’t really know why the final stage of Liberation is called “Resurrection” beyond, well, I guess the war’s over now and this is Vekta’s chance to revive itself into a functioning society once again… But we’re gonna see how well they go down that road in Killzone 2, however.

The final stage begins with Stratson approaching the palace to murder Murphy.

Weeeell, someone clearly doesn’t know about Killzones 2, 3, Mercencary, and Shadow Fall.

Also, Stratson is flanked by a pair of ISA honour guards. These guys only show up in this stage of Liberation, and only here. And as you can sort of tell by their gaudy trench coats and shoulder pads and the fact that they’re wearing rebreathers, they’re actually disguised Helghast troopers posing as ISA soldiers.

“And by that I mean of course murder him.”

I don’t know why Stratson is lying to his clearly Helghast troops here. This is where Liberation’s storytelling faults tend to appear. There’s a lot of ambiguity in what you’re seeing which is then contradicted by background information or even explanatory information in the same game no less.

So I’m just going to assume he’s speaking in code to his troops right now because he’s clearly talking about Jan. I guess his plot was to murder Murphy and then make it look like Jan killed him, just like it looked like Rico killed General Mandrake so that way he’d have an excuse to kill him that didn’t immediately look suspicious to anyone with two brain cells that rub together.

See: Killzone intro. Visari: “Our enemies at home have been re-educated. We have given them new insights into our resolve.”

At the start of Stage 4 proper, Evelyn lays out or final objective: reach the old royal palace—where Stratson already is… greeeat.

Also, Vekta apparently used to have a monarchy of some sort. Okay.

Again, Evelyn back up officially what Rico asserted in the Stage 2 post-level cutscene. By and large, we already knew this, but she’s just making sure we remember it before we head into the final confrontation.

And look at that. Murphy’s dead. Farewell General Didn’t Even Get A Character Model. You will be… never referenced again in the franchise. This means that there’s no Battle Group Murphy named after poor General Murphy, but then again for all we know, maybe Admiral Grey’s fleet was called Battle Group Murphy.

That’s why it goes to shit like it does in Mercenary.

We also encounter ISA Honourguard soldiers in-battle too. This is the only time we ever intentionally face off against hostile, non-traitor ISA soldiers in a Killzone game.

And then Evelyn reveals the smoking gun, with a callback to our beloved General Adams from the first game too. Stratson and Adams planned out the whole defection operation with Metrac months before the Helghast began their invasion.

Unfortunately, Adams turning out to be a crazy melodramatic fuckup threw a whole tsunami of monkeywrenches into the Helghast plans, leaving Stratson to continue the operation on his own.

I also love how Lente is completely glossed over in this whole equation. The man is practically a walking afterthought, that’s how useless Joseph Lente was as a general and a character in Killzone. And in the end, it’s a highly appropriate fate for a man whose crowing moment of relevance in the franchise was literally being gelded to death via a bullet.

This is also our last official reference to Luger in a Killzone game… to my knowledge at least. I haven’t played either Mercenary or Shadow Fall, so I have no idea if she’s mentioned at all in either of those two. I just know that there’s no mention of her in 2 or 3.

To get to the palace, we need to move this train out of our way first…

…Which we can do by flipping this switch on the overhanging balcony above the train itself. See what I mean about Stage 4 being a little more user-friendly than Stage 2 was?

The train slides out of the way automatically and we’re now within striking distance of the end of Liberation for good.

Evelyn informs us that Stratson’s personal battalion of soldiers is still loyal to him. Either he was lying to them too, or they’ve all come around to his way of thinking and they know he’s selling out Vekta to the Helghast, the game doesn’t really tell you.

At the end of the roundabout we reach the gates to the Royal Palace and our last few generic Helgoon enemies.

Capping that guy causes the gate to swing open, allowing us to head into the final boss.

This is looking very Final Boss Arena-y, if I do say so.

It’s also looking very “Soviet Palatial Chic” too. I guess this helps imply the shared history between the Vektans and the Helghans, as Vekta was settled by the Helghan Corporation originally after all. Its founder and original CEO was named Philip Vekta, if you will recall. This structure was probably one of Helghan Corp.'s main administrative buildings and now serves as an ISA command building, much like how Visari Palace on Helghan itself (which we'll be seeing up close in Killzones 2 & 3) was repurposed into Helghast's seat of power out of the old Helghan Corporation planetary headquarters.

Stratson and Templar engage in a little pre-battle banter, not unlike he did with Metrac.

The Unstoppable Bore and the Immovable Blank, ladies and gentlemen.

I can’t fucking believe we swapped out General Anime for THIS. I can’t believe we swapped out Metrac for this. Killzone has an impressive slate of batshit amazing villains. Dwight Stratson is not one of them.

And with that the final boss fight begins. Evelyn opens the fight by telling you to collapse the balconies on either side of the arena to give you access to the upper level.

One side has a big explosive red barrel shoved underneath it, which you can shoot and make it explode.

Blowing it up turns the balcony into a ramp, essentially.

The right side is just literally made of ramshackle wooden boxes. Shooting them out causes the other side to collapse, thus turning the upper balcony into a walkable upside-down U-shaped platform.

Stratson’s got a fairly rigid attack pattern which he follows. He will emerge from behind one of six doors, Scooby Doo-style, and you need to shoot him a few times to get him to retreat. He’ll also retreat by himself if he depletes his revolver clip. And when he runs away a pair of Helghast soldiers will emerge to fight you in his place.

Stratson also has the highest amount of HP of any boss or enemy in Liberation. There’s a reason for this, but even then as a human enemy, his defense stats are absurd. Like just about everything short of the rocket launcher only does like 1 damage per-hit on him… on a guy with 1200 health.

Eventually, however…


This is the reason why Stratson has 1200 health for this fight: he whips out a beefed up prototype version of the ISA LS209 exoskeleton seen in Killzones 2 and 3.

Straton’s mech continues our unintentional Robocop references by being a big honkin’ ED-209 ripoff. It also serves at our official baptism into the realm of ultra-mechanized warfare which will now be a big part of Killzone. Cobar’s Spider Tank was just the appetizer. From here, things are just gonna get more and more crazy and complex until the MAWLR finally stomps its way into Killzone 3.

So this is the rest of the fight with Stratson. Yeah, he’s in a big fuckoff walker, but we do have a couple of advantages now. First of all, his mech is so big that he can’t duck behind doors anymore, so he’s always vulnerable to our attacks now. And secondly, as he burst out of the building, he knocked down both the balcony and sandbag barricade to the upper dias where that supply crate has been just out of reach till now.

However, the Helghast soldiers he’s been calling in for support still spawn, so you have to keep them in the back of your head too as you whittle him down.

Stratson’s mech has three basic attacks to it. 1) Incendiary grenades; he’ll lob a cluster of them at you and when they explode they also light part of the arena on fire for about 10 seconds. And as we learned in Chapter 4, fire will kill you very quickly if you walk directly into it. 2) Autocannon; he’ll burst fire his mech’s autocannon at you and do a shitton of damage if you’re hit by it. I’m talking like critical damage. And finally, 3) Mele; if you get too close to the mech it will swipe its bladed grabby arm at you and do a hell of a lot of damage to. Unfortunately, we don’t get anywhere close to it for him to use it on us.

And as you can imagine, it’s a bloody slough to take down Stratson’s mech. I think like half the video is us trying to beat him.

Eventually, however…

Take a dirt nap, jagoff!

And surprisingly, after all that, Stratson manages to crawl out of his ruined mech no worse for wear.

He also takes a moment to weakly explain his (and, retroactively, Adams’) motivations for selling out Vekta to Visari.

But Templar is having none of it, and calls for Stratson to be taken away for interrogation. Wait, what’s that? A villain in a Killzone game SURVIVING?! Well holy shit. Maybe this will be some kind of precedent-setter for the series.

A pair of ISA soldiers come to take him off to military prison.

Personally speaking, I like to imagine that that’s actually Garza and Natko making their unofficial Killzone debut ahead of Killzone 2.

Stratson drops one last plot bomb on Templar (which we might have already known. I don’t really know any more), but anyway, the Helghast have both the Red Dust nukes and the remainder of the ISA weapons cache from Rayhoven that wasn’t intercepted by Rico.

So as Not-Natko and Not-Garza cart off Stratson, Evelyn and Rico arrive at the palace to give Templar a celebratory thumbs up, beer, and gold metal for winning at Killzone.

From this point onward, Rico’s opinion of any ISA superior officer who is not Jan Templar is officially and irreversibly shit. Rico already had a major problem with authority before he was betrayed by Stratson, and now that problem has, or will at the very least, grown into a full-blown case of hostile paranoia of anyone sufficiently up the ISA chain of command.

Templar tries to placate him and remind him that not every ISA General is a traitor… or a corpse waiting to happen… but it falls on deaf ears as far as Rico’s concerned.


And Jan gets his hollow George W. Bush-era “good, just fight” rhetorical platitude in for the game.

Evelyn looks optimistically to the future, seeing a chance to rebuild and move on from this pointless war.

Jan, rather ominously, twists this around into justifying a counter-attack on Helghan itself. Again, this mirrors how he ended Chapter 4, because for a lot of people, Chapter 4 was the end to Killzone” Liberation.

And as Jan, Rico, Evelyn, and Hakha walk away from the smoking ruins of the palace, the “Birds of Finality”, as CJacobs puts it, fly overhead to call the game to a close.

…Pay no attention to the statue that’s sieg heiling off to the right there.

Like, seriously. What the FUCK Guerrilla?

We also get a post-scrip pre-credits stinger with a character claiming to be Visari (who isn’t voiced by Brian Cox here, so he has to explicitly say he’s Visari to get the audience to believe him) setting up the major subplot to Killzone 2.

Again, Visari hammers home the point that the ISA weapons, including the Red Dust nukes, have arrived on Helghan, meaning their invasion was a nominal success at the very least. Visari also pointedly mentions that the ISA weaponry, which the Helghast are now reverse engineering, repurposing, and replicating, has catapulted their war machine forward by years, probably even decades.

This is why when we see the Helghast in Killzone 2, they have better weaponry and equipment than they did in Killzone 1 and Liberation.

I’ve been saying for a long time now that the seeds of Killzone 2 and everything that unfolds therein have been planted here in Liberation, and now we’re finally going to see them blossom in the next game.

And now, a look at where our main cast is in our post-Liberation, pre-Killzone 2 landscape.

Already a Vektan folk hero, Jan Templar's status among the Vektan people and ISA military has skyrocketed to legendary heights thanks to his efforts to save Vekta from not just one, but two traitor generals. His expressed interest in participating in the counter attack on Helghan and prior service record leads to his promotion to the rank of Colonel and his assignment to command over the ISSC New Sun and it's detached fleet, Battle Group Mandrake.

Cleared of any wrongdoing by Evelyn's recovered evidence and Stratson's eventual confession, Rico Velasquez was cleared to return to active duty under Templar. He reforms the squad he commanded at the beginning of Killzone: Liberation, dubbed "Rico's Raiders" by Velasquez and others, handpicking ISA soldiers Tomas Sevchenko, Dante Garza, and Shawn Natko to form the core of the squad.

Hopeful for peace, but still mindful of her duty to the ISA, Evelyn Batton remained by Templar's side after his promotion to Colonel as a scientific advisory. Her knowledge of the Red Dust wepaonry and her predictive analysis on what weapons the Helghast could potentially create from the weapons delivered to Helghan by Stratson will prove vital to the ISA's war effort against the Helghast in the coming months.

General Murphy was shot and left for dead by Dwight Stratson. He may or may not have been revived and cybernetically enhanced by OCP.

Former ISA General Dwight Stratson was dishonorably discharged, stripped of all his ranks and honors, and is currently in an ISA military prison awaiting court-marshal on multiple counts of treason against the ISA and UCA. He will never be mentioned again in a Killzone game. Good riddance.

Dante Garza does not appear in Killzone: Liberation.

Shawn Natko is a massive shithead. He also does not appear in Killzone: Liberation

Vyktor Kratek went back to his home planet.

Admiral Alex Grey eventually recovered from her gunshot wound to the head and went on to lead the opening round of Vekta's counter-attack operations against Visari and the Helghast. She then went fucking crazy.

From here, the final update for the Killzone: Liberation LP will be a brief look at the extra-game material included in Liberation, including its Challenge Games, (defunct) multiplayer modes, unlockables, "cheats", and other nifty secrets.

Sally and I will be joined by a special guest for that episode to try and make it less dreadfully boring than it already is in theory.

Stay tuned!

For now, however, I shall leave you with a scan of the map of Southern Vekta included on the back of Killzone: Liberation's front cover. The in-game maps I'll post in the epilogue update will help contextualize it a little better. For now though you should be able to pick out place names I've mentioned in the various updates like Rayhoven, Sedah City, Diortem City, the Adlez Mountains, and so on.