The Let's Play Archive

Master of Orion 2

by nweismuller

Part 25: onwards-The United Republic Victorious

The United Republic Victorious

Early in 3042, the Republican fleet arrives in the Antaran pocket dimension, moving in on the sole world orbiting a lonely star trapped in a bubble of space. Twelve Republican vessels and Avenger form up into a line of battle in front of the defenders of Antares.

Antares is defended by a massive orbital fortress, as well as a medium warship matching the Philadelphia in size and a heavy warship comparable to the attacking fleet. All the vessels are armed with the Antaran antimatter beams, with the heavy vessel and the fortress having singularity cannon as well. Defensively, all the Antaran vessels have strange energy-absorbing fields in place of shields, with the heavy vessel and orbital fortress also mounting generators capable of creating temporary bubbles of inverted spacetime to turn attacks back on their source. The orbital fortress, as well, is built with extremely thick armor and thick internal bulkheads, protecting the senior Antaran admiralty and their advanced AI core that directs their fire with deadly accuracy.

I normally like to get Structural Analysers before going to Antares. They double all direct-fire damage that penetrates shields, making it MUCH easier to assemble an effective force for taking down the powerful Antaran opposition. On the Star Fortress, it makes the fire from the Star Fortress' weapons absolutely lethal, especially given that the Antaran leader on the Star Fortress is, according to the data I found, a a match for Loknar in effectiveness (as well as having the Security skill, making the Star Fortress harder to take in boarding actions).

A brief message greets the arriving fleet from the Antaran orbital fortess. "So thou seekest to overcome thy betters, fools? We number veterans of the greatest war ever known to the galaxy and our knowledge far exceeds thy feeble conception. Thou shalt die in despair!"

The battle is joined, the Republican forces unleashing a massive volley of relativistic slugs and unstable singularities at the Antaran defenders. The two mobile Antaran vessels are obliterated before they have a chance to open fire. It soon becomes clear that although Republican relativistic cannon are doing far more damage overall, far more of the shots from the relativistic cannon are being turned back by spatial inversions to smash into Republican shields and armor, damaging the ships firing on the Antaran defenders. Thankfully, this damage is not sufficient to cause any hull breaches, although it buckles and weakens the armor of many of the ships armed with relativistic cannon.

Avenger activates a device to catapult itself forward through subspace closer to the orbital fortress, flying in on conventional drives to close the last distance before unleashing its entire loadout of weaponry into the orbital fortress. Avenger broadcasts its hate over the communications channels, screaming defiance at the Antarans who murdered the entire Orion species.

The first hammering volleys have blasted off many layers of the orbital fortress' armor, but the hull still holds, and while Republican weapons recharge for a second volley, the orbital fortress returns fire. Avenger draws much of its fire, suffering a deluge of destruction which ends in the vessel blowing apart, the ship AI screaming defiance to its last moment. The Implacable also suffers fire, very nearly breaching its armor. In fact, the damage caused makes it so the Implacable's own counterfire in the next volley causes hull breaches in several compartments, although the vessel rights itself and fights on.

A second exchange of volleys ends with the orbital fortress breached, taking casualties and losing weapons mounts, while the Implacable is obliterated by Antaran counterfire. She is lost with only three lucky survivors of the thousands-strong crew, two able voidsmen and a gunnery captain, all of whom were stationed at the same secondary relativistic cannon before the Implacable's destruction. Their compartment, although breached and breaking apart, somehow manages to protect them from the worst wave of energies from decaying singularities and antimatter annihilation. Immediately after the Implacable's destruction, the Majestic, flagship of Admiral Elysse Jacobson, the highest officer in the Republican Navy, manages to blast through and destroy the generator powering the energy absorption field around the orbital fortress, which immediately results in massive damage throughout the orbital fortress as more projectiles slam in without the field defenses to reduce their terrible impact.

The fortress, breached on multiple decks, bleeding atmosphere to the void, with massive casualties throughout its crew- including the complete loss of its primary scanning and data analysis section- succumbs to relativistic cannon fire from the Terrible moments after. Its reactor overloads and blows the fortress into a wave of superheated atoms, all hands lost in the blast.

No ground combat or bombardment is needed to win the game after winning the space battle. At this point in gameplay, we have won, and the rest is epilogue. There are a pair of ending cinematics you get at this point, but I was unable to find them on Youtube- one showing Antares being bombed and one which is shown whenever you win a game of MoO2. I can quote the voiceover from the second cinematic, at least:

"The power of the Ancients is now yours to command. You have crushed all opposition beneath your heel. You rule the greatest empire in living history- your soldiers' bravery at your command, your armies undefeatable. Your fleets patrol the sky of every planet in the galaxy... *chuckles* ... this galaxy. But other challenges await... the Master of Orion!"

The ground invasion launched on the surface of Antares following the battle over the planet is a disaster. Entrenched Antaran forces with heavy powered armor are supported by rapid-deployment heavy armored units that form a formidable strategic reserve, while the civilians around the landing zones launch themselves to overwhelm the landing forces with suicidal fervor. New forces are raised and a new strategy devised to attempt to overwhelm the formidable defenses of the Antaran capital, eliminating their Emperor, in the hopes that it will shatter Antaran morale. There are tens of millions of Republican casualties in the assault on the capital, but, in the end, the palace of the Emperor of Antares comes crashing down atop the Emperor himself. Antaran forces in the capital broadcast a message across the planet: "The Emperor has perished!"

Republican forces do not anticipate what would follow.

Antarans all over the planet, hearing of the Emperor's demise and conditioned to dependence on his command, fall into a frenzy of despair and sorrow. Only a few thousand Antarans in the capital itself are prevented from committing mass suicide, and all of these die of self-neglect and suicide in Republican military prisons within ten years of the victory. The Antaran species, deprived of its absolute leader, self-destructs with terrible completeness, leaving only the Trilarians as a far-changed remnant of their people.

As the Republican fleet returns from its mission and the news spreads, Lord Sardaur of Qablu launches an audacious move. On behalf of a coalition of reformist Lords across the Nations, he issues an ultimatum to Great Lord Ssrak, current ruler of all the Nations, demanding Ssrak's abdication of the throne to Sardaur, the establishment of a formal constitution for the Nations, the reform of legal systems across the Nations to a basis that protects individual rights and thus effectively defangs the current Lineage system, and the formation of elected parliaments for the Nations as a whole and for each individual Nation to share power with the Lord of that Nation. Ssrak responds by declaring Sardaur and his allies in rebellion, beginning a civil war. Sardaur requests and recieves Republican support in eliminating loyalist space forces in exchange for the new reformist constitutional monarchies joining the United Republic as member states, while Sardaur and his allies focus on raising vast armies of ground troops to storm the loyalist worlds. By 3060, the remaining loyalist Lords issue an unconditional surrender, handing themselves over to the judgement of the reformist forces and the Great Senate on Earth.

The game tallies up a score for you at the end of the game based on time taken, population, and technologies discovered, with bonuses for each unit of population you captured in ground invasions over the course of the game, each other player you wiped out, eliminating the Guardian and capturing Orion, winning the Galactic Council vote, and winning the battle at Antares.

Although the graphical depiction of population units for your total population is an accurate weighting of proportion of population for different groups in your empire as of endgame, the graphical depiction of captured colonists is entirely fanciful- it doesn't appear to store data on what population units you captured, it just keeps track of what races existed in the galaxy in the course of the game. Thus, although we never captured Sakkra, they still show up on our captured population display.

Known space is finally united under a single democratic government that ensures personal, intellectual, and economic freedom for the entire population of the galaxy. For the forseeable future, peace, prosperity, freedom, and happiness shall reign in the galaxy. Eternal glory belongs to the United Republic.

We get this message because this score was in the top 10 of scores I have on this computer since I last installed Master of Orion 2. I usually take a victory earlier and wipe out fewer other empires, thus getting less score on population, technology, and empire bonuses, so this is within 50 points of my highest score since my last install.

"With political unity reducing the risk from war, our current projects and the spread of freedom to the whole population of the galaxy helping to improve the viability of biological assistance to us, and projected stability into the future, it is time that long-term research into ensuring our continued survival to the projected death of the galaxy and beyond becomes a priority for our Family. There is a possibility that extradimensional energy sources may help delay the eventual depletion of stellar energy and heat death..."

- Internal memorandum from ATLAS to the ATLASBUILT Family