The Let's Play Archive

Wing Commander

by ivantod

Part 31: Mission #27: 8 June 2654, Jotunheim System

Mission #27: 8 June 2654, Jotunheim System

Previously on Wing Commander: The ambush that wasn't (?)... Morale still low, Angel is pretty much the only one holding it together, but even she seems to be hiding behind all the statistics stuff.

Some kind of emergency again? Hmm...

Ok, heading straight there then...

Mission Time!

Let's find out what is going on.

Wait, don't volont.... Oh, drat!

If the Johann has drifted past that point, intercept them at Nav 2. Defend them from any Kilrathi in the area while they repair their ship... And then escort them back to the Tiger's Claw.

Well, that doesn't sound too complicated, just another escort mission... we've done a few already. But there's been a few too many of these 'straightforward' missions lately, and I'm also still wondering about that ambush from last time...
You know what, if that wasn't the most awesome twist in a mission (so far anyway), I don't know what is! So the whole thing was just a deception perpetrated by the Kilrathi and TCS Johann was probably destroyed already; but the enemy decided to actually stage a REAL ambush this time by using the infamous phantom ship TCS Gwenhyvar to lure us in! And where did they get those Rapiers anyway--since they can't have been the contingent of the Gwenhyvar when it was captured? Probably from the destroyed Johann (this point will be revisited by the game later on actually so we can leave it for now).

But in any case... the first two fights (Gratha and Jalthi) are not especially noteworthy, but then you come to the Rapiers--and there's no less than FIVE of them! Obviously, it's an absolute murder, but there is a way to at least get the fight started with a bit of control of the situation: just as you come out of autopilot, there are four Rapiers coming straight at you, but the fifth will be of to the side farther away, near the Gwenhyvar. It is the best to start with this one as by the time you reach back to the main area the other four will have dispersed at least a little bit with Spirit there to distract them (facing those four head on initially will have you dead in about 2 seconds). They are generally very difficult to land the hit on, partially because they are fast and partially because they are very thin and the graphics engine seems to have a bit of an issue registering a hit for some reason. And incredibly, after you are done with this fight, you would normally still have to face even more enemies on the way home (the ones we skipped, one wave of 4 Krant and then another set of 4 Grathas). Chances are, after finishing with Rapiers, you will be in no condition whatsoever to face the Grathas although you may be able to handle Krants. Also, you will probably be very low on fuel, and not being able to use afterburners is a definite problem. Another possibility in this mission is to go to Nav point 2 directly from Tiger's Claw--this way you have to fight Krants and Grathas, but avoid the Jalthis on the other side. Don't think it makes a big difference really.

You might think, that this is another 'screw you' mission like Kurasawa 2, but that is not the case at all. First of all, destroying the Gwenhyvar is actually not quite as frustrating, but there is one other thing: this mission is completely optional! It does not contribute to your score at all (actually it can in one way, keep reading); the victory in Jotunheim system hinges only on the previous two missions. It gets better: as you saw, we got a medal; the minimum requirement to get a medal is... ZERO POINTS! You get one simply for taking off! But it gets even better than that! Normally killing the human made ships (note that I'm saying 'human made' and not 'friendly'!) gives you a penalty of -1 points. Such is the case here too, each Rapier nets you -1 point. What this means is that if you take off, kill ONLY Rapiers and NOTHING ELSE and then land, you will have ended this mission with -5 kill points which means you will not get a medal because a medal here requires at least zero points!! However, the whole mission set score is unaffected by that. So in the end, if you don't want to play this mission, the way to do it is simply ejecting at the beginning or landing back to TC without killing anything if you don't wish to eject because either way, there is no detrimental effect regarding winning/losing the game.

Finally, it has to be said, I think this mission proves quite obviously that Spirit is one of the best wingpeople in the game. The very fact alone that she was alive at the end of this is enough as proof in my opinion. Just think how this would have ended with the likes of Bossman, Knight or Hunter... although Iceman would probably do very well, he always does.

Oh, and for those who were wondering what all of this has to do with King Arthur... Gwenhyvar is the Welsh spelling of the name that in English language is more commonly known as Guinevere.

So, here is our medal--in SM1 they are not quite as generous with medals as before:

And the kill board:

Next time on Wing Commander
Absolutely NOT A SINGLE RAPIER to be seen anywhere!