The Let's Play Archive

Wing Commander

by ivantod

Part 41: Mission #37: 4 July 2654, Firekka system

Mission #37: 4 July 2654, Firekka system

Previously on Wing Commander: Ran into a bunch of Fralthi on their way through the system. There is definitely something going at Firekka, but nobody's sure what.

I wonder if Paladin has a long-winded tale to tell us...

And there's no reason for them to fly through here. We're in the middle of nowhere. There's nothing here, nothing at all... except us, right?

Well, when you put it that way...

I like visitin' planets. Maybe that's what I'll do, when I retire next month. Buy a small ship, an' spend my days flying from planet to planet. I'll have to hock my soul to do it, nae doubt of that... but at least I'd still be flyin' a ship.

Captain Larrhi was my guide downside - he was one of the first Firekka to leave their planet. He flies Confed transports now. I'm hoping he'll transfer into combat pilot training.

Mission Time!

Well, despite the slight uncertainty, the atmosphere on the ship does appear to still be fairly relaxed. We still need to find out what's up with that convoy, though.

That sounds ominous...

Oh, so then no problem, right? Although we did only barely survive Goddard, so...

There's no strategic or logistic value to the Firekka system at all. The cats know something we don't, and are doing something we don't understand, and we're going to send you out there to find out what it is. You will fly sweep patrols, and engage the enemy if possible. But back down from overwhelming opposition.

Avoid overwhelming opposition, but engage the enemy if you can. Then return to the Tiger's Claw. That's all, pilots.

So a patrol again, but with some ominous comments about backing off from overwhelming opposition. Hm, I wonder what we'll find out there.
Ok, I guess there really wasn't any 'overwhelming' opposition, unless you count that carrier and it's escort wing. In fact, this is one of the more fun missions to play--there are plenty of enemies to engage, but you are never seriously outnumbered, in fact all battles are pretty even since all enemies come in groups of only 3 for some reason. Plus, you get to meet some interesting and previously unseen enemy ships!

Speaking of which, here is the data on Hhriss 'experimental fighters' that we saw here for the first time:


Class: Heavy Fighter
Length: 28 Meters
Mass: 22 tonnes
Max Velocity: 380 kps
Cruise Velocity: 300 kps
Acceleration: Good
Maximum Yaw: 12 dps
Maximum Pitch: 10 dps
Maximum Roll: 15 dps
Weapons: Mass Driver Cannon (2x), Neutron Gun (2x), Heat-Seeking Missiles (1x), Image Recognition Missile (1x)
Shields: Fore: 15 cm equivalent; Aft: 18 cm equivalent.
Armour: Front: 18 cm; Right: 17 cm; Left: 17 cm; Rear: 14 cm.

Yeah, this thing is a pain. And not so much because of what it'll do to you if you get hit, because you shouldn't be getting hit by these guys if you know what's good for you--but look at that armour and shields! This is by far the best armoured Kilrathi fighter, and it's also extremely fast and maneuvrable. So good luck landing a hit in the first place, and it will take a 'few' hits before it's destroyed, for a sufficiently large value of 'few'. Like I mentioned in the video, this is kind of a cross between a Jalthi and a Gratha where you take the good parts of each and then fix the rest of the issues.

The ship they were guarding is a Snakeir-class carrier, which is also new to us:


Class: Carrier
Length: 650 Meters
Mass: 30000 tonnes
Max Velocity: 150 kps
Cruise Velocity: 100 kps
Acceleration: Poor
Maximum Yaw: 1 dps
Maximum Pitch: 1 dps
Maximum Roll: 1 dps
Weapons: Turreted Lasers (6x), Image Recognition Missiles
Shields: Fore: 37 cm equivalent; Aft: 37 cm equivalent.
Armour: Front: 28 cm; Right: 36 cm; Left: 36 cm; Rear: 24 cm.
Fighter complement: 100

In case it's not obvious from the stats, this thing is actually equivalent in size and everything else to the Tiger's Claw, except for stronger shields. Which explains why it took so long to destroy. However, since it's a capital ship in WC1, once its fighter escort is gone, it's basically a sitting duck so you can keep plonking at it from a safe distance like we did. If you need to catch it before it jumps, on the other hand, good luck, 'cos you gonna need it.

Notice that both ships sport a more colourful, Wing Commander 2 style look, especially the Hhriss--another proof that these two (WC2 and SM2) were being developed in parallel.

The other encounters in this mission are pretty standard stuff, except for all the annoying asteroids--which I wouldn't care too much about except for that stupid bug where you can't shoot properly because of too many objects on screen; amazing that this wasn't fixed since it manifests pretty clearly in almost every mission where you have to fight in the asteroids.

Despite what happened to us, running out of fuel isn't too much of a danger here, I was just a bit button-happy on the afterburner this time, it's possible to finish the mission with some still remaining relatively easily.

Our kill score is back in double digits:

Next time on Wing Commander
The other shoe drops... in more ways than one.