The Let's Play Archive

Wing Commander

by ivantod

Part 94: Mission #89: TCS Gettysburg, Rigel system

Mission #89: TCS Gettysburg, Rigel system

Previously on Wing Commander: Blasting pirates is fun. Also we made contact with the Gettysburg and... ended up in a cell.

And that's where we still are:

Yeah, you're going to have to imagine what this Poelma person looks like, since they didn't bother providing him a face.

This all sounds super awesome, but I'll tell you now: temper your expectations. Really.

Um, actually... if it's not too much trouble, I'd rather have my Sabre? Huh? No?

I can't shake the feeling that this look is based on a real plane, but can't place it. If anybody knows please tell me.

Ok, first of all, here is our ride:


Class: Bomber
Length: 24 Meters
Mass: 40 tonnes
Max Velocity: 370 kps
Cruise Velocity: 200 kps
Acceleration: Average
Maximum Yaw: 8 dps
Maximum Pitch: 8 dps
Maximum Roll: 8 dps
Weapons: Mass Driver Cannon (3x), Neutron gun (2x), Rear Neutron gun turret, Friend or Foe missile (3x), Torpedo (4x)
Shields: Fore: 25 cm, Aft: 25 cm
Armour: Front: 25 cm; Right: 20 cm; Left: 20 cm; Rear: 25 cm.
Other features: ITTS, Tractor Beam, Hyperspace Drive

Like I said, you need to manage your expectations here, because this is not any kind of "superfighter" or even close to that. It's really just a slightly faster Broadsword with better shields/armour. And when I say "faster", that doesn't mean that it now has the afterburners, because it still doesn't. Front guns may look impressive, but in actuality they consume so much power that you may want to switch off neutrons in most cases. They have another, bigger, flaw that may not be immediately obvious: neither neutrons nor mass-drivers have particularly great range. This eliminates the possibility of shooting somebody down from big distance like we could do in previous missions due to long range particle cannons. Still, for most of the rest of SO1, this is what we are going to be flying, so we better get used to it. It's still better than Broadsword.

As for the misssion, we have a small escort bit first and then the attack on the base, and all enemies are still going to be either Epees or Ferrets since that's all that the Gettysburg had. Unfortunately we are again forced to fly with two noname wingmen, and in all honesty this mission would have been just as fine going at it alone, but we don't have a choice. At least in this mission they end up providing a bit of entertainment near the end (definitely don't miss that bit).
Well then, you didn't expect that WC2 will suddenly throw at you a real escort mission? Of course not, and this one is just as non-issue as all of them so far have been. So that part is easy.

Actually the part with the base is not that hard either, but friendly fire and the possibility of your wingmates crashing into you becomes much more of an issue; they seem to have an annoying tendency to fly around you just as you are trying to shoot an enemy. However, in this run at least it was worth it as they ended up as absolute Darwin award winners with what they did around the base. AI in this game is normally reasonably good, especially for when it was made, so I was a bit surprised to see such silly behaviour, but there it is.

Before you ask... as before, you can't issue orders to these wingmen, so you can't send them off to base and continue on your own as much as you'd want to do that.

So, it's finally happening, huh?

Current kill total: 89 missions/739 kills

Postcards from the losing side...

As I've indicated last time, this mission and the one before it are a bit of a turning point in SO1. In the previous mission, you have to contact Gettysburg; if you don't manage then you get a slightly different version of this mission: you are flying from the Concordia, and you still have to destroy the base, but instead of Epees, you are attacked by 5 Crossbows! Oh and did I mention that you have to do it in a Broadsword? Yeah it's considerably harder; although to compensate, you get Hobbes as a wingman instead of two nonames. The pre-mission dialogue is kind of interesting:

Angel, I can't stop thinking about the situation on the Gettysburg... What would you do if you were issued an illegal order?
That, I do not know. It is a decision I hope I will never have to make. What would you do in that situation, Christopher?
Probably the same thing I did whenever Tolwyn gave me an order I didn't like - just ignore it.
I am certain you would, Christopher!
But all those kids on the Gettysburg - this isn't their fault. And they're probably going to die for it.
There is nothing more we can do for them, Christopher. We tried, and failed.

And then the Admiral reveals to you the fate of the Gettysburg...

Maverick, I need you to escort two Clydesdale tankers to the jump point. Afterwards, you'll continue to the Rigel Depot. Destroy it and return to the Concordia.
What about the Gettysburg, sir?
The Gettysburg… was destroyed three hours ago. A reactor accident. They didn't have enough trained personnel to prevent a meltdown. A wing of Crossbow bombers arrived here with the survivors.
How many survivors, sir?
Fourteen, Colonel. Maverick, our main concern now is the Rigel Depot. We can't allow it to remain under pirate control. You'll fly a Broadsword bomber on this mission, with Ralgha on your wing. Good luck, Colonel. Dismissed.

However, this is not all. The destruction of the supply depot is also mandatory in both cases. No matter which version of Rigel #4 you play, if you succeed, you continue normally on the winning path; but if you fail, it means automatic game over, and it happens like this:
So there you go, don't fail.

Next time on Wing Commander
The name ish Taggart, Jamesh Taggart!