Tuesday, October 19, 2010

‘Rise of Vendetta’

The preceding story mission was: 'Enraged Engineer'
The following story mission is: 'Turret Threat'
The Vendetta

Now things are getting interesting in the Gemini system. Isaak has used the tech you brought him to kit out the Vendetta as a battleship, ready to travel to Technatoria and rescue his beloved Sara and the rest of the human prisoners. The next thing to do is get the beast up into orbit around Commerce Central.

Sounds simple doesn’t it. Well it would be if the Vendetta didn’t need a large open space in order to take off. A logical and elegant rationale to set up the first and most difficult part of this story mission, escort the Vendetta to just such an area.

The need for a run up also explains why the hypno-ship in the earlier mission Open Warfare didn’t just take off once you start shooting at it, which was one of the things I moaned about. (I withdraw my criticism. However I think that SlipStream should give the hypno-ship the same sound as the Futurama hypno-toad.)

The first time I tried this mission I was in my Storm ship the Kara III. I got to Isaak’s hideout and spent a few minutes trying to get a good screenshot of the Vendetta for this blog. That wasn’t very clever, as we were suddenly bushwhacked  by five or six Mantis while I tried to get him to pose.

Where the old duffer really messes up though is that he decides to follow you to the take-off point. This means that if you get in a dogfight with the attackers then Vendetta effectively keeps spinning on the spot as it tracks you. This bit makes little sense in the story. Isaak must know CC better than anyone, as he and his wife have lived there as scavengers for ages. Fair enough he wants an escort, but once the shooting starts he would have enough sense to keep on track, leaving you to partner the Mantis in a quickstep of destruction.

The upshot of Isaak’s following me about was that the parasites from the nearby area found us and he was overwhelmed through sheer weight of numbers. This was the only time in my attempts at this mission that Vendetta got destroyed before me.

In each of my next 5 attempts I got blown up and failed the mission, as Isaak then gets destroyed before you can return from the hangar. I tried my Engineer Marie II as well as the Storm but kept running afoul of Death Squads. Eventually I twigged that Vendetta was doing a lot better at surviving than me. The first priority in this mission is to keep yourself alive, as Freddie Mercury sang.

So in my 7th, final and ultimately successful attempt, I led the Vendetta to the take-off point in my Engineer. I kept on course and used my protector and repair droid to keep myself in one piece. We did get hit by a Death Squad, but I basically took my kicking and ignored them. If you keep going without returning fire then they soon fly off. You do fly through other swarms of Mantis on the way but they don’t like to travel far and so also leave you eventually.

There were the Mantis that drop out of orbit to attack Vendetta, but Isaak takes care of them quite effectively. I did right click (so my heading didn’t change) on them one at a time and add my blaster to the fight. You can cope with a single attacker in a decent Engineer and it draws one away from Vendetta. I also used my repair field to top up Isaak, but he has shields and the ship is quite tough so he probably could have managed without it.

So we made it to the take-off point fairly simply after all and Vendetta makes it into orbit. I expected the mission to end there but no, still more work to do. The next step in the mission is to escort Vendetta to Terasa in the Antares system. It seems Isaak wants some Gravitons to create a new form of weapon. It isn’t far, just a quick trip through the Stargate and it turns out to be a fairly simple task.

Once you land on Terasa, Vendetta appears and follows you to the Graviton refinery. You should take the direct route straight through a major Mantis spawning ground. It is very therapeutic to have dozens of them throwing themselves at you while you happily blow them apart with one or two blaster shots. Vendetta weighs in too so they have no chance. The only difficult thing is to stop yourself shouting, “Remember me? Not so tough now are you? Oh you want some too? Die, die, die…” etc.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Once you get to the refinery then the mission is completed. You can go straight to Technatoria, which is presumably what Isaak does, where the next story mission starts. Or you could stay on Terasa and murder Mantis for just a little while longer. Go on, indulge yourself.

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