I completed the mission I failed on last night without any major problems and we make it to the Ayer’s System
Paladins mole in the Mandarins is still on Ayers Rock and contacts us to update us on the situation. Apparently we have been spotted and they are sending ships to investigate. We go out to eliminate these fighters before they can report back.
We get information that all the Mandarin leaders are on Ayers Rock at the moment and destroying it would take out the whole movement. We have other problems first though. The next mission involves dogfighting with wings of 4 Sabres + a couple of Fralthra complete with the same super accurate giant gun that we saw at the end of SO1. This is the hardest mission of the game without a doubt but mainly due to the Sabre’s rather than the Fralthra. The mace nuke weapon takes out anything in a single hit so I can take one of the cap ships out just by afterburning in to get close, firing it off then getting out asap. My rear shields take a hit but build back up fast enough. It only takes a few attempts, most of the missions in SO1 were probably this hard.
The Concordia is tied up with Kilrathi of its own leaving just us to attempt to take out Ayers Rock if we are going to do it before the leaders are all gone.
This is the obligatory “impossible” mission for the end of the game it seems but it really isn’t hard and I complete it first attempt. There are a load of Sabres to deal with once more but I got the hang of fighting these in the last mission.
That just leaves Ayers Rock itself. I use the mace and it goes down in a single hit.
There is a quite nice cutscene showing the Concordia taking out a cap ship with its main gun after the mission although this does seem a bit superfluous to the main plot.
We get a message from Minx. Jazz is still alive and I get another mission after all trying to track him down.
Maniac’s drive fails after takeoff and I get left to fly the mission on my own.
Jazz is in a morningstar himself but this sort of 1 on 1 combat is easier than flying against 4 sabres anyday.
He soon blows up and this time doesn’t eject in time. I land and we get the final cutscene.
I’ve not been overly impressed if I’m honest with this mission pack. It’s way too short and easy to have been good value for money. The storyline isn’t great either. Jazz wasn’t worth bringing back as a villain and the idea that the Mandarins are now a huge organisation with fleets of Sabres and their own bases is just daft. Also, I don’t like cliffhanger endings on the whole and this isn’t any different. They don’t bother me in hindsight if we get a sequel and I can go and play it but if you have to wait years its a different matter. I’ve seen too many games end with a cliffhanger never to get a sequel – it almost seems to be the best way to kill off a franchise. Thankfully that didn’t happen here and I’ve got a whole string of Wing Commanders still to go.
That brings me to the halfway point of this blog – 30 games gone and 30 to go. Next: Ultima 7