Day 158

Rollins is in the lift laughing about how we risk it all to rescue this one guy who can win the war for us and Vagabond decks him. He thinks he’ll never get out of the brig but I say I’ll have a word with the captain about it.

Maniacs in the bar and in his usual subtle manner, said he told me about trusting the cats and it was too bad Cobra had to die to get a  point across.

At the briefing, Eisen tells me that the reason we are in Freya is because we have discovered a jump point to Kilrah from here. The problem is that the Kilrathi own the system so I have to go and clear it out.

The game might not put me in one each time by default but I get the option of the Excalibur for every mission from here on out and its easily the best ship to be in even if I’m up against a load of cap ships like this mission.

Flint is clearing out her locker when I get back – she says it helps to clear her mind. She also thinks there might be something between us but it doesn’t go any further for now.

On the bridge, I attempt to talk Eisen into letting Vagabond out of the brig. I have the choice of hard or soft sell – the correct option is hard sell and he lets Vagabond out as long as I am personally responsible.

We’ve run into a snag with the jump point to Kilrah – its shielded. This means I have to go down to the planet below and take out the shield generating station.

The planet looks exactly the same as the last one – a dull grey. All the ships are the same also.

The shield generating station can actually be targeted unlike the turrets shooting at me. I head straight for it and it just takes a few shots.

When I land, Vagabond has been let out of the brig – he’s cheerful but unapolagetic and says he would do the same again.

Next mission is a simple protect the jump point one. The Kilrathi are jumping through it and we have to take them out. This is a simple gauntlet mission with wave after wave all at one point. As ever the Excalibur makes it easy.

At the bar I’m faced with a choice….

I head for Rachel first but tell her it would never work between us….

Flint looks pleased about this..

I then choose Flint and Rachel storms off in the background. This choice will affect the end of the game cutscene very slightly.

Paladin has sent us a prototype of the temblar and I have to go and test fire it on a suitable planet. I’m told it will require the ultimate in aim and timing.

When I go to check my loadout after the briefing, Rachel is not pleased and storms off refusing to do my loadouts from now on.

The planet mission is the usual sort of thing. Shooting the correct part of the planet definitely does not required aiming or timing. I just park up above it, wait for the bomb to lock and fire.

I’m shown afterburning out while the planet ignites behind me.

Judging by the asteroid field thats appeared it looks like it worked.

On the Victory I get a bit of a farewell chat with some of the pilots who can all see us winning the war now the bomb works.

Its not won yet though and I have more missions to fly. I’m having to clear out a load of capships again.

I’m handling my own missile selection from this point out.

Its one capship after another on this mission. I still stick with the Excalibur and it can even take down a cruiser pretty quickly. The main problem is keeping my wingman alive which requires a replay.

We now own the jump point in this system and need to hang onto it.

Its another mission taking out loads of capships. I foolishly pick Maniac first time out and he gets killed off so I pick a more reliable wingman instead for my second attempt.

With this mission complete we are now ready for the final attack on Kilrah.

Eisen meets me outside the briefing room. He says that although the temblar bomb still seems like a long shot, he thinks I’m the one pilot who can pull it off…

The plan is as follows. Confed has equipped my Excalibur with its first attempt at cloaking technology.

I have to fly into Kilrah space, land at a hidden refueling depot where the T-bomb will be loaded.

I then have to fly to Kilrah, navigate down a trench to the target at the far end.

Our timing for this may be just right as much of the Kilrathi fleet is currently being outfitted in the shipyards around the planet.

Paladin also has a few words for me and says he has left briefing notes at the refueling depots.

I get to choose up to 3 wingmen for this mission, but I know from experience that they will die off 1 by 1 if I do. I choose therefore to fly solo.

I make it to the jump point with no great drama and jump out of the system.

On the other side, however its one cap ship after another with 4 corvettes + a destroyer for me to take on single handed as well as waves of fighters.

The hidden depot looks to have been built into an asteroid. I land and refuel.

I get a quick word from Paladin before I launch again. I have to fly to another depot nearer Kilrah before the final attack.

The next mission is an exact copy of the first except some of the fighters are replaced by better models but they even appear in all the same places. I make it through with no trouble, land and the temblar bomb is loaded.

A quick word from paladin and its onto the last mission. This time when I take off I cloak and the world fades into black and white. I could fight my way through several points (all of which have destroyers) but the easier option by far is to be cloaked and just fly out of range until I reach Kilrah.

When I get to the final point, Hobbes and Thrakhath are both waiting for me.

I get myself right behind Hobbes before I uncloak. He it dead before he knows whats hit him.

Thrakhath is a different matter and gets off missile after missle at me. He’s near enough impossible to hit as well – I have to wait for him to fly straight at me to get any shots off.

I get him in the end though and that triggers my landing on Kilrah.

Kilrah looks a little different to everywhere else with a lava filled trench to fly down.

The graphics are really basic though if I’m honest. Pacific Strikes islands looked a lot better than this.

I have to make sure I stay below the top of the trench and just follow it down. Its very easy as it moves so slowly – there isn’t the sort of speed you felt flying the trench at the end of X-Wing.

10 minutes of trench later I reach the target area.

I park up above it and fire starting the end cutscene.

I just about escape the planet exploding but my ship is damaged in the shock wave. I’m tractored in by Thrakhaths underling. He says the Kilrathi are a beaten race and must not die out as a species. He surrenders to me and we get to see him signing a peace treaty with Tolwyn finally ending the war. I fly off to Earth with Flint and we disappear into the sunset.

Its a great ending and a suitable conclusion to the trilogy. The final mission wasn’t all it should have been but at least it was something new and definitely a challenge. The trench was the easy part though and an opportunity was missed. I was told in my final briefing that it would required the ultimate in navigational skills… It has felt sometimes that the briefings were done before the missions were created for real and in the end they couldn’t quite achieve what they wanted with them. I’ve enjoyed today a lot more anyway, mainly because I had the Excalibur and the missions were easier because of it – this game definitely gets more fun when you spend less time flying missions.

That finishes up 1994 and also completes a half century of Origin games. 1995 is looking a bit different with no Wing Commander (or even flight sim games) and no RPG’s whatsoever. 

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