After my brief sidetrip, it’s back to the final (and unique) campaign in Super Wing Commander. The new missions start off with some of the pilots in the bar sounding a little weary after the Thor’s Hammer campaign. I learn that Bossman has a one year old daughter and that Spirit’s fiance is off on secret operations somewhere, but even she isn’t allowed to know where.
Mission 1 is to go and kill a Fralthi, to make the area safe for either our shore leave or the as yet undisclosed mission we are here for. Secret Missions 1 was absolutely rock hard, even the early missions but this is easier and I get to fly a Rapier rather than having to work my way up from the worst ship again.
When I get back Angel says everyone encounted warships but there is support from TCS Austin if we need it. Shotglass tells me how the Kilrathi have run from Vega Prime without putting up a fight which looks highly suspicious as if they had somewhere to go.
Mission 2 starts differently from any other mission in the game so far in that I’m called into the Commanders office for a solo briefing. A Kilrathi Colonel wants to defect so I have to fly out and guide back his Dralthi.
When I bring him back the defector is introduced as Colonel Ralgha so it’s presumably supposed to be Hobbes although this doesn’t fit in so well with what I know from Wing Commander 2. I only get to see him from this rear angle and he never speaks. In the bar after the mission, people are asking what is going on but I’m not allowed to tell anyone about these missions so I have to keep quiet.
In mission 3 we are pulling out of the system to regroup and strike a large fleet that is heading our way. I’m flying with Maniac for the first time on this mission and have to escort a capship. Maniac proves to be the best wingman I’ve had so far and the mission is nice and easy again. The difficulty level of the game has plummeted since I started these missions. If it carries on it will mean I finish them fairly quickly, but it will be a lot more fun in the meanwhile. After the mission, Jazz is in the bar from the Austin and I also learn that Spirits fiance has been captured by the Kilrathi.
I’m back in the Commanders office again for mission 4. I have to fly our captured Dralthi to get information on what the Kilrathi are up to. The Commander talks about communicating with the capships but it amounts to flying round some nav points.
It’s nice to get a new ship to fly anyway and I watch the launch sequence for the first time in about 20 missions.
The mission is a simple affair and I just fly past everything and never fire my guns. The Snakeir at the nav point spots me and starts shooting when I get close but I just afterburn away.
Jazz is wanting to know what is going on when I get back to the bar, in an overly suspicious manner. No doubt setting things up for WC2.
Mission 5 is a basic 3 point patrol. The only thing of note about this mission is that I’m attacked by more than one fighter type at each nav point at the same time, and I’m not convinced that’s happened in any other mission. When I get back Bossman is dead after he and Angel ran into trouble. The good news is that Jazz and Doomsday (who hasn’t even been mentioned up to this point) will be staying on to help out. Angel is blaming herself for Bossman’s death and doesn’t want to talk to anyone.
Mission 6 is another covert op in the Dralthi. It’s exactly like last time except with 2 nav points instead of 1. Again, I just fly through without ever firing my guns.
In the mission 7 briefing I’m told that we are gearing up for a major offensive. This means that we have to escort a troop ship. I’m flying with Doomsday for the first time and despite all his pessimism (he uses all the same lines as in WC2), he is easily the best copilot I’ve had so far and the mission is an easy one. After the mission, I learn the Drayman we escorted was carrying a Vice Admiral.
In the mission 8 briefing we are told that the Kilrathi have figured out why we are here which means a defensive patrol mission to protect the Claw. There are loads of ships to take out on this one, and it’s quite a lot harder than whats come before but I just about make it back first time, minus a gun or two.
Jazz and Doomsday are in the bar and it’s looking like their transfer might be permanent. Shotglass thinks we are going after a research base which might be where the dreadnought that destroyed Goddard was made. They are now supposedly working on stealth technology.
I stop here for now. I have no idea how many missions are in this final campaign but I’m assuming that I’m around half way by now, if not a little further. I’m breezing through these missions so far but I expect they will get much harder before long. The storyline for this is not what I expected as it’s contradicting both Secret Missions 2 and Wing Commander 2. For instance no one believes me about stealth technology in WC2’s intro, yet Shotglass is telling me it’s being researched here. I should be meeting Jazz and Doomsday in SM2 but I’m meeting them here instead. I also should have no idea about Hobbes at this stage, and I seem to recall that he was supposed to have defected when he rescued Doomsday or some other pilot as a child. Maybe it would all have been sorted out in Super Wing Commander 2 if there was ever going to be such a game. If the extra campaign was to appeal to WC veterans. it’s a problem when it’s contradicting the other games stories rather than complimenting them.
That gripe aside, I’m enjoying Super Wing Commander more now that I’m onto these missions than I have at any time previously. With the exception of Doomsday, whose voice is ridiculous, the acting has settled down a bit and the dialog feels at least a little more natural. When I go back and play it again, I do realise how limited the options for storytelling are in Wing Commander 1. The entire plot takes place in about 4 rooms with characters who never move. It still adds enormously to the game but Wing Commander 2 was so much better, and I can’t help but feel that it should have been improved upon in Super Wing Commander rather than actually being worse than the 1990 original. The missions themselves suffer in the same way, with endless variations of the same thing. I did at least get a new ship today although if I’m not going to have to dogfight in it, then I could have been flying anything.