Terra Nova – Day 4

My last day playing Terra Nova starts out with a cutscene where Maggie finds out that Walker knows where her family are thanks to a deal her clan did with the Pirates for food. Maggie doesn’t take the news well.

The mission is going to be to rescue Maggie’s family who are being held on a farm. It’s basically a protection mission as we have to stop the farm from being destroyed once we attempt a rescue. I take a few attempts at this one and win in the end by surrounding the farm in a ring of autoturrets and being overly aggressive in taking out the incoming forces.

I get another medal for my troubles.

Mission 32 has us trying to take out a hog communications tower. First we need to get an electronics expert to fiddle with the control station to the South and blind all the hog sensors. We then run North and take out the tower before returning to blow up the control station. It’s an easy enough mission and just takes the one attempt.

We return to see Walker’s Mum in trouble. Carpaccio station has been captured and she wants help. She even says she was wrong to deal with the pirates. Instead of immediately helping her out our mission is going to be to recapture McDonald station.

This mission comes with a very nice new weapon. This is in effect, an improved rocket launcher and deals out massive damage at huge distances. It only has 5 shots though so it’s best saved for heavy targets.

The mission involves taking out the weapon towers at each corner of the base with demo experts. I take one side of the base at a time, sending in each of my demo men to a different corner while the 2 of us remaining take on the guards. There is a lot of resistance for the first two towers but after that the mission is very easy with just a few mechs around the perimeters of the station.

Mission 34 comes with yet more new technology. I’ve largely ignored the drones in this game and they don’t appear to be massively useful in all honesty so I never actually use this one.

The mission is to take out the clone manufacturing facilities. I get a choice of two ways to do this. One is to take out the 3 domes where the clones are made with demo men. The other is to set up a feedback loop at the control station with an electronics expert. I go for the later since it only requires 1 task rather than 3. The domes are constantly turning out enemies in the meanwhile which makes things tricky and I make something of a mess of the mission with half my squad getting taken out. I do enough to win the mission on the first try though.

We have the hogs on the run and they are pulling out back to Thatcher. Mission 35 has us intercepting their convoy of supplies which is on route to their ships. This is another easy one and I complete it first time.

After a few easy missions, Mission 36 turns out to be a bit more tricky. We have a plan to get to Carpaccio station but we need Sonny’s old ship which he has hidden somewhere in the search area on my map here. This search area is huge and it takes several minutes just to walk to it. The maps in this game are actually fairly huge although I only ever have to play the game in a small part of them as a rule.

Just getting to the search area proves to be tough with a lot of troops in the way. The real problem is that I need to keep my squad alive. My brother is the only one who can fly the ship out and I need the electronics guy to repair it first.

The search area is not exactly flat and full of ravines for me to wander around. I do this for some time without finding the ship.

I look seemingly everywhere, then I get a bright idea to tell my electronics man to go and repair the ship. This actually works then all I have to do is follow him to find out where it is. My brother flies it off and it’s mission complete.

We get back to a rousing speech from our new commander before the briefing itself.

The hogs are using Carpaccio to outfit all their transport ships as war ships which they will then use to bombard us from space. We need to go in and plant a new super powerful explosive on the fuel centre and blow the place up.

The final mission comes with one final weapon. It’s another super powerful rocket launcher that takes out anything in a large area in one hit.

The base is fairly large and extremely well guarded. A slow and steady approach pays off here, using the new MB cannon to take out the heavy turrets from a distance.

By the time we get to the fuel dome, nothing is left alive. We demo the dome then trek back to the pickup point.

As we fly off the dome blows up winning us the war. I never did get a final showdown with the Earth Ambasador which is a surprise. It’s still been a decent last mission although not as tough as the one before it.

For the final cutscene, the squad is in the bar and the news comes on with Earth claiming that the Ambassador was a rogue agent acting on his own which is all a bit dubious but we still won so ultimately it doesn’t matter.

I get to see my final stats for the game. I can’t help but notice that despite the 37 missions the total mission time was under 3 hours. It’s not a huge game although there are harder difficulty levels if I wanted them. This has been an enjoyable enough diversion but I do feel that more could have been done with it. It’s positively begging for a mission pack which upped the difficulty and complexity of the missions.  There is a random scenario generator which I haven’t tried out which would possibly add a bit more longevity but without the overall story (lightweight as it was) I don’t think it would be something that would hold my attention for long. For it’s age, I’ve been quite impressed with this game and if you want to try out a slightly tactical FPS, it’s still well worth a go. Just don’t expect another System Shock.

Assuming I can get the disks to work (which means digging out my old PC that actually has  a disk drive), I’ll take a quick look at the Origin FX Screen Saver next.

4 thoughts on “Terra Nova – Day 4

  1. If you are gonna try the Origin FX next, remember there was some little expansion for it in the Serpent Isle folder of Ultima Collection (if I remember right). It also needs the Ultima VIIs installed I think. I’m just saying this from memory of reading it somewhere, I have never got to try the screen saver.

    • There was something that came with Serpent Isle but I’m enjoying Mass Effect too much to have got around to looking at Origin FX yet. I’ll try it out after I get ME finished. I don’t expect too much from a screensaver but having bought it so I’m going to load it up and have a look at the very least. The main selling point as far as I can see (not that it sold that many) was that you could play Origin FX cutscenes using it. Never having tried it, I’m not sure exactly how far that support goes though. I’ve certainly never heard anything about it working with Martian Dreams. I’m fairly sure it works with at least one of the Wing Commander games but I doubt it will play all the mission briefings. It would be good if it did.

  2. I think you will be a little dissapointed….

    The origin FX scenes it can play are some fixed ones, for instance, the intro and ending of Serpent Isle, and things like that. Another problem is that they are not fullscreen, they get a an image in full screen and then the video plays in a little part of that image.

    There is a youtube video with this:

    • I’ve seen that vid on youtube. It’s only showing things with Ultima art so there is a bit more to the screensaver than that. I don’t think Win 3.1 supported swapping resolutions which would explain the 1/4 screen problem. Looking at the box, it only plays cutscenes from Wing Commander II and doesn’t support any other games.

      I’m fully expecting it to be one of Origin’s worst products anyway. It certainly wasn’t popular even back when it came out which is why it’s relatively rare now. Luckily for me, there aren’t that many people who would want to buy it so it didn’t cost me all that much. There will be a short delay before I have a look at it. I decided I’d buy a cheap usb floppy drive off Ebay rather than connect my old PC up again. It’s something I’ve wanted for a while and it looks like I can probably get one later today for 1p + postage with any luck.

      While I was looking around I found kyraflux.com which looks fantastic for anyone who wants to run old floppy drives on a modern PC. If you try connecting an old 5.25 drive it just won’t work on anything remotely modern and this looks like an ideal solution. I like the fact that it reads other formats and copy protected disks also. I’m definitely going to pick one of those up when they start manufacturing them and back up all my floppies.

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