|The following information has not been confirmed by Volition |
and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace universe. Also, it may contain spoilers regarding Series Resurrecta campaigns.
Player squadron: 144th Ghost Dolphins
Description: Dragged into subspace by the Gehenna into an uncharted system, brave pilots engage the installation in a dangerous battle with little concern about whether or not they can make it back...
Created: September 3rd, 2009
Released: October 16th, 2020
- Fiction: November 14th, 2352 - Memories of a veteran from the 53rd Hammerheads
- Preload quote: "All hope abandon, ye who enter in"
The final battle of the Great War is taking place in an uncharted system beyond Ross 128. Brave pilots have been dragged into subspace by the Gehenna, and will fight not only for their very lives, but also for the fate of the Terran and Vasudan species. The subspace corridor between these systems is destabilizing, and could be controlled by the Gehenna itself. Immense subspace and gravitational fluctuations are emanating from the Ungoliant panels mounted on four different sides of the Shivan installations, and they need to be taken care of. Meanwhile, Allied forces in Ross 128 struggle with major Hammer of Light interference to their operations, as well as the few remaining Shivan cruisers and corvettes left in the system.
This is a Red Alert mission so we'll keep the same designation as the previous mission, and that would be Alpha 1. Survivors from wings Alpha through Delta will be the only Allied forces we'll be relying on in this final mission of Gehenna's Gate. After the intro cutscene, we'll find ourselves in an uncharted system, where the Gehenna is sending subspace and gravity pulses that are strong enough to make our spacecraft shake. The HUD is overwhelmed by navigation errors and reports on how logistically impossible it'd be to pull back to Ross 128 or any Allied base. In this pure chaos, we have to be quick and order our wingmen to attack the four Ungoliant panels on the Arachnas: Prima, Secunda, Tertia and Quarta. We can also go weapons hot and try to eliminate the installation outright, but the surgical strike would be much more effective and safer to perform, thanks to several quasi-blind spots in proximity to the panels. Waves after waves of Shivan fighters will come in to intercept, including Chimerae stealth fighters and agile Manticores. In addition to this, many other Shivan units will converge on your position from several clicks away, but they will never get close enough to you to pose a threat. Things will get serious after the second cutscene, showing a Lucifer-class superdestroyer, the SSD Diabolos, entering the area, followed progressively by other ships, which will in turn deploy even more fighters to intercept us. The Gehenna itself will also track and monitor you, where by you it means Alpha 1, and launch aggressive Gorgon fighters whose only objective is to take down what the Gehenna perceives as the main threat to its survival. If things go smoothly and you don't lose too much time trying to destroy enemy fighters, the four panels will be destroyed before the bad ending of the campaign is triggered, thus leading to the subspace corridor being temporarily reopened for you to go through and return back to Ross 128.
The Gehenna is destroyable without attacking Ungoliant subsystems. If enough fighters survive in Lasciate ogne speranza... and hold on long enough, they can destroy the station without engaging Ungoliant panels. It's worth noting that engaging Ungoliant subsystems is a much easier way to complete the mission, as their combined hitpoint amount is significantly lower then the station itself, and destruction of all four triggers a self-destruct event. Both ways of destroying the station trigger the good ending.
The outcome of the mission is in part determined by your performance throughout the campaign. Failing secondary and minor mission objectives, and not performing admirably overall, will both result in the growth of a campaign variable that will get the bad ending of the mission to be triggered faster. If you happen to see the SD Beast jumping in, it's over. The appearance of the Lilith cruiser Mahanaga is an indicator that the bad ending will occur in less than a minute.
Notable ships present
- SC Alikyne
- SC Bennu
- SC Empusa (may survive)
- SC Kyriacto
- SC Lakhmu
- SC Libikoch
- SC Mahanaga
- SC Mictlantecihuatl
- SC Pharpharel
- SCv Jabberwock
- SCv Phalaris
- SD Beast (bad ending)
- SD Carbhunkl
- SD Kerberos
- SSD Diabolos
- Unknown Installation-1
- Unknown Installation-2
- Unknown Installation-3
- Unknown Installation-4
- SI Gehenna (destroyed - good ending)
Regardless of the two endings, the Great War is formally over: in fact, both the destruction of the Gehenna and the destabilization of the node effectively cut off the uncharted system from Ross 128, preventing any more Shivan fleets from storming Allied star systems. The good ending however would enable the Alliance to gather additional information on the Shivans, and use it for future research that would end up highly classified anyway. What truly matters is that the closure of the Gate has put an end to the bloodshed that almost completely wiped out the GTA and the PVE.
- The character of Ungoliant from J.R.R. Tolkien's works was an evil being shaped like a spider, just like her far more famous daughter Shelob. Ungoliant panels are named using Latin ordinals, and their feminine nature is enforced (Prima, Secunda, Tertia and Quarta are the feminine singular forms of First, Second, Third and Fourth, respectively). It's also worth noting that the class name Arachnas is a plural form of Arachne, and therefore refers to a multitude of spider-like beings.
- The title of the eighth and final Gehenna's Gate mission completes the quote from the inscription on the Gates of Hell, as described in Dante's Inferno Canto III. In fact, "...Voi ch'intrate" (...you that enter here") is the second and final part of the phrase Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate ("Abandon all hope, you that enter here"). This is the culmination of the several quotes from Italian poet Dante Alighieri seen throughout the campaign, and is also enforced by the very last mission preload screen.
- The Shivan Comm Node is called SCN Geryon in Series Resurrecta, as a further tribute to Dante's Inferno. Many of the Shivan ships in the area during "...Voi ch'intrate" are named after Divine Comedy evil beings.
- The variable that keeps track of 49 distinct events throughout the previous missions of the campaign, and therefore determines the player's malus potentially resulting in the bad ending being triggered ahead of time, is named after the character of Minosse (Minos) from the Divine Comedy, the entity that is tasked with judging souls. The reference to this entity lies in the fact that the player is somehow "judged" for their performance during the campaign.
- In the old version of the mission, the message tied to the arrival of the SC Empusa reported the cruiser as a previously encountered asset, yet there's no trace of it in any other mission of GehG. It's possible that it was initially meant to be a warship fleeing from Ross 128 to the uncharted system, where the player would meet it again.