Eve of Destruction

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Fighter squadron:


Pilot attend: Welcome to the GTD GALATEA. Your first job as part of the Galatea's crew is to stand the 3rd watch. You'll patrol the area surrounding the GTC ORFF. The GTC ORFF suffered an engine breakdown in the Betelgeuse system, and it's awaiting repairs.
You'll be on watch with one other ship, Alpha 2. Since this is your first watch, Alpha 2 will be piloted by Lt. Harbison, a seasoned veteran and top-notch pilot.
You'll begin your watch by jumping to Betelgeuse near the GTC ORFF.
We have reports of Vasudan fighters in this system, so stay alert. Engage any hostiles that threaten the ORFF.
Upon the end of your watch, you'll be relieved by Delta wing. Upon Delta's arrival, you are to return to base.
Your primary objective is to protect the ORFF until the end of your watch. We expect you carry out your orders to the letter.
You may confirm your ship hardware and weapons loadout for this mission. If found satisfactory, commit to the mission. Galatea quarterdeck signing off.


You'd almost have to try to fail this mission to actually fail it. It is arguably more difficult to fail this mission than it is to destroy the Lucifer. At first all is quiet. Then suddenly two damaged Anubis fighters (Virgo wing) jump in. After you destroy those, two more damaged Anubis fighters (Cancer wing) will attack the Orff. Next will be three more damaged Anubis fighters (Aries wing). Three more damaged Anubis fighters (Leo wing). Lastly, three damaged Anubis fighters (Pisces wing) will challenge you. Delta wing will then relieve you of your post.


Note that the enemy wings are triggered to leave after a given time. The last enemy wing to automatically leave the theatre of operations -- regardless if engaged or not -- is wing Aries, triggered to leave after 600 seconds, or 10 minutes. It is highly doubtful that the Orff will be destroyed in that time, rather, the Orff will in that time dispose of the enemy threat. On somewhat easier difficulty settings, the game can thus play the entire mission all by its lonesome, without any player interference whatsoever.

If you're feeling cheap, simply point your ship in any direction, engage your ship's thrusters and speed off into the void. The mission will be over when Delta wing arrives at somewhere around 3:30, regardless. This is the first of many automatic, self-playing missions in the game.

Please note that the same mission in the Descent: FreeSpace demo is much more elaborate. The demo mission has additional wings, ace enemy pilots and more objectives, adding almost three times as many enemies as the retail version.

The difficulty of this mission, as with Small Deadly Space was probably severely decreased as the missions in the retail version were an introduction to the game, while the demo version was more of a "representation" of the game, with a larger variety of ships and a higher difficulty level. At any rate, this is just ridiculously easy, much easier than Surrender, Belisarius! from FreeSpace 2. If you stay with the Orff after being relieved in the demo version, though, it becomes a lot more hectic.

Depending on the difficulty, a wing of 3 undamaged Anubis come in, making this mission a bit more challenging as they go after you and Alpha 2 this time, rather than going after the Orff.

Notable ships present