Out of the Dark, Into the Night
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ACT 1 MISSION 5
- With the Antares system nearly secure, Command has decided that the GTSC Plato will carry the prototype for the Avenger Attack Cannon through the Antares system. It will proceed to the Ribos system, where production of the Avenger will begin.
- Intelligence has determined that only one Vasudan cruiser remains in this system, the Taurus. If the Vasudans decide to attack the Plato on its way to Ribos, they will certainly use the Taurus.
- The number of Vasudan attack craft in this system is minimal. Intelligence estimates at most two strike squads. If something should go wrong, the Plato is equipped with an escape pod. The escape pod will attempt to make the subspace jump to Ribos.
- Alpha wing will provide cover for the Plato, and, if necessary, the Plato's escape pod. The safety of the prototype is vital, and all Vasudan threats must be eliminated.
- Pay special attention to any Vasudan bombers that may arrive. Bombers will be the greatest threat to the Plato during this operation.
- When you've cleared the area of hostile bombers, eliminate other threats and continue escorting the Plato to the intersystem subspace node.
Everything is quiet for a while until 3 Anubis fighters and 1 Osiris bomber (Aries wing) jump in. Take out the Osiris bomber. Don't hesitate to use a lot of your Fury missiles on it, then aid your wingmen in taking out the rest of the fighters. After this all is quiet for quite some time until the Taurus jumps in, and with it four Anubis fighters and one Osiris bomber (Virgo wing). They will be about 9,000 units away, so stay with the Plato. After a while four Unknown ship-class fighters (2 Scorpions and 2 Shaitans) will attack the Taurus. When the Vasudan fighters attack the unknowns, notice that the attacks hit an invisible shield which is visible only when it is hit. Command will order you to visually identify the ships. Ignore them, just stay with the Plato. When you receive the message, "What the hell? They took out the Taurus already," get ready for some action.
The Plato will be destroyed and the escape pod should make it without difficulty. The bombers will jump out and one single Scorpion will remain in the area. Attack it with Furys, as the ML-16 is useless against its shields. Expend all of your Furys at the Scorpion if need be. Eventually it will die and you will complete your bonus objective.
Please note that you can target the Unknowns, using a somewhat clumsy method, however. Target one of your fighters and press 'J' (target my target's target). This will allow you to target the Unknown ships. Also note that the Taurus and Osiris bombers will target only the Plato and not the Unknown fighters or bombers, but if the Osiris gets attacked, it will retalite against the unknowns, allowing you to target them.
The Plato's escape pod is flagged invulnerable (more likely set so it doesn't die in the Plato's explosion), so it will always make it to the jump out point, regardless. However, it is quite possible to get the Plato to the node and have it sit there for awhile until enough bombs slip past you. It is unlikely at best you will successfully defend the ship against all the waves of Shivan bombers that come in; and if you do, it will break the mission. It is often best to attack a Shaitan rather than the loner remaining Scorpion anyways, however, since they make easier targets. Make sure not to be too close to a Shaitan, as you may hit a launched bomb if the bomber is still facing the Plato, making you die in a rather flashy fashion. By all means go after the Scorpion too, but it is harder to kill.
You can easily reach Taurus and achieve visual confirmation if you're flying the Valkyrie interceptor, give all power to engines and engage afterburners. You should be back at Plato just after Taurus is destroyed (self-destructs after it hits 80% hull). Note that getting close to the Taurus may cause the Shaitans laying waste to it may cause them to change targets to you instead, breaking the mission unless you take up the honor of attacking it until it blows up.
Note that this is the first mission (if you don't count the Vasudan Ace from The Field of Battle) that the Vasudans remove the Vasudan Light Laser pea shooter in favor of using the ML-16 laser and other Terran weapons. Though the Anubis fighters will be only pests on Very Easy, Easy, and Medium and above they fire at a devastating rate, killing you almost instantly if you're not careful.
Notable ships present
- GTSC Plato
- PVC Taurus