Venturing inside the Tomb
|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.
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Shadows of the Great War - Gehenna's Gate Mission 4
Player squadron: 144th Ghost Dolphins
Description: A contingent from the Ghost Dolphins, using Loki-class fighters, is ordered to patrol a sector of the system which is seriously affected by jamming...
Created: August 31st, 2009
Released: October 16th, 2020
Delta Serpentis has been secured, more or less, so the Alliance is now moving towards Ross 128. Encouraging reports from Terran and Vasudan system show a sharp decline of Hammer of Light ideologies and activities, led by the progressive defeat of the Shivans in all theaters of operations. The Alliance is also on the verge of securing Ikeya as well, on a parallel battlefront where the enemy has not deployed any of the new ship classes faced in the Delta Serpentis - Ross 128 front. In addition to this, contact has been restored with survivors from Laramis, a branch of the Terran fleet led by the GTD Nereid which got cut off but still managed to survive; said survivors are expected to rally with the main fleets in Ross 128, and provide significant help in the effort of securing the system. Before a final assault on the Shivans is launched, the extent of their forces and settlements in Ross 128 has to be determined - it turns out that jamming fields of unknown origins are interfering with detections and transmissions, and their source has to be determined.
We'll be designated Tau 1 during this mission, and we'll be flying the new Loki-class fighter, with the purpose of investigating a jamming field located by Vasudan scouts. The introduction cutscene enforces the idea that communications are going to be difficult, but we'll carry on with the mission objectives anyway. We'll get to hear some chat as we move through several waypoints marked by navigation buoys, and as we approach them, the jamming field will become more intense, scrambling communications, navigation data and resulting in a number of apparently nonsensical warnings on the HUD. Patience is the key to victory, so we'll make it to a stage where visual contact with a Demon-class destroyer and four smaller ships will be possible. We'll also see something strange, very irregular in shape, warping out, and the moment it clears the area, jamming effects stop.
Once sensors and communications are back online, we'll be able to target all hostile units left in the area and come into full sensor contact with a new class of Shivan fighters, designated the SF Serpent. Our wingmates, who are far away due to the navigation patterns, will come in to assist us, as will Omega and Upsilon wings. The Shivan battlegroup will begin to withdraw, and we're apparently asked to pull out of the fight and regroup with the wingmates - the mission can be accomplished without firing a single shot, but you're strongly encouraged to achieve a few kills, capitalizing on the Phoenix V and clearing out enemy fighters from safe distance. Achieving a few kills will save you from serious trouble later. Once the area is clear, a Seshat scout designated Eta 2 will appear on scope about twenty clicks away, ignoring all hails and warping out. We'll be able to return to base after the message exchange, effectively ending the mission.
Notable ships present
The operation has tremendous consequences: the first is that the SD Secleth, a Demon-class destroyer, and several other warships have been confirmed to be in system and ready to strike; the second is that the jamming field, generated by a ship of unknown specifications, has begun to increase in intensity and power, crippling communications and hiding a huge chunk of the system from sensor scanning. Retaking the system from the Shivans will be much more difficult than expected, as both discoveries have the potential of stopping the Allied advances. As if these discoveries were not enough, the PVN reports that many scouts have gone M.I.A., either destroyed by Shivan units or gone completely rogue, as evidenced by encounters like that experienced by the 144th Ghost Dolphins with Eta 2. The Ross 128 theater of operations will get very day more unpredictable and complicated.
The mission title is a reference to Final Fantasy VIII and the exploration of Tomb of the Unknown King, a labyrinth where the player meets Sacred and Minotaur (Seclet and Minotaurus in the Italian version of the game). Buel and Blinura are the names of common monsters met in said labyrinth, with the latter being specific to the Italian version of the name and its English version being Blobra. A cruiser named SC Blobhra is however featured in The Spirit of Ptah.
The mysterious ship seen before the jamming field dissipates is an Iksura freighter carrying ten SAC 4 units, Kharon 07. It's escorted by six Gorgon-class fighters. None of these ships are targetable; Kharon 07 will be faced again in Doomtrains of Salem, while the Gorgons will remain unknown to the Alliance until Lasciate ogne speranza....
This mission will result in a significant handicap in ...Voi ch'intrate should the player complete it with zero or a handful of confirmed kills. The variable that keeps track of secondary and minor objectives throughout the campaign, meant to influence the final ending of the campaign itself, boosts a malus if that condition is met.
Eta 2 is a recent addition to the mission, meant to enforce, plot-wise, Hammer of Light interferences to Allied operations in the system.