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    Advanced Walkthrough by breslin_

    Version: 2.2 | Updated: 03/17/08 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    ==                  Freelancer Advanced Walkthrough                  ==
    2004-2006 Steve Breslin
    You will be welcome to republish this howsoever you like, but please do
    not alter the text in any way, and please let me know in advance. My
    contact information is at the end of the file.
    Freelancer is amazing because of the wide range of action possible
    within the central campaign. As the title suggests, it's the freedom of
    the game which makes it so wonderful.
    There are, of course, limits to this range of freedom. This walkthrough
    attempts to explore these limits exhaustively, and provides
    "sideplay-missions" for profit, fun, and challenge.
    The walkthrough makes practically no comment upon the central-plot
    missions, since that stuff is covered exhaustively in other
    walkthroughs, and also since the game makes it perfectly obvious what
    you're expected to do at all times.
    We will take our time between missions. When Juni (or whoever) asks you
    if you're ready to begin a mission, you can always safely decline. You
    may get yelled at a bit, and at times this can be annoying or
    repetitive, but you can always freelance indefinitely before committing
    to any mission, without effecting the central plot in any way.
    This walkthrough is designed for the advanced player, so if you are not
    already very familiar with the game, refer to Matthew Lawson's "Wrecks"
    FAQ, and especially Gary Dwyer's "Maps" FAQ. Dustin Shaffer's "Lists"
    FAQ you may also find quite useful. Jason Merrill's general walkthrough
    is superb, and probably preferable if this is your first time through
    the game; it also contains a useful reference section. These resources
    are all available from gamefaqs.
    LancersReactor <http://www.lancersreactor.com> is the main resource for
    further information, for both playing and modding.
    The Sideplay-Missions:
    1.1 Rhino Challenge
        Buy and equip a Rhino during Mission 1.
    1.2 Allied Aggression
        Kill as many allies as you can during Mission 1.
    1.3 Buffalo Rogues
        Land on Buffalo Base.
    1.4 Purloined Kit
        Loot superb equipment.
    2.1 Kill Cosmo
        Destroy the infamous smart-mouth smuggler.
    2.2 Ambush Ashcroft
        Take him out before he has a chance to flee.
    2.3 Destroy the Unity
        Blast your first battleship!
    2.4 Smuggler's Paradise
        Smuggle goods throughout the New York system.
    2.5 Pirate Glory
        Engage in piracy throughout the New York system.
    2.6 Avenge Brandon Rowlett
        Kill the the three Navy ships who blasted poor Brandon.
    3.1 Pirate Fury
        Burn your bridges in New York.
    4.1 Cruiser Killer
        Kill four cruisers during your flight from New York.
    4.2 Equip
        Get yourself situated in Bretonia.
    4.3 Bloodbath in the Badlands
        Land on Manhattan.
    4.4 Go Radical
        Visit the Mollys and Gaians.
    4.5 Exploration Challenge
        Visit all the systems in Sirius, and perform a series of challenges.
    5.1 Perfect Neutrality
        Establish a good trade-reputation.
    5.2 All Systems Show Green
        Push goods around the system, reaching upwards 2mil/hour.
    5.3 The Way of the Pirate
        Perfect your pirating skills.
    6.1 Teach Dexter's Cronies a Lesson
        Kill both ambushers before Dexter Hovis reaches the finish line.
    6.2 Teach Dexter a Lesson
        Shame Hovis by beating him in a Dromedary.
    7.1 Battleship Bomber
        Destroy two Battleships during Mission 7.
    9.1 Battleship Belter
        Take out the Destroyer and Battleship before docking at the arch.
    9.2 The End of Freedom
        Final parade before you join The Order.
    10.1 Hey, You Sunk My Battleships
        Decimate an elaborate series of cruisers and battleships.
    11.1 Battleship Quickie
        Destroy the cruisers and battleship at the end of Mission 11.
    13.1 Three for the Road
        Kill three bonus battleships.
    Epilogue: Other Challenges
    Once you get your bearings and start fighting the Order, the
    Sideplay-Walkthrough begins. 
    Sideplay-Mission 1.1: Rhino Challenge
    Your first sideplay-mission is to purchase a Rhino on your first trip to
    Pittsburgh, after the first half of Mission 1 (when you first meet King
    face to face). 
    This is a challenge because it's difficult to raise the necessary cash,
    especially if you want the Rhino well equipped. Like most "Sideplay"
    missions, this is not really "worth doing" for any compelling reason,
    except that it's a fun challenge.
    Note that loot (including shield batteries, nanobots, cargo, weapons and
    other equipment) only shows up when you did some damage to the enemy,
    and especially when you make the kill shot, so try to make as many kill
    shots as you can, and quickly: you need all the loot you can get. With
    this in mind, focus your attention on damaged ships, and fly very
    aggressively. It's difficult to die in this opening phase of the game,
    so you can go all out.
    After dispatching the Order ships, and meeting up with the LSF convoy,
    you will be stopped by a disrupted trade lane, and ambushed by Liberty
    Rogues. Once the attack has begun, you are free to destroy the Transport
    USV Champion and tractor in its goods. (Yes, sure, shoot your own guy --
    you can use the loot; but leave the USV Brandt alone: its destruction
    means mission failure.) After you've destroyed the USV Champion, kill as
    many Rogues as you can.
    After the first wave of Rogues has been dispatched, King will order you
    to return to the convoy, and he will get mad if you do not. However, if
    you continue fighting the next wave of Rogues, the mission will not fail
    -- not right away anyhow. Once he repeats four times that you need to
    "speed up/dock with the trade lane," you will fail the mission, but you
    have at least enough time to kill a few more Rogues, and if the Rogues
    follow you back to the trade lane ring, you'll get some additional time
    and additional kills. One of these "second wave" Rogues has a bounty on
    his head, which you will need if you want to succeed in the first
    sideplay-mission. (Once you get back to the trade lane, a third wave of
    Rogues may appear; depending where you are, it's hopeless trying to kill
    all the Rogues.)
    After you reach King and the Brandt, you have no choice but to dock on
    Pittsburg; trying to go out on your own at this point results in mission
    failure. If you flew aggressively enough, you can claim your Rhino.
    By the way, a great Rhino loadout is...
    2x Justice I
    Javelin missile
    Stunpulse Turret
    ...which you can probably afford if you flew aggressively and were
    blessed with a bit of luck. With that setup, you can cut through the
    rest of the mission like butter. That's precisely the loadout I'd
    recommend for the next sideplay mission.
    Sideplay-Mission 1.2: Allied Aggression
    If you're feeling really evil you can see how many friendlies you can
    kill. The basic rule for killing friendlies is that you can normally get
    away with killing "non essential" friendlies when there are hostile
    fighters in the area. So don't try killing King or so, and only attack
    when there are hostiles nearby.
    This first hostility is probably impossible if you're also doing
    Sideplay Mission 1.1 -- but that's okay: just choose one or the other,
    or skip the first bit of this one.
    There's really no way you can possibly kill all the friendlies near
    Manhattan, but if you're very good and pretty lucky, you can you can
    take down all three Valkyries escorting the Donau. (You have to kill
    them before the last Order fighter falls, or you'll get mission failure
    for attacking a friendly, and it turns out that this is a pretty tight
    time-constraint.) Of great help is an Eraser with 15 missiles and a
    well-stocked Javelin launcher, which you can afford if you sell your
    shield batteries, nanobots, and your shield. The leader, Klaus Braun,
    will be immune to death for a few seconds, so you'll want to focus on
    his two wingmen at the beginning of the battle, then clean up Klaus
    last. Hint: to find them easier, use the "ships" readout, and look for
    craft designated as 'Military' rather than 'Navy' (and they have German
    names too, of course). Unfortunately, they do not drop their fancy Class
    1 Stealthblades.
    A slightly easier challenge is to destroy all the destructible the Navy
    fighters. The two wings of Navy fighters appear in sequence; the leaders
    are both invulnerable, but the rest can be destroyed. (The leaders are
    somehow both named "Greg Barwis.")
    Naturally, you'll take down the USV Champion during the initial Rogue
    ambush. (Taking down the Brandt means mission failure.)
    After Pittsburgh, by XT-19 Prison Ship, you can destroy your Epsilon
    allies. (In theory it should be possible to loot a shield here, but I
    haven't ever been able to do it. Perhaps in practice it's impossible
    because your net worth is inevitably too low. We'll return to this
    question of shield-looting later, when it becomes relevant.)
    Beta 4 is, alas, immune to damage. You can follow him back to Pittsburgh
    if you like, but he just docks -- nothing very unusual or exciting
    At the Rogue base, before you destroy the Weapons Platforms, you can
    take out Alpha Wing. 
    After the Weapons Platforms are down, Delta will show up, and if you
    take them out they'll re-spawn. So basically you can destroy them over
    and over again, for fun and for their loot.
    Because you can continue to destroy Delta wing indefinitely (plus the
    Rogue that periodically pops out of the base), in theory it would be
    possible to loot enough Justices, Azraels, Thrusters, and other junk to
    get your "total worth" high enough that some incarnation of 'Delta 2'
    will drop his Starkiller -- but this will take a *very* long time. The
    only time I sort-of tried this, I got totally bored before I reached
    20,000 credits, and I optimistically estimate that I had at least
    another 35,000 to go. Also, the mission objectives got screwed up and I
    was unable to advance after the base was destroyed. So although it would
    be a great pleasure to roast Ashcroft (or heck, the Unity) with a
    Starkiller, this particular challenge isn't highly recommended -- but do
    let me know if you try this with any success.
    After you finish flying around with King, he sends you off to explore on
    your own for a bit, and for the first time you're free to explore the
    system. (When King cuts you loose, you can go into formation with him,
    but he just docks at Fort Bush -- nothing terribly interesting there.)
    If you want to go sightseeing, you can work your way through the
    minefield of sector G4 and G5 (a.k.a. Zone-21), find the Magellan gate
    and the New York jump hole, and the anomaly near Binford station (plus
    the other jump-holes, to Texas and Colorado). However, it's impossible
    to find Binford station itself until it appears during Mission 4. 
    (You are now level 2. Ships available: Rhino, Patriot, Defender,
    Sideplay-Mission 1.3: Buffalo Rogues
    For this sideplay-mission simply dock with Buffalo Base. 
    This is difficult because you need to seriously fix your reputation with
    the Liberty Rogues. This actually turns out to be quite worthwhile, both
    for money and equipment.
    After Mission 1, avoid and flee from any Liberty Rogue encounters, until
    your reputation with them is fixed. You will not be able to fix your
    reputation if you return fire. 
    The fastest way to change your reputation is to hit a depot. Taking down
    the DSE depots outside Fort Bush will fix your reputation with the
    Rogues immediately.
    If, however, you want to protect your reputation with DSE (and with the
    Police, whose depots you can find outside Manhattan), you can more
    carefully select specific enemies of the Rogues.
    Though it is possible to strategically attack certain vessels such that
    your overall reputation is nice and white, you might rather enjoy
    targeting Bounty Hunters specifically.
    If you really want to get into the spirit of it, I recommend getting the
    Cardamine from the Flint shipwreck (in sector C6, lower right corner),
    selling it on Manhattan, and going to Rochester to purchase a Pirate
    Bloodhound. (Or you can get the Liberty Defender from Battleship
    Missouri if you prefer; the Defender is superior on most counts, but
    you'll be grabbing that one in a bit, so you might like to have a go at
    the Bloodhound in the meanwhile. The Bloodhound has a bit more cargo
    area, and better armor, but a weaker gun battery for fewer guns; the
    Defender and Bloodhound maneuver about the same.) While you're at
    Rochester, you can pick up a full loadout of Barragers too. They're
    When your reputation is fixed with the Rogues (when they turn white, not
    red), you can land on Buffalo! 
    Unfortunately, you cannot buy a Dagger until you are level 4, and level
    4 requires completion of Mission 2. 
    However, you can make a pile of cash hauling Cardamine from Buffalo to
    Manhattan, and H-fuel back to Buffalo. This is by far the most
    profitable route available within the New York system. I recommend
    getting a Rhino for this. Near Fort Bush, actually quite close to the
    Baltimore Shipyard, the silver-colored DSE depot contains H-fuel, which
    you can pick up on your way back to Buffalo, but as above, this piracy
    will get some of the bases mad at you.
    Sideplay Mission 1.4: Purloined Kit
    Once you have a nice nest egg, acquire whichever combat vessel you
    prefer, and equip it with the most advanced weaponry available in the
    You are too low level to *buy* the most advanced weaponry, and much of
    it is not for sale in the system anyway. -- So, you'll have to loot it
    Note that the quality and likelihood of "equipment drops" is
    proportional to your "Current Worth" (as displayed on the player screen,
    under your "Current Level"). 55,000 credits is a rough number for level
    4 equipment drops, which you'll have easily if you've followed the
    walkthrough so far.
    The best equipment depends on who you're fighting, and what ship you
    got, but the best equipment available in this system includes:
    Slingshot missile from Police, near Manhattan for example.
    Scorpion from Xenos, near Rochester for instance.
    Vengeance from Navy fighters.
    Pyros and Dragoons from Outcasts near Buffalo.
    The very best gun you can acquire -- actually pretty close to dead-even
    with the amazing Pyros -- is the Class 6 Winchester. You cannot actually
    *use* this item until you reach Kusari space, by which time you'll have
    much better equipment anyway, but it's kinda fun to get Class 6 gear so
    early. Regular wandering ships do not equip this gun. To get it, you
    must accept "Difficulty 5" missions from Buffalo, flying against the
    Bounty Hunters, and hope you get *very* lucky. It's *very* rare to get
    such a high-class item so early in the game, but it is definitely
    (You are now level 3.) 
    This is quite arguably the most interesting mission of all, in terms of
    side-play opportunities.
    Note that in preparation for Sideplay Mission 2.3, you must wreck your
    reputation with the Liberty Navy, *before* accepting Mission 2 proper.
    The best way to wreck your rep is to go to Buffalo and accept missions
    running against the Liberty Navy.
    Defender Heavy Fighter
    2x Slingshot      (loot from Police, or buy at Rochester or Buffalo)
    Scorpion          (loot from the Xenos near Rochester for example)
    2x Pyros I        (loot from the Outcasts, in the Badlands for example)
    Stunpulse Turret  (buy on Pittsburgh or Newark for example)
    Wasp Cruise Disruptor (buy from Rochester or Buffalo)
    Wardog Mine Launcher  (buy from Rochester or Buffalo)
    Of course this is just totally overkill. -- But hey, overkill is fun
    too, and it'll help with Sideplay Mission 2.3.
    When you're all equipped, head back to the bar in Manhattan to begin
    Mission 2.
    If you ran your reputation into the red, you'll have a fun little
    bloodbath to deal with when you enter Colorado for the first time. It
    seems to be random what ships appear for this little bloodbath, but if
    you've at least got Samura in the red you should have an interesting
    time here: if one corporation treats you as a hostile, all the others
    will as well, including any nearby police. Well once you've had your
    fun, it's time to get down to business....
    Sideplay Mission 2.1: Kill Cosmo
    Who's ever played this game and didn't want to kill this guy!? -- But
    alas! The game doesn't let you... or does it?
    Yes, it is in factpossible, but only if you handle things very
    First thing, you got to strip Cosmo's shield, then finish him with dual
    Slingshot missiles. This will get his hull down far enough that you can
    deal the final blow *without* doing so much damage that you fail the
    mission for attacking a neutral target. (You're allowed to do about 15%
    damage to a neutral target before the mission fails. If it's the *last*
    15 percent, that's still okay.)
    Second, you have to wait until you get the objective update, to take the
    trade lane to Pueblo station. Before you get this update, you're still
    under the order to "stand down." Attacking defenseless Cosmo in any way
    will cause you to fail the mission. But after the objective updates,
    Cosmo becomes just a typical neutral target, and you can give him a
    little "friendly fire" damage without failing the mission. (Do not use a
    missile for this! The full damage of the missile counts against you, so
    you'll automatically fail the mission.)
    If you kill him, you get to loot the very valuable artifacts he's
    carrying. Then just fly to Pueblo as usual to proceed with the mission.
    Note that it's possible to destroy the two transports escorted by Cosmo
    van Nostrom (after he turns red and before you turn to deal with him).
    Warning: it is possible to lock up the mission at Pueblo if you get
    there before King gives you the objective to defend the station. Just be
    sure not to kill any Rogues until you get the objective, and you'll be
    It's possible to destroy some of your "Zeta Wing" allies (marked
    "Police") after defending Pueblo (along the same lines as Sideplay
    Mission 1.2), but you will note that one of the allies is
    Sideplay Mission 2.2: Ambush Ashcroft
    King's cruise disruptor misses Ashcroft, but that doesn't mean yours has
    The secret to this sideplay mission is location: you got to already be
    in the place where Ashcroft appears.
    As you leave Pueblo station, and approach "the drop-off point for the
    artifacts," you will be flying almost directly towards an orange nebula
    in the background. Ashcroft will appear 3km from the drop-off point, in
    the direction of the orange nebula. And he will appear after you kill
    the four Rogues covering the drop-off point.
    The correct technique is to kill the first two Rogues, then fly to the
    point where Ashcroft appears. If you killed the first two Rogues, the
    second two will follow you. Finish the second two and Ashcroft will
    appear nearby. -- Easy pickings!
    It's a long way to the gate, and King assumes you're closer than you
    actually are. He'll get mad and scold you for going too slow, and you'll
    get a mission failure if you don't fly *directly* back to the jump gate:
    the timing is pretty tight. But if you do get caught like that, it's no
    problem to reload.
    Sideplay Mission 2.3: Destroy the Unity
    If you demolished your reputation with the Liberty Navy before you began
    Mission 2, the Battleship Unity will turn red as you re-enter New York
    space. Red ships are always fair game during missions, even ones which
    are "supposed" to be your allies.
    You don't have a lot of time before King loses patience and the mission
    fails. Take out the Unity as quickly as possible.
    Battleships destroyed: 1
    Killing battleships does not get you any fabulous prizes or anything,
    but it's a really fun challenge to max the "battleships destroyed"
    score, so we'll continue to keep a running tally.
    Another stylish maneuver is to loot the silver-colored DSE storage depot
    during that Rogue fight at Fort Bush, on the way back to the Missouri
    with Sean Ashcroft. (Don't shoot this depot until the battle has
    properly begun, or you will fail the mission for attacking a friendly.
    You can get away with it after the battle has begun.)
    Finally, you can destroy "Alpha Wing" allies (also marked "Police"), who
    assist after the Rogue ambush by Fort Bush.
    After you dock on the Missouri, you'll have some freelance time, but
    there's still a number of challenges for you before Mission 3 gets
    Sideplay Mission 2.4: The Liberty Collection
    It's time to get all the cool equipment you can get in Liberty space. A
    lot of it you got to know where to look, and some of it only appears in
    those randomly-generated missions you can pick up in bars. -- It won't
    show up on regular wandering ships.
    But first -- word of warning:
    The following missions, particularly 2.6, involve attacking
    corporations, so a word of warning: if all the corporations go after
    you, the military and police can turn on you as well. This is not
    terrible if you can play with a bit of finesse, but...
    Don't get the Police against you, or Planetform, or at least make sure
    you can get through the docking ring of California Minor, since this is
    not guaranteed, but absolutely necessary for the game to progress during
    Mission 3. Getting through this ring is easy the first time, but can
    become impossible the second time, after killing the three Rheinland
    I have at least twice gotten stuck immediately after fighting the three
    Rheinland vessels, when California Minor refused to let me land, and
    nothing else worked because the "mission" prohibited all other docking.
    The docking ring of California Minor appears to react angrily, in
    sympathy with the trade-route rings, which have a police designation. 
    By the way, there's a couple other places later on where a bad rep can
    land you in an impossible situation: you can get stuck outside Shinkaku,
    if Samura is mad at you during Mission 7; and Kyoto won't let you dock
    at the end of Mission 9, if the Dragons are in the red.
    You are now level 4.
    Ships available: Mule/Alcatraz, Dagger/Buffalo, Startracker/Manhattan
    And with the rest of Liberty space opened up, you will be able to score
    lots more goodies, for instance:
    Rogues now regularly pack Raphaels and Usiels.
    The Hackers (near the California jump-hole to Cortez, or the Colorado
    hole to Galileo) drop Hellflurries.
    Junkers traveling through Texas drop the Barrager Mark II, which is one
    of the best usable guns at this point, and Barrager Turret Mark III.
    Check for them in the vicinity of the California jump-hole. (The
    enterprising pirate will note that they very often carry high-dollar
    Their Bounty-Hunter counterparts drop the Winchester Mark I (which the
    enterprising pilot can acquire even earlier, after Mission 1, as
    described above).
    The Rheinlanders you encounter during the following missions can drop
    Stealthblade equipment (neat, although it's not the best -- super
    long-range though).
    The very best gun you can acquire at this point is the Vassago -- your
    first Class 7 gun, which you can't actually *use* until the entire
    campaign is finished. Like the Winchester after Mission 1, regular
    wandering ships do not equip this gun. To get it, you must accept
    "Difficulty 8" missions from Willard Station, flying against the Rogues,
    and hope you get *very* lucky. It's *very* rare to get a Vassago in this
    way -- rarely do even Difficulty-8 Rogues even equip Vassagos, and even
    more rarely do they actually drop, and only if you have a very large
    amount of credits. -- But again it is definitely possible.
    Finally, the Xenos in Colorado can drop the must-have Advanced Scorpions
    -- perfect if you have a level-3 slot that doesn't need a Slingshot.
    (Alternatively, you could elect to buy the Advanced Scorpions, and as
    the Xenos are angry with you, you might either buy back your reputation,
    or earn a good Xeno reputation by plundering and killing corporations.
    Note, however, that sideplay-Mission 2.4 involves smuggling, and the
    smart smuggler knows the value of a low profile. You don't want to draw
    too much fire, and you need to keep Manhattan friendly, so keep the
    plundering and killing within intelligent bounds. Keep an eye on your
    reputation information and use good judgment.)
    There are two other superb items to acquire around this point: the Pyros
    turret from the Balboa wreck in California (5C, lower right), and the
    best level-3 turret in the game, Rowlett's Revenge (see below).
    Sideplay-Mission 2.4: Smuggler's Paradise
    Pick up a Mule from Alcatraz and arm yourself with the best of the
    currently available weapons. (Also, pick up a shield from Willard when
    you get a chance.)
    You can make a ton of cash by smuggling Cardamine from Alcatraz to
    Manhattan, and hauling (pirated) H-fuel back. You'll make the major
    bucks here, as smuggling is frequently even more profitable than
    With the Xeno guns, the Mule happens to be a pretty powerful and fun
    combat tank, though it has the normal freighter shortcomings: weak gun
    battery and poor maneuverability. You might want to fly a combat mission
    with it, to evaluate it for yourself -- it requires a good
    reverse-thrust technique. I find that it is quite capable of Mission 3,
    and I just love it for Mission 4. For standard dogfighting, of course
    it's got nothing on the Dagger, which is certainly the most advanced and
    well balanced combat craft in Liberty. 
    Sideplay-Mission 2.5: Pirate Glory
    Acquire that hard earned and well deserved Dagger from Buffalo, and
    outfit it. (And pick up a shield from Willard.) Go marauding! 
    You can shoot out a trade lane a safe distance from any bases, and wait
    for transports to stall. If you enter formation with your Rogue buddies,
    that's likely what you'll end up doing. Or you can be more aggressive
    and ambush transports at a jump gate or base. Also, you can loot trade
    depots: the silver-colored one near Fort Bush has H-fuel, which sells
    well to either Rogue base; the middle one near Manhattan contains
    Polymers, which sell well on Denver (if you are careful not to alienate
    Cautionary note: 
    If you run against international corporations, significant parts of
    Bretonia may be hostile when you begin there after Mission 4. If you
    decide you want to keep aggressions local, pursue the Liberty-based
    factions more aggressively than the corporations. Note that Ageira, DSE,
    Interspace, Synth Foods, and Universal have a smaller stake in Bretonia,
    and that BMM, Republican, Gateway, and Cryer have the highest presence
    there. Not to worry too much -- you can for the most part simply avoid
    hostile stations if you want relative peace immediately after mission 4.
    And plus, you'll probably be restoring your reputation immediately after
    entering Bretonia.
    (You are now level 5.) 
    Sideplay-Mission 2.6: Avenge Brandon Rowlett
    After you reach level 5, and before you meet Juni on California Minor to
    properly begin Mission 3, you will see three Liberty Navy ships destroy
    Brandon Rowlett, a fellow Freeport-7 survivor -- just inside the gate to
    California (when you're going to meet Juni on California Minor). Your
    task here is to destroy the three Navy vessels.
    Before you enter California, I highly recommend you save your game at
    West Point. (Do not rely on autosave: you only get one crack at this;
    loading from autosave will put you after the fight, not before.)
    Before you enter the jump-gate to California, select your Improved
    Countermeasures in the right-hand HUD display, so they turn green like
    your guns. Now they'll shoot out wildly when the Navy launches their
    missiles at you, which is exactly what you need, as the three Navy
    vessels are fully loaded with Windstalkers -- killer homing missiles.
    You might also want to select your mines for this operation.
    Avenge Rowlett, and you'll get a prize: Rowlett's Revenge, a nice lazer
    turret (class 3). It will show up in your scanner as "Nomad Prototype
    Weapon" -- a foreshadowing of what is to come.
    Note that if you want to postpone or avoid the battle, you can take the
    jump hole from Texas into California; the exchange will simply occur
    next time you use the gate to California, provided you have not yet
    talked to Juni on California Minor. But be warned -- your opportunity to
    avenge Rowlett will expire if you talk to Juni, whether you accept
    Mission 3 or not. (It's okay to let her radio you from space, and even
    land on the planet, so long as you don't enter the bar.)
    If you are extremely lucky, you will get not only Rowlett's Revenge, but
    a Navy fighter will drop a Moonstalker missile launcher as well. It is
    normal for them to drop one or two Moonstalker missiles, but you should
    be quite pleased indeed if you get the launcher itself. This is the only
    opportunity to get this wonderful item until it becomes availible for
    purchase. No big deal though -- there's noplace you can scavenge, loot
    or otherwise acquire the ammunition for it, and that becomes available
    for purchase only after you finish Mission 5 (and reach level 10), which
    is the same time the launcher itself becomes available for purchase.
    It's a sweet trophy, though.
    In order to destroy the Battleship LNS Harmony on your *first* trip to
    Willard (when you approach with the convoy through the Barrera Passage),
    you must once again wreck your reputation with the Liberty Navy, before
    you accept Mission 3.
    However, be careful to keep a neutral reputation with the Police and ,
    or the mission will lock up on your return to California Minor (after
    you escort the Convoy -- just after the three Valkyres ambush you).
    This setup is all style, and you certainly can't beat the power...
    Mule Pirate Freighter
    Windstalker           (purchased from Willard or Beaumont for example)
    Slingshot             (looted from Liberty Police, or purchased)
    2x Pyros Type I       (looted from Outcasts)
    Rowlett's Revenge     (looted from the Navy fighters before Mission 3)
    (empty)               (this slot doesn't fire forward)
    Pyros Type I Turret   (from the Balboa wreck in California)
    Dragoon Turret Type 1 (looted from Outcasts)
    Or, if you want something a little more conservative, perhaps something
    like this...
    Dagger Light Fighter
    2x Advanced Scorpion (or missiles)
    2x Pyros Type I
    Stunpulse Turret or Pyros Type I Turret
    Another tightly scripted mission, with one similarity to the first: once
    the convoy enters combat, you can destroy the #2 transport and loot its
    hold -- Artifacts are quite a valuable commodity, and particularly nice
    when you can get them for free. For another amusement during this fight
    you can destory your Epislon Wing allies.
    If you once again wrecked your rep with the Navy, you have enough time
    to take down the Harmony before docking on Willard.
    If you decide to play the first part of the mission in a Mule, you might
    consider getting the Patriot when you're back on California Minor,
    before defending Willard from the Rheinland attack. On the other hand,
    if you have good reverse-burn technique, and generally good combat
    control, big battles can be fun with a Mule, but this would not be the
    easiest approach for most pilots.
    If you're going for top battleship kills, you should destroy the
    cruisers Alabama and Ohio.
    Battleships destroyed: 3 (Thanks Dan!)
    (Any other allies you like are strictly optional.) Naturally you cannot
    destroy Walker's cruiser (the Utah), or you'll get "mission failure,"
    after a mournful comment from Juni. You can, however, destroy the
    Harmony -- and you can even destroy it *again* if you did it earlier, on
    your first approach to Willard. Also again, you get no "Battleships
    destroyed" credit in your personal stats for destroying the Harmony.
    (Otherwise, once the battle at Willard is finished, the Battleship
    suddenly and suprisingly disappears.)
    Oh, and if your worth is high enough, the Fighter escorts might drop
    Vengeance Mk II guns. And the Rheinland Bombers pack Starkillers, so if
    you're lucky you might loot one of them too.
    Now that you've seen what there is to see in the 4 systems, it's time to
    traffic Cardamine from Alcatraz, run combat missions, but above all,
    absolutely destroy your newly restored reputation! 
    (You are now level 6.) 
    Sideplay-Mission 3.1: Pirate Fury
    The Manhattan Docking Ring is the only object that you need to stay
    friendly with, and it stays green even after the Police and everybody
    are against you. So if you were holding back a bit during Sideplay-Mission
    2.5, now you can go for broke. 
    I might end this sideplay-mission with 6 or 10 corporations hating me,
    and in good with Outcasts, Xenos, Rogues, Junkers, and Hackers. The
    Liberty Corporations will turn against you at the beginning of the
    fourth mission, as will the Police and Navy, so go ahead and burn as
    many bridges as you like. 
    Probably the best place for piracy is not any trade lane or depot, but
    the Texas side of the NY/Texas jump hole or either side of the
    California/Texas jump hole. These locations also recommend themselves
    for having pirate bases nearby on both sides: Buffalo and Beaumont, and
    Alcatraz respectively -- which pay reasonably well for most any
    high-dollar loot. You'll wait on average a minute for a Junker CSV or a
    Mule packed with high-dollar items. The Outcasts and Rogues on the NY
    side of the NY/Texas hole frequently have great cargo also, but the wait
    is a bit longer.
    The outward-going jump holes are, surprisingly, less interesting; the
    best is the Colorado/Kepler jump-hole. The Xeno Startrackers carry small
    loads of such interesting items as Mox and Luxury Food.
    Pirate a load of Cardamine for one last Manhattan run, accepting the
    mission with Juni just before you sell it. Or load up on Engine
    Components, to fly through to Mactan, where they sell for a whopping
    1424. But far more important than the coin is the kit: the next sideplay
    mission is considerably harder than anything so far, and the choice of
    ship and loadout is essential.
    (You are now level 7.) 
    Before accepting the mission, get a ship that maximizes damage per
    second (and not doubling up on missiles, as you'll definitely run out).
    Thus I would recommend either of the following two kits:
    Mule Freighter
    Windstalker            (purchased from almost anywhere outside Manhattan)
    Slingshot              (looted from Liberty Police, or purchased)
    2x Pyros Type I        (looted from Outcasts in the Badlands)
    Rowlett's Revenge      (looted from the Navy fighters before Mission 3)
    (empty)                (does not fire forward)
    Pyros Type I Turret    (from the Balboa wreck in California)
    Barrager II Turret     (purchased from Rochester, NY or Beaumont, TX)
    Razor Mine             (purchased from Rochester or Buffalo for example)
    Dagger Light Fighter
    2x Advanced Scorpion   (or one Slingshot (and optionally one Javelin))
    2x Pyros Type I        (looted from Outcasts)
    Pyros Type I Turret    (from the Balboa wreck in California)
    Wasp Cruise Disruptor  (for a teensy little extra damage)
    Razor Mine
    The Dagger is far more maneuverable, and much easier and safer, but the
    Mule's combat-tank style is just classic, and it's actually faster if
    you can reasonably handle the beast. That said, the upcoming sideplay
    mission is pretty difficult, and you should go with whatever will get
    you through -- and expect to reload several times, no matter which setup
    you choose. Definitely go with the Dagger if you're having trouble.
    After exiting Manhattan with Juni, you will be immediately attacked by
    the Liberty Navy, and your escape routes blocked. At this point,
    Sideplay-Mission 4.1 begins.
    Sideplay-Mission 4.1: Cruiser Killer
    Destroy four cruisers during your flight from Liberty space.
    Outside Manhattan, destroy:
    Cruiser LNS Rampart (by the Fort Bush trade lane)
    Cruiser LNS Twilight (by the Detroit Munitions lane)
    (There is a false rumor floating around that it's possible to make the
    "kill shot" on the Unity and gain an additional battleship kill credit.
    This is definitely incorrect. You can hammer away at the Unity if you
    want to, but you'll never get credit for destroying it.)
    Battleships destroyed: 5
    (Note that it's possible to kill all the Navy fighters at West Point,
    but you got enough on your plate already.)
    After the Van Pelt cutscene, destroy:
    Cruiser LNS Justice (by Binford station)
    Cruiser LNS Victory (by Binford station)
    (All cruisers are 60% invulnerable until Binford actually explodes. LNS
    Freedom remains so, but the other two, LNS Justice and LNS Victory,
    become vulnerable after Binford explodes.)
    Battleships destroyed: 7
    Fans of "allied aggression" will find that Walker and his enitre
    entourage are immune to death. It's possible to ambush them -- they
    approach the battle from over the top of Manhattan, and are initially
    marked "red" as enemies -- but you can't kill them. However, you can
    destroy your escorts, Lambda 4 and Lambda 5, after you reach West Point.
    And I believe it's possible to loot one of their shields, though I have
    never accomplished this.
    Recognize that the second pair of cruisers are considerably tougher than
    the first, so during the first battle you'll probably want to conserve
    your expendables: shield batteries, nanobots, missiles, and
    countermeasures. You probably won't go through all your mines, so you
    can go for broke there.
    As far as destroying the second pair, you'll get more time and a much
    needed break if you destroy one, then cruise towards the Magellan gate,
    then when your shield is back up turn around and take the other.
    (Alternatively, you can select the Magellan gate and hit "dock," and
    remain in dock mode, but continue dogfighting as normal. An odd side
    effect of this is that you cannot use reverse-thrust or otherwise drop
    below top speed: 80m/s. -- You can still thrust, though, so your
    maneuverability isn't *totally* shot.)
    (Again, it's possible to kill all the Navy fighters accompanying the
    cruisers, but again you've got quite enough to worry about already.)
    That done, and once through to Magellan, there's one other fun thing you
    can do, if you have enough missiles left after destroying the cruisers.
    It is possible to destroy all the Bounty Hunters before the dialogue
    between the Hackers and Hunters finishes. (Thus, the Bounty Hunter who
    says "What? You'll pay for this!" will be a ghost.) You can attack your
    Hacker allies while the battle rages, but you'll find them immune to
    Upon your departure from Mactan, you'll battle four Rheinland heavy
    fighters, packing Starkillers among other things. -- If you're lucky,
    they'll drop one. (But alas, the ammunition is beyond reach until after
    the next mission.) You might also target your Hacker allies, but the
    only piece of equipment they drop is the standard Hellflurry Mark I. For
    an amusement, you can cruise to where the Rheinlanders spawn, select one
    and join formation. They begin neutral, so if you can join formation
    before they turn red, you can stay in formation with them during their
    brief existence.
    Immediately after you speak with Tobias, unfortunately and for no reason
    apparent, the Outcasts become furious with you, and the Liberty Rogues,
    once also great allies, grow quite neutral. The only pirates remaining
    in the green are the faithful Xenos and Junkers. The Junkers are the
    ones you'll need most urgently, and they should be more or less
    unaffected by the Mission 4 shake-up.
    We could at this point just as well fly to Rheinland or Kusari, and
    we'll be doing precisely that as a part of Sideplay-Mission 4.5, but
    we'll begin closer to home and work outward. But the order of the
    upcoming Sideplay-Missions is roughly arbitrary.
    (You are now level 8. Ships available: Legionaire/Trafalger,
    Piranha/Leeds, Clydesdale/Leeds, Cavalier/Leeds, Crusader/Battleships.)
    Sideplay-Mission 4.2: Equip
    Get the Legionnaire, Advanced Thruster, and Advanced Countermeasure
    Dropper, and start collecting guns.
    Richard Winston Tobias urges you on to New London, for to get a new
    ship. It's not entirely clear why he insists on New London, and he
    probably means "New London" the planet, not "New London" the sector, but
    it happens that the Legionaire, the best combat-oriented ship for this
    stage of the game, is available in that sector at the Junker base
    Next you will want to decide which way you want to head: up towards
    Holman Outpost, or down towards Cadiz. Either place sells the Advanced
    Thruster and Advanced Countermeasure Dropper. Outside Liberty they use
    cruise disruptors, so the Advanced Thruster is quite handy, as is the
    Advanced Countermeasure Dropper, which can frequently foil those nasty
    Wasps and Hornets. You'll want to pick up a level 4 Shield or three (you
    have to wait until the next mission to purchase a level 5 shield). The
    Gravitron version is availible from Cambridge Research Station, which is
    conveniently on the way to Cadiz, if you're heading in that direction.
    Now that you have the basic equipment, you're ready to go gun
    A good loadout to begin with is 2x Pyros 1 (looted from Outcasts), and
    2x Pyros 2 (from the Balboa).
    As for missiles, you'll either have to settle for the Slingshot, or go
    with the Catapult from the Avenger in Texas. You're too low level to buy
    ammunition for it, which means your only source for ammunition at this
    point is Unioner Falcons in Rheinland. (A Crusader with a Stunpulse +
    Pyros + Catapult loadout during mission 5 -- what a wonderful world. You'll
    probably just use the 10 missiles from the Avenger before reaching Baxter,
    so the munitions that come with the Catapults should be enough for the
    Sprague battle. But more on this in a bit....)
    An excellent collection will include the most damaging of each popular
    weapon class, in both turret and standard gun form, levels 4, 5 and 6.
    To perfectly equip any decent ship availible before the end of the
    campaign, of guns you'll need two level 4, three level 5, and six level
    6; of turrets, two level 4, three level 5, and three level 6.
    Here are the most damaging, arranged by shield type of the opponent:
    Vs. Graviton...
    level 4 gun: Pyros Type 1
    level 5 gun: Pyros Type 2 or Tarantula
    level 6 gun: Pyros Type 3 or Advanced Tarantula
    level 4 turret: Pyros Turret Type 1
    level 5 turret: Pyros Turret Type 1
    level 6 turret: Pyros Turret Type 2
    (The Pyros Turret Type 1 easily beats all level 5 turrets.)
    Vs. Positron...
    level 4 gun: Barrager Mark II
    level 5 gun: Sunfury 1
    level 6 gun: Barrager Mark III or Sunblast A
    level 4 turret: Barrager Turret Mark II
    level 5 turret: Sunfury Turret 1
    level 6 turret: Barrager Turret Mark III
    (But either Pyros or Tarantula equipment is still very good also.)
    Vs. Molecular...
    level 4 gun: Dragoon Type 1
    level 5 gun: Dragoon Type 2
    level 6 gun: Luger Type A
    level 4 turret: Dragoon Turret Type 1
    level 5 turret: Angelito Turret Mark I
    level 6 turret: Dragoon Turret Type 2
    Plus of course the shield busters...
    level 4 gun: (none: use level 3 Advanced Stunpulse)
    level 5 gun: Borroco 1
    level 6 gun: Borocco 2 or Debilitator
    level 4 turret: (none: use level 2 Stunpulse Turret)
    level 5 turret: (none: use level 2 Stunpulse Turret)
    level 6 turret: Borocco Turret or Debilitator Turret
    (Note: the Vulture guns have the most efficient damage:energy ratio (by
    far), if that's what you're looking to maximize.)
    The favorites are probably the Pyros, which can be salvaged from Balboa
    and Lorenzo, and looted from various Outcasts.
    The class 5 Tarantula can be looted from Xeno Hawks and Falcons in
    Hudson and Kepler.
    The class 6 Advanced Tarantula can be salvaged from the Lonestar wreck in
    The class 5 and 6 Vultures can be looted from Farmers' Alliance ships in
    Kyushu and elsewhere.
    However, for now, not all can be acquired, as some must be bought rather
    than looted. Also, you cannot yet acquire a ship that supports level-6
    equipment, so you might also want to hold off perfecting your collection
    until the level-6 equipment becomes relevant.
    Until you can *buy* level-6 equipment, the best are the Pyros and
    Tarantulas, but coming in a close second are the Barrager III guns and
    turrets, which can be looted off the Junkers CSVs outside Yanagi. (The
    equivalent Sunblast A guns can be looted off GMG fighters, but nowhere
    do these guys drop turrets, so if you want a pretty match, you probably
    want to go with Barragers; on the other hand, they are equivalent in all
    other respects (though the Sunblasts are a tiny bit more
    energy-efficient), and as equivalent, they can be mixed and matched.)
    The only other things to keep an eye out for are the Hornet cruise
    disruptor, which you can loot from many of the various Sabres and
    Titans, and the Ripper Mine, four of which can be scavenged from the
    Sabre graveyard in Omicron Alpha (quadrant 4F). -- And maybe the Swatter
    mine too, since the Ripper ammunition is in such short supply, and
    cannot be replenished (while Sabres do drop Swatter ammunition).
    Sideplay-Mission 4.3: Bloodbath in the Badlands
    The objective of this Sideplay-Mission is simple: dock with planet
    This will be difficult, of course, because everyone in New York except
    the Junkers (and perhaps the Rogues) wants to grill you for dinner. 
    This is an intense combat operation, so definitely fly your favorite
    combat vessel. Also you will want to equip weapons that are appropriate
    for a mixed Rogues/Outcasts combat; they have different shields (Rogues:
    molecular; Outcasts: positronic), so you'll want to mix your weapon
    type. (The Outcasts are harder, so your level 5 weapons should probably
    be geared for them.) -- And definitely go with the level 4 Graviton
    shield, the Advanced Guardian.
    You may meet some resistance flying through Magellan, but you know how
    to bob and weave with thruster engaged, so you'll be fine. 
    Once you get back to New York, head towards Buffalo. You are likely
    going to be refused docking privileges, on account of the little
    Outcast misunderstanding. The Outcasts. Those turncoats. The Rogues too
    for that matter.... 
    So kill 'em, kill 'em, and keep on killin' 'em, Outcasts and Rogues,
    until you are in the white for Manhattan. This will stabilize you
    reputation for the entire region as well.
    While you are killing Rogues and Outcasts, you will likely run across
    Cardamine and other high-dollar convoys. Loot them and take them back to
    Rochester to sell. Taken all at once, this is a considerable battle, so
    a little run up to Rochester to save and take a break from the action
    will be welcome. Then just head back to the Badlands for more fighting. 
    This Badlands battle is, for my money, one of the most enjoyable battles
    possible in the game. It soon settles into cool arcade-style action. The
    asteroids are a good size and shape, and if you're flying a
    well-equipped Legionaire, the difficulty level is fun but not
    terrifying. Sometimes you will be fighting a pretty big group, so keep
    frosty, or you may become a corpse before your time! 
    After you've won back Manhattan, you might consider rewarding yourself
    by running a shipment of Cardamine from Trafalger to Manhattan, for a
    one-way profit of about 900 per item -- that's a pretty penny in a
    125-capacity Clydesdale. Running Light Arms from New London to Cadiz (or
    better, Leon) and returning with Artifacts is also quite lucrative, so
    you might try that on for size if the Corsairs aren't in the red at the
    moment. However, we'll hold off on the serious smuggling until after the
    next mission, when the Dromedary (with its mammoth 275 cargo hold)
    becomes available. 
    Sideplay-Mission 4.4: Go Radical
    Visit Gaian base Islay (in Edinburgh) and Molly base Arranmore (in
    Visiting them at this point in the game is the most difficult thing you
    can do in Bretonian space, and that's why we're doing it, plain and
    simple. Their weapons are quite reasonable, but you can get the same
    weapons by killing their ships rather than visiting their bases. So
    we're not really doing this for weapons, nor is there any compelling
    trade benefit in this, for the Gaians are not terribly eager to buy
    anything, and while the Mollys are extremely interested in Engine Parts
    (which sell for 1500 at Aranmore), Mactan is well located and buys them
    for 1424, so there isn't much difference.
    Trafalger is a fine base, hosting Gaians, Mollys, Outcasts, and
    Corsairs, in addition to the Junkers who run it -- the whole Britonian
    underground! You might want to revisit there now, shore up a good
    relation with Junkers if necessary by running a mission or two for them,
    and if you want, bribe the Mollys and Gaians. Of course it's always more
    fun to earn a reputation than buy one, and it's a good idea to do so
    with at least one of them, for this will stabilize your reputation with
    the other pirating factions. 
    The only base of the Gaians, Islay, is well positioned in the Edinburgh
    system with two of their enemies, Luxury Spa & Cruise, and Planetform.
    The fastest way to their hearts is to blockade Spa & Cruise shipments by
    simply lurking outside of Luxury Liner Shetland, in sector 3E, and
    killing all approaching vessels. You will notice that sometimes Luxury
    Food is the cargo. This can be a nice pirating/trade run later on, but
    for now, just kill everything to fix your reputation with Gaians. As a
    nice side effect, your reputation with the Outcasts gets fixed as well,
    and with that, reconciliation with the Rogues and Hackers is not far
    If you didn't bother getting that level 4 shield from Mactan (because
    you never reconciled with the Outcasts), you can buy back your Outcast
    reputation, and go get it now. This shield is an absolute necessity for
    mission 4.5.
    Pleasing the Mollys means killing Bounty Hunters in large numbers. There
    is a Bounty Hunter station called Sheffield in Manchester, which has a
    number of storage depots. It will take you some time to kill a
    sufficient number of Bounty Hunters, for they only come around
    occasionally, and in small numbers most of the time. When you're done,
    visit the Molly base Arranmore in Dublin.
    (If you do Sideplay-Mission 4.5 before Sideplay-Mission 4.4, note that
    there's a Bounty Hunter base Deshima in Shikoku, along with a couple of
    trade depots. Killing Bounty Humters here is as good as killing Bounty
    Hunters elsewhere.) 
    Upon reaching Dublin you may notice that some jump gates are "access
    denied." This is trivial, as you can normally reach the same places by
    going through jump holes; however, some areas really are off limits
    until the game progresses, such as the Tohoku jump hole in faraway
    Chugoku and Hokkaido, or the Alaska gate.
    Sideplay-Mission 4.5: Exploration Challenge
    As almost all of the map is available for exploration now, we'll take a
    little tour through the whole sector. 
    The following challenges are in the spirit of exploration, and are just
    for fun. Feel free to explore and make up your own challenges. Mapping
    the sector is useful for next sideplay mission, for we will be running
    commodities and contraband around the sector, and a mapped sector makes
    navigation much easier. Speed helps especially when running perishable
    commodities, and the spirit of the cargo-run is in maximizing profit,
    which at bottom is all about speed.
    * Visit Omega, Omicron, Sigma, Tau, and Unknown space. Here's a complete
    list of these outlying sectors: 
    Omega 3, Omega 5, Omega 7, Omega 11, Omega 41 
    Omicron Alpha, Omicron Beta, Omicron Gamma, Omicron Theta. (Omicron
    Major and Omicron Minor are not accessible at this stage of the game.
    Jump holes for them will eventually appear in Omicron Beta, sector D4.)
    Sigma 13, Sigma 17, Sigma 19 
    Tau 23, Tau 29, Tau 31, Tau 37
    The two "Unknown" systems, accessible from Omicron Alpha (F4) and
    Omicron Gamma (F2). (Amusingly, the inhabitants of the unknown system
    accessible from Omicron Gamma will remember Trent, although you have not
    visited their system before. Strangely, the bases in this sector do not
    have original infocards, instead borrowing from Junyo for the
    (You might want to consult Dustin Shaffer's "Freelancer Jump
    Holes/Gates, Base List, Commodities List, and Ships" for directions, or
    Gary Dwyer's "Maps FAQ" for maps, if you're having trouble finding
    1. Find the Blood Dragon base Kyoto (in Chugoku), and run a mission for
    them. (And as a bonus, when Juni later says, "I don't know anyone who's
    even seen Kyoto," you can smile a bit.)
    2. Find the five sleeper ships (mentioned and displayed in the opening
    movie). (One hint: the opening movie provides a clue on where to look
    for the first one.) (Spoiler for the first one: 33, 43, 7, 10, 52, 9,
    36, 52, 35. -- These numbers correspond to column-numbers of the first
    line in this paragraph.)
    3. Find the wreckage of Freeport 7. Note that: 1) it is not of the same
    station designation as appears in the opening destruction-movie (in the
    destruction movie, it's military-class, like West Point, but here it's
    station class Dern, like a couple other Freeports in the game); 2) if you
    find it, you'll know it. (One hint: Treant's logs contain at least one
    clue on which system it's in.) (Spoiler: 55, 5, 19, 70, 18, 48, 34, 1,
    11. -- These numbers correspond to column-numbers of the first line in
    this paragraph.)
    4. Destroy one of each during your exploration of the system: a Titan,
    Centurion, Sabre, Eagle, Hammerhead, and Banshee. Of these, the
    Centurion is the easiest, owing to its relatively poor maneuverability;
    the GMG Eagles in Omicron Beta are argueably the hardest. If you're
    lucky, you'll pick up a Hornet cruise disruptor from the loot, and you
    might get a Swatter mine dropper to use when you run out of ammunition
    for your Ripper.
    And as a final challenge:
    5. Destroy a Nomad ship. You can find these in either of the "Unknown"
    Please note: the Nomads are quite difficult at this point. The first
    time I tried this, it took me maybe fifteen tries before I was able to
    take one down, and I came out of the fight missing a wing. I have found
    it much easier to fight in the Unknown system accessible from Omicron
    Gamma (F2), I think because the asteroids make dodging easier, and the
    radiation in the other Unknown system is significant. In this case you
    can fly out of Planet Primus, where you can make repairs from the
    Omicron Gamma radiation (although you cannot re-supply much needed
    shield-batteries or nanobots). I would recommend bringing the Legionaire
    to the battle, and leaning on afterburner most of the time. Reverse
    thrust, while normally invaluable, will slow you down just enough to
    make you a target, which means a very quick death. The Nomads will
    probably try to ambush you on the other side of the jump hole as you
    leave their system, so don't relax until after you are well away from
    the Unknown jump hole. Be warned that this Sideplay-Mission is
    significantly tougher than any so far.
    While you're in the vicinity, remember to pick up a Ripper mine dropper.
    You will find that none of the ships outside of Britonia (and Liberty)
    are yet available, and only a few of the weaker weapons can be
    purchased. Serious trading we're saving for the next round of
    Sideplay-Missions, since then we'll have the Dromedary. Also, randomly
    generated missions are only available in Britonia, Kusari, and Liberty
    sectors -- of these, the Kusari missions are the most fun. Anyway,
    fighting arbitrarily selected targets and flying around exploring is
    going to be the best fun in many of the newly availabe sectors.
    Crusader Heavy Fighter
    2x Pyros Type I       (looted from Outcasts)
    Catapult              (salvaged from the Avenger wreck in Texas)
    3x Pyros Type II      (salvaged from the Balboa and Lorenzo, or looted)
    [N.B.: The Lorenzo is in the lower-right region of quadrant 2C in Leeds.
    Other FAQs incorrectly list it in the lower-left region of 2C.]
    You only have 10 Catapults, so you'll probably want to switch to a
    missile (say, the Slingshot) or another Pyros (or Stunpulse, etc.) when
    you hit Baxter.
    The Sprague docking ring appears for the first time during this mission,
    and is destroyed shortly thereafter by Rheinland vessels. So you can
    never actually visit anything at Sprague (except the animation that
    plays between docking and the destruction of the ring). 
    When you exit from the exploding planet, you can elect to destroy all
    the Rheinland gunboats and fighters rather than simply run as you're
    told. This is a bit of a challenge because if you take too long you will
    get a "mission failure". (Also, the gunboats are kind enough to drop
    H-fuel, a somewhat valuable commodity well worth grabbing if your hold
    is empty.) A couple more fighters will appear as you approach the
    waypoint, and there's a time challenge to take them out also.
    You then fly to Baxter Base, which has only now appeared -- and only to
    be immediately blown up upon your departure. If, for some reason, you
    haven't acquired the Adv. Guardian Shield, it is available from this
    base. When you exit the base you have the opportunity of destroying
    another gunboat, which drops H-Fuel.
    It is impossible to assist the renegade Rheinlanders in their traitorous
    destruction of the Rheinland Battleship. It is also impossible to make
    the continuing battle more interesting by destroying your allies: the
    Rheinland defectors are immune to death.
    Just after you enter the Leeds system, it is possible to dock at Durham.
    There's no compelling reason to do this that I can think of, but it's
    interesting in itself: this is the only case I know of where it is
    possible to interrupt any mission by docking on an unrelated base.
    Nothing happens, though: Juni just hangs out in space until you're done
    with Durham.
    (You are now level 10. Ships available: Drake/Planets Honshu, Kyushu,
    and New Tokyo; Drone/Planets Junyo and New Tokyo; Dromedary/Mactan.)
    Sideplay-Mission 5.1: Perfect Neutrality
    So, now that the Dromedary is available, we'll want to make a bundle of
    cash trading. But before we get started with this, we'll want to achieve
    a neutral (or better) reputation with all the factions in the entire
    sector. This is a tricky balancing act, but it will serve you very well
    for trading, since you'll have perfect freedom to land wherever you
    want, and you won't have to worry about getting distracted or
    interrupted, and can enjoy running trade missions in perfect time, and
    exploring all avenues for trade.
    How to do this depends on who exactly you have angered so far, and how
    much. Greasing palms is certainly useful here -- and don't worry about
    the cash: you'll make it back very easily trading once you have a
    perfect reputation. (Matthew Lawson's Bribes FAQ will be useful here.)
    But you'll probably also want to kill a large number of (more friendly)
    ships to balance things out with the angrier factions, and for this the
    newly available Drake is definitely the best bet. It's the most
    maneuverable ship in the whole game, which more than makes up for its
    lack of power. Equip a Tarantula loadout and you'll just slice the skies
    in half.
    Towards fixing your reputation, you may run missions in Bretonia,
    Kusari, and of course Liberty, but Sigma, Rheinland and the outer
    regions of Sirius refuse to hire you on account of your low level. On
    the other hand, taking missions does not do a great deal of good, since
    it's the factions who won't hire you (or even let you land) that you're
    trying to impress.
    You're done with this Sideplay-Mission when all of the factions are
    listed as white (or green). Note, however, that "barely white" on your
    reputation screen normally means "still red" when you encounter a ship
    or base of the faction in question, so a thin sliver better than "barely
    white" is what you're really aiming for.
    Sideplay-Mission 5.2: All Systems Show Green
    It's time to get serious about trade, and if you know what you're doing,
    you can make upwards 2 million credits per hour! This sideplay-mission
    is a cross between a race, mind-numbing calculations for the quickest
    buck, and further exploration. There are few guidelines here: the whole
    sector is open to you, and it is yours to make the most of. 
    This sideplay-mission begins at Mactan, where you can finally acquire
    the best freighter in the game (by far): the Dromedary. If you're
    following this walkthrough, you will have roughly mapped out the whole
    sector after Mission 4, and you probably already have a good sense of
    which trade routes will be most profitable. Indeed, the most obvious
    ones are also some of the best. Speaking of Mactan, for example, here's
    a highly profitable trade route which you have no doubt already
    Mactan: Cardamine -> Manhattan
    Manhattan: H-Fuel -> Mactan
    Total: 8 minutes (game clock time), 233k credits (in a Dromedary):
    This is perhaps the best "two stop" run -- and since you're at Mactan
    already, why not take it for a spin in your fantastic new Dromedary?
    "What's your best time?" along with "what's the next interesting route?"
    and "what's the quickest buck?" are the operative questions for this
    sideplay-mission -- and this sort of racing/exploration/calculation game
    can be really fun, even though it doesn't involve combat. Try running
    guns to the Omega systems, and quality Cardamine or Artifacts back to
    the more civilized regions. Try finding the profitable trades through
    the Tau systems; you might even reconstruct Trent's prospective Boron
    trade (see the early entries in the "neural net Log"), somewhere near
    Kurile and the now-lost Freeport 7.
    To get you started on the trader's track, there follows here a brief
    list of some of the more elaborate trade runs that I have found and
    learned from other players. (Many thanks to Bosson for his fine work
    discovering several of the most profitable and fun trade routes.) Even
    after having written a few computer-program "tools" to crunch and
    variously organize the available information on bases, commodities, and
    jump gates/holes, I haven't found anything markedly better than what has
    already been discovered by others: two million credits per hour of
    trading seems the sort of "soft limit" on what is possible at this point
    (though a couple other very useful jumpholes will open later). -- In any
    case, upwards 2mil/hour is the main goal here.
    If you have a different route that makes upwards (or beyond!) 2 million
    an hour, and you would like to see it included here, please let me know.
    Also please share any improvements on any of these routes.
    Trade routes:
    A note on the Omega-41 Neutron Star: Some of the most profitable paths
    go through Omega-41, and taking the most direct path through this system
    can mean flying right past the neutron star. If you're worried, you can
    go around it, thus suffering only minor radiation damage -- but you can
    actually fly straight past the beast, provided you don't mind cutting
    things a little close. When performing this little maneuver, don't use
    your nanobots until your red-line is all the way down ("Hull breach
    imminent"), or else you may not make it out of the system. Also, I
    highly recommend you un-mount your gear before taking this path: you
    will lose your wings, along with anything mounted on them, and of course
    removing your gear saves on repairs anyway. (During this entire
    sideplay-mission, I fly without any equipment except my thruster and
    shield, and you really don't need even that.)
    "Money run 101"
    Freeport 9: Alien Organisms -> Cambridge Research Station
      [Omicron Theta, Omega 41, Omega 5, Cambridge]
        (10 minutes, 421k)
    Cambridge Research Station: Empty -> Cambridge
        (1 minute, 0k)
    Planet Cambridge: Diamonds -> Planet Leeds
      [Cambridge, Leeds]
        (7 minutes, 100k)
    Planet Leeds: H-Fuel -> Mactan
      [Leeds, Magellan]
        (3 minutes, 60k)
    Mactan: Cardamine -> Planet Manhattan
      [Magellan, New York]
        (4 minutes, 190k)
    Planet Manhattan: Luxury Consumer Goods -> Planet Kyushu
      [New York, Colorado, Kepler, Shikoku, New Tokyo, Kyushu]
        (16 minutes, 223k)
    Planet Kyushu: Engine Components -> Planet Malta
      [Kyushu, Tau 23, Tau 37, Omicron Alpha]
        (9 minutes, 277k)
    Malta: Cardamine -> Freeport 9
      [Omicron Alpha, Omicron Theta]
        (5 minutes, 123k)
    Total: 46 minutes, 1394k: 1.81m/hour
    This is the best route I have found. Like many of the most profitable
    routes, this one involves a couple "money runs": moving Alien Organisms
    from Freeport 9 to Cambridge Research Station; and (even more profitable
    time-wise) smuggling Cardamine from Mactan to Manhattan. The remainder
    of such routes are basically aimed to get back to the starting point of
    the respective money runs, without losing too much on the money/time
    ratio: hence the somewhat longer and less profitable trip from Manhattan
    back towards Freeport 9.
    "Blame it on the Black Star" (Compliments of Bosson -- Thanks Bosson!) 
    Freeport 9: Alien Organisms -> Cambridge Research Station
      [Omicron Theta, Omega 41, Omega 5, Cambridge]
        (10 minutes, 421k)
    Planet Cambridge: Luxury Food -> Hawaii
      [Omega 5, Omega 41, Omicron Theta, Sigma 17, Sigma 19]
        (15.5 minutes, 372k)
    Hawaii: Empty -> Honshu
      [Sigma 19, Honshu]
        (4 minutes, 0k)
    Planet Honshu: Optronics -> Ruiz
      [Honshu, Sigma 19, Omicron Beta]
        (6.5 minutes, 249k)
    Ruiz: Cardamine -> Freeport 9
      [Omicron Beta, Omicron Alpha, Omicron Theta]
        (4 minutes, 115k)
    Total: 40 minutes, 1202k: 1.8mil/hour
    [Note: Bosson clocks this trip at an amazing 35 minutes, for a total
    An ingenious little route -- the best of Bosson's by his clocking (and
    that is saying something!). I would be interested to find how Bosson
    compares this one with the "money run" route immediately above; I
    suspect they're about even. Please note that you will experience some
    relatively minor radiation damage even after Omega 41, when you're on
    the way to Hawaii: so be careful to carefully handle the damage incurred
    from the Neutron star -- remember, don't use the nanobots (near the
    Neutron star) until you're almost dead. You should leave Omega 41 with
    no nanobots (and no wings), and about halfway down your redline.
    "Advance to go" (Compliments of Bosson -- Thanks Bosson!)
    Planet Honshu: Optronics -> Yanagi
      [Honshu, Sigma 13]
        (3.66 minutes, 135k)
    Yanagi: Cardamine -> Planet New Berlin
      [Sigma 13, New Berlin]
        (7 minutes, 231k)
    New Berlin: Silver -> Mainz Storage Facility
      [New Berlin, Frankfurt]
        (3.33 minutes, 36k)
    Mainz: Cobalt -> Planet Honshu
      [Frankfurt, Sigma 13, Honshu]
        (6.5 minutes, 188k)
    Total: 20.5minutes, 590k: 1.72mil/hour
    [Note: Bosson clocks this at 20 minutes, for a total of 1.77mil/hour]
    In Bosson's words: "This neat little route has no massive profits but is
    very quick and knocks up the most profit of any of the safe routes I
    have found. It's fairly straightforward but take care into Yanagi and
    out to the Frankfurt jumphole if the Corsairs don't like you."
    "I think you're crazy, maybe" (Compliments of Bosson -- Thanks Bosson!)
    Freeport 9: Alien Organisms -> Cambridge Research Station
      [Omicron Theta, Omega 41, Omega 5, Cambridge]
        (10 minutes, 421k)
    Cambridge: Empty -> Cardiff Mining Facility
        (2.5 minutes, 0k)
    Cardiff: Beryllium -> Freiberg Station
      [Cambridge, Omega 3, Omega 7, Stuttgart]
        (10.5 minutes, 208k)
    Freiberg: Engine Components -> Freital
      [Stuttgart, Omega 7 (F6 jump hole)->, Omega 11]
        (5 minutes, 185k)
    Freital: Diamonds -> Freeport 9
      [Omega 11, Omega 41, Omicron Theta]
        (5 minutes, 115k) (on cruise through the Omega 41 minefield)
    Total: 33 minutes, 929k: 1.69mil/hour
    [Note: Bosson clocks this trip at an amazing 30 minutes, for a total
    This is a really fun route, especially the Omega 41 minefield on cruise!
    A most profitable challenge!
    "Roll around the rim"
    Freeport 9: Alien Organisms -> Cambridge
      [Omicron Theta, Omega 41, Omega 5, Cambridge]
        (10 minutes, 421k)
    Cambridge: Diamonds -> Leeds
      [Cambridge, Leeds]
        (7 minutes, 100k)
    Leeds: Light Arms -> Malta
      [Leeds, Tau 31, Tau 23, Tau 37, Omicron Alpha]
        (14 minutes, 289k)
    Malta: Cardamine -> Freeport 9
      [Omicron Alpha, Omicron Theta]
        (5 minutes, 123k)
    Total: 36 minutes, 933k: 1.55m/hour
    This is yet another trip featuring the Freeport-9 to Cambridge "money
    run" and a scrabble back to Freeport 9. For this one, we go all the way
    around the outer rim of the sector. A nice tour around the sector!
    Note that THE MOST PROFITABLE trade route involves the Sigma-13 C5
    jumphole to New Berlin, but this jumphole is closed at this stage of the
    game. (The trade is: Cardamine from Yanagi to New Berlin, and Engine
    Components back to the Yanagi.) This trade is of course still possible
    at this stage of the game, but only by a less-direct route. Without the
    currently-closed jump hole, this trade is not terribly efficient. You'll
    only be able to capitalize on this trade after the "game proper" plays
    Sideplay-Mission 5.3: The Way of the Pirate
    Time to re-equip that weaponry!
    Now that you've familiarized yourself with the most profitable trade
    routes, you're ready to try your hand at true piracy. Beyond knowing
    where to hunt (ideally, near where you want to sell what loot you
    pillage), the main trick is to protect your reputation well enough that
    you'll have a good place to sell whatever cargo you come across.
    Remember that you don't always have to shoot/loot absolutely everything,
    but can wait around a couple minutes for the big score. Take advantage
    of your turrets when you're pirating with a Dromedary: a good turret
    view technique is well worth the necessary practice. (And rear view is a
    nice touch too.)
    Here's a few ideas to get you started:
    Look for a Synth Foods "luxury food" train at the Honshu->New Tokyo jump
    gate. This perishable commodity can be sold at Hawaii for example.
    Daumann Trains at the Dresden jumpgate carry diamonds, which can be very
    profitably fenced in New Tokyo.
    In Cortez, by the California jumpgate: fly south toward the California
    jumphole, and wait for a Rogue Mule to appear. If you get Cardamine, fly
    it to Manhattan. With Alien Organisms use the nearby jumphole to deliver
    them to California Minor.
    Near The Ring you will often find Hessians carrying Niobium. Bust them,
    and sell the loot at The Ring.
    You may find a train full of Niobium at the Dresden jumpgate. Crash the
    train, and proceed to Leipzig for the payoff.
    At Yanagi Depot you will always find numerous Junker ships with
    high-dollar cargo.
    The empty jump-gate corners at Galileo and Hudson are ideal for ambush;
    a nice place to crash parties.
    (Email me your favorite pirate practice, if you would like to see it
    included here. My contact information is at the bottom of this file.)
    Bring a Dromedary with your favorite dogfighting loadout, optimizing for
    speed kill. (Recommend missile/Pulse/Pyros loadout.)
    Sideplay-Mission 6.1: Teach Dexter's Cronies a Lesson
    The first time through the course, as soon as you're ambushed, forget
    the race and take out both the ships that are attacking you (ignoring
    the weapon platforms). Destroy both cronies before Hovis reaches the
    finish line.
    Sideplay-Mission 6.2: Teach Dexter a Lesson
    Beat Hovis with your Dromedary. This and the Drone are the largest and
    least maneuverable ship available, so the race will push your piloting
    skills. I found this somewhat difficult the first time, but it is not
    impossible. (It's actually possible to beat Hovis in a Humpback, but
    that's another story....)
    By the way, no matter how you beat him, Hovis will say the same thing
    ("Damn. Bretonian. Not bad." -- And he sounds real surprised and
    impressed). The spectator, however, will react differently depending on
    how well you beat him. Beating Hovis very badly stuns this cheering fan,
    who first says "I can't believe this!" -- then shut his yap so you can
    hear Hovis' little speech. If you beat him a fair amount the
    chatter-voices shouts "the newcomer has won! Unbelievable!" -- but he
    yells this over Hovis so you cannot hear Hovis' congratulatory message.
    Finally, if you beat him very little, which doesn't activate his little
    ambush, he'll give his congratulatory message *after* you go back to
    cockpit view, which means his speech is unoccluded by the spectator's
    After you beat Hovis, the mission is highly scripted: you have no option
    but land back on the Hood (jumps and other bases are closed). Continue
    to its conclusion the standard mission, proceeding to the newly
    appearing base "Glorious" (which will disappear once again after you
    leave the system), and after this, simply warding off the attackers as
    Upon your initial approach to the Glorius, it is possible to kill three
    of the four friendly fighters. (Jarvis is immune to death.) With any
    luck, you'll pick up a Sunblast A, a fantastic level 6 photon blaster.
    After leaving Glorius, Albertson is immune and Quintain is essential,
    but you can take out the other two allies. Here you might pick up an
    Advanced Scorpion or a Wasp launcher, but nothing more interesting than
    When you land on Leeds, the mission ends, and although you are rushed
    into the next mission right away, you may, as always, indefinitely
    decline to proceed, and go out on your own for another stretch.
    (You are now level 12.)
    However, there's absolutely nothing new that you haven't already seen,
    and no new ships or equipment available. So we proceed directly to...
    I think a light fighter is not suited to the following challenge. I
    recommend a Dromedary, but let me know if you have better luck in a
    heavy fighter, which has a toropdo slot to recommend it.
    My Dromedary loadout is...
    2x Catapult
    Pyros Type 2
    2x Pyros Turret Type 2 (slot number 4 cannot fire directly forward)
    3x Barrager Turret Mark 3
    Tadpole Mine
    Before you begin, make sure you're at least neutral with Samura, or you
    might not be able to land on Shinkaku. I've had the mission freeze on me
    at this point, and had to reload from Leeds. Luckily, you can find a
    Samura rep-fixer on Leeds.
    Also note: you cannot destroy the second fighter of the initial ambush
    before he cloaks. Once the first one is killed, the other one becomes
    invincible. You can, however, kill one of the two other cloaking ships
    at the ambush near Stokes. But that's just minor trivia, and things only
    really pick up outside the Tau-31 gate....
    Sideplay-Mission 7.1: Battleship Bomber
    First, destroy the cruiser guarding the gate out of Leeds *before*
    Tobias shows up. He'll then talk about concentrating on a cruiser that
    you've already turned to space-dust, and you can smile a little.
    Battleships destroyed: 8
    Also you can take down Tobias' buddies -- and here you might nab another
    Starkiller if you're lucky. (Or, for an amusingly bizarre effect, you can
    shoot out the trade lane, even returning to keep it down until the whole
    fight near Glasgow is over. Thus, Tobias never arrives. -- And when the
    last fighter falls, Tobias and friends magically appear.)
    After you arrive at Tau 31, destroy the Rheinland Battleship guarding
    the trade lane to Tau 29 gate. (For this I recommend getting very close
    at the battleship's underbelly and belting it with the catapult missiles
    while you continuously fire your guns. -- You need to dispatch this
    dangerous creature quickly or you will run out of time and receive
    "mission failure.") Even though you kill this battleship and its entire
    entourage, you still won't get an official battleship credit -- but it's
    fun anyway.
    Shortly after you leave Shinkaku, there will be another Battleship to
    dispatch, plus three cruisers, two gunships, and several fighters.
    You won't get an official battleship credit for the Schiller itself, but
    each of these three cruisers counts as a "battleship destroyed" credit.
    You have a number of allies competing with you to take them down, so
    you'll have to move quickly if you want all three.
    Battleships destroyed: 11
    Razor One is invincible, but the rest of Razor Wing can be destroyed.
    Sometimes you'll get a Dragoon Type 2, or a Dragoon Type 2 Turret, and
    rarely it is possible to loot a Protector LF shield, the absolute best
    equippable LF shield in the game.
    | Special Note:
    | This is one of the few times in the entire game when it is possible to
    | loot a shield. It's a class 7 shield too, and now is of course the
    | earliest place you can acquire it. Normally you'd have to wait until
    | the campaign is over, and even now you'll have to wait until the
    | campaign is over if you want to use it.
    | Normal NPC shields have a "Regen Rate" of 1, which basically means
    | they don't regenerate at all. -- These shields never drop, but shields
    | with "normal" regen rates will drop. The Razor assist is one of only a
    | few situations where an NPC has a "normal" shield with a "normal" regen
    | rate.
    | By the way, you can easily check the regen rate of any ship's shields:
    | just scan a ship, go to its "shields and thrusters" readout, click on
    | the shield listed there, and scroll down to see the "Regen Rate."
    Proceed with the standard mission to its conclusion on Kyushu.
    (You are now level 13. Ships available: Hawk/Kyoto, Planets Honshu and
    Kyushu; Wolfhound/Bases Montezuma and Arranmore; Dragon/Battleships
    Matsumoto, Myoko, and Nagumo; Barracuda/Planets Curacao, Kyushu, New
    Tokyo, and Honshu.)
    Again there's not much doing that hasn't already been done. The best
    ship at this stage is the Barracuda, no contest. Normally, ships of the
    same level have competing strengths, but the Barracuda ties or beats all
    other ships in all areas. (Users of Jason Merrill's walkthrough should
    note that his gun battery approximations are inaccurate: the Barracuda
    has exactly the same gun battery (3400) and regen rate (345) as the
    Hawk, Dragon, and Wolfhound.)
    A fun "kill the ships" mission, framed as a surgical strike and hijack.
    A good loadout for this mission is:
    Barracuda with...
    2x Catapult
    4x Sunblast A (or Barragers)
    There is only minor side-play here: of course you can destroy the three
    Blood Dragon Escorts, though this doesn't lead to anything remarkable;
    near Yukawa you could loot the storage depots, but they carry only Toxic
    Waste and Scrap Metal; best of all, if you shoot the underbelly of
    Tekagi's transport, you can knock loose some of its valuable cargo,
    which you can then loot -- but be careful not to destroy it, or you get
    mission failure. That's all I could think of to do with this one, other
    than return to Kyoto as directed.
    (You are now level 15.)
    Do what you do to achieve level 16, maybe heading towards Cali with a
    turret-equippable ship, so you can get the Pyros Turret Type 2, which
    you'll enjoy putting on your Anubis. (Unfortunately this means ditching
    the Barracuda at a time when your reputation makes it difficult to
    re-acquire it, but rep-fixing is fun, so no big deal.)
    (You are now level 16. Level 6 equipment is now availible!)
    Pick up an Advanced Sentry shield, and complete your gun collection
    however you fancy -- I like best a full Pyros loadout with twin
    Catapults. When you're ready, proceed to the next mission, but with one
    Warning: in your gun-collecting exploits, it's not unlikely that you
    purchased a turret-equippable ship (in order to enable the purchase of
    level 6 turrets), and then killed Blood Dragons and GC to fix your
    reputation with Tokyo so you can re-acquire a Barracuda. This is fine,
    but you must fix rep again so that you're at least neutral with the
    Blood Dragons (and one sliver better than barely), before you start the
    mission. (The fact that you are allowed to land on Kyoto the first time
    is *quite* misleading.)
    If you are hostile with the Blood Dragons, you will not be able to dock
    on Kyoto on return from the Arch. -- You'll basically be stuck in space
    (as is also possible in the second trip to California Minor during
    Mission 3, or outside Shinkaku dirung Mission 7), and will have to
    restore and re-do the mission from the beginning.
    Ok, on to the good stuff....
    Barracuda with the standard Pyros loadout; or, for variation, Tarantula
    or Vulture, etc., plus Catapults and Starkillers, and a Borocco if you
    Play the first part of the mission as usual. You can kill some of your
    Dragon allies if you wish, though three are invulnerable (four if you
    include Ozu). When you approach the arch, you encounter the first
    Sideplay-Mission 9.1: Battleship Belter
    Upon approach, you may be attacked by the Destroyer KNF Hissatsu and a
    couple fighters. (It's the cruiser circling the arch at a 2500-M
    radius.) Destroying the Hissatsu earns you a battleship kill.
    Battleships destroyed: 12
    The first thing to do upon nearing the arch is destroy the battleship,
    though it does not earn you an official kill. (Note that when it
    explodes, the blast will consume you if you are too close.)
    After this, you will have a Destroyer and a couple Gunboats to deal
    with, and a large number of fighters. More fighters will arrive as you
    dispatch the ones now present, so it's hopeless to destroy the entire
    defenses. Take care of the major vessels for good measure, and proceed
    with the mission proper by destroying the shield generators.
    When this is done, dock at the arch, proceeding with the mission as
    usual. When eventually you meet up with Juni, there will be a couple
    more Gunboats to destroy, and some more fighters -- nothing major, and
    no possibility for side-play, although if you wish you can take out all
    your allies except Hakkera and Juni -- and you might get a Dragoon 3 or
    so out of the deal. When all's done, you'll be back at Kyoto, and ready
    for the next mission.
    (You are now level 17.)
    Sideplay-Mission 9.2: The End of Freedom
    Upon accepting mission 10, you are locked into the final series of
    missions which allows no breaks for freelance work. Your next
    opportunity to set your own course will be when the missions proper have
    played out and the good guys have won. (You are a good guy, aren't you?)
    So now you might like fixing your reputation again, and having a final
    go at the whole sector. If so, you'll be walking a delicate line here,
    as you will have a bad reputation for many systems, and you will have to
    target your few piratical allies in order to improve your reputation;
    this puts challenging limits on your movement and strategy.
    One might begin by killing Dragons at the Honshu jump-gate, and
    returning to Kyoto to get more shield batteries and take a break.
    Once the Kusari reputation is more or less stabilized, make your way
    down to Dresden, the best place to kill Hessians -- and this is the
    fastest way to stabilize your reputation with the Rheinlanders. You'll
    probably have to run at some point, as these ships are far more powerful
    than yours. One fun place to run is Freital.
    Once you've left Freital, it's a great pleasure to assist the Corsairs
    destroying Hessians in the near vicinity of Freital. As you wish, you
    can run missions out of many Rheinland bases for the Bounty Hunters,
    killing Hessians. Pleasing the Bounty Hunters is rather a good move,
    since you'll want to kill some Bounty Hunters while you're on the hunt
    for Outcasts, to ensure you won't go too far south that the Outcasts
    become angry.
    You'll probably want to make your way back to Liberty space, as the
    corporations are angry with you, and their Outcast enemies are (at this
    point in the game) quite easy to kill in this area of the sector -- like
    swatting flies really... slow flies.
    Once you get relatively stabilized, you've mastered the system, and can
    do whatever you fancy, until you return to Kyoto and bite the bit once
    Before mission 10, you should set up your heavy fighter of choice for
    maximum damage to stationary targets. I'd once again recommend the
    Barracuda with an all-Pyros loadout.
    Prepare the ship, including all ammunition, before you accept Mission
    10, for Kyoto may not sell you all necessary goods unless you're on
    friendly terms with the Dragons.
    MISSION 10
    Although your freedom will be entirely limited from this point until the
    end of the game proper, there's still a number of fun challenges you can
    attempt along the way. The first of these is somewhat difficult, but
    with a properly equipped fighter you will be able to carry it off.
    Sideplay-Mission 10.1: Hey, You Sunk My Battleships
    Shortly after you enter Sigma 13, you will confront a Rheinland fleet.
    There are four cruisers and four battleships total (two of which appear
    during the battle), each of which will earn you a battleship kill. Go
    for the cruisers first, since they're fragile and more likely to be
    destroyed by an ally of yours (which does not earn you a battleship
    You will then have time to kill one battleship before Hakkera demands
    your retreat. Retreat you must, so cruise towards the waypoint -- but
    only a very short distance, to reset the mission-failure timer. Return
    to the battle and destroy another battleship. Repeat this yo-yo
    technique until you've wasted them all.
    Battleships destroyed: 20
    Alternatively, you can destroy the five non-essential Dragon allies,
    from whom you might score a Katana or two, maybe a Starkiller, and if
    you're lucky, a Sunstalker missile launcher. -- Plus also some cargo,
    such as Pharmaceuticals or Niobium. This is also one of the rare places
    in the game where it is possible to loot a shield. In this case the
    shield is not so spectacular (Sentinel HF) -- indeed you're probably
    already equipping a better one at this point.
    Outside Bruchsal, destroying your Bundschuh allies can get you, among
    other things, a Lancer launcher, or better still, a Luger Type C.
    After landing on Bruchsal, stock up on missiles and torpedoes.
    Now for the hard part: at the Experimental Shipyard, destroy *all*
    Rheinland ships. Take out the Cruisers first, as these are the only ones
    which count as official battleship scores...
    Battleships destroyed: 23
    ...then the Gunboats and the fighters, and save the (conventional)
    Battleships for last. Don't destroy any of the "Experimental" (Nomad)
    Battleships until you're all clear. Finally, you must destroy one of the
    Experimental Battleships before you are allowed to leave the area. Even
    if you have spent your munitions, in theory you could destroy two or
    three Nomads very easily (if you knock one down to minimal, then kill
    another one, and go back to the first), but in actuality the remaining
    Nomad Battleships become immune once one of them is destroyed.
    (There's a few Bundschuh allies you can destroy also, another few
    chances at the Lancer launcher and the Luger Type C.)
    Last but not least, after entering Hamburg and before boarding the
    Osiris, destroy Battleship Odin. This doesn't earn you an official
    battleship kill either, but it's fun and for good measure.
    MISSION 11
    On the Osiris, buy the Anubis and equip now (or at the latest, on
    Buffalo) a full array of "Battleship destruction" weaponry:
    Catapult Missile
    5x Pyros Type 3
    Reaper Turret Mark 1
    Starkiller Torpedo
    Ripper Mine
    You won't use them for a while, but you'll need them for the main
    project of the next sideplay-mission.
    If you're going for the main sideplay mission here, then I strongly
    recommend you conserve nanobots and shield batteries, which means flying
    very defensively until the very end.
    The mission is pretty straightforward up to the Alaska gate.
    Unfortunately, the Nomad Prototype weapons don't drop, but you can loot
    Vengeance III guns from the enemies packing normal weaponry -- and you
    might destroy some of your allies for the same. At the Alaska gate, more
    Navy fighters will continue to enter the system, so it's pointless to
    try killing them all, although you can easily take the next wave after
    Juni unlocks the gate. Proceed through Alaska as usual.
    Upon leaving Alaska, the obvious challenge would be to destroy the
    Battleships guarding the gate back to New York. However, I have found
    this to be impossible, because they are basically invincible: you can
    get either one of the Battleships down to 10 percent, but beyond that
    they do not sustain further damage. In any case, Walker will do his
    suicide run as usual. The best fun here is lingering to kill Navy and
    Nomad fighters -- oh and there's a Rheinland Gunboat you can take out
    Or, if you're feeling evil, you can instead target your allies. The
    Cruiser LNS Phoenix is destructible, as are the non-essential allied
    Sideplay-Mission 11.1: Battleship Quickie
    After re-entering New York, we have the real challenge. Destroy all
    three cruisers, plus the Battleship Omaha, before docking with the
    Osirus. It is fairly difficult to accomplish this because you're under
    relatively heavy fire, and also because you have rather limited time
    before your fail the mission for taking too long to dock.
    You have to take out the Merrimack first -- and quickly! When the Osiris
    appears it automatically destroys the Merrimack if it is not yet
    finished, which will steal the battleship kill from you.
    After finishing the three cruisers...
    Battleships destroyed: 26
    ...I pretend that I want to dock with the Osiris, then I break back into
    battle. This little maneuver buys enough time to destroy the Battleship
    Omaha. It's very heavily armored, and the timing is pretty tight, but
    this is also the final "official" battleship kill in the game, so good
    Battleships destroyed: 27
    Total Battleships destroyed: 27
    When you dock with the Osiris, the mission ends.
    MISSION 12
    There's not much to do other than the standard mission. After leaving
    the Nomad Lair, you can destroy the four Nomad Gunboats before racing
    back to the collapsing jump-hole, but more will appear as you reach it,
    and it's clearly impossible to kill everthing before leaving this Nomad
    system. (The Interceptors drop shield-batteries, but the Gunboats drop
    When you arrive at Omicron Minor, you have another wave of Nomads to
    deal with, and this time you can destroy all of them, but there's no
    opportunity for side-play here either. It's fun to destroy the several
    When you're done with the Omicron Minor battle, there's nothing to do
    but land on Toledo.
    (For an amusement, you can survive a head-on collision with Toledo (if
    you're flying an Anubis anyway). -- You'll be severely damaged, but if
    you're undamaged to begin with, and you hit it right you'll simply
    bounce off.)
    MISSION 13
    Upon your initial departure from Toledo, you will be joined by Juni plus
    two wings of fighters, Alpha and Beta. Each wing has two members, a
    leader (who does the talking), and a wingman. -- You can kill both
    wingmen, and in fact you'll have to hustle or the Nomads will beat you
    to it. They drop Death Hand guns and turrets, various cargo, Advanced
    Countermeasure Droppers, Screamer mines (either munition or, if you're very
    lucky, the launcher itself), and Cannonball missiles (or with extreme luck,
    the launcher).
    Upon your second and final departure from Toledo, the situation is quite
    similar, except that there are five wings, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta,
    and Omicron. Again, they're in pairs or triples, with an invulnerable
    leaders but killable wingmen. Here you can loot as before, but beware
    not to attack any allies after the nomad fighters have been dispatched
    -- and this happens quickly: you'll be lucky to destroy two allies
    before the window of opportunity closes. (Attacking allies near the
    nomad battleships doesn't work: you need fighters around.)
    At the gate you get yet another chance to destroy some allies, but once
    again be careful to cease friendly fire as the last nomad fighter falls.
    Sideplay-Mission 13.1: Three for the Road
    The normal mission will have you destroy the first Battleship and then
    return to base shortly after another Battleship appears.
    You do, however, have just enough time enough to destroy this
    newly-appearing Battleship, as well as all remaining Nomad Interceptors.
    When you leave Toledo once again, you will have yet another Battleship
    along your path. Destroy it of course, and then proceed to the mission
    waypoint as usual.
    Upon your approach to the Nomad homeworld jump-gate, a Battleship will
    appear. Dispatch it as usual, and proceed through the gate.
    Coda: Destroy Orillion (Temporarily)
    Upon approaching the entrance to the Dyson Sphere, after the Nomads
    fighters engage, you can take out Orillion. If you're extremely lucky,
    you'll nab his shield, a Class 7 Gravitron shield, the Protector HF.
    (He re-spawns after you enter the Dyson Sphere area, after which point
    he becomes indestructible.)
    When the campaign concludes, so drop most of the constraints which make
    the game so fun to toy with. To your taste may be the full freelance
    missions. Even though they're the same as before, only with harder
    opponents, finding and flying the highest-level (and best paying)
    missions is a fun task.
    Or, if you're just plain crazy, you might enjoy finding out how far
    through the game you can go in a Starflier (or even Rhino, which beyond
    a certain point is even harder!). At least a few people (including
    myself) have made it to the end of the game in a Starflier (and at least
    a couple others in the Rhino), and I have written a walkthrough for both
    Starflier and Rhino (availible on gamefaqs) in hopes you may be
    interested in trying these fun little stunts yourself.
    Certainly the most interesting challenge I've attempted is to figure out
    how to beat the game in the shortest amount of time on the game clock.
    Naturally this tests your piloting skills, but it is most fun because
    it's a really intricate logistical problem: what ship to fly, what to
    trade and loot, what equipment to outfit, given a tight budget (since it
    costs time to make extra money). And, yes, there's a walkthrough for
    this challenge on gamefaqs also.
    And don't forget about mods and multiplayer -- there's some great mods
    and servers out there.
    Anyway, I hope you found this walkthrough enjoyable. Let me know if
    there's anything significant that I have left out.
    Jason Merrill, for his inspiring walkthrough.
    Dustin Shaffer for the invaluable lists FAQ.
    Matthew Lawson, for his Wrecks FAQ and Bribes FAQ. 
    Gary Dwyer, for the maps FAQ.
    Bosson, for his brilliant trade routes.
    Preacher0815, for the correct Rowlett strategy.
    Dan Paton, for noting that the Ohio and Alabama count as battleship kills.
    John Harris, for numerous discoveries ("Ashcroft Ambush" among them),
    sharp analysis and inspiration all round.
    This revision of the walkthrough was inspired in part by Sherlog, and
    dedicated to him.
    Steve Breslin
    versim at hotmail dot com
    Corrections and suggestions are warmly welcome.
    Please put [freelancer walkthrough] at the beginning of the subject
    line, to make sure I don't accidentally delete your mail. 
    === End ===