This Dropship:UPF Guide was meant to be read at 70 characters per line *********1*********2*********3*********4*********5*********6*********7 It is best viewed with a monospaced font, such as Courier, at size 10, with 1 inch margins on all sides (with Microsoft Word, I can correctly view this Guide with the Courier New font at size 10, with the top and bottom margins set to 1.00 inches, and with the left and right margins set to 1.25 inches. If you don't know how to alter the margins, click on the "File" menu option at the top of the application and from there select "Page Setup". In there, you can adjust all four of the margins for this document). The second line of this Guide, the one above with asterisks and numbers in it, should all be on only one line and should not "bleed" down to the next. If that is the case, you shouldn't have any difficulties when viewing this Dropship: United Peace Force Guide. ************************************************************ Dropship: United Peace Force FAQ and Mission Guide Covers the US release of Dropship: UPF Version 1.0 Finished 7/12/02 Written by Alan Sentman <firstname.lastname@example.org> Unpublished work Copyright 2002 Alan Sentman PLEASE READ THIS SECTION BEFORE READING THE REST OF THE FAQ: This Guide is written and thus owned by me, Alan Sentman. Any attempt to reproduce this Guide in any way, whether it be on paper or on computer or through any other known method, is prohibited. The information in this FAQ cannot be used IN ANY WAY for profit. It cannot be sold to anyone or traded in any sort of commercial transaction. The information in this Guide cannot be used and printed as your own information in any magazine, fanzine, Web Site, or other unmentioned form of publication. It cannot be used as a bonus or gift to a purchase as an encouragement for people to buy your product. This FAQ may only be distributed freely. Any desire to reprint or reuse any information that you have learned from this FAQ is allowed ONLY if: 1) Proper credit is given to me as the original author. 2) You have contacted me through e-mail and requested permission to use any information you learned specifically from this Guide and have received my consent. This FAQ is protected by International Copyright Law. Failure to heed the above restrictions will result in violation of the aforementioned law, and may be cause for legal action against the perpetrators. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, you must delete or destroy this FAQ. And to show that I follow this convention, I give full credit to James Chen for writing the format paragraph and first copyright paragraph, which I am using with his permission. I also credit Kao Megura for the International Copyright Law paragraph. I rewrote and paraphrased his statement, but used the disclaimer from his Alpha 3 FAQ as a template, and am giving him full credit. And lastly, I did use some of the formatting conventions from James Chen's Capcom vs. SNK 2 Systems Guide, and would like to again acknowledge his hard work. * * * Dropship: United Peace is (c) Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and (c) Bam! Entertainment. All other copyrights and trademarks that I have failed to mention are also acknowledged. * * * ===================================================================== This FAQ can be found at www.gamefaqs.com. ===================================================================== ===================================================================== ===================================================================== ===================== | Table of Contents | ===================== 1. Introduction General Information ------------------- 1. Controls - Hover Mode - Flight Mode - Ground Vehicle Controls - Turret Controls 2. Air Vehicles - Intro - Assault Class Mk1 Dropship - Assault Class Dropship "Fury" - Assault Class Dropship "Apache" - Defender Class Dropship "Tempest" - Defender Class MkII Dropship - Lifter Class Dropship "Guardian" 3. Ground Vehicles - "Ibex" Assault Vehicle - "Granite" Heavy Battle Tank 4. Weapons - Cannon - Unguided Rockets - Air-to-Air Missiles - Cluster Air-to-Air Missiles - Air-to-Surface Missiles - Interrogator SCN - Vehicle Weapons Mission Guide ------------- 1. Intro and Cardinal Rule of Dropship 2. Campaign 1: North Africa - 1.1 Opening Moves - 1.2 Beyond Reasonable Doubt - 1.3 Wish You Were Here - 1.4 North By Northwest - 1.5 Eye Of The Storm 3. Campaign 2: Colombia - 2.1 Fire In The Sky - 2.2 Strike Back - 2.3 Behind Enemy Lines - 2.4 Leave No Man Behind - 2.5 Take Down 4. Campaign 3: Kazakhstan - 3.1 To Fight Another Day - 3.2 Deadly Evidence - 3.3 The Best Form Of Defense - 3.4 Ice Storm - 3.5 Into The Heart Of Darkness 5. Campaign 4: China - 4.1 Dangerous Waters - 4.2 The Tables Turned - 4.3 By The Dawn's Early Light - 4.4 The Element Of Surprise - 4.5 Peace... By Any Means 6. Closing Thoughts - The Dropship Challenge - Known Glitches - Credits ===================================================================== ===================================================================== ===================================================================== 1. Introduction Whether you're looking in this guide because you need help, want to see what other people have found in the game, or are just curious about Dropship, I hope this guide will help you. My intention in writing this guide is to share what tricks and techniques I have discovered in what I think is a quite cool, but extremely difficult (in parts) game, and hopefully raise awareness of an underrated title First of all here's a brief history of Dropship, and my thoughts on the game. Dropship was developed as a PS2 launch title by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. It was released in Europe sometime last year, but Sony declined to bring it to the US. We almost didn't see this title, but it was picked up by third party publisher Bam!, and released in the US in June 2002. For which we should be quite grateful. Right now Dropship is in my number two spot for favorite PS2 game, right behind Frequency, and barely edging out Grand Theft Auto 3. I honestly think it's that good. For me, the game strikes a perfect balance of many things: It has a much more realistic feel than more arcade-like flight games, but is still easy to pick up and learn in an hour or so. It has elements of a flight-sim, a driving game, and a rail shooter, and mixes all of those, sometimes in the same mission. And the ship design, gameplay, and replay features combine to make the game just an overall cool experience. It does have some problems, most notably the difficulty of some missions (see the section on mission 4.4 for details), and some minor glitches, but nothing that seriously detracts from the fun. The most frequent comparison gamewise is between Dropship and Ace Combat 4. I can't tell you which is better, because I've never played any of the Ace Combat games. So instead of relying on this total stranger's opinion on which is better, you'll have to go online, and get other total stranger's opinions. ^_^ Oh, one other thing. I'm intentionally not putting in any info on cheat codes and bonus missions. You could argue that this is not a complete FAQ without them, but my logic is this: The heart of this document is the strategy guide, here to help you beat the game legitimately. Technically turning on invincibility IS a strategy, but one which requires no skill. As you can tell, I'm pretty much opposed to cheat codes, and from experience. I feel you get many hours of fun out of playing a game normally, and about 10 minutes of fun screwing around while immortal before the game gets dull, since you can't die, so there's no challenge. As for the bonus missions, the codes are given to you when you beat the game, so I'm leaving that as an incentive to actually stick to your guns and finish it. Plus you can find all the codes in the "Codes" section for the game at Gamefaqs, one section over from this FAQ, so it's not like I'm really depriving you of anything. ===================================================================== ===================================================================== ===================================================================== Part 1: General Information =========================== 1. Controls Here is a listing of the controls for the aircraft and ground vehicles in Dropship. They are covered in the manual, but I wanted to cover it for completeness, and I did find a trick or two not in the manual, so skim through it, if you please. -------------------- Hover Mode Controls: -------------------- L1 + R1 Gain Altitude. Press harder to rise faster. L2 + R2 Lose Altitude. Press harder to fall faster, hold when at less than 2 meters altitude to land. L1 + L2 Slide Left. Hold harder to slide faster. R1 + R2 Slide Right. Hold harder to slide faster. !!!NOTE!!! The above controls ALSO WORK IN FLIGHT MODE. L2 Roll Left. R2 Roll Right. Left Stick Up Pitch Down. Does not cause you to move forward. Left Stick Down Pitch Up. Does not cause you to move backwards. Left Stick Left Yaw Left. Left Stick Right Yaw Right. X button Increase Throttle. Above 150 KPH, puts you in flight mode, which will probably make you crash if you're coming in fast for a landing. Also will reduce reverse thrust. Square Button Decrease Throttle. If throttle hits zero, release and press again to increase reverse thrust. Triangle Button Fire Cannon. Circle Button Fire Primary Weapon. R1 Cycle primary weapon. Hold to see all available primary weapons. L1 Cycle available targets. Will only target enemies that can be hit with current primary weapon. Double tap to target enemy closest to your aiming reticule, i.e. the guy in front of you. Hold to use the tracking view. Right Stick Up Zoom in. Right Stick Down Zoom out. Right Stick Left Show left side of aircraft. Right Stick Right Show right side of aircraft. R3 Show rear view. D-pad Dropship Systems Info Screen. --------------------- Flight Mode Controls: --------------------- L1 + R1 Gain Altitude. Press harder to rise faster. L2 + R2 Lose Altitude. Press harder to fall faster, hold when at less than 2 meters altitude to land. L1 + L2 Slide Left. Hold harder to slide faster. R1 + R2 Slide Right. Hold harder to slide faster. !!!NOTE!!! These should work only in Hover Mode, but were left in for Flight Mode. I can't really think of a good use for this, other than to pass time while flying back to base, but all knowledge is useful, somewhere. L2 Yaw Left. R2 Yaw Right. These are the rudder controls in flight mode, and only move you slightly. Mostly useful for lining up attacks on ground targets. I use them a lot. But your primary means for turning should be rolling sideways and then using the left stick up and down. Left Stick Up Pitch Down. Unlike full flight sims, there is no such thing as red-out in this game. (The human body can tolerate 8-9 G's of acceleration downwards, but only 2-3 G's upward, so in most flight sims, pitching down hard is not a useful maneuver.) Dropship does not have this limitation, so use it all you want. I've been conditioned from the Falcon PC games to never do it, but it could come in handy for you. Left Stick Down Pitch Up. Left Stick Left Roll Left. Left Stick Right Roll Right. X button Increase Throttle. Hold hard for afterburner. Square Button Decrease Throttle. Hold hard for air brakes. Double tap to switch to hover mode, regardless of speed. Triangle Button Fire Cannon. Circle Button Fire Primary Weapon. R1 Cycle primary weapon. Hold to see all available primary weapons. L1 Cycle available targets. Will only target enemies that can be hit with current primary weapon. Double tap to target enemy closest to your aiming reticule, i.e. the guy in front of you. Hold to use the tracking view. Right Stick Up Zoom in. Right Stick Down Zoom out. Right Stick Left Show left side of aircraft. Right Stick Right Show right side of aircraft. R3 Show rear view. D-pad Dropship Systems Info Screen. ------------------------ Ground Vehicle Controls: ------------------------ Left Stick Left Turn Left. Left Stick Right Turn Right. X button Accelerate. Brake when in reverse. Square Button Brake. When stopped, release and hit again for reverse. Triangle Button Hand brake. Use for skid turns. Circle Button Fire Primary Weapon. (Fire _only_ weapon, no vehicle has more than one usable weapon in vehicle mode.) L1 Cycle available targets. Will only target enemies that can be hit with current primary weapon. Double tap to target enemy closest to your aiming reticule, i.e. the guy in front of you. Right Stick Up Zoom in. Right Stick Down Zoom out. Right Stick Left Show left side of vehicle. Right Stick Right Show right side of vehicle. R3 Show rear view. D-pad Dropship Systems Info Screen. ---------------- Turret Controls: ---------------- Left Stick Up Pitch Down. Left Stick Down Pitch Up. Left Stick Left Yaw Left. Left Stick Right Yaw Right. Circle Button Fire Primary Weapon. R1 Cycle primary weapon. Hold to see all available primary weapons. L1 Cycle available targets. Will only target enemies that can be hit with current primary weapon. Double tap to target enemy closest to your aiming reticule, i.e. the guy in front of you. Right Stick Up Zoom in. Right Stick Down Zoom out. ===================================================================== 2. Air Vehicles. ----------------- One of the weak points from the presentation standpoint of Dropship is that they are not at all consistent with vehicle names, and don't have files for all the vehicles in the game. Basically, I think it's a publisher problem. I don't have a European copy of the game, so I can't tell if Bam! or SCEE is to blame. I take issue with the omission of some of the vehicles and weapons in the manual, and with inconsistencies in vehicle names on the website, though the case for that may be Bam! changing the names for the US release. So I'm taking some liberties here, and will present all the info on names that I can gather. Also, most of the vehicles in the game are modeled on actual aircraft though sometimes rather loosely, so I'll give that info when available. Assault Class Dropships: MkI, Fury, and Apache. ------------------------------------------------ These are the fighting "dropships". I put dropship in quotes, because at no point in the game do they ferry anything other than missiles. The manual claims that they can be used as a special forces deployment vessel, but unless those special forces are you and your co-pilot, I really doubt that claim. So face it, they're fighters, they can't carry troops, not really dropships. They're still plenty of fun to fly. They have less armor than the larger ships, but are faster, and much more agile. MkI I'm at a loss for a name for this one, so I'm calling it the MkI. It's the first assault class dropship you fly, and is used mostly in the Columbian missions. The assault class in the manual is the Fury, so this one is not mentioned at all. The change from the MkI to the Fury is also not mentioned, again, a poor presentation decision by SCEE. Oh well. This ship is modeled pretty much directly on the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), which is being developed simultaneously as a light fighter for the Navy, Marines, and Air Force. Interestingly, the Marine JSF is going to have a lifting fan, and be V/STOL capable, making this the only in-game fighter modeled after a real VTOL aircraft. I like it fine, it looks pretty cool, and is more than a match for the job at hand. A-9 "Fury" ("Vulture" on the Dropship Website) This is your assault class fighter for the Kazakhstan Campaign, and some of the China Campaign. As I mentioned above, you sort of switch from the MkI to the Fury without their explaining why. Anyway, it's based on the X-29, the experimental forward swept wing fighter, although the X-29 has a vertical stabilizer, and the Fury does not. NASA found that a vertical stabilizer is not needed on the X-31, which was a totally different experimental craft, but it's not implausible that you could mod the X-29 in a similar fashion (and put in a lifting engine). Anyway, my favorite part of this craft is that the wings sweep back as you enter hover mode. Quite cool. "Apache" The freaky freak-plane. The Apache is a Chinese design, that you see in mission 4.2, steal in mission 4.3, and use in mission 4.4. It vaguely resembles one of NASA's experimental craft, I forget which, but really looks more like something that Cobra Commander would fly, and not during the good G.I. Joe years, either. It's very maneuverable, pretty tough, and fun to watch all the control surfaces contort in strange ways as you turn, but overall, I'm not fond of it. I think it just looks too arcade-like, and not realistic enough. Or perhaps I'm just bitter because I spent over 4 agonizing hours trying to get through mission 4.4 (twice) with the freak-plane. Defender Class Dropships: Tempest and MkII ------------------------------------------- These are the meat and potatoes of Dropship. (Or the Bacon and Eggs, if you prefer.) They're bigger, less agile, slower, and more heavily armored than the Assault Class planes, but they can easily carry a squad of troops, or two armored vehicles. "Tempest" ("Buzzard" on the Dropship Website) This is your starting Defender Class ship, and the Defender Class ship shown in the manual. It is an aging model, and suffers from engine problems, which you'll see in the first campaign. It is roughly based on the Northrop YF-23, which lost the competition with the Lockheed F- 22 for the US's new air superiority fighter. Of course, the Tempest is much larger, and with a cargo bay, but the basic shape is very similar to the YF-23. "MkII" This is the dropship that replaces the Tempest, after a near disaster due to engine problems. It's referred to in the game only as the MkII, so that's what I'm naming it. This is by far my favorite ship in the game, with sleek looks, large cargo capacity, and pretty good fighting ability. I'm not sure that it is really based on a real aircraft. At least, nothing that I'm familiar with. Lifter Class Dropship: Guardian ("Condor" on the Dropship Website) -------------------------------------------------------------------- I'm sorely disappointed that you don't get a chance to fly the Guardian. According to the manual, it is armed and can fight, but you spend the game in other ships, and the Guardian is relegated to the role of "thing to defend from the enemy". It is much larger than the Defender Class ships, and can carry four armored vehicles. It's also not really based on an actual aircraft, to my knowledge. ===================================================================== 3. Ground Vehicles. -------------------- In addition to all the hot flying action, you spend a fair amount of time on the ground. I would have preferred more flying missions, but I have no real problem with the ground craft, I just prefer the flying. "Ibex" Armored Assault Vehicle ("C-snake" on Dropship website) When you're on the ground, chances are you're in one of these. It's tough, very fast, and has a decent cannon. It can also be used as a illumination vehicle for airstrikes. That is all. "Granite" Heavy Battle Tank ("Basalt" on Dropship website) Only on mission 4.3 are you lucky enough to use one of these monsters. It's surprisingly fast, and the main gun will kill other vehicles in one direct hit. Near misses do splash damage, as well. Oh, and it has a turret mounted SAM launcher, for times when the plot demands you use it. ===================================================================== 4. Weapons ---------- Cannon The "Halo Class" rotary cannon. It's your gun, and while the manual says it was designed for close combat, it has a longer targeting range than your missiles! Don't neglect it for air combat, it rips though an aircraft pretty fast. Also, they do not make you lead the target in this game (breaking flight sim conventions). If your aiming reticule snaps onto the target, your cannon will hit it. Even if the shells go flying in some other direction. Must be some sort of futuristic advanced homing cannon. Yeah, that's it. Less useful against vehicles, they tend to have more armor. Unguided Rockets No consistent naming for these guys. Rhino, Hunter, Striker, Scorpion, Skimmer, and Armadillo. These guys fire the same as the cannon, they go straight ahead, but will auto-aim a bit, if your aiming reticule snaps onto a target. They do a ton of damage, in general, so you might consider using them over the air-to-surface missiles, in general. On early missions, practice aiming these, and setting up snap shots. You WILL need these skills on the later missions. !!!NOTE!!! Some of the rockets, most notably the Armadillo, have less range than the heads up display (HUD) shows. So you have to wait a few seconds after the reticule turns yellow to fire. Otherwise the missile will detonate before reaching the target and not hit it. Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs) These are named after birds in the raptor family. Kestrel, Redtail, Sparrowhawk, Falcon, and Eagle. It's impossible to tell absolute damage, or get hard numbers for tracking ability, so I can't speculate how the later missile varieties differ from the earlier ones in these respects. To use, target an enemy, and keep him in your HUD (the center of the screen). If they're in range, six lines will converge on the target indicator, and it will turn yellow. You can now fire. The missiles will track, and almost always hit for some damage, but the amount is widely variable. The damage varies by how close the missile exploded from the target. Fire from directly behind the enemy, and it will fly up his tailpipe, and do large damage. Fire as he's heading toward you, and it will detonate well behind him and do a tiny sliver of damage. Use this to your advantage. Helicopters are too slow to dodge, and pretty much always take full damage. Also, enemies take a lot of damage if they're heading STRAIGHT at you, and you fire at them. However, if they're heading even a little bit off to one side, they will take little to no damage, so a head on shot is a risky proposition. Also, this does apply to enemy missiles, so you can sometimes use this to your advantage. Don't fly directly away from the enemy, unless in an emergency. And if you want to take full missile damage from every enemy shot, be sure to stop in midair, and hover. Cluster Air-to-Air Missiles You may have noticed that on mission 4.4: Ice Storm, you suddenly have two types of air-to-air missiles in your inventory. Well, by a tremendous oversight, they neglected to mention the CLUSTER air-to-air missiles in the manual, or in the game at all. They just hand them to you and assume you know what to do. The Hydra cluster missile flies normally for about 200 meters, and then explodes, and sends out about 6 homing sub-missiles. Each one is pretty weak, but can do good damage with a good angle on the target. And if there's fewer targets than sub-missiles, they'll team up on a target. But that's not the full beauty of this missile. Having a lock-on ONLY AFFECTS THE FIRST 200 METERS of the Hydra's flight. If you fire it without a lock, it will fly straight, then split, and the sub-missiles will STILL home in on any targets. With a lock, it will track one target, then split, and go after any others in the area. It does only go after enemies in front of it. But this is a great weapon for later missions. I only figured out all the nuances on mission 4.5, so you should be able to make much better use of it than I did. Air-to-Surface Missiles Named after dogs, mostly. Doberman, Ridgeback, Bloodhound, Pitbull. Larger, less agile, and more powerful than air-to-air missiles, they have the same lock-on process. Your main problem with these is making sure no buildings are in the way of the missile as it flies to the target. Interrogator SCN Not really a weapon, this device is used in missions 1.2 and 3.1 to scan targets. Just think of it as a missile with a really long lock- on time, that you can't fire. Once you've "locked on", the target has been scanned. Vehicle Weapons Covered in the vehicle section, mostly. The Ibex and Granite cannons are auto-tracking when you can use them. The SAM on the Granite locks on just like air-to-air missiles do. ===================================================================== ===================================================================== ===================================================================== Part 2: Mission Guide ====================== 1. Introduction and General Strategy ------------------------------------ So here's a mission-by-mission guide how I made it through them. I won't rate them per se, but will liberally comment on how I perceive the difficulty of each one. Also, I'm not going over the training missions, because, well, they cover themselves. DEFINITELY do them before starting the campaign, as they are totally useful for getting a feel for your craft. General Strategy First of all, learn to fly LOW. Very very low. Everything has a much lower chance of hitting you when you are less than 50 meters over the ground. If you can hug terrain and duck behind hills to make the enemy lose lock, you'll live much longer. And it's a great feeling to see a missile scream past you, freak out, and dive into the ground in front of you. On early missions it's not necessary, but a good idea to practice, because on the later missions there are two options: you fly low, or you die. Secondly, when firing on aircraft, an enemy with a sliver of life is just as deadly as one with full life. Always fire your missiles in groups, you want to be sure of the kill. Once you are more comfortable with the game, you can go back and try to up your hit percentage. One other trick, you can sustain higher than normal cruising speed by "Pulsing" the afterburner. Basically run it until the heat gauge is near the top, and then engage it until one unit of heat builds up, then release it until the gauge falls one block and repeat. You'll build up a rhythm, and get a higher cruising speed, without overheating the burner. This may save you INFINITE frustration. When I finally beat mission 4.4, I wanted to see the replay, and I did, but when I exited the replay, I accidentally hit "Restart Mission" instead of continue. If took me 2 more hours, and about 30 restarts to beat that damn mission again. As it turns out, even if you replay the mission and fail, if you exit the "end mission" screen, go back to the title screen, and then select the "Continue Campaign" option, you will still move on to the next mission. This only applies if you've beaten the mission and then restart it. One other thing. I much MUCH prefer the game with auto-land turned OFF. There's no point to giving you all those hover controls if you let the computer land for you. But that's just my opinion, you do what you want. And lastly, and this is my cardinal rule of Dropship: There is no rating of "Friendlies Lost". You need to look out for #1, and that is you. Some missions you can lose at least three sets of ground troops with no repercussions, so if you're low on life, head back to base, heal, and then grab more troops. They'll be there waiting for you. If you think the callous abandonment of your comrades is evil, then the "Dropship Challenge" is for you. But the game doesn't end when they die. It does when you do. ===================================================================== 2. Campaign 1: North Africa ---------------------------- This is your first campaign, and they start you off pretty slowly, working up to a moderately challenging last mission. A good set of missions to get a feel for the controls. Mission 1.1: Opening Moves Nice and easy starting mission. All you need to do is drop a scout team out in the field to investigate some terrorist camps. You fly a Tempest dropship here, and have no weapons. Take off, turn left, and fly to the landing zone. As you get near, JC has some engine problems, and has to abort his drop, and return to base. Drop your cargo, and there's a short cutscene in which JC returns, and you get assigned his drop. Go back to base, and Eva will complain about how old the Tempests are. Land at the base, pick up the team, and the fun begins. You have to fly through the canyon, staying low to avoid detection. You have about an 8-minute time limit to drop the troops, plenty of time. Head to the waypoint, drop into the canyon, and turn right. This is where you'll start to notice that it's not so easy to control the dropship in flight mode. No time like the present to learn. Check the map in the corner for some help. Fly out to the exit point, drop the team, and head back home through the canyon, retracing the way you came. Once you hit the exit waypoint, head back to base to finish the mission. Mission 1.2: Beyond Reasonable Doubt Still no offensive weapons for you, yet. This mission has you scanning vehicles for evidence of terrorist activity. Take off, turn left about 45 degrees, and head left to the first group of targets. As you get close, switch to hover mode and kill the throttle. To scan a vehicle, target it, and hold it in the center of the screen until the six lines converge on the targeting marker. Scan the first three vehicles, and you'll see a cutscene, after which three more vehicles will appear. Track them down, scan them, and watch another cutscene. Finally three more will appear, one at a time. There's a lot of buildings here, and you need line-of-sight to scan, so you may want to fly a little higher. Once you've got these scanned, the enemy will roll out the SAM vehicles. They're not much of a threat, but you're unarmed, so get out of there, head towards base, and you'll pass the mission. Mission 1.3: Wish You Were Here This is the first mission where you are armed, and the first where you stand a chance to die from enemy weapons. Your job is to cover the recon team as they try to extract. You are armed with Kestrel air-to- air missiles, and Doberman air-to-surface missiles. To start the mission, turn slightly left, and take out the helicopter with two Kestrels, then the SAM vehicle under it with two Dobermans. In fact, all the enemies in this mission take two missiles each to kill. You can switch to hover mode for more leisurely aiming, but keep in mind that even on this first combat mission, staying in hover mode around enemies can result in taking huge damage. Also, don't linger over the enemy base, it has a really fast firing SAM launcher that can't be targeted. After the SAM vehicle, another chopper will appear over the enemy base. Take it out, and then start to follow the convoy, I like to stay in hover mode, which works if you pick off the enemies fast, before they can fire on you. A group of three machine gun vehicles appears to the north of the convoy, head up there, take them out, then fly south, and take out the chopper. It's followed a few seconds later by another chopper, you know what to do. Then from about the same location, another group of ground vehicles. One is a SAM truck, try to take it out first. Around this time, your engine vibrations get really bad, but they're just a plot device, so ignore them. Another group of vehicles appears to the southwest, so go take them out. About two more vehicle groups will appear, so take them out, and the lifters will come in and extract the recon team. You're asked to give them cover, but stay put, you'll see why in a second. In a cutscene, you'll be asked to pick up one more unit. Go land in the zone to end the mission, as your plane loses power, and has to be abandoned. Mission 1.4: North By Northwest Alright, your first vehicle mission, this first section is exactly like the training, so just drive through the checkpoints. Oh, except that the jeeps are trying to ram you, and the tanks are firing at you. The tank fire can sort of be dodged by weaving, though it's more a matter of taking less damage than no damage. Helicopters are on the way, so drive fast, and ignore the vehicles, for now. After the fourth checkpoint is a minefield. The mines are easy to see, so just keep going, and pick your way through there. There's another minefield around the fifth checkpoint, then just patrols up to the ninth checkpoint, when you decide to head through the valley power plant. After the tenth checkpoint, hang a hard left, then a right, and continue. At the eleventh checkpoint, you will switch to the turret. The helicopter is your biggest threat, so take it out first, then the tanks behind you. Some tanks appear on the ridge to the northwest, then some troops to the west, then two helicopters, one to the west, and one to the southeast. Take them out as best you can. Some tanks join the party from the west. Then you enter a settlement with some troops. Shoot the gas tank behind them for some easy kills. Take out the new chopper from the east, then the two tanks hiding behind the last building. Jeeps, a chopper, troops, and another chopper come in, followed by more vehicles. Do what you can, focusing on the helicopters, since their missiles are deadly. One more chopper appears to the southwest and a ground vehicle next to a fuel tank. Finally, some troops on a ridge appear, followed by a long cutscene, in which JC whoops some ass. Problem solved, and end of mission. Mission 1.5: Eye Of The Storm This is the first mission in which you fly the MkII, and a sign of things to come, as this mission can be pretty tough. You have Kestrel AAMs, Doberman ASMs, and Rhino Rockets. Fly to the checkpoint, and your mission is to take out all the buildings. JC will keep the SAMs busy. He will yell at you if you switch to hover mode, but if you're quick, you can pull it off, and take out the targets pretty fast. However, you will need to be able to aim rockets well in flight mode, so I suggest you get some practice by coming in fast and using the Rhinos. Coming in fairly high will help your rockets avoid obstacles, but makes you a better SAM target. It will take some practice your first time, but spend it now, and get a feel for the rockets, coming in fast on a target in flight mode. Once there are two buildings left, JC will bug out, due to damage. Take out the last two, then go pick up Kreuzler's team. There are three enemy vehicles here, take them out, if you like, and land to grab the team, and see a large cutscene explosion. The SAMs are offline, so drop Kreuzler's team inside the base. Now you must defend it. Stay in hover mode, and take out all who stand in your way. They are: One vehicle in the base, that shows up when you drop the team. Two choppers, to the north, that come for you. They take two Kestrels each. Three tanks come up the road, pretty far out, and a patrol appears in the south part of the base. Take them out with Dobermans, and Rhinos. More choppers, three, but since your missiles have longer range than theirs, they should not be a problem. Yet another wave of ground vehicles come up the road to the southwest, followed by eight more helicopters, in two waves. Again, no real threat. By this time, Kreuzler should be done, so head to the extraction point, and pick him up to end the mission, and your first campaign. 3. Campaign 2: Columbia ------------------------ Ahh, Drug Lords. Everyone loves to beat up on them, from James Bond, to Jack Ryan, to....you! This campaign teaches you air-to-air combat, low level flying, and ends with a truly challenging mission. Fear not, though, I've got a plan. ^_^ Mission 2.1 Fire In The Sky Now that you've completed the first campaign, I may start speaking less in terms of specific numbers and types of enemies, and more about general strategy. Also, I'm going to assume that you can follow the target markers in your HUD, so I may not always give the enemy direction now. Anyway, Columbia begins with a dogfighting tutorial mission. You are flying the MkI Assault Class dropship, initially armed with Kestrel missiles. You need to protect three groups of cargo vessels as they fly in to set up your new base. Each will be attacked by waves of three fighters. To pass the mission, at least one dropship from each group must survive. The first group starts in front of you, and is attacked by one wave of fighters. I don't have any specific dogfighting advice, really. You'll just have to figure it out for yourself. Well, one tip: As the enemy fighters attack the dropships, they tend to slow way down, and make easier targets. Anyway, take them out, and escort the lifters in. When the first one lands, a re-arm and repair pad will appear, land, and take on some newer Redtail missiles. They don't reload instantly, so watch the missile number. You can hold fifty on this mission. It helps if you learn the location where the repair pad will appear, and make sure you're there before it appears. The sooner you get back into the air, the better chance the next wave of lifters has to survive. Anyway, the next group of lifters comes in far from the base, due west. Start heading that way before they appear, and you can get the upper hand on the fighters that attack them. Two waves of enemies come in, and when you've disposed of them, check your health. If low, head back to base and repair. Otherwise, head northwest of the base to meet the third group of lifters. They're plagued by three waves of fighters, so sharpen up those combat skills. Once they land and unload, a wave of five bombers comes in with some fighters, and starts attacking the base. The bombers are pretty slow, take them all out to finish the mission. You may lose some lifters and buildings, but remember the cardinal rule of dropship, they're expendable, you're not. Mission 2.2: Strike Back Alrighty, this one can be difficult, but I don't have a lot of advice. There's no real tricks here, just some skill. You are in a MkI Assault Class Dropship, with Redtail AAMs and Ridgeback ASMs. Fly low and follow your other ships to the airfield. Fly too high, and you'll be treated to a cool cutscene of the enemy mobilizing to defend their airbase. Fly really well, and Eva will comment on your mad skills. Once you hit the base, you have two options. The first, and the one I did initially, is to take out the hangers, and then deal with the fighters. If you do this, you will notice that you get nailed by way less SAMs as you fly lower, so nap of the earth skills are required here. The second strategy is to just take out the fighters. If you do this, you'll notice that you really don't want to be fighting right over the base, since the SAMs will start wailing on you. Both of these observations will be important later. You have more fighters to deal with in the second plan, but in the end, I didn't notice a real difference, I tend to lose one Defender dropship either way. Whatever you decide, once the fighters have been cleared, take out the remaining SAM and AA guns to end the mission. Mission 2.3: Behind Enemy Lines Another vehicle mission. In this one, you are in an Ibex, with Kreuzler manning the turret. Keep in mind that the turret will only rotate in the front 180 degrees of your vehicle. You have 10 minutes to reach the rendezvous point. Take out all the ground vehicles, and start heading for the waypoint. One tree collision does the damage of about 50 rounds hitting you, so DO NOT run into any shrubs. Consequently, you'll have to head through that lumber mill. Take out the troops, then the next wave of vehicles, and head to the rendezvous site. After a cutscene, you'll be in the turret. You now have 11 minutes to take out the SAM sites, and make it home. Use the cannon to take out the helicopter, then start illuminating for the airstrikes. Just lock on to each SAM site, and hit fire. You don't have to stay locked on, you can move to the next SAM launcher as soon as you fire at the previous one. Somewhere along the line, three more choppers are launched. Switch to the cannon and take them down, then "remove" the last SAM sites. Now you're back on control of the Ibex, and Kreuzler is on auto-turret firing at whatever target you select. Pursued by at least three helicopters, you need to book it back to the pickup site. Drive fast, and go around the trees, past the mill, and stop in the large blue circle to end the mission. Note that Kreuzler can't fire at anything directly behind you. Not that he can kill anything, anyway. More of a curious observation than useful strategy. Mission 2.4: Leave No Man Behind I don't have a lot by way of commentary on this mission, other than I finished it the first time with absolutely zero armor. A chipmunk could have breathed on me, and I would have died. Let's hope you have better luck. You start this mission in the MkII, with Redtail AAMs and Ridgeback ASMs. Take out the two fighters, which should be no problem for you after the first two missions of this campaign. More fighters come in, but your mission goal changes to the SAM radar array. Three towers, each only takes one missile. The SAMs aren't too bad, so you can come in on hover mode, if you want. Enjoy the luxury while you can. After the array is out, they send in the Lifters, and you must take out all threats to them. Start with the fighters, then go for the SAM trucks. All are highlighted in blue, easy to find. I'm not sure the SAMs are a real threat to the Lifters, in my replay, I saw one truck nail the lifter about 10 times, and the Lifter was fine. Anyway, kill all the SAM trucks, and you'll be asked to help out Bravo 3. Give him a hand, and it's time to continue on the ground. Land in the zone, and fire up the truck. Follow the checkpoints, and use your gun liberally. Also watch out for the posts sticking up in the middle of the entrance gate. After the second waypoint, turn right, up the ramp, and down the ramp on the other side. Keep hitting the checkpoints, making a hard right at the checkpoint past all the turrets, then go up the ramp, and make another hard right. Follow the wall on your right to the next checkpoint, and turn hard left when you reach it. Zig around the building, and stop in the circle to spring the prisoners. Now you're in the turret. Your main threat here is the guys with RPG (Rocket-Propelled Grenade) launchers. You'll know them. Take them out first. One guy appears behind you, don't bother turning to get him, concentrate on the RPG troops. Once the POWs get back, get out of there. After the first three or so checkpoints, you'll find yourself in the middle of an airstrike. Remind me not to mess with the UPF. I've never taken any damage from the strike, your only enemy is the clock. A few more checkpoints, a short cutscene, and you'll just need to take out the two fuel tanks to make your way to FREEEEDOM! Head for the pick-up site, the mission ends before you get there. Mission 2.5: Take Down This is one of the missions that really had me stuck for a while, and from the boards, a lot of other people, as well. Fear not, as I said before, I have a plan. We'll get you out of there with nary a scratch. Or maybe a few scratches. You start this mission in the MkII with Redtail AAMs, Ridgeback ASMs, and Hunter rockets. Initially, the bombers will make really quick work out of the tank group, and those are your only tanks. So you must take out the bombers fast. Start the mission by turning to north by northwest, and you'll see the bombers in front of you. Do NOT attack them yet. Slow down, let them go by, and you can shoot from behind, killing each with only two missiles, guaranteed. The next wave of bombers comes from the southwest, so head out there, and try to kill them before they reach the tanks. Once they're dead, you'll be asked to head back to base. Take out the fighters first, otherwise they will hound you all the way home. Before picking up the scout unit, land and repair, you WILL need it. Then move over and grab the CCV. You have a little bit of time, DEFINITELY take out the fighters before you land. Drop off the CCV, take off, stay in hover mode, and watch over it. Use rockets on the first few vehicles. It takes several rockets per vehicle, but the overall kill time is faster than if you use the Ridgebacks. After the first two vehicles are destroyed, a wave of fighters comes in. Ignore them. You'll clear the CCV's path before they kill you. Again, once the CCV is safe, clear out the last fighters, and head back to base to repair, and then rearm. If you're lucky, you can head over to the dam, switch to hover mode, and get off two missiles before you take too much damage. We're not always lucky, so it's better to make three fast attack runs. These missiles take a LONG time to lock on, so make sure you come in low. Those SAMs can be pretty nasty, and will work you over if you come in high or slow. Once your third missile hits, the mission will end. I love it when a plan comes together. 4. Campaign 3: Kazakhstan --------------------------- The former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan is at war with the former Soviet Republic of Turkmenistan! Oh no! Well, the UPF thinks something fishy is going on here, so you're called in to investigate. This campaign provides a decent difficulty gradient linking the easier early campaigns to the much more difficult Campaign 4. Mission 3.1: To Fight Another Day I think this mission is a lot of fun, and it's really straightforward, so I really can't think of anything to say. Having made it past the first two campaigns, there should be nothing challenging about this mission at all. Anyway, you fly the MkII Dropship, with Falcon AAMs and Striker rockets. Your biggest threat in this mission is the helicopters, and they only take one or two missiles each to destroy, so if you stay on top of them, you'll have no problems. Other than that, you just need to drop troops, destroy the aircraft attacking the base, pick up troops, drop them off, return to base, scan some trucks, kill the one with the bomb, pick up more troops, drop them off, scan more trucks, take out another bomb truck, and take out the last aircraft to end the mission. There's no special strategy required here, and I don't think going into more detail would be of any help, so I won't do it here. Mission 3.2: Deadly Evidence I'll try to make up my lack of advice on the last mission here. This is a ground vehicle mission, in a stolen enemy recon vehicle with no weapons. Your mission is to gather evidence of troop shipments in the harbor, so you're going to have to infiltrate the base, and look for evidence. The trick is that there are enemy patrols throughout the base, and they close the doors on the evidence if you're spotted. Now, the enemy do have short memories, so if you are spotted, head into some nook until the alarm stops sounding, but we're not going to get spotted. First, some general tips. Each enemy vehicle patrols a set circuit. All you need to do is figure out that circuit, and make sure to pass through the part of the route that he's not currently patrolling. How do you figure out his path? Use the satellite map. On this mission, you should be studying the satellite map about 10 seconds for every second you drive. If you do this, you can watch the enemy patterns from a safe distance, and shouldn't have a difficult time slipping through. However, I'll also give step-by-step instructions of how I went about it: Alrighty, here, I have to do something that I very much dislike, and that's use ASCII art. It's tough to make ASCII art look good, in my opinion, but for this mission, explaining my route will not be possible without a map. I only mapped the patrolled region, and can't guarantee that it's totally to scale, but it should get you through. Buildings are marked out with dashes and pluses, S1 through S5 are the areas you have to search, numbered in the order that I recommend. Patrols are marked with dotted lines, and a number with a carrot indicates the patrol number and the direction it circles. All patrols follow rectangular boxes. Patrols 2 and 3 and patrols 6 and 7 have overlapping routes; the overlap is marked with colons. The lower region of my map is borderless, I don't have enough room or motivation to map the whole stage, and it would do you no good, anyway. I hope it's somewhat clear, I'm not terribly happy with it, but it's the best I can do. Anyway, enough griping about ASCII, here's the map: Partial Map of Mission 3.2 -------------------------- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - WATER - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - +----------------------------------+ - - LEGEND: | ....(7)>.... | - - +--------+ +--------+ .+--------+. | - - +-+ |++++++++| |++++++++|S4|++++++++|. | - - |+| = BUILDING |++++++++| |++++++++| .|++++++++|. | - - +-+ |++++++++| +--------+ .+--------+. | - - |++++++++| .::::::::... | - - S1 = SEARCH AREA +--------+ +---+ ++ .+---+ . | - - | S3 |+++| || .|+++| . | - .(1)>. | |+++| ++ .|+++| . | - W . . = ENEMY PATROL | |+++| .|+++| . | - ...... (MOVING CLOCKWISE) +--------+ +---+ .|+++| . | - A |++++++++|.(5)>.. .+---+ . | - |++++++++|.+---+. +---+..(6)>.. | - T |++++++++|.|+++|. |+++| S5 | - |++++++++|.+---+. +---+ | - E +--------+. . | - | .+---+. +-------------+ | - R | .|+++|. |+++++++++++++| | - | .+---+. |+++++++++++++| | - - | ..<(5). +-------------+ | - - | ......(4)>..... | - - | ..(3)>.. . +---+ +---+ . | - - +----------------------------+ . +---+. . |+++| |+++| . | - - | S2 Crates . |+++|. . +---+ +---+ . | - - | . |+++|. ......<(4)..... | - - | . |+++|. +------------------+ | . +---+. |+++++++++++++++++ | ...::::::::. |++++++++++++++++ +------------------+--++--+ .+--+ . |+++++++++++++++ |++||++| .|++| . | Many +--++--+ .+--+ . |Inconsequential .+-+ . | Buildings ....(1)>.... .+-+ . | Here . +------+ . ....<(2).... |++++++++++ . |++++++| . +--+ |+++++++++ . +------+ . +--+ |++++++++ ....<(1).... | +---+ To Dropship |+++| +------+ ------> |+++| |++++++| +---+ +------+ S1 --------------------------------- End of Partial Map of Mission 3.2 So there you go. You have nine minutes to get in, survey the five areas, and make it back to the dropship. The patrols don't start moving until you get near them. So drive to search point one, and stop in the circle. By the end of the cutscene, patrol 2 has started moving. Follow it, at a distance, and when patrol 1 turns west on the bottom leg of its pattern, head up to search point 2. Head through the crates, and wait out of sight, until patrol 3 is away, and patrol 5 has turned north. Follow patrol 5 to search point 3. Once you've searched it, go along the top portion of patrol 5's path, and head to search point 4. You may have noticed that patrol 7's path takes it directly over search point 4, just wait for it to pass, then head there, and make the search. Finally, slip past patrol 6, and hit search point 5. Once that's done, wind your way out of there (it doesn't really matter if you're spotted) and hit the drop point to finish the mission. Mission 3.3: The Best Form Of Defense Is a rail shooter. This mission has you manning a turret on a MkII dropship, and taking out nuclear-armed cruise missile launchers. You have the Predator rotary cannon, Rhino rockets, and Scorpion EMP rockets. The Scorpion rockets only work on the cruise missile launchers, and they are the only thing that will damage them. You only have 4 Rhinos, so use them well. Given that this is a rail shooter, all you have to do is shoot everything, so I don't have a lot of advice. However, the second helicopter that comes in should be taken out immediately, it has a nasty habit of sitting above your cannon range, and shooting you, and you can't do anything about it. For the cruise missile launchers, you don't have much time to hit them before they launch, but two of them can get away without you failing the mission. However, they do draw off your escort, as they try to chase the missiles, so it's better to nail all the launchers fast. Other than that, the Rhinos make great anti personnel weapons, and watch out when Eva takes a look in the hanger, it's not pleasant. It may be possible to hit the last launcher, but I haven't done it. Once the missile gets away, you are back in flight mode, and have to chase it down. The missile starts out slow, but very quickly accelerates to something well above your cruise speed. You'll have to use your afterburner, and pulse it to have any chance of catching the missile. Make certain that you don't overheat it, or you'll fail the mission. You're now armed with Sparrowhawk AAMs, it will take about 5 Sparrowhawks to down the cruise missile. Mission 3.4: Ice Storm This mission doesn't rely on a lot of strategy. It's just a huge dogfight, with you against wave after wave of fighters. This is your first mission in the Fury, armed with Falcon AAMs, and Hydra-M cluster AAMs. You should try to stay fairly high; otherwise the SAM defenses will deal out some big damage. Try to save the Hydras for new incoming waves of fighters. Other than that, you just need to have good dogfighting skills, and hang in there. I had some trouble the first time through (2-3 retries), but I had no problems replaying it for writing this FAQ, so it's just a matter of practice. Mission 3.5: Into The Heart Of Darkness Time to whoop Ananko's butt. He's holed up in his mountain fortress, and it will take some work to get him out of there. You start out in the MkII dropship, armed with Rhino rockets, Bloodhound ASMs, Falcon AAMs, and Alpha wing. Yes, this is the first mission that you get to use the Battle Unit Guidance (BUG) system. It's......really not that useful, in my mind. More on it later. First of all, you have to take out the five SAM control centers around the fortress. Each one takes up to seven Bloodhound missiles to destroy....or two Rhino rockets. This is where all the rocket practice I've been telling you to do starts to pay off. For some odd reason, you start the mission in hover mode, so go into flight mode, and fly more or less straight ahead. When you get near the mountain, pop up, switch to hover mode, kill the throttle, and aim for the easternmost SAM control center. Go into hover mode, fire two Rhinos to kill it, then take out the next center just behind it. Turn due west, go into flight mode and fly up the side of the mountain, taking out the control center on top. Pop into hover mode again, and take out the center on the other side, quickly. In fact, you should never be in hover mode more than about 5 seconds, or you'll start taking HEAVY damage. Then go into flight mode, go northeast, and take out the last control center. Somewhere in there, if you really want, you can send your wingmen against the fighters. However, to do this, you have to select the Alpha wing, select the target, hit fire, then switch back to the rockets and your primary targets. It can be done, but takes practice, and isn't necessary. Oh, and they probably won't kill what you send them after, either. Once you've taken out the five centers, you need to take out the two fighters near you, and head south to meet the lifters. You need to kill the five platforms and the two fighters extremely quickly. The SAMs will murder the Lifters if you take too long, and if you don't get the first two fighters, they will hound you until you're dead, which doesn't take long. Quite a few fighters besiege the lifters, but they tend to ignore you, and make pretty easy targets. Just sweep from lifter group to lifter group, clearing out the fighters, you can even switch to hover mode to make aiming easier. Once the fighters are gone, you can target the AA gun defenses on the landing platforms. Oh, and some new Chinese aircraft come in to harass you. They sort of look like the stealth fighter, sort of, but are pretty weak. They do have very strong missiles though, so take them out. I recommend concentrating on the AA defenses, which lets the Lifters get out of there faster, two Bloodhounds per AA gun. Once all the platforms are clear, take out the Chinese fighters while the demolition teams do their job. The fighters will sort of trickle in one by one, so by this time there's quite a few. If you prefer, you can take them out first, then clear a platform, and alternate your attention between the two. Anyway, the last assault team has lifter problems, so you have 2 minutes to land and pick them up before the mountain blows. Once you land, the mission will end after a cutscene. 5. Campaign 4: China --------------------- Well, it turns out that the Chinese were behind the whole Kazakhstan fiasco, and it's time to go take them out. This is you last campaign, and calls on every ounce of skill you have, and quite a bit of luck. To mix up my games here, I think that passing mission 4.4 is considerably harder than the hardest gold medal challenge in Rogue Leader, which is saying quite a bit. Not that the other missions in this campaign are easy, they just aren't the brutal experience that 4.4 is. However, it IS doable, without cheat codes, and we're going to do it. Mission 4.1: Dangerous Waters I really like the mission, largely due to the naval flight aspect of it. It can be tough, but not frustratingly so, though you'll probably lose a lot of ships. You start the mission in the Fury, armed with Eagle AAMs. You might be tempted to stay hovering over the deck of the carrier and fire at the incoming planes. You're going to want to fight that urge, since you take incredible amounts of damage when you're standing still. So take off, hit full throttle, and take out at least one enemy as you pass the group. You'll notice that you can fire four missiles at a time now (previously it was two), so take full advantage. I prefer getting the sure kill, and don't worry that much about accuracy. My first time through this mission I had some trouble keeping my ships alive, but I think I've developed a good strategy. You should focus on the fighters that are directly attacking the ships, since they slow WAY down, and are easy pickings. The main thing is to not really care which enemy you go after. I suggest sweeping over the ships, staying fairly low, and looking for any good opportunities. If you fail to kill them in one pass, keep going, and look for another sitting duck. I say this because if you just go after one specific fighter, as you dogfight you tend to end up very high, far from the ships, and take a long time to kill that one ship. It's much better to go for the easy targets, and not worry if you don't kill it. You'll get it on another pass later, or the ship SAMs will polish it off. You can't repair, but you get a different craft with full health for the second part of the mission, so don't worry too much about health. Once you've cleared all the fighters, it's time to land for part two. It's possible to finish the first part with only two or so ships destroyed, but you can lose 5 or so and still finish the mission without any problems. For part two, you are flying a MkII dropship, equipped with Eagle AAMs, Pitbull ASMs, and Alpha wing. Your mission is to take out the artillery units that are pounding the fleet. You can approach this mission two ways: The first way is the safe way. Take out all the defenses around the artillery units, then destroy them at your leisure. You'll lose more ships this way, but take less damage, and I refer you to my cardinal rule of Dropship. The second way is to ignore the defenses, eat the damage, and try to destroy the artillery before you explode in a large fireball. It takes five Pitbulls to kill each artillery piece, by the way. I went with route one my first time through, but just beat the mission now with route two, to make sure it can be done. Once the artillery is out, you just need to land on the damaged cruiser to end the mission. You can still pass the mission even if you only have one ship left. Mission 4.2: The Tables Turned It's now time to turn that pesky artillery against Marshall Wu, and his evil navy. This is the mission that the cardinal rule of Dropship was specifically formulated for. That's right; we're going to totally abandon our ground troops in order to save our own skins. There are more ground troops; there are not any more of us. At least, that was my original strategy. I'll give it here, but I think I've found something better. Oh, and you fly the MkII dropship, armed with Eagle AAMs, Hydra-M cluster AAMs, and Pitbull ASMs. Take off, fly to the drop site, and dump off the tanks. Then take out the SAM defenses around the base. Once they're gone, you have two sets of enemies. The helicopters only attack your tanks, and the jets attack you. Keep the helicopters off the tanks. If you get too low on life, say, in the last column on your indicator, abandon the tanks, head back to the ship. By the time you get back, the tanks will be dead, and you can repair, and drop off the new set of tanks, and repeat as necessary until the artillery are captured. Note that the Hydra-M missiles do not reload when you're repairing. However, on this last time through, I found something interesting. There's a very low ridge separating the landing zone from the SAM defenses. If you take off, and stay hovering in place at less than 15 meters altitude, the SAM defenses can't fire at you. However, you can still take out the enemy helicopters! Without the SAMs firing at you, there should be no problem taking out the jets, while still keeping the helicopters at bay, and you should easily capture the artillery without losing a single tank. Once the ground troops have done their job, it's time to head back to base to rearm. You're now armed with Skimmer anti-ship rockets. These things rock, once you fire them, they fly straight down, then follow the surface, so aiming is REALLY easy. You also have Eagle AAMs, but probably shouldn't use them. Take off, fly to the enemy fleet. If you stay very low and very fast, damage should not be an issue. I'd recommend focusing solely on the four ships that are your primary targets, and ignore the other ships, the aircraft, and the Apaches. Once the last ship is dead, the mission will end. Mission 4.3: By The Dawn's Early Light Time to gather more info on the Apache....by stealing it! This mission is sort of odd: I beat it easily the first time through, but have had to restart a few times to beat it again for this FAQ. Ramming enemy vehicles, and getting hit directly by enemy cannons take off HUGE chunks of your health. This mission has you driving the Granite heavy battle tank, at last. The first part of the mission pits you against a ton of enemy vehicles. Not a lot of threat here, just drive and keep jamming on the circle button. Once you've cleared out the enemy vehicles, there's a cutscene, and you're in the SAM turret. Try to get the helicopters that focus on you, they really hurt. Not much to say beyond that. After a while, you end up back in the driver's seat. A few more vehicles to destroy and you'll end up at the base. Now you have to use the cannon to take out the enemy turrets before the put lots of small holes in your CCVs. You're in first person mode, and have quite a few turrets to kill. You need to hit the guns directly; hits on the tower do very little damage. And the shells you fire arc downward, so you need to aim a bit above your targets. Keep up a good rate of fire, aim well, and you'll make it. Lastly, you need to fly your new Apache to the waypoint to finish the mission. Mission 4.4: The Element Of Surprise Alright, this is without a doubt, the hardest, most frustrating mission in Dropship. I'm not quite sure what the developers were thinking, but they sure do make you earn victory here. I must warn you that although my strategy here can work, it's more of a "least bad" way to get through this mission. It will still take many MANY restarts, and a significant amount of time. Well, let's get cracking. This mission is divided into two parts: destroying the SAM control sites, and clearing out wave after wave after wave after wave of fighters. You cannot avoid taking huge damage in the second part, not matter how good you are, there are simply too many fighters, so you must do the first part near flawlessly. You fly the Apache, and it's armed with Eagle AAMs, Hydra-M cluster AAMs, and Armadillo rockets. Immediately turn left, light your burners, and take out the aircraft. If you're fast, you can kill two of them before they get moving, and then switch to hover mode and kill the third at your leisure. At this point, you should be at full health. Now things get tough. Arm the Armadillos, and fly to the first SAM silo. There are three buildings to destroy: the silo takes two rockets, the generator takes one, and the three domed uplink building all explode when one is hit. There's also a bunch of fighters hovering around. I've done this many many times, and trust me on this, ignore the fighters, and take out the three buildings FAST. If you take too long, four more fighters get launched nearby, and you will fail the mission. (Or your chances of passing go from about 5% to around 0.5%) On your first pass, you can get the uplink and the generator. Then keep on the afterburner, circle around, and pump two rockets into the silo. At this point, you should have lost no more than one block of armor. Don't get me wrong here, this is HARD. To avoid taking too much damage from SAMs, you have to fly so low that you have a good chance of hitting the ground, which is an instant reset. Also, aiming the rockets is not that easy, and if you have to make too many passes at the site, you'll take too much damage, and will fail. Once the site is down, head to the next one, at full burner, and at about 20 meters altitude. The enemy aircraft chase you, so try and hug the ground. It feels to me like oscillating up and down throws off the missile tracking, but I'm not certain of that. I like to approach the second site by going around the peak in front of it to the right (the west), and curling around. Anyway, take out the second site, same deal as the first. At this point you should really have lost no more than 3-4 blocks of health. Once that site is down, a new primary objective comes up, which is take out the infinite array of fighters. Don't start yet; head east to the lake between you and the objective, and sort of fly over the eastern shore to start the endless dogfight. Now, the site to the east of the lake is jam packed with SAMs, and you can't afford to take any damage from them, so I suggest making the lake your home. Stay low over the lake, it is your friend. NOW you can start taking out all the fighters. There should be a good number of them following you, I'd recommend a Hydra or two, and many more will show up. Using this strategy, there should be about 5 waves of fighters, 4 fighters each. Three of these will be the normal fighters you first see in this mission, and there will be one wave of the Stealth fighters, and one wave of Apaches. Once they're all shot down, you can pat yourself on the back, because you've beat the hardest mission in Dropship. I did notice something on replaying this mission for the FAQ. Contrary to my initial thoughts, if you destroy all the fighters over the SAM sites, then you will have to face fewer waves of fighters at the end. If you kill all the fighters on the first part, you only have to face the Stealth and Apache fighters in the end. I haven't checked it out, but that would suggest the following alternate strategy: Hit the first SAM site, lure the fighters away so that you don't get pummeled by SAMs, and take out the fighters, as well as the second wave that gets launched. Destroy the SAM site, and head to the second one, and repeat. Then head to the last site, and take out the three waves of fighters to end the mission. Again, I haven't tested it, but it should work. Mission 4.5: Peace... By Any Means The last battle. Unlike the previous mission where the waves of fighters stretch on with seemingly no end, this mission, while difficult, feels like it can be beaten. I'm still not sure how a stationary laser system can move into range of a satellite system over Europe, but oh well. You start this mission in the MkII, armed with Eagle AAMs, Hydra-M cluster AAMs, and Pitbull ASMs. Your goal for the first part of this mission is to land a team of tanks to take out the railgun controller buildings. Take off, fly to the drop point, and drop the tanks. Much like mission 3.2, you need to take out the enemy bombers to protect the tanks, and the fighters and SAMs to protect yourself. I recommend taking out all the SAMs, then heading back to base to repair and pick up more tanks. Drop them off, clear the skies of aircraft, and this second group of tanks will do the job. Once the three control centers are gone, head back to base, and prepare for a challenge. In true videogame fashion, you have to use EMP rockets to hit the three power relays, then the main orbital cannon itself, before the cannon fires. Each time you do this, it burns out a power coupling, and completing this cycle three times, then shooting the cannon again will cause the cannon to explode. All that's missing is the giant ape guarding the cannon by throwing barrels at you. But enough sarcasm, there's two ways to go about this task. For both methods, fly towards the crater, aiming for the center, then turn right, and aim at the nearest relay as you cross the crater lip. Dive into the crater, taking out the first relay, then roll sideways, and fly in a big counterclockwise circle inside the crater, just above the floor, taking out the next two relays as you pass. If you miss one, which is common, go around again. You'll notice that you take very little damage on the first pass, but significantly more on the second. You'll also notice if you fly too high that you can easily go from full health to dead in less than three seconds. Seriously. Once the last relay is down, fly towards the crater wall, then up and out. Turn around, and hit the main cannon opening. If you want to be fancy, you could pull a big loop from the crater floor, and hit the cannon on your way back down, but it's just not worth it. For method one, the fast and reckless method, you should have gotten all the relays on the first pass, and now be at somewhere above 50% armor, in which case you repeat the whole process again. Now you should be near death, so head back to base and repair. The cannon will fire twice before you get back there, and just repeat the process a third time, then pump one more rocket into the cannon orifice, and you have beaten Dropship. This should be possible, but I have not successfully done it. I used method two for the one time I beat this mission. For method two, the slow and safe method, once you've completed the cycle once, head back to base and repair. Time your return so that the cannon has fired twice before you get back, do the cycle again, head to base to repair again, the cannon fires two more times, head back, do the cycle a third time, hit the cannon one last time, and complete the game. You have to finish the cannon off before it fires a fifth time, or you'll fail the mission. I finished this mission with about 3 seconds left before I failed. The mission complete screen came up, immediately followed by the voice over from General Fraser telling me I failed. It was a completed mission, however, and I was a much less risk of dying. ====================================================================== 6. Closing Thoughts Well, there you have it, my strategies for Dropship. I hope you find it helpful. If you think I'm missing something, have questions, other strategies, or anything else, I can be reached by e-mail at <fakenym.hotmail.com>. It's not my normal e-mail address, so I'll only check it every other day or so. I get enough copies of the Klez virus on my normal account as it is. ====================================================================== Dropship 2? It seems like Dropship 2 is likely to be produced, at least in Europe. We'll just have to get lucky, though if many people go buy Dropship, we'll have better luck. So tell your friends to go buy it. ^_^ What would I like to see in Dropship 2, you may ask? First and foremost, better production values. Take the time to polish up the manual. Include mention for ALL the UPF ships, and all the weapon types. If they want to keep some new weapon like the cluster missiles a surprise, don't put them in the manual, but damn well make sure that they're mentioned in the mission briefing the first time you use them. I much prefer the flying missions to the ground and rail shooter missions, but can't really complain about the variety. I did not like the Apache much at all; I preferred the more "realistic" ship designs so I would steer away from the more fanciful ship designs. I would probably put in a fifth campaign, for a little more length. And the difficulty? I don't think it was too bad. Very frustrating on mission 4.4, but you do get a nice sense of accomplishment when you finish. ====================================================================== The Dropship Challenge Perhaps a bit too grandiose a name for this, but I needed something to call it. Because my strategy guide is geared towards beating the game the first time, some sacrifices were made, namely your allied troops. The Dropship Challenge is simply to play through the game without losing a single aircraft or group of ground troops that you are required to defend. This will require a lot more skill, and in some cases, a much different strategy. Explicitly, that challenge would be: Mission 1.3 with no vehicles lost. Mission 1.5 with both of Kreuzler's vehicles surviving. Mission 2.1 with no Lifters or buildings lost. Mission 2.2 with no Defenders lost. Mission 2.5 with no tanks lost. Mission 3.5 with no Lifters lost. Mission 4.2 without losing an entire tank group. Mission 4.5 without losing an entire tank group. I didn't include missions 3.1, 4.1, or 4.3, largely because I'm not certain you can do those without losing friendlies. ====================================================================== Glitches The game does have a few glitches, but fortunately, the common ones are minor, and the major ones are rare. In order of frequency, they are: Missile Warning System: Often in the middle of the mission this will get stuck on the screen. When this happens, you'll no longer get any audio warning of incoming missiles. It will stick with you for the rest of the mission. Sort of annoying, no more. Stuck View Angle: On missions where you land and a cutscene ensues, if you take off immediately after the cutscene, sometimes the view will be stuck looking down on your craft at about a 30-degree angle. Once this happens, you're stuck with it for the rest of the mission, and it makes flying near impossible, so a reset is in order. I've had this happen a few times on mission 3.1, and once on mission 4.5. Blue Screen of Death: Of course the PS2 does not have the Windows Blue Screen of Death, but I did once have the game freeze and an all blue screen appear, and gave some invalid address error, with the option to debug. I've only seen this once, on mission 3.2, though I've seen some other mention of it on the Gamefaqs boards. ====================================================================== Credits ------- First and foremost, I would very much like to thank James Chen, FAQ expert supreme. Without James to bounce ideas off of, I would have been too intimidated to write this document. He also provided an ASCII map revising service, and without it, my map would be an incomprehensible blob of characters. I'd like to thank CJayC and Gamefaqs for hosting the best trove of game information on the Internet. Without Bam!, there would have been no Dropship in the US, so a huge thanks to them. And lastly, I'd like to thank you for reading this FAQ.