--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Freedom Force Campaign Guide written by Sherwin Tam (email@example.com) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------- ---CONTENTS--- -------------- Introduction Version Changes Conventions Characters Core Characters Minute Man Mentor El Diablo Man-Bot Alche-Miss The Ant Liberty Lad Microwave Eve Optional Characters Man O' War Sea Urchin Law & Order Bullet Secret Characters Blackbird Iron Ox Super Collider Disclaimer Credits ------------------ ---INTRODUCTION--- ------------------ This is a guide to the PC tactical RPG Freedom Force, one of my new favorite games (else I wouldn't be writing a guide about it). As I don't play the multiplayer portion (currently no co-op), this will be about the Campaign portion of the game. I plan to include character descriptions, some tactical tips, stat explanations, and maybe a scenario guide if I can squeeze it in. --------------------- ---VERSION CHANGES--- --------------------- 0.2 04/25/2002 Added optional characters. 0.1 04/20/2002 First version, with core characters. ----------------- ---CONVENTIONS--- ----------------- The following conventions are used for attributes and powers when indicating cost: Recruitment Cost: Prestige Cost Attribute CP Cost Power Attack/Defense Type (Damage/Block Type, Notable Attributes) CP Cost to Purchase + Cost to Upgrade * indicates that a character starts off with the attribute or power listed.  indicates that the listed statistic or resistance has been modified as a result from a given attribute (i.e., it's already permanent). () indicates that the listed statistic or resistance is an available modification from a purchasable attribute. It also indicates when used next to a power that the character starts off at the specified level in that power. The only resistances listed are those that have been modified and/or those that aren't Normal resistance. Any resistance not listed is assumed to be Normal. I've separated Ranged attacks into Projectile, Beam, and Grenade types, since they all work differently. The Radius attribute means that the listed ranged attack has an area-type effect at the point of impact. Since the most common form of defense is Moveable for Active Defenses and Inactive-enabled for Passive Defenses, I assume those attributes hold true, with the noted exceptions listed as Immovable and Active Only. OvP/UnP stand for Overpower and Underpower. KB stands for KnockBack. ---------------- ---CHARACTERS--- ---------------- The characters are organized in terms of core (automatically recruited), optional (recruitable during the course of the game), and secret (need to use codes or have pre-ordered from EB). Within these sections the characters are sorted in order of appearance. --CORE CHARACTERS-- ************** **MINUTE MAN** ************** First Available: 1. Came A Hero! Advantages + Jumper + Is the first character you get, which means lots of CP + Excellent damage and decent speed with melee attacks + Can redirect or deflect physical and electrical rangedattacks + Extra hero points available means he can stay alive for a long time Disadvantages - Has no major ranged, area, or direct attack - Can only do crushing damage Minute Man is the "star" of the game and the first character you get, so you're stuck with him on every mission for the first part of the game. Fortunately, he's no slouch, especially against the relatively mundane enemies at the beginning of the game. Later on he becomes less useful because of his lack of ranged attacks and against enemies with resistance to crushing attacks, but with 300-Percenter and his good foot speed and ability to jump, he can never be completely counted out. Stats: Str 6, Spd 5, Agl 5, End 4, Eng 4 HP: 70 Attributes: Jumper * Disciplined 350 Heroic 750 Extra Heroic 1000 Minute Man doesn't truly need any of the extra attributes, although having mental resistance can be useful, as well as the extra hero point. It's unlikely you'll need 3 hero points, so the Extra Heroic attribute is a luxury item. Resistances: Radiation: Vulnerable Acid: Vulnerable (Mental: Resistant) **Patriotism** Smash(3) Melee (Crushing) * + 191 Standard 0-EP melee attack. Good damage, has a chance to stun, comes out a tad slow. OvP when needed to get major damage. Strike for Freedom (Melee) Melee (Crushing, 90-Degree) * + 102 90-Degree arc and some decent KB makes this good in the early going for breaking up clusters of enemies, although the short range of the arc means they have to be pretty close. 300-Percenter Special 250 Obviously 300 percent damage is a nice thing to have. Don't bother OvPing, it doesn't seem to increase the percentage (although UnPing seems to reduce it to 200 percent). For best results use an OvPed heavy damage attack like Smash or Vanquish while you still have the percentage bonus. Vanquish Melee (Crushing, 2-Hit) 870 + 174 Minute Man's best attack; this does the same damage and stun per hit as Smash, but it hits twice and has a much lower start time. There's also a bit of KB as well. Twice the possible damage as Smash + fast execution = good deal for your EP. Patriot Whirl Melee (Crushing, 360-Degree) 538 + 107 Same effect as Strike for Freedom, except in a full 360-Degree arc. I normally don't use this too much, since by the time you get this you have enough party members where you usually don't get surrounded and a lot of the enemies use ranged attacks anyway, but obviously this would be the move to use to clear some space if enemies are ganging up on you. **Vigilance** National Guard(3) Active Defense (Redirect) * + 198 This active defense is great against bullets and the occasional other type of physical projectiles, as well as electricity. Turn it on while standing in the middle of a bunch of gun-toting thugs and watch their own bullets take them out without Minute Man having to lift a finger. It's a redirect- type defense, which means you should always UnP it, since there's no penalty, and there's no benefit to OvPing. Also, it doesn't get any stronger if you upgrade, so don't bother. Eternal Vigilance Passive Defense (Deflect) * + 153 Just in case the National Guard doesn't catch the attacks, this has a chance to deflect the same attacks anyway. Given that you already have National Guard, I wouldn't put too much more into this passive defense. Just get enough to get... Minute Missile Projectile (Crushing, Stun, Chaining) 538 + 107 MM's lone ranged attack is slow to come out and does pitiful damage. However, after some upgrading it has great stun, and it's chained, which means that it'll jump from target to target if they're close together. Obviously the main use is to stop an enemy or group of enemies in their tracks so you can close in a finish them off at close range. Rally the Troops Area (Special) 298 + 59 This power's mystifying to me. The game description says it gives extra mental resistance and cures panic, while the manual implies that it gives an attack bonus of some sort. I personally haven't seen anything happen when I use this, so more testing will be needed. ********** **MENTOR** ********** First Available: 2. Strange Visitors 1 Advantages + Nice beam attacks, radiation damage + Resistant to mental and mystical attacks (with purchase), can cure mental states + Kinetic barrier stops common damaging attacks + Good disruptor of enemy groups Disadvantages - Can only levitate with purchase - Psyche Slash is practically useless - Outside of Electron Beam and Psyche Slash (see above), doesn't really inflict any direct damage The Man With The Plan and founder of Freedom Force, Mentor possesses Amazing Psychic Powers and I swear has the voice of The Brain from the Pinky and The Brain cartoon. In any case, psychic powers does not a stud make, as Mentor's pretty bad at dishing out direct damage outside of his Electron Beam. However, he makes for a good support character, especially on levels where there's a lot of magic and mind control flying around. Stats: Str 3, Spd 4, Agl 4, End 4, Eng 5 HP: 70 Attributes: Disciplined * Unbeliever 350 Levitate 850 Unbeliever is useful for Mentor to avoid Stasis and other nasty mystical attacks. Levitate can get him on rooftops, but considering Mentor's attack options (one direct, one beam, one penetrating beam), it's not vital. On the other hand, you can enrage and irradiate opponents on the ground from the safety of the rooftop, which is appealing... Resistances: [Mental: Resistant] Radiation: Vulnerable Acid: Vulnerable (Mystical: Resistant) **Mentalism** Instinct Dominance(3) Direct (Rage) * + 139 Useful for turning enemies against each other. Enrage a couple of enemies and wait for them to knock each other out. Be careful when there's civilians around, though, since the targets will likely go after them first, and make good use of the direct nature and long range and stay behind some barrier while the target goes on a rampage. Cortical Suppression Area (Mental Blank) * + 52 Large radius and a useful effect to buy some time while your opponents walk around aimlessly. Of course, the main problem with this power is the fact that you have to be close to the targets to use the area effect. Make sure to check the range and resistance of the targets before using. Adjust the power to an acceptable level of resistance, and don't move any closer to your targets than necessary to get them within range. Cerebral Balance Direct (Special) 542 + 108 A no-brainer (ha), just cures mental states. No benefit in upgrading this more than necessary. You can also always UnP. Mental Barrier Passive Defense (Normal) 807 + 161 Just in case you needed more protection, even if an opponent gets past your mental resistance, there's a 50+% chance the attack will fail anyway with this in place. Considering the price and how Mentor is already resistant to mental attacks, this may be overkill. I'd certainly upgrade other powers first even if I got this one, since 50/50 is already decent. **Alien Energy** Psyche-Slash Melee (Energy, 4-Hit) * + 80 One of the worst melee attacks in the game. Sure, it connects four times for decent damage, but it takes almost FOUR seconds to charge, which means anyone who can run/walk/hop/limp away can avoid it, and it's slow, so the enemy has a good chance of dodging anyway. And it costs EP to boot, making Mentor the only character in the game with no 0-EP attack. If you're going to use it, say, on an enemy in stasis, always OvP unless you don't need the extra damage. At least make it count if it actually connects... Electron Beam Beam (Radiation) 465 + 93 The first power you should purchase for Mentor; this should be Mentor's main attack, as a lot of enemies are vulnerable to radiation. Not the greatest accuracy or EP cost, but it's got good range and velocity. Kinetic Barrier Active Defense (Normal) 844 + 168 A pretty decent active defense, blocking both progessive-damage attacks (acid and radiation) as well as physical and energy attacks. Good amount of HP, so you can usually UnP this against attacks, as the chances of the duration expiring is normally higher than the chance you'll be attacked enough times to break down the barrier. Modulating Beam Beam (Irradiate, Penetrating) 844 + 176 Irradiating opponents around corners and behind walls and watching them keel over while trying to reach you is great, which is what you can do with this beam and its pentration property. ************* **EL DIABLO** ************* First Available: 5. Skating on Thin Ice 2 Advantages: + Flier + Only hero in game that does fire damage + Is effective at both close and long range + Highly resistant to heat and acid Disadvantages - Only does heat damage - Starts off weak - Hot-tempered attribute is annoying and occasionally dangerous - Uses up energy quickly A literal hothead, El Diablo isn't all that great to begin with, but ends up with some of the most destructive capabilities in the game. Flaming Fist is one of the best melee attacks in the game, and all the ranged powers past Tongues of Flame can do some major damage -- too much, in fact. El Diablo should avoid using his ranged attacks where innocents are involved, because his tendency to OvP attacks means those fireballs will be unintentionally large... Doing only heat damage outside of his weak Swift Punch is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the enemies' resistance to heat damage, so plan accordingly. Stats: Str 4, Spd 4, Agl 4, End 4, Eng 5 HP: 70 Attributes: Flier * Hot-Tempered * Both of these attributes are central to El Diablo's character. Flying is a big advantage in terms of travel and speed, although strangely enough El Diablo's strong melee attack means you'll spend an inordinate time landing to punch some baddies, so sometimes it's better to keep him grounded. As for Hot-Tempered, using up more energy than you had intended is rather annoying, and if you're really low and try an attack that gets OvPed, there's a chance El Diablo will end up stunning himself, which is annoying, especially if you're in the air at the moment. This is most dangerous when using Hellfire; considering its extreme EP cost, if you're unlucky enough to have it randomly OvPed, it's an automatic stun. Resistances: Heat: Highly Resistant Cold: Defenseless Electrical: Resistant Acid: Highly Resistant **Tier A** Swift Punch Melee (Crushing) * + 82 Not that great of a basic attack. While the start time is good, the punch itself does low damage and isn't that hard to dodge. OvP this whenever you use it. Fire It Up Active Defense (Normal?) 659 + 131 Blocks physical attacks as well as El Diablo's nemesis, cold. (You'd think it'd burn melee opponents to a crisp, but no.) Use whenever you feel the need to get away from it all. Note that there's currently some sort of bug that allows you to UnP this and still have it block all relevant attacks for the duration; it'll say something like 5 HP, but the HP will never drop. It should actually have an Extreme amount of HP, from 50-100, but I've tried well over 100 points worth of damage on it and El didn't even get scratched, so UnP to your heart's content until this gets patched. Flaming Fist Melee (Heat, 2-Hit) 644 + 128 A two-Hit, high-magnitude, heat damage melee attack and one of El Diablo's best powers. This will chew up any opponents who aren't resistant to heat or are too quick for El Diablo to hit. Against someone who's heat vulnerable, UnP, cuz you won't need a whole lot... Absorb Heat Passive Defense (Absorb) 612 + 122 Not quite as useful as on some other character, considering El Diablo's already highly resistant (25% damage from heat). However, it is passive, and it works half the time, so no damage is better than 1/4 damage. Gives you a 50/50 chance of throwing a fireball on yourself and coming out unscathed. **Tier B** Tongues of Flame Beam (Heat) * + 104 El Diablo's first heat attack. Mediocre due to the mediocre accuracy, so get close if you can to compensate. I tend to invest the CP to get Inferno, and use an UnPed Inferno attack instead, unless you're fighting on the rooftops and don't want to damage buildings (in which case you're better off using Flaming Fist if you can). Inferno Projectile (Heat, Radius) 736 + 147 Your standard explosive fireball (such as it is). Does good damage, high KB, and has some stun, and the radius of damage makes up for the aiming problems, so I normally choose to use this over Tongues of Flame. Be careful about the radius in busy areas, as it's easy to do a lot of collateral damage. Ignition Direct (Heat, Special) 337 + 67 On busy levels with lots of objects, this can be quite useful, since it's obviously easier to aim. The direct property allows you to blow things up without having line of sight like Man-Bot needs for his Disruption. Hellfire Projectile (Heat, Radius, Impact Spawn) 717 + 143 Inferno on steroids -- the same damage and stun, but with impact spawn, which throws mini-fireballs from where the initial one lands. Massive destruction, but given that the secondary fireballs aren't under your control, it's iffy whether you'll hit anything significant. Definitely not to be used anywhere near civilians. A larger problem stems from the EP cost (your full bar). What happens when Hot-Tempered OvPing meets Hellfire? That's right, instant stun... *********** **MAN-BOT** *********** First Available: 7. A Nuclear Winter 2 Advantages + Can fly with purchase + "The Battery" -- transferrence of EP makes Man-Bot an excellent support unit for heroes w/ expensive powers + Attacks all have KB + High HP + Resistant to all physical attacks, as well as radiation and energy + Unstable energy Disadvantages - Slow foot speed - Melee attacks easy to dodge - Can't dodge - Short-circuits with electricity - Unstable energy Considering his enormous exosuit, Man-Bot isn't exactly a ballerina, and he's not particularly cheery. His melee attacks are slow and surprisingly only average in power, although he does get a good strength bonus. However, he's sturdy, can blow people over, and has a lot of energy -- Energy X, that is, which he can transfer to others. He's all about the Energy, whether absorbing, transferring, leeching, or just blowing things to kingdom come with it. He has the best recharge rate of any hero in the game, too, which means there's always more after you OvP... Stats: Str 6, Spd 3, Agl 1, End 6, Eng 7 HP: 160 Attributes: Ponderous * Unstable Energy * Grim Resolve 200 Flier 1000 Ponderous means Man-Bot can't dodge (big surprise) and his melee attacks are slower, which, given that they all are slow to begin with, makes them REALLY slow. Unstable Energy is both a blessing and a curse. The random surges after damage makes for a counterattack for both friend and foe in the way. However, given that he can't dodge effectively, the explosion is necessary to clear out gangs of melee attackers if Man-Bot gets in trouble, so just don't stand too close... Grim Resolve is decent for less stun time (good against the occasional electrical attack), but the big prize here is Flier. With Man-Bot's speed, he needs all the mobility he can get, and flying allows him to go over buildings and moves him faster than just running. Resistances: Piercing: Resistant Crushing: Resistant Electrical: Vulnerable Radiation: Resistant **Tier A** Contain Energy(3) Passive Defense (Absorb) * + 176 Does just what it says, giving an 80+% chance at absorbing energy attacks. Wallop Melee (Crushing) * + 127 0-EP attack, so go ahead and OvP. Slow attack, medium damage. Double Uppercut Melee (Crushing, Up KB) 640 + 128 Same effects as Wallop, but now the KB is higher and knocks opponents up in the air (assuming they're not too heavy), which means they'll take damage once they come back down and hit the ground. The time the opponent spends getting back on their feet is time for you to administer another Double Uppercut and send them right back up in the air again... Also good for thinning out crowds by sending opponents successively in the air. Energize Other Direct (Special) 410 + 82 Gives a teammate (or a villian, or a civilian, whatever floats your boat) increased EP regen. Also gives the target Unstable Energy temporarily, so stay away. Use this to your advantage and energize a strong melee fighter attacking a group. **Tier B** Focus Beam (Energy) * + 181 Man-Bot's lone beam attack has a slow start time and mediocre accuracy, which somewhat negates its long range. However, it does have a significant amount of KB; use this at close to medium range and sweep opponents off their feet. Great for knocking targets off rooftops or against walls, especially if you OvP to increase the KB. If you like playing Man-Bot as an aerial character, this will likely be your main attack; hover near opponents and nail them from above. Transfer Beam (Special) 171 + 34 One of Man-Bot's most oft-used powers, and damn cheap, too. Transfers some of Man-Bot's EP to the target. Considering Man-Bot's extreme recharge rate, this is a good tradeoff and keeps frontline units in top bashing condition. Fly around the battlefield and keep everyone pumped. Disruption Beam (Energy, Special) 124 + 24 Beam makes objects explode on contact. Extremely inexpensive; the medium accuracy means and beam nature means this isn't as strong as El Diablo's Ignition, but the ability to explode objects still comes in handy, even if Man-Bot can miss on occasion. Just make sure you don't try this if there's some obstacle in the way. You don't want things to blow up in your face (literally), after all. Energy Leech Area (Special) 271 + 54 The opposite of Transfer, where Man-Bot sucks up the EP from targets around him. It's a good idea to OvP this, since it'll give you all the EP back if you're successful in leeching anyone's EP anyway. Release Area (Energy) 857 + 71 The most damaging area attack in the game, and also one of the slowest, so anyone who's dumb enough to be around when Man-Bot finally gets this off deserves their fate. Smarter foes will take the four seconds or so for Man-Bot to finish charging to hit him out of it or just run away as fast as they can. Exercise caution in close quarters; Man-Bot can level buildings with this if you're not careful. ************** **ALCHE-MISS** ************** First Available: 12. Prehistoric Panic Advantages + Accurate long-range projectile attack + Variety of useful state-inducing mystical powers + Can purchase resistance to mental and mystical attacks + The costume. Rrowrr. Disadvantages + Can only levitate with purchase - Low pain tolerance - Weak at close range A Southern Belle with 'tude and a skirt that's plastered to her legs (damn!), Alche-Miss is an excellent support character, with a variety of different ways to inflict various different states and generally make an opponent's life miserable. However, she makes a poor front-line character, and can easily be overwhelmed if surrounded, especially given her tendency to panic when hit. Keep her out of harm's way and away from enemies (or use her abilities to knock said enemies away, one of the two). Stats: Str 3, Spd 4, Agl 4, End 4, Eng 6 HP: 70 Attributes: Timid * Level Headed 700 Levitate 850 The Timid attribute is the main culprit as to why Alche-Miss should be well away from enemies, as losing character control while she's getting pummelled is never nie. Level Headed is a nice attribute to have, but given that Blessed Aegis already gives her a 75+% chance to ignore mystical attacks, it's sorta expensive for the mental and mystical resistance. Levitate is similarly nice but not necessary, since almost all of Alche- Miss's major powers are direct. Resistances: Radiation: Vulnerable Acid: Vulnerable (Mental: Resistant) (Mystical: Resistant) **Sorcery** Smite the Wicked(3) Melee (Crushing) * + 34 Given Alche-Miss's strength and the puny damage this attack (a slap, of course) does, the only reason to use this 0-EP melee attack is on the 30- 35% chance that it will stun the opponent so you can make a run for it. Arcane Bolt(3) Projectile (Energy) * + 192 Alche-Miss's main attack, and the one you should have set as the default action. Takes a low amount of EP, has good accuracy, long range, and high velocity. In other words, use it, love it. Repulsion (KB) Direct (KB) * + 171 An interesting power: no damage, but high KB, long range, and it's direct. Opponents normally take some damage from their landing after being knocked in the air. Due to its range and direct nature, you can use this to knock opponents away from fleeing civilians at a safe range. A more insidious use of the power is to batter opponents against walls or knock them off rooftops. Good way to blow fliers out of the sky, too. Make sure to OvP to get high KB if possible. Vengeance Curse Direct (Hex) 769 + 153 Hexes opponents, which slows them down and has a high chance of stunning them if they try to attack. Great to tack on to a trigger-happy opponent; wait for them to stun themselves, then have someone close in for the kill. Arms of the Goddess Active Defense (Normal) 715 + 143 Protects from basically every type of ranged attack. Combine this with Blessed Aegis and the Level Headed attribute to take care of mental and mystical attacks, and Alche-Miss can basically shrug off anything that's not at close range. **Dimensional Summoning** Alteration(3) Direct (Special) * + 105 Drops a random primary state on the target, which takes them out of the action for a while (unless they're enraged). I've seen every primary state except exile, stun, and surrender come from this spell, so you could have a block of ice, a vegetable, or a hopping mad victim... Also removes secondary states, so if you really need to stop someone's acid burn immediately, this will do the trick. Of course, you could end up with a hypnotized teammate attacking you, but at least they're not taking acid damage anymore, right? Blessed Aegis Passive Defense (Normal) * + 117 75+% chance of blocking mystical attacks. Yep, that's all there is to see, move along. Aloft Area (Up KB) 378 + 75 Another no-damage power in the vein of Repulsion, but the KB here is much more extreme. Anyone caught in the area when Alche-Miss is done casting is propelled a ridiculous distance up in the air, making for a painful landing. Make sure to check the KB against large enemies; heavy targets don't fly too far, so this power isn't worth using unless the KB is high. Purgatory Direct (Exile) 293 + 58 Exiles targets to some alternate dimension for a while. During this vacation into some new reality, the target can neither receive nor deal any damage. In fact, they can't do much of anything, making this a good way to take strong opponents out of the battle temporarily or buy a teammate some time if they're being pummeled. *********** **THE ANT** *********** First Available: 15. Where Shadows Fall 1 Advantages + Great throwing ability + Good HP + Decent agility, can purchase Nimble and increase dodge ability + Strong melee attacks + Ranged acid damage + Cool costume Disadvantages - Wall climbing is the slowest way to scale heights - Strong attacks cost an enormous amount of CP - No direct damage ranged attack The Ant is for anyone who has to have that nerd-to-insectoid hero (that means you, Spiderman fans). Unfortunately, The Ant isn't quite as cool as the legendary Spidey, since he can't just swing from building to building, but he tries, with a funky costume and some great powers, making a high- level Ant a formidable opponent. However, with great power(s) comes great responsi-- er, actually, great CP costs. Ant's Worker Ant category is laughably easy to complete, but to get to the nicer powers in the Soldier Ant category requires some serious CP, meaning anyone who wants those powers will have to wait a few levels where The Ant doesn't improve while waiting for enough CP to purchase the powers. Fortunately, Acid Bomb is one of the most effective ranged attacks despite not doing any direct damage, and Shove and Ultrasonic Squeal can keep enemies busy until The Ant at least gets Pincer Punch. Stats: Str 5, Spd 4, Agl 5(8), End 6, Eng 4 HP: 160(144) Attributes: Heavy Lifter * Wall Climbing * Nimble 200 Heavy Lifter lets The Ant pick up anything that's not bolted to the ground and throw it. Use this ability to your advantage and pick up those trucks and huge boulders for some serious chuckage. Just be careful in urban areas; throwing cars and such has an annoying tendency to bring down buildings... Wall Climbing is the minimum way to get on the roof. While it's cool to watch, it's slow compared to flying or jumping up there. Nimble sacrifices some HP to make The Ant significantly harder to hit. I usually consider this an acceptable tradeoff, but it's not a must-have if you're concerned you'll need those 16 HP. Resistances: Radiation: Vulnerable Acid: Vulnerable Note that The Ant is vulnerable to acid, which means he can't take what he dishes out. Make sure you're not in the radius of your own Acid Bombs! **Soldier Ant** Thorax Punch(3) Melee (Crushing) * + 72 Basically the same as El Diablo's Swift Punch, a mediocre punch due to its low damage, although it comes out reasonably fast. Uses no EP, so always OvP. Acid Bomb Grenade (Acid Burn, Radius) * + 112 One of the nastiest ranged attacks due to the acid burn it dishes out. It's a grenade, so take some care in aiming it, especially with innocents around; you don't want to skip the bomb past the baddies and have it hit some kid, after all. Also, since it inflicts a state, check the targets' resistances to see whether you need to OvP the bomb to lower the chance at resisting the effects. Pincer Punch Melee (Crushing, Stun) 732 + 146 Alright, now we're talking! This is one of the best melee attacks in the game. Not only does it do high damage, it has an extreme stun factor and almost no start time. Stun opponents and Pincer them to death... Metabolize Passive Defense (Absorb) 900 + 180 The high cost of this defense is somewhat justified by the types of damage it blocks: acid and radiation ranged attacks. Unfortunately, it only works 50-60% of the time, which means you can't just waltz into the area of your own Acid Bombs. Also note that this only stops the intial attack; if you don't absorb an acid or irradiating attack, the progressive damage still works like normal (i.e. hurts lots). Still, considering these are the two most dangerous attacks in the game and The Ant has vulnerabilities to both of them, anything that can stop the attacks cold more than half the time is useful. Mandible Assault Melee (Crushing, 3-Hit, 90-Degree) 1047 + 209 Here we come to an attack that somewhat qualifies for the "overkill" category, in that it almost does too much at once. Mandible Assault hits three times quickly in a 90-Degree arc, which makes this effective against groups. However, given the number of contacts and low EP cost, it also makes a great attack in general, so you'll likely use this more as a single-opponent attack (especially against someone you just Pincered), so the arc is frequently wasted, especially given that The Ant also has the highly effective Ultrasonic Squeal for stunning groups of enemies. It may be more cost-effective to upgrade Pincer Punch as The Ant's primary melee attack instead of purchasing this; however, there's no denying that it's an effective attack, and since the arc's there, if you see a tightly grouped set of baddies, go ahead and go to town with this directly. **Worker Ant** Burrow Special * The Ant dives into the ground -- and stays there. Wait, why is this useful? Well, as a ground-based defense, it's great, because while he's underground, The Ant can't be targeted or damaged. Of course, he can't move, either, but in cases where you need to get out of the way of a teammate's explosion or need some time to recover EP, Burrow is just fine. The effects are the same no matter what the power, so always UnP this. Shove(3) Melee (KB) * + 142 An interesting melee attack, one that has no damage but the highest amount of KB in the game. Say goodbye to anyone you catch with this on top of a rooftop, because they won't land for a while. Great way to separate enemies, knock them against objects, or just push people around (groan). Note that since it's a melee attack, The Ant will immediately follow the pushed opponent and try to push them again, so if you're using it defensively or want to use another power as a followup, make sure to take control of The Ant and give him another command. Tunnel Travel Special * The extension of Burrow, where The Ant goes Bugs Bunny and cuts a swath through the earth to pop up somewhere else. As with Burrow, The Ant is cannot be targeted while he's underground, and he ignores any surface obstacles while traveling. Allows The Ant to travel underneath walls, which is useful in certain levels. Works well with Ultrasonic Squeal; tunnel to the middle of a group of enemies, then quickly stun them with the Squeal and pick them off. Ultrasonic Squeal Area (Stun) 251 + 50 Yet another Ant power that does no damage, but this time the power has extreme stun. The Ant's best defense against enemies trying to gang up on him, and also works well as a close to medium range attack to allow The Ant to safely approach (and hit) enemies. Ant Swarm Projectile (Blindness) 294 + 58 Has to be one of the dumbest-looking projectiles. Wasps or flies or something, maybe, but picking up a bunch of ants from the ground and throwing them? In any case, the thrown ants are homing (Huh? Flying male ants, maybe?) and inflict the blind state, which has a variety of nice effects. It reduces visual range, so ranged attacks have to move closer to attack, and it eliminates an opponent's ability to dodge if they don't have Danger Sense, so anyone who you're having trouble hitting will be an easy target after blindness. *************** **LIBERTY LAD** *************** First Available: 17. Looking for Trouble 1 Advantages + Jumper + Highest agility in the game, very hard to hit + Fast speed + Useful area-based ranged attacks Disadvantages - Really, really (really) low HP - Essentially defenseless against acid and radiation because of low HP - Difficult to control grenade-based attacks - Some powers currently broken Liberty Lad is one of those characters you like or hate. Anyone who likes scrappy characters with a hit-and-run, guerrilla mentality of fighting will like Liberty Lad, while anyone who doesn't like fragile, high-maintenance brats will hate him. LL's calling card is to cause some chaos, run in and snipe a few enemies, then run away when attacked, and he does this better than any other character in the game, having the best combination of speed and dodging in the game. Of course, if you're not into "strategic retreat", then you won't get too far with Liberty Lad, because he's simply not hardy enough to be a front line take-all-comers character. Maybe when he grows a few more inches... Liberty Lad requires a lot attention to make sure he doesn't kick the bucket, along with some skill in throwing grenades, which aren't easy to use. However, if you keep him constantly on the move and use his grenades well, he's surprisingly effective. Stats: Str 4, Spd 6, Agl (11), End 3, Eng 4 HP:  Attributes: Nimble * Jumper * Danger Sense 300 Just in case you didn't think Nick had enough of an HP penalty, he trades in 4 of his normal 40 HP for +3 agility with Nimble. No, your eyes don't deceive you, that's 36 HP. Jumper allows Liberty Lad to make the quick rooftop getaway or to drop bombs on unsuspecting enemies. Danger Sense is crucially important to Liberty Lad's well being, and it's always the first thing I purchase. How so? Normally dodge bonuses only apply to attacks to the FRONT of a character, so any attack from behind is undodgeable. Purchasing Danger Sense gives Liberty Lad the ability to dodge attacks from all sides, prevents the loss of dodging ability from blindness, and gives a +1 Agl bonus to boot. In other words, to effectively run away (and you'll be doing a lot of that), you'll need Danger Sense to improve your chances of not being shot in the back. Resistances: Radiation: Vulnerable Acid: Vulnerable Although he only has the standard vulnerabilities to acid and radiation, due to his low HP, radiation or acid direct/progressive damage essentially means certain death without some quick state removal or the use of a hero point. Be very careful if you take Liberty Lad along for missions where opponents use these types of damage; consider using him in a long range grenade-launcher capacity. **Rumbling** The Ol' One Two(3) Melee (Crushing, 2-Hit) * + 145 Surprisingly decent two-Hit attack. This is due to its fast speed and low start time. 0-EP power, so OvP to your heart's content. Schoolyard Taunt Area (Rage) * + 22 Liberty Lad throws out some snide comment and gives everyone around him a hissy fit. Unlike what you'd think the power would do, all the targets don't start chasing Nick around. Instead, the power inflicts the Rage state, which means they'll attack each other or anyone nearby (so don't try this with innocents around). Liberty Lad will definitely be a prime target, however, so do the retreat thing right after taunting to make sure the only targets the enraged opponents see is each other. Flip-Kick Melee (Crushing, Up KB) 789 + 157 A nice melee attack for quickly cycling through different opponents. Works just like Man-Bot's Double Uppercut, in that it launches lighter enemies into the air, except Liberty Lad's version is faster and has higher KB. Use liberally as a main attack to break up large groups or as an initial attack for a combo, e.g. Flip-Kick an opponent with OvP for high KB, throw a Proximity Grenade right at your feet and run in the other direction, then throw an Energy Grenade while the opponent lands on the first grenade. Evil. Tumble Special 313 A great power for Liberty Lad in theory, making him nigh impossible to hit while he's tumbling. Unfortunately, in practice this isn't the case, because this power is broken. Instead of likely giving 99% dodge, it gives 1% dodge. So, DON'T USE THIS, until it gets patched. Throw Voice Direct (Rage) 166 + 33 In theory, this is an area attack based on the target, where the power enrages the characters around the target. However, right now it's broken (yes, another one), which means it works like Instinct Dominance, where it just enrages the target. Which is still a decent skill, but it doesn't work as advertised. **Molecular Control** Stun Grenade Grenade (Stun, Radius) * + 87 One of Liberty Lad's primary weapons, this grenade almost guaranteed stun (for enemies that can be normally stunned, at least), a decent radius, and long range. Excellent power to use for an approach against a group of enemies, or to cover a retreat. Energy Grenade Grenade (Energy, Radius) 782 + 156 The only grenade in the game that does what you'd expect a grenade to do, explode and do damage. Decent damage but a smaller radius than the other two grenades Liberty Lad can use. Note that with the delayed explosion time you can toss two or three of these out in succession and have them all blow up at once, so if you're sure you've aimed them correctly, toss a few out at once to do some good damage. Proximity Grenade Grenade (Heat, Radius, Proximity) 340 + 68 Don't believe the description. These grenades blow up when ANYONE comes near, so if you try throwing some down and then running over them hoping to lure enemies to walk over them, you're going to be in for a nasty surprise... With that said, these grenades have a good radius of effect and can be thrown quickly like the Energy Grenades, so if there's areas where you know enemies are going to appear or travel through (like dimensional portals), throwing a few nearby is certain to give the baddies a rude welcome. Another interesting use is to just drop one as part of a retreat or comboing with Flip-Kick, although in this case it's a good idea to UnP the grenade to make sure you're not caught in the blast. Molecular Excitation Direct (Energy, Special) 247 + 49 Liberty Lad does the Gambit schtick and adds explosive power to objects, so thrown objects that have been excited will do their normal thrown damage along with an explosion equivalent in size to an Energy Grenade, unless you excite objects that can naturally explode, like cars. Note that UnP/OvP changes the duration, not the damage. It's normally a good idea to avoid UnPing this, since the chance that the effect will wear out is too great. Not a great power to use on its own, given the time it takes Liberty Lad to excite something, then pick it up and throw it. However, when paired with a character with good throwing skills, such as Minute Man, Man-Bot, The Ant, or Order, Molecular Excitation turns ordinary trash cans and mail boxes into high-velocity explosive projectiles. Great way to do some long- range carnage. ************* **MICROWAVE** ************* First Available: 19. Wanted - The Minuteman 1 Advantages + Does radiation damage + Some of the most powerful, er, powers in the game + Resistant to physical, mental, radiation attacks + Beam attacks are accurate and cost-effective Disadvantages - No way to scale heights outside of the expensive Teleport - Slow speed, melee attack - Low Agl means little dodge ability - Circuits fried with electrical damage - Cool powers take a heckuva lot of CP to purchase Your standard futuristic robot assassin reprogrammed to be a good guy. (Well, standard in comic books, at least.) He (really it, but I don't like referring to characters as "it") doesn't look much like Ah-nald and certainly can't morph like the T2000, but then again neither of them could teleport or reduce foes to radioactive heaps of atoms, either. Microwave is possibly the most powerful character in the game, with some of the coolest powers. He's even more powerful when you realize that you can UnP a lot of said powers with no penalty, at least until Irrational thinks about fixing that. Stats: Str 4, Spd 3, Agl 2, End 5, Eng 6 HP: 110 Attributes: Cybernetic Brain * Radioactive * Resistant to mental attacks due to his Cybernetic Brain. He also gets a bonus to his accuracy. Radioactive unfortunately doesn't mean he gets an aura or glow in the dark, but he does get the high resistance to radiation. Resistances: Piercing: Resistant Crushing: Highly Resistant [Mental: Resistant] Electrical: Vulnerable [Radiation: Highly Resistant] **Beam Projection** Microwave Beam(3) Beam (Radiation) * + 178 Microwave's main attack, a long-range, radiation beam attack with great accuracy and low cost. Enemy vulnerabilities means you can UnP this a lot and save the EP, too. Rad Bolts Projectile (Radiation, Flight Spawn x 3) * + 91 Same damage as Microwave Beam, but higher cost, lower accuracy, and shorter range. So why would you use Rad Bolts? That little part about flight spawning is the important part. Sure, you can't really aim the extra three bolts you get, but if you have a group to shoot at, you don't really have to. More interesting, though, is the effect at close range. Since the bolts don't have much space to spread, the bolts will basically attack the same target, which can make for some serious damage. Try teleporting right behind a target and rad bolting to put on some big hurt. Irradiate Beam (Irradiate, Penetrating) 918 + 183 Irradiation. Progressive radioactive damage. Penetrating beam. 'Nuff said. Meltdown Beam (Radiation, Penetrating) 929 + 185 Exactly the same as Microwave Beam, except Meltdown is penetrating. Thus, it's not really worth it to use this unless you're behind some object. **Materialization** Interference(3) Melee (Energy) * + 103 Microwave's 0-EP melee attack, does energy damage. Somewhat slow attack, but it's all Microwave's got against radiation-resistant opponents until he gets Genetic Damage. Displace Image Special * The most powerful active defense, Displace Image will turn Microwave translucent and will make him invulnerable to all damage. He's still able to move around and his EP will recharge while he's displaced. Any attack during the displacement brings Microwave back to reality. UnP to your heart's content. Teleport Self Special * The fastest way from point A to point B is to just disappear and reappear like Microwave can (unless you're the Bullet, that is). Take advantage of UnPing to save EP, or get Microwave from place to place quickly by first doing two UnPed teleports from one side of the sceen to the other before starting a normal run. This is the only way that Microwave can get atop rooftops. Genetic Damage Direct (Special) 686 + 137 The answer to any enemy with high resistance, Genetic Damage temporarily changes the target's resistances so that they take double damage from EVERYTHING. Play with their DNA and then let loose with your team's biggest guns. Clone Self Special 1201 The most expensive power of any of the characters, and for good reason. A created clone has half HP but in all other respects is the same as the original Microwave. Imagine two or three Microwaves, all armed with long range radiation beams. Better yet, don't imagine it, recreate it! The one thing you need to watch out for is the collateral damage. Since the clones are computer-controlled, they tend to cause lots of destruction to the surrounding area, so when in heavily populated areas, you may be forced to tone down the cloning. Works great with UnPing. ******* **EVE** ******* First Available: 22. Deja Who 1 Advantages + Sniper extraordinaire, with incredible accuracy + Can do acid damage + Useful supplementary state-inducing attacks + The costume. I mean, c'mon, look at it. (Then look at it again.) Disadvantages - No ability to scale heights whatsoever - Has NO damaging melee attack. None. Eve is a relatively one-dimensional character, being an incredible marksman but having pitiful close-range abilities. Fortunately, having a kick-ass set of projectile skills will get you pretty far in this game, and she does have some defenses against melee attackers, so as long as you have someone to cover for her if she gets surrounded, Eve is a valuable addition to your team. If nothing else, I'll be there's precious few games that let you play 7-foot, scantily clad enviromentalists. And, if you appreciate such things (like I do), she's a lot of fun to watch in action. Ahem. Stats: Str 4, Spd 4, Agl 5, End 5, Eng 5 HP: 110 Attributes: Beautiful * Crack Shot * Temperature Control 600 Obviously the first two attributes are a great benefit, since Eve needs all the melee defense she can get, of which Beautiful is one (makes Alche-Miss jealous, no doubt), and Crack Shot makes her already formidable aiming skills even better. Temperature Control is more a luxury item; given a choice between adding another projectile to her repertoire or getting some heat and cold resistance, I'd certainly take the former. Resistances: Radiation: Vulnerable Acid: Vulnerable (Heat: Resistant) (Cold: Resistant) **Archery** Arrow(3) Projectile (Piercing) * + 243 Even given the high upgrade cost, this is worth boosting, because Arrow is one of the most cost-effective projectiles in the game: it does decent damage, has long range, is extremely accurate, and costs a measly 10 EP. Make this Eve's default attack; put her on continuous fire and watch her take down enemies without breaking a sweat. Living Arrow Projectile (Piercing, Homing) * + 175 Does high damage and is even more accurate than Arrow, since it's homing. Unfortunately, the EP cost of Living Arrow is enormous compared to Arrow, which makes Arrow the better choice normally unless an enemy has been particularly hard to target or you need to make a big first impression, i.e. you want a one-shot takedown. Note that you can normally OvP (single arrow) Living Arrow if you have full EP and avoid stunning yourself. Acid Arrow Projectile (Acid Burn) 912 + 182 Has the same attributes as Arrow, except the piercing damage has been replaced with acid burn and the cost is higher. Check the target's resistances and dodge chances; given that this doesn't have a radius of effect like The Ant's Acid Bomb, either OvP to get a lower resistance, or keep the EP cost low if the opponent's ability to dodge the arrow is high. Swarm of Arrows Projectile (Piercing, Flight Spawn x 3) 1064 + 212 An interesting option for thinning out crowds, but the spread is rather high, although one of the four arrows is almost guaranteed to hit the target, since the original arrow is aimed normally. It is of course more effective the closer you are to the target,, which makes this a deadly close range attack, but then again what are you doing so close to the enemy in the first place? Also useful at medium range for groups, but not too useful at its longest range unless the enemies are evenly spread and two are to the left and one is to the right of the target... you get the idea. **Nature's Glory** Nature's Kiss(3) Melee (Hypnosis) * + 83 The only melee attack Eve has, and it doesn't do any damage. It has a good chance at hypnotizing the opponent, but it takes a long time to start and is easy to dodge, so it may be too late by the time Eve gets a hit. Swarm of Leaves(3) Direct (Blindness) * + 122 Eve has a thing for swarms, doesn't she? In any case, here she conjures said swarm of leaves to obscure the enemy's vision. (Too bad she doesn't use leaves from her costume as part of the swarm... But I digress.) Given that the power has long range, this is a great way to make sure you hit those enemies that have good dodge abilities, since this negates dodging for those that don't have Danger Sense. Blind them and then riddle them full of arrows. Binding Vines Direct (Stasis, Ground Only) * + 122 One of Eve's few powers that doesn't have long range. However, the magnitude of this is very high; so long as your target is on the ground, they'll soon have an up-close appreciation of the local flora. As damage removes the stasis, unless you have another heavy hitter to take the bound character out quickly, it's better to use Binding Vines to take closer opponents out of the action while you focus on other enemies. They aren't going anywhere, after all... Empathy Special 250 Eve's answer against melee attacks, or any other attack, for that matter, Empathy does around 0.5-2 times the damage that any opponent does to her. Of course, she still takes damage, but giving it back is bound to give some attackers pause. Using this and watching a gang of thugs knock themselves out while trying to attack Eve with Empathy on is rather humorous (at least until you look at her health bar afterwards). Note that the type of damage the attacker suffers is the same type that they dish out, so resistances play a large role in how effective the power is. For instance, Empathy wouldn't be too effective against Man-Bot if he used Wallop on Eve (not that he ever would); Wallop does Crushing damage, and Man-Bot is highly resistant to crushing attacks, so he wouldn't suffer more than one or two points of damage from Empathy. On the other hand, if Mentor used his Electron Beam on Eve with Empathy, he'd also suffer enormous damage from the attack, since he's vulnerable to the Radiation damage that Electron Beam causes. Also note that Empathy doesn't have any effect on state- inducing attacks, so acid and radiation won't give the attacker any progressive damage. The effect seems the same no matter what the power, so always UnP this. --OPTIONAL CHARACTERS-- Note that optional characters have a recruitment cost in Prestige. Unlike core characters, you must recruit optional characters, which means that even when they're available, they will not be part of your team unless you recruit them. ************** **MAN O' WAR** ************** First Available: 12. Prehistoric Panic Recruitment Cost: 4105 Advantages + Can fly with purchase + Only hero that does electrical damage + Good stunning and KB capabilities + High HP Disadvantages - Melee attack surprisingly weak - Ineffective against enemies with electrical resistance - High CP cost to develop Man O' War shouldn't be listed under "optional", because he's practically "necessary". A monster due to his highly useful electrical attacks, and he has no real weaknesses besides a mediocre melee attack and needing a huge amount of CP to develop fully. Those wanting to fully unlock Man O' War's full power should recruit him as early as possible and take him on lots of missions, because otherwise you'll likely never have enough CP to get through either of his power categories. The electrical powers are useful enough so that Man O' War's water-based powers will likely be underused; although the stasis and stunning powers there are also nice, the lack of a lot of direct damage hampers that category somewhat. Stats: Str 6, Spd 4, Agl 4, End 6, Eng 5 HP: 160 Attributes: Charged * Cold-Blooded * Flier 1000 Charged is a nice attribute, giving both resistance to electricity and an extra 5 points of electrical damage to Man O' War's melee attacks. Cold- Blooded means you don't want to get too close to any Ice Queens. Flier is a nice attribute to increase MOW's travel speed and gives him a way to get to rooftops, but considering how much his powers cost, you may have to pass this up. Resistances: [Cold: Vulnerable] [Electrical: Resistant] Radiation: Vulnerable Acid: Vulernable **Call the Storm** Electric Arc(3) Melee (Stun, 90-Degree) * + 63 An arcing melee attack purely for stun. Extremely fast and thus difficult to dodge. Set up an attack by stunning your opponents and then hit them with Man O' War's normal damaging melee attack (Pressure Punch). Storm Bolt Beam (Electrical) * + 167 Man O' War's bread-and-butter ranged attack. Decent damage and stun, but the important part of Storm Bolt is its electrical property, which seriously messes up any metal-based enemy. Magnetic Harbor Active Defense (Deflect) 683 + 136 Blocks ranged and area attacks from physical and electric sources, similar to Minute Man's National Guard. As it's a deflect-type defense, you can safely UnP this with no penalty. In fact, there's no reason to upgrade this outside of getting the requirement to the next power, because there's no benefits from upgrading. Kraken's Scales Passive Defense (Deflect) 807 + 161 Just in case Magnetic Harbor doesn't work, Kraken's Scales has a low chance (25-35%) of deflecting ranged physical attacks anyway. It does differ from Magnetic Harbor in that it works on energy attacks instead of electrical ones, and it also applies to melee attacks. Ball Lightning Projectile (Electrical, Stun, Chained, Homing) 912 + 182 One of the coolest powers to watch in action, Ball Lightning starts off as an ambling sphere of static which slowly winds its way to a target, but as it hits it calls streaks of lightning from the sky to hit the target, and then it chains to another target. Ball Lightning does decent damage and good stun, which makes up for its high cost. Note that unlike the description, Ball Lightning does not discriminate between friend or foe, so don't throw this near your teammates, and don't use this too close to civilians. The range of this is long, and the ball goes a long way while homing, so unintentional shockings are very possible. **Control the Waves** Pressure Punch Melee (Crushing) * + 73 Man O' War's default 0-EP melee attack is surprisingly weak. He does get the +5 damage bonus for the Charged attribute, but even that only results to roughly 22 damage when fully upgraded, which is low considering his strength (a medium-damage melee attack would be doing 34 damage fully upgraded given MOW's strength). He is thus not the best choice for up- close brawling. But, it's there, so when you need to use it, use it (preferably OvPed). Bermuda Triangle Projectile (Stasis) 148 + 29 The reason why this is so cheap is due to the medium range and accuracy, so chances are you won't always even hit the target on the first try. However, stasis in any form can be useful, so if someone needs to be stopped immediately, this is a decent choice. Water Jet Beam (Crushing, Stun, KB) 981 + 196 While there is some damage associated, the main purpose of the Water Jet is either as a setup power with the high stun, or as a way to knock enemies away with the high KB. Given the mediocre accuracy, this is best used at closer ranges (to hit enemies to farther ranges). Whirlpool Area (KB) 355 + 71 There's a bit of stun associated with Whirlpool, but the main purpose is the high KB. Use whenever the baddies are getting too close for comfort or you need to spread things out some more. With the large radius, any close clusters won't be too clustered afterwards. ************** **SEA URCHIN** ************** First Available: 12. Prehistoric Panic Recruitment Cost: 4176 Advantages + Can fly with purchase + High speed and agility + Can do acid damage + Melee attacks do piercing damage and are very difficult to dodge + Effective defense Disadvantages - High CP cost to develop - Acid attack can be hard to control - Can't do a lot of direct damage - Powers have high EP cost Man O' War's cheery sidekick, Sea Urchin is actually decently powerful in her own right, although the nature of her powers is such that she is more suited to a supporting role, since her ranged attacks are all state-based and her melee attacks are low in power. With her natural high speed and agility, she is almost as hard a target to hit as Liberty Lad, and she doesn't suffer from the low HP disadvantage that he has, although without Danger Sense she can't play the hit-and-run game as effectively. Like her mentor Man O' War, however, she has some of the highest CP costs in the game, which means she'll need to be in a lot of missions to develop effectively. Stats: Str 3, Spd 5, Agl 7(10), End 4, Eng 5 HP: 70(63) Attributes: Charged * Neutralize * Nimble 200 Flier 1000 Charged gives Sea Urchin more oomph on her melee attacks, which is sorely needed, since she has low strength and low magnitude on her attacks. Charged and Neutralize also improve her electrical and acid resistances, respectively. Nimble is a nice skill to have even given the HP penalty, as Sea Urchin's resulting agility allow her to dodge a great deal of attacks. Flier is a luxury attribute for Sea Urchin, since she's pretty mobile as she is, but adding it allows her to truly zip around and retreat to the safety of the rooftops if necessary. Resistances: [Electrical: Resistant] Radiation: Vulnerable [Acid: Normal] **Dolphin's Child** Snap Kick Melee (Piercing) * + 124 I'm not sure what Sea Urchin does to her feet, but this basic 0-EP melee attack and Riptide both are considered piercing attacks. Sea Urchin isn't very strong, which reduces the damage on an already low damage attack, but Charged makes up for a lot of that, and the attack at least is very swift and thus hard to avoid. Don't expect to take down armies with this, however. Always OvP. Sonic Shriek Beam (Crushing, Stun, Penetrating) 609 + 121 A stunning beam attack which unfortunately doesn't have the best accuracy, which causes a lot of misses. Fortunately, what it does have is penetration, which means that Sea Urchin can tag enemies around corners without endagering herself and on rooftops without leaving the ground. Penetrating also means that the beam can stun multiple enemies if they're in a line, but as that doesn't happen too often I wouldn't count on that happening. The level of stun is such that you can afford to UnP this on occasion if you want to make sure it hits (put on continuous). Riptide Melee (Piercing, 3-Hit) 518 + 103 Basically three Snap Kicks strung together. The kicks come out quickly, however, and the damage adds up quickly, which makes this a good attack against anyone who doesn't have a high piercing resistance. Power Null Direct (Special) 541 + 108 Makes a random power from the target unusable. Always a nice thing to limit options against major villians, but this works particularly well against minions, who only have a few powers and thus are more severely crippled. **Bubbles** Bubble Swarm Projectile (Acid Burn, Homing, Flight Spawn x 2) * + 154 This insidious power sends acidic, homing bubbles chasing after up to three different targets. Make sure that there's only enemy targets near where you're aiming, however; unlike the description, the bubbles don't distinguish between friend and foe, so if you shoot this, say, at an enemy that another teammate is fighting hand-to-hand, chances are they'll both have to dodge some bubbles... Bubble Shell Active Defense (Normal) 949 + 189 This defense is expensive for good reason, since it blocks every kind of damaging attack (not mental or mystical). The HP for the shell isn't all that high, though, so this is one defense you may need to OvP if you anticipate blocking a lot of damage. However, since Sea Urchin is so fast, you can normally UnP this and beat a quick retreat while the Bubble Shell is still on, using Sea Urchin's speed to avoid attacks. Current Bounce Passive Defense (Redirect, Active Only) 768 + 153 One of the more interesting passive defenses, this one is highly specialized, as it only blocks electrical attacks and only works when Sea Urchin is active and facing the attack. Thus, unlike most natural passive defenses, Sea Urchin has to be aware of the attack before she can redirect it, so make sure to have her turn around whenever an electrical attack is coming her way. Once that's done, though, the success rating for this is almost automatic (85-95%). Given that there's only two different types of electrical attacks currently in the game and beam attacks can't really be redirected (they're blocked instead), redirection only occurs for Ball Lightning. This is the one power Sea Urchin can use in conjunction with Man O' War, however; have Sea Urchin stand at a corner and Man O' War can throw a Ball Lightning at her and have it redirected around the corner. Also possibly useful for extending the range of the Ball, if Man O' War is a ways away. Make absolutely sure that Sea Urchin is facing the ball by the time it reaches her, however, or else the ball will end up frying her first before it moves on to another target. Bubble Gum Projectile (Stasis, Homing) 347 + 69 Yet another way to stop opponents in their tracks, this time coming in the form of a slow, homing projectile. This gives Sea Urchin some duplication in her powers, since she also has a stunning beam with Sonic Shriek. Given that this is homing, I would use this instead, unless there are obstacles in the way, in which case Sonic Shriek is the obvious choice (unless you move first). *************** **LAW & ORDER** *************** First Available: 19. Wanted - The Minuteman 1 Recruitment Cost: 5914 Since Law & Order are intertwined, let's discuss the two of them together before looking at individual stats. Law & Order is literally a two-for-one sort of situation, since one can transform into the other, and there's no way to separate the two. (Gotta wonder what they'd do if they started hating each other, or fell in love, or, whatever. What a psyche profile that'd be...) However, the characters are developed separately, and unfortunately even though you can use both on a mission by transforming one into the other, only the character you choose to go on the mission is actually considered on the squad. Thus, whichever form starts the mission gets the 300 XP for squad members, while the other form gets the 200 non- squad XP. During the game, elements like states and HP are shared between the two forms, and the HP is determined by whichever form Law & Order starts as. Considering Order has more than twice the HP of Law, this gives Law an inherent disadvantage, because it's much smarter to always start off as Order and switch to Law when you need her skills, because the HP will remain the same. The other method of starting Law gives both characters her HP, which makes Order much less powerful. You can make up some of the difference by changing into Law and picking up XP canisters on a level if they're available, but it's unfortunate that Irrational chose to implement L&O in this method instead of finding a more equal way to split up shared attributes. When playing Law & Order you should use the Transform power liberally, because the different forms cover a lot of each other's disadvantages. For instance, when moving around from battle to battle, switch to Law. To get up to the roof, switch to Order (hope you bought that Jumper attribute). The transform ability basically lets you play with double the powers with the same character, although individually Law and Order aren't that powerful. **LAW** Advantages + Attacks do piercing damage + Only character in the game that can restore HP to others + Also can transfer states + Good defense against elements Disadvantages - No ability to scale heights (use Order instead) - No ranged attacks - Blind - Gets the short shrift because of HP discrepency The seemingly cold and emotionless half of L&O, which is ironic given that her main powers involve self-sacrifice to heal or cure others. Law is the faster of the two. Although she can't dish out nearly the damage that Order can, she does have the benefit of all-piercing attacks instead of Order's more common crushing attacks, and she has some defensive capabilites, especially against enemies throwing elemental attacks. Certainly she's a better defender than Order with her Danger Sense, so whenever you need to get away from it all, switch to Law. But her main use is as a healer, both of HP and secondary states, and in that respect she's quite good at keeping her teammates alive. When Law is around, any HP canisters should be reserved for her, as she can heal the rest of the team at the expense of her own health. Stats: Str 4, Spd 4, Agl 4(5), End 5, Eng 5 HP: 110 Attributes: Blind * Danger Sense 300 Danger Sense is crucial for Law's well being. She doesn't have the best dodge ability in the world, but with Blind she starts off not being to dodge at all, along with negating her Justice power, so adding the Danger Sense improves her defense significantly, although she will still have the speed penalty on her attacks. Note that Law has no attribute that allows her to scale heights. However, Order can purchase Jumper, so when you need to get on top of a building, switch to Order and hop up, then switch back to Law if needed. Resistances: Radiation: Vulnerable Acid: Vulnerable **Justice** Justice(3) Passive Defense (Normal, Active Only) * + 69 The most important thing to note is that until you get Danger Sense, this power is completely useless; since Law can't see attacks coming, she can't prepare, so the power never works. With Danger Sense, however, Law has a small chance (30-35%) of blocking physical, energy, and electrical melee attacks used against her, from any direction, as long as she isn't stunned or immobilized. Thrust Melee (Piercing) * + 114 Law's standard attack. Piercing, as are all of her attacks (she doesn't use that sword to bludgeon people, after all). Standard damage and speed, OvP whenever you can. Slash Melee (Piercing, 90-Degree) 632 + 126 For a little bit of EP, you can do an arcing swing and hit multiple enemies. Same damage as Thrust, but harder to avoid and of course hits more things. Trouncing Melee (Piercing, 3-Hit, 90-Degree) 843 + 168 For some more EP, now you can do the same thing as Slash times 3. Starts off a little slower, but the three slashes come out in quick succession. **Balance** Transform Special * Turns Law into Order. Always UnP. Mercy Direct (Special) * + 79 Law's healing power, where she sacrifices HP to heal others with twice the HP she lost. The magnitude of the power determines how much HP she sacrifices, so upgrading this power is a mixed blessing; while Mercy becomes more powerful with the upgrade, Law will have to sacrifice more HP. At full strength Law will give up an average of 20 HP to heal 40, so if you feel that such a high amount is overkill, DON'T upgrade this power as much. You can always regulate the amount of sacrifice/healing to some extent by OvPing or UnPing Mercy. Harmony Active Defense (Normal?) 644 + 128 Harmony is a nice defense that blocks all forms of elemental attack (acid, radiation, electrical, heat, and cold). Like Fire It Up, it should have a large amount of HP (listed as extreme), which would take damage normally for the duration of the defense. However, the game lists the HP between 5- 10. On the other hand, the defense seems to act like it's absorbing damage, because the HP never decreases, so you can effectively always UnP this. While it looks like the start time for this is extreme, you can actually tell Law to move right after activating this, and she'll break out of the extensive animation for this power. Commuted Sentence Direct (Special) 471 + 94 The counterpart to Mercy, where Law can transfer secondary states from another character to herself, decreasing the duration in the process. Law will again be hurt or inconvenienced (with the exception of blindness, which she won't care about). However, unlike Mercy, this power also has an offensive side, because it will also transfer states FROM Law onto another target, and the duration will be increased. Thus, Law can turn state- inducing attacks to her advantage, because unlike normal state-inducing attacks Commuted Sentence has no resistance involved, so as long as you can successfully use the power, the state will always be transferred. You can also do a double transfer, taking one state off of a target and giving it to another target. The magnitude determines the duration increase/decrease, so when transferring states to Law, it's a good idea to OvP and lessen Law's pain unless you're immediately transferring the state again to someone else. When re-transferring a power to a teammate, always UnP. Offensively it's up to your judgement of extra duration vs. EP cost. I normally UnP or just use the normal power for transferring to others, since getting rid of the state is the most important part, but if you have, say, irradiation and you really want to stick it to the target, OvP and watch your opponent glow. Note that in the case where Law and the target both have secondary states, the states are swapped, e.g. if Law has acid burn and the target has irradiation, then afterwards Law will be irradiated and the target will be acid burnt. Also, Commuted Sentence doesn't seem to work on the more obscure states, like alteration, nullification, or hexing. Balance Direct (Special) 605 + 121 Balance tries to even out the amount HP between Law and the target. One of the more unique powers in the game, Balance is the only one that has a resistance check to do direct damage. If the target fails their resistance check, than Law will transfer HP from the character with higher HP between Law and the target to the other character. The power is primarily defensive, since you it'll only work well when Law is badly hurt and the enemy is strong. Make note that the power that will take HP from LAW if she has more HP than the target. Thus, the cardinal rule for this power is to NEVER use it on any target that has more HP than you. If you want to transfer HP to teammates, use Mercy. If you want to transfer HP to villains... why would you want to do that? So, don't use it on healthier targets. The magnitude of the power determines both the amount of HP transferred (roughly the magnitude without OvPing) and the resistance, so upgrading Balance means you'll transfer more HP and it'll be easier for you to do so. Thus, it's a good idea to both upgrade and OvP this if you're planning to use it, not to mention that it's slow, so you won't get too many chances to use it before the enemy notices, either. Remember, though, the power BALANCES the HP, so it'll take the minimum of whatever HP it will normally transfer and half the difference between your HP and the opponent's. For example, if you have an upgraded Balance and full OvPing on, if Law has 60 HP and the target has 160 HP, Balance can transfer up to roughly 40 HP maximum, so Law would end up with 100 HP and the target would have 120 HP in the best case. However, if Law has 60 HP and the target has 70 HP, the most Balance will transfer is 5 HP, so that both characters have 65 HP, regardless of how much you OvP or high high your power level is. Considering that Balance works well only when Law needs a lot of HP and the opponent has a lot of said HP, it's one of those powers that you hopefully will never have to use (i.e., you hopefully do lots of damage and take little). **ORDER** Advantages + Jumper with purchase + Incredibly strong, thus highly damaging melee attacks + Lots of HP + Useful area attacks Disadvantages - Slow foot speed and attacks - Can only do crushing damage - Can't really dodge much - Berserker attribute a problem with innocents around - Costume big fashion faux pas Order pretty much personifies the Big Lug prototype, with the large frame, large muscles, and large hammer ("Bessie"). As such, it's pretty simple how Order works: he gets up close and beats things up. And he's quite good at what he does. The problem with him lies in the "getting close" part; since he's slow, against speedy enemies he pretty much will spend the entire time just chasing enemies, and if they have ranged attacks, they can pick Order apart given his almost nonexistant dodging ability. Get in the habit of picking up and throwing items at enemies to buy Order some time to get close. Once he does, it's usually all over. An alternative is to take advantage of Law's higher speed and use her to get up close, do a quick Transform, and then whack enemies with Order. You should start scenarios with Order, because starting off as Law means Order will be at a huge disadvantage, since he'll be using Law's HP (110). Stats: Str 8, Spd 3, Agl 1, End 8, Eng 4 HP: 290 Attributes: Berserker * Jumper 300 For the most part Berserker is an annoyance. While it does make Order stronger, he normally doesn't need any extra strength to dispose of enemies, and the loss of control and random attacking that Order does is frustrating, especially when civilians are around. Jumper is a nice attribute to have, since it increases Order's mobility, and he needs all the mobility he can get. Resistances: Radiation: Vulnerable Acid: Vulnerable **Punishment** Punishment(3) Melee (Crushing, KB) * + 158 Decently damaging given Order's strength bonus, but only count on getting one hit in due to the KB causing most enemies to fly across the screen if Order connects. While this does damage the opponent even more, it's actually bad if you need to follow up the hit, because Order can't really follow up with any speed. OvP if needed to KO the opponent in one shot when using Punishment, or use another power if you know you need to get in multiple hits. Then again, if the enemy is powerful enough for you to have to use more than one hit from Order, they're probably too heavy for Order to knock them far away anyway, so maybe you can use Punishment after all... Hammer Crush Melee (Crushing) * + 76 While it starts off a little weaker, Hammer Crush eventually does much more damage than Punishment (72 vs. 48 damage when fully upgraded). However, it costs some CP and has no KB. But when you can do 24 more damage in one hit, you won't really care... Quake Area (Stun, Up KB, Ground Only) 448 + 89 An essential skill. Order slams the ground and invokes the Physical Law of Trampolines, where the ground must react violently and thrust items on the ground around him high in the air (but somehow Order stays grounded). Quake works similarly to Alche-Miss's Aloft power, except it doesn't work on flying characters and trades some KB height for some useful stunning capabilities, which means Order will have time even after the opponents land to administer some hurt while they're stunned. The magnitude affects both the area and the level of stun. Check against heavier enemies to make sure there's some KB; if they're too heavy to be propelled in the air, they won't be stunned either, so Quake is useless on them. Excellent setup power while approaching enemies; the primary reason why Condemnation isn't as useful is because you can usually use a Quake before reaching enemies, launch them in the air, and pick them off at your leisure, so you don't need a close-range crowd clearer that often. Hammer Carnage Melee (Crushing, KB, 2-Hit) 696 + 139 Still as easy to dodge as Punishment, but the start time is virtually nil for Hammer Carnage, and it hits twice with the same magnitude and KB power as Punishment as well, which makes this a significant improvement. **Fury** Transform Special * Turns Order into Law. Always UnP. Blind Justice Special (Rage) * Inflicts Rage on Order. Always UnP. I personally hate the loss of control and thus never use this power (good thing I didn't have to purchase it). However, if you're in a situation where Order is surrounded by enemies and there aren't any friendlies nearby, you can try using Blind Justice and letting Order loose, because Rage does give Order a bonus to his already formidable strength, and anyone he sees he's allowed to hit anyway. Condemnation Melee (Crushing, KB, 3-Hit, 360-Degree) 1024 + 204 The ultimate in close-range crowd clearing, where Order swings Bessie in a full circle three times, with each hit the same strength as a Punishment swing. Not exactly very cheap in terms of EP cost, but chances are the crowd won't be there once Order stops spinning. Of course, the problem is, the KB is so high, most of the time the crowd gets knocked back with the first hit and don't get hit all three times. Order will stop his spinning when the targets are out of range, which means you don't have to wait for the full animation time before doing something else, but since all three hits aren't guaranteed, this move is quite inefficient if you don't hit multiple targets. You're better off using Hammer Carnage when you need a multi-hit attack on a single target. Order in the Court Area (Panic) 113 + 22 I'm sure everyone can see the delicious irony between the name and the effect of this power... It's a good thing this is a cheap power, because chances are you aren't going to use it too much. After all the work it takes to get Order close enough to enemies, why would you want to make them run away? However, if Order's being pummelled and you don't have the EP to throw out a retaliatory Condemnation, this makes a decent stopgap. The large area of this power also allows you to use it as a way to break up groups of enemies ganging up on other teammates if you can't get to the brawl fast enough and you don't want to risk hurting your teammate. Just hope they don't run towards the enemy if they panic as well... ********** **BULLET** ********** First Available: 19. Wanted - The Minuteman 1 Recruitment Cost: 7239 Advantages + Fast. Really fast. Did I mention he's fast? + Attacks are multi-hit, have KB and are hard to dodge + HP regeneration with purchase + Easy to develop with low CP costs Disadvantages - No ability to scale heights whatsoever - Low damage attacks - Extremely vulnerable to progressive damage - High recruitment cost - What's with the helmet? Bullet is for the most part a straight copy of the Flash. Which isn't bad, really, since the Flash happens to be one of my favorite comic book heros (YMMV). However, he's got nothing on the Flash when it comes to the costume, although the Flash wasn't so hot looking back in the day either, so we'll see. In any case, the Bullet is easily the fastest character in the game. He outruns the fliers and even Microwave with a double teleport. In fact, sometimes he's TOO fast; Bullet can easily outrun the rest of the team by a few screens, and if he can't handle the action by himself, then you could be in trouble. This is especially true with scenarios that have "triggers" that don't activate until a teammate gets close. Thus, sometimes you'll have to have Bullet wait for the rest of the team, or just have him run in spurts. Bullet's attacks are of course all about speed as well, and most involve lots of hits and some KB. The tradeoff is that all the hits don't do a lot of damage. Bullet relies on lots of small hits and being able to knock down or throw opponents in the air, making him an absolute terror against normal thugs and smaller characters, but weak against large enemies that have crushing resistance. Also note his inability to jump or fly, which, coupled with his lack of an airborne- capable ranged attack, means he can't get to rooftops at all. Bullet is extremely good at what he does and a lot of fun to play, but he needs a lot of management, and his weaknesses make him a big liability in certain missions. Stats: Str 4, Spd 10, Agl 4, End 5, Eng 4 HP: 110 Attributes: Rapid Metabolism * Fast Healing 500 Solid Skeleton 500 The "Defenseless" rating that Bullet gets as a result of Rapid Metabolism is a serious problem against any enemies that can do progressive damage. If Bullet is Acid Burnt or Irradiated, it will usually kill him, so be extra-cautious when fighting enemies that have those abilities. Use Hyper Spin liberally to prevent Bullet from taking that kind of damage. Fast Healing, of course, is extremely nice, allowing Bullet to regain up to 100 HP per scenario, at 5 HP per 5 seconds. Solid Skeleton makes Bullet resistant to common (crushing) melee attacks, and thus is also a nice purchase. Resistances: [Radiation: Defenseless] [Acid: Defenseless] (Crushing: Resistant) **Fists of Fury** One-Shot Punch(3) Melee (Crushing) * + 85 Scarily, this is Bullet's highest magnitude punch. This is more of a statement of how low-damage Bullet's other punches are rather than saying this punch does a lot of damage (it doesn't). However, remember that Bullet's fast enough to get in two punches for most character's one, so this is still useful, especially OvPed. As with all of Bullet's attacks, the swiftness is such that the opponent will have a difficult dodging this. Fist Flurry Melee (Crushing, 3- or 4-hit) * + 110 Described in the game as 3 punches, Fist Flurry actually has 4 contacts; however, the last punch doesn't always come out, thus the listing as 3- or 4-hit. While the damage of each punch is low, the speed at which they come out makes this power dangerous. The EP cost is small enough such that I usually set this as Bullet's default attack, and the extra hit that sometimes appears is just extra gravy. Fist Fusillade Melee (Crushing, 6-hit) 458 + 91 Same idea as Fist Flurry, except now Bullet does 6 hits instead of 3. While you can do more damage in a smaller amount of time with this versus Fist Flurry, given the two costs, you can use Fist Flurry for a longer period of time, and the time difference between uses isn't that significant for someone as fast as Bullet. I normally pass over this in favor of using Fist Flurry. However, if you need to immediately dish out as much damage as possible, pull this out. Speeding Bullet Special (KB) 300 Just like Sprint, where Bullet does a near-instantaneous run from one point to the next, except now Bullet uses his momentum to knock down the target(s) at the end of his run. Note that unlike Sprint, you have to target something, or else Bullet will run in place (which isn't particularly useful). Useful as an approach power; while the opponent gets up, you have ample time to amble up and batter them with punches. Be careful when using against large targets; if Speeding Bullet doesn't knock down the target, you're basically a sitting duck right in front of the opponent. Always UnP. **Speeding Bullet** Sprint Special * The classic super-fast run from point A to point B. Be careful when approaching enemies with this, however. There's a small pause at the end of the sprint, so running right up in front of an enemy isn't the best of ideas, since you'll be briefly helpless once you get there. (Running up behind someone, though, is perfectly fine.) And of course this makes for the ultimate in fast getaways. Whirlwind(3) Projectile (Up KB, Chained, Homing) * + 285 Bullet rubs his hands together insanely fast to produce a mini-tornado that tracks down targets and tosses them in the air. It's both homing and chained, making it potentially devastating against close groups. Works against airborner targets, too. Again, not too useful against large, heavy targets that can't be lifted. Check against the targets and power appropriately to get a good KB (you can usually UnP against human-sized targets). Hyper Spin Active Defense (Deflect, Immovable) * + 144 The only immovable active defense for any hero in the game and quite short in duration, Hyper Spin nevertheless quite helpful. Bullet does a quick spin and generates high winds that deflect physical, heat, cold, and acid attacks. Works well against a hail of bullets, although Bullet can normally simply dodge those with good micromanagement. However, the defense against area means Bullet can also defend against fireballs and errant Acid Bombs without taking any damage. Due to short duration, though, make sure not to start the spin too early (and of course don't spin too late). Like all non-Normal active defenses, it's a waste to upgrade this power, since it doesn't get any more powerful, and you can always UnP it with no penalty. Energize Direct (Special) 318 + 63 Gives the target an increased EP recharge rate. The description says it has a chance of stun, but I've never seen it happen, so all I can say is that it's out there. Magnitude determines the duration. Electrify Special (Electrical, KB, Stun) 500 One of the stranger powers. Bullet apparently rubs his feet really fast or something to generate some static, because after sprinting a short distance he gets a periodic electrical discharge. Note that the first discharge, which occurs right after Bullet stops running, has no effect. After the first discharge, there will be up to three more discharges at two-second intervals, depending on how far Bullet ran. Taking a few steps only gets you one extra discharge, while running the maximum distance gives you all three discharges. The discharges themselves have a large area and do a bit of electrical damage. However, their main use lies in their KB ability and high stun. Bullet can run and attack while he's got a charge, so you can get some nice combos where Bullet punches opponents and the discharge blows back the target for extra damage. Use well before you reach enemies so that the discharges occur when you get close, or run away to charge up and run back to the fray. Always UnP. --SECRET CHARACTERS-- ************* **BLACKBIRD** ************* *********** **IRON OX** *********** ****************** **SUPER COLLIDER** ****************** ---------------- ---DISCLAIMER--- ---------------- (c)2002 Sherwin Tam This is my personal handiwork, and I took a lot of effort to write it. Please do not use this commercially or alter it in any way. Also, please ask me if you plan to feature it on a web site or something of that nature, as I'd rather not come across it one day and go, "Hey, how did that get there?" ------------- ---CREDITS--- ------------- Irrational Games, for making the first superhero game to actually work. GameFAQs, for being the one-stop place for, well, FAQs. Freedom Force Center, for having all the current news about Freedom Force. For Freedom!