Completed WC Saga on Insane!

MannerOfLoaf

Spaceman
Whew, what a rush!

When I saw that WC Saga had been ported over to FreeSpace Open and was available on Knossos I had to DL it and play through again. I've got through it on medium difficulty before and gotten all the medals so I wanted to try something a little bit more intense.

First thing, now that it's in the FreeSpace Open engine time compression is enabled and dialogue can be automatically skipped. I cannot emphasize enough how awesome this is - being able to skip past some of the cringier dialogue especially if its a mission you're replaying is wonderful!

And boy did I have to replay some of the missions - on Insane this is some of the most nerve-wracking dogfighting I've ever had in a space shooter. It's not really a fair comparison given how much more advanced the tech is but I'd call it the best WC game of all time on those merits.

While I could take or leave the dialogue and story there were some great moments where so much emotion was conveyed through ordinary gameplay tools. In particular the moment at the end of the final mission, when Melek declares the war over and all the red Kilrathi dots on your radar suddenly turn green got me more than all the dialogue in the world. Getting to fly through a now non-aggressive Kilrathi dreadnought was one heck of a reward.

Some other thoughts after going through on Insane:

1 - Beware the Glide key. The Kilrathi will track your path and nail you good if you try the standard afterburner slide in a head-on pass. It's definitely not useless on the Arrow but is definitely more a way to economize on fuel or to evade fire by toggling it rapidly. It's a little more useful offensively in the Excalibur thanks to auto-aim but the increased difficulty of the final missions more than offsets this.

2 - Corollary to the above, the Hellcat and Thunderbolt aren't nearly as useless in comparison to the Arrow anymore. In addition to Glide being less useful I really appreciated the extra punch of their blasters. At this level of difficulty I want anything that I manage to get in my sights to die ASAP, without giving them time to evade, do a burnout, or recharge shields. While I would have preferred an arrow for all non-Excalibur missions I wasn't cursing out the commander when I got transferred out of the squadron this time.

3 - Turrets are king. Always always always attack Vaktoth and Pakhtan from the sides and stay away or constantly evade when within reach of a capship's turrets. If you hang around on a V or P's tail for even a second those rear guns will absolutely hammer you. Whats worse, the damage is enough for even a single shot to punch right through your shields on occasion! This game rewards good flying more than any other WC title as a result I'd say - even more than marksmanship.

4 - I ran into one game-breaking bug on the Alcor 2 mission (where you meet and protect the Oriskany). That mission is impossible to complete due to what looks like a scripting error. Even worse, if you choose to die 5 times and skip the mission the next mission does not give you your primary weapons and your game is now in an unwinnable state.

Happily there's a workaround now that the game is in FreeSpace Open due to cheats being enabled. It's just a matter of inputting one cheat command to skip past this mission and continue. Even if the game is in the corrupted state above you can use this cheat to put things right.

All in all I'm really happy I went through WC Saga again. If you hadn't been able to get through the original due to some of the long dialogue sequences or a few too-difficult missions I'd really recommend checking it out now!
 

marco999

Petty Officer
I have the version updated in 2018 that is beta (I think it is the last update).

Apart the bug in the point 4. Do you think is stable ?
 

Panther1.0

2nd Lieutenant
I had it updated in 2019(freespace open edition) and I replayed it, all went well until the last mission which I replayed about 10 times to finish the game on medium difficulty, I did not know how to cheat, how does the cheats work ?
 

MannerOfLoaf

Spaceman
I have the version updated in 2018 that is beta (I think it is the last update).

Apart the bug in the point 4. Do you think is stable ?
I believe that what you have is what was modified for FSO per this thread

https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=94378.0

I'd say it's stable, the only rough spot was the Alcor 2 mission. Occasionally some of the dialogue cues got a little screwy if I did a lot of skipping but nothing really noticeable.
 

MannerOfLoaf

Spaceman
I had it updated in 2019(freespace open edition) and I replayed it, all went well until the last mission which I replayed about 10 times to finish the game on medium difficulty, I did not know how to cheat, how does the cheats work ?

The full cheat list is here, https://wiki.hard-light.net/index.php/Cheats

I think cheats should be automatically activated, but if any of those in the list don't work try typing www.freespace.com first, either in or out-mission.

In order to get past the Alcor 2 mission for example, from the main hall I typed skipmemymissionyo, followed by m37-bg-hermes.fs2

That should automatically send you to Hyperion 1 with a fully-operational Excalibur
 

Panther1.0

2nd Lieutenant
The full cheat list is here, https://wiki.hard-light.net/index.php/Cheats

I think cheats should be automatically activated, but if any of those in the list don't work try typing www.freespace.com first, either in or out-mission.

In order to get past the Alcor 2 mission for example, from the main hall I typed skipmemymissionyo, followed by m37-bg-hermes.fs2

That should automatically send you to Hyperion 1 with a fully-operational Excalibur
thank you !
 
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