Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Flames of Freedom: Hopping Islands

All right, last time I had found out where to hit one of my targets. Now to hit that target. Plus, now I've figured out how to make screenshots in-game. That's gonna solve some of my problems. Now, where am I...?
...Sigh...No boat, a ton of swimming enemies. I might just have to restart anyway. I see another problem. Underwater base. I can probably get a boat assuming I can find a stupid pilot, but a sub or a flying sub isn't going to be easy. I'm seeing why this game didn't get a sequel.
Look at this, they're even at the doorstep already...and he's just as slow as I hoped. Now, boat combat. Boat combat is horrible. You can't hit targets under the water. Your missiles explode if they touch the water. Now I'm not an expert in aquatic warfare, but I'm pretty sure that's the stupidest thing you could do. So much so that I'm pretty sure this is a result of in-game incompetence. No military that has survived WWI would not do that. Here, nobody must have ever thought about it since they have flying subs anyway. So I have a valiant fight with a boat. Takes a lot of damage, good thing too, since dodging seems impossible and turning is slow.
After my inevitable loss of the boat, I start to consider how badly I'm screwed. Open waters, low energy, tons of enemy vehicles that want me dead. Dunno if this game is going to break how the first did it, I'm not going to hold my breath. Another boat acquired, but I'm running on fumes. I thought I rested at the end of the last session? Does hiding out not rest me up? Checking my map to make a route, and I can definitely foresee I'm about to get screwed. I've made a grand total of very little, there's still seven boats, no subs though, must be more confusing crap here than I thought.  Well, might as well kill them all. I'm already screwed.
More fighting ensues, resulting in me losing another boat. This is going to be a long game. As I stand still, hoping to regain some strength, I just how my health is doing. Apparently I'm only down some 33% and some minor injuries. Not bad for someone who doesn't know what he's doing. But now there's not a boat nearby, and my injuries prevent me from reaching my top speed. So I do the only thing I can do, autoroute to land.
As soon as I arrive, I encounter a neutral NPC. Fortunately, I think I can persuade her. This turns out to end badly for me. As soon as I try to seduce her, I am captured by the secret police. Imagine my luck when I find out my prison guard is also a woman. At which point I am beaten. I'm not entirely sure, but I think I screwed up during character creation. Well, guard number two looks like a dweeb, so I'm sure I can beat him up. I'm right, shocking. Now, where am I?
North-western side, nice, nice. Not too far from one of my objectives. Unfortunately, I don't have a craft capable of going underwater and I'm sure I'm not going to enjoy finding one. So I walk back to Patrick Wilson. He doesn't have a boat, but he does offer me a hiding place. I guess I'm going to be swimming.
Ah...good, they've found me. Thanks a lot bud, see if I show up as a character witness in your trial. They've got tanks, which means poor offense from yours truly. Multiple direct hits, dumb-fire. Of all the games to have realistic tank combat, its the one that moves slowly. Right, take the tank to the see, then flee to the enemy base and hope I don't screw up.
I am interrupted by boats. Getting out of autoroute in the middle of combat is annoying. You are kicked back to the regular screen, followed by entering the map and then clearing your route. Now I'm on a boat. This is going to be fun. Somehow I managed to kill most of the fleet I was engaged with. As I'm doing this, a new color appears on my radar. I have yet to see a light blue icon recently. Not a good sign. But as quickly as it appeared, it disappears. Must be something on land, and that's of no concern to me right now. Nevermind, to the secret base. Hopefully a sub takes some bait.
I'm shocked there's nobody here. What kind of defenses are these? Just the one set of boats that fled from my superior boating skills? What kind of crap is that? Spoke too soon, now to capture something...I hope. The boat lets me leave with a scuba suit. I think they're called frogmen. Doesn't matter. Underwater, the enemy has a flying sub, which is too fast for me to capture for once, and a regular sub.
The sub, as I didn't notice during my first test drive, is confusing to boat. You don't see up and down like every other vehicle, you go up and down. After some misses due to the missiles on a sub being useful, I hit the building. Score. Now to drive off my enemies. Or get shot. Underwater, enemies seem to be able to hit you almost non-stop, with little change of dodging or counter-attacks. Swimming speed underwater also doesn't help, so you can just quickly change together a series of captures.
Curiously, during this quite long combat, I manage to eliminate a whole squad of flying subs. Takes a ton of missiles, not to mention taking the boat in reverse a good chunk of the way to land. I finish off this grand combat by escaping the enemy subs to land, the boats having broken off. My final capture is some speed boat. It is faster, and it has the same arms, but can also go on land. Which makes it 1 out of 3 objectives, seven hours in.
Which, obviously, leads to a minor problem. I still have no idea where the other two fellows come in, and I'm not entirely certain anything I do here is permanent. So, I'm going to take advantage of the special equipment the game gives you. First item, Black Widow, which targets my next target and kills them, after 40 minutes. Second item, Flying Fox, which destroys the next building or village on my list, after 2 hours. In a long game, this gives me very quick, very simple results, should I be running low on time. After a short period of driving around, it starts loading and a new tune starts up. Lobos is liberated. Is it just a theoretical thing or is it real? A return of the intro cutscene happens. The island turns pink, two others liberated...Each island gives me something material and a secret weapon, no doubt due to my selection of difficulty. It then returns me to the main menu. So, that's a good test run then. Next time, the real thing...and I'm going to have to play this mission over again. This is going to reach 80 hours isn't it? Right, next time, Morpheus tries to figure out how an emulated empty floppy works.

This Session: 2 hours

Total Time: 7 hours

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