Mission Title : Alpha Flight

Author : @RemairTamec

Faction : Federation

Level Requirements : 31+

Requirements : Shuttle Based Mission


Screenshot of the Speed Course

Introduction:

You have been selected for the prestigious Alpha Flight course, the Federation’s most elite pilot training program. Drawn from around the Federation and its allies, Alpha Flight pushes the quadrant’s best pilots to their limits. As stakes rise, egos clash and safety protocols are pushed to the wayside, you realize not everyone is cut out for the course, and only a handful will graduate to receive the golden wings. Will you be another dropout, a line on a memorial plaque, or will you meet the challenge and prove that you are the best pilot the Federation has to offer?

This review has spoilers; if you do not want spoilers then do not continue to read this review.


About:

You receive a transmission indicating that you have been chosen as a pilot in the Alpha Flight program. Your goal is to receive the golden wings given to the selected few chosen pilots and the diamond wings given to the top student of the class. You start off with a course, to test your piloting skills with high speeds in a hazardous environment. Even with your piloting skills you lose first place by a half a second.

The next test involved combat with drones both light armored and heavy armored. Because of your combat experience, you were able to pull of first place.  The next test involves the atmosphere of Jupiter, where you must plant a Tricobolt device on a derelict station that is being defended by drones.  In this competition, you get second place. At the end of the day, you end in second place, with first place going to an alien named V’Koth.

Screenshot of battle damage inside Utopia.

After speaking with the other pilots in Alpha, you go to bed. On the next morning, you begin wingman combat against the other pilots. Your wingman is a Bolian, Lt. Saarl, who likes to push the limits of his shuttle to win, which ends up costing him his life when his shuttle explodes. You then are ordered to Admiral Carth’s officer to inform him what had happened.

Afterwords, the facility is attacked by Klingons. All Alpha Flight pilots rush to their shuttles, but not all of them make it. After avoiding exploding walls and boarding Klingons, you make it to your shuttle to join the fight. After defending Utopia and the shipyards you learn that the Klingons had built a transwarp gate in the Sol system which explains how the Klingons got so deep into Federation space.

The gate is being shielded by a generator on Mars. You and V’Koth are the only survivors of Alpha Flight, so you put aside your rivalry to stop the Klingons. V’Koth goes to Mars to take out the shield generator while you head for the gate. V’Koth ends up doing a kamikaze run into the generator building. You then plant a tricobalt device next to the gate and take out the enemy flagship in the system.

At the end of it all you are given the Diamond wings for being the best and sole surviving pilot in the class, while the families of the fallen will be given their loved ones golden wings.

Highlights:

The author did a good job on the recreation of Jupiter, Jupiter’s atmosphere, Saturn, and the flight deck hangar. The story had good structure, plot, as well as the dialog for characters. The author did a good job avoiding Brigde Officer Dialog. The author gave the player options that could possibly fit the player’s captain personalities by use of triggers and branching dialogue, while each character in the story had their own voice. The combat was well spaced and not overwhelming to the average player.

Criticism:

I will start with the most important issue: the transwarp gate. It’s not realistic that the Klingons got into the Sol system and built a transwarp gate without the Federation knowing. Something like a transwarp gate sticks out like a sore thumb. There is also the problem that the transwarp gate could be used as a weapon as well, if the gate had not been destroyed then the Federation would have fallen.

The one custom ground map, the flight hanger, could have had more detail, making it a bit more hangar-like. There could have been more customization with the ground maps. There could also have been more of a rivalry between the player and V’Koth to make it seem like their rivalry bleed into their encounters instead of just behind the pilot seat of a shuttle.

To the Author:

Screenshot of the Outside Battle damge of Utopia Station

To make the “Flight Deck” map more lively you can start with life. Add some NPC’s some working on the shuttles while some are working on other things or even some just chatting idly with other NPC’s. The hangar is a huge open space with the console and shuttles, yet you have all that open space, so you could put more shuttles above the current ones making a second deck and turning the big empty space into a deck filled with hustle and bustle.

The Klingon attack should come up with a better way to encounter them (vs. a transwarp gate), such as a small group of fighters that could have slipped past patrols and sensor nets. Or you could have had a day three of training which was a “field training” near the border and been attacked then. Klingons building a transwarp gate in the Sol system is a very hard pill for players to swallow.

Q : Have you ever read the book “Star Wars: X-Wing Rouge Squadron“? I know it’s not Star Trek but Star Wars is better when it comes to stories with fighter squadrons. This book deals with the elite fighter squadron and the lives of its members.  It explores love, rivalry, death, and life. If you ever want to polish this mission and/or make another “fighter squad” type mission, then I would read this as a reference guide on how to create characters that interact with each other.

Conclusion:

This mission had good maps, story, and characters; it even avoided the dreaded Bridge Officer Dialog that can hurt an author’s mission. Even with what I thought was the biggest fault of the mission, I still enjoyed playing the story; that’s why I rated Alpha Flight by @RemairTamec; 4 stars. I wish the author luck in the Foundry Challenge #7.