Falling Fire

Number 1
Stephen R. Marsh
1401 Holliday STE 316
Wichita Falls, Texas 76301

The log of the unauthorized Wing Commander Clue Book -- Copyright 1983 Stephen R. Marsh

Raven's Mission Log

Enyo System

(S1 M1) First assignment. Flying Hornets with Spirit. Three Nav Points to hit in order to check for traffic.

Nav 1 had three Dralthi (3/3). Best course is Nav 1, then Nav 3 (which has two Salthi [2/2]), then Nav 2 (where the rocks are), then to the Claw. Always assist Spirit when she calls. This preserves your wingman and it also maximizes kills. Always hit all Nav points. Raven was 6 for 6.

(S1 M2) Drayman Escort with Spirit. Claw to Nav 1 to Nav 2 to Claw.

Two Salthi at Nav 1 (2/2). Remember to reset speed to 250kps or so (it will be throttled down for autopilot). The easiest way to handle the Salthi is to intercept them at distance (do not wait for them to close) and then hit them as they close. This is a general rule on convoy duty that works much better than "the book."

Three Dralthi at Nav 2 (3/3). When they begin their straight-line strafing run at you they are excellent targets for dumb fire missiles. This is your first shot at a medal and at a promotion. Raven was 5/5 and received a Bronze Star.

McAuliffe System

(S2 M1) Four point patrol with Paladin in Scimitars. Easiest route to fly it is 1-2-4-3-Claw (or 1-2-4-3-4-Claw). Three Dralthi on way to Nav 1 (3/3). Three Salthi on way to Nav 4 (3/3).

On the way to Nav 3 from Nav 4, if you quick hit autopilot again when you drop out of autopilot, the autopilot will take you 6k closer before you have to dodge mines. 230 kps is as good a speed for minefields as is 270+. Note, if a Salthi runs away in combat, return to its action sphere later -- it will usually be loitering there and you can clean it up. This is not true for some later missions, but is a general rule for Salthi.

Also, Shotglass is wrong. The bar talk is often wrong. Not only are mass drivers slower than lasers, their range is shorter. However, the Scimitar's mass drivers allow you to have multiple shots en route to a target. Properly timed, a volley results in a kill on the first pass. Raven was 6/6 and was promoted to First Lieutenant.

(S2 M2) Intercept and destroy mission. Four Dralthi on wide patrol (4/4). Two Krant on close escort (2/2). "Waste" your missiles on the Krants.

A Ralari (1/1). When attacking capital ships, in order to get credit for the kill, direct your wingman to form on your wing when the ship starts to "red out" in the targeting window. Raven was 7/7 and received a second Bronze Star.

(S2 M3) Drayman escort back from jump point. Four Krant appear on the way to the jump (4/4).

Following the jump in, three Salthi appear: two regular and the ace Bhurak Starkiller. Intercept at extreme range and then, after you've hit them, make sure you head back for the Drayman, hitting whoever comes after it. Delaying an intercept until the enemy reaches 5k just makes things twice as hard. Note, Bhurak will run and you'll kill the two the other two Salthi.

After you reach the Claw with the tanker, turn the video off (alt V) and head back on autopilot to the Nav point. You'll hit Bhurak, just loitering there (he loiters as do almost all Salthi pilots). Note that if your video is engaged, he'll become invisible midway through the encounter (and a stealth Bhurak is hard to hit). With video off, he won't. Afterburners will let you eventually close to within killing distance (1/1). Raven was 7/7 and received a Silver Star.

[Science Lab wins]

Gimle System

(S4 M1) Relieve Destroyer with Angel, flying Raptors. At launch there are two wings of Salthi with two in each wing. The action cue for the second wing is the destruction of the first wing. Luckily there are only two wings and the time you spend on them does not endanger the destroyer (4/4).

The Exeter is under attack by two wings of Jalthi (two in each wing). Angel proves rather capable against Jalthi. However, this encounter has a seam, dependent purely on normal randomization. If the randomizer dumps you in ok, you can win it easily. However, about 25% of the time the Jalthi launch missiles and hit at 100% with their shots, destroying the Exeter regardless of what you can do (2/4).

You have to kill at least six enemy fighters and save the Exeter to get a Gold Star here. You must save the Exeter to win this one. (Obviously you have to stick around and kill the Salthi in the first encounter to get enough kills). The impact missiles have on breaking up enemy attacks is important. You'll kill with your blasters and defend with your missiles (the missiles often cause enemy pilots to break off pounding the target). Raven was 6/8, promoted to Captain and received a Gold Star.

Chalkboard Update

Casey 33/52-57 Angel 27-30/37-42
Taggart 44-49/35-52 "Hero" 6/36
St. John 29-31/46-51 Tanaka 16-17/22-36
Chen 39-40/45-51 Khumalo 25/32-39
Marshall 12-13/24-28

(chalkboard reflects a range of scores for the other pilots when the protagonist is at 6 missions and 36 kills)

(S4 M2) Fly prototype Rapier on three point patrol. Flying 3-2-1 makes it easier to navigate the asteroids, etc.Four Dralthi at Nav 2 approach. Three direct hits at full guns & a Dralthi will explode (that is 12 blasts) (4/4). Two Gratha at Nav 3 (1/2). Use your missiles here. Raven was 5/6. Angel is hot in the Rapier.

(S4 M3) Back in the Raptor. Earliest shot at making Major. (Raven did not make Major here). Promotions seem to factor in damage to ships flown. Basically, two waves of Dralthi, the second with Dakhath.

If a member of the first wave runs, the second will not appear (the trigger is destroying the first wing). Go away and return to find the runner(s) loitering. Kill it to engage the second wing. Second wing runners will not come back, so get Dakhath before any other target in the second wing and chase him down to the finish (or he'll run away). Raven was 7/9. (He did not make Major on this mission).

Dakota System

(S7 M1) Escort Hospital Drayman out with Knight, escort vaccine Drayman in.

Outbound the first wave is five Salthi (4/5) and then three Krant (2/3). This is the hardest part of the mission and a good place to use some missiles. Remember, engage at range, don't wait for them to close.

At the second Nav point, four Jalthi are loitering, waiting for the Drayman to jump in. Stay off the Nav point and the Drayman's jump will not occur until you've killed all four Jalthi (4/4). Raven got both Drayman through safely, was 8/10 and received a Silver Star. Made Major.

(S7 M2) Three point patrol, possible capital ship. Two Gratha on wide patrol near Nav 1 (1/2). Four Krant (3/4) and then two Krant (2/2) guarding the Ralari (1/1) at Nav 2. Raven was 7/9. [Counselor was 9/9 and received a Silver Star. Remember, put Knight on your wing to keep him from taking kills.]

(S7 M3) Intercept and destroy. Five Krant and a Dorkir (5/5; 1/1).

Two Jalthi (including Baktosh) and a Dorkir (2/2; 1/1). Baktosh almost always runs from missiles. Lock a missile on him, and then take out his wingman while Baktosh runs. You can then hit Baktosh solo when he returns. A Dorkir will go up on one strafing run at full guns.

Two Jalthi and a Dorkir (2/2; 1/1). Knight will start to ask for help. Send Knight home to insure that he survives. Raven had 12/12 and received a Gold Star.

[Port Hedland/Hurricane Stands]

Chalkboard Update

"Hero" 11 36
Casey 39-40 74-78
Taggart 56-52 74-59
St. John 36-30 72-50
Chen 47-44 72-50
Deveraux 31-35 43-47
Tanaka 21-24 33-50
Marshall 16-19 35-37

Kurasawa System

(S9 M1) With Bossman in Rapier: Intercept and destroy.

Five Dralthi and a Dorkir at Nav 1A. Four Krant and a Dorkir at Nav 2. Two Jalthi and a Dorkir at Nav 1B. Raven had 11 out of 14. Remember to have wingman form on wing your wing when you attack the Dorkirs. You can kill Dorkirs on a single pass.

(S9 M2) Save the captured Ralari. This is the hardest mission of the set and the hardest on the winning plot line. It has a single seam. You'll hit four Salthi in the asteroids (4/4). Set speed to 450kps prior to entering the asteroids. Kill the Salthi ASAP (Raven used a Dart missile here).

You must then leave the asteroids at speed (450kps or so) and keep speed. Bypassing the asteroids sets up the action sphere differently as does leaving at the normal 250kps. As it is, the seam sets up randomly so that you will not always hit it. 50% is about the right success ratio to expect with this method.

You can not engage the autopilot and win. The Ralari is under attack by four Gratha. The two you are coming up behind on are just opening fire. Hit them with missiles and full blasters until they blow up or break away.

From this point, face off against whoever is nearest the Ralari in order to force them off their attack. Do not concentrate on pursuing. (This means that your blasters will take down shields, your missiles damage the Gratha and another pilot will get the kill). Use taunts (which do not work well in this scenario). Raven was 6/8 and received a Silver Star.

Note, seven is the highest reasonable number of medals to expect on the winning track. (You can get more medals -- Bronze Stars -- and a "free" Golden Sun. The "big" medal you can win, but the game doesn't save it for you).

It is tempting to lose this mission since Rostov 3 -- an easier mission -- has a Gold Star for a victory there and Rostov 2 has a Silver Star waiting. In losing, seven kills is fairly easy. In winning, six kills is hard (the other pilots finish off the Gratha you wound). (See notes next issue).

(S9 M3) Save "your" Exeter -- Della Guardia and the Formidable. Five to Six Dralthi at the Jump point. Engage, slide, blow up one every three shots. Done smoothly, the Formidable does not jump in until after all the Dralthi are killed.

Five Krant attack on the way back to the Claw. Raven had 8/11 and got away clean. No medal.

[Rostov Primitives Win]

Chalkboard Update

Casey 42 91
Taggart 57 66
St. John 35 65
Chen 47 55
Deveraux 36 49
Tanaka 29 59
Khumalo 33 46
Marshall 20 43

Venice System -- The End Game

(S12 M1) Four point patrol with Hunter. This is essentially the same mission as Rostov 3 (S10 M3) -- only harder with Jalthi and Gratha for the Salthi and Dralthi of Rostov 3. Nine kills in Rostov 3 nets a Gold Star. Here it nets nothing.

Claw - Exeter (put Nav guide to the left part of view screen by pulling to the right as soon as you drop out of autopilot and you'll miss the asteroid problem) - Minefield (veer off & engage the Jalthi in clear space). Two Jalthi (2/2).

Asteroids. Jump point with three Krant and Khajja (crowd him and hit him as he runs to maneuver). (2/3; 1/1). Ralari (Hunter will kill this) (0/1). Four Gratha on wide patrol come back in (as soon as last Krant is killed they appear at long range) (4/4). Raven was 9/11 with Hunter 2/11.

(S12 M2) Join forces, intercept and destroy. Easy mission. The hardest part is not losing one of the nameless wingmen.

Out, link. Two waves of two Gratha each in asteroids. (2/2; 2/2). Four Salthi for close support (4/4). Fralthi (1/1). Four Krant on wide patrol come back in (triggered by kill of the last Salthi) (2/4).

Raven had 11 kills and got all four Rapiers back to base safe. (Even Shadow with 12 kills did not net any medal). I have been unable to get 13 kills on this mission to see if 13 will trigger a medal.

(S12 M3) Wide escort .. with some surprises.

Claw --- Nav 1 --- Nav 2 --- Nav 3 --- Claw.

Nav 1 has a minefield. Veer left and then in. Nav 2 has two Jalthi in a minefield ("again") (2/2). Nav 3 has two Dralthi as escort for a Ralari (2/2; 1/1). Remember to put your wingman on your wing to get that kill.

The Claw is under attack when you return. Four Gratha, in pairs (3/4). If you push up to 450kps and skip the autopilot from Nav 3 to the Claw, you may come up from behind on the distant pair of Gratha and get a chance to shoot them up as you head in towards the Claw.

Don't dally (you'll lose the Claw) but come on in after a few shots to drive off the pair on close assault. Then drive off any Gratha attacking the Claw while trying to kill them off after you wound them. A perfect run will get you a Bronze Star. Raven had 8/9 and got the commander's thanks but no medal.

Chalkboard Update

(Raven) Mylonas 17 130
Casey 45 96
Chen 52 85
Taggart 60 77
Tanaka 32 73
St. John 37 68
Deveraux 41 66
Marshall 23 65
Khumalo 37 56

Raven (2654.141) 2/3/2; Shadow (2654.150) 2/2/3 (Rostov missions); SpiritII (2654.148) 1/3/1 (Rostov Missions); Wolf (2654.140) 4/3/1. (Raven and Wolf flew the same number of missions as did Shadow and SpiritII. It is interesting that the dates varied.

(S12 M4) The final mission.

First you hit the "warm-up" -- a capital ship and its escort. The minefield side-steps readily by taking a slightly off-center line.

Then, after the ship it is four Gratha (nasty stuff), four Salthi (stretch out the last kill to let your wingman regenerate some) and four Jalthi (save a missile or two to break them off while you lock on behind and blast them down).

Take the base when it is safe. You can do it without using missiles. It is possible to wound the last Gratha and let your wingman duel with it while you kill the base. When the Gratha finally goes down, the Salthi appear. Lead them out of the action sphere. When you've killed the last Salthi, the Jalthi appear in the action sphere -- too far away to prevent you from going home on autopilot. When you get home, sometimes you still get the "medal of honor" since you did not get close enough to the Jalthi for the program to count them against you.

If you try to save the capital ship for later, when you return to the action sphere other ships are killing it. If you by-pass a kill, you don't get your big reward. (Ignore the Colonel's advice as to not mixing it up with the warm-up). And that's the game!

Post Script: The Rostov System

(S10 M1) To receive commendation, you must return home without damage. Lots of Gratha. Head towards Nav 3 to clear rocks, then towards Nav 2 to bring around and then on to Nav 1. Two Dralthi at Nav 2, two Gratha at Nav 3, then four Gratha, then a Dorkir jumps in.

(S10 M2) At nine kills you'll trigger an award of a Silver Star. At eight kills you do not. SpiritII had nine kills here, Shadow had only eight.

(S10 M3) At nine kills, Khajja and the Fralthi, you get a Gold Star. Mission 6, 11 and this allow you to get three gold stars out of the seven likely medals (and eight readily possible). Spirit II missed the Gold Star, Shadow hit nine kills and got it.

Alternatives: start with wc Origin s6 m0 to get a look at the missions you are missing. Then try wc Origin s11 m1 (or s8 m0) to get a look at what you never want to see. Several of the missions (e.g. Port Hedland 3) report failures even if you succeed. Hell's Kitchen 1 autodestructs the escorted Drayman if you manage to otherwise keep it alive. Rough.

For impossible, try s13 m3 (Hell's Kitchen 4). It will give you all the enemy aces to fight, no wingman, and a flight of each enemy type. In a Scimitar. (to survive, boot with wc Origin s13 m3 -k).

Cheng Du Initiation Variant (Storm/Roberts)

(S6 M1) Relieve the Hornet Valkyrie from 4 Krant. In Hornet, with Angel.

Then Prowl, (keep prowling until the other Krant and the Ralari show up -- they will!) kill 2 Krant & Ralari. You need more than 5 kills. Storm: 7 Kills; Gold Star

(S6 M2) Escort Exeter w' Angel.

Claw - Asteroids - Nav/Jump (6 Dralthi: 2 wings of 3 each, including Dakhath); 4 Salthi on way to Claw. Takes 10 out of 10 to get the Bronze (not worth it).

(S6 M3) Launch and defend Claw. 3 wings of 2 Gratha each. Need to kill at least 5 out of 6. The Gratha focus on the Claw so you can do it, just watch out for your wingmen taking the Gratha out before you can. Remember to attack whoever is closest to the Claw (saving the Claw is your first priority). Storm: 1st Lt.; Silver Star


(S5 M1) With Maniac, Scimitar & 3 point patrol

1 Salthi acting wounded, then 3 Gratha (in ambush -- Maniac will trigger this); 2 Krants in Asteroids. Warning, Maniac will shoot you from behind if you don't watch out. He ignores you and shoots anyway if you get between him and a target.

(S5 M2) Exeter Escort

Claw - Asteroids - 4 Dralthi attacking Exeter and then at Nav 2; 4 Salthi.

(S5 M3) Intercept mission

2 Jalthi (tough in Scimitar) on wide patrol then 4 Krant (incl. Khajja); 1 Dorkir; 2 Krant. Storm: Bronze Star; Captain

Dakota System

Chalkboard Update

Casey 34/56
Chen 42/46
St. John 32/43
Taggart 47/40
Hero 6/38
Devereaux 28/34
Khumalo 25/32
Tanaka 18/28
Marshall 12/24

Back to mainstream notes.

(S7 M1) takes 8 kills for Silver Star

(S7 M2) Storm had 8 kills for Silver Star, Major

(S7 M3) Storm had 12 kills & got Knight back safe (sent him home early) for Gold Star.

11 kills is no medal, so do not loiter, letting Knight get kills. Put him on your wing when you attack the "capital ships." In addition, since the Jalthi kill Knight much too often, so send him home early to keep him alive. Knight goes home at the first suggestion.

Casey 40/71 (36/65)
Hero 9/69 (9/69)
Chen 46/65 (43/51)
Taggart 53/56 (50/47)
St. John 35/45 (37/60)
Khumalo 25/43 (29/44)
Tanaka 26/43 (19/36)
Devereaux 30/43 (31/43)
Marshall 14/28 (16/35)


Goal: lose Kurasawa in order to pick up Silver & Gold in Rostov -- but, don't lose the Ralari or the Exeter. Can it be done? Well .... Yes. Eject immediately after launch on Kurasawa mission 1 (killing the first Dorkir is a win for the series...). Then you get your silver medal for saving the Ralari and save your old commander too. Might as well get that Golden Sun award.


(S10 M1) Raptors on patrol with Iceman.

Much to my surprise I found out that if you have a perfect mission you get a Bronze Star. 9 kills equaled a bronze for Storm. The hardest part about this mission is beating Iceman to the punch. Also, if you take any damage, the commander chews you out for flying into asteroids (even if the damage was caused by enemy fire).

(S10 M2) Intercept. Tough. 9 kills or more = Silver Star. 8 kills or less, a pat on the back for getting the Ralari. Storm, Silver Star.

(S10 M3) Intercept. If you go around the asteroids you will not encounter the Dralthi. Without the Dralthi, you do not get enough kills to get the Gold Star. Again, your biggest problem is keeping Iceman from taking your kills away. Assign him targets to attack and switch them. Put him on your wing when the Fralthi starts to "red out." Send him home if you can. Or, you can luck into the needed number of kills as Shadow did. I've received the Gold Star with seven kills here. Five kills was not enough.

After this it is on to Venice.

Start Last Mission

Roberts/Storm 15/113 18/140
Casey 46/88 50/103
Chen 50/75 54/86
Taggart 61/65 65/77
Khumalo 34/64 36/73
Tanaka 30/61 34/70
St John 42/56 48/66
Devereaux 35/48 38/54
Marshall 21/46 23/53

Entering Venice, Roberts/Storm had 2 Bronze, 5 Silver and 3 Gold medals. He also had a Golden Sun (but note that a second ejection in Rostov both does not get another Golden Sun and puts you on the losing track for that series. With 9 kills on the last mission on Rostov, if you eject, you still lose and go to Hells Kitchen. That is a nasty trap to avoid. You can't hang in and get your kills, then eject before the ship falls apart and still win).

Much to my surprise, while Starkiller is in the Venice system, Roberts/Storm never encountered him. I expected him at the Starbase and he wasn't there. A glitch? Too bad.

Final notes:

The afterburner slide is an important manuever. At about laser range, hit the afterburners. Punch out on an angle with the enemy in the far corner of the viewscreen. Then point your nose towards the enemy. Properly done you'll slide in such a fashion that the enemy ships can't target on you and you can hit them. Slides are the essence of Wing Commander combat (and the reason that you can run out of fuel).

You can hit things with dumb fire missiles. Practice. That's my analysis and advice.