Silent Storm — Mission 19: Drop the Hammer!

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We’ve got work to do.

We finally know what the ultimate goal of Thor’s Hammer was. And where their base is.

But we’re on the clock. Their grand plan is even more ambitious than we thought. It’s not the panzerkleins or the beam weaponry alone that they’ll use to take over the world. Any moment now, they’ll be launching a weapons platform into orbit. It’ll be capable of hitting any place on Earth — wiping any city, or country, from the map if they oppose the Hammer.

That orbital weapon is preparing for launch as we speak at the Hammer base in the North Sea. Closer than we ever imagined. And somewhere inside that base must be the enigmatic leader we’ve only heard addressed by her first name: Helena.

When we get Berger back to our interrogator, he confirms what we’ve already guessed… and gives us the full name of our enemy.

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Helena Hellsten. We’re coming for you.

Before that, we stock up for the last time on ammo, medical supplies, and grenades. We grab every single energy cartridge the base has to offer. Our first inclination is to give them all — and the last of our panzerkleins — to Doug…

ss_portrait_dougAs it should be. I am the engineer, after all.

ss_portrait_bogeyDon’t be stupid. The panzerklein should go to me, as your team leader.

ss_portrait_zinaidaLet me cut this debate short. I have the most experience with beam PKs. I will take it.

(Mostly it’s that Zinaida has enough action points that she’s just barely able to get three shots in a turn when everyone else only gets two.)

So we stuff all of the ammo into Zinaida’s inventory…

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…and get ready to head out the door. But first, let’s see our team assembled and ready to go.

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Yeah, it’s still a ragtag squad of weirdos — but they’re my weirdos. And they’ve learned to kick some real ass since we started out.

There’s only a few more to kick before the end. Once more unto the breach, dear friends!

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Wow. I appreciate that they’re sending us into the heart of the enemy’s base, and possibly to get super duper killed, when they could just as easily bomb it from the air. Thanks, command.

ss_colonel_portraitHey, it’s one last chance to get rid of Bogey. Can you imagine how smug he’ll be if he actually manages to save the world? And is an actual war hero? I don’t think anyone wants to live in that world.

ss_portrait_bogeyWho are you, again?

ss_colonel_portraitYour commanding officer, you clown!

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ss_portrait_zinaidaOperation Silent Storm ends today. Is everyone ready?

ss_portrait_bogeyI was born ready.

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ss_portrait_bogeyI’m sorry, is that a panzerklein with…?

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ss_portrait_dougA jetpack. Yes.

ss_portrait_bogeyI lied. I was not ready for that.

The game skips all the base-infiltrating and throws us directly into the missile silo. Face to face with a flying panzerklein. A panzerklein piloted by none other than Hellsten herself, who has a gloriously exaggerated Swedish Chef accent going on.

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It’s kind of confusing to look at, and it’s made worse by the fact that for some reason her mouth doesn’t move when she speaks, but that’s Hellsten’s portrait behind Bogey. The box on the right is the intercom counting down to launch.

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ss_portrait_bogeyIt’s over, Hellsten.

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Sick burn.

Hellsten takes off running and leaves us back in control of our characters.

ss_portrait_bogeyGuess she had to jet.

Looking over the map, it seems the entire thing is one vertical shaft. Seven floors of it, with a single walkway coiling downward.

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Somewhere at the bottom, Hellsten is hiding in the shadows. Let’s not keep her waiting.

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Green beams flash past our faces almost as soon as we start moving. Every other floor or so, enemy PKs take shots at us from the other side of the silo.

We plow through them and collect their suits along the way.

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Rollin’ along.

We get Doug and Rowdy suited up in addition to Zinaida, and we’re feeling pretty overconfident by the time Hellsten suddenly shows her face again.

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All I catch is these two shots at the corner of the screen — and Doug’s portrait goes red.

He’s out of the fight, and the only thing stopping Hellsten from finishing off Zinaida too is the column blocking her shot.

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Instead, she turns and nails Viper, who’s down a floor, on the other side of the silo, trying to sneak between columns for a clear shot.

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He barely survives the shot. We pull him back for healing, but we can’t keep him out of danger if we want to win this. With Kate spotting, Viper’s able to find a position where he can hit Hellsten without her seeing him — yet.

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With the backup, Zinaida gets up the confidence to step out of cover. Hellsten somehow fails to get an interrupt when Zinaida appears, and she’s able to unload for four hits.

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Then back up and out Hellsten’s line of sight.

So far we’ve scored over 300 damage — and Hellsten is still listed as “Lightly wounded.” Perfect. This is going to be a regularly damage-sponge bossfight.

Astoundingly, though, the step-out-of-cover-fire-fire-again-step-back-behind-cover strategy is going off without a hitch. On the catwalks across the way, both Viper and Bogey have lined up shots without repercussions and are pelting the back of the PK with beam shots.

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Hellsten remains… frozen with indecision, apparently? She’s literally doing nothing while we beat on her armor.

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Rowdy, in our third beam PK has been on the other side of the rocket this whole time, trying to move around and get eyes on the boss. When he finally does, Hellsten’s almost ready to go down anyway.

The four of us line up a final crossfire.

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Good night.

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ss_portrait_bogeyIt’s a hard knock life.

A cutscene starts once Hellsten is defeated, with Bogey and Viper running for the elevator as the intercom reminds us that the countdown is still a thing.

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I guess the descent into the silo and the fight with Hellsten only took a minute and a half?

And don’t worry. Bogey has a plan!

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ss_portrait_viperI ain’t gettin’ naked for you, boss, if that’s what yer hintin’ at.

The elevator door slides open and Bogey strides forward.

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ss_portrait_zinaidaIs it just me or could the elevator clearly fit most of the squad if we squished a little?

ss_portrait_viperShh. This is his big moment. We gotta let him go.

So down he goes… and at the bottom of the shaft, Bogey finds…

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The disheveled-looking Hellsten hits the elevator with a beam blast and disables it.

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Now it’s down to just the two of us.

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And Bogey’s not going to let his… sexism, I guess?… get in the way of what he has to do. It’s time to get our final battle on!

Shouldn’t be too bad. It can’t be that tough if they expect the player’s main character to be able to handle it alone. I mean, what if you’re, like… a medic, right?

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Oh god.

(Bogey death counter: 3)

Just to add insult to this injury, if you die at this point, you get to watch a short little CGI cutscene of the Thor’s Hammer satellite being launched into orbit.

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And, um… wiping out all life on Earth?

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Oops. You get your marvel of science into orbit just to find out you miscalibrated the superweapon… and it exterminates all the people you were trying to subjugate. How embarrassing.

Anyway, back to the fight. It’s even more vital that we stop this crazy plan now that we’ve seen how it turns out.

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This is our arena, and it’s huge. Hellsten vanishes into the woodwork right away.

Actually, about being a medic — I think that might be one of the more ideal classes for this fight. Sniper would be even better — but what’s really important is that you have a weapon with good range. And the skill to use it. Being able to heal is a bonus.

I do not envy people who go into this last fight with an SMG or a pistol. Hellsten herself has an SMG and will tear you to shreds at close… or even medium range.

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She got Bogey once already. So the first order of business is getting him away from her.

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He pauses in the corner for some healing.

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On the way out of cover, though, he takes another hit.

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It’s not a lot of damage, but it’s crippled Bogey’s action points. He manages to hobble across the arena with his AP halved, but he’s got to get rid of this status effect if we’re going to make it out alive.

At the other edge of the arena, he hunkers down to try to cure the condition. This is probably a terrible decision… but we leave poor Bogey in the open while he does it.

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It shouldn’t take more than a turn or two to fix the problem, and with him in the open, Hellsten will waste her action points shooting at Bogey instead of charging over and getting into a range where she can actually do damage. I just hope she’s far enough enough away right now to miss most of her shots…

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ss_portrait_bogeyGeez! I’m not a soldier! I’m… gonna die down here.

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ss_portrait_bogeyNo, no, no. Wait. I’m the hero here. And what makes a hero?

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ss_portrait_bogeyOne-liners. The one-liners will give me strength!

That nasty old limp is fixed. Bogey takes another scratch in the very last volley, but patches it almost instantly.

ss_portrait_bogeyWatch your back, Hellsten. The Bogeyman’s coming for you!

Bogey takes off for the next corner to put as much room between the two of them as possible. All along the way, Hellsten sprays bullets on him.

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ss_portrait_bogeyHey, if I needed a shower, I’d’ve taken one at home.

Bogey pauses to take aim at his pursuer, but she just knocks him around a few more times.

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Every bit of damage he takes, though, Bogey is able to patch up in no time. He even gets stuck with the AP-reduction ailment again and fixes it before Hellsten can take another shot.

ss_portrait_bogeyIs this a gunfight or a war of attrition?

At last, he repositions himself and has enough AP to fire on her in the same turn.

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ss_portrait_bogeyWe’re in the eye of the Silent Storm — and this storm rains lead!

The tide has changed.

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ss_portrait_bogeyEither that was a headshot, or you were in a serious rush when you put your lipstick on this morning.

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ss_portrait_bogeySorry — you ordered the Swiss cheese, right?

ss_hellsten_portraitGod damn it! I’m Swedish, not Swiss. Also, shut up.

I don’t know if it was the puns or what, but Hellsten seems completely off her game at this point. She barely puts up a fight as Bogey whittles down her health.

…and finally puts her on the ground.

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ss_portrait_bogeySee you in Hell, Hellsten.

ss_hellsten_portraitCome on! That’s… the lamest one…… yet……

On the body, Bogey finds the key to the control center.

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He yanks levers and bashes on keyboards, but has absolutely no idea what he’s doing. In the end, as the engines begin to fire…

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…Bogey crawls into an escape hatch at the back of the facility and makes for the surface, hoping what little he did was enough to stop the launch.

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That’s the last we see of Captain Bogdan Yeromeyev.

Before the epilogue, we get these last words from Silent Storm:

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The final debriefing fades into the firey end of Thor’s Hammer.

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Whatever Bogey did, it did the job.

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The gaping hole of the missile silo smolders as the Viper himself describes the “wave of terror” the world narrowly avoided.

And… that’s the end.

It’s taken me six months, and I’ve sifted through over a hundred thousand screenshots… but I think we’re about done here. This is the end of the LP, folks. It was a wonderful ride and I’m sad to see it end, but Silent Storm is over…

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ss_portrait_dougSo, uh… do you think he made it out alive?

ss_portrait_zinaidaI can’t see how.

ss_portrait_dougWould it be strange if I said I think I’ll miss him?

ss_portrait_viperNah. He was an awful captain and an awful person, but I’ll miss raggin’ on ‘im too.

ss_portrait_rowdyAt least ‘e saved th’ day in th’ end. Couldn’t’a done a better hero than that.

ss_portrait_viperYeah. Ya did good, Boges. I mean, as good as a lughead like you can be expected to.

ss_portrait_zinaidaFarewell, Captain. Maybe we’ll see you again someday.

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