This page offers a simple overview of the plot, and addresses specific problems. For a basic semi-official walkthrough, see Phil Eckford’s (one of Hardwar’s testers) walkthrough, http://david.hedbor.org/hardwar/solution.html or http://www.hardwar.info/plotindex.htm . If you are looking for a detailed walkthrough with tips and forward planning suggestions, I recommend Zedo’s, http://zedo.hardwar.org.uk/plot.htm .

Plot critical emails are marked with asterisks either side of the subject. Most events within the plot will only start once the player decides to start them. There is no need to complete the plot, indeed you can play forever without plot related changes by ignoring the Port Decoy. The plot is only available in the single player game, or to the game’s host in a network game.

The plot can be completed in 21 days, but don’t worry if it takes a lot longer. Use spare time between missions to develop your character (cash, moths, hangars, etc), because completing the plot using a starter moth will be very hard.

If you are playing a version of the game without the video, you may have problems understanding what is happening, because key instructions are only given via video sequences – refer to Arago Fett’s Plot Video Transcripts in the appendices.

On this page:

4.1 Crash

4.1.1 Overview:

  • Timing: After your first significant action is complete (normally making a sale or killing another pilot).
  • Email: “Cover up?”, from Hardwarp FM.
  • Reward: None.
  • Requirements: None.
  • Location: Above Lightwell 3, Downtown.
  • Event: Alien ship appears in the sky, temporarily disabling your ship once you get close, before exploding.
  • Politics: None.

4.2 Port Decoy

4.2.1 Overview:

  • Timing: Day after previous sighting and crash.
  • Email: “Decoy Required”, from Klamp-G HQ. “Good Work” on completion.
  • Reward: $5000 on completion.
  • Requirements: Any weapon fitted – the starting Laser is adequate. Target 3 software upgrade and any cell upgrade will help.
  • Location: Port.
  • Event: Fly to Port crater via Mines, shoot at the Mass Driver Part (on the north side of the crater, near the Mass Driver, close to Laz Repair moth), and when the sky darkens escape via Mines. The mission finishes when a Klamp-G moth (which you were providing the decoy for) reaches their HQ in Riverside.
  • Politics: Makes you an enemy of Lazarus.

4.2.2 How do I target the Mass Driver Part?

Target the Mass Driver initially by selecting Target Subject from the email. When you are close look for a moth marked “Laz Repair” – the mass driver part will be on the ground below. Fire at the part close up and you won’t need it targeted to hit. If you wish to target the part you need to have installed target level 3 software beforehand, which allows objects on the surface to be targeted.

4.2.3 What are the garbled messages about?

Around this time you will start to receive email messages from the Abandoned Terminal, none of which can be read. Save them for now, Xavier Lazarus will translate them for you much later.

4.3 Mystery Package

4.3.1 Overview:

  • Timing: About 8 days after Port Decoy mission.
  • Email: “Important Mission” from Unidentified. Also “Concerned” about a day before.
  • Reward: Cloaking Device installed on your moth.
  • Requirements: Pod and Drone fitted. The moth you are flying during this mission will be fitted with a cloaking device, so consider using a moth that will benefit from this addition.
  • Location: Rock formation near Lightwell, Mines.
  • Event: Recover package from top of rock formation near the Lightwell in Mines.
  • Politics: None.

4.3.2 What does the Cloaking Device do?

When flying below 100 feet, your ship will be masked on radar. This is indicated by a blinking red margin of your radar HUD.

4.3.3 Can I remove the Cloaking Device?

No. You must be flying the moth you want to fit the device to during this mission. Consider delaying this mission until you have upgraded to your preferred moth.

4.3.4 How can I tell I have the Cloaking Device?

Fly below 100 feet, and watch to see if your radar HUD flickers. There will not be any other indication on your ship.

4.4 Secret Bases

4.4.1 Overview:

  • Timing: Immediately after recovering Mystery Package.
  • Email: “Congratulations” from Unidentified.
  • Reward: None.
  • Requirements: None, but amnesty with both factions will avoid constantly being attacked whilst searching.
  • Locations: Psycho Bobs 1, Downtown; Lazarus Secret Base, Reservoir, rear of island with Lightwell on it, western side of crater; Klamp-G Secret Base, Riverside, towards western side of crater.
  • Event: Fly to Psycho Bobs 1, then fly to each of the secret bases, target them and lock their targets.
  • Politics: None.

4.4.2 What do the secret bases look like?

The Lazarus base is set into a cave in a large rock formation, close to water level. It has a large red Lazarus logo on the door. The Klamp-G base is probably harder to spot because although out in the open, at first glance it looks like a set of storage containers. The secret is to look for a series of large containers running east to west, with a slightly larger structure at the western end. The larger structure is the base.

4.5 Procure Trigger and Matter

4.5.1 Overview:

  • Timing: Immediately after targeting secret bases. Note that you can collect Trigger and Matter beforehand – it will start appearing a few days after the Decoy mission (you may see an email “Nuclear Ships Out” from Hardwarp FM).
  • Email: “Good Job” from Psycho Bobs 1.
  • Reward: None, although excess Trigger and Matter you may sell, and Fusion Parts you can use to get a fusion cell produced – see How do I get a fusion cell? above.
  • Requirements: Pod fitted. Other equipment (pirating or scavenging) depending on method.
  • Locations: Deliver to Psycho Bobs 1, Downtown. Trigger and Matter locations vary by method, but most likely to be found on routes between the gang bases (Gamma and Alpha) and the Downtown tunnel to Port.
  • Event: Return to Psycho Bobs 1. Then find and deliver one unit of Trigger and one unit of Matter to Psycho Bobs 1. These materials are being traded by the gangs (Scrubber and Skinner) for BodyParts, using the Customs Block between Downtown and Port. Recover the cargo by pirating these transports. Alternatively wait for others to pirate them and then either scavenge, pirate the pirate, or buy the booty from trading posts pirates/scavengers sell too.
  • Politics: Depends on method. Attacking gang transports directly will make you their enemies (pre-U1.0 it will also make you the enemy of their aligned faction – Scrubber to Lazarus, Skinners to Klamp-G).

4.5.2 Why do the gang transports only ever carry one thing?

If you kill a transport, the next transport that gang sends out will buy the same (missing) item. Continuous killing of transports may therefore net you a lot of one of the three cargoes, and none of the other two. When you see a transport loaded with something you don’t need, let it go. Consider protecting it from other pirates if you are having real problems here. When the moth comes back for another cargo, it should buy a different item.

4.6 Base Attack

4.6.1 Overview:

  • Timing: About 2 days after delivering Trigger and Matter.
  • Email: “New Instructions” from Psycho Bobs 1. “Come on Home” once first unit of Origin Unknown recovered.
  • Reward: Drone upgraded to Super Drone at start of mission (even if it does not say that). $99,999 per surplus unit of Unknown Origin (see below).
  • Requirements: Not flying a Police or Swallow moth (you need to be able to fire rare missiles, and these moths cannot fit them). Pod and regular Drone fitted.
  • Locations: Psycho Bobs 1, Downtown -> Lazarus Secret Base, Reservoir or Klamp-G Secret Base, Riverside.
  • Event: Attack either one of the secret bases by firing a Tac-Nuke at it, which Bob will provide. Entering the Lazarus base is fairly straightforward; entering the Klamp-G base requires you to fly down through the hole into a cave, which can be tricky – try flying a corkscrew pattern. Steal at least one unit of Unknown Origin using the Super Drone, and deliver it to Psycho Bobs 1.
  • Politics: Makes you an enemy with the owner of whichever base you attack.

4.6.2 Can I attack both bases?

Yes, if you are a little underhand. If you return to Psycho Bobs 1 without completing the mission, and without a Tac-Nuke, Bob will fit another one. So, by attacking one base and not recovering anything initially, or by swapping moths half way through the mission, and then returning to Bob’s, you can get enough Tac-Nukes to enter both bases. Attacking both is clearly harder, but will give you additional Origin Unknown.

4.6.3 How do I sell surplus Origin Unknown?

All the Origin Unknown you return to Psycho Bobs 1 with will be taken from you. However, you only need 1 unit to complete the mission. Since Origin Unknown sells for $99,999 in the original versions, it is worth trying to sell any excess before completing the mission. Note that recent patches have changed the value of Origin Unknown to $1 (from Ouch). In the first instance try to sell to trading posts. Not all will have enough money to buy, and none are likely to buy more than one unit. Buying a few high price items from a trading post will give them enough cash to buy the Origin Unknown from you. If you can’t sell all the excess, or don’t want to waste time now trading, don’t unload it into your hangar because you won’t be able to reload it. Instead jettison it and pick it up later. You are the only pilot with a Super Drone, so it should remain where you left it.

4.7 Gang Boy (Optional)

4.7.1 Overview:

  • Timing: Two or three days after the base attack. The events must take place at the time stated in the email, which you will receive about 36 hours before the mission starts. Unlike other missions, you cannot delay this, but you can alternatively ignore it completely.
  • Email: “Help”, for Gang Boy. “Safe” on arrival at destination, followed by various other bits of news.
  • Reward: Fusion Cell on completion, replacing your existing cell.
  • Requirements: None, although amnesty with both factions will make the mission easy.
  • Locations: Normally Scrubbers HQ, Highrise -> Reservoir -> Klamp-G HQ, Riverside. However, pay attention because Gang Boy has been noted (by Zedo) to start at Skinners HQ, Gamma, and travel to Lazarus HQ, Alpha.
  • Event: Wait outside the starting HQ until the appropriate time (22:00), then escort Gang Boy’s Silver-Y. Once you both reach the destination HQ you will be fitted with a Fusion Cell, which will replace whatever cell you had before, so make sure you have a cheap cell fitted when you dock at the HQ ;-) . Gang Boy won’t be attacked, making this a very easy mission if you have amnesty with both factions.
  • Politics: None related to you.

4.8 More Trigger or Matter

4.8.1 Overview:

  • Timing: Two or three days after Gang Boy.
  • Email: “New Developments”, from Psycho Bobs 1. “Reminder” after talking to him.
  • Reward: None.
  • Requirements: Pod and Drone. Also note the requirement for the next mission (Port Clearance with Tac-Nuke), which this leads directly into.
  • Location: Psycho Bobs 1, Downtown.
  • Event: Recover a unit of Trigger or Matter. See Procure Trigger and Matter above for method. As you recover the first unit, you will receive some bad news about Bob. Return to Psycho Bobs 1.
  • Politics: Depends on method.

4.8.2 Can I use Trigger or Matter I have already?

Yes. Indeed this is the safest way to complete the mission. Load up one unit, jettison it, and then immediately salvage it again. If scavengers cause a problem, jettison the cargo in a tunnel – AI pilots won’t salvage things dropped in tunnels.

4.9 Port Clearance with Tac-Nuke

4.9.1 Overview:

  • Timing: Immediately after recovering a unit of Trigger or Matter, above.
  • Email: “Bad News”, from Psycho Bobs 1. “Urgent” following mission failure.
  • Reward: None.
  • Requirements: Not flying a Police or Swallow moth (you need to be able to fire rare missiles, and these moths cannot fit them). Note that you do not need the Trigger or Matter in your hold from the previous mission, but it will make you an attractive target for pirates and slow you down in the meantime.
  • Locations: Psycho Bobs 1, Downtown -> Mines to Port tunnel.
  • Event: Bob’s assistant will fit a Tac-Nuke, fly to the blockage in the Mines to Port tunnel, target the blockage, and fire the nuke. The blockage remains, and you will get a message to return to Psycho Bobs 1. Arrival completes the (failed) mission.
  • Politics: Apparently none.

4.10 Port Clearance with Big Bob

Before starting the final series of missions, consider making a backup of your saved game (copy the .sav file outside of the game). If you complete the plot the game will end, however you may wish to continue playing as an open-ended game. Reverting back to this position will give you that option – all you need do is ignore Psycho Bob. It can be hard to break out of the plot much after this point, and you should expect to play these final missions as a series of mad dashes.

4.10.1 Overview:

  • Timing: A day after Port Clearance with Tac-Nuke.
  • Email: “New Toy”, from Psycho Bobs 1. During the mission, “Investigate” after the clearance, and “Close Call” after the alien rescue.
  • Reward: None.
  • Requirements: Not flying a Police or Swallow moth (you need to be able to fire rare missiles, and these moths cannot fit them). Consider removing surplus equipment that will slow you down, such as pods.
  • Locations: Psycho Bobs 1, Downtown -> Port, near to Abandoned Terminal (in the middle of Port crater).
  • Event: Repeat initial events in Port Clearance with Tac-Nuke, but with a Big Bob missile, which will clear the blockage. Head towards the Abandoned Terminal, and look what has landed on it. The sky will darken again, and you will loss shields and HUD display. Don’t panic, the aliens will pick you up and drop you in the center of Mines crater.
  • Politics: Makes you an enemy of Lazarus.

4.11 Psycho Bobs Closure

4.11.1 Overview:

  • Timing: Immediately after the aliens rescue you from Port.
  • Email: “Close Call” from Psycho Bobs 1. “Hangar Closed” from Lazarus HQ when trying to enter Psycho Bobs 2.
  • Reward: None.
  • Requirements: None.
  • Locations: Psycho Bobs 1, Downtown -> Psycho Bobs 2, Downtown -> Prison Oubliette, Mines.
  • Event: Return to Psycho Bobs 1, then head to Psycho Bobs 2 to find Syd. Psycho Bobs 2 is now closed and the occupants have been arrested. Head towards the prison complex in the mines.
  • Politics: None new.

4.12 Rescue Syd and meet Xavier Lazarus

4.12.1 Overview:

  • Timing: An hour after trying to visit Psycho Bobs 2.
  • Email: “Rescue Prisoner?” from Psycho Bobs 1.
  • Reward: Syd and possibly some BodyParts.
  • Requirements: None.
  • Locations: Prison Oubliette, Mines -> Lazarus Hightower, Downtown (southern side of crater, high up).
  • Event: Enter Prison Oubliette and speak to Syd. Now head for Lazarus Hightower. Talk to Xavier Lazarus, who will reveal a few things of interest, including translating the garbled messages from the Abandoned Terminal. Now head to Syd’s Workshop to pick up a special moth.
  • Politics: None.

4.12.2 Why do I have a cargo of BodyParts when I leave the Prison?

This only happens if you have a pod fitted. They might be regarded as part of the story – you may have noticed the weird meat (bodyparts) related humor, and perhaps this is the last laugh. Krool comments: “I reckon that the
body parts are probably what’s left of either Bob, or Syd.” Well, I didn’t like to say it… You can, and probably should, jettison them once you launch, because they will slow you down and attract pirates.

4.12.3 How do I get into Lazarus Hightower?

The hangar is very close to stall level. While all moths can get there eventually, some, such as poorly equipped Silver-Ys, may struggle. But then, what are you still doing in a Silver-Y after 20 or more days of play ;-) ? Try climbing at a very gentle gradient when close to stall level, and when you get a stall warning nose down slightly, stop, and wait a moment. The important point is not to actually stall while getting close to the hangar. Take the whole operation very slowly, climbing in several little steps. Using this method you can get a Cell #1 Silver-Y to an altitude of 2419 feet without stalling. You can open the doors to the hangar at this height, but you can’t casually fly in. The trick is to get the doors open, then very rapidly fly into the hangar, ensuring the stall occurs once your moth is inside the hangar. Attempting to dock with a Cell #1 Silver-Y is very tricky, so some level of upgrade is recommended. There is a myth that you need a Fusion Cell or a certain type of moth for this, which is not true.

4.13 Final Run

4.13.1 Overview:

  • Timing: Immediately after leaving Lazarus Hightower.
  • Email: None.
  • Reward: Escaping Titan (“The End”, for now at least).
  • Requirements: None. You will given a special Moon Moth for the final run.
  • Locations: Syd’s Workshop, Downtown (south east side of crater, near Central Monorail) -> Abandoned Terminal, Port.
  • Event: Head to Syd’s Workshop and board the Moon Moth. Now run to the Abandoned Terminal without being killed. Congratulations. You won. For added amusement, before you dock at the Abandoned Terminal, stop and watch what happens to all those moths in pursuit.
  • Politics: Every other pilot regards you as an enemy during this sequence; even the Cabs want to rip you.

4.13.2 I keep on dying before I reach Port. Any hints?

Don’t waste time leaving Syd’s Workshop. Keep at full throttle throughout. Don’t stop to engage your attackers – you don’t have any guns anyway. Travel via Gamma, since the route is shorter and you can skirt round the edge of Gamma crater to avoid most of your attackers.

4.14.3 Can I use the Monorail to complete the final run?

No. At least not in U2.04. You take the monorail to the Abandoned Terminal, but nothing then happens.

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