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Employed at Scripps Institute in La Jolla, CA. Attending Eckerd College next year.
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Star Wars: Republic Commando

"RC-1138 reporting in Mission Control. I am on the ground behind enemy lines. Moving forward." I am RC-1138 or "Boss" as the squad calls me. I am in command of an elite team of Republic soldiers. I am the cool head and clear mind of Delta Squad. My team  and I don't mess around when on duty, we are fast, silent, and extremely deadly. At the moment we are on Kashyyyk, the home planet of the Wookiee race. We are here to infiltrate a Trandoshan camp at night and rescue the Wookiee leader, Tarfful, whose reconnaissance squad was overrun a few weeks ago. "Form up and move out commandos. Sev, set up a sniper position behind that boulder and cover our backs."

"Roger sir, just point me at the enemy and stay out of my way." RC-1107 moves forward, "We have lizards sir" he says as he takes off a Trando's head with a sniper round. "Hey, this looks more like a fortress. Should be fun."

"Move up squad! Give me an explosive solution to that door, Scorch. Sev, relocate your sniper position to those Med-Stations. Fixer, I want you on that missile turret in case they come over that wall. Scorch, I'll cover you as you set that breaching charge. Okay squad, lock and load." The breaching charge bursts and the doors slides open, revealing the two enemies inside. "Take down those lizards! Sev and Fixer watch our backs. Scorch get back here and help me clear the door." 

Scorch skips towards me, humming a song to himself. "You know, I wonder what the weather's like on Camino right now. I heard that the suns are usually high in the sky this time of year," says Scorch as he reaches my position. The oxygen pack on the back of a Trando explodes, throwing him into the air. "Hey, I didn't know that Trandoshans could fly."

"Form up squad, the attack is over. Let get through that door and into the fortress." The doors separate as we approach, "Okay squad, up ahead, that's the only way through." Suddenly an explosion sends a cloud of rubble in front of the doorway, blocking it completely. "They're on the catwalks. Hold this position while I find a way out. Mission Control, a little help would be nice."

"There should be an access panel on the right of this hallway, if you blow a hole in it you should be able to make your way past the rubble."

"Thank you Mission Control, I see the panel. Scorch, you heard the man, I want some ordinance on that hole. Squad I want you to cover him while he places the explosives, hold this position." A Trandoshan Mercenary, throws a thermal detonator down into our squad, exploding right under Sev. "Fixer, give him some vectors now, I'll cover you. Scorch, how is that panel coming along, is it set yet?

"Roger. Detonate, sir?" I give him a nod, "Okay, stay clear squad, fire in the hole!" The bomb goes off, sending shrapnel into the wall. "Well, do you think we used enough?" Scorch says with a small chuckle. We move into the tunnel, leaving the Trandos behind us.

"Okay team, is everyone alright. Sev, is your head okay, those electric charges take a little getting used to. Okay commandos, it turns out that this is not a surprise attack as we thought, so let's do this hard and loud. Move out squad!"

Star Wars: Republic Commando is a video-game that using the First Person Shooter console as its fighting platform. It was released for Xbox on Febuary 28, 2005 and released for PC three days later on March 2, 2005. It is one of many more Star Wars games that are based on the movies and books of the Star Wars Series, however this game is one of the first to use the FPS style fighting system. Republic Commando, like all the other games, was produced and published by LucasArts, a company set up by George Lucas to "provide an interactive element to his vision of a state-of-the-art, multi-faceted entertainment company."

Storyline

As soon as the Republic Assaults Ships started landing on Geonosis, there was bound to be trouble. Each ship carried millions of the Republic Clone Army (stored just like the onions from Kansas, very very tightly) to aid the overwhelmed Jedi Knights. You are one of these soldiers, except that you are in command of three other elite warriors, who make up the squad that you will be dealing with for the rest of the game. You, one of the genetically enhanced clones, will be ordering this squad to perform squad-based tactics in all battle situations, following clues from the intelligence items you gather from the dark catacombs of Geonosis, to a rogue Republic Assault Ship, to the forested turf of Kashyyk, in order to eliminate the major threats to the (so-called) Republic.

Characters

The Squad - Although all the clones are identical, there are those that are trained specially for certain tasks. A section of the Republic's Army is trained for missions that are covert and behind enemy lines, very much like the Special Ops Forces in our military. These SF Commandos are the best the Republic can offer, they are well trained, well equipped, and have a sincere grudge against any enemy of the Republic, dishing out severe judgment with out hesitation. Your squad is made up of four, including you, of these elite Republic Commandos (RC), each of which has a call sign beginning with RC and then a four digit number. To make calling to your squad easier, you only have to say the last two numbers, called the batch designations, or the commando's call name in order to get his attention.

RC-1138 "Boss"- This is the character you will be playing in the game, he's quick on his feet, intelligent, and has a very cool head in all battle situations. The reason he is called "Boss" by his squad is because he is the undisputed squad leader and he makes the executive decisions about what the squad will do in every combat situation. He has been through many battles before you took command, I hope that you will be able to live up to his exalted reputation and get all your men home safe.
   

RC-1140 "Fixer"- Fixer is considered the Second-in-command by the entire squad, because he is very by-the-book type of commando. For example, he calls the squad members by their batch designations ("Three-Eight," "Oh-Seven," "Six-Two") and he regularly will order the squad to keep the com clear of excess chatter. He also has quite an obsession with technology and team tactics, which earned him his nickname, "Fixer." He has a tendency to fix broken devices; giving him the job of computer-slicer and code-breaker.
    

RC-1107 "Sev"- Sev, short for Seven, is the most cold-hearted and ruthless killer of all the clones and has a passion for killing things. He doesn't need to be asked to rush into battle situations and decimate enemy forces, he is the designated sniper of the team and earned that position through a long record of murderous precision. He packs a grim sense of humor towards death and war, taking in the defeat of his enemies with a maniacal joy and pleasure. The squad generally believes that someone put an extra aggression gene into his DNA.
   

RC-1162 "Scorch"- Although an effective commando, Scorch always has an ironic, outsiders humor towards every situation that the squad comes up against, never failing to keep the squad from getting too serious about the mission, and forcing them to step back once in a while and take a look at the darkly humorous side of war. He is the squad's demolition expert and will gladly set ordnance on anything that needs to be removed. His obsession with explosives earned him his nickname, "Scorch," when a bomb was set off too early and left both him and his Drill Sergeant with singed eyebrows.

Enemies

"Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate."

- Thomas Jones

Trandoshans - A parasitic race that conquers planets and places all the inhabitants into slavery. Their latest victory has been over the great Wookiee race (they make very good slave boys). They are called "lizards" by the RCs because of their scaly skin, narrow, direct eyes, and long, claw-like toenails.

Trandoshan Slavers - Although they are considered the weakest of Trandoshan enemies you will be fighting, the Trandoshan Slavers come only from the strongest of the Trandoshan Infantry. They fight in large groups, hiding behind bushes, trees, fake walls and in ceilings, waiting for the perfect ambush, each wielding an ACP Array Gun and the Slaver Knives. This battle tactic deals effectively with all types of enemies, from Republic troops to Wookiee warriors, so be careful, or you may be next.

Trandoshan Mercenaries - These Trandoshans are not in the regular infantry, they are only used when the Trandoshan commanders believe that a heavy battle is eminent. Their armor can withstand a large amount of damage without being penetrated and their choice of weapons ranges from the ACP Array Gun, the ACP Repeater Gun, or the LJ-50 Concussion Rifle. With their large armory, a squad of Trandoshan Mercenaries is more than a fair match for any adversary.

Trandoshan Heavy Merc - When reports of a major offensive against the Trandoshans reach the Trando commanders' ears, they gather their resources and call for the few number of Heavy Mercenaries in the Trandoshan army to come and help defend a Republic target. Standing about seven feet tall, covered from head to toe in two inch thick armor, and carrying the LC-150 Heavy Accelerated  Charged Particle Repeater, the Trandoshan Heavy Merc is a one-man army. Although they are usually surrounded by Slavers and Mercs, the Heavy Merc can easily deal with any enemy that crosses his path. If you meet one of these on the battlefield you should turn the squad's attention to him immediately and terminate him as soon as possible, before he can cut through your entire squad.

Droids - Although a reputation about the Droids is that they depend more on the quantity of their army rather than the fighting capabilities, overwhelming their enemies with the mass produced droids, the Federation has advanced the technology of the Droids, creating upgraded versions with more power weapons, thicker armor, and smarter instincts. Do not under estimate the Federation's power, if you do, you will surely fail.

Battle Droid - The weakest and most common Droid in the Federation Army. The Battle Droid uses a custom-built E-5 Blaster. Also, although they may be relatively unchallenging as single combat units, a squad of Battle Droids has a lot of firepower and cuts through the Republic's ranks.

Super Battle Droid - After the Trade Federation's loss on Naboo, the Federation Officials decided that more firepower was needed if the Federation Army was to be effective. So, along with other improvements, the Super Battle Droid was created. The armor, height, and attitude has significantly improved (They have been made to be more aggressive, do much that they have been known to knock down their fellow battle droids, breaking them to bits). The main modification is the weapon with which the Super Battle Droid fights its enemies. It is a combined E-5 Blaster with a Light Weight Cannon. This has proved effective against individuals targets, using the Blaster to cut through shields, and  in bigger battles, using the cannon to destroy large groups of enemies or vehicles.

Droideka - Another advance in the Federation Army, these relatively short Droids can only waddle around when unrolled, so they move around quickly by curling into a wheel and rolling along the ground into battle. When a Droideka reaches its destination, it unfolds and puts up its shield, blocking all incoming blaster fire yet allowing any of the fire from its twin blasters to pass through the shield unaffected. They usually fight in pairs of twos and their rapid fire and defensive shields can be devastating to an opponent.

Advanced Dwarf Spider Droid (A-DSD) - As the pride and joy of the Federations Army, the A-DSD is extremely powerful and dangerous. It sports a very thick armor plating, two homing rocket launchers, and an extremely powerful energy cannon that has both a large destruction and explosion radius. This droid is used in places where the Separatists wish to defend an objective or initiate a major offensive against the enemy. It's firepower and armor makes it very hard to destroy and a major threat to the Republic forces.

Geonosians - Both Geonosian society and military are completely segregated, between the castes of society. In the military there are three castes, Drones, Warriors, and Elites. There are also commanders such as generals and captains, but those are usually occupied by the exceptional Geonosians. By appearance the Geonosians vary widely in colors and shapes, but they are all based on the look of a greatly enlarged insect.

Geonosian Drone - The weakest enemy in the Geonosian military, these Drones are short, wingless, and run on all fours. They are mainly used as diggers and miners for the Geonosians, expanding the already vast cave network of the Geonosian catacombs. The only defenses of the drones are their razor-sharp claws and their ability to spit a toxin at their adversaries. If found in large groups, these small creatures can be quite a threat to enemies who threaten them.

Geonosian Warrior - As the primary foot soldier of the Geonosian military, these warriors stand about seven feet tall and utilize their set of wings with precision and skill. The primary weapon of a warrior is the Geonosian Force Pike, a six foot long staff, with a large spike on one end. Warriors will usually swarm enemies in a large group and stab at them with their pikes, causing large amounts of damage and confusing the enemy.

Geonosian Elite - Standing eight feet tall, carrying the menacing Elite Beam Weapon, sporting a large pair of powerful wings, and attacking in groups of two or three. Flying with speed and agility, the Elites can attack many enemies at once without even being hit. If you come into contact with one of these, direct your squad's fire towards it, before it can do too much damage.

Grevious' MagnaGuard - The IG-100 series MagnaGuard, created by MangaGuard Manufactures, is an incredibly difficult opponent to eliminate. It carries the MangaGuard ElectroStaff and the capability of firing two guided missiles from its back. Also, it has the ability to jump and appears to be flying over long distances and unbelievable heights, making it very hard to hit and take down. Although they usually fight in pairs, a MangaGuard on its own can still be a major threat to any group of enemies.
       

Weapons

"It's not enough to be able to pick up a sword. You have to know which end to poke into the enemy."

- Terry Pratchett

Note: Not all of the weapons in the game are listed here, only the ones that you will be able to use in combat.

Republic Weapons - These are the weapons that you start out carrying and you will use, for the most part, during the entire game. However, you can pick up an accessory weapon from a dead enemy, in case you run out of ammunition for any of your main weapons.

DC-15s - The standard issue side arm of all RCs is the single-shot, self-recharge BlasTech DC-15s. It's energy cells are charged by Tibanna Gas that recharge at a rate of 1 shot per .143 seconds, or seven shots for every second of inactivity.

DC-17m - The standard issue primary firearm of the Special Forces of the Republic Army is the BlasTech DC-17m ICWS. It has a unique capability of supporting any one of three different firing systems in order to deal with many of battle situations.

Blaster Attachment - This attachment uses a battery clip capable of expending 60 plasma rounds in rapid succession. However the clips do not recharge and a RC can only carry five clips at a time. This attachment is very useful for the up close and personal battle situations that you will encounter during your missions.

Sniper Attachment - This attachment has a battery clip that can release five powerful charged plasma bolts with a short recharge in between shots to let the barrel cool down. The sniper comes with an electromagnetic scope on the top of the attachment. This firing system should be used for long range combat only and is wasted at close range.

Anti-Armor Attachment - This attachment uses a firing tube to launch a grenade at armored targets. The grenade explodes on contact, however, you can only carry four grenades at once, so use them only on either armored vehicles or on the toughest enemies, such as Trandoshan Heavy Mercs and Advanced Dwarf Spider Droids.

Trandoshan Weapons - The firearms used by the Trandoshans are manufactured by Arakyd Industries except for the Concussion Rifle, which is made by Blastech Industries, the same company that makes the Republic Weapons (those backstabbing gunsmiths).

ACP Repeater Gun - A weapon used by the Trandoshan Mercenaries, the ACP Repeater fires an accelerated particle charge which can take down a Commando's shield easily and then quickly dispatch him. A Commando can carry six clips each of which fire 40 particle charges, however keep in mind that this weapon is not terribly effective against Droid enemies. Because the particle charges are not in high enough concentration to cut their way through a robot's thick armor to harm its inner electronics, unlike the ACP Array Gun. 

ACP Array Gun - As the primary weapon of the Trandoshan Slavers, the ACP Array Gun packs a very powerful punch in order to keep their slaves in line. Fully loaded, the Array gun holds eight charged particle shells. Each shell, when fired, unloads 64 accelerated particle charges in a fairly large array. This weapons is extremely effective for up close and personal combat situations, though its power is lost at almost any distance farther than about ten feet.

LJ-50 Concussion Rifle - This "grenade launcher" is by no means ordinary. The LJ-50 fires a concussive explosive with no arc over medium to long distances. The grenade explodes on impact and sends concussion waves out over an instant-kill area of about five feet, and a wound-area of about fifteen feet. The LJ-50 is best used against large squads of enemies, or against singular, more powerful enemies, for example the Trandoshan Heavy Merc or Super Battle Droid. Remember, do not shoot this weapon near yourself or your team mates because it is very powerful.

LC-150 Trandoshan Repeater - This huge weapon is used by only the Trandoshan Heavy Mercenaries. It wields a 200 round clip of super accelerated charged particle rounds (also called accelerated charged particle heavy rounds) and has a long bayonet on the front for closer combat. 

Geonosian Weapons - The weapons used by Geonosian warriors are created by Gordarl Weaponsmiths

Geonosian Elite Beam Weapon - A rather interesting weapon, because of its ammunition (or power source), it draws power from the internal fluids of a Geonosian Elite and then converts it into energy, which is unleashed in an extremely power high energy beam.

Wookiee Weapons - Each Wookiee firearm is individually made by Wookiee crafters with extreme care and attention. Being made individually leads to the fact that every weapons is different in some way from all others, not to mention that each of them effectively combine beauty with firepower.

Wookiee Bowcaster - Every Wookiee in the Militia carries one of these by its side. Each one is individually made by a Wookiee crafter and therefore each is different in its patterns, colors, and texture. The ammunition clip is made to be interchangeable to eliminate any restrictions. Each of the bowcasters are equipped with a scope, making them a very effective sniper weapon. They fire an energized impaler bolt that penetrates light armor.

Wookiee Grenade Launcher - Another weapon that it individually made by Wookiee crafters, this grenade launcher holds five explosive grenades with a guided-warhead capabilities. Each grenade can be locked onto a target, fired and then watched as it does twists and flips until it finds its target. However, there are also situations where a grenade fired into the middle of a crowd of enemies can be much more effective so these grenades can also be fired "dumb" if it suits the purpose.

Detonators - Known as "grenades" in our time, these portable explosives each have a different effect and should be used differently for different situations.

Electrostatic - Emits an electric charge that disables any electronic enemies and stuns any other enemies (effective area is about 6 yards).

Diversionary - Very much like a "flash bang," this grenade temporarily disables the sight, hearing, and motion capabilities of any organic enemy. This explosive has less effect on droids because of their auditory, motory, and vision systems (effective area is about 6 yards).

Thermal - A very simple grenade, exploding one second after impacting any object, the explosion tears through the steel outer casing and sends super heated flak into the surrounding area (splash damage reaches about 3 yards).

Sonic - Like the blast from a Genosian Sonic Cannon, this grenade sends a powerful wave of sonic turbulence out, throwing enemies against walls and up into the air. This grenade can also adhere to certain objects, such as walls, and explode either in ten seconds or when an enemy comes into its effective range, which is about 4 yards.

Proximity Mine - This grenade can be thrown into an area where an enemy is predicted to approach and start off an ambush with a bang. When an enemy nears the grenade it will explode, however its motion sensor can be fooled by an enemy moving slowly and in a low stance (this grenade is effective up to 2 yards).

Turrets - Turrets are large, powerful, stationary weapons that are capable of releasing large amount of fire in a short while. In the game, these turrets will all have basically unlimited ammunition.

Wookiee Dual Launcher - A large, hand crafted turret used to fire two large warheads, with armor-piercing capabilities, at air-bound targets (used mainly for defense against the Trandoshan airships).

Republic EWEB - As the only transportable turret, the EWEB is rather light. It wields a large, tri-barrel, mini-cannon, which fires charged plasma rounds at a very high rate of fire. The rate of fire allows the possibility of engaging and terminating many targets at once, however the EWEB is not extremely accurate at long ranges and the turret base allows a relatively small area of fire. However, in close quarters against either droids or Trandoshans, the EWEB is capable of taking down a large number of targets in very little time.

Geonosian Sonic Cannon - A very large and powerful turret, the Sonic Cannon is capable of releasing a very large amount of sonic turbulence against either large amounts of foot soldiers or against well armored vehicles. 

Wookiee Quadrail Launcher - Similar to the EWEB this turret fires large amounts of the energy bolts used in the Wookiee bowcaster, making it extremely effective against foot soldiers of all races. In order to increase its effective range the Quadrail Launcher can either be stationary or placed on tracks so that it can be moved from one area of defense to another.

Trandoshan MMLT - The MMLT is capable of delivering eight explosive tipped, anti-personnel missiles in under five seconds. Having a large range of splash damage makes this turret very useful against oncoming foot soldiers. However, after eight rounds are launched in rapid succession, the MMLT has to cool down the barrels for a couple of seconds before firing can continue.

Missions

"Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't."

- Richard Bach

Geonosis - Hour Zero - Clone Wars - Geonosis
You are flying into enemy territory in a Republic Gunship. Your commanding officer is back at HQ, but is transmitting a message to you through a hologram. According to him, you are being inserted into the Geonosian Gladitorial Arena, where the other members of your squad have already landed. You are to regroup with each of them and fight your way through the Geonosian Catacombs to kill the Geonosian leader, Sun Fac. After that you continue onto the Federation's robot factory and disable it with some well placed explosives. Finally, you are to fight your way across the canyons to the core ship, where all the launch codes for the Geonosian Fleet are stored. You must keep the other ships from getting off the ground.

Assault Ship - Day 367 - Clone Wars - Chaykin Cluster
Far away from Geonosis a missing Republic Assault Ship reappears. The Delta squad should recognize the Prosecutor, they were first stationed and trained on it, under the supervision of its commander, Captain Martz. It was supposed to be protecting some trade vessels near Corellia, but command lost contact with it about two weeks ago. It might have gone rogue or may be a trap to lure the already thinly spread Republic troops for an ambush. So the Republic is sending in Delta Squad to check out the ship to make sure that it's safe. However, in order to complete that objective, they must split up and each take a separate sector. Then, after having endured many troubles and overcome many obstacles, you must find your way through the ship and reconnect with the rest of your team. The Federation does not surrender their prize so easily, so Delta Squad must ward off the endless Federation Droid Army and secure the ship for the Republic.

Kashyyyk - Day 785 - Clone Wars - Kashyyyk
As the battle rages in many other parts of the Galaxy, the Wookiees, on their home world of Kashyyyk, have been overthrown by the cruel Trandoshans, who have launched a horrible slave-trade. The Wookiee Resistance have called to the Republic for aid. According to reports from the Wookiees, their leader, Tarfful, and his squad were overwhelmed by the Trandoshan Slavers and they were taken prisoner. Delta squad is called in to infiltrate the Trandoshan fortress and rescue as many warriors as possible. However, while rescuing Tarfful, you discover that General Grevious has landed on Kashyyyk as well and this evidence solidifies the possible alliance between the Trandoshan and Separatist forces. Command now asks you to go deep into the Kashhyyyk jungle and obliterate the Separatist presence, but it turns out that this outpost is just the beginning of a Separatist invasion of Kashyyyyk. You must help the Wookiees ward off the first Separatist wave of troops in order to allow the Republic forces to arrive and aid Delta Squad and the Wookies. The Battle of Kashyyyk has begun.

Closing Notes

As a review of the game, Star Wars: Republic Commando has both pros and cons, as all games do. Its main problem is the length; if you played constantly, you could finish the game in about 10-11 hours, while most games on the market today require about 20 hours or so. However, many good things make up for the game's length. Republic Commando has amazing graphics and sound and the best squad AI and tactics I have ever seen. Each of the squad characters have a personality of their own and carry on a constant chatter amongst themselves. The story has a very compelling plot and mission setup.