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Flashpoint is the sixth mission of the Nova Covert Ops campaign, and the third and final mission of the second mission pack.
"Seems like he could take his own advice."
"Oh, he won't."
Nova reported her in to Emperor Valerian Mengsk, and he told her that he looked over the findings from Tarsonis and Tyrador IX. While compelling, he stated he could not act until they had solid evidence as to who was leading the Defenders of Man. Nova said they had a way of finding out, and showed him a canister of terrazine. Valerian was shocked, and stressed caution, but Nova stated it was the only way. Admiral Matt Horner then told Valerian that the protests were becoming more intense, and that he needed to evacuate. He did so, telling Nova to be careful.
Nova administered a microdose of terrazine, and she gained memories of interacting with Maxwell. He stated that he was happy to have the admiral's best men, and she said she was happy to help after all the Defenders of Man had done for the Terran Dominion. She did complain about a problem with her visor, which Maxwell said he would fix when she got back. Nova then lowered her visor, which had a mission file on an operation on Antiga Prime. Nova stated that she had to go there to find out what had happened.
"The truth... can be difficult."
"Not as difficult as the Defenders' lives will be when I'm done here!"
- Nova and Reigel(src)
Nova arrived at New Andasar on Antiga Prime, and nuked a infestation pit. Reigel noted that destroying the zerg structures in the area will limit the number of specialized zerg creatures in the area. Nova asked Reigel to track for the structures, and her covert ops crew set up a base on the destroyed zerg structures.
Nova wandered through the city, clearing out areas of feral zerg and locating areas she felt were familiar. When she spotted these areas, she injected herself with a dose of terrazine. These areas brought back memories of a mission she undertook to Antiga Prime with Stone, where the two of them were tasked with placing devices that would ward away feral zerg, and attuning them to ward specific kinds of zerg strains. However, she gradually began to notice the devices giving a faint psionic signature. Upon overriding the security codes on the device, Nova realized that it was a psi emitter, like the ones the Terran Confederacy and Sons of Korhal used years ago. This concerned the two of them. Stone noted that he didn't clear the operations center of mission backup files, and that they could use those to show the Dominion what the Defenders of Man were doing. However, Maxwell contacted them saying they disappointed him just as the zerg attacked the planet.
After breaking from her flashbacks, Nova noticed that the zerg she attuned the emitters to ward away were actually specifically attracted to those emitters. Reigel noted if the structures near them were destroyed those breeds of zerg would not attack Nova's forces. Reigel also noted a plasma signature from the nearby docks.
Nova eventually found her way to the operations center, and found the mission backup files Stone left behind. She then injected herself with remaining terrazine to recover her memories one last time.
Upon injecting the terrazine, Nova recovered a memory of being hauled off by two Defenders of Man marines. She attempted to fight her way out of their custody, but was unsuccessful. She awoke to find herself bound in a room with Maxwell and the technician from their Tarsonis base, who stated that what they did was necessary. Also in the room was General Carolina Davis, revealing her as the leader of the Defenders of Man. Nova implanted a message "YOU ARE IN DANGER" in her visor, updating it to warn herself should she be mind wiped. Davis ordered that Nova be mind wiped and reeducated.
On the bridge of the Griffin, Nova contacted Valerian, and informed him that Davis was the one leading the Defenders of Man. Valerian was shocked, as Davis was loyal to the Mengsk family. Nova pointed out that loyalty to the Mengsk family did not imply Valerian personally, and stated she would kill Davis, but Valerian insisted that they do it the correct way. Valerian affirmed he had a plan, and that Nova would do her part in it. Nova begrudgingly agreed.
This mission involves defending the base against heavy numbers of zerg attackers. The default equipment pieces for Nova will all be an asset to the player, including the area-of-effect Pulse Grenades, her sniper rifle (in order to pick off overseers and brood lords), as well as the permanent stealth suit for painting nukes (as there are no bosses to worry about). For unit equipment, spider mines are an effective choice, deployed near the approaches to the player's base to quickly dispatch ground zerg. These may work best equipped on siege tanks which are already a strong defensive choice. The mines will help them survive melee attacks until depots, bunkers, and other blocking structures can be constructed.
Each attack wave includes at least some zerglings and roaches; and possibly hydralisks and overseers (depending on difficulty). The strategy revolves around the chosen breed of zerg each time when Nova triggers a memory. After the cutscene, the structures related to the chosen zerg will be the ones that appear near the location. When these are destroyed, the zerg attack waves will cease using those units. The order that these can be triggered is up to the preference of the player and the defenses they have at the base:
- Removing banelings should be a high priority, if not the highest. The lanes are tight and these units do strong area affect damage. Not only will they quickly break heavy defensive lines (5 that get through will take out a bunker), but they also stop the player from fielding any type of large ground army in general. Even with Marine Range and siege tank support they remain a major threat to the player.
- On higher difficulties, removing brood lords is essential. While slow, the broodlings deal strong damage on impact and until stopped, endlessly wear down defensive lines from a heavy range. Additionally, Nova also lacks strong AA to go after these beasts (Vikings being a much more natural counter in Versus mode).
- Ultralisks are strong and have lots of HP, but are easier to deal with by using air to ground units such as Banshees and sieged Liberators, but Marauders or Tanks will do.
- Likewise the units spawned by nydus worms (and if not already selected, broodlings) are also a problem. Thanks to area affect damage from siege tanks, they may be less taxing to deal with, but they do outrange static defenses and often have to be manually cleared.
- It is easier to defend against lurkers and mutalisks (the last two of the six breeds), as both can be repelled with missile turrets, and so they are less of a priority.
As the memory sites are visited and cleared, the map will expand. Attack waves will change their entry point further back. Apart from nydus worms, which always appear near the base until cleared out, the waves will eventually start at the corners of the map.
This mission can be done with Nova alone, microing her, or with a force of marines (especially once banelings are removed), siege tanks, liberators and goliaths. If done with Nova alone, multiple ghost academies should be constructed, as Nuclear missiles will clear out the clustered zerg defenses quickly and clear the way to attack structures. Overseers spawn infinitely from the corners of the map, so have snipe ready. Two snipes can kill an overseer, and if done quickly they can be removed with minimal damage to Nova. Siege tanks, liberators, missile turrets and bunkers with supply depots on the front will be ideal to barricade zerg numbers.
Alternatively, memory sites can be cleared via nukes, allowing the forces to remain behind at their base in order to defend it. However, a number of nukes will be required to clear the map, and the time Nova spends launching the nuke, though short, can leave her exposed to overseers.
Taking the expansion near the starting location is helpful, but zerg attack waves will sometimes redirect to it once it is taken. Once nydus worms are stopped, it is possible to block the chokepoint ahead of the split in the path. Alternatively the player may place another defensive line on the high ground to secure their expansion base from destruction. Clear the subway tunnels with microed cloaked banshees or Liberators in order to create a reliable way to ferry troops across the battlefield. Banshees should also be strongly considered to clear off nydus worms outside the range of your siege tanks. As attack waves can be overwhelming, ensure a strong defensive line in the main bases. Alternatively, if the attack waves are taking the longest route, Nova can time and nuke the spot where the wave is passing by, effectively clearing most of it.
The bonus objective is simply to claim an item in the middle of the map, defended by two zerg clusters. These can be easily cleaned out using nukes or a moderate attack force.
Finally, making it to the operations center in the northeast corner of the map will end the mission. It is accessible from all sides, including a bridge from the subway exit in the middle of the map.
Complete the “Flashpoint” mission in Nova: Covert Ops.
|The Nuclear Optiom|
Destroy 75 enemy zerg units and structures with nuclear strikes in the "Flashpoint" mission.
|No Half Measures|
Destroy all zerg structures in the "Flashpoint" mission on Normal difficulty or higher.
|Glutton For Punishment|
Complete the "Flashpoint" mission without eliminating any of the zerg unit types on Hard difficulty or higher.
|One Shot, One Opportunity|
Destroy 50 enemy Zerg units with a single nuclear strike in the "Flashpoint" mission on Normal difficulty.
- The song that plays on Valerian's record player is Dearest Helena from the ending cinematic of StarCraft: Brood War.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Recollection. (in English). 2016.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Nova Covert Ops, Flashpoint (in English). 2016-08-02.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Liars. (in English). 2016.