The Escape is the first mission in the first mission pack of the Nova Covert Ops campaign.
Years after the End War, zerg attacks began to hit the outer colonies of the Terran Dominion. Slow to respond to these attacks, groups form critical of the regime of Emperor Valerian Mengsk. One such group is the Defenders of Man, a terrorist organization that would fight the zerg invasions on these colonies. Agent Nova Terra and her team are assigned to infiltrate a Defenders of Man facility, but fail to report back for months. A Radio Liberty team later infiltrate the Defenders of Man's network, and find evidence that Nova Terra had defected to the Defenders of Man.
Months later, Nova awakens in a Defenders of Man facility, with no memory of her actions before. She is greeted by a voice, who attempts to run a diagnostic and debriefing. However, her visor warns her that she is in danger, and the group will attempt to kill her. Nova activates her stealth when ordered, but fails to decloak, and destroys the cameras in the room. She breaks out of the room, and attacks the wrangler Maxwell holding her prisoner, asking him where she is. He refuses to answer, and she kills him.
"Not until you give me some answers."
"Do you want to know what happened or get out of here in one piece? Just go."
- Stone and Nova(src)
Nova escapes the base, and radios for contact. She is greeted by Stone, who also escaped and is surprised to hear from her. He says her memory's likely been wiped, and the team has been scattered around the base. Nova stealthy moves through the facility, snapping the neck of rogue ghost agents that could potentially detect her. She finds her C-20A Canister Rifle and a set of pulse grenades, and makes for her escape. However, the Defenders of Man initialize the base's destruct sequence, causing the base to begin to collapse. Nova and Stone discover vulture bikes they can use, and they group together to escape through Sharpsburg.
Nova and Stone move on the nearby freeway in a break for the nearby starport, but are assailed by Defenders of Man forces. They manage to defeat their attackers, when the Defenders of Man send a Warhawk to destroy them. Nova destroys the ship and arrives the spaceport. Stone says he'll stay behind for the next transport, with Nova insisting he tell her what he knows. Stone refuses, saying she had to leave, and she boards a Hercules and escapes into orbit.
If Stone's vulture bike is destroyed during the mission, he'll tell Nova that he'll find his own way out and Nova will arrive at the shuttle bay without him.
The first phase of this mission revolves around avoiding being detected by the ghosts and turrets, and taking them out from either behind or out of range. The first phase has multiple paths, there is a staircase to the left of the initial starting area that leads to a ghost. In addition, there is a path to the right that leads behind a pack of ghosts, clearing up an area of vision. Once that area is cleared, Nova gains her rifle and the snipe ability, which allows her to kill ghosts out of range of their vision. Be aware that some ghosts will move forward once ghosts next to them have been taken out, so it is best to either prepare to pull back or have snipe shift-queued up.
Once pulse bombs have been obtained, the mission becomes sniping ghosts while using pulse bombs on packs of troops. Snipe can also be used on the cyclones that make up the defenses, which is helpful as a single pulse bomb can not kill them. The optional objective allows for three other ghost agents to be saved; one is automatic at the end of the first phase, but two can be found in the southern portion of the map. Ghosts will follow Nova and attack targets around them, but lag behind her. Take special care when navigating flame turrets, as they will often stay further behind and be caught in the fire.
The second phase of the mission is a driving phase, where Nova and Stone must avoid running into civilian vehicles while attacking enemy vultures, hellions and banshees. Vultures and hellions can be taken out by a single snipe, but banshees require a snipe followed up by an auto attack. Save pulse bombs for groups of three or more vultures, as it requires a higher amount of energy and may leave Nova unable to snipe. Restoration cubes appear when Nova is low on health, and should be a priority.
The final phase of the mission is a fight against a large ship called the Warhawk. It is most effective to snipe and auto attack the Warhawk; snipes can be used in quicker succession and are more energy efficient than pulse bombs. The first phase will require the player to avoid the Warhawk's rockets. Avoid the red circles, and time the delay of the rockets so when it does a full volley in front of it Nova can move back or forward without getting it. Once the Warhawk has taken some damage, it will switch to the other side of the map, and begin using a laser. During this transition is a good time to save, especially if going for the achievement to take no damage from the Warhawk. This phase involves the Warhawk moving between the two lanes of the road and firing a laser across them. Simply move to the opposite lane the Warhawk moves to. The third phase is the same as the first, except banshees will appear to attack the player. A snipe should be saved in preparation for these. The final phase is similar to the second, except with a much quicker rate of fire. This phase can be problematic for players going for a no damage run, as it comes without warning. Be prepared to switch lanes quickly as soon as the missile strikes stop. Once the Warhawk is taken down, the mission ends.
Complete the “The Escape” mission in Nova: Covert Ops.
|Fire and Forget|
Kill 20 enemies with the Snipe ability in the “The Escape” mission.
|More Like Lame Turrets|
Do not take any damage from the flame turrets in the “The Escape” mission on Normal difficulty or higher.
Complete the “The Escape” mission on Hard difficulty or higher without allowing Nova to be damaged by the Warhawk.
|Gotta Go Fast|
Reach the Vulture Bike staging area within 5 minutes in the "The Escape" mission on Normal difficulty.
- At the beginning of the level, one of the boxes is a critter named a reptile crate, a reference to the Metal Gear series of games. If left alone for long enough the crate will begin to wander, and if walks into the sight cone of any of the Defenders of Man forces the Metal Gear Solid detected sound will play.
- The driving phase of the level was adapted into a browser-based flash game named Maximum Novadrive for Blizzard Entertainment's April Fool's 2016.
- The only ghost who cannot be killed by the enemies is Stone, in either the escape section or the vulture chase, instead he will alert Nova, and then run away.
- Various billboards in the background of the vulture segment show loading screen art from the Legacy of the Void campaign.
- Kate Lockwell Twitter. Kate Lockwell's Twitter, accessed on 2016-03-22
- 2000-10-27. StarCraft II. Vivendi Games. Mission: Defenders of Man Network Access Point (in English).
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Awakening. (in English). 2016.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Nova Covert Ops, The Escape (in English). 2016-03-29.
- Maximum Novadrive. Battle.net, accessed on 2016-04-01