Chronicles of a Wing Commander, Part 5: Special Operations 1

I received Special Operations 1 for my birthday the year following my receipt of VotK for Christmas. This time, I specifically made sure not to make any promises to wait for anyone else to be around before I played it, but since Joe was at the birthday party when I received it, that wasn't much of a problem. We were very excited, and he spent the night that night so that we could stay up way later than we should have to play it. I used some of the money I'd received from my grandma to go down to the store and pick up a case of Dew so we'd have plenty of fuel for what was sure to be our all night Wing Commander bender.

Special Operations 1 (which I will refer to as SO1 from here on in) is the first expansion of VotK, and that having been said, the gameplay and cinematic effects are unchanged, as is the majority of the cast we have come to know. There will be some new pilots and other crewmembers entering the mix very shortly! We learn a lot of interesting things from the game's intro:

Remember this from the ending of VotK? Looks like he got a quick pick-up after I whopped his tail.

I'm glad this is good news, because the last time we had a conversation in here, it sucked.

Ah, so this is what Paladin's been up to all this time!

So, not only are things STILL not hunky dory back at the ranch for Prince Thrakhath, our good buddy Paladin is heading up the "Special Operations" division for the Confederation. This sounded a lot like The Secret Missions to me as a kid, but I was happy to be back in the cockpit for another go 'round aboard the Concordia. Both Hobbes and the player character are all set to go for their new positions, but will be held back for just a little bit to help deal with the Kilrathi in the Pembroke system.

SO1 does not waste any time living up to the standards its predecessors set, and introduces a new, nasty Kilrathi heavy fighter into the mix: the Gothri-class heavy fighter.

And here I thought the Hhriss was bad.

Of course, the Confederation has not been resting on their laurels, either, and has re-vamped the standard Ferret-class light fighter to include a couple of heat-seeking missiles, a welcome improvement over the original design, which sported no missiles whatsoever.

Some Kilrathi butt is definitely being kicked when, early in the game, communications with a supply depot in the Rigel system are lost.

When the player is dispatched in a Broadsword-class bomber to take a look around, Confederation Ferret-class fighters waste no time opening fire. Could this be another case like the Gwenhyvar?

However, upon returning to the Concordia, we find that this isn't another Gwen, since those pilots I was shooting down were definitely human!

How the player character deduces this, I don't know, since I didn't see any human faces getting fried when I wasted those Ferrets.

As it happens, the Admiral believes these turncoats are part of a crew from the TCS Gettysburg, a Waterloo-class cruiser. The pilots aboard the ship staged a mutiny while close to the N'Tanya system, the reasons behind which remain a mystery. The admiral (with whom I am now good friends, apparently) decides it's time to kick the tires and light the fires, and the Concordia jumps to the Rigel system to put and end to the whole thing.

Upon arrival,