PS2 Walkthroughs: Dropship: United Peace Force Walkthrough

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Dropship: United Peace Force Walkthrough

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     ************************************************************     

Dropship: United Peace Force FAQ and Mission Guide
Covers the US release of Dropship: UPF
Version 1.0  Finished 7/12/02

Written by Alan Sentman  

Unpublished work Copyright 2002 Alan Sentman

PLEASE READ THIS SECTION BEFORE READING THE REST OF THE FAQ:
     This Guide is written and thus owned by me, Alan Sentman.  Any 
attempt to reproduce this Guide in any way, whether it be on paper or 
on computer or through any other known method, is prohibited.  The 
information in this FAQ cannot be used IN ANY WAY for profit.  It 
cannot be sold to anyone or traded in any sort of commercial 
transaction.  The information in this Guide cannot be used and printed 
as your own information in any magazine, fanzine, Web Site, or other 
unmentioned form of publication.  It cannot be used as a bonus or gift 
to a purchase as an encouragement for people to buy your product.  
This FAQ may only be distributed freely.  Any desire to reprint or 
reuse any information that you have learned from this FAQ is allowed 
ONLY if: 1) Proper credit is given to me as the original author.  2) 
You have contacted me through e-mail and requested permission to use 
any information you learned specifically from this Guide and have 
received my consent.

This FAQ is protected by International Copyright Law.  Failure to heed 
the above restrictions will result in violation of the aforementioned 
law, and may be cause for legal action against the perpetrators.  If 
you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, you must delete or 
destroy this FAQ.

And to show that I follow this convention, I give full credit to James 
Chen for writing the format paragraph and first copyright paragraph, 
which I am using with his permission.  I also credit Kao Megura for 
the International Copyright Law paragraph.  I rewrote and paraphrased 
his statement, but used the disclaimer from his Alpha 3 FAQ as a 
template, and am giving him full credit.  And lastly, I did use some 
of the formatting conventions from James Chen's Capcom vs. SNK 2 
Systems Guide, and would like to again acknowledge his hard work.

* * *

Dropship: United Peace is (c) Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and 
(c) Bam! Entertainment.

All other copyrights and trademarks that I have failed to mention are 
also acknowledged.

* * *

=====================================================================
This FAQ can be found at www.gamefaqs.com.

=====================================================================
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=====================
| Table of Contents |
=====================


1. Introduction

General Information
-------------------

1. Controls
   - Hover Mode
   - Flight Mode
   - Ground Vehicle Controls
   - Turret Controls
2. Air Vehicles
   - Intro
   - Assault Class Mk1 Dropship
   - Assault Class Dropship "Fury"
   - Assault Class Dropship "Apache"
   - Defender Class Dropship "Tempest"
   - Defender Class MkII Dropship
   - Lifter Class Dropship "Guardian"
3. Ground Vehicles
   - "Ibex" Assault Vehicle
   - "Granite" Heavy Battle Tank
4. Weapons
   - Cannon
   - Unguided Rockets
   - Air-to-Air Missiles
   - Cluster Air-to-Air Missiles
   - Air-to-Surface Missiles
   - Interrogator SCN
   - Vehicle Weapons

Mission Guide
-------------
1. Intro and Cardinal Rule of Dropship
2. Campaign 1: North Africa
   - 1.1 Opening Moves
   - 1.2 Beyond Reasonable Doubt
   - 1.3 Wish You Were Here
   - 1.4 North By Northwest
   - 1.5 Eye Of The Storm
3. Campaign 2: Colombia
   - 2.1 Fire In The Sky
   - 2.2 Strike Back
   - 2.3 Behind Enemy Lines 
   - 2.4 Leave No Man Behind
   - 2.5 Take Down
4. Campaign 3: Kazakhstan
   - 3.1 To Fight Another Day      
   - 3.2 Deadly Evidence
   - 3.3 The Best Form Of Defense      
   - 3.4 Ice Storm     
   - 3.5 Into The Heart Of Darkness
5. Campaign 4: China
   - 4.1 Dangerous Waters
   - 4.2 The Tables Turned
   - 4.3 By The Dawn's Early Light
   - 4.4 The Element Of Surprise
   - 4.5 Peace... By Any Means
6. Closing Thoughts
   - The Dropship Challenge
   - Known Glitches
   - Credits


=====================================================================
=====================================================================
=====================================================================

1. Introduction

Whether you're looking in this guide because you need help, want to 
see what other people have found in the game, or are just curious 
about Dropship, I hope this guide will help you.  My intention in 
writing this guide is to share what tricks and techniques I have 
discovered in what I think is a quite cool, but extremely difficult 
(in parts) game, and hopefully raise awareness of an underrated title

First of all here's a brief history of Dropship, and my thoughts on 
the game.  Dropship was developed as a PS2 launch title by Sony 
Computer Entertainment Europe.  It was released in Europe sometime 
last year, but Sony declined to bring it to the US.  We almost didn't 
see this title, but it was picked up by third party publisher Bam!, 
and released in the US in June 2002.  

For which we should be quite grateful.  Right now Dropship is in my 
number two spot for favorite PS2 game, right behind Frequency, and 
barely edging out Grand Theft Auto 3.  I honestly think it's that 
good.  For me, the game strikes a perfect balance of many things:  It 
has a much more realistic feel than more arcade-like flight games, but 
is still easy to pick up and learn in an hour or so.  It has elements 
of a flight-sim, a driving game, and a rail shooter, and mixes all of 
those, sometimes in the same mission.  And the ship design, gameplay, 
and replay features combine to make the game just an overall cool 
experience.  It does have some problems, most notably the difficulty 
of some missions (see the section on mission 4.4 for details), and 
some minor glitches, but nothing that seriously detracts from the fun.

The most frequent comparison gamewise is between Dropship and Ace 
Combat 4.  I can't tell you which is better, because I've never played 
any of the Ace Combat games.  So instead of relying on this total 
stranger's opinion on which is better, you'll have to go online, and 
get other total stranger's opinions. ^_^

Oh, one other thing.  I'm intentionally not putting in any info on 
cheat codes and bonus missions.  You could argue that this is not a 
complete FAQ without them, but my logic is this:  The heart of this 
document is the strategy guide, here to help you beat the game 
legitimately.  Technically turning on invincibility IS a strategy, but 
one which requires no skill.  As you can tell, I'm pretty much opposed 
to cheat codes, and from experience.  I feel you get many hours of fun 
out of playing a game normally, and about 10 minutes of fun screwing 
around while immortal before the game gets dull, since you can't die, 
so there's no challenge.  As for the bonus missions, the codes are 
given to you when you beat the game, so I'm leaving that as an 
incentive to actually stick to your guns and finish it.  Plus you can 
find all the codes in the "Codes" section for the game at Gamefaqs, 
one section over from this FAQ, so it's not like I'm really depriving 
you of anything.


=====================================================================
=====================================================================
=====================================================================


Part 1: General Information
===========================

1. Controls

Here is a listing of the controls for the aircraft and ground vehicles 
in Dropship.  They are covered in the manual, but I wanted to cover it 
for completeness, and I did find a trick or two not in the manual, so 
skim through it, if you please.


--------------------
Hover Mode Controls:
--------------------

L1 + R1            Gain Altitude.  Press harder to rise faster.

L2 + R2            Lose Altitude.  Press harder to fall faster, hold  
                   when at less than 2 meters altitude to land.

L1 + L2            Slide Left.  Hold harder to slide faster.

R1 + R2            Slide Right. Hold harder to slide faster.

!!!NOTE!!!  The above controls ALSO WORK IN FLIGHT MODE.  


L2                 Roll Left.  

R2                 Roll Right.

Left Stick Up      Pitch Down.  Does not cause you to move forward.

Left Stick Down    Pitch Up.  Does not cause you to move backwards.

Left Stick Left    Yaw Left.

Left Stick Right   Yaw Right.

X button           Increase Throttle.  Above 150 KPH, puts you in                   
                   flight mode, which will probably make you crash if 
                   you're coming in fast for a landing.  Also will                   
                   reduce reverse thrust.

Square Button      Decrease Throttle.  If throttle hits zero, release 
                   and press again to increase reverse thrust.

Triangle Button    Fire Cannon.

Circle Button      Fire Primary Weapon.

R1                 Cycle primary weapon.  Hold to see all available 
                   primary weapons.

L1                 Cycle available targets.  Will only target enemies 
                   that can be hit with current primary weapon.  
                   Double tap to target enemy closest to your aiming     
                   reticule, i.e. the guy in front of you.  Hold to 
                   use the tracking view.

Right Stick Up     Zoom in.

Right Stick Down   Zoom out.

Right Stick Left   Show left side of aircraft.

Right Stick Right  Show right side of aircraft.

R3                 Show rear view.

D-pad              Dropship Systems Info Screen.



---------------------
Flight Mode Controls:
---------------------

L1 + R1            Gain Altitude.  Press harder to rise faster.

L2 + R2            Lose Altitude.  Press harder to fall faster, hold  
                   when at less than 2 meters altitude to land.

L1 + L2            Slide Left.  Hold harder to slide faster.

R1 + R2            Slide Right. Hold harder to slide faster.

!!!NOTE!!!  These should work only in Hover Mode, but were left in for 
Flight Mode.  I can't really think of a good use for this, other than 
to pass time while flying back to base, but all knowledge is useful, 
somewhere.  


L2                 Yaw Left.  

R2                 Yaw Right.

These are the rudder controls in flight mode, and only move you 
slightly.  Mostly useful for lining up attacks on ground targets.  I 
use them a lot.  But your primary means for turning should be rolling 
sideways and then using the left stick up and down.


Left Stick Up      Pitch Down.  Unlike full flight sims, there is no             
                   such thing as red-out in this game.  (The human 
                   body can tolerate 8-9 G's of acceleration 
                   downwards, but only 2-3 G's upward, so in most 
                   flight sims, pitching down hard is not a useful 
                   maneuver.)  Dropship does not have this limitation, 
                   so use it all you want.  I've been conditioned from 
                   the Falcon PC games to never do it, but it could     
                   come in handy for you.

Left Stick Down    Pitch Up.  

Left Stick Left    Roll Left.

Left Stick Right   Roll Right.

X button           Increase Throttle.  Hold hard for afterburner.

Square Button      Decrease Throttle.  Hold hard for air brakes.    
                   Double tap to switch to hover mode, regardless of 
                   speed.

Triangle Button    Fire Cannon.

Circle Button      Fire Primary Weapon.

R1                 Cycle primary weapon.  Hold to see all available 
                   primary weapons.

L1                 Cycle available targets.  Will only target enemies 
                   that can be hit with current primary weapon.  
                   Double tap to target enemy closest to your aiming     
                   reticule, i.e. the guy in front of you.  Hold to 
                   use the tracking view.


Right Stick Up     Zoom in.

Right Stick Down   Zoom out.

Right Stick Left   Show left side of aircraft.

Right Stick Right  Show right side of aircraft.

R3                 Show rear view.

D-pad              Dropship Systems Info Screen.


------------------------
Ground Vehicle Controls:
------------------------

Left Stick Left    Turn Left.

Left Stick Right   Turn Right.

X button           Accelerate.  Brake when in reverse.

Square Button      Brake.  When stopped, release and hit again for 
                   reverse.

Triangle Button    Hand brake.  Use for skid turns.

Circle Button      Fire Primary Weapon.  (Fire _only_ weapon, no                 
                   vehicle has more than one usable weapon in vehicle 
                   mode.)

L1                 Cycle available targets.  Will only target enemies 
                   that can be hit with current primary weapon.  
                   Double tap to target enemy closest to your aiming     
                   reticule, i.e. the guy in front of you.

Right Stick Up     Zoom in.

Right Stick Down   Zoom out.

Right Stick Left   Show left side of vehicle.

Right Stick Right  Show right side of vehicle.

R3                 Show rear view.

D-pad              Dropship Systems Info Screen.


----------------
Turret Controls:
----------------

Left Stick Up      Pitch Down.  

Left Stick Down    Pitch Up.  

Left Stick Left    Yaw Left.

Left Stick Right   Yaw Right.

Circle Button      Fire Primary Weapon.

R1                 Cycle primary weapon.  Hold to see all available 
                   primary weapons.

L1                 Cycle available targets.  Will only target enemies 
                   that can be hit with current primary weapon.  
                   Double tap to target enemy closest to your aiming     
                   reticule, i.e. the guy in front of you.

Right Stick Up     Zoom in.

Right Stick Down   Zoom out.


=====================================================================


2.  Air Vehicles.
-----------------

One of the weak points from the presentation standpoint of Dropship is 
that they are not at all consistent with vehicle names, and don't have 
files for all the vehicles in the game.  Basically, I think it's a 
publisher problem.  I don't have a European copy of the game, so I 
can't tell if Bam! or SCEE is to blame.  I take issue with the 
omission of some of the vehicles and weapons in the manual, and with 
inconsistencies in vehicle names on the website, though the case for 
that may be Bam! changing the names for the US release.  So I'm taking 
some liberties here, and will present all the info on names that I can 
gather.  Also, most of the vehicles in the game are modeled on actual 
aircraft though sometimes rather loosely, so I'll give that info when 
available.



Assault Class Dropships:  MkI, Fury, and Apache.
------------------------------------------------

These are the fighting "dropships".  I put dropship in quotes, because 
at no point in the game do they ferry anything other than missiles.  
The manual claims that they can be used as a special forces deployment 
vessel, but unless those special forces are you and your co-pilot, I 
really doubt that claim.  So face it, they're fighters, they can't 
carry troops, not really dropships.  They're still plenty of fun to 
fly.  They have less armor than the larger ships, but are faster, and 
much more agile.



MkI  

I'm at a loss for a name for this one, so I'm calling it the MkI.  
It's the first assault class dropship you fly, and is used mostly in 
the Columbian missions.  The assault class in the manual is the Fury, 
so this one is not mentioned at all.  The change from the MkI to the 
Fury is also not mentioned, again, a poor presentation decision by 
SCEE.  Oh well.  This ship is modeled pretty much directly on the 
Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), which is being developed simultaneously as 
a light fighter for the Navy, Marines, and Air Force.  Interestingly, 
the Marine JSF is going to have a lifting fan, and be V/STOL capable, 
making this the only in-game fighter modeled after a real VTOL 
aircraft.  I like it fine, it looks pretty cool, and is more than a 
match for the job at hand.



A-9 "Fury"  ("Vulture" on the Dropship Website)

This is your assault class fighter for the Kazakhstan Campaign, and 
some of the China Campaign.  As I mentioned above, you sort of switch 
from the MkI to the Fury without their explaining why.  Anyway, it's 
based on the X-29, the experimental forward swept wing fighter, 
although the X-29 has a vertical stabilizer, and the Fury does not.  
NASA found that a vertical stabilizer is not needed on the X-31, which 
was a totally different experimental craft, but it's not implausible 
that you could mod the X-29 in a similar fashion (and put in a lifting 
engine).  Anyway, my favorite part of this craft is that the wings 
sweep back as you enter hover mode.  Quite cool.



"Apache"

The freaky freak-plane.  The Apache is a Chinese design, that you see 
in mission 4.2, steal in mission 4.3, and use in mission 4.4.  It 
vaguely resembles one of NASA's experimental craft, I forget which, 
but really looks more like something that Cobra Commander would fly, 
and not during the good G.I. Joe years, either.  It's very 
maneuverable, pretty tough, and fun to watch all the control surfaces 
contort in strange ways as you turn, but overall, I'm not fond of it.  
I think it just looks too arcade-like, and not realistic enough.  Or 
perhaps I'm just bitter because I spent over 4 agonizing hours trying 
to get through mission 4.4 (twice) with the freak-plane.



Defender Class Dropships:  Tempest and MkII
-------------------------------------------

These are the meat and potatoes of Dropship.  (Or the Bacon and Eggs, 
if you prefer.)  They're bigger, less agile, slower, and more heavily 
armored than the Assault Class planes, but they can easily carry a 
squad of troops, or two armored vehicles.  



"Tempest"  ("Buzzard" on the Dropship Website)

This is your starting Defender Class ship, and the Defender Class ship 
shown in the manual.  It is an aging model, and suffers from engine 
problems, which you'll see in the first campaign.  It is roughly based 
on the Northrop YF-23, which lost the competition with the Lockheed F-
22 for the US's new air superiority fighter.  Of course, the Tempest 
is much larger, and with a cargo bay, but the basic shape is very 
similar to the YF-23.  



"MkII"

This is the dropship that replaces the Tempest, after a near disaster 
due to engine problems.  It's referred to in the game only as the 
MkII, so that's what I'm naming it.  This is by far my favorite ship 
in the game, with sleek looks, large cargo capacity, and pretty good 
fighting ability.  I'm not sure that it is really based on a real 
aircraft.  At least, nothing that I'm familiar with.




Lifter Class Dropship:  Guardian  ("Condor" on the Dropship Website)
--------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm sorely disappointed that you don't get a chance to fly the 
Guardian.  According to the manual, it is armed and can fight, but you 
spend the game in other ships, and the Guardian is relegated to the 
role of "thing to defend from the enemy".  It is much larger than the 
Defender Class ships, and can carry four armored vehicles.  It's also 
not really based on an actual aircraft, to my knowledge.



=====================================================================


3.  Ground Vehicles.
--------------------

In addition to all the hot flying action, you spend a fair amount of 
time on the ground.  I would have preferred more flying missions, but 
I have no real problem with the ground craft, I just prefer the 
flying. 



"Ibex" Armored Assault Vehicle  ("C-snake" on Dropship website)

When you're on the ground, chances are you're in one of these.  It's 
tough, very fast, and has a decent cannon.  It can also be used as a 
illumination vehicle for airstrikes.  That is all.



"Granite" Heavy Battle Tank  ("Basalt" on Dropship website) 

Only on mission 4.3 are you lucky enough to use one of these monsters.  
It's surprisingly fast, and the main gun will kill other vehicles in 
one direct hit.  Near misses do splash damage, as well.  Oh, and it 
has a turret mounted SAM launcher, for times when the plot demands you 
use it.


=====================================================================



4. Weapons
----------


Cannon

The "Halo Class" rotary cannon.  It's your gun, and while the manual 
says it was designed for close combat, it has a longer targeting range 
than your missiles!  Don't neglect it for air combat, it rips though 
an aircraft pretty fast.  Also, they do not make you lead the target 
in this game (breaking flight sim conventions).  If your aiming 
reticule snaps onto the target, your cannon will hit it.  Even if the 
shells go flying in some other direction.  Must be some sort of 
futuristic advanced homing cannon.  Yeah, that's it.  Less useful 
against vehicles, they tend to have more armor.



Unguided Rockets

No consistent naming for these guys.  Rhino, Hunter, Striker, 
Scorpion, Skimmer,  and Armadillo.  These guys fire the same as the 
cannon, they go straight ahead, but will auto-aim a bit, if your 
aiming reticule snaps onto a target.  They do a ton of damage, in 
general, so you might consider using them over the air-to-surface 
missiles, in general.  On early missions, practice aiming these, and 
setting up snap shots.  You WILL need these skills on the later 
missions.  !!!NOTE!!!  Some of the rockets, most notably the 
Armadillo, have less range than the heads up display (HUD) shows.  So 
you have to wait a few seconds after the reticule turns yellow to 
fire.  Otherwise the missile will detonate before reaching the target 
and not hit it.



Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs)

These are named after birds in the raptor family.  Kestrel, Redtail, 
Sparrowhawk, Falcon, and Eagle.  It's impossible to tell absolute 
damage, or get hard numbers for tracking ability, so I can't speculate 
how the later missile varieties differ from the earlier ones in these 
respects.  To use, target an enemy, and keep him in your HUD (the 
center of the screen).  If they're in range, six lines will converge 
on the target indicator, and it will turn yellow.  You can now fire.  
The missiles will track, and almost always hit for some damage, but 
the amount is widely variable.  The damage varies by how close the 
missile exploded from the target.  Fire from directly behind the 
enemy, and it will fly up his tailpipe, and do large damage.  Fire as 
he's heading toward you, and it will detonate well behind him and do a 
tiny sliver of damage.  Use this to your advantage.  Helicopters are 
too slow to dodge, and pretty much always take full damage.  Also, 
enemies take a lot of damage if they're heading STRAIGHT at you, and 
you fire at them.  However, if they're heading even a little bit off 
to one side, they will take little to no damage, so a head on shot is 
a risky proposition.  Also, this does apply to enemy missiles, so you 
can sometimes use this to your advantage.  Don't fly directly away 
from the enemy, unless in an emergency.  And if you want to take full 
missile damage from every enemy shot, be sure to stop in midair, and 
hover. 



Cluster Air-to-Air Missiles

You may have noticed that on mission 4.4: Ice Storm, you suddenly have 
two types of air-to-air missiles in your inventory.  Well, by a 
tremendous oversight, they neglected to mention the CLUSTER air-to-air 
missiles in the manual, or in the game at all.  They just hand them to 
you and assume you know what to do.  The Hydra cluster missile flies 
normally for about 200 meters, and then explodes, and sends out about 
6 homing sub-missiles.  Each one is pretty weak, but can do good 
damage with a good angle on the target.  And if there's fewer targets 
than sub-missiles, they'll team up on a target.  But that's not the 
full beauty of this missile.  Having a lock-on ONLY AFFECTS THE FIRST 
200 METERS of the Hydra's flight.  If you fire it without a lock, it 
will fly straight, then split, and the sub-missiles will STILL home in 
on any targets.  With a lock, it will track one target, then split, 
and go after any others in the area.  It does only go after enemies in 
front of it.  But this is a great weapon for later missions.  I only 
figured out all the nuances on mission 4.5, so you should be able to 
make much better use of it than I did.



Air-to-Surface Missiles

Named after dogs, mostly.  Doberman, Ridgeback, Bloodhound, Pitbull.  
Larger, less agile, and more powerful than air-to-air missiles, they 
have the same lock-on process.  Your main problem with these is making 
sure no buildings are in the way of the missile as it flies to the 
target.



Interrogator SCN

Not really a weapon, this device is used in missions 1.2 and 3.1 to 
scan targets.  Just think of it as a missile with a really long lock-
on time, that you can't fire.  Once you've "locked on", the target has 
been scanned.



Vehicle Weapons

Covered in the vehicle section, mostly.  The Ibex and Granite cannons 
are auto-tracking when you can use them.  The SAM on the Granite locks 
on just like air-to-air missiles do.


=====================================================================
=====================================================================
=====================================================================


Part 2:  Mission Guide
======================


1. Introduction and General Strategy
------------------------------------

So here's a mission-by-mission guide how I made it through them.  I 
won't rate them per se, but will liberally comment on how I perceive 
the difficulty of each one.

Also, I'm not going over the training missions, because, well, they 
cover themselves.  DEFINITELY do them before starting the campaign, as 
they are totally useful for getting a feel for your craft.



General Strategy

First of all, learn to fly LOW.  Very very low.  Everything has a much 
lower chance of hitting you when you are less than 50 meters over the 
ground.  If you can hug terrain and duck behind hills to make the 
enemy lose lock, you'll live much longer.  And it's a great feeling to 
see a missile scream past you, freak out, and dive into the ground in 
front of you.  On early missions it's not necessary, but a good idea 
to practice, because on the later missions there are two options:  you 
fly low, or you die.  

Secondly, when firing on aircraft, an enemy with a sliver of life is 
just as deadly as one with full life.  Always fire your missiles in 
groups, you want to be sure of the kill.  Once you are more 
comfortable with the game, you can go back and try to up your hit 
percentage.

One other trick, you can sustain higher than normal cruising speed by 
"Pulsing" the afterburner.  Basically run it until the heat gauge is 
near the top, and then engage it until one unit of heat builds up, 
then release it until the gauge falls one block and repeat.  You'll 
build up a rhythm, and get a higher cruising speed, without 
overheating the burner.

This may save you INFINITE frustration.  When I finally beat mission 
4.4, I wanted to see the replay, and I did, but when I exited the 
replay, I accidentally hit "Restart Mission" instead of continue.  If 
took me 2 more hours, and about 30 restarts to beat that damn mission 
again.  As it turns out, even if you replay the mission and fail, if 
you exit the "end mission" screen, go back to the title screen, and 
then select the "Continue Campaign" option, you will still move on to 
the next mission.  This only applies if you've beaten the mission and 
then restart it.

One other thing.  I much MUCH prefer the game with auto-land turned 
OFF.  There's no point to giving you all those hover controls if you 
let the computer land for you.  But that's just my opinion, you do 
what you want.

And lastly, and this is my cardinal rule of Dropship:  There is no 
rating of "Friendlies Lost".  You need to look out for #1, and that is 
you.  Some missions you can lose at least three sets of ground troops 
with no repercussions, so if you're low on life, head back to base, 
heal, and then grab more troops.  They'll be there waiting for you.  
If you think the callous abandonment of your comrades is evil, then 
the "Dropship Challenge" is for you.  But the game doesn't end when 
they die.  It does when you do.


=====================================================================



2. Campaign 1:  North Africa
----------------------------

This is your first campaign, and they start you off pretty slowly, 
working up to a moderately challenging last mission.  A good set of 
missions to get a feel for the controls.



Mission 1.1:  Opening Moves

Nice and easy starting mission.  All you need to do is drop a scout 
team out in the field to investigate some terrorist camps.  You fly a 
Tempest dropship here, and have no weapons.   Take off, turn left, and 
fly to the landing zone.  As you get near, JC has some engine 
problems, and has to abort his drop, and return to base.  Drop your 
cargo, and there's a short cutscene in which JC returns, and you get 
assigned his drop.  Go back to base, and Eva will complain about how 
old the Tempests are.  Land at the base, pick up the team, and the fun 
begins.  You have to fly through the canyon, staying low to avoid 
detection.  You have about an 8-minute time limit to drop the troops, 
plenty of time.  Head to the waypoint, drop into the canyon, and turn 
right.  This is where you'll start to notice that it's not so easy to 
control the dropship in flight mode.  No time like the present to 
learn.  Check the map in the corner for some help.  Fly out to the 
exit point, drop the team, and head back home through the canyon, 
retracing the way you came.  Once you hit the exit waypoint, head back 
to base to finish the mission.



Mission 1.2:  Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Still no offensive weapons for you, yet.  This mission has you 
scanning vehicles for evidence of terrorist activity.  Take off, turn 
left about 45 degrees, and head left to the first group of targets.  
As you get close, switch to hover mode and kill the throttle.  To scan 
a vehicle, target it, and hold it in the center of the screen until 
the six lines converge on the targeting marker.  Scan the first three 
vehicles, and you'll see a cutscene, after which three more vehicles 
will appear.  Track them down, scan them, and watch another cutscene.  
Finally three more will appear, one at a time.  There's a lot of 
buildings here, and you need line-of-sight to scan, so you may want to 
fly a little higher.  Once you've got these scanned, the enemy will 
roll out the SAM vehicles.  They're not much of a threat, but you're 
unarmed, so get out of there, head towards base, and you'll pass the 
mission.



Mission 1.3:  Wish You Were Here

This is the first mission where you are armed, and the first where you 
stand a chance to die from enemy weapons.  Your job is to cover the 
recon team as they try to extract.  You are armed with Kestrel air-to-
air missiles, and Doberman air-to-surface missiles.  To start the 
mission, turn slightly left, and take out the helicopter with two 
Kestrels, then the SAM vehicle under it with two Dobermans.  In fact, 
all the enemies in this mission take two missiles each to kill.  You 
can switch to hover mode for more leisurely aiming, but keep in mind 
that even on this first combat mission, staying in hover mode around 
enemies can result in taking huge damage.  Also, don't linger over the 
enemy base, it has a really fast firing SAM launcher that can't be 
targeted.  After the SAM vehicle, another chopper will appear over the 
enemy base.  Take it out, and then start to follow the convoy, I like 
to stay in hover mode, which works if you pick off the enemies fast, 
before they can fire on you.  A group of three machine gun vehicles 
appears to the north of the convoy, head up there, take them out, then 
fly south, and take out the chopper.  It's followed a few seconds 
later by another chopper, you know what to do.  Then from about the 
same location, another group of ground vehicles.  One is a SAM truck, 
try to take it out first.  Around this time, your engine vibrations 
get really bad, but they're just a plot device, so ignore them.  
Another group of vehicles appears to the southwest, so go take them 
out.  About two more vehicle groups will appear, so take them out, and 
the lifters will come in and extract the recon team.  You're asked to 
give them cover, but stay put, you'll see why in a second.  In a 
cutscene, you'll be asked to pick up one more unit.  Go land in the 
zone to end the mission, as your plane loses power, and has to be 
abandoned.



Mission 1.4:  North By Northwest

Alright, your first vehicle mission, this first section is exactly 
like the training, so just drive through the checkpoints.  Oh, except 
that the jeeps are trying to ram you, and the tanks are firing at you.  
The tank fire can sort of be dodged by weaving, though it's more a 
matter of taking less damage than no damage.  Helicopters are on the 
way, so drive fast, and ignore the vehicles, for now.  After the 
fourth checkpoint is a minefield.  The mines are easy to see, so just 
keep going, and pick your way through there.  There's another 
minefield around the fifth checkpoint, then just patrols up to the 
ninth checkpoint, when you decide to head through the valley power 
plant.  After the tenth checkpoint, hang a hard left, then a right, 
and continue.  At the eleventh checkpoint, you will switch to the 
turret.  The helicopter is your biggest threat, so take it out first, 
then the tanks behind you.  Some tanks appear on the ridge to the 
northwest, then some troops to the west, then two helicopters, one to 
the west, and one to the southeast. Take them out as best you can.  
Some tanks join the party from the west.  Then you enter a settlement 
with some troops.  Shoot the gas tank behind them for some easy kills.  
Take out the new chopper from the east, then the two tanks hiding 
behind the last building.  Jeeps, a chopper, troops, and another 
chopper come in,  followed by more vehicles.  Do what you can, 
focusing on the helicopters, since their missiles are deadly.  One 
more chopper appears to the southwest and a ground vehicle next to a 
fuel tank.  Finally, some troops on a ridge appear, followed by a long 
cutscene, in which JC whoops some ass.  Problem solved, and end of 
mission.



Mission 1.5:  Eye Of The Storm

This is the first mission in which you fly the MkII, and a sign of 
things to come, as this mission can be pretty tough.  You have Kestrel 
AAMs, Doberman ASMs, and Rhino Rockets.  Fly to the checkpoint, and 
your mission is to take out all the buildings.  JC will keep the SAMs 
busy.  He will yell at you if you switch to hover mode, but if you're 
quick, you can pull it off, and take out the targets pretty fast.  
However, you will need to be able to aim rockets well in flight mode, 
so I suggest you get some practice by coming in fast and using the 
Rhinos.  Coming in fairly high will help your rockets avoid obstacles, 
but makes you a better SAM target.  It will take some practice your 
first time, but spend it now, and get a feel for the rockets, coming 
in fast on a target in flight mode.  Once there are two buildings 
left, JC will bug out, due to damage.  Take out the last two, then go 
pick up Kreuzler's team.  There are three enemy vehicles here, take 
them out, if you like, and land to grab the team, and see a large 
cutscene explosion.  The SAMs are offline, so drop Kreuzler's team 
inside the base.  Now you must defend it.  Stay in hover mode, and 
take out all who stand in your way.  They are:  One vehicle in the 
base, that shows up when you drop the team.  Two choppers, to the 
north, that come for you.  They take two Kestrels each.  Three tanks 
come up the road, pretty far out, and a patrol appears in the south 
part of the base.  Take them out with Dobermans, and Rhinos.  More 
choppers, three, but since your missiles have longer range than 
theirs, they should not be a problem.  Yet another wave of ground 
vehicles come up the road to the southwest, followed by eight more 
helicopters, in two waves.  Again, no real threat.  By this time, 
Kreuzler should be done, so head to the extraction point, and pick him 
up to end the mission, and your first campaign.



3. Campaign 2:  Columbia
------------------------

Ahh, Drug Lords.  Everyone loves to beat up on them, from James Bond, 
to Jack Ryan, to....you!  This campaign teaches you air-to-air combat, 
low level flying, and ends with a truly challenging mission.  Fear 
not, though, I've got a plan.  ^_^



Mission 2.1  Fire In The Sky

Now that you've completed the first campaign, I may start speaking 
less in terms of specific numbers and types of enemies, and more about 
general strategy.  Also, I'm going to assume that you can follow the 
target markers in your HUD, so I may not always give the enemy 
direction now.  Anyway, Columbia begins with a dogfighting tutorial 
mission.  You are flying the MkI Assault Class dropship, initially 
armed with Kestrel missiles.  You need to protect three groups of 
cargo vessels as they fly in to set up your new base.  Each will be 
attacked by waves of three fighters.  To pass the mission, at least 
one dropship from each group must survive.  The first group starts in 
front of you, and is attacked by one wave of fighters.  I don't have 
any specific dogfighting advice, really.  You'll just have to figure 
it out for yourself.  Well, one tip:  As the enemy fighters attack the 
dropships, they tend to slow way down, and make easier targets.  
Anyway, take them out, and escort the lifters in.  When the first one 
lands, a re-arm and repair pad will appear, land, and take on some 
newer Redtail missiles.  They don't reload instantly, so watch the 
missile number.  You can hold fifty on this mission.  It helps if you 
learn the location where the repair pad will appear, and make sure 
you're there before it appears.  The sooner you get back into the air, 
the better chance the next wave of lifters has to survive.  Anyway, 
the next group of lifters comes in far from the base, due west.  Start 
heading that way before they appear, and you can get the upper hand on 
the fighters that attack them.  Two waves of enemies come in, and when 
you've disposed of them, check your health.  If low, head back to base 
and repair.  Otherwise, head northwest of the base to meet the third 
group of lifters.  They're plagued by three waves of fighters, so 
sharpen up those combat skills.  Once they land and unload, a wave of 
five bombers comes in with some fighters, and starts attacking the 
base.  The bombers are pretty slow, take them all out to finish the 
mission.  You may lose some lifters and buildings, but remember the 
cardinal rule of dropship, they're expendable, you're not.



Mission 2.2:  Strike Back

Alrighty, this one can be difficult, but I don't have a lot of advice.  
There's no real tricks here, just some skill. You are in a MkI Assault 
Class Dropship, with Redtail AAMs and Ridgeback ASMs.  Fly low and 
follow your other ships to the airfield.   Fly too high, and you'll be 
treated to a cool cutscene of the enemy mobilizing to defend their 
airbase.  Fly really well, and Eva will comment on your mad skills.  
Once you hit the base, you have two options.  The first, and the one I 
did initially, is to take out the hangers, and then deal with the 
fighters.  If you do this, you will notice that you get nailed by way 
less SAMs as you fly lower, so nap of the earth skills are required 
here.  The second strategy is to just take out the fighters.  If you 
do this, you'll notice that you really don't want to be fighting right 
over the base, since the SAMs will start wailing on you.  Both of 
these observations will be important later.  You have more fighters to 
deal with in the second plan, but in the end, I didn't notice a real 
difference, I tend to lose one Defender dropship either way.  Whatever 
you decide, once the fighters have been cleared, take out the 
remaining SAM and AA guns to end the mission. 



Mission 2.3:  Behind Enemy Lines

Another vehicle mission.  In this one, you are in an Ibex, with 
Kreuzler manning the turret.  Keep in mind that the turret will only 
rotate in the front 180 degrees of your vehicle.  You have 10 minutes 
to reach the rendezvous point.  Take out all the ground vehicles, and 
start heading for the waypoint.  One tree collision does the damage of 
about 50 rounds hitting you, so DO NOT run into any shrubs.  
Consequently, you'll have to head through that lumber mill.  Take out 
the troops, then the next wave of vehicles, and head to the rendezvous 
site.  After a cutscene, you'll be in the turret.  You now have 11 
minutes to take out the SAM sites, and make it home.  Use the cannon 
to take out the helicopter, then start illuminating for the 
airstrikes.  Just lock on to each SAM site, and hit fire.  You don't 
have to stay locked on, you can move to the next SAM launcher as soon 
as you fire at the previous one.  Somewhere along the line, three more 
choppers are launched.  Switch to the cannon and take them down, then 
"remove" the last SAM sites.  Now you're back on control of the Ibex, 
and Kreuzler is on auto-turret firing at whatever target you select.  
Pursued by at least three helicopters, you need to book it back to the 
pickup site.  Drive fast, and go around the trees, past the mill, and 
stop in the large blue circle to end the mission.  Note that Kreuzler 
can't fire at anything directly behind you.  Not that he can kill 
anything, anyway.  More of a curious observation than useful strategy.



Mission 2.4:  Leave No Man Behind

I don't have a lot by way of commentary on this mission, other than I 
finished it the first time with absolutely zero armor.  A chipmunk 
could have breathed on me, and I would have died.  Let's hope you have 
better luck.  You start this mission in the MkII, with Redtail AAMs 
and Ridgeback ASMs.  Take out the two fighters, which should be no 
problem for you after the first two missions of this campaign.  More 
fighters come in, but your mission goal changes to the SAM radar 
array.  Three towers, each only takes one missile.  The SAMs aren't 
too bad, so you can come in on hover mode, if you want.  Enjoy the 
luxury while you can.  After the array is out, they send in the 
Lifters, and you must take out all threats to them.  Start with the 
fighters, then go for the SAM trucks.   All are highlighted in blue, 
easy to find.  I'm not sure the SAMs are a real threat to the Lifters, 
in my replay, I saw one truck nail the lifter about 10 times, and the 
Lifter was fine.  Anyway, kill all the SAM trucks, and you'll be asked 
to help out Bravo 3.  Give him a hand, and it's time to continue on 
the ground.  Land in the zone, and fire up the truck.  Follow the 
checkpoints, and use your gun liberally.  Also watch out for the posts 
sticking up in the middle of the entrance gate.  After the second 
waypoint, turn right, up the ramp, and down the ramp on the other 
side.  Keep hitting the checkpoints, making a hard right at the 
checkpoint past all the turrets, then go up the ramp, and make another 
hard right.  Follow the wall on your right to the next checkpoint, and 
turn hard left when you reach it.  Zig around the building, and stop 
in the circle to spring the prisoners.  Now you're in the turret.  
Your main threat here is the guys with RPG (Rocket-Propelled Grenade) 
launchers.  You'll know them.  Take them out first.  One guy appears 
behind you, don't bother turning to get him, concentrate on the RPG 
troops.  Once the POWs get back, get out of there.  After the first 
three or so checkpoints, you'll find yourself in the middle of an 
airstrike.  Remind me not to mess with the UPF.  I've never taken any 
damage from the strike, your only enemy is the clock.  A few more 
checkpoints, a short cutscene, and you'll just need to take out the 
two fuel tanks to make your way to FREEEEDOM!  Head for the pick-up 
site, the mission ends before you get there.



Mission 2.5:  Take Down

This is one of the missions that really had me stuck for a while, and 
from the boards, a lot of other people, as well.  Fear not, as I said 
before, I have a plan.  We'll get you out of there with nary a 
scratch.  Or maybe a few scratches.   You start this mission in the 
MkII with Redtail AAMs, Ridgeback ASMs, and Hunter rockets.  
Initially, the bombers will make really quick work out of the tank 
group, and those are your only tanks.  So you must take out the 
bombers fast.  Start the mission by turning to north by northwest, and 
you'll see the bombers in front of you.  Do NOT attack them yet.  Slow 
down, let them go by, and you can shoot from behind, killing each with 
only two missiles, guaranteed.  The next wave of bombers comes from 
the southwest, so head out there, and try to kill them before they 
reach the tanks.  Once they're dead, you'll be asked to head back to 
base.  Take out the fighters first, otherwise they will hound you all 
the way home.  Before picking up the scout unit, land and repair, you 
WILL need it.  Then move over and grab the CCV.  You have a little bit 
of time, DEFINITELY take out the fighters before you land.  Drop off 
the CCV, take off, stay in hover mode, and watch over it.  Use rockets 
on the first few vehicles.  It takes several rockets per vehicle, but 
the overall kill time is faster than if you use the Ridgebacks.  After 
the first two vehicles are destroyed, a wave of fighters comes in.  
Ignore them.  You'll clear the CCV's path before they kill you.  
Again, once the CCV is safe, clear out the last fighters, and head 
back to base to repair, and then rearm.  If you're lucky, you can head 
over to the dam, switch to hover mode, and get off two missiles before 
you take too much damage.  We're not always lucky, so it's better to 
make three fast attack runs.  These missiles take a LONG time to lock 
on, so make sure you come in low.  Those SAMs can be pretty nasty, and 
will work you over if you come in high or slow.  Once your third 
missile hits, the mission will end.  I love it when a plan comes 
together.



4. Campaign 3:  Kazakhstan
---------------------------

The former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan is at war with the former 
Soviet Republic of Turkmenistan!  Oh no!  Well, the UPF thinks 
something fishy is going on here, so you're called in to investigate.  
This campaign provides a decent difficulty gradient linking the easier 
early campaigns to the much more difficult Campaign 4.



Mission 3.1:  To Fight Another Day

I think this mission is a lot of fun, and it's really straightforward, 
so I really can't think of anything to say.  Having made it past the 
first two campaigns, there should be nothing challenging about this 
mission at all.  Anyway, you fly the MkII Dropship, with Falcon AAMs 
and Striker rockets.  Your biggest threat in this mission is the 
helicopters, and they only take one or two missiles each to destroy, 
so if you stay on top of them, you'll have no problems.  Other than 
that, you just need to drop troops, destroy the aircraft attacking the 
base, pick up troops, drop them off, return to base, scan some trucks, 
kill the one with the bomb, pick up more troops, drop them off, scan 
more trucks, take out another bomb truck, and take out the last 
aircraft to end the mission.   There's no special strategy required 
here, and I don't think going into more detail would be of any help, 
so I won't do it here.



Mission 3.2:  Deadly Evidence

I'll try to make up my lack of advice on the last mission here.  This 
is a ground vehicle mission, in a stolen enemy recon vehicle with no 
weapons.  Your mission is to gather evidence of troop shipments in the 
harbor, so you're going to have to infiltrate the base, and look for 
evidence.  The trick is that there are enemy patrols throughout the 
base, and they close the doors on the evidence if you're spotted.  
Now, the enemy do have short memories, so if you are spotted, head 
into some nook until the alarm stops sounding, but we're not going to 
get spotted.  First, some general tips.  Each enemy vehicle patrols a 
set circuit.  All you need to do is figure out that circuit, and make 
sure to pass through the part of the route that he's not currently 
patrolling.  How do you figure out his path?  Use the satellite map.  
On this mission, you should be studying the satellite map about 10 
seconds for every second you drive.  If you do this, you can watch the 
enemy patterns from a safe distance, and shouldn't have a difficult 
time slipping through.  However, I'll also give step-by-step 
instructions of how I went about it:

Alrighty, here, I have to do something that I very much dislike, and 
that's use ASCII art.  It's tough to make ASCII art look good, in my 
opinion, but for this mission, explaining my route will not be 
possible without a map.  I only mapped the patrolled region, and can't 
guarantee that it's totally to scale, but it should get you through.  
Buildings are marked out with dashes and pluses, S1 through S5 are the 
areas you have to search, numbered in the order that I recommend.   
Patrols are marked with dotted lines, and a number with a carrot 
indicates the patrol number and the direction it circles.  All patrols 
follow rectangular boxes.  Patrols 2 and 3 and patrols 6 and 7 have 
overlapping routes; the overlap is marked with colons.  The lower 
region of my map is borderless, I don't have enough room or motivation 
to map the whole stage, and it would do you no good, anyway.  I hope 
it's somewhat clear, I'm not terribly happy with it, but it's the best 
I can do.  Anyway, enough griping about ASCII, here's the map:


Partial Map of Mission 3.2
--------------------------

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -   WATER   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
                             +----------------------------------+ - - 
    LEGEND:                  |                     ....(7)>.... |  - -
                             +--------+ +--------+ .+--------+. | - - 
    +-+                      |++++++++| |++++++++|S4|++++++++|. |  - -
    |+| = BUILDING           |++++++++| |++++++++| .|++++++++|. | - -
    +-+                      |++++++++| +--------+ .+--------+. |  - -
                             |++++++++|            .::::::::... | - -
     S1 = SEARCH AREA        +--------+ +---+  ++   .+---+ .    |  - -
                             | S3       |+++|  ||   .|+++| .    | -   
 .(1)>.                      |          |+++|  ++   .|+++| .    |  - W
 .    . = ENEMY PATROL       |          |+++|       .|+++| .    | -  
 ......  (MOVING CLOCKWISE)  +--------+ +---+       .|+++| .    |  - A
                             |++++++++|.(5)>..      .+---+ .    | -  
                             |++++++++|.+---+. +---+..(6)>..    |  - T
                             |++++++++|.|+++|. |+++| S5         | -  
                             |++++++++|.+---+. +---+            |  - E
                             +--------+.     .                  | -  
                             |         .+---+.  +-------------+ |  - R
                             |         .|+++|.  |+++++++++++++| | -  
                             |         .+---+.  |+++++++++++++| |  - -
                             |         ..<(5).  +-------------+ | - -
                             |                ......(4)>.....   |  - -
                             |   ..(3)>..     . +---+ +---+ .   | - -
+----------------------------+   . +---+.     . |+++| |+++| .   |  - -
| S2                    Crates   . |+++|.     . +---+ +---+ .   | - -
|                                . |+++|.     ......<(4).....   |  - -
|                                . |+++|.    +------------------+      
|                                . +---+.    |+++++++++++++++++ 
|                             ...::::::::.   |++++++++++++++++
+------------------+--++--+   .+--+      .   |+++++++++++++++ 
                   |++||++|   .|++|      .   |     Many            
                   +--++--+   .+--+      .   |Inconsequential 
                              .+-+       .   |  Buildings              
                 ....(1)>.... .+-+       .   |     Here                   
                 . +------+ . ....<(2)....   |++++++++++              
                 . |++++++| .  +--+          |+++++++++              
                 . +------+ .  +--+          |++++++++               
                 ....<(1)....                |                       
               +---+                                     To Dropship
               |+++|  +------+                               ------>
               |+++|  |++++++|
               +---+  +------+                       S1        

---------------------------------
End of Partial Map of Mission 3.2



So there you go.  You have nine minutes to get in, survey the five 
areas, and make it back to the dropship.  The patrols don't start 
moving until you get near them.  So drive to search point one, and 
stop in the circle.  By the end of the cutscene, patrol 2 has started 
moving.  Follow it, at a distance, and when patrol 1 turns west on the 
bottom leg of its pattern, head up to search point 2.  Head through 
the crates, and wait out of sight, until patrol 3 is away, and patrol 
5 has turned north.  Follow patrol 5 to search point 3.  Once you've 
searched it, go along the top portion of patrol 5's path, and head to 
search point 4.  You may have noticed that patrol 7's path takes it 
directly over search point 4, just wait for it to pass, then head 
there, and make the search.  Finally, slip past patrol 6, and hit 
search point 5.  Once that's done, wind your way out of there (it 
doesn't really matter if you're spotted) and hit the drop point to 
finish the mission.



Mission 3.3:  The Best Form Of Defense

Is a rail shooter.  This mission has you manning a turret on a MkII 
dropship, and taking out nuclear-armed cruise missile launchers.  You 
have the Predator rotary cannon, Rhino rockets, and Scorpion EMP 
rockets.  The Scorpion rockets only work on the cruise missile 
launchers, and they are the only thing that will damage them.  You 
only have 4 Rhinos, so use them well.  Given that this is a rail 
shooter, all you have to do is shoot everything, so I don't have a lot 
of advice.  However, the second helicopter that comes in should be 
taken out immediately, it has a nasty habit of sitting above your 
cannon range, and shooting you, and you can't do anything about it.  
For the cruise missile launchers, you don't have much time to hit them 
before they launch, but two of them can get away without you failing 
the mission.  However, they do draw off your escort, as they try to 
chase the missiles, so it's better to nail all the launchers fast.  
Other than that, the Rhinos make great anti personnel weapons, and 
watch out when Eva takes a look in the hanger, it's not pleasant.  It 
may be possible to hit the last launcher, but I haven't done it.  Once 
the missile gets away, you are back in flight mode, and have to chase 
it down.  The missile starts out slow, but very quickly accelerates to 
something well above your cruise speed.  You'll have to use your 
afterburner, and pulse it to have any chance of catching the missile.  
Make certain that you don't overheat it, or you'll fail the mission.   
You're now armed with Sparrowhawk AAMs, it will take about 5 
Sparrowhawks to down the cruise missile.  



Mission 3.4:  Ice Storm

This mission doesn't rely on a lot of strategy.  It's just a huge 
dogfight, with you against wave after wave of fighters.  This is your 
first mission in the Fury, armed with Falcon AAMs, and Hydra-M cluster 
AAMs.  You should try to stay fairly high; otherwise the SAM defenses 
will deal out some big damage.  Try to save the Hydras for new 
incoming waves of fighters.  Other than that, you just need to have 
good dogfighting skills, and hang in there.  I had some trouble the 
first time through (2-3 retries), but I had no problems replaying it 
for writing this FAQ, so it's just a matter of practice.



Mission 3.5:  Into The Heart Of Darkness

Time to whoop Ananko's butt.  He's holed up in his mountain fortress, 
and it will take some work to get him out of there.  You start out in 
the MkII dropship, armed with Rhino rockets, Bloodhound ASMs, Falcon 
AAMs, and Alpha wing.  Yes, this is the first mission that you get to 
use the Battle Unit Guidance (BUG) system.  It's......really not that 
useful, in my mind.  More on it later.  First of all, you have to take 
out the five SAM control centers around the fortress.   Each one takes 
up to seven Bloodhound missiles to destroy....or two Rhino rockets.  
This is where all the rocket practice I've been telling you to do 
starts to pay off.  For some odd reason, you start the mission in 
hover mode, so go into flight mode, and fly more or less straight 
ahead.  When you get near the mountain, pop up, switch to hover mode, 
kill the throttle, and aim for the easternmost SAM control center.  Go 
into hover mode, fire two Rhinos to kill it, then take out the next 
center just behind it.  Turn due west, go into flight mode and fly up 
the side of the mountain, taking out the control center on top.  Pop 
into hover mode again, and take out the center on the other side, 
quickly.  In fact, you should never be in hover mode more than about 5 
seconds, or you'll start taking HEAVY damage.  Then go into flight 
mode, go northeast, and take out the last control center.  Somewhere 
in there, if you really want, you can send your wingmen against the 
fighters.  However, to do this, you have to select the Alpha wing, 
select the target, hit fire, then switch back to the rockets and your 
primary targets.  It can be done, but takes practice, and isn't 
necessary.  Oh, and they probably won't kill what you send them after, 
either.  Once you've taken out the five centers, you need to take out 
the two fighters near you, and head south to meet the lifters.  You 
need to kill the five platforms and the two fighters extremely 
quickly.  The SAMs will murder the Lifters if you take too long, and 
if you don't get the first two fighters, they will hound you until 
you're dead, which doesn't take long.  Quite a few fighters besiege 
the lifters, but they tend to ignore you, and make pretty easy 
targets.  Just sweep from lifter group to lifter group, clearing out 
the fighters, you can even switch to hover mode to make aiming easier.  
Once the fighters are gone, you can target the AA gun defenses on the 
landing platforms.  Oh, and some new Chinese aircraft come in to 
harass you.  They sort of look like the stealth fighter, sort of, but 
are pretty weak.  They do have very strong missiles though, so take 
them out.  I recommend concentrating on the AA defenses, which lets 
the Lifters get out of there faster, two Bloodhounds per AA gun.  Once 
all the platforms are clear, take out the Chinese fighters while the 
demolition teams do their job.  The fighters will sort of trickle in 
one by one, so by this time there's quite a few.  If you prefer, you 
can take them out first, then clear a platform, and alternate your 
attention between the two.  Anyway, the last assault team has lifter 
problems, so you have 2 minutes to land and pick them up before the 
mountain blows.  Once you land, the mission will end after a cutscene.



5. Campaign 4:  China
---------------------

Well, it turns out that the Chinese were behind the whole Kazakhstan 
fiasco, and it's time to go take them out.  This is you last campaign, 
and calls on every ounce of skill you have, and quite a bit of luck.  
To mix up my games here, I think that passing mission 4.4 is 
considerably harder than the hardest gold medal challenge in Rogue 
Leader, which is saying quite a bit.  Not that the other missions in 
this campaign are easy, they just aren't the brutal experience that 
4.4 is.  However, it IS doable, without cheat codes, and we're going 
to do it.  



Mission 4.1: Dangerous Waters

I really like the mission, largely due to the naval flight aspect of 
it.  It can be tough, but not frustratingly so, though you'll probably 
lose a lot of ships.  You start the mission in the Fury, armed with 
Eagle AAMs.  You might be tempted to stay hovering over the deck of 
the carrier and fire at the incoming planes.  You're going to want to 
fight that urge, since you take incredible amounts of damage when 
you're standing still.  So take off, hit full throttle, and take out 
at least one enemy as you pass the group.  You'll notice that you can 
fire four missiles at a time now (previously it was two), so take full 
advantage.  I prefer getting the sure kill, and don't worry that much 
about accuracy.  My first time through this mission I had some trouble 
keeping my ships alive, but I think I've developed a good strategy.  
You should focus on the fighters that are directly attacking the 
ships, since they slow WAY down, and are easy pickings.  The main 
thing is to not really care which enemy you go after.  I suggest 
sweeping over the ships, staying fairly low, and looking for any good 
opportunities.  If you fail to kill them in one pass, keep going, and 
look for another sitting duck.  I say this because if you just go 
after one specific fighter, as you dogfight you tend to end up very 
high, far from the ships, and take a long time to kill that one ship.  
It's much better to go for the easy targets, and not worry if you 
don't kill it.  You'll get it on another pass later, or the ship SAMs 
will polish it off.  You can't repair, but you get a different craft 
with full health for the second part of the mission, so don't worry 
too much about health.  Once you've cleared all the fighters, it's 
time to land for part two.  It's possible to finish the first part 
with only two or so ships destroyed, but you can lose 5 or so and 
still finish the mission without any problems.  

For part two, you are flying a MkII dropship, equipped with Eagle 
AAMs, Pitbull ASMs, and Alpha wing.  Your mission is to take out the 
artillery units that are pounding the fleet.  You can approach this 
mission two ways:  The first way is the safe way.  Take out all the 
defenses around the artillery units, then destroy them at your 
leisure.  You'll lose more ships this way, but take less damage, and I 
refer you to my cardinal rule of Dropship.  The second way is to 
ignore the defenses, eat the damage, and try to destroy the artillery 
before you explode in a large fireball.  It takes five Pitbulls to 
kill each artillery piece, by the way.  I went with route one my first 
time through, but just beat the mission now with route two, to make 
sure it can be done.  Once the artillery is out, you just need to land 
on the damaged cruiser to end the mission.  You can still pass the 
mission even if you only have one ship left.



Mission 4.2:  The Tables Turned

It's now time to turn that pesky artillery against Marshall Wu, and 
his evil navy.  This is the mission that the cardinal rule of Dropship 
was specifically formulated for.  That's right; we're going to totally 
abandon our ground troops in order to save our own skins.  There are 
more ground troops; there are not any more of us.  At least, that was 
my original strategy.  I'll give it here, but I think I've found 
something better.  Oh, and you fly the MkII dropship, armed with Eagle 
AAMs, Hydra-M cluster AAMs, and Pitbull ASMs.  

Take off, fly to the drop site, and dump off the tanks.  Then take out 
the SAM defenses around the base.  Once they're gone, you have two 
sets of enemies.  The helicopters only attack your tanks, and the jets 
attack you.  Keep the helicopters off the tanks.  If you get too low 
on life, say, in the last column on your indicator, abandon the tanks, 
head back to the ship.  By the time you get back, the tanks will be 
dead, and you can repair, and drop off the new set of tanks, and 
repeat as necessary until the artillery are captured.  Note that the 
Hydra-M missiles do not reload when you're repairing.

However, on this last time through, I found something interesting.  
There's a very low ridge separating the landing zone from the SAM 
defenses.  If you take off, and stay hovering in place at less than 15 
meters altitude, the SAM defenses can't fire at you.  However, you can 
still take out the enemy helicopters!  Without the SAMs firing at you, 
there should be no problem taking out the jets, while still keeping 
the helicopters at bay, and you should easily capture the artillery 
without losing a single tank.  Once the ground troops have done their 
job, it's time to head back to base to rearm.

You're now armed with Skimmer anti-ship rockets.  These things rock, 
once you fire them, they fly straight down, then follow the surface, 
so aiming is REALLY easy.  You also have Eagle AAMs, but probably 
shouldn't use them.  Take off, fly to the enemy fleet.  If you stay 
very low and very fast, damage should not be an issue.  I'd recommend 
focusing solely on the four ships that are your primary targets, and 
ignore the other ships, the aircraft, and the Apaches.  Once the last 
ship is dead, the mission will end.  



Mission 4.3:  By The Dawn's Early Light

Time to gather more info on the Apache....by stealing it!  This 
mission is sort of odd: I beat it easily the first time through, but 
have had to restart a few times to beat it again for this FAQ.  
Ramming enemy vehicles, and getting hit directly by enemy cannons take 
off HUGE chunks of your health.  This mission has you driving the 
Granite heavy battle tank, at last.  The first part of the mission 
pits you against a ton of enemy vehicles.  Not a lot of threat here, 
just drive and keep jamming on the circle button.  Once you've cleared 
out the enemy vehicles, there's a cutscene, and you're in the SAM 
turret.  Try to get the helicopters that focus on you, they really 
hurt.  Not much to say beyond that.  After a while, you end up back in 
the driver's seat.   A few more vehicles to destroy and you'll end up 
at the base.  Now you have to use the cannon to take out the enemy 
turrets before the put lots of small holes in your CCVs.  You're in 
first person mode, and have quite a few turrets to kill.  You need to 
hit the guns directly; hits on the tower do very little damage.  And 
the shells you fire arc downward, so you need to aim a bit above your 
targets.  Keep up a good rate of fire, aim well, and you'll make it.  
Lastly, you need to fly your new Apache to the waypoint to finish the 
mission.



Mission 4.4:  The Element Of Surprise

Alright, this is without a doubt, the hardest, most frustrating 
mission in Dropship.  I'm not quite sure what the developers were 
thinking, but they sure do make you earn victory here.  I must warn 
you that although my strategy here can work, it's more of a "least 
bad" way to get through this mission.  It will still take many MANY 
restarts, and a significant amount of time.  Well, let's get cracking.  
This mission is divided into two parts:  destroying the SAM control 
sites, and clearing out wave after wave after wave after wave of 
fighters.  You cannot avoid taking huge damage in the second part, not 
matter how good you are, there are simply too many fighters, so you 
must do the first part near flawlessly.  

You fly the Apache, and it's armed with Eagle AAMs, Hydra-M cluster 
AAMs, and Armadillo rockets.  Immediately turn left, light your 
burners, and take out the aircraft.  If you're fast, you can kill two 
of them before they get moving, and then switch to hover mode and kill 
the third at your leisure.  At this point, you should be at full 
health.  Now things get tough.  Arm the Armadillos, and fly to the 
first SAM silo.  There are three buildings to destroy:  the silo takes 
two rockets, the generator takes one, and the three domed uplink 
building all explode when one is hit.  There's also a bunch of 
fighters hovering around.  I've done this many many times, and trust 
me on this, ignore the fighters, and take out the three buildings 
FAST.  If you take too long, four more fighters get launched nearby, 
and you will fail the mission. (Or your chances of passing go from 
about 5% to around 0.5%) On your first pass, you can get the uplink 
and the generator.  Then keep on the afterburner, circle around, and 
pump two rockets into the silo.  At this point, you should have lost 
no more than one block of armor.  Don't get me wrong here, this is 
HARD.  To avoid taking too much damage from SAMs, you have to fly so 
low that you have a good chance of hitting the ground, which is an 
instant reset.  Also, aiming the rockets is not that easy, and if you 
have to make too many passes at the site, you'll take too much damage, 
and will fail.  Once the site is down, head to the next one, at full 
burner, and at about 20 meters altitude.  The enemy aircraft chase 
you, so try and hug the ground.  It feels to me like oscillating up 
and down throws off the missile tracking, but I'm not certain of that.  
I like to approach the second site by going around the peak in front 
of it to the right (the west), and curling around.  Anyway, take out 
the second site, same deal as the first.  At this point you should 
really have lost no more than 3-4 blocks of health.  Once that site is 
down, a new primary objective comes up, which is take out the infinite 
array of fighters.  Don't start yet; head east to the lake between you 
and the objective, and sort of fly over the eastern shore to start the 
endless dogfight.  Now, the site to the east of the lake is jam packed 
with SAMs, and you can't afford to take any damage from them, so I 
suggest making the lake your home.  Stay low over the lake, it is your 
friend.  NOW you can start taking out all the fighters.  There should 
be a good number of them following you, I'd recommend a Hydra or two, 
and many more will show up.  Using this strategy, there should be 
about 5 waves of fighters, 4 fighters each.  Three of these will be 
the normal fighters you first see in this mission, and there will be 
one wave of the Stealth fighters, and one wave of Apaches.  Once 
they're all shot down, you can pat yourself on the back, because 
you've beat the hardest mission in Dropship.  I did notice something 
on replaying this mission for the FAQ.  Contrary to my initial 
thoughts, if you destroy all the fighters over the SAM sites, then you 
will have to face fewer waves of fighters at the end.  If you kill all 
the fighters on the first part, you only have to face the Stealth and 
Apache fighters in the end.  I haven't checked it out, but that would 
suggest the following alternate strategy:  Hit the first SAM site, 
lure the fighters away so that you don't get pummeled by SAMs, and 
take out the fighters, as well as the second wave that gets launched.  
Destroy the SAM site, and head to the second one, and repeat.  Then 
head to the last site, and take out the three waves of fighters to end 
the mission.  Again, I haven't tested it, but it should work.



Mission 4.5:  Peace... By Any Means

The last battle.  Unlike the previous mission where the waves of 
fighters stretch on with seemingly no end, this mission, while 
difficult, feels like it can be beaten.  I'm still not sure how a 
stationary laser system can move into range of a satellite system over 
Europe, but oh well.  You start this mission in the MkII, armed with 
Eagle AAMs, Hydra-M cluster AAMs, and Pitbull ASMs.  Your goal for the 
first part of this mission is to land a team of tanks to take out the 
railgun controller buildings.  Take off, fly to the drop point, and 
drop the tanks.  Much like mission 3.2, you need to take out the enemy 
bombers to protect the tanks, and the fighters and SAMs to protect 
yourself.  I recommend taking out all the SAMs, then heading back to 
base to repair and pick up more tanks.  Drop them off, clear the skies 
of aircraft, and this second group of tanks will do the job.   Once 
the three control centers are gone, head back to base, and prepare for 
a challenge.  In true videogame fashion, you have to use EMP rockets 
to hit the three power relays, then the main orbital cannon itself, 
before the cannon fires.  Each time you do this, it burns out a power 
coupling, and completing this cycle three times, then shooting the 
cannon again will cause the cannon to explode.  All that's missing is 
the giant ape guarding the cannon by throwing barrels at you.  But 
enough sarcasm, there's two ways to go about this task.  

For both methods, fly towards the crater, aiming for the center, then 
turn right, and aim at the nearest relay as you cross the crater lip.  
Dive into the crater, taking out the first relay, then roll sideways, 
and fly in a big counterclockwise circle inside the crater, just above 
the floor, taking out the next two relays as you pass.   If you miss 
one, which is common, go around again.  You'll notice that you take 
very little damage on the first pass, but significantly more on the 
second.  You'll also notice if you fly too high that you can easily go 
from full health to dead in less than three seconds.  Seriously.  Once 
the last relay is down, fly towards the crater wall, then up and out.  
Turn around, and hit the main cannon opening.  If you want to be 
fancy, you could pull a big loop from the crater floor, and hit the 
cannon on your way back down, but it's just not worth it.

For method one, the fast and reckless method, you should have gotten 
all the relays on the first pass, and now be at somewhere above 50% 
armor, in which case you repeat the whole process again.  Now you 
should be near death, so head back to base and repair.  The cannon 
will fire twice before you get back there, and just repeat the process 
a third time, then pump one more rocket into the cannon orifice, and 
you have beaten Dropship.  This should be possible, but I have not 
successfully done it.  I used method two for the one time I beat this 
mission.

For method two, the slow and safe method, once you've completed the 
cycle once, head back to base and repair.  Time your return so that 
the cannon has fired twice before you get back, do the cycle again, 
head to base to repair again, the cannon fires two more times, head 
back, do the cycle a third time, hit the cannon one last time, and 
complete the game.  You have to finish the cannon off before it fires 
a fifth time, or you'll fail the mission.  I finished this mission 
with about 3 seconds left before I failed.  The mission complete 
screen came up, immediately followed by the voice over from General 
Fraser telling me I failed.  It was a completed mission, however, and 
I was a much less risk of dying.



======================================================================



6. Closing Thoughts

Well, there you have it, my strategies for Dropship.  I hope you find 
it helpful.  If you think I'm missing something, have questions, other 
strategies, or anything else, I can be reached by e-mail at 
.  It's not my normal e-mail address, so I'll 
only check it every other day or so.  I get enough copies of the Klez 
virus on my normal account as it is.  


======================================================================


Dropship 2?

It seems like Dropship 2 is likely to be produced, at least in Europe.  
We'll just have to get lucky, though if many people go buy Dropship, 
we'll have better luck.  So tell your friends to go buy it.  ^_^  What 
would I like to see in Dropship 2, you may ask?  First and foremost, 
better production values.  Take the time to polish up the manual.  
Include mention for ALL the UPF ships, and all the weapon types.  If 
they want to keep some new weapon like the cluster missiles a 
surprise, don't put them in the manual, but damn well make sure that 
they're mentioned in the mission briefing the first time you use them.  
I much prefer the flying missions to the ground and rail shooter 
missions, but can't really complain about the variety.  I did not like 
the Apache much at all; I preferred the more "realistic" ship designs 
so I would steer away from the more fanciful ship designs.  I would 
probably put in a fifth campaign, for a little more length.  And the 
difficulty?  I don't think it was too bad.  Very frustrating on 
mission 4.4, but you do get a nice sense of accomplishment when you 
finish.  


======================================================================


The Dropship Challenge

Perhaps a bit too grandiose a name for this, but I needed something to 
call it.  Because my strategy guide is geared towards beating the game 
the first time, some sacrifices were made, namely your allied troops.  
The Dropship Challenge is simply to play through the game without 
losing a single aircraft or group of ground troops that you are 
required to defend.  This will require a lot more skill, and in some 
cases, a much different strategy.

Explicitly, that challenge would be:  Mission 1.3 with no vehicles 
lost.  Mission 1.5 with both of Kreuzler's vehicles surviving.  
Mission 2.1 with no Lifters or buildings lost.  Mission 2.2 with no 
Defenders lost.  Mission 2.5 with no tanks lost.  Mission 3.5 with no 
Lifters lost.  Mission 4.2 without losing an entire tank group.  
Mission 4.5 without losing an entire tank group.

I didn't include missions 3.1, 4.1, or 4.3, largely because I'm not 
certain you can do those without losing friendlies.


======================================================================



Glitches

The game does have a few glitches, but fortunately, the common ones 
are minor, and the major ones are rare.  In order of frequency, they 
are:


Missile Warning System:  Often in the middle of the mission this will 
get stuck on the screen.  When this happens, you'll no longer get any 
audio warning of incoming missiles.  It will stick with you for the 
rest of the mission.  Sort of annoying, no more.


Stuck View Angle:  On missions where you land and a cutscene ensues, 
if you take off immediately after the cutscene, sometimes the view 
will be stuck looking down on your craft at about a 30-degree angle.  
Once this happens, you're stuck with it for the rest of the mission, 
and it makes flying near impossible, so a reset is in order.  I've had 
this happen a few times on mission 3.1, and once on mission 4.5.


Blue Screen of Death:  Of course the PS2 does not have the Windows 
Blue Screen of Death, but I did once have the game freeze and an all 
blue screen appear, and gave some invalid address error, with the 
option to debug.  I've only seen this once, on mission 3.2, though 
I've seen some other mention of it on the Gamefaqs boards.  


======================================================================



Credits
-------

First and foremost, I would very much like to thank James Chen, FAQ 
expert supreme.  Without James to bounce ideas off of, I would have 
been too intimidated to write this document.  He also provided an 
ASCII map revising service, and without it, my map would be an 
incomprehensible blob of characters.

I'd like to thank CJayC and Gamefaqs for hosting the best trove of 
game information on the Internet.

Without Bam!, there would have been no Dropship in the US, so a huge 
thanks to them. 

And lastly, I'd like to thank you for reading this FAQ.

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