BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks' Revenge
|The Crescent Hawks' Revenge|
|Era||Succession Wars era - Clan Invasion era|
|Timeline||3028 - 3052|
|Preceded by||The Crescent Hawks' Inception|
BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks' Revenge (full title) is a 1990 computer game by Infocom/Westwood Associates set in the BattleTech universe.
Although it is a sequel to BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks' Inception and continues the storyline, the gamplay is decidedly different. Roleplaying elements have largely been removed. The storyline is more or less linear, and essentially told through a series of combat missions with intermediate briefings. The player occasionally gets to chose among several alternatives how to proceed, creating branches in the storyline, but is generally more limited in his choices than in the previous game.
The player again assumes the role of Jason Youngblood, commander of the Crescent Hawks. He gets to fight a series of scenarios, which can differ slightly depending on the outcome of previous scenarios, or because of decisions made by the player. For example, enemy 'Mechs that fled in a previous battle may augment the enemy forces of a successive battle; in other instances, the player can chose which part of a multi-pronged mission he wants to take part in (and which units he gets to control).
Computer games are explicitly excluded from the list of products that contribute straight Canon to the BattleTech universe while at the same time it was stated that the IP owners are "not in total denial about these sources either"; it has also been stated that fluff from certain official, licensed products (namely certain computer games including those produced by Infocom) can be assumed to be part of the shared universe as long as it is not directly contradicted, and makes sense. On this premise, the Crescent Hawks' Revenge computer game is considered an apocryphal product.
The Crescent Hawks computer games in particular are looked upon favourably in terms of canonicity. Many aspects from these games' storylines were later written into canon proper through other publications, including the Crescent Hawks unit, Jeremiah and Jason Youngblood and the Crescent Hawks' connection to the Kell Hounds.
The (fully canonical) 2016 publication Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks even recounts the games' storylines, thus explicitly canonizing the units's history and exploits in broad strokes at least. However, this technically has no impact on the canon status of the computer games as such.
The game picks up the storyline immediately after the events of the previous game: In October 3028, Katrina Steiner has given command of her elite lance, the Crescent Hawks, to Jason Youngblood in order to find his father who is missing after the recent Kurita attack on Pacifica.
For this mission the Crescent Hawks receive new BattleMechs to start with, and the player gets to assign 'Mechs to the four MechWarriors at the beginning of the game. 'Mechs available for selection are: Griffin, Enforcer, Phoenix Hawk, Hermes II, Commando and Wasp.Shadow Hawk, an Enforcer and a Wasp. This might be the supposed real composition of the unit although a Shadow Hawk is not among the 'Mechs that can be picked; it could be argued that this was the 'Mech from the initial unit which, over the course of the storyline, could not be salvaged (whatever 'Mech the player choses on slot 4 is lost before the game truly starts, although the player may not know this at the onset of the game).
Lyons: Defending the Kell HoundsEdit
Having learned that House Kurita pursues a vendetta against the Kell Hounds, the Crescent Hawks set out to the Kell Hounds garrison base on Lyons to warn them. They arrive in April 3029 in the middle of a Kurita attack and their Leopard-class DropShip is shot down by aerospace fighters. The subsequent crash landing in a lake kills the Hawks' DropShip pilot and fourth MechWarrior, Captain Victor Stewart. Before long, a Kurita Locust approaches the crash site to finish off the survivors, but a friendly Jenner piloted by Rick "Grease" Anderson responds to defend the remaining Crescent Hawks.
After Anderson eliminates the threat from the Locust, Jason Youngblood and his second-in-command Rex Pearce manage to retrieve their 'Mechs from the wrecked DropShip, which then sinks to the bottom of the lake. Anderson informs them that the Kurita raid is led by a Draconis Combine commander named Chiun, who claims to be honoring a vendetta. They caught the Kell Hounds by surprise; even damaged units like his Jenner are now in the field, piloted by anyone who can pilot a 'Mech. The nearby bridge across the lake must be held, or the invaders can overrun the Kell Hound base. While Anderson receives medical treatment, Kurt Graham, the third Crescent Hawks MechWarrior, tries to repair the Jenner. Two more Kurita 'Mechs (a Panther and an Ostscout) approach, and are defeated by Jason and Rex in their 'Mechs. Finally, the Kurita scout lance's command 'Mech, a Whitworth, arrives (along with any enemy 'Mechs that were not destroyed in the previous missions). The Crescent Hawks are reinforced by Kurt Graham in this fight, who is now piloting the Jenner. A last Kurita assault by two Rommel heavy tanks and an APC must be repulsed before the Crescent Hawks can finally withdraw to the Kell Hounds base.
Upon arriving at the base, the Crescent Hawks learn from Kell Hounds Captain Kaitlin Shaw that the base defenses have been breached and infantry squads are entering the base. Sergeant Krall is sent to retrieve valuable Listen-Kill Missiles in a hovertruck to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. Jason Youngblood assumes command from the truck and Rex Pearce and Kurt Graham receive a pair of UrbanMechs to guard the hovertruck against infantry attacks while it collects the L-K ammo (first SRMs, then LRMs). Near the end of the mission, they have to fight their way past an enemy Assassin.
After the exhaustive fighting, night falls and both sides pull back to repair and rearm.
The Crescent Hawks are guests of honor at the dinner table in the Kell Hounds base. Morgan Kell personally congratulates them on their performance, which may have saved the base. He also reveals that "Grease" Anderson is a tech, and not yet a qualified MechWarrior. During the night, the remaining Crescent Hawk 'Mechs are salvaged from the sunken DropShip. On the next day, plans are made to penetrate the enemy frontlines and attack their HQ to sever their communications and hopefully disrupt their operation enough to force a retreat. Captain Shaw devises a plan by which two light 'Mechs (Javelins) should flank the enemy frontlines while the Crescent Hawks run the gauntlet to break through to the HQ. These two forces would then meet at the enemy HQ and attack it (and the Dragon guarding it) from two sides. For this mission, all units are equipped with the Listen-Kill Missiles retrieved in the previous mission. Jason Youngblood can choose in which part of the two-fold mission he participates:
- A) The Gauntlet
- While "Grease" Anderson and Kell Hounds volunteer Jessica Riley flank the enemy, the three Crescent Hawks 'Mechs move out to run the gauntlet.
- In the first part of their mission, they are to assist a lance of Kell Hounds 'Mechs (elite pilot Casey in a Hunchback, veteran pilot Corrigan in an Enforcer and regular pilot Hall in a Vindicator) against a Rifleman, a Shadow Hawk, a Dervish and a Blackjack.
- In the second part they must then proceed towards the enemy HQ six kilometers beyond the base and try to avoid enemy units underway, which include a Dervish, a Hatchetman, a Clint, a Whitworth, a Hermes II, a Vulcan and an Ostscout.
- B) The Road Run
- Alternatively, Jason Youngblood can elect to swap places with Anderson and pilot one of the two Javelins in the flanking maneuver.
- In the first part of this mission they must sneak past (or fight) enemy forces that include a Whitworth, a Cicada, a Spider, a Stinger, a Locust and a Rommel tank.
- The second part begins with the Crescent Hawks lance approaching the Dragon guarding the HQ from the opposite side; the Javelins can join the fight at any point to ambush the Dragon from the rear.
Regardless of which part Jason partakes in, the primary mission objective is to destroy the Dragon that guards the enemy Mobile HQ. Following the defeat of the Dragon, Kurita commander Tai-sa Chiun challenges Jason to a duel, implying he had done the same with Jason's father. The (very fast) Mobile HQ then retreats towards the Kurita DropShip, supported by a Panther and an Ostscout, with the combined friendly units that survived the previous mission in pursuit. After the destruction of the Mobile HQ, Chiun's forces retreat for good.
Dieron: Operation LibertyEdit
During the debriefing, Chiun's claim that he killed Jason's father is discarded by Morgan Kell as a trick to provoke Jason and to impair his judgment on the battlefield. Morgan rather believes that if Jeremiah is still alive, he will be interrogated on the Kurita prefecture capitol of Dieron because of his knowledge about the Star League bunker on Pacifica, and about the Lyran Commonwealth military in general. With the Fourth Succession War raging, a full assault on Dieron is out of the question but a small extraction raid can be done. The Kell Hounds provide the Crescent Hawks with vehicles and troops, and even allow for Rick Anderson to become a regular Crescent Hawks member.
Jason gets to decide whether he would prefer three lances of standard vehicles or two lances of vehicles with better armor and firepower for the upcoming missions. The forces come out as an APC escorted by some Pegasus hovertanks, Skulker vehicles and Rommel tanks. Surprisingly, they are not Lyran or mercenary forces, but Federated Suns cavalry troops. Jason must also decide on one of two possible approaches, going through either a mountain pass (longer distance, lighter defenses) or the forest path (shorter distance, heavier defenses). Beyond the mountains the raiders encounter hovertanks (Drillson and Pegasus), as well as a Spider and a Panther. Outside the city, Jason's unit can break into a BattleMech depot and hijack four Crusaders to augment his forces; this is not a necessity however. The raiders must then fight their way into and through the city and blast open the prison, then withdraw to their DropShip with the rescued prisoners within a certain timeframe. On the way back, Chiun (piloting an Archer) challenges Jason again, supported by a Dragon and two Marauders.
If the friendly DropShip can be reached in the relatively short timeframe the rescue operation is a success, and Jason is reunited with his father who really was among the rescued prisoners. For his heroic actions Katrina Steiner promotes him to Captain although he is barely 20 years old, and officially gives him command of the Crescent Hawks with leave to act as an independent group within the Kell Hounds.
The next two decades are covered in one long narrative: In February 3030 Kurt Graham leaves the Crescent Hawks to form his own mercenary unit (although the name of that unit it is not mentioned). Starting April 3039 the narrative has the Crescent Hawks being used in the War of 3039 in many attempts by Hanse Davion to reclaim worlds that House Kurita invaded years before. Following the war, Rex Pearce retires from military service. In October 3042 the NAIS has finally found a way to mass-produce Listen-Kill Missiles but their advantages are negated by counter-ECM technology.
Arc-Royal: Training courseEdit
In the wake of the renewed Clan Invasion, the Crescent Hawks are recalled to Arc-Royal in November 3051 to receive training in newly produced 'Mech and weapon technology. Rex's daughter Jen Pearce joins the Hawks as Lieutenant of the Scout Lance. The Crescent Hawks are now a company in strength, and receive upgraded 'Mechs.
The training course consists of six separate missions that must be completed, although in no particular order. Due to the simulated nature of the engagements, damage to 'Mechs or deaths of MechWarriors is not carried over to subsequent missions. The missions are: Attack town, Defend town, Enemy advance, Advance fast, Hold ground, and Seize position. Besides the upgraded 'Mechs, satellite maps, artillery barrages and strafing runs from aerospace fighters are available in the training missions.
Upon completing the training missions, the entire Kell Hounds including the Crescent Hawks are immediately dispatched to help in the defense of Luthien from the Clan onslaught.
Kaesong: The end of Gideon BraverEdit
En-route to Luthien, while the JumpShip has to recharge its jump drive in the Kaesong system in December 3051, they receive a distress call from the planet: Gideon Braver and his Blazing Aces are under attack from second-line Clan units. The Crescent Hawks respond to the call in a Union-class DropShip, but arrive too late to save the Aces. When they arrive in orbit, the sensors pick up a lone 'Mech beset by five enemies and Jason has the choice of either swiftly dispatching his Command Lance by means of a dangerous combat drop, or to land the DropShip and disembark the whole company.
- A) Combat drop
- The Hawks' Command Lance scatters in the area of the battle, where they witness Gideon Braver in a Phoenix Hawk fighting four Griffins and a Phoenix Hawk, all upgraded with new technology and sporting the Clan Smoke Jaguar crest. Braver's 'Mech is inevitably vanquished by the attackers.
- B) Landing the DropShip
- If this option was chosen, then Gideon Braver's fight is over before the Crescent Hawks arrive on the scene. Their company encounters and engages a strong Clan force in the area (altogether eight upgraded Griffins and four upgraded Phoenix Hawks with artillery support).
In either case, after destroying the last Clan 'Mech Gideon Braver is found mortally wounded in his Phoenix Hawk. His dying words to Jason Youngblood are: "You're too late. The Aces... destroyed. I've taken precautions, hidden the 'Mechs. Tell Maria... rebuild the Aces. She'll know what to do."
After this, the Crescent Hawks receive another distress call from a nearby town who are under attack from the Clans, but the Kell Hounds officer in charge orders the Hawks to return to the JumpShip. Jason must again decide what to do. If he opts for defending the city then his entire company must fight off a Shadow Hawk, a Griffin, two Blackjacks and three Commandos, all massively upgraded, and a regular Marauder. As a reward, the city's repair facilities completely repair the Crescent Hawks' BattleMechs afterwards. If the city is not defended, then the Hawks retain all combat damage from the first mission.
Luthien: Repelling the ClansEdit
Upon arrival at Luthien in January 3052, the Crescent Hawks are placed under Kurita command. The Kell Hounds and Wolf's Dragoons are deployed elsewhere. The Kurita officer in charge turns out to be none other than Chiun, Jason's nemesis from more than two decades earlier.
The first mission is to safeguard a munitions convoy routed for Imperial City. For this, Jason takes command of his Scout Lance and receives a similar light Kurita lance to be manned by his Command Lance's pilots. The convoy (four ammo carrier vehicles manned by Sword of Light personnel) soon comes under attack from large numbers of Elementals and eventually, Puma 'Mechs.
At the conclusion of the first mission, regardless of whether or not the convoy could be saved, Jason is informed by Chiun that his forces are cut off in the main Clan advance corridor. A Sword of Light assault lance is sent to relieve them, but the Crescent Hawks have to survive until then and have to fight off four more Pumas before they are airlifted by Planetlifters.
Next, the Crescent Hawks' Command and Fire lances are deployed in support of the Kell Hounds to anchor the northern flank and guard a secondary route to Imperial City through a river valley against a possible flanking maneuver. They are supported by a Sword of Light assault lance with Chiun's son in it (Elite pilots Chiun and Ichi in BattleMasters, elite pilot Toranaga in a Grasshopper and veteran pilot Yamashita in a Zeus) and must repel an attack by Pumas and Black Hawks.
Following the successful conclusion of this defense mission, the same lances are replenished and repaired, then deployed in the defense of Imperial City once more, this time on the northern plains in support of a Kurita counterattack. This time, Pumas, Black Hawks and Mad Cats must be fought while Coordinator Takashi Kurita himself leads his personal unit, the Dragon's Claws, against the attackers elsewhere.
The Clans are routed. In a final mission, the Crescent Hawks' Command and Fire lances are ordered to intercept the enemy Galaxy Commander before he can reach the DropShip. His Mad Cat is successfully disabled by the Crescent Hawks. Takashi Kurita personally sends the captive Galaxy Commander (named "Ilnay Techus") back to the IlKhan to report on his defeat after refusing to take him as bondsman.
Following the successful defense of Luthien, all surviving Crescent Hawks members are awarded the Bushido Blade by Takashi Kurita personally; Jason Youngblood and the lance leader of his Fire Lance are also presented with the Order of the Dragon for their leadership. Finally, all Crescent Hawks members who died in combat are posthumously awarded the Watcher of the Dragon's Eye.
Morgan Kell promises to inform Maria Vandenburg of her father's cryptic last words. He also delivers a message from Melissa Steiner who recalls the Crescent Hawks to Pacifica. They are removed from active combat status to train other units in anti-Clan combat, to prepare for the next wave of Clan attacks that is sure to come. Jason Youngblood is made Training Instructor at the very training academy where his adventures began more than two decades ago.
(From this point onwards the storyline is finished and the player can only run customized training battles on the training grounds.)
Transcripts from Key LocalesEdit
- Inner Sphere designs
- Hermes II
- Phoenix Hawk
- Shadow Hawk
- Clan designs