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Overview

The MechCommander Gold Title Screen

Released roughly a year after 1998's isometric real-time tactical take on the BattleTech universe, MechCommander, MechCommander Gold is an expanded rerelease of the original title that, as with the first game, was developed by FASA Interactive (later FASA Studio) and published by MicroProse. In addition to MechCommander's preexisting single-player content, a thirty-mission campaign which depicts the First Davion Guards' confrontation with the Smoke Jaguar Clan on Port Arthur during the Clan Invasion, MechCommander Gold also includes a second twelve-mission campaign set immediately afterwards as Zulu Company (the player's unit) attempts to apprehend Star Colonel Marcus Kotare, a rogue Smoke Jaguar officer located on the Periphery world of Cermak. It is this supplemental scenario, entitled Desperate Measures, that comprises the bulk of MechCommander Gold's new content, although the previously available campaign can also be played through with the added benefit of additional difficulty settings added in MechCommander Gold.

In addition to Desperate Measures, MechCommander Gold features three new 'Mech chassis for each side (the Stiletto, Bushwacker, and Mauler for the Inner Sphere, and the Shadow Cat, Nova Cat, and Turkina for the Clans), a handful of new weapon types such as the LB-X Autocannon and the Heavy Thunderbolt, and several new types of vehicles, like ammo trucks and the Pilum Heavy Tank. Other changes include the addition of difficulty settings (the previous game had none), the ability to set unit waypoints in combat, an extra ammo conservation fire setting, and hotkeys for the game's various fire support abilities. Lastly, the game also includes a map editor in order for players to create their own missions.

Desperate Measures

Plot

After the successful retaking of Port Arthur in the first game and the completion of Operation Bulldog, which forced Clan Smoke Jaguar back into Clan space, Zulu Company's orders to return home are unexpectedly put on hold. The player's unit is informed of a new threat in the form of Star Colonel Marcus Kotare, a violent and possibly unstable Smoke Jaguar who recently took the planet Cermak on the Periphery for unknown reasons. Though Cermak was at one point a Star League outpost, it has long since been vacated, and Zulu Company's initial mission there is as much to discover what possible strategic value Cermak might represent for Kotare as it is to stop him.

Later in the campaign it is revealed what Kotare came for: a long-forgotten weapons vault hidden within a Star League air facility on Cermak. The implications of this discovery are dire, as the vault contains outlawed nuclear and biological weapons that could be devastating in the wrong hands. Kotare is so single-minded in his desire to acquire these armaments that he willingly cannibalizes his own dropships in order to fashion drilling equipment capable of penetrating the vault. However, after tracking him to the facility, Zulu Company is able to put a stop to Kotare's plans in decisive fashion by destroying the very drills he needs to be able to access the vault.

Gameplay

See also: MechCommander

Repair bays can be found frequently throughout.

While the gameplay of Desperate Measures is almost identical to that of MechCommander's original campaign, there are a few notable differences between the two games even beyond the inclusion of new difficulties. Whereas MechCommander starts the player off with only light 'Mechs and inexperienced pilots, Desperate Measures gives the player access to heavier 'Mechs and more experienced pilots right from the start, making Zulu Company fairly formidable right from the start. Also, most missions in Desperate Measures contain one or more 'Mech repair bays for in-field repairs and reloading, making the campaign overall much more forgiving than the previous one.

Desperate Measures is also where most of the game's new hardware comes into play. The player has three newly-accessible 'Mechs on the Inner Sphere side as well as three new salvageable Clan 'Mechs which can be acquired through missions. The new campaign also features a small number of specialized 'Mechs, which are customized variants belonging to certain individuals; if the player can successfully defeat their pilots without scrapping the 'Mech, they can gain access to BattleMechs that are often much more potent than their stock counterparts.

New 'Mechs

With the inclusion of six new 'Mechs, MechCommander Gold brings the total number of chassis to twenty-four when combined with the original eighteen. Although the base game benefits from the newly introduced difficulty settings, new 'Mechs and hardware are only in appearance during Desperate Measures. Furthermore, the only new chassis available to the player from the start is the Bushwacker, while the others must be acquired either through purchase or salvage. All new 'Mechs have armor, weapon, and jump variants in the same vein as the returning ones, though the player still maintains the prerogative to adjust the balance of weaponry and equipment for each individual 'Mech as they see fit.

Inner Sphere

'MechVitalsArmor VariantWeapon VariantJump Variant
Stiletto
  • Class: Light 'Mech
  • Weight: 35 tons
  • Top Speed: 129.6 kph
  • Armor: Moderate
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 1 Streak SRM
  • 3 LRMs
  • 1 Sensor-Intermediate
  • Armor: Light
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 1 Large Pulse Laser
  • 2 LRMs
  • 1 Sensor-Intermediate
  • Armor: Light
  • Jump Ability: Long
Default Loadout
  • 1 Streak SRM
  • 3 LRMs
  • 1 Sensor-Intermediate
Bushwacker
  • Class: Medium 'Mech
  • Weight: 55 tons
  • Top Speed: 86.4 kph
  • Armor: Moderate
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 1 Laser
  • 1 SRM
  • 1 LB-X AC
  • 2 LRMs
  • 1 Sensor-Basic
  • Armor: Moderate
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 2 Lasers
  • 1 SRM
  • 1 LB-X AC
  • 2 LRMs
  • 1 Sensor-Basic
  • Armor: Moderate
  • Jump Ability: Short
Default Loadout
  • 1 Laser
  • 1 SRM
  • 1 LB-X AC
  • 2 LRMs
  • 1 Sensor Basic
Mauler
  • Class: Assault 'Mech
  • Weight: 90 tons
  • Top Speed: 54 kph
  • Armor: Heavy
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 1 Large Laser
  • 2 LRMs
  • 2 Light LB-X ACs
  • 2 Light Gauss Rifles
  • 1 Sensor-Basic
  • Armor: Moderate
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 2 Heavy LB-X ACs
  • 1 Large Laser
  • 1 ER Large Laser
  • 1 Light LB-X AC
  • 1 Light Gauss Rifle
  • 1 Sensor-Basic
  • Armor: Moderate
  • Jump Ability: Short
Default Loadout
  • 1 Large Laser
  • 2 LRMs
  • 2 Light LB-X ACs
  • 2 Light Gauss Rifles
  • 1 Sensor-Basic

Clan

'MechVitalsArmor VariantWeapon VariantJump Variant
Shadow Cat
  • Class: Medium 'Mech
  • Weight: 45 tons
  • Top Speed: 97 kph
  • Armor: Moderate
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 2 Clan ER Lasers
  • 2 Clan Large Pulse Lasers
  • 1 Clan Sensor-Basic
  • Armor: Light
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 2 Clan ER Lasers
  • 3 Large Pulse Lasers
  • 1 Clan Sensor-Basic
  • Armor: Light
  • Jump Ability: Medium
Default Loadout
  • 2 Clan ER Lasers
  • 2 Clan Large Pulse Lasers
  • 1 Clan Sensor-Basic
Nova Cat
  • Class: Heavy 'Mech
  • Weight: 70 tons
  • Top Speed: 65 kph
  • Armor: Heavy
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 1 Clan Heavy Flamer
  • 3 Clan Pulse Lasers
  • 2 Clan Heavy LB-X ACs
  • 1 Clan Sensor-Basic
  • Armor: Moderate
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 1 Clan Pulse Laser
  • 4 Clan Streak SRMs
  • 2 Clan Heavy LB-X ACs
  • 1 Clan Sensor-Basic
  • Armor: Moderate
  • Jump Ability: Short
Default Loadout
  • 1 Clan Heavy Flamer
  • 3 Clan Pulse Lasers
  • 2 Clan Heavy LB-X ACs
  • 1 Clan Sensor-Basic
Turkina
  • Class: Assault 'Mech
  • Weight: 95 tons
  • Top Speed: 54 kph
  • Armor: Very Heavy
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 1 Clan Pulse Laser
  • 2 Clan LB-X ACs
  • 2 Clan ER Large Lasers
  • 2 Clan LRMs
  • 2 Clan Light LB-X ACs
  • 1 Clan Sensor-Basic
  • Armor: Heavy
  • Jump Ability: N/A
Default Loadout
  • 1 Clan Pulse Laser
  • 2 Clan LB-X ACs
  • 2 Clan ER PPCs
  • 2 Clan LRMs
  • 2 Clan Light LB-X ACs
  • 1 Clan Sensor-Basic
  • Armor: Heavy
  • Jump Ability: Short
Default Loadout
  • 1 Clan Pulse Laser
  • 2 Clan LB-X ACs
  • 2 Clan ER Large Lasers
  • 2 Clan LRMs
  • 2 Clan Light LB-X ACs
  • 1 Clan Sensor-Basic

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