Front Mission 5 Hard Mode Walkthrough firstname.lastname@example.org Version 1 - 3/10/07 This is a Front Mission 5 Hard Mode walkthrough, running under several self-imposed limitations that make the mode even more of a challenge. However, the strategies in this walkthrough are perfectly usable if you choose not to limit yourself. I recommend using this walkthrough in addition to other FM5 guides on gamefaqs for lists of skills, parts, secrets, etc. Table of Contents 01a Challenge Conditions & Score 02a Tactical Advice 03a Walkthrough 01a Challenge Conditions & Score: These are the challenge limitations that this walkthrough follows, should you choose to follow them. Also included are my turns taken on Hard Mode while following these limitations. 1. no in battle saving 2. no arena or survival 3. you can only use RP up to the rank currently sold in stores 4. no destroyed wanzers at the end of mission (1 allowed on Hard Mode) 5. only play each simulator as soon as it's available (except S20) 6. take the more difficult mission routes (9a,13a,14a) 7. no turtling or baiting, move quickly and aggressively Hard Mode Score - No deaths unless noted. Mission 02 - 18 turns Mission 03 - 13 turns Simulat 01 - 11 turns Mission 04 - 15 turns Simulat 02 - 16 turns Mission 05 - 20 turns Simulat 03 - 13 turns Mission 06 - 07 turns Mission 07 - 17 turns Simulat 05 - 14 turns, 1 death Mission 08 - 17 turns Mission 09a- 18 turns Mission 10 - 17 turns, all wanzers Simulat 06 - 10 turns Mission 11 - 13 turns, all wanzers Simulat 07 - 10 turns Mission 12 - 15 turns Simulat 08 - 12 turns Mission 13a- 27 turns Simulat 09 - 12 turns Mission 14a- 26 turns Simulat 10 - 14 turns Simulat 11 - 24 turns Mission 16 - 16 turns Mission 17 - 27 turns Simulat 12 - 18 turns Mission 18 - 27 turns Mission 19 - 12 turns Simulat 13 - 18 turns Simulat 14 - 21 turns Mission 20 - 20 turns Mission 21 - 24 turns Simulat 15 - 16 turns Mission 22 - 32 turns, 6 turrets Mission 23 - 12 turns Simulat 16 - 12 turns Simulat 17 - 22 turns Mission 24 - 16 turns Mission 25 - 18 turns Mission 26 - 06 turns Simulat 18 - 10 turns Simulat 19 - 25 turns Mission 27 - 21 turns Simulat 20 - 15 turns Mission 28 - 19 turns Total: 766 turns 02a Tactical Advice: Striker and assault units are the best and most powerful for taking out single foes. Launchers and jammers are the least useful, while you should have at least one gunner and mechanic for utility. Grenades are still highly overpowered and good for ripping apart enemies, but aren't really attached to any job class. Prioritize killing grenade equipped launchers first, then mechanics, jammers, strikers, launchers, gunners, and assaults. When spending funds on new equipment, go for weapons and repair BPs first, then bodies, weapon arms, and legs. Priority should be given to bulking up your mechanic and strikers wanzers first, as they will be taking the most damage. You generally don't have enough funds to dual wield guns, so just forget about it. In any missions where your starting placements are split up, your main tactic should almost always be to regroup at least partially. Place the mechanic in any location that must pass by enemy fire to regroup with your less pestered allies. This situation is in a number of missions and simulators (09a, 13a, many simulators, etc.) Link attacks on a target should often start with a melee unit, as they can continually link attack with only 1 AP cost. Since friendly fire is an issue, always try to start your turn in a way that your melee can attack with all allies firing and not hitting one another. You may consider attacking with a ranged unit first if they would end up causing friendly fire when supporting your melee unit against a target. Since melee unit chains are so important, you should avoid using bazookas, due to their splash damage. Rifles with pierce are also dangerous as it can also affect allies. Gatling guns are of minimal use for gunners since you can't use the Focus Up ability with them, plus they have very poor accuracy. Flamethrowers are poor in range, damage, and accuracy.. definitely avoid. As far as melee weapons go, pilebunkers are the best balance of accuracy and damage, with knuckles being overkill in accuracy and rods being too unreliable. Link chains are more important than strong skills - you should choose weaker but higher activating skills over strong ones. This guarantees your damage will be multiplied heavily every time you execute a large link attack, with far more damage output. Skill +2%, Defense +4, Accuracy +2% and other team increases are highly useful and recommended. It pays to keep using your starting striker, gunner, Darril and a second assault pilot. They will eventually become much higher level than any of the recruits you can find. For example, once you reach Alaska, the pilot recruit level is 23, while your party should be 27-28. This helps a great deal with accuracy and evasion since most enemy levels will tend to be 4-5 below yours later in the game. This can be accomplished simply by playing the game normally and playing each simulator only once. Best skills for the job class, optimized for large chains. Striker - Double Punch, Charge, Footwork, Anti-Strike, Defense +4, Evasion +2% Assault - Barrage, Pincers, Terror Shot, Speed, Boost, Skill +2% Gunner - Blast Shot, Panic Shot, Focus Up, Zoom, Quick Draw, Snipe, Accuracy +2% Mechanic - Repair AP-2, Defense, Block DMG, Slice Shot, Weakpoint Jammer - Feint I, Anti-Shot, Fix DMG, AP Damage, Minus Shot, Skill +2% 03a Walkthrough Mission 02: 18 turns Bait the first wanzer with no legs, let the second with the MG come towards you to pound it with missiles, take out the shotgunner, then take on the healthy wanzer in the back. Use an All Repair 200 on Walter when his health starts to drop. Mission 03 Intermission: No need to shop for anything yet. Mission 03: 13 turns Head after the weakened assault and take him out, then start on the launcher. Send your allies west to help out, and fend Glen off with your NPC ally. Heal liberally with your mechanic and use guns to take enemy arms off quickly and move onto Glen. Mission 04 Intermission: Upgrade to rank 2 weapons/parts. You only get one set of rank 1 parts and weapons, which is the only rank of those part types that be upgraded with RP to more powerful derivatives, so hang on to them. Give Walter a MG so he can start using Barrage, and purchase another missile reload for your launcher. Simulator 01: 11 turns A very easy sim, just take out the two launchers then the assaults as they approach. Mission 04: 15 turns Nothing special to this mission, just take out the enemies with standard tactics as they approach. Mission 05 Intermission: Upgrade your part ranks further and get the Artassault MG - RP upgrade it to the 10% job bonus version for Walter. Simulator 02: 16 turns Go after the west wanzer, as the north one triggers his allies. Go after the gunner next, but don't let him run you into enemy attack range. Try to take out the next assault before the launchers start moving. The two launchers are deadly, try to repair their target while you destroy them. Mission 05: 20 turns Lure the enemies into the trap truck range by standing 3 spaces away from it. Once the first group is taken care of, lure the second group around the corner towards the truck to set it off on them. Mission 06 Intermission: Put up some more upgrades and get your links all set up. Simulator 03: Move in a counterclockwise motion, trashing the pairs of wanzers as they approach. Mission 06: 07 turns Quickly move up and take the two tanks out. Use your link attacks to trash the mechs as they approach. Mission 07 Intermission: You should have most of your wanzers at rank 4 equipment, ready to cause some link carnage. The Artassault at lv 4 provides some good dmg as well as a job XP boost. Mission 07: 17 turns The enemy will shoot trap trucks on you, even if it damages both you and an enemy, so destroy the ones closest to you and the 4 linked enemies up ahead. Try to work through the 6 wanzers and copter before the farthest group reaches your team, as they will start moving fairly early. Once again, the best way to lure the enemies into trap truck range by standing 3 spaces away and letting them attack your wanzer. Mission 08 Intermission: Rank 5 is available now although there's not much money to spend on it. Simulator 05: 14 turns (1 death) Place your jammer, striker, and assault south, and the rest north. Take out the 3 launcher enemies while staying put with your north group. Once the launchers are almost down, start heading south with the north group to converge on the centre 3 enemies. EMP almost every turn and keep repairing, try to take one enemy down per turn as more reinforcements arrive. Keep your gunner at a distance to stay out of the fray.. as long as your mechanic, striker, EMP, and assault are alive you can pull through. It's worth completing as you get the Glowtusk rifle. Mission 08: 17 turns Charge north to take out the tank and two wanzers, then fall back southwest to engage the two wanzers coming from the south around the corner. After you've finished them off, proceed back north to take on the two helis and launcher. Draw the tanks out and kill them before the Garsades gets off more than one or two attacks. Ignore the last heli and take the Garsades out with links. Mission 09a Intermission: Now that you can recruit, kick the launcher off your team and bring in a second Assault. Non S Launchers are more or less worthless in HM, so adding a new link unit will be a great improvement. You should replace someone with Darril later.. either the Assault or the EMP, your choice. Your equipment should be rank 4-5 or so.. try to get a few of those 7 movement legs. Make sure you have a good amount of healing items to pass around for the next mission especially for your units on the west dropzone. Mission 09a: 18 turns Position your jammer and mechanic at the east drop zone, your striker and assault middle, and second assault and gunner west. Trash the centre grenade launcher with your west and centre forces. EMP the east grenade launcher and move west to regroup with the rest of the team while repairing injuries. Proceed to destroy the east grenade launcher while avoiding the attack range of the far west and east turrets, then take out the wanzers. Once the dust settles, take out the remaining turrets on the sides. Mission 10 Intermission: Complete your 7 movement leg collection and try to rank up to 5 as much as possible. I also highly recommend getting a Rocket or Grenade launcher on one of your units, as they are easily the most overpowered weapon in the game and will make short work of most enemies. Simulator 06: 10 turns Briefly split up to take on the two wanzer pairs, then regroup and take on one of the sides. Finish up the other side afterward. Mission 10: 17 turns Send your entire force east to take out the main gate, then north to the base. Just kill every enemy wanzer, it doesn't matter how many silos are left. Mission 11 Intermission: Rank 6 equipment is available - try to upgrade your weapons first, then whatever else you can manage. Mission 11: 13 turns (all wanzers killed) Take the first Garsades out in two turns - it will drop grenades and leave most of your team injured. Move north to take out the three wanzers while healing up before the second Garsades approaches. Once the second Garsades arrives, surround it with your wanzers - it will forget about running for the landing crafts and start attacking your units. Ignore its attacks while you take out the approaching enemy wanzers. Once they are all taken care of, finish the Garsades off. Mission 12 Intermission: Now that you've got Darril in your party, you need to replace someone else. Either the jammer or assault should leave to make room for him. It's up to you whether you want the EMP utility, or the extra damage. Also consider that EMPs are expensive and you don't have a lot of money to throw around. Personally I choose to go with 2 Assault, 2 Striker, 1 Gunner, 1 Mechanic, at least until S rank Jammers come along and you face S-rank enemies that can be EMPed more easily. Make sure your party is well stocked with healing items at this point, especially Repair All 200. I never found much use for the fire ant, and you can sell the HP Repair MAX for 1500 CP if you really need the funds. Simulator 07: 10 turns Move in a counterclockwise direction, taking out the enemy wanzers as they approach. Mission 12: 15 turns This mission is approximately the same as normal mode, except enemies are tougher and there are 4 extra helis. Place Darril, Walter, and your gunner on the platform with the enemy grenadier, and your other team (assault/jammer, mechanic, striker) on the other side. Work through the enemy wanzers on the platform until you've killed enough to start converging in the centre. Heal carefully with your Barguest party to keep them alive, rather than going full offense. Your own team will be able to work through their platform enemies faster than Barguest can theirs. On turns 5-6 you should be leading your team to the centre to take out the enemies there. Bring your Barguest members to the centre once they've finished off 2 or so of the enemy forces. There will be a lot of helis left after most of the wanzers are gone, so take them out as they come into the centre. Mission 13a Intermission: Make sure you have a good stock of healing items as your party will be very split up and under heavy fire in the next mission. Simulator 08: 11 turns Take out the two nearby launchers, then around to take out the two tanks and two wanzers. Next is a wanzer and heli, and after that a pair of 3 wanzers. Try to kill quickly with your strikers so you don't get overwhelmed. Mission 13a: 27 turns Place an assault and striker on at the east drop zone, striker and mechanic in the middle drop zone, and gunner and emp/assault at the west drop zone. Send the middle group (including tanks) east to meet with the east drop zone. Move your west drop zone team north then east to regroup, taking on any helis they encounter. You should mainly use Lynn to repair with, while pushing out link attacks and taking out 1-2 wanzers per turn. Enemies will be highly aggressive so you won't have any shortage of incoming fire. Don't go too far northeast into the corner with more enemies, as there will be plenty coming from the south and west. Stick together in the middle road taking on enemies from all sides. After the battle is over, there should only be a pocket of enemies near the southwest debris, and some standstills to the northeast. Take out the smaller northeast group then head south while repairing. The best route of attack is from the south most road which leads directly to one of the grenade launchers. The fastest way to clear out these narrow corridors is to put your striker up front and let them take the friendly fire from behind. Take out the striker and gunner to the side, continue along the south road to take out the launcher and assault, and then clear the rubble to finish off the last four wanzers. Mission 14a Intermission: Rank 7 is available, try to buff up your weapons and repair BP. Simulator 09: 12 turns Your positions are split up here, but most of the enemies are very weak. Place an assault and striker in the far corner, striker and mechanic in the middle, and gunner and assault in the position near the middle. Regroup your middle group and nearby group together, then fight west and south towards the 4 enemies. Send your corner group southeast towards the same 4 enemies, fighting along the way. Meet at the large intersection and take on enemies coming from the south and north. Mission 14a: 26 turns Take out the gunner turret and two nearby wanzers, then head east into the small clearing to take on several wanzers coming towards you from the north. After taking them all out, proceed north to take out the grenade turret. If you expose your units along the main path, all enemies will become active and attack you, so be careful. After you take the turret out, move west onto the main path and attack. Fall back into the woods and take on the remaining enemy units as they approach. Finish off the north turret when all wanzers are eliminated. Simulator 10: 14 turns Move in a clockwise direction. The grenade launcher on the elevation can be killed with a few good Focus Up gunner attacks with assault support. Simulator 11: 24 turns Move straight east to engage the first enemy group. Activate the next enemy group and pull them onto better movement terrain before engaging, otherwise your team will be nearly dead from chasing the floating launchers around. Lure the next group around the corner of the wall near your starting position to take them out on better terrain. The last group should be approaching by the time you finish the previous group, so heal up and focus fire on the launcher to finish the sim. Mission 16: 16 turns Send 4 wanzers east and 3 west, as the east faces stronger opposition. Bombard the poor wanzers with grenades which should basically eliminate them. Engage the boss and execute it - a simple gang bang will work fine. Mission 17 Intermission: The next mission has a lot of water so buying hover legs for most of your wanzers will definitely help. Keep in mind they have terrible evasion, though. Mission 17: 27 turns Move north, taking on enemies coming from the front and side. Proceed north then east on the northmost path, then back around south to take on the last group of wanzers. If you don't have hover legs, try to stay together and don't provoke more enemies than you can handle. If you're being hounded by an enemy that's too far out of the way to reach, just keep moving until it follows you onto even terrain. Mission 18 Intermission: Rank 8 is available, so buff up your weapons and repair BP. This next mission is fairly difficult. Simulator 12: 18 turns You can regroup fairly easily at the main intersection with the two grenade launchers. The only dangerous spot is the one that starts in a dead end - you will have to fend off 3 shotgunners and a heli, so put an assault there. Most of the enemies are made of paper and will crumple easily. Mission 18: 27 turns Work quickly and flawlessly up towards the boss room - don't get hampered by friendly fire or low health, and preserve your repair items. Avoid fighting in the tight tunnels to minimize friendly fire. At the boss room, draw the first four linked units toward you and destroy them, then the next four. If you fight them in the hallways you will likely get crushed by friendly fire. However, they all have pass-through legs, so they will likely move through your group into the open for you to beat on. Once there are only 1-2 wanzers left move in for the kill on the boss. Don't worry about your wanzers legs or non- weapon arms, just keep the bodies healthy and pull out link attacks. It should go down in 4 turns with heavy fire. Mission 19 Intermission: Bulk up on rank 8 parts and move on. Mission 19: 12 turns Quickly kill the first group around the jet, then move south to blockade/kill the incoming group. They won't attack so just block their path and kill them quickly, as a second group will be coming up fast. Do the same with these guys and blockade/kill them. Mission 20 Intermission: Trade your strikers weapons in for guns to handle Sim 13, then switch back afterward. Simulator 13: 18 turns Move counterclockwise to take out the helis, otherwise they will all activate on you. Simulator 14: 21 turns Take on the 4 enemies as they approach - you will need to kill 1-2 a turn to keep up. Engage the group to the southeast first to avoid the incoming launchers for a few extra turns. It will get a bit messy with 6 enemies but keep the repairs and killing up. Next head northeast for the helis, then west to engage the incoming 6 wanzers. Focus on the launchers first, of course. Once those are taken care of, heal up while moving west to engage the final group. Mission 20: 20 turns Move southeast, north, west, and then south across the river. Give priority to shooting down the helis, of course. Mission 21 Intermission: Rank 9 is now available for weapon/body. Upgrade your striker legs to +8 movement and upgrade a few weapons. You can also purchase the Mungos legs and upgrade them to rank 8 for +9 movement and 18% evasion. Mission 21: 24 turns Move south to wipe out the initial group, then back up north out of train rifle range to take on the group coming from the northwest and south. Afterwards, heal up while heading southwest to engage the two groups of 5 and 4 wanzers. Once they are mostly dead, head towards the train to finish it off. Mission 22 Intermission: Purchase more +8 movement legs. Buy your strikers a ranged weapon and equip them with a support skill for it, to destroy the turrets in the next mission. Simulator 15: 16 turns Position a striker and assault north, striker and gunner middle, and mechanic and assault/emp south. Regroup in the middle and tear up the weak wanzers first, then the stronger ones. After the fight is over, take out the group of 6 wanzers in the corner. Mission 22: 32 turns, 6 turrets Move clockwise, taking on the enemy wanzers as they approach, as well as the wall turrets. If there are a large number of enemies approaching, stop to fight them before getting in range of the next turret. Once there's only one wanzer left, leave it alive and kill as many turrets on the right side as possible. If you are following the challenge conditions, you will probably not be able to finish 8 off in 35 turns. Mission 23 Intermission: Sell the Iguchi Type 5 rifle for 2000 CP, if you won it on M22. The body part is decent but is also worth 2650 CP.. selling it will really help if you don't have a big use for it and don't like the evasion penalty. Equip the knuckle on one of your strikers. Upgrade more parts and purchase a few of the better healing items. You will need high accuracy to hit the boss, so equip +2% Acc skills and good arm parts if you don't have them already. Mission 23: 17 turns Move east to take out the two launchers, then north to take out the two groups. Go for the boss first - it does too much damage to try to take out the other wanzers first. Surround it and bring it down in two turns then clean up the rest. It has a strong melee attack, so you may consider having your melee units stand next to the boss and end their turn, so they can at least support your other attackers. Mission 24 Intermission: You may consider buying the 4 legged wanzer legs to make traversing the next mission easier.. or just do it with Mungos +9 movement legs, if you can spare the RPs. Simulator 16: 12 turns Place your striker, gunner, and assault in the south drop zone, and striker, assault/emp, and repair in the north. With your north group, take out the two strikers and two assaults then two launchers. With your south group, take on the two gunners, group of 3, then the two assaults. Afterwards, converge on the group of 4 wanzers then head for the other 6. Simulator 17: 22 turns This mission is fairly difficult so you will need to be on your toes almost the entire time. Place your striker, assault, and mechanic in the north drop zone, and striker, assault/emp, and gunner in the south. With your north group, move far west to the launcher. With your south group, move far west then north to converge with the north group. Back up into the dead end at the northwest corner of the map to avoid being exposed to heavy ranged fire. Slowly work through all of the enemies - avoid friendly fire in the corridor while limiting your exposure to ranged enemy fire. Afterward, heal while moving towards the middle to take on the final group. Mission 24: 16 turns Take out the middle group, then the one coming from the west, then east, then head south to take on the copters and wanzers. It is possible to activate all enemies on the map at once, I'm not exactly sure how though. Mission 25 Intermission: Rank 10 is now available for body/weapons, so upgrade what you can. Make sure you have a good stock of healing items as the next mission leads right into another one with no recovery for your wanzers. Mission 25: 18 turns Take out the group right by your wanzers, then head east. Avoid getting in attack range of the 6 wanzer group unless you want a tougher fight. After clearing out the south area, move north/northwest to take on the final group. Try to finish the mission at full health with few healing items used. Mission 26: 6 turns Move up and take Morgans attacks while you destroy the front wanzers until the repair wanzers get closer. Attack the repair wanzers once they're in range. Once the repairs are down, surround and take Morgan out. Mission 27 Intermission: You get about 12k CP from the last two missions, so shore up some of your equipment to rank 10 body/weapon and rank 9 arm/leg and pick up some repair all 400s. By the time you finish Sim 18 and 19, your pilots should be lv 29-30. Simulator 18: 10 turns Place a striker, assault, and mechanic at the west drop zone, and striker, assault, and gunner at the southeast. With your west group, head south to take on the incoming wanzers. With your southeast group, head west to merge with your other units - don't stick around fighting the tanks where the enemy launchers can hit you. Afterward, head east to clear out the remaining enemies coming from the middle of the map. Simulator 19: 25 turns Clear out the non-garsades group asap, so you have less to deal with when it starts moving. Try to get up close to it asap so it doesn't use it's grenades on you more than once. Take out the wanzers first, then the garsades, then the two helis. Mission 27: 21 turns On this mission enemies should be 4-5 lvls below yours with equipment at about your level (rank 9-10). The enemies won't swarm you unless you get into attack range, so just work on what chases after you then finish off the rest when you inevitably get into their attack range. Mission 28 Intermission: Upgrade your weapons to rank 11, and try to shore up other parts. I could only afford rank 10-11 weapons, rank 10 body, rank 8 legs, rank 10 L.arm, and rank 8-9 R.arm. Simulator 20: 15 turns The south group will face a weak garsades and gunner/assault, and the north group will face 3 gunners and one assault. With the north group, take out the two gunners and head south to merge with the south group. Once most of the opposition is gone, head after the garsades, then the two reinforcements at the back end of the map. You must finish the mission quickly or there will be reinforcement swarms until turn 45. Mission 28: 19 turns The only way to avoid the reactor is to move as fast as possible. Kill quickly and conserve healing items, minimize friendly fire, and stay away from Glens attack range as he links with any wanzer on the map. Spread out to avoid heavy grenade damage, then repair and move south to take on the groups of wanzers. Stay out of the launcher group range until you've finished off most of the other two groups. On the last group, straight for Glen first and ignore the other wanzers.. he's easier to take down when he's running and firing missiles which depletes his AP to almost 0. Once he's down mop up the rest of the wanzers.