PC Classics Walkthrough Guide: Homeworld – Part 1

This was something I did many months ago, but failed to post it. I’ve recently updated it and hopefully the next two parts will be out soon!

Here I will be giving you a walkthrough of one of my all-time favourite PC games called Homeworld, a full 3D RTS set entirely in space where you get to control vessels from small scout fighters to carriers and heavy cruisers. It’s a dated game, but who knows, there are quite a few people out there who still buy it or still play it. (Yes it is still available on Amazon!)

 

Okay so, for those of you who do not know the game Homeworld, I’ll give you a rundown of its history. (Although I think I’ve done an article about it or something similar already)

- It was released in 1999, won GOTY in 1999

- It was known at the time to have advanced graphics and game play

- It has a rich and detailed storyline as well as universal lore (including each individual units and factions)

- It was also the debut game of Relic Entertainment

- AND the famous progressive rock band Yes made a song for it as well called ‘Homeworld (The Ladder)’

WARNING! Massive spoilers beyond this point!! (They’re massive as in chavvy car massive)

A brief overview of the story is that you are playing as a race of people (either Kushan or Taiidan) who have recently discovered that they are not indigenous to their desert planet of Kharak of which lies in the outskirts of the western fringe of the galaxy. They know this by discovering a wrecked but ancient starship and surrounding settlements in the middle of the great desert. From the wreckage they retrieve a hyperspace core as well as an artefact that shows a map pointing towards a planet in the centre of the galaxy which is believed to be their old homeworld called Hiigara. From this for the next 60 years they build a mothership capable of transporting over 600,000 people to the new homeworld via hyperspace and re-colonize it.

 

Other from that, let’s get started with the walkthrough of this all-time classic.

 

Mission 1 – Kharak Orbit      

This level is pretty straightforward. Build a research station as advised and carry out the procedures that Fleet Intelligence tells you to do. (Including attacking drones and building a salvage corvette) Whilst doing that, make sure your harvester or Resource Collector is gathering resources (RU’s) for you to build with. Once you research every available tech on this level, it should be near enough the end. However I advise you to not hyperspace just yet until you use up almost every RU on building 10 scouts (you start with 7) and approximately 10 interceptors. Once this is completed, Hyperspace to the next level.

 

Mission 2 – Outskirts of Kharak System   

Here the mothership’s goal is to dock with the ‘Khar-Selim’, a support vessel which has been travelling to the outskirts on conventional drives for the past 9 years. It is a dark and eerie level but eventually Fleet Command picks up the Khar-Selim’s beacon after not responding via radio. From this, you must send a probe (costing only 30RU’s) to re-establish communications with the vessel. However as the probe gets there, it turns out that the Khar-Selim has been destroyed by Pirates. Now before you send the probe (which will trigger the pirates) It is best to harvest the two nearby space dust columns and build another harvester to increase resource efficiency. Light corvettes are also good to build before the action as they are much tougher than fighters, although they are slower. However I would only recommend building 5 at this stage due to your limited amount of RU’s. Remember you want to keep about 300-400 RU’s spare to rebuild fighters. (10 craft for each type is good)

Once the pirates start to attack, they will only focus on the mothership and research station with small fighters and corvettes (basic and missile). After you destroy the pirate attack, you must use your salvage corvette to retrieve the Khar-Selim’s black box. I would recommend using your light corvettes to guard the salvage corvette (hotkey G) whilst your fighters deal with any pirate reinforcements. Once that is done and the box is secure, you must attack and hold off the remaining pirates until they flee. I would strongly recommend that you do not engage the pirate carrier as you may lose a lot of fighters by doing so. Remember to keep on researching as by the end of this level you will or would have gained Heavy Corvettes (costing 250RU’s) which are good strong strike craft but very expensive in mass number production. However do not build any, as you want to instead build another salvage corvette and two repair corvettes, as well as rebuilding any lost fighters.

Once your fleet is ready, hyperspace on to mission 3

 

Mission 3 – Return to Kharak

After a successful battle with the first alien race you’ve encountered, the mothership plans to re-dock with the scaffold for repairs and enhancements. However as they re-emerge from hyperspace, they only discover that their home planet has been torched and the scaffold destroyed.

Okay from this point onwards, the game is in full-throttle. You need to be on the ball constantly to prosper. Your fighters and corvettes will scramble into position when the characters do their sad speech and hopefully should be in position when they are finished. Fleet command notifies that the cryro trays are being attacked and that they need to be defended asap. If you can, try and position your fighters into ‘X’ or ‘Claw’ formation by pressing their F7 and F8 hotkeys. (During mission one, you should have familiarised yourself with them)whilst your repair corvettes are ‘repairing’ your salvage corvettes. (To do this, press and hold the Z key and designate each repair corvette to one salvage corvette.) Send your fighters towards the enemy. Fleet intelligence will say that the attackers are different to the pirates. This is true. You instead will be facing a new class of ship: the Assault Frigate. And not only one frigate, but four. Now at this point I would strongly recommend that you concentrate fire on the two frigates that are firing upon the cryro trays. (Mainly because at this point you feel bad for the people and want to save as many lives as possible) One frigate will be smoking at the back. If it is the one firing at the tray, this is good. If not, don’t panic. Send your fleets into aggressive tactics by pressing the F4 key so that they can swarm and quickly damage the frigates. To destroy them quickly, it is best to fire your entire fighter squadrons at one frigate at a time. If you play your cards right, you will have only two frigates left. Fleet intelligence then says that you need to capture one for interrogation. This is where your two salvage corvettes come in. Send them, with the repair corvettes to capture one of the frigates. You will need TWO salvage corvettes to successfully overpower and capture a frigate. The AI will know they are coming and will divert all fire onto the corvettes. (This is why you have the repair corvettes). Damage to the corvettes should be minimal and as a result you should have easily captured the frigate. Mop up any remaining enemies with your fighters, or if you’re really skilled, send your salvage corvettes out again, once they’ve transported the first frigate to the mothership, to capture the remaining frigates. However this tactic is very time consuming as well as risky.

Your resource collectors should have already cleared the available dust clouds, and thus you should use the collected resources to rebuild any lost fighters. Do not feel bad if you lost a lot of fighters, Assault Frigates are in fact anti-fighter frigates after all. When you’ve successfully captured the frigate, your main goal is to salvage the cryro trays. One salvage corvette is needed for these, so you can do two at a time. There will be a recording of the attack shortly. Watch it, see the planet get blasted by hundreds of nuclear missiles and learn the unidentified ships you haven’t encountered so that you can prepare yourself. You will be facing that fleet soon.

After the movie, you can now build two new ships from the captured frigate, the Resource Controller and the Support Frigate. Build both and retire your repair corvettes. The support frigate is a bigger and much better version of the support corvette. You can also research the Capital Ship Chassis to unlock your own assault frigates. I highly recommend that you do this as soon as possible, however you will not have enough resources to build one.

Once the cryro trays have been loaded, you can then hyperspace to the next mission.

 

Mission 4 – The Great Wastelands Part 1

You’ve left your old world behind, there was nothing you could do seeing as the vast deserts have been glassed and the cities have been levelled. The mothership and all of those around it are all what’s left of the race you are playing as. The mothership is now officially a ‘home world’.

In this mission, naturally the fleet is preparing themselves for a counter attack to the enemy fleet that killed off your planet. There is a dense resource pocket dead ahead of the mothership, however to improve harvesting efficiency, move your resource controller as close as possible to the resources. Remember those light corvettes? If you still have all five, great! Send them into ‘X’ formation and hold down the G key to guard the resource controller. Once the resources come rolling in, build at least 2 assault frigates and 5-10 extra fighters of each type. Shortly, the mothership will pick up another signal, however this time, it’s another mothership.

The alien vessel turns to the mothership but remains passive and silent. The player’s ambassador flies towards it to communicate, however it gets drawn in. The alien mothership reveals itself to be a Bentusi trade ship, and welcomes the mothership among other space-faring races or “The Unbound.” They are peaceful and are interested in trading 500RU’s for technology. The first technology you can receive from them is Ion Cannons.  From the large amount of resources, you can easily acquire this technology, thus giving you a massive boost in fleet firepower as now you can construct Ion Cannon Frigates. I would recommend building at least two immediately to bulk up your fleet. However the Bentusi says that they must go, as they can sense the Turanic Raiders coming. (They’re the pirates you defeated in mission 2) They gate out and roughly thirty seconds later, the first wave of Turanic fighters arrive and start causing havoc with your resource operations.  Send in your fighters to deal with this threat, but leave your figates by your mothership. I would also recommend at this point that you build another six, yes SIX salvage corvettes.  You will need them to bag yourself a massive boost of firepower.  Your fighters shouldn’t have much trouble killing off the Turanic fighters and corvettes. Keep them in a formation and change their tactics to whatever the situation holds. (E.g. if it is going well for you, go aggressive, if not, go evasive) Whilst your fighters fend off the first volley, move four salvage corvettes to the back of the mothership and two on the left and right side. Have them a fair distance away from the mothership. (About 10-20km will do.) At this point, I will highly recommend that you save your game.

Eventually Fleet Intelligence announces that ‘Several Turanic capital ships have just exited hyperspace around the mothership.’ Now this is where you will need your salvage corvettes.  Seeing as you’ve moved them into position, the enemy Ion Array Frigates (I like to call them the big satellite frigates) should have little time to react to your corvettes. If they do, don’t panic. If you lose one or two, send your frigates to the ‘rogue’ frigate and eliminate it, or at least distract it away from your corvettes if you can. Hopefully you should have a successful catch of either all of the frigates or at least three. If not, try again from your last save.

Once all of the enemy frigates have been captured or destroyed, the enemy carrier as well as two extra frigates will come down to try and destroy the mothership. The good news about this is, you can get another two extra Ion Array Frigates, but the downside is, you CANNOT salvage the carrier. Send in all of your frigates, including the recently captured ones and concentrate all fire at the carrier. Use your free salvage corvettes to capture its escorts and in no time you will be triumphant.

Use the resources you have left over to rebuild any lost ships and when every last resource has been harvested and used, move onto the next mission.

 

Mission 5 – The Great Wastelands Part 2

Fleet Intelligence has tracked down the enemy fleet that killed off Kharak and now it’s time for some payback! However there is a spanner in the works. The fleet is hiding in the midst of a dense asteroid field and you need to send a probe to find them. Time is also against you seeing as they are also making repairs to the damage they took from the Kharak missile defence system.

Now before you go off guns blazing, it is best to keep in mind on what the enemy fleet includes. There are eight assault frigates, three ion frigates and two destroyers. But the cherry on top of this cake is a new fighter type: The Defender.

My personal tactic is to wait it out. However yes this does rule out the fact that ‘Time is against you’ but remember, the enemy ships do take a while to repair themselves. In this time you should just send out your resource collectors and controller to harvest the nearby dust clouds. However do not get too close! If your collectors get too close to the denser part of the belt, where the clouds merge, you may accidentally trigger the enemy fleet into attack position! The best solution is to either send a probe or your resource controller about 45-50km in front of your mothership to act as the point-of-no-return marker. Recall your collectors when ever piece of resource has been collected and wait until your research labs can commence on researching Attack Bombers. These fighters are excellent at taking out capital ships, and with ten of them in ‘X’ formation can easily take out a resource collector in one-two volleys.

Once you’ve built 10 attack bombers, send out a probe into the asteroid field. I would personally send it far to the other side of the map, this is because the enemy fleet, as dumb as they are, will go after it and thus giving you an advancement advantage.  Send your bombers to the lower right dust cloud vein. Eventually two enemy collectors will appear and you need to take them out before they pinch your precious resources! Send in your frigates to tackle the four assault frigates. With those captured ion array frigates you shouldn’t have a problem cutting through. Be careful though, three ion frigates will rise up from below to take your frigates down.  Send in your fighters to deal with the interceptor and defender threats. Intelligence will get on the horn to you to say that Defenders can now be researched. If you can spare the time, start the research, but don’t build any just yet. Continue pushing through the enemy lines. Eventually you will be facing against those two dreaded destroyers. Concentrate all of your frigates onto one destroyer at a time. However if the other one is aiming at one of your frigates, pull them back slightly and call in your support frigate to deal with repairs.  Have your fighters deal with any remaining fighter and frigate threats and move in onto the enemy carrier. If you are successful you should have taken down both of the destroyers with minimal or no loss whatsoever. Kill off the enemy carrier and repair any damaged ships. Send in your resource collectors and controller to mop up the remaining resources, it’ll be a while so go and grab something to eat or watch TV. After a good 45 minutes or an hour, you should have about 4-5000 resources at your disposal! With this you can build as much as you want. However I personally build 10 defenders, 15-20 scouts, 25 interceptors, 25 attack bombers and another assault, ion and support frigate. If you’ve still got plenty of resources left over, you can either save them for the next level or build another research lab to speed up the research process. I would highly recommend that you leave a minimum of 1350RU’s

Once you’ve built everything, make sure that you’ve turned off the autolaunch option in the launch tab for the next mission. You can use fighters in the next mission, but I prefer not to. Once you’re ready, hyperspace onto the next mission.

 

Mission 6 – Diamond Shoals

Ever seen the asteroid field scene from Star Wars Episode V? Well, this next level is somewhat like that.

The mothership has decided it is best to slip past the empire’s outposts by going through an asteroid field and a large nebula. However the mothership comes out of hyperspace too soon and ends up in the middle of the field. You now need to clear a path for the mothership to get through.

Okay so now you can understand why we docked our fighters. If not, they will collide easily with the asteroids and thus lose a lot of spent resources. Frigates on the other hand pack a much bigger punch but are just as slow as the asteroids. They are not indestructible against them either. If they collide with the asteroid, they too will be destroyed. However the upside is, you have much better control and concentrated fire with frigates than to what you have with fighters and corvettes.  I will also highly advise that you move your research ship and resource controller behind your mothership to avoid being smashed to pieces. Have your resource collectors out on patrol though; however they may need some extra prodding due to the lack of resources although there are hundreds of asteroids floating about. (But then again, the challenge would be killed off if you can just harvest the threat away) Have your frigates destroy one or two asteroids to make the collectors go after the remnants.  Keep firing on every incoming asteroid you see posing a threat to the mothership.

Eventually you can start researching Capital Ship drive technology which allows you to build Destoryers. These bad boys pack a huge punch but they cost exactly 1350RU’s to build. (Now you see why we saved the rest in the previous level?)

With the extra firepower the level should be pretty easy, but painfully slow. Eventually the mothership will emerge from the field, although it didn’t move one inch…

The Bentusi arrive in the opening to trade with you once again. If your collectors have been busy, you should have plenty of resources from the left over asteroids you destroyed. Trade with them as soon as you can to get the special technology they offer. (Either being drone technology for the Kushan or Defence Field technology for the Taiidan) Fleet Command then asks the Bentusi about the nebula in front of them, however the Bentusi, as well as the empire and everyone else fear what lies inside the nebula.

Once the Bentusi leave, you can finish building your new ships if you want, or hyperspace onto the next mission.

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