Video Game: Thrawns Revenge
Thrawn’s Revenge is a game mod for the LucasArts
& Petroglyph PC Real-Time Strategy Game Star Wars: Empire At War
Following the destruction of the second Death Star and the deaths of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader at the Battle of Endor, the Galactic Empire has crumbled into warring splinter factions led by power-hungry warlords each seeking to carve their own fiefdoms out of the decaying Empire. Meanwhile, the Rebel Alliance has reorganized itself into the New Republic and now seeks to establish itself as the new legitimate galactic government and drive out the oppression of the Empire once and for all.
The mod takes place during the New Republic Era of the Star Wars Legends franchise (formerly known as the Star Wars Expanded Universe; the one that was canon before Disney took over the galaxy) and spans from two years after the Battle of Endor in 6 ABY to the signing of the Pellaeon-Gavrisom treaty and the (former) true end of the Galactic Civil War in 19 ABY. These thirteen years are divided into five eras based on the leaders of the Imperial Remnant and their campaigns against the New Republic.
Although the mod is based on and requires the Forces of Corruption expansion pack to play, all traces of the Zann Consortium and the corruption mechanic have been removed. In its place the mod adds several other new factions including Grand Moff Ardus Kaine’s Pentastar Alignment and Grand Admiral Thrawn’s Empire of the Hand.
The mod adds so much new content, gameplay changes, and graphical updates that it could almost be its own distinct game. The mod adds a large number of new units, heroes, and planets and a number of new Galactic Conquest campaigns to use them in. The vast selection of starships has also been balanced and scaled more closely to their canonical(?) sizes, armaments, and abilities.
The mod’s website can be found here
Please only list tropes that apply specifically to the mod or those that apply differently from the vanilla game here.
Thrawn’s Revenge contains examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The mod’s documentation is extensive and thorough, and reveals certain things that are not mentioned at all in-game, such as the exact armaments of each starship, how much damage each weapon does, and which planets are designated mining colonies.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: Heroes come and go as the eras advance. This is especially true for the Imperial Remnant, since in the multi-era campaigns they get a new leader when the previous one is killed.
- Big Bad: Five of them! Each era sees a new leader of the Imperial Remnant. They are:
- Director Ysanne Isard (Era 1, 6-7 ABY) Commands the Lusankya, an Executor-class Star Dreadnought.
- Grand Admiral Thrawn (Era 2, 9 ABY) Commands the Chimaera, an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer.
- Reborn Emperor Palpatine (Era 3, 10-11 ABY) Commands the Eclipse.
- Admiral Natasi Daala (Era 4, 12 ABY) Commands the Knight Hammer, an Executor-class Star Dreadnought.
- Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon (Era 5, 17-19 ABY) Commands the Chimaera.
- Of course, if you are playing as the Imperial Remnant, they become your Villain Protagonists.
- Cloning Gambit: Grand Admiral Thrawn dies at the end of era 2, but prior to his death he prepared a clone of himself to be revealed ten years after his death is reported. In era 5, which takes place ten years after Thrawn's death, the aptly-named Thrawn Clone appears in the service of the Empire of the Hand and grants the same combat bonuses as the original Thrawn. It should be noted that the clone is fully aware that he is not the original Thrawn.
- The Reborn Emperor Palpatine is also the result of this, though unlike the Thrawn Clone, it is the original Palpatine's soul transplanted into a clone body.
- Defeat Means Playable: If you are playing as the New Republic in a multi-era campaign, then to advance to era 2 you must kill Director Ysanne Isard by destroying her Executor-class Star Dreadnought, the Lusankya. Then when you get to era 3 you are given General Wedge Antillies and his ship, which happens to be the very same Lusankya you defeated back in era 1, now sporting the New Republic emblem on its sides!
- Demonic Spiders: All varieties of Super Star Destroyer. Every single one has an absolutely ridiculous amount of hitpoints and firepower as well as large fighter complements. The Eclipse and Sovereign classes really take the cake though; in addition to the above they also have one-hit-kill superlasers and gravity well generators to prevent the enemy from retreating into hyperspace.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: As mentioned above in Defeat Means Playable you destroy the Lusankya only for it to come back in a later era. The Chimaera is handled the same way in that its destruction marks the end of era 2 but it appears again in era 5. Though to be fair, although the ships return, their old commanders do not, so one could reason that the commander was killed but the ship was rebuilt or repaired. The opposite happens with Admiral Ackbar; if Home One is destroyed it is gone for good, but Ackbar himself survives and can return in a later era in command of the Galactic Voyager.
- In canon, none of these ships were destroyed during the time period of Thrawn's Revenge. But both Isard and Thrawn did die aboard the Lusankya and Chimaera, respectively.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Grand Admiral Thrawn in the multi-era campaigns. He starts out as the leader of the Empire of the Hand in era 1, but following the death of Ysanne Isard he leaves the Hand and becomes the leader of the Imperial Remnant for era 2. He is then killed at the end of era 2, but then in era 5 his clone appears and Thrawn once again serves the Empire of the Hand.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: As the campaigns and eras progress, some space commanders will get new flagships or upgrade their existing ones.
- Upon reaching era 3 Admiral Gial Ackbar trades in his old Home One, an MC 80 Home One-type star Cruiser, for the Galactic Voyager, a newer and more powerful MC 90 Star Cruiser. This ship change also makes him one of the few Hero units that can come back after being killed in a multi-era campaign, if Home One was destroyed prior to reaching era 3.
- In era 5 Booster Terrik can upgrade his Errant Venture into a fully functional Imperial-class Star Destroyer, adding in its missing weapons and even giving it a custom red paint job!
- During the Reunification campaign as the Imperial Remnant, conquering Odik II will cause Admiral Natasi Daala to exchange her Imperial-class Star Destroyer, the Gorgon, for the Knight Hammer, an Executor-class Star Dreadnought.
- Nintendo Hard: Several of the gameplay changes have made the game more difficult. Your shipyards are now virtually defenseless on their own and require dedicated protection. In space, warheads no longer bypass shields. Infantry units are more fragile than ever. Minor Heroes are gone. Major Heroes die permanently. The AI has virtually unlimited credits. And the term “Raid Fleet” now refers to unaffiliated enemy fleets randomly ambushing you in the middle of a space battle.
- Rightful Sith Lord Returns: Palpatine in Era 3
- Springtime for Hitler: When playing as the Imperial Remnant in a multi-era campaign, you have to get your own leader killed in order to advance to the next era. Of the four leaders you will need to sacrifice, three of them command some variety of Super Star Destroyer. These ships have such an insane amount of hitpoints, weapons, and starfighter complement that they can destroy entire enemy fleets all by themselves, so getting one to commit suicide may in fact be harder to do than destroying an enemy one, especially when playing against the AI.
- Tech Tree: Subverted. The vanilla game’s system of getting better units by advancing your tech level is gone. Unit and hero availability is now based on the current era, which is advanced by killing the current leader of the Imperial Remnant and applies universally to all factions. Every era offers each faction a complete spread of soldiers, vehicles, and ship classes with which to fight their enemies. Some units and heroes will in fact be lost between certain eras, though they are generally replaced by more modern designs appropriate to the new era, such as the MC 80 Liberty-type Star Cruiser being phased out and replaced by the more modern and powerful MC 90 Star Cruiser in era 3. Also, many of the campaigns are locked into a specific era, meaning whatever is available to you during that era is all you get.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The AI gets virtually unlimited credits and tends to spawn Super Star Destroyers whenever it feels like it.
- Vestigial Empire: The aptly-named Imperial Remnant is what remains of the proper Galactic Empire following the Battle of Endor.
- Wave Motion Gun: The Superlasers of the Eclipse-class Dreadnought (which is now a true ship, compared to its incomplete version in Forces of Corruption) and the Sovereign-class Dreadnoughts. They can instantly destroy any sufficiently large ship, but unlike the Death Stars they cannot destroy whole planets. Speaking of the Death Stars, they are not available in Thrawn's Revenge, nor are Galaxy Guns.
- Zerg Rush: A surprisingly quick and effective way to take out enemy turbolaser towers is to rush in and swarm it with several squads of basic infantry.
- The planet Wayland can produce infantry for 1 credit apiece; some players just throw mass produced clone infantry at planet and autoresolve until they get it.