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Video Game / Silent Threat: Reborn

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Silent Threat: Reborn is a fan-made expansion pack for the FreeSpace 2 video game. It was inspired by a common fan reaction to a pre-existing official expansion pack (called Silent Threat) for FreeSpace 1. While FS1 and FS2 received very positive reviews and were regarded highly by the fan base, Silent Threat was regarded poorly in comparison due to its haphazard plot and weak missions. A group of fans decided to remake it, and the result is widely judged to approach the quality of FS1 and FS2.


So, the story. After the events of FreeSpace, the player (not the same character as in the first game) is recruited into an elite intelligence unit in the Galactic Terran Alliance, called Galactic Terran Intelligence. In the course of performing special operations missions and secret spy missions, the player discovers that GTI is conspiring to overthrow the GTA. The player must overcome the conspiracy and stop it.


Silent Threat: Reborn provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Achilles' Heel: Inverted — one of your enemies tries to do the Death Star Trench Run on an installation you're protecting.
  • Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: While developing this mod, the two project leads were administrating and heavily contributing to about a dozen other FreeSpace projects between them. As a hobby, mind you.
  • Big Bad:
    • The Hades superdestroyer, based on technology from the Shivan Big Bad in the first game.
    • For a number of missions it appears that Admiral Marcus Glaive, leader of GTI R&D is the Big Bad-by-default, what with leading the enemy faction. Then it turns out that GTI's R&D's rebellion is supported by high-ranking officers of GTI's central command, with Glaive reporting to them.
  • Boss Battle: Pretty much every mission which involves attacking a destroyer counts as a boss battle.
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  • Brick Joke: The introductory mission Silence All Voices requires you to wipe out all Terrans and Vasudans fighting each other. As the commanding officer puts it, you are to "sanitize the area". Later on, in Betrayed one of the fighters trying to defend the escape pods from getting destroyed says that the GTI is "trying to sanitize us".
  • Chekhov's Gunman: During the third mission where you need to defend some escape pods, some fighters show up from a previous operation, with one pilot declaring it as a complete success. The GTI destroyer asks the pilots to assist in your mission. Later on, during the final advance on the Shivans, the same pilot and his group appears after completing their phase of the operation, the same pilot simply saying "good luck" and jumping out. After your phase of the operation is completed, the pilot and his group return a third time. If you don't find anything suspicious and don't jump out when your wingmates start freaking out, said pilot detonates a special weapon that disables your ship which results in you and your wingmen getting blasted to smithereens.
  • Conlang: Apparently, the original game developers had created a full-fledged language for the Vasudans. Since the original language reference was inaccessible to the humble authors of a third-party mod, they went and recreated it from the few clues available in the community reference pool.
  • Continuity Nod: Plenty. From the GTC Lonewolf (from Derelict) making an appearance to the Vasudans being referred to as "fish-lovers", and many more.
  • Disk-One Final Boss: SD Archon, the Shivans' sole surviving destroyer and command vessel, which you have to destroy without any cruiser or destroyer support.
  • Doing It for the Art: Several...
    • Despite the fact that the game was in a reasonably complete state after a year of work (as evidenced by the timeline included in the readme) the authors kept polishing, and polishing, and polishing... causing development to stretch out to six years. Granted, the final result was probably worth it.
    • Voice acting, a rare enhancement in a fan-made FreeSpace game, was considered mandatory for ST:R.
    • A surprising amount of effort was put into the story and plot. Interviews and developer comments have shed light on many game details that aren't apparent upon first playthrough.
    • In the month leading up to the game's release, the developers went and created a secret I Love Bees-style alternate reality game called Phoenix to provide more goodies for fans.
    • Oh, and see Conlang above — made even more impressive by the fact that said language was only used for promoting the mod, and not for the mod itself.
  • Escort Mission: First lampshaded in "He Who Rides the Tiger" with the quote below, then double subverted as you end up escorting something else.
  • Final Boss: GTD Hades.
  • General Ripper: On the saner side, Admiral Marcus Glaive and General Andreas Rybak.
  • Government Conspiracy: Sort of. The Terran military's Intelligence division (the GTI) attempts a power grab in the aftermath of the Great War. Does it seem like the Intelligence division wouldn't be too effective against the full military? Don't forget that these are the guys in charge of black ops and R&D, meaning that they have both the top-trained personnel and bleeding-edge technology. On the one hand, the Special Operations branch of GTI are left out of the loop and end up working against the conspiracy (the player character flies for them from the GTD Krios during the first part of the campaign, before the GTD Krios is destroyed by rebel GTI ships and the GTA integrates loyalist GTI assets into the main fleet). On the other hand, we are told that more than a few GTA pilots, officers and assets have defected to the GTI.
  • Guide Dang It!: The only way to avoid the two Non Standard Game Over instances during your first run in the campaign is by knowing certain pieces of information that is only available on the Hard Light Production's FreeSpace Wiki.
  • Hannibal Lecture: GTI leadership convinces convinces several of your wingmen to abandon their mission and defect in the middle of combat.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Near the end of the campaign, the PVD Hope, still heavily damaged from its previous encounter, kamikazes the GTD Hades, disabling its engines and giving the GTA the edge it needs to destroy the Hades once and for all.
  • Military Coup: The FreeSpace 2 backstory notes that, while unsuccessful, the GTI Rebellion is the first of many that leads to the collapse of The Alliance.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Two of them.
    • During the mission with the science cruisers blowing up, you'll notice an "External Threat detected" on your HUD with your hull integrity dropping. This is actually a Shivan that escaped the explosion of the science vessel, if you don't engage your afterburners, the Shivan will tear your ship apart with his bare hands.
    • After you finish off the Shivans once and for all, the Crazy Ivans return even though they had completed their mission prior to your arrival. Your wingmates become heavily suspicious (especially since your home base had not contacted you throughout the mission). If you don't jump out at this point, the Crazy Ivans detonate an EMP that disables you and your wingmates' ships, thus opening you up to a quick blasting with you unable to fight back.
  • Ramming Always Works: Zig-zagged with the PVD Hope ramming the GTD Hades: the ram does next to no hull damage, but it completely knocks out the engines of the Hades, except that said engines then came back online and the Hades jumps to another system, where it was subsequently revealed that the ram actually did catastrophic damage to its engines.
  • Retcon: Whereas FreeSpace 2 retconned a number of minor plot points and background information from FreeSpace 1, Silent Threat Reborn attempts to de-Retcon the differences by providing plausible explanations for them.
    • To be specific, the Battle of Deneb had the implication that the Galatea was destroyed in that very cutscene, with a large hole blasted in its hull, instead of being blown up during the mission itself. A Demon class destroyer was in the cutscene as well, along with the wreck of the GTD Hades, which wasn't even part of the battle itself. While the Demon class destroyer is assumed to be another ship other than the Eva, Silent Threat: Reborn establishes the Orion class Destroyer seen in the cutscene is the GTD Legion, while the GTD Hades eventually would meet its end at Deneb, thus tying up those loose ends.
  • Shout-Out: A shocked Vasudan at one point blabbers "Somebody set us up the bomb."
  • Space Battle: This being the Standard Sci Fi Setting it goes without saying.
  • The Remnant: With a twist: instead of the war being lost, it came to a peaceful conclusion.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Attempted by the Shivans in one mission where you attempt to escort three science vessels. Two of them mysteriously self destruct, two Shivan Cruisers show up, and then a Shivan Destroyer then pops up as one pilot summarizes the mission as "all this for mere a science vessel?" Fortunately for you, you are on the receiving end of a Big Damn Heroes moment when a Terran destroyer attempts to take on the Shivan destroyer one-on-one while you work on protecting the lone Science Vessel.
  • Title Drop
    Admiral Tess (after the destruction of the Krios): We have taken care to spread the information far enough so that it cannot be covered up. The Silent Threat has been forced into the open.
  • Warm-Up Boss: SD Abaddon, made easy by the fact that you have another destroyer to back your side up.


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