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  • Demonic Spiders: SF Dragon fighters are tiny, absurdly manoeuvrable, and damnably well armed and shielded, rendering them ridiculously hard to catch and destroy if they don't get into a close-ranged dogfight; and even then, they're damned near impossible to hit, as they can literally fly circles around any ship in either game. Their only weakness is that their armor is made of tin, but putting on primary weapons that are good against shields turns most other fighters (which focus on hull strength instead of shield strength) into Demonic Spiders of their own. The developers damned well knew it, too, because in one mission two full wings of Dragon fighters pop up at long range just to scare you before the detonation of the Meson Bomb annihilates them.
    • In either game, if you are already very good at swatting Dragon and Manticore fighters, then this title belongs to the Nephilim or Seraphim bombers; most of the time, these are the very things responsible for Mission Failed. They are slow and big, but are so ridiculously armored and shielded they can shrug off up to three hits from Trebuchet heavy missiles. In addition, the Nephilim has seven guns linked to one gun slot, giving it a ridiculous rate of fire. The Seraphim has more guns, but in 3 slots. Both bombers have a pair of turrets that can fire at you even when you are not in front of them.
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    • If you're defending capital ships in the second game, you will learn to loathe Lilith-class cruisers. Their main beam cannon is extremely strong for a ship of that size, and their small size means that other capital ships will have a hard time hitting it when shooting back. They also look near-identical to the Cain-class, which is a total pushover and easy to kill.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Lieutenant-Commander Snipes. Probably due to being the only named pilot in the story, and getting the best lines in the game.
  • Even Better Sequel: The original game received reviews that, while mostly positive, were nothing particularly outstanding; it was considered a good game, but not a great one. FreeSpace 2, on the other hand, was positively heaped with praise, received numerous 'Game of The Year' awards, and is still widely played even to this day, over a decade after its release.
    • Due to the fact that FreeSpace 2 was one of the last games of its kind ever released, some fans jokingly claim that it was so good it killed the entire genre, since nothing else would ever be able to compete with it. (The real reasons the Space Sim genre died out are a lot more complex.)
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  • Fanon Discontinuity: "Silent Threat". The original has now been supplanted by a (extremely well-done) fan-made revision of the entire thing called Silent Threat: Reborn, which keeps the storyline largely intact while adding enough to it to make it good, and has pretty much been unanimously declared to be superior to the original product, thus pulling the story out of Fanon Discontinuity.
  • Goddamned Bats: Manticores and Amuns are annoying too.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In Argonautica, you have to defend GTD Aquitaine while it waits for a transport delivering materials to repair its disabled engines so it can jump out. If you fail to defend the transport itself, Command will send a panicked message about the transport being destroyed...and a few minutes later, the Aquitaine's engines will magically repair themselves anyway.
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  • Magnificent Bastard: Main antagonist Aken Bosch spends the entirety of the game attempting to ally with the Destroyers, AKA the Shivans whom he believes are unstoppable and will never be defeated regardless of the GTVA's efforts. When the players are tasked with a squadron to intercept and disable his ship, he openly sends a communication channel to the player and taunts them, questioning the competence of their commanders as he warps out of the system, well before the players have any chance at hitting him, just before a Shivan fleet ambushes the player's squadron. He frequently outsmarts the entire GTVA command in his capital ship, and when it looks like he's finally been caught when his ship is disabled and boarded, it's found out that he had planned a ruse which included the capture of his ship and all of his crew all along, and he had actually used the confusion to escape alone on-board a Shivan transport, showing more ingenuity and unpredictability than even the inscrutable alien race.
  • Memetic Badass: Due to the friendly AI's general incompetence and the ridiculously high number of kills you score throughout the game, the player's character, only ever referred to as "Alpha 1", has become this.
  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now: Towards the end of the second game when the Shivans start to take the war seriously. It ends in a Deus Ex Machina that was probably meant to be explained in the third game ( the Shivans blow up Capella's star as the humans retreat and then most of them warp out to an unknown destination.). To be fair, the GTVA was about to seal the last remaining jump node out of the Capella system leading to GTVA territory, with pretty much the exact same method and means you'd just successfully used the mission before (which was based on the finale mission of the first game, too). Still, everyone knows it's just a temporary measure to buy time, time that can be used to get stronger, more prepared, and more advanced. Given how far the GTVA advanced in the 32 years between the first and second games (especially after having to recover from the loss of Vasuda Prime and loss of all contact with Earth, and far more destroyed colonies), it's not unreasonable for the GTVA to be capable of standing against the Shivans in another several decades. Not outmatch them, but capable of actually holding their own this time.
  • That One Level: "A Game of TAG" from Freespace 2. Your loadout is preset to a Ulysses fighter (which even the briefing admits is a Great War antique), a Prometheus-R Cannon (which is basically useless) and a Sublach HL-7. Your also given the TAG-A - a weapon that allows the nearby corvette to direct any weapons in range to destroy even fighter class vessels. All this sounds cool until you realize that the TAG-A is a dumbfire weapon, meaning that it has no guidance systems whatsoever: if the target moves, you miss. You also have only one wingman, with the same armament. Making things harder are the matter of the Taurvii-class bombers the level likes to throw at you, which are both fast and have a thin target profile. And to top off all the frustration, the level is set inside a nebula, meaning even the most accurate pilots are going to struggle to land shots, and the corvette accompanying you cannot defend itself because ALL of its guns are linked to your TAG Missiles (so in order to make it defend itself, you need to TAG a Shivan craft). For maximum funsies, after forcing you into an obsolete and undergunned fighter with little backup, Command will guilt-trip you about needing to defend the corvette and AWACS ships while sending you no reinforcements. Expect to fail many, MANY times, even on re-runs of the game.
  • What an Idiot!: The second game has some rather glaring examples.
    • A few missions into the campaign, the GTVA discovers an ancient artificial subspace portal deep in the previously strategically uninteresting Gamma Draconis system, near the site of an ambush by the returning-after-thirty-years Big Bad Shivans. The Alliance is intrigued by this discovery, because of the potential for the technology to be used to revive the collapsed subspace link to Earth, as well as the strategically-important resources that lie in the nebula beyond the portal. Unfortunately, as they explore the other side, they discover Shivans, Shivans, more Shivans, even more Shivans, and ummm... Lots of Shivans, which eventually ends up in an encounter with a massive juggernaut warship, designated Sathanas, that could rip apart an entire fleet in two minutes.
      You'd expect The Alliance to gather as much data as they can about the ancient portal, immediately retreat from the nebula, deactivate the portal, blow up the subspace link, and live happily ever after. The Shivans, of course, are those Omnicidal Maniacs from thirty years ago who had that invulnerable SD Lucifer with the Wave Motion Gun that was used to level all of the cities in the planet of Vasuda, killing four billion Vasudans and rendering the planet uninhabitable. They nearly reached Earth, if not for the heroic efforts of Alliance pilots who managed to destroy the Lucifer in subspace, which caused the collapse of the subspace link to Earth.
      Instead: The Alliance:
      • Kept trying to fight the Shivans inside an unknown system. Never mind that this is a species that almost wiped out everyone in known space thirty years ago. To hell with the fact that it was the Shivans who destroyed the Ancients, a race that had a huge empire and was way more advanced than the Terrans and the Vasudans combined (not actually true for technology as a whole, but the Alliance doesn't know that since the only surviving pieces of Ancient technology are ones belonging to a category in which the Ancients were just that advanced). Despite the fact that the only response to a threat this species knows is more...and bigger.
      • Logically, with the Shivans having sent their biggest, they could only respond with more. Obviously, at this point, the GTVA does not have the logistical and manufacturing output to keep up with the more advanced Shivans and they could do nothing but attempt to gather intel about the Shivans' whereabouts and plans. The GTVA still went back inside the nebula. And did they get more. They retreat, but now it's too late. The only option left is to evacuate an entire star system and blow up the jump nodes leading to the Shivan-infested systems to seal them off.
      • Ironically, a dialogue between your wingmen in the first nebula mission heavily foreshadows the later events. Yes, even the Red Shirts think this is a bad idea. One wingman even told the other to shut up, that they're just following orders and they can't do anything about it! Seriously, whoever was put in charge as the commander-in-chief of the GTVA must really have appallingly poor strategic knowledge and leadership skills for his/her military and needs to be either relieved of command or executed for horrendous incompetence.
      Wingman A: ...I never signed on for hunting Shivans!
      Wingman B: Don't kid yourself, we're the ones being hunted, pilot.
      Wingman C: Command should shut down that portal and send the Aquitaine back to Deneb. We've got no business being out here!
      Wingman D: If Command needs your opinion they'll promote you to Admiral, now shut up and focus.
    • As mentioned before, the Sathanas has extremely powerful forward mounted guns.
      You'd Expect: When attacking an enemy, it will try to keep the enemy in front.
      Instead: The ship is passing the Colossus and is unable to continue firing. As a result, the Colossus survives even without further assistance of the player with the above mentioned thirty to fifty-percent hull integrity. Otherwise it would be destroyed.

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