- Complete Monster: Admiral Vladimir Kulov is the man behind The Coalition that has expanded into space, and is a brutal, corrupt mass murdering bastard. Kulov defies a peace treaty to invade the peaceful Alliance and overruns their territory, massacring many innocent people along the way. When the Alliance military fleet is defeated, Kulov gives an order to execute the prisoners of war without remorse. In order to keep control of the civilian populations, Kulov regularly has massacres conducted to quell any hint of dissent. Throughout the game, Kulov is seen as nothing more than a sickening bastard with a desire to dominate what he can.
- Nightmare Fuel: If you have too many friendly fire incidents, you get a first-person view of your character being executed by firing squad, blindfold and all.
- That One Level: Starlancer has one of the highest densities of Scrappy Missions in gaming historytwo out of three, at least, over the course of the game. Here's a summary of the 10-minute flight serving as the Act 1 Final Battle:
- Defend Fort Baxter from the enemy carrier Ramases (unsuccessfully; Plotline Death); defend Fort Baxter's lifepods from enemy attack. Use Q and Shift-Q to scroll through the list of friendly targets until you find the lifeboats, speed over to them, hit E for "nearest enemy", and then cross your fingers.
- Defeat enemy Ace Pilot, who will panic-button retreat basically the instant a stray round wings him. Get chewed out by your CO if you don't One-Hit Kill him. (Never see him again, even though he's one of the best Coalition pilots and you're the best Alliance pilot and at least one of you should logically be gunning for the other.)
- Disable Deflector Shields on the Ramases. Get the engines too unless you want it to panic-button retreat as well. (This ends the fight faster, obviously, but the game counts it as a mission failure.)
- Defend allied torpedo bombers hitting the Ramases. Again, the "Target Next Friendly" button is your salvation here... Assuming you can find them before the baddies do.
- Defeat all remaining fighters.
- And that's just Mission #7. Get to #24 and things get really hairy.
- That last mission is a full blown "That One Level": A good 20-30 minutes of relatively easy gameplay (IF you have the Shroud and IF Mouse doesn't forget to warn you the Ion Cannon is targeting you), followed by a hideous Escort Mission where you have to defend a couple of tiny ships you can barely find against a specific squad of enemies within the huge clusterfuck of a battle that is gunning for them. It's nearly impossible to see how many are left alive, but if afterwards not enough made it with their planted explosives, you fail the mission and have to do the whole 30 minute intro again for your next try. The real kicker: Even if you saved enough of them, the explosion still doesn't destroy the target, the game just doesn't fail the mission.
YMMV / Starlancer