Author Topic: An attempt to create a proper FS2 timeline.  (Read 219 times)

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Offline Novachen

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An attempt to create a proper FS2 timeline.
Heyya guys,

as you all know, FreeSpace: The Great War gives location and date information in every command briefings. These information are not given in FreeSpace 2 unfortunately.

For my upgrade/translation project of FreeSpace 2 i actually want to change that, as i want to have an uniform appearance of command briefings through all command briefings within the Freespace universe. (Continuity nazi incoming)

After i looked more closely on the FreeSpace 2 missions, i created a first timeline when the missions could take place actually.
I want to discuss this, because i am open for suggestions about some dates and want to create something like that without any discussion with other community members, as could this one important maybe?



In my timeline FreeSpace 2 would take place from May to August 2367.
Act 1
Training 1 - This mission has a Command Briefing that takes in Vega. In this one it is also stated that the Aquitaine arrives in 36 hours. I have used the 11th May 2367 as the starting point of this campaign.
Why 11th May 2367 you ask? Well, it is quite simple. 11.05. marks my birthday :D. But also a start in May actually ensures that the NTF Rebellion begins in 2366 what is common in all user-campaigns i played so far. As you will see, there are actually some other dates, which make the begin in May convenient. But one of the bigger questions is... WHERE is the player actually during this command briefing?
The Fleet HQ is in Capella, but the player is in Vega here. I actually thought about a ship that will be appear later in the campaign in a non critical role. Maybe the player begins his carreer on the Phoenicia or Messana?
EDIT: After i read the command briefing more closely and looked at the Training missions in detail, i think that there are only two realistic options, where the player could be. On the GTI Kos or the GTD Bastion.

Training 2 - Well, because this take place also before the Aquitaine arrives it has to take place on the same date. Still 11.05.2367.
Training 3 - dito. 11.05.2367.
Surrender, Belisarius! - This mission has a command briefing that welcomes the player on the Aquitaine. Actually as it is stated, that there WILL reinforce the Psamtik in Deneb it does not seem to be there. So this CBrief seems to be in Vega aswell. So maybe 48 hours after the last command briefing, because it took some time to take all supplies and pilots on board. So this would take the CBrief at 13.05.2367. But as Deneb is atleast one jump away, the mission itself could take place at 14.05.2367.
For orientation i use the rule, that it actually take (nearly) one day to travel through a whole star system. Even i know, that there could be cases like Alpha Centauri where you can travel through it in sixty seconds. I came to belief, that the NTF rebellion took 18 months in the whole, so i am ignoring the 18 months speak here. Because otherwise FreeSpace 2 would take place in one month only.
The Place of Cariots - No specific information are given in the briefing. I had total freedom here, so i thought: This mission take place two days after the arrival of the Aquitaine. 16.05.2367
The Romans Blunder - Originally that was designed to be a Red Alert mission. So this mission would take place directly after the previous mission. But actually i think the Iceni is trying to escape in the same day anyway. So this mission also take place on 16.05.2367.
Actually i am not sure, if i will revert this one back into a red alert anyway
Advanced Training 1 - This mission has a Command Briefing. As it is known through the next regular mission, that the Shivans have attacked, this one is held in Vega again. Which means also one day travel time back to Vega, but because it is mentioned that the next CBrief will be held in Capella and that will have some time information, i think the Aquitaine is already nearly through Vega, which set this CBrief at 18.05.2367.
Advanced Training 2 - Still before the Admiral speak to the crew. So only a few hours later. 18.05.2367
A Lion at the Door - This mission has the announced Command Briefing. So it has to be taken in Capella. And because of the given time information the shivan attack seems to be happen on the same date... which marks the Command Briefing at 18.05.2367. But because the actual mission take place in another system, i think the player arrives one day later at the Knossos portal. 19.05.2367.
Another intersting fact is, that the command briefing after the destruction of the last shivan craft in Silent Threat: Reborn took place at 20.05.2335... and exactly 32 years later they are back. I love circles.  :lol:
Mystery of the Trinity - Right the next Command Briefing. This time in the Gamma Draconis system. Because Mina Hargroves gives us very detailed information about the Knossos already, i think that she had some time to check this artifact out. Maybe whole 72 hours. 23.05.2367.
The Great Hunt - Because the briefing mentioned some victories against the NTF and that the Lysander and Actium was send into the Nebula, i think that this one could take some time. Also other flights collected some data to hunt them down in this mission. So i think that this mission take place at 26.05.2367
Slaying Ravana - Before the player engages, there was a battle already where the Ravana was victories. To organize new assets and to plan a new battle plan, i think 48 hours after the last mission is fitting: 28.05.2367.
Advanced Training 3 - Another Command Briefing, right back from Gamma Draconis, because the Aquitaine is again on its way back to Capella, which will take a time. There are no details given about the aftermath of the Ravana engagement, but i think after the last mission there were some other victorious engagements against Shivan troops so that nearly a week has passed. 01.06.2367.
The Sixth Wonder - The previous mentioned Command Briefing from Capella. So nearly a day after the last one. 02.06.2367. Because the mission take place in Epsilon Pegasi however and so in another system, you will arrive at 03.06.2367.
Into the Maelstrom - I think that there were some battles after the Colossus stepped in, as it seems to be low on supplies already. Also this convoy has to get organized and has to get into Epsilon Pegasi. 07.06.2367.
Why all of the sudden four whole days? Well, because this massive warship is low on supplies suggest a longer battle already. Also Epsilon Pegasi is nowhere the core worlds of the GTVA, so a convoy from Vega already would need nearly two days to arrive in Epsilon Pegasi.
Feint! Parry! Riposte! - Because it take a time to get the Colossus ready with all the supplies. Also this mission actually need proper planning by command with several recon flight to prepare the Trap. 09.06.2367

Act 2:
Rebels & Renegades - The Command Briefing of this loop is held on the GTD Aquitaine, back in Capella. So at 10.06.2367. But because the Mission take place in Polaris, which is two systems away and next that you have to be get into NTF ranks the mission take place at least on 14.06.2367.
Love the Treason... - This mission is in Sirius. As you went to Regulus with the last mission, it is only one day away. After you have arrived at your new ship, you have another day off before you are flying this mission. 16.06.2367.
...But Hate the Traitor - Snipes was called off and was replaced by another commander, which is unlikely to happen within a few hours. So i actually give 48 hours for this process. 18.06.2367.
Battle in the Wilderness - After the loop this command briefing is held on the GTD Aquitaine, which is outside the nebula again in Gamma Draconis. But because the player was in Sirius the last time, he had to travel at least through three systems and so three whole days. Also i think that you have earned yourself two days off. The CBrief take place at 24.06.2367, but because the mission is in the nebula, this one is one day later which means 25.06.2367.
Well, it is not stated where the Aquitaine is. But actually it make sense, that the Aquitaine flys back to Gamma Draconis sometimes for supplies or to receive the experimental technologies, that are used in the next missions. Also i can actually circumvent a command briefing that take place in "Nebula", because i do not believe this system is actually unnamed by GTVA bureaucrats.
A Game of TAG - Well, no given date at all. As the TAG system has to be installed on the Warspite aswell recon flights are necessary for a good testing ground, i simple set this mission at 28.06.2367.
Well, the squadron hopping was always one of the things i disliked in FS2 at all... sometimes i need smaller gaps to be ensure that the player is at a squadron for atleast a week... also this means that Kappa wing was missing for 1 month and nearly 1 week at all in this nebula. I do not have any clue HOW long a fighter can survive without supplies as every campaign seems to handle that differently. Maybe every fighter have food supplies for 30 days, but with rationing you are maybe able to stretch it. But i think that is one of the biggest problems in this timeline?
Proving Grounds - Well, because the Oberon was prepared for this test, i think it have to be brought from Gamma Draconis for this mission, which marks nearly one day.  And again everything other has to be prepared for this test aswell. 30.06.2367.
The King's Gambit - Another command briefing from Gamma Draconis which informs the player about the arriving NTF fleet. Well, before this CBrief there had to be some engagements with NTF forces aswell they have to rally. And then they have to travel through all the mentioned systems. This mission can take place a whole week after the last one, especially because the Mjolnir have to be brought in and to set up. 08.07.2367
The Sicilian Defense - Well, should be take place a few hours after the last one, as recon flights were able to find this rallying point, so maybe twelve hours later. 08.07.2367.
Endgame - Again a few hours later. This is the second attack, which means that the first one was a few hours ago. It does not really matter when this mission take place, i think right after midnight of 09.07.2367.
The Fog of War - This mission has a command briefing from Gamma Draconis again. On the GVD Psamtik. Well, i think it took a time for the player to be transfered from Aquitaine to Psamtik. So i would say the CBrief is at 10.07.2367. The actual mission could take place several days later, as it is very deep into the nebula which means they were several engagements before. I used four whole days as the gap. 14.07.2367
Well, technically the CBrief could be on 09.07. aswell. But i think there was a victory party before :D. This actually marks the End of the NTF Rebellion. So the player was present during the last two months of the rebellion. Also this date still fit to the prediction of the Battle of the Wilderness CBrief what stated that the NTF will be beaten within 30 days. Now it was only two weeks later, because the NTF gave up already..
A Monster in the Mist - I think the GTVA want to collect data about the Sathanas as soon as possible. So i think you are in the Ptah right at the same day as you first encoutered the Juggernaut. 14.07.2367.
Speaking in Tongues - Well, the diversion attack to lure the Sathanas into the desired position have to be well prepared. Aswell all three destroyers have to be brought into position aswell. That means that this one could take two days later. 16.07.2367
A Flaming Sword - A Command Briefing from Gamma Draconis as the Alliance try to destroy the Knossos. So all ships have to retreated back to Gamma Draconis. Fortunately the Meson Bomb was in the system as the Alliance was prepared this could happen. 17.07.2367.

Act 3:
Bearbaiting - Because of the next CBrief we know, that the Sathanas was destroyed at the beginning of the day. So this would mean the end of 17.07.2367 or around midnight of 18.07.2367.
High Noon - This mission take place at 0100. So it has to be 18.07.2367.
Return to Babel - This mission has a command briefing from Gamma Draconis from the same day. 18.07.2367. The actual mission is a complete other story. Actually everything is possible here. The Iceni is very hard to find and also very deep in the nebula. Also i think that there are still Shivan resistance, even without the Sathanas. I actually do not have a problem to set this mission a whole week later. 25.07.2367
Well, i think we should give the Shivans some time to get ready for the events to come...
Straight, No Chaser - Well, it is easier to find a lonely Azrael transporter in this mess? I think, that this could also take a while. Nearly one day i think. 26.07.2367.
Argonautica - Well, even Command issued a total retreat it could take a whole day to leave the nebula. 27.07.2367
As Lightning Fall - The Command Briefing for the second Loop is again held on the GTD Aquitaine. This time in Gamma Draconis before the ship returns to capella. So the Command Briefing take place at 28.07.2367. Because the mission is very deep in hostile territory i think it could take at least one day before the beacons are found. 30.07.2367.
Into the Lion's Den - As the Knossos 2 coords are known, the mission can take place at the beginning of 31.07.2367.
Exodus - The command briefing is held in Capella. So you have to return two systems and maybe you got two days off again. Which would mean that this one take place on 04.08.2367
Should you get two days off in such dire situation? Well, that is a good question. I think so. There are enough other pilots  :D
Dunkerque - The whole evacuation was organized from there and in the mean time several other Juggernauts arrived in the system. They evacuate this station very late. Like three days after the last mission. 07.08.2367
Their Finest Hour - The Evacuation of several million people take a while. Aswell the Nereid and Bastion have to be prepared for the suicide mission and have to be brought to Capella also. This actually could take several days. 11.08.2367
Do not forget, that the Shivans need some time to make Capella to a Novachen
Clash of the Titans II - As the Colossus was there to give the Bastion more time, this one has to be taken place at the same date. Actually... right after the last mission. 11.08.2367.
Apocalypse - This is a red alert mission. So this one occurs on 11.08.2367 aswell.
This would conclude FreeSpace 2 exactly after three months

Any thoughts about this?  :)


EDIT:

Ah, i forget the Demo Timeline aswell.

Crimson Sky - No date given, i think the best place for this campaign is at the beginning of Act 2. 15.06.2367.
This would make this mission during the NTF Loop of the main campaĆ­gn. We know that there were Nebula operations aswell.
Crisis in Capella - Well, the transports have to be escorted into the Nebula. There are no Juggernauts to be seen. And you are flying for GTVI and can use the GTF Pegasus. 22.06.2367
There are no information in the main campaign of Shivan crafts next to the Rakshasa and the first Sathanas to arrive in Capella, before the Juggernaut fleet. But because of the Pegasus it make the most sense that you are escorting the evaluation technologies from the "Battle in the Wilderness", "A Game of TAG" and "Proving Grounds" mission. So the only explanation is, smaller ships were actually able to slip through and to break into Capella... as the NTF will do this later the other way around, too
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 01:04:25 am by Novachen »
Female FreeSpace 2 pilot since 1999.
Global moderator in the German FreeSpace Galaxy Forum.

Responsible for the german translation project FreiRaum - FreeSpace auf Deutsch.
Also responsible for the Nova Upgrade Project, which upgrades and fix older campaigns to make them play- and solveable again with current builds and MediaVPs.

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Between the Ashes 1, FreeSpace Port, Silent Threat: Reborn, The Destiny of Peace, Awakenings, Deneb III & FreeSpace 2 (in development)

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A Walk in the Sun, Into the Halls of Valhalla, Luyten Civil War, Renegade Resurgence, Rogues!, Storm Front Saga, The Deuterium Connection & Venice Mirror.

  

Offline Goober5000

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Re: An attempt to create a proper FS2 timeline.
Sounds reasonable.  Good work. :)

It is a little bit frustrating that :v: couldn't decide whether "18 months" represented the beginning or the end of the NTF war.

 

Offline Colt

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Re: An attempt to create a proper FS2 timeline.
Ditto what Goober said. This is a good timeline :yes:

 
Re: An attempt to create a proper FS2 timeline.
Looks OK to me. :)

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: An attempt to create a proper FS2 timeline.
EDIT: After i read the command briefing more closely and looked at the Training missions in detail, i think that there are only two realistic options, where the player could be. On the GTI Kos or the GTD Bastion.[/color]

Reading the text I'd say that the 53rd might be just the pilots at that point, and so be at any location with simulators. It is most likely that they are a military port or staging area, as it mentioned that the Acquitane is scheudled to arrive - but that doesn't mean that are the GTI Kos (if that is an actual installation and not just a simulator prop).

Getting the squadron doesn't neccessarily mean the Acquitane is recieving their hardware too - she might already have a compliment of Myrms.

Slaying Ravana - Before the player engages, there was a battle already where the Ravana was victories. To organize new assets and to plan a new battle plan, i think 48 hours after the last mission is fitting: 28.05.2367.

Considering the Ravana is basically a submarine (jump in, quick overwhelming strike, jump out is very much the equivalent of surface, torpedo, dive) and the GTVA doesn't have any advanced detection ability at this point, two days is very optimistic IMO

Into the Maelstrom - I think that there were some battles after the Colossus stepped in, as it seems to be low on supplies already. Also this convoy has to get organized and has to get into Epsilon Pegasi. 07.06.2367.
Why all of the sudden four whole days? Well, because this massive warship is low on supplies suggest a longer battle already. Also Epsilon Pegasi is nowhere the core worlds of the GTVA, so a convoy from Vega already would need nearly two days to arrive in Epsilon Pegasi.

That's assuming the Colossus is somewhat ressource efficent - it not being so better alligns itself with the running theme of the Colossus not being a good idea.

Quote
Rebels & Renegades - The Command Briefing of this loop is held on the GTD Aquitaine, back in Capella
[...]
As Lightning Fall - The Command Briefing for the second Loop is again held on the GTD Aquitaine.

You could be getting your new marching orders anywhere actually, esspecially since your briefing officer is not your handler on assignment. Might just as well been pulled straight from the Debriefing and put on transport as the Acquitane was leaving Epsilon Pegasi or Gamma Draconis.

Quote
...But Hate the Traitor - Snipes was called off and was replaced by another commander, which is unlikely to happen within a few hours. So i actually give 48 hours for this process. 18.06.2367.

On the contrary, it can happen in a few hours - that's what the chain of command is for, to have a clear line of who will replace someone. Considering this is also a case with security breach, you can assume that the new briefing officer might be picked not from the direct chain of command but from a different unit - or even be just a MP. In a case of a security breach replacing the subject officer also has additional urgency as to provide support for the investigation into the extend of how much the unit is compromised.

Quote
The King's Gambit - [...]This mission can take place a whole week after the last one, especially because the Mjolnir have to be brought in and to set up. 08.07.2367

It says nowhere that the Mjolnir were not deployed beforehand - while the CB text for Mystery of the Trinity says that the GTVA is focussed preventing the Shivans from coming to Gamma Draconis, it would have been a prudent move to deploy the Mjolnir to augment the Node Blockade against a potential Shivans attack.

Quote
A Flaming Sword - A Command Briefing from Gamma Draconis as the Alliance try to destroy the Knossos. So all ships have to retreated back to Gamma Draconis.

Quote from: sm2-10, Command Briefing
Though we have accounted for most of our fleet, at least six warships have failed to reach the rendezvous point. We can wait for them no longer.

Quote
Return to Babel - This mission has a command briefing from Gamma Draconis from the same day. 18.07.2367. The actual mission is a complete other story. Actually everything is possible here. The Iceni is very hard to find and also very deep in the nebula. Also i think that there are still Shivan resistance, even without the Sathanas. I actually do not have a problem to set this mission a whole week later. 25.07.2367

The GTVA has AWACs-capabilites at this point ... and Iceni is probably the most distinct ship in the Nebula, mostly because it is not a Shivan ship - but your mileage may vary depending on the method of identification.

Quote
Exodus - The command briefing is held in Capella. So you have to return two systems and maybe you got two days off again.

You also get kicked up into a Command Position with this mission, meaning there would now be additional proccedures to go through besides "get marching order" and "report as ordered".

Quote
Their Finest Hour - The Evacuation of several million people take a while. Aswell the Nereid and Bastion have to be prepared for the suicide mission

The evacuation of Capella actually started around A Flaming Sword - mentioned in the CB.

It also unclear for how long the GTVA has been preparing the "simulate Lucifer"-contigency but considering the destructive force of the Meson Bomb was untested in A Flaming Sword (not mention that Command runs out of Mesons after deploying 3 of them in that mission) they might have not started this one too early.



I personally don't think there is much to be gained from making the timeline of FS2 rigid.
I'd even go so far as to say that by creating a rigid timeline you would undermining the running theme of the GTVA's hybris and being inadequate in the face of the enemy they spend 32 years preparing for; the GTVA doesn't understand the Shivans as an enemy and Command as result makes one objectively bad decision after another.

With the timeline being elastic as is, you can easily project any kind of preparation into the space between missions, adding to the set-up as a classical tragedy: No matter what the GTVA might have tried it would not have been sufficent. Their inadequacy is not one of lacking capability but of lack of understanding.


In FS1 the firm timeline of ca. 3 months actually serves as purpose as it contrasts with 14 years of the Terran-Vasudan War to highlight just how powerful the Shivan attack is. That way you get tension by way of urgency into the narrative.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 05:35:02 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The Lantern King, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Firesteel

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Re: An attempt to create a proper FS2 timeline.
Skimming this, I think it's perfectly reasonable.

That said I do agree with 0rph3u5's sentiment that having a rigid timeline isn't particularly important (after all :v: decided to get rid of dates between FS1 and FS2) because leaving it vague allows for us to fill in the gaps ourselves using what makes sense to us.

Also, as a writer, unless you're going for an extreme level of detail on things like travel and logistics (FS2 did care about logistics though more in the "making sure you remember they're a thing" way), especially considering the perspective we're in, those details don't add a ton compared to the amount of headache they can create with getting bogged down in them
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