Storyline Missions (EU2012)

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Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead!

In order to progress and eventually win the game, the player must win a number of specific missions in the game's Storyline.

Tutorial

Mission Brief & Objectives
Tutorial mission

Unknown bogeys reclassified as intelligent, possibly extraterrestrial life. Unexplained events at impact site. German FSLK200 LRRP reported MIA.

  • Assess situation at impact site
  • Locate German recon team
  • Investigate extraterrestrial objects
Source: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)

Notes

  • The Tutorial appears as an option at the start when you choose the game's difficulty. The Tutorial isn't available as an option at the Impossible difficulty level.
  • The Tutorial is designed as a presentation of the game's story and controls.
  • Enabling the Tutorial will always bring the same initial scripted mission, with 3 of your soldiers being KIA at the end.

Alien Base Assault

Mission Brief & Objectives
Alien Base Mission screen

We have gained access to the Alien Base by means of the Skeleton Key. Use extreme caution; analysis indicates the presence of a large combined enemy contingent. This mission cannot be aborted.

  • Penetrate the base's defenses
  • Neutralize all invader forces
  • Identify and capture the base commander, if possible
Source: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)

Notes

Alien Base Discovered
  • The Alien Base Assault is unlocked once you've captured an Outsider and researched it. You will also need to build the Skeleton Key before assaulting it.
    • Especially on Impossible Difficulty, it may be wise to unlock this mission as soon as possible (including building the key, so you don't find yourself short on resources for it), and save it for when you need it: completion gives a 2-point worldwide Panic Reduction, which could save several countries from withdrawing due to panic, if you find yourself in a difficult situation.
    • If playing with Second Wave's option of Diminishing Returns you may want to hit the Alien Base as quickly as possible since the increasing cost of satellites makes panic management almost impossible.
    • On the Enemy Within DLC you'll only get a worldwide panic reduction of 1 on the Classic/Impossible difficulty levels.
  • The Alien Base can be expected to contain all of the aliens you've encountered so far, and at the end a single Sectoid Commander guarding a Hyperwave Beacon. On higher difficulties you may also face yet unseen aliens such as Drones.
    • Does not include Slingshot DLC's early appearances of Mutons and Cyberdiscs, unless it is or past the normal month for their appearance (ie: 3rd month for 1st Mutons).
  • The Alien Base is considerably longer than most missions you'll have done so far, so pack for the long haul.
  • Warning: losing this mission will result in losing the game.
  • Check the Alien Base 01 and Alien Base 02 pages for overhead shots of both Alien Base maps.
  • With the Enemy Within DLC, success also nets you 50 Meld (automatic: no Canisters to find).

Trivia

  • If you check the coordinates in the cutscene (N39º 31' 16.68", W76º 38' 46.82"), the alien base is located at 10 Loveton Circle, Sparks Maryland, US. Which also happens to be the address of Firaxis Games.

Crashed Overseer UFO

Mission Brief & Objectives
Overseer Crash Site

XCOM Interceptors have splashed a UFO. Intel indicates some surviving crew. Exercise caution when engaging the enemy; the craft may contain usable salvage.

  • Locate the crashed UFO
  • Sweep the area for surviving crew and neutralize them
  • Avoid additional damage to the craft if possible; some components may be recoverable
Source: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)

Notes

  • Once you've built a Hyperwave Relay base facility you will gain the ability to detect the Overseer UFO. This can only be shot down with a Interceptor/Firestorm with a powerful weapon and equipment aids.
  • The Overseer UFO is then a standard medium-sized UFO crash site, with the exception that its commander is an Ethereal with Muton Elite guards protecting a Psi Link device.
    • As this may be the first appearance of Elites (and Sectopods), and as well as the first sighting of an Ethereal, capturing and interrogating both aliens is encouraged, as the Research these two provide will greatly reduce the time needed for any research projects you have remaining.
      • In Enemy Within there is a chance that the Ethereal will appear on the Base Defence Mission and so this would not be the first appearance of the alien.
  • Sectopod(s) will show up regardless of current progress.
  • If you can't shoot down the Overseer UFO or choose not to assault it after it crashes it will reappear later on.
  • There are 4 possible maps for the mission:

Tactics

  • The Overseer UFO will not appear until after you've built the Hyperwave Relay, and even then, there's a window between a few hours, but usually/up to a few weeks, before it appears. Furthermore, it could appear over any country you have satellite coverage on. With this knowledge, it might be advisable to wait and build the Relay until you have at least 1 Firestorm over each continent. Interceptors can be used, but you'll need Plasma Cannons on all of them, and modules.
    • On Easy and Normal, this UFO is weighted to be more likely to appear over a continent that has a Firestorm.

Temple Ship Assault

Mission Brief & Objectives
Temple Ship

We finally have the strength to face the Ethereals on their own ship. The future of humanity is at stake. Expect extreme resistance.

  • Force entry to the Temple Ship's bridge
  • The Volunteer must survive
Source: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)

Notes

  • The final mission of the game. Your mission is to get to the bridge of the Temple Ship, kill the Uber Ethereal there and keep the Volunteer alive.
  • Your Volunteer soldier is granted a new psionic ability (The Rift) and must survive - if he/she dies you'll lose the game. (But you can restart the mission even on Ironman).
  • You can expect to see at least one of every type of alien in this mission, with the exception of the Outsiders, Mechtoids and Seekers (this mission's alien composition and positions are identical in both vanilla Unknown and Enemy Within). Highlights are a room with two Sectopods, and the final room featuring an Uber Ethereal with two Ethereal guards and several Muton Elites.
  • Killing the Uber Ethereal wins the game immediately, with no need to kill any remaining aliens.
  • Warning: losing this mission will result in losing the game.
  • For a transcription of the Uber Ethereal's words during the mission see Alien Objectives.

Check the Temple Ship page for overhead shots of the entire map.

Tactics

Room 0 - Landing Bay

  • No enemies. The path splits into three doorways, center, right, and left, a symmetrical configuration that follows all the way through the ship. Further directions assume chosen camera angles keeps forward "upwards".
  • Alien squads will be listed individually (ie: per activation, each squad will be separated by commas; different squads can be activated independently).
  • As you move through the ship, the Uber Ethereal will comment on each alien race and your progress.

Room 1 - Sectoid & Cyberdiscs

  • A wide foyer with several half-cover berms, and archways opposite of the side doors.
  • Once through the first set of doors, you will encounter a Sectoid Commander and two Sectoids, and another two Sectoids on the path under the right archway. After 1 round, 2 Cyberdiscs and 3 Drones will appear on top of the archways (1 Disc each, the one on the left has the 2 drones).
  • Snipers with Double Tap can make short work of the Discs, and other solders can mop up the drones if they survive the Disks' explosion.

Room 2 - Floaters & Chryssalids

  • A large square room, with a high walkway/bridge crossing down the middle, two high balconies on the sides, and low pathways between. There is a Floater on the left pathway, a Heavy Floater (high balcony) & Floater (pathway) on the right, and two Floaters at the end of the bridge.
  • After 1 round, 3 Chryssalids will spawn, two on the right pathway, and one on the left, closer to the entrances (fortunately, they will not move right away). The Volunteer can use rift to make short work of the two on the right.

Room 3 - Thin Men

  • Actually 3 hallway/bridges: following the previous room, the middle bridge is shorter & high up, and the left and right bridges are at low elevations, and have an extra door in the middle.
  • The middle path contains two Thin Men, who will immediately run when spotted, so two soldiers ghosting (one on overwatch, the other firing) would be useful to take both out before they get into cover.
  • A third Thin Man will be on one of the lower bridges, past the middle door (it will be on whichever side that past the middle door is seen first). Take care not to run through poison gas.

Room 4 - Mutons and Sectopods

  • A very large, long Colosseum, and perhaps the hardest room of the Temple Ship.
  • Coming from the previous room's bridges: the middle entrance opens into a balcony, and the left and right entrances open into small open areas with stairs that lead back to a middle elevation. Visible from the top of each stairs are two separate squads of two regular Mutons each. If both are activated, it will activate a lone Berserker in the middle (in front of the balcony). You may want to keep some Mutons mind controlled for the next part (preferably the Berserker if you can).
  • The side paths will lead again to downgoing stairs, which lead to two long pathways, which frame an even lower, wide open amphitheater containing two Sectopods, placed close together near the middle. Past the first high balcony, a middle-elevation balcony is in the middle, near the entrance.
  • Snipers with Archangel should be able to fly high at the back of the room with Archangel and shoot freely at the Sectopods without being seen themselves.
  • This is a good time to use Rift, since you should be able to get both Sectopods and it does full damage to them, and will kill them by itself over the two turn duration (if your Volunteer happens to be a HEAT Heavy it will simply one-shot them).
  • Alternatively, if you managed to keep a Muton, placing it between both Sectopods will heavily damage all three when they fire their Chest Cannons.
  • When both Sectopods are destroyed, two Muton Elites will spawn way down at the far end of the room, where stairs bring all 3 paths back into 1. With high-ground and cover, they may either wait to ambush you, or move forward, firing or tossing grenades at the first soldier they see.
Overhead map of safe zones and activation areas

Room 5 - Ethereal Cathedral

  • After a thin corridor, the final room is a large cubic room with a low middle path with two high-cover obstacles, and two high side paths with sets of half-cover balconies (like two E shapes, both with the tines pointing inwards, the middle tines being longer).
  • The Uber Ethereal waits at the far end of the room, on a high, thin balcony in the middle. Behind him is a second Ethereal Device serving as the Cathedral's altar. The aliens activate once in sight of him (a few spaces before crossing the middle tines of the "E"s: being no farther forward than the "latitude" of the middle stairs leading down is close enough to make any final Heals/Inspirations): two Ethereals on the last tines of the "E"s & two Elite Muton guards below and either side of the Uber Ethereal's balcony. Just before his guards spawn, the Uber Ethereal will speak again: of their existence, and why they have attacked Earth, alluding to some unrevealed "others" and some nameless cataclysm or trial.

Winning the Final Fight

  • There are many ways to win, and even more ways to die in this room, especially after all the other battles you've fought leading to this.
  • Killing the Uber Ethereal wins the game immediately, so a good strategy is to ignore the lesser enemies and pump everything you have in to the Uber Ethereal to win the fight as quickly as possible.
  • Mind Controlling the Muton Elites on the turn you enter the room will take them out of the fight and also cause the Ethereals to spend a turn killing them, which they would otherwise spend mind controlling your people. Which they will otherwise do.
  • A good basic strategy is to form up your squad near the entrance, enter the room and mind control both Muton Elites (which makes cover a non-issue, since the Ethereals' attacks ignore it) and spend any remaining actions damaging the Uber Ethereal. The Ethereals will then almost certainly kill both Mutons and then mind control one of your soldiers. You then have a full turn of actions from 5 soldiers to do enough damage to the Uber Ethereal to kill him and win.
  • The fight doesn't trigger until you actually spot the Uber Ethereal. As long as you haven't spotted him yet, you can take as much time as you want in setting your troops up.
  • If you can't reliably end the battle in two turns, you need to be able to fend off those Mind Controls otherwise you're going to be in some serious trouble. The ideal solution is to have enough Mind Shields to outfit your entire team with them. But since this may be gimping your team in other ways, and may not be possible to have downed six Ethereals before this point, some creativity may be required. Psi Inspiration and Combat Drugs Smoke Grenades can help.
    • With Enemy Within, the Neural Damping gene mod can be used for immunity to mind control. As an alternative, getting Mind Shields (combined with Neural Feedback) for all the soldiers isn't impossible if you wait long enough to farm enough Ethereal corpses, since Tactical Rigging allows for 2 items to be carried.
  • A Squadsight Sniper can sit safely behind the 3 tile long cover just outside the door (have him/her set up in the middle of the block) and pop away at the Uber Ethereal with impunity. Simply send in someone with Ghost Armor to spot.
  • If you manage to MC both of the other Ethereals, that's pretty much a guaranteed win. You'll need the Volunteer and a second Psi soldier with at least a Mind Shield to have a chance, but then you can waste the UberEthereal in the next round with a 3-deep barrage of Rifts!
  • Quick and Simple (requires a Squadsight Sniper): after killing both Muton Elites on the previous chamber, group all of your soldiers by the entrance and reload/heal wounds. Now, move the squad and have them occupy the 6 spaces right after the corridor and keep the Volunteer and the Sniper on the back. This will not activate the Uber Ethereal so after they are moved, end turn. Next turn move a soldier to one of the platforms right in front. After the Uber Ethereal finishes talking, use your Sniper to land 2 shots (with Double Tap) on it. Dash a cloaked soldier over to its side of the map and ignore all other aliens, ending your turn. Next turn use the cloaked soldier to spot the Uber Ethereal and either use him/her or the Sniper to finish it off.


With the death of the UberEtherial (and after any last Mind Controlled aliens time out), your long mission is at an end... if not for the Ethereal Device overloading without it's controller or the alien collective feeding off of it: the Volunteer gets a vision of the Device reaching it's Schwarzschild radius and collapsing into a Black Hole, eating the Temple Ship, the Skyranger, cites, people... and the Earth itself. Commanding the rest of Strike 1 to retreat to the Skyranger, and the pilot pulling out, the Volunteer interacts again with the Ethereal Device, and manages to get the Temple Ship into space. At a safe distance, the Volunteer commands the device to rip itself apart, obliterating the Temple Ship.

As the burning fragments of the Temple Ship burn up in re-entry, mimicking the opening cinematic, humanity breathes a collective sigh of relief, and watches in wonder as the fiery shrapnel falls around the world, as if they were fireworks in celebration of the end of the War.

What will become of XCOM, and of the soldiers altered by cybernetics, genetics, and psionics? And of any remnants of EXALT that may still be in hiding, and any alien or their ships that may yet hide in the void between the stars? Only time will tell...


See Also


EU2012 Badge XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012): Missions/Maps/Map Info
Landed UFO Small Scout: RiverRiver ValleyLarge Scout: Creepy ForestHillsideAbductor: Farm OutskirtsWinding StreamSupply Ship: Forest GroveRocky Gorge
Crashed UFO Small Scout: BadlandsDirt Road MarshlandsQuagmireSmall Scout Farm (EW DLC)Small Scout Nuked City (EW DLC)Small Scout Roadhouse (EW DLC)Large Scout: Deep WoodsForest TrenchStonewallThe BarrensLarge Scout City (EW DLC)Abductor: CliffsideScorched EarthSupply Ship: Overlook AWildfireBattleship: Battleship 01Battleship 02
Abductions BarBoulevardCemetery GrandCommercial Alley (EU only)Commercial StreetConvenience Store (EU only)Demolition (EU only)Fast FoodGas Station (EU only)Highway BridgeHighway ConstructionIndustrial OfficeLiquor StoreMuseum (EU only)Office PaperPier AResearch Outpost (EU only)Rooftops ConstSlaughterhouse ASmall CemeteryStreet HurricaneStreet OverpassTrain StationTrainyardTruckstop (EU only)Commercial Alley EWI (EW DLC)Convenience Store EWI (EW DLC)Demolition EWI (EW DLC)Fast Food EWI (EW DLC)Gas Station EWI (EW DLC)Highway Construction EWI (EW DLC)Office Paper EWI (EW DLC)Research Outpost EWI (EW DLC)Street Overpass EWI (EW DLC)Truck Stop EWI (EW DLC)
Terror Site BarCommercial AlleyCommercial RestaurantCommercial StreetConvenience StoreStreet HurricaneHighway 1Military AmmoPolice StationOffice Paper (EW DLC)Pier A Terror (EW DLC)
Bomb Disposal Cemetery GrandHighway BridgeSlaughterhouse ATrain StationTrainyard
Asset Recovery Cemetery GrandIndustrial OfficePier AResearch OutpostStreet OverpassTruckstop
Extraction/Escort Extraction: Boulevard (EU only)Highway FallenMuseum (EU only)Street Hurricane (EW DLC)Escort: Commercial AlleyPier AResearch Outpost
Storyline Intro LevelAlien Base 01Alien Base 02Overseer: (Deep WoodsForest TrenchStonewallThe Barrens) • Temple Ship
Multiplayer BarBoulevardCemetery GrandPolice StationTrainyardObservatory (EW DLC)Rooftops Construction (EW DLC)Ruined Fishing Village (EW DLC)Stop 'N Gulp (EW DLC)Wrecked Pier (EW DLC)XCom HQ (EW DLC)
Slingshot DLC Friends in Low Places (Map)Confounding Light (Map)Gangplank (Map)
Enemy Within DLC Progeny: Portent (Map)Deluge (Map)Furies (Map)Other: Meld TutorialSite Recon (Map)EXALT Base Raid (Map)XCOM Base (Map)
Covert Operations Covert Data Recovery: BoulevardCommercial RestaurantDemolition EWIGas Station EWIHighway ConstructionIndustrial OfficeOffice Paper EWIPolice StationRooftops ConstTruck Stop EWICovert Extraction: Commercial Alley EWIConvenience Store EWIHighway Construction EWILiquor StoreMilitary AmmoPier A TerrorPortentResearch Outpost EWIStreet Overpass EWITrainyard