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A two part mission. Note that this is a DO OR DIE mission. If you fail or hit abort at any time, the entire campaign ends, you lose. To have this mission available, you must research "Cydonia or Bust", and access it by launching an avenger. It'll either give the option to go to intercept or to Cydonia. The "Cydonia" button is at the top of the screen if you have an Avenger selected in the Geoscape.

Mars: Cydonia Landing


Your Avenger craft has landed in the region of Cydonia on the surface of Mars. Our information indicates that one of the pyramid constructions contains a green access lift to an underground complex. Once you have assembled all your soldiers in the lift area, continue to the next stage…


First part is on the surface of Mars. Lots of Pyramid structures with singular windows, some with aliens inside, some empty. Only one has the entrance to the aliens HQ, the entrance being an area with glowing green floor. Now, this floor has 36 squares, or a 6x6 area. Anyhow, you can step onto that with as many people as possible, hit abort, and it'll bring them and whatever they're carrying to part 2. OR, you can just kill everything on the stage and everyone will go to part 2.

The surface is filled with many many Sectoids and Cyberdiscs. Much Commanders and leaders methinks, as there's Psi all around. I find this mission hilarious when I shoot a Cyberdisc, it blows up, and the chain reaction kills over 5 other Cyberdiscs. Plus many many Sectoids. It then turns into Pyramid hunting.

Despite urban legends, and common sense, your soldiers do not need power armor or whatever to breathe on the surface of mars, feel free to send them up wearing coveralls.

[ NKF: I think the easiest way to look at it is that this mission is basically a Sectoid Battleship/Base crew in a one-of-a-kind map with a choice of two different winning conditions] [ (name here) actually, they replaced the navigators, engineers, and medics with leaders and commanders. important diffrence.

Alien Deployment (Surface)

Rank Beg./Exp. Vet./Gen. Super.
Sectoid Soldiers456
Sectoid Navigators000
Sectoid Medics000
Sectoid Engineers000
Sectoid Leaders345
Sectoid Commanders345

Tips & Tricks

HWP's can follow you onto the lift and the next level if you use the tools at your disposal to widen the doorway for them.

Mars: The Final Assault


The pyramid lift takes your battle weary soldiers deep below the planet's surface. They arrive in the heart of a large complex of tunnels and chambers. The alien brain is hidden somewhere in the labyrinth. It must be destroyed if the earth is to be saved from alien enslavement.


The Alien Brain

Second part is almost like a Alien Base Assault. It's filled with all manner of creatures: Ethereals, Sectopods, Silacoids, Celatids, and Chryssalids. Anyhow, you need to destroy at least one portion of a four-part Alien Brain (40 armor - pictured on the right) to win the mission (and the game). There's a whole bunch of heavily armed Ethereals defending the Brain Room. Of course, either a Blaster Bomb, or plain mind controlling one of them to shoot the Brain ends the mission easily... to be true to storyline, kill all opposition, then shoot the Brain pointblank with a Plasma-based weapon. Afterwards scramble for the lifts before the whole complex blows up (as shown in the PS movies).

[ NKF : This is UFO's only mixed crew mission. It's mainly an Ethereal crew with a few extras, mainly Terror Units, from the other races. This mission only really needs a Blaster Launcher, and with luck, if you locate the command theatre right away, will be over in less than a few turns.]

[ Bomb Bloke : If you want to bypass the "luck" element, you can take advantage of the fact that you can see unexplored terrain by moving the cursor over it. The brain room is quite recognisable, and once you've found it, it's simple enough to send Blaster Bombs there on your first turn.]

[ Hobbes : If you choose to find the Command Center the harder way ("Blaster Launchers? Bah! Too impersonal for my taste") be aware that unlike the Alien Bases there can be dead ends.]

[ Kpov : Here's an alternate way to do the final assault avoiding the carnage of the lifts or Blaster-bombing blind. Breach through an upper Brain Room wall from an adjacent garden or storage area with 2-3 Blaster Bombs. With a hole in the dirt wall, throw smoke in front of the brain and advance an Power Suited agent to kneel in front of the Brain. During their turn one of the Ethereals will open up with an Auto shot - missing the agent - sealing the fate of the Aliens. ]

Alien Deployment (underground base)

Rank Beg./Exp. Vet./Gen. Super.
Ethereal Soldiers234
Ethereal Leaders123
Ethereal Commanders345

Tips & Tricks

Go armed for bear. Best agents, best weapons, best armour. Bring many troops. The 80 Item Limit is perhaps your worst enemy.

The surface part of the mission is nothing special; you should however have some means of illuminating the battlefield. The Auto-Cannon with incendiary rounds (14 light sources per clip) can come in handy. Only equipment carried by your soldiers at the end of that stage will be taken into the base proper, so you maybe want to take it slowly and pick up some ammunition before killing the last alien or activating the lift.

Underground is like any other base assault, only more so. More corridors to watch, more opponents hidden. Most enemies will take several hits to die, so when using conventional weapons you will need a great many seasoned troops. Even with the support of two or three Mind Controllers and Blaster Launchers each (Hovertanks are great as they carry 8 rounds yet count as only one item) you will need at least eight or ten men for the actual killing and may still only advance with utmost care. Also, sort out all known PSI weaklings and then some: With so many Ethereal Commanders around, you may see soldiers mind controlled who previously appeared to be absolutely safe even from panic attacks.

... and for the masochist (cough cough try this) Total loadout.... 1 Psi-Amp & 1 Soldier with no armour. This works in every difficulity and the only way you can lose is if you get shot from an alien in its reaction, but with a soldier having 200+ time units you have plenty of time to find the first alien, control it (25 TU not a percentage!!) and find the way to the elevator or the brain.

See Also

UFO Badge X-COM: Enemy Unknown/UFO Defense
Mission Types:Crashed UFOLanded UFOTerror SiteAlien BaseBase DefenceCydonia