Sarna News: Bad 'Mechs - Icestorm


MechAssault Coverart.png
Product information
Type Video Game
Development Day 1 Studios
Publication information
Publisher Microsoft Game Studios
First published 2002
Series MechAssault console games
Followed by MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf

MechAssault is a 2002 video game developed by Day 1 Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios exclusively for the Xbox console. A sequel MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf was released in 2004.

From the back cover[edit]


Captain! Blow those "Word of Blake" fanatics off this planet! You and your team are going in hard, fast, and first. That scum will soon fear Wolf's Dragoons and your stable of deadly BattleMechs. The tactics are up to you, but don't hesitate to crush them in the rubble of their own buildings.


Computer games are explicitly excluded from the list of products that contribute straight Canon to the BattleTech universe while at the same time it was stated that the IP owners are "not in total denial about these sources either"; it has also been stated that fluff from certain official, licensed products (namely certain computer games including those produced by Microsoft) can be assumed to be part of the shared universe as long as it is not directly contradicted, and makes sense. On this premise, MechAssault is considered to be an apocryphal product.

Some broad strokes of the storyline do exist in cannon, such as the Wolf Spiders discovery of the Word of Blake of Helios, The MechWarrior, and his eventual test piloting of Dragoon Battle Armor (depicted in the sequel).[1][2][3]

Plot Summary[edit]

A small force of Wolf's Dragoons is hired to investigate the cessation of communications from the planet Helios. The Dragoons' DropShip, the Icarus arrives at the planet and is shot down upon entering the atmosphere, causing the ship to crash-land on the surface of Helios. It is later discovered by the player that elements of the Word of Blake has invaded and conquered Helios, and is under the rule of an iron-fisted fanatic called Commander Strader. The game follows the player as, commanded by elite officer Major Natalia Kerensky and assisted by inept techie Lieutenant Foster, they fight the military forces of the cult, assist in the liberation of the planet from Word of Blake rule, and assassinate Commander Strader.

Missions and Cutscenes[edit]

Intro - Major Natalia Kerensky briefs the player on the operation. Alpha and Bravo Lances will insert onto Helios, the planet below, cross half a continent, and knock out the surface-to-orbit gun batteries to enable the main body of the Dragoon strike force to land safely. Natalia introduces Lt. Foster as "briefing boy." (Transcript)

Eating Dirt - The DropShip Icarus is scanned and shot down during descent. Alpha and Bravo Lances attempt to escape the crippled ship by hot dropping. (Transcript)

Going Down Hard - The Icarus survives the hard landing, but its sensors and weapons are offline, as are most of the BattleMechs in the hold. Lt. Foster makes a Cougar operational, and the player uses it to investigate sensor readings in a canyon to the north. He discovers a base guarded by infantry in power armor, and levels the base headquarters. (Transcript)

Last Transmission - Lt. Foster receives a video transmission from the survivors of Bravo Lance, but it cuts off shortly after they report encountering enemy forces with Word of Blake markings. (Transcript)

Suffer the Silence - To cripple the enemy's defensive capabilities, the player attacks their communications infrastructure, destroying an array on a ridge after fighting through several enemy bases. Foster recovers intel from the communications complex indicating the world is controlled by a sect of the Word of Blake. (Transcript)

Friends Indeed - Foster receives a garbled broadcast from a resistance group fighting the Word of Blake. The player enters a city to make contact with the resistance, but finds it deserted, except for enemy forces. As they close in on the regional palace, they receive the full resistance broadcast, which is on an automatic loop. It states that the resistance made its last stand against the Blakists at the palace and was wiped out. The Blakists killed or enslaved all who resisted. (Transcript)

Dry Me Out - Lt. Foster repairs an Uziel. The player uses it to attack a major Word of Blake air base. The Dragoons receive a transmission from Adept Strader, the commander of the Word of Blake forces on Helios. He says they are meddling in things they do not understand, and threatens to wipe them out as he did their comrades. (Transcript)

Sailing Away - The player attacks a convoy of barges carrying parts for the orbital guns and sinks them, along with the patrol boats escorting them. (Transcript)

Enter Wasteland - Natalia receives a transmission from Adept Strader, showing the last moments of the survivors of Alpha Lance just before Strader destroys them. He taunts the Dragoons that they are alone and powerless. (Transcript)

Catnap - The repaired Icarus lands near an enemy convoy transporting a Clan Mad Cat. The player defends the Icarus from attack and disables the convoy carrying the Mad Cat, then escorts it back to the Icarus with Lt. Foster at the controls. (Transcript)

Bright Lights, Dark City - The player uses the Mad Cat to attack a key Word of Blake tactical center, first disabling its defenses by blowing up a nearby nuclear fusion plant. The player destroys the main bridges to prevent the regional base from reinforcing the city. An enraged Adept Strader threatens the Dragoons with his swift and terrible wrath. (Transcript)

Not Again! - As the Icarus attempts a suborbital hop towards the orbital gun emplacements, it is intercepted by an air lance and shot down...again. (Transcript)

Thor on the Rocks - The player is hot dropped before the crash, and must find and defend the damaged DropShip. The player destroys Blakist sensor towers, and fights off an ambush at the last one, capturing a Thor in the process. (Transcript)

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing - The player uses the captured Thor to infiltrate a nearby enemy base and tap into its communications center to download information about the orbital guns. While the information is being downloaded, a patrolling Blake Uller demands the proper ID code, blowing the player's cover. Foster advises the player to escape out the rear of the base, along a heavily reinforced ravine and across a pair of ice bridges, blowing them after crossing to halt enemy pursuit. From the downloaded intel, Foster learns the location of the orbital guns, and learns that the Blakists have found a LosTech cache, and something called Ragnorok. (Transcript)

Under the Guns - The main Dragoon invasion force is on final approach. The player attacks and destroys the three Blakist orbital guns before they can cripple the invasion force, though the fleet does lose several DropShips during the landing. Dragoon Command orders Alpha Lance to learn more about Ragnorok and the LosTech cache. (Transcript)

Size Matters - The player infiltrates a Word of Blake 'Mech base in a captured Elemental suit during a celebration being held by Word of Blake dignitaries. The player slips past the Blakist perimeter defenses, moves through the city to the regional palace, captures a 'Mech, and slaughters the Blakist command staff. Adept Strader threatens to personally deal with Alpha Lance soon. (Transcript)

Not On My Watch - Lt. Foster reports that the surviving Helios rebels are being used as slave labor at an internment camp. The player moves in to destroy the factories and free the prisoners, but discovers the camp to be a trap. The player destroys the ambushing 'Mechs and returns to the Icarus. (Transcript)

Payback - Foster reports that all Word of Blake forces in the sector are in full retreat, and pinpoints the convoy carrying Strader's second-in-command to a major base. Despite the Word's attempts at deception using a decoy convoy, the player kills the Blakist officer. Strader rages that he will bring death to the mercenaries if they force him to abandon Helios. (Transcript)

Worst Day Since... - The player assaults a heavily fortified starport and destroys the enemy forces there and the control towers to keep Adept Strader from escaping. Strader tells them he has activated a doomsday device that will destroy the entire planet, then defeats Strader's deadly Ragnorok BattleMech, killing the Blakist commander. They find and capture a second Ragnorok, then set off in search of the doomsday device. (Transcript)

Ready to Rok! - The planetbuster device is a core tap mechanism - a Doomsday Drill. The player takes the Ragnorok into the drilling complex, defeats the defenders inside, and attacks the drill. Weapons fire proves ineffective, so the player forces the Ragnorok into the drill core and then activates the self-destruct. The drill explodes, and Helios is saved. (Transcript)

World's End - The player wakes up in sickbay, having escaped from the explosion in the ejection pod of the Ragnorok. The other Dragoons are mopping up the survivors of the Blakist garrison, but many escaped offworld. Natalia warns that the Word may want its technology back, along with revenge on the Dragoons. (Transcript)

Featured BattleTech[edit]


An interesting note with all three of the MechAssault games is the designer's choices in 'Mechs. There are technically around 20 'Mech units in the first game, however, there are only 10 chassis designs that are given two different names for different configurations. The Timber Wolf and the Mad Cat, for example, share the same chassis, but are a different configuration. It is unclear if the designers misunderstood the Clan/Inner Sphere names for Clan 'Mechs, or if this was a deliberate change to speed up development. This pattern is continued with Inner Sphere 'Mechs as well, with the Atlas and the Prometheus sharing the same chassis, but having different weapons. The same is true of the Catapult and Bowman and the Owens and Hackman. The designers obviously tried to keep the Clan/Inner Sphere designations throughout the game, and used the names of completely different 'Mechs to represent one chassis. Of another note is that some of the designs are misrepresented for their weight class. The Mad Cat/Timber Wolf is labeled in the game manual as a 100 ton assault 'Mech, although this discrepancy may be because the game was created at the height of WizKids' Dark Age line, which presents the 90 ton Mad Cat II as looking identical to the Mad Cat itself.

Every 'Mech is armed with at least one ballistic weapon (either a number of Autocannons, Gauss Rifles, or Machine Guns), one energy weapon (either a number of PPCs, Lasers, or Pulse Lasers), and some number of Missile tubes (known as either Crossbow SRMs, Javelin LRMs, or Hammer Missiles). Uniquely, the player MechWarrior is able to salvage ammunition and upgrades on the field for his 'Mech, either to repair the 'Mech's armor or upgrade the corresponding weapons into more powerful versions for a limited number of shots.

Featured Planets[edit]





  1. A Guide to Covert Ops. p. 105
  2. Field Manual: Mercenaries Revised, p. 119
  3. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 29, p. 10

MechAssault Wikipedia page