Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader was an exclusive launch game in 2001 for the Nintendo GameCube. Developed by Factor 5 and published by LucasArts, Rogue Leader expanded on the original game with improved graphics and a new tactics menu that allows the player to form up their squadron or set a target for their squadron such as laser turrets or enemy TIE Fighters. The game also expanded on the unlockable levels of the original—Beggar's Canyon is included in the tutorial, the opening level Battle of Yavin was included in both games (Rogue Squadron called the level Death Star Trench Run), and Battle of Hoth was made more authentic with the GameCube's advanced power. The other major battle in the original movie trilogy, The Battle of Endor, was arguably the biggest and most challenging scenario in the entire game.
Rogue Leader also features short clips from the movie trilogy, during the menu screens and rarely, in-game cut-scenes. Additionally, some famous moments from the movie trilogy are reconstructed using CGI, a lot of the Battle of Endor space scenes for example. Denis Lawson, who portrayed Wedge Antilles in all three films of the original trilogy, also voices the character in the game.
Rogue Leader greatly expands on the gameplay engine from the first game for a more immersive gameplay experience. Controls have been a bit more refined for smoother flight and due to the touch sensitivity of the Gamecube's shoulder buttons, speed management has been improved for more control. Linked lasers work differently; in the previous game, players could switch firing modes to fire either one laser at a time or two at the same time. Linked lasers are more pro-friendly as all lasers fire at once when at full power, as shown by a thin gauge at the bottom-right corner of the screen. While it's possible to still fire like normally, the lasers will fire individually in a rapid fire fashion, but the volleys are not as strong as a linked blast at full power. Thus, to conserve accuracy, one would want to use linked blasts on enemy fighters while barrages would be used on larger craft and installations.
One of the new notable additions to the game is the Command Cross, which allows the player to utilize their role as Commander by issuing orders to their accompanying wingmen such as flying in formation for more power or splitting up to take out enemies. This will ensure survival of more Rebel personnel are actively taking out desired targets rather than simply flying in a set pattern.
Next is the addition of the Targeting Computer, a mechanism used in A New Hope. In cockpit view, an orange filtering screen toggles on and pinpoints enemy locations by coloring them in silhouetted shades. Yellow ones are objectives and purple targets are other enemies. Although this makes targets easier to spot where their coloration makes them blend in with the environment or in a fog, it detracts from your mission grading when it is in use.
Lastly, players can now switch starships in mid-mission by flying over designated areas with a blue Rebel insignia, allowing you to preserve lives by using fresh new craft with secondary ammunition filled up to replace damaged craft.
The game also utilizes the Gamecube's internal clock by changing the missions based on current time of the day, changing the flow of the game. This is utilized in Tatooine Training and Imperial Academy Heist.
Rogue Squadron II's assortment of vehicles aside from the Naboo Starfighter are strictly based on the original trilogy mythology, using no original craft. Each and every vehicle has been rendered with astounding graphical detail, outer and interior-wise.
The Rebel Alliance's signature starfighter and a dreaded sight for many a TIE pilot. Armed with four laser cannons and six proton torpedoes and backed by good shielding, the X-Wing is more than a match for most fighters. The craft features S-Foils that open and close which regulate the ship's speed. When closed, the ship travels faster by no weapons can be fired. Already unlocked from the beginning. X-Wings are equipped with an onboard R2 unit for automatic shield regeneration.
The workhorse of the Rebel fleet. Not quick or flashy, but it gets the job done. It has seen just as much airtime as the X-Wing and is usually deployed alongside them. The craft, although hampered by its average speed, is backed by impressive shielding and armor. Its primary role is that of a bomber, deftly flying over installation with a payload of 20 regenerating proton bombs. Its primary weaponry consist twin laser cannons and on its topside is an ion cannon which can be charged up. The ion cannon fires thick, blue-colored blasts of energy that disrupts electronics, disabling installments and leaving craft to drift afloat from short-circuiting. Like the X-Wing, the Y-Wing has an R2 unit for shield management. First unlocked for play in the Death Star Attack after completing it but becomes first usuable for its own mission in Prisons of Maw.
Modified stuntfighters used primarily in hit-and-run missions. They boast incredible speed and maneuverability and a special boost function to quickly close gaps between targets. Armed with twin blaster cannons with auto-aim capabilities and twelve concussion missiles fired in a linked fashion, A-Wings tend to be accurate with their shots and hit fast and hard. Unfortunately, they are among the most susceptible to damage due to their very weak shielding.
Replacing the previous game's V-Wing is the oddly designed B-Wing, whose frame design was overseen by Admiral Ackbar. It is essentially the in-between fighter with the X-Wing and Y-Wing, primarily launched against capital ships while still being able to competently deal with enemy fighters. Although even slower than the Y-Wing, it has has surprisingly incredibly maneuverability. It is armed with three powerful laser cannons, an ion cannon and an impressive payload of 12 proton torpedoes. Like the X-Wing, is has S-foils, turning an odd 90 degrees due to a special gyroscopic mechanism as it closes its wings, but the cockpit's position remains the same without interference. Because of its slow speed, it tends to eat a lot of punishment but is backed by great shielding, but no R2 unit. First usable in Razor Rendezvous.
A heavily modified Corellian YT-1300 freighter, the Millennium Falcon is one of the Alliance's most reliable craft. Belonging to General Han Solo and his trusty partner, Chewbacca, the Falcon has been illegally modified to take on a whole multitude of tasks to suit their smuggling needs. Its primary weapons are a pair of quad laser cannons located on the top and bottom sides. Although the top usually fires forward, the bottom one tracks targets to take down enemies from all sides. It is also equipped with 20 concussion missiles. Despite her massive size, she is incredibly fast, able to outrun just about any starship in the galaxy. Unlockable with a code.
The backbone of the Imperial Navy, the TIE Fighter swarms in the skies above many planets, displaying the Empire's influence over the galaxy. In spite of their quantity advantage, they are among the weakest of starfighters in the galaxy. They possess no shields and poor armor, making them easy pickings for many a Rebel pilot. With no weapons aside from a pair of twin blaster cannons, TIE Fighters will not do much damage alone, but in swarms, they can be deadly. First usable through hidden locations in Imperial Academy Heist, depending on the current time of the day and unlockable with a code
A prototype starfighter and mostly recognized as Darth Vader's TIE fighter due to its bent wing design for which the later TIE Interceptors would base themselves on. It is easily one of the stronger TIE variants due to its powerful twin laser cannons, actual shielding and a payload of 20 cluster missiles. First usable in Triumph of the Empire and unlockable with a code.
A special transport ship used almost exclusively by high-ranking Imperials. Although while not suited for dogfighting, it boasts four powerful laser cannons and a rear repeating cannon to take down pursuing fighters and fair shielding to defend against enemy fire. First obtainable in Imperial Academy Heist and unlockable with a code.
Boba Fett's personal starship and a contender for the Millennium Falcon. It is odd-shaped design much like the B-Wing. While slow, it features a pair of laser cannons and a payload of 20 cluster missiles. Unlocked by meeting certain medal requirements.
The Naboo Royal Space Fighter Corps' main fighter of choice, much like the Rebel Alliance's X-Wing. The Naboo combines the sleek beauty of Naboo design with deadly Nubian technology. It is armed with twin repeating blaster cannons and six proton torpedoes and comes equipped with an R2 unit for shield management. Topped off with incredible speed, the old Naboo Starfighter outshines many starfighters ahead of its time. Unlockable after completing and locating everything in Tatooine Training.
Unlike the previous game, all of the missions are based on the original Trilogy, starting from the climax of A New Hope and ending at the closing battles of Return of the Jedi, told from Rogue Squadron's perspective, particularly Wedge Antilles' run through the movies.
Death Star AttackEdit
The Death Star will soon be in firing range of the orbiting moon of Yavin 4 where the hidden Rebel base lies. The Rebel Alliance will scramble a joint team of fighters composed of both Red and Gold Squadrons to raid the surface, first taking out the deflection towers before skirmishing the narrow trench to its end and firing proton torpedoes down its exhaust port. Only through this dangerous and narrow pathway will the Rebellion stand even a slim chance.
Ison Corridor AmbushEdit
The destruction of the Death Star dealt a great blow to the Empire, but did not impede its conquest and only served to anger the Imperials, savagely driving the Rebels out of hiding. Having found a new home to settle, the Rebels must first pass through the Ison Nebula and fight their way through an ambush set up by the Imperials, their sights set on the fleeting transports.
Battle of HothEdit
Imperial probe droids have landed on the snow planet Hoth and have located the hidden Rebel base there. While the Rebellion executes a complete evacuation of the planet, Rogue Squadron must defend the outpost housing the Ion Cannons which will protect the fleeting ships from the encroaching Star Destroyers in orbit as well as the shield generator. The snowspeeders chosen this mission will allow pilots to sweep the scout walkers while incapacitating the much more powerful AT-AT walkers with the use of tow cables.
Prisons of the MawEdit
Rebel prisoners have been located on the Maw system after fleeing from the Battle of Hoth. Rogue Squadron has managed to pick on their distress call to rescue them. As Wedge Antilles, the new Rogue Leader, you will lead a group of Y-Wing bombers through the asteroid field and disable the large-scale forcefield that protects the prison. Afterwards, you will have to bombard the area and clear a path for the prisoners as they navigate and make their escape from the complex via hovertrain by destroying guard turrets laced alongside the tracks.
The starship known as the Razor has been ambushed and captured by an Imperial Star Destroyer. Rogue Squadron has been called to attend the situation as quickly as possible. You will pilot the much more powerful and robust B-Wing specifically chosen and designed to take down Star Destroyers. While the A-Wing and X-Wing groups provide cover for the B-Wings and the Redemption frigate, the B-Wings themselves will assault the Star Destroyer by first eliminating its topside and bottom shield generators before taking out the bridge itself.
Vengeance on KothlisEdit
Without the bridge, the Star Destroyer is left without any navigation as it succumbed to the nearby planet's gravitational field and sustained heavy damage from the excess heat upon entry through the atmosphere and crashed into an ocean, taking the Razor with it. The Razor itself contained sensitive data that would prove crucial to the Rebel Alliance. Rogue Squadron will provide cover for a team of commandos led by Crix Madine being transported to the crash site. While they make their approach, you will have to guard the transport from TIE Fighter attacks. Once landed securely, the commandos will need to quickly make their way to the Star Destroyer and extract the data from the Razor as the Star Destroyer's reactor core is unstable and is steadily reaching critical levels. Due to the fast paced and changing nature of this mission, Crix's transport has come supplied with both Speeders and Y-Wings both which are necessary in this mission.
Imperial Academy HeistEdit
The data from the Razor has revealed a shuttle called the Tydirium which contains data on the location of the second Death Star as well as the codes necessary to pass by security and the shield which protects it. You will have fly alone, sneak in and pass by the radar sensors, approach the Academy and steal the shuttle. If you are playing this mission in the morning, it will be a solo mission using the Y-Wing and you will have to disable the radars using the ion cannon. If you are playing at night, you will fly with a gunner in a Speeder and you will have to use the thick fog to stay hidden from sensors.
Raid on BespinEdit
Imperials are attempting to raid the planet Bespin of its Tibanna gas supplies, a special gaseous substance that increases laser strength. Rogue Squadron will have to perform hit and run tactics using the A-Wings to destroy the air balloons which are firing on the gas containers. Once they are down, they must liberate Cloud City of the Imperials that have taken over.
Battle of EndorEdit
With the location of the Death Star II discovered, the Rebel Alliance will pour in all of their fighting force for this one final assault as the Emperor is overseeing its completion. This is a joint assault on two sides: Han Solo, Chewie Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and a team of commandos will stage an assault on the shield generator's bunker. By that time, Rogue Squadron, commanded by Admiral Ackbar and Cloud City mayor, General Lando Calrissian will attack the Death Star II itself, but not before meeting heavy resistance from a fleet of the Empire's best. The longest and most frenetic normal mission in the game, this will be a test of endurance and skill.
Strike at the CoreEdit
With the shield finally downed, Rogue Squadron can now launch a direct attack on the Death Star II's main reactor, which can be reached via a long and winding exhaust shaft. As Wedge or Lando, you will have to protect your teammate from rear assaults and surrounding turrets as you both make your approach to the shaft, navigate through the obstacle ridden tunnel and finally attack the reactor core to destroy the Death Star II and finally bring the Empire to its knees.