Homeworld 2 is the third game in the Homeworld series, following on from Homeworld and Homeworld: Cataclysm. Like the first game in the series, it was created by Relic Entertainment and published by Sierra Entertainment. The game’s release was delayed until four years after the first game due to Relic working on Impossible Creatures for Microsoft, and then further by disagreements between Relic and Sierra.
115 years have passed since the events of Homeworld. The year is 115 AHL or 9625 GSY. The memories of both the Homeworld War and the following Beast War have dimmed, as has the pain of their occurings.
A new war, unfortunately, is on the horizon, for rumors of nomads from the Vaygr Reaches reaches the Hiigaran people and former Fleet Command, Karan S’jet knows that well. However, despite her near messiah status with many of the Kushan, the New Daiamid and the people of Hiigara show little interest in preparing for the inevitable war. However, as Vaygr attacks increase under their new leader, the brilliant and vicious Makaan and the Taiidan Republic assimilated under their banner, the New Daiamid realizes the urgency of the situation and agrees to Karan’s demands to construct a new mothership, powered by the mysterious Hyperspace Core.
The War Begins
As the new mothership, called the Pride of Hiigara is constructed secretly at Tanis in the Great Wastelands, a search is made for a new Fleet Command. Karan quickly makes it clear that once again she will allow no one to lead the fleet but herself. Objecting but facing little choice but to comply with her demands, Karan is once again joined to the Core and becomes Fleet Command.
Unfortunately, before preliminary testing for the Pride of Hiigara is complete, the Vaygr found the location of the Hiigaran shipyards at Tanis and launched a full scale attack. The Pride of Hiigara barely escaped and retreated to Hiigara. The Vaygr assault of the shipyards at Tanis was not an isolated event.Huge Vaygr fleets started the war against the Hiigarans conquering many Hiigaran worlds. Makaan demands the Second Hyperspace Core in return for sparing Hiigara. The Pride of Hiigara retreats to the homeworld system in order to bring the mothership to full working status and to start planning a counter-offensive.
When they arrive they find Hiigara already under attack and have only enough time to gather the remainder of the crew needed to bring the Mothership up to its full capacities before they escape, the heroic Captain Soban covering them to ensure their escape. Shortly after their departure Makaan’s full might comes into orbit of Hiigara, ruthlessly bombing it into submission. It is revealed that Makaan, who himself possesses a Far Jumper Core desires the surrender of the Pride of Hiigara’s hyperspace core and he claims to be willing to allow Hiigara it’s independence should they surrender the core.
Fleet Intelligence realizes that the Pride of Hiigara is not prepared for a direct confrontation with Makaan and seeks the aid of the remaining portions of the Hiigaran fleet. They head for the Shipyard Naabal, headed by Captain Elohim to resupply. On the way they enlarge their fleet, just in time to defend the shipyard which they find under attack when they arrive.
Shortly after their successful battle against their Vaygr attackers their allies the Bentusi arrive in their sole remaining ship, the Bentus, the rest of their ships having been destroyed by the Vaygr. They reveal to the Hiigarans that the Core they possess (the Second Core) is identical to the one that Makaan possesses (the Third Core). They also tell the Hiigarans that their core (the First Core) is also identical, revealing why the Vaygr have been hunting the Bentusi.
They then reveal that the three cores are needed to unlock the secret of Sajuuk, He Whose Hand Shapes What Is. Only when all three cores are brought together will Sajuuk reveal himself and bring about the End Times, to be led by the Sajuuk-Khar, the Chosen One of Sajuuk. They instruct the Hiigarans to seek out the Oracle, which will lead them on the path to Sajuuk. Then the Bentusi depart, leaving the Hiigarans with this mysterious and cryptic knowledge.
The Search for the Oracle
The information provided by the Bentusi indicated that the Oracle was located within the Gehenna asteroid field, where the Vaygr were conducting extensive archaeological digs. While en-route to Gehenna the Fleet found a weak point in the Vaygr’s defenses. Using the element of surprise, the Fleet managed to disable a Command Station and to create a breach into the Vaygr Hyperspace Inhibitor System surrounding Gehenna.
The Fleet arrived at Gehenna without alerting the Vaygr. The Mothership managed to hide in a dust cloud and prepare the fleets in total silence. One by one the Fleet took down all of the Vaygr garrisons around the Oracle Dig Site. Once the garrisons were dispatched, the Fleet launched a massive attack on the Vaygr units near the dig site. Again, using the element of surprise, the fleet destroyed the Vaygr and managed to retrieve the Oracle. When it was connected to the Mothership, it took control of the Core and forced the Fleet to enter Hyperspace.
Karan tried to retake control of the core but without success. The Oracle took the Fleet to the Karos Graveyard. Almost immediately the Fleet came under attack by unknown star ships which were unmanned and solely relied on AI. Using data from the Oracle, the unknown vessels were revealed to be automated drones called movers. While hastily defending against the movers, the Mothership moved into proximity with a vast wreckage of a huge Progenitor ship. The Oracle then was forced to release control of the Core and provided the Fleet with co-ordinates of a powerful Progenitor relic located deep within the Karos Graveyard. Fleet Command discovered that the debris were what remained of the Lighthouse, which in turn used to be a part of the Progenitor Mothership.
The wreckage appears to be the Bridge Section of a much larger Progenitor ship that broke into Karos 10,000 years ago and has been drifting through this sector ever since." Fleet Intelligence
The Gatekeeper of Sajuuk
On their way to the Dreadnaught the Hiigarans stop due to radiation interference, which prevents the formation of the stable quantum wavefront needed for hyperspace travel. After a quick sensors check Fleet Intelligence concludes that the radiation is coming from a half-circle of debris surrounding the Pride of Hiigara’s current position. Before the Hiigarans can make the jump to hyperspace again they have to clear the debris. Only Progenitor hulls seem capable of taking the radiation without shielding and so Fleet Intelligence deploys a series of movers to deal with the debris.
In the meantime, as the Fleet gathers resources, a Vaygr probe emerges from the radiation. Realizing a Vaygr fleet must be nearby the Hiigarans quickly dispose of the probe. More probes continue to arrive, however, and it is only a short while before the Vaygr know of the presence of the Hiigarans in the area.
The movers continue to destroy debris and the enemy movers which protect them. As they are doing so they discover that the Vaygr carriers are actually hiding within the radiation and have employed shielding to protect their vessels, making them immune to the radiation’s deadly effects on the hull. Soon after this the Vaygr launch a large fleet to destroy the Pride of Hiigara, which was, according to their last known information about it and its escorts, rather defenseless.
However, since the discovery of the Oracle, the Mothership Fleet has expanded and become more powerful, and as Vaygr units approach the Mothership is already producing destroyers to deal with this threat. Though repelling the Vaygr is not easy, the fleet is able to do so with reasonable casualties and subsequently launch an attack on the Vaygr carriers, as soon as the radiation is cleared. The carriers, overwhelmed by the counterattack, are unable to escape and are obliterated. The radiation cleared, Karan recharges the Core and makes a jump towards the location of the Dreadnaught.
Information from the Oracle, now under the control of Karan, guides the Pride of Hiigara to the location of the Foundry. To avoid unexpected encounters a Scout is sent to investigate the Foundry. The scout’s sensors, while confirming the position of the Dreadnaught, also awaken a mysterious vessel, similar to the movers in design but much larger.
The vessel, about the size of a destroyer, begins to broadcast on all lines of communication. Using the Oracle, Fleet Intelligence is able to translate the message, which is in the ancient Progenitor language. Discovering that the intentions of the vessel, which calls itself the Keeper of Sajuuk, appear to be hostile, the Hiigarans move quickly to recover the Dreadnaught with the movers they constructed from stolen Progenitor technology. In the meantime the main fleet is deployed to distract the Keeper, which possesses not only two powerful rapid-fire ion cannons, but also several small drones. In addition the Keeper can move rapidly to keep up with even the fastest ships, being able to conduct incredibly accurate short jumps through hyperspace. It also proves practically immune to even the destroyer’s weaponry and repairs any damage it suffers during these jumps.
Though the Gatekeeper of Sajuuk is successfully salvaged and brought to the Mothership the Keeper continues its savage assault on the Mothership Fleet. Fleet Intelligence orders several probes to be deployed so that any possible weapons against the Keepers can be discovered. It is discovered that there are three massive power conductors, which appear to be missing their charges. If they can be activated, Fleet Intelligence theorizes, than the Keeper can be trapped.
The Hiigarans dispatch the movers again, this time to recover the missing charges. The Keeper immediately gives chase, requiring the Fleet to again escort the movers. When the movers recover the charges and insert them into the power generators the Keeper is forced to jump into the centre of the power generators, which activate, trapping the Keeper in a gravity well. Within a short span of time the gravity well begins to grow unstable in the Fleet is forced to leave the area while they still can, before the Keeper explodes along with the generators that caught it.
After escaping Fleet Intelligence begins to examine the Progenitor Dreadnaught, quickly coming to the conclusion that it is compatible with Hiigaran technology, despite its obvious age and complexity. Karan also comes quickly to the conclusion that there is another dreadnought which can unlock Sajuuk, and it is one that Makaan has already found. As always the Vaygr warlord seems to be a step ahead of the Hiigarans.
With the massive Dreadnaught now secured, Fleet Intelligence decides that the time has come to attack the Vaygr fleet at an Assembly Point located in the Shining Hinterlands. The Dreadnaught makes quick work of the early attacks by Vaygr Assault Craft and Bombers with its turrets and then takes out the Battlecruiser in the first wave with one shot of its powerful phased cannon array.
Unfortunately, due to the Hiigarans’ lack of understanding of the technology the cannon backfires, burning out the Dreadnaught’s circuitry after destroying the enemy ship. Dangerously exposed, and heavily damaged, the Gatekeeper of Sajuuk lays defenseless as the Vaygr regroup and prepare a second attempt at breaking the Hiigaran defenses.
Karan makes a quick move to repair the Dreadnaught but the Fleet’s repairing capacities can do only so much and the Dreadnaught is unable to join the fight as the Vaygr make their assault. The rest of the Fleet barely holds off the Vaygr horde, as wave upon wave of strike craft and Capital Ships besiege the Mothership fleet.
Needing an advantage Fleet Intelligence locates four hyperspace gates near the Mothership, which are supporting the Vaygr attack. Intelligence orders the destruction (or capture) of the hyperspace gates, resulting in the slowing of Vaygr deployments. Shortly thereafter the Shipyard Naabal jumps into the area as part of the coordinated attack on the Vaygr fleet. Immediately Captain Elohim offers the shipyard’s services to the Dreadnaught, having more advanced repair facilities than the simple resource collectors can provide.
The Vaygr target the shipyard but Intelligence locates the carriers launching the attacks and sends Hiigaran vessels to intercept and destroy them. In the process the Hiigarans neutralize much of the Vaygr threat, and with the Dreadnaught repaired so that its secondary weapons are online, they are able to drive back the enemy fleet, the first major victory of the war.
The victory does not come without cost, however, and Captain Soban, after delivering a message to the Mothership, is captured, however, the rest of his strike group escaped. Though the Hiigarans attempt to rescue Soban the enemy fleet jumps out of range before they are able to reach him.
The Bentusi’s Sacrifice
Knowing that Soban will be tortured for whatever information he has about Hiigaran strategies or the Gatekeeper of Sajuuk the Mothership Fleet heads to intercept the Vaygr fleet that has captured him. A tracking beacon Soban brought with him has allowed Karan to guess the route of the Vaygr and the Pride of Hiigara launches pursuit. However, the Motheship Fleet is unexpectedly pulled out of hyperspace before reaching their destination.
While trying to gauge their position the Pride of Hiigara is attacked once again by the Progenitors. But this time they face not one, but two Keeper vessels, both of which are attempting to destroy the Gatekeeper if they cannot recover it. Though the Hiigaran fleet’s added firepower from the Gatekeeper is able to hold off the Keepers temporarily, they seem to simply jump away and repair themselves if ever they are damaged significantly. They also demonstrate that they have a shield which can render them temporarily invulnerable to attack.
As the Mothership Fleet tries to hold off the Keepers the Bentusi Harbor Ship Bentus jumps into the area. Realizing that the Hiigarans have found the Gatekeeper of Sajuuk but are unable to use it to its full potential due to their lack of knowledge in its technology, the Bentusi offer to repair the Gatekeeper as well as give schematics of how to properly repair and use the phased cannon array in the future.
As Bentus begins its repairs on the Dreadnaught however, the Keepers redouble their attacks, and this time four Keepers appear, and begin to attack Bentus. Forced to defend the defenseless Bentusi, Karan dispatches the fleet again, once again sacrificing lives against the seemingly invincible Keepers.
Once the Gatekeeper is repaired it is able to use to the phased cannon array against the Keepers, but the Progenitor destroyers are simply too tough. Realizing there seems to be no escape for the Hiigarans, the Bentusi overload the power to their Core and warn the Hiigarans to leave. The Keepers, obsessed with destroying Bentus, do not jump away as the Hiigarans leave with the Dreadnaught. Bentus explodes, the last Bentusi ship sacrificing itself so that the Hiigarans can escape with the Dreadnaught.
The explosion of the Bentus breaks the First Core into three pieces, scattering them across the area. The Hiigarans know now that to fulfill the prophecy of Sajuuk they must recover the First Core and bring it aboard the Mothership. They wait for the shockwave to dissipate and than head for the wreckage. They must find the Core and fast, for they know the explosion will have caught the eye of the Vaygr as well.
When they arrive they find Bentus broken into many pieces, with debris scattered over a large area and radiation concentrated at the centre of the wreckage and around the three fragments of the core. With newly upgraded Defense Field Frigates, the Hiigarans begin collection of the Core. Shortly thereafter the Vaygr arrive and begin their own collection of the Core, an entire carrier fleet escorted by several destroyers and battlecruisers.
It becomes a race for the Core fragments. Both fleets intend to gather all three fragments and, if necessary, destroy the enemy fleet to recover any fragments the other fleet has taken. The Vaygr quickly deployed their own Resource Collectors to recover the fragments. Karan sends ships to intercept them. The Vaygr similarly intercept the Hiigaran collectors.
However, the Vaygr are not counting on a fully capable Dreadnaught, and the Gatekeeper of Sajuuk displays its power when it vanquishes much of the Vaygr fleet, assisted by the Hiigarans’ new Battlecruisers. It is not long before the Hiigarans recover all three fragments and destroy the Vaygr presence in the area. The fragments recovered, repair crews reconstruct the First Core aboard the Mothership. Their job here finished, Karan brings the Mothership Fleet to intercept Soban’s captors. From Soban’s beacon they have determined he has been taken to the heart of Vaygr territory, at the command base in Thaddis Sabbah.
The Battle of Thaddis Sabbah
For the first time since the assault on Hiigara the majority of both the Hiigaran and Vaygr fleets clash as Makaan himself takes the field, sending his fleet to intercept and destroy the Pride of Hiigara. Unfortunately for him he does not realize that the Hiigarans have recovered the full power of the Gatekeeper’s phased cannon array and they are able to hold the line against the Vaygr assault, albeit just barely. Debris clutters in front of the Mothership’s defenses and the Vaygr assault gradually slows as both sides inflict heavy casualties on the other.
Eventually the Vaygr stop assaulting in large numbers and Fleet Intelligence, realizing the time has come, orders the Mothership Fleet to engage the enemy shipyards some distance away and destroy the Vaygr fleet’s supply capabilities. The shipyards and carriers in the area are easily overwhelmed, not possessing the firepower to resist the Hiigarans. It is not long after that Fleet Intelligence realizes that Makaan is in the area and orders the fleet to destroy him next.
Makaan merely taunts the Hiigarans and leaves, indicating that the final battle is yet to come. The rest of the Vaygr either destroyed or routed the Hiigarans assault the command base and use a marine frigate to evacuate Captain Soban. He is given a new ship and joins the Mothership Fleet, now having new information from his time in Thaddis Sabbah about Makaan’s destination. First, however, his “parting gift” for the Vaygr goes off, utterly destroying the command station.
Makaan, it seems, is headed for Balcora Gate, a massive hyperspace gate that is located near the gravitational field of Balcora, the black hole cluster at the centre of the galaxy. Sajuuk, Soban says, is located within Balcora’s gravitational field and only the extremely powerful Balcora Gate can successfully transport a ship across such a heavy gravity well, which would normally pull a ship right out of hyperspace.
A Progenitor Dreadnaught is needed to unlock Balcora Gate, and Balcora Gate is the only way to reach Sajuuk. The puzzle at last begins to come together. Realizing that Makaan must not be allowed to recover Sajuuk, Karan leads the Pride of Hiigara in sharp pursuit and only just misses Makaan as he departs through the Gate, leaving the Hiigarans behind as well as some of his fleet.
Ordered to close Balcora so that the Hiigarans cannot follow, the remaining Vaygr begin to destroy the Gate. The Hiigarans quickly leap to action, defending the gate against the Vaygr assault. Possessing more firepower than the Vaygr can hope to withstand the Hiigarans are able to successfully take the Gate and using the Gatekeeper of Sajuuk unlock its power, using it to jump towards Balcora for the final showdown between the Fleet and Makaan.
When the Hiigarans arrive they find that Makaan seems to have already found Sajuuk which turns out to be a ship, rather than a god or supernatural being. His ships have already begun to recover it and he has set a trap for the Hiigarans, awaiting their arrival so that he can finally collect all three Far Jumper Cores and unlock Sajuuk’s power, making him the most powerful being in the galaxy. Worse yet, without the power of all three neither fleet can escape the grasp of Balcora’s gravity well. It will be the final confrontation between Makaan and Karan, and only one will emerge alive.
Makaan’s attempts to destroy the Pride of Hiigara turn out to be fairly unsuccessful however, as the Hiigarans hold off attack after attack. After defending against the Vaygr’s initial assault, Karan assembles the fleet and moves towards Makaan’s flagship. To hold off the Hiigarans Makaan sends a fleet of Battlecruisers and his own dreadnaught. However, the Hiigarans are more than ready for the attack and plow through Makaan’s defenses, assaulting the flagship itself.
In the final moments of the battle Makaan is finally defeated. As his flagship’s hull ruptures, and with his life support failing, he still taunts the Hiigarans, telling them that while they may have won Sajuuk, they will not win the war, saying that “Dark clouds gather over Hiigara.” Then, his flagship explodes and Makaan’s reign of terror over the Vaygr ends.
Their enemy defeated and the Third Core in their grasp the Hiigarans reactivate Sajuuk, ejecting the hyperspace cores from the Mothership and docking them with Sajuuk. Karan S’jet connects herself to the ancient ship, still Fleet Command, but no longer over the Pride of Hiigara, now no more than a ghost ship, abandoned as it’s purpose is now fulfilled.
The Siege of Hiigara
Charging the hyperdrive, now powered by three Far Jumpers, Karan leaps the fleet all the way from Balcora to the besieged world of Hiigara. Fleet Intelligence formulates a plan for liberating the homeworld from its attackers, hoping that Sajuuk and the Gatekeeper’s combined power can destroy the Vaygr.
When they arrive at Hiigara they discover the Vaygr fleet still in control of the homeworld, and the defense fleet all but destroyed. Leaping to the defense of their world the Hiigarans plow through Vaygr forces and the battle seems won.
Just as the battle turns in favor of the Hiigarans, however, a fleet of three mysterious ships, each enormous and shaped like a starfish, jumps into the area. Almost immediately they begin bombarding the surface of Hiigara with Atmosphere Deprivation Weapon, the very same weapons used to destroy Kharak over a century ago. Each missile is capable of killing millions, and only a few must hit to destroy Hiigara utterly.
Fleet Intelligence immediately orders Hiigaran forces to attack the Planet Killers. Efforts to destroy them appear futile however. Standard weaponry doesn’t seem to work at all against them and even the Gatekeeper of Sajuuk’s phased cannon array seems useless. Thinking quickly Fleet Intelligence guesses that the Sajuuk’s weaponry may be able to breach the armor of the mysterious vessels. All other ships are immediately deployed to stop the missiles, which prove rather fragile compared to the planet killers.
The gamble pays off and the Sajuuk destroys the planet killers with ease, only briefly held back by the attacks of Vaygr escorts. Using its incredibly accurate hyperspace navigation systems it short jumps from one ship to the next, giving it the speed to knock out all planet killers fast enough to prevent a genocide similar to the Kharakian Genocide witnessed more than a century earlier. When the last of the planet killers are destroyed the Vaygr retreat and Hiigara is saved.
With the Vaygr fleeing and Makaan gone, the threat to peace is over. No longer directed towards war, Sajuuk unlocks an ancient network of hyperspace gates, each as powerful as a Far Jumper Core. The new network, called the Eye of Aarran revolutionizes hyperspace navigation and trade within the galaxy, ushering in a new era of peace and scientific enlightenment. Karan S’jet, now seen as much as a goddess as she is a leader, is proclaimed the Sajuuk-Khar, the Chosen One of Sajuuk. The End Times are over, the Age of S’jet has begun.