The Airstrike is the most powerful of the three secondary weapon types available to you as the player in Darwinia. Available after downloading it from the Airstrike research project data located within the Mine level, this weapon poses a significant threat to more stationary targets, or those not alerted to your Squad’s nearby presence. The Airstrike works by firing a flare beacon from your Squad onto the ground, with a range further than that of the version 2.0 Grenade, that bounces just like it though, that takes 10 seconds to call down a Space Invader like spaceship that drops a massive bomb over the beacons resting place.
The amount of time it takes to call down the Airstrike, makes this secondary weapon best used against any target you know won’t be moving very far, and while firing your available airstrike beacons in a wide dispersal pattern to layer the area with blast waves. Each of your squad members can fire one, but must wait until the ship leaves the area before firing another.
The blasts caused by the airstrike are the largest and most powerful in the game, however they can be just as dangerous to your units as the enemy’s. Darwinians tend to flee from the Airstrike beacons, however they also often move back towards them before the bomb is actually dropped. Using the Airstrike is a great way to quickly disable the Spawn points operated by evil Darwinians in the final two levels.
The Airstrike program begins at version 1.0 after being downloaded, and can be upgraded 3 times up to version 4.0. Each level grants additional bombers for each airstrike called down, by one additional bomber per upgrade up to 4 at version 4.0. These upgrades are powerful, because they increase the spread of the bombs dropped, covering an incredibly wide area at v4.0. With Squads and Airstrikes fully upgraded, you can literally rain oblivion onto the maps, calling down a whopping 24 bombers to wipe out everything.
The Grenade is your first secondary weapon found within Darwinia. You will be able to acquire the Grenade as one of Doctor Sepulveda’s downloadable research projects within the Garden level. One available, it serves as a useful tool in eradicating the enemies that are too tough to be wounded by your lasers such as the Spiders. Hitting these enemies with the grenades bounce and delay can still be a small challenge on its own. In addition, the area of effect makes it effective against airborne units as they swoop down.
An important note when using grenade is the mild delay the grenade has after coming to rest, before it will explode. This means you must time your shots when trying to hit the faster moving targets, although the area of effect makes up for this delay to a mild extent. This blast radius also makes an effective foil against tightly grouped packs of enemies, and has the particular advantage over other weapons, of breaking enemy Darwinian’s morale. Firing grenades anywhere near a Darwinian friendly or hostile will cause them to run away in terror, allowing you to quickly break enemy formations for your own armies to sweep over.
Grenades are capable of friendly fire, so be careful when using near your own units, or in steep terrain where the grenades might bounce back down to your Squad. Darwinians are capable of utilizing grenades after downloading the Grenade research and bringing the Darwinians to version 4.0, although they sometimes harm themselves with them, and have a shorter range than the Squad’s grenades.
The Grenade program begins at version 1.0 after being downloaded, and can be upgraded 3 times up to version 4.0. Each level grants a substantial increase to how far your Grenades can fly, with the final version reaching substantially further than the original version.
The Laser is your basic weapon that you start out with to fight the virus threat in Darwinia. Your Squads begin equipped with this weapon, capable of firing it either automatically when not under your control, or at a much faster rate when you are directly commanding the Squad to fire. Once you upgrade the Darwinians to version 3.0, they too will be equipped with the Laser, although their version is not as effective as the one carried by the Squad.
The laser while effective at killing large groups of enemies, certain ones such as the spider are immune to its effects. In addition, flying enemies due to their very nature, are also near impossible to hit with lasers, as they have a tendency to hug the ground as they travel. The primary benefit that exists with lasers is that you do not have to worry about friendly fire, and is the one weapon that won’t hurt your own units.
The Laser program begins at version 1.0, and can be upgraded 3 times up to version 4.0. Each level grants a substantial increase to how far your lasers can fly, with the final version reaching about 3 times the range of version 1.0.
The Rocket is one of the secondary weapons found from downloading Doctor Sepulveda’s research projects scattered throughout the levels of Darwinia. The Rocket is very similar to the Grenade in terms of the way it deals damage, with an exploding warhead. There are however some key differences with the Rocket in Darwinia. In terms of explosive radius for example, the Rocket has a much smaller damaging area of effect than the Grenade.
The Rocket in Darwinia fires in a straight line unlike the grenade which arcs through the air towards its target, which makes the Rocket very useful against fast moving tough enemies that require explosives or shots from the Armor turret to kill. Care should be taken, as this weapon is heavily affected by nearby terrain, which means if you fire near an incline, you risk hitting the ground before the spot you aimed at, hurting your own Squad. The Darwinians are not capable of wielding Rockets, making this exclusive to the Squad as a secondary weapon.
The last and possibly most important item of note with the Rocket, is that when first downloaded, it will have dangerously short range, making it incredibly easy to damage your Squad with its own shots, as they can just barely reach far enough to leave the firing Squad on the edge of the blast radius. Upgrading this weapon to version 2.0 is critical before it really proves how useful the Rocket can be.