A Very Large Explosion is a level in the award-winning video game The Operative: No One Lives Forever. It is the 14th mission of the game, consists of two scenes and is the third installment in the "Alpine Quartet" series, which make up the grand finale of the game. While the mission's main objective is fairly simple in theory (escape the mountain alive), it proves to be a little more challenging than that in practice...
Now that you have the list, you must get off this mountain alive. You should expect heavy opposition. It's what you don't expect that you should be afraid of.
There's also the matter of the name you glimpsed at the top of the list...
A UNITY Strike Force Epsilon in headed directly for the Chateau. Upon arrival, they immediately ambush the castle guards and prepare for Cate's safe extraction. The alarm has been raised and Cate must fight her way out of the chateau and get aboard one of the helicopters. On her way, she encounters Elite Guard, who are now revealed to have been the Baroness' private henchwomen all along. The first one ambushes Cate in a large hall of the chateau.
Following this encounter, Cate exits the chateau through a side entrance where she meets a UNITY agent who informs her that a helicopter is waiting for her in the courtyard. Cate warns him that they need to get off this within the next 15 minutes as "there's going to be a very large explosion!". Unfortunately, due to a silly misunderstanding amongst the UNITY agents, the last helicopter leaves just before Cate arrives in the courtyard. The other two Elite Guards ambush Cate and after defeating them, she proceeds to the main gondola station.
Cate rides the gondola off the mountain and must fight off no less than six H.A.R.M. helicopters. At this point, the scene cuts back to the chateau where Baron Dumas is enjoying what now turns out to be his last meal: he has been infected by his own wife and the explosion kills not only him but also destroys the entire chateau. The UNITY strike force, which has now realized its mistake, believes Cate has been killed in the explosion.
The explosion has also destroyed the gondola's mechanism, so Cate must continue her journey on foot. However, she is immediately confronted by Volkov who demands that she hand over the list and he will "kill her swiftly". After Cate refuses, the impact of the explosion causes the ground to shake and both plunge down into a cave beneath the ice. A "showdown" ensues between the two where Cate, now armed only with a revolver, must defeat her arch-enemy. Once defeated, Volkov plunges into the depths and Cate proudly ends the mission with the words "Goodbye Dmitrij!".
- Cate Archer
- Dmitrij Volkov (Presumed dead after a showdown with Cate)
- Baron Dumas (Killed by the Reagent)
- Elite Guard (Killed in Action)
- Castle Guards
- UNITY Agents
- If the opening cutscene is skipped, the general alarm will not sound.
- With only two items, this mission has the least amount of Intelligence items in the game and neither of them can be viewed in the Intelligence Gallery. The first is a ledger in a hidden film room in Scene 1 and the other obtained through shooting down all six helicopters in Scene 2.
- Although it proves difficult, it is possible to prevent the death of the first UNITY contact. However if he survives, he stays behind and presumably dies in the explosion. The second agent is impossible to save and will always be killed.
- Even though they are protected by very little armor, Elite Guard are among the toughest adversaries in the game and will take several hits to kill. The Acid Gas is the only weapon that kills them instantly.
- Despite the alarm having been raised and the chateau practically turning into a battlefield, Baron Dumas appears to be completely oblivious to the whole affair
- Your health is refilled as soon as you start Scene 2. Normally, your health would be replenished after every boss fight. This could be due to how challenging the gondola ride with the 6 helicopters is. This does not happen before you fight Volkov, so try not to get hit for as long as you are in the gondola.
- Even if you haven't equipped the Petri .38 Airweight Revolver, this will always be the weapon which you recover during the showdown with Volkov
- Although Cate loses all of her weapons during her fall, she somehow manages to keep her hat on.
- A snowmobile can be seen standing behind Volkov when he first approaches her. It is possible that Cate used this to continue her journey off the mountain after her fight with Volkov
- It is often falsely assumed that Volkov sustained his injuries seen in the sequel from his showdown with Cate. However, he actually sustains them in a skiing accident following the events of the prequel game Contract J.A.C.K. His conversation with The Director after the credits and several hints in No One Lives Forever 2, testify to this.