Operation: IRON SHIELD is a Galactic Rangers operation in Up Your Arsenal taking place on Capital City, Marcadia. It is the first Ranger operation in the game, and comprises five missions defending the presidential compound.
The tyhrranoids, led by Dr. Nefarious, invaded Capital City, launching a surprise attack on the Presidential Compound against President Phyronix. Captain Sasha Phyronix of the Starship Phoenix immediately deployed the Galactic Rangers to defend the planet, while Ratchet and Clank also arrived to stop the assault. After getting to the palace, Ratchet and Clank joined the Rangers to secure the compound.
This Ranger operation is mandatory, and all must be completed to progress to the next mission in the story, "Repair the Laser Defense Shield".
The second bolt prize is always one-third of the first bolt prize, whereas the third bolt prize is always one-tenth of the first bolt prize, all prizes are also rounded down to a number divisible by 100.
|Secure the Area||Drive the Tyhrranoids out of the compound then defend the area against a series of brutal attacks.||3,000||1,000||300|
|Air Assault||The Rangers can't hold out much longer. They need backup, now! Save as many Rangers as you can.||4,500||1,500||400|
|Turret Command||Get to the plasma turret and blast those 'noid dropships out of the sky!||6,000||2,000||600|
|Under the Gun||Provide covering fire for the repair crew until they can get the turret operational again.||7,500||2,500||700|
|Hit n' Run||Use the bolt cranks to activate the automated turrets in a sequence.||9,000||3,000||900|
Secure the Area
The objective of Secure the Area is simply to defeat waves of enemies that arrive, with the support of a few Rangers. The enemies include one-eyed tyhrranoids, tyhrranoid saucers, three-eyed tyhrranoids, and ultra mecha-tyhrranoids. Tyhrranoid saucers will fly in and spawn one-eyed tyhrranoids, while three-eyed tyhrranoids and ultra mecha-tyhrranoids are deployed from dropships. Of these enemies, only the ultra mecha-tyhrranoids and the three-eyed tyhrranoids have a range long enough to be a threat. The one-eyed tyhrranoids are melee only, and the tyhrannoid saucers are slow-firing at medium range.
Against all enemies, the N60 Storm is effective, as it is a versatile weapon that can deal with all types of enemies, as well as being a long-range weapon. The Nitro Launcher and Shock Blaster, especially if charged, are also effective against groups of enemies, while the Plasma Whip can be useful against both one-eyed and three-eyed tyhrranoids when clustered together. The Suck Cannon can also provide effective when using the one-eyed tyhrranoids and crates as ammunition. The key tactic is to stay at a relative distance and keep defeating the enemies until the mission ends. While dropships will appear, they are difficult to destroy at this stage, so it is best instead to simply ignore them and destroy the enemies that drop.
The objective of Air Assault is to defend the four Rangers, huddled behind cover in the center, mostly tyhrranoid saucers with some three-eyed tyhrranoids and ultra mecha-tyhrranoids. The mission fails if all Rangers die. The N60 Storm is a useful weapon against them due to its range, and in the event of multiple saucers surrounding a Ranger, using the Nitro Launcher can destroy many at once. It is best to ensure the enemies simply never reach the Rangers. At the end of the mission, a dropship will drop a group of ultra mecha-tyhrranoids in the middle of all the Rangers; simply destroy them all with the Nitro Launcher to complete the mission.
In this mission, Ratchet controls a turret, and the objective is to destroy the enemy dropships that appear. While tyhrranoid saucers should be destroyed too, particularly when attacking your turret, the dropships are the priority. The dropships will land from the opposite end of the compound and circle around outside before flying over the compound, at which point they will drop three-eyed tyhrranoids and ultra mecha-tyhrranoids, in far greater numbers than any other mission, at around four per drop. When these are deployed, it is best to defeat them as soon as the dropship is destroyed. By focusing fire on the dropship from when they first appear on the minimap, it should be possible to destroy them before reaching that point.
Enemies that do manage to make it through will focus their fire on the few Rangers helping you out, but once those have all been destroyed they will instead attack you. It is thus important to not neglect them, lest they manage to overwhelm your allies and then your turret.
Under the Gun
This mission involves preventing the tyhrranoids, mostly saucers and ultra mecha-tyhrranoids, from destroying the repair crew within the 2:00 time limit. It is best to solely focus on any enemies that are attacking the repair crew, and mostly ignore the rest of the battlefield. A good strategy is to simply stand on the turret platform; this will not only make it easy to target the enemies that are approaching, but also means that Ratchet will take the fire off the repair crew and tank some of the damage.
Hit n' Run
The objective of the final mission is to activate five nodes and their automated turrets by turning a bolt crank to bring them online. The available bolt crank is marked by a green marker on the minimap, or by following the electricity from the last node. These turrets will destroy enemy dropships, but cannot target anything else. Taking damage from any enemy fire will interrupt the bolt crank. Therefore, it is imperative to destroy all enemies around a bolt crank and turn it quickly.
Dropships will come in in rapid numbers, ignoring the side of the area where all nodes have been activated. A Ranger will operate the turret, giving them an extra edge early on in the fight, but it will soon go down by return fire from the dropships. After turning all five bolt cranks, the mission is complete.
Behind the scenes
Sean Wissler was involved in designing the Operation: IRON SHIELD battlefield sections. At the time, designers at Insomniac Games were not able to script enemies, and could only lay down entities and splines. This meant Wissler had to script the individual waves without actually scripting, to the point where rigging the waves for one battlefield mission could take a week.
Though the missions in the final game are mandatory, they were originally planned to be optional. In one unused cutscene from an early build of the game, a Ranger tells Ratchet that there are more battles to fight, and promises he will be paid in bolts for each battle he wins.