Champions Online: Desert Disaster Survival Guide

The crisis zones in Champions Online are like those fantastic five or six issue story-arcs from your favorite comic series of old. Last week we brought you the Crisis in Canada guide, and this week we're covering the Desert Disaster from the first steps out in the sands to the final confrontation with a radioactive super-villain.

“An urgent distress call from
Project Greenskin came in just as the Qularr invasion fleet
struck the city.  The transmission was somewhat garbled by interference,
but as best we could make out, the base there is under assault by a
group of radioactive mutants and in danger of being overrun.

I have sensed troubling changes
in the mystic currents of that area.  I am going there to investigate
and I need your help.  I hate to ask after all you’ve done here,
but a hero’s work is never done.  Every second counts, so we
must leave soon.”


You’ve saved Millennium City from
the Qulaar invasion, not only earning the eternal respect of the Champions,
but the key to the city from Mayer Bissell himself. No sooner have you
begun to celebrate your victory amidst a crowd of cheering onlookers
than your attention is diverted by two Champions greatly in need of
your assistance; Witchcraft and Ravenspeaker. The former requests that
you fly with her to Project Greenskin, where the PRIMUS soldiers are
under siege from radioactive zombies, and are in desperate need of your
help to ward off the sheer number of them. 

Think of the crisis zones in Champions
as a cool story arc spanning a few issues of your favorite
comic series, only instead of watching the action unfold with each turn
of the page, you get to be part of the action and play the hero. This
guide will provide a walkthrough of the Desert Disaster crisis zone,
and we’ll do our best to keep you from getting radiation poisoning
while you’re out there.

Before diving headlong into the details
on what makes this particular crisis zone tick, here are a few basic
tips that should prove useful in your mission to rid the desert of radioactive
zombies and help PRIMUS get back on their feet in the area:

  • You have the option to travel
    between the Crisis in Canada and Desert Disaster at will, though you
    can only complete one of the two zones’ final boss missions to complete
    the mission arc.


  • While you’re not required
    to select a crafting profession to complete the crisis zone, the result
    of the quests listed below will be a Radiation Shield device that will
    be extremely handy once you reach the final boss confrontation at the
    end of the mission arc.


  • Around the statue of Grond,
    you’ll find radioactive bomb carriers.  Be careful to defeat
    them quickly and then disarm the bomb using “F” before it explodes
    in your face.  Or just run away like Sir Galahad if you’d prefer.


  • Most of the enemies in the
    desert have ranged attacks, so don’t be too surprised if you wind
    up being pelted with radiation from afar.  The only real danger
    you’ll face is when the hulking mutated behemoths are running amuck. 
    They’ll be the guys with four arms… can’t miss ‘em.


  • Built Ferd Tough
    is an optional quest specific to the Desert Disaster zone.  It’s
    not necessary for you to complete it, and it requires a team of at least
    three heroes, but the battle is a ton of fun, and the rewards more than
    worth it.


  • Each mission listed below
    will have the mission level in brackets for easy reference.


  • While the entire crisis
    zone can be completed solo, grouping can increase the challenge (and
    potential rewards) thanks to the Reinforcements system. This holds especially
    true for the final confrontation with Gigaton, which becomes a much
    more challenging (and fun) mission should you opt to go into the Forest
    Tomb with a few friends.

    A Crafty Contrivance 

    Upon reaching the desert, your first
    stop will be the head of Project Greenskin, Robert Kaufman.   The
    soldiers right next to the helicopter when you land will direct you
    to an elevator that will take you up into the fortress and to Kaufman
    himself. He will serve as your primary contact throughout the mission
    arc of Desert Disaster. Along with the opening missions in the main
    quest chain, he will also offer you a quest that will set you on the
    path to selecting one of the three primary crafting professions. While
    full details on the crafting system are beyond the scope of this guide,
    the following information and quests will get you headed in the right

    [7] A Crafty Contrivance  

    CONTACT: Robert Kaufman

    QUEST TYPE: Locate NPC

    OBJECTIVES: Speak with the Arms,
    Science and Mysticism Crafters.

    DETAILS: After speaking with
    each of the trainers located at Project Greenskin, select which of the
    available professions you want to learn. Each one will tell you just
    what each profession is capable of creating, and there’s no wrong
    choice here.  Pick whatever suits your fancy!

    Begone Fission!

    CONTACT: The crafting trainer
    for your chosen profession

    QUEST TYPE: Collection / Crafting

    OBJECTIVES: Gather 3 common
    components based on your chosen profession.

    DETAILS: The requested components
    can be gathered fairly quickly by checking your map for a highlighted
    area where a small grouping of Skill Items is located. Once you’ve
    collected all 3, return to your trainer who will give you a Development
    recipe for a Radiation Shield device based on your profession, as well
    as the final component needed to create the device. Upon creation of
    the device the quest will update automatically and grant you a decent
    amount of XP and Resources for your efforts.  You can repeat this
    recipe as many times as you’d like to increase your crafting skill
    while in the crisis zone.

    Optional Missions 

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Robert Kaufman is your main go-to guy
for all missions in the desert, but there are a few additional quests
that can be discovered as you head out from the protective walls of
Project Greenskin. While optional, these will add a nice boost to XP
and can be completed fairly quickly in areas where you would already
be questing.  Some good rewards for your level are involved too.

Built Ferd Tough 

CONTACT: Colonel Vanderbilt

QUEST TYPE: Super-Villain Fight

OBJECTIVES: Defeat Ferd (Suggested
3 Party Members)

DETAILS: Ferd’s a big ol’
nasty mother of an Irradiate, and he’s causing PRIMUS a heap of trouble
out in the desert.  Bring a couple friends for this one, as it’s
not at all intended to be solo-able.  When you see the warning
that he’s about to use a charged attack, bring your block up and keep
pounding him the rest of the time in between.  With three or more
heroes to contend with, he’ll never stand a chance. Once you’re
done, head back to the Colonel for your reward.

Grond Theft Altercation

CONTACT: Object found on ground
near Ferd

QUEST TYPE: Item Discovery

OBJECTIVES: Take a piece of
Grond statue back to Robert Kaufman.

DETAILS: Near where you fight
Ferd, you’ll see pieces of debris on the ground.  Interacting
with one will start a quest to return the broken piece of Grond’s
statue back to Project Greenskin.  Do so for some decent XP and
monetary rewards.

Mission Arc: Disaster in the Desert

The following list details the main
quests you’ll need to complete in order to advance through the story
arc in the Desert, the majority of which will be granted by Robert Kaufman
at Project Greenskin, while others will come from Colonel Vanderbilt
just outside the fortress. You’ll spend your time pounding a lot of
Irradiates into the ground, as you unravel just who caused the shield
around Project Greenskin to go down.  The whole thing will culminate
in a massive battle, that will test all the skills you’ve learned
up to this point.

Assault on Greenskin

CONTACT: Kaufman

QUEST TYPE: Combat/Rescuing

OBJECTIVES: Defeat Irradiates
(10) / Rescue Scientists (5)

DETAILS: Right down the way
from the helicopter where you landed in the desert there are herds of
the Irradiates beating on the Project’s scientists.  Kill the
Irradiates and rescue the scientists to complete the mission.

Rounding Up Rads

CONTACT: Kaufman

QUEST TYPE: Collection

OBJECTIVES: Collect 5 planted
rockets from around the Grond statue.

DETAILS: All around the statue
of Grond are Irradiates with rockets strapped to their back, trying
to blow up the homage to the Desert’s behemoth.  Your task is
to pummel the Irradiates and collect their uranium-armed rockets after
doing so. 

A Question of Suppression

CONTACT: Kaufman

QUEST TYPE: Activate

OBJECTIVES: The defense turrets
surrounding Project Greenskin are offline due to overheating. 
Go out and reactivate them.

DETAILS: This one’s a rather
straightforward task.  There are small green circles denoting where
the turrets are, and all you have to do is interact with them to bring
them back online.  Be careful though as some are guarded by Villain-level
Irradiates who hit a little harder than average.

A Second Helping

CONTACT: Kaufman


OBJECTIVES: Head north into
the Burning Sands and locate Colonel Vanderbilt to continue the mission

DETAILS: Really simple, as it’s
marked on your map.  North out of Project Greenskin you’ll find
the Colonel holed up around some hum-vees and sandbags.  Talk to
him to advance the mission arc.

Doomsday Clock Ticking

CONTACT: Colonel Vanderbily

QUEST TYPE: Combat / Device

OBJECTIVES: Defeat Brother Alamogordo
and use the code found on him to deactivate the massive nuclear device

DETAILS: This one’s entirely
doable solo, but it may be a little difficult due to the radiation surrounding
Alamogordo.  If you have any extra radiation-defense items, now
could be a decent time to use them, but you may wish to save them for
what comes after this quest.  Alamogordo is a straightforward enemy,
just with a lot of hitpoints.  Use block when he’s charging his
attacks, and pound him the rest of the time with your own.  When
he drops, use the Sequencing Code found on his person to deactivate
the bomb in the middle of the pool of radiation.

[8] Radiation Domination 

CONTACT: Colonel Vanderbilt

QUEST TYPE: Item Activated

OBJECTIVES: Take the note found
on Alamogordo to Colonel Vanderbilt – Defeat Gigaton within the Radiation

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DETAILS: The note tells of a
servant of Dr. Destroyer, Gigaton, and his plans to destroy Project
Greenskin at the behest of his master.  It states that he is hiding
away inside the Radiation Vault and using his powers to power the radiation
shield that surrounds Project Greenskin.  If he’s behind this,
you’ll have to confront him and bring him to justice for his actions.


The Radiation Vault 

Apparently Black Talon wasn’t the
only Master Villain enacting plans as dictated by the one and only Doctor
Destroyer. Kigatilik is a force to be reckoned with, and it’s up to
you to see to it that he’s not summoned by Rakshasa or who knows what
terrible fate he could unleash on Canada or the rest of the world?

Gallant Major Gertz and His Courageous Crew

CONTACT: Colonel Vanderbilt


OBJECTIVES: Find Major Gertz
and his Courageous Crew within the Radiation Vault.

DETAILS: This is really just
the beginning quest to get you to go inside of the Vault.  Once
in, you’ll receive a contact from Colonel Vaderbilt detailing what
you need to do next.  Apparently, inside of Major Gertz’s backpack
is an anti-radiation device you’ll need to fight off Gigaton and his
minions.  As you fight your way through the fairly straightforward
instance (be sure to toss the many forklifts lying around as weapons
at your enemies, they pack a nasty punch), you’ll face quite a few
villain-level Destroids.  But it’s nothing you can’t handle. 
Save the radiation device for when you must face Gigaton.

Radiation Domination (Boss Fight)

CONTACT: Colonel Vanderbily

QUEST TYPE: Master Villain Confrontation

OBJECTIVES: Defeat Gigaton

DESCRIPTION: Once you’ve found and
rescued Gertz’s crew, you’ll make your way to a large cavernous
opening in the Vault, where you’ll see Gigaton hovering in all his
glory above a trapped and deranged Major Gertz. As you approach, a
brief cutscene will play showing that unfortunately you’re too late
to prevent Marjor Gertz from being harmed. If you haven’t already
done so, now is the time to activate your Radiation-shield device, as
the whole area is filled with radiation.

First you’ll have to beat up on Major
Gertz, which should prove an easy task, as he behaves like a normal
enemy.  But he can pack a punch, and once you’ve drained his
hitpoints enough he’ll shout something insane and run off… leaving
Gigaton quite peeved and ready to mop the floor with you.

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He hits extremely hard, but your Radiation-shield
device should go a long way to helping you remain protected.  Just
watch out for his charged radiation attacks, and use any objects around
the Vault you can find to hurl at him.  If you’re in a group,
he’ll have more defense and health, but we always found it easier
to handle him with 2 or 3 partners on our side. 

Once you’ve defeated him, the Vault
will start to collapse.  No worries, as it’s just for effect. 
Run back out to the front entrance and leave the Vault and find Kaufman
for your reward… and the chance to move on to the real Desert zone!


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