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After helping Aria by giving her a datapad recovered during Garrus' recruitment mission and helping her handle the Patriarch she will give you the location of the smuggling depot.
The assignment can also be acquired by scanning the planet. These mission notes are displayed after scanning the planet:
“The planet Daratar in the Faryar system is a suspected Eclipse smuggling site. Cerberus is interested in obtaining the materials kept at this site. Operatives will be paid handsomely for any intact crates retrieved from the site. Be aware that Eclipse would rather see the cargo destroyed than lose it to a rival organization.
Payment will be made once the acquisition of undamaged crates is verified.”
Scanning will also result in a radio broadcast from an Eclipse operative:
“Enemy ship detected. All units, prepare to burn down the house. Repeat, prepare to burn down the house!”
It is recommended you bring the ML-77 Missile Launcher, or the M-920 Cain. Either creates the possibility of saving all 20 crates. They are also long range and can make the job go faster, especially with the YMIR armor. Other heavy weapons with long range can deal effective damage if you just plan to fight your way through the mechs but they do not allow a plan for saving all the crates on higher levels.
Squadmates with Overload and/or Disruptor Ammo will be useful against the mechs. Garrus and Zaeed make an especially mighty pairing in this regard since they bring large guns as well. Just make sure you have a plan for dealing with the mechs' armor as well.
After Normandy SR-2 is detected in orbit, the Eclipse mercs flee the depot in A-61 Mantis Gunships, leaving behind the three YMIR Mechs guarding the cargo. The mechs will then try to destroy the crates before the squad can recover them. There are 20 crates in the depot. You have to destroy all the mechs before all crates have been destroyed. You will get paid based on how many crates survive. When all mechs have been destroyed, the mission is completed.
- Although you can shoot at a mech to get its attention (and therefore stop it from destroying crates), you will only be able to hold the attention of one mech at a time; the others will proceed about their crate-destroying duties.
- Once a YMIR finishes off the crates that it is assigned to destroy, it will then focus on the squad, even if there are still crates left.
- Only fire from the mechs can damage the crates, so you don't need to worry about Shepard or teammates inadvertently destroying crates from inaccurate weapons fire or the Cain's explosion. There are some typical fragile crates used for cover props that can be destroyed — but these are not part of the 20 crates you need to save.
Several strategies for preserving all (or most) of the crates are available:
Option 1: Straight Up Fight Edit
Option 2: Yes, We Cain Edit
Even on Insanity it is possible to save all of the crates using the M-920 Cain. It is possible to destroy (or severely damage) all 3 mechs with one shot from the Cain, but you must hurry before they get too far apart, and you must aim in between them all. Note that on at least Insanity difficulty, enemies will scale to your level, so you have a better chance of destroying the mechs if you use the Cain while Shepard is at a lower level (the cutoff seems to be level 10 or lower). You'll want to be charging the Cain as you run down the slope, and ironically one of the easiest ways to fail to hit all 3 mechs is if one of them walks right in front of your aiming trajectory at the last minute, intercepting the full force of the missile instead of letting it proceed to the center point where you were aiming. If you've obtained 200% Cain ammo (via 6 Heavy Ammo Upgrades, plus Ordnance Packs or Cerberus Assault Armor) then you can of course take two consecutive shots. In any event if you don't take down all 3 mechs instantly you'll do enough damage to substantially improve your result.
Option 3: Sneaky Missiles Edit
Finally, for the glitch-minded among us, it is possible to "pull" the mechs one at a time without initializing the crate destruction script. This is the cheapest method heavy ammo wise, and involves the ML-77 Missile Launcher. Manually position your squadmates in defensive positions near the shuttle - this prevents them from running down the hill and triggering the script when a mech comes around the corner. Next, position Shepard on the forward right end of the landing zone (but don't go down the slope or off the ledge) and fire just wide of the rock wall -- although even directly into the air can work. The rockets will track and hit the nearest mech, "pulling" them into the mission starting area. You will hear a good solid explosion when a rocket successfully hits a mech, so you'll know you don't need to fire another missile. Now pull back toward the shuttle as the mech comes around the corner, and use it for cover against its attacks. Kill each mech in this fashion and all 20 crates will easily be spared, even on the hardest difficulties.
Note: Sending in your squad while remaining back yourself triggers the crate destruction script, confirmed on PC and Xbox360 versions.
Before leaving, grab the element zero and the med-kit off to the right of the clearing, near the computer terminal, and the power cells on the rear landing platform.
Computer Terminal Edit
E-Mail (Nice Work on Daratar) Edit
Mission Summary Edit
X of the 20 crates were saved. (Where X is equal to the number of crates saved.)
- Experience reward: 125 (156)
- Credits: 3,750-7,500
- Cerberus Funding: 3,750
- Credits Found: 3,750 - (190 per crate lost); minimum = 0
- Element Zero: 500
Either gunship can be shot down by the Cain and will crash to the ground in flames. This, however, is very difficult and requires precise timing. If one ship is destroyed the other will freeze in place and can no longer be damaged by any means.