Why do RC delivery people have submachine guns?
July 16, 2005 5:44 AM   Subscribe

GTA San Andreas question: I'm on the mission with Zero where you have to use the little RC plane to destroy Berkley's five couriers. I can't pass it. I've read the strategy guides and there aren't shortcuts, although in most guides it's rated the hardest in the game. I'm stuck. Anybody who's played it before got any brilliant ideas?
posted by saysthis to Media & Arts (15 answers total)
Dude, I've got the same problem with a later airplane mission. I need to hire some kid to pass that mission so I can finally finish that friggin' game.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was just a "you've tried this mission 3 times and failed, we'll just let you skip it" option. But there isn't.

Anyway, for your mission, it just takes a little while to get a feel for how the planes fly. That mission -- I remember it well -- takes a fair amount of patience.

If memory serves, you just need to hone your divebombing technique. Take your time, although it doesn't seem like you've got enough, if you don't panic and methodically line yourself up, even if you don't get it the first time, you'll get a feel for how the rc planes work.
posted by ph00dz at 5:59 AM on July 16, 2005

Follow the path that the strategy guides suggest-- the two and then the three. Arrange your approach to the two guys on the dirtbike (typically the third target) to come up behind them and don't fire until you're almost on top of them. The next two are pretty routine. Be prepared to try this a few more times before you figure out how to best kill the third target. Eventually, you're going to JUST make it back. It's pretty satisfying to finish it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:12 AM on July 16, 2005

Also, I have better luck pumping the gun rather than keeping the button pressed down. Don't know if this is a real or perceived difference.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:13 AM on July 16, 2005

Zero's missions aren't essential to the storyline; you can finish the game without ever having done any of them.
posted by zztzed at 6:29 AM on July 16, 2005

I had a lot of problems on this mission and on the "learn to fly" mission. It was suggested tha you use a cheatcode to slow the gameplay down, making it easier to fly the plane, but that didn't help any for me. I just stopped playing the game.
posted by puke & cry at 6:59 AM on July 16, 2005

Once I managed the keep the damn plane airborne, I would chase down a courier, land (i.e. crash) my plane onto the the ground, and then shoot the courier. This seemed rather easy; trying to divebomb the target was impossible for me.
posted by bachelor#3 at 8:21 AM on July 16, 2005

Things to remember: 1) Use the map to make sure you're always going after the closest one. 2) You don't need to hold down the gas the whole time. You can go a long way just by coasting (and you need fuel for the return trip). 3) They won't start shooting until you do (or they didn't when I played; I've heard other people say differently). So land on the road, and follow them until they hit a red light. "Drive" right up behind them so you're almost touching, then open fire. 4) It's an optional mission. There's one more Zero mission after that (which is also annoying, but not as bad), and if you beat that, it generates $5K a day.
posted by Sibrax at 8:32 AM on July 16, 2005

I gave up and returned to Zero at the end of the game. By then I'd had enough practice flying planes of my own that the RC mission didn't seem nearly as hard.
posted by Evstar at 8:56 AM on July 16, 2005

Good advice from Sibrax. Other points, derived from various sources:

1. Your plane only consumes fuel while you're moving. If you're sitting motionless on the ground, you aren't wasting any fuel.

2. The first two targets (the van immediately to your left when the mission begins, and the guy on the bike nearby) will follow you after you've engaged. I found it easiest to spray gunfire at the van and then the bike in one sweeping arc to the left, fly a short distance away, land, and stop. The two guys you've just fired at will come running toward you and you can take them down while sitting idle. Two targets eliminated with ~98% fuel left.

3. If you can, make the third target the dirtbike. This is the most difficult of the lot, and saving it for last means you've wasted a great deal of time should you fail here. Again, follow Sibrax's third tip, and if you don't nail them on the first attempt, just restart the mission. They're too fast to tail and, even if you somehow manage to do so, you'll be low on fuel and out of position for the remaining two vans.

4. Once you've managed to destroy all of the targets, the fun isn't over! You have to fly the plane all the way back to the starting point and land in a very small circle on the roof. Approach slowly to stick the landing. This is coming from someone who, on try 10 or so, ran out of fuel just as he touched down halfway outside of the circle and thusly failed the mission.

5. Using cheat codes will prevent you from getting 100% and, if you're adamant about beating the Zero missions, it stands to reason that you're after that 100% rating.

6. Assuming you manage to pass the RC Baron missions, mute the TV for the next Zero gig. It is nigh impossible to endure David Cross' nightmarish chattering head for the duration of the RC Goblin challenge.
posted by Danelope at 10:10 AM on July 16, 2005

I despised this mission also - took me over a hundred tries and I am pretty sure I just got lucky at the end. Ph00dz has a pretty good idea there - at least I would love to see that in a lot of games.
posted by revbrian at 10:36 AM on July 16, 2005

I gave up after 3 tries. It's a stupid mission and I'm not sure what bonehead decided to include guns on fast-moving aircraft without also including ... CROSSHAIRS.

(I'm fully expecting someone who is much younger and enthusiastic than I am to hop on here and tell me you can get crosshairs by clicking L,R,L,R.X,X,Y,B,L,Bl,A,Bl,left foot in,left foot out, left foot in, shake it all about) heh.
posted by socratic at 2:11 PM on July 16, 2005

I, too, hate and have not beaten this mission. Goddam fucking Zero and his goddam wedgie altercations.
posted by cortex at 9:23 PM on July 16, 2005

If you're playing the PC version, there's another option: just land the plane as soon as possible and approach all your targets on the ground. Apparently the mission timer is much longer on the PC version, meaning you can take your sweet time without worrying about flying the plane.

Otherwise, same basic tips apply as to flying normal planes: switch to the first-person camera, don't hold down the gas, etc., etc.
posted by chrominance at 12:00 PM on July 18, 2005

This was just a really hard mission. I recommend skipping it for now, and coming back to the Zero missions later if you're aiming for 100%.

If you run low on cash, and could use the 5k/day it generates, gamble on horses. The third or fourth ranked horse wins 90% of the time, so making a few bets will leave you sitting pretty.
posted by graventy at 3:12 PM on July 20, 2005

After about 50 zillion tries last week, I passed. Now I can face the world proud.
posted by saysthis at 7:28 PM on August 3, 2005

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