Starfield‘s got absolutely no shortage of cool questlines and standalone side-quests, but some of the best ones reside nestled deep in faction storylines. Becoming a pirate, for example, is great fun in Starfield if that’s what you’re into. Those who chose to join a more lawful faction, though, like Akila City’s Freestar Rangers, would’ve come across a wholly different set of missions, one of which is Surgical Strike.
In Surgical Strike, players are already on a mad dash after a mysterious group of mercenaries known as ‘The First,’ and war veteran Maya Cruz is a prominent member. It won’t take too long until the Freestar Ranger narrative leads you on Cruz’s trail, and this particular mission sets you up for a big showdown at its end.
Visiting the Clinic during Surgical Strike
At the onset of Surgical Strike, players are sent to chase down a lead at the Clinic, an immense high-tech facility floating amidst the stars. Word is that Cruz herself is there, having suffered a serious wound not long ago, and it’s up to the player to intercept and arrest her.
Once players arrive at the Clinic, it doesn’t take long until it’s clear that something’s gone amiss. The local Freestar Ranger, Ben Armistead, will be your contact, and he’ll introduce you to the key character at the Clinic: Ari Miller. Miller is an amicable and trustworthy IT specialist who will give you a hand with just about everything you need to do at the Clinic. To proceed with the quest, players will want to do the following:
- exhaust all dialogue with Miller
- interrogate all the named characters they come across
- thoroughly explore the accessible parts of the Clinic
If that sounds like too much trouble, it is advisable to use the terminal over at Armistead’s office to reveal the name of Catalina Rivera – Cruz’s alias – almost immediately. Once you’ve got your lead, you’ll be looking for a VIP access keycard, which could be sourced in a variety of different ways:
- by persuading Dr. Titus Cassidy that you need it
- by leveraging your Medicine perk to take the keycard from Cassidy
- by stealing the VIP access keycard from Cassidy’s office
Accessing the office is quick and easy, so that’s the recommended way to get the keycard unless you’ve selected the Medicine perk during character creation.
VIP Section of the Clinic in Starfield
The Clinic’s VIP Section had been closed off for a while by the time you drop in, with the dead body of a doctor at the entrance. Cruz had clearly done her part at the location, and now it’s up to you to either arrest her at the site if she’s still around or find some good leads.
The section is relatively short, but Cruz had set up many booby traps around the place, so beware of mines. Some rampant machines may give chase here and there, too, so it’s recommended you keep your guns at the ready. Your objective? To grab and read the slate in Cruz’s room, leading you to your next and final stop before you take Cruz down.
Surgical Strike: entering the asteroid mine
Given Cruz’s combat experience and recent wounding, it should be no surprise that she’s set up a veritable crucible for the player to run through at the Eklund Site CL25, Sakharov. The entire section is relatively straightforward, all things considered, but you’ll need to contend with vicious indigenous life forms, a whole arsenal’s worth of bots and turrets, and mines galore.
The gauntlet itself is very atmospheric and fun, and it makes good use of some of Starfield‘s best environmental mini-puzzles to hide goodies. For example, players will need to keep their cutters handy to get behind the big red ‘Emergency’ walls – both to progress onwards and to get to the dungeon’s best loot.
Weapons-wise, keeping your long-range options handy during the mine section is highly recommended. Even though a shotgun will get you through the majority of encounters here, the final bit calls for you to climb a tall tower surrounded by mining turrets on all sides.
As for Maya Cruz herself, it’s up to you to decide how to best deal with her by the time you’ve gone through her gauntlet. The end result doesn’t change much, so whether you kill her or not, your job will have been done by then!