Thanks Austin! I’ve been rewatching these streams as I started getting into playing the XCOM games myself, and these narratives are just so good. From the start it’s had the feel of you guys simultaneously playing a strategy game and making an ensemble superhero TV series.
I totally agree with Glorgu and shokster about Archie’s mall goth glo up being a marker moment. That was the stream right after that nightmare retaliation mission where only Valravn and Gravedigger got out alive (RIP Mox, Christian and Arthur), immediately followed by being hunted by the UFO.
That was basically a Season 1 finale episode, the kind of finale where a previously good and fun series steps up a gear unexpectedly and you suddenly feel ‘ohhhhhh shit I didn’t know I was watching this kind of show??’
Then the rocking Season 2 opener with Archie’s debut as Hightower, Mystic’s first outing and defending the downed Avenger. That’s mission is another fantastic rewatch, and not just because it’s called Operation Sweaty Paramour (aside: do yourself a favour and revisit Rob and Austin’s reaction to noticing that).
A few other iconic things from that one: the first appearance of Alexei’s samurai mask of mourning, nine active enemies up at once, the genesis of Heinrich Schulz not moving, absolute heart attack moments where Valravn was down to 1HP twice, Mystic being one square away from being able to make it back to the ramp with the rest of the squad, then Rob realising they could get him there via Momentum from a Rend on the way. In the version of this campaign that is a TV show, that one would go straight into its Crowning Moments of Awesome tvtropes page.