Our Finest Hour achievement in XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Our Finest Hour

Beat the game on Impossible difficulty.

Our Finest Hour0
3 guidesOffline Game Mode - These achievements require play in game modes that do not necessitate a connection to any online services.Single Player - These achievements can be obtained by a single player.Main Storyline - These achievements are gained automatically by progressing through the main game modes.Difficulty Specific - These achievements require that the game be played on a certain difficulty level.Stackable - These achievements can be unlocked at the same time as, or in the course of, earning its more difficult or less difficult counterpart.

How to unlock the Our Finest Hour achievement

  • BLUEBERRYPETEBLUEBERRYPETE745,165
    15 Oct 2012 15 Oct 2012 15 Dec 2012
    38 6 38
    I finally beat Impossible on my second playthrough. It also unlocks
    XCOM: Enemy UnknownEarth FirstThe Earth First achievement in XCOM: Enemy Unknown worth 307 pointsBeat the game on Classic difficulty.


    I saved every turn. It was so hard that I personally think that beating Impossible Ironman is undo-able without abusing glitches. And even then, you'll have to dashboard every turn.

    I do not recommend starting on this difficulty if this is your first time playing.

    Besides getting 1 shotted every turn, you have a huge money and panic problem.

    Here's what to look forward to at Impossible difficulty
    1) Most aliens have more health than normal difficulty.
    Eg; Thinman's hp. 3 for normal/easy. 4 for Classic. 6 for Impossible!!! Even a jump from 3 to 4 is huge, as this means you can't kill them with 1 grenade.
    2) Aliens also have ridiculous accuracy and crit a lot (2 shots and you will die, even with the best gear. I get hit for 15-17 dmg regularly near the end. Tip: Reload if you get shot).
    3) Your satellites only get half the income.
    4) You are not gifted with an officer training school at the start; this means you're stuck with only a 4 man vanilla squad for a LONG time.
    5) Panic increases from failed missions are doubled in Impossible.
    6) other little details like longer lasting poision, your archangel armor lasts half as long in flight, etc etc.
    Luckily, research time is the same (I never built a lab and I got along fine).

    ------------------------------------
    General strategy:

    For me, the difficulty was VERY hard for the first month. Second month was easier as my guys were leveled up. By the 4th month came I had every gear upgraded to the max and it was a cakewalk (relatively). I only lost 3 countries in the first month; South America + India. And never lost any since. Aim to get North America next (for the bonus) if possible as you will need planes to defend your satellites.


    I started in Africa for the +30% funding bonus. I never built a lab the entire game. And I used all my money ONLY for satellites and uplinks at first; however, I built the Alien Containment and arc thrower near the 2nd month to speed up my research and to sell the weapons the stunned aliens will drop. Additionally, I never built a foundry/officer-school/plane/etc until I maxed satellites.

    Skip the SKIV and the laser lines. You have no money to build lasers and SKIVs even if you research it anyways. Research armor as you start (but don't buy any), and capture a Muton as soon as you can (!!!), interrogate him, and then get every plasma gear ASAP so you don't get destroyed. Interrogating a Muton gives you the plasma research bonus so don't start the plasma research too early. FYI, a plasma pistol does more damage than all your starter gear.

    Here's a list of the research topics so you can quickly get to plasma.
    http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Research_(EU2012)

    My squad was running around unarmored and with their starter gear until the third month. And I survived by absolutely abusing the shit out of the save/load system.

    My 4 man squad survived for 3 months on starter gear consisted of 2 assaults, 1 heavy (rocket+shredder), 1 sniper (squadsight+doubletap). Support is freaking useless. Note: Your starter squad has only 3 health. BUT if you hire new guys, they start with 6 health (pre-patch). To abuse this, I hired 5 guys (with 6 hp) immediately after the first mission and fired the old guys (with 3 hp). The extra hp makes a big difference, it's tempting to play without the patch.

    ---------------------
    Squad tactics:

    I won't go over the basics to winning a mission. There's just too much, but you can check here.
    http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/655783-xcom-enemy-unknown/642...

    There's lots of little tricks to win a mission, if you've played the original X-Com games, you'll know most of them already. But here's a special trick to this game that will help veterans of the X-Com series already familiar with the basic tactics.

    The KEY to surviving everything without plasma is the 2 assault guys. They are the only unit that can kill EVERYTHING in the game in 1 turn. NO other unit can do this!!!

    Usually mobs spawn in groups of 2-3 aliens (unless you spawned more than 1 group which usually means you're screwed). Here's how to take care of a group of 2-3 aliens. Your assault guys can each solo 1 alien, and the last alien can hopefully be killed by your sniper and heavy. You can kill an alien easily by using this tactic. This is my fail-proof tactic, so listen up.... your assault hero is to charge in (lightning reflex),sprint to the enemy (run and gun), fire 2 shotgun shots point blank (rapid fire + killer instinct). No alien in the game can survive this tactic, even on Impossible difficulty!!! After you've killed the alien, pray that you survive till your next turn starts (pick close combat specialist skill), but most of the time you've killed everything around you. Later on in the game you can use ghost armor to abuse this tactic even more.

    In the beginning, most missions will only have 8-12 aliens. You heavy weapon guys should have 2 rockets (with shredder upgrade), which should kill 2-3 aliens with each rocket. The rest of the baddies you will need to kill with grenades and your skills.

    Good Luck!

    Guide not helping? View 2 more guides for this achievement.

    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    NicholiGinavaefthis guide is spot on and THANKs for the tip Alcapwn6969 - some maps are much much easier than others and resetting till I got the ones I liked was the way to go
    Posted by NicholiGinavaef on 30 Jun 14 at 02:29
    Ditto51Hey, just thought I'd let you know that your link to the UFOpedia page for research doesn't work as it is missing a bracket after 2012.
    Posted by Ditto51 on 17 Jun 15 at 11:29
    Goatlipslaugh Don't actually do the entire playthrough on Impossible! laugh
    Are you nuts? Start your game on EASY and just switch to IMPOSSIBLE before you enter the Gallop Chamber! facepalm I've not Assaulted the (Shirley) Temple ship on Impossible yet, but I just got the Classic difficulty completion achi by converting my Normal playthrough right at the end. I did have a problem for Lone Wolf with Classic reverting back to Normal (check it when the mission starts), but no problem in switching to Impossible from Classic for the final assault. toast

    **UPDATE: Ahhh - got it 2nd go - robbed 1st go! Had to do a penultimate mission (Small UFO - 6 aliens) on Imp' and scanned to next month 2nd try. Pops on final cutscene showing your Lander Dropship thing. wave
    Posted by Goatlips on 03 Jun 17 at 22:24
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  • HolyHalfDeadHolyHalfDead536,406
    27 Jun 2016 27 Jun 2016 04 Jun 2018
    28 2 38
    You still get this achievement after changing the difficulty from Easy.

    You can start the game on Easy difficulty (credit to Goatlips). Playing on Easy means you will have more HP, the enemy will have less HP and you will get more monthly income. A month before you start the last mission, set the difficulty back to Impossible and complete at least one mission on Impossible before you finish the game to get this achievement. I found the difficulty reverted back to Impossible for the Alien Base Assault, so I carried on from there on Impossible.

    You will get these other achievements at the same time (if you hadn't already got them)
    XCOM: Enemy UnknownHumanity's SaviorThe Humanity's Savior achievement in XCOM: Enemy Unknown worth 64 pointsBeat the game on any difficulty.
    XCOM: Enemy UnknownEarth FirstThe Earth First achievement in XCOM: Enemy Unknown worth 307 pointsBeat the game on Classic difficulty.

    In January 2013 the Second Wave title update was released. It will download automatically the first time you play while connected to Xbox Live. This makes the game even easier.

    From the Main Menu select Single Player then press cn_Y for Second Wave. Select the following:
    • New Economy
    • Not Created Equally
    • Hidden Potential
    Press cn_B to return to the Select Difficulty menu, then select Easy and press cn_A. At the Base Location screen select Africa.

    After the first mission, go to the Barracks menu and select Hire Soldiers and hire 1 soldier then create a save. Now press cn_Y to go to Mission Control and press cn_A to scan for activity. As soon as the new Soldier arrives press cn_B to stop scanning. Now go back to the Barracks and look at the Will and Aim of your new soldier. Normally your Rookie's stats would be Will:40, Aim:65. What Not Created Equally does is gives you Will:20-62 (increments of 2) and Aim:50-85 (increments of 5). You can keep reloading your previous save until you get some high stats, then repeat it to get more soldiers.

    Hidden Potential means the increase in Aim is also randomised. So save just before the end of each mission, and if a soldier gets a promotion check how much their Will and Aim increased, and reload if required. Aim increases vary by class as follows: Sniper 3-9; Support 2-6; Assault 1-5; Heavy 0-2. This means by the time you reach Colonel rank, you could have a Sniper with Aim:148 shock

    The key to having an easy time of XCOM, is getting money as fast as possible by building Satellite Uplinks and Satellites as quickly as possible. Your next 2 Satellites should go to South America, for instant Autopsies and Interrogations. Other solutions written before Second Wave was released will recommend starting in North America as the United States gives the most credits per month. New Economy randomises the credits, and starting with 1 Satellite in Africa gives you +30% credits.
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Bacon WeaveWhat worked for me: Xbox 360 version, started on Impossible, changed to Easy ASAP, it reverted back to Impossible at the alien base mission, and I kept it there.

    I got this and No Looking Back on separate playthroughs, using that method.

    What didn’t work: Xbox One BC version, started on Easy, switched to Impossible late in the game and completed a mission at least a month ahead of the temple mission. Ended up with Easy ending.

    There are admittedly some variables at play here but it definitely worked both times for me on the 360 version when letting it auto-revert to the original difficulty at the alien base and keeping it there.

    Good luck!
    Posted by Bacon Weave on 18 Sep 19 at 04:47
    Brawler rocksStill works, but I think only on the 360 version. Loaded up an old save that was started on easy, the time in-game was November 1st. I did 3 missions on Impossible: 1 UFO landing, the Overseer crash site story mission, and 1 council mission. I built the Chamber during the month wait and launched the final mission on December 3rd. Achievement unlocked just fine. Odd thing was the difficulty never tried to revert, it stayed on Impossible the whole time.
    Posted by Brawler rocks on 13 May at 01:35
    The GlobalizerWorks fine on the X1 via backwards compatibility. Had to make sure I was on impossible (it seemed to revert to impossible during the alien base but then back to easy again after). Frankly impossible is not that hard once you overcome the money/panic issues early in the game. (I lost 3 countries early and then one more later when I was dodging missions for the Ain't No Cavalry Coming achievement.)
    Posted by The Globalizer on 01 Jun at 00:04
  • igor5618igor56181,372,218
    28 Feb 2013 26 Feb 2013 18 Aug 2013
    13 0 2
    I want to add one tip which helped me significantly to great other solutions. Used this with great result for Impossible & Classic+Iron.

    If you play with Slingshot DLC from beginning game on Impossible/Classic+Iron will be easier because you will get tons of great loot (especially from last mission, sell 1/3-1/2 of it and keep rest) you can sell and possibility to capture Muton quite early in the game if you build alien interrogation chamber no later than at end of 1st-2nd week of second month and research teaser weapon (all which will speed up plasma weapons research).

    On Impossible I started from Africa (and my first priority for full sat. cover were Africa and South America for faster research of better weapons). On Ironman started from Asia.

    Missions from DLC are randomly received instead of normal side missions so you can level up faster. There are total of 4 missions, all which you should receive durring firsr 1,5 month of game (or from time you installed DLC).

    Mission 1. Friends in Low Places
    Escort target, keep save from before mission and rotate maps until you will get cemetary one, it's easiest IMO.

    Enemies: About 10xThin Man and 1/2 Muton on Impossible playthrough, on Classic 1xChrysalid, about 5 x Thin Man and 5 x Sectoid.

    From start tako cover and kill intial wave of enemies (set everyone to guard) then go through lower right corner to upper right of map and you don't need to fight with more then 2-3 enemies at once. Be sure to have soldier with shotgun, from close he can take down Thin Man one shot.
    Reward: $200, 2 Engineers: 2 Scientists, Heavy class soldier recruit (Lieutant!)

    Mission 2. Confounding Light

    Enemies: (Impossible) - 10+ Thin Man, about 4-6 Mutons. But you can skip 1-2 mutons which spawn behind team if you are fast enough
    (I got it around end of 2nd week durring 2nd month of game (12-13th April)

    This is quite tough mission. You have 10 turns to reach 5 checkpoints and blaze through lot of Thin Man and Mutons (the latter spawn when you hit given checkpoints).

    I finished mission with 2 Assault (shotgun), 2 Heavy (I gave all my heavies SCOPE for whole game), Sniper and Support. It's also good if you already developed laser pistols and rifles. My Support had Laser Rifle, pistol and another pistol for Sniper)
    Reward: 2 engineers.

    Mission 3. Gangplank

    Received it few days after previous mission, 2-3 days before first Terror mission from main game so keep your best soldiers healthy or buy 50% faster injury healing. You can also do Terror mision first.

    Assaulting Battleship but much easier than normal 'UFO crash site/landing' missions. Just clear one objective at a time.

    Enemies: (Impossible) Cyberdisc, Chryssalid, Muton, Sectoid, Thin Man

    Reward: 2 engineers, 2 scientis and about 6 of each UFO items (flight computers, power cores ) so ealier you can sell 2+1 you already have from one of ealier Ufo crash missions if you need cash.
    Fusion Lance research + launcher
    About 300 Elyrium
    About 500 Alien alloys
    About 70-80 weapon fragments
    Showing both comments.
    UrsiformYeah the Slingshot DLC will pretty much give you an economic win, and prevents you from possibly getting a bomb disposal from the council in the early weeks. Confounding Light is actually much easier than your average Impossible bomb disposal, and you can keep delaying it if you feel you aren't ready without triggering other council missions, or go for it and get an early shot at a Muton capture.
    Posted by Ursiform on 17 Aug 13 at 19:22
    ScottMacFreedomWait a second... Total of 4 missions...... I think something might be off here.
    Posted by ScottMacFreedom on 04 Jul 15 at 06:47
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