M18: Hightower is the eighteenth mission in Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Shortly after the previous mission, in which a Metroid-breeding facility was destroyed, the Federation Force return to Talvania in order to hit the Space Pirates at their headquarters. The facility is beneath a gas pocket as the Pirates are not affected by the gas. To destroy the entire installation, the Federation Force must install and guard a Drill that will tunnel through the ground into the base. Then, the Federation will fire a missile into the hole to destroy the base.
The Drill will take 10 minutes to finish its job. During this time, it comes under attack by swarms of Hover Bots. These bots are easy to destroy, but cause serious damage to the Drill. The Marines can jump off the drill and attack them on the ground, using Jump Pads to get back up top, but the ground is filled with toxic Talvania Gas. The bonus objective for this mission is not to come in contact with the gas. To complete this objective, it is important to destroy all enemies before they get too close to the Drill. Flying Pirates can also appear, but they seem more interested in attacking the Marines rather than the Drill. New enemies called RB133 Auricrushers are also encountered. Once the Drill has finished its job, the Marines are extracted. Their dropship fires a missile through the Drill, impacting the base and destroying it.
"The intelligence team has uncovered new information about the Space Pirates--we've found their headquarters on Talvania!
Hidden beneath a gigantic underground gas pocket is an immense base. The Space Pirates aren't affected by the gas, which must be why they built their base there.
We can't directly assault the base, even with our Mechs, but we've still managed to come up with a plan to wipe out this installation.
First, we'll position a special drill specifically built for this mission above the Space Pirate HQ. This drill will then bore down until it reaches the enemy base.
Once this has been accomplished, we'll drop a bomb down the hole we've made, destroying the base and the Space Pirates in it.
Unfortunately, the Pirate base is very deep underground, and the drill is not subtle. The Space Pirates will likely react quickly once they realize what we're up to.
It will be your mission to ensure that the drill is able to do its thing.
The moment the drill breaks through, we'll be dropping our bomb. Make sure to get clear as soon as the bomb is away. Move out, Marine!"
"Thanks to your efforts, our plan was a resounding success. The Space Pirates' underground base has been completely destroyed.
We believe that we've nearly wiped out the Space Pirate presence on Talvania. You've done an exceptional job, Marine. Dismissed!"