Mercenaries Wiki
Mercenaries Wiki

The pilot in need of rescue

First Principles is the fifth contract for the South Koreans and the second for them in the second act of Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. The contract takes place in the Southern Province of North Korea near the NK Fortress Gate.


The contract involves finding and destroying a downed aircraft, and then finding and returning the pilot to the South Korean occupied airfield of Ichon.


  1. Find and destroy downed aircraft
  2. Find the downed pilot
  3. Return pilot to Ichon

Supplies & Support Given[]

  • South Korean Supply Drop - $4,000
  • S. Korean K1025 Scout Delivery - $16,000 (less than the Merchant of Menace shop price)

The Contract[]

The downed plane

This contract is similar to the Allied Nations contract 'Downed Bird in Enemy Nest', and takes place in roughly the same area. Once the contract starts head towards the crash site, which is just north east of Ichon, along the dirt road. Once you arrive at the crash site you'll find numerous KPA personnel guarding the area, including RPG troops. Take them out, then take out the downed plane with either a few grenades or RPG rockets. Once it is destroyed you will receive an update.

The pilot will appear further east along the road towards the Black Gate, inside a Transport Truck, and will start driving up the road. Quickly hop into a vehicle and intercept the truck. Hijack the truck and the pilot will jump out. Pick up the pilot in any vehicle and head straight back to Ichon and drop off the pilot to complete the contract.

The reward for completing the contract is $85,000. Completing this contract will make the K966 Scout available for purchase from the Merchant of Menace. Intel regarding the location of the Five of Diamonds will also be given.

Email Messages[]

Introductory Email Message[]

Sender: Lieutenant Yung Kim

Subject: Contract: 'First Principles'

Rescue that pilot and blow up that plane. Easy contract, as long as no one else finds that plane first.


Contract Terms & Conditions

1. Find and destroy downed aircraft
2. Find the downed pilot
3. Return pilot to Ichon

Contract value: $85,000

Email Update[]

Sender: Fiona Taylor

Subject: Updated Pilot Information

The North Koreans have already captured the pilot and are transporting him to their base at the Black Gate. You must stop them before they arrive, otherwise the pilot is lost.


The player enters the HQ. Buford and Park are talking to each other

  • Agent Buford: (in Korean) Song hates the West. Hates South Korea for being so western, and hated the idea the same thing might happen to his country. He'd kill anyone to prevent that.

Buford turns his attention to the mercenary

  • Agent Buford: One of my planes was hit by NK anti-aircraft over Heuk Dae Moon. He ditched, somewhere behind the Black Gate. If you can get behind North Korea's most fortified position, get my man out, and turn that fighter into scrap before Song get's his hands on it, you'll be my new best friend.

The player remains in the HQ

  • Agent Buford: Song would love to take that plane apart, sell its secrets to the highest bidder.

The player still remains in the HQ

  • Agent Buford: I wish to hell that pilot had gotten his plane just a few thousand yards south, but you play the hand you're dealt.

The player continues to remain in the HQ

  • Agent Buford: You always this methodical when someone's life is on the line?

The player accepts the contract

  • Fiona: This is the aircraft's last know position--the pilot should be near by.
  • Fiona: Is it just me, or is Buford starting to not like you?
    • Chris: Ask me if I care.
    • Jennifer: Hard to tell. I think he talks to everyone like that.
    • Mattias: Oh, he doesn't like me? Well you tell him to get in line, behind everyone else.

The player approaches the crash site

  • Fiona: There's the plane, but I'm not picking up any sign of the pilot.

The player destroys the downed plane

  • Fiona: Excellent. let the North Koreans sift through that if they want any intel on the plane.
  • Fiona: Good news--I've located the pilot. The bad news is so have the North Koreans. It looks like they're taking him to the Black Gate. That fortress is heavily defended. If they get inside, the pilot's as good as dead.

If the player fails to rescue the pilot before he's taken behind the Black Gate

  • Fiona: They've taken the pilot inside. There's no way to get him back now.

If the pilot is killed at any point

  • Fiona: The pilot's dead!

The player rescues the pilot

  • Fiona: Good. Looks like he's alive and in one piece.
  • Pilot: Boy, I'm glad to see you! Let's go.

The pilot is safely returned to Ichon

  • Fiona: Well done. That's a pretty big chunk of change for a nice leisurely mission.



  • The 'downed aircraft' is likely a Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk. A single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground attack aircraft.
  • The contract title, First Principles, may be a reference to the first episode of the same name of a series entitled Sandbaggers. The goal of the episode is to try to recover a plane that crashed in the USSR, which is similar to the player having to go behind enemy lines to recover a pilot and destroy a downed plane.
Contracts in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction
Allied Nations Ante UpOut of the WoodworkBringing Down the House
EmbeddedDowned Bird in Enemy NestThe Guns of Kirin-Do
Inspect and VerifyReactor RetrievalGambit
Humanitarian EffortsThe Ace of Spades
South Korea Stem the TideA Proper Function of GovernmentA Farewell to Kings
A Hot Time in NampoFirst PrinciplesMaster of None
Repo ManClear ChannelThe Acid Queen
In and OutBOOM!Titular Regius
China Pest ControlNo One Will Ever KnowUnder New Management
Escort ServicePersuasionKnock Knock
Manipulate the DataExit StrategyChain Reaction
An Eye for an EyeChokepointTwo Degrees of Separation
Russian Mafia FootholdGimme My MoneyBait and Switch
Playing the OddsOmertà...It's Who You Know
In the Neighborhood106 Miles to SinuijuRaw Materials
Escort ServiceHousekeepingLoose Ends
Challenges Jeep MeltdownMafia Warehouse SabotageSpeed
Race from China HQ to Mafia HQ
Race from Mafia HQ to SK HQ
Race from South Korean HQ to Chinese HQ
Bold denotes ace contracts.
Italics denote contracts that require the player to verify a face card (King, queen or jack).