Or, How I Learned To Stop Whinging And Love Being A Cyborg
I didn't ask for this.
I asked for a pony.
With body armour and titanium fangs and claws.
My Little Jensen
I didn't get on with it at first, and that's not counting the hours of horrifying frustration trying to make the horrible online part of it work, that thing you may have heard of that would be more aptly titled 'Scream' made by a company named after vacuum tubes. It's not like I was trying to run it on an exotic platform either, just the current 64-bit windows, i.e. their primary target platform in this day and age.
My respect for this particular piece of software and those responsible for its creation was not increased when it balked during a later reinstallation (after Windows destroyed itself yet again), and for some reason attempted to download the entire 8GB game instead of installing it from the DVD in the drive.
A system designed for human use should perhaps ask before committing the user to downloading such a vast quantity of data, or at least provide a way to cancel it afterwards, hmm?
The net result was that Ms. Reed stood in the corner constantly complaining while her ex-boyfriend was spinning around on the spot staring at the ceiling and going "Woo! Look! I'm in the future!"
The next problem was opening the door. I ran up to it, looked for a button, nothing. Tore the office apart looking for a keycard or panic button. Nothing. Meanwhile, Reed was becoming more and more impatient, utterly ignoring the fact that her friend was obviously either suffering from a stroke or a very bad acid trip.
In desperation I went to ask her how to open the door, at which point she opened it herself and the game chugged into a sort of cutscene-stroke-tour where Adam whinges about the military tech they were developing. Reed is then about to confess something plot-critical to Adam when the rather obnoxious sysadmin appears and ruins the moment forever.
Eventually Dave Sarif - your boss - sends you to investigate a fire in the labs (which look eerily like the medical level in System Shock 2), and that is when things fall apart.
As mentioned, Deus Ex had a nice training mode where you could learn to shoot, open doors, climb ladders and other skills which might perhaps be vaguely useful later on. Human Revolution does no such thing and instead shoves you straight into a deadly situation with no explanation nor aid and the result of this was that Adam would turn a corner and suddenly be shot in the head by the enemy before he had quite figured out how to fire his own gun.
This happened with horrifying frequency, dragging the 'tutorial' out over a period of several hours of frustration and why-am-I-playing-this-anyway while I struggled to come to terms with the fact that one or two shots from the enemy would kill Adam dead, while it was only possible to kill an invader by emptying an entire magazine of ammo into their head and hoping the other guy wouldn't kill you while reloading.
Finally, after having been shot in the head on more occasions than I care to think about, Adam somehow reached the final room of the labs, only to be greeted by a cutscene where he was shot in the head yet again. This might have had a little more dramatic impact had it not already happened three dozen times before, but after that the intro credits run while a rather gruesome surgical procedure occurs before the game starts proper and you are finally allowed to see how many health points and bullets you have left.
You start outside Sarif Industries with Reed apparently dead. Immediately, your retinal display crashes so you really want to get that fixed before seeing the boss. I'm not quite sure what happens if you don't, and I'm not that eager to find out since it is particularly annoying.
You're then sent off to one of the factories (which hasn't been outsourced to the third world) where the employees have been taken hostage. You're offered the choice of being allowed to kill people or not, and whether you want a long-range or short-range weapon.
Remembering Deus Ex and Return to Castle Wolfenstein, I said 'long range' expecting a lovely sniper rifle with which to slaughter unsuspecting terrorists from a distance. Instead I got the combat rifle, which looking back was one of the major sources of my woes.
Since there was no tutorial on the game mechanics, the first proper mission was significantly harder than expected until I finally worked out how to make Jensen climb down ladders without falling off and breaking his head.
As in the "tutorial" mission, the terrorists show a disturbing refusal to die when shot between the eyes, much like the creepy French guy in Tomb Raider who had to be shot point-blank in the head with two magnums no fewer than 42 times before he finally keeled over (yes, I counted).
At this point I should probably mention two things which may help explain this curious phenomenon. Firstly, the combat rifle does about as much damage to someone as throwing a metal bolt at them, even when fully upgraded. Secondly, the difficulty levels are radically different from the original Deus Ex. This is why.
STALKER has several difficulty levels, so I chose the second easiest option, a strategy which has served me rather well for the last 27 years or so when playing a new game for the first time. One of the things which I have been quietly bitching about for some time is the fact that a head shot should take someone down pretty much straight away, which it only does in precious few games, such as Deus Ex.
STALKER takes this to the opposite extreme in that the enemies also have this power, and so you will die very, very quickly if you try to play it like practically any other game I've ever seen. STALKER seems to do a pretty decent job of simulating this kind of warfare, the problem being that it's no actual fun, not least because you have about three rounds of ammo and if you do what I did first time around, no other means of combat at all.
The guy in STALKER cannot punch people and if you don't do exactly what the game tells you to begin with you miss out on the knife - and so I was reduced to throwing metal bolts at my enemies which is just as effective as it sounds. Needless to say I have become a lot more forgiving of unrealistic guns, except where it's completely around the twist like in Human Revolution (e.g. shooting someone in the hand or foot can kill them instantly - a shot to the crotch will often work better than a head shot too).
The main trick with STALKER is that the difficulty levels are very deceptive. You'd think that "Novice", "Stalker", "Veteran" and "Master" would map to something like "Easy", "Medium", "Hard" and "Expert" like any sensible game. Instead they represent "Hard", "Expert", "NIGHTMARE" and "Dies of a heart attack before he even leaves the bunker". Ren, who suggested the game, later remembered that he always plays it with a mod that seems to rebalance the gameplay slightly - but which only works on the original Russian version.
But back to Human Revolution. You don't get "Easy", "Medium" or "Hard" in this game either, you get the cryptically-named "Tell me a story", "Give me a challenge" and "Give me Deus Ex", each of which has a description associated with it.
Anyone who has played 'Fate of Atlantis' will know that that game too has three options, and each one is almost a different game with the same theme and outcomes, but is otherwise entirely different.
"Intelligence" is a very hard point-and-click adventure centred around Indy that I got terminally stuck with, "Fists" is something like a beat-'em-up which I can't really be bothered with, and "As a Team" is a point-and-click adventure where Sophia tags along as Indiana's sidekick, and that is how I usually prefer to play the game.
Finally, anyone who has played System Shock will remember that its difficulty levels can reduce the amount of storyline in the game, an idea which fills me with dread.
The descriptions given in Human Revolution heavily imply that it goes the same way as Indiana Jones, and as "Tell me a story" sounded like it would be a sequence of cutscenes all strung together, I chose "Give me a challenge" instead. This turned out to be "Medium" in the STALKER sense, i.e. "You enter the room and suddenly fall dead for no satisfactorily explained reason".
To cut a long story short, I restarted the game in "Tell me a story" mode at Bas' suggestion and promptly had a much better time of it - with no other apparent differences in gameplay. It's entirely possible that on subsequent playthroughs I will run through on "Challenge" anyway and wonder what the problem was in the first place, but c'est la vie.
It is possible to speed up the recuperation time by consuming granola bars in a similar fashion to BJ Blazkowicz in Wolfenstein 3D, who was able to heal by stuffing himself with enough hot meals to feed the entire Third Reich. Meals which were often locked in the vaults along with the gold, I might add.
But I'm digressing again. Takedowns are achieved in DXHR by pressing 'Q'. If you tap it once, Adam will knock them out or throttle them into submission. If you hold it down too long, he will instead gruesomely murder them with his metal blade thingy. You get more bonus for knocking them down without killing them, but it must be borne in mind that if someone finds their unconscious body they can revive them. It is amusing to do this to a partially-invisible foe.
In this game it is shockingly easy to accidentally shoot your unconscious foe in the head or leg while trying to loot them - chiefly because it uses the same control for 'fire' as it does for clicking on 'Take Everything'. Fortunately it is also possible to press 'E' instead and this will avoid unpleasant scenes. It is interesting (and slightly disturbing) to note that the game doesn't care if you kill someone after KO'ing them - you still get to keep the mercy bonus.
Anyway, you will probably find a bunch of hostages, and hopefully prevent them all being killed by the death-trap inside. The foreman mentions that his wife has been taken as a human shield.
Then, once you have bumbled your way into the server room, you will meet someone strange who kills himself. It's almost painfully obvious that they were acting under remote control or otherwise against their own volition, but somehow Adam Jensen misses it. However, he does notice certain other things which he mentions to Sanders later - which I still don't understand myself.
As mentioned, you will ultimately find your way to the hostage situation, where Colonel 'Zeke' Sanders has taken the aforementioned employee as a guarantee. I talked him down and let him go. Given Adam's apparent track record with hostages this seemed the far better approach, but somehow Sarif is unimpressed and you don't have any option to point out that virtually all of his staff survived the attack and he should be Very Grateful.
So, as you turn to go, you are paged by reception and told to report to your office where someone is being blackmailed. This eventually leads to you promising to break into someone else's house in order to steal the evidence they were using to blackmail them.
Finally, when you leave the building, you are collared by Mrs. Reed senior, who is less than satisfied with the official reports about the death of her daughter and wants you to perform yet another break-in. Sigh, add it to the list.
Note also that you can buy weapon mods here, and I strongly suggest you do so. A silenced 10mm pistol with full damage mods is truly awesome for killing people and was still my default choice even at the end of the game.
Tape: Oops, I just broke into the wrong person's apartment Ren: ? Tape: I was trying to burgle Tindall's apartment, so I blew the door off Tape: I thought it looked a little different Tape: His one is downstairs, I think Ren: I'm sure their insurance covers that. Tape: Perhaps. Tape: It looks like whoever it belonged to was running some kind of clinic Tape: The apartment is full of medical equipment. Tape: Oh FFS Tape: That wasn't his apartment either Tape: It was someone else in the same building I should be burgling later
Tape: I was eating something with my mouse hand, and moving Jensen around the apartment building with the other hand. Tape: Because of this I couldn't steer, so he was walking backwards. Tape: Each time I turned a corner there was this metallic crash and clunking sound as he knocked yet another fire extinguisher off the wall. Ren: Hehehe Tape: The only evidence of my intrusion will be the fact that all the apartment doors have been blown off and there is a trail of fire extinguishers Tape: Hoo boy Ren: ? Tape: When you raid Tindall's apartment and check his computer, someone comes along to murder him Tape: They go "Hey! This door is all busted up" because I used plastique to enter, but once I'd knocked them out, I decided to have a little fun with them Tape: Turns out, the physics engine doesn't seem to like it if you try to squish someone with Tindall's fridge. Tape: They start to twitch and squirm until either their body pops out from under the fridge or the entire thing topples over. Tape: Incidentally, the fridge makes a wonderful sound when you drop it. Ren: Hehe. I think I've seen stuff like that in some games. Tape: Yes, GTA seemed to be really bad for it
Tape: Just now the unconscious guy just kicked the fridge off himself Tape: I might have to try some experiments now Tape: See whether the fridge can survive being thrown off the top floor Tape: And whether the junkie is still unconscious if he is thrown off the top floor. Tape: Oh, that's beautiful Tape: I'll have to double-check, but I think I can throw people Tape: I'll have to see if I can blow up some of the police cars by throwing unconscious or dead gangers at them Ren: *snrk* Tape: Damn, I forgot to check whether the junkie was dead before I threw him Tape: He was definitely alive before I dragged him up six flights of stairs by the legs. Whether he was alive by the time I'd reached the top floor I don't know Ren: Hehehe Tape: Damn damn damn Tape: The street people realised he was dead and killed me before I got to the police cars. I think this might be a problem Tape: Incidentally, Bas told me that he was able to kill people with cardboard boxes. Three boxes and they die, apparently Tape: You can't set off a car with a person Tape: However one person can kill another person
Otherwise you'll have to go through the maintenance tunnel, which is a problem because it's both flooded and suffering a severe electrical fault. I'm not sure if there is a way to turn it off early, but I solved the problem using a crate and an oildrum to cross until I found the breaker in the middle.
At this point I decided it would be fun to assault a few people outside and lead them into the tunnel where they could be roasted by flipping the circuit breaker back on. In practice, the police and other victims of minor assault are reluctant to enter and will instead camp outside the entrance so that they can shoot you as you leave. Whether this is an artifact of the 'easy' difficulty level is an exercise for future study.
I should also note at this point that along with the lockpick device I was given a number of packages of plastic explosive as part of the preorder version. This proved a rather entertaining way of chivvying the authorities, since in true freedom fighter style, you can drop a package of plastique either under or next to a police car outside the station and detonate it from a safe distance. It seems to be random as to whether the police can work out that it was you wot dun it.
Anyway, having burgled the police storage unit and reported back to Cass, I received a call from Alex, an old acquaintance from Jensen's police days, who wants you to, well, commit yet more crimes. This mission is rather fun and consists of several stages.
A word of warning, though - you can only carry one of each model of gun at once. If you don't have one, Adam will pick the new gun up - assuming it fits - and it can then be sold. If you do have one, he will extract the ammo from the new gun and destroy the precious, salable chassis through some kind of mass-energy conversion.
Since your own gun will tend to be heavily modded and practically irreplaceable, your best bet is to find a safe place to drop it while you ferry the guns to the dealer, one at a time. It is not considered a good idea to sell the murder weapon as Alex will ask for it later.
Once the dodgy cop and his victim are out of the way, the next part of the Crooked Cop bonus mission is that you must go into the territory of the DnR, whose proper name I can never, ever remember so I either refer to them variously as "Drum'n'Bass" or the "Detroit Democratic Republic" which somehow gradually morphed into "The People's Democratic Republic of Detroit".
Whoever they are (and whether they are in fact communists), the important point is that they despise people with augmentations, unlike the Bay City Bangers who thoroughly endorse them. This is a bit of a problem, since it has been fairly well established that Adam Jensen did not in fact, ask for his.
You must break into their squat, an old factory building, and locate a stash of weapons, which conveniently enough includes a full-fledged rocket launcher. In addition, you must not be detected and if you do, you will fail the bonus mission.
Fortunately, the game is exceptionally lenient as to what "Being detected" actually means. You simply mustn't be seen. Shooting them in the back of the head is acceptable, since dead men tell no tales. This does get rather inconvenient when there are two of them together, but it's not a major problem, particularly if you have three packages of plastique that you're not quite sure what to use on.
In a manner resembling the 'How Not To Be Seen' skit in Monty Python's Flying Circus, it is quite possible to blow the pair up and ensure their silence that way. Funnily enough, the explosion will cause all their friends to become extremely upset and run around like ants looking for you, but because no-one actually saw who did the deed, it still counts as 'being undetected'.
Around this time, I complained to Bas that there was something very wrong with the Combat Rifle, and that shooting someone in the back of the head only to have them say "Ouch," turn around and kill you was perhaps not terribly realistic.
Ever helpful, Bas told me he had found a sniper rifle in the roof of the garage where the other arms dealer lives. Several very happy hours were spent trying to construct a tower of oil drums in order to climb up there.
Better success would have been achieved by using wooden crates, as a tower of oil barrels will start to teeter when 3-4 drums are placed and enters resonance and collapses when the fifth one is added. Reluctantly I eventually gave up and broke in using a special lockpick doodad which is only available in the preorder version of the game. On the second playthrough I used crates and dumpsters instead and all was well.
I should also mention that if you've played the game before, you will probably recall the transmission tower. It is possible to deactivate it at this point, which will cause a rather interesting dialogue between Pritchard and Jensen along the lines of "What did you just do?!" "Uh, I found this transmitter and it looked bad so I shut it down..."
You will also need to loot O'Malley's apartment for clues and stuff in general. I find it's amusing to throw his fridge off the top floor of the building as well. The final part of the Crooked Cop quest is to go to Alex, and after you've given her as much evidence as you can, she'll ask you to arrest O'Malley in person. This is fairly anticlimatic as you can simply Q him the moment he finishes talking. Never asks you about the fridge, though.
I had no idea where the morgue actually was, but it seemed to be nearest on the top floor of the building. My intention was to sneak down there unseen and pilfer, but this worked out very, very badly indeed as there are too many people wandering around and laser grids inside the air vents, which I couldn't find the control for at the time.
What inevitably happened was that someone would spot me, and attempt summary execution of Jensen, since DXHR has no concept of arrest, unlike the Ultima games or Morrowind/Oblivion, where you could end up in the clink. Jensen would then fight for his life, with particularly messy consequences.
To make things even worse, Detroit's Finest have obviously been taking notes from Saddam Hussein's death squads since they will call out to you things like "Come on, we can discuss this!", "Don't make this any worse than it is... give yourself up!" and other entreaties to surrender - only to shoot Adam in the head if you are foolish enough to heed them.
Tape: I found the morgue, which is good because now I need to make a deposit. Basilisk: oh? Tape: About half the Detroit police force. Basilisk: *facepalm* Basilisk: really? Tape: Frankly this has been such a disaster I'm not going to save it Basilisk: XD Basilisk: oh, well that's good Tape: But at least I know where I'm going now. Basilisk: i'm playing more like how i think Darkshine would be at the moment Tape: Oh? Tape: Sneaking and sniping, I'd guess Basilisk: trying to get in through stealth until something goes wrong... then kill every witness ever Tape: That's essentially what I was doing. Tape: It's just that there were an awful lot of witnesses.
...needless to say, I didn't keep that particular savegame other than as a rather gruesome trophy.
If you're particularly bored, a fun game to play is sneaking into the middle floor of the building and sniping all the Picus TVs without being spotted by the police. This has some particularly interesting results as the police will often yell "We got a man down!!" for no discernable reason, unless the TV itself technically counts as some kind of corpse. This will take place against a background of whining and pleading from the civilians who had previously been helping the police with their enquiries.
Anyway, finally knowing where the morgue actually was, I discovered that it was accessible via the sewers and promptly tried that approach instead.
This resulted in a perfect score as Jensen crept into the back of the station, evaded all the automation and was detected only by the pathologist (who was not, this time, cringing in a corner of the morgue). He assumed Jensen is a government agent and was easily swindled out of the goodies.
Jensen then crept back through the sewers, so completely undetected that the game awarded me the 'Ghost' bonus - and was then assaulted in the street by the entire police force for no apparent reason.
You are then sent home by Sarif - who has wisely decided that stealing from the police has made you too hot to handle for now - where you can upload the schematics of the device to Pritchard via a VPN setup. Pritchard tells Jensen at this point that the hacker person was being teleoperated, which somehow comes as a surprise.
Looting Adam's house at this point is a good idea, and while it's tempting to 'Q' the racist janitor downstairs, this will probably make things more sticky later on, particularly when you come to trial for the rest of the night's work.
AFAIK, Diane Gonzales is not in the office, which is probably best for her as she would definitely get the same (or worse) for killing your dog. You could probably set up a mine trap in her office, though.
Anyway, once you're done there, you'll be sent back to the DnB building to either destroy the transmitter, or if you have already done so, you'll be meeting Malik there instead. Either way, you'll be sent more-or-less straight to the next part of the game, another abandoned factory in a completely different part of Detroit that is accessible only by helicopter.
From here you massacre your way down into the basement, where you eventually get into a fight with someone extremely nasty who is exceptionally resistant to being shot in the head.
Next you get a slim lead given by the dying bad guy, who in an attempt to kill you, somehow blows himself up with a single frag grenade after surviving three plastique blasts and my entire stock of rockets between his eyes.
It is worth mentioning that on the second playthrough, I was mortally afraid of Barrett and had in my possesion nearly every weapon known to man except for the rocket launcher, which seems to fire nerf balls for all the good it does. For good measure I installed the Typhoon upgrade as well and maxed it out - something I was a little reluctant to do because I was trying to roleplay Jensen in the 'I will retain my humanity' vein. Nonetheless, it paid off - Barrett died fast, requiring only two hits of Typhoon and a candy bar.
At this point, during a brief visit to the office, Pritchard reckons that Sarif has personally compromised security so you have to figure out what the heck is going on there, which will result in the first clues as to where Reed got her magic DNA from, something which Adam - somehow - doesn't seem to be able to put together until he is told near the end of the game. It is somewhat interesting to note that his personal email address is 'Frenetic Pony' - evidently the My Little Pony fad is not going to go away quickly. At least he didn't call himself 'Rainbow Dash', though.
Next, I went to visit Thorpe, who gave me a discount on the MCB weapons dealer, which is much appreciated though very, very late. I also sold off the vast haul of weapons and ammo that I had looted from FEMA before heading off to China in pursuit of the aforementioned slim lead.
Oh, and before you go, it is well worth talking to the janitor guy cleaning the windows at the SI canteen. Make sure you talk to him twice.
Alex has nothing to say about this herself, simply insisting that "you've done a good thing" if you speak to her.
Your main objective is to get into Windmill's pad, which is surrounded by Belltower paramilitaries. This is annoying for you and very bad for them, since the ones on the roof get knocked down via Q and have their weapons taken and sold. The ones lower end up getting their heads emptied and their corpses dumped inside some unfortunate local's newspaper stand while their weapons and ammo are sold off at the local whorehouse.
It is also interesting to note that if you know what you're doing, you can actually punch the Belltower guys off the roof in what Bas described as 'a mercy killing'.
Anyway... Windmill has fled, leaving only a creepy glowing lion doll and an extremely badly-protected computer. By hacking into the latter you get a clue that he's at The Hive, so you must go off and see Mr. Tong. This involves going upstairs and arguing with the bartender.
Aggravatingly, there is no apparent way to make Jensen realise that he's actually talking to Tong right there and then (which I realised myself about a third of the way through the conversation).
Once you're got the address from Tong, you should probably make your way there unless you want to antagonise any surviving Belltowers. You will run into Malik who begs you to investigate something for her, with the usual complement of breaking and entering.
Once you've read up on the details in pod 9, she'll want you to retrieve a report from some guy at the local LIMB clinic. This sets you back a grand, which as far as I'm aware, Malik never actually pays you back for.
Once you have built up a convincing case, you then have to bluff Lee into confessing and finally hack into the Hive in order for Malik to commandeer their data displays (which horribly enough seem to run on Windows XP).
I would make absolutely sure that everything else is in place before you bring back the card, because the shit will really hit the fan when you do. Try and make sure you have lots of space carrying capacity too.
Immediately before handing over the card, drop your 10mm special on the ground, and break into pod 544 which is also on level 3. Here you will find a more basic 10mm pistol and the owner won't be needing it anymore.
As you hand the card over to Windmill, Tai Yuden mercenaries will break into the hotel, shoot one person and then cause everyone else in the entire building (except for you and Windmill) to instantly drop stone dead through some mysterious, other-worldly means. Give Windmill the stolen pistol and then retrieve your 'special' before shooting all the mercenaries in the head.
Windmill somehow locks himself up tight inside his bunk and won't come out until you've left the building - it does not seem to be necessary to defend the floor from intruders to ensure his survival. The usual exit will be locked tight.
Once everyone else is dead, you'll have a lot of dead mercs and weapons they won't be needing anymore. In an ideal world, you would take a dumpster or a shopping trolley and trundle it around, filling it up with guns to sell later, but sadly the game won't have any of that.
The standard approach here of ferrying the weapons out of the building one by one is also doomed because the special door Jensen leaves through does not actually exist and he therefore cannot get back in after he's left - something I discovered to my absolute dismay. The best advice is therefore to take one each of the best weapons you can find and convert the rest into ammo to sell at the whorehouse.
Upon leaving, the Belltower Boys will take a severe dislike to you, and as such they will have to die. Any decent weapons they have should be left so you can ferry those to the whorehouse also. For the pistols, convert them to ammo as you can never have too much 10mm goodness.
Finally, once the opposition has been neutralised and you've sold everything you can find to the whorehouse weapons dealer, take the TYM shuttle and obtain elevator access by saving an unfortunate TYM employee from a horrible gaseous death.
If you can't go down the shaft, take the hidden air ducts under the walkway and sneak into the security control room. Here, two guards are moaning about the fact that they're going to be replaced with automation and since one of them has his back turned, you can knock out his buddy in mid-conversation and he won't suspect a thing.
From here you can shut down said security automation and make your way safely to the lift. There is a considerable amount of pumping and power handling equipment in this area, but sadly you cannot blow any of it up to sabotage their operations.
Upstairs, there's a room with another one of those nasty mixtures of electricity and water. Fortunately, by judicious use of the air vents it is possible to pull the breaker and shut it all down.
I should also mention that there is a dead guy at the bottom of of the ventilation shafts. If you have the Icarus device, you can go down and retrieve some weapon upgrades, a pass to the secret lab and various other goodies.
What I did this time around was reprogram the security bot to kill all who oppose me, and then used the dead guy's card to sneak the robot into the secret lab where it could happily run amok. For good measure I took the spare access card as well just so no-one else could have it.
Upstairs from the secret lab is the TYM data core, the heart of their operation. Given that TYM have done their utmost to screw Sarif Industries over, the sensible approach would be to blow up the data core and assassinate Zhao, putting them out of business for the foreseeable future. Sadly, there is no apparent way to do this.
Once you have murdered your way into the monitoring station inside the data core, you discover that your murdered researchers might not be as murdered as you were led to believe. Sarif will egg you on to confront Zhao herself. How he knows she has a penthouse suite is never explained, nor is the reason she has the same weird sculptures as the one in his office.
Dave Sarif doesn't quite seem to understand the gravity of this and makes the singularly bizarre remark that he has a panic room too. He does send Malik over to pick you up, though of course you still need to sneak or murder your way to the helipad and disable the guard robots first.
* Hawk the Slayer: an amazingly bad 1980 Swords and Sorcery flick set in a land where buildings are so expensive that blacksmiths are reduced to wandering around and plying their trade the middle of the forest on tree-trunks, and where the hero is so detached and unemotional that it's easy to assume he's the villain
As usual, Jensen is completely taken in, whereas after the first sentence I had begun to suspect she was an AI simply by the mode of her speech, the closeup of the security camera and the fact that she's named after the first working chatbot program from 1966.
You then murder your way down to the mainframe room in the basement, where you discover that Eliza is roughly on par with Icarus or Daedalus, but 25 years too early.
An amusing diversion is the funicular, which when summoned, will call a bunch of extra enemies down upon you. The best approach is to subvert the turret and sit back inside one of the nearby hidey-holes while it massacres everyone else.
Anyway, your task is - as mentioned - to reach the mainframe room (named after the WiFi standard) where Jensen still naively believes that he'll find Eliza Cassan loafing around and eating takeaway in some kind of bunker - apparently he never saw Dr. Who and the Green Death when he was a kid.
At this point you'll run into Barrett's girlfriend, who again, can be killed dead with a couple of bursts of Typhoon before she's quite figured out what's happening.
Once she's out of the way, ELIZA will give you some kind of recording that you can't seem to play back and shoo you off to the helipad. You can - and probably should - help yourself to whatever you can carry from the weapons lockers which have been scattered around the mainframe area for no especially plausible reason. After you're done, head back to Detroit courtesy of Malik, who will drop you off at your apartment on the way.
Somehow, Adam never gets around to looking up Cass and giving her the news.
If you're curious, it is possible to enter the old Derelict Row building via the side entrance where the crossbow was. In the absence of the DnB gang members, it has been taken over by many refugees fleeing persecution over their leather trousers.
With the ones that the police are arresting, it is possible to deck the policemen hassling them though in most cases they will continue to shout abuse at their now-unconscious captors.
At one point I found myself unable to resist freeing the subway from the tyranny of the fascist police. The newly-freed citizens of the subway didn't seem quite so thrilled about it - one of them running around like a headless chicken while the others sat whimpering on the floor or park benches.
When questioned, the breakdancer was all "Please, I don't know anything!" while his companion was outright hostile and so ended up unconscious along with the police. This was rather interesting in itself since he was tied up on the floor at the time - the game decided to free his handcuffs and stand him up for the privilege of being knocked out.
Anyway, I'm digressing again. As well as selling your haul of weapons and ammo, you can also aquire some "extra damage" weapon mods, and many other similar goodies and I strongly suggest you do, to beef up the 10mm pistol into a weapon of ultimate destruction. The exploding magnum rounds mod is also available - it works quite nicely against robots.
Once you've visited both Seurat and Grayson, it is also fun to knock out the crazy preacher outside Earl's Court, which makes his congregation cower and whimper for a minute or two, after which they snap out of it and just stand there idly staring in the direction of his unconscious body.
Radford is dying and although he could easily be saved with 2027 medical tech, refuses to allow it because he's afraid that having his spine repaired will suck out his soul or something.
Instead he wants to die a junkie's death, which I reluctantly grant him before dragging the MiB into the corridor and shooting him in the head as vengeance. Next time I went to visit the arms dealer after that, he had fled and was conducting business from a corner of the adjacent corridor. The game was not pleased at having to switch the camera between him and the terminal in the other room.
You'll be given a lockup code, and the lockup in question has a couple more MiBs who would also benefit from a magnum round between the eyes. The sound of shooting will upset the nearby police officers, but if you hide in the lockup, they will take a quick glance at the bodies and wander away again as if nothing had happened.
Alternatively, the city itself provides a quick and easy way to dispose of the pieces:
From here you get the address for Michelle Walthers, who is in a rather distressing state of senility. After all this, having practically had the information given to him on a freaking plate Jensen is still unable to connect the dots regarding Megan's magical DNA sample. Or perhaps he has, but is just scared to face up to it.
Getting out again is harder and may require you to augment your legs so you can bounce up into the air-ducts. Barring a massacre you're going to have a tough job leaving through the front door, as his security team have no concept of taking people alive. Taggart is not a man you'd want to try and sneak an autograph from backstage.
Once you've escaped, you'll run into an old acquaintance who is desperate for you to help him find some crazy guy with a bomb. Said crazy guy is actually in the sewers under the detroit police station, but you probably want to check out the other places first anyway since you'll get the experience points for it.
The most dangerous parts of this are the bombs and the turrets, in that order. You can make short work of the turrets by throwing them into electrified sewer run, but make sure you do actually throw them as they go out with a very big bang. Also, make sure you grab the turret from behind as it can still thrash around in your arms and shoot you if you're careless.
Jacob himself can just be knocked out with your Q powers, so despite the heavy rifle he's a non-issue. The bomb itself you will have to defuse. Then you can report back to Nick at the convention centre and sell the rifle for an extra grand or so.
You will then need to demolish the bathroom (explosives are fun, but you can also punch through walls) to get at the secret lair. Logically there should be some means of getting in from the apartment which doesn't require explosives and re-plastering the wall each time they want to enter or leave, but if there is I've yet to find it.
Taggart's aide is through the sewer. And - apparently because I had tried to frame his boss - has now been thrown to the wolves and is suicidal. He gives you some valuable intel and then you're supposed to stop him from shooting himself, which took me several attempts.
From here you go back to SII, and then on to Hengsha again.
Like with rescuing Paul, I was initially of the belief that the writers simply wanted her out of the way, since if you run she is dragged out of the chopper and graphically shot in the head while you watch helplessly.
If you don't run, the goons will reach the chopper and Malik will blow it up to avoid capture.
On my second playthrough I stayed roughly where I was and using my sniper rifle, graphically shot each of the goons in the head while Malik watched helplessly.
The sole exception was the evil death robot where I was forced to leave my perch and blow it up with explosives since it has no head to shoot.
After that, it was a simple matter of picking off the remaining snipers in the towers, after which Malik magically fixed the extremely battered and shot up helicopter and flew away. Despite having her ass saved in a truly heroic piece of rescuing, she still doesn't pay back the grand she owes you.
As you go to leave the construction site, the game will ask you the following question:
On the first playthrough I went into the clinic - and was appalled when Jensen (a wanted man) gave his real name immediately before being anaesthetised. While this doesn't ruin the game, it does make things harder later on and as mentioned, Jensen approaches the whole affair with a near-suicidal lack of caution, so I'd give it a miss and put up with the bugs.
The Belltower Boys are once again looking for you, probably because of the massacres that took place last time.
The second arms dealer has now opened shop in Youzhao district so you may as well find him and unload whatever wares you brought from Detroit or scavenged from the construction site. When you complete the transaction he has a tendency to say "I'll be right here" in a voice eerily similar to Zippy in Rainbow, but never mind that. While you're selling your ill-gotten gains, Hugh Darrow will call up and tell you to meet a contact of his who turns out to be on the roof.
She will give you a quest that involves knocking out many terrorists just outside the Alice Gardens complex. This is easy enough, though the woman will get pissy if you ask what's actually on the chip afterwards. It's also practically certain that the seller copied the chip first anyway, making the whole endeavour somewhat pointless. Darrow's agent will now vanish to avoid you decking her and stealing it back. It would be interesting to see what happens if you don't do this quest as it may have implications later when the shit goes down at Panchaea Station.
While you're on the roof, it might be a good idea to pick off Tong's Harvesters with your death pistol and sniper rifle since their tactics of becoming invisible and sneaking up on you will fall completely flat when you're hiding on a rooftop about 3 stories above them. The new arms dealer is conveniently just around the corner so you can sell off their possessions once they are all dead.
Once they've been harvested, you'll need to break into the car park and carry out a few more murders. There's a turret that can be subverted - don't forget that you can carry it around and place it in more effective locations.
Eventually you'll come to a sewer. Remember that like in Morrowind, the sewer is in a different dimension to the car park. As such, your best strategy is to kill one man and then flee back into the car park until your health is regenerated since unlike you, the Harvesters cannot go through the portal to the other world.
Finally, you'll reach the basement, where if Malik died you'll find her corpse, ready to be chopped up and broken for parts. In the first run I dragged her body away to try and find a place to bury her. Somehow I dropped her while in the elevator shaft and she disappeared completely into some other dimension, which I figured was as good as I was likely to get.
Nearby you'll find Tong, and at this point it becomes clear that whatever you're homing in on it's not Sevchenko. Tong is kind of annoyed at your intrusion and killing spree and threatens to turn you over to Belltower. This is a particularly hollow threat since by this time you've either murdered or concussed all the Belltower folk on the streets, and his remaining Harvesters are only still alive because of the cutscene.
I'm not sure what happens in the stock game, but in the preorder version, you'll be sent off at this point to rescue his son from the forces of even-more-evil-than-Tong.
Once this is done, you have to go to the dock to catch a boat. This is of course more complex than it needs to be, since Jensen could easily sneak into a crate just like he does in the cutscene, but he won't until you've blown up Administrator Wang's office.
Your first task is, ideally, to simply massacre all the Belltower men. There are two snipers on different buildings so once the footsoldiers and robot are relatively clear, you should give them a taste of their own medicine via the sniper rifle. Don't forget to loot their corpses for sniper rounds.
You can also have fun in that there is at least one red barrel of boom and this can be thrown at enemies, slaying them pretty dead.
Once you've picked up the explosive device, go inside the warehouse. There are, of course, many more goons to kill and once you've taken down enough a helicopter will drop a death robot in through the roof (but I can't find the hole).
The death robot can be destroyed with a single round of Typhoon, whereupon it will self destruct after giving the enemy (you) enough time to get clear. Health and safety regulations, I suppose.
I must point out that unless I've missed something really big, there are no gun smugglers in the Secret R&D Lab or the Arctic so from hereon you will be unable to buy or sell weapons.
Finally, you place the bomb and a cutscene occurs where Jensen almost blows himself up (probably Tong getting back at him for harvesting his Harvesters) and then limps into a suspended animation pod, telling Pritchard that he has no idea where he's going despite practically every email in the entire dock mentioning that the ship is bound for Singapore.
Also, despite earlier protesting that he can't track the GPLs on their new frequency - and even having to actually get the military to do it for him as a one-off favour - Pritchard has now somehow been able to beg, borrow and steal the equipment needed to track the GPL devices.
However, there is some kind of jamming device in the area so we're back to square one and he can't track you anymore. Your second task will be to fix that, but since the R&D campus is surrounded by armed goons, your first task will be to wander around the perimeter and inside some of the overlooking buildings, killing everyone who wears dark clothing.
Once the coast is clear, the transmitter is nearby and one of the goons or bunks where the goons live has the code. Once it's shut down, go into the main building and kill or maim your way through until you reach the scientists. Faherty is eager to help, and helps devise a plan to escape. Jensen devises a signal by means of vibrating the GPL devices, but doesn't think to ask Pritchard if it can actually be done first.
Then you have to find the other two scientists - Colvin is a treacherous bitch who gets really pissy and doesn't want to go. Eric Koss is scared but will give you the virus you need to screw up the GPL tracking and protect them.
Once the virus is installed, the scientists will immediately cause three explosions and guards will burst out of the secure area only to be cut down by your robots.
On the first attempt at the game, no-one thought to tell me where the door I was looking for actually was. The tunnel didn't seem to have a door in the end at all and the map seemed to be homing in on the security computer instead, so I spent about 20 minutes crawling through ducts and things trying to find some mysterious opening. When I finally realised where the door was, it had closed again.
Upstairs, you run into Zhao and Namir. If you did go to the LIMB clinic like I did the first time, you'll be in a bit of a mess when fighting Namir, since your systems will have crashed. However, three packets of plastique will settle his hash quite nicely, augmentations or no.
If you didn't get it fixed, two rounds of Typhoon and a candy bar will do it, same as usual. Bear in mind that he is fast, heavily-armed and full of EMP grenades so it's not quite as one-sided as the other two.
Either way, he should be dead and Zhao has slipped away again. Jensen should just have shot or Q'd her instead of actually stopping and talking to the woman.
Megan lives in a room entirely filled and decorated with white and grey things, including a murdered crash test dummy and a 78 RPM gramophone.
A tiff breaks out with Megan but is then interrupted by the news, where Hugh Darrow has finally cracked and decided to make everyone else as batshit insane as he is, including all of TYM's goons. Somehow this doesn't affect Malik, who - if alive - comes along to rescue the scientists with her hastily-rebuilt helicopter. Otherwise the scientists break into a parked helicopter themselves and steal it.
Then you take the LEO shuttle to Panchaea, to find Darrow and beat the crap out of him for what he's done. It is not entirely clear why Sarif and Pritchard remain unaffected.
Your first port of call is to get up to the control section and take the station out of lockdown. Mad Darrow is up there, and is apparently created as soon as you cross the threshold so you can't blow his head off from afar.
While he can't stop you from taking the system out of lockdown, he is the only person who knows how to shut down the security system in the basement, so the two of you get into an argument about whether he was right to do it. If you can convince him that it was all a big mistake, he'll give you the shutdown codes.
As you progress through the station you will encounter yet more loonies, and a message from Bill Taggart to come and rescue him.
Given the jump enhancement, it is possible to get up onto the ledge by means of jumping on the open door and crawling across the outside, thus leaving most of the loonies behind. You may need the Icarus Device to get down again, though.
While it is kind of amusing to pick the lock on his door and then simply kill Mr. Slippery with a sniper round, it is probably best to at least talk to him first, since the two default game endings suck.
Once you're done with him, you should go and find Sarif as well before making your way to the control system in the basement, from which you cannot return.
It is also worth pointing out that while there are no arms dealers in Panchaea, there is in fact a LIMB clinic where you can still buy Praxis Kits if you have the readies.
To get to Sarif you jump down one of the vent shafts and land safely with the Icarus Device (and possibly the ventilation fans if you don't have one, I'm not sure). After that you should be able to roam around a little until you hear Sarif talk to you.
Once you have spoken to him, the main exit is blocked by some crates. Once those are out of the way the crazy engineers will all crowd about and try to kill you, which means you can drop them all with a gas grenade. They will all fall down in perfect sync.
Finally, it's time to take the main elevator down since the game won't let you jump down a one kilometer fall, Icarus Device or no.
Zhao appears and tries unsuccessfully to link into it a'la Helios in the original game... shooting her in the head earlier would have saved so very much trouble...
If you managed to wangle the security code from Darrow, you can just go right up to the central panel and type it in, which seems to do the bulk of winning the game quickly and easily.
Otherwise you've got problems and you're basically faced with an ending stolen from System Shock II, but making slightly less sense. I'm not honestly sure how you do win it - the first time I had the code but didn't know what to do with it and so just fumbled around pressing buttons and hacking security terminals until something happened.
Either way, once you've taken it down, the floor will start to be electrified, a number of apparently sane goons will appear and Zhao will continue to shout abuse at you.
You can if you wish speed things up by shooting her in the head once the forcefield is down, but just leaving her seems to work, and eventually she'll explode.
Assuming you spoke to Taggart and Sarif, you will be granted four options.
The first option is to transmit Darrow's entire confession, plunging the world into a self-imposed dark age and preventing the original Deus Ex from ever happening in some bizarre and unhappy paradox.
The second option is for Adam to commit suicide, destroying Panchaea completely and with it, ELIZA, Dave Sarif, Bill Taggart and all the other people he was supposed to be saving. In short, losing the game.
Additionally, you have the Taggart ending, where Slut Puppet edits out all mention of the Illuminati and the entire debacle is blamed on Bob Page's company, VersaLife. This option is still available if you sneak back into Taggart's room via the air ducts and assassinate him with the sniper rifle.
Finally, you have the Dave Sarif ending, where the whole thing is blamed on Humanity Front and SII and Page Industries have free rein to do whatever they like. Ideally I would have preferred an edit which blamed it all on the Illuminati and TYM and painted SII in a more positive light, but this one is probably the most uplifting compromise.
Don't forget to watch the outtro at the end of the credits.
...I had hoped that when the dumpster had bounced to the car it might set off the alarm and blow it up, but sadly it just sat there bouncing against it and very slowly rotating as it did so. Whatever force was moving the dumpster, placing another dumpster on top would not slow it down and they would both bounce together.
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