Stealth done Jamie contacts us to let us know the course is almost over, only one more test to go:
Now for the last test. You have to find a way across the river to the exit on the other side. There's more than one way to get there, depending on your approach and the skills you want to use. It's up to you... Make use of the IFF system to identify enemies. The crosshairs will highlight red over enemies, green over allies, and white over neutrals.
The “river” is a pool running the length of the room. To me river evokes outdoor images, this is something wholly contained in a room. Across the river is an observation room. This one contains Jamie, Bob Page, and an anonymous male scientist.
There are ladders on the near side of the river so that if you fall in you can get back out. There are none on the far side meaning you can't simply swim across and climb out. On the far side is a drawbridge, which can be lowered via a keypad on the near side. There are various supplies scattered around.
Also, there is a Page Industries Walking Turret. A robot that's one step down from a giant military death machine. (It's a large military-and-certain-police-forces death machine.) It does not like you. What did you ever do to it?
(Apart from blowing up two of its friends I mean.)
I've done this a few times while making this series, one of the most notable being when I was checking to see if you could select a non-default race in training. To find out if it had worked I had to get a third person view, which only comes up in conversation. So, basically, I sprinted through training, got to this part, and decided that my solution would be to blow up bot, and calmly move on from there once I was out of danger.
In order to accomplish this I started pushing a big explosive barrel into the bot's path. (Its patrol route was very simple, walk in one direction, turn 180 degrees, walk in that direction, turn 180 degrees, repeat.) It turned around before I expected it to, opened fire. My legs were gone, possibly most of my arms too. My core was hanging on by a thread.
At this point I didn't realize that this level continued the cannot-die mechanic of earlier parts of training. At this point I didn't know that earlier parts of training had a cannot-die mechanic.
Now in a panic and hoping to preserve what little health I had left I dove into the river and hugged the near wall, counting on the inability of the robot to see or shoot me when I was directly below it (and that assumes the robot walked all the way up to the wall, if it held back I was definitely protected.)
Making use of the multiple ladders, I was able to misdirect the robot and crawl back on land. Scrambling to get behind some cover opposite the river. While back there I was able to discover a datapad:
Hey J.C., want to cross the water? Lower the bridge. The code is:
It's either that or get all wet.
It's either that or get all wet.
Thanks Jamie, that's just the sort of information I could use.
Taking careful stock of where the robot was, I crawled to the bridge controls. I couldn't stand so I was looking up at them but I got the numbers in, the bridge lowered, and I made it across, barely alive, but successful.
That was then.
Lets talk about how we approached this today. And by we I mean me. Except if I were to replace the word “we” with something it would be “I” not “me” because of the declension. It all makes sense. Moving on.
The doors open, I see cardboard boxes in front to me. I charge toward them, grab one and jump into the water with it. I push it across the the water and then, at the other side, climb atop it and from it to the other side. I have crossed the river, success.
The doors open and I see that the cardboard boxes are next to some pipes. They're too large for me to jump on top of (since they are not currently partially submerged) but if I had a small crate I could use it as a stepping stool to get on the box and from the box to the pipes.
You know what comes in small crates? TNT. I grab a crate of TNT, I bring it over to cardboard boxes near the pipes. I set it down carefully (don't want to blow myself up) climb up the TNT-Cardboard Box-Pipe ladder. Walk the over the river on the pipes. Success.
Hey, was that TNT I just saw?
Careful around this TNT. You can pick up the boxes and move them around, but crouch to set them down. I don't want to have to reattach your arms.
Thank you, Jamie.
I pick up a crate of TNT when the robot is walking away from me, run up to speed, approach, and then throw the crate towards the robot (stopping at the same time because I don't want to run into the explosion. The robot is destroyed, I'm largely unscathed, I'm free to look around at leisure. Hidden by some barrels I find a datacube with the combination to lower the bridge. I lower the bridge. I walk across, success.
Given leisure time maybe I don't need a bridge. Perhaps I could build my own bridge. Of course, is that even necessary? Couldn't I just throw two boxes in the water, hop on one pick up and throw the other, hop to it, and repeat until I crossed the river without ever getting in the water? *more attempts than it should have taken by a long shot* Success!
Oh, and that leisure time I mentioned? Not necessary. I did all of this while the robot was still patrolling.
But I want a bridge. A bridge of my own design that I can amble across secure in my bridge making ability. And that Robot is going to be a problem for construction. The Robot has to go. So first I do some reconnaissance. I search the area. I find a handgun. This has potential. Small arms are all but useless against robots, but they're quite effective against explosives and volatile chemicals stored under pressure and whatnot.
I push an explosive barrel into an isolated place (I don't want it damaging potentially useful building materials.) Then I lure the Robot there. While the robot is approaching around a corner, I steady my aim on the barrel. I let myself fall into the zone and feel my hands waver less. Less shake, more on target, I breathe more slowly, and then, finally, I hold my breath. If I were a sniper I would shoot between heartbeats but that is not necessary here. The robot comes around the corner. I fire, no more robot.
The training area river has bizarre unnatural currents that make bridge construction difficult, but by putting things against the downstream side it seems to work. I construct a bridge out of four cardboard boxes and one supply crate. I cross the river without getting my feet wet or having to use the imperialist's bridge.
I'm creative and an individualist.
This is what I did with five boxes, imagine what I might do with a pair of pliers and a paperclip and some other thing MacGyver might have.
I'm on the other side of the river, success!
I enter the area of my final test, I quickly duck into the shadows, the sound of my robot adversary and my own unarmed status throwing me into stealth mode. I look around, what's this? A crowbar*. Believing that the flow of the universe is on my side and would not guide me to an object I will have no need for, I search for something a crowbar might be used in combination with.
I stay in the shadows, away from the robot's patrol. Near the end there's a moment of panic. At the end of it's patrol path it turns a complete 180 degrees and, because it chose to turn clockwise, for a split second it looks right at me. But the turn continues and it begins to walk away. I'm safe.
In a dark corner I see a supply crate, exactly the kind of thing the benevolent forces of the universe might have given me the crowbar to access. I break into the crate. But it's too dark to see what, if anything, that accomplished. I risk using my light and find a multitool.
I quickly take the tool and turn the light off.
A quick check, consisting of a risky peek around the corner, shows that the robot is still walking away. I have some time. I head over to the the bridge control and start to hack it. Turns out I didn't have enough time, the robot opens fire and all is lost. I jump into the water as an escape.
Then grab a cardboard box and return to plan A. The Robot hasn't lost interest, the rest of this plan is executed under fire. But I make it to the other side. Success!
I enter the area of my final test, I quickly duck into the shadows, the sound of my robot adversary and my own unarmed status throwing me into stealth mode. I look around, what's this? A crowbar. Believing that the flow if the universe is on my side and would not guide me to an object I will have no need for, I search for something a crowbar might be used in combination with.
I stay in the shadows, away from the robot's patrol. Near the end there's panic. At the end of it's patrol path it turns usually turns a complete 180 degrees and, because it chose to turn clockwise, for a split second it looks right at me. And stops. It's spotted me. I backpedal.
It's a robot, it's not a very smart robot. All around the mulberry-bush, the robot chased the agent, and then the robot got confused because it hadn't seen the agent in so long that the agent could be anywhere. It looked all around, saw the agent nowhere, and then resumed its ordinary patrol.
Making sure that I would have enough time, I rushed over to the bridge control, hacked it with the multitool, the bridge came down, I went across it and got out of sight of that damn robot before it could turn around and open fire. Success.
Ok, so it's not the most impressive mission in the history of missions. Get across this length of water however you feel like it. But it is a taste of how there are more ways to get across than you might expect.
Explore a bit and you can find information, tools and weapons.
There are two ways to lower the bridge. You can uncover the password, or you can get the multitool out of the supply crate with gun, crowbar, taunting of the robot, or other grievous bodily harm to the crate) and override the control.
Without the bridge you can push pretty much anything that floats into the river, swim it to the other side, and use it as a stepping stone out.
Or you can stack things up so you can reach the pipes and walk across.
There are also multiple ways to deal with the robot ranging from total avoidance to total destruction. One thing that I didn't mention above is that you can move things into the robot's path, doing this it is even theoretically possible to trap the robot.
Furthermore, in the test to see if the robot could be trapped, the robot ended up blowing itself up by trying to shoot at me when surrounded by explosives, some of them blocking the line of fire.
So it's not exactly the most open multiple ways to do it mission in all of history (you didn't even get to try talking or computer related stuff or crawling through vents) but it is a taste of things to come.
* I almost forgot, as in I published the post with an asterisk but no footnote, I wanted to make note of this. The description of the crowbar in game is this:
A crowbar. Hit someone or something with it. Repeat.
<UNATCO OPS FILE NOTE GH010-BLUE> Many crowbars we call 'murder if crowbars.' Always have one for kombat. Ha. -- Gunther Hermann <END NOTE>Gunther made a joke. Gunther made a joke using an English language pun even though English is clearly not his best language. Give Gunther some respect.