Last time we were introduced to the finer points of future-pistol combat. This time we get to try some future-pistol combat for real!
If you recall, Azriel had scheduled a meeting with Matthias Howard, the person he’s trying to extract from what appears to be a fairly sticky situation involving a crime gang. We make it to the meeting place, only to be ambushed by some Boryokudan thugs. I do believe it’s pistol time.
It turns out that these combat sections are more like timing-based minigames than anything else. Enemies (or at least these enemies) will fire at you until they have to reload, then pop their heads back out to start shooting all over again. The easiest way to kill them is to activate the breath function just before they emerge from cover, then fire off a single shot for a guaranteed kill.
With the agents dispatched, we head back to Hibiscus Heights, but oh no, there are more agents in the lobby! Azriel only has a single clip of ammo left (which is weird, because I only used two shots), so we have to sneak our way through. This involves…er, waiting for the agents to look in the other direction before crossing the room.
We end up in the dingy stairwell from before, only now there are some agents in it. One of them says a line in what sounds like a really weird Irish accent, although the rest of his dialogue is completely normal. Walking within sight of the agents results in instant death.
This is unfortunately going to become a common feature of the game.
We exit on the second floor, then head for the elevator. Matthias follows you around for this whole section. You can also ‘use’ him on items – as in ‘Use Matthias on door’ to make him open a door. Unfortunately trying to Use Matthias on Matthias does not result in any witty comeback from Azriel.
An agent ambushes us on the sixth floor (we’re trying to get to that roof exit I mentioned in an earlier post), so I do my breathing-headshot trick to take him out. Unfortunately Azriel then decides to ‘hold off’ another agent by emptying the rest of his ammo at him, which is a transparent excuse to take away our gun for the next section.
So there’s an agent chasing us, but it turns out that the door to the roof is locked. Our lockpicks are broken, which means that we need to force it open somehow. Here is a list of everything I tried in that section:
- Kicking the door.
- Punching the door.
- Breaking a pipe from a nearby wall to force it open.
- Getting Matthias to pick the lock.
- Getting Matthias to kick the door.
- Getting Matthias to lean against the door and then kicking it.
Only number six worked. And that would be fine, except that choosing the wrong option results in instant death. The autosave is back at the elevator, meaning that the game tries to make you play through the combat section again every time you fail to work out how to open the door without getting shot.
For the sake of my sanity, I’m hoping these sections aren’t too common.
Anyway, we escape to the rooftop, where Kane has parked his spaceship. Freedom!
A lengthy conversation among our intrepid outlaws follows. The gist of the whole thing is that the actual reason for going to Barracus was to find Azriel’s brother, who is in some kind of trouble. He has (or had) a tracking device on him, but Matthias can’t get a signal and his last known location was on a ship heading towards a nebula known to be a communications deadzone.
Matthias theorizes that Azriel’s brother has been sent to a place known as ‘Center 7’ and I just realized that it’s Delta-Six. Delta-Six is Azriel’s brother. Progress!
Matthias doesn’t think he can find Center 7 on his own and insists that the Boryokudan are the only ones who can help…because Center 7 is run by them, I guess? The whole conversation is slightly confusing, but it seems that Center 7 is a place where ‘defectors’ are sent. I guess Azriel’s brother is also ex-Boryokudan and decided to join the good guys.
But more importantly, Kane’s ship is outfitted with space-couches and a space-coffee table.
No, really. Look:
For some reason I find this hilarious.
Suddenly, it’s Delta-Six! (I’m not going to call him ‘Charlie’ unless it turns out that’s his real name. And probably not even then.)
Delta-Six is rudely awoken by a guy in a nearby cell who I suspect might turn out to be imaginary. He makes the entirely reasonable point that Delta-Six has never actually seen their captors, nor has anyone else in the mystery-prison. Our new friend says that he has his final exam today (remember, this is the thing Epsilon-Six warned us about last time) and is apparently looking forward to getting out. I’m sure that’s going to go just great.
A computer voice reminds us that we have three more tests before we too are released to go and be ‘citizens of the galaxy’, which is the name of a really old sci-fi book I read way back in the day.
It turns out we can actually switch between Azriel and Delta-Six at will. I should mention that this game has Steam achievements, which seems kind of odd for a point-and-click game but whatever. I’ve been building up to one called ‘Golden Gun’ thanks to all my wicked-sick headshots, and reaching this point in the game gets me one called ‘Geminis’. Just in case there was any ambiguity about the whole ‘Delta-Six is Azriel’s brother’ thing.
(Can you really pluralize ‘Gemini’ like that? It sounds weird to me.)
I’d rather keep these posts dedicated to one character or the other, so I switch back to Azriel for now. He’s in a familiar location.
He has a conversation with Kane during which it is confirmed that Barracus is indeed being mined for spaceship fuel. He also wants to fix his lockpicks, which will require a ‘Carbon-Ray Stabilizer’. It’s fetch-quest time!
We can’t use the console because we no longer have a Citizen ID. Unfortunately the shopkeeper doesn’t offer to loan us his again, although he does give us some background information on the Boryokudan. He also sells us a newspaper for ’20 yen’, meaning that we are firmly in future-Japanese hegemony territory.
(20 yen is currently worth 14 cent in Euro-money, so we may have just ripped him off.)
The homeless guy from before is still hanging around, but he’s not talking. Knocking on the door next to him gets us some intriguing information: a woman in Hibiscus Highrise (the only occupied building in the city, apparently) will sell us some ‘meds’ if we go and talk to her.
There are some more homeless people in a nearby alleyway. One of them, a teenage girl, seems to know who Azriel is. Supposedly he’s a bit of a thorn in the side of the Boryokudan, which makes sense given how many of them we shot earlier. The girl says that Azriel doesn’t seem like the feared assassin from the rumors because he ‘doesn’t have death in his eyes’.
The girl doesn’t give us any other useful information, although she does mention that she’s looking for something she lost. The fetch-quests are just piling up right now.
None of the other homeless people will talk to us (I’m guessing they’re all supposed to be addicted to ‘juice’, which apparently makes you comatose after a while), so let’s move on.
Using my incredible crate-pushing skills, I manage to climb up onto a nearby fire escape. This accomplished exactly nothing.
There’s a building nearby with a Boryokudan lookout standing outside. The shopkeeper told us that joining the Boryokudan (which we need to do to get information) is as easy as mentioning a current member’s name, but unfortunately we don’t know any current members. It looks like we’ll need more information before we can become an ex-Boryokudan turned traitor pretending to be a current-Boryokudan so we can help to bring down the Boryokudan.
(Actually, this seems like an incredibly stupid plan. If Azriel is really so famous, wouldn’t someone recognize him?)
The Hibiscus Highrise receptionist seems remarkably unfazed by the fact that several people were recently murdered in the building. Maybe that happens all the time here.
First order of business: investigating the mysterious ‘meds’ lady on the second floor. Unfortunately that floor is occupied by a group of Boryokudan agents who ask us about ‘Frank’ and then get very irate when we don’t know what they’re talking about.
By utilizing an advanced strategic technique known as ‘taking the stairs’, we’re able to get around behind the agents. After avesdropping on them, we learn that they’re waiting to ambush whoever lives in room 2A – the same room we’re trying to get to.
Unfortunately my mighty Puzzle Brain is failing me, which means I’ll have to leave this particular one for next time. I’m still enjoying the game very much, although I’m hoping that the ‘wrong option, instant death” thin doesn’t persist through the game.