Genre: Action, Role-Playing (RPG)
Visual: 2D scrolling
Setting: Cyberpunk / Dark Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Narrative: Detective / Mystery
Published by: SEGA of America
Developed by: BlueSky Software
Platform: SEGA Genesis / Mega Drive
Classic prefix RPG. Graphically speaking, not to say the best. The game process itself is addictive. Firstly: an interesting story (the game begins on January 31, 2052, you play the role of one of the three heroes fighting against evil), and secondly: the process of the game includes self-pumping heroes, skills, weapons, etc. This game will decorate the collection of any RPG or just a fan of good games.
We will become acquainted with the interface of the game.
The screen itself shows the current location, character, status-window. The status window lists all the characters in the group, their mental and physical health, used weapons and the number of cartridges in the weapon - for magic the number of cartridges is 00. As soon as the cartridge becomes 00, the character automatically recharges the weapon if there are clips. The active character, which is controlled by the player, is highlighted by a white frame. Others are computer controlled. If the computer character runs out of ammo and clips, he usually goes hand to hand.
Control is simple
Arrow - movement of the active character in the chosen direction
A - attack with the selected weapon / spell;
B - target designation for the attack. If there are several enemies, pressing again switches to another target;
C - change active character with reset target designation;
Start - opens the menu.
It is worth considering several features of the gameplay:
- Interaction with the surrounding reality is minimized. To enter the building, it is enough to go to the entrance to talk with the NPC, it is enough to stand next to it. To pick up a wallowing thing, it's enough to just stand on it with any character from the group (but the thing itself will get into the inventory of the active character). If the item does not take, the character's inventory is full.
- During the battle, you can not leave the location or enter the building / elevator. However, you can interact with terminals, payphones and safes while in combat.
- The battle lasts until one of the sides is killed, or the character disappears from the field of view of the enemies
- If during the movement on the location you feel that the speed of movement of the character has fallen, then the character is in a state of battle.
- The bodies of dead enemies remain as long as they are within the visibility of the character, while the body of the killed partner disappears from the exit location - respectively, while the partner leaves the group and returns home. If Joshua is killed, the group completely dissolves, Joshua wakes up in the hospital and, if there was Running on escort, Run is considered failed.
Some features of the battle
- The goal-fixing brackets also show the goal's life state: from green (target) to red (almost killed).
- In the game there are no items for resurrecting characters, but the character can be resurrected by simply healing him with magic or a first-aid kit / plaster from the inventory (even from the inventory of the victim).
- The weapon has two characteristics: Damage and Power, which are not identical at all. Power - the lethal force of a weapon, characterizing the ability to penetrate the enemy's armor, Damage - the amount of damage inflicted to the enemy, in the event that the enemy's armor is pierced. However, the melee weapon completely ignores the armor, causing immediate damage to the enemy. A melee can be the only effective means against an enemy that fully reflects all attacks, but there are very few such situations in the game.
- It is worth remembering that in battle, damage does not take into account the location of the target - that in the back, that in the torso, the damage is the same. It takes into account only the line of fire, so you can safely hide behind walls, and the distance between the shooter and the target.
- The effectiveness of the use of grenades is questionable, because the enemy usually pursues the character. Explosion of a grenade near a character can damage a blast wave or splinters.
Shadowrun (Passage of game) In the left part of the menu under the portrait there are 8 cells of the inventory and icons of the things the character has. The weapons and armor are put on and the white frame is highlighted. In the middle of the screen, all the information about the character, his health, the name and characteristics of the weapon, the balance of attack and defense in combat and the protective properties of the armor worn are displayed. The POSTURE slider allows you to redistribute the balance of attack and defense. Below the slider there are 5 clickable buttons:
CP - Clips. The number of clips worn by the current character. Below is a series of buttons: Reload - reload the weapon, even if there are still cartridges in the weapon, Trade - transfer of the given number of clips to the partner in the group, Distribute - split the clips equally among all in the group, Cancel - return to the menu. It is worth considering one important bug - a character can wear only 20 clips, but with the help of Trade, you can transfer as many clips as possible.
AS - Attributes / Skills. Calls up a submenu where you can see all the Skills and Characteristics of the active character, as well as the Karma counter. Redistribution of Karma points is possible only during the stay at the Hotel.
CY - Cyberware. Displays the cyber part installed in the character.
MG - Magic. For the character, the non-magician shows magical protection against mental and physical spells. For the character-magician opens a new submenu.
Here you can choose the type of spell and the level of the spell (the Force slider). Success - probability of success of the spell, Damage - damage dealt, Drain - spell damage done to the casting. The POSTURE slider is similar to what I saw earlier in the menu. To the left of it are shown the magic protection against mental and physical spells (these are the characteristics of the character, not magic!).
Let's return to the menu. The last point remains:
PS - Pocket Secretary. Calls the main game menu. It consists of the following items:
Shadowrun - Notebook or Notepad. Contains several sub-items:
- Current Run. Contains a description of the current Run, hiring Johnson and the reward for running.
- Tips & Clues. Contains all current hooks on the main quest of the game.
- Contacts. List of contacts with people of Seattle. When you select a name in the list, the short information and services are displayed.
- Mr. Johnsons. List of Johns offering Running in the Shadows.
- Shadowrunners. List of friends found in the game.
- Group Items. Displays a list of non-useful, but useful things, such as the Salish-Shidze passport, permission for weapons, etc.
- Cyberdeck. Calls the window of a working cyberdeck, where you can learn about the state of cyberdecks, download programs for work in the Matrix, and so on. Will be considered a little lower.
- Dismiss Runner. The name speaks for itself - fires the runner from the group. Remember that dismissing a runner adversely affects the attitude of the person running towards you.
- Save / Load Game. The title also speaks for itself.
If the menu move the cursor beyond the buttons, you get into the inventory of the character. From the inventory you can equip ammunition or use the item. Items of automatic use can not be used from inventory.
Each race in the game has its own maximum for each characteristic, as can be seen from the following table:
The installation of cyber implants expands the given maximum, for example, the same person with Body=6 will have Body=7 when setting Dermal Plating, even if the maximum in the characteristic is already achieved with implants (Body=5 + Dermal Plating=Body=6 ), The characteristic can be increased to achieve a natural maximum.
Protection from any weapons, including some defensive programs in the Matrix. Of course, one of the important characteristics of the character at the start of the game.
Influences the movement speed of the character and the speed of attack in combat. From enemies you can easily escape or just shoot with two shots, while the enemy himself will shoot only once.
Affects hand-to-hand damage and accuracy of throwing grenades. Since most of the fights are gunshots, the usefulness of this characteristic is a big question.
Old good charisma plays an important role. In addition to the reduced prices of future buddies for hiring, it also affects success in casual meetings on the street and inside corporations. For example, you can safely walk around without a badge inside the corporation. It is worth considering one feature: the charisma of partners does not have any influence on such events, so increasing their charisma is useless.
Affects the speed and accuracy of the attack. A character with a low intelligence will almost certainly not be able to kill anyone.
But this characteristic is very useful for mages, as it reduces the damage from mental attacks and the magic draene of your own spells. Effect on the accuracy of the attack is almost imperceptible.
This characteristic is not improved by karma and does not improve at all, it can only be reduced by installing implants. It should be noted that the lower the characteristic, the more attempts will be required to restore the character's health to magic.
Determines the strength of casting spells. Unchanged by karma value. For non-magician characters, always 0, for mages - is determined by rounding Essence to a smaller side.
More interesting character skills
While the maximum of the characteristic is determined by the character's race, the maximum skill for all races is 12 (13 for certain types of weapons). Improving a single skill costs twice as much for karma as opposed to improving the performance.
The magic skill determines the success of casting spells. For non-magician characters, always 0 and can not be improved.
Specialization in all types of weapons. Quite an interesting skill that replaces the three following, if their values are less (for example, Firearms=5 and Pistols=2, the final characteristic in combat=5) or allows "jumping" individual improvements (for Firearms=5 and Pistols=2 Pistols can be improved Immediately to 6).
Specialization in pistols. When equipped, the pistol affects the overall POSTURE slider, adding extra attack points.
Similarly to Pistols, only specialization in automata.
Similarly Pistols, only specialization in shotgans.
Increases accuracy in melee. In my opinion, without an implant Spurs - a useless waste of karma.
Accuracy of throwing grenades. The most useless skill.
Skill for decks. Increases success in connecting to the Node, operations outside the Node, searching for files in databases, and (more importantly!) Accuracy in combat against defensive programs.
Increases the number of hit points per application of the first aid kit. In general, a fairly useful skill, but only when the group does not have a mage with a healing spell, or the mage is killed.
Allows to open Magazines of the appropriate level in corporations, and also (attention!) To hack terminals inside corporations in order to turn off cameras or find out where the package / employee is (for Running in Shadows in the corresponding building). In my opinion, raising above 6 is a waste of karma.
The general popularity of the character. With this skill are associated with some events in the game and admission to some bars. In my opinion, raise to 5 and forget.
Skill for trading. It should be noted that the skill gives a fixed increase in% of the value of the product, so the skill will be especially useful if you are going to buy something expensive.
Consider the interface when staying in the Matrix
Every time you go into the Matrix, the window of a working cyberdec is called:
On the left side of the screen are icons of programs, for convenience divided into 3 categories, and a number of icons of the system menu. The right side displays exhaustive information about the selected item on the left. At the bottom of the screen are: a small portrait of the Person and the physical state in the form of a white slider beside and 5 slots for downloading programs. The program loaded into the slot is also displayed with an icon, the slider under the icon shows the status of the program's unloading in memory and preparedness for work.
System icons are only 4 and each calls in the text part of the necessary information or the choice of sub-items:
It consists of two sub-items:
In the text section shows the characteristics of the current cyberdec.
If you participate in the Running in the Shadow in the Matrix and when you call the menu is connected to the Matrix, this item will display in the text part the current Run status, the target node name and the action to complete the Run.
Displays the current free space on the deck. Here you can delete files from the DS, downloaded in Dec.
It consists of 2 sub-items:
Displays the current subnet map where you are currently operating, indicating the current location in it and possible paths. Remember that only one card can be stored in the deck, so if you are the first time in the current subnet, only the Nodes you visited and the paths will be listed. When reconnecting to the Matrix and entering the same subnet again, the card remains.
Allows you to roll back the last move from the Node to the Node. Does not work in combat. Does not work if the previous node is not installed or is unavailable due to connecting to the Node via the CPU.
Emergency disconnect from the Matrix. There are some programs that prevent emergency shutdown. They are described below.
When operating in the Matrix a slightly different interface
The top left corner displays information about the program selected in the slot, its current status, and the status of the alarm in the subnet. If there is no alarm, the subnet operates in normal mode. A passive alarm is triggered when there is a suspicion of the presence of a decoder in the system. With a passive alarm protection programs are strengthened, secondary programs can be active on the Nodes. When the second suspicion message is repeated, the Active alarm is activated, the protection programs are further strengthened, the movement between the Nodes is difficult. If, under Active Alarm, a suspicion message reappears, the subnet restarts, disconnecting all connected to it. It should be remembered that ANY action in the Node is logged (that is, the actions performed on the network are being recorded) and can cause suspicion. Actions outside the Node are not logged, but activity messages on the Node can be delivered by security software. If you want to view the info on the cyberdeck, it's better to do it outside the Node.
The top right corner displays information about the current node. More detailed information is available in the analysis, or when the program is deactivated and then visited the Node.
Moves from Node to Node are selected on the subnet map using the arrows. The visited nodes are highlighted by the corresponding Node color, unvisited - in gray. The subnet map opens after the CPU has been captured by the subsystem.
It's all about Matrix.
So, the basic information, what is the Matrix, you already got in the previous part. To all of the above should be added more. First, all Runs in the Shadow in the Matrix are highly paid, expert Running in the Shadow in the Matrix costs over 6000 nuyen and +6 Karma. Secondly, the information received from subnets in the Matrix is usually expensive, and it can be profitable to sell. Thirdly, the subnets of Megacorporations store confidential data that may be of interest to you. Well, fourthly, during the Running against the Megacorporations, disabling individual nodes, and even the whole subnetwork of Megacorporation, results in partial or complete inoperability of the security system in the building.
Let us study the characteristics of the cyberdeck in more detail
- MPCP - Stands for Master Persona Control Program. The heart of cyberdecks. The MPCP rating for each cyberdec has its own, and it can not be changed. It should be remembered that the attributes of the cyberdeck can not be raised above the MPCP rating.
- Hardening. The second constant value of the cyberdeck, which reflects the stability of the cyberdeck to physical attacks on MPCP.
- Memory. Simply put - RAM. Buffer memory for block-by-block storage of programs for the purpose of their ultra-fast execution in the Matrix. Lack of memory when working on Nodes is not particularly critical, but delivers a bunch of problems, unloading one program and loading another into memory.
- Storage. File storage. Auxiliary programs usually take up a lot of space, but this is not the main thing. The main thing is that in case of an acute shortage of space in the Vault, not one Run in the Matrix can be failed to load the file, and there can be no question of reselling the information.
- Load / IO Speed. Responsible for the speed of loading the program from the Vault into memory, as well as for exchanging data between memory and the environment in the Matrix.
- Response. One of the important parameters of cyberdecks. The speed of the cyberdeck ensures fast response of the auxiliary programs to the actions of the protection programs. It should be remembered that this parameter is not raised above 3.
Attributes of cyberdec
- Bod. Analogy Hardening, only improved.
- Evasion. Responsible for the evasion of Person from attacks from outside. Not the right option.
- Masking. The most important attribute responsible for the effectiveness of the Deception program and making it difficult to detect activity on the subnet.
- Sensor. An attribute that affects the effectiveness of the Analyze program.
Programs for operating in the Matrix are divided into several types. The program can not be removed from the Vault, but it can be erased from memory by running into the IC Tar Pit. Improving the program, watch for free space and memory on the cyberdeck. Always think in your mind that when you work in the Matrix, there will be a memory for two or three programs, and in the Vault - at least 300M.
Consider the set of programs
- ATTACK. Performance evaluation: 95%. Attack becomes inevitable when faced with IC ICs such as Barrier or Black Ice. A bit of statistics: only 397 nodes in the game, 152 of them are protected by such programs. Be sure that you have the latest version of the program, making a serious run in the Matrix.
- SLOW. Performance evaluation: 32%. An attenuating IC program, useful in addition to everything and that can be applied repeatedly, thereby lowering the overall rate of reaction IC on the Node. A remarkable feature of this program is that if the IC speed is minimal, the IC itself is closed. This property can be used if, for some reason, ATTACK is not available.
- DEGRADE. Performance evaluation: 56%. Reduces the overall IC level on the Node, which makes IC more vulnerable. This program can not be bought on the market, and it is possible to get only from corporate decks. It should be remembered that this is a combat program.
- REBOUND. Performance evaluation: 17%. Reflects several IC attacks back to it itself. This program can not be bought on the market, and it is possible to get only from corporate decks.
- MEDIC. Performance evaluation: 34%. He cures the Person directly in battle without disconnecting from the Matrix. Such situations with proper investment of money in the cyberdec is not at all. One unpleasant property of the program should be remembered - when used it is unloaded from memory and it will be necessary to load it again.
- SHIELD. Performance evaluation: 27%. Protects the Person from attacks IC, with each attack weakens. Against Black IC is useless.
- SMOKE. Performance evaluation: 2%. It creates electromagnetic interference on the Node, making it difficult and distorting the actions of all programs. It should be remembered - when used, it is unloaded from memory, and it will again need to be loaded into memory.
- MIRRORS. Performance evaluation: 25%. Reduces the attack power of IC. The main charm of the program is that, before the expiration of its action, the Person, even if under the IC attack, is not considered to be in combat mode and can continue to use non-combat programs. It should be remembered - when used, it is unloaded from memory, and it will again need to be downloaded.
- SLEAZE. Performance evaluation: 78%. This is a non-combat program that allows you to skip the Node without getting into the Node and deactivating the IC. Useful when skipping Nodes with Barrier and Black Ice and potenitally dangerous Tar Pit.
- DECEPTION. Performance evaluation: 98%. Selects the access code to IC, deactivating it. There are only two types against which the program is useless: Barrier and Black Ice. Read the description of the ATTACK program and understand how effective this program is.
- RELOCATE. Performance evaluation: 33%. This program redirects the work of Trace IC in the opposite direction, actually deactivating them. This is a combat program, and it finds application only if there was a failure in using Deception on Nodes with Trace IC.
- ANALYZE. Performance evaluation: 45%. The effectiveness of this program is a big question, however, in most of the unknown subnets the program can help to choose the initially correct tactics.
It should be remembered important - the battle phase with the defensive program begins in two cases: 1) the unsuccessful use of the non-combat program; 2) the use of the combat program.
Success in the Matrix is always based on how accurately you know the functionality of each individual Node on the subnet. In total there are 6 kinds of Nodes in the game:
- CPU: Central Processing Unit. The basis of any subnet and as a consequence of this is always well guarded. Functions: 1) Go to Node - allows you to jump to ANY of the Nodes on the subnet. Such a move is irreversible by the Retreat command. 2) Cancel Alert - the only way to set the subnet to normal operation without alarms. Attention! The alarm sounded inside the corporation's building sets the Active Alert in the subnet of the corporation in the building. 3) Crash System - turn off the subnet. In fact, there are only two useful effects: one is the goal of Running in the Shadow, the second - disabling the subnet in the building completely turns off the cameras and Magazines.
- DS: Datastore. Database, where you can find files for later resale. This is the goal of almost all Running in the Shadow. The higher the level of the Node, the more expensive the files. Functions: 1) Leave Node - exit the Node. 2) Transfer Data - search for files in the database and a subsequent request to transfer the file to your cyberdecks. Sounds easy. When running in Shadows, the desired file is automatically located. If you find a file with notes that are directly related to the main quest of the game, the message "an interesting file that you download to your notebook." Appears. 3) Erase - the function of deleting a file is applicable only with the corresponding task of Running in the Shadow, otherwise - extremely useless.
- IOP: Input / Output Port. Usually this is a terminal inside the building of the corporation, and the terminals on the upper floors are much closer to the CPU by location than the terminals on the lower ones. Functions: 1) Leave Node - exit the Node. 2) Lockout - sounds like blocking the current terminal on the subnet, however, nothing really happens and the terminal can also enter the subnet.
- SAN: System Access Node. The only entrance to the subnet from public terminals. Often this Node is not even protected. Functions: 1) Enter System - the same as Leave Node.
- SM: Slave Module. This node usually affects the operation of various subsystems inside the corporation building, in the game - only two subsystems: cameras and Magazines. Disabling the corresponding Node completely deactivates the subsystem as a whole, even in the event of an alarm, the subsystems will not work again. Functions: 1) Leave Node. 2) Turn Off Node - turn off the Node.
- SPU: Sub-Processor Unit. In other words, it is a coprocessor for distributing the load for performing a task on the subnet. From a decemerical point of view, it is useless. Functions: 1) Leave Node.
Many times higher in the text were mentioned protective programs, or, as they are called in the game, ICE - Intrusion Countermeasures, or simply "dummies". Each such dummy has its own base level, which determines how often the program attacks, how strong it is against foreign attacks or the effects of masking programs. Usually the Node protects only one dummy, but if the Node is guarded by two, it means that the second dummy will be used when the Tarpa program fails (Tar Paper or Tar Pit) or if the Active Alarm is activated / active.
The following ICEs are found in the game
- ACCESS. Graphically - the door leaf with a periodically closing entrance. In battle, it sends a signal out of the screen, when it reaches a chance to trigger an alarm.
- BARRIER. Graphically - a rapidly rotating circle with three radials from the center. Destroyed only by direct attack. In battle, it sends a signal out of the screen, when it reaches a chance to trigger an alarm.
- BLACKICE. Graphically - the morphing sphere into a black four-pointed star. Destroyed only by direct attack. In combat, it periodically attacks the deck itself, bypassing the Person in the Matrix (probably sending electrical pulses to the date jack).
- BLASTER. Graphically - a sparkling fire. In combat occasionally attacks Person.
- KILLER. Graphically - a blue ball with pulsating electric pulses. In combat, attacks Person much more often than BLASTER.
- TAR PAPER. Graphically - a sparkling fire. If the program starts unsuccessfully, Persono erases this program from memory and activates the Alarm, and then completes its work on the Node.
- TAR PIT. Graphically - a sphere with a bubbling liquid inside. If the program starts unsuccessfully, Person DELETE this program on the cyberdeck and activates the Alarm, and then completes its work on the Node.
- TRACE & BURN. Graphically - a large and small sphere, a small sphere burns with fire and moves. In combat, if a small sphere reaches the edge of the screen, the Person will be disconnected from the system, the cyberdeck may be damaged with some probability.
- TRACE & DUMP. Graphically - a large and small sphere, a small sphere smokes and moves. In battle, if a small sphere reaches the edge of the screen, the Person will be disconnected from the system.
Thus, the strategy of operations outside the Node is usually reduced to the elimination of bunnies at the Node. A real threat can only make up TAR PIT and BLACK ICE. The second threat is nullified by the development of the character-dekera. The first is only at random: hope that this program will never work, and if it works, then in the cell that the dummy removes, there is the most unnecessary and cheap program.
Good work is what I like.
As the name of the game implies, most of the time you will spend performing various Runs in the Shadow. And do not try to escape - the game does not go through without having run at least 5 Runs in the shade. Run into the Shadows in the game - the best source of karma and money, so if you want to put together more money and get a magnificent and all-knowing hero, it's worth reading this section of the article with special attention.