The Von Braun Incident: Chapter 3 – Visions of splendour
It took longer than I had hoped because of distractions, but another bout with System Shock 2 has been had. This game is very, very good at unnerving me, so even with my growing abilities and resources I still feel uneasy playing it.
Looking back on Bioshock I totally forgot it actually had its own research mechanic with the camera. It came back to me once someone had pointed it out. In certain ways it’s a better mechanic, though it never really felt very essential, nor made much sense. If they wanted to reward me for encounters with the splicers and other enemies, why not simply grant me research points for defeating them?
SS2 is ramping things up against me now, with droids having become a fairly frequent enemy, and the reliance on scarce AP ammo to defeat them means I have to get even craftier. Or maybe I’ll actually be forced to use the vending machines to buy ammo. That could drain my nanite reserves quite rapidly. Using the wrench doesn’t really work as they explode when they go out. And the protocol droids just self-destruct anyway.
And with more Hybrids carrying shotguns around, it’s harder to avoid getting hurt in combat. It’s necessary taking them on, yet it feels wasteful, clunky and not worth it. I’ve started trying to sneak or run past them when I can. It kinda adds to the whole horror atmosphere.
24th entry: Standing in front of the security door to Research and Development. I am feeling increasingly nervous. Dealing with the Hybrids is becoming almost routine, and the body armour certainly helps with that. I’ve hacked everything I could find in the Science Sector, so it should be safer to return here later. A few memories are coming back to me though. Reading the logs, I have to say some of it seems… familiar. There was… an incident. I volunteered. Got volunteered. Not entirely sure. Still no clue how we got from one Hybrid, to half the crew turned and the other half dead.
25th entry: Dr. Watts is dead. He died just as I found him. Said something about how ‘they’ want me. As a host, he said. Considering how these parasites work, I guess it comes as little surprise that they would kill me first. This thing Xerxes was talking about, the ‘Machine Mother’, could that be an ally? The enemy of my enemy and so on? I kinda doubt it. I’m not that lucky. The logs the captain kept on him told me the code I need. I’d better get moving before this place attracts more Hybrids. Or something worse. The damage I’ve seen; I have a hard time imagining the Hybrids and the monkeys did all of it.
26th entry: Somehow the maintenance droid got out of the maintenance area before I even unlocked the door. Even better, the thing attacked me. It was very slow though, so I managed to duck out of sight long enough to unload the pistol and load a clip of AP bullets. My hands were shaking a bit, though not as bad as I would have thought. I guess Xerxes controlled that one too. Could I have hacked it? I wasn’t thinking straight enough to make an attempt. And who equips a maintenance droid with ranged weaponry anyway?
27th entry: ‘He is working for them now’ she says. I already figured that because of his strange little speeches and attempts to murder us all. Anyway, the Engine Core is off-limits for the moment because of a radiation leak. Or maybe that’s just Xerxes’s excuse. The hallways have some dangerous leaks, at least. Sprinting through I can get by without long-term effects or the need for anti-rad hypos. But it’s not pleasant.
28th entry: Good news! I found a hazard suit. A little clunky to get into, and definitely not enhancing my eyesight, but it nevertheless helps greatly in these rad-riddled corridors. Maybe the shuttle bay holds more answers. Polito claims she has seen evidence of the invaders employing telepathy, at least over short distances. I’m not sure what to think of that. ‘Xenomorphs’, huh? I’ve always found that term a little weird.
29th entry: More voices. More death. And then… a vision. Hallucination. Something. The voices asked why I sided with their mother. I can’t recall having sided with anyone but myself. Apparently I have another chance to join them. Or they will ‘rend me asunder’. I might have gone crazy. It might be telepathic aliens. If they are the splendour of flesh, how can their mother be just cold metal? I do not understand any of this. Part of me doesn’t want to understand either. Engineering control is locked down, and a woman has the pass-code. She left a log saying she was going to Cargo Bay 2 to hide. I guess I know my next destination. Also; the protocol droids are now suicidal.
30th entry: These cargo bays are freaking me out. And I’m running out of AP ammo dealing with these droids. The current cargo bay only seems to have monkeys, but the little buggers are bad enough. Xerxes keeps suggesting I should surrender. I don’t really trust that computer, but I am tired. Is there anywhere on this ship it would be safe to sleep? Or even sit down for 10 minutes?
31st entry: Good news: I have found a laser pistol. Bad news: I am running out of supplies fast, and the woman is dead. She had the pass-code on her though. I have spent my last AP rounds dealing with all the droids around. Let’s hope the laser pistol will help. I do need to get it charged first, and I saw a charger in the shuttle bay. How many Hybrids have wandered back there and are standing in my way though? I have no way of knowing until I check.
32nd entry: With the laser pistol loaded, I decided to go up the lift to the command centre. Found another ghost, which had a rig and outfit strangely similar to mine. But it couldn’t have been me, because I watched him take his own life. I checked my head, and couldn’t find any holes in it. Maybe the madness is getting worse. Maybe Dr. Polito is just a figment of my imagination. Though if that were the case, where am I getting the cyber modules from?
33rd entry: The command centre for the shuttle bay was an utter mess. I got access to some rig upgrades, and there was a log. No sign of the man I’d seen blow his brains out though. This makes me uneasy. As for the the log, it was Diego again. I feel like I should know who he is, but the memory slips away every time I try to reach for it. Apparently the Many spoke to him as well. Did he see the horrible flesh-beasts too? And the spiders? He speaks of it as if it was alluring. I can’t agree with that.
34th entry: I found a curious organ in a security office. I made my way back to the Science sector to access the chemicals I needed to research it. Drawing upon tissue analysis and computer banks, the rig AI determined that it belongs to a creature that’s been dubbed an Annelid. Apparently these creatures have strong regenerative properties, and I could use this gland to heal my own injuries. The thought disturbs me. The Many have said they want to make me part of them. If I make one of them part of me, am I helping them out more than myself? I will keep this with me though. If there’s an emergency, I might use it. Now to go on to Engineering control and hopefully flush this radiation leak. It doesn’t sound safe, but then nothing is on this ship.
And with that I wrap things up for this time. Next week I’ll hopefully get next chapter done, but having said that I probably won’t be able to find the time. It would be typical.
Posted on October 7, 2012, in Games, Retrospective, Thoughts and tagged blind, Chapter 3, EA, FPS, impressions, Irrational Games, log, Looking Glass Studios, PC, RPG, serial, System Shock 2, The Von Braun Incident. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.