The Von Braun Incident: Chapter 10 – A Bridge To Nowhere
So we’re at 10 chapters now, huh? 109 log entries (yes, there is one less than normal this time, because it felt like a natural cut-off point), and over 14 hours of logged game time, if the save-game timestamps are to be believed.
Things are definitely getting a lot more tense now. As I was moving through the command deck, my heart literally felt like it was jammed up in my throat. There are still enemies around, but not a lot, so it almost feels like the Many have abandoned ship and run off to ambush me elsewhere.
I wrote a thing about crafting effective horror during the weekend, with this game serving as some of the inspiration. It’s a master at creating an oppressive and horrifying atmosphere. One thing I neglected to mention, and which was pointed out in the comments, is the effect sound has on a horror setting. Proper sound design with the right music and sound effects can really help sell the world to the audience/player. It is not impossible to make silent horror, but sound is an important and effective tool in a horror-creator’s arsenal.
100th entry: The tram held a few surprises for me. The first stop had some turrets set up, which necessitated me going back to disable security before reprogramming them. Why do I even have to still do this, if SHODAN is supposedly in control? Hopefully they’ll be a nasty surprise for anyone coming behind me. And at the final stop a spider was graciously waiting for my arrival. I repaid its kindness with four projectile coins. The spider was sitting on top of a log which talked about an enemy I’ve yet to face. Some sort of small creature that can project powerful psi emanations for defence and attack. Whether this is the final form of the monkeys, or the evolution of that curious brain I found on the Rumbler I am not sure, but I will certainly find out sooner or later. I would guess this Prefontaine is now dead, or I’d thank him for the information. I might get a chance to thank him anyway before long. Another log made by a man named McKay talked about the annelids moving eggs via the tram. Maybe they’ve sussed out our plan already, and are also moving to the Rickenbacker. It will do them no good.
101st entry: Delacroix is alive? How is that even… I was certain… no, this has to be another trick of SHODAN’s. She must be suspecting my plan, and is trying to distract me. I won’t be fooled! ‘Finally found’ me. Not likely. No, I must continue on the course to destroy both ships. But… on the off-chance that this is real… well… I will be going to shuttle bay A anyway to secure it, so… it’s not like it would be out of my way.
102nd entry: More surprises. Apparently both Suarez and Siddons are still alive. I saw them running for that escape pod they were talking about. On the bad side a Rumbler was right behind them. The security door was really slow to open though, so by the time I could go after them, they had vanished. I settled for securing the area instead. Not much resistance, but I know there’s at least one Rumbler around here somewhere. Unless it was all an illusion brought on by my degrading mind. I was certain I had heard Siddons close to death on one of the earlier logs, but there she was, right in front of me. It’s almost a little too convenient.
103rd entry: This deck looks even more like a warzone than deck 2 did. It would seem the command crew were even more divided between succumbing to the voices and fighting them than most. I have found a few spiders, some droids and worms, but overall the resistance is much lighter than expected so far, which is filling me with dread rather than confidence. I did manage to find the security code, and SHODAN claims she’s surprised at my progress. For an AI, she sure doesn’t seem to be learning much. Or perhaps honest praise was never part of her programming. And just maybe I need to actually know what I’m doing to deserve it.
104th entry: I think… I think they left. Got away. I… I don’t know how. Did any of the annelids manage to sneak along with them? How far can they get in just an escape pod? Where did the Rumbler go? Did it even happen? With the current state of my mind, I do not take anything for granted. I have however managed to find some passkeys, both to shuttle control, and the bridge. Actually getting to either location may be tricky though. And I haven’t heard anything more from Delacroix, which doesn’t have to mean anything, but doesn’t feel good. I hope at least Suarez and Siddons will find some peace now.
105th entry: I have found more logs by Norris. It seems he fell to the call of the Many in the end. Korenchkin’s slow corruption of the crew is almost fascinating though. Of course he had help from the voices and their visions, but even so. I did actually find a log that was attested to Korenchkin, but… it did not look like him. He looked like… I don’t even know. Nothing I’ve seen yet. And his voice was… twisted. He was talking about SHODAN. Two avatars, he said. Delacroix and I? There was also one left by Diego, and he… he’s fighting it. Was fighting it. Maybe I misjudged the man.
106th entry: I am on the bridge, and the place is distressingly empty. There was one of the large military droids guarding it, and two ninjas, two turrets plus one camera set up in there. There was also just one corpse. I expected the bridge to be the big showdown. That at least Korenchkin would be here, in some form or another. Something is wrong. I did find, and ‘liberate’ the Ops Override passkey, but nothing happened. No alarms, no sudden appearances. I am scared to leave. What if they’re ready to ambush me somewhere down there? I can’t stay though. My plan is too important. … You know, I never noticed the way the ninjas speak before. It’s almost like a song…
107th entry: Even worse, I got out without a single incident. No Rumbler, no more ninjas, no spiders, no new psi-powered horrors and not even a measly hybrid. Where are they? I even stocked up on incendiary grenades, just for the occasion. On a side-note, I have seen more and more crystal branches strewn about. Where did they all come from? I thought mine was a rare find at first, but it would seem not. Were people using them to fight back? To fight eachother, maybe? I can’t imagine handling this for an extended period without my enhanced gloves. The hum, it’s like it vibrates your soul. Like it sings to your very core. Telling you of the glory… of unity.
108th entry: I am still meeting a few creatures here and there, but all in all the ship feels a lot emptier than it was. The trip to Ops Override was almost a walk in the park, so long as that park has psionic monkeys in it. SHODAN says I now need to go down to the engine core and transfer control of it to her, so she can detonate it and obliterate the Von Braun. Will she let me escape with her? If I am to destroy the Rickenbacker as well, I would have to reach the ship first. SHODAN will try to stop me once she realises what I’m up to, but I can’t worry about that yet. I am not even sure what she would be able to do.
109th entry: It is done. SHODAN appears very pleased about my performance. She didn’t even call me an insect this time. I’ve been promoted to drone, it seems. I am amazed she didn’t just end the Von Braun right then and there, but it seems she will allow me to join her on the Rickenbacker. I guess she is pragmatic enough to not throw away a useful tool prematurely. I have wondered though; if she really is that advanced, why is her voice so jerky? She has already demonstrated that she can sound however she wants, so I can only assume it’s to unnerve whomever she is talking to… it certainly has that effect, at least. She creeps me the hell out. Either way the door to the shuttle bays should be unlocked now. I should make haste.
Next week we will hopefully see the inside of the Rickenbacker, the ship I supposedly came here to serve on.
Posted on February 5, 2013, in Games, Retrospective, Thoughts and tagged blind, Chapter 10, FPS, log, PC, RPG, serial, System Shock 2, The Von Braun Incident, videogames. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.