Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Game 32: Neuromancer - All Your Base Are Belong to Us

Tricky Journal Entry 3: “I spent most of my day jacked in today. Found some cool software too, particularly BattleChess 2.0 which earned me a quick 600 credits in the World Chess Confederation base. Found some useful passwords around the traps too, including the second level access password for Cheap Hotel. Here’s hoping that will let me hack in and clear that damn bill that got me kicked out yesterday. I might have even paid the stupid thing too if they hadn’t been so aggressive about it. I really hope I can get a new deck soon! It’s so depressing reading so many negative things about my UBX. I guess it’s working ok for me at the moment, but it seems it will only be a matter of time before I’m using the Hardware Repair chip I bought from Shiva today. Fingers crossed it lasts until I can afford a new one!”

The Manual: I probably should have read "Your Purpose in Life" before I started

Reading the manual really did make things much clearer. Two things that had been confusing me to this point were why I woke up face down in my dinner at the beginning of the game and why I needed to go and reclaim my deck from Shin’s Pawn Shop. The manual explained both, telling me that I’d arrived at Chiba City after falling on hard times. As soon as I’d arrived I’d had to pawn my deck for some cash, and with no real purpose to existence, I’d “spent the last two days in a drunken stupor, wondering what to do.” That cleared all that up, but what I’d really wanted to get from the manual was some explanation of how decks and skill chips work. I’ve inserted the whole section that discusses decks and Comlink access below in case anyone wants to have a read, but the short of it is that I will use my deck to access “bases” (computer systems), within which I can gather important information. I’ve already collected a few link codes from bulletin board messages and citizens of Chiba, and these will connect me to specific bases and give me varying degrees of access to them. If I want to get to the good stuff though, I’m going to have to find higher level passwords, and to get into the secure corporate and government bases, I’m going to have to upgrade my Comlink software too.

I already look forward to finding the software that lets me "bypass the simpler password systems"

The section on skill chips was pretty straight forward. Each chip is implanted directly into the brain jack on the side of the skull, and once a skill is learnt it is remembered permanently. Using a skill once it is learnt is simply a matter of clicking the Skills icon and selecting the skill from the list. I learnt many other valuable things from the manual, but I’ll discuss them when it makes sense to do so rather than fill this post with stuff that makes no sense to anyone apart from those that have already played the game. With all this in mind, I opened up my inventory and clicked on the Cryptology skill chip I’d retrieved from Shiva, and then selected Operate Item. A message popped up saying “Skill chip implanted”. Now when I clicked on my Skills icon I could see Crypotology, so I clicked on it. “Enter a word to decode:...” So that’s what it was used for! I couldn’t think of any words I needed to decode at this point, so I went back to my inventory and implanted the Hardware Repair chip. When I tried using it I was given a list of items I could repair, which at this stage only contained the UXB. When I tried to repair it I was told that the “Hardware has no bugs”.

I have other skills too...honest!

With all my skill chips implanted, I turned my attention to using the UXB deck. I had options to Operate, Discard or Give it, and I also had the option to Erase Software. I chose to Operate it, and I was then asked what software I wanted to use. I only had Comlink 1.0 software available, so I selected that. I was then asked to enter a link code, so I opened up my spreadsheet and looked at the ones I knew. I typed in CHEAPO, which was the link code for the Cheapo Hotel. I needed a way to pay my outstanding bill, and I figured this might just be it. The welcome page told me that the password to enter the system was GUEST, along with the confidence building line: “Hey, it’s better than sleeping in the streets!” I entered the password and was cleared for level 1 access. I quickly noticed that my credits were ticking down a second at a time, which was a bit concerning. Clearly I wasn’t going to be able to hang around in these bases for too long! There were three options available to me, being 1. Room Service, 2. Local Things to Do, and 3. Review Bill. I decided to take them in order, so selected Room Service. All I got in response was “You must pay your bill first.”

Internet sites will be drastically simplified in the future

Choosing option 2 gave me access to a list of four ads. In order they were for Donut World, Manyusha Wana Massage Parlor (obviously the establishment where I met Akiko), a service called Psychologist and Crazy Edo’s. Three out of four were really just ads, offering nothing of value (I'm pretty certain this time!), yet the Psychologist advertisement gave me a link code of PSYCHO and described itself as a “socially-acceptable outlet for private frustrations, phobias, and general concerns.” With that done, I clicked on Review Bill in the top level menu of the base and was shown the bill for my room. The total charges owing were $1000 and yet there was no money on the account to pay it off with. I had an option to “pay bill”, so I did. This immediately removed $1000 from my credit total and I assumed would now allow me to enter the Cheapo Hotel. With the bill paid, I accessed the room service and found I could order either Karanakov Caviar or Yomiuchi brand Sake. Crazy Edo’s message to me on the bulletin board had said “Where’s my caviar?” and suggested that I would be able to trade some for software, so I ordered some for $200. I ordered one lot of the sake too in case someone requested some later, but noticed my credit total didn’t go down with these purchases. I checked my bill again and found the $215 was now outstanding, so I paid it off again (I imagine if I hadn't I still wouldn't be able to enter the hotel).

That's hardly Cheap now is it?!

The next base I accessed was Regular Fellows, which seemed to be a place where “artists” go to share warez. My level one visitor password gave me access to three menu items, being 1. The Galley, 2. Checkout Counter and 3. Critic’s Corner. The Gallery was basically another bulletin board, although this one contained a bunch of discussions based around sharing higher level passwords to bases. My apparent friend Matt Shaw had left a message stating that he’d uploaded his jacked up version of BattleChess 2.0. I wasn’t sure at the time whether this had any role to play in Neuromancer or was just an advertisement for the real BattleChess (a few of the creators of Neuomancer also made that classic chess game), but I added the link code (WORLDCHESS) to my spreadsheet anyway. More interestingly, someone named Harpo left a message spouting the second level password for the Cheap Hotel (COCKROACH). I wondered whether I might have been able to use that to wipe my bill without having to pay it, so marked it down to try out later. The only other message that seemed important was one from Deathangel’s Shadow, which warned everyone how “the ICE out there has gotten smarter. Each time you use the same ware against it, it does less damage. Always keep a variety of different warez with you.” The seemed like good advice, although it didn’t mean much to me at this point.

I assume I'll have to come back to bases like Regular Fellows from time to time for updates

After I’d finished perusing the Gallery, I accessed Checkout Counter. There I found two bits of software that I could download, being BattleChess 2.0 and Scout 1.0. I couldn’t think of any reason not to download both, so I did. I wasn’t sure what that actually achieved, but for now I moved onto the final menu item, which was Critic’s Corner. This was a section where software was reviewed, and there just so happened to be reviews for the two bits of software I’d just downloaded. Scout 1.0 was listed as a recon program, and the reviewer very handily told me that it can be used while on the intro screen of any base to see how many levels it has. As for BattleChess 2.0, the review was filled with Matt Shaw boasting how he’d modded the original game and made it heaps better, leaving “the initialization protocols all alone so the World Chess Confederation still thinks it’s BattleChess 1.0.” Once I exited the Regular Fellows base, I noticed that the two pieces of software I’d downloaded were in my list when starting up the UBX deck. Neither of them was usable straight from the list though, so I assumed I’d have to find the right time and place.

I remember playing Battle Chess on my Amiga. It's probably where I learnt to play chess badly.

The next base I accessed was Consumer Review, where I could find “up-to-date ratings by cyberspace experts” on each of the 24 cyberdecks available from 9 different manufacturers. Once I was on the welcome screen, I was keen to try out my new Scout 1.0 software to see how many levels the base had. I could find no way to run another piece of software though once I’d started Comlink 1.0. A quick scan of the manual revealed that each deck has a RAM Limit, and that this limits the amount of pieces of software you can run simultaneously. High powered decks, such as the Ono-Sendai Cyberspace Seven, can manage up to 25 programs at once! Could it be that my UBX could only handle 1? It was either that or I just didn’t know what I was doing. Once I’d gained level 1 access to the base, $200 was deducted from my credit total! I was going to have to make the most of this visit! The menu system was split into two sections, being a numerical menu containing 1. Rankings of All Models, 2. Flatline Category, and 3. Triff Category, and an alphabetical menu containing 7 brands (including Yamamitsu, which was the brand of my deck). I quickly checked out the Rankings section, finding that my poor little deck was on the very bottom of the list.

Rub it in why don't you!

Rather humorously, the Flatline section was “reserved for those decks that our experts wouldn’t touch with a ten foot logic probe”, and the first one listed was...you guessed it...the Yamamitsu UXB. Interestingly though, I noticed that my deck was listed as having a RAM value of 5, meaning I should be able to run 5 programs simultaneously. That ruled out RAM as the cause of me not being able to run Scout 1.0! Perhaps it's supposed to be used in cyberspace? “Our experts agree that the Yamamitsu UXB is the absolute worst of the worst. When our test deck was powered up, it exploded and put our expert operator in hospital downtime for two weeks.” The Ausgezeichnet 188 BJB was also on the Flatline list, as was the Blue Light Special, with both of them being described as buggy and dangerous. I made a note to stay away from those models when the time came to purchase a new deck, and moved onto the Triff Category. As you might have guessed, this section lists the very best decks available, as rated by the experts at Consumer Review. Top of the list was the ever-praised Ono-Sendai Cyberspace VII, but the Samurai Seven and the Ninja 5000 also got a mention. I highly doubted I would be able to afford any of them any time soon. I read through each of the brand summaries, which might came in handy later when I go shopping, but with nothing else to see or do, I exited Consumer Review.

I've got to get myself one of these!!!

Next up was Asano Computing where the only option available to me was to look at the Catalog of hardware they had for sale. All the models I’d read about at Consumer Review were there, but I wasn’t able to make any purchases or see anything in particular about any of them. I therefore moved onto the next link code I knew, WORLDCHESS! The World Chess Confederation base was, as you would expect, all about chess, and the menu options were 1. About This System, 2. About the Tournaments, and 3. Membership Application. Choosing option 1 gave me a quick rundown of the system’s history, and explained that “the WCC network allows members a chance to play against the best and, if you think yourself worthy, you can even pit your skills against those of the legendary simulation of Palos Morphy himself.” Selecting About the Tournaments gave me information about the different classes of competition in which any members can participate daily. There were 10 classes ranging from “unranked beginner” right through to “Victor” (which seems to be a man named Victor Lavaska), and there are prizes to be won. Was I really going to be able to play chess?

Level 1 Access to Asano lets me view what products they have. Here's hoping higher levels let me steal some!

The answer was both yes and no! Choosing the Membership Application section resulted in a screen where I could purchase either Temporary Membership for $10 or Full Membership for $150. Apparently Temporary Membership would allow me to participate in one tournament, whereas Full Membership would allow me to participate “in all tournaments and activities as a club member.” I chose Full Membership and was given a second level password of MEMBER. I was now able to select from two further menu options, being Enter Tournament and Challenge Morphy. I chose to enter a tournament and was asked what software I wanted to upload. I could choose from any of the software on my deck, but only BattleChess 2.0 made sense. This was apparently all it took, as I was then given a notification that I’d won my first game against Contestant 1. “You won, your ranking has been upgraded to unranked Novice. Prize money of 250 credits has been added to your credit chip.” I played again and also defeated Contestant 2, upgrading my ranking to Novice and giving me another 350 credits. This was easy money, but surely it wasn’t going to continue in this fashion?! The answer to that question came quickly, as any attempts to beat Contestant 3 failed. I could only assume I would need better software to get any further.

It's a depressing future where contestants merely pit their software against their opponents!

I selected Challenge Morphy to see what would happen and received a message saying “If you think you’re ready for me, look for me in cyberspace...I’ll be waiting.” I might just do that, whenever I get the chance to experience cyberspace. That will take getting a deck with cyberspace capability, and I don’t yet know how expensive that will be. I'm certainly intrigued by Neuromancer, but it sure takes a bit of getting used to. I’m a bit concerned about the amount of posts that will be required if I continue with this level of detail, but perhaps the information overflow is most prevalent during the game’s initial stages. I plan to record every action that seems advantageous (i.e. Send message to Armitage, Pay Ratz, Get deck from Shin’s Pawn Shop, Get skill chips from Shiva at Gentleman Loser etc.), then restart fairly regularly to rush through them all, making sure I waste no cash or time. I don’t yet know whether time is all that critical, but there’s no doubt I’m wasting days and money just trying things and recording bits of information for the blog. I still have a couple more bases to check out before I continue my exploration of Chiba, and I’m sure there will be some new bulletin board messages and news awaiting me by the time I’m done. There’s certainly no shortage of things to do in this game!

Don't hold your breath!

Session Time: 0 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hours 30 minutes

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!


  1. That last image is just BEGGING to become a meme. If and when someone tries to pick a fight with me over the Internets, I'll know what png to turn to.

    1. Including the vaguely insulting "You're in the Gentleman Loser."

  2. The reason why you couldn't use Scout 1.0 was probably a problem with a not so reasonable feature in the game interface. I'll ROT13 the solution anyway, but I'd suggest looking at it quickly, if you don't find the answer yourself, because this is pretty basic stuff:

    Jura lbh ner ybttvat vagb n onfr, gur cebtenzf va lbhe qrpx ner nccneragyl lbhe vairagbel, fb lbh pna npprff gurz ol cerffvat gur vairagbel fubegphg V.

    1. Really? I would never have thought to try that!

      I just looked through the manual and the "I" key is described as follows:

      "Displays what you're currently carrying and lets you operate, discard or give items, or erase software in a deck."

      That may tell me what I needed to know, but it's not very clear!

      Thanks Ilmari.

    2. You should have waited until Trickster got desperate enough for a Request for Assistance so you could have gotten sweet, sweet CAPS.

    3. Haven't you heard that virtue is its own reward? ;)

    4. Rot13 to be overly protective:

      V qba'g frr gur orarsvg va xabjvat gur ahzore bs yriryf n onfr unf.

    5. Vg’f cerggl hfryrff, ohg abj Gevpxl jvyy xabj ubj gb hfr Frdhrapre, juvpu vf dhvgr hfrshy.

  3. I've made some more progress, but once again I'm a little stuck for things to do. I haven't looked at the hint for me yet, as I've been able to press on.

    V guvax V'ir fcrag gbb zhpu zbarl ba hfryrff fxvyyf (hfryrff ng guvf cbvag naljnl), naq V'q yvxr gb svaq n jnl abg gb fryy bss zl yhat. V'z ng n cbvag va plorefcnpr jurer V pna'g oynfg guebhtu n onfr jvgubhg gnxvat ynfgvat qnzntr, fb V'z rvgure tbvat gb fgneg bire gb znkvzvmr zl perqvgf be fhpx vg hc naq ercynpr gur fbsgjner gung orpbzrf vanpgvir.

    V pbhyq qrsvavgryl hfr n qrpx jvgu zber ENZ. V'ir unq fbzr sha znccvat bhg plorefcnpr gubhtu naq unir mbar mreb, bar, gjb, guerr, sbhe, naq frira, ohg nyy gur onfrf bhgfvqr mreb qba'g tb qbja jvgubhg n gbhtu svtug.

    1. Some more hints for you Zenic: V nffhzr lbh xabj guvf nyernql, ohg nyjnlf rafher lbh unir gur orfg fbsgjnerm ninvynoyr sebz rnpu mbar orsber zbivat ba. Vs lbh svaq arj irefvbaf bs rkvfgvat fbsgjner, qryrgr gur byq nsgre qbjaybnqvat gur arj. Va fubeg, rirel mbar pbagnvaf fbsgjner tbbq rabhtu gb gnxr qbja gur arkg.

      Lbh jvyy nyfb unir gb gnxr qbja N.V.'f, gurl bsgra cebgrpg onfrf jvgu tbbq fbsgjner. Ntnva, svavfu bar mbar orsber lbh zbir gb gur arkg, hayrff lbh trg yhpxl naq svaq n uvture mbarq onfr gung pna or rnfvyl gnxra.

    2. My previous hints actually help you with this very problem. I'll just add this:

      Nfx Yhchf Lbaqreobl nobhg ONAX.

    3. Well, I figure if I'm not absolutely stuck for a full night, then I'm making some progress.

    4. I've nearly hit the point of zero or negative progress...

      V'z ehaavat hc ntnvafg n cerggl ovt jnyy. V'z rkcybevat nern 1 (tragyrzra ybfre), naq V'z nyjnlf gnxvat qnzntr sebz gurfr onggyrf. V sbhaq fybj, juvpu urycf n ybg, ohg rira nsgre tngurevat nyy gur fbsgjner jrncbaf V pna; V pna'g frrz gb trg nurnq bs gur pbafgnag qnzntr gb bgure fbsgjner. Gb gbc vg bss, rirel abj naq gura n onfr unf na NV gung gnxrf nal pbasvqrapr bs cebterff njnl.

      V abgvprq gung gur pevzvany whfgvpr (naq vef) onfr unf na bhgfgnaqvat jneenag sbe pbyyrpgvbaf ba hacnvq pbheg srrf, ohg V qba'g unir n jnl gb pyrne gurz. Vg frrzf zl bcgvbaf ner whfg nf yvzvgrq. V pna'g rira ubcr gb crargengr nern 2 onfrf. V ernyyl qba'g frr n pyrne cngu gb tnva gur hccre unaq va guvf tnzr.

      V srry yvxr V'z zvffvat fbzr xrl cvrpr bs xabjyrqtr gung jbhyq znxr guvf tnzr sha. Orngvat zl urnq ba gur fnzr onfrf sbe cbffvoyr tnvaf unfa'g orra sha gur cnfg pbhcyr bs qnlf. V rira fgnegrq bire, unir n orggre qrpx, ohg qvqa'g tngure nal nqqvgvbany vafvtug. V guvax vg'f gvzr gb fgneg penpxvat bcra fbzr bs gubfr uvagf.

      V'q engure xabj vs V zvffrq bar xrl guvat vafgrnq bs fcbvyvat rirelguvat boivbhfyl. V'yy fgneg jvgu gur uvag fcrpvsvpnyyl nqqerffrq gb zr ynfg cbfg naq tb sebz gurer. V guvax vg'f nyy gbb rnfl gb zvff fbzrguvat va guvf tnzr, gur nzbhag bs vasbezngvba vf birejuryzvat.

    5. I know how you feel Zenic, until you get a hang of how things work they can be really frustrating. Hence my "Neuromancer confuses me" post earlier.

      Regarding damage, one specific hint/spoiler: Lbh arrq gur Qroht fxvyy. Nsgre unpxvat n onfr jurer lbh gnxr qnzntr gb lbhe fbsgjnerm, rkvg plorefcnpr, bcra lbhe fxvyyf naq hfr Qroht gb svk nyy gur cebtenzf gung ner qnzntrq (jvgu n zvahf va sebag). Guvf yrnirf lbh erserfurq sbe gur arkg onfr. Whfg erzrzore gb abgr qbja jurer lbh'ir orra nyernql. ;)

    6. Vs lbh unir ceboyrzf jvgu NV, purpx bhg, vs lbh unir nyy gur erdhverq fcryyf… V zrna, fxvyyf:
      Sbhe nggnpx fxvyyf (Ybtvp, Curabzrabybtl, Cuvybfbcul naq Fbcuvfgel)
      Cflpubnanylfvf sbe xabjvat gur fcrpvsvp jrnxarff bs NV
      Mra sbe urnyvat lbhefrys va onggyr
      Rinfvba sbe trggvat bhg bs gbhtu svtugf

    7. Ubarfgyl V sbhaq Cflpubnanylfvf gb or gbb fybj gb uryc bhg va gur gbhture svtugf, jurer V arrqrq nyy ninvynoyr gvzr sbe npghnyyl qbvat qnzntr. V raqrq hc qbvat guvf ebhgvar: Fnir, qrsrng VPR, grfg bhg juvpu bs gur sbhe vf gur jrnxarff bs gur NV, erybnq, qrsrng VPR, qrsrng NV.
      Fnzr jvgu Rinfvba. Vs gur NV vf gbb gbhtu, erybnq. Va zl bcvavba vg'f snfgre naq rnfvre, jvgu gur nqqrq orarsvg gung lbh fnir fbzr zbarl.

    8. Gb gryy gur gehgu, V nyfb hfrq Fnir/Erfgber zber guna Rinfvba: V whfg gubhtug Mravp zvtug jnag gb qrivfr uvf bja fgengrtvrf, fb V erpbeqrq nyy gur cbffvovyvgvrf...

      Ohg Cflpubnanylfvf V gubhtug jnf npghnyyl hfrshy, rira vs V unq gb erfgber naq qb gur svtug ntnva: ng yrnfg V xarj jung gur jrnxarff jnf arkg gvzr nebhaq. V cebonoyl pbhyq unir qbar guvf ol gelvat nyy gur sbhe nggnpxf naq qrgrezvavat juvpu jnf gbhturfg, ohg V jnf gbb ynml sbe gung fbeg bs oenva jbex ;)

      Speaking about money, Zenic, V ubcr lbh ner abg fgvyy hfvat Pbzyvax gb ybt va gb plorefcnpr?

    9. V'ir sbhaq gung fxvyyf ner urycshy ntnvafg nv, ohg gurl'er nyy yriry 1, fb pheeragyl hfryrff. V qba'g trg gur mra novyvgl.

      That's a lot of rot13 above; I'm still trying to go it alone, but it's good to know there's a lot of advice to take in.

      V'z tbvat gb erqbhoyr zl rssbegf va trggvat gur orfg jrncbaf. V'ir sbhaq pbzyvax fbsgjner hfhnyyl gnxrf gur svefg srj uvgf, fb V'z tngurevat nobhg 4 bs gurz nf n ohssre.

      V'ir sbhaq yriry 1 ivehfrf ner zbfgyl hfryrff, naq gur orfg fgengrtl V unir vf gb fybj evtug njnl naq gura jnvy jvgu orfg jrncbaf: qevyy, qbbefgbc, oybjgbepu guerr, qrpbqre gjb, naq ubcrshyyl V pna trg gb n cbvag jurer V qba'g unir gb jbeel nobhg gnxvat gbb zhpu qnzntr.

      V'ir tbar guebhtu nyy gur nern bar onfrf gubhtu naq gurer'f ab arj yrnqf gung V'ir frra. Znlor V zvffrq fbzrguvat gubhtu, fb V'z tbvat gb tb guebhtu gurz nyy ntnva. Yrg zr xabj vs V'z ba evtug genpx. Vs V'z zvffvat fbzrguvat pehpvny V'q yvxr gb xabj va cynva grkg, naq gura V'yy oernx qbja naq ernq gur uvagf. Ernyyl gelvat gb qb guvf bar ba zl bja gubhtu, ohg vg'f sehfgengvat gb srry yvxr V'z znxvat ab cebterff. V'z tbvat gb gnxr n pbhcyr qnlf bss sebz gur tnzr gubhtu gb tvir zlfrys n oernx. Znlor V'yy svanyyl trg onpx gb gung ECT gung'f orra fvggvat va zl Trarfvf sbe gur cnfg gjb jrrxf, hagbhpurq.

    10. Zenic: I can sympathise with your plight, I had the exact same feeling of frustration, when I first played the game, and at the very same point. Do take a break from the game, it will probably do good.

      Whether you've missed something crucial: based on what you've written on your experiences, in a sense. If you haven’t read any of what I or Lars-Erik have written, I would urge you to decipher at least the one comment of Lars-Erik that begins with ”Regarding damage…”, because that would make your game a lot easier.

      You can also read my question beginning with ”Speaking about money…”: it was a question to you, not hint or spoiler and rotted more because of Trickster. If your answer to that question is ”No”, good, if it is more like ”Yes, is there an alternative?”, here's the real spoiler, if you want to read it: Hfr cebtenz pnyyrq Plorefcnpr, vafgrnq.

      If you still need more cash for something (better equipment etc.), read first my hints in the previous blog post, and if that doesn't help, continue with the line in this post beginning with "My previous hints actually...". Hope this will be enough for you to get back in the tracks.

    11. Fb, boivbhf abj, ohg V zvffrq gur Qroht naq VPR Oernxre fxvyyf. Frrzf V bayl rire nfxrq Svaa nobhg fbsgjner, naq zvffrq nfxvat nobhg fxvyyf. V qb erzrzore nfxvat nobhg hctenqrf naq uvz abg fnlvat nalguvat hfrshy.

      Ybbxvat onpx, V guvax V pnzr vagb guvf tnzr hacercnerq. V'z abg hfrq gb gnxvat pbcvbhf abgrf ba jung gb nfx crbcyr va n tnzr, juvpu vf cebonoyl jul V arire tbg vagb nqiragher tnzrf. Frrzf V arrq zber cenpgvpr. Ubcrshyyl V pna trg guebhtu gur arkg tnzr jvgubhg nffvfgnapr. Ubj qb lbh nyy fbeg naq xrrc genpx bs guvf vasbezngvba? Gunaxf thlf.

      V qb unir plorefcnpr gb nibvq gur pbafgnag gvpxvat njnl bs perqvgf. Qroht frrzf gb or gur xrl fxvyy gung jnf zvffvat. Jr'yy frr vs V pna trg guebhtu gur tnzr guvf jrrxraq. Plorefcnpr qbrfa'g frrz gung qrrc.

    12. I usually use a Google Drive spreadsheet (or Excel for you fine folks with Office at home out there) to keep track of where I've been and important information for these kind of games.

      For Neuromancer though I just had a piece of paper and a pen and scribbled down whatever seemed important at the time. It worked for this, but I'll stick with my spreadsheet.

      And it looks like you're all set now Zenic. There may be a few bumps further down the road, but you've got the necessary bits to get a long way.

    13. Yes, I also think you'll manage quite fine now on.

      In a regular adventure game I rarely have to keep any notes - it's all usually more about finding the right inventory item for solving the puzzle, which doesn't really require any information management. Occasionally I'll have to write down some number or code or even draw some image for future use, but then it's enough to grab a tiny piece of paper and do the required jottings.

      Neuromancer and Mean Streets before it have been quite extraordinary, because I've had to write a lot of these Tiny Pieces of Paper and eventually organize them - then again, they are quite extraordinary adventure games.

      Ironically, I've avoided CRPGs partly because I've thought they require lot of information management. Of course, my prejudice is probably unjustified, because I've played almost no other CRPGs but Ultimas, which are filled with dialogue like "Oh you want to know about Z? Go ask F in the village of U near lake Q and he'll tell you all about it!".

    14. I guess I should upgrade from notepad and actually jot notable information like what general things to ask each NPC. ;) I've been turned off from enjoying text parsers because I imagine them infinitely more intelligent than realistically possible.

      Being brought up mostly on console games definitely hasn't helped my ability to deal with asking about every piece of information. I'm doubly reluctant when the majority of topics return a generic "I don't know about that" answer. It turns me off of asking anything else.

  4. Hey guys. I was looking through my local Sears Outlet, and found the games section. In addition to some gems (I got a copy of Puzzle Quest Galactrix, and they had Fallout 2 in its original box) they had a lot of adventure games, including one of the Sam and Max games, and Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis. So I thought I'd post up images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/canageek/sets/72157633718131913/ if anyone wants boxed copies of some games, we can talk, or if you think Trickster needs to be tortured with a particularly bad one, etc. Let me know. :D

  5. Only for those through this part of the game:

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    1. I eventually found both of these on my own, but it's nice to know you had my back just in case. :)

  6. So...how does one play Battle Chess? Is it more fun than regular chess?

    1. It is regular chess, but with cool animations. (I showed Mara youtube videos in person)

    2. If you want chess with more fun (AKA battle scenes you yourself can control), try Archon: