James Bond's Mission Log #5: The secret and evil (secretly evil?) organization, Spyder, has a plan for world domination! And I am the only agent who can stop their evil schemes. But first, I had to penetrate their hidden lair deep under the ocean near Santa Paragua, survive a piranha-filled death trap, a maze of air vents filled with rats, and a poor user interface to emerge into Spyder’s employee bathroom. Using my ninja-skills, I have knocked out an unsuspecting soldier and disguised myself in his uniform. I’m ready to take on the evil Dr. Why and destroy the STEALTH-- now all I have to do is find him.
|Step on Spyder!|
I am summoned into my boss’s office on the submarine for a briefing. Spyder has the STEALTH and are threatening to bomb many of the world’s capitals to oblivion if they do not get a ransom. But thanks to the capture of the documents from the palace, we now know where the STEALTH is being hidden: in a base 300 feet under the sea. This would be a problem except we a) have a submarine and b) I am an expert swimmer. Once the briefing is done, I am also given the last of my spy equipment including a wetsuit, a case filled with spy cigarettes (rocket launchers and fingerprint readers), as well as a CD-ROM containing a computer virus that will be able to cripple the plane’s land-based control equipment. Time is of the essence; I put on my wetsuit and start on my mission.
|Well, this looks promising.|
|If this message were true, you’d have fewer minigames.|
|Palm trees underwater? Are they plastic?|
|What use are an airplane and helicopters in an underwater base?|
So, the clock is ticking-- time to search! I find that I can manipulate the cage, the door, and the lock on the door. Is that a good use for my spy pen? Yes! I am able to use the spy pen to dissolve the look and open the door. On the other hand, I did not think this plan through completely because I am still descending into piranhas, but now I also have an open cage door. If I had ninja skills, I could jump out of the cage to safety but that is not the way cool John Glames needs to solve this problem.
|When not used to kill spies, this room doubles as a disco.|
|Best death scene of the game so far!|
Oh God, no. The same moron that designed General Manigua’s palace also designed the duct system for the Spyder base because this is a maze. But unlike at the palace, this maze is dark and all I can see are the red glowing eyes of some vicious-looking rats. Just like at the palace, I can move along the vent system and turn certain walls to open up or block off passages. This allows me to work through the hordes of rats and provides a few moments of respite. Unlike the palace, not being able to see very far ahead means that I have only a limited ability to plan a route and it takes many saves and restores to find paths that lead me to the “key” (a wrench) and the exit on each of the four levels.
|I hate you. I hate you so much.|
The most annoying part of this minigame is that the hallways that you have to traverse are much longer and more winding than the previous ones, meaning that you can be walking for quite a while before you realize you have a rat in front of you and have to run like hell back the way you came, figure out a way to block off or get in front of that rat, then try again. Dead ends are much more of a problem because you cannot see them coming and many lives of John Glames were lost before I was able to traverse all four levels and emerge once again into the light.
But I do have a question. The creatures that you are running from are clearly described as rats. So, how is it that they become spiders when they kill you?
Finally, I make it through the maze and emerge into a bathroom. A soldier is shaving and it looks like he just finished a shower-- his clothes are on a bench. I tiptoe over to his clothes, but he catches a glimpse of me in the mirror and attacks. A few moments later, I am again piranha food. Perhaps, he was also a ninja.
I restore and try again. This time I “operate” on the soldier to attack him. My ninja skills work and I emerge victorious! I put on the clothes and the interface gives me a zoomed in view of my boots and laces. Why? I have no idea, but I take the laces as well. I also search the room and find a “napkin” (their word for hand towel, clearly). When I examine the sink, it tells me that there is a glass in the “lavatory”, but no end of pixel hunting is causing it to appear. I will have to puzzle that out later. I confidently walk out into the hall in my enemy uniform… and my now-awake soldier friend cries out from inside the bathroom. Seconds later, I am again thrown to the fishes.
|Lavatory, noun. “A room or compartment with a toilet and washbasin; a bathroom.” Not helpful|
I restore again. This time I realize why I found the laces: I was supposed to tie him up! I do so and stick the “napkin” in his mouth as a gag for good measure. For the second time, I confidently stride out into the hallway and find it deserted. Finally, I can explore the Spyder base in peace. That seems like a great place to stop for this post. We are almost there!
What do you think of this new “Dr. Why” fellow? Do you think he is a take off of “Dr. No” or another Bond villain? Or is his name just a stupid take-off of Britain’s other 50-year old famous series, “Dr. Who”?
Session time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total time: 10 hours
New Contest - James Bond References & Trivia
As I indicated in my review post, I am not a James Bond expert - but you might be. As I play through the game each week, please post comments with all of the James Bond trivia and references that I am missing for the portion of the game that I have played. At the end of the postings on "Operation Stealth", I will tally up the unique comments and the contributor that finds the most references will receive a "Dr. No" DVD provided by me (or an Amazon gift card equivalent if shipping or region locking is prohibitive.)