The Secret World: A fistful of bees

Our Monday night Secret World group reconvened to tackle the second of the four investigation missions: Immersion, AKA “The Game.”

game1The mission started out with one of the very few alive Orochi in the game, this one in the camp in Scorched Desert.  I didn’t really catch the purpose behind this mission, other than to grab an Orochi tablet and try to make contact with Tokyo.

game2
Once we connected with Orochi headquarters, the tablet started us playing “The Game v1.0″ — a bonified, electrified, genuine text adventure game. In an MMO. Yes, chalk this up to another thing you’ll never see in any MMO other than this one. It’s a pretty robust game despite having a rather weak text parser (sometimes you have to be very precise in what you’re asking). The weird thing is that the entire game mimics the world — what happens in the text game and the places it describe can be found outside of The Game. This is actually the point, as you need to play through each leg of The Game to find where the SD card with the next version is hidden. We ended up hopping all over the world, from London to New England to Korea.

game3
Despite the occasional frustration of “what do I do now?” The Game was pretty entertaining. It was fun to do while chatting in a group, because we were able to groupthink it and laugh about the funnier lines. And we died a lot — once on purpose because the quest demanded it.

game4
The encounter with the Hive Hum — the bees — in The Game gave me chills, especially as the bees themselves seemed to be very aware of the meta nature of this exercise.

game5
Best line ever? I agree.

game6
I can only imagine how long it took this developer to make The Game and how much of his or her sanity was sacrificed in doing so. It’s a pretty lengthy quest, with five versions of The Game needing to be found.

game7
The Game eventually led us to one of the Council of Venice “holodeck” rooms, which started up and displayed a few eerie messages before shutting down.

game8
And the last word displayed before the quest closed out was the name “John.” Who is John?

One other thing: Each stage of The Game gave you passwords to continue into the next stage, and these passwords seem to be telling us a lot about what’s to come:

  • FILTHYMAN
  • BLACKSIGNAL
  • THE COUNCILLIES
  • TOKYOAWAITS
  • THEENDGAME
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5 thoughts on “The Secret World: A fistful of bees

  1. I found this mission so unbelievably frustrating. I think it might just be my least favourite in the entire game, though some of the Dragon-specific stealth missions were pretty awful, too.

    I did love the scene with the bees, though. I get the distinct impression that wasn’t so much a part of the Game as it was the actual bees.

    The whole “sentient information” angle has got to be one of the coolest things in TSW lore, IMO.

  2. I could definitely see this as a “love it or hate it” mission, for sure. I think it went on a little too long in the end.

  3. “I can only imagine how long it took this developer to make The Game and how much of his or her sanity was sacrificed in doing so.”

    On the technical side: not long at all. And actually i was quite disappointed, there are free MUD parsers available, which could’ve made it much more convenient and thus enjoyable than the presented implementation. Additionally, using one of them probably would’ve even saved them time. That being said, the parallel of text adventure and game-world was very enjoyable, i liked it a lot.

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