(This is part of my journey playing through System Shock 2. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
Exploring Engineering has added a new wrinkle to the anxiety levels that System Shock 2 produces, and that’s the lack of windows and the abundance of slow-opening doors. I have to keep opening these doors — slowly — never knowing what’s on the other side. And since I’m bumping into them everywhere, it adds to a closed-in feeling for this level.
My ammo levels are fine but not great. I really would love to stumble upon a huge ammo dump, but knowing this game, it’s not going to happen.
To find a keycard that I need, I dive into this lovely room that’s full of crates and pods that have the potential to spit out an exploding droid at any time. The whole room is a hide-and-go-seek wonderland, except that the prize for being found is death. I don’t stick around long, if you were wondering.
But that keycard leads to an even bigger cargo bay — more hide-and-go-seek with angry droids and hybrids, yay — as I frantically searched for the one dead body that had a code for the room I needed back in the engine core. This fellow above scrawled some helpful advice on the walls that I took to heart. Nice of him, really, although what was I going to do when I came upon a dead body? Set up shop and raise a few space kids?
My saving grace in this section is the use of a couple of speed boosters to help me blitz past the turrets, mechs, and droids so that I could find the code and get the heck out of there — with one hit point to spare, I might add. I really need to find a medical bed.
With that one measly hit point, it takes some creativity to backtrack through a corridor with two shotgun-toting hybrids. I manage it with the help of multiple saves and by ducking around a corner, waiting until they get caught on the geometry, and whacking them on the back of their heads. Hey, this game doesn’t play fair, why should I?
Now that I’ve gotten access to the fluidics control computer, I find that it’s… yup, offline. Because nothing can come easy in this game! The audio log nearby tells me that this crazy engineer yanked a circuit board and hit it in another room for some reason. More backtracking!
Lots more running around the initial tunnels. I guess it goes to show how you can get used to anything in a game, because I don’t even blink an eye when I come upon a hybrid. I either run past or play whack-a-noodle, loot their corpse, and move on.
The good news is that I not only find the circuit board, but a few other goodies in the area. I’m back to my wrench almost full-time now, because my shotgun’s out of shells and my pistol is in poor repair. Might as well conserve.