System Shock 2: Power to the person

(This is part of my journey playing through System Shock 2. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)

ss1My parents always told me that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy, so just suck it up and pay the price.  This is definitely my maxim as I go through the bowels of this starship trying to flip on the power.  You’d think, with video game logic, that there should be one big button somewhere, but no, the developers apparently designed an actual starship in all of its complexity, broke it, and left the players to piece it back together.

So I head to this cargo shuttle bay in my efforts to replace a missing circuit board.  You can’t see it now, as this is the peaceful aftermath, but there were exploding barrels, radiation, turrets, a shotgun hybrid, and (why not) one of those psychic monkeys.  And me and my wrench.

ss2On my way to command control, another one of those ghosts appears and relives his final moments — he blows out his brains to avoid becoming a hybrid like the others.  Hey, that’s encouraging!  Why couldn’t you be one of those ghosts that appears to give me a thumbs up and a “you can do it”?

ss3Circuit board in place!  I wouldn’t be surprised if System Shock 2 demanded that I actually learn a programming language to make it work at this point.

ss4On my way back to fluidics control, I come across this poor creature in a room below decks.  He shuffles up and says his not-so-intimidating line, then just stares up at me, almost begging me to kill him.  I am really impressed that the game has these mobs’ heads track up like that, considering the year this was made.  And yes, I grant him his wish.

ss5Fluidics controls (whatever those are) are now online!  So I’ve got the power back, yes?


no.  Of course not.  Remember what we’re playing?

ss6All fluidics controls does for me is to flush radiation out of the tubes at the beginning of the level and pave the way to the engine core.  I’ll save you the boring run-around, but this area involves going between the two nacelle sections to reactivate them, THEN turning the core back online.  All this, I might remind you, is done merely to turn on the elevator.

wormsThe engine core is also home to a nest of writhing worms, because this game loves to gross me out.

midThe power does have one added benefit, which is to activate a pair of small lifts that take me down to… I really don’t know what to call this area, but it’s a long, long corridor with windows at the very bottom of the ship.  There are some mobs, some turrets, and some goodies to grab.  It’s here that I bump into my very first midwife, which is a cybernetically transformed lady with a ghoulish face.  Oh, and she can shoot… something… at me, making me long for the days of pipe-wielding hybrids.

At least I can use the elevator now, skipping over levels full of undescribable horrors to get right to level 4 and the good doctor, yes?


no.  Of course not.

shaftThere’s a “biomass” blocking the shaft above level 3, so the elevator dumps me off at hydroponics.  I’m sure this won’t involve any sort of plant-human monstrosities.  Maybe I just shouldn’t get off the lift?

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