(This is part of my journey playing through System Shock 2. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
Today we’ve arrived on deck 6, recreation. At first I thought it was kind of weird to have a full deck devoted to what amounts to a playpark on a company scientific vessel, but then I realized that they probably expected to be in deep space for some time and would need a place for the crew to blow off steam. Now, of course, they’re all horribly dead or coopted by the Many, but it was a good intention on behalf of Tri-Optimum.
The goal of this deck isn’t all fun and games, unfortunately. SHODAN tasks me with turning on a transmitter that will send a distress call to Earth (which will do… what with that information, exactly? This is Earth’s first FTL ship, so a S&R mission is out of the question.) and will also weaken Xerxes (which is SHODAN’s primary concern). Easy enough, right?
Nope. Not only is the transmitter behind several locked doors, but it requires a code. To find this code, you first have to pick up a particular PDA that mentions how a guy hid the code in the electronic paintings on the level. So then you have to find every… last… painting and click on each several times to hopefully get part of the code. Then when you have them all, you have to try every combination of the numbers to see what works. It’s really annoying.
…and a holo-brothel. I can just imagine the teenage boys finding this part of the game and being all excited, only to discover that there isn’t a shred of nudity in the place. Decapitated heads, sure, but holographic prostitutes? I guess they’re offline for the day.
The mall is another disappointment. I mean, points for having a space mall and for entertaining me with a couple of the signs, but most of the stores are closed up and what is there is pretty dull. But hey, why not buy a robot maid for your 8×6 crew quarters?
My questing eventually gets me to the basketball court, where I first meet Mr. Big and Muscley here. While he takes some good ol’ fashioned bullets to put down, most of the mobs on this deck were handled with the EMP rifle. That’s my new favorite for any mechanized foe (cyborg, mech, droid) — a couple of shots from that rechargable weapon and they’re toast.
So I find the transmitter, enter the code, and generally feel good about my state in the world. SHODAN gets freakier than ever after it, telling me that while the message didn’t get to Earth (I don’t think) she was able to beat Xerxes down some more. Yay? Victories in this game do not often feel so much.