(This is part of my journey playing through System Shock 2. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
I’ve finally made it to the Rickenbacker — which, as you might recall, is the non-FTL military ship that piggybacked on the Von Braun for this vacation to Tau Ceti V. As expected, it’s pretty deserted except for many assorted nasties (mostly turrets, causing me to thank my EMP rifles more than ever). The ship itself is of a much more utilitarian design than the Von Braun, but that mostly means that it has less of a personality.
And I’ll admit it: I’m getting ready to finish up this entire expedition. Don’t get me wrong: It’s been a blast so far, but it feels as though I’ve been crawling through decks for weeks and weeks now even though my saved game files put me in the eight-hour mark.
SHODAN, more drunk than usual on her power, tells me that the plan to kibosh the Von Braun is still on, but we have to sweep the Rickenbacker first. And by “we” I mean “me while she sits and eats electronic bon-bons.” In this level, I have to find and destroy 15 of these black eggs that are hanging out all over the place.
It was about this point in my adventures that I stopped worrying about conserving ammunition. I’ve been holding back my inner Rambo for way too long with this game. So please grant me a killing spree or two, especially against a particular Rumbler who had me backpedaling through six corridors while I introduced him to shotgun diplomacy.
The Rickenbacker is much smaller than the Von Braun, hosting only three decks to the latter’s six. So right from the start, I’m in the engine areas, messing around with gravity and who knows what else. Gee, wonder if reversing gravity was a bad idea? Bet it gave those midwives and hybrids a start!
1. Space is probably the only thing in System Shock 2 that won’t kill you, vacuum or no.
2. Once you get out of the ship, you ain’t getting back in without a reload.
3. The Rickenbacker is more blocky than Minecraft.
One fun thing about military ships is that they come equipped with cool weapons like these here torpedos. This was an interesting puzzle that required raising the four torps to different heights so that I could get to a broken ladder.
I guess this is as good as any time to talk about just how horrible System Shock 2 is with its jumping controls. Jumping is there, yes, but it’s sluggish, unresponsive, and plain doesn’t work if your character attempts to jump while standing still. You have to get a bit of a run going and then hope for the best as you mash on the spacebar and experience all manner of invisible boundaries. Any time this game tries to get cute with platforming — like this level — it’s generally miserable.
At least I got all of the eggs and found the elevator for the next “pod” in the Rickenbacker!