The Secret Adventures: Mummies and mystery (Scorched Desert #1)

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(Join Syp as he attempts to document a complete playthrough of The Secret World from start to finish. What will The Secret Adventures discover next? Find out in this exciting installment! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)

Questions and Answers (main story mission)

  • As instructed, I went back to Geary’s office for a little debrief. My sarcastic boss was in full swing, saying that I needed to sit on the news of the Engine and that lumies were out trying to recruit Cassie to the cause.
  • I love how she gives me a compliment, says “high-five,” and I raise my hand as if to get one for real.
  • The second I leave the office, I’m knocked out and transported somewhere else in the Labyrinth. Crap, am I in trouble?
  • It’s a room with a chair, a desk, and a large monitor. When I sit down, a severe-looking lady walks in and tells me that i’m Questions and Answers, which I kind of assumed was the torture department of the Illuminati. She says I failed, but so did everyone else, and that to avoid the room again I needed to remain vigilant.
  • Seriously lady? I succeeded at EVERYTHING. I had practically zero ground support from the Illuminati. By my calculations, I should’ve been promoted to boss by now.
  • She leaves behind a report — on purpose, I assume — that points to an agent in the organization who is under suspicion. Maybe this was a sly way of sending me on assignment? I head out to investigate.
  • This is cool, I always wanted to see more of the Labyrinth (RIP Bowie!). Don’t mind me, fellas, Secret Agent Syp is on the case!
  • Place is a little sterile for my tastes but sharp-looking even so.
  • Poking around on the poor sod’s computer, I find a mention to a delivery van and something heading off to Cairo.
  • The van (parked outside) takes me to a warehouse, another one of those Indiana Jones places filled with box mazes, dead Illuminati agents, and, oh yeah, mummies. When the lights go out, the mummies come out to playyyyy…
  • After that nonsense, I head back to Illuminati HQ to report. There’s a lot of delivery traffic going into Cairo and the group doesn’t like that. It wants me to head into that mess, see what to make of it. Also need to talk to the Council of Venice. If I must.
  • Little segue here as we head into Egypt. Particularly for your first time playing the game, this is a big moment. New England is really neat but by the time you head to Egypt, you’ve been on Solomon Island for hours and hours and it seems like it will never end. Emerging from the foggy gloom of the island to the harsh light of the Egyptian desert is almost a relief. Doesn’t seem quite as spooky, either.

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The Siege of al-Merayah (action mission)

  • Of course, this being TSW and all, Egypt isn’t some sort of relaxing resort. Coming up out of Agartha, I hear the sounds of gunfire as the good guys are fighting against waves of cultists. Hey, at least there are more good guys with weapons here than there were in New England!
  • Shani is there to greet me and lay out the situation. The Marya are the equivalent of the Wabinaki, I guess, the long-standing warriors that have held off evil (in this case, the Atenists) for centuries. Now, there is open war.
  • In the background of Shani’s cutscene, you can see Nassir joking it up with other soldiers. Missed that the first time through!
  • Nothing too complex here; this mission is all about killing, killing, and more killing of the cultists and the villagers that they brought over to their side.
  • It’s more than a little creepy to be out in the broad daylight and see cultists kneeling in worship before flaming human torches. Feel bad for all those people.

dorks

Supply Run, Too

  • I guess I’m starting to see a lot more similarities between Egypt and New England now that I think about it. Here’s yet another quest to round up much-needed supplies for the survivors who are under siege by the forces of the night. Well, the forces of the sun, but it’s an evil, black sun, so that doesn’t quite count as happy daylight.
  • One thing I like about TSW as an adventure game is that a lot of the time it uses straight-forward, sensible logic. For example, I have to pick up a lot of gas, food, and water in this mission. So instead of looking under rocks and in weird, out-of-the way places that some devs like to stash stuff, I head to the gas station and houses, and they’re there in plenty.
  • This mission is a good excuse to poke around the suburbs a little. Not that the houses are that interesting, especially compared to New England, but it’s something.
  • Another thing I miss from New England? Filth zombies with their larger vocabularies. All of these bad guys just shout “ATEN!” and then lunge at you with sledgehammers. Or they stand on rooftops shouting “ATEN!” like Aten was slightly deaf and elderly. “ATEN, WOULD YOU LIKE CRACKERS WITH YOUR SOUP?”

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Headhunter (side mission)

  • The Marya need to replenish their ranks, and as a newly arrived stranger from God-knows-where, I’m in the best position to do just that.
  • My recruitment drive goes bad: one guy is already infected by the Filth, one is burned on a stake, one is found hanging in a room, and one — finally — is alive and agrees to join up.
  • In the room with the hanged guy, there’s a box of expired dates. From 1942. Indiana Jones reference, I’m guessing (“bad dates”). What’s funny is that you can eat one and then you’ll get a food poisoning debuff that will eventually kill you. Oh, you can cancel the debuff but where’s the fun in that?

The Traitor (sabotage mission)

  • Egypt, you want me to hate you so soon? A sabotage mission right out of the literal gate? Ugh. Fine. Whatever.
  • Anyway, Shani is understandably upset that someone’s betrayed the Marya and fed intel to the cultists. I’m to root them out. Maybe by moonwalking across pressure plates? Nah, that comes later.
  • Shani: “He told me that if I wanted to understand humanity, I need only to read the comments section on YouTube.” So wise. So true.
  • So one of the first tasks here is to find a way into a locked-up building. I’m doing all of these flips and tricky jumps to get on top of walls to get on canopies to make my way to the building… and when I get there I see a ladder that goes right down to the ground on the side. I’m such a dope.
  • After switching off some cameras — nice to have that option — I find a polaroid of Said the mummy.
  • Two more houses to negotiate entrance. One requires reaching through a window to turn off laser fencing, the other has me running to the roof to take a sniper shot of the traitor. Got the guy dead to rights.
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2 thoughts on “The Secret Adventures: Mummies and mystery (Scorched Desert #1)

  1. bhagpuss February 8, 2016 / 10:26 am

    I really enjoyed Egypt. Partly it is because of the relief of all that sunshine and brightness after the endless fogs of New England but it was also because I found the fights a lot easier. Every zone in TSW is a complete gem, though. There are no weak spots in the entire overland game as it came at launch. It’s such a shame it wasn’t more successful – a true expansion adding another three or four full-size zones of that level of detail and complexity would have been wonderful.

  2. Sylow February 9, 2016 / 5:44 am

    Interesting. In contrast to you, I found the Scorched Desert to be the weakest of all zones. What I mean is that in every other zone, the enemy is more mysterious, be it zombies, be it werewolves, be it vampires, be it creatures strongly mutated by filth or be it mutated experiments of an old regime. But in the Scorched Desert, the opposition is religious fanatics. Humans. Yes, you also run into locusts, ghouls, undead roman legionaires and some other opposition, but it’s mostly religious fanatics.

    So while by the larger scope of the story it is very essential to visit this place to tell the player what happened here, the atmosphere somehow is much easier. It’s not so much a “all hope is lost” scenario, but rather boils down to “crazy (religious/fanatic) people at a hot place”. So with minor adjustments this could be present day in an area between Iraq, Turkey and Syria. Or a random location in Texas or Australia… *evil grin*

    I enjoyed the City of the Sun God much more again, it got more of the “mysterious threat from the past” vibe again, combined with a very touching story of loss and sacrifice. It might be hell to navigate, but the story is much better there again in my eyes. (Mind you, the dialogues are excellent at either place, it’s just the setting of Scorched Desert, which doesn’t get me that much. )

    That all being said, I also fully agree that more expansions would be very welcome. The Developers since a while hinted that another zone is being in construction, so there is hope. It just would be great if there’d be more money, allowing them to have more developers, allowing them to progress at a faster pace. But alas, which MMO can produce content fast enough for us players?

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