The Secret Adventures: Time tombs (Scorched Desert #3)


(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!)


Mean Streets (sabotage mission)

  • Only the fact that we get another classic Nassir intro — with jokes, sobering reflections on war, and an upbeat attitude that cannot be repressed — makes me feel better about taking on another sabotage mission.
  • Small quibble with TSW’s otherwise generally excellent intro cutscenes: Often they have so little to do with the mission to follow and explain nothing about that mission that you wonder how your character knows what must be done. Is there a second, more on-the-point briefing that happens right afterward that we do not see? A note passed in secret?
  • From the mission itself, what I gather is that this is a directive to start seriously investigating what the cult of Aten is up to. Nassir gives me a few blocks of C4 — because what are bombs between friends? — and I head out to the dry riverbeds to assassinate a few Master’s Voices.
  • Because this is sabotage, you don’t want to make the mistake I did of mindlessly attacking the mobs. I should’ve known better, too. Anyway, frontal assault didn’t go so well (death #1) so I started using the C4 to booby-trap the patrol paths.
  • Four Voices down and I get enough of a note that points me in the direction of the cultists rounding up Marya from the town and sending them over to the processing plant.
  • As a side note, it’s actually kind of fun to lay these traps and watch the mobs get one-shotted for a change.
  • The processing plant has more super-tough packs of mobs and cameras to boot. Between the sneaking around, the trucks, and the C4, I’m starting to have flashbacks to Metal Gear.
  • The mission ends as I gain access to the plant itself and flows right into…


The Prisoner (sabotage mission)

  • Two sabotage missions in a row! What elder god did I tick off for this, I wonder!
  • The factory starts as you’d expect: guards, security cameras, a cautious route around the edges. But then in the basement I encounter some Filth tendrils in a room with a pile of food.
  • Even when I turn the generator off, evading the Corpse Pushers (as these cultists are called) isn’t that easy. After one death, I make a break for the tunnel and simply outrun the bad guys… right into a waiting cell. Trapped.
  • Mr. Beardy shows up to gloat about trapping me and how he’s going to be Aten’s #1 prophet (they make t-shirts for that). Then he gasses me unconscious. That’s it, his name is going on my enemies list.
  • Once I wake up, the game actually takes my weapons away (although they’re still in my inventory) and forces me to engage in fisticuffs with the bad guys. Kind of wish I could continue punching out dudes all the way through Tokyo.
  • It’s actually smooth sailing from here on out. The fights are simple and even the boss battle — with a nasty brute who’s been torture-punching a Marya — is over in less than ten seconds.
  • This mission is the one where everyone loves to screenshot a certain kick that happens in a cutscene. I’d hate to break tradition, so there it is above.
  • The Marya tells me that I have to stop Mr. Beardy and his crew from shipping out whatever they’re doing, and for that I need to go talk to Said. No arguments here! Love that guy.
  • As part of a mission chain, the second The Prisoner is done, it automatically starts the next one.

The Escape (side mission)

  • This one starts mid-point through The Prisoner as an added way to get rewards. It’s a basic “rescue prisoners and kill guards” quest that goes hand-in-hand with the main mission.
  • I found it funny that with normal weapons on the way in, these guards are all but impossible to defeat. But with just punching on the way out? You can scarcely lose a fight; it’s ridiculously easy.


A Time to Every Purpose (sabotage mission)

  • So let’s talk about Said for a minute. While Egypt is rarely mentioned as players’ favorite area, Nassir and Said tend to be found at the top of many fans’ most beloved NPCs lists. While Nassir is this bizarre soldier pop culture child, Said is a sharp, savvy… mummy. A business mummy who’s been alive for at least a thousand years, if not more. He’s aligned with the Kingdom, which is the local cartel, but generally he’s a good guy. And how many games have a smart-talking mummy as a character?
  • Anyway, Said says he can help me with intelligence gathering, but I need to help him retrieve something first. A little item that can only be procured back in the Roman Empire era. So, y’know, time travel. Sure. Why not.
  • There’s even a manual. That detail cracks me up more than anything else. You in your MMO? You’re killing ten rats. I’m reading a manual on time travel so that I can go swipe a gadget from the ancient Romans for a living mummy in the present. That’s why TSW kicks butt.
  • The manual has some pointers, such as how time tombs (yup, that’s how we’re going to get to the past) work better with bee people, and that objects can be brought back but not forward. There’s also a sketch of the flux capacitor in here because of course there is.
  • Alas, the actual time travel moment is nothing but clicking on the time tomb and waiting through a loading screen to appear in 329 AD. I emerge to see an Egyptian (I think) kneeling in worship. My character walks a little unsteady for a bit while the graphics wave around. Guess I’m getting my temporal bearing.
  • You’re limited to exploring this small valley in the past, but it does contain a Roman city with a lot of sightseeing potential. Of course, this being a sabotage mission, it’s not like you can stroll around with impudence. Sneak or be thrown out. I get thrown out a lot.
  • Pro-tip: Don’t be a dolt like me who keeps charging in there and wondering why everyone freaks out at my futuristic get-up. There’s a citizen’s robe in a nearby cave that offers limited camouflage.
  • At least this mission does stealth fair. Once you learn the pattern of how to run the streets, you can zip in and out of the Roman city pretty easily. The mission did bug out on me during the crafting stage and I left it for a day, only to come back and find out that I had to repeat a lot of it.
  • Once I made a copy of the device and swiped the real thing, I stashed it under a statue and came back to the future. Marty McFly would be so proud of me.
  • It’s kind of surreal to look at the Roman ruins of that same city in the present.
  • The mission ends with a crazy fight against three waves of attackers sent by Mr. Beardy. I didn’t have a good time of this, as my build was mostly focused on single targets, so I rejiggered things a bit and became an AOE warrior. That helped.
  • Said took my device and said that — after all that — apparently I just swiped a forgery. But even worse, the bad guys have stolen a “class-1 device” (think a Filth atomic bomb) and are trying to smuggle it out of the region without a protective ark around it.

O Tempora! O Mores! (side mission)

  • This one takes place in the past as an optional mission to rescue some human sacrifices and “change the blood tide of history.” Sure, I’m down for that.
  • This mission is for those lucid-minded souls who crave even more stealth in their stealth missions. I mean, if you aren’t getting enough creeping around a town trying to find things in the shadows while avoiding guards who will invariably knock you out and keep dragging you to the start, be my guest.
  • My favorite part here is that you get to not only liberate some would-be human sacrifices, but you arm them and send them on their merry way. Should’ve given them a few rifles, that would have made history more interesting.

One thought on “The Secret Adventures: Time tombs (Scorched Desert #3)

  1. “I found it funny that with normal weapons on the way in, these guards are all but impossible to defeat. But with just punching on the way out? You can scarcely lose a fight; it’s ridiculously easy.”

    You must be the born brawler. I found those fistfights extremely hard the first time i was there, only when switching out my heal rating talismans (which do nothing for me there) for health talismans i found this fighting to be manageable.

    “Pro-tip: Don’t be a dolt like me who keeps charging in there and wondering why everyone freaks out at my futuristic get-up. There’s a citizen’s robe in a nearby cave that offers limited camouflage.”

    Yea. Lucky me that i have an absolutely authentic roman style assault rifle on my back, else i would’ve really been in trouble there. 😀

    “At least this mission does stealth fair.”

    I dare to say, this is true for almost any infiltration mission in TSW. The very only one i still consider unfair is the one in Kaidan with the trapped house, where one of the traps i still don’t know how you could see it without knowing that it exists, and another one which can only be seen and recognized when your graphics are rather good.

    For any other infiltration mission, if you pay attention and watch your surroundings, they can be done without ever being spotted. And yes, this even includes The Castle. 🙂

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