(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!)
When the Hatchet Falls (sabotage mission)
Yes, I know at this point that I am far off of the reservation to call this a Besieged Farmlands post, but since it’s all part of one very long mission chain, I am loathe to break it up, too. Plus, this story is downright gripping — missing kids, horrible experiments, and Orochi up to the neck.
My search for two local missing Romany children leads to a farm, a ghoul fort, and finally, to a waterfall.
Welcome to Hatchet Falls. It’s a Soviet-era bunker that’s been repurposed by the Orochi as a holding cell… and maybe something more. Let me tell you, this place downright terrified me the first time I went into it. I think my imagination was fully revved up and expecting a lot more scares than what I got. It’s downright creepy, to be sure, but there’s nothing that’s going to bite you in there. Well, one very old and ticked-off vampire, but I don’t get to him in this playthrough.
Just inside the door I am ambushed in a somewhat friendly way by a Council agent. This came from a TSW Issue that was all about James Bond homages, so there are lots of not-so-subtle references to movies like From Russia With Love. She’s straight out of that. For the most part, this lady leaves me alone.
Instead of finding two scared kids here, I discover a dark tomb full of dead Orochi, bloody smears on the wall, and red emergency lights. Bringing back up the power is one of the first things I have to do.
The sabotage elements aren’t that tricky at all this time around. I get an EMP device to disable power junctions, and there’s one part that requires me to move fast between rooms to open up a large set of doors.
But machine guns and laser grids aren’t really my biggest concerns here. The kids have been taken, but they’ve left behind some truly disturbing relics, like dolls and drawings. Also, the phrase “Hello, I walk into empty” everywhere.
It might be hard to make out, but this wall drawing depicts the Orochi coming into the kids’ house and killing their parents in order to kidnap the little targets. As if I didn’t have a reason to look down on this organization any more.
What happened to those kids? Did they escape and use their Carrie powers on these Orochi, or did something else aid them? There’s so much pain and fear here.
I access some files that point to a place called The Nursery (oh yes, we’re going there soon…) and the crazy Russian lady comes in and starts humming the “Hello, I walk into empty” song. Missed that the first time around too. She won’t tell me her name, but she does say that she had kids a long time ago.
You Only Die Twice (action mission)
We’re deep into what Kristen Geary calls “Count Chocula’s armpit,” and it’s not going to get any nicer before things come to a head. The only man with high enough clearance to get me into the Nursery is an Orochi operative — Dragon — who is a little unhinged. I’m guessing that by how much he seems to have bonded with a teddy bear. Said bear was the former property of a little girl we haven’t yet met in the game but the game assumes I have, which is three kinds of confusing (the third kind is “cheese”).
Dude. What you are doing here? Is not normal.
After a nerve-wracking run through a bunch of hulked out, juiced-up super vampires, I trigger an alert at the Nursery long-distance. This sets into motion an Orochi caravan loaded with enough C4 to put a crater in the moon. A big one. Ever wanted to see what happens to Orochi hardware before it’s a mangled mess? This mission is for you.
In one of the best moments of the game, I’m put behind the controls of a “White Witch” combat snowmobile (just go with it). Then begins a not-too-difficult sprint across the zone to intercept the caravan several times and lay down mines to stop them. Enemy snowmobiles come out of the woodwork, and I have fun firing rockets, machine guns, and laying down mines to wrap up the Red Snow side mission.
Your James Bond action moment comes on a high bridge, where three not-yet-dead-but-soon-will-be Orochi are firing on me, and mysterious lady shows up to hand me a parachute right before the bridge goes up in flames. As I parachute down, I’m distracted by the thought that while I had mere seconds to intercept the convoy, my character apparently had plenty of time to change outfits from head to toe.
I land right at the base of the dam — and at the doorstep of the Nursery. No turning back; it’s time to go in.