Talan: Why am I running? I've got nothing to hide! I could just tell them what I know, which is...
Talan: ... ... ...
Talan: ... to escape. Thanks a billion, "Sir."
Talan: A fine is probably the LEAST of my worries at this point!
Off to the left we find a chest with a few credits in it.
This guy acts as an Inn. This is the first place in the game where you run into random encounters and I advise to stay near him and gain at least one or two levels before continuing, since the beginning of the game is pretty difficult.
Speaking of random encounters, Time to talk about one of the game's flaws, it being the rather inconsistent quality of the sprites in the game. The biggest offender of this are the enemy sprites. These two here are some of the better ones.
If we didn't grab the Wrench, this would have been our first weapon. It's weaker than the Wrench.
Expect to use plenty of healing items at the beginning of the game.
See what I mean about inconsistent quality? It'll only get worse from here.
Our first shield. Talan really needs the defense since the enemies here hit just as hard as the Lazer Teeth we fought earlier.
I can't remember what this item does, or if it even has a purpose.
There are a couple more Cold Sandwiches lying around. Very helpful.
This will be very useful later.
The last two chests had some credits and this Headscarf in it.
More defense is always good. Especially in the early game.
With this place fully looted, let's continue.
Talan: What did you say?
Panhandler: Got any loose credits you wouldn't mind parting with, pal?
Talan: ... ... ...
Panhandler: What's with you, anyway? Listen, I could just use -
Talan: No, YOU listen!
Talan: who is now DEAD, and I am the prime suspect for his murder! I am hungry, I am tired, I am being chased by the best guards in the Agency, and you have the GALL to ask me for money?
Panhandler: Gee, pal. I'm sorry. Looks like you need this more than I do.
Panhandler gave Talan 20 credits
Talan: Well. Thank you very much.
Panhandler: Just a tip, pal. You won't be able to use the roads to get out of Sector 30. The guys after you will have all the exits covered. You're gonna need to use the Rat Tracks.
Talan: The Rat Tracks?
Panhandler: Yeah, they're a series of tunnels that have been carved out beneath a couple of Sectors. If you follow 'em, they'll lead you right out into 27, and you should be able to escape the Agency guys.
Talan: Thanks for the advice, but, uh... these Rat Tracks... what exactly made them?
Panhandler: They're pretty strong, but if you stay alert and use lots of healing items, you should be OK. Maybe.
Talan: Thanks for the words of encouragement.
Panhandler: No sweat, pal! If the Agency Guards come by here, I never saw ya!
Off into the Rat Tracks.
Let's go into that cave.
This barrel is fantastic, since we can use it as much as we want, and we need to conserve our healing items as much as possible.
Talan: The water in this bucket is amazing! I wonder if I could bring some of it with me?
Just outside is a vending machine
It's a complete rip-off, especially considering there's a free heal barrel in the room right next to it.
There are two things I want to mention here, the first is an item we have in our inventory called the "Portable Console
The Portable Console will give us a brief description on what skills and traits a character has.
Poor Talan here is as bland as they come
The second is the music. A Blurred Line has some pretty decent music in it, even though it's in MIDI form. However, most of it comes from different sources. The theme for the Rat Tracks, for example, is the Revenge of Meta Knight ending theme from Kirby Super Star.
The enemies are all palette swaps of this sprite. the Hairy Vermin being the most powerful of them.
The battle music for random encounters is one of my favorite bits of music in the game. Annoyingly, I had to convert it to MP3 so you can't hear it in all of it's MIDI glory, but here it is.
The chest next to the Skeleton had a Broken Bottle in it. It's slightly better than the bent pipe, but still weaker than the Wrench.
Trying to open this chest gets us ambushed by three giant rats. The chest had a container key in it, which will be useful later.
This is a rather clever puzzle. If we push that boulder, it will smash the chest it rolls onto, depriving us of the goodies it contains.
Of course, we need only move up or down to bypass it. the other chest contained a Cheap Wine, an SP restorative.
Talan can't use knives, so this is useless to us. for now.
After I grab the loot, I push the boulder anyway.
I hang around the barrel until I reach level 4, then press on.
This is useful.
Further down the Tracks, we hear a roar.
This staff is completely worthless, since I can't think of anyone in the game who uses staff weapons.
Before I head off to fight the boss, I go back and heal up. Since we have the Empty Bottle, we can use it and get a Bottle of Health, which is a full HP restorative.
At the end of a cave, we see a Neon Viper laying on the ground
Another roar. It's here!
Meet the first boss in the game. He's rather pathetic.
King rat has two gimmicks. The first is that he will occasional hit us twice during an attack.
The second is that when he hits a certain percentage of HP, he'll call for help and summon a Giant Rat.
He does this twice.
Still, it doesn't take long to defeat him.
Talan walks over and inspects her injuries.
Talan: She's hurt pretty bad.
We're given a choice here, but really, why wouldn't you give her a sandwich?
Neon Viper: Thanks, Talan. It's a good thing for me you came along when you did! My names Arden.
Talan: Hi, Arden. It's a pleasure to meet you, but I'm in a bit of a hurry... the Agency could come pouring down here any minute now.
Arden: The Agency? What for?
Talan: It's a long story, but I really have to be going...
Talan attempts to leave.
Arden: I'm coming with you. You're a friend of the Vipers, and we owe you a debt of gratitude. If you're in trouble -
Talan: Look, Arden, I appreciate the "Camaraderie of the Streets" deal, really I do, but you can't come with me.
Talan tries to leave again.
Talan: Sure you do.
A knife flies right past Talan!
Arden: I'm always serious. Let's get moving. The Vipers would have my hide if I let the Agency get you now. So, what's the deal? Where are we heading?
Talan: *Sigh* Someone told me these tunnels would take me to Sector 27, out from under the searching eyes of the Agency Guards. Hopefully they're concentrating on 30, and won't expect me to have gotten this far yet.
Arden: All right. Lead on! Wait a second - I dropped something when the King Rat attacked me...
Arden begins searching.
Arden: Found it!
Arden threw Talan a Bottle of Health.
Arden: OK - let's go!
We now have our second party member!
Arden's not the best. but she's useful to have around for now. I equip her with the Serrated Knife I picked up earlier.
The chest here can also be opened with the Container Key, which breaks after being used.
The Fighting Dirty volume is useless, but the other items are handy. I give the Agility pill to Talan.
Let's finally leave these tracks.
Two agency guards approach the Panhandler.
They surround the Panhandler.
Agency Guard: Where did he go?
Panhandler: I don't know who you're talking about. Are you with the Agency?
The Agency Guards start to pummel the Panhandler!
Agency Guard: What did he say to you?
Panhandler: I don't -
They beat him again!
Agency Guard: Thank you for your cooperation. Have a nice day.
The Guards go into the Rat Tracks