The Let's Play Archive

City of Heroes

by Cleretic

Part 15: Newspaper and Mayhem Missions - Gynovore

The Master of Evil, the Count of Cruel, the Archvillain of Anarchy. Lord Recluse casts a long, bloody shadow across the Rogue Isles, the land he wrested from President Marchand many years ago and now rules with an iron fist. None dare disobey his orders... not even when he ordered his prize Persian, Ms. Fuzzypaws, to be injected with an experimental growth serum, fitted with cybernetic spider arms, and inducted into the ranks of his most brutal soldiers, the Crab Spiders. Thus was born one of Arachnos' most deadly and feared agents... Operative Fuzzypaws!

One of the problems facing City of Heroes in the first few years was that blastersplayers who ran into a fair amount of debt could run through all the missions available to them in their level range, leaving them with no choice but street sweeping, or looking for other players in their level range with missions. City of Villains solved this problem with Newspaper missions, which gave players an endless supply of semi-random missions. After a leisurely breakfast of steak and sardines, Operative Fuzzypaws picks up today's copy of the Rogue Isle Protector.

After stroll on the beach, I settle on defeating Terramis. I can tell from his name that he's with the Circle of Thorns, and will therefore drop magic salvage, which sells for more on the market that the tech salvage that the Council and Malta drop.

Ah, the sewers. Blech. At least villains don't spend as much time there as heroes do. Dry cleaning in Paragon City is a multimillion dollar industry.

I've wondered that too. Who hasn't?

He was right, it didn't take long.

Back in the fresh air, I browse through the paper again. All three missions here require me to kidnap someone. I'm not especially fond of kidnap missions, since you have to run all the way back across the map with a hostage in tow. Since the paper resets when you zone, I take the ferry to Cap Au Diable for some hotdogs from a street vendor.

As I slather on mustard and sauerkraut, a passing woman addresses me...

Yet another cool thing about City of Heroes, pedestrians will comment on things you've done.

After taking the ferry back to Grandville, I open the paper again. Since only one mission isn't a kidnap, I decide to go make a withdrawal.

Along the way, I come across a motley crew lounging on the sidewalk, enraptured by a junk-strewn television sitting on the street. If you have the prerequisite badge, you can talk to it and do a series of missions for Television. No, not just for that one, but for Television itself. It's a trippy concept, one you need to see firsthand to understand.

“Meow! The machine wouldn't take my card, and I'm pissed!”

The bank guards have heard of me. Again, it's fun to hear yourself mentioned by NPCs this way.

I blast through the bank vault, grab the cash, shred more guards on the way out and leap into the skies above Grandville.

I do three more newspaper missions, which I won't mention because they weren't incredibly thrilling. Finally, I open to the classified again. “The can opener purrs at midnight.” Ah-ha!

It's my broker, Wiggy the Brit. He's offering me a chance to make a really big score and cause a lot of chaos at the same time... a Mayhem Mission! I eagerly accept.

Players can customize the difficulty of their missions. I'm running this one with enemies my level, four times the usual amount, with bosses, and with Heroes (mega bosses) scaled down to Elite Bosses (not as mega). This is far below what I'm capable of handling, but I want time to admire the scenery without being bogged down in fights.

I take a transport to Peregrine Island, in Paragon City. This is actually not the real Peregrine Island, but an instanced zone, although the map is the same. Some Paragon Police try to stop me, and I burn them to ash.

When a Mayhem Mission starts, you have a 15 minute timer. However- this is the fun part- the map is full of enemies and destructible objects. Each group you killdefeat adds time to the clock, as does stuff you smash. I run gleefully through the streets of Paragon, venting my feline rage on PPD and bus stops alike.

Some Longbow charge onto the map to stop me. They're a division of Freedom Corps headed by Ms. Liberty determined to take down Arachnos. Hah. Within seconds, their entrails are strewn across the street like crimson tissue paper.

Well, actually, no. City of Heroes takes a family friendly approach to fighting. No one is ever “killed”, just “defeated”. I personally like it, it adds to the Golden/Silver age flavor of the game, although it's hard to imagine how a Blaster can merely “defeat” someone by opening up with an assault rifle.

I come across a group of Knives of Artemis, a group of militant lesbian mercenaries. Granted, nowhere does it actually say that they're lesbian, but in my mind they are. Anyway, the kitty doesn't like people horning in on her turf, so I blast them.

On the leader, I find a building key. It turns out that the Knives were planning on torching an Olive Garden, so just because I love random destruction I decide to do their job for them.

I enter and start to set us up the bomb. Some PPD disapprove, so I blast them.

Ah, carnage. Four minutes are added to the clock.

More PPD charge in, so I use an Omega Bomb. This is a power unique to Crab Spiders, where I place a bomb that emits a psionic lure for a few seconds, then explodes. Kind of like the last two seasons of X-Files.

I defeat another group of lesbian terrorists and find another key, which leads to another building, where Paragon Police are protecting a guy, whom I'm told has lots of money. I'm rather fond of money, so I ventilate the PPD and take the guy with me, leading him back to the transport.

Amazingly enough, he does have money! Six minutes added.

If I wanted, I could do another side mission to rob the “Pwn Shop”, another to raid an enemy base to get a temporary power, or break into the PPD headquarters to free an imprisoned villain who will help me. However, I'm getting bored and need to use the litterbox, so I leap through the air to the bank.

More Longbow are waiting inside, led by a Freedom Corps officer, a rather tough foe. Well, tough for anyone other than me, maybe.

I massacredefeat more Longbow, smash the safe, and grab that cash with both hands and make a stash. A hero will be awaiting me on the way out, so I summon five robotic spiders to aid me, then use an Incarnate power to summon two tough IDF soldiers to fight by my side. I meow through even more Longbow and step out into the bank lobby to find...

Are you serious? It's Holo Man, a fourth string hero at best. He has some holographic gizmo that summons scary images or something. Although Illusions is a fairly solid powerset for players, the kitty just ignores them and goes straight for Holo Man. A few punches and he folds.

I invest half the cash in Apple stock, and blow the rest on hookers and catnip. Not bad for a day's villainy.