Part 68: Snake Tales: External Gazer (Chapter 7) - Tactical Virtual ActionSnake Tales: External Gazer (Chapter 7) - Tactical Virtual Action
Mission in the Dark ~ Sneaking
So, it seems Snake's only option now is to file through random VR Missions in hopes of stopping whatever the hell Evil Mei Ling and Bizarro Solidus Snake are up to.
The first task is simple enough. Snake must make his way across a small, but highly patrolled, cluster of corridors to a goal post at the northeastern corner. This must be done without the unarmed Snake being spotted. Judo throwing or roundhouse kicking jerks in the way and retreating before they actually make eye contact with Snake is fair game.
Easy money. Snake must complete the virtual reality simulation with at least the second place high score in order to
"Located any singularities?
"No, not yet. Let me try a different setting. I'm getting ready. Hold on a minute."
I was left alone in the virtual reality. A voice boomed suddenly from nowhere. It was Solidus.
"You must have figured out how to find singularities using VR, Snake. But you won't find one."
I called Otacon.
"Otacon, it's Solidus."
"I know. I detected him from my end, too. He's hacking into the VR system, but he wasn't gotten full control yet. Let's hurry into the next VR construct. Are you ready?"
A new VR space spread in front of my eyes.
Just like the description reads, there are 43 targets and Snake has to destroy 'em all.
Orange targets will explode, taking out everything roughly a target space of the same size around it. Destroying multiple targets will build up a combo. A combo can be continued if more targets are destroyed within 1-2 seconds of the last one. This is easier said than done though, since Metal Gear Solid's combat controls are...floaty and not particularly precise.
Anyway, as long as Snake gets at least the second place score then he's able to continue on to the next leg of the virtual reality expedition.
"How are you doing, Otacon?"
"We're getting a lot closer I'll get ready for the next setting."
As soon as I nodded, I heard Mei Ling's voice.
"They're doing a lot better than we expected, aren't they?"
"Indeed. We'd better change our strategy. We're going to have to somehow block the singularity so they can't get any closer."
"How about using 'them'?"
"It's too dangerous. Even if they did stop Snake, it'd be pointless if the world was destroyed in the process."
"Using 'them' has to be our last resort."
"Everything is in your hands, honey."
Their voices were a lot clearer than before. They were definitely getting closer.
"Otacon, it's Solidus!"
"I know. Their intrusion is progressing. We have to find the singularity before they get full control. Let's go!"
This one's a bit different. Snake is still not allowed to be spotted by any of the guards or the mission fails. However, he is required to ruin each and every one of their shit. Whether by death or incapacitation, it doesn't matter. There just needs to be zero soldiers with any consciousness before the exit will appear.
Elimination missions scores are much higher if Snake knocks out everyone in the area. Hopping on guards like Goombas in Mario Brothers is a viable strategy.
As is just hanging back and camping the entire map from a distance. Thank the heavens for virtual reality guards all possessing programmed tunnel vision.
One step closer...
"Otacon, have you sighted a singularity?"
"I'm picking up a reaction! Hurry to the next goal!"
"Honey! Snake is..."
I heard Mei Ling click her tongue. I heard it as if she was whispering to me.
"I know. It may be time to use 'them.' Get ready."
I heard Otacon's excited voice.
"Come in, Snake! Solidus has taken control of the VR system! We don't have much time. Let's begin!"
This is yet another Alert = Fail mission. There is no full guard elimination parameter. However, Snake is still armed for this one and it will be silly not to make use of that fact.
Just beyond the start of the level is an incline with an open window where Snake is free to do a bit of camping to eliminate the two cameras and a single guard in his path northward toward the goal.
After that, there's just a single guard in the way behind cover. He doesn't move and regularly checks back and forth. However, any sort of ruckus in the area such as a tap on a wall or a rogue bullet missing his head will cause the simulated guard to investigate, giving Solid Snake the chance he needs to slip right on past.
Virtually Reality Time Quotas: Infinitely more forgiving than those present in Gindra.
Can't Say Goodbye to Yesterday (Piano Version)
There was nothing there. There was no light, no sound, no feeling of temperature or even of height. Was this the singularity? I called Otacon. But it was Solidus who answered...
"You're in what's called - how can I put this so you can understand it? - a gap between parallel universes."
"Solidus?! What are you trying to do?! Why are you trying to destroy the universe?!"
"Destroy? Don't be stupid. This is a correction. Back to how things should be..."
"What do you mean?!"
"I don't know who created the Koppelthorn Engine, or where or when, or even why. But my guess is that it was designed as part of a grid computing system spread between the parallel universes."
Grid computing. I'd heard the term from Otacon. It was a technique for creating a networked supercomputer with massive computational abilities by connecting numerous servers. If one could be built spanning across countless parallel universes, it would be possible to obtain near-limitless computing power.
"But when the universe-spanning Koppelthorn Engine was applied to the VR system, it became a device for controlling possibility itself."
"That's correct. When a VR system using the Koppelthorn Engine is instructed to build a virtual reality having a given set of conditions, it selects a group of universes having the potential to satisfy those conditions from among a still indefinite number of parallel universes that still have wave functions that have not converged. It then presents these as the VR construct you see before you. What you call VR training is nothing less then the external observation of parallel universes!"
I recalled the bizarre sensation of possessing another person's body when I was engaged in VR training. I suppose that was the sensation of interfering with another universe.
"When you go through VR training, your actions within virtual reality are reflected in a set of corresponding universes. The resulting interference simultaneously acts as observation with regards to a group of still-indefinite parallel universes besides the one that is receiving the interference. That means that the possibilities of the universe converge on the conditions corresponding to the actions you took."
"For example, let's say you just killed an enemy soldier within the VR simulation. That means that the universe containing the killed soldier was observed and made definite. In other words, universes where the soldier has not been killed lose their indefinite potential and are erased from existence. The only universe permitted to exist in the end is the one that doesn't contradict the actions you took in the VR simulation."
"Do you realize what this means? When your game is over in the VR system and you try again, the potential for existence for that very universe is denied and eliminated as never having existed. That means that every single time you replay the game, an uncounted number of universes are destroyed!"
I was in total shock.
"The disturbance of the parallel universes you've seen is a distortion generated by external interference. I suppose you could see it as the death cries of the universes that have been killed off. The singularities are a condensed form of that distortion."
I had a flashback of Olga, the Gurlugon, and Mei Ling. If this disturbance has really been caused by external interference, that meant...
"That means my own universe is receiving interference from VR systems in other universes?"
"Of course. Haven't you ever felt like your body wasn't your own, like you took an unexpected action after the fact? Or you were able to do something you didn't think was possible? That's because of interference from other universes. Perhaps the reason you were able to topple Shadow Moses is because of a helping hand from someone in another universe."
Solidus' laugh echoed through the space.
"Through my research into parallel universes, I learned that I was killed many times in different worlds. I decided to protect my selves. I refuse to recognize any universe when I am killed! And that's why I decided to make things right with the VR system. I interfere with other parallel universes using the VR system and control them such that I won't die there. I don't care how much of a disturbance I create or how many contradictory universes are eliminated. The only things that's important is my survival. Period."
"Do you really have the right to criticize me? Haven't you refused to recognize your own failures within the VR simulation by retrying a level again?"
Solidus laughed at my lack of a comeback.
"This conversation is over. I won't give up the singularity. And I can't let you restore the universes that I have corrected. So I'd like you to stay here... FOREVER!"
"You're going to regret forcing me to break the seal. 'They' will be here soon... a loathsome unit, infamous in uncountable universes, hated and feared by all. Their presence alone has the ability to destroy a world. They are children of darkness on whom is focused the combined hate of the entire universe. The princess of hell and the prince of chaos!"
"Allow me to introduce... Rose and Jack!!"
A dazzling light enveloped everything..."