Part 1: Auspicious BeginningsCome on everyone! Let's start our Shadowrun adventure!
Well, we may not be off to the best start, but at least we have an animal friend!
Well that got wierdly anime for a second.
And here comes one of the morgue guys already. These guys work FAST.
Seattle is the central area that a lot of the Shadowrun stories take place in. It's sort of like how there's always some superpowered asshole attacking Gotham city, except in this case the entire city is populated with superpowered assholes.
Also no The Matrix jokes. Shadowrun did it first.
I wasn't kidding by the way, that was one of the morticians. Our hero apparently got the really cheap version of the Docwagon bracelet, where instead of calling a mercenary ambulance, it just tells the clean-up crew where to find most of your corpse You get what you pay for, people.
I'm going to be straight up with you guys, I work hospital security for the biggest hospitals in the province, and every time I go into the morgue I think of this scene. Other people get nervous because there's dead people, my first thought is "hope a shadowrunner doesn't pop out "
Turns out being gunned down in the streets is bad for our memory. In any case, we get control of the character here, and our health bar appears in the top right corner. If it doesn't look like much, that's because it isn't. Fortunately Shadowrun is an RPG, so by the end of the game we'll get that health bar going halfway across the screen.
It's also an adventure game, so let's collect some items!
So the giant hand there in front of our hero's face is the cursor for examining stuff. We get a couple other cursors later on, but this is the one you'll be using most often. With this you can examine and screw around with stuff. Let's check out our slab.
J. Armitage, eh? Well at least we have our last name. (Which is a reference to Neuromancer, for what it's worth.) Also a thing fell out, so let's read it.
This memo won't be relevant for roughly half the game, and even then it won't be all that relevant. I don't think I even picked it up. A lot of items like this you don't need to keep with you, they're just there to give you plot fluff or keywords for dialogue.
But enough of this, let's loot some actually useful items!
In the fridge we find a slap patch, apparently bandages need to be kept cool in the future. The left fridge is empty. We also find a scalpel (which isn't a weapon unfortunately ) on one of the tables at the bottom of the screen. You can tell because it's clearly a sprite and doesn't mesh with the table at all.
Don't think I'm complaining by the way. There's a couple items that would be pure pixel hunts if they didn't look off like that. I'm almost willing to chalk it up as a purposeful design decision.
In any case, with their workspace freshly looted, let's go ask these two fine gentlemen if they can tell us what the rest of our name is.
Pictured: Exactly how I would react.
Well the two morgue dudes locked themselves in the closet. Any time you enter this room they'll do the same thing, so it looks like we'll have to go elsewhere for info.
Shadowrun has some great music by the way. This is also one of my favourite tracks in the game. Sadly it only plays in the morgue, and in another area that we rarely need to go to.
Upon making it outside, some dude starts yelling at us.
"Ahh! A dead dude!"
"Ahh! A red dude!"
So here's how dialogue works. You'll notice that the word "Hitmen" is bolded. That means that "Hitmen" is something we can ask about. The dialogue system is pretty great, although it can be a pain if you miss a keyword and you're not sure how to ask about something.
"Wait, Hitmen? What hitmen?"
"You're crazy showing your face around here again. You'd better get smart like me and pack a Firearm, or you'll wind up dead!"
"Erh, too late for that I suppose, although I don't really want to make this place my permanent residence. Where'd you get your Firearm anyway?"
"I aint got time to talk to a corpse. If those guys find out I was with you, I'll get creamed too!"
"But you called to ME!"
In any case, Red bails on us. The game wants us to follow him, but right now there's more important things to check out.
If we hang out by the fountain for a second...
No really Mister Armitage is a dog person apparently. Let's open the gate so we can pat the pup.
Well in any case, this is an adventure game, and that's an item, so let's take it.
By the way, we can totally talk to all the people milling about here.
They're all jerks and no one says anything interesting, but you can talk to all of them.
Speaking of jerks let's go see what Red was up to. He ran off to our left and down an alley.
Oh SHIT. The second the screen loads, we hear a scream. Apparently Red wasn't kidding, we are in DEEP shit.
Well, alright, the game is pretty lenient given that this is the first combat in the game. For reference, we have 30 HP. The fact that we don't have a firearm is a really bad thing though. Wait, didn't Red say he had a firearm?
Sweet! Sorry Red, we hardly knew ye. Hopefully your gun serves me a little better than it did you.
Orc dude over there is constantly firing at us, by the way. Fortunately he's sorta garbage at his job. Remember when I said any dickhole with a gun and a cell phone could be a shadowrunner?
Like I said, you get what you pay for, people.
Every human enemy turns into the giant purple blob, then into the generic corpse sprite. It looks nicer in motion. Either way, we looted one corpse, why not go for two?
Our first weapon AND our first piece of armour! The Leather Jacket provides one point of armour, which isn't much, but it's extremely noticeable when you forget to equip it. In any case, this alley is clearly full of loot, so let's go see what else is here.
(Click for music, you should listen to this)
"...Starting to think my brain might have been more than just burnt."
...Right, anyway let's get the hell out of this alley. It's wierd now.
By the way, that music is used for a few conversations. It tends to be reserved for more plot heavy conversations, or just unsettling encounters in general. It played when Red confronted us as well. There's another conversation theme that I'll bring up when it's more relevant.
Now that we have the Beretta, the game takes off the kid gloves. Assassins will randomly spawn in certain areas to try to take you out. We apparently REALLY made someone mad on our brain-burning business bender.
At this point we're not really given a lot of direction. The game just kinda says "go explore ya crazy kid". A sentiment I miss about old adventure games.
In any case, new buildings usually means new items, so let's check it out!
Well let's rifle through his stuff I guess. Maybe he's someone who's connected to our past.
Oh hey, he totally was! Well that means we probably got him killed. At least we're learning a bit more, apparently we were supposed to be taking something to Matrix Systems. Also apparently we were only getting a 30% cut, totally not worth waking up in a morgue.
Well, we looted the last two, it would be unfair NOT to loot this one too.
So let's take a look at our stats screen here. Here you can see what we have equipped
Our body skill directly correlates to our HP, at 10 HP per body. Magic means nothing to us since we're neither a mage or a shaman. This is important to Shadowrunners we can hire though as it's the 'body' of MP. One magic = 10 MP.
Strength is important later on, since better equipment needs higher strength. We won't be seeing any of it for a while though. Charisma dictates how many Shadowrunners we can have at a time. 3 means one runner, 4 and 5 is two runners, and 6 is three runners. 6 is also the charisma cap. If you're planning a solo run, you can ignore Charisma completely. We aren't because that's boring
We're also broke and have no karma. Karma is how you level up skills, but I'll talk more about it next update.
We can also examine inventory items! In this case we examine the matchbook, which we started the game with. "Wastelands club" is apparently a place we've been to.
We also check out the key we jacked from the stiff. Not very helpful a tip though.
We looted all we can in this room, let's check behind door number two!
There are a number of places around the game which are just enemy spawners In this case, the shooter is just slightly off screen, you can see his gun in the top left.
These rooms are mostly just there to make you feel the heat of whoever is hiring swathes of assassins. It works fairly well. An important thing to note is that our only means of making money is by cracking down the would-be assassins.
Although sometimes they can pop shots at you while they're even further off screen
No one can stop whatsit Armitage
Alright apparently this is an apartment building, so maybe we-- hey wait a second.
Apartment number six, eh? I got a key with your number on it.
Well, we broke into a tiny apartment. The phone on the wall is beeping.
So let's ignore it. We've got files to rifle through!
Well great, if we knew what the hell a Sassie was, we'd be able to call it.
We also loot twenty bucks from whatever asshole owns this place
Alright let's check that phone.
Well shit. Whoever this Jake guy is must be having a terrible...
...Waaaiiiit a minute
Cancel the run, that means this guy was a Shadowrunner.
Hand over the files, that means the run was a courier job.
We mean business, so this Drake guy was willing to kill the dude if he didn't comply.
"...God dammit I'M Jake!"
Well at least we have the name of the dude who's out for blood and our own name for that matter. Also it turns out that was our 20 bucks anyway.
"Also wait why the hell did that guy have the key to my apartment? Maybe it's a good thing he got ganked."
By the way, we can't use our own phone to call Sassie. It turns out all the phones in the future are payphones. Also the only cell phone we can get was dummied out and can only be obtained if I use a game shark.
At least we can get some sweet shades though
Let's just pop these on here, and...
Now that we have the sunglasses, we can... look cooler I guess. Let's take what small victories we can.
Speaking of small victories, let's go the hell to bed. Maybe we can sleep this day off like a bad hangover.
"...Seattle fucking sucks."