In which we talk about the stealth mechanics, sneak round and round and round and repair a plot magic device.
First of all, stealth mechanics. We have an air-grabber, we have a crossbow, we have Peeping Tom. We don’t have any screenshots, shame on me.
Peeping Tom allows us to see through walls as long as we stand still and to become invisible as long as we have the EVE. The two upgrades remove the EVE-costs of seeing through walls and of being invisible while standing still.
The awareness of our enemies comes in three stages: unaware, suspicious, aware. Unaware foes show up as white silhouettes using Peeping Tom, suspicious ones in yellow, aware ones in red. We can knock out enemies using the air-grabber as long as they are not aware of us. We can’t knock out anyone wearing a helmet. The tranq darts sends others to sleep from a distance, the gas trap dart is exactly that: a gas trap, releasing a cloud of gas capable of knocking out whole groups, as long as they’re not wearing gas masks. Noise maker dart make everyone in listening distance suspicious and looking in the direction of the noise. They (the NPCs) do not run over and investigate, and they (the darts) do no harm. Some enemies eat more than one tranq dart – ironically, we get this prompt after knocking out someone with one tranq dart.
If we’re detected, we better run and hide until the enemies calmed down. Elisabeth can go in guns blazing, but she’s not a bullet sponge: the health bar depletes quickly. Conflicts with Mr. Bubbles should be avoided completely, but we can trick him into working for us by having him between us and an aggressive splicers. With some luck the splicer hits the Big Daddy, who then goes on a rampage. The Hypnotise Big Daddy plasmid will come out next year – sucks to be us, doesn’t it?
Back to business: we’re at Bathyspheres DeLuxe.The fellow with the guitar is with Atlas, and he has the Possession plasmid for us. The whole store has been conversed at one point to a charity by Atlas: there’s a soup kitchen in the old information kiosk, a makeshift hospital in the sales office, and a storage facility in the Manta Ray Lounge. Sadly, all this has since been overrun by splicers, leaving the place in disarray and swarming with hostiles. There is one stronghold of Atlas’ men in the old test drive department, and the Silver Fin was sealed by Suchong before the whole thing was sent to the bottom.
The whole area is highly non-linear, and of course I went in the opposite direction of the goal indicator first. Big mistake, as I had to revisit nearly everything with respawned splicers. Plotwise, we first visit the Silver Fin, where we find a Lutece Device (the thing that can open tears) and a flashback, telling us that we will have used a Lutece Particle (the antigravity magic holding Columbia afloat) to bring Fontaine back to Rapture.Furthermore, we learn that Suchong started researching the tears as soon as he was aware of them, ultimately resulting in a cooperation with Fink (of Fink Mfg) in Columbia. Their common goal was imprinting the Bid Daddies/Songbird on the Little Sisters/Elisabeth, and both had their troubles.
So, now we need a Lutece Particle. These are only available in Columbia, so we need to fix the machine. Luckily, Suchong left an encrypted shopping list for us. Ever better, we don’t need a codebook to crack this one. Apparently, Suchong just created structural formulas out of the first 26 elements of the periodic table, which is stupid and brilliant at once. It’s stupid because the “replace letter with number”-cypher wont hold ten seconds against anyone who knows what he is doing. It’s brilliant because most people probably wouldn’t think twice about the sheet with the chemical stuff on it…
We need a cathode tube (available from any vending machine, even if I have no idea why they would need one – the interface looks more mechanic to me), a CO2-scrubber (from the bathysphere maintenance) and a heat sink (so we meet again, Old Man Winter). And as if it wouldn’t be bad enough already, we’re stopped by Suchong upon leaving the Silver Fin. He thinks we’re saboteurs and vandals, but we can convince him to let us repair the device and not to kill us.
The cathode tube is easy: we grab it out of a vending machine. Old Man Winter can be found in the aforementioned stronghold, which we can enter now. Earlier visits ended at the door. Inside, we can find some equipment and a bottle of Old Man Winter, followed by an invasion by Ryan Security. The CO2 scrubber we need is found deep inside the maintenance department. The first two bathyspheres we pass are (of course) old models, one required a breather to use and the other is notorious for killing its drivers. It’s still sold, but at a huge discount. We sneak our way to the main maintenance bay, find a suitable sphere suspended below the ceiling, lower it down, grab the scrubber and sneak back to the Silver Fin.Having repaired the device, a tear opens.
We’re at Comstock’s airship, and we learn that it is suspended in the air using a Lutece Particle. The first version had an actual hydrogen balloon and was shot down by a single sniper. We go and grab the particle, head back to the tear and run into Suchong. Again. He wont let us go back until we get him a hair sample out of a now-unused lab of Fink. The previously closed plot door towards the bridge opens, and we learn that we arrived at the time of the Vox’ siege of Fink Mfg. Booker calls in to ask whether or not we will run into ourselves, but we wont – because we didn’t.
Now here’s a good point to wrap it up for now. See you next time.