View Full Version : Enough talk, Let's Play: Shadowrun

06-17-2008, 09:51 PM
Ah, Shadowrun for the SNES. Still the best cyberpunk video game ever made. The game draws from the pen and paper RPG of the same name which I've never played, but I can at least appreciate its rich universe.

[Edit: 10/31/2017]
Photobucket no longer permits 3rd party hosting of images, such as the ones I used in my LP. And yet I've been quietly observing these past 4 months that this thread seems to be slipping under the radar (probably a bandwidth thing). In a true scofflaw/Shadowrunner spirit, we'll keep hosting these images on their servers. Stay in the shadows Jake!

(Oh, and you can also use archive.is as a backup if the images fail to load: )

Page 1: http://archive.is/exsUY
Page 2: http://archive.is/Mdmlw
Page 3: http://archive.is/22qkf
Page 4: http://archive.is/VzxYF
Page 5: http://archive.is/EhvER

[End Edit]

Box Art for the Genesis game, which is entirely different and best left unplayed.

Some cards from the tragically short lived and very much dead card game.

The general setting for Shadowrun is the year 2050, and frequently major events in Shadowrun occur in or around Seattle (sort of the New York City for Shadowrun). At some point in the timeline an event called 'The Awakening' returned magic to the world. This also caused the reappearance of magical races, such as your common elves, orcs, trolls, and dwarves but also vampires, gargoyles, dragons, and other magical beasts (basically it's an excuse for melding sci-fi with fantasy). The power that governments used to have is now in the hands of massive corporations ('megacorps'), who employ hired guns ('shadowrunners') to perform espionage, assassinations, or any other general dirty work. There is also a worldwide computer network called the Matrix (read: the Internet) which is usually handled by a class of shadowrunners called deckers (read: hackers). Among the other types of shadowrunners are shamans, mages and street samurais (cybernetically enhanced fighters). Our main character, Jake, is somewhat a unique jack-of-all-trades and gets to have magic, cyberware and decking skills.

Intro shot lifted straight from Bladerunner. (No really (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5x3J_cHqe8&feature=related))

When you break it down, the game is fairly simplistic. Winning firefights is mostly just about standing still and shooting the bejesus out of the other guy, and the 'puzzles' are a scaled back version of point and click adventure item puzzles. However it's sort of like an Actraiser-effect; when you magically combine the two simple ideas you've got yourself an awesome game.

This LP was a speedrun of the game, clocking in around 90 minutes. Beating the game normally is 2-3 hours if you know what to do, so we're not talking a very long game here. Since this is a non-temporal medium, the speedrunning aspect isn't going to be as prominent as, say, how to deal with being underleveled and underequiped. I'll also be including screenshots that aren't strictly from the speedrun, since it would be a shame to miss out on some of optional details that build the game's gritty setting.

06-17-2008, 09:53 PM

The game starts off with Jake being gunned down by some street gang. Ah, but wait.. a shape shifting fox girl (no this is not an anime) runs in at the last minute and casts a heal spell on our corpse just before the morgue guys haul us away. We wake up in the morgue with absolutely no memory and a splitting headache. All the explanation for what just happened is left for you to piece together from clues strewn about the first area, although later on other characters will spell it out for you. Really the first area is mostly exposition, the real action comes later.

*One of the cool things about the Shadowrun is that it has its own slang words, and they can often be quite clever or humorous. This is not one of them.


*The nameplate on the slab reveals your name (Jake Armitage), and the piece of paper just has 'Warehouse No. 5' written on it.

The hunt for useless adventure items begins with the very first room. Picking up the scalpel on the table and the slap patch from the refrigerator is a requirement for completing the first little sidequest. And yes, it is possible to miss a key item and be forced to backtrack all the way back to the begining of the game (although it won't take as long as it sounds). In case you are wondering, slap patches are single use curative items. However, since they only restore 10 hp and you can only carry 5 of them they're a real poor excuse for true heal spells. Once we are done stealing office supplies it is time to open the door and spook the morgue guys.


If you leave and come back, the morgue guys get scared again and duck back into the closet, but more on this later.

06-17-2008, 09:57 PM

Leaving the morgue we are immediately greeted by someone who knows us. Aside from being shocked we are alive he warns us that we are a wanted man and hitmen will try to kill us on the spot. Brother he ain't kidding, because everywhere we go there will be jerks jumping out of dumpsters and hanging off buildings trying to shoot us. He also adds that we should wise up like him and pack a firearm, although we're about to see it doesn't do this guy any good.

*A face only a mother could love.

You can see from the screenshots the keyword system in this game. If a word is highlighted it means it is a keyword, and just by hearing a keyword you can ask anyone else in the game about that keyword. Asking the right person a certain keyword can be essential to advance the game, either by triggering events of by giving you new keywords. Other times asking about keywords will spit back some non-essential NPC dialogue about that keyword. And if the person doesn't even have *that* to say, they just give their generic reply. There is no way to tell who will react to what keyword. Although usually you can be guess your way through, sometimes you get stuck and have to start asking every NPC the whole list of keywords one by one looking for missed responses.


Our friend (?) runs away after you finish talking to him, as he says if they see him with you they'll kill him too. Following him leads to the first firefight in the game.

*Surprise! Pug face gets wasted by some random Orc.


Our only means of fighting back is to run over to his corpse, take his Beretta handgun and fire back. Like many firefights in the game, all you do is stand in one place and shoot. There is no ammo, no reloading, or even shooting while you move. How our friend managed to lose this fight is beyond me. You might be tempted to seek cover and shoot around a corner or from behind a dumpster, but it doesn't offer any actual advantage and running somewhere only lets the enemy get free shots.

* 'Leather Armor' didn't sound very protective in Final Fantasy and it sounds even less protective now. It does, however, reduce every source of damage by 1 which is very nice indeed.

Generally speaking enemies in this game only drop some money when they die. A couple special enemies like this one will drop armor, and no enemy in the game will drop their gun. If you poke around the alley a bit you'll bump into...


*Hey! A talking dog!

An explanation is in order. Shamans in Shadowrun get their magic energy from their 'totem', an animal spirit guide. The type of animal is supposed to determine what types of magic they can use, although in this game all magic is universal. Our buddy Jake here didn't even know he was a shaman till now, but hey his day has been pretty weird already. We also get the 'Dog' keyword, and no matter how many NPCs you ask about 'Dog' only magically inclined characters know what the heck you are talking about. Nevertheless, the real of purpose of the 'Dog' keyword it seems is to ask random NPCs about it and turn their generic response into something humorous.

06-17-2008, 10:01 PM
At this point in the game it is quite easy to stumble around and get killed, as what you have to do to get to the next area is far from straightforward. Our first stop is to reach Jake's apartment so we can save and heal up. You'll need the key to unlock the door though, and this poor guy happens to have it.

*Memo sitting on the desk. Ho-hum.

If you put your cursor over the body it says 'Seems Familiar...' In all likelihood this was our "Mr. Johnson", the name for the person who hires you and sets you up for a run. Why he has our apartment key is anyone's guess. If you try to save his life with the slap patch it will give you the "I'm not using that on HIM!" error response, despite the fact that this is exactly what you must do on someone else later. Way to reinforce the player, Shadowrun!

Our apartment is the building next door, and it looks like we have a message on the machine from some guy named 'Drake':


Turns out Jake probably should not have gone on that run, eh? In our apartment we can also find a pair of sunglasses and the phone number for 'Sassie', but without a credstick we cannot call her up... phooey! Since there is a bed right here, killing bad guys in the office next door is a good way to level up. We need 150 dollars in cash anyways to advance the next plot point so this'll work out well.

*The currency in this game is the almighty Nuyen.

Like I said before, there isn't a lot of art to combat. One of the few strategic things you can do is know which enemies to pick off first, e.g. here the 'mages' have the less hp and deal more damage than the 'heavy dudes'. Contrary to their names, mages do not cast spells at this point in the game. Another trick is not engaging every enemy at once. Only enemies visible on the screen will shoot you, so if necessary you can inch your way through a big room full of bad guys.


Besides cash, killing enemies nets you karma (experience/skill points). You can spend your karma to improve stats and abilities at beds. The most important stats for the first half of the game are firearms (increases accuracy) and body (increases hitpoints). Normally you'd build up firearms to at least level 3 and probably body up another level or two before going onto the next area, but with a single karma point will be content to merely level up firearms once to level 2.


A slightly quicker way to get the needed cash is to kill the 'hitman' guys above the trail station. They can drop around 50 nuyen apiece while everyone else drops 10-20. However it can be somewhat luck dependent because you need to keep entering the room until one appears and also hope they don't take away so much hp that you waste all the time you've saved running back to your bed to heal. I'm really not fond of manipulating luck through repeated tries in order to get an optimal result; consistency in any type of challenge run is much more sublime. Further I want to do this run "single segmented" as they say, so I avoid this method. As a bonus, the slower method gives more karma, a precious quantity in this run. Thankfully this is the only place where preference for consistency over luck costs time.

06-17-2008, 10:05 PM

The dog mentioned seeking out three items in his favor. This is supposed to make more sense later on when you learn that your spirit guide teaches you new spells if you bring him certain sets of items. It basically feels like a messed up scavenger hunt in which sometimes you are collecting paperweights and dog collars, and other times you are tracking down mermaid scales and a ghoul bones. The first of these spells is required to advance the game, and one of the necessary items for it is the dog collar dropped by this doggie.

You can see some businessmen walking around in this screenshot. You can try talking to them but they have nothing useful to say. One thing this game teaches you is that generic NPCs on the street should be ignored, the people to talk to are at bars and clubs (it's this game's equivalent of heading to the castle in a fantasy RPG to talk to the king). In the next segment we'll do just that. But we can end this segment by talking to these jokers for kicks. In case you are wondering you are free to kill innocent NPCS on the streets, but a voice will tell you to stop and take away karma if you keep doing it (you know, just like in real life).


*No, seriously. I'm trying to ask you about 'Dog'.

*Dog will take over the world!

- End of Segment 1 -
Time of the run so far: 6:02

06-17-2008, 10:08 PM
Oh, cool. I never played this game, but always wanted to. Now I can play it vicariously!

06-17-2008, 10:12 PM
Hopefully dosboot won't mind if I jump in here and share some details on the Shadowrun setting and point out some references.

The basic Shadowrun storyline: at the turn of the 21st century, the earth "wakes up" and magic comes back to the world. The US had been rounding up the First Nations for a "final solution to the Indian Problem", they got magic, and promptly took back about half the US and most of Canada, which was then broken up a little bit into different tribal dominions. The rest of the landmass was split between United American and Canadian States, the Confederated American States, and the California Free State. Elves took Oregon and some of northern California. Seattle metro area is UCAS territory but it's surrounded by other sovereign nations now, and in reality the megacorps run a lot of it. The Amazon's grown back, there are dragons (and one of them runs a corporation and another takes a run as president of the UCAS), there are all kinds of monsters..

Shadowrun borrows veeeeeery heavily from William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive). Where it's not doing the cyberpunk thing, it's doing the magic thing: dwarves, orcs, trolls, and elves are technically humans (homo whatever, and so on), who have manifested due to increased mana levels. Most people nowadays are born "metahuman", but some still switch during puberty, and the original outbreak of orcs and trolls wiped out something like 1/6th of the world's population, as the transformation is exceedingly painful and many outright died from it.

Magic is generally either hermetic (4 elements, fireballs, that kind of thing) or shamanic (you have a totem such as Dog, Bear, Rat, et cetera and tend to summon spirits). Jake here's a Dog shaman, which is a nice all-round urban totem.

The Shadowrun video games were based off 1st and 2nd edition Shadowrun; 3rd Edition changed some of the rules, especially in relation to decking (computer hacking), and started to significantly warp the original setting. 4th edition went off the fucking rails and doesn't have much in common setting-wise with the original setting. FASA (the original publisher) was a big fan of metaplot, or advancing and changing the game setting in each sourcebook that was published. Sometimes was a cool thing, but the power creep really got out of hand by the end, and the later publisher continued the trend.

Uh, references.. well, "Armitage" is one of the central characters in Neuromancer.

EDIT: I'm adding some more reference stuff here, as I started this post when he was only a couple of updates in.. I got too excited. ;D

Gibson uses "New Yen"; those books were written in the early and mid eighties during Japan's rising economy. A lot of that era of cyberpunk literature took that idea and ran with it, suggesting that Japan and its zaibatsu, the megacorporations (IBM ain't got nothin' on these guys), would become ascendant. To, I guess, avoid out-and-out plagarism, FASA renamed it the "nuyen".

tl;dr: Neuromancer and D&D had a kid and named it Shadowrun.

Ample Vigour
06-17-2008, 10:16 PM
Jake Armitage's eyes distress me something terrible. Always have.

Is this the bowdlerized Nintendo version, or the later romhack I've heard rumors about?

06-17-2008, 10:23 PM
Is this the bowdlerized Nintendo version, or the later romhack I've heard rumors about?

Both Genesis and SNES versions were originally US productions. GameFAQs sez 93 for US and 94 for Japan and Europe. Genesis version never got out of the US at all, even, it seems.

Ample Vigour
06-17-2008, 10:25 PM
Both Genesis and SNES versions were originally US productions. GameFAQs sez 93 for US and 94 for Japan and Europe. Genesis version never got out of the US at all, even, it seems.

Oh, I getcha. What I was talking about were the rumors that romhackers had gone in and redone dialog and things like that.

EDIT: Oh please, romhackers, someone do the Shadowrun text adventure that came out in Japan. (It could happen; someone's doing the SamSho RPG.)

06-17-2008, 10:27 PM
Huh. Never heard of that, and romhacking.net shows nothing of the sort (and they'll list pretty much everything, whether there's progress to show for it or not).

Ample Vigour
06-17-2008, 10:28 PM
Huh. Never heard of that, and romhacking.net shows nothing of the sort (and they'll list pretty much everything, whether there's progress to show for it or not).

Alas. I should never listen to /tg/. :(

06-17-2008, 10:32 PM
No, you were correct. There are two versions, but the other version is not a romhack.

The run was done on the "censored" version. The uncensored version is almost identical except for the phrasing of 3 sentences, and the addition of 1 useless phone number. I can add in the changed dialogue, although as many of you read HG101 you should already know the differences ;-)

Yes, thanks for the better exposition nunix. I used to have a summary of the timeline in the rulebook from the board game (another one of Shadowrun's gaming offshoots), but it isn't with me right now. One of the cute things about the Shadowrun timeline is how it's the Native Americans and other various tribal cultures which stayed true to their heritage who inherit most of the magical powers, and this leads to them forming nations out of most of their old territory.

06-17-2008, 11:20 PM
I love the hell out of this game and have been wanting to play it again, but couldn't bring myself to drop the cash monies on it at the local game shop. This is a good way to do it vicariously. When I played this game back in the day I had to play "guess that keyword" SO HARD when trying to figure out how to kill the Vampire.

I'm wondering how you're going to get out of the Caryards in a speedrun. I could never do it without getting like a zillion Karma, but after that the game became much easier (Shotgun + Fast Reflexes).

06-18-2008, 01:44 AM
Shadowrun's awkwardly designed and mostly a pain in the ass but somehow it manages to be a really cool game anyway.

Octopus Prime
06-18-2008, 03:13 AM
I rented the crap out of this game way back when, I was never able to get past the Vampire though. Eventually, I had to write to Nintendo Power for advice. Their help wasn't especially useful.

I still remember the battle and dialogue music clearly.

Ample Vigour
06-18-2008, 05:36 AM
I still remember the battle and dialogue music clearly.

It's been stuck in my head, off and on, for about fifteen years now.

06-18-2008, 05:54 AM
Wait, what's with the Genesis version haterade? I thought it was way better than the SNES version. It had a kind of pre-GTA open world aspect to it in addition to having a Rez-esque hacking subgame and fun character customization. The SNES version had none of those to my knowledge.

Ample Vigour
06-18-2008, 05:55 AM
Wait, what's with the Genesis version haterade? I thought it was way better than the SNES version. It had a kind of pre-GTA open world aspect to it in addition to having a Rez-esque hacking subgame and fun character customization. The SNES version had none of those to my knowledge.

The SNES version came without punch-you-in-the-dick difficulty. Sometimes it's about what you leave out.

06-18-2008, 09:30 AM
The Genesis vs SNES hate mostly comes down to.. wait for it.. which system you had! I know, I know. Unfuckingprecidented.

Both games are interesting and handle SR a little differently, and if you like one should probably check out the other.

06-18-2008, 10:01 AM
I had fond memories of playing this game in the 16-bit era, back when I had no knowledge of its origins, so I got the ROM of the SNES version and was surprised to find that it was completely unfamiliar. Turns out I played the Genesis version, even though I owned an SNES. I must have rented it while a friend and I had traded systems for a little while. So I got the ROM of the Genesis version, and played it for a bit, and got punched in the dick, and wondered how I managed to play this for even ten minutes as a kid. Shame, since it's such a great universe for an open world game design.

06-18-2008, 10:22 AM
I liked both versions of the game, but I could never beat the SNES one. Now I live vicariously through dosboot!

Red Hedgehog
06-18-2008, 12:01 PM
Box Art for the Genesis game, which is entirely different and best left unplayed.

Man, didn't you know this statement would precipitate a religious war?

The final word:
Both the Genesis and SNES versions of Shadowrun are good games.

06-18-2008, 12:03 PM
I haven't played this since reading Neuromancer for the first time last fall, but geez. I sure hope William Gibson got some hefty royalties on this.

06-18-2008, 12:13 PM
Shadowrun is Neuromancer: The RPG.

also, the genesis one was fucking great.

also, the recent version is insulting.

06-18-2008, 12:15 PM
Just like we live in hope that the Tolkein family will get their paycheck for decades of Warhammer and D&D?

Though I admit, at least those lot attempted to look less derivative. Cyberpunk in general pretty much went right out there with "Neuromancer: The Game/Spinoff/RPG/Movie" in all but name.

06-18-2008, 12:49 PM
also, the recent version is insulting.

I agree 110%.

06-18-2008, 01:46 PM
Of course, people are entitled to their own opinion on the Genesis game. You aren't going to find me singing its praises though.

06-18-2008, 01:51 PM
Man, this reminds me of the Aladdin debate. In that the Genesis side is utterly wrong in every respect, and the SNES supporters are merely reasonable human beings.

06-18-2008, 07:31 PM
(Image links broken? Use the thread archive in the first post (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=198263#post198263).)

Shadowrun Update 2:


The Grim Reaper Club is our next destination. The bartender is the most helpful NPC there. He seems to know Jake quite well and brings over Jake's 'usual' - an iced tea. Reading some of the dialogue I can't help feel bad for poor Jake. The bartender seems to paint a picture that Jake suddenly got caught up in something right before the beginning of the game.



Yea, we were lined up a run alright and it ended with us being sent to the morgue. The 'datajack' here is a cybernetic implant that lets you connect your brain to the net. The significance of the Jake's datajack is going to be hinted at again later on.

*You noticed? Funny story...


The orc 'Hamfist' here is another shadowrunner. You can hire most of the shadowrunners in the game to tag along with you, but there's no need for that right now. As an aside, for some reason they programmed Hamfist to respond to a lot of the major event keywords that we get much later; everyone else - including the most important NPCs in the game - only respond to a few select keywords that you get around the time you talk to that person. I suppose the programmers realized it was a wasted effort since the player would rarely try to backtrack very far to look for more information.

06-18-2008, 07:32 PM
(Image links broken? Use the thread archive in the first post (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=198263#post198263).)



You can't even drink your iced tea, the item only has a 'give' option. Hmm... the patron sitting at the table is too tired to talk to you, but maybe our iced tea will ease him?



Yep. Okay, so that wasn't too hard to figure out, but where that leads us isn't so clear. He drops a lot of info about tickets to the Maria Mercurial concert. Sure enough, just down the street you can find another club and the bouncer there won't let you in without a ticket. This is were we have to go next, but unfortunately none of the other NPCs respond to the ticket keyword to tell us how to get them. Figuring out what to do isn't so obvious, especially when the player has just started the game.

The solution is this shady businessman next door (and you know he is shady because he has different dialogue music).



Ask him about the Lone Star keyword (Lone Star being the police), and if you are willing to take the risk he'll sell you a badge allowing you to impersonate an officer. The clue was supposed to be the 'Grinder' character the patron mentions who was fragged by the cops and hauled to the morgue. Hamfist'll fill in some more details that Grinder was a ticket scalper (yeah... don't mess with the cops in Shadowrun). The roundabout process we must take to get tickets is to arrive at the morgue wearing the badge and ask to see Grinder's file. Apparently he had extra tickets on him when he died.

06-18-2008, 07:34 PM
*I'm not a zombie! Look, I'm wearing a badge, see?

However even if you figured all that out there's another barrier: the morgue guys still remember us as the dead guy who got up and walked out the door. If you try to open the closet door the morticians play the old Looney Toons gag: "No one in here but us mice!". All we have to do though is wear our sunglasses to pass as a normal, not-undead person. At least in a nice touch there is some separate dialogue if you aren't wearing the Lone Star badge and need more clues to figure it out.


Since you can take off neither your shades nor the badge they probably figured the player would eventually stumble their way through.


06-18-2008, 07:41 PM
Besides the tickets, when the mortician unlocks the cabinets we also can rummage around and find a credstick. It probably belongs to the one of them, but I guess they won't mind if we run up a few phone calls on it. We can just steal it and nonchalantly keep talking to them. They have a few funny lines to offer, but we'd better not overstay our welcome.




Now, I always thought the origin of using 'frag' to mean 'kill' came from the Shadowrun. I've never read anything supporting this, but Shadowrun (the pen and paper RPG) has to be one of the first references using the term in this sense.

*Fellow ghouls! Don't attack me, I'm a friend!

We'll wrap up this segment with one sidequest that needs to be done before going to see the Maria Mercurial concert. If we head over to the graveyard a voice can be heard calling out for help. All we gotta do is fend off the ghouls while searching each of the crypts. In one of them we find an Indian shaman gravely injured and lying unconconscious, using the slap patch will fix him right up though. Prying open the crypt doors is where the scalpel item is needed, and it's the only use of the item in the game. This is a somewhat unfortunate trend for the items, because by the end of the game our inventory list will be cluttered up with all sorts of scraps of paper and random utensils that we used once and no longer need but cannot get rid of.



As a thanks we get a little gift: a magic fetish. The only description the game leaves us is "an amulet with a bat engraved". Aside from a little info about 'Dog' (finally!) there's no reason for us to stick around. Curiously, the coffins can be inspected to reveal either a random amount of nuyen (?) or a ghoul encounter.


- End of Segment 2 -
Time of the run so far: 9:26

06-18-2008, 08:11 PM
Now, I always thought the origin of using 'frag' to mean 'kill' came from the Shadowrun.
Not so sure about that. Fragging (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frag_%28military%29) is Vietnam War slang.

06-18-2008, 08:31 PM
Yea, I looked that up too, but it's a different usage. The "fragging (video games) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frag_(video_gaming))" webpage says that the modern usage probably originated with Doom players and was inspired by the military term. Shadowrun may have been inspired by the military term too, and its usage matches the modern usage exactly, but well before Doom.

06-18-2008, 09:25 PM
I never figured out the Lonestar badge thing on my own. Nintendo Power got me past that.

A Game Genie got me past the caryards, and I didn't even feel guilty about it. I don't think I've ever played all the way through this game without using a cheat(or emulator savestates) to get through some aspect of it.

06-18-2008, 09:40 PM
Here's one of the very few examples of the uncensored dialogue that people were talking about.


"Chop shop" is the typical the term used in the Shadowrun universe, but it was apparently edited out. Before I was under the impression that the uncensored version was just an early and very limited print run, but HG101 says it was a beta version that was unreleased. There's a gamefaqs walkthrough which mentions all the places where they made edits, and its overall a pretty minor censor job.

06-18-2008, 10:38 PM
Yea, I looked that up too, but it's a different usage. The "fragging (video games) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frag_(video_gaming))" webpage says that the modern usage probably originated with Doom players and was inspired by the military term. Shadowrun may have been inspired by the military term too, and its usage matches the modern usage exactly, but well before Doom.

I believe the usage in Doom refers to the fact that you're killing your own "teammates", rather than killing the AI monsters. Shadowrun just uses it as a generally cool-sounding term for killing people.

06-18-2008, 11:08 PM
"Chop shop" is the typical the term used in the Shadowrun universe, but it was apparently edited out. Before I was under the impression that the uncensored version was just an early and very limited print run, but HG101 says it was a beta version that was unreleased. There's a gamefaqs walkthrough which mentions all the places where they made edits, and its overall a pretty minor censor job.
No microwaving hamsters, then.

06-19-2008, 01:34 AM
No microwaving hamsters, then.

Did you get around to fixing that loose brick in the basement yet?

Also: the character portraits in this game are somethin' else.

Ample Vigour
06-19-2008, 01:36 AM
Did you get around to fixing that loose brick in the basement yet?

Also: the character portraits in this game are somethin' else.

All the shots of Jake's eyes have done measurable damage to me. If we have to put up with multiple shots of Anders, I'm done for.

06-19-2008, 05:35 PM
Hmm.. Anders? I don't remember his portrait being anything special. He's full of himself for sure, so maybe that's why you don't want to see his mug?

06-19-2008, 07:20 PM
(Image links broken? Use the thread archive in the first post (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=198263#post198263).)

Shadowrun Update 3:

With Maria Mercurial tickets in hand, its time to shove off from the opening area. The happening place holding the concert is 'The Cage'. The bouncer is gigantic troll; we won't bump into their kind very often.



There's a video phone here, so we can ring up Sassie's number that we found in our apartment.


Yikes! We got dumped :( Sassie says some Glutman guy keeps calling and gives us his number. When you call Glutman's office he's not there, but calling the number is an event trigger which makes him appear at the club.


The only required thing to do here is talking to Glutman. However, if you're like me you'll want to rock out a bit and let the music loop a few times (ah.. brings back memories). If you want a few laughs the bartender comments on Maria's nice moves and the bub in the corner thinks we're trying to steal his seat, but there's not any meaningful info to pickup. On the dancefloor you'll run into a familiar face dancing with some ugly dude:


Geez Sassie, you left me for that guy!? We can try to ponder the reasons why she broke up with us:

1) creeps like Drake and Glutman keep calling and leaving messages
2) Jake stays out all night drowning himself in iced tea at the bar
3) Jake's best friend looks like this:


Yea, I'm going with 3).

06-19-2008, 07:22 PM
Like I said, there's not a lot to do here. Once you get tired of asking the troll bouncer about 'magic fetish' it's time to talk to Glutman:



Well ain't he a happy fella? Once again, the shady dialogue music pops up. It's not made very clear at this point who Glutman is and how he relates to Jake. Later you can hack into his office computer and get a little tidbit that explains Jake was Glutman's 'courier'. What happened is we successfully swiped some intel from the Matrix Systems corp. which caused Drake to send a hitman squad after us. Drake's cranky message on our machine was talking about the files we have in our head computer.

After that brief conversation we are whisked away by his men:


*It's not one of your "la-de-da" places, but hey if you like dank.. fuggetabouit!

Okay, so Glutman's idea of 'protection' is dropping us in some shithole caryards. The orc in charge - 'The King' - is the one blocking the only exit.


If you talk to the other shmoes locked up in here you learn that the King lets wanted people hide out in the caryards - for a price. Or is it that he lets you out for a price? The text is kinda contradictory.


06-19-2008, 07:23 PM
The way out is to win enough fights in the arena, and the little kid grimly tells us that most folks die trying to leave. However, provided we survive, fighting in the arena is an awesome boost of experience and money.


The arena is your standard fight to the death (first one to die loses). The rewards get better each time you win. There's really no risk involved since if you lose you're dead and if you win you go save. The first fighter is a 'gang member' enemy, the first enemy to use a melee attack. If you are quick on your feet you can maneuver his path into the barrel, causing him to run up against it indefinitely... what a maroon!


You might think that there's not much strategy to arena firefights given the combat in this game. Since standing in one place looks really dull, the programmers thought of the idea to make the AI contestants run from place to place occasionally (and sometimes this breaks your target lock). This leads to a trick where if you stand in the right places you can maximize the time the other fighter is walking and not shooting. Even better, the waypoint programming is full of bugs: For several of the fighters you can stand in a certain spot and when they walk away they don't turn around and shoot back once they stop!


e.g. for the second contestant if you stand here he usually won't even fire more than a single shot.


The third contestant was the 2nd one's brother and you can take him down the same way from a different spot.



The mage enemies in the arena shoot in rapid fire bursts and love to break your target lock. You can glitch this fighter like the previous ones, but it takes a while for him to finally stop shooting you.


Sweet legal tender! If we add up all the fights so far we've earned 8 karma and fat stack of 4,000 nuyen.

06-19-2008, 07:26 PM
Really, making use of glitches can only do so much in the arena. These guys however would still have been chumps without 'em. Even with the measly 1 karma point we spent before coming into the arena, we could still have beaten them provided we healed up and spent our karma after each fight. But with the glitches we've beaten them consecutively with no healing and no level ups in between!

It's time to level up our skills, and Body and Firearms are all that matters at this point. Not spending karma wisely is often why people get stuck in the caryards and have to grind a little bit to win enough fights. Man I used to waste lots of karma on the 'strength' attribute before I knew any better, but it has no direct effect on combat, only on what class of equipment you can use.


We are going to level up firearms just once to level 3 and then body twice from 3 to 5. Now our stats are comparable to what you'd normally have entering the caryards, but let's not complain about what we've got. The jump from firearms 1 to firearms 3 has an enormous effect, making early firearms by far the most important level ups. Further level ups are incrementally less impressive because you're already hitting most of your shots (you'll still see 0 damage quite often because of armor, but missed shots have a different graphic). After about firearms 8 or so there isn't any difference, and going overboard with firearms is another cause for slowed progress in the caryards.

The next arena fighter is a mage again, this time even tricksier than before, as he consistently breaks your target lock. We've burned through most of the glitches and this guy has none to exploit. You could still try to find a good spot to maximize his walking distance, but we don't want to waste time so we just stand and shoot.


He also gives crap for karma, so no level ups after this fight.

On deck is the street samurai, and he should be pretty memorable if you've played the game before. He's the first enemy in the game with an automatic weapon. But his big weakness is that he has a secondary melee attack (very few enemies do) and it happens to be far less deadly. The strategy? Stand close to him so he puts away his gun and claws you while you shoot him in the face. Works like a charm. Somehow though I managed to mess it up the first time and nearly died before the arena owner threw in the towel on my behalf. This was pretty lucky; if the other fighter deals damage too quickly the arena owner won't stop the fight in time.



06-19-2008, 07:28 PM

We'll end this segment by finally getting out of the caryards. There are two ways to leave alive: pay the King for you freedom or challenge the King in the arena and win. It'd be quicker just to pay and go, but it costs 4,000 nuyen plus an opportunity cost of 3,000 nuyen you would get for beating him. We have a strict budget we must adhere to in this speedrun, so we'll challenge the King.


The little kid will sell you slap patches for 100 nuyen each if you ask about 'Heal'. The problem with the King is he has a lot of hp, so slap patches are good for letting you hang in there just a little bit longer. We'll buy 4 for later, but we won't need them right now. We can use the first glitch to our advantage against the King and stand on the left side of the arena. This maximizes the time he walks back and forth and we get lots of free hits.


After a while the second glitch kicks in and the King stops and you can pick him off from a distance. Actually, that's not quite true. What happens is the King taunts you and runs off screen. If you follow him too closely he will resume firing back, but if you keep your distance you can shoot him and he won't move. Unlike before, activating this trick doesn't require standing on any super special spots, so I'm not so sure this isn't something that was intentionally put in the game. Maybe to push struggling players along or to increase the tension? Could be.




- End of Segment 3 -
Time of the run so far: 17:02

06-19-2008, 07:41 PM
Mercurial's a Shadowrun fixture; gets referenced a lot in setting material, had an adventure or two based around her that were published for (I think) 1st edition. Her background is the absolute most ridiculous thing (http://wiki.dumpshock.com/index.php/Maria_Mercurial); some bizarre mix of a couple of Gibson characters plus whatever messed-up fantasies the writer decided to call on. =/

I always had a hell of a time in the caryards, never knew how easy it was to exploit.

Do you ever fight a troll? I can't remember seeing any besides from the bouncer. Plenty of orks around, though.

Ample Vigour
06-19-2008, 07:44 PM

She left Jake for a Juggalo. I blame Jake's sex face; it must be frightful.

I got stuck in the caryards for so very long. Like you said, it all came down to bad leveling. Ah, well; I eventually beat the game.

06-19-2008, 07:45 PM
Yea, orcs are everywhere in this game. You can fight a Troll in the arena (but we won't here), and there are troll deckers (har har.. given their size I always find that image funny) in Drake's Volcano and in the Aneki building.

Yea, I was hoping everyone wasn't aware of the arena tricks. I only knew about the King trick myself back in the day.

Ample Vigour
06-19-2008, 07:48 PM
the absolute most ridiculous thing (http://wiki.dumpshock.com/index.php/Maria_Mercurial)

Dunkelzahn's Will! HATE HATE HATE


Shadowrun is the gold standard of how not to run a game line.

06-19-2008, 07:56 PM
Never knew that Maria was a big Shadowrun character. Are there any named band members she ever plays with? The game names some of them, but the sprites with names attached are reused throughout the game (so everywhere you go it's always "Johnny-The drummer" playing).

For a period of ten days beginning on 14 February 2057, Lars J. Matthews will cease to possess any legal status. He will be stripped of all evidence of legal existence, including SIN, credsticks, DocWagon contract, bank accounts and so on. To the individual or group who ends Lars J. Matthews’ physical existence during those ten days, I leave all of Matthews’ assets and 1 million nuyen for a job well done. If Mr. Matthews survives and can prove his identity, his legal status and all possessions will be restored to him. Haven’t you heard? Never deal with a dragon, Lars.

Gee that's one f-ed up will.

06-19-2008, 08:05 PM
It's actually an interesting sourcebook if you use it for plot hooks unrelated to all the shit they pushed through with Dunk. FASA was drunk on metaplot, ten times worse than White Wolf ever was, and the company faithful ate it up. Tonnes of novels, plus sourcebook stuff.. this is talking all their lines, mind you (Shadowrun, Earthdawn, BattleTech.. whatever smaller fish they had going also).

I think her bandmates in the game are just stand-ins. They might not be but I definitely can't remember.

dosboot: Since you're doing this as a speedrun can you add timestamps to the beginning of each update?

Ample Vigour
06-19-2008, 08:06 PM
Gee that's one f-ed up will.

I can see the appeal of something like that as a source of game ideas or the like, but it turned out to be the worst example of the 1990s school of RPG world design, in which the PCs were forever subordinate to the schemes of freelancers working for White Wolf or FASA or whoever.

Some people get off on watching a story happen one $30 sourcebook at a time, but I'm not one of them.

EDIT: Metaplot. They called it metaplot. Long may it rot.

06-19-2008, 08:14 PM
Sure, I can add timestamps. I was planning to upload a video and link it after the whole LP was finished (in case anyone wanted to see the nitty gritty time savers), but I'm having second thoughts. The video record feature and codecs are a little wonky. I'm really unsatisfied with the quality I'm getting (after a while the video lags behind the sound by several seconds, and the compressed video stream isn't nearly as pixel-y and sharp as the real game).

06-19-2008, 08:19 PM

My favorite part of this game is this random dude who looks like John Candy.

06-19-2008, 09:06 PM
I always thought he looked like the Russian drug dealer from the Fugitive movie.

06-19-2008, 09:17 PM
I used to swear that the arena owner looked like a weird, older version of one of my friends. They reuse this character portrait later on, so we'll see more of him.

06-19-2008, 09:44 PM
It's actually an interesting sourcebook if you use it for plot hooks unrelated to all the shit they pushed through with Dunk. FASA was drunk on metaplot, ten times worse than White Wolf ever was, and the company faithful ate it up. Tonnes of novels, plus sourcebook stuff.. this is talking all their lines, mind you (Shadowrun, Earthdawn, BattleTech.. whatever smaller fish they had going also)

Though it's worth noting that while Earthdawn and Shadowrun were linked, Battletech was in an unrelated separate universe.

It really is kind of a shame, as the original set-ups for all three were wonderful, but each got basically ruined by the relentless march of the metaplot and books filled with basically nothing but hints about all the cool stuff they were totally going to let you know about someday.

Yeah, FASA sucked.

Ample Vigour
06-19-2008, 10:12 PM
Earthdawn and Shadowrun were linked

You are shitting me.

Yeah, FASA sucked.

I don't think words can contain it.

BTW, do you post over at rpg.net? I could swear I saw your avatar there once or twice.

06-19-2008, 10:30 PM
You are shitting me.

True. I don't think it was originally planned this way, but the designer's pet characters (or whatever) - Harlequin in particular, the dragons, and some others - became carryover characters; essentially, Earthdawn was the last time the planet's mana levels were really high. Then things cooled down again, and Shadowrun picks up when the cycle renews.

Thankfully, none of this bullshit comes up in the SNES game! Sorry we're slaloming off on tangents here, db. ;D

06-19-2008, 11:51 PM
I'm impressed with your caryards technique. I knew some of the safe spots for the earlier fights, now I'm wondering if there are spots for some of the later fights that require better equipment.

Octopus Prime
06-20-2008, 11:06 AM
Man, if I knew about glitching your way through the Car Yards...

Or that Strength had nothing to do with how hard you shoot...

My point is: I always paid The King and went along my merry way.

06-20-2008, 12:38 PM
Don't worry about the tangents, that's fine.

I'm wondering if there are spots for some of the later fights that require better equipment.

There's a spot on the right side of the arena for glitching the next fighter, the Ferocious Orc, although he's generally not a problem with the starting equipment. For the very last fighter, the replicating mage, standing on the far left will cause the clones to stay off screen. Naturally, everyone would like a glitch for the troll but I don't know of any.

06-20-2008, 08:06 PM
(Image links broken? Use the thread archive in the first post (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=198263#post198263).)

Alright chummers, time for Shadowrun Update 4:

There's one more arena fighter we could reasonably defeat at this point. However, we're sitting on enough money to buy everything we need from the local shop, and it will be quicker to fight the last contestant with better weaponry. The caryards is situated in a completely new neighborhood: 'Old Town'. It feels like a dirty slum with the depressing music and 'street scum' lying on the sidewalk.


Not sure about the Japanese text on some of the signs but the place we want to go is the gun shop.



The owner is a crazy dwarf - well, all the dwarves in this game seem to be a bit crazy.



Check out this lovely customer though:


06-20-2008, 08:08 PM
At first glance there appears to be a nice assortment of light and heavy pistols to choose from, but practically speaking most of them are barely any different from the weapon we start with. Normally we'd want to buy the best weapon here: the Defiance T-250 Shotgun. Our Beretta has an attack rating of 3 while the shotgun has a mighty 8. It's certainly reasonable to beat the whole game with the shotgun; by the time this gun becomes weak you'll have overpowered magic anyway.


We'll purchase the next best weapon though: the Ruger Warhawk Pistol. It's the strongest gun we can use without upgrading our strength, and with the 6,000 nuyen saved we can more than make up for it by hiring shadowrunners.

The shop next door is the talisman shop. The stuff here isn't as directly usable: there are a couple of potion bottles necessary for learning certain spells, and a wooden stake.


Never been used? Sold! Gee, I wonder when this'll come in handy?

We've spent most of our money, so enough shopping for now. We aren't going to trek back later for the potions bottles either - no learning invisibility this game!

06-20-2008, 08:09 PM
It hasn't come up yet, but if we were to jack into the matrix at this point in the game we would get an error and disconnect immediately. Turns out something is wrong with our datajack, and the locals suggest we visit Ed's Patch 'N Fix:






Well that's no good. That's no good at all.



Ok - there's a cortex bomb attached to our head computer designed to protect whatever sensitive data we got in there. And it's set to go off when we utter Jake's most frequently used word. (Hint: it's 'you'). Actually, Jake doesn't speak a single word for the rest of the game. It is easy to forget that Jake is not a silent protoganist because he never talks in the dialogue screens. In truth, he does have half a dozen lines in various special scenes like this one.

The cortex bomb will go off in '30 hours' according to the game, which means 30 minutes in real time. There's another street doc in the game who can disarm it (you know, one who isn't blatantly incompetent). We could go directly to him from here, but we've got a half hour to kill, so no rush.

06-20-2008, 08:10 PM
It's time to finish up business and leave Old Town. The local bar - the 'Sputnik Club' - is the only place where there are shadowrunners who out and out refuse to go on runs with you. There's just two runners you can actually hire and they won't even stay with you for 10 battles. I don't know why they made this place so useless, but a good guess is because we're about to reach two new clubs which are chock full of great runners.



Nevertheless, we'll hire the orc 'Orifice' here for 500 nuyen. If nothing else, he's cheap and available (that's what she said.. ok ok). There's still one arena contestant that we were going to challenge (yet another Orc). We're starting to see lots of 5's and 6's when we deal damage and our Ruger makes short work of this guy.


One last level up as we leave: we increase firearms once more to level 4. Watch out cause we won't level up firearms or body anymore this game - this is as good as it gets! We also start working on charisma, upping it from 3 to 5. Charisma determines how many runners you can have concurenty. Normally you wouldn't prioritize it, but in a speedrun having a trio of runners is the fastest way to kill enemies. At charisma level 4 you can have two runners with you, and with charisma level 6 you can have three. That's right, charisma level 5 does absolutely nothing.

06-20-2008, 08:11 PM

This is the point in the game where everything basically opens up. The subway/monorail that was out of order in the first section of the game has been fixed and now you can travel to all the major locations in the game: Tenth Street (where we were), Old Town (where we are), and Daley Station (where we're going). The Daley Station section of the game is huge compared to Tenth Street and Old Town, with many different places to see.


Two thugs self identified as members of Rust Stilleto gang try to frag us when we step off the monorail. After wasting them we bump into a second dog acolyte who tells us to once again seek out our totem's shrine.


The nice thing about the Daley Station/downtown area isn't just that it's huge, but it's also wide open the moment you get there. Right now the game is tugging us in many directions at once: there's the Rust Stilleto gang to deal with, the dog shrine to visit, and the cortex bomb in our head to take care of. We also have a couple clues from the beginning of the game that start becoming relevant: a matchbox with the 'Wastelands club' logo on it and a scrap of paper mentioning 'Warehouse no. 5'. Plus when you go to all these places you'll discover more areas that you can poke around but can't quite get into yet.

06-20-2008, 08:12 PM

We're heading to the Wastelands club first. Some jerk tries to gun us down at the door; probably another Rust Stilleto but the game doesn't say.


The clubs we're starting to visit are going to have great shadowrunners for hire. The dwarf Norbert has an obscene damage output (second best in the game), so he deserves a spot in our group.


There's also Frogtongue, an orc with stats like Norbet except with less damage output and more defense. He's much better than our first runner Orifice, and if you really need extra muscle beyond Norbet he is worth buying, but we don't have the money.


The street samurai Anders is step down from the other runners. He looks flashy and has an automatic weapon, but he is worse than Frogtongue and Norbet in every way and doesn't stay with you very long. I remember way back when I used to value Anders a lot, but there isn't much point in getting him.


Anders likes to talk about other shadowrunners and he boasts that he only works with pros like Steelflight and Akimi - the two most expensive and highest leveled shadowrunners in the game. Whatever.


The bartender will give us the essential 'Ice' keyword. Right now it just seems to be innocently related to iced tea, but later on when you have to use the keyword its purpose feels much more obscure.


Everyone here drop clues that the Rust Stilleto's hang out is nearby, which is where we should head next. We'll end this segment by paying them back for trying to kill us.

06-20-2008, 08:14 PM

For whatever reason, there's a grenade right outside the Rust Stilleto's hideout, and when examined it says 'the pin has been pulled out'. Heh, it's only function is to explode in your face when you pick it up, but it doesn't do much damage.

The Rust Stilleto gang includes new enemies we haven't seen before. This time there are 'gang member' enemies who throw Molotov cocktails. A single blast could potentially hit us and both our runners, so this makes them a priority target.



With Orifice and Norbet in tow we're racking up the damage really quickly and plow our way to the main hideout. The hideout is divided by wall sections that you can't shoot through, so with a little care we can eliminate the enemies individually. If you're doing it this way the first enemy is the most delicate, since you can't take a single step forward without going in range of the others. Really though, with all this firepower extra strategy like this is a little unnecessary.



Behind the final door is the boss encounter. The gang leader isn't going to fight fair either: alongside him is a beefed up gang member enemy and 3 more chump enemies. We'll be taking a hail of fire the moment we enter, so right now we catch our breath and heal up with the slap patches we bought earlier. Better safe than sorry!

Immediately after stepping into the final room both sides just let loose. You can even the odds a little by running closer to the gang leader. This causes one of the chump enemies to go off screen and stop shooting. The gang member enemy will focus exclusively on Jake, and your guys always auto target him, so it's best to eliminate him right away.


The gang member is a bit ridiculous: He just has a melee attack (some spiked club weapon? hard to tell), but even with us shooting him in the face plus Norbert and Orifice blasting away he still takes a while to go down. The gang leader is next on the list and once he's toast the rest is just inserting some holes into the chump enemies.


The gang leader coughs up some final words when you kill him. Looks like Drake has a serious grudge against us; the road ahead ain't going to be easy.


- End of Segment 4 -
Time before cortex bomb goes off: 26 hours
Time of the run so far: 26:34

06-20-2008, 08:33 PM
Reference Points!

* The cortext bomb is from a completely throwaway line about 1/3rd of the way through Neuromancer, and there's no mention of it ever again. FASA, as they were dredging the books for cyberware ideas, fleshed it out a bit more. It's actually listed in the core handbook with a price (which.. I don't recall now, because I'm lame) and the suggestion that they're used to protect courier data.

* The melee attack that you most often see in the SNES game here looks, to me, like "spurs"; these are cyberware implants that are, I am not kidding you, exactly like Wolverine claws. There are also "razors" which hide under the fingernails (and are another Gibson borrowing, although to be fair it seems like a logical piece of 'ware they could've come up on with on their own. but they didn't, so)

06-20-2008, 08:46 PM
Ah yes, razors. The fingernail variety was a card in the CCG, I think I have a picture here.


06-20-2008, 09:36 PM
The CCG was actually pretty interesting. There is - or was - some kinda win32 program that had a bunch of different card and some board games, mostly out-of-print games, and I got to play some of Shadowrun CCG via that. What I remember of it involved putting together a team of runners and then laying out objective (basically the shadowruns themselves) cards, and assigning gear and then trying to complete the objective. It seemed to capture the feel of a good tabletop session very well.

06-20-2008, 09:38 PM
man, i wanna play a shadowrun campaign again so badly. monofilament whips, anyone?

06-20-2008, 09:40 PM
You are shitting me.

BTW, do you post over at rpg.net? I could swear I saw your avatar there once or twice.

Yeah, I do. Under the same name, even. ;)

And you might be the only person this side of a D20 that didn't know that Earthdawn and Shadowrun were linked.

True. I don't think it was originally planned this way, but the designer's pet characters (or whatever) - Harlequin in particular, the dragons, and some others - became carryover characters; essentially, Earthdawn was the last time the planet's mana levels were really high. Then things cooled down again, and Shadowrun picks up when the cycle renews.

Well, to be fair, Shadowrun seems to have had the idea of some ancient age of magic built in from the start. Practically the very first novel trilogy introduces the concept of immortal elves and the mana cycle, and even before then we knew that the dragons had been sleeping from... Something. From what I've heard tell from people who should know, Earthdawn was actually planned to connect to Shadowrun from the start. If one ignores the novels and all the actual details of the metaplot, the connection's not half-bad - you get two very different settings spun off from the same general basic metaphysics.

It's just that, as usual, FASA never knew when to stop...

Crested Penguin
06-20-2008, 11:00 PM
It makes me warm and fuzzy inside to know there's so much Shadowrun love here.

That said, fuck immortal elves. Those things are possibly worse than Elminster and Drizzt put together.

Ample Vigour
06-20-2008, 11:08 PM
And you might be the only person this side of a D20 that didn't know that Earthdawn and Shadowrun were linked.

You see, there was this thing called high school football that kept me from falling completely into the geek abyss. ;)

My favorite character in the entire game! When I was a kid I would read his dialog to myself in a pirate voice. Anders troubled me with his mirror shades and vast forehead, but Norbie's cheery psychopathology never let me down.

monofilament whips anyone?

I prefer a minigun, but there's no accounting for taste.

06-20-2008, 11:55 PM
My favorite character in the entire game! When I was a kid I would read his dialog to myself in a pirate voice. Anders troubled me with his mirror shades and vast forehead, but Norbie's cheery psychopathology never let me down.

Yea, Norbet's great. I'm going to include some more of his dialog later. In this game at least, he's the only shadowrunner to really bring the funny.

06-21-2008, 07:21 PM
(Image links broken? Use the thread archive in the first post (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=198263#post198263).)

We really pick up steam as we head into Shadowrun Update 5:

The Jagged Nails is the last new place to hire shadowrunners. It's a much more exclusive "shadowrunners only" club, and we managed to qualify since we wiped out the Rust Stilletos. They still charge us 50 nuyen though...



Everyone's favorite fox girl Kitsune is the performer on stage here; she's the shape shifter who saved us right before we were taken by the morgue guys. Her dialogue with Jake tends to be flirty, altougth it is toned down in the final release:


In the earlier version she says "Ever snuggled down with a fox before? Wanna try?"


Jake doesn't seem to remember Kitsune, but she certainly remembers Jake. Kitsune is a dog shaman just like us and is interested in helping out (dogs stick together I guess?). The important thing is getting the leaves item from her by asking about 'Dog'. It's the last item we need to learn the Heal spell from our spirit guide.


With our charisma now maxed out we will hire Kitsune for a pricey 3,000 nuyen. The 19,000 nuyen we had from the arena fights has dwindled to just 2,000. She's completely weak but she has a couple important spells and plenty of mana to use them. Try talking to her during a run:


06-21-2008, 07:22 PM

We're not interested in wasting time so we make a beeline to the docks to meet our spirit guide. With 3 runners tagging along the random enemies on the streets go down quickly. This is nice because we get some free karma without having to stop, but it also can be too much of a good thing because shadowrunners only stick with you for a fixed number of battles. Orifice here decides to leave already.


If we had a choice in the matter we wouldn't waste our battles on wimpy guys on the streets. The best is when our guys kill a bunch of enemies but leave the last one standing; if you leave the screen before the battle music stops you still get karma but it doesn't count as a battle.


Inside one of the empty warehouses we find our dog spirit: H'oochin-kawa. His function is to teach us spells and give us vague clues for where to go next. For the first spell he asks for "items of a man, creature, and the earth." This is the magic fetish amulet, the dog collar, and the leaves. Right after earning the Heal spell though he tasks us with the mission of rubbing out the Rat Shaman. According to him, the Rat Shaman is the enemy of Dog but to me it sounds like we're being lassoed into doing a run for no pay.


06-21-2008, 07:24 PM
We'll be leaving the docks right away, but there's a few points of interest here that relate to the game's plot. In one of the warehouses we can find a vacant office belonging to Matrix Systems. If we had a decker with us we could grab a data file which explains that the data in our head computer is an anti AI program. It looks like we didn't steal it either, Matrix Systems handed it off to us and we were going to deliver it to 'Pushkin' before the hit squad got us.



There's also a warehouse containing a person who appears to be Sassie, Jake's ex-girlfriend. If you talk to her from afar she keeps asking you to come closer. When you do, she turns into a giant octopus and attacks you. Presumably she is a shape shifter working for Drake.



The scrap of paper from the beginning of the game had 'Warehouse 5' written on it. The warehouses aren't actually numbered so this may just be a throwaway reference, but it's fun to try to guess which of the warehouses it was leading us to. I like to think it was a clue that Kitsune slipped in our pocket for finding our spirit's shrine. It could be a reference to the Matrix Systems office, and Jake would have plenty of reason to be carrying a note like that. The least interesting interpretation would be to say it refers to the 5th warehouse door starting from the docks entrance. This would mean the piece of paper is telling us to go to the octopus room. But if one of Drake's agents had the chance to slip this piece of paper on our body why didn't they just kill us then?

06-21-2008, 07:25 PM
The Rat Shaman we gotta take out lives in the sewers. Kitsune starts coming in handy with her summon spirit spell here. For a hefty mana cost a spirit dog will damage everyone in the room. Most importantly, it even hits enemies offscreen and it's the only attack or spell in the game capable of doing so. In the sewers it's possible to wipe out the whole room with 1 cast.



Our strategy for the Rat Shaman is simple: Norbet unloads with his uzi while we order Kitsune to burn through her mana by casting summon spirit over and over. It's an extraordinary waste of mana, but speed counts. Kitsune's summon spirit has a maximum damage 30 while the Rat Shaman only has 70 hp so it's possible for this to end very quickly. Unfortunately, all attacks in Shadowrun have a minimum damage of 1 and everything inbetween is equally likely to occur. In particular, the best attacks in the game still might deal 1 damage from time to time, or even 0 due to armor.



Just as Kitsune runs out of mana the Rat Shaman goes down and a Jester Spirit rises from his corpse. He'll be an upcoming villain in the future, but for now he just taunts us.



There is a special event that happens only if Kitsune is with you at this point. Defeating the Rat Shaman together has caused her to take quite a liking to Jake and if you keep her alive she won't leave you for the rest of the game. This won't be a problem for a while, but the final sections of the game would rip Kitsune apart instantly. Keeping her alive through that is more of a bother than a challenge, since the only reasonable method is to cast invisibility on her for all the difficult battles. Mostly one would do it just for fun or to see a slightly different ending.



Kitsune's dialogue also tells us about Dark Blade, a group of vampires who are known to deal with the Jester Spirit. We get more information back at the Jagged Nails, including a humorous story from the manager that explains why the club only allows shadowrunners:


Borrowing the strobes is one of the many key items you need to complete the complicated Dark Blade quest; it's probably the most confusing quest in the game.

06-21-2008, 07:27 PM

As long as we're at the Jagged Nails there's a couple more runners worth considering to round out our team. Spatter is a mage, and also vastly underappreciated. He is arguably the one of the better spell casters in the game since he carries a heavy pistol and actually has decent defense (better than Anders, even). He also has a high level shield spell and a mid level heal spell. Shield is practically the same as invisibility; both make you effectively invincible, and a high level version of either spell is very hard to find among shadowrunners. His main problem is that he will betray you at the 4th floor Drake's Tower. Still, Spatter makes a great two man team with Jake. Even if Jake was horribly under leveled, the two could easily clear difficult missions.


The runner we'll go with though is Steelflight, the elf decker. He's a tank with a whopping 100 hp, 4 armor and more damage output than Norbet. By far, he is the best runner for straight up fire fights and is the best decker you can hire for hacking the Matrix. An elf of his skills does not come cheap though - he costs a wallet breaking 5,000 nuyen. With the 3,000 nuyen that the Rat Shaman dropped we can just barely afford him and now we're flat broke.


The good news? Nuyen has a way of flowing into your pockets once you have the means to hack into the Matrix.

As we leave we take the time to level up a bit. We've been hoarding karma for a while, and now it's time to spend it. By negleticing body and firearms we have enough karma to up heal to level 3 and start pumping 'magic' to level 6 (the magic stat increases magic points). Since our body is so low, we won't need to upgrade heal any further this game and we'll pour all future karma into magic.


06-21-2008, 07:28 PM

We're supposed to head over the Dark Blade club at this point, but Drake's Tower is right on the way. Since we have a stellar team of Norbet, Kitsune and Steelflight we'll end this segment by storming this building even though it is supposed to come several missions down the road. If you don't know already, office buildings in Shadowrun have a habit of turning into the bloodiest battlefields. Think Die Hard here... or Hong Kong action flicks.

Steelflight's decking skills are crucial since our cortex bomb is still ticking down and this prevents us from hacking computers. The computers here must be hacked to open the elevators, and you have to repeat the procedure every floor to get to the next. This tends to suck the fun as the Matrix sections of the game are really dull.


The enemies in the Matrix levels are hidden "ICE" (Intrusion Countermeasure Electronics). The only degree of interactivity here is to press the attack button before stepping on each square to see if there is an ICE in front of you. If there isn't you take a small amount of damage and can move forward. If there is you attempt to attack the ICE. Success results in destroying the ICE and failure results in you taking damage. The goal is to reach CPU and/or data stores. Once there you turn off security systems, activate elevators, or download data files and bank accounts.


Luckily the first computer is extremely straightforward, and we can proceed to the second floor.


...and it's a freaking ambush. Drake's Tower is filled from top to bottom with uzi wielding street samurais and powerball throwing mages. We aren't as quick on the gun as the computer controlled enemies who start pounding away instantly, but our shadowrunners are just as quick so it's no problem. Amongst the confusion Kitsune lets off a summon spirit and the room is filled with screams as the dog spirit kills some enemies and our runners finish off weakened others.


There's two computers on this floor that we have Steelflight hack for us. One opens the elevators and the other cracks one of Drake's bank accounts:



06-21-2008, 07:30 PM
Every floor is basically the same frenzy as the first. As I've said before, only enemies on screen will actually shoot you, and really areas like Drake's Tower were designed around this limitation by putting lots of the enemies near the elevators where you come in. On some floors though there is a straight path from the elevator to a corner, and once there you can inch your way back through the room.


Speed is a priority so we mow through the bad guys as quickly as possible. You might think Kitsune would be in danger in a place like this (or Jake for that matter) but with 4 bodies to spread the damage around everyone is reasonably safe. The Matrix sections are identical from game to game, so with the data stores mapped out we can head straight for the elevator controls and bank accounts and skip lots of data files which are strictly nonessential. Mostly they just say how Drake really wants to kill us. And we kinda knew that already, so no loss.



By the sixth floor we've mopped the deck of enough bad guys to fill the morgue a couple times over. I know at least one member of our squad is having a good time though:


There is a video phone here, and one of the data files has Drake's phone number. You can call him up, but the number is just for kicks.


We'll have to put him on hold though, because we are planning to do the Dark Blade quest next time and a preparatory step is making a phone call to open the front gate. We call up the Talisman shop owner to learn the number for the Dark Blade club, and in a bit of foreshadowing he warns us that their words cannot be trusted. The Dark Blade number gets you in touch with Johan who isn't interested in anything you have to say until you mention the magic fetish. This is the item described as "an amulet engraved with a bat symbol", so no surprises that it is the key to the vampire quest.


- End of Segment 5 -
Time left before cortex bomb goes off: 18 hours
Time of the run so far: 41:31

06-21-2008, 07:36 PM
Huh, I never knew the (horrible, wretched, filthy) elf was such a powerhouse; matrix stuff was always my favourite SR pasttime and I'd be damned if I was going to let someone else do it, even if it was pretty boring in this game. =p

06-21-2008, 07:41 PM
Yea, but you still control your partners when they go into the net for you. I didn't realize how good Steelflight was either until I really sat down and compared all the runners.

06-21-2008, 07:42 PM
Kitsune starts coming in handy with her summon spirit spell here. For a hefty mana cost a spirit dog will damage everyone in the room.

Looks like a fox to me.


Man, it's a good thing Jake never takes off those shades.

Ample Vigour
06-21-2008, 10:14 PM
Oh, octopus fight, thanks for never letting me take Shadowrun too seriously!

I never let Steelflight on my team, as I was far too busy pouring money down the drain on Norbert and Frogtongue. Also, I let Kitsune die like two minutes after she joined permanently. I was a shitty employer, I tell ya what.

06-22-2008, 05:52 PM
(Image links broken? Use the thread archive in the first post (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=198263#post198263).)

Just a quick update for today. The rest of the game doesn't fit into one update, so we'll do 2 smaller ones instead.

Shadowrun Update 6:

As promised, the Dark Blade club left the front gate open for us. Cue 'Bloody Tears' - it's time for vampire slaying.


There's quite a few branching ways to go about the Dark Blade mansion, but they all lead to the same (gruesome) outcome. When we come in the doorman will stop us, and if we ignore him he'll open fire. This causes the house will be filled with bad guys and Vladimir will secretly retreat to the basement. The diplomatic way is to remind the doorman about the magic fetish (geez, he forgot about it already?) and then we can wander around freely and meet Vladimir in his office.





And after meeting Vlad there's a couple more options. He asks for the magic fetish in exchange for telling us the Jester Spirit's real name. We can give it to him, or we can call off the deal and just start shooting. Either way, Vlad disappears through the wall after the conversation ends.



After he leaves the computer can be hacked for 10,000 nuyen and a data file. If we played fair and traded the amulet, the data file is supposed to be the really important hint that Vladimir lied and Nirwanda is not the Jester Spirit's real name. No matter what branch of this little scenario we take, the final step now is to fight our way to the basement and force him to tell us the Jester Spirit's true name.


06-22-2008, 05:53 PM
The Dark Blade club is the only other place in the game where an enemy drops armor. One of the street samurais drops a mesh jacket which we will kindly take. As a plus, we can give the obsolete leather jacket to Kitsune to boost her defense a bit. Any weapons/armor you give to other shadowrunners can always be taken back later, even if they die and respawn back at their club. Outfitting your runners is an interesting extra avenue of strategy, but it can get pricey and really it is entirely unnecessary.


In the basement there are endless respawning ghouls, making it a well known farming area for karma. The trick is to hire a bunch of runners and stand behind one of the coffins. The ghouls usually get stuck on the coffins so you won't get hurt very often. It'd be nice to stop and get some karma, but we're on the clock.


The only way to fight Vladimir is with the strobes and the stake. We gotta blind Vladimir by using the strobes at close range and then use the stake to torture the Jester's Spirit's real name out of him. He won't tell us until we ask him repeatedly. The proper sequence is to stake him, ask about the Jester Spirit, exit the conversation and repeat. Once we learn the Jester's true name to be Laughlyn we can stake him again to kill him and get 4 karma + 5,000 nuyen.




I never think twice about murdering Dracula in Castlevania, but I always feel bad about the encounter with Vladimir. Everytime you use the stake Vladimir screams and begs for his life, and further you have to willingly stake him three times in a row to actually kill him. It may just be the same scream sound effect the game uses everywhere else, but it has a way of making you feel anxiety and then remorse.

06-22-2008, 05:55 PM
At this point our wallet is filled with nuyen: there were the two Drake bank accounts, the Dark Blade account, and the money Vladimir had on him. There's a somewhat hidden weapons shop on the Dark Blade grounds, and we trade our Ruger for a trusty shotgun. This is the best weapons shop in the game, and the inventory is updated a couple times with better equipment.


With our cortex bomb ticking past the 15 minute mark it's finally time to get it taken care of. Dr. Maplethorpe isn't too far from the Dark Blade masion, and he disarms our cortex bomb for 2,000 nuyen. Maplethorpe also runs a cyberware business. The best piece to have installed is the Boosted Reflexes which increases our firing speed. It's super expensive - 15,000 nuyen - but it will save a few minutes in clearing out rooms later on. It's a great upgrade and worth prioritizing even when playing normally.




The route we want to take is through the docks to Bremerton where, according to Vladimir, "the bones of an old ship" houses the Jester Spirit. But the boat owner Captain Jack won't take us there on account of some killer mermaids in the waters. I personally feel this is the most cryptic puzzle in the game. The only hint is that the mermaids enjoy the warm run-off from the sewers. In other words, the solution is to cool the waters by dumping ice in it. Of course! Earlier the Wastelands bar was out of ice when we asked for iced tea. If we go there now the ice man has arrived and for a small fee he will dump a shipment at the docks for us.



06-22-2008, 05:56 PM

The shipwreck is a nest teeming with gang members and orcs. The area is mostly one firefight after another, but we only have to fight a handful of enemies at a time. Compared to Drake Tower, Bremerton is nothing for our three runners. The attack dog here drops a dog tags item which we'll take in order to learn the summon spirit spell when we get back.


If one thing causes us concern it is the numerous narrow corridors. We really wish we could run past the enemies but the path is too small. Also, the corridors have the unusual property of stopping the battle music even though there are enemies further down the screen. When the screen scrolls to reveal them the battle music starts up once again, counting twice against our shadowrunners. In all likelihood any runners that have been with you for a while will leave by the end of Bremerton.


As the end of the ship nears we enter a portal leading to an otherworldly dimension containing attacking bubbles, a giant Naga and more respawning ghouls. The Jester Spirit is just ahead, all we have to do is run past the enemies.


06-22-2008, 05:57 PM
Bosses are becoming rather lethal starting with the Jester Spirit. We found all the clues so we know that speaking his name will bind his power to our will. We still have to eliminate his hp first though, and his fireballs won't make it easy.


The Jester Spirit's attack is deceiving because as he loses hp his pattern changes. At first it seems like one could fight cautiously and slowly by moving from spot to spot so you are never standing where his attack will hit next. Unfortunately this strategy is ultimately fatal because by the end his pattern changes to aim directly at Jake making dodging far more harmful than helpful. The best strategy is to stand still and end the fight quickly, healing to survive the waves.

Since Kitsune is with us there is another tactic worth employing: summon spirit. We are perfectly safe from the Jester Spirit when he is way off screen, but he isn't safe from the spirit fox.


Once the Jester Spirit starts taunting us it means we've eliminated all his hp. This is the chance to utter his name. Doing so grants us his power and he says we may call upon him exactly once. Guessing his incorrect name does not instantly vaporize you like the game suggests, but if you fell for Vladimir's trap and didn't have the correct name you'd likely try to keep fighting and die quite easily anyway (I know I did).



Jake of course can only think of one place where he wants to use the Jester Spirit: against Drake. In the next and last segment we will finally hunt down Drake inside the volcano and settle the score.


- End of Segment 6 -
Time of the run so far: 64:27

Octopus Prime
06-22-2008, 06:14 PM
Well, you're well past the farthest I've ever been able to get.

Come to think of it, I'm not 100% sure I was able to even meet the Jester Spirit in the Sewers.

06-22-2008, 06:30 PM
Things I Have Learned: Even in the future, Bremerton is a cesspool.

06-22-2008, 09:15 PM
Oh it's better than that. In the timeline, as the first nations are starting to lose ground in the war, a new Ghost Dance takes place; causes Rainier, St Helens, and Adams to erupt simultaneously mid-August 2017. Puyallup gets buried under tons of ash. As all the Anglos are forced off the newly Indian-only land, a lot wind up squatting there, and the place becomes a huge slum.

In 2029, there's the worldwide network crash, which is bad news for Redmond; goes tits-up and becomes a ghost-town, then a squatter's camp, and now it's just the Redmond Barrens, #1 (giant, sprawling) ghetto.

Lone Star (the cops) doesn't patrol either, just writes 'em off.

Ample Vigour
06-22-2008, 11:53 PM
Things I Have Learned: Even in the future, Bremerton is a cesspool.

How I miss Bremerton.

In that so glad I will never return sort of way.

06-23-2008, 12:06 AM
I always liked Kitsune and thought it was a nice touch that she can become loyal to you. When I played the game back in the day I never knew about Akimi so I tried to keep Kitsune alive throughout the game, which was not easy.

Ample Vigour
06-23-2008, 12:19 AM
I always liked Kitsune and thought it was a nice touch that she can become loyal to you. When I played the game back in the day I never knew about Akimi so I tried to keep Kitsune alive throughout the game, which was not easy.

Didn't you find Akimi to be about as sturdy as wet kleenex? I just remember her getting shot dead over and over again by security guards.

06-23-2008, 02:00 PM
Akimi has a leveled invisibility spell though. Not a big surprise but I'll be using Akimi this game.

Ample Vigour
06-23-2008, 05:35 PM
Akimi has a leveled invisibility spell though. Not a big surprise but I'll be using Akimi this game.


Guess I should have cast a spell or two in that playthrough. :(

06-23-2008, 06:52 PM
(Image links broken? Use the thread archive in the first post (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=198263#post198263).)

Okay gents, last update.

Shadowrun Update 7:

The last leg is the most difficult. The enemies really start hurting and we haven't upgraded our body since the caryards. The unavoidable fights in Bremerton have been a boon to our karma though, and we now have 33 karma. Steelflight is gone so we have to start working on our computer skill. We also max out our new summon spirit spell and put the rest into magic.


Drake's volcano headquarters is reached via the helicopter pilot ontop of Drake Tower. The troll deckers here are twice as tough as the enemies we are used to seeing and half as good looking.


For the most part we can ignore them and run past focusing just on hacking the necessary computers. The matrix sections here are a step up from Drake's Tower; there are a lot more ICE's and they deal more damage. It hasn't been a concern until now, but the damage ICE's deal is way out of proportion with regular enemies. A single hit is typically high double digit damage, probably 5 or 10 times more than a gunshot. Taking a path through the matrix which minimizes the ICE's fought is an important part of the strategy.


For our trouble the computers do reward us with some very lucrative bank accounts. The best one is guarded by a lengthy matrix section and yields 25,000 nuyen.


Kitsune is still alive and well, and the Volcano is the real reason we hired her because her invisibility spell is a life saver against sentry guns. Ordinarily, these things are a pain to fight and stun lock you when you try to run past.


The maximum security level is where things get really dicey. Kitsune's level 2 invisibility lasts a mere 10 seconds and that's really pushing it. The first room is filled with sentry guns and trolls. The quickiest way is to just make Jake invisible and run through. Everyone else takes hits, but there aren't many better options.



The next room contains no less than 3 troll deckers. Here is where the whole run can be ended if things go south. In the time it takes for Kitsune to make herself invisible she's almost dead. Jake can't survive much longer, so Kitsune has to cast it on him as well. Having shadowrunners cast spells is significantly slower than casting your own spells, and casting two spells eats up a lot of those precious 10 seconds. Halfway through the room Kitsune must refresh her invisibility or die, while Jake can push through with healing. Sadly Norbet is sacrificed as a decoy, and his body will be left behind. R.I.P.



06-23-2008, 06:53 PM
It's all worth it though, because we've made it to Drake.


The Jester Spirit item should be used immediately to knock off most of Drake's hp. After that we cast one summon spirit after another while avoiding the icicles and staying out of range of Drake's fire breath. Since we conserved Jake's mana and have been such a magic whore with our karma we have enough castings to cheese Drake this way. Kitsune can also back us up with her summon spirit if we run out. Normally one would use freeze which works even better than summon spirit, but freeze takes more time and money to obtain.



Drake is really menacing in a fair fight. With patience and the right strategy it is quite possible to beat Drake with your gun alone, although it has to be at least as strong as the Ruger and realistically speaking you need the shotgun or better. Drake's pattern is really simple: icicle phase for a set amount of time, then fire breathing phase for a set amount of time. So the strategy is to shoot him during the icicle phase and run off screen during the fire breathing phase. Of course, being frozen by an icicle at the last second would be disastrous, as the fire breath can take out 100+ hp.


06-23-2008, 06:55 PM
Once Drake is dead the game is nearly won. Drake is easily the climax of the whole game, but there's still one last moping up operation to do. The next room contains the scientist Pushkin, the guy we were supposed to deliver the anti-AI program to before we were killed. He reveals the final enemy to be the Aneki corporation which has developed a new advanced AI and wants to use it for some evil purpose (it's kind of a cliched story, although in the early 90's it may have been less so).


Waltzing into the Aneki corporation as we are now would be a bad idea. Normally the player would be much more of a powerhouse, but we had to pull out all the stops just to get through the Volcano. We need a new trick to get through Aneki. I've already spoiled it but we are going hire the last and most expensive shadowrunner in the game: Akimi. You can only contact her by finding her phone number from one of the data files inside Drake Volcano.

Akimi is a first class female mage with tons of mana and high level spells. If you were expecting a flirt like Kitsune then guess again, Akimi is the queen of ice.


Akimi's price is 10,000 nuyen, but money at this point means very little. As long as we have enough left over to afford the 40,000 nuyen assault cannon there's no cause for concern. She has a level 5 invisibility spell which is exactly the ace we need to get through Aneki.

Speaking of which, purchasing the assault cannon is a top priority. It's the last and best weapon available in the game - point the assault cannon at a normal enemy and they'll die instantly.


06-23-2008, 06:56 PM
There's a handful of enemies in the game which can see through invisibility, and oddly the security team outside the Aneki building are among them. We don't need to fight them though, we can just ignore their warnings and run past while they shoot. Humorously, everytime you enter or exit the building they will still be there demanding to see your pass.


The Aneki building is basically Drake Tower on steroids. Fighting is much simpler for us this time around though: Akimi can make us both invisible turning each firefight into a one sided slaughter. Kitsune no longer has a useful purpose and is allowed to die in the first room.


As we start ascending floors troll security guards will be popping out of elevators. Akimi's freeze spell can handle this situation excellently, although the casting has to be timed perfectly so they don't get any shots off.


The dangerous part of Aneki are the computers. It's the same drill as Drake: hack the elevators for each floor. However the matrix sections in Aneki are absurdly long and difficult. The ICE's are stronger than ever and can routinely kill us in two hits. I don't know for sure but I believe the ICEs can deal 50 damage here. With only 50 hp ourselves we are flirting with danger - but Shadowrun's wacky damage rolls make one hit death an outside possibility.


The good news is that for once the matrix sections have paths through them which don't go through a single ICE. Mapping out these paths in advance will be our savoir.

The last room is the most well defended with troll decker Otto leading the charge. Invisibility makes clearing the room as easy as the rest, and we reach the very last obstacle: the final computer terminal.


The final matrix level is relatively short and all that needs to be done is to destroy a couple of CPU sections. However there are several unavoidable ICEs to fight. Just as Jake nears the final CPU he takes his first hit and is left with a sliver of hp. The correct thing to do here is jack out of the matrix, heal, and start over. My lousy muscle memory is faster than my brain though, and I order Jake to keep going.


06-23-2008, 06:57 PM
Luck is on our side and Jake wins the next ICE encounter. So all is well and Jake uploads the anti-AI program, beating the game. Nevertheless this was insanely stupid, had Jake lost again the whole run would be over. My jaw was still hanging as the ending sequence started up. At least it turned out okay and I won't make this mistake again.


Roll credits! The anti-AI program triggers a self destruct. The final scene shows Jake escaping to the roof and fighting his way to the helicopter as the building blows. At this point any runners you have with you will be killed in the firefight, except for Kitsune who will survive and follow Jake into the helicopter.



The major characters make a return for the ending and leave us with a few last words.






Still waiting for that one.



- The End -

Total time of the run: 90:33

Octopus Prime
06-23-2008, 07:02 PM
And now I know what the ending is. Took me 13 years to see anything past that stupid vampire.

So... Drake actually was a giant dragon? I... find that more unexpected then I really should.

Ample Vigour
06-23-2008, 07:07 PM
- The End -

Total time of the run: 90:33

Well done! I had a lot of fun looking back on SR (and my brief flirtation with living in the Pacific Northwest.)

What's the record on a speed run?

Kitsune nooooooooooooooo!

06-23-2008, 07:10 PM
And now I know what the ending is. Took me 13 years to see anything past that stupid vampire.

So... Drake actually was a giant dragon? I... find that more unexpected then I really should.

Yep. There's no indication that Drake is a dragon either until you call his phone number or (more likely) actually fight him. Those familiar with the pen and paper rpg might see it coming though. I'm not sure but it sounds like Drake and the Drake corp. is a pseudo reference to the Draco corp. from the pen and paper game.

There is no speed running record for Shadowrun that I'm aware of. The sole attempt on the Internet is a practice run on Youtube that spends time getting a lot more unnecessary things.

06-23-2008, 07:34 PM
What's the record on a speed run?

Hmm... neither Speed Demos Archive or TAS Videos has it...

Ample Vigour
06-23-2008, 07:45 PM
Hmm... neither Speed Demos Archive or TAS Videos has it...
Then I think we have a winner!

06-23-2008, 07:54 PM
For anyone going, "Buh? Matrix? Where's Keanu?!"

Gibson came up with a kind of virtual-reality internet wayyy back in '84 and called it the matrix (possibly with inspiration from a Doctor Who device). Hackers, called "console cowboys", had computer decks that allowed them to plug their sensorium into this network, so as to actually "be" present there. Intrusion countermeasure electronics - ICE - was the general term used to describe the defenses that a computer system might have.

Shadowrun decided "console cowboy" wasn't cool enough, coined "decker", and fleshed out the hacking aspects. ICE became IC (dropping the 'electronics'), and it was used as a term for a whole host of different sorts of programs, roughly categorised into white (did not attack player, usually did stuff like sensors and tracing), grey (could attack the digital persona and knock you offline), and black (could send biofeedback and kill the hacker; "black ICE" is also a Gibson term, FASA just expanded the colors). And there were different sorts of IC within each of those categories, and you had the ability to load all sorts of different programs into your deck to attack IC and systems in different ways.

The systems themselves were built like a dungeon: you had several different types of "nodes" (CPU, slave, datastore, et cetera), nodes could have different system operations performed in them, the nodes could be guarded by one or more IC programs, and each node was connected to usually only one other node, something like: entry node---slave---datastore---CPU -- with probably branching paths to dead-end nodes and different security designs. This changed starting in a sourcebook update late in the 2nd edition lifecycle, and the change was put into the 3rd edition core book, where a lot more system operations were introduced and the process of creating a security system got a hell of a lot easier, and better represented a real, modern network, rather than the cool (but strange) designs of Gibson's matrix.

The SNES Shadowrun game uses the same basic node setup but reduces everything to a flat 2D plane, and makes you move around each node as if it was a dungeon room, finding all kinds of hidden IC; in tabletop, you would just roll to scan for IC, and say, "I attack that, scan the datastore," et cetera. You're not REALLY blindly stumbling around virtual 10x10 stone corridors.

The Genesis Shadowrun game has a more faithful matrix representation; you can get all kinds of programs, and do several operations in each system (including things like breaking into a building's network, finding the node that controls the elevators, and shutting it down). At least, if you pick the decker character (you can pick one of three classes in this version of the game).

Basically the SNES/Genesis debate boils down to - other than the obvious "I only had this system, so obviously it was best" - whether or not you really like matrix hacking or don't care so much. The Genesis version generally gives a better shadowrunning feel, in the way you take jobs, and have some better character growth and it's all rather freeform, for the most part, despite having a basic plot for a beginning and end to the game. The SNES version, however, does really very well with the atmosphere, has a strong plot moving you through the whole game, and since the main character isn't a decker and hacking is only a means to an end for a couple of objectives, there's not a lot of need for a fullblown system.

Anyway, I played this one first and beat it.. once, a long time ago, and've had a few aborted runs since then, but it was cool to see some of the glitches, and I'm really amased at how fast you can go through the game. I always took forever working up karma and money and magic and such. Also never hired allies (I ain't spendin' my iced tea and gun money on some dang elf!) and really wish I had, seems like it makes all the really difficult parts of the game.. not. ;D Thanks dosboot!

06-23-2008, 07:59 PM
There's still a lot that could be done to change the route drastically and improve the time. There's a lot of freedom in how to finish the game once you reach Daley Station. In particular there's a whole bunch of choices that could save around a minute in the long run but cost about a minute too.

One big thing is while picking up Akimi is faster than getting invisibility yourself, getting the money costs time. I didn't realize how long matrix sections take until I recorded the run. A good idea would be to try to skip the 25,000 nuyen bank account in Drake Volcano. It also never occurred to me until recently that you could try using Spatter in the Aneki building. He'd be another alternative to using Akimi or getting invisibility yourself.

text ... Thanks dosboot!

My pleasure. I didn't know about the ICE vs IC thing. I knew the game called it IC but I also knew "black ice" was common slang so I went with that.

06-23-2008, 09:33 PM
So... Drake actually was a giant dragon? I... find that more unexpected then I really should.

It's one of those "They were really that unimaginative?" moments, isn't it?

06-23-2008, 09:50 PM
What's the ending with Kitsune?

06-23-2008, 10:00 PM
Exactly the same except she isn't killed by the trolls on the roof in the final cutscene and she follows you into the helicopter. No picture of her snuggling up against Jake in the helicopter ride unfortunately.

06-24-2008, 10:20 PM
Ooh, a screenshot to save for the next "welcome the newbie" thread.

06-24-2008, 10:50 PM
Ooh, a screenshot to save for the next "welcome the newbie" thread.

That would be perfect for the new guy in the Fun Club suggestions thread suggesting Unlimited Saga.

06-26-2008, 12:13 PM
(Scrolling back through the LP? Use the thread archive in the first post (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=198263#post198263) if the images don't load.)

In case any lurkers out there were motivated to play around with speedrunning themselves, here are some new speedrunning optimizations:
1) Using Spatter instead of Akimi is definitely the way to go.
2) You can get away with using even worse equipment, and it does save time not to get the better stuff.

In particular, you don't need a Shotgun or even a Ruger - ever. Going without them introduces some new wrinkles though. Without the Ruger you can't even damage most enemies after Daley Station. This means using grenades against the Orc blocking the Wastelands entrance becomes a good idea (the Beretta barely damages him and Shadowrunners won't follow you into the club). And as long as you basically never shoot enemies, boosted reflexes aren't worth getting.

By slashing all the expensive stuff (weapons, Akimi, reflexes) you can skip more bank accounts and arena fights. I put it to the test and was able to do a run in 83:53. The run wasn't single segmented, but the time does reflect all the concessions one would probably make for a single segmented run (and was hardly error free anyway). My weapon until the Assault Cannon was the Fichetti Light Pistol (1 more power over the Beretta), and the Beretta would work fine too but the route has some extra money to spare. If anyone is interested I can post a brief summary of how you manage your money and karma in the route.

There isn't much left to cut it seems; you'd have to consider spending less on runners or not buying the Assault Cannon. Changing up the order of doing things is still possible though. Before I was thinking about doing Maplethorpe before Drake (which opens up the option of hacking Drake yourself) or doing Dark Blade right after the Rat Shaman (this might be part of a route that only visits the Wastelands once). I've tried my hand at writing routes using these ideas but I can't find one that seems good on paper.

06-26-2008, 05:16 PM
As a speed-run fan I find this interesting even though I will likely never use this information.

02-01-2011, 10:44 PM
This is one of my favorite games.

I rented it, back in the day, knowing nothing about it, but I was hooked when I saw how the main character started in a morgue (how's that for different), I loved the 3/4 view graphics (still love games like that) and the amazingly haunting music.

02-02-2011, 08:41 AM
I was just happy to have something for SNES that sort of played like a point and click adventure game. I was extremely jealous of the growing cabal of PC owners in the '92-'94 era, especially since they got a sequel to Maniac Mansion that I could never touch.

02-02-2011, 07:09 PM
Whoops, I bumped a very old topic. I didn't realize it was old.

Glass Knuckle
02-03-2011, 05:23 AM
I'm glad you did, since I hadn't read this one before and now I finally know what the differences between these games are. I've only played the Genesis version.

02-03-2011, 03:55 PM
So now that it's bumped, let's use this thread to argue over which Shadowrun is best! Or not. The SNES version is a much more polished game (for example the Genesis version has this bug where hellhounds frequently pop up out of nowhere and eat you in places where hellhounds really shouldn't be, like in the streets or inside office buildings. At least I hope it's a bug.) But the Genesis version just feels more accurate to the source material. So yeah everybody should play both.

02-03-2011, 04:19 PM
It's honestly a bit misleading to say version. That implies that they're, essentially, the same game. Rather than being two completely different games which happen to be based on Shadowrun. But yeah, SNES nails the atmosphere and is all adventure game-y, Genesis includes essence and is all open world-y. Both are good.

02-03-2011, 05:58 PM
There's also another version: The Sega CD one.

Comb Stranger
02-03-2011, 10:08 PM
And those are the only three Shadowrun games.

02-03-2011, 10:29 PM
Well, there's also the actual RPG, and that PC game that was cancelled when MS bought'em out. After that though yeah. No more were ever made.

02-04-2011, 06:35 AM
That's right. None at all.

05-12-2011, 07:07 PM
Not to dig up too old of a thread, but an SNES Shadowrun speedrun (21 segments done in 1:35:50) was recently submitted to Speed Demos Archive. It's in German and not English, but still worth a watch: http://speeddemosarchive.com/ShadowrunSNES.html