Damn java issues!!!
After my recent successes fooling the idiot cop in Donut World, convincing him to give me numerous link codes and passwords, I was forming a lengthy list of bases to check out in my spreadsheet. Unfortunately, in most cases I had either just a link code (Bank of Zurich, Hitachi, Eastern Seaboard, Bank Gemeinschaft) or just a password (Fuji Electric), but not both. It seemed pretty unlikely that I would be able to guess a password for a base, but perhaps I could guess the link code for Fuji Electric? I tried connecting to FUJI...it worked!!! I’d already decoded the password that O’Riley had given to me, so entered UCHIKATSU to get in. The menu contained five options, being 1. Company Notes, 2. Executive Survival Kit, 3. Press Releases, 4. Personnel Management and 5. Memo. I started from the top, reading through the lengthy company news from boss Harry Watkins. The majority of it was standard management positivity, but the increase of “meat puppet breaks from 10 to 11.5 minutes for all line employees” stood out as unusual. There was also a name that appeared on the New Hires list at the very bottom that really caught my attention. Larry Moe, of Larry’s Rentals, had been hired as a consultant!
Andy needs to get his priorities right!
The Executive Survival Kit appeared unimportant, merely explaining the two Fight Club-like rules that all working at Fuji Electric should follow. 1) Mr. Watkins is always right and 2) See rule #1. The Press Releases section contained an article describing how NASA had “signed a multi-trillion dollar contract with Fuji to provide ROMcards and software development for the Prometheus ship.” Interestingly it finished with “For further information contact Watkins at FUJI or Bob Shepherd at VOYAGER”. I assumed that VOYAGER would be the link code for NASA, so I added it to the ever-growing list. I moved onto the Personnel Management section, where I found what I was hoping would be there. There was a list of all the new employees, along with their BAMA ID’s! I’d already tried adding Larry Moe’s name to the Chiba City Tactical Police warrant list, but hadn’t known his BAMA ID at the time. I was now convinced that this was exactly what I needed to do, and wrote down 062788138 for later use. The final section, Memo, contained a message from Harry Watkins to all Management Level Employees. It talked about Fuji being bought by another company named Tozuku. “I know some of you think of them as common criminals, but I can assure you there is nothing common about them at all.”
Seeing Larry's BAMA ID made me finally feel like I was getting this game.
The memo closed with some rather disturbing imagery: “I thank all of you who were concerned about my wife and child. They’ve been returned to me and we’ve found all of little Harry’s parts. The doctors say he’s got an excellent chance of recovery and I agree that he doesn’t really look like the Frankenstein monster at all.” That was all pretty weird, and I didn’t know what to make of it. I wrote Tozuku into my spreadsheet, thinking I might be able to guess its link code the way I did with Fuji. That would have to wait though, as now that I’d finished exploring the Fuji Electric base, I was super keen to see if my instincts about adding Larry Moe’s name to the warrant list were correct. I once again accessed the warrant section on the Chiba City Tactical Police base and replaced one of the names there with Larry’s. I then put his BAMA ID next to it, exited and made my way straight over to Larry’s Rentals. I pumped my fist and literally shouted out my success when I found that Larry was no longer there, and the door to what I assumed would be the Panther Moderns meeting place was open! I entered the room and found the leader of the Panther Moderns, Lupus Yonderboy, standing in the corner. “Lupus is watching you with a slight smile on his lips. Tattooed on his hand is the word, “CHAOS”.
Yonderboy III: Panther's Lair
Lupus didn’t seem all that impressed with my presence. “You got past Larry. That’s good. You won’t get past me. That’s business.” I had a few dialogue options available to me: 1. “Top of the mornin’. I arrested your friend and I’ll do the same to you unless you answer some questions.” 2. “Lupus, my man! I hear you’re the kind of guy who helps stray cowboys. Can you answer some questions for me?” 3. “Geez, you’re really a funny-looking dweeb, aren’t you?” 4. “Exactly what is a Panther Modern?” All but the third one seemed like decent options to me, so I took them in order. Lupus wasn’t at all convinced by my CopTalk act: “It’s not morning and you’re not a cop. Drop the act and take a hike.” However, when I asked for his assistance, he was much more positive: “Matt Shaw says you’re all right. So talk. What do you want to know?” I then had the option to ask him about any topics I wanted. I remembered an earlier message where Larry Moe had stated that he had Coptalk and Lupus had Evasion, so I asked Lupus about “evasion”. “I can sell you an Evasion skill chip for $2000. You’ll need it for protection in cyberspace.” That sounded like something I would definitely want later on!
My ma taught me to always use protection!
The manual describes Evasion as follows: “Gives you a chance to retreat from combat with an AI when you realize you’re not prepared yet for this particularly horrible form of suicide.” I wasn’t sure whether I would get another chance to see Lupus, so I bought the chip and implanted it. The next topic I questioned him about was software, to which he responded with “Try the Finn. I hear Drill 1.0 is a great icebreaker.” Given I didn’t know what any of the warez Finn was selling actually did, this was valuable information. I went through all my screenshots looking for anything that Lupus had been involved in, since his name had appeared a few times. A couple of messages had mentioned how Lupus had “burnt” Gemeinschaft, which I now knew was a bank. I asked Lupus about “gemeinschaft” and was told “I’ve be siphoning from account number 646328356481, for years.” Unfortunately, although I’d been pretty confident it might work, asking Lupus for the bank’s security code (which I needed to enter it) didn’t result in any further information. Another message on the Panther Moderns board had been from Lupus to Angelo, talking about Mr. Who and something called Sense/Net. I asked Lupus about “sense/net” and got even more information! “If you want a ROM Construct from Sense/Net, I can sell you a Security Pass to get you into the building.”
Um...can you tell me where the building is?
There’s an interface icon called ROM Construct, but to this point I hadn’t come across one. The manual describes ROM Constructs as follows: “Highly illegal and not available to private citizens, cowboy or otherwise, are the ROM Constructs. Each ROM Construct is a recording of an individual human’s personality responses, knowledge, and memories. Constructs are occasionally used by cyberdeck operators in the government and large corporations, which is why top of the line cyberdecks contain a slot for a ROM Construct cartridge.” As cool as that sounded, I didn’t have the $4000 required to get the security pass, nor had I come across a company called Sense/Net during my travels. I was starting to wonder whether I’d missed part of the game environment, since I hadn’t seen a place called Gridlock either, which had been mentioned numerous times by various characters. I couldn’t think of any other topics to ask Lupus about, and the dialogue option asking him what the Panther Moderns were all about was only met with “Chaos. That is our mode and modus. That is our central kick. Believe it.” I left Lupus and Larry’s Rentals, and headed back to Julius Deane’s office. There was something I wanted to try!
You actually have an organised group based around chaos? How ironic!
While scrolling through my screenshots looking for any mention of Lupus, I’d come across something that hadn’t meant anything to me when I first read it. Someone named Scorpion had asked Red Snake whether he knew the link codes for Fuji or Hosaka, and Scorpion’s response had been “Why do you keep asking me about Japanese companies? Do I look like Julius Deane?” I hadn’t known who Julius Deane was at the time, but now I did. Could it be that he would be able to give me link codes for any of the Japanese companies? I asked Julius about Hosaka, Fuji, Hitachi and Musabori, the four Japanese companies I’d come across in the high-tech zone (I asked about Tozuku as well, but he didn't know anything about that). He gave me answers for all four of them!!! Hosaka: “I’ve heard the password is VULCAN but that’s probably in code.” Fuji: “I’ve heard the password is DUMBO, but that’s probably in code.” Hitachi: “Just one word you need to remember: GENESPLICE” Musabori: “I’ve heard the password is PLEIADES, but that’s probably in code.” Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough cash left to upgrade my Cryptology chip, and the only code my 1.0 version was able to decode was DUMBO (the Fuji first level password is ROMCARDS, but I already knew the second level code so this was pretty useless).
This is the coded password. By the way, did I mention I'm selling a Cryptology upgrade?
I’d gained a lot of information during the last hour or so, but I still found myself uncertain what to do next. I had plenty of new link codes and passwords, but in every instance I was missing something I needed to access them. I felt like I should restart and save enough cash to get the security pass from Lupus, but then I had no idea where it would be useful. I did know that there was one building I hadn’t been able to see a name for in the high-tech zone (since the entrance was at the base of the screen), but I didn’t know if that was Sense/Net or something else. I decided the best thing to do would be to try and figure out what the Sequencer 1.0 software that I’d downloaded could do for me, and that meant going back to Cheap Hotel where there was a jack. I hadn’t accessed the PAX for a while either, so I took the opportunity to see whether there was now any fresh news or messages on the board. There was, on both accounts! I now believe that my style of play could be limiting the amount of information I can get from the PAX, since I keep restoring and replaying through my progress as quickly as I can. This was the first really long session that I’d played without restoring, and therefore the first time that the day had ticked over from the 16th to the 17th and then the 18th. There were new articles and messages dated the 17th, so maybe I need to let more time pass to read this stuff?!
Does the game really withhold valuable information until you've spent a certain amount of time playing?
There was a article on the PAX titled “NASA AND FUJI DO BUSINESS”, which of course I’d already found out about by accessing the Fuji base. I gained nothing new from the article, so I moved onto the News in Brief for today. Once again there was an article about me! “SAVAGE NIGHT OF TORTURE: Strange Chatsubo patron spends night sleeping in synth-spaghetti. Customers shocked.” The other new article was titled “SON RETURNED TO FUJI PREZ”, and talked about Harry Watkins’ son. I knew from the Fuji base that the boy had been kidnapped by Tozuku and used to convince Harry to sell the company, then returned in pieces, yet the article suggested that they “must have misplaced him”, and that the son was “in one piece, more or less.” Not really gaining much from any of this, I checked out the three new messages on the bulletin board. One of them was an advertisement for something called CFM, suggesting anyone that’s angry about being locked out of cyberspace because they can’t afford the required equipment should log into a base using link code FREEMATRIX and password CFM. Another of the messages was an advertisement for the Internal Revenue Service, where anyone having tax related issues or concerns should visit comlink IRS with password TAXINFO.
I'm just shocked that there were actually other customers!
The most significant message on the board though was one from Emperor Norton to me, answering a question I’d had for ages! “Shiva at the Gentleman Loser has a Matrix Restaurant guest pass for you. Let’s talk.” Finally I was going to be able to get into the restaurant! Rather than head straight for the Matrix though, I thought I would finish my session by trying to use the Sequencer 1.0 software. Using it straight from the inventory resulted in a “Database Only” error, so I entered a random base (Gentleman Loser) and tried using it. To my astonishment, the software cracked the first level password one letter at a time, eventually telling me that the password was WILSON!!! This meant I was going to be able to enter all the bases I had link code for and use Sequencer to get the passwords! Unfortunately I was down to around $50 at this point, so I was in no position to spend time jumping in and out of bases. This last minute discovery though has opened the game right up to me, and I’m really excited to jump back in and see where it all leads. I'll just have to start again...again!
Sequencer 1.0: This...is awesome! Can't wait to use it!
Session Time: 0 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 00 minutes
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!