This is Part II of last week’s post. As before, I debated writing this up at all, but I had so many more great screenshots that I just couldn’t not do it. That said, there will be spoilers galore after the jump. If you have not completed the Story Missions for Issues #10 and #11, stop reading now! You have been warned.
This memo, from the execs at Manticore, pretty much sums up Issue #11 in which you choose one of eight Orochi subsidiaries through which to ascend to the Penthouse of the Orochi Tower. The mission is repeatable, every 24 hours or so (once you’ve completed all Main Story missions for Issue #11), and there is an achievement for getting to the top of the tower through all of the subsidiaries’ Alpha, Beta, and Omega Security Floors. For my first run I chose Manticore.
Having done it twice more since, I’d advise Faust as your first ascension; it seems like the easiest so far. Both Manticore and Faust can be reached from elevators in the left hand bank as you enter the lobby. Having made the climb five times now I can say that the Alpha Security Floor, the first floor you go to after choosing a subsidiary’s elevator, is the only floor you get to choose; Beta and Omage Security Floors seem to be chosen at random each trip up. This will make completing the achievement an even longer trek, and subject to RNG (bad Funcom). It also means that the choice of which subsidiary’s elevator, for your first run, is inconsequential. Go with your gut.
Before you choose a subsidiary, though, you first have to make your way through the tunnel John has given you access to, and into the lobby. Most of the mobs in the first part of the tunnel can be ignored; your allies will engage them. Your first real fight is with the pilot of an Orochi tank. You first have to disable this tank by destroying the Orochi Drone balls next to the front left and right fenders of the tank. Once the tank is disabled, the tin man will come out and show his displeasure. The rest of the tunnel has some obstacles/puzzles very similar to the Bank Heist mission. If you don’t remember or skipped that mission, watch your allies. They’ll provide hints. There are a couple of Side Quests in the tunnel. Make sure you complete them and grab the last Oni mask, to the right of the last room’s door, before engaging the last boss. You won’t have a chance to after killing the big Drone and will have to wait until you complete all Issue #11 Main Story quests, before you can repeat the one that gives you access to the tunnel again (bad Funcom; no cookie!).
In the lobby you’ll find your three allies squaring off for a big rumble. Daimon Kiyota gives a nice speech, as is his want, and an uneasy truce is reached. After the cut scene it’s time to pick an elevator. There are two banks: one to the left and one to the right. Each elevator is labeled with the name of an Orochi subsidiary, the Cafeteria, or the Boardroom. Despite the loudspeaker lady’s assertion, I have yet to be able to get the cafeteria elevator to work. The Boardroom elevator won’t be accessible until you get a key card from the top floor of one of the subsidiaries; pick one and head up.
I’m not going to go into any granular detail about the subsidiaries; the pattern of each one is about the same. You usually have to clear the first floor of all hostiles (it’s a Side Mission), then you have to kill a boss at the end of the first floor. You might as well take the Side Mission as, in order to do everything you have to do to get the card for the next floor, you have to kill them all anyway. At the end you should get a key card to the next floor. Before you start the next encounter, there will be an Emergency Door. Open it. This is a shortcut back to the end of the first floor. If you should die during the last encounter, you’ll respawn back at the beginning of the floor, and it’s handy to not have to run through the whole thing (good Funcom; here’s a cookie!).
The second floor seems mostly to be flavor and lore. There may be a few mobs, puzzles, and/or riddles, but for the most part it’s just fun to explore. There are lots of memos to read, lore to pick up, whiteboards to check out, and vignettes to bear witness to.
Reading accessible computers and data pads will fill in a lot of blanks as far as Orochi’s involvement in the story so far. Some thinsg you’ll find are funny, some just interesting, some gross, and some are down right terrifying. All this is to say, take your time on the second floor if your interested in Story (if you’re not, why are you playing The Secret World?). If you’re not, you can usually blow right through it, get the card at the end for the last floor, and head on up. Like the first floor, there will usually be an Emergency Door near the end. Open it. This is a shortcut back to the end of the second floor. If you should die during the last encounter, you’ll respawn back at the beginning of the floor, and it’s handy to not have to run through the whole thing (good Funcom; here’s another cookie!).
The third floor seems to be a bit of a mix of the first and second and, the three times I’ve done it so far, also seems to be shorter than the first two. There is usually some sort of big bad at the end to challenge and defeat (also a Side Mission) in order to get the Boardroom key. Be prepared to fiddle with your build here in order to get through it. There was also an Achievement for completing all three floors “disguised as an employee.” I discovered this by accident when I finished one wearing the Orochi Tech coat you get with the Issue #11 CE. I suspect it would work if you had any Orochi Uniform pieces, but I’m not sure. Again, like the first and second floors, there will usually be an Emergency Door near the end. Open it. This is a shortcut back to the end of the third floor. If you should die during the last encounter, you’ll respawn back at the beginning of the floor, and it’s handy to not have to run through the whole thing (good Funcom; here’s one more cookie!).
The Boardroom floor is, erm, challenging. It involves making your way through a maze of corridors and offices, fending off Mitsubachi. The Mitsubachi are Orochi’s answer to Anima Bees … in other words, they are the culmination of all of Orochi’s research into what -you- are. They will use player abilities, from the Abilities Wheel, against you and they have AEGIS Shields. When you kill them they respawn at artificial Anima Wells Orochi has also managed to make (there’s a Side Mission to gather intel on these artificial wells … your faction is very interested in this tech). Your goal is to find the Wells they are respawning from and either cut power to them, or the door to the room they’re in, trapping the Mitsubachi inside. You’re trying to reach the elevator to the Penthouse. Once you reach the room it’s in, you’ll have to survive an onslaught, from all the Mitsubachi you’ve faced so far, until your Allies arrive and turn the tide of battle. Again, be prepared to rejigger your build and load out here … and to die … a lot.
Finally, you’ll reach the Penthouse. Lilith is waiting for you on the balcony, but before you two can chat you’ll have to defeat … shit. THREE Bunny Killers. This explains a lot, and maybe there’s actually an army of them (and Ricky Pagan’s ex was just one of them), but for now you only have to face three. THREE!?
Luckily, the Bunny Killers have a code. Only one of them will attack you directly, while the other two stand still and cast AoEs you should avoid. There’s an Achievement for finishing the fight without being hit by any of their AoEs. The BK that’s actively attacking you will switch throughout the fight, as they take turns, but for the most part, if you’re nimble and have a self heal, you should be fine.
It’s finally time to face Lilith, the Big Bad of The Secret World Season 1. Mostly, she is going to talk your ear off.
She’ll stop to take a breath and John will send in the Bird of the Zero Point Pathogen to finish the two of you off. Luckily, it’s still licking its wounds from the last time you faced it, but it’s still formidable. I had a brain fart moment, due to its health bar being so short (and therefor red), and didn’t realize that it has both a Psychic and a Demonic AEGIS Shields. If you don’t pull a Chucho, the fight shouldn’t last that long at all. Lilith will shield herself, of course, and not lift a finger as you fight for your life.
Lilith will gab some more and John will decide you’ve had enough of that. He sends in all his Filthy buddies, in waves. After killing each wave, they’ll leave puddles of Filth that need to be avoided. Eventually those puddles will coalesce into bigger, tougher Filthy things until at last they all coalesce into one big Crawler with all three AEGIS shields. Avoid its really slow and well telegraphed attacks and you should be good.
At this point John is now a puddle of babbling goo and Lilith has had enough. Just when you think you’re about to face the fight of your life, though, the cavalry arrives in the form of Angels (or Nephilim … Sonnac later calls them Nehpilim which are quite different from Angels … though the apparent leader of the Host makes some cracks about Apes, so it would seem they are Angels … because Nephilim are, er, half Ape … I don’t know if this was an oversight on Funcom‘s part, Sonnac is an unreliable narrator, or something else … in any case it kind of hit me wrong).
The leader of the Host (he didn’t offer his name) binds Lilith by her seventeen names, plus her secret eighteenth and that’s that. Then, he turns on you.
It seems that every path you chose, throughout the story, to this point has been leading to something. He sniffs you and tells you you smell of Filth. He tells you you are about to reap what you’ve sown. Then he knocks your ass out.
When you wake up you’ll have a sweet new Ultimate Ability that does some major damage to your enemies and some pretty descent healing to your allies, at the same time, and gives you wings when it’s active. I got Ophanim of the Unchained and Blue Wings. There are, apparently, Gold, Purple, and Red also. This ability will start out charged, but once used will have to be charged again by attacking enemies. You’ll be surrounded by your allies, who mostly seem indifferent to your survival. After a cut scene you’ll be given a mission to visit your faction handler.
When I got back to Temple Court, I found Sonnac getting a beat down from two Templar thugs named Pit and Pendulum.
A beat down apparently ordered and sanctioned by Dame Judgy Wench (Julia Beatrix Tybrun); she’s leaning in the doorway, watching the whole thing, when Sonnac cries uncle and the beaty twins are dismissed.
Sonnac explained the beating was punishment for allowing the Dragon to get the upper hand in Tokyo. But that, yeah. That’s not the worst of it.
Despite the victory against Lilith, and my apparent ascension to some higher form of bee that scares the shit out of the crusty leaders of the Templars, I’m in a world of suck.
So. Much. Suck. Suck that, apparently, Orochi is responsible for. I guess they didn’t like me mowing down their Mitsubachi, rifling through their files, and generally making a mess of their offices.
Sonnac suggested I change my appearance and lay low for a while. He gave me two coupons: one for the barber and one for good’ol Doc Aldini.
I took his advice, used the coupons, and will lay low till the next big crisis arises. And boy are there avenues for new crises. First there’s the Angels/Nephilim; I’m sure we’ll see them again. John was down, but I don’t think he’s out. Emma/Anima is still out there somewhere. And even Lilith is only bound … evil famously slips its bonds. Not to mention the myriad other little arcs that have popped up through out the eleven issues. And the Phoenicians! In short, I am eagerly awaiting what Funcom has in store for us next.