Manifold Mischief

Mission reviews, essays, and documents of record regarding The Matrix Online. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sugar Shack 10: Mission Review: Argon: Bland Menace

Sugar Shack 10: Mission Reviews: Argon, Bland Bane of Two Girls

Argon is located near a bar on one of the upper floors of Club Duality, in Kedemoth (587/181/-913). Sugar Shack readers know him well, from my reports on the mish suites for Beryl (his girlfriend) and Anti-M (his rival), but when I approached the young-looking, demanding Exile, he did not seem to know of my past. He accepted me as a hired gun, and immediately gave me work against the very people who had recently employed me. I felt a vague twinge of conscience, sure, but work is work. His mishes were nothing out of the ordinary, and I kept thinking that more could have been done to liven them up and make them interesting. But perhaps the bland mishes are meant to reflect the bland simple malice of their sponsor. Well, it’s a charitable interpretation!

1. Bug the Broad

When we meet Argon for the first time, he tells us, “Listen up, Sugaree. I heard you been helping the other Exiles; well, I’ll let you know right now: you’ve been dealing with chumps. I’m the real deal, right?” And all his mishes underline the image of an aspiring Al Capone, seeking respect and validation. Here, in this first one, we must plant a bug in Beryl’s network because Argon worries about her and Anti-M (as well he should!). The entry and execution is straightforward, and at the end, as I was counting my info, he burst out, “You actually did it? Ahh, I mean, yeah, great work there, Sugaree!”. Thank for the confidence, bro!

2. The Phone List

Argon informs me at the outset that he worries that Beryl has been two-timing him. The distrustful gangster wants to know about Beryl’s social circle and socializing, which requires you to retrieve a copy of her contact list. Most people would hack for this, no? But Argon wants the personal touch, and perhaps some intimidating visuals as well. Otherwise, a break-and-enter. Having done all the mishes for Beryl and Anti-M, I could have just told him, but figured it would be better for him to find out for himself.

3. Dig Up Something Good

Exile Digger is on Argon’s blacklist, and your task is to steal three files from him. Not all the files are obviously accessible, but otherwise the mish is a standard break-and-enter. This is a notable mish because it is the only time we learn of Argon’s connections with other major Exiles. Tragically, we cannot read the contents of the files, and I was left dying to know what was in them. Argon’s praise – “Hey, that’s great, Sugaree. Top job.” – did little to satisfy my consuming curiosity.

4. Sending a Message.

Argons continues to feel the need to assert his disapproval of his rival. This time, he asks you to assault one of her offices and kidnap a beancounter. For this he wants someone who cannot be traced, and that’s you. Plus, Argon informed me, “he’s just a pencilneck and he knows better than to cross someone like you.” Yeah! What he said! This is an escort mish, and you have to keep your ward alive. It took me more than one try.

5. Set Her Up The Bomb

Now it’s time to “get serious” with Anti-M, says Argon. He then tasks you with planting a bomb in one of Anti-M’s operation centers. Nothing mind-bending: you travel there, deal with some guards, and plant the explosive.

These mishes are straightforward, bread-and-butter. We learn little of the relations among the exiles other than from his suspicions. And though Argon clearly styles himself “the real deal”, it’s not clear at all who he works with or against. It might be that these five mishes were originally viewed as preliminary, and once I had proven my worth from small domestic chores, he would accept me into the operations of his professional activities. But this has not come to pass. Basically, he seems like a thug. In essence, Argon’s mishes are lightly-adapted standard mishes, still a diversion from the standard ones while helping people powerlevel.

What could have made these even more enjoyable? Well, I had already done the mishes for his girlfriend and rival before contacting him. If the AI detected this and reflected this in its responses, it would be even better. More of a departure from the standard mish format would have been nice. More on Digger and the contents of the files would have wonderful. And some responses from Argon reflecting his surroundings in Club Duality would have been great, something like inviting me to have a drink, talking expansively about his business, etc. Standing impassively in the purple mists of Club Duality, he could have styled himself like the Merv, etc.