Manifold Mischief

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

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Sugar Shack 22: Exile Contact Missions: TickTock: Mechanical But Not A Machine

Sugar Shack 22: Exile Contact Missions: TickTock: Mechanical But Not A Machine

This is dedicated to Melt, the author of many a noteworthy text herself.

TickTock. You think of a ticking timebomb. Or a Swiss watch. Or background music on a game show. Something vaguely mechanical and autonomous. Perhaps this was what the devs were looking for when they were populating this part of downtown with Exiles; certainly this is what we have with Mr. T. This dweeb, who makes the Auditor look like David Chappelle, is perched on an exposed stairway corner in Maribeau, at -344, 13, -314. Since his first mission involves murder, it’s odd that he seems to be standing on a stairway corner, seemingly welcoming anyone with a gun who strolls by. Maybe he’s waiting for the popcorn vendor to return. Maybe he _is_ the popcorn vendor, trying to fake us out. Whatever the case may be, he is hardly dressed for the season, with a sports jacket over a T-shirt, and what seem to be flare slacks! As we see, he has some good schemes, but his heart does not seem to be in it. He hardly seems to respond to anything you do. How he made me yearn for the Seamstress and the Chef!

His missions were all run on Hard, and all center on a single scheme of his: infiltrating and then supporting an agent into the organization of Mr. Black.

1. Rolling Over

One of his men is going to defect to Mr. Black and needs to be killed. He is at the first location you go to, and he obligingly comes out to meet you. On Hard setting, he has the usual coterie of Elite Guards and Blood Nobles, all just begging for a Devastation Field. “Nice work” sums up TickTock’s rapturous response.

2. Trading Places

Here, we have a spy, inconspicuously named Zubenelgenubi, who needs to be prepared for insertion into Black’s organization. This is a notorious escort mission; the fledgling spy must be taken to a coder for some tagging. Miraculously, this escort mission was fight-free!! (Though I killed everything in my way, just to be on the safe side). And when I had dropped off the spy, TickTock got back to me, with:

“This could be a great opportunity for me, Sugaree”

I felt so happy to be a small part of his success.

3. Do the Wave

TickTock’s offices were raided, and you need to raid the raider, and insert a bogus RSI wavelength reading to protect the spy. It may be that the raid was a sucker ploy, intended to aid the insertion of dummy data into Black’s network, but this is never explained. Not all that tough, though after killing everyone onsite, the insertion of data is naturally not likely to go unnoticed by any staff with more intelligence than a starfish.

4. False Impressions

Get files from the spy, copy them, and get them back to the spy to replace. Actually, just have to upload them. As you “surreptitiously” enter the premises, you soon encounter a wailing bluepill. He may be safely ignored. A co-conspirator named Avarice decrypts and copies the disk; you just have to upload it. Surprisingly easy, overall.

5. Look Over Here

To aid the spy in replacing the purloined disk, you need to stir up some chaos and confusion as a distraction. What could be easier? Just go and kill everyone at one of Mr. Black’s offices, the same kind of subtle, unobtrusive thing you have done so many times before. And that’s it!

TickTock is intoxicated with delight at the end, and can’t control himself. He bursts out: “You have never let me down, Sugaree. I am impressed.” The passion in his voice was unmistakable. Yeah, that’s what I want to hear!

Now some people might make the argument that TickTock’s demeanor is perfect or a spymaster, never giving away anything and always seeming inscrutable. This is certainly true. But the professional spymaster seldom finds it necessary to resort to wetwork as easily and often as TickTock does. And very few things you do in this mission suite are likely to pass unnoticed.

So what interest is there for us in TickTock and his mechanical missions? XPs, some fights, and some loot, and a small insight into the world around Mr. Black which made me appreciate this premier Exile all the more. But like the clock his name emulates, TickTock’s missions exude order and system, without soul or spirit.

This mission review may be found at, along with previous reviews and other writings relevant to MxO.