Manifold Mischief

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

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sugar Shack 26: Exile Contact Missions: The Landlord: Building a Reputation

Sugar Shack 26: Exile Contact Missions: The Landlord: Building a Reputation

The Landlord waits for you, stolid and imperturbable, amidst the roar and dust of a busy construction site in Creston Heights (-1016, 13, 558). Unlike the elegant Oscar Wilde demeanor favored by some Exiles, like Mr. Black and the Auditor, the Landlord comes across as a burly, street-smart kind of guy. When I first saw him, thoughts of a personal trainer or a crack dealer came to mind more readily than Donald Trump. Yet despite his power, he needs third-party assistance, and welcomes you to his employ.

Most of his mishes seemed to me to be unusually difficult when run on Hard. In them you encounter large numbers of intelligent, high-level, well-armed Exiles who mass-attack you at the first opportunity. Uber-warriors like Sattakan or Upstream could handle them without difficulty. After a few trips to the loading area in Mission 2 I asked for help.

1. The Deed

Even the Landlord must bow to the lord of the land. He needs a building permit from the Merovingian and tasks you with paying for it; naturally he would never do this himself. Other Exiles of course seem to have an interest in this, and you discover that the deed custodian is held hostage by them. These fights were tough indeed. The enemies had good AI, and kept moving around so you could never count on them being someplace, waiting for you to Devastation Field them.

Oddly enough, the Custodian still demands payment for the deed, despite your rescue. That’s gratitude for you!

2. The Dirty Deed

The only thing better than success for yourself is ruining the efforts of your rivals. And that’s what you do here. There’s nothing personal, but the Landlord wants you to, you know, distract one of his competitors by killing off his staff and sabotaging his computer systems. Wow, that’s tough love! I don’t think even Steven Balmer would go this far! Notable features of this mission include dubious fashion choices for the Exile’s staff (cool outfits including chef hats!) and one of the Exiles crying out “Sugaree! It’s you! Wow, I’ve never had the chance to kill a famous person!” Alas his dream came true more than once.

At the end, the Landlord chortles, “Nicely done. It’s always better to stop the competition early.”

3. Just a Couple of Things

For one of his projects, the Landlord needs some specialist parts. In particular, he wants
a “code destabilizer” and an “asynchronous buffer loop” (sounded like Star Trek technobabble to me!), and he tasks you with getting them. Alas, only the Machines have access to rare items like this, and you must break into their well-staffed and well-protected storehouses to get them.

For me, a Machinist, this was a very hard mission. I could only hope that Agent Grey knew and understood and forgave.

The other thing that made this very hard was the defense! Nearly a dozen Agents and their friends, all north of 50! Naturally the areas containing the access computers and the actual loot were exceptionally well-staffed. The secret here was discovered by BrightAngel, who seemed to be on a first-name basis with many of the agents there. She did not lay a finger on them. She ran in, dodged fire, got the gear, and ran out. Her subtle approach made this a snap. If you plan on fighting your way through, set aside an afternoon. I cannot emphasize this enough!

The Landlord is smug at the end. “Good job. These are perfect for my needs”. I’m still not sure just what the two devices do.

4. Oh, I Almost Forgot

Just like me, after the Landlord does some shopping he realizes he forgot something and
has to go back to the mall. This time he needs a “Jungian Compiler” and a bundle of “cerebral disharmonizers”. I think the former is for recalcitrant interrogees (like Thomas Anderson) and the second is for weakening enemies.

Just when I was gearing up for another epic battle, BrightAngel ran in, snatched the items from a safe, and ran out! And that was it! Everything is at a single location! No one has to even be killed! In fact, this monster mish turned out to be snap, crackle, and pop! Not that I was disappointed, mind you.

5. Window Dressing

The Landlord has a new construct all done! It’s ready to go, needing only the attention of an interior decorator, who unfortunately has been kidnapped. The Landlord wants to get his consultant back, and he wants to send a message to would-be troublemakers: kill everyone. Except the decorator, that is. There’s quite the crowd of Blood Nobles and riffraff, as well as a blowhard named Arlon (a competitor of the Landlord) who crows about putting you down; it was satisfying to smash him. The inevitable escort mission at the end worried me greatly. But it was simple. No attacks from lobby guards or marauding Mervs or local mobs. Sometimes it’s wonderful when no one seems to care. And at the end we have a chance to listen to the Landlord pat himself on the back. What a treat!

No special benefits from him. No club discounts. No spa membership. No condominium discount. Just business as usual. I was left puzzled at the end wondering about the ties between the Landlord and the other Exiles, and why anyone would care about what he does. After all, getting a building permit from the Merovingian must mean something, besides being protection money. More backstory on the “competitors” of the landlord would have been appreciated. For example, Mr. Black refers (in one of his missions) to getting a building permit also, and to a building controlled by the Trainman. Yet the Landlord is quite close-lipped about his competitors, even though they are obviously on his mind.

Many, many thanks go to BrightAngel for helping me. I died several times soloing these, and if she hadn’t helped me, I would probably _still_ be doing them!

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