Manifold Mischief

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sugar Shack 29: Exile Contact Missions: The Newsie: Someone with Moxie!

Sugar Shack 29: Exile Contact Missions: The Newsie: Someone with Moxie!

Just finding the mission contact Nicky G. was no small matter, necessitating wandering through the upper, very non-intuitive reaches of Club Paradise. What a pleasure to find The Newsie so easily! He waits for you right by a newsstand in Park East, at -517, 13, 134. He seemed to be freezing, standing there in a sleeveless T-shirt in a snowstorm! He has intent dark eyes and the newspaper boy’s hat pushed forward. And while he looks like a kid, he runs his own news organization, as we soon (in the first mish) see. He thinks big, and he thinks violent. Data-Miners need not apply!

1. Scoop

A competitor has some files, and he wants me to steal them. (I went to college for this?) My operator said I should be able to sneak in and out, and this strategy worked fine until I ran into my first guard. That is to say, it didn’t work at all. One bluepill stopped to tell me I had pretty eyes, and as I stopped to screenshot this, I died. Apparently this was a strategy for distraction, and it worked. The next time I was able to run in, dodge bullets, avoid combat, and filch the file. The current owner of the information was a noisy, picky jerk, like the news editor in Spiderman, blowing up when someone forgets to put cream in his coffee.

In the end you drop off the file at the Newsie’s editorial offices where his folks are thrilled, as is their boss, who exclaims, “Nice job, Sugaree! Come see me later…I can use someone with moxie like you!”

2. Unhealthy Competition

After confessing that he has taken a shine to you, he wants you to kill a rival, Prior. It’s a curious lapse of professionalism, to say the least! It seems someone has been cutting into his regular sales. When I arrive at the heavily defended site, one lieutenant flunky crows about “you are so dead” until I smoked the guards. Then he begs you not to hurt him, and takes you right to Prior. Then he blurts out to Prior “I’m sorry. Sugaree made me do it! I was just so scared!”. His boss was not impressed. Of course when the fighting is over, he is nowhere to be seen. Nice details!

3. Home Delivery

Like most newspapers, the Newsie’s has specialized editions for different target readers. One such special edition goes to Dame White, who enjoys reading its news “that’s not, ah, generally available”. The Newsie likes her, calling her “a real classy broad”, and bidding you to make haste with her newspaper: “Move fast and she might even give you a nice big tip!”. Oh, the irony! Here I am, a ship’s Captain and a member of my clan’s Council, and I am reduced to delivering newspapers! But I am never one to turn down a chance for face time with a major Exile, so off I went!

It turns out that the Hellions are making a major move against Dame White. And amidst all this chaos, the Newsie still wants the paper delivered! I felt like Kevin Costner in The Postman! However, I took the liberty of saving Dame White first, scoring big points with her. I know she’ll be really nice to me when I get to her during the Pandora’s Box mishes.

4. To The Source

The Newsie is a curious amalgam of professionalism and fanaticism. After going the extra mile in the last mish to please a customer, now he is asking us to not just kill a competitor, but kill a _source_ for a rival newspaper! Where will this end? Burning the forests his competitors use for wood pulp? Shooting his rival’s customers? Blowing up the trucks his competitors use to ship newspapers?

In fact, this mish is surprisingly easy, which is a letdown. Just talk to enough people until one gives you something, and instantly your mission objectives tell you who to kill. Kind of a disappointment. This was basically a mystery, and it wasn’t very difficult. In fact, this was the easiest Newsie mish by far!

5. If It Bleeds, It Leads

If there’s not enough news, you just have to make your own. And killing bluepills doesn’t get headlines, whereas killing powerful programs does. You can see where this leads… Two very tough fights here, and it’s hard to get emotionally involved in this mere killing for attention. By the third murder you’re asked to commit, wiping out White Security (!), word has gotten out and you have to adjust your plans. Just look at the mission map for their areas when you arrive! The irony is that he stands on a corner surrounded by White Security, and now he wants to waste them all! The Newsie realizes his plan is not viable for the long term, and bids you farewell. At the end he did send me an enhanced suit jacket as a going away present, which was nice. But his unconscionable callousness left a bad taste in my mouth.

My two last downtown exiles were Nicky G. and the Newsie. And I have to say they were two of a kind. Both conscience-less, both supremely self-centered, and both monomaniacal. Fortunately they saw me as an asset, ‘cuz they would have slain me without a second thought. Their mishes are so-so on the scale of interest, and their personalities are their most memorable and most disturbing features. A final thought: more backstory would have been appreciated: who his competitors are, who his other special readers are, what the non-public news is for Dame White, how he handles the dynamics of e-news, etc. Some tie-in with The Sentinel seems so no-brainer here; I was shocked that nothing about it turned up. Nor was there any tie-in with another downtown Exile, the Network.

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