Manifold Mischief

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

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sugar Shack 32: Exile Contact Missions: Yttri

Sugar Shack 32: Exile Contact Missions: Yttri

Everything about Yttri shouts “I am special!”. The loopy braids, the white pantsuit outfit and halter. The bare feet! Her plush Achan lair at 606, 27, -39 (penthouse seems more appropriate for this one) is laid out in a very tasteful, balanced manner, with lots and lots of plants and decorative columns. Copies of “The Form of Art” and “Recipes” were placed here and there. And incredibly, an Exile with a bathroom! With two bathtubs! I stopped to wash my hands, and discovered that the mirror did not work, alas. Every time I set out on a mish for her, I thought of the irony: a barefooted aesthete with unimaginably refined musical tastes, surrounded on the rude streets by posturing swarms of “Madonnas” and “Janets”. No wonder she hired me; it must make her cry to set foot outside her door!

1. Code or Coda

Anyway, Yttri elaborates on a theme I first noticed with Lotus: that music can be a powerful behavior modifier. And she likes to steal things. In this standard break-and-enter, Yttri wants the only existing copy of a new, marvelous composition. The standard enemies opposed me, and were dealt with in the standard manner. Two ways to get it, find the combination in a desk for the safe, or hack a computer to disable the safe. To be on the “safe” side, I did both. Why the manuscript had to be purloined was unclear, since documentary materials have been clandestinely captured by cameras for almost a hundred years. Maybe she was also sending someone a message? Maybe she collects artifacts, like the Digger or Hypatia? We do not know. Walked in past a fidgety Bell Madonna, little knowing how soon I would be feeling fidgety myself, in the next mission.

2. Free Music

One thing leads to another, after savoring the work of this composer, Yttri craves more. Not only that, she wants to free his mind. This entails grabbing him and escorting him to a Zionist base for the Pill. And naturally, everyone for a kilometer around wants to frustrate this. For example, as I waited inside with the composer, two 51-level elite guards outside kept firing at me _through_ the door, and shrugged off my repeated devastation fields and code nukes. So, after one failure, I went out through the back door, obliterating every Bell from here to kingdom come, and got the composer safely to Zion. What memories it brought back, of other escort missions from hell!

3. An Instrumental

Yttri seemed quite serious about this; the air hissed with tension as she explained in a low, menacing voice. An instrument of hers has been stolen, and “I am charging you with its return. Do not fail me in this”. It reminded me of Hypatia’s first mission, where she wants you to retrieve a lent book. Unlike your sponsor, the target is no wilting aesthete, and within ten harrowing seconds I was on death’s door. I was tempted to buy a ukulele from a street vendor and say “Oh, he decompiled it and recompiled it, and this is how it came out”, but I persisted. It turns out that the malefactor has the instrument on his person, so it’s more likely to be a kazoo than a Stradivarius!

4. Blood Music

Remember the Coroner? The creepy guy from downtown? With the spooky experiments? Well, he’s back, and in possession of a street performer with some information about blood drinkers which Yttri wants. I paused before busting in, thinking of past missions, and many deaths, mostly mine. They were still unsettling. I came across a virus and on a whim put it into the station’s mainframe; the staff took a dim view of this. At the end I staggered to a phone booth and uploaded, and this is what I got: “The data is very interesting…very interesting indeed. Thank you.” Big deal!
The Bells were much in evidence here; several times I passed two Bell Madonnas standing mournfully over a fallen third.

5. Beat the Matrix

The freed composer has made a composition for Yttri, and now some of Tick Tock’s men have taken an interest in it and are searching for it. For someone with Tick Tock’s quiet obsessions, this seems out of character; maybe I don’t know him as well as I think. The task itself was simple: kill three foes and open one safe. At the end Yttri murmurs about how the works of a master are beautiful to behold and she is looking forward to examining this one. The thing is, composers seldom venture into hardware construction, so it’s hard to imagine how Yttri’s guy ever came up with this scheme. Especially for a metronome!

Initially interesting, this suite does not have the thematic depth of similar ones such as Lotus’s. Most of the missions are one-stop fights; three opponents, physically separated, are the rule, permitting easy divide-and-conquer. For missions set largely in Achan, mainly accessible to low-level adventurers, this is okay. The second mission is the most challenging, as escort missions usually are. The connections with the Coroner and Tick Tock add interest. The ubiquitous, vulgar Bells were festive, moody touches.

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