Manifold Mischief

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sugar Shack 55: Operetta: Discordant Diva

Sugar Shack 55: Operetta: Discordant Diva

Operetta hangs out in Akasaka (227, 1, 67), in the basement of Pandora. Like so many Exiles, she craves that visceral excitement from bluepills bustling about their virtual lives. She hung out near the back wall, incessantly watching the dancers. Her ravenous face was narrow, and she looked to be wearing a Black Widow’s Dress, except it wasn’t black. Her face was narrow and intense, crossed by stray strands of hair. To be honest, she kind of reminded me of Midnight. Operatta is passionate about music, but not passionate about organization. Her people are in trouble. Music goes missing. She freaks out at non-glowing reviews. She needs an office manager to get things back on track. The classic diva. Until then, she has you.

1. Savior

“Oh, my dear! You just help me, you simply MUST. One of my best performers is in trouble. Get over there and help him right now!” Well, the negotiation was mercifully brief.
What a strange mission! I went to the site, and got into a fight with two Zionists. I killed one in short order, but withdrew to heal up. When I came back, the other, a Zionist Kungfu Grandmaster, was gone! Only a nervous Mr. Titelbaum milled about. I searched several times for the missing miscreant, all to no avail. I danced and waited: nothing. So, I gave up and left the building. And found him strolling in the yard outside! I had to follow him into the next building before we could get a fight going! Once he was killed, the mish ended itself. A patron in the bar looked at me and asked, “Why are you here?” Why, indeed!

Was this a bug, or a cool new feature? And what possible interest could Zion have in Exilix opera singers? Has it run out of weightier adversaries? Or was this a training mish gone awry? Only Lock knows for sure.

2. Requiem

The backstory for the composer in this mission was interesting: a bluepill who accepts the way things are and composes for Operetta. “As a freed mind, surely you must understand. The Matrix is a symphony, programs and code working together to produce harmony. If you’d give up your hatred of it you would see the beauty”. Something to think about… Don’t forget to search for her computer. “I don’t expect you to be sympathetic, but remember, this music is valuable. Don’t be careless”.

Oddly enough, the only opposition came from a lonely Zionist (again!) Karate master, who was not ready for me when I stormed out of the building past him. His jaw dropped, he reached for his gun, and the karate master, with predictably lamentable aim, sprayed stray shots around me as I left. Go back to the caves!

The stage manager is frantic when you arrive, and wails about how slow you are. It’s very entertaining, so be sure to talk to him a couple of times. He and his twin groupies are in a suite reminiscent of the old redpill jackout mishes: lots of ugly gear and barely a table to be seen. They need an Ikea gift certificate.

At the end, the Stage Manager gushed: “Good, and you even managed to keep it more or less unwrinkled. You’re far less incompetent than I first suspected.”

All the while, his twin groupies idled about, speaking vacuously. Be sure to talk to them a few times as well for chuckles. Operetta says, “Yes, yes, you’re doing fine. Fine as can be!”

Whatever that may be. Not sure why this is called a requiem though. I mean, three missions yet remain. Nonetheless, fun, with plenty of character!

3. Chosen

Conveniently, Requiem ends up next door to Pandora, so you’re all set for number 3. An understudy, Bessie Burr, has been kidnapped, and “I must have her back. I simply must!”. I began to wonder if people harass Operetta just to listen to her freak out.
On rescuing her, I got a message- “Oh you precious darling”. But after I dropped her off with the bodyguard Beagle, this is what I got: “Not terrible, Sugaree. Not good. But not terrible.” But the check cleared, so I counted my blessings.

Note: One of the bads has a key to the room Bessie was in. But the door was unlocked!
Note: I had to lead Bessie past a couple of dozen hissing Brothers of Destiny who shot at us with everything they had. Mighty Bessie blanched, but took no damage. So this is a 220-meter escort mission through hostile territory, but it’s not like Seraph’s epic stat-hack mish. Or the even tougher Jeweler escort mish. Relax!

4. Fragments

Once again, the last stage of the preceding mish places you just a hundred meters from Pandora. Nice design! For this mission, you merely need to be a gofer, dropping off stuff for Operetta’s agent. “My dear! You simply MUST help me!”

I get the docs to drop off, and an adjacent flunkie asks me to put a bug in the first target’s desk for musical intelligence. Sure, why not? I’ll always do something to help a band. This minor theme never really seems to go anywhere though. Perhaps in another exile suite this will assume some importance…

First drop off is to another diva. Her staff suffers. “You can’t fire me, I quit!” “But I was told to do it this way!” Etc. Second drop off is to a talent agent who has creative differences with Operetta. As we shall soon see, this is a club with quite a few members.

5. Rubicon

As my operator observed, Operetta does not believe there is no accounting for taste. “My show was wonderful but SOME PEOPLE don’t appreciate talent….”

Word has gotten to the critic that his days are numbered, and you must fight your way through a couple of guards. Then, you find an Agent protecting him! Who would have thought? What possible interest could my Machinist lords and masters have in something as vacuous as Operetta? Answers were not forthcoming, yet I finished the mish regardless.

“That will teach that cretin a lesson!” The xps for this mish were unusually low. As, I guess, it should be. I mean, what should you get for killing a bluepill? More could have been done with the critic, maybe some quotes by your operator from the review, mention of the Newsie, comments from the guards, etc.

Conclusion: I liked the consistency of personality and storyline here. The reflections from the composer and the stage manager were fun. The unpredictable nature of Operetta’s emotions rang true. But what is a diva-istic ego like hers doing in a club like Pandora? In International? Would it not make more sense for her to be ensconced downtown, as are the Jeweler, Mr. Black, and the Bartender? Is she slumming? Also, the names for individual mishes in this group puzzled me. Perhaps in the ethereal realms of operatic aesthetics, where devs daydream, there is some significance. Finally, readers of these columns will remember Lotus and her preoccupation with music; it would have been very cool to have echoed them here, with each commenting on the work of the other.

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