Manifold Mischief

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

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sugar Shack 58: Yuusuke Akayama and the Great Wall’s Great Fall

In a certain not-very accessible byway of Shirakaba, stands Yuusuke Akayama (222, -4, 136). He looks like one of us: the open-necked shirt, the long coat, the dark eyes, and his world-weary expression. It’s easy to feel close to him; he’s just trying to run his business, like everyone else. He’s the owner of the Paper Tiger Restaurant, and has a professional interest in knowing what is going on in his neighborhood, and what might affect his customers, suppliers and competitors. Like the Merovingian, he likes to traffic in information, and hates the thought that anything is happening that he doesn’t know about. Hence his abiding interest in the Great Wall Security Agency. They seem so easy to spot. They seem to have a hand in so many things. They’re easy enough to spot, since there’s always a few of them hanging around Mr. Akayama, either to taunt him, or keep an eye on him. Perhaps this near-constant surveillance accounts for his need of outside contractors. Someone off their radar. Someone subtle. Someone who gets his message without it being spelled out on a blackboard. Someone like you.

1. In the Belly of the Beast

This simple, cakewalk mish seems to be a test more than anything else. You simply need to get a disk for him with a recording of a clandestine conversation. The only challenge is finding a recovery reboot disk, since at your first logon attempt the computer kills itself. This is the easiest Exile mish I can remember since Sister Margaret’s first few!

2. Debug

For this scarcely more challenging lesson, you need to plant a virus (we should more properly call it malware). To achieve this, you need to get access to a computer surrounded by Great Wall staff. The challenge is that the person who can expedite this needs to be paid off, but helpfully notes that the guards often carry cash. Pay him off, plant the bug, and you’re done!

Bug?: After I killed the guards, two of them had money. After I paid the bluepill, both packets of cash were gone. After I paid him, I got a good work message from my operator before the bluepill had given me the code. Don’t know if this is a bug or simply non-elegant.

3. Tearing Down the Wall

“Ah, my new friend” purred the savvy Akayama when I showed up. I had to smile. We had an understanding. He needed a Great Wall outpost wiped out, to…distract them from his own operations. Just go to the target and kill everyone there. Easy enough.

Bug?: However, several times, I got to the site, killed the three guards I found, and found a single door which I could not open. Strangely, in each case, after I aborted the mish, suddenly I could open the door. Unfortunately, I could only view the details of the three guys inside. There was no option to talk or fight. Technically, I think this is what they call a bug.

On the fourth or fifth attempt, this time running it with someone else, I was able to kill all the guards (same as before, from my point of view) and a magnetically-sealed door then opened, and we found three higher-level thugs inside, planning some mischief. We killed two, talked with the survivor, and got three hitlists of targets. These we then took to an associate of Akayama’s, who took one list and had us give the other two lists to two others in the room (including one wearing a stovepipe chef’s hat!), one of whom commented, “Mr. Akayama doesn’t pay me to read”. That’s between him and you, pal!

4. Insecurity

The Great Wall Security organization continues to annoy Mr. Akayama. Now he wishes you to escort a contractor spammer to a Great Valley office so she can spam a list of known hackers, to annoy them and attract their eldritch wrath to the Great Wall network.

After this, you escort her to another associate of Akayama’s for safekeeping. The problem with the escort mission is not the Great Wall attackers who seek to thwart you. It’s trying to find your way over the walls, canals, staircases, lattices, and physical obstacles which bar your way. Naturally, with an escort in tow, you can’t just hyperjump a straight line. I mean, that would be too easy. The dialog with the spammer, her protector, and their security staff at the end is entertaining; make sure to talk to everyone before and after dropping her off.

5. Link Death

With the collective wrath of hackers trashing the network infrastructure of Great Wall Security, they’re weak. This means it’s the right time to hit them hard, and Mr. Akayama directs you to an outpost of Exiles in their service. After they’ve been laid waste, you find a cell phone, whose recent calls direct you to a larger Great Wall Security office. When we rolled in, there were around a dozen (!) Great Wall uniforms waiting, ranging in level from 50-52 (and this mish was on medium!). This led to a long, hard fight, reminiscent of some fights with massed simulacra in Pandora Box missions.

At the end, Mr. Akayama is thrilled. He’s been able to deal Great Wall a deep, lasting blow in his region. And he effuses at your great success! He invites you to “stop by my restaurant some day: the Paper Tiger. Your abilities and initiative are truly commendable, and you may be able to find further employment for them through the influential patrons who frequent my humble establishment”. Mighty warm words from a lasting friend, and word of mouth advertising like this is something that money can’t buy. I’m making my reservations tomorrow.

Conclusion: After so many missions where the Exiles mixed thanks with scorn, or paid me off dismissively, or nagged during and after missions, it was a pleasure to find someone appreciative. Nonetheless, the apparent bugs in missions 2 and 3 were truly annoying.

Thanks go to Xboxster, Stanislava, AgtWeezer, and Sattakan for their help with these missions. I doubt I could have finished it at all without their help. And even if I had, it would not have been nearly as much fun.

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