0. This page contains dark humour. You have been warned. 1. I do not advocate the use of drugs in real life. In fact I am teetotal and do not smoke. 2. I do not advocate the use of violence as entertainment in real life. The last such act I took part in was in 1990 when I was 14 and we laid all these fish out over a busy road and watched each one get squashed by passing traffic. 3. I do not advocate ruthlessness or evil as a means to an end. Except in computer games ;-)
Part one: What is System Shock?
System shock is like a cross between Ultima and Doom. It is a first-person 3D shooter, with tons of
It requires a 386 or a 486 with a CD-ROM drive, unless you can get hold of the original disk release.
System Shock can run in 320x200, 320x400, 640x400 or 640x480.
An Overview of System Shock's features
A Plot?Yes, a PLOT. Unlike Doom, System Shock has a complex story behind it, and it directly affects
everything you do in the game.
What? You don't want a plot?!? Get back to the Doom page then.
Part Two: Getting Shocked
DrugsSystem Shock has plenty drugs. They are intended for medicinal use, but most of them have high
recreational value as well.
Here is the streetwise guide to Trioptimum's line in Stuff:
BerserkOne tab of this stuff and you'll get strong as an ox.
Then you start to see pretty lights and soon you might hear the grass grow as well.
Sight enhancementTake one of these and you can see everything! Then it wears off and you can't see anything.
Don't do this one too much or you'll go blind.
Genius Mind-EnhancerOh groovy, some mind-expanding drugs. Tri-op really knows how to party.
Actually these help you solve the puzzles. Don't seem to work very well though.
DetoxThis one cures radiation poisoning, bio-contamination and hangover.
It will also nullify the effect of the other drugs so if you're looking for a high, just say no.
Stam-up stimulantReduces fatigue. Then you suddenly feel very tired.
I suppose it's like ecstasy really.
MedicalThis one heals you, fairly straightforward.
When it wears out, you die. (Just kidding). Good for all-night raves.
A guide to the use of drugs:Drugs are in the form of dermal patches which are applied to the skin.
There's quite a lot of them lying around, but you can score some off the mutants.
Most of the time you can take drugs on the move, but once in a while you feel the need for a little
The following is a transcript from Mr. Gibbon's black box recorder.
JM: Got to take some drugs. <Mr. G shoots a few medical patches> IM: It has seen you. You are going to die. It will kill you. There is no way you can survive. JM: Laser rapier. <bang slash bang slash slash silence> IM: Incredible: you're not dead. That was totally unexpected! JM: Oh dear, now I've got to take some more drugs again. IM: Yes.. it's called addiction.
The Hacker himselfA cursory examination of the hacker reveals that he is not human.
(He is capable of subsisting entirely on hard drugs and blue smarties)
FeetLook downwards. Try and touch your toes.
You can't? Oh of course. No feet.
At this point you realise that you have no feet
ArmsWhat the hacker lacks in toes and legs, he makes up for in his arms.
In fact, the hacker has these wonderful gibbon arms that are thirteen foot long.
Now interestingly, the hacker can't reach across a gap.
(This is 'normally' done by running in there, and lying on his belly in between the nodes, then suddenly banging a live frag grenade on the ground using his teeth. Shodan announces that he'll kill you, but the robots are already mopping up the juice.)There is a warrior cyborg standing on a tower, one space away from you.
When it's dead you should be able to search the body but you can't.
The idea that you can't reach is out of the question. The problem is the gap between the two of you.
This does conjure up visions of a hacker with 13 foot long, boneless tentacles that snake across the
The cyberjack implantThis is a wonderful piece of kit. You can take anything with a battery in it and plug it directly into your
brain. Hoo! Even more magical, whatever you install, it always works and you never ever have an IRQ
So my player is called PNP man (plug'n'play man) whenever he's not called Mr. Gibbon.
The hacker does it standing up?The Hacker always dies vertically. The reason for this is easy to imagine, when you consider the
number of times you get resurrected. Surely the robots find it much more easy to carry your body
when it doesn't keep drooping about like that.
What could be done about it? Well the Hacker's got a head full of firmware, so adding just a tiny bit
Just imagine! No more limp, floppy corpses to pick up!
General Resurrection MachineryThe hacker freaks out and locks himself in a small cupboard, (such as a lift) assuming the lotus position
and surrounded by a large pile of high explosives.
PNP man contemplates a viking funeral
The hacker then consumes all the berserk, genius and sight patches at once getting himself higher
Hoo! I'm glowing.. I'm glowing.. Hey Rick, I've got six arms!!
Totally stoned, he bangs two live frag grenades together.
Later on some robots come past and wonder why the lift doors are bulging out like that.
They find your body and give it new life. As a cyborg you will serve SHODAN well.
Really? How do they do that then?
They find the pieces and give them new life. As a cyborg's kneecap you will serve SHODAN well.So how is it done? Let's take a loook at the General Resurrection Machinery.
General Resurrection Machinery
Now, what is that man-shaped hole? There is only one thing it can be. A jelly-mould.
Of course. How simple. All the resurrection problems are solved in one blow.
For example, the hacker decides to stick his head in one of the matter-converters to see if the robots can
I consider turning my head into pure energy but think better of it
The robots scrape off the little wet bits and pour them into the mould.
Vital signs stabilised.... Red blood cell count 100% normal.... Cybernetic life support deactivated.... Brain activity satisfactory.... Recovery completed.... IM: He ran into the heart of a nuclear reactor. The robots fished out his body and patched him up. Then he got away and ran back into the reactor and died. And then as soon as he has the chance, he goes off and does it AGAIN. And it still says 'Brain activity Satisfactory'?Fortunately it's relatively easy to change the strings with a hex editor, they are in
DATA\CYBSTRNG.DAT on your hard disk.
You can change them to state the following truisms:
Brain activity corrupted.... Recovery Failed....Pad the end of each one with spaces.
Post-Mortem confusionThe disorienting effect of dying often means that I lose track of what I was doing just before the
resurrection. I forget where I was and how to get back there.
The net result is that the hacker runs around like a headless chicken, sometimes darting this way and
that three or four times before I remember things again.
JM: Ugh! Who am I? Where am I? What am I? IM: You're Mr Gibbon, You're on level 5 but we don't really know whatDANGER: Post-Mortem confusion often turns into Pre-Mortem confusion..
Part Three: Killing Beasts
Tools of the Trade: BOMBSBombs are wonderful. Set them up and get the beasties to tread on them.
Bombs set each other off, so you can have a stack of whatever you like and use a landmine to trigger
it! There are 7 types of Bomb.
LandminesThese are simple proximity devices. Go near this and it goes off.
Sometimes there are live landmines mixed in with explosives caches, so look carefully before picking
Frag grenadeA fragmentation device. This just goes off when you knock it against something. A fun way to deal
with CPU nodes is to lie on the floor and bash this into them. But don't try that unless the
resurrection machine is working.
NitropackA bomb. The fuse ranges from 4 seconds to about 60 seconds. Then it blows up very nicely!
EMP grenadeThis is like the frag grenade, but it does nothing physical. Instead it damages or destroys electronic
devices, such as robots. It can give you quite a trip as well, although it will never actually
Concussion bombA good bomb. The fuse is the same as the NitroPack. A powerful, all-purpose topping
for any pile of explosives. Quite potent, a couple of these is useful for trapping Edward Diego.
Gas grenadeThis explodes and poisons biological life.
Good for Mutants, moderate for Cyborgs and totally useless for robots.
Good to use in a low-budget suicide when you want to get back to the Resurrection Unit quickly.
EarthshakerA BIG bomb. Again, the fuse is the same as the NitroPack. It makes a lovely rumbling sound when
it kills you. VERY potent, and ideal for trapping Edward Diego.
Tools of the Trade: GUNS
Lead PipeThe first time I ever saw system Shock, we got stuck in the first room.
Then we ran about with the pipe for almost an hour, hitting everything we came across..
The pipe is what you will start with. It works fine on serv-bots and mutants and it never runs out
Dart GunThe dart gun fires either needle darts or tranquilisers. Neither of which are very effective.
Don't bother with it.
Stun GunThis really is a stun gun, and it only works on mutants. They stop moving and bob up and down happily.
Don't bother with it, unless you want to watch some mutants bobbing (which can be fun).
Sparq beamAn energy gun. Very effective, it can also be used to vapourise corpses.
It has about 64 levels of power and an overload. It gobbles up the juice and it goes into standby if it
gets too hot.
Your first Good Gun, but be sure you know where the nearest wall-socket is.
PistolThe pistol is good, there is plenty of ammo for it.
It takes Normal rounds, and Teflon rounds which are better but more scarce.
Your second Good Gun. Keep hold of it, you can use it on cameras later on
Magnum 2100Pro version of the pistol. Little ammo for it in early levels.
It fires hollow-tip rounds, or heavy SLUGS.
A sign of decadence among System Shock players is when you go around using the Magnum on
cameras because you have nothing less powerful...
One of the Best guns. Never let this one go.
MagpulseThis is like an EMP mine. It fires green shots that destroy most types of robot, and some cyborgs.
It fires Magpulse Carts, which are abundant on level 4 in the Cargo Pits of Ragnarok.
It does not work on mutants at all!
You will need this!
FlechetteA handy rapid-fire weapon
This is quite a neat piece of work, it is a low-budget RF Skorpion, and there is plenty of ammo.
It can take out most things except a Security-2 robot.
A pretty good weapon.
Laser RapierPipe Pro.
This is a sinclair monomolecular thread held in an energy field. It cuts through anything. (Larry Niven
fans should know this) It kills most beasts with a single swipe. Tougher monsters need two or three
You must have this one!
Riot gunThis is an interesting curiosity.
The riot gun is on the Cargo Deck, level 4. It fires rubber bullets, so it is almost useless.
HOWEVER: it can be used to PUSH CRATES and LIVE LAND MINES around the level, so it is
essential for freaky experiments.
Only useful for wierd things
BlasterA souped-up version of the Sparq beam.
Not especially wonderful, it uses more power and is slightly more dangerous. It makes a nice sound.
A reasonable replacement for the sparq beam.
Ion cannonIonise people. This is pretty cool. It makes a sound stolen from Star wars but it's fun.
If you turn it down to minimum power, it will still vapourise any item with a single shot but consuming
virtually no power.
Excellent tool for vapourising corpses.
Assault RifleA sort of super-magnum, but with less ammo available.
Try it, you might like it.
RailgunFires explosive missiles, but they are not very effective. Ammo is only available from Mutant Cyborgs.
I never found it was any good against monsters, even a mutant takes several shots. It kills you more
than it kills them so it's useful for ritual suicides.
It's brilliant for smashing cameras and even more decadant than the magnum.
RF SkorpionAn ultra-rapid fire rifle. (See the docs for the Blessed Engine, our doom hack-up)
This is good, but hard to use and ammo is scarce. It fires standard ammunition and LARGE (fat?)
This is useful for tight spots, but can sometimes let you down.
"Once I accidentally put 300 watts into a 60 watt light bulb. The filament detatched itself from the two connectors and drifted around inside the bulb. Then it hit the side and bounced away. The glass was glowing cherry-red where it had touched." -PDMNow you can do something similar to the walls of the citadel station.
But don't let the glowing ball of plasma touch you because you'll turn into ash..
This thing is good but it is difficult to wrest from SHODAN's grasp, and it consumes a third of your
battery power with each shot.
It kills whatever it touches but it often touches you.
Edward DiegoIf you thought SHODAN had topped Edward Diego, you were wrong. They have joined forces and
he is incredibly dangerous.
Diego is a cyborg of SHODAN but he kept his personality, and he is armed with Laser Rapiers. He
Edward Diego appears at three points in the game, but you have ample time to prepare a little surprise
On the Executive levelFirstly, Diego appears on the Executive Level, just after the Access Tunnel.
Hint: when blowing up the CPUs on the Exec level, place two emp grenades either side of the main CPU. Go back to the tunnel and shoot a single round at the autobomb to annoy it. Lead the Bomb into the computer room and let it attack you. Et voila! SHODAN's little toy has just blown up some valuable equipment for you.
If he doesn't step on the pile, (or if you do) reload and place the land mine in a slightly different place.
Otherwise you should hear:
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANGFollowed by a brief swooshing sound as he turns red and vanishes.
On the Flight DeckBefore you blow up the reactor core and try to escape, place a nice selection of earthshakers mines and frag grenades at the bottom of the escape pod ramp.
Place all the explosives on the central triangle of the floor, with a live landmine.
A present from Joe
Now go about your business. When you try to escape the reactor detonation, Diego will email you a threat.
However, by the time you've read the threat he will have appeared, exploded and disappeared again without you even seeing it!
As proof of his impending divinity, Shodan demonstrates his power by appearing unto you in a Holy Vision.
"Accept the coming of your new Lord"
On the The Bridge
Having trouble, Diego? Turn and face your executioner..
If it's done completely perfectly he could vanish in a puff of smoke leaving only a small keycard.
Far more likely, he'll just die so you can extract it from him.
Part Four: SHODAN's Death Machine
When you step inside, SHODAN appears to you in another Vision saying "Welcome to my Death Machine, Interloper!".
Here's a neat little trick that allows you to screw up the Death Machine..
First, get yourself lots of bombs. You need about 9 frag grenades and at least 1 Landmine.
Next, get yourself lots of detox. Yes, I know it ruins your trips but you need it against the radiation.
Now, look for this little hole. It's through the door on the right, starting from the lift.
Make sure you are at full health, and consume some drugs if you aren't.
You are now within a few metres of the Reactor Core and getting sleeted with gamma rays, so hurry up.
Go through the door and consume some Detox.
If there is a Security-1 robot there, kill it and enter the door.
Now SAVE. Get on your belly, and remember not to cross the middle of the room, or you'll have to load
Throw an INACTIVE frag grenade at each door, so that there a bomb in front of each one.
Save (in another slot if possible) and place a LIVE landmine in front of one of the doors.
It should look like this:
Welcome to MY Death Machine!
Consume enough drugs to get you back to full health, and switch on your Shield.
If you've done it right, all the monsters should die instantly!
Part Five: Other
Destroying EarthIf you switch on the Mining Laser without engaging the system shields, Shodan appears in a Vision, inviting you to a party.
A cortex reaver will escort you to the celebrations.
Leaning at 45 degreesHere's a neat little trick we discovered over Christmas:
Fun with repulsor liftsOn level 4, (the cargo pits of Ragnarok) there is a blast door which is locked for a long time.
It is eventually opened using the switch in the Plastique ledge.
Inside are three Warrior Cyborgs. Kill the first one quickly and silently using the Laser Raper.
If you look out from where the cyborg was, You should now see this:
Let us now float up some mines on the repulsor lift!
Before we get to the fun part we must first capture the druuugs otherwise they will be destroyed in the explosion.
First save. Now, switch on your Skates and do a running jump across the room, so that you land on the drugsss and can pocket them.
If you hear a babbling sound then they have seen you, and you must reload or it won't work.
Now. You should be sitting on the drugs ledge. Switch off your skates and jump onto the floor. Again, make sure they don't see you.
Throw the following items onto the repulsor lift:
In about 3 seconds you should get a BIG bang and two moans from the cyborgs...
That's all for now.. I hope you enjoyed it!
©1998, J P Morris, All rights reserved.
©1998, Elite Enterprises, All rights reserved.
Looking Glass™ is a trademark of LookingGlass™ Studios. All rights reserved. System Shock™ is a trademark of LookingGlass™ Studios. Developed by LookingGlass™ Studios. Published and distributed by Origin™ Systems. Origin™ is a trademark of Electronic Arts™. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.