System Shock 2




System Shock 2

Developer:Irrational Games Genre:RPG and MMO Release Date: Download Games Free Now!

About The Game

System Shock 2 both retains the best attributes of its predecessor and provides a fresh experience in its own right.
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System Shock 2

System Shock 2 Review

By James Archuleta |

Contrary to popular gaming lore, the original System Shock was not a commercial failure and sold over 170,000 copies over time. But when it first released in 1994, gamers overlooked Looking Glass's groundbreaking game despite favorable reviews. Some erroneously discounted it as a Doom clone, even though it was actually the offspring of a line of games that preceded any of id Software's first-person shooters. Other players dismissed it as a derivative first-person role-playing game that arrived on retail shelves just after a parade of Wizardries and Might and Magics. In fact, System Shock was a game that defied pigeonhole classification because it borrowed elements and themes from a variety of genres. Yet it was precisely because of its creative design that it is now commonly, belatedly, regarded as one of the best computer games ever made. Irrational Games was given the difficult task of creating a worthy successor to the cult-classic original, and the new development company has responded by delivering a game that both retains the best attributes of its predecessor and provides a fresh experience in its own right.

Prompted by the near destruction of Earth by the self-aware and malevolent artificial intelligence SHODAN, Earth's previously ineffectual political governments formed the Unified National Nominate and imposed constraints on the power of megaconglomerates. But after inventing faster-than-light technology, the corporate creator of SHODAN, TriOptimum Corporation, convinced the UNN to engage in a cooperative expedition into unexplored space. Your character awakens in the midst of a crisis, as the ship that undertook the monumental journey has apparently become infested by some form of alien life. Suffering from that infamous RPG plot device, amnesia, your character finds that he has received illegal cybernetic implants that grant superhuman abilities - just the kind of endowments necessary to survive System Shock 2's chaotic circumstances.

Even though it's a sequel, System Shock 2 feels entirely original because too few RPGs have science fiction settings. This one offers a rich combination of psionic powers, contemporary and futuristic weaponry, and William Gibson-esque cybernetic implants and technical skills. The plot unravels as you listen to e-mail and message logs. While the convenient placement of dozens of logs throughout the otherwise realistic environments is a bit contrived, the messages are consistently engaging and gradually expand upon the fates of most of the game's key figures. Unfortunately, since the settings have generally been abandoned by friendlies, the logs all but replace direct interaction with nonplayer characters. You'll also experience a handful of scripted story sequences crafted using the game engine, as well as frequent and interesting ghostly reenactments of earlier events. Collectively these storytelling methods convey an intriguing plot and generate an eerie atmosphere that make System Shock 2 feel unique through to the end.

Like its predecessor, System Shock 2 is a first-person game that cannot be easily characterized otherwise. The role-playing elements are deeper than they were in the first game, as you're able to personalize your character's initial attributes and abilities and later update them in a variety of significant ways. The game looks and generally feels like a first-person shooter, but the RPG elements and detailed environments give the gameplay more depth. Unlike in a first-person shooter, you'll find it hard to be successful in System Shock 2 if you storm into every room, guns blazing. Ammunition is scarce throughout the game, forcing you to warily advance through dark hallways, leaning around corners to look for additional resources and opportunities to dispatch unwary foes. Even solitary enemies can be dangerous, and carelessly trekking into an unexplored room will often alert a security camera, which summons a legion of enemies to finish you off. Consequently, travelling through the creepy surroundings often slows to a crawl, even while backtracking since enemies randomly regenerate.

System Shock 2's engine is well equipped for such stealthy maneuvering, as it's essentially an enhanced version of the Dark Engine created by Looking Glass for Thief, combined with some of the better interface features and controls of the original System Shock. The engine's 3D-accelerated graphics are capable of producing a variety of plausible futuristic environments, and its ambient fog and lighting effects look particularly good. However, the engine seems less capable of depicting characters, as humanoid figures look like a fusion of rudimentary polygonal shapes masked by a decent texture map. But since there are some plot justifications for the irregularly shaped beings, and most of the game's settings are extremely dark, the relatively simplistic character models work fine, even if they're not as detailed as those action gamers now expect.The game's dynamic music is appropriately fast-paced or atmospheric depending on the circumstances, but its crisp sound effects deserve particular praise. Environmental audio is a supported feature that's used to great effect. Straining in the darkness to gain foresight into the challenges ahead becomes an essential tactic, whether it be to detect the distant whirring noise of a security camera, the haunting ramblings of a mutant hybrid, or the banter of a haywire protocol droid. It's all great stuff, and it contributes significantly to the tense mood rapibly established in the game.

One of the best aspects of Thief's engine was that it accounted for how noisy and how visible your character was and ensured enemies responded accordingly. Fortunately, all this is intact in System Shock 2. Don't expect to be able to casually open the door to one room, deal with its inhabitants, and then open the next door and repeat the process. If any creatures are within earshot of combat, they'll rush to join the fun, making it important to choose your battles carefully. Enemy AI is very good generally, as even basic grunts charge after you instead of haplessly lumbering in pursuit, while certain deadlier opponents will stick to shadows from where they'll launch their rapid-fire attacks.

Fortunately, System Shock 2's interface is well designed and even fits well with the game's plot. You can maintain a view of the gaming world while searching through your inventory and use hotkeys to quickly access weapons, use items, or listen to log messages. To help you navigate you can superimpose semitransparent compass directions over your viewing window, pull up an automap, or maintain a miniature version of the map onscreen. Since your character is supposed to be grafted with a variety of cybernetic implants, there's actually a reasonable justification for your ability to access information such as this. The interface is not only effective, but it actually contributes to the game's ambiance instead of detracting from it.

Your character is initially trained in one of three military branches - marines, navy, or OSI - each emphasizing a different proficiency: weapons, technical skills, or psionic powers. But the professions don't add as much depth as you might expect, since during the course of the game you can choose to develop any skills or attributes regardless of your initial choice of profession. The professions are badly unbalanced as well, especially at the beginning of the game when the modules used to upgrade your character are extremely rare. It's very difficult to survive without picking up at least a smattering of basic weapon and technical skills, and since navy characters start the game with those abilities, they have a huge advantage. Meanwhile, marines are essentially navy characters stripped of those vital technical skills, while OSI characters lack both weapons and technical skills and are extremely fragile initially for lack of items that restore their psionic energy. During the course of the game you can develop truly different characters that are capable of successfully completing the game in their own right, but the initial selection of profession isn't relevant or even enjoyable in the manner in which it was intended.

Finally, despite System Shock 2's novel setting and its RPG elements, its gameplay doesn't really evolve significantly beyond that offered by recent first-person shooters. You'll spend much of your time strafing at enemies around corners, opening crates, and even hunting for keys. But the realistic environments, intriguing plot, and consistently uneasy atmosphere make System Shock 2 constantly effective. It is a hybrid game that effectively blends elements from a variety of genres into a thoroughly enjoyable and accessible package.

System Shock 2 Cheats

Hold shift and press ; in shoot mode, then enter one of these codes. When done, press enter. WARNING: If you open the password box when the MFD is displayed, the game will lock up!CheatEffectpsi_fullMaxes out psi pointssummon_obj [object name]An object appears at your feetadd_pool ##Adds ## cybernetic upgrade modulesubermenschMaximum statsshow_versionDisplays version numberreload_gunReloads corresponding weaponswap_gunsSwitches between the primary weapons, and secondarywpn_setting_toggleToggle weapon settingsequip_weaponSearch, and equip a weapon from the inventoryfrob_toggleSwitch between modesquicksaveSave to current folderstop_emailStops playing a mail or logopen_mfd 35Opens stat upgradesopen_mfd 36Opens tech upgradesopen_mfd 37Opens weapon upgradesopen_mfd 38Opens PSI upgradescycle_weapon <-1 or 1>Cycle equippable weaponspsi_powerAct like the level 1-5 buttonsfire_weapon <0 or 1>Fire weapon
  • Summon Object CodesWhile in the game (make sure your MFD is not displayed), hold Shift and press the Semicolon key to activate the command prompt. Then type summon_obj and enter the following to achieve the desired effect. Don't forget to press enter afterwards.CheatEffect5 nanites5 Nanites10 nanites10 Nanites20 nanites20 Nanitesannelid_medpatchAnnelid Med Patchannelid_psipatchAnnelid Psi Patchanti_annelid toxinAnti-Annelid Toxinap clip12 AP bulletsarach. organArachnid OrganarachnightmareBig ArachnidassassinNinja Assasinassault rifleAssault RifleassultAssultbaby arachnidBaby ArachnidbasketballBasketballbig nanite pile50 nanitesblast turretRocket Turret (enemy)blue monkeyMonkeybrawnboostBrawnBoost Implantbridge cardBridge Access Cardcargo bay 1a/1bcargo bay 1a/1b access cardcargo bay 2a/2bcargo bay 2a/2b access cardchem #1Fermium (Fm)chem #2Vanadium (V)chem #3Gallium (Ga)chem #4Antimony (Sb)chem #5Yttrium (Y)chem #6Copper (Cu)chem #7Californium (Cf)chem #8Sodium (Na)chem #9Osmium (Os)chem #10Iridium (Ir)chem #11Arsenic (As)chem #12Caesium (Cs)chem #13Hassium (Hs)chem #14Tellerium (Te)chem #15Molybdenum (Mo)chem #16Technetium (Tc)chem #17Radium (Ra)chem #18Barium (Ba)chem #19Selenium (Se)chipsBag of Chipscrew 2 cardDeck 2 Access Cardcrew bedCrew Bedcrew cardCrew Quarters access cardcrewmanCrewmancrewwomanCrewwomancryo cardCryo Access Cardcrystal shardCrystal SharddelacroixDelacroixdetox patchAnti-Toxin Hypoelectro shockElectro Shockemp grenadeEMP Grenadeemp rifleEMP Rifleemp shotEMP ProjectileendurboostEndurBoost Implanteng override keyEngine Override Keyexplode barrelHighly Explosive Barrelfemale appar.Female Apparitionfloor podFloor Podfrench-epstein deviceFrench-Epstein Devicefusion cannonFusion Cannonfusion shotFusion Projectilegr. over. organGreater Overlord Organgreater over.Greater Overlordgren launcherGrenade LaunchergrubAnnoying Wormgrub floor podGrub Floor Podgrub wall podGrub Wall Podhack soft v1Version 1 Hacking Softwarehack soft v2Version 2 Hacking Softwarehack soft v3Version 3 Hacking Softwarehe clipHE Clipheavy armorHeavy Armourhydro card aHydroponics A Accesshydro card bHydroponics B Accesshydro card cHydroponics C Accesshydro card dHydroponics D Accessice pickICE Pickincend. grenadeIncendiary Grenadesinvisible arachnidInvisible ArachnidlabassistantLabAssistant Implantlarge prism50 Prismslarge worm beakerLarge Beaker of Wormslaser pistolLaser Pistollaser turretLaser Turret (enemy)light armorLight ArmourmaintenanceMaintenancemaintenance toolMaintenance Toolmale appar.Male Apparitionmed annex keyMed Annex Access Keymed bedIncomplete Surgical Unitmed bed keySurgical Unit Activation Keymed cardMed Access Keymed patchMed Hypomedical kitMedical Kitmedium armorMedium ArmourmidwifeMidwifemidwife organMidwife Organmn. over. organMn. Overlord Organmodify soft v1Version 1 Modification Sofwaremodify soft v2Version 2 Modification Sofwaremodify soft v3Version 3 Modification Sofwaremolec. analyzerMolecular Analysermonkey brainMonkey BrainmugTri-Optium Mugog organOg Organog-grenadeGrenadier Hybridog-pipeMelee Hybridog-shotgunShotgunner Hybridops override keyOperations Override KeyoverlordOverlordPellet Shot BoxSlug TurretPistolPistolPortable BatteryPortable Batterypower cellDead Power Cellprotocol droidProtocol Droidprox. grenadeProximity Grenadepsi ampPsi Amppsi boosterPsi Boosterpsi trainerPsi Hypor and d cardResearch and Development Access Keyrad barrelRadioactive Barrelrad patchRadiation Hyporec crew keyRecreation Access KeyRecyclerRecyclerred assassinShuriken-Wielding Assassinred monkeyMonkeyreflec armorReflex Armourrepair soft v1Version 1 Repair Softwarerepair soft v2Version 2 Repair Softwarerepair soft v3Version 3 Repair Softwareresearch soft v1Version 1 Research Softwareresearch soft v2Version 2 Research Softwareresearch soft v3Version 3 Research Softwarerick room keyRickenbacker Keyrick turretRickenbacker Special Edition Defence Turretrickenbacker cardRickenbacker Access Cardrifled slug boxShotgun ShellsrumblerRumblerrumbler organRumbler OrganrunfastRunfastScience CardScience Access KeySecuritySecuritySecurity CameraSecurity Camerasecurity cardSecurity Access Cardsecurity compSecurity StationshotgunShotgunshuttle access keyShuttle Access Keyslug turretSlug Turret #2small prism20 PrismssmartboostSmartBoost Implantsoda canCan of Sodaspeed boostSpeed Boosterstandard clip12 Standard Bulletsstasis field generatorStasis Field Generatorstats trainerStats Trainerstrength boostStrength BoosterSwarmInvincible Swarmswarm organSwarm Organswarmer floor podSwarmer Floor Podswarmer wall podSwarmer Wall PodswiftboostSwiftBoost Implanttech trainerTech Trainertimed grenadeTimed Grenadestoxin grenadeToxic Grenadestrait machineTraits Machineturret rocketRocket Turretvacc suitHazard Suitviral prolifViral Proliferatorwall podWall Podweapon trainerWeapon Trainerwide machinerySome Random Machineryworm launcherWorm LauncherwormskinWormSkin ArmourwormbloodWormBlood ImplantwormgooA disgusting pile of worms.wormheartWormHeart ImplantwrenchWrenchchip aQuantum Simulation Chipchip bLinear Simulation Chipchip cInterpolated Simulation Chip
  • Cheat CodesHold shift and press ; in shoot mode, then enter one of these codes. When done, press enter. WARNING: If you open the password box when the MFD is displayed, the game will lock up!CheatEffecttoggle_invToggles inventory panelcycle_ammoCycles through available ammotoggle_compassToggles compass statequery <0 or 1>Toggles query cursor (0 = off, 1 = on)split <0 or 1>Toggles split cursor (0 = off, 1 = on)shock_jump_playerCauses the player to jumplook_cursorSets cursor to look modeselect_psipowerBrings up Psi power selection MFDclear_teleportClears existing teleport markerquickbindBinds quick slotquickuseActivates quick slotuse_obj <name>Uses object by namemsg_historyToggles message historyplay_unread_logPlays unread logtoggle_mouseToggles mouse look and cursor modesfrob_objectSimple frob of the selected objectfrob_object_invSimple frob of the selected object in inventoryinterface_useUses an item in the inventoryquickloadLoad to current folder
  • System Shock 2 Game Walkthrough

                  C h r i s    L e e ' s
                U l t i m a t e    S S 2    A n a l y s i s        v 1.11
      The officially latest (as well as latest, official) version of this 
    FAQ/Guide can be found at .
    Table of Contents
      A word on navigation: to jump to a specific section, simply use the
    'FIND' command (CTRL-F) and type in the 5 letter key next to the
    section (doing only the 3 numbers within the brackets will probably 
    send you to a random section of the guide).
      1.  Introduction and Contact Info (aka What the hell is this?)  [100]
      2.  General Notes (aka What other guides won't tell you!)  [200]
        a.  Stats  [210]
        b.  Damage bonuses  [220]
        c.  Difficulties  [230]
        d.  Cyber Modules  [240]
        e.  Character Creation [250]
        f.  Weapon Durability  [260]
      3.  Standard Weapons  [300]
        a.  Wrench  [310]
        b.  Pistol  [320]
        c.  Shotgun  [330]
        d.  Assault Rifle  [340]
      4.  Energy Weapons  [400]
        a.  Laser Pistol  [410]
        b.  Laser Rapier  [420]
        c.  EMP Rifle  [430]
      5.  Heavy Weapons  [500]
        a.  Grenade Launcher [510]
        b.  Stasis Field Generator  [520]
        c.  Fusion Cannon [530]
      6.  Exotic Weapons  [600]
        a.  Crystal Shard  [610]
        b.  Viral Proliferator [620]
        c.  Annelid Launcher (aka Worm Launcher)  [630]
      7.  Technical Skills  [700]
      8.  PSI  [800]
        a.  Tier 1  [810]
        b.  Tier 2  [820]
        c.  Tier 3  [830]
        d.  Tier 4  [840]
        e.  Tier 5  [850]
      9.  OS Upgrades  [900]
      10. Researchable Things  [A00]
      11. Managing Impossible Difficulty  [B00]
        a.  General Tips  [B10]
        b.  Full OSA  [B20]
          i.  A Word on PSI Hypos  [B21]
          ii. PSI Hypo Economics  [B22]
          iii.OS Upgrades  [B23]
          iv. Technical Skills  [B24]
          v.  Stats and PSI  [B25]
          vi. Typical Build  [B26]
          vii.Notes/Tactics  [B27]
      12. Character Concepts  [C00]
      13. Bestiary  [D00]
        a.  Damage Table  [D10]
        b.  Annelids  [D20]
          i.  Annelid Egg  [D21]
          ii. Annelid Grub  [D22]
          iii.Arachnids  [D23]
          iv. PSI Reavers  [D24]
        c.  Swarms  [D30]
          i.  Swarm  [D31]
        c.  Half Annelids  [D40]
          i.  Hybrids  [D41]
          ii. Rumblers  [D42]
          iii.Monkeys  [D43]
        d.  Half Mechanical  [D50]
          i.  Assassins  [D51]
          ii. Midwives  [D52]
        e.  Mechanical  [D60]
          i.  Turrets  [D61]
          ii. Robots  [D62]
          iii.SHODAN Avatar  [D63]
        f.  Basic  [D70]
          i.  SHODAN Shield  [D71]
        g.  SHODAN  [D80]
          i.  SHODAN  [D81]
      14. Appendix:  Molecular Transmutation Analysis  [E00]
        a.  The Equation  [E10]
        b.  The Table  [E20]
      15. Final Notes  [F00]
        a.  Conclusion/Special Thanks  [F10]
        b.  Resources  [F20]
        c.  Endnotes and References  [F30]
        d.  My Works  [F40]
        e.  Legal Disclaimer  [F50]
        f.  History  [F60]
    1.  Introduction and Contact Info (aka What the hell is this?)    [100]
      System Shock 2 is one of THE most entertaining games ever created.
      That wild assertion being said, it surprised me how low the level of
    discourse was for a game that is so amazingly complex.  Guide existed
    with gross errors, huge fallacies, and oversimplifications.  
      Thus I felt I had a mission to produce a high-quality (can you feel
    the pretension yet?), in-depth analysis of everything System Shock 2
    has to offer.
      I must warn you:  this is NOT a walkthrough.  If you want to find
    out where every cybermodule is, this is not the guide for you.  If you
    do want to see just how useful everything is, then by all means, this
    is for you.
      If you want to grab a hold of me, pop me an e-mail with the subject
    line beginning "SS2 FAQ: " and send it to:
    WITHOUT the underscores.  This is just to prevent auto-parsers from
    nabbing my e-mail address for SPAM.  So, the final e-mail should be
    an 8-letter word followed by
    2.  General Notes (aka What other guides won't tell you!)         [200]
      So there's a lot of basic information that most guides won't tell you
    and are fairly important to know.
    2a. Stats                                                         [210]
      Strength:  each point gives you 3 extra inventory slots, plus 
    increases melee damage.
      How much extra damage you deal with a melee weapon is determined as:
              Strength Score                  Bonus Damage
                     1                              0
                     2                              1
                     3                              2
                     4                              3
                     5                              4
                     6                              6
                     7                             10
                     8                             15
    Note that this damage is dealt after any multiplicative bonuses to
    your weapon, as otherwise it'd just be ridiculous (8 Strength with
    maxed Wrench would do absurd damage per hit).
      Endurance:  each point reduces toxin/radiation and PSI Burnout
    damage and increases Health.
      How much damage you take from toxins, radiation, and burnout is 
    determined as:
              Endurance Score              Environmental Damage
                     1                            100% 
                     2                             94%
                     3                             85%
                     4                             73%
                     5                             58%
                     6                             40%
                     7                             20%
                     8                              1%
    Normal burnout damage is 3 damage per tier of PSI that you burned
      Agility:  each point increases movement speed, fall damage 
    reduction, and reduces weapon kickback (only matters for Standard and
    Exotic Weapons).
      Movement speed is modified in the following way:
               Agility Score               Movement Speed Factor
                     1                            1.20
                     2                            1.30
                     3                            1.40
                     4                            1.50
                     5                            1.60
                     6                            1.70
                     7                            1.85
                     8                            2.00
      PSI:  each point increases PSI points and PSI effectiveness (see
    Difficulties section for PSI Points and specific PSI powers for more
    details).  For most purposes, PSI is capped at 8, although a few PSI
    Abilities (Remote Circuitry Manipulation, Molecular Transmutation,
    Advanced and regular Cerebro-Stimulated Regeneration, and Metacreative
    Barrier) count as high as 10.
      Cyber-Affinity:  each Cyber-Affinity reduces the number of ICE nodes
    during a technical task by 1 (so a Cyber-Affinity of 6 means you have
    6 less ICE nodes with which to deal) and also increases your success
    at a technical task by 5%.
    2b. Damage Bonuses                                                [220]
      Investing in weapon skills increases damage with the weapons of that
    category.  Specifically, each skill level above the minimum skill
    needed for a weapon gives you a 15% bonus per skill level.
      So, if you a have a pistol (minimum Standard Weapons 1) and have
    Standard Weapons 3, you'll have a 30% damage bonus with the pistol.
    This means that weapons that require a skill level of 6 for weapons
    will never get a damage bonus this way.
      In addition, aside from any other bonuses, the first modification
    you make to a weapon gives it a 10% bonus.  The second modification
    increases the bonus to a total of 25%.  However, melee weapons 
    cannot be modified so they can never get this bonus damage.
    2c. Difficulties                                                  [230]
      Depending on your difficulty, various things change.  The most 
    apparent is the cost in cyber modules of various abilites.  In
    addition, how your HP and PSI Points are calculated change, Replicator 
    costs change, and how frequently enemies drop loot changes.
      On Normal, abilities cost according to this table:
    Skill Level       1      2      3      4      5      6
    Tech              10     5      8      12     25     50
    Stats             -      3      8      15     30     50
    Weapon            12     6      8      15     36     50
    PSI Level         10     20     30     50     75     -
    PSI Powers        3      5      8      12     20     -
      In addition, maximum HP is 30 + 5 x Endurance.  Maximum PSI Points
    is 5 + 10 x PSI.
      On Easy, cybernetic module costs are 85% of Normal, rounding down.
    Maximum HP is 45 + 10 x Endurance.  Maximum PSI Points is 10 + 16 x
    PSI.  Furthermore, Replicator prices are 85% of Normal.
      On Hard, cybernetic module costs are 139% of Normal, rounding down.
    Maximum HP is 24 + 3 x Endurance.  Maximum PSI Points is 3 + 8 x PSI.
    Replicator prices are 125% of Normal.  In addition, enemies have a 
    30% chance of not even checking their loot tables upon death.  (So, 
    if an enemy has a 50% chance on their loot table of not dropping 
    anything, first the game checks to see if the enemy checks the loot 
    table (30%).  If the check is successful, it drops nothing.  
    Otherwise, the game checks the actual loot table (in which there's a 
    50% chance that it still won't drop anything).)
      On Impossible, cybernetic module costs are 179% of Normal, rounding
    down.  Maximum HP is a paltry 7 + 3 x Endurance.  Maximum PSI Points
    is 1 + 5 x PSI.  Replicator are 200% of normal.  Enemies have a 75% 
    chance of not even checking their loot tables upon death.
      On Multiplayer, cybernetic module costs are 139% of Normal, rounding
    down.  Maximum HP is 24 + 3 x Endurance.  Maximum PSI Points is 10 +
    16 x PSI.
    2d. Cyber Modules                                                 [240]
      This is an important point of reference for anyone who wants to 
    plan their character in advance;  there are 875 total cyber modules
    in the game.  
      Note that there are *no* cyber modules hidden within crates although
    there are still some in areas generally accessibly only by a hackable
    keypad or some such (but generally logs exist that reveal the code
    of the keypad).  So you don't have to worry too much about getting
    Hack so that you can get all the cyber modules in the game.
      Remember:  the game requires you to have Research 1 and to be able
    to hack a Replicator.  The game gives you a non-cyber-module solution
    to both by providing you with a LabAssistant implant (which gives you
    Research +1) as well as several ICE Picks (which gives you a free
    2e. Character Creation                                            [250]
      Alot of behind-the-scenes happens when you're creating a character.
    In addition, it's worth noting that not ALL paths are created equal.
    While you get bonuses for free during character creation, those same
    abilities are going to cost you hard-earned cybernetic modules once
    you board the Von Braun.  So, sometimes, when you know you're going to
    get several choices eventually, you should opt for the one that gives
    you more cybernetic modules for free, especially on Hard and Impossible
    difficulties, where the discrepency in free modules between choices
      All cybernetic module equivalences are for Normal difficulty.  
    Multiply by .85 for Easy (rounding down), 1.39 for Hard (rounding 
    down), and 1.79 for Impossible (rounding down) to get values for those 
    MARINES:  simply by choosing this path you get Standard Weapons +1 for
    free (worth 12 modules).
      Year 1:  All choices are worth 11 modules.
      Year 2:
        a) +1 Energy Weapons, +1 Cyber-Affinity:  worth 15 modules.  You
           also begin the game with a poor condition (2) Laser Pistol
           in your inventory.
        b) +1 Heavy Weapons, +1 Cyber-Affinity:  worth 15 modules.  You
           also begin the game with a poor condition (2) Grenade Launcher
           in your inventory with a full clip of Fragmentation Grenades.
        c)  +2 Standard Weapons:  worth 14 modules.
      Year 3:  All choices are worth 10 modules, but with +1 Maintenace,
           you also begin the game with a Disposable Maintenance Tool in
           your inventory.
      CONCLUSION - You can get a maximum of 48 free cybernetic modules.
    NAVY:  simply by choosing this path you get Standard Weapons +1 for
    free (worth 12 modules).
      Year 1:  All choices are worth 13 modules.
      Year 2:  
        a) +2 Cyber-Affinity:  worth 11 modules.
        b) +1 Maintenance:  worth 10 modules.  You also begin the game
           with a Disposable Maintenance Tool in your inventory.
        c) +2 Standard Weapons:  worth 14 modules.
      Year 3:
        a) +1 Research:  worth 10 modules.
        b) +2 Endurance:  worth 11 modules.
        c) +2 Agility:  worth 11 modules.
      CONCLUSION - You can get a maximum of 50 free cybernetic modules.
    OSA:  simply by choosing this path you get Tier 1 PSI for free (worth
    10 modules).  You also begin the game with a PSI Amp in your inventory.
      Year 1:  All choices are worth 26 modules.
      Year 2:
        a) +2 PSI:  worth 11 modules.
        b) +1 Research:  worth 10 modules.
        c) +2 Endurance:  worth 11 modules.
      Year 3:  All choices are worth 13 modules.
      CONCLUSION - You can get a maximum of 60 free cybernetic modules.
      In the end, the biggest difference is between Navy/Marines and the
    OSA.  This basically means that if you plan on getting PSI at some
    point in the game at all (especially the abilities offered by the OSA
    path), you should probably become an OSA.  On Impossible, this is
    18 more cybernetic modules for free over the Navy, choosing solely
    optimal paths.
      On Normal and Easy, you can afford to be "wasteful" with your
    cybernetic modules; the difference matters little in the end and plays 
    mainly into your short-run goals.  If you want to be able to research
    as soon as possible and get that 25% bonus against hybrids asap, 
    that's fine.  Or maybe you're going to get Research anyway, but you
    want +2 Endurance so you'll have better early survability.
      On Hard, you have to weigh your choices a bit more.  The difference
    can be as much 20 cyber modules (inefficient NAVY versus efficient
    OSA), which is enough to boost a stat up two levels or get a Tier 4
    PSI ability, all of which matter a whole lot more than Normal or Easy
    since you have comparatively less of them (stats and PSI).  Still,
    even here, the difference is not nearly as pronounced as Impossible,
    and it really ultimately works down to the character concept you have.
    2f. Weapon Durability                                             [260]
      Just a note: in the following weapons section, treat all durability
    as if you were rounding up for purposes of what is displayed in-game.
    That is, if you have a weapon at 9.5 durability, it'll show as "10"
    in-game.  Likewise, .9 durability is "1".
      Yes, that's right.  Durability is stored as a decimal with 3 
    digits of precision (so up to 2 decimal places).  You only get to see
    the integer part of it, but that's all you really need to know.
    3.  Standard Weapons                                              [300]
      Standard Weapons are, without a doubt, the single most powerful path
    of training you can take in System Shock 2.  With proper management of
    ammunition types (so you use the right ammo on the right enemies), 
    almost NOTHING will ever stand in your way.  Not only is it absurdly
    powerful, but it's also the easiest for which to obtain ammunition.
      In fact, you may be stunned by the lack of challenge you face in the
    end-game if you take this path.  If you want this game to be more than
    a walk in the park, I wouldn't take standard weapons past level 3
    (for shotguns).
    3a. Wrench                                                        [310]
      Prerequisites:  None
      Damage:  7 (9 with Smasher)
      Damage Type:  WeaponBash
      Assessment (4/5):  Despite not having any prerequisites, the Wrench
    is a standard weapon.  Which means if you max out Standard Weapons,
    you'll get a total of a 90% bonus to damage.  
      The Wrench will pretty much be the meat of your offense for most of
    the early game.  Dealing WeaponBash damage, it'll deal full damage
    to most everything and half damage to robots.  With certain Hard
    difficulty builds and on Impossible difficulty, this will be the 
    workhorse of your offense.
      However, its weakness is in the fact that it's so basic.  There
    are other weapons that will do better in any task you need it do to,
    although the wrench is the most cyber module-effective (in other words,
      DANGER:  The wrench does *not* damage SHODAN.  Take care to have a
    SHODAN-damaging backup weapon on hand if you plan on going all out
    with wrenching.
    3b. Pistol                                                        [320]
      Prerequisites:  Standard Weapons 1
      Damage:  Primary mode - 4, Secondary mode - 4 x 3 shots
      Damage Type:  Standard, Armor Piercing, High-Explosive
      Ammunition/Consumption:  Bullets/1 per shot, clip size of 12
      Fire Rate:  Primary mode - 2 shots/sec, Secondary mode - 3 shots 3
      Reload Time:  .5 seconds
      Projectile Speed:  Very Fast (300)
      Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                       increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breaking at
                       durability 0.0.  Loses .1 durability per shot.
      Maintenance/Repair:  1/1
      Repair Difficulty:  20 Nanite cost, Base Failure 70%, Base ICE 3.
      Modify #1:  Increases clip size (12 to 24).  Damage increased by 10%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 1 required, 20 Nanite cost, Base Failure 70%, 
                    Base ICE 2.
      Modify #2:  Reduces reload time by 2/3.  Damage bonus increased to a
                   total of 25%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 3 required, 35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 90%, 
                   Base ICE 4.
      Assessment (3/5):  Early on, this is a terrible weapon.  Ammo is
    rare and the Pistol is in fact weaker than the wrench.  Moreover, the
    Pistol degrades quite quickly, especially in the triple-shot mode.
    However, once ammo becomes more common and once you've been able to
    develop the ability to quickly switch to the appropriate types of ammo
    (Standard ammunition is not quite efficient), the Pistol becomes quite
    an effective tool for dispatching tough enemies.  Although, you should
    be able to do quite well with a wrench in most cases, though the
    Pistol is a nice way to dispatch Protocol Droids, turrets, and all
    other forms of tough monstrosities.
    3c. Shotgun                                                       [330]
      Prerequisites:  Standard Weapons 3
      Damage:  Primary mode - 8, Secondary mode - 16
      Pellet Damage:  Primary mode - 1 x 6 scattered shots, Secondary
                        mode - 2 x 6 scattered shots
      Damage Type:  Standard, High-Explosive (Pellets)
      Ammunition/Consumption:  Slugs/1 per shot, 3 per shot in secondary
                                 mode (yes, 3x ammo for 2x damage)
      Fire Rate:  Primary mode - 1 shot/sec, Secondary mode - 1 shot/sec.
      Reload Time:  Primary mode - 1 second, Secondary mode - 1.5 seconds.
      Projectile Speed:  Very Fast (300)
      Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                       increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breaking at
                       durability 0.0.  Loses .1 durability per shot.
      Maintenance/Repair:  2/3
      Repair Difficulty:  35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 85%, Base ICE 4.
      Modify #1:  Cuts reload time by 2/3.  Damage increased by 10%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 1 required, 25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 75%,
                    Base ICE 3.
      Modify #2:  Cuts kickback by 2/3.  Damage bonus increased to a total
                    of 25%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 3 required, 40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 100%,
                    Base ICE 5.
      Assessment (4/5):  Shotgun ammunition is plentiful (just make sure
    to unload the shotguns found off Shotgun Hybrids).  It's not really
    necessary to upgrade from the Pistol until you start facing off 
    against harder enemies than just Hybrids and Monkeys (so maybe once 
    you hit Operations deck).  
      Using Pellets isn't terribly effective since the ammo, instead of
    doing one shot of 6, it deals a scatter of 6 shots of 1 damage each.
    So, you have to be quite close to the target, otherwise you'll only
    hit a target marginally, although this has the side effect of
    giving a small area of effect spread.
      However, at best, the Shotgun is a way to transition from the Pistol
    to the Assault Rifle.  When the Pistol starts getting too weak, the
    Shotgun keeps your damage level up while you can re-stockpile ammo
    for the Assault Rifle.
    3d. Assault Rifle                                                 [340]
      Prerequisites:  Standard Weapons 6, Strength 2
      Damage:  Primary mode - 10, Secondary mode - 10 (Full auto)
      Damage Type:  Standard, High-Explosive, Armor Piercing
      Ammunition/Consumption:  Bullets/1 per shot, clip size of 36.
      Fire Rate:  Primary Mode - 2 shots/sec, Secondary Mode - nonstop
                    cascade of 10 shots/sec.
      Reload Time:  1 second
      Projectile Speed:  Very Fast (300)
      Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                       increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breakign at
                       durability 0.0.  Loses .05 durability per shot.
      Maintenance/Repair:  4/4
      Repair Difficulty:  25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 100%, Base ICE 5.
      Modify #1:  Reduces reload time by 2/3.  Damage increased by 10%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 2 required, 40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 85%,
                    Base ICE 4.
      Modify #2:  Increases clip size (36 to 72).  Damage bonus increased
                    to a total of 25%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 4 required, 60 Nanite cost, Base Failure 110%,
                    Base ICE 6.
      Assessment (5/5):  *The* most powerful weapon in the game.  Period.
    Ammunition is plentiful (and available since the beginning of the 
    game).  As long as you use the right type of ammuntion (again,
    Standard isn't terribly efficient), you should be able to mow through
    enemies easily.  Rumblers will fall in five quick shots WITHOUT ANY
      You should never have to use the secondary mode, since it offers
    very little bonus except a temporarily heightened damage per second
    rate.  Maybe if you've got three Rumblers charging at you, this'll
    be your best bet for surviving the fight and ending it quickly.
      On Impossible mode, despite however expensive it is to get this
    skill, it's almost definitely worth it.  Unlike the Grenade Launcher,
    ammunition is available freely without having to resort to Replicators,
    and it's the cheapest to duplicate (even not using Molecular 
    Duplication).  Plus, it makes your wrench all that much more powerful 
    in the process.
    4.  Energy Weapons                                                [400]
      Energy Weapons, like Exotic Weapons, are highly specialized.  They
    focus on doing massive damage to robotic creations (most of them do
    Energy, which does double damage against robots, but half damage 
    against organic and semi-organic creatures).  Unfortunately, Mechanical
    and Robotic enemies are much less frequent then organic creatures.
    However, this is made up for by the fact that ammunition for Energy
    Weapons is essentially infinite, since you can instantly recharge all
    of them by visiting a Charger.  If you're not near one, you can just
    use a Portable Battery or Electron Cascade (PSI power) to buy yourself
      More than anyother weapons category, Energy Weapons benefit from a
    high Maintenance.  Maintenance increases the maximum charge that can
    be stored by 10 per Maintenance, which is hugely significant.  The
    last thing that you want to happen is to run out of charge in the
    middle of a fight.
    RIFLE.  It is remotely possible with just a lasier rapier, but close
    to impossible with just a laser pistol (unless you do a *lot* of 
    nimble footwork and backtracking to the recharge station... which 
    becomes impossible after a certain point).
    4a. Laser Pistol                                                  [410]
      Prerequisites:  Energy Weapons 1
      Damage:  Primary Mode - 2, Secondary Mode - 12
      Damage Type:  Energy
      Ammunition/Consumption:  Energy/Primary Mode - 3 units, Secondary
                                 Mode - 20 units.  Storage capacity 100 
                                 (plus Maintenance bonuses).
      Fire Rate:  Primary Mode - 3 shots/sec, Secondary Mode - 1 shot
                    per 3 seconds.
      Reload Time:  n/a (can't reload; recharge at a Recharge Station)
      Projectile Speed:  Fast (100)
      Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                       increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breaking at 
                       durability 0.0.  Loses .05 durability per shot.
      Maintenance/Repair:  1/1
      Repair Difficulty:  25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 75%, Base ICE 3.
      Modify #1:  Increase storage capacity by 50% (stacks on top of
                    Maintenance bonuses).  Damage increased by 10%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 2 required, 20 Nanite cost, Base Failure 75%,
                    Base ICE 2.
      Modify #2:  Decreases energy consumption by 33% (rounding down).
                    Damage bonus increased to a total of 25%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 4 required, 35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 95%,
                    Base ICE 4.
      Assessment (2/5):  The Laser Pistol isn't that great of a weapon.
    Its Primary Mode is weaker than the Pistol (which is already weaker
    than a Wrench).  Its Primary damage is so low that any bonuses you
    get from Weapons skill, Modify, or OS Upgrades basically make no
    impact whatsoever in your kill power.  
      Its overdrive mode (Secondary Mode) is, however, much better
    if slightly inefficient.  It'll be a fast way to deal with robotic
    creatures or if you're in a hurry to take down a turret.
      Otherwise, the Laser Pistol is primarily for taking out Protocol
    Droids, Cameras, and for doing the finishing touch on exploding
    Robots.  Maybe if you've got no other choice, you can use it to take
    out turrets.  The Laser Pistol, however, does make up for all these
    deficiencies by being very sturdy (twice so than the Pistol) and
    having almost limitless (essentially free) ammunition.
      It's interesting to note, though, that once you get 6 Energy
    Weapons, both Modifications, and Sharpshooter OS upgrade, that
    piddling initial 2 damage becomes somewhat effective due to the high
    rate of fire and the efficiency of ammuntion.  Plus, that 12 damage
    from overdrive mode has become a serious damage dealer (and not *that*
    inefficient with 6 Maintenance and the suitable Modification).  Still,
    that's a lot of ifs, and it's still nothing compared to a properly
    loaded Pistol.
      Remember:  Energy does half damage against Spiders and PSI Reavers,
    but double damage against all fully mechanical things.
    4b. Laser Rapier                                                  [420]
      Prerequisites:  Energy Weapons 4, Agility 3
      Damage:  11 (14 with Smasher)
      Damage Type:  Energy
      Assessment (4/5):  The Laser Rapier is a VERY powerful weapon.  It's
    easily and quickly accessible (as early as Engineering).  It deals
    huge amounts of damage so that you can still use it against fully 
    organic targets to good effect.  When you come up against a robotic
    target, you can take them down *lightning* fast.
      Its shortcoming is that it's not as universally useful as either
    the Wrench or the Crystal Shard (or for that matter, the PSI Sword).
    If you do plan on going dedicatedly melee, this should be, at best,
    just a short stop on the way to the Crystal Shard (and you might
    just be better off skipping it completely for Cybernetic Module
    efficiency).  In addition, because the Laser Rapier is at level 4
    of your Energy Weapons, you'll only get a 30% bonus to its damage
    from maxing out Energy Weapons, versus 90% and 75% for the Wrench
    and Crystal Shard, respectively (a maxed out Laser Rapier still out-
    damages a maxed out Wrench, all things being equal).
      So, all this makes the Laser Rapier the second-best melee weapon in
    the game.  Where does it fit in?  Melee builds can skip this over.
    PSI builds (aside from pure PSI builds) can use this, since this gives
    the PSI user a great answer to robotic creatuers until the EMP Rifle
    becomes available, and it also becomes a replacement for a Wrench.
    Unless it complements your build, don't go out of your way to get this,
    but if it does, it's a very strong weapon.
      NOTE:  The Laser Rapier has a larger range than the Wrench.  It also
    has a slightly different sweep, so be sure to adjust your melee-ing
      SECOND NOTE:  It is a special distinction that the Laser Rapier is
    the only non-PSI melee weapon taht can damage SHODAN (provided you've
    lowered her shields so that you can jump onto her support platform).
    4c. EMP Rifle                                                     [430]
      Prerequisites:  Energy Weapons 6
      Damage:  Primary Mode - 10 (Area of Effect of radius 10 ft), 
                 Secondary Mode - 15 (Area of Effect of radius 15 ft)
      Damage Type:  EMP
      Ammunition/Consumption:  Energy/Primary Mode - 2 units, Secondary 
                                 Mode - 20 units.  Storage capacity 100
                                 (plus Maintenance bonuses).
      Fire Rate:  2.5 shots/sec.
      Reload Time:  n/a (can't reload; recharge at a Recharge Station)
      Projectile Speed:  Medium (70)
      Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                       increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breaking at
                       durability 0.0.  Loses .15 durability per shot.
      Maintenance/Repair:  6/2
      Repair Difficulty:  35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 95%, Base ICE 4.
      Modify #1:  Increases storage capacity by 50% (stacks on top of
                    Maintenance bonuses).  Damage increased by 10%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 3 required, 25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 80%,
                    Base ICE 3.
      Modify #2:  Decreases energy consumption by 50%.  Increases 
                    projectile speed by 50%.  Damage bonus increased to a
                    total of 25%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 5 required, 40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 100%,
                    Base ICE 5.
      Assessment (4/5):  At first glance it seems like the EMP Rifle is a
    very inferior version of an Assault Rifle.  EMP damage hurts ONLY
    robotic and mechanical creatures and doesn't do a thing to organic
    creatures.  However, there is no kickback (kickback is only for
    Standard and Exotic Weapons), so any frantic firing can be done with
    precision.  In addition, the Secondary Mode can easily deal with
    clumps of powerful robots and does massive damage, due to its massive
    kill spread.  Moreover, the rifle is powered by charge, ammo is
    essentially limitless and free - not only that, but with the second
    upgrade and judicious use of the Normal mode of firing (you'll rarely
    ever need the secondary mode's Overdrive), this weapon is *very*
    efficient compared to its damage potential (240 shots before needing a
    recharge?! wow!).
      However, it does nothing whatsoever to fully organic enemies.  Good
    for multiplayer friendly fire cases, but this makes the Energy
    Weapons' main weakness even more painfully clear.  Second, it's rare
    for tough robots to cluster (when was the last time you fought two or
    more Assault Bots at once, and how close were they to each other?), so
    the Secondary Mode is limited to just a high-damage mode most of the
    time, though it also means you can be less precise with aiming.  In
    addition, you need a Maintenace of 6 just to fix this baby, but if
    you're going full Energy Weapons, you might as well max out your
    Maintenance anyway to get full benefit out of your weapons.
      To sum it up, as long as you know the weaknesses of the Energy
    Weapons, you won't be disappointed with this final-tier weapon.
    Anything remotely mechanical will die so insanely quickly that you
    won't even have time to blink.
    5.  Heavy Weapons                                                 [500]
      Heavy Weapons are hard hitting.  If Standard Weapons are agile,
    mobile, and precise, Heavy Weapons are the opposite.  However, like
    Standard Weapons, alot of the power for Heavy Weapons comes in knowing
    when to use the right ammo at the right time, but even moreso, since
    each weapon carries a special task.
      At first blush, ammunition for Heavy Weapons seems terribly rare.
    Grenades are expensive and generally are found in small clips.  When
    you first start getting Prisms and have an unmodified Stasis Field
    Generator, it seems like you're doomed to go through them at an insane
    rate.  But, with proper management, you'll realize that you won't
    actually need that many grenades (due to the sheer power of the
    Grenade Launcher).  Plus, with limited use of the Stasis Field
    Generator and early, aggressive moves to bring both the Stasis Field
    Generator and the Fusion Cannon to modification level 2, you'll find
    yourself actually hard-pressed to use up all the Prisms you'll start
    tripping over in later areas.
      There are really two ways to approach the Heavy Weapons mindset.  In
    one, the Grenade Launcher is the star, a high-power weapon capable of
    dealing with any threat, and the rest just there to supplement
    specific needs.  In the other, the Fusion Cannon is your cureall, with
    the Grenade Launcher there to deal with very specialized targets (and
    very well at that).  It's probably best to decide on an approach early
    on, so you can better utilize the ammunition you'll be coming across.
    5a. Grenade Launcher                                              [510]
      Prerequisites:  Heavy Weapons 1
      Damage:  20 (Fragmentation), 10 (EMP/Proximity), 15 (Incendiary)
                 35 (Disruption) (all with Area of Effect of radius 10 ft, 
                 Disruption with an Area of Effect of radius 5 ft)
      Damage Type:  Fragmentation/Disruption/Proximity - Standard, 
                      EMP - EMP, Incendiary - Incendiary
      Ammunition/Consumption:  Grenades/1 per shot, clip size of 8.
      Fire Rate:  1 shot/sec.
      Reload Time:  1 second.
      Projectile Speed:  Medium (80)
      Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                       increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breaking at
                       durability 0.0.  Loses .1 durability per shot.
      Maintenance/Repair:  2/2
      Repair Difficulty:  40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 75%, Base ICE 3.
      Modify #1:  Increases clip size (6 to 9).  Damage increased by
                    100% for some grenades [sic].
      Difficulty:  Modify 1 required, 25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 75%,
                    Base ICE 2.
      Modify #2:  Increases projectile speed by 50%.  Reload time reduced
                    by 2/3.  Damage bonus increased to a total of 128%
                    for some grenades [sic].
      Difficulty:  Modify 3 required, 35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 110%,
                    Base ICE 4.
      Assessment (5/5):  This weapon rocks.  It starts off strong and
    keeps getting better.  In addition, a 60% bonus thanks to a maxed out
    Heavy Weapons skill means you completely demolish enemies with its
    wide array of grenade types.  In Primary Mode, grenades explode on
    contact, in Secondary Mode, grenades bounce around for a while before
    exploding (or arming).
      However, it's very difficult to decide when to actually use it; the
    ammunition, while not as rare as, say, Worms, is rare in any given
    type.  So, while you may be carrying 50 grenades, 10 might be Frags,
    10 EMP, etc.  The Area of Effect also doesn't really come into play
    until the later sections of the game when enemies are more clustered.
      That aside, as long as you can use the right ammo for the right job
    (and unlike Standard Weapons, the normal Frag, and later Disruption
    grenades are good all-purpose weapons) you will positively demolish
    enemies to smithereens with the greatest of ease.  Even if you don't
    plan on using the Fusion Cannon, this weapon still makes it worth
    getting 6 in Heavy Weapons.
      As an aside, Proximity Grenades aren't very good for setting up
    traps.  They have the annoying tendency to go off while the enemies
    are still out of range (though it depends on the enemy).  My preferred
    use for them is as cheap, weaker versions of Fragmentation Grenades,
    well suited for taking out a cluster of grubs, hybrids, or baby
    arachnids, as Proximity Grenades that hit dead on explode normally.
      NOTE:  There is a glitch (or feature) whereby the first
    modification of the Grenade Launcher increases damage by 100%, not
    10%.  This means, with all bonuses, a single Frag grenade can one-shot
    about anything save for Rumblers.  There is another glitch in which
    Disruption Grenades do not get bonuses, which is in a way good for
    game balance, considering the first glitch, since a fully upgraded
    shot with a Disruption Grenade will one-shot anything in the game.
    5b. Stasis Field Generator                                        [520]
      Prerequisites:  Heavy Weapons 3, Strength 3
      Damage:  Primary Mode - Stasis Freeze, Secondary Mode - Stasis Freeze
                 (Area of Effect of radius 10 ft).
      Damage Type:  Stasis Freeze
      Ammunition/Consumption:  Prisms/Primary Mode - 4 prisms, Secondary
                                 Mode - 8 prisms, clip size of 12.
      Fire Rate:  5 shots/sec.
      Reload Time:  Instantaneous
      Projectile Speed:  Medium (70)
      Breakability:  At durability 2.0, will have a 1% chance of breaking,
                       increasing linearly to a 10% chance of breaking at
                       durability 0.0.  Loses .2 durabilty per shot.
      Maintenance/Repair:  3/6
      Repair Difficulty:  60 Nanite cost, Base Failure 105%, Base ICE 4.
      Modify #1:  Increases projectile speed by 100%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 2 required, 25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 90%,
                    Base ICE 3.
      Modify #2:  Reduces prism consumption by 50%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 4 required, 40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 115%,
                    Base ICE 5.
      Assessment (2/5, Multiplayer 3/5):  Unlike every other weapon, this
    actually deals no damage.  Instead, it stuns an enemy and holds them
    in place for a few seconds, giving you time to prepare another attack
    or just to run away.  The Secondary Mode consumes more prisms but
    grants an area of effect, allowing you to freeze several enemeis in
      There are a few times when this might be useful; highly agile Cyborg
    Assassins messing with you, a group of Rumblers are chasing you down,
    etc.  Its duration is similar to a really low PSI Electron
    Suppression, but paired with a quick switch a Grenade Launcher or
    Fusion Cannon, it could be all the time you need to dispatch a mass of
    enemies.  Plus, with both modifications, for limited use its prism
    consumption is pretty frugal.
      Ultimately, though, it tends to work solely for emergencies (like
    the aforementioned example of running into a group of Cyborg
    Assassins).  Unfortunately because of this, it's so specialized in
    when you'll need it, that you'll rarely be busting it out.  Moreover,
    by virtue of how good the Grenade Launcher can be, you may end up
    better off shooting a suitable Grenade instead.
      A special note for multiplayer:  this actually becomes quite a good
    support weapon.  This won't stun your friends, so you can use it to
    freeze monsters and let them do the dirty work without worrying about
    accidentally killing off your friends with a grenade or fusion blast.
      NOTE:  PSI Reavers seem to be immune to this weapon.
    5c. Fusion Cannon                                                 [530]
      Prerequisities:  Heavy Weapons 6, Strength 4
      Damage:  Normal Mode - 20 (Area of Effect of radius 10 ft), 
                 Death Mode - 30 (Area of Effect of radius 12 ft).
      Damage Type:  Energy
      Ammunition/Consumption:  Prisms/Both Modes - 2 Prisms, clip size of
      Fire Rate:  Normal Mode - 1 shot/sec, Death Mode - 1 shot/2 secs.
      Reload Time:  .2 seconds
      Projectile Speed:  Primary Mode - Slow (60), Secondary Mode - Very
                           Slow (24).
      Breakability:  At durability 2.0, will have a 1% chance of breaking,
                       increasing linearly to a 10% chance of breaking at
                       durability 0.0.  Loses .2 durability per shot.
      Maintenance/Repair:  3/4
      Repair Difficulty:  40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 100%, Base ICE 5.
      Modify #1:  Increase clip size from 40 to 80.  Damage increases by
      Difficulty:  Modify 4 required, 35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 85%,
                    Base ICE 4.
      Modify #2:  Reduces ammo consumption by 50%.  Damage bonus increases
                    to a total of 25%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 6 required, 50 Nanite cost, Base Failure 115%,
                    Base ICE 6.
      Assessment (4/5):  *This* is your final weapon?  Considering how
    much ass the Grenade Launcher is kicking at this point, you have to
    seriously wonder what role this even plays into your arsenal.  The
    projectiles are very slow (ridiculously slow in Secondary Mode) and
    the damage type is Energy, which means it's best against robots (and
    pretty ineffective against PSI Reavers and Arachnids).
      However, then you realize that, compared to the other Prism guzzler,
    the Fusion Cannon is *very* efficient - only 1 Prism per shot if
    you've got the second modification done.  And this is done regardless
    of whether you're using Normal or Death.  Moreover, even if Death mode
    is really slow, it has a massive kill spread, so you can afford to be
    relatively loose with the aiming, and it's well suited for taking out
    slower moving robots, PSI Reaver projections, and stationary turrets.
    I would pretty much argue that Death mode should be your default when
    using this, switching only to Normal if you need a fast fire rate
    (like to hit multiple, spaced out targets quickly).
      This ends up meaning that even though the Grenade Launcher is a much
    more powerful weapon (being pretty much able to one-shot anything
    short of a Rumbler at this point), the Fusion Cannon may end up
    serving as your all purpose workhorse for situations when you couldn't
    spare a (comparatively much more rare and expensive) grenade.  Prisms,
    if you've been consuming them extensively with an unmodified Stasis
    Field Generator, are in short supply.  But if you're frugal and
    diligent early on, you'll end up with so many Prisms to fuel your
    Fusion Cannon that you'll probably never actually have to buy any
    (except maybe on higher difficulties).  In situations that you'd have
    never wasted a grenade (like a random Cyborg Midwife), you suddenly
    have an efficient and effective weapon at your disposal.  In fact,
    short of really bad late game threats, you may just end up feeling
    more comfortable using this weapon over the Grenade Launcher, due to
    its sheer efficiency for a Heavy Weapon.  Just remember that you
    yourself will take double damage from the area of effect, so a
    misplaced Death blast will wipe you out.
    6.  Exotic Weapons                                                [600]
      Exotic Weapons are the reverse of Energy Weapons - specializing in
    dealing with organic targets.  This inherently makes Exotic Weapons
    more powerful since organic targets are much more frequent than robotic
    targets.  However, more than any other weapons category, Exotic Weapons
    balances out any power with massive amounts of risk vs reward.  At
    its most powerful settings, you can easily kill yourself.  Ammunition
    is rare (until you learn Molecular Duplication).  The projectile
    weapons suffer from massive degradation per fire, break much easier,
    and have painfully massive kickback (although you'll soon see kickback
    doesn't matter *too* much for Exotic Weapons).
      Continuing with the idea of being the reverse of Energy Weapons, 
    Exotic Weapons require Research (as opposed to Maintenance) to be
    used at all.  In fact, this is the only reason you'll ever need to take
    Research up to 6 (although you can "cheat" and get it up to 5 and use
    a LabAssistant implant).
      Ammunition comes in the form of Worms.  To get them, find
    small or large beakers and drag them over a pile of worms that you
    may come across, and you'll automatically get a sample of them.  As
    far as I can tell, no replicator sells beakers.  If you're seriously
    considering making extensive use of the Viral Proliferator and
    Annelid Launcher, I *highly* recommend getting the Tier 3 Molecular
    Duplication PSI ability, as otherwise you have no way of "purchasing"
    more Worms (no Replicators sell beakers).  With Molecular Duplication,
    you can use it on a collection of worms you have in your inventory
    to create five more worms for 120 Nanites.
    SHARD.  You *must* have an alternative weapon (be it Cryokinesis or 
    just a Pistol) if you want to beat the game.
    6a. Crystal Shard                                                 [610]
      Prerequisites:  Exotic Weapons 1, Research 4 (Yttrium)
      Damage:  12 (27 with Smasher)
      Damage Type:  WeaponBash
      Assessment (5/5):  The Crystal Shard is the ultimate melee weapon.
    You may think that it's only slightly better than the Laser Rapier,
    and even that's under dispute since the Laser Rapier can deal double
    damage to certain enemies.  However, since the Crystal Shard is only
    a level 1 weapon, you can get a 75% damage bonus, versus the Laser
    Rapier's 30%, if you max out the Weapon Skill.  
      Like the wrench, the Crystal Shard works equally well against
    everything, except against robots, in which case it'll do half damage.
    Be warned that for some strange reason, the Crystal Shard does not
    damage SHODAN.  Yeah, you read that right.  It does kaput.
      Otherwise, the Crystal Shard is one of the best weapons you can
    have.  Even if you never plan on using any of the other Exotic
    Weapons, with all the damage bonuses from weapons skills, the Crystal
    Shard can absolutely demolish, especially when combined with a high
    Strength and Adrenaline Overproduction.
      The Crystal Shard has a wierd quirk about it.  First of all, it
    technically deals only 15 damage with Smasher, but the Crystal Shard
    deals both normal and Smasher damage with a Smasher attack (for a
    total 27).  Second of all, you get *twice* your strength damage bonus
    to the Crystal Shard per swing (see endnote 1).
      NOTE:  The Crystal Shard has the longest range of all the non-PSI
    melee weapons (roughly similar to the PSI Sword).  It also has a
    dramatically different sweep (it tends to hit targets dramatically
    better to the left of the targetting cursor).  Adjust melee strategy
    6b.  Viral Proliferator                                           [620]
      Prerequisites:  Exotic Weapons 4, Research 3 (Technetium, Tellurium)
      Damage:  15 (Area of Effect of radius 10 ft).
      Damage Type:  Primary Mode - Anti-Annelid, Secondary Mode - Anti-
      Ammunition/Consumption:  Worms/2 per shot, clip size of 8.
      Fire Rate:  5 shots/sec.
      Reload Time:  Instantaneous
      Projectile Speed:  Slow (50).
      Breakability:  At durability 2.5, will have a 1% chance of breaking,
                       increasing linearly to a 10% chance of breaking at
                       durability 0.0.  Loses .3 durability per shot.
      Maintenance/Repair:  4/4
      Repair Difficulty:  50 Nanite cost, Base Failure 115%, Base ICE 6.
      Modify #1:  Increases clip size (8 to 18).  Damage increased by 10%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 3 required, 50 Nanite cost, Base Failure 95%,
                    Base ICE 5.
      Modify 2:  Reduces worms used per shot (2 to 1).  Damage bonus 
                   increased from 10% to a 25% bonus.
      Difficulty:  Modify 5 required, 75 Nanite cost, Base Failure 125%,
                    Base ICE 7.
      Assessment (3/5):  First off, the Viral Proliferator fires very
    differently from all other weapons.  If you just click the fire button,
    it'll explode right in your face.  Instead, once you press down the
    fire button, you'll launch a projectile, and when you release the fire
    button, the projectile will explode wherever it is.  
      This odd way of firing has its strengths and weaknesses.  There is
    no cooldown (like the EMP Rifle), so if you're on the Anti-Annelid
    setting, you can fire this willy-nilly at point blank range and destroy
    anything nearby.  Unlike the Grenade Launcher, this precision aiming
    will allow you to control exactly where you want the projectile to
    explode, possibly taking out several enemies from quite a distance away
    (since the projectile keeps going until you detonate it or it runs
    into something).  On the other hand, this form of aiming is difficult
    to get the hang of, and if you do, it's ultimately a much slower way
    of firing at anything at a relatively significant distance.
      That aside, you load the thing up with worms (which you get by using
    Beakers on those piles of worms you see everywhere).  Then, you set
    the setting (much like you change firing modes) to either Anti-Annelid
    or Anti-Human.  With the right aiming, you'll be able to demolish the
    majority of enemies in the game, although really you'll be hard-pressed
    to waste the precious ammo on Hybrids or Monkeys.  Also, be warned that
    accidentally letting an Anti-Human blast go off right near you will
    almost assuredly grant instant death.
      Furthermore, each shot degrades the weapon *insanely* fast.  Plus,
    it has a chance of breaking much earlier compared to other weapons.
    In addition, the kickback is atrocious.  However, if you can master 
    all these risks, then Spiders, Rumblers, PSI Reavers, and the like 
    stand no chance against you.  Especially if they clump up.
      Remember:  Anti-Annelid will do 4x damage to anything purely 
    Annelid and 1x to generic organic targets.  Anti-Human does the same, 
    except for humans, but also dealing 2x damage to partially human 
    targets.  However, remember that you yourself are the only pure human 
    in the game, so watch out for that explosion.  Moreover, despite their 
    appearances, Rumblers are actually half-human.
    6c. Annelid Launcher (aka Worm Launcher)                          [630]
      Prerequisites:  Exotic Weapons 6, Research 6 (Molybdenum, Selenium)
      Damage:  Primary Mode - 25 (Area of Effect of radius 7 ft), Secondary
                 Mode - 25 (Area of Effect of radius 5 ft).
      Damage Type:  Primary Mode - Anti-Annelid, Secondary Mode - Anti-
      Ammunition/Consumption:  Worms/4 per shot, clip size of 8.
      Fire Rate:  5 shots/sec.
      Reload Time:  Instantaneous
      Projectile Speed:  Very Slow (25).
      Breakability:  At durability 2.5, will have a 1% chance of breaking,
                       increasing linearly to a 10% chance of breaking at
                       durability 0.0.  Loses .3 durability per shot.
      Maintenance/Repair:  4/5
      Repair Difficulty:  35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 110%, Base ICE 5.
      Modify #1:  Increases clip size (8 to 18).  Damage increased by 10%.
      Difficulty:  Modify 2 required, 50 Nanite cost, Base Failure 95%,
                    Base ICE 5.  
      Modify #2:  Increases projectile speed by 100%.  Damage bonus
                   increased from 10% to a 25% bonus.
      Difficulty:  Modify 4 required, 75 Nanite cost, Base Failure 125%,
                    Base ICE 7.
      Assessment (4/5):  Holy crap!  This weapon is powerful.  First off,
    unlike every other weapon in the game, the projectiles of this weapon
    *home*.  And no, you don't have some funky firing mechanism like the
    Viral Proliferator.  There is a cooldown, but for god's sake it HOMES.
    Meaning as long as the enemy was somewhere in your sight when you
    fired it, this baby will seek it out and hit it (with a nice explosion
    at that).  Which means you can pull off neat tricks, especially in the
    Body of the Many, where you're just running past enemies, only turning
    to fire off a shot, later hearing a satisfying "RAAAGHR!" as the
    homing projectile took out a PSI Reaver.
      Look at those damage numbers.  Against a pure, Annelid target,
    you'll do 4x normal damage, which is a base of 100 damage.  143 with
    Sharpshooter and both Modifications, and that still doesn't count the
    25% bonus from researching organs.  That's simply ridiculous.  This
    means you can one-shot all but one PSI Reaver in the game (there is a
    Greater PSI Reaver, which will take 2 shots to take down).
      Risk vs reward.  A misfire while in Anti-Human mode guarantees
    death.  The weapon degrades insanely quickly and breaks very easily.
    The kickback is atrocious, although you don't need to reaim too
    precisely with a homing device.  On the one hand, the lack of a firing
    mechanism like the Viral Proliferator means you don't have as much
    control over the explosion, but on the other hand you can spam willy-
    nilly those *HOMING* shots.  Deal with all the risks and your reward
    is becoming a virtual nuclear weapon against all things organic.
      WARNING:  The Annelid Launcher's *massive* worm consumption rate
    means not only that you should hoard worms beforehand and make
    extensive use of Molecular Duplication, but also limit its use to PSI
    Reavers and clusters of Rumblers.  In addition, the Annelid Launcher
    DOES NOT HOME on the protective nodes around the Brain of the Many, so
    make sure to either have the Viral Proliferator on hand or another
    backup weapon.
      NOTE:  A good strategy is to have both the Viral Proliferator and
    Annelid Launcher on hand.  Save the latter for insta-killing PSI
    reavers and for swarms of spiders, and maybe if you're dealing with
    multiple Rumblers at a time.  Use the former for any other organic
    target, as the Viral Proliferator is *very* efficient for its ammo
    use.  Also because you'll need an alternate weapon for reasons
    described above.
    7.  Technical Skills                                              [700]
      As a general rule, for tasks involving "success," each level of a
    technical skill reduces the difficulty (chance of failure) by 10%, 
    each level of software reduces the difficulty by 10%, and each CYB
    reduces the number of ICE Nodes by 1 and redues the difficulty by 5%.
    Be warned:  Hacking Software and any inherent Hack/CYB do *not* factor
    in to the difficulty reduction when using Remote Circuitry
    Modify:  Modify is an interesting skill in that it's usefulness
      correlates completely to the number of players in a game.  In a
      Single Player game, there are enough French-Epstein devices that,
      with proper weapon maintenance and prioritization, you will never
      need to pick this skill up (for example, there's no need to modify a
      Pistol when you'll eventually be getting the Assault Rifle) - though
      this is less true on higher difficulties where you'll run into less.
      However, in Multiplayer games, the number of F-E devices is split up
      between each player, which reduces the number each player gets,
      especially when you consider four players in a game (which
      translates into roughly one F-E device per player).
        This means that in a Multiplayer game, someone is going to have to
      pick this up.  Likewise, it starts making Tinker a more attractive
      OS upgrade since not only are Nanites more sparse since they are
      effectively split between players, but also using up Nanites on
      modifications is a painful sinkhole.
    Repair:  An interesting ability that generally is considered
      worthless.  On the one hand, picking this up means you can get
      (many) weapons much earlier in the game, like Shotguns, Laser
      Pistols, or Grenade Launchers.  This also means you can repair some
      keypads and Replicators, though most Replicators aren't worth the
      effort and most keypads have a workaround.  Unfortunately, in most
      cases, getting a weapon earlier doesn't mean too much since at those
      points in the game they're not easily maintainable and well supplied
      with ammunition at the time.
        In addition, if you have a high maintenance, you'll never ever
      need to worry about good repair.
        Then again, having a good repair *will* mean you can get those
      weapons early.  Which is nice because getting a Fusion Cannon early
      can be wonders since you've already started stocking up on prisms.
      And having a good repair means you don't have to worry about the
      nanite cost spent on maintenance tools, since you can just repair
      anything that breaks... although it's bad if a weapon breaks in the
      midst of combat (hint: keep a wrench handy).  Unfortunately, you
      don't get any good side effects like Maintenance, and, unlike
      French- Epstein devices, Autorepair units are far more common.
        Like Modify, Repair becomes more valuable in multiplayer.  There
      are less Nanites and less Maintenance tools to go around, so
      repairing may become inevitable.
    Maintenance:  Very good.  How high you take it is a different issue,
      since only the EMP Rifle requires a Maintenance higher than a 4 to
      maintain.  The most immediate result of having a higher Maintenance
      is to increase the efficiency of your Disposable Maintenance Tools,
      although this is highly subject to diminishing returns.  (Restoring
      a weapon's condition by 2 instead of 1 is a much larger gain than
      the difference between a recovery of 6 instead of 5.)
        In addition, if you have a good repair, you'll never ever need to
      worry about good maintenance.
        However, the secondary effect of Maintenance is that it increases
      the maximum Energy you can store in Implants, Powered Armor, and
      Energy Weapons, equal to an extra 10 per Maintenance Level.  If you
      don't have Electron Cascade (a PSI ability), this GREATLY increases
      the effectiveness of the very quickly draining Power Armor, reduces
      the trips you have to make to a charger, and extends the efficiency
      of your Portable Batteries.  If you DO have Electron Cascade, it
      then greatly increases the efficiency of the PSI power, although
      this is highly subjected to diminishing returns as well.
        The short of it, though, is that unless you go the Energy Weapons
      route, it's hardly ever worth it in Hard or Impossible to go past 4.
    Hacking:  The most useful technical skill.  Even if you somehow (by
      use of Anti-Entropic Field) make a PSI Hybrid that never uses
      Maintenance, unless you make a dedicated PSI or a PSI Hybrid with
      the emphasis on the "PSI" part and get Remote Circuitry
      Manipulation, you probably will want to get this.
        True, you don't *need* it.  There is a game-crucial moment when
      you need to Hack, but there are ICE Picks for that.  And despite the
      niceness of loot in security crates, you can use an ICE Pick on the
      occasional high security crate if you so choose.
        However, being able to disable security (level 1), hack ubiquitous
      mundane security crates (level 2), replicators (level 3), and
      turrets of all sorts (level 4) brings about a level of advantage
      that cannot be disputed.  There are many builds that can live
      without it, but why would you?  Even just a Hacking of 4 is
      relatively affordable on non-Impossible difficulties and it adds so
      much to your survivability that it's too hard to deny.
        Do note that if you hack a turret that is right next to another, 
      both will immediately open and fire at each other, even if security is
      disabled.  If you want and are able, you can toss a Hazard Suit in
      between them (doesn't work for Laser Turrets Mk II due to their 
      ceiling placement) so that you can hack the other turret in the mean
      time, since the Hazard Suit is large enough to block fire.
        As for a Hack of 6, the only two things in the game that require a
      Hack of 6 are High Security Crates and your MFD Player.  There are
      only three High Security Crates and their loot is very specialized
      (if nice considering they come from one source):  one contains a
      Fusion Cannon, 20 Prisms, and a WormBlood implant; another a MedKit,
      2 Large Beakers, 6 EMP Grenades, and 41 Nanites; the other contains
      an Anti-Radiation Hypo, a WormMind implant, and 82 Nanites.  It's
      nothing you might not be able to get elsewhere (though without
      Repair or PSI Pull, it's the only other source for a Fusion Cannon),
      so if you don't need the loot or the extra 20% chance of success,
      you don't need to go higher than Hack 4.
        Hacking your MFD player will make available all games and give 
      you a very nice start in Overworld Zero:  you'll begin the game
      with a Potion and a Spell (click on the star and in a direction, and
      you'll fire a very powerful weapon, just remember that it's single-
        Hacking becomes much more effective in Impossible as there is a huge
      disparity between how high unhacked Replicator prices are and how low
      hacked Replicator prices are.  For example, a Med hypo costs 60 

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