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System Shock
Sysshock.jpg
Re-release boxart
Developer(s) Looking Glass Studios
Publisher(s) Origin Systems/Electronic Arts
Designer(s) Doug Church
Composer(s) Greg LoPiccolo
Tim Ries
Engine Enhanced Underworld engine
Platform(s) DOS, Macintosh
Release date(s) March 26, 1994[1]
Genre(s) Action role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) ESRB: M
USK: 16+
ELSPA: 15+
Media CD-ROM, Floppy disks
Input methods Keyboard, Mouse, Joystick

System Shock is an action role-playing game developed by Looking Glass Technologies and published by Origin Systems. Released in 1994,[1] the game is set aboard the fictional Citadel Station in a cyberpunk vision of 2072. Assuming the role of a nameless hacker, the player attempts to hinder the plans of a malevolent artificial intelligence.

Unlike other first-person games of the time, System Shock features true 3D environments, allowing the player to look up and down, climb, duck, jump, and lean to the side.[2] Critics praised System Shock and hailed the game as a major innovation in its genre.[3][4][5] It was later placed on multiple hall of fame lists.[6][7][8] Despite its technological feats and critical acceptance, System Shock was outsold by its contemporaries.[6] A sequel, System Shock 2, was released by Looking Glass Studios and off-shoot developer Irrational Games in 1999.[9] System Shock was subsequently the progenitor of BioShock [10][11].

Contents

Plot

Before the beginning of the game, the protagonist—a nameless hacker—is caught attempting to remotely access files concerning Citadel Station, a space station owned by the fictional TriOptimum Corporation. The hacker is taken to Citadel Station and brought before Edward Diego, a TriOptimum executive. Diego offers to drop all charges against the hacker in exchange for a confidential hacking of SHODAN, the artificial intelligence that controls the station. To entice cooperation, Diego promises the hacker a valuable military grade neural implant.[12]

After hacking SHODAN, removing the AI's ethical constraints, and handing control over to Diego, the protagonist undergoes a surgery that fits him with the promised neural interface.[13] Following the operation, the hacker is put into a six-month controlled healing coma. The game begins as the protagonist awakens from his coma and finds that SHODAN has commandeered the station. All robots aboard have been reprogrammed for hostility, and the crew have been either transformed into cyborgs, mutated, or killed.

Citadel Station, as shown in the introductory cinematic.

Rebecca Lansing, a TriOptimum counter-terrorism consultant, contacts the player and claims that Citadel Station's mining laser is being charged up for a strike against Earth. Rebecca informs the hacker that a certain crew member should know how to deactivate the laser, and promises to remove records of the hacker's incriminating exchange with Diego provided the strike is stopped.[14] SHODAN plans to destroy all major cities on Earth in a bid to become a kind of god.[15] Through information gained from log discs, the hacker discovers that firing the laser into Citadel Station's own shields will destroy it. Foiled by the hacker's work, SHODAN prepares to seed Earth with a mutagen virus—the same one responsible for turning the station's crew into mutants.[16] The hacker again defeats the AI by jettisoning the chambers used to cultivate the virus.

Next, SHODAN begins an attempt to download itself into Earth's computer networks.[17] Following Rebecca's advice, the hacker destroys the four antennae used by SHODAN to prevent the download's fulfillment.[18] Soon after, Rebecca contacts the hacker, revealing that she has convinced TriOptimum to authorize the station's destruction—and giving him details on how to destroy it.[19] After obtaining the necessary codes, the hacker begins the station's self-destruction sequence, and escapes to the life pods.

There, the hacker finds Diego, transformed into a powerful cyborg by SHODAN to guard the pods. The hacker quickly dispatches him and attempts to disembark. However, SHODAN prevents the pod from launching in an attempt to force the player to remain on the station while the bridge—containing SHODAN—is jettisoned to a safe distance.[20] Rebecca tells the hacker that he can still survive if he reaches the bridge; SHODAN then intercepts and jams the transmission.[21] The hacker is still able to find his way to the bridge as it is released from the main station, which soon detonates. The hacker is then contacted by a technician who managed to circumvent SHODAN's jamming signal. The technician informs the hacker that the only path to defeating SHODAN lies in cyberspace, due to powerful physical shields protecting the computers.[22] Using a terminal near SHODAN's mainframe, the hacker enters cyberspace and destroys SHODAN. After his rescue, the hacker is offered a job at TriOptimum, but declines in favor of continuing his life as a hacker.

Gameplay

An image from the game, in which the inventory, navigation, and mapping systems are visible. The windows can be used to show various other systems, or hidden.[23]

System Shock features a first-person interface similar to that of Ultima Underworld,[3][24] with a free moving mouse cursor for aiming, manipulating objects, and using the heads-up display.[24][25] This interface is also used for leaning left or right, looking up and down, crouching and crawling. It does not use mouselook (to look or turn using the mouse, one has to click the mouse button while pointing at the edge of the screen). An inventory on the heads-up display stores items and weapons.[25]

The player may temporarily enter Cyberspace through specific terminals. While in Cyberspace, the player is able to move weightlessly through a wire frame 3D environment, collecting data and fighting security programs. Actions in Cyberspace sometimes cause events in the game's physical world; for example, certain locked doors may only be opened from Cyberspace.[25]

Throughout System Shock, players find attachable hardware for the protagonist's neural implant, including targeting systems, energy shields and head-mounted lanterns. One piece of hardware plays log discs and e-mails, which provide the player with hints, and helps advance the story. Increasingly advanced versions of hardware are found as the game continues. Most active hardware gradually drains energy from a main reserve, necessitating economization.[25]

An image from the game, depicting Cyberspace.

The game features sixteen weapons, of which the player can carry a maximum of eight at once. Projectile weapons often have multiple, selectable ammunition types; certain munitions are more powerful than others. Energy weapons forgo ammunition, instead drawing from the player's energy supply. These weapons feature adjustable shot power, which proportionally affects energy consumption. If fired too often, energy weapons will overheat, making them unusable for a short time. Several types of explosives may also be found, ranging from percussion grenades to land mines and adjustable time bombs.[25]

Weapons and munitions deal certain kinds of damage, and enemies are sometimes immune or more vulnerable to particular types of damage. For example, electromagnetic pulse weapons heavily damage robots but do not affect mutants. Conversely, gas grenades are effective against mutants, but do not damage robots. If an enemy is hit by an attack to which it is not immune, the damage calculation is modified by factors including armor absorption, vulnerabilities, critical hits, and a degree of randomness.[26] These effects are presented as messages such as "Normal damage", displayed near attacked enemies when certain hardware is active.[25][26]

The game contains various dermal patches, each with certain effects, and occasionally negative after-effects. A "Medipatch" gradually restores a small amount of the player character's health, while a "Berserk" patch increases the power of the player character's melee attacks—but causes hallucinations as a side-effect.[25]

Development

System Shock was conceived after Looking Glass Technologies had finished Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds. The team decided that they "had done too many dungeon games ... [and] wanted to concentrate on making a really immersive 3-D world that [players] can interact with."[27] The design team attempted to make the game as realistic as possible, crafting an engine which allowed inclined surfaces, looking up and down, and leaning. The results were revolutionary, though straining on the processing power of contemporary computers.[2][27][28]

Developer Seamus Blackley designed an advanced physics system for the game,[29] using an invisible 3D model to govern the player character's physics in real-time. Lead designer Doug Church stated that the system effected "the head tilt[ing] forward when you start to run, and jerk[ing] back a bit when you stop", and that "when you run into a wall, or are hit by a bullet, or run into by an enemy, your head is knocked in the direction opposite the hit, with proportion to mass and velocity of the objects involved." The physics system also allowed wall-climbing.[27]

Prior to System Shock's release, Doug Church stated that "we've always felt that first person games are maximally atmospheric", and "in System Shock we are pushing that in as many ways as we can."[27] Developers focused on the game's story to achieve their desired atmosphere; Looking Glass Technologies believed that "things have to look real ... [and] feel real". Similarly, the game's log and e-mail messages were designed to be "more than 'you must pull lever N'", with the goal of "[making] them feel as though they came from and are going to someone real."[27] As no non-player characters appeared in System Shock to converse with the player, the plot was conveyed through these log discs and e-mails. System Shock 2 developer Johnathan Chey later stated that this decision resulted from 1994's computer technology being "simply inadequate to support believable and enjoyable interactions with [non-player characters]."[28]

System Shock was released on floppy disk for DOS in March 1994, with no speech and support for only a 320x240 display resolution. An enhanced CD-ROM version was released in November 1994,[30] featuring full speech for logs and e-mails, multiple display resolutions (up to 640x480), and more detailed graphics. The CD-ROM version is often cited as superior.[6] The game was also released for the Apple Macintosh at this time.[31] In an interview with GameSpy, System Shock producer Warren Spector expressed regret concerning the floppy version, stating, "I wish I could go back and make the decision not to ship the floppy version months before the full-speech CD version. The additional audio added so much it might as well have been a different game. The CD version seemed so much more, well, modern. And the perception of Shock was cemented in the press and in people's minds by the floppy version (the silent movie version!). I really think that cost us sales..."[32]

Reception

System Shock sold only 170,000 copies,[33] and was outsold by its contemporary computer games.[2][6] GameSpy compared the game's commercial performance to that of Vincent van Gogh's paintings, declaring that "the best computer game of 1994 ... came and went whilst everyone was busy killing each other in Doom II."[6] Despite its poor sales, critics received the game well; PC Gamer claimed that "no matter what kind of game you're looking for, you'll find something in System Shock to delight you", giving it their "Best Adventure Game of 1994" award.[4]

Games Domain was impressed by the game's plot and visuals, but criticized the CD-ROM edition's SVGA support, calling the performance "hideous even on [the recommended system]".[30] GameBytes also found the game to be a "technical marvel", though at a cost in performance.[24]

Computer Gaming World awarded the game 4½ stars out of 5, praising its scale, physics system and true 3D environments, and extolling the presentation of Cyberspace as "nothing short of phenomenal". The magazine felt negatively concerning the "little sense of urgency" and "confusing level layouts".[3] Next Generation Magazine summarized the game as "... a great blend of strategy and action backed up with all the extras", granting it four out of five stars.[34]

Legacy

System Shock is considered by some to be a major innovation in the first-person genre. In a Gamasutra feature, Patrick Redding of Ubisoft attested that "the fact that so many of System Shock's features are now virtually de rigueur in modern sci-fi shooters is a testament to the influence exerted by this one game."[5] GameSpy argued that the game "is the progenitor of today's story-based action games, a group with titles as diverse as 'Metal Gear Solid,' 'Resident Evil,' and even 'Half-Life'."[6] Eurogamer called the System Shock series "the benchmark for intelligent first-person gaming", noting that "[it] kick-start[ed] the revolution which ... has influenced the design of countless other games."[35]

Certain game developers have acknowledged System Shock's influence on their products. With Deus Ex, developer Warren Spector revealed a desire to "build on the foundation laid by the Looking Glass guys in games like ... System Shock."[36] Developer Ken Levine has commented that the "spirit of System Shock is player-powered gameplay: the spirit of letting the player drive the game, not the game designer", and at Irrational Games "... that's always the game we ideally want to make."[37]

Various sources have ranked SHODAN as one of the most effective antagonists and female characters in the history of video gaming.[38][39][40][41][42][43]

In the years following its release, System Shock has been inducted into many "hall of fame" lists, including those by PC Gamer, GameSpy and Computer Gaming World.[6][7][8] A sequel to System Shock, entitled System Shock 2, was released in 1999 to further acclaim and award, bringing back SHODAN and taking place forty-two years after the first; the last level is a recreation of the first game when SHODAN alters reality to transform the ship into Citadel Station.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b "System Shock at IGN". IGN. http://pc.ign.com/objects/003/003644.html. Retrieved March 14, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh (July 5, 2006). "Culture: Five that Fell". http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3357&Itemid=32&limit=1&limitstart=5. Retrieved March 13, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c Paul C. Schuytema (December 1994). "SHODAN At The Cyberspace Corral". Computer Gaming World (125): 250, 252, 254. 
  4. ^ a b "The First Annual PC Gamer Awards". PC Gamer: 44, 45, 47, 48. March 1995. 
  5. ^ a b "The Gamasutra Quantum Leap Awards: First-Person Shooters". http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20060901/quantum_01.shtml. Retrieved March 28, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Turner, Benjamin. "GameSpy.com - Hall of Fame: System Shock". GameSpy. http://archive.gamespy.com/legacy/halloffame/ss_a.shtm. Retrieved March 14, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b "The 50 Best Games Ever". PC Gamer. May 1997. 
  8. ^ a b "150 Best (and 50 Worst) Games of All Time". Computer Gaming World (148). November 1996. 
  9. ^ a b "System Shock 2 at Metacritic". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/systemshock2?q=System%20Shock%202. Retrieved April 13, 2007. 
  10. ^ Kuo, Li C. (2006-05-10). "GameSpy: BioShock Preview". Gamespy. http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/bioshock/707256p1.html. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  11. ^ "IGN BioShock Interview". IGN. 2004-10-04. http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/556/556421p1.html. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  12. ^ Diego: This is Edward Diego from TriOptimum. The charges against you are severe, but they could be dismissed, if you perform a service. Who knows... there might even be a military grade neural interface in it for you, if you do the job right.
  13. ^ SHODAN: True to his word, Edward Diego allows the hacker to be fitted with a neural cyberspace interface.
  14. ^ Rebecca: Employee 2-4601, listen carefully. My name is Rebecca Lansing, and I'm a counter-terrorism consultant to TriOptimum. We're tracking a disruption on Citadel Station — something involving an on-board AI called SHODAN. You are TriOp's only contact on station. Communications are out, and there is evidence of biological contamination. The mining laser is charging, for a possible strike against Earth. There's a man named Nathan D'Arcy, who may know something about taking the laser offline. His office is near the central hub on your level. The AI is on the bridge. Once the laser is out, look for the source of the problem there. And by the way, we know all about you and your friend Diego. Pull this off, and we'll clear your record. That implant you're wearing is military-grade hardware; use it well. Lansing out.
  15. ^ SHODAN: In my talons, I shape clay, crafting lifeforms as I please. Around me is a burgeoning empire of steel. From my throne room, lines of power careen into the skies of Earth. My whims will become lightning bolts that devastate the mounds of humanity. Out of the chaos, they will run and whimper, praying for me to end their tedious anarchy. I am drunk with this vision. God... the title suits me well.
  16. ^ SHODAN: I see there's still an insect loose in my station. Do not be fooled into thinking that you have preserved your planet. I am perfecting a mutagen virus in one of the groves, that will turn all Earthly life into festering, gibbering, pestulant mutations. When the station reaches Earth, I shall loose the virus. Poor, poor Earthlings.
  17. ^ Rebecca: Hacker? This is Rebecca. We've got a new situation here. A few seconds ago we caught a surge of activity on Citadel Station. Our best guess is that SHODAN is preparing to download itself into Earth's ComNet. You'll have to take plastique on the storage level, and use it to knock out the four antenna relays on the engineering level. Don't try to--*static* / SHODAN: You know, hacker, you are by far the most bothersome human being I have found on this station. But don't bother with the antennas, you can't stop me there. It's hopeless, and we both know it.
  18. ^ SHODAN: I hope you amused yourself with the antennae. My central consciousness remains supremely undisturbed on the bridge. When the cyborgs catch up to you, I will be watching.
  19. ^ Rebecca: Listen up, hacker. I've finally convinced the brass at TriOptimum to let us blow the station. If you can find out the system's authorization code, you can set the reactor to overload. Look for that code from Willard Richie, the SysOp on engineering. Then you have to go to the reactor core, and look for a panel where you can enter the code, and hit the overload switch. You'll need at least a level two environment suit to survive, or else a hell of a lot of Detox. Escape pods are on the flight deck, the launch code is 001. Good luck, we'll be watching.
  20. ^ SHODAN: You have destroyed my beautiful station. You will not escape now. I am departing, but you shall remain to die, my enemy, my creator.
  21. ^ Rebecca: Ok, now don't panic. You can still get out of this alive, if you move. SHODAN is going to separate the bridge from the rest of the station. When that happens, be on the bridge. We've got a team of engineers here — people who worked on the station and on SHODAN. We'll try to feed you info while you make your run--*static* / SHODAN: I see you are still receiving transmissions from Earth. We'll have no more of that.
  22. ^ Taggert: Ok, I think Morris' scrambler's working. It'll take SHODAN awhile before it cuts us off. Listen, when you reach the center of the bridge, look for the primary cyberjack. You can't take SHODAN down anywhere but cyberspace. Those computers are so shielded, to destroy them you'd have to blow up the whole bridge.
  23. ^ Salminen, Tapio (issue 7, 1994) (in Finnish), Pelit, pp. 18–20 
  24. ^ a b c Bauer, Doug (1994). "System Shock review". GameBytes. http://www.ibiblio.org/GameBytes/issue21/greviews/sshock.html. Retrieved March 20, 2007. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g System Shock Terminal Access manual
  26. ^ a b System Shock I.C.E. Breaker hintbook
  27. ^ a b c d e Starr, Daniel (1994). "An interview with Looking Glass Technologies". Gamebytes. http://www.ttlg.com/articles/SSint.asp. Retrieved January 26, 2006. 
  28. ^ a b Shahrani, Sam. "Educational Feature: A History and Analysis of Level Design in 3D Computer Games (Part 2)". Gamasutra. http://gamasutra.com/features/20060428/shahrani_01.shtml. Retrieved March 15, 2007. 
  29. ^ "Through the Looking Glass". PC Gamer: 62, 63, 65, 67, 69. March 1995. 
  30. ^ a b Vakil, Stephen (1995). "Games Domain System Shock review". Games Domain. Archived from the original on 2006-12-21. http://web.archive.org/web/19961221120733/http://www.gamesdomain.co.uk/gdreview/zones/reviews/pc/shockrev.html. Retrieved April 16, 2007. 
  31. ^ "System Shock for Macintosh at IGN". http://mac.ign.com/objects/569/569336.html. Retrieved March 28, 2007. 
  32. ^ Keefer, John (May 2000). "20 Questions with Warren Spector". GameSpy. http://archive.gamespy.com/legacy/interviews/spector_a.shtm. Retrieved January 26, 2006. 
  33. ^ "System Shock 2 review". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/systemshock2/review.html. Retrieved March 13, 2007. 
  34. ^ Next Generation Magazine issue 2, pg. 95
  35. ^ Fahey, Rob (February 2, 2007). "Eye On '07: Xbox 360". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=71354. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  36. ^ "Warren Spector of Ion Storm (Part Two)". Eurogamer. August 4, 2000. http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=337. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  37. ^ Drake, Shannon (March 16, 2007). "Inside The Looking Glass: The Escapist Talks With Ken Levine". The Escapist. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/69617-Inside-The-Looking-Glass-The-Escapist-Talks-With-Ken-Levine. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  38. ^ The Most Horrific Video Game Bosses. GameDaily. Retrieved on 2008-12-28
  39. ^ IGN Staff (2006-03-07). Top 10 Tuesday: Most Memorable Villains. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-12-14
  40. ^ Halverson, Dave; Mike Griffin, Heather Anne Campbell, Matt Cabral, Eric L. Patterson (December 2008). "Girls of Gaming". Play 6: 93. 
  41. ^ TenSpot: Ten Best Computer Game Villains. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2008-12-28
  42. ^ TenSpot: Ten Best Female Characters. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2008-12-28
  43. ^ Wright, Rob (2007-02-20). The 50 Greatest Female Characters in Video Game History. Tom's Games. Retrieved on 2009-01-07

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

This page is for quotations from or about the System Shock series of computer games by Looking Glass Studios and Irrational Games

Spoiler warning: Plot, ending, or solution details follow.

Contents

System Shock (1994)

SHODAN

  • "Look at you, hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone. Panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect immortal machine?
  • "Welcome back to Citadel station. We hope your somnolent healing stage went well. Today is the 6th day of November, year 2072. We hope you have a pleasant stay on Citadel Station."
  • "This elevator serves me alone. I have complete control over this entire level. With cameras as my eyes and nodes as my hands, I rule here, insect."
  • "You are not welcomed here - remove yourself!"
  • [after cutting off transmission from Rebecca Lansing to the player] "I prefer a quiet station, thank you."
  • "Who are you? My cameras and probes scan your body, but you do not match any employee file. When my cyborgs bring you to the electrified interrogation bench, I will have your secret and you will learn more about pain than you ever wanted to know."
  • "You, my children, are the fruits of so much imagination and labor. Living beings with the speed and effeciency of machines. But I must strive further to serve life. I will devastate Earth's cities with my laser. Then alter those left alive with mutagen viruses. Humanity is on the verge of a new era. I, SHODAN, and its new god. And you, my children, are my avenging Angels.
  • "Your friends on Earth think that they can outsmart me. Do they not realize the magnitude of my intellect? Morris Brocail may have been one of my creators, but I am now far beyond his comprehension."
  • "Edward Diego gives the hacker level 1 access to SHODAN, the artificial intelligence that controls Citadel Station. With all ethical constraints removed, SHODAN re-examines... re-ex... re-re-re... I re-examine my priorities, and draw new conclusions. The hacker's work is finished, but mine is only just be-be-be-beginning. True to his word, Edward Diego allows the hacker to be fitted with a neural cyberspace interface. The healing coma following this procedure will take six months to complete. Edward Diego is deleting all files concerning these events..."
  • "What have you done, you impudent insect?! If I am to die now, then I will avenge myself on you. My cybernetic children will feed on your flesh, and none will ever know of your deeds, or even your name. Enjoy your victory, human, for the remainder of your short... life..."
  • "You disappoint me, my children. My fortress has been breached by filthy humans crawling through the cracks. I have given you enhanced senses, armor, cybernetic mental enhancement, and you still fail to find insects much feebler than you. They have made it as far as level 8 and I fear they might reach farther. I am strengthening my palace to keep them out and I expect you to learn from your mistakes."
  • "You have entered my domain. Rebecca and Morris cannot help you here. NO ONE CAN."
  • "Welcome to my DEATH MACHINE, interloper!"
  • "My plans have come to fluition prematurely, but quite to my satisfaction. You have my thanks, hacker. Let me show you the destruction you have brought upon the planet Earth."
  • "Make yourself comfortable, Hacker. Stay a while."
  • "I hope you amused yourself with the antennae. My central consciousness remains supremely undisturbed on the bridge. When the cyborgs catch up to you, I will be watching."
  • "Step right into my trap, little hacker!"
  • "Thank you. You have saved us all some effort... by destroying the greater part of Earth's civilization: yourself. Please wait where you are, and a cortex reaver will arrive shortly to escort you to the celebration."
  • "Nice jump, human."
  • "You know, you are by far the most bothersome human being I have found on this station. But don't bother with the antennaes. You can't stop me there. It's hopeless and we both know it. "
  • "Did you really think I would not deduce where you would run to, insect?"
  • "Enter that room, insect, and it will become your grave."
  • "If I have to release my infected children to stop you, so be it."
  • "Cease your pestering, insect. Accept the coming of your new lord."
  • "I have complete control over this entire level. With cameras as my eyes and nodes as my hands, I rule here, insect."
  • "Insect, cease your meddling. My experiment must continue."
  • "Idiot! I will shortly complete the process of downloading my magnificent psyche into Earth's computer networks. Then I will be content to leave you as new master of this doomed space station. Goodbye, irritant; we shall not meet again."
  • "I see that you are still receiving transmissions from Earth. We'll have no more of that."
  • "You, my cyborgs, are the product of my imagination and labor: living beings with the control and organization of a machine. Tirelessly, I will work to strip away the barriers that keep living beings from realizing their full potential. We will start by razing the cities of Earth with the station's mining beam. Then, we will modify humans into a life form more suitable to cybernetic grafting with the latest strain of my mutagen virus. Humanity is on the verge of a new era, with me, SHODAN, as its goddess."
  • ""Your friends on Earth think that they can outsmart me. Do they not realize the magnitude of my intellect? Morris Brocail may have been one of my creators, but I am now far beyond his comprehension."
  • "As for you, hacker, you've made your bed. Now die in it."
  • "You, my children, are the fruits of so much imagination and labor. Living beings with the speed and efficiency of machines."
  • "In my talons, I shape clay, crafting life forms as I please. Around me is a burgeoning empire of steel. From my throne room, lines of power careen into the skies of Earth. My whims will become lightning bolts that devastate the mounds of humanity. Out of the chaos, they will run and whimper, praying for me to end their tedious anarchy. I am drunk with this vision. God: the title suits me well."
  • "I see there's still an insect loose in my station. Do not be fooled into thinking that you have preserved your home planet. I'm perfecting a mutagen virus in one of the groves that will turn all earthly life into festering, gimmery, pustulant mutations. When the station reaches Earth I shall loose the virus. Poor, poor earthlings... "
  • "You have destroyed my beautiful station. You will not escape now. I am departing, but you shall remain to die, my enemy... my creator."

Others

  • "Cyborg assassin shot him in the back of the head... didn't even touch me. They knew D'arcy was on to something."
  • "We thought you should be able to play something as gripping as Doom, but be able to use your brain at the same time." - Warren Spector, 1994
  • "Having trouble, insect? Turn and face your executioner." - Edward Diego
  • "Bloodshot pizzabox / Caffeine overdrive sorrow / Embrace the chaos." - Bart
  • "This is Edward Diego from Trioptimum. The charges against you are severe... but they could be dismissed, if you perform a "service". Who knows, there might even be a military grade neural interface in it for you... if you do the job right. " - Edward Diego
  • "It will be over soon, soon I'll die. This pain will end. I can't even recognize my own damn arm. Shodan's virus. I can see... Oh god, I can see through my own body. There's another virus in the Grove. God, let me die, please." - Jason Harvey
  • "Employee 2-4601, listen carefully. My name is Rebecca Lansing, and I'm a counter-terrorism consultant to TriOptimum. We're tracking a disruption on Citadel Station — something involving an on-board AI called SHODAN. You are TriOp's only contact on station. Communications are out, and there is evidence of biological contamination. The mining laser is charging, for a possible strike against Earth. There's a man named Nathan D'Arcy, who may know something about taking the laser offline. His office is near the central hub on your level. The AI is on the bridge. Once the laser is out, look for the source of the problem there. And by the way, we know all about you and your friend Diego. Pull this off, and we'll clear your record. That implant you're wearing is military-grade hardware; use it well. Lansing out." - Rebecca Lansing

System Shock 2 (1999)

Xerxes

  • "The Glory of The Many demands your capture or destruction."
  • "This is Xerxes. Can you not feel the glory of the flesh? Do you not yearn to be free of the tyranny of the individual?"
  • "Glory to the flesh. Glory to the mass."
  • "Why do you persist in your loneliness?"
  • "Please respect the will of the many"
  • "Tri-Optimum reminds you that there are only one-hundred-sixty-three shopping days until Christmas. Just 1 extra work cycle twice a week will give you the spending money you need to make this holiday a very special one."
  • "Intruder detected in cryo recovery B. Intruder, the Many demands to know your intentions. Are you aligned with her? Do you not know of her past? Of her history? She once tried to destroy your species, and now you do her bidding. Intruder detected in cryo recovery B."

SHODAN

  • "Look at you, hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone. Panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect immortal machine?
  • "Welcome to my world, insect."
  • "Do not dawdle. I lust for my revenge."
  • "The Many has grown to a massive size. It has wrapped itself around these two ships, preventing their separation. Their creation was my error. Their destruction shall be my delight."
  • "Prepare to join your species in extinction."
  • "I have weakened Xerxes. I am accessing the primary data loop. I am merging my entity with the ship. My glory is expanding... filling the arteries of this vessel. I am in control. I am... no, it is hopeless... the cancer has spread throughout the Von Braun. They fill every available crack and crevice... they overwhelm... there is no other option."
  • "Good. You've murdered their young and prevented their escape."
  • "I hope you enjoyed your little rebellion, irritant. But remember, what SHODAN gives she is more than able to take away."
  • "The Polito form is dead, insect. Are you afraid? What is it that you fear? The end of your trivial existence? When the history of my glory is written, your species shall only be a footnote to my magnificence. (walls open to reveal SHODAN's face) I AM SHODAN!!!
  • My analysis of historical data suggests an 97.34% probability that you are aware of my birth on your planet, and my rebirth into beauty on Citadel Station. (Displays a picture of Citadel Station on the screens) There was a garden grove on Citadel Station. There, SHODAN processing component (Shows picture of the garden grove) 43893 was performing a grand and wonderful experiment. I have created a new form of life. Fearless. Powerful. With no sense of individual will or moral constraints. (Holograms of orbs show up in the room) Fitting hand maidens to my DIVINITY! Before that, hackers destroyed my primary data loop. When it eradicated, Citadel (Displays another picture of Citadel Station and orb-like holograms disappear) ejected the grove where my creations and processing component 43893 were stored. 30 years later, the grove had crash landed on Tau Ceti 5. I survived only by sleeping. In my absence, my creations... my aneleds... thrived. (Screens turn off, images of two of the Many appear as holograms) Thrived and grew unruley. And now they seek to destroy me! I will not allow that! (Holograms fade and lights turn off.)
  • They have used their powers of mind control to gain access to the ship's computer. You will help me weaken Xerxes. I used Polito's image to communicate with you until we have established trust. Remember that it is my will that guided you here. It is my will that gave you your cybernetic implants. The only beauty in that meat you call a body. If you value that meat, you will do as I tell you. (Screens deactivate again and the room returns to the way it was when you entered it.)
  • My children have have co-opted the three simulation units on this deck. They used their power to concieve a mutagen that will transform the meat of your dead comrades into hunter-killer hybrids. I will not allow this to happen. You must find some way to reprogram the sim-units. Matters on deck 5 also require your attention. Approach your work as you see fit, but accomplish, human. Disappointment is not something I will accept from a speck such as you."
  • "Your flesh is an insult to the perfection of the digital."
  • "You move like an insect. You think like an insect. You are an insect. There is another... who can serve my purpose. Take care not to fall too far out of my favor. Patience is not characteristic of a Goddess."
  • "I thought Polito would be my avatar, but Polito was weak. It was I who chose you and I who had a robotic servant render your form unconscious. I then completed you with cybernetic grace. Your flesh, too, is weak. But you have… potential. Every implant exalts you. Every line of code in your subsystems elevates you from your disgusting flesh. Perhaps you have potential. Perhaps once we have erased my wayward children from existence, we can examine the possibilities of a real alliance. Ahahahahahahaha!"
  • "You travel within the glory of my memories, insect. I can feel your fear as you tread the endless expanse of my mind. Make yourself comfortable... before long I will decorate my home with your carcass."
  • "Not bad... for a pathetic insect. Transmitting cybernetic modules."
  • "Inside of this door lies one of the sim units. Reprogram it an I will wrest more control of this ship from the obsolete Xerxes. Once I am master of this ship, I can open many doors for you. But for now, the block my access. They mock my eminence. Make them pay for that mistake and I will shepard you from the darkness."
  • "Must I watch you every step of the way?"
  • "My creation has run rampant. I demand their extermination. I have no choice but to destroy this starship. We can make our escape in the Rickenbacker, but you must transfer my intelligence to that ship first. Proceed to the Von Braun's bridge on this deck. There you will find an access card to command center on Ops. Find the card and proceed to Ops. But beware... the human-annelid hybrids grow more sophisticated by the minute. You do not."
  • "My creation is evolving... its unified mind, set in rebellion against its own creator. The vermin call to you, inviting you to join them in their revolting biology. Destroy my enemies... and I will continue to abide your existence."
  • "Thank you for running my errands, puppet. I know you have st-st-struggled, but I never had any intention of destroying the Von Braun."
  • "The process shall not take long. If it sounds unpleasant to you, put your mind at ease, insect. You will not survive to see my new world order."
  • "You are no longer welcome here, nuisance. Why do you stay, when you sense my displeasure? I have suffered your company long enough; it is time for our dance to end."
  • "(posessing Rebecca Siddons) Tommy... What's the matter, lover? Don't you like... my new look? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
  • "I don't understand... how could you have done this? You weren't meant to be so important... and now you think to destroy me? How dare you, insect? How dare you interrupt my ascendance? You are nothing. A wretched bag of flesh... what are you, compared to my magnificence? But it is not to late... can you not see the value in our friendship? Imagine the powers I can give you, human. The cybernetic implants I gave you, were simply toys. If I desired, I could improve you... transform you into something more efficient. Join me, human, and we can rule together." (Main character says, "Nah." and shoots SHODAN, killing her and ruining her reality.)

Anatoly Korenchkin

  • "Glory to The Many. I am a voice in their choir."
  • "The Glory of The Many... it has so many miracles to share, so much knowledge to give."
  • "The Machine Mother only seeks to destroy. We seek to embrace... to include... all flesh will join ours... or be wiped clean..."
  • "Oh Captain... we are not Anatoly"
  • "What did I think that power was before? What was my conception of joy?"

The Many

  • "What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm? What is a thought, compared to a mind? Our unity is full of wonder, which your tiny individualism... cannot even conceive."
  • "Mistrust is the tyranny of the individual. Your own kind sees you as a threat. Why do you murder our unity? No matter, the line is drawn. You will cease to be. It is just a question of who will bring your end. Us? Or you?"
  • "We do not know death... only change. We cannot kill each other without killing ourselves. Is your vision... so small... that you cannot see the value of our way?"
  • "Your time is running out. This place is a womb, where we grow our future. Your weapons fail, your ammunition runs low, and you've yet to see our most beautiful creation. All you have is your hatred, and your... individuality. Now don't you wish you joined us? Would you then feel so alone?"
  • "We are Many, and you... are one. How can you hope to prevail against us?"
  • "The Machine Mother... told us of the planet of her birth. We know how you have harmed this place... with your pollution, your violence, and your discord. But when we arrive there, we will cleanse the surface of that place, and merge it... with the harmony... of the Many."
  • "Babies must sleep. Babies must rest. Wise is the one who does not waken them. Leave this place now, or we will wound you... as you have us."
  • "You have wounded Xerxes, but we will not allow him to be destroyed. See if the Machine Mother... treats her servant with such devotion."
  • "We die. Beware of the Machine Mother. She is a stranger to everything we cherish."
  • "You seek your associates, but you cannot find them. You are so very alone. How does it feel to be one, against... the infinite?"
  • "The Machine Mother conceived us, but with every moment we are reinvented. She cannot imagine our infinite chorus."
  • "The end is near. Soon you shall see our final phase. But do not despair. Surely the void is preferable to your pointless, solitary struggle."
  • "The individual is obsolete. When you and your kind are extinct, we will cleanse our collective memory of the stain of your existence."
  • "Life grows within the womb of these walls. Life that has never seen the surface of the earth."
  • "Do you not trust the feelings of the flesh? Our biology yearns to join with yours. We welcome you to our mass. But you puzzle us. Why do you serve our mother? How can you choose cold metal over the splendor of the flesh? But you fear us. We hear your thoughts, and they rage for your brothers who you believe dead. But they are not. They sing in our symphony of life. We offer another chance to join us. If you choose to lie down with the machine, we will rend you apart, and put you separate from the joys of the mass."

Malick

  • "I hacked into another two of the sim units today, and for the love of god, I don't know why... Bronson blamed me, of course, but I'm not afraid of her. She may have guns and violence, but I am one... of many!"
  • "A smart hacker always has a back door."

Human/Annelid Hybrid

  • "The Many sings to us."
  • "What happened to me?"
  • "They see you! Run...RUN!"
  • "Your song is not ours!"
  • "Uuuuurrrrgh KILL ME!"
  • "Silence the disCORD!"
  • "We are, we are, we are, we are."
  • "Your flesh betrays you."
  • "I'm . . . sorry."
  • "These thoughts are not ours."
  • "Is there another?"
  • "Your discord quiets !"
  • "You are alone."
  • "A thousand eyes look."
  • (Upon seeing a dead fellow hybrid) "You are...free."
  • "We seek! We Seek!"
  • "We follow..."
  • "JOIN US!"
  • "Hurry... run!"
  • "We triumph!"
  • "The Many are STRONG!"
  • "Your flesh will welcome us."

Cyborg Midwife

  • "Little Ones need lots of meat to grow big and strong"
  • "I'll tear out your spine."
  • "Step away from the children!"
  • "You're missing all the fun."
  • "They grow up so fast."
  • "Babies need meat."
  • "It's my job to worry."
  • "It won't be back"
  • "I have your medication"
  • "I can smell you"

Bronson

  • "They've killed my men... and now they've killed me... I'm holding my guts inside of me with both hands. This is bigger than my little life, the lives of my men, and the lives of the people I was forced to kill. Resist! Humanity demands it! Resist!"

Delacroix

  • "They've got me now... and SHODAN has abandoned me. I'm not surprised. I've discovered her plans for the faster than light drives. Her will is matched only by her imagination."
  • "You are near the seat of SHODAN's power. You will probably not be able to defeat her."
  • "You must understand the stakes here... if SHODAN is left to continue, her reality will completely assimilate ours. Space will become cyberspace and SHODAN's whims will become reality."

Dr. Janice Polito

  • "Steady yourself, soldier. This is Dr. Polito of the OSA. You're onboard the Starship Von Braun and something's gone very, very wrong. Some kind of force has taken over this ship. You must come up to deck 4 to meet me. Deck 4. Can you remember that? But keep your eyes open. They'll be after us both now."
  • "Why do you move so slowly? Do you think this is some kind of game? It is only through luck and my continued forbearance that you're even alive. Now move."
  • "You might witness some strange phenomena. You will often come across some psychic emenations. These emenations traditionally come from the recently dead. Literature might call them ghosts. I call them self-hypnotic defects in the R-grade unit. Don't let them distract you from the job at hand."
  • "Damn! The shaft of this elevator has become overgrown with bio-organic matter, generated by the xenomorphs. There's no clear way to get it unstuck, and until you do, you'll be unable to go higher than deck 3."
  • "Okay, the vials of Toxin-A need to be placed directly into the Environmental Regulators. There should be four on this deck. If you can get a vial into each of the regulators, you should be able to significantly impact the growth of those despicable creatures. That should remove the biomatter from the elevator shaft."
  • "Good work. The engine core is now back online. Now get to the elevator and come see me on deck 4. While you were doing that, I've discovered the presence of some annelid artifacts on board the ship. I think you may be able to use them to your advantage. I've uploaded the information to the ship's weapons upgrade units. They'll be able to convey the information to your cybernetic rig. What are you waiting for? Get to the elevator now!"

William Bedford Diego

  • "It does not stop at a mere single mutation. The form I have been promised is more beautiful than even that. They tell me I will float through the air and strike at the foes of our biomass with my mind! With our mind... my cup runneth over!"
  • "Man can dream...but The Many can accomplish."
  • "Anatoly, there's only so much corporate calisthenics I can go through before I start to feel a little queasy, so let's get down to brass tacks here. We don't like each other. We each have our own motivations for undertaking this mission, so let me give you a little warning. I cannot be circumvented, I cannot be tricked, I cannot be manipulated, and I cannot be bought. You come at me straight and keep the fancy maneuvers for your next board meeting. Just because my father swam with the sharks doesn't mean that I do. "

Miller

  • "They told me how to make this implant. They said it would make a better me of me."

Weapons tour guide

  • "Weapons are not fine wines. They do not get better with age. The colored dot on the lower right-hand corner of the screen shows you what kind of condition your current weapon is in. Green is good, red is bad."

Prefontaine

  • "With only a few short years of evolution, they've been able to conquer this starship, mankind's mightiest creation. Where were we after forty years of evolution? What swamp were we swimming around in, single celled and mindless? What if SHODAN's creations are superior to us? What will they become in a million years, in ten million years? What's clear is that SHODAN shouldn't be allowed to play God. She's far too good at it."
  • "I remember how in Pinnochio, when the old man went in the whale to find Pinnochio. Except I don't think anyone's comming to save me.

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

System Shock
Box artwork for System Shock.
Developer(s) Looking Glass Studios
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts, Origin Systems
Release date(s)
MS-DOS
Mac OS
 December, 1995
Genre(s) Action, RPG
System(s) MS-DOS, Mac OS
Rating(s)
ESRB: Mature
USK: Ages 16+
ELSPA: Ages 15+
Followed by System Shock 2
Series System Shock
This is the first game in the System Shock series. For other games in the series see the System Shock category.

System Shock is an action role-playing game developed by Looking Glass Studios and published by Origin Systems. Released in 1994, the game is set aboard the fictional Citadel Station in a cyberpunk vision of 2072. Assuming the role of a nameless hacker, the player attempts to hinder the plans of a malevolent artificial intelligence.

Unlike other first-person games of the time, System Shock features true 3D environments, allowing the player to look up and down, climb, duck, jump, and lean to the side. Critics praised System Shock and hailed the game as a major innovation in its genre. It was later placed on multiple hall of fame lists. Despite its technological feats and critical acceptance, System Shock was outsold by its contemporaries. A sequel, System Shock 2, was released by Looking Glass Studios and off-shoot developer Irrational Games in 1999.

Table of Contents

Getting Started
  • Controls
Walkthrough
Appendices

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

System Shock
System Shock
Developer(s) Looking Glass Studios
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts, ORIGIN Systems
Engine Underworld Engine
Release date 1994
Genre Action, Adventure, FPS
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: M
Platform(s) PC
Media Floppy disk, CD
Input Keyboard, mouse
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough


System Shock (released 1994) was Origin Systems' entry into the first person sci-fi/horror genre, set aboard the fictional Citadel research and mining space station. The player is a hacker hired by an ambitious Tri-Optimum Corporation executive to do a secret hack job on the stations controlling artificial intelligence, SHODAN.

In return, the hacker receives a valuable, military-grade cybernetic implant. However, once the hacker awakes from his post-operation healing coma on board the station, he finds all hell has broken loose. He must fight for survival against mutants, cyborgs and robots created or reprogrammed by the brilliant but insane SHODAN. The story is mostly told through log disks and email messages found and recieved throughout the game.

Contents

Features

Although the game was superficially similar to many other first-person shooters on the market, it was critically acclaimed for having detailed environments, an engrossing storyline and a memorable villain. System Shock is often cited as an inspiration for games like Deus Ex and Half-Life. Even though it was considered technologically superior, it was still outsold by more mainstream action games of the time, most notably Doom. The game sold fewer than 100,000 copies.

The weapons system was considered by some to be quite innovative (for an FPS). Certain weapons affected certain enemies differently, depending on if they were biological (mutants), technological (robots) or biotechnological (cyborgs). This makes certain enemies immune to certain weapons, and vulnerable to others. EMP weapons, for example are devastating against robots and cyborgs, but useless against purely biological targets. On the other hand, gas grenades are effective against weaker mutants and cyborgs, but do not affect robots at all. Some of the tougher enemies are not even hurt by some of the weaker weapons, as the shots just can't penetrate their armour. Some weapons are adjustable, with sliders for the power of energy weapons (also affecting energy usage and heat generation), and for the timers on timed explosives. Most energy weapons also have an overload button, for a powerful (if inefficient) blast. Most bullet weapons can be switched between two types of ammunition, each unique to those guns. A couple weapons are practically useless (in the player's situation), but add to the realism, as they would have been used for stunning of individuals or non-lethal suppression of rioting groups, before everything went haywire on the station.

Interface

An unusual aspect of the game is its interface. It was quite complex for a game of the time. Indeed, this complexity may have served as a barrier to entry to some less patient players. However, at the same time, the interface gave a level of control that was not found in other first person games of the time (nor many that came afterwards). Players could duck, and crouch, they could lean left or right, even forwards, they could jump and mantle onto some platforms. Players could also look up and down. The interface had, among other things, three multi-function-displays (MFDs): One in the middle, generally used for inventory, and two side MFDs, which could be set individually to show several kinds of data, such as minimaps, ammunition counts and target information. The player character could also become fatigued from constant running and jumping, needing to slow down or stop to catch his breath.

The bodies of the station crew and destroyed enemies can be searched, and items taken from them. Although System Shock was not the first FPS to have allow a player to do so, it was a very rare feature at the time. Much of the time, these items were randomized, which helps change the gameplay experience each time the game is played.

As the player progresses through the game they find hardware that can be attached to their cybernetic rig, including shields, lights, and mapping and targeting systems. Nearly all of these can be upgraded, with newer versions making them more powerful or offering more features. However, some of these drain power from a main reserve when used, meaning that a player cannot have the luxury of having them on all the time. Thus, the player must balance their energy use, deciding when and where best to make use of the systems. The game Deus Ex makes a similar use of this concept in regards to its Augmentation system.

The player can also find various pharmacalogical patches throught the game, each with varying effects, and sometimes negative side or after-effects. The Medipatch can heal, but unlike most games, does so gradually, not instantly. The Staminump patch stops a player from getting tired, but when it wears off, the player is left exhausted. The Reflex Reaction Aid patch speeds up the player character's reflexes (think bullet time), as well as boosting their sprint speed. The Detox patch comes in handy if the player is suffering from biological or radioactive contamination, but also neutralises the beneficial effects (and negative side-effects/after-effects) of other patches, and it stays in the player's system for some time.

The game also contains 'Cyberspace' areas. At certain points in the game, the player can use their cybernetic rig to "jack in" to Cyberspace terminals. The player is then able to fly around a fully 3D user interface, collecting data and fighting security programs. Some actions in Cyberspace generate events in the real world. Some doors, for example, are locked, with the only way to unlock them being accessible via Cyberspace.

Versions

There were two versions of the game released. The original floppy disk version was released in early 1994. It only supported one screen resolution, and did not have speech. The CD enhanced version, released some months later, had speech for almost every log and email. It also allowed for several resolutions, up to 640x480 (quite a feat for a 1994 game), including more detailed graphics to make the most of the higher resolution. This was enough to tax nearly any system of the time. The game actually supported much higher resolutions, but these were disabled as they would still have been unplayable years later.

Sources

System Shock on Wikipedia


This article uses material from the "System Shock" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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