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    Aquarius Map Guide by the_sideburns

    Version: 0.90 | Updated: 08/12/05 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    | the sideburns presents...        |
    |   /\                             |
    |  /__\  Q U A R I U S             |
    | /    \                  ver 0.89 |
    | an in-depth VS-mode FAQ          |
    | for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory  |
    To quick-jump to a certain section, hit CTRL-F and type or
    paste the section number, with brackets. Example:  "[3.2.c]"
    [1.0] Introduction
    [2.0] The Basics of Spies VS Mercenaries
      [2.1] Where to Start
      [2.2] Glossary of Moves & Gadgets - SPY
      [2.3] Glossary of Moves & Gadgets - MERC
      [2.4] Top 3 n00b Mistakes
      [2.5] About Story Mode
    [3.0] Aquarius In-Depth
      [3.1] Getting to Know the Map
        [3.1.a] Rooms
        [3.1.b] Objectives
        [3.1.c] Easter Egg
      [3.2] Spy Strategies
        [3.2.a] Choosing your Gadgets
        [3.2.b] Co-Op Move Locations
        [3.2.c] Entrance Points and Options
        [3.2.d] Rushes
        [3.2.e] Traps
        [3.2.f] Other Tactics
      [3.3] Merc Strategies
        [3.3.a] Choosing Your Gun
        [3.3.b] Choosing Your Gadgets
        [3.3.c] Spawn Points & Starting Out
        [3.3.d] Mine & Spy Tracker Placement
        [3.3.e] Defensive Roles and Patrol Routes
        [3.3.f] Prioritize
    [4.0] Two Universal Rules
      [4.1] Communicate
      [4.2] Don't be Predictable
    [5.0] Outtro
    [6.0] Version History
    [7.0] Credits
    [8.0] Contact & Copywright
    [1.0] Introduction
    Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow revolutionized the world of online gaming
    with a unique 2v2 multiplayer mode called Spies VS Mercenaries. The sequel,
    Chaos Theory, has upped the ante with co-op moves, new gadgets, and amazing
    new maps. At the time this FAQ was written, GameFAQs had one good Spy FAQ,
    and a sub-par Merc FAQ that was mostly copy-and-paste'd from a SC:PT Guide.
    I decided to fill some of the gaps with a few level-specific strategy guides
    for my favorite Chaos Theory maps. I hope you enjoy my Aquarius guide, and
    if this is well-received, you can look forward to more in-depth map guides
    in the future (Museum is coming up next).
    Happy hacking/spy-hunting, and I hope you enjoy my guide :)
                                                                  ~ the sideburns
    [2.0] The Basics of Spies VS Mercenaries
    In Spies VS Mercenaries, there are two teams: the Third Echelon Spies and the
    Argus Mercenaries. Spies operate from a third-person view, and use controls
    similar (but not identical) to the single-player game. Mercenaries, or "mercs"
    for short, operate from a first-person shooter view, with controls similar (but
    not idential) to Halo 2. Each team has two unique vision modes, and can choose
    four gadgets to bring into the game. Mercs get one gun for the entire match,
    and can choose between an Assault Rifle (with sniping capabilities), a sub-
    machine gun, or a shotgun. The spies, on the other hand, have a harmless
    stun gun. Their only means of killing mercs are by way of neck snaps, strike
    attacks, or environmental hazards. Spies VS Mercenaries isn't all about killing
    though. Spies can also win by being sneaky, hacking computers, stealing disks,
    and planting bombs. And mercs, well... the game really *is* all about killing
    if you're a merc. Defend the objectives until time runs out, or kill the spies
    'til they're out of lives.
    All in all, Spies VS Mercenaries is a deep, balanced, and very challenging
    game to play.
    [2.1] Where to Start
    Many Splinter Cell owners try the VS mode once or twice, get pwned,
    find themselves intimidated by the steep learning curve, and never
    play again. Here's a few tips to get you started off on the right foot.
    Pre-requisites for online play:
     - HEADSET. You may be able to get away with playing Halo 2 without a headset,
       but in Chaos Theory, communication is absolutely essential. Nobody wants a
       partner who can't talk; most players will flat-out refuse to play with a
       silent partner. If you manage to get into a game without a headset, your
       team will be at a real disadvantage.
     - KNOW YOUR MOVES. Many people think playing the single-player game first will
       prepare them for online play. These players are in for a rude awakening when
       they find that spies' controls are significantly different in VS mode, and
       there's an entirely different control system and viewpoint for the mercs.
       The game forces you to complete a spy "exam" before playing online, but it
       would be wise to go through the entire tutorial for both characters before
       jumping into a game. If you really want to prepare yourself, grab a friend
       and start a server in TUTOR MODE, so that opposite teams can still talk to
       each other. Take some time getting used to the HUD, your gadgets, and how
       they affect each other. Spies need to practice silent sneaking as well as
       up-close combat. Mercs need to practice the powerful ram attack, and how to
       avoid getting their necks snapped. I reccomend at least an hour of simply
       playing around with the controls and combat mechanisms.
     - LEARN ONE MAP. The maps in Chaos Theory are as important to learn as the
       characters themselves. Each map has a different size, layout, play style,
       and objectives. Jumping into an online game on a map you've never played
       is like jumping into a shark tank with lead weights tied to your feet --
       You're gonna get pwned. So, once you've spent an hour messing around with
       combat controls, you're going to need to spend another hour exploring all
       the ins and outs of a map you want to learn. Again, Tutor Mode is great for
       this, as you'll be able to ask your opponents questions like "Can you see
       me when I'm hiding here?" or "Do I make any noise when I'm doing this?" or
       "How obvious is this mine?".
       Trying to learn every map at once is impossible. Get comfortable with 2 or 3
       maps for the first few weeks, and branch out from there, one at a time.
       I promise you'll enjoy the game more :)
    [2.2] Glossary of Moves & Gadgets - SPY
    CROUCH(~WALK) - Tap (B) to toggle crouch on/off. You will not make any noise 
      moving in a crouched position. Crouch-walking at full speed will still show 
      up on the mercs' motion tracker, detonate prox mines, and make you appear on
      the radar if you're carrying a disk objective. A full crouch-walk will also
      make dust clouds at your feet in certain places (like the Cafe ceiling in
      Museum). A half-speed crouch-walk (or half-crouch-walk) is necessary in order
      to stay off of mercs' motion trackers. You need to move even slower than a
      half-crouch-walk to stay off the radar with a disk, or to safely approach a
      prox mine. However, you can move at about 75% of full crouch-walk speed in
      Museum's Cafe ceiling without making dust.
      See also: ROLL, SOFT LANDING, WALK
    DIVE-ROLL - While running, press and briefly hold (B) to execute a dive-roll.
      This maneuver is faster than running, and can be used to dive through lasers
      on certain maps. Example: dive-rolling through the lasers in Aquarius at a
      perpendicular angle, with the right spacing, will avoid setting them off.
      See also: ROLL, RUN
    ROLL - While crouch-walking, press and briefly hold (B) to execute a roll. This
      move is faster than a full crouch-walk, and therefore very useful when you
      need to travel quickly through vents or ceilings. Mercs cannot hear you roll.
      When trying to move through a vent or ceiling as fast as possible, you'll
      need to wait about three steps in between rolls.
      See also: CROUCH(~WALK), DIVE-ROLL
    RUN - Move the left thumbstick as far as it goes in any direction to run.
      Running makes noise on the mercs' sound radar, triggers their motion
      tracking, and detonates prox mines. Spies run *ever-so-slightly* faster than
      mercs. The dive-roll can be used to move *significantly* faster than mercs.
      See also: DIVE-ROLL, WALK
    SOFT LANDING - While falling from any safe height, tap (B) in midair for a soft
      landing. You will land in a crouch and not make any noise. Basically, the
      toggled crouch/stand state persists, even when you're not on the ground. So
      if you roll off a short ledge, you will have a soft landing, but if you rolll
      off a short ledge and hit (B) in midair, you will land hard (standing).
      Jumping cancels the crouch state, so if you jump from a crouched position,
      you will land standing (unless you hit (B) in midair). A soft landing with
      slight (or zero) horizontal velocity will result in a stationary crouch,
      while a soft landing with decent horizontal motion will result in a roll.
      See also: CROUCH, ROLL
    WALK - Move the left thumbstick slightly to walk. The slowest walking speed
      will not show up on mercs' motion trackers, but it will still make noise on
      their sound radar. The slowest walking speed can be used to safely approach
      a prox mine. See also: RUN
    [2.3] Glossary of Moves & Gadgets - MERC
    CROUCH - Tap (B) to toggle crouch on/off. In a crouched position, a melee
      attack from a spy will knock you unconscious for 5 seconds, and take about
      10% of your health.
    [2.4] Top 3 n00b mistakes
    1. *BEEP BEEP* - BOOM. The number one spy mistake is getting careless and
       forgetting to look for mines. Spies are particularly prone to do this if
       they've just knocked out a merc, or if they're running for their lives.
       Don't get sloppy. If there's someplace you need to go, chances are, there's
       a mine blocking your path. Switch to heat vision frequently to check your
       surroundings for lasers, and don't go running up to objectives.
    2. I CAN SEE YOU. You may think you're pretty well-hidden in that dark corner
       or grated ceiling panel, but if you're using any of your gadgets or vision
       modes, you'll light up like a christmas tree on any merc's blue visor. Optic
       Camo may seem cool, but a good merc can still see you, even without using
       his vision modes.
    3. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Being sneaky is fun for a lot of people, and it's
       important to stay off the mercs' radar. However, if you spend too much time
       hiding in vents, you may find that your partner is out of lives, and you've
       got a minute left to hack 2 objectives by yourself. It's important to draw
       the line between being stealthy and being worthless.
    1. SUPER-MERC TO THE RESCUE! You see that an objective is being hacked in the
       next room, so you run through the doorway and get your neck snapped. Good
       spies work together. Chances are, if one's hacking that computer, the other
       is waiting by the door to break your neck when you come charging in.
    2. AGH! I'M BLIND! Most n00b mercs spend 95% of their time in their regular
       vision, whereas the higher-level players are CONSTANTLY switching between
       yellow, blue, and red visors. If you find a spy crouching in a corner some-
       where, he's going to drop a flashbang and run for his life (or your neck),
       while you stagger around shooting blindly until you can see again. To avoid
       this unpleasant scenario, switch to motion tracking as soon as a spy knows
       you've spotted him. It'll make your life MUCH easier. On a related note,
       don't run around with your torchlight on the whole match. It's a glaring
       "n00b beacon", lets spies see you before you see them, and shows them
       exactly where your vulnerable backside is.
    3. AGH! I'M GASSED! For the love of god, bring a gas mask. There are very few
       maps in the game where you won't need one. It's incredibly easy for a spy to
       shoot a smoke grenade at the door before he starts hacking something. You
       don't want to have to do a charge attack just to get into the room (see merc
       n00b mistake #1). Furthermore, close-combat with a spy in a cloud of smoke
       suddenly becomes managable when you can jump, spin, and breathe. Also, equip
       and activate your Gas Mask whenever you hear a sticky cam. You'll be able to
       find and shoot it without having to worry about falling asleep. The gas mask
       single-handedly counters two of the spies most-used gadgets. Don't leave
       home without it.
    [2.5] About Story Mode
    It is my humble opinion that Story Mode is the way Spies VS Mercs was meant to
    be played. Deathmatch makes for some great killing practice, and Disk Hunt is
    good for variety every once in a while, but Story Mode is where this game truly
    shines. Therefore, my guides will focus on Story Mode, with the possibility of
    Deathmatch tips or Disk Hunt strategies in future updates.
    [3.0] Aquarius In-Depth
    Aquarius is the first map I chose to write a FAQ for, for a number of reasons.
    It's at the top of the list in the in-game menu. It's a medium-sized map, not
    too big or too small. It's challenging for the spies, but also for the mercs.
    Each objective leads to a different environmental effect when successfully
    completed. And finally, it was the most popular map before the downloadable
    content arrived.
    [3.1] Getting to Know the Map
    Aquarius is interesting in layout. Geographically, it's quite small, but in
    terms of navigating from point A to point B, things get a lot more complicated.
    There's almost always 2 or 3 ways to get from one room to another, with
    different advantages to each path. Familiarizing yourself with the layout of
    the map is important for both spies and mercs. As a merc, you really have to
    know what the spies' entry options are, and as a spy, you really have to know
    what doorways the mercs are likely to come through. Above all, you need to be
    able to communicate clearly with your teammate, so learn the names of the
    different rooms and locations in aquarius.
    [3.1.a] Rooms
    There are six main areas in the map, each with their own visual style. Hats off
    to Ubisoft for making each room so clearly labeled and aesthetically distinct.
    It really makes it easier to get to know the map. Key locations will be marked
    in CAPS (sections 3.x.x only).
    EXTERIOR (a.k.a. "OUTSIDE" or "SEASIDE")
    Description: Stormy, dark, and wet. Consists of the ROOF (spy spawn point),
    the deck below (a.k.a. SEASIDE), and a "HEALTH BOX ROOM" with and a vent 
    leading to SEA TUNNEL. The OFFICE could be considered "outside," but this guide
    will treat it as a seperate area. From the deck, one can access the office, the
    TECH Room, and the hallways leading to GREEK and BLUE rooms (both protected by
    lasers). From the ROOF, spies have vents going to BLUE ceiling and GREEK,
    as well as a TECH entry vent that requires a co-op move.
    Interactive Environment: Mercs' vision will be hampered by the rain, but sound
    radar is unaffected. Spies' optic camo is pretty worthless in the rain, but
    they're otherwise unaffected.
    TECH ROOM (a.k.a "TECH")
    Description: Very grey, with a high ceiling, and an upper level accessible
    by stairs or ladder. Contains a health box and a merc ammo box. TECH is at the
    center of the map, with argus-only doors leading out to every other area. Spies
    can exit these doors, but only mercs may enter them. Near each of these doors
    is a vent, which is only passable by spies if a merc's weapon has destroyed the
    grate on either side. Spies have 2 entry vents in the ceiling (coming from the
    ROOF). A third vent leads from UPSTAIRS TECH to the rafters in GREEK. The
    hallway from TECH leading towards PIRATES and BLUE ROOM contains a FISH TANK.
    TECH has two upstairs hallways leading to either end of the PIRATE CATWALK.
    Description: This room is almost entirely blue, with large tanks on many of
    the walls, a few couches and pillars, and a grated ceiling. A long wide hallway
    and two sets of lasers seperate the EXTERIOR from BLUE ROOM. The vent in the
    spies' spawn room leads into the BLUE ROOM ceiling; spies can either drop down
    through a hole to the center of the room, or pass through another small vent to
    come out in the dark corner of the room farthest from PIRATES. This corner is
    also home to the BLUE DISK DROP, which has a 2-second hack-able door. BLUE ROOM
    is directly connected to PIRATES via a short wide hallway (w/lasers) and a
    small vent hidden behind two TVs.
    Random Tip for Mercs: Use your motion tracker in this room. If a spy is
    moving through the ceiling, it's usually at full (crouched) speed, which shows
    up loud and clear on your red visor. Start shooting, and if you don't kill him,
    he's likely to flee to the far vent, where you can kill him with a grenade,
    or keep him pinned, by sweeping the two ceiling vent holes with your laser
    while watching the wall-vent exit through the corner of your screen.
    PIRATE'S ROOM (a.k.a. "PIRATE" or "PIRATES")
    Description: Marked by a green glow, wooden flooring, and lots of barrels,
    PIRATES has 3 levels. The ground floor is accessible by 2 TECH doors and the
    aforementioned BLUE ROOM entrances. The second floor of PIRATES is accessible
    via stairs in the same room, or via UPSTAIRS GREEK. The third floor consists of
    the CATWALK, spanning one side of the room (around the tall green fish tank),
    and a network of vents that cover most of the ceiling. Mercs can only reach the
    CATWALK via UPSTAIRS TECH. The vents can be accessed by spies from the CATWALK,
    or via co-op moves on the second floor.
    Interactive Environment: The corner of PIRATES opposite BLUE ROOM has a fish
    tank with a button on top of it. A spy can climb onto this tank and press the
    button on the wall to drop the nearby hanging box, killing anyone underneath
    it. (If you're trying to kill a Merc this way, rather than trying to time your
    button-press as he runs below, try shocking him or putting him to sleep first.)
    Once dropped, this box provides another way for spies to get up to the second
    GREEK TEMPLE (a.k.a. "GREEK" or "TEMPLE")
    Description: GREEK has more varying colors than the rest of the rooms here.
    There are red/yellow shades as well as blues and greens. GREEK is easily
    distinguished by its columns, blue glass floor sections, and breakable vases.
    Greek has a MAIN room, a darker BACK room seperated by columns, and an "L" of
    STAIRS leading up to 2nd floor PIRATES. A few vents in PIRATES lead to the top
    of the STAIRS in GREEK. A vent in UPSTAIRS TECH leads to the RAFTERS in GREEK,
    which can be used by spies to travel most of the ceiling. One of the vents on
    the OUTSIDE ROOF leads to two dark drop points between GREEK and the SEA
    The SEA TUNNEL isn't really a room; it's a long underwater hallway, leading
    from GREEK to OFFICE, with flood doors on either end. There are 4 buttons
    controlling the flood doors: one on the inside and outside of each door. The
    doors always open and close together. You'll never see one opened while the
    other is closed. Pressing either exterior door switch will instantly open or
    close the doors, while the interior door switches will activate an invisible
    timer, which will open or close the doors after 10 seconds. The implications of
    this are interesting. If you manage to shut the doors while an enemy is in the
    sea tunnel, it will be at least 10 seconds before he can escape, unless his
    partner comes to the rescue and hits one of the exterior switches.
    FYI: If one of the flood doors closes on your head, you will die. Instantly.
    OFFICE (a.k.a. "DISK ROOM", but "OFFICE" is more precise)
    Description: The OFFICE lies in the corner of the map, adjacent to the SEA
    TUNNEL and the EXTERIOR. The OFFICE DOOR faces the SEA TUNNEL, and is open-
    access for mercs, and a 10-second hack for spies. Alternatively, spies can gain
    entry to UPSTAIRS OFFICE by shooting out 2nd floor window OUTSIDE and using the
    co-op move to hoist each other up. OFFICE has 2 floors inside, connected by an
    L-shaped stairway. This stairway is the only way for mercs to traverse the two
    floors, while spies have two other ways of getting downstairs - they can jump
    out the window to the EXTERIOR, or jump off the upstairs BALCONY (which is
    right above the DOOR). This BALCONY also doubles as a co-op hoist point. The
    vent in the OUTSIDE HEALTH BOX ROOM comes out next to the TECH door between
    [3.1.b] Objectives
    Aquarius' level design really shines in story mode, as the spies have a great
    variety of objective options. They're spread out in a way that allows the mercs
    to be relatively *close* to everything, but they're not close enough to allow
    easy camping. The other cool thing about this map is that every objective has
    a unique environmental effect when it's hacked.
    PIRATES - 12 sec hack
    This computer hack is on the ground floor of PIRATES, on the wall opposite
    TECH. A spy hacking this ND133 can be easily grenaded or sniped from the
    CATWALK or the 2nd floor.
    Effect: Darkness. Successfully hacking Pirates turns this once-vibrantly-lit
    map into a shadowy nightmare. No more flood lights outside, and Tech is almost
    pitch-black on the ground floor. The entire map is affected. Are you afraid of
    the dark?
    GREEK - 12 sec hack
    This ND133 Is in the GREEK room, between the TECH door and the doorway leading
    to SEA TUNNEL. It's amazing how many spies will come from the SEA TUNNEL door
    and turn right to the ND133 without looking behind them. I've landed countless
    ram attacks as a merc, just by camping the corner opposite the ND133 and
    smacking the spies in the back when they come creeping in. Don't be that spy.
    Also good to know: A smoke grenade dropped in front of the ND133 will
    effectively slow any merc trying to come through that TECH hallway. However, if
    you're a merc in TECH and you see someone hacking GREEK, you can shoot out the
    vent cover in the hallway leading to GREEK, crouch, and lob a grenade into the
    vent at a diagonal angle. When done correctly, this grenade will instantly kill
    the hacking spy, and you won't even have to go out into GREEK. Unfortunately,
    the vent will now provide spies with easy ground-floor access to TECH.
    Effect: Once GREEK is hacked, all of the Argus-only TECH doors open, giving
    the spies free reign on most of the map. (OFFICE door and BLUE DISK DROP door
    stay closed.)
    OFFICE DISK - 2 drop boxes
    This disk must be stolen from the ground floor of OFFICE. Enter OFFICE by way
    of a exterior window, the door hack, or a co-op hoist. The two drop points
    for this disk are...
    1) BLUE ROOM - in the back of BLUE is a door with a 2-second hack, containing
       nothing but a drop box and a vent leading back to BLUE ROOM CEILING. This
       vent is one-way; you can go from the DISK DROP ROOM back to the CEILING, but
       not vice-versa. Spies, check this room for mercs and mines before charging
       in. (Heartbeat Sensor / Spy Bullets help with this). It's important to note
       that this disk drop room is the only objective in BLUE ROOM, so mercs aren't
       likely to be around unless the disk has been stolen.
    2) PIRATES - under the center of the second floor platform, there's a disk drop
       sitting on top of a barrel. There are plenty of ways to hide mines around
       this drop point, which is good to know for both teams.
    Effect: Successfully stealing the office disk turns off all of the map's built-
    in lasers. This makes it much easier for spies to sneak around undedected.
    TANK DISK - 2 drop boxes
    The TECH ROOM hallway leading towards PIRATES / BLUE ROOM has an entrance to a
    fish tank visible from BLUE. Spies or mercs can press a button on the wall to
    drain the tank of its water, and the door opens a few seconds later. The door
    is small; both spies and mercs can get into the tank by crouching. Some mercs
    like to put a mine inside the tank, but I find it to be a waste of time and
    mines. A prox mine on the inside wall of the tank can detonate without harming
    the spy if he's still physically outside the tank door. The two drop points for
    this disk are...
    1) GREEK - the BACK ROOM of GREEK holds one of the drop boxes for this disk.
       The vent leading from UPSTAIRS TECH to the GREEK RAFTERS makes for a sneaky
       disk drop.
    2) OFFICE - the other drop box for this disk is UPSTAIRS in the OFFICE.
    Effect: Steal the tank disk to activate a sprinkler system across the map. Key
    hallways and passageways will have water spraying down from the ceiling, which
    will cloud up the mercs' visors (same effect as going outside in the rain).
    TECH ROOM - 24 sec fuse
    There are six possible bomb locations in TECH, all on the ground floor. Spies
    generally drop smoke near the doors before planting bombs, and either move on
    to other locations while mercs are securing TECH, or stick around to try to
    hinder the mercs and break some necks. It's almost always wise for both mercs
    to go to TECH when a bomb is planted, because a good spy will be in a position
    to try to jump in your head or break your neck the moment you walk in the door.
    It's a general rule that mercs will take longer to find a bomb in the center of
    the room than one on an outside pillar.
    Effect: Bombing TECH fills the room with a thick steam that's impossible to see
    through without EMF vision. Looking through the steam in Motion Tracking yields
    nothing but a blinding red-white light. Needless to say, mercs will be hesitant
    to return to this room once it's been bombed. A few clouds of steam also appear
    in main passageways around the level.
    [3.1.c] Easter Egg
    Turn the PIRATES room into a fish tank!
    Who: 2 spies are needed to activate this easter egg.
    Where: PIRATES
    What: The pirates room becomes a living fish tank, with bubbles coming out of
      random places, and giant fish swimming around in the air. The fish cannot be
      shot or destroyed; bullets go right through them.
    How: Go to the landing between the first and second floors of PIRATES. in the
      dark corner, you should see an icon for a co-op move. Hoist your partner up
      onto an invisible platform. Once standing on the platform, the spy should
      turn 90 degrees to the right (to face the room) and jump straight up. If done
      correctly, fish will appear out of thin air and swim around the room. Jumping
      again in the same spot turns the fish off. They can be toggled on and off as
      many times as you want. Fun for freaking out n00b mercs.
    Note: this is NOT a "glitch" or a "hack" of any sort, and it has no effect on
      gameplay. It was intentionally put in the game for us to have fun with, and
      should NOT be considered cheating.
    [3.2] Spy Strategies
    What gadgets should I bring as a spy in aquarius? Which objectives should I go
    for first? Is this a map where two spies are best off sticking together or
    splitting up? These questions and more are discussed below.
    [3.2.a] Choosing your Gadgets
    ** REQUIRED ** - Smoke Grenade + Chaff Grenade
    Smoke grenade should be a GIVEN for any spy in any level.
    I say chaffs are required for Aqua because the map is FULL of lasers until you
    successfully steal the office disk. Secondly, if you see a mine near an
    objective (or even if you don't), it's nice to launch a chaff with your gun so
    you can get closer without having to creep. Finally, chaffs are good for
    disabling those pesky spy traps / poison mines / laser mines that you can't
    really avoid otherwise.
    Example: a poison mine or spy tracker can be placed under the stairs in Pirates
    so that the laser goes all the way across the room to cover the entrance from
    Blue Room. A spy trying to get into Pirates from Blue can't jump or duck past
    the laser, and can't get in a position to shoot it out without crossing the
    laser's path. However, the spy CAN go through the vent behind the TVs, and lob
    a chaff under the stairs, which will disable the trap.
    HIGHLY RECCOMENDED - Spy Bullet OR Heartbeat Sensor - your choice.
    Uses for Heartbeat Sensor - In general, Aqua is a very compact map, where rooms
    may be adjacent, but you have to go a much longer route to get from room A to
    room B. The heartbeat sensor can detect nearby mercs, even through walls. So
    when you and your partner are on the roof, trying to decide whether or not to
    enter TECH, you can simply pull out your gun, point it at the wall, and see if
    any mercs are on the other side. Also, there are many vents in this map where
    you're safe inside, but can't really know who's waiting for you on the other
    end. Example: The vents between Pirates and Greek. You're completely safe in
    there, but it's very risky to try to leave when you don't know which side a
    merc may be waiting on. Other examples: the ceiling vents in Tech, the behind-
    the-TVs vent in Pirates/Blue, and the HealthBoxRoom ~ SeaTunnel vent.
    Heartbeat sensor is a safer and stealthier alternative to scouting out a room
    with a sticky cam, because the mercs don't know when you're using it, and you
    don't need a visible sight-line.
    Uses for Spy Bullet - The spy bullet has a shorter radius than the heartbeat
    sensor, but the benefit is that you can use many at once, and use other gadgets
    (or hack) at the same time. Hitting a merc directly puts him on the radar for
    a little while, but putting a spy bullet on the wall activates a zone radar
    that will generally cover an entire hallway. Example: Before hacking Greek, pop
    a spy bullet up at the top of the stairs, a second down the Sea Tunnel, and a
    third right above the computer (to catch any mercs coming through Tech). That
    way, you're warned of incoming mercs from any direction, and can stop hacking
    and run, rather than just standing there typing 'til you die. Also keep in mind
    that your spy bullets also inform your partners, whereas only you can see what
    the heartbeat sensor shows you.
    Ultimately, I tend to choose spy bullet. Most of the heartbeat sensor's uses
    can be covered with spy bullets. They go through walls just as effectively;
    their only downside is the shorter radius and limited ammo. Spy bullet is the
    more versatile of the two, but many players still swear by heartbeat sensor on
    this map. You may choose to have one spy with each, but two spies with spy
    bullets can effectively cover the whole map with zone radar in every key
    OPTIONAL - Sticky Cam, Flash Bang, Alarm Snare, Optic Camo
    Choose one of these for your fourth slot, depending on your style of play, and
    who you're playing against.
    Sticky Cam - Personally, I think this is the best choice. I use it less for
    recon and more for putting mercs to sleep. *DO* use sticky cams to set up traps
    and put mercs to sleep when they're trying to save an objective. *DON'T* use
    a sticky cam from the ceiling vents to check out tech before you jump down. If
    you're in a position to shoot a sticky cam into Tech, you're in a position to
    get grenaded. Same goes for any other vent you may be stuck in.
    Flash Bang - If you're more of a rambo-type of spy, you may want to put these
    in your fourth slot, or even sub them in for a chaff or one of the "recon"
    gadgets. Many spies live and die by the Triple Grenade Combo. (Zap merc, then
    hit him with chaff, flash, and smoke before he can recover. No this isn't a
    glitch, just quick fingers.) If that's what floats your boat, or if you simply
    want a more combat-oriented option in your quick-drop slot, go with flash.
    Alarm Snare - There are four approaches you can take with alarm snares. (this
    section will eventually be moved to the Glossary)
    1) DIVERSION. Use an alarm snare to lure a merc away from where you need to go.
       If you're using a snare to make a merc think you're somewhere that you're
       not, that's DIVERSION. It's analogous to the computer-AI "huh? what's that
       noise?" trick. Only works once or twice on human opponents before they
       realize what's going on. DIVERSION differs from other tactics in that your
       goal is for the merc to relocate or simply look away.
    2) BAITING. Once a merc knows you're using snares, he's less likely to follow
       a noise to a different room, but *more* likely to try to shoot any snares
       that he sees nearby. BAITING is setting a snare with every intention of
       letting a merc shoot it... so you can snap his neck while his back is
       turned. Works even better if the merc has a shotgun, because its randomized
       accuracy means he may need to shoot several times at point-blank range to
       hit the snare, giving you that much more time to move in for the kill.
    3) MASKING. When you need to move quick, but don't want mercs to know where you
       are, shoot 3 or 4 snares in completely different directions. The mercs will
       obviously know you're using snares, but their sound radar will be rendered
    4) ANNOYANCE. Plain and simple. Shoot a snare in a vent, in the ceiling, on
       the roof, or anywhere else, so long as a merc can't shoot it without wasting
       a grenade. This can potentially have the function of tactics 1-3, but is
       done without rhyme or reason, simply to irritate any nearby mercs. They may
       not necessarily move, and you may not necessarily get the sound masking you
       need, but it's certain to take the merc's mind off of more important things.
    Optic Camo - this one really depends on who you're playing against. Aquarius
    has some spots that are too bright to hide in normally, so bright that a merc
    wouldn't think twice about looking for you there. (The bright blue floor panel
    in front of Greek's staircase comes to mind.) The fact of the matter is, some
    players use regular vision 95% of the time, and some constantly switch between
    all three vision modes, laser, and flashlight. Optic camo is probably my last
    choice on most levels, though it looks pretty cool in the rain.
    [3.2.b] Co-Op Move Locations
    A complete list of every Co-Op Hoist location in the level
    ...Coming Soon...
    If you'd like to contribute by researching/writing this section, contact me.
    [3.2.c] Entrance Points and Options
    Spies will always spawn inside the "spawn room" on the roof. From there, you
    have many options to choose from, some of which require co-op moves. Here's a
    tree to help visualize the spies' different starting options.
            Spawn on ROOF......................
            /          |        \             \
    Vent-BLUE.CLNG     |       Vent-GREEK   Drop-SEASIDE.........................
       /     \      CoOp-TECH              /        |     \     \               |
    Drop or Vent       | (2F)          Hall-BLUE  CoOp or Hack  SEA.TUNNEL      |
       \     /         |                             \    /                     |
      BLUE.ROOM       ......................         OFFICE            HLTH.BX.RM
       /    \        /           |          \                              |
    Hall or Vent   Vent-GREEK    |         TECH.1F...........            Vent
       \    /                   /         /  \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \           /  \
       PIRATES       Catwalk-PIRATES   TANK  (every other room)   SEA.TUN  OFC.HCK
    I'm not sure how useful this is for anyone, but there ya go. If you find
    yourself spawning and following the same pattern to your doom, the above chart
    should open your eyes to the wealth of options you really have.
    [3.2.d] Rushes
    These rushes are meant to be done at the beginning of the match, before the
    mercs have a chance to get all their mines set up and get into position
    defensively. The goal of a Rush is generally to score an objective;
    early-game strategies that aim to kill mercs rather than score objectives
    will be listed in the "Traps" section.
    Double Greek Rush a.k.a. Double GEEK Rush
    This was suggested on the discussion board I made for this FAQ, but I have yet
    to be convinced. At the start of a match, there's almost always one merc
    spawned in Greek. Two spies running through the Sea Tunnel will be 
    pretty obvious to a merc in Greek, and a perfect opportunity for a single-
    grenade double-kill. I understand the concept of "two spies, one merc, spies 
    win," but that logic doesn't really work when the spies are coming through a 
    choke-point together. The only way I forsee this working is if the Greek-
    spawning merc expects a Tech Rush and goes straight into Tech at the start of
    the match.
    I'm still open-minded, so if you have a more specific attack plan for the
    Double GEEK Rush, send it my way.
    Double Tech Rush - Ver. 1 - Stay and Defend
    Hoist & Hump to get into the Tech vents as soon as the game starts. Both spies
    drop in as quickly as possible, and shoot smoke grenades at all the doors,
    particularly those leading to PIRATES and GREEK. Plant a bomb and continue
    dropping smoke (and optionally chaff) everywhere. Depending on where you
    planted the bomb, position yourself to ambush any incoming mercs. If you want
    to use a sticky cam, that's good too, but do it from an elevated position.
    Mercs are unlikely to look up when the bomb is ticking; they're more concerned
    with securing the room and watching their own backs. Both spies must stay and
    defend the room, because both mercs are likely to come to protect it. 1 spy +
    2 mercs = a dead spy and a secured room. 2 spies + 2 mercs + a room full of
    8 smoke grenades = good potential for neck-snaps and mercs accidentally 'nading
    each other.
      + Works great against mercs who like to set up mines as soon as they spawn,
        or total n00bs who don't even know those vents exist. Even if one merc
        heads straight to tech at the start of the match, the spies aren't
        necessarily dead; they just need to run away.
      + If successful, you've got a tech room full of smoke that the mercs won't
        want to go anywhere near. The Tech CoOp will make a great entry point for
        future spawns, because the mercs probably won't be there, and you can use
        Tech to access the rest of the map.
      + The Stay and Defend plan often results in merc deaths, which are otherwise
        difficult to achieve on Aquarius.
      - Oops, you used all your smoke grenades in the first 30 seconds of the
        game. Have fun with that one.
      - Experienced mercs usually expect a Tech or Office rush. And wear gas masks.
      + Their gas masks should be out of juice by the time they're done dealing
        with Tech.
    Double Tech Rush - Ver. 2 - Bomb, Smoke, Scatter
    Starts the same as Ver. 1, but with less emphasis on using all your smokes.
    Drop only enough one or two smokes on each side, and bomb the middle. Optional:
    shoot a few alarm snares in the room. Then, as soon as the bomb is set, take
    the upper exits to Greek and Pirates, and drop more smoke at the tech doors
    to slow them should they choose to come back out. Then, both of you start
    hacking Greek/Pirates at the same time, while they're still potentially dealing
    with Tech, or fighting through smoke to get back out to where you're hacking.
      + Less confrontational than Ver. 1, therefore less chance of death.
      + More things being hacked at once = more panicked mercs.
      - Tech is likely to be secured without any spies defending the bomb.
      - Spies splitting up = one is more likely to be killed.
      + Spies splitting up = one is more likely to successfully hack a computer.
    Office Disk Grab - Basic Start
    At start of match, shoot out the office window, (reccomended: shoot a spy
    bullet in the hall in front of the office door), jump down, and hoist one spy
    into the office. That spy should hop downstairs, grab the disk, and leave
    through the same window he came in. From there, you could run straight to Blue,
    but the merc who spawned in Pirates will be waiting for you. Instead, you may
    want to use the wooden boards near the picnic table to get back onto the roof
    and devise a plan from there...
      + You can usually get your partner hoisted into Office before a merc arrives.
      - If the Greek-spawning merc runs straight to office without planting any
        mines, he can kill you both with one grenade while you're trying to co-op.
      - This is probably the most common spy start. Many mercs expect it.
      - Once you have the disk, you can't move faster than half crouch-walk speed
        or you'll show on their radar. And they'll probably be guarding the two
        drop boxes.
      + You can turn the above CON into a PRO by having your non-disk-carrier go to
        Greek, which should be empty (but probably mined).
    FOLLOW-UP #1
    Hoist disk-spy (Spy 1) into Tech. Spy 2 goes Greek, checking heartbeat sensor
    for camping mercs. Spy 1 plants a Tech bomb, gasses the doorways, and heads
    upstairs towards the Pirates catwalk. If the Pirates-camping merc goes to save
    Tech, Spy 1 can drop the disk in Pirates, making sure to look out for mines.
    If Greek-camping merc goes to save Tech, Spy 2 can move in to hack Greek. The
    idea is to avoid any and all confrontation with mercs; heartbeat sensors and
    spy bullets are essential.
    FOLLOW-UP #2
    Forget retreating to the roof. As soon as the disk is stolen, both spies rush
    Blue. The non-disk spy should be in front to act as a mine-shield, and make
    first contact with the merc who's probably waiting for them. As long as the
    merc is alive/conscious, both spies should be combating him. If one spy tries
    to fight the merc alone while the other hacks the disk-drop door, the disk spy
    is bound to eat a grenade. Neutralize the merc, THEN drop the disk.
    [3.2.e] Traps
    Traps are tactics executed early-, mid-, or late-game, with the goal of
    trapping or killing a merc. Every Trap must have a "Lure" and a "Hook" (lethal)
    or "Catch" (nonlethal).
    LURE: Office Door Hacking
    Spy 1 ("bait") runs to the office door and starts hacking. This lure is very
    reliable early-game, as a merc has just been spawned in Greek, so you can be
    pretty sure of where he's coming from. To be better informed, shoot a spy
    bullet outside near the Blue Room hall, and another down the Sea Tunnel.
    Optional: the bait spy can also set off the laser alarms near the office door.
    CATCH: Fishbowl
    As soon as merc enters Sea Tunnel, Spy 2 presses button to close flood doors.
    Merc is stuck with the fishes for a while. Alternatively, have a sticky cam
    set up inside sea tunnel, put merc to sleep as he's running through, then close
    doors as he's waking up. With this kind of timing, spy 1 can actually get the
    disk and be long gone by the time the merc gets out. This also means the
    remaining merc is left to guard both disk drops by himself.
    HOOK: Neck Snap 1
    Spy 1 continues hacking. Spy 2 waits in corner between Tech door and Sea Tunnel
    door. Mash A as merc is running through to grab and snap neck. Works well b/c
    he'll be turning right to round the corner so he can see spy 1. Alternatively,
    drag merc through Tech door for free access, then snap his neck.
    HOOK: Neck Snap 2
    Spy 2 waits in one of the two dark shadowy coves between Sea Tunnel and Office
    (preferably the shadow to the RIGHT as you're facing the office door). As merc
    is coming through the tunnel, Spy 1 stops hacking and runs outside, tripping
    lasers as he goes. As merc turns left round the corner to look outside, spy 2
    has his neck. Option: Use merc to get into Office before killing him.
    HOOK: Neck Snap 3
    Spy 2 waits in shadows behind wooden planks under seaside office window. Spy 1
    stops hacking right before merc arrives, and runs through the lasers outside,
    heading in the direction of Blue Room hallway. As merc chases outside, spy 2
    emerges from his hiding spot and grabs some neck. Crack-a-lackin'.
    LURE: Office Disk on Roof
    Spy 1 gets office disk, and proceeds to the roof, where he will run back and
    forth, and around in circles, to ensure he stays on mercs' radars.
    HOOK: Neck Snap
    See Office Door Hack ~ Neck Snap 3 above. Same hiding spot for spy 2. Spy 1
    just needs to be visible, and lure the merc into an angle where Spy 2 can get
    LURE: Solo Tech Bomb
    This trap requires only one spy in Tech. (The other can be off causing trouble
    elsewhere.) Of the 6 possible bomb locations, there are two that face towards
    dark shadowy corners. Envision that you're coming from Greek into Tech. There's
    a pillar in front of you with two possible bomb plants. One faces to the right,
    towards the rest of the room and the Sea Tunnel exit, and another faces left,
    towards some green cabinets and a shadowy corner. As a spy, you want to plant
    the bomb in this spot, and then hide yourself in that dark corner.
    *This lure works best if you know there's a merc in Greek
    HOOK: Neck Snap
    It's best to have spy bullets at both of the Pirates doors, in case a different
    Merc comes to the rescue, but your goal is for a merc to come from Greek and
    put his back to you as he defuses the bomb. Smoke grenades in the doorways are
    always nice. If you have optic camo, go ahead and turn it on while you're
    hiding, but only if you've dropped some chaff grenades nearby. A merc looking
    for a bomb will most likely try to use EMF vision, which would nullify your
    camo. Depending on timing, you might not want to crack that merc's neck right
    away... If the bomb's about to blow, you could drag the merc right up to it and
    just hold him there, for an extra-stylish suicide-kill (*unconfirmed*). Or, you
    could try dragging the merc up to the bomb and hitting R to knock him out, and
    let the bomb blow him up while he's sleeping or starting to stand up again
    (*also unconfirmed*).
    [3.2.f] Other Tactics
    These tactics can be executed mid- to late-game, and generally aim to score an
    objective rather than trap or kill a merc.
    Disk Distraction
    Spy 1, get your hands on the office disk, and get somewhere safe, like the
    roof. Don't be as obvious as in "LURE: Office Disk on Roof" above, but move
    enough so that they think you're trying to get to an objective. Hopefully,
    both mercs will focus on the drop boxes in Pirates/Blue, while spy 2 is free
    to try to hack Greek.
      - One spy is basically useless while the other has to work alone.
    Office Disk Spy Blitz
    I'd like to claim this one as an original invention, as I'd never seen anoyone
    do it, and my regular partner just thought it up one day... but I digress...
    Either spy shoots out the office window, while the other pops a spy bullet near
    the office door (preferably in a shadow). One spy gets hoisted into the office
    window (the "disk spy") and WAITS while the remaining spy (the "scout spy")
    heads back to the roof to enter Blue Room ceiling via vent. The scout spy
    checks blue room for mines and pops a spy bullet between Blue Room and Pirates,
    next to the Tech door. When both spies know theres' no mercs in the immediate
    vicinity, the disk spy grabs the disk and jumps out the window to run towards
    Blue. The merc spy shoots two grenades: a chaff towards the hall leading out-
    side, and a smoke towards Pirates and the tech door. The disk spy will dive-
    roll through the first set of lasers in the Blue hall, while the scout spy
    sets up an ambush, by continuing to drop smoke near Pirates, setting up a spy
    cam, and/or hiding behind a dark corner, waiting to neck-crack any merc that
    comes to save the day. The disk spy can simply run past the second laser set,
    as it's already been chaff'd. He hacks the door to the drop room, and delivers
    the goods. Alternately, if blue room is clear of mercs, the scout spy can hack
    the door as the disk spy is approaching, for a perfectly orchestrated dropoff.
    The beauty of this plan is that mercs never bother with Blue Room until the
    Office disk is stolen, so the scout spy is generally free to explore every nook
    and cranny for mines, and prepare his ambush. It doesn't matter that the disk
    spy is running and on radar, because the path is already cleared and protected.
    Tech Follow-Up: Tank Disk
    A successful Tech Room bombing can usually be followed up by snagging the Tank
    Disk. Once you've got the disk, it's almost always best to head back through
    Tech, as it's full of steam, and mercs are afraid of it. From there, you've got
    two exits leading towards the Office drop, and an upstairs vent leading to
    Greek. If you go towards Greek, keep it slow to stay off radar, and stay on the
    rafters all the way to the back room; there's no need to drop down early unless
    you've been spotted. If you go towards Office via the SeaTunnel exit, close
    those flood doors on your way out.
    [3.3] Merc Strategies
    [3.3.a] Choosing Your Gun
    Aquarius is a unique map, in that each gun is about equally useful. A map like
    Warehosue demands the shotgun, as most of your confrontations will be extremely
    close-range. On the other hand, Factory's rooms are so big that you'd be crazy
    not to bring an assault rifle. Below are the PROS (+) and CONS (-) for each
    + catwalk in Pirates makes for a great sniper perch, and gives a perfect
      headshot view of any spies hacking the computer.
    + get a suprise snipe on spies trying to CoOp into Office (from Blue Room
      side of Ext)
    - not great in Greek, where combat is all close-range
    - horrible accuracy while running; not a good "pursuit weapon" for chasing
      spies who are running away.
    + it's your only chance of killing a spy on the roof without blindly shooting
    - terrible against rambo spies.
    Best Used by a Merc Who...
    * likes to patrol upstairs Tech and the Pirates catwalk. Blue Room and Ext are
      the second-best places for an Assault Rifle merc to hang out
    * uses recon and communication to set up for stealthy sniping.
    * knows how to use his melee/berzerk attacks well, thus negating the need for
      close-range firepower.
    * possesses the virtue of patience. Chasing a spy into the next room while
      spraying is very inefficient for an AR user.
    + tons of mid-range combat opportunities in Aquarius; most rooms are small
      enough that you won't really need a scope, but large enough that a shotgun
      might be insufficient.
    + great pursuit weapon, for mowing down spies as they try to run away
    - not so great if the spy starts running circles around you
    - no sniping abilities, so stay off the Catwalk
    - you run out of bullets much faster than other weapons, so be prepared to
      visit an ammo box
    + this gun works well in almost any area of Aquarius, so there's no sudden dis-
      advantages when you walk through a doorway.
    Best Used by a Merc Who...
    * likes to chase spies and hunt them down once they're spotted.
    * enjoys spraying bullets / doesn't have very good aim.
    * stays mobile, patrolling various rooms, and checking every shadow for spies.
    - horrible at long-range
    - randomized accuracy; it may take 3 point-blank shots to take an alarm snare
      off a wall in front of you
    + randomized accuracy; you can get ridiculously lucky and score a 1-hit kill
      from 5-10 yards away (not common, but it happens).
    + deadly at close-range; perfect for rambo spies, because you only need to land
      one good shot to take 'em down.
    - long reload time if you've used all your bullets
    Best Used by a Merc Who...
    * prefers to camp around corners, ambush spies, and hang out in small rooms
    * spends a lot of time in Greek, 1F Tech, Sea Tunnel, Office
    * hates rambo spies and enjoys making them die
    * relies on grenades for long-range combat, and has good grenade aim
    * knows how to use grenades to limit a spy's options and "herd" them towards
      the business end of the boom-stick.
    [3.3.b] Choosing Your Gadgets
    ** REQUIRED ** - Grenades + Mines
    Every merc should use both of these on every map. Period.
    What are the spies' two best methods of putting you to sleep and blocking your
    entry to a room? The smoke grenade and spy cam. What single merc gadget negates
    the effects of both of these? The gas mask. Don't leave home without it. Aqua
    is full of doors, hallways, and corridors that can be completely blocked by a
    well-placed cloud of smoke. If there's a cloud of smoke between you and an
    objective being hacked, you have three options: (1) Stand there and wait for
    the smoke to dissipate, (2) Try to charge through it blindly, and risk falling
    asleep or losing your neck, or (3) put on a gas mask and walk through the smoke
    like it wasn't there. I suggest option 3. Also, activate your gas mask as soon
    as you hear a sticky cam hit the wall, and you can find and shoot it without
    having to worry about a sudden bout with narcolepsy.
    RECCOMENDED - Spy Trackers
    Mines are nice, but you can only set three of them at a time. Cover twice the
    area with Spy Traps and Presence Detectors. Both of these sneaky devices let
    you spy on the spies. The Spy Trap doesn't tell a spy when he's been tagged, so
    you can eavesdrop and stalk him around the level until you feel like killing
    him. The presence detector lets the spy know he's been detected, but doesn't
    have any pesky lasers to give away its location.
    OPTIONAL - Backpack, Camera Network
    Backpack - If you're not too concerned with tracking spies, and would rather
    focus on blowing them up with grenades and mines, a backpack might serve you
    better than spy trackers. Keep in mind that your partner can refill from your
    pack, too, and take any spare moment in a match to offer him fresh supplies.
    Cam Net - This is another possible alternative to spy trackers. It serves the
    same purpose of recon, without limiting your "ammo". You can only have 3 spy
    traps set at once, but CamNet has unlimited usage, and there are cameras all
    over Aquarius. Cam Net cameras can't be destroyed or disabled by spies, and
    they have all the same vision modes as your visor, plus torchlight, laser, and
    a powerful zoom. Be careful; when you're using CamNet, your body is completely
    NOT RECCOMENDED - Taser, Flare
    Taser - The only conceivable reason I see for bringing a taser is if your gun
    is the Assault Rifle. The AR is great at long range, and poor at close-combat,
    and the taser could potentially fill that gap. However, even that rationale is
    moot when you consider the power of the mercs' melee/berzerk attacks. But if
    you're good at tasering, and don't like the risky after-lag associated with
    berzerk moves, you may want to bring this in your fourth slot.
    Flare - Unless Pirates is hacked, Aquarius is one of the most well-lit levels
    in the game. If you have some crazy defense plan that involves forfeitting the
    Pirate Room so that you can exclusively guard Greek, Tech, and Office, go ahead
    and bring those flares. In a normally-lit Aquarius, you won't really need them,
    though I guess they can be used as a deterrent. A spy is very unlikely to drop
    down into Greek from the roof if those dark drop points are lit up like the
    Fourth of July. If you don't care about knowing where spies are, and prefer
    to intimidate them with shiny objects, go ahead and bring flares instead of
    spy trackers. Otherwise, leave the fireworks at home.
    [3.3.c] Spawn Points & Starting Out
    There are four merc spawn points:
    1. Pirates 1F
    2. Greek, main room
    3. Blue Room, between the Disk Tank and Disk Drop Room
    4. Tech, upstairs
    I have a vague suspicion that mercs' spawn points at the beginning of the game
    depend on who's hosting and how many players there are. I'm looking for more 
    info on this matter. For a while, I suspected that the host of the game always
    started in Pirates, his partner always in Greek, and subsequent respawns would
    be random across the four. However, I'm not so sure now. 
    If anyone knows more about this, or even has a hunch, contact me.
    ...More Info Coming Soon....
    [3.3.d] Mine & Spy Tracker Placement
    ...Coming Soon...
    I'm currently awaiting more user submissions for this section, and working
    on a way to note the best mine spots without listing every flat surface
    on the map. Please contact me or post with suggestions.
    [3.3.e] Defensive Roles and Patrol Routes
    ...Coming Soon...
    I'm currently awaiting more user submissions for this section, so please
    contact me, or post on the boards in the official topic.
    [3.3.f] Prioritize
    With only 2 mercs, and 5 objectives to guard, you can (a) run around without
    rhyme or reason, hoping to find some spies, (b) adopt one of the defensive
    roles or patrol routes listed above, or (c) decide with your partner which
    objectives to guard, and which to forfeit.
    This merc strategy of "prioritizing" and "forfeitting" certiain objectives
    is incredibly effective on maps like Museum and Clubhouse, and a little more
    subtle on a map like Aquarius. For example, in Museum, if mercs let the spies
    bomb Exhibition and Monolith rooms first, the only remaining objectives will
    be in the Cafe - two computers to hack in Cafe, and one disk that can be picked
    up elsewhere, but must be delivered to the cafe area. This way, the mercs
    consolidate their defenses, and can guard one relatively small area together,
    rather than having to split up and risk being double-teamed by spies.
    In Aquarius, the environmental effects of the objectives complicate the issue
    of prioritizing. As a merc, would you rather have a few sprinklers going off,
    or have every tech door opened for the spies? A level without lights or a tech
    room full of steam? These are all things that need to be considered, but the
    REAL goal of Prioritizing is PROXIMITY. Below are a few examples of late-game
    situations, and how proximity affects the mercs' defensive abilities.
    SCENARIO #1 - mercs are screwed.
    Spies have successfully hacked Pirates, grabbed the office disk (but not yet
    delivered it to a drop box), and successfully bombed Tech. You, the mercs, must
    now somehow guard the Greek computer, the drop box in Pirates, the drop box in
    Blue Room, AND the fish tank disk. One merc could attempt to stretch himself
    between Pirates and Blue while the other camps Greek, or they could abandon
    Greek, so that one merc could guard each drop box. Either way, it's not a
    pretty picture, and the spies in this situation have a strong chance of
    winning, even if there's only a minute and a half left in the game.
    SCENARIO #2 - up in the air.
    The spies bombed tech, and one of them was able to grab the tank disk and sneak
    back into the steam-filled tech room, while his partner hacked Pirates. They
    only need one more objective. They can drop the tank disk in Greek or Office,
    try to hack Greek, or try to steal the Office disk. The mercs in this situation
    can split up, one in greek, and one in office, and neither really has to move.
    Merc 1 can guard the Greek ND133 and drop box, and merc 2 can guard the office
    disk and drop box. The problem here is that if one merc gets double-teamed or
    put to sleep, The other merc may be too far away to help, especially if a spy
    closes the Sea Tunnel doors. The spies can win this one with a little bit of
    coordinated teamwork, but even then, a good merc has a decent shot at defending
    either of those locations against a double-team.
    SCENARIO #3 - spies are screwed.
    A pair of speedy spies manages to bomb Tech and hack Greek in the first three
    minutes of the game. The mercs relocate to Pirates/Blue Room and set up shop.
    The spies' remaining options are the two disks and the Pirates computer. With
    the Tech doors open for the rest of the match, spies can travel more freely,
    but mercs can also watch the Tank-door-button without having to open any doors.
    The two mercs can literally both hang out at the intersection of Pirates, Blue,
    and Tech. If the office disk is stolen, they've got both of the drop boxes
    covered. And they can easily watch the Pirates ND133 and the Tank disk without
    having to move. Even with 7 minutes left in the game, and both spies having all
    their lives, mercs have the upper hand.
    Does this mean that mercs should instantly forfeit Greek and Tech every match?
    Nope. Mercs can win by killing, too. Why give away anything for free when you
    can put up a fight and kill some spies in the process? Make spies fight hard
    for every objective. However, when spies have one objective scored already, it
    would be wise to consider your priorities, loosen up your defenses in some
    places, and tighten them in others. There's no cut-and-dry answers to a map
    like Aquarius. Think about it, discuss it with your regular partners, and play
    around with it. Just know that 2 mercs can't equally defend 5 things at once.
    Plus, which is more fun: losing two objectives but winning the match 'cuz you
    camped in one place the whole time... or not letting them score a single
    objective and killing their entire stock of lives... you decide.
    [4.0] Two Universal Rules
    The following two rules apply to both teams, on every map, in any game of VS
    Mode online: Story, Disk Hunt, or Deathmatch...
    [4.1] Communicate
    When I get my neck grabbed as a merc, I usually manage to say "crap, I'm dead"
    before going down. As a spy, the most common dying words I hear from my partner
    are "AWW, WHAT THE ****?!"
    Do you see anything wrong with this picture? If not, let me enlighten you.
    My partner is going to hear me say "crap, I'm dead", and then see the words
    "Danny Glover has broken the sideburns's neck." That's redundant, and you
    don't want to waste your dying words stating the obvious. There are a million
    better ways to spend that last breath. Here's one example:
    MERC: "two spies, office door..." *crack*
      This gives the merc's partner 2 crucial bits of information, in under a
      second. 1) location, and 2) that *both* spies are there. The merc now knows
      he's free to leave his post, to either defend the office or start mining the
      disk drop boxes.
    But the communication shouldn't stop there -- you can communicate while you're
    LIVING, too! Your partner should always know where you are, where you're going,
    and your threat level. Here's a list of quotes describing the exact same spy
    THE MIME SPY: "... ... ..." *dies*
      Maybe he's so deeply engaged in combat that he forgot how to talk, or maybe
      he muted his mic while his mom was yelling at him to clean his room. Either
      way, his partner is going to be pissed. F for FAIL.
    THE VAGUE SPY: "... gah! OW! help!" *dies*
      Perhaps he was being shot at by two Mercs with SMGs, or maybe he got rammed
      to the ground and then shotgunned in the face as he was standing up. His poor
      partner won't know 'til it's too late. D-.
    THE SHORT-TEMPERED SPY: "okay, I'm in Pi- SONOFA DAG NAMMIT i'm d-" *dies*
      He got off to a good start by almost telling his partner where he was, but
      lost all sense of composure/communication when things took a turn for the
      worse. D+.
    THE ZEN MASTER SPY: "Pirates looks clear... I'm poisoned, meet me in Blue."
      This spy stays calm throughout the entire event, and tells his partner where
      he is, and where he's going. If they both act quick enough, his partner can
      heal him before he dies. A+. Masters of Zen never get angry, emotional, or
      lose control.
    CALM KAMAKAZI SPY: "Pirates looks clear... Crap, I'm poisoned. I'm going to
      hack 'til I die. One's coming from Greek." *dies* This spy managed to get 5
      seconds of hacking done, while at the same time letting his partner know his
      status, and the location of one of the mercs. His calm communication makes up
      for the blatant disregard for his own life. A-.
    Communication is just as important for mercs. Let's say you and your partner
    are on opposite ends of the level, and you see that a Tech bomb has just been
    THE REDUNDANT MERC: "Tech's being bombed." Yes, I know that. My screen just
    told me that.
    THE VAGUE MERC: "I'm going." Okay... which way are you coming from? How close
    are you?
    THE INFORMATIVE MERC: "I'm heading in from Greek. There's smoke. He jumped on
    my head." *sleeps* This is all very good to know.
    THE SILENT MERC: "... ... ..." *dies* ... *respawns* "DUDE WHY'D YOU KILL ME?"
    I shot a grenade because I saw a spy running that way. I had no idea you were
    coming into Tech from that direction, because you didn't tell me. Believe it or
    not, it's *your* fault that I 'naded you.
    And finally, precise communication is important, even when there's no
    objectives being hacked. Remember: current location, where you're going,
    and perceived threat level.
    THE VAGUE MERC: "Got one in Pirates."
    Does that mean you've found a spy in Pirates? Or that you're about to kill a
    spy in Pirates? Maybe you don't even see a spy and you're just listening to
    an alarm snare. Be more specific!
    THE PRECISE MERC: "Got one in Pirates. He's running up the stairs. coming your
      way, towards Greek. Should be almost dead."
    THE PRECISE MERC: "I see one in Pirates; I'm gonna snipe from up here as soon
      as he starts to hack. Stay where you are."
    THE PRECISE MERC: "I'm hiding behind the stairs... Here comes one... He sees
      me. Crap, there's two, both downstairs. Come help. I'm blinded..."
    I think you get the idea. Be precise, stay calm, keep each other updated.
    [4.2] Don't be Predictable
    A spy rushing the same objective the same way with every life is going to be
    out of lives real fast. As a merc, if you put mines in the same place every
    game, and camp the same objectives every time, the spy team WILL find a way
    around your defenses. Any of you who play this game regularly should know that
    the userbase isn't that large, and if you play at a consistent time of night
    or day, you're going to run into a lot of the same players, whether they're on
    your friends list or not. The mine behind the lantern above the Pirates hack
    was only "secret" for so long before everyone knew about it. The fun and the
    challenge of this game is trying new strategies, new defenses, and testing
    yourself against the playstyles of new enemies. So don't be predictable; it's
    less fun, and much easier on your opponents.
    One important disclaimer: While you don't want your opponents to be able to
    predict you, you ABSOLUTELY want your *teammate* to know how, when, and what
    you're going to be doing, at any given point in time. If you and your partner
    are in the middle of bombing Tech, and you decide to leave, TELL HIM. Don't
    leave him alone in there to fend for himself against 2 mercs.
    [5.0] Outtro
    Well, there you have it. That's everything I currently know about Aquarius.
    Thank you so much for reading, and for all the helpful submissions. I suspect
    this guide will never be "complete", as new strategies are discovered, and old
    rushes become hackneyed. Check back for updates.
    Keep playing, and play nice ;)
                                                        ~ Mike / "the sideburns"
    [6.0] Version History
    ver 0.88 - submitted 8/9/2005
    ~ Everything but the Glossary sections and a few Merc sections
    ver 0.89 - submitted 8/11/2005
    ~ Lots of tiny tweaks everywhere, grammatical and factual
    ~ Did some research on Sea Tunnel; listed it as its own room in [3.1.a]
    ~ Added a new Trap to [3.2.e]
    ver 0.90 - submitted 8/12/2005
    ~ Started work on the glossary sections
    ~ a few minor corrections scattered about
    ~ I know less than I thought about merc spawn points
    Coming up in future updates:
    ~ More progress on those glossary sections.
    ~ More solid details on FISH TANK door.
    ~ More solid info on merc spawn points.
    ~ Co-Op Move locations - anyone wanna research this for me?
    ~ Maybe a tiny section on Spy split-jump locations (there are very few)
    ~ More merc defensive strategies and mine locations.
    ~ If you posted any strategies in the official topic and they haven't been
      included yet, I'm workin on it.
    [7.0] Credits and Special Thanks
    Special thanks to...
    ~ Scotty, for buying me the game so he'd have someone to play with :)
    ~ SC:PT, for being the reason I bought an XBOX w/Live in the first place
    ~ GameFAQs for being FAQing awesome
    ~ My boring summer office job, for paying me to write this guide and
      occasionally answer phones
    ~ nickoman33, for hookin' me up with metapad, and offering formatting help
    ~ EightDD (Scotty again) for playin' with me for 4 hours a night all summer
    Contributors from the gfaqs message board
    ~ skullsukker   ~ Ron Haze
    ~ calcifer      ~ SmoothSailin915
    ~ swoosh13      ~ jiggityjwned
    ~ jmarks 2001   ~ GHAZBANOGRE
    [8.0] Contact & Copywright
    (C) Mike Maddox 2005
    In other words,
    This guide is written and owned by me, Mike Maddox, a.k.a. "the sideburns"
    It should not be hosted anywhere other than GameFAQs, and you may not sell or
    re-publish it under any circumstances. Feel free to print it for private
    personal use.
    All of the words in this FAQ were typed by my own ten fingers, unless otherwise
    noted. I don't claim to have invented any of the strategies in this FAQ, though
    I really do want to give EightDD credit for the Office Disk Blitz. Some strats
    were used by my teammates, others used against me, and others I just thought
    of while bored at work. And of course, many were submitted to me on the gfaqs 
    messeage boards.
    Send all corrections (spelling or factual), constructive criticisms, and
    thanks/praise/paypal to...
    mikewmaddox [at] yahoo [dot] com
    Please do NOT send...
    ~ hate mail / spam
    ~ requests for other FAQs
    ~ questions/comments about glitches
    ~ any random questions about the game... everything I know about the game
      is either in this FAQ or listed as "coming soon"
    If you have something you'd like to contribute to my guide, a strategy to
    submit, or something you'd like me to add or elaborate on, please post it in
    the official gfaqs board topic, rather than my email.
    And finally, my xboxlive gamertag is "The Sideburns"
    and my splintercell partner is "EightDD"
    Oh, and we're on US-EastCoast time.
    Feel free to send friend requests. We don't play ranked games often, and I
    strategize much better than I actually play, so don't expect me to be good :P
    That's all, folks.