Deus Ex Beginner FAQ By Korasoff (email@example.com) Version 1.0 8/12/2004 ************************* FAQ history: 1.0, 8/12/2004: FAQ created! The sections are Introduction, General Concepts, Skills, Weapons, Augmentations, Items, Enemies, and Security. ************************* Note: the random strings of 3 characters after each section in the Table of Contents are bookmarks for quickly jumping to the corresponding section in this FAQ. If you're using WordPad, just hit Control + F, type in the relevant string, and press Enter. It will highlight the string in the Table and then, if you press Enter again, bring you to the section itself. Table of Contents: 1) Introduction (kzx) 2) General Concepts (ajg) 3) Skills (ioq) 4) Weapons (paa) 5) Augmentations (wrz) 6) Items (uyx) 7) Enemies (mnb) 8) Security (pgh) ************************* 1) INTRODUCTION (kzx) I keep a handful of games installed on my hard drive for years after their release. One of them is Blizzard's StarCraft: at about 130 megs, it's not worth worrying about, and whenever I get a craving for the best RTS of all time it's there. Same thing with Fallout 2, Quake, and the first XCOM. They're the pantheon of gaming in my opinion. And at the top of that list is Deus Ex, the best role-playing/first-person shooter/adventure hybrid of all time. The genre was not exactly new when Deus Ex was released in 2000: a couple of years earlier Looking Glass Studios had released the excellent System Shock 2, a game from which Deus Ex takes a lot of pointers. Not surprising, since most of the developers who worked on SS2 migrated to Ion Storm to create Deus Ex. Many elements combine to make Deus Ex outstanding: a great story that puts the most intricate conspiracy theories to shame, tons of quality, well-voiced, and interesting dialogue (save for Hong Kong), and a gameplay that revolves around stealth and brains more than mere brawn. In Deus Ex, you play JC Denton, a nano-augmented agent of UNATCO, the United Nation's anti-terrorist organization. Your older brother, Paul, is already a well-respected top-ranking agent at UNATCO so you're hungry for some action. Which, by the way, you *do* get very fast, as you have to confront terrorist attacks on New York. Moreover, the devastating plague known as the Gray Death looms over humanity and some unscrupulous forces would use it to plunge the world into a chaos they would then reshape to their liking... How will you stand against them? Who will believe you when you discover the truth about the conspiracy? I've created this FAQ as a helpful document for beginners. This means that the FAQ is *not* a complete list of every single tidbit of information in the game; it does *not* contain a single spoiler about the story, which is the best part of the game; and I do *not* pretend to know everything about Deus Ex. Rather, this FAQ is the product of my informed opinion regarding what a beginning player should know in order to survive in the world of Deus Ex. I've played through the game about half a dozen times as thoroughly as I could, not counting all the times I began a game without finishing it to try a new combination of skills, augmentations, weapons, or to just screw around with new ideas. And after 3 years of playing Deus Ex, I'm still finding new stuff in the game. (Oh, a quick note: make sure you download the last patch for Deus Ex and install it before trying to play the game. The unpatched version of Deus Ex runs like a turd even on today's machines.) ************************* 2) GENERAL CONCEPTS (ajg) Deus Ex is very different from other first-person shooters, in that brute force and direct destruction of your enemies is not necessarily the easiest path to victory. Instead, Deus Ex often rewards stealth (hiding from your enemies) or alternative solutions (incapacitating your enemies otherwise). This is not readily apparent at the Easy and Medium difficulty levels. At these levels, your enemies will deal low damage to you in direct, open fighting, enabling you to dispose of them with minimal tactical or weapon advantages. On the Hard and Realistic difficulty levels, however, enemy damage output skyrockets, with a Realistic NSF trooper being able to kill you from 40 feet away with a single lethal Pistol shot to the head before you can even react. Needless to say, taking on more than one Realistic enemy at a time in a straight battle is akin to suicide. Moreover, the objectives in Deus Ex go beyond "exterminate everything and anything that moves." There are a lot of friendly or otherwise neutral NPCs whose innocent lives you'll have to consider. The simplest way of verifying a person or robot's stance towards you is to use the Integrated Friend or Foe (IFF) system, a default augmentation JC starts out with. Just drag the crosshairs in the middle of the screen over a person, animal, or robot. If the crosshairs turn green, then that person/etc... is friendly, in other words an ally (for the moment). If it turns red, then that person/etc.. is an enemy, and will therefore respond in quite a hostile fashion if it sees you: all enemies in the world of Deus Ex obey the old "shoot first, ask questions later" rule. But back to objectives. Deus Ex rewards what I call "original problem- solving". Let's say you're faced with the following fictional, spoilers-free objective: *** Make your way to the top of the skyscraper and find the hidden explosives cache.*** How would you go around solving that problem? Well, there's always the straightforward way: find a staircase and walk up 30 stories or so, shooting everything in sight along the way. Then again, since the terrorists disabled the elevators, they'll probably expect an attack coming that way, so it won't be as easy as it sounds. Getting inside the basement and turning the elevator power back on so you can ride to the top might be a better solution, provided you can deal with the security cameras and gun turrets the terrorists have set up to foil that particular plan. But hey, what about climbing up the building next door, shooting through a few windows, and then jumping to the skyscraper using your Speed Enhancement nano-augmentation? Of course, that second building might be alarmed too, and it might contain some security robots on patrol for intruders... As you can see, no matter your style of play, there's almost always a solution tailored exactly for it already in the game. This is what's so great about Deus Ex: finding new, original, and interesting ways around obstacles. Anyway, here are the five best pieces of advice I can give a beginner. #1: You don't have to kill or incapacitate every enemy you come across! In fact, I strongly discourage it, since it's often a waste of ammo. Which leads us to the next tip... #2: Sneak! Find ways around your obstacles and enemies. There are tons of maintenance tunnels, shafts, and ledges in the world of Deus Ex. Take advantage of them. #3: If you need to deal with an enemy, do so intelligently! Wait until he's alone and strike from behind. If you have to face a group, then deal with all of them at once by using explosives. #4: Observe your surroundings and explore them! Often, valuable Datacubes, computers, or items lie in out-of-the-way locations. It's a good idea to stop when you enter a new location and just look around. You're almost always bound to find something you hadn't noticed at first. This is also true for patrol routes: watch enemies and the roads they take to discover the optimal time for striking at them or sneaking by. #5: Use your items! Multitools and lockpicks were meant to open new passages for you, not to be collected. Grenades have a variety of tactical applications you should remember. Hazmat suits, ballistic armor, and thermoptic camouflage can be tremendously useful in particular situations. When faced with a problem, check your inventory first, there's surely an item that can help you. ************************* 3) SKILLS (ioq) When you create a new game, the first menu you'll see is the Character Creation menu. It lists some very important abilities, called skills, which you should grow familiar with in time. You learn new skills and improve old ones throughout the game by investing skill points in them. How do you get more skill points? Well, you start out with a pool of 5000 points that you can spend right off the bat at the character creation menu, and you earn more by completing primary and secondary mission objectives, getting to critical locations, meeting important characters, and so on. In other words, as JC completes missions and gains experience, he becomes a better, more dangerous agent. All skills have 4 levels: Untrained (default), Trained, Advanced, and Master. Some skills require a lot of points to improve, others fewer. I've listed the number of skill points required to improve each skill next to the skill's name. Invested skill points are *not* cumulative; in other words, if you want to raise Computers from Untrained to Trained, you need to invest 1125 skill points, and to raise it to Advanced from there, you need to invest 2250, not just the difference between 2250 and 1125. Note that the Pistols skill starts out at Trained by default. You can Downgrade to recoup 1575 skill points, however, which you may then spend on other skills. You can only Downgrade skills at the Character Creation menu so take advantage of it! I've divided the 11 skills to which you get access in 3 broad categories: Interaction, Support, and Weapons. a) Interaction skills These are the skills that allow JC to manipulate certain objects and devices in his environment. They are some of the most important skills of all: paradoxically, you shouldn't invest too many skill points in them because the benefits drop off very quickly. I know, I know. You'll understand soon. *COMPUTERS* Untrained: Can use bulletin boards freely, and ATMs, security consoles, and computers with a login/password. Trained (1125): Can hack ATMs, security consoles, and computers. Advanced (2250): Can hack ATMs, security consoles, and computers faster. Can now control gun turrets. Master (3750): Can hack ATMs, security consoles, and computers fastest. In my opinion, Computers is the single best skill in the game. Not only does it remove the tedious search for logins/passwords, but it allows you to deactivate security grids remotely, on top of "convincing" ATM machines to send some extra cash your way! I often raise Computers all the way up to Advanced in the Character Creation menu because of its tremendous usefulness from beginning to end. It's also relatively cheap to improve compared to the other Interaction skills and most Weapons skills. To use Computers, just find an ATM, security terminal, or computer, and use it. When the screen switches to the computer interface, hit the "Hack" button in the top-right corner of the screen (shortcut: Alt-H). The green bar (which represents the time you have left before the computer boots you out) will begin depleting, and random strings of characters will appear in the background. When all the characters disappear you'll have succesfully hacked this machine and now have the run of the place. If it's an ATM, you can withdraw (shortcut: Alt-W) money from it up to a certain point that depends on your Computers skill. If it's a regular computer, you can read people's email and toggle some miscellaneous security options on and off. If it's a security terminal, you'll be able to control and disable cameras and lock/unlock and open/close doors. If your Computers skill is at Advanced or Master, you can also pick gun turrets' new targets or disable them. (For gun turrets: the "Ally" setting causes the turret to shoot you and your allies. The "Enemies" setting will have it shoot your enemies. "Everything" will... well... make it shoot everything, friend or foe. "Disabled" turns the turret entirely off, so that it doesn't respond even when an alarm is activated.) Now, a few random tidbits of info about Computers: - Hacking takes time. During that time, you are a sitting duck and CAN be attacked by enemies. Make sure the computer is in a safe place. Note that there's a delay of a second or so between the time when you use a security console and when your screen switches to the computer interface: you can use that precious time to move back into a shadowy hiding spot. - A quick way to log out is to hit the ESC key. Keep an eye on that bar... When it turns red, it's time to get out. - If you're booted out by a console, computer, or ATM, you'll get zapped as an automated defense measure. You'll lose some bioelectricity and the computer will be locked out for a time. Both the amount of BE you lose and the lock-out time are reduced by a higher Computers skill level. - Computers need some time to "recuperate" from a successful hacking. If you try to hack a computer again after just doing it, its bar will start out almost empty. - When hacking a regular computer to read email, you can sometimes change accounts. There'll be a window underneath the Hack one with a list of usernames. Double-click a username to enter that account and see if there's more email. - ATMs have a finite amount of cash to offer you per mission. Once you've hacked an ATM and withdrawn all you can, move on. - Most ATMs have a legit login/password combination you can find somewhere in the world (usually in a Datacube). If you Hack an ATM at Trained, you'll have access to less than the amount available by those normal means; at Advanced, 100% of the amount; and at Master, slightly more than the "usually" available funds. With this said, it's my personal opinion that you should raise Computers to Advanced and no further. Trained does not let you control gun turrets, which is a big advantage you get at Advanced. The jump to Master is unnecessary since a) the extra ATM cash isn't worth the skill points, and b) you already have more than enough time to fiddle with computers and security consoles at Advanced, provided you know what you're doing. *ELECTRONICS* Untrained: 1 Multitool = 10% Trained (1800): 1 Multitool = 25% Advanced (3600): 1 Multitool = 40% Master (6000): 1 Multitool = 75% Bypassing electronic systems such as cameras, gun turrets, alarm pads, and door keypads (among others) is an invaluable skill. You might be far away from turrets or cameras' security consoles, or simply unable to access it yet: why not use a couple of Multitools to take them offline directly? There are also a lot of keypads whose codes are well- hidden or simply missing from the game, requiring you to bypass them with Multitools if you want access to the goodies they protect. (I guess you could also find the right combination by trial and error... If you have a lot of spare time.) Every electronic device you can bypass has a resistance value, expressed in a percentage. To bypass the device, you must lower its resistance to 0% using one or more Multitools. To do so, equip your Multitools, highlight the device by facing it, and press the attack button. JC will activate the Tool and the device's resistance will start dropping. Check the list above to see how much resistance a single Tool will deplete for every skill level. Once a Tool has removed all the resistance it can, it will disappear, so pack as many Tools as you can! If the device still isn't bypassed after using a Tool simply use more, since there's no benefit to lowering a system's resistance to a value other than zero. Some door keypads have an infinite (INF) resistance: that means they simply can't be bypassed, and that you must find the relevant code. Just like Computers, you should make sure you're in a safe location when using a Tool: if you turn away from the device while a Tool is working on it, the resistance will stop dropping, and you'll have wasted part of your Tool. It's a good idea to raise Electronics to at least Trained. At Trained, a Tool will be 2.5 times more powerful than at the Untrained level, and all for 1800 skill points. Further improvements are far less efficient, but you could make the case for Advanced. Master is a bit of a waste. *LOCKPICKS* Untrained: 1 Lockpick = 10% Trained (1800): 1 Lockpick = 25% Advanced (3600): 1 Lockpick = 40% Master (6000): 1 Lockpick = 75% Besides electronic devices and systems, you'll also meet good old doors, lockers, drawers, and safes, which will sadly be locked to keep prying hands - such as yours - from removing their contents. Although a lot of these doors and locks can be blown open, a more subtle tampering of the locking mechanism will often be preferable and much stealthier. This is where Lockpicks comes in handy. Lockpicks works in exactly the same way Electronics does. This time, however, instead of hunting for a security console or a door keypad's combination, you'll be searching for nanokeys that can open locks. If you can't find them, then it's time to resort to Lockpicks. And just like some door keypads have no known combinations, some doors have no in-game keys. That means you *have* to resort to picking the lock. Interestingly enough, doors and the like have not one but two resistances: lock strength and door strength. The first represents how much picking is required to defeat the lock. The second is the door's physical resistance to blows and explosions. An INF (infinite) resistance means the lock cannot be picked or that the door is blast- proof. There are tons of goodies hidden in safes, lockers, armories, and the like. As such, just like Electronics, you should really seek to improve Lockpicks to Trained, and if you're awash in skill points, maybe Advanced. The leap from 10% per Lockpick to 25% is huge, and 25% to 40% is not shabby either. In any case, I often save the first 1800 skill points I earn to improve Lockpicks. (Still, if a door has a less than infinite door strength, then you should consider a bit of demolition as an option.) b) Support skills Support skills enhance some of JC's default abilities. Although far from being a necessary set of skills, your style of play might very well require the improvement of one or two of them. *ENVIRONMENTAL TRAINING* Untrained: Can use rebreathers, thermoptic camouflage, ballistic armor, and hazmat suits. Trained (675): Can use rebs, camo, armor, and hazmats a bit longer and more efficiently. Advanced (1350): Can use rebs, camo, armor, and hazmats even longer and even more efficiently. Master (2250): Can use rebs, camo, armor, and hazmats for very long and at maximum efficiency. Lots of people don't like Environmental Training, and I can understand them. At the lower difficulty levels, it doesn't make much of a difference. But at Realistic, I found it to be a real life-saver. First and foremost, thermoptic camo is an awesome item to lug around, and when used makes you invisible to *all* enemy units (organic and robotic) and security systems. If you're Untrained in Environmental Training it will barely last ten seconds... But if you're a Master, it lasts for over forty-five seconds! Since sneaking around undetected is tremendously important at Realistic, I found it very worthwhile to invest in Environmental Training once I'd already gotten my core skills to their desired levels. Higher levels mean a longer duration, but also more damage absorbed for Hazmat suits and ballistic armor. My advice to you: try Environmental Training at least once and see if it's your style. If you do try it, I suggest you improve it to Master since it's very cheap and effective. (Note: Tech goggles are *not* improved in any way or shape by Environmental Training. But they suck anyway so we don't care.) *SWIMMING* Untrained: Can swim slowly. Trained (675): Can swim at average speed, increased lung capacity. Advanced (1350): Can swim faster, greatly increased lung capacity. Master (2250): Can swim the fastest, humongous lung capacity. There are a number of underwater areas in Deus Ex, and one way to exploit them is to invest in the Swimming skill. Higher levels increase the speed at which JC swims, and the amount of time he can spend underwater before he starts taking "drowning" damage. There isn't much else to say about Swimming. I personally prefer to max out Environmental Training and depend on Rebreathers. However, investing a measly 675 skill points to improve Swimming to Trained at the start is never a bad idea. The Aqualung augmentation goes very well with Swimming; one level in each can drastically improve your underwater performances since they stack. *MEDICINE* Untrained: Can use a Medkit to heal 30 damage. Trained (900): Can use a Medkit to heal 60 damage. Advanced (1800): Can use a Medkit to heal 75 damage. Master (3000): Can use a Medkit to heal 90 damage. Face it, at some point in your adventures, you're gonna get hurt. Physical damage in Deus Ex is particularly nasty. Damage to the arms lowers your accuracy with weapons, as does damage to the head; and damage to your legs or your torso will reduce your movement speed. Severe damage to the head or torso will kill you; severe damage to the arms will make it impossible to use some weapons; and severe damage to both legs will force you to crawl around until you heal your wounds. Needless to say, you therefore want to stay in the best shape possible. Medicine helps in this regard by making Medkits more efficient at healing any damage you sustain. Once again, a Support skill has to compete with an augmentation: this time it's Regeneration. Medkits act instantly but are in limited supply; Regeneration takes more time to act, but bioelectrical energy is more plentiful. I prefer Regeneration since I'm a BE-saving maniac who usually goes for Power Recirculator anyway... But if you intend to complete the game by waltzing in and shooting everyone, Medicine is not a bad choice. Of course, if your style of play revolves around moving through the shadows and avoiding damage in the first place, then Medicine will be kind of a waste. Upgrade to Trained or maybe Advanced if you want to invest in it. Master is pretty expensive in terms of skill points for what you get in return. c) Weapons skills Probably the most important category at the beginning of the game. Unlike other first-person shooters, your character does not have perfect mastery of every weapon in his arsenal right off the bat. Couple that with the virtual impossibility of getting enough skill points to improve each and every Weapons skill and inventory space limitations, and you're stuck having to choose which sets of weapons you want to specialize in. A higher skill level with your weapon of choice makes a tremendous difference, as you'll observe with the sniper rifle if you do the tutorial. Higher skill level means higher damage, better accuracy, and a faster reload time. It also greatly increases the speed at which your crosshairs "zero in" when you're aiming. Despite common thinking, a higher skill level does *not* directly affect scope stability. That's a factor of weapon accuracy, which weapon skills indirectly affect because they raise accuracy. I recommend you pick two complementary skills, such as Low-tech and Rifles, or Heavy and Pistols, although I've beaten the game with Pistols plus Low-tech, Demolition plus Heavy, and Rifles alone. *DEMOLITION* Untrained: Can use LAMs, EMP grenades, gas grenades, and scramble grenades. Little time for disarming. Trained (900): LAMs do more damage. Moderate time for disarming. Advanced (1800): LAMs do even more damage. Long time for disarming. Master (3000): LAMs are devastating. Forever for disarming. Demolition should *not* be your primary Weapons skill. Although grenades are quite powerful indeed, they are limited in quantity and take a bit of experience to throw adequately. The increase in LAMs' damage is almost unnoticeable save when you're facing some of the bigger robots... which you should not be fighting with LAMs anyway. This said, the main reason why you might want to improve Demolition is to increase the safety margin you have for disarming already placed grenades. But, truth be told, there aren't that many places where it's a factor, so feel free to pass on Demolition entirely, or at best, to improve it to Trained but no further. I find there are better uses for my skill points. *HEAVY* Untrained: Can use the flamethrower, GEP gun, plasma gun, and LAW but with crouching movement speed. Trained (1350): A bit more damage and accuracy, crouching movement speed. Advanced (2700): More damage and accuracy, running movement speed. Master (4500): Eyebrow-singing damage and great accuracy, running movement speed. The heavy weapons are damage-monsters. Unfortunately, they all have three serious drawbacks. First, their ammo is rather limited. Second, they take *a lot* of your inventory space. Third, while equipped, they slow you down. The GEP gun is perhaps one of the most versatile weapons in the game, allowing you to take out troopers, robots, and obstacles with its rockets. The rockets will also lock-on and home in on a target if you keep the GEP gun aimed at an enemy unit for a few seconds before firing. The flamethrower is a close-range "silent" weapon that guarantees a kill if you can hit somebody with it: any enemy you douse in tasty napalm will keep burning until they die. The LAW is a one- shot, disposable rocket launcher that can help take out robots or doors. Finally, the plasma gun rips unarmored troopers apart with a single shot. If you decide to invest in Heavy, you should save your ammo until you absolutely need it and watch your inventory space carefully. Pairing it with Pistols is a good idea: you'll get powerful long-range attacks with the GEP gun, and silent close-range sniping with the Stealth Pistol or Mini-Crossbow. I suggest you raise Heavy to Advanced if you plan on using any Heavy weapons at all - the movement speed penalty is huge. Advanced offsets it, but Master only adds some damage and accuracy. *LOW-TECH* Untrained: Can use knives, crowbars, batons, prods, swords, and pepper spray. Trained (1350): Better accuracy, damage, rate of attack, and reload time. Advanced (2700): Even better accuracy, damage, rate of attack, and reload time. Master (4500): Slice and dice, shock and rock. It's not all about the big explosions. Low-tech weapons are small, silent, and almost always lethal if used from behind. Pair that with plentiful or even infinite ammo, and you've got some cool gadgets at your disposal to abuse. On the flip side, almost all Low-tech weapons are melee range, save for throwing knives and the pepper spray (which both suck ass), and they don't do a whole lot of damage if it's not a sneak attack. I like Low-tech a lot, but let's face it, a knife through the nape of the neck is gonna be fatal no matter your skill level. It's therefore smart to not spend too many skill points in Low-tech, unless your plan is to run in and wave the the Dragon's Tooth Sword around until everyone's been cut to pieces. (Need I mention that's a BAD plan?) Some Low-tech tips: -Keep at least one Low-tech weapon with infinite ammo on you at all times. Use it to bash open crates or other destructibles. The Dragon's Tooth Sword can destroy desk drawers and some doors! -Sure, the Crowbar, Sword, and Dragon's Tooth Sword are all more powerful than the puny Combat Knife... But they take more inventory space and don't make a back attack any easier. If you're gonna keep a single Low-tech weapon for sneak attacks, then go for the Knife, although the Riot Prod is always useful too because of its stun. -The Riot Prod and the Baton knock enemies unconscious instead of killing them. At the beginning of the game, choosing non-lethal takedowns will make you more popular with some of the UNATCO crowd. *PISTOLS* Untrained: Can use the pistol, stealth pistol, mini-crossbow, and PS20. Trained (1575): Better accuracy, damage, and reload time. Advanced (3150): Even better accuracy, damage, and reload time. Master (5250): Lethal precision and damage with all pistols. Pistols is Rifles' kid brother. The former's weapons have less range and power than the latter, but their ammo is slightly easier to find, especially at the beginning of the game. The stealth pistol and mini- crossbow are also both silent weapons by default, making Pistols a good choice for a "sneaky" style. Investing in Pistols right at the start will definitely make your character powerful. Nevertheless, as you complete missions, find better weapons, and come to face tougher enemies, Pistols will lose some its usefulness. Sure, you can take down a trooper with the Stealth Pistol... but a MJ12 Commando is a different matter. Focusing in Pistols also leaves you defenseless against armored bots. I suggest you pair Pistols with another skill that offers long-range power - either Heavy or Rifles. Pistols plus Low-tech gets rather difficult by the end of the game. Oh, and the Mini-Crossbow's tranquilizer darts knock enemies out without killing them, scoring you a non-lethal takedown. *RIFLES* Untrained: Can use the sniper rifle, assault rifle, sawed-off shotgun, and assault shotgun. Trained (1575): Better accuracy, damage, and reload time. Advanced (3150): Even better accuracy, damage, and reload time. Master (5250): Sharpshootin'. The most versatile Weapon skill of all - and probably the best one too. All rifles pack a big punch, both against unarmored enemies and bots, on top of having good range. Their ammo is plentiful too. If you're a beginner, then you should definitely get Rifles as your main weapon skill, you can't go wrong with it. This said, whipping out an assault rifle or a shotgun is dangerous on its own, since you're now fighting openly with your enemies. Same with the sniper rifle, though with its terrific range, you'll have lots of time to hide after pulling off a headshot or two. I strongly suggest you use your first silencer weapon mod on the sniper rifle and the second one on the assault rifle. The bottom line with rifles: make sure you're ready for a fight. Upgrade this one all the way to Master as your main weapon skill. (Note: The assault rifle and both shotguns have access to two types of ammo, a primary one for taking down regular troopers and commandos (7.62mm for the assault rifle and Buckshot for the shotguns) and a secondary one designed with bots in mind (20mm HE for the assault rifle and Sabot for the shotguns). Learn to use both and don't waste the secondary ammo, it's much rarer than the primary one. More on their effects in the section just below.) So what's my personal choice when it comes to skills? At the character creation menu I usually start by downgrading Pistols to Untrained and upgrading Rifles, Swimming, and Demolition to Trained and Computers to Advanced. The next 3600 skill points I acquire I spend on upgrading both Lockpicks and Electronics (in that order) to Trained. From then on I split my earnings between Rifles and Environmental Training, upgrading both to Master. The rest of the skill points I get are distributed among Medicine, a secondary weapon skill, and maybe Computers. 4) WEAPONS (paa) Ah, the tools of the killing (or incapacitating) trade. Knowing your weapons' capabilities is a must if you want to survive. I've divided the list of weapons by their relevant Weapons skill category, and each category is listed in the order in which you're likely to acquire the weapons. A weapon's base damage is the damage it deals to an enemy upon a successful hit. It can be increased by higher skill level, and a hit from the back or to the head deals a whole lot more damage than that value - usually killing your opponent in one blow. Base accuracy seems to affect the starting width of the crosshairs before they start shrinking, and thus the precision of your weapon. The accurate and maximum range are, respectively, the distance under which you are guaranteed a precise shot, and the maximum distance the weapon's projectile will travel. Both ranges are measured in feet. Melee weapons (all contained in the Low-tech category) must be used when standing next to an enemy. Finally, the clip size is how many projectiles or charges are loaded and ready to fire before you have to reload. A "disposable" marker means the weapon has only one shot and is discarded after being fired. I guess I should also mention weapon modifications here. Weapon mods are cool disposable gadgets you can use to permanently increase your ranged weapons' effectiveness. There are 8 kinds of mods: accuracy, recoil, reload, range, clip, silencer, scope, and laser. An accuracy mod improves - what else! - a weapon's accuracy, and it can be used on almost all ranged weapons. The recoil mod reduces the kick-back from firing rifles and some heavy weapons. A reload mod cuts down on the time it takes to reload any weapon. Range mods increase all weapons' accurate range (but not their maximum range). The clip mod increases a weapon's clip size by 10%. A silencer mod turns the sniper rifle, assault rifle, or pistol into a silent weapon. The scope mod adds a scope to a pistol, rifle, GEP gun, or plasma gun for zooming in at a distance. Finally, laser mods add a targeting laser beam to show you exactly where you're aiming. You can find mods in the world by exploring nooks and crannies, searching bodies, or buying them from NPC merchants. Quite a few MiBs and WiBs carry them: since those guys explode on death, you'll have to incapacitate them with the prod, tranquilizer darts, or baton to get the mods. Good luck with that. When you pick up a mod, select it to highlight in green all the weapons you can use it on, then drag the mod over your weapon of choice to apply the effect. Needless to say, all mods are disposable. *DEMOLITION* LAM (Lightweight Attack Munitions) Base damage: 50 Base accuracy: 50% Accurate (max) range: thrown Clip: 10 Your standard FPS grenade: lob at a target and take cover. The explosion is quite violent and will tear troopers, commandos, and all obstacles apart. It will take more than one LAM to blow up some of the tougher bots, though. You can also attach a LAM to vertical surfaces: face a wall, making sure you're perpendicular to it and as close as possible, then press the attack button. JC will stick the LAM to the wall and arm it. It will explode if an enemy gets near. LAMs are cool for killing groups of 2 or more enemies, but they excel at creating alternate paths by destroying windows, weakened walls, etc... Some enemies carry LAMs; you may also find a few attached to walls, armed and ready to blow you to bits. You may avoid those entirely or try to disarm them and add them to your arsenal. Keep in mind the explosion a LAM causes will definitely arouse suspicion. Gas grenade Base damage: 0 Base accuracy: 50% Accurate (max) range: thrown Clip: 10 Gas grenades are much more subtle than LAMs. When thrown, they explode and cover an area (approximately a 25 feet square) in tear gas. Organic enemies without protection will be incapacitated while under the cloud, allowing you to take them down from afar with minimal retaliation on their part. The cloud will dissipate over the course of 30 seconds or so. I love gas grenades, particularly when I'm against a group of troopers and want to save my other explosives. The tear gas *will* damage you if you get too close, but it's not that big a threat. Some organic units (commandos, to name them, and a few other "bosses") are immune to tear gas. And, needless to say, gas grenades have zero effect on bots. EMP grenade Base damage: 0 Base accuracy: 50% Accurate (max) range: thrown Clip: 10 The opposite of gas grenades. On explosion, EMP grenades produce an electromagnetic shockwave that damages all nearby electronic systems. This includes gun turrets, cameras, robots, blue laser beams, and your own bioelectrical reserves... but not regular organic enemies. Use carefully. At the beginning of the game, a single EMP grenade can take out a low- grade security bot if properly aimed. However, as the game progresses, the tougher bots you'll encounter require 2 or more grenades to disable, and since there aren't that many EMP grenades in the world... They're not useless, but I wouldn't depend on them too much. A GEP gun is reliable, but not an EMP grenade. Getting close enough to a bot to throw a grenade is much too close for me. You may want to save them for weaker bots and security systems. Scramble grenade Base damage: 0 Base accuracy: 50% Accurate (max) range: thrown Clip: 10 Probably the most subtle of all grenades. Scramble grenades project on explosion a scrambling frequency that messes with bots' AI, turning them into your ally! For a short duration, they will therefore attack your enemies and pump as much lead in them as they can while ignoring you. Like EMP grenades, scramble grenades have no effect on organic enemies. Frankly, scramble grenades are not terribly useful. They have two main uses: either throw one at a lone bot then run past it while it's friendly, or throw one at a robot near some hostile targets. The bigger the bot, the more havoc it will cause. There's maybe a dozen scramble grenades available in the entire game, so relying on them to defeat bots is far from a good idea. Still, watching a humongous Delta-2 Peacebringer turn against its allies is tons of fun. *HEAVY* Flamethrower Base damage: 2 Base accuracy: 55% Accurate (max) range: 20 (20) Clip: 100 (Napalm canister) The flamethrower is one of the funniest weapons, and the only heavy weapon with a short range. It fires a stream of napalm that sets enemy organic units on fire: enemies on fire will keep burning on their own until they die. Not only that, but the flamethrower is considered "silent", meaning it won't alert nearby hostiles... Even when they see a comrade running around in flames! An enemy burning up will also totally ignore you, instead choosing to run around like a headless chicken until he dies. The flamethrower inflicts a humongous movement speed penalty, though, and when coupled with the necessity to get close to your opponent to kill him, makes it a dangerous weapon to use without a tactical advantage or lots of training in Heavy to compensate. Still, it's a good asset since it guarantees a kill on normal troopers and the like. Some enemies (again, commandos and a couple of "bosses") are resistant to its energy-based attack, so you may have to resort to another weapon to kill those. (Note: If you're hit by a Flamethrower, there are three ways to survive the burning. First is to keep healing yourself until it dies down - turn on the Energy Shield augmentation if you installed it for a bit of help. Second is to jump into water if there's any around. Third is to equip a fire extinguisher and use it.) GEP (Guided Explosive Projectile) gun Base damage: 300 Base accuracy: 75% Accurate (max) range: 900 (1500) Clip: 1 (Rockets or WP rockets) If you're going Heavy, then you *must* carry this weapon. The GEP gun is incredibly versatile and powerful. Its rockets deal a tremendous amount of damage and can home in on a target if you've got a lock - just keep your crosshairs on an enemy unit for a couple of seconds before firing until you hear the constant "beep". Bots? What bots? But that's just the beginning. The GEP gun's secondary ammo, white- phosporus (WP) rockets, have a smaller explosion radius but set a large area on fire! This is quite simply awesome for dealing with large groups of organic enemy units since it automatically kills them. Unlike regular rockets, WP rockets don't cause your enemies' bodies to explode, meaning you can search them afterwards. Good stuff. Lastly, you can use rockets for clearing passages, blasting open doors, and otherwise tampering with your environment. Since the GEP gun has a much greater range than a LAM or the Assault Rifle, you can stay away from the point of impact. Of course, like all heavy weapons, it takes quite a lot of space in your inventory and reduces your movement speed. You also have to reload it after every shot, so make sure the first one counts. Finally, remember that the explosion radius is slightly smaller than a LAM's. LAW (Light Anti-tank Weapon) Base damage: 100 Base accuracy: 70% Accurate (max) range: 900 (1500) Clip: 1 (disposable) A one-shot rocket launcher. It lacks the GEP gun's lock-on ability, but makes up for it by being smaller. A LAW takes 4 spaces in your inventory, but you can only carry one at a time. You probably won't need more than that to turn bots into scrap metal, though! Carrying a LAW is good if you've skipped on Heavy and need a quick way of dealing with an annoying bot. The accuracy is not bad, and it's sure to do the job on all bots. Its main drawbacks, of course, is that it's a disposable and that it greatly hinders your movement speed when equipped. Find a secluded camping spot, equip, aim at the offending bot for a few seconds, then fire. Try to compensate for the bot's movement while the missile is flying. I often carry a LAW around as a way of blowing a bunch of lockers or doors open too. Plasma gun Base damage: 105 Base accuracy: 70% Accurate (max) range: 900 (1500) Clip: 12 (Plasma clip) The last heavy weapon you'll come across. The plasma gun fires super- heated slugs of magnetic polymers that deal great damage to regular troopers and can go right through enemies. However, some of them (such as commandos) have an innate resistance to energy attacks. The plasma gun is also far from being silent, uses hard-to-find ammo, and doesn't fire all that fast. I would definitely stay away from this one if you have no training in Heavy. If you do, though, it's an okay weapon for dealing with isolated enemies at close- or medium-range. Aim for the head or torso for best effect, and try to wait for your enemy to stop since the plasma shot doesn't travel too rapidly. It's nowhere near as good as the GEP gun or Flamethrower, in my opinion. *LOW-TECH* Riot Prod Base damage: 15 Base accuracy: 75% Accurate (max) range: melee Clip: 4 (Prod charger) Zap! One of your first two weapons, the riot prod is quite simply awesome, and you should keep one on you from beginning to end even if you have no Low-tech training. Yes, it's a melee weapon you must use at close range; and yes, unlike all the other melee weapons, it has ammo. But it *more* than makes up for it by its effects. See, whenever you hit an opponent with the prod, they will go into a "shock" animation and be paralyzed for 4-6 seconds. This leaves you lots of time for zapping them again until they're knocked unconscious, or, if you're concerned about ammo, for switching to a secondary weapon to strike the finishing blow. If you can catch them from behind, they're almost guaranteed to go down immediately. Just aim for the torso (*not* the head). Also, note that the prod is a non-lethal weapon, since it knocks opponents unconscious instead of killing them. It's sometimes a good choice to go gently on enemies at the beginning of the game. Crowbar Base damage: 6 Base accuracy: 50% Accurate (max) range: melee Clip: infinite "Hit something or someone with it. Repeat." That's pretty much everything it's good for. Unlike the prod, the crowbar does kill, but it takes two spaces in your inventory and doesn't stun. Not a good weapon for a face-to-face fight, but if you're looking for a cheap takedown from behind, it's not bad. The crowbar can also destroy some destructibles that its weaker counterpart, the combat knife, can't. You may want to take that into account before choosing your melee weapon. Baton Base damage: 7 Base accuracy: 50% Accurate (max) range: melee Clip: infinite Meh. Like the crowbar, the baton is a melee weapon that doesn't require any ammo: but instead of killing enemies outright it knocks their lights out and renders them unconscious. Still, color it useless for a face-to-face fight with anyone. Use it from behind and aim for the head. I never carry this weapon, prefering to rely on the prod for my non-lethal melee takedowns and the knife, crowbar, or swords if I run out of prod chargers. Combat Knife Base damage: 5 Base accuracy: Accurate (max) range: melee Clip: infinite Simple and effective. Sure, the combat knife won't kill an enemy in a straight-up fight, but it's always good for a stealthy takedown from behind, and since it only takes one space in your inventory it's definitely worth carrying around. Use it to open crates and bash other destructibles. You may eventually want to graduate to a Sword or the Dragon's Tooth Sword if you specialize in Low-tech, though. Pepper gun Base damage: 0 Base accuracy: 65% Accurate (max) range: 6 (7) Clip: 100 (Pepper cartridge) In my eyes, useless. The pepper gun is a kind of miniature gas grenade: aim and fire to launch a stream of tear gas that will incapacitate your opponent. It sounds good in theory, but in practice, the effect lasts just a second or so, hardly enough time to strike a killing blow. On top of that the gas may fly in your *own* eyes, damaging you and messing with your aim. The ammo for it is also pathetically scarce. Not worth the one space it takes in your inventory. Throwing knives Base damage: 15 Base accuracy: 55% Accurate (max) range: thrown Clip: 25 (Throwing knives) It's too bad such a cool weapon is actually so bad. Throwing knives should only be used for stealthy headshots from behind, and even then, their lousy accuracy and slow flying speed make for many misses. The best angle for using them is from above, where you *can't* miss a trooper's head. Don't fight anyone head-on with those unless you like missing a lot. Oh, and there's approximately 50 of them in the game, so don't waste them. Sword Base damage: 10 Base accuracy: 50 Accurate (max) range: melee Clip: infinite A step up from the crowbar. Takes three inventory spaces but deals more damage. Slice an enemy from behind for a sure takedown. It's still not recommended to fight someone face-to-face with just a sword, however. Dragon's Tooth Sword Base damage: 20 Base accuracy: 50% Accurate (max) range: melee Clip: infinite The last and most powerful of the melee weapons. It's so powerful you don't even have to use it from behind, provided you're attacking only one trooper - though a takedown from the back is still the way to go. On the flip side, four spaces in your inventory is a lot of room. When activated (use the Force, Luke?) it also lights up your surrounding in a very faint blue hue, making it a flashlight of sorts if you're low on BE. *PISTOLS* Pistol Base damage: 14 Base accuracy: 65% Accurate (max) range: 150 (300) Clip: 6 (10mm ammo) Your other starting weapon, along with the riot prod. Deals okay damage and is accurate enough. Still, you should always aim for the head. There's also 10mm ammo all over the place, so you won't be short unless you depend only on the pistol. I prefer to wait for its silent counterpart, the stealth pistol. Mini-crossbow Base damage: 25 Base accuracy: 60% Accurate (max) range: 50 (100) Clip: 4 (Tranquilizer darts, Darts, or Flare Darts) Gotta love that crossbow! Tranquilizer darts (green) inject an opponent with a tranquilizer that deals its damage over time and eventually knocks them unconscious. Regular darts (gray) are your standard death- dealing projectile. Flare darts (orange) have just about the same use as regular ones, but they also illuminate the area when shot at a wall. I only use flare darts as back-up, when my regular darts count gets a bit low. The crossbow has quite a few advantages. First, it's a totally silent weapon, meaning it doesn't produce a sound when fired so that nearby enemies won't know where you are. Second, it's the only ranged weapon you can fire while underwater. Third, it can be used for both lethal and non-lethal takedowns. On the flip side, its accurate range is short and the clip ain't that big. Still, I carry a crossbow with me throughout the game as a utility weapon and for taking on some of the mean-spirited fauna you meet later on. Not to mention hitting a regular trooper with a tranquilizer dart is a guaranteed takedown! Your target may have enough time to sound the alarm or alert his nearby comrades, though. PS20 Base damage: 25 Base accuracy: 100% Accurate (max) range: 900 (1500) Clip: 1 (disposable) Definitely underrated because it's a disposable. The PS20 is a one-shot plasma pistol that is lethally precise (see that 100% accuracy?), has a good range, and can kill or maim an opponent who isn't expecting it. Not exactly easy to find or depend on, but it does a fine job if you come across one. Aim at a poor bastard's head for a one-shot kill. Like the LAW, you can only carry one of the these at a time. Stealth pistol Base damage: 8 Base accuracy: 60% Accurate (max) range: 150 (300) Clip: 10 (10mm ammo) The silent version of the pistol. Yes, it deals less damage and is less accurate, but to compensate it has a bigger clip (much appreciated) and is much sneakier. A head shot is bound to severely injure or outright kill a regular trooper, and with the built-in silencer, it won't give away your position. Like the pistol, though, it's still useless against bots, and with its inferior damage is even worse for fighting toe-to- toe against enemies. If you didn't go with Pistols, then consider it a utility weapon for shooting explosive barrels and TNT crates from afar, although the crossbow is overall cooler. *RIFLES* Sniper rifle Base damage: 25 Base accuracy: 75% Accurate (max) range: 1800 (3000) Clip: 6 (30.06 ammo) Arguably one of the best weapons in the game. The sniper rifle has *humongous* range and a scope by default, making it the weapon of choice for cleaning out an area before moving in. Nevertheless, it doesn't really come into its own until you fit it with a silencer mod and increase its accuracy to stabilize the scope's "wandering" effect - so use all the accuracy mods you find on this one! A single headshot will kill almost any enemy, including commandos. The 30.06 ammo is also not that hard to hoard. No use against bots, sadly, but hey, nothing's perfect, right? Sawed-off shotgun Base damage: 25 Base accuracy: 70% Accurate (max) range: 75 (150) Clip: 4 (Buckshot or Sabot shells) A basic pump-action shotgun, very effective at close range. Unfortunately it's not silent, has a tiny clip, and reloads slowly. If you can get close enough to kill an enemy unit with it you can probably do the job with a silent melee weapon too or a better rifle from further away. As far as ammo is concerned: Buckshot hurts regular organic enemies but not robots. Sabot shells damage anything that's armored, whether they're bots or special organic enemies with an intrinsic resistance to regular bullets. Assault rifle Base damage: 3 Base accuracy: 65% Accurate (max) range: 300 (600) Clip: 30 (7.62mm ammo or 20mm HE ammo) Another one of those all-around great weapons: the assault rifle is so versatile you can kill anything with it, and it takes all weapon mods too! Its primary ammo, 7.62mm rounds, is incredibly easy to find and deals very well with the regular troopers and such. Just watch the recoil, which will have a tendency to "kick" your aim up if you keep firing. Although the clip seems huge, at 10 rounds a second, you'll empty it pretty fast. Clip and reload mods are much appreciated. The assault rifle's secondary attack, with the 20mm HE ammo, is a devastating short-range grenade launcher. The ammo is very scarce, so don't waste it, but it rapes bots and anything else so well, it's reason enough to carry an assault rifle. I'd use all my LAMs before wasting some 20mm HE to clear a path, though. Assault shotgun Base damage: 20 Base accuracy: 60% Accurate (max) range: 75 (150) Clip: 12 (Buckshot or Sabot shells) Much better than its sawed-off cousin, in my opinion. Although damage and accuracy are lower, the clip is bigger (thanks!)... but more importantly, the assault shotgun fires faster than the sawed-off. There's a reason why the assault shotgun got the nickname "street sweeper". Its biggest drawback is the long reload time, but you should be wary of its recoil too. Buckshot takes care of troopers very well, and pumping Sabot shells into the weaker bots from behind is never a bad idea. I'd stay away from the bigger bots however, and use some heavy weaponry or the assault rifle's 20mm HE for those. A great weapon for dealing with troopers, commandos, and the low-grade bots you'll doubtlessly encounter (such as security and spider bots). 5) AUGMENTATIONS (wrz) JC isn't just your run-of-the-mill spy - he's one of the only two nano- augmented agents of UNATCO, along with his older brother, Paul. This gives him special powers called nano-augmentations, which range from superhuman speed, strength, endurance, and senses to being able to turn completely invisible or detonate explosives at distance. However, unlike skills, which are passive in nature, you must activate augmentations to benefit from their effects; and while active, an augmentation will drain your bioelectricity (BE) reserves. If your BE drops to zero then all augmentations are turned off and you can't use any until you recharge. You can do that by using Bioelectric cells, which you may carry with you and recharge 25 BE points each, or by finding a Repair bot who'll helpfully give you a boost of 75 BE points every 60 seconds. Keep in mind that EMP attacks can drain your BE, as will getting booted out of a computer if you hack it. JC starts with 3 default augmentations: the IFF (Integrated Friend or Foe) system, the Infolink (through which a plethora of characters will contact you), and Light (which turns JC's eyes into flashlights when activated). To acquire new augmentations, you must find installation canisters. Each canister gives you access to two different and specific augmentations, which you must install with the help of a Medbot. Unfortunately, you can only install one with a single canister, so if you want both augmentations you'll have to wait to acquire that same kind of canister again (except for Synthetic Heart or Power Recirculator - there's only one in the game). Every canister is also linked to a particular body part that can sustain a set number of augmentations: 1 for Legs, Arms, Cranium, and Optics, 2 for Subdermal, and 3 for Chest. The canister combinations are: Subdermal #1: Ballistic Protection or EMP Shield Subdermal #2: Cloak or Radar Transparency Cranium: Aggressive Defense System or Spy Drone Arms: Microfibral Muscle or Combat Strength Legs: Speed Enhancement or Run Silent Optics: Targeting or Vision Enhancement Chest #1: Environmental Resistance or Aqualung Chest #2: Energy Shield or Regeneration Chest #3: Synthetic Heart or Power Recirculator But that's not all. Every augmentation (save the 3 default ones) have 4 levels of effectiveness. To improve them, you must find upgrade canisters. You don't need a Medbot to use those: if you have one or more upgrade canisters in your inventory, just go to your Augs Menu, select an already installed augmentation, and click the Upgrade button at the bottom of the menu. Like installation canisters, each upgrade canister can only be used once, but the benefits of higher-level augmentations are definitely worth seeking these babies out. I'll tackle augmentations by body part, analyzing each augmentation on its own and then giving my opinion on what are the best choices for that body part (or combinations if there's more than one slot). I've also included the hotkeys for each body part's slots: these are assigned in the order in which you install augmentations. *SUBDERMAL* (F3, F4) Ballistic Protection (60 BE units/minute) Level 1: Slightly reduces bullet and blade damage. Level 2: Fairly reduces bullet and blade damage. Level 3: Moderately reduces bullet and blade damage. Level 4: Highly reduces bullet and blade damage. A pretty good augmentation, all things considered, especially if you're into fighting enemies. The BE cost is manageable, but more importantly, it could save your life if you're caught unprepared by a bunch of enemies hunting you. Try using Ballistic Protection while wearing some ballistic armor too; the results are impressive. Consider it even if you're playing sneaky, and remember to upgrade it. I like to be *real* sneaky, though, so I often skip it in favor of getting both Cloak and Radar Transparency. EMP shield (10 BE units/minute) Level 1: Slightly reduces the drain of EMP attacks. Level 2: Fairly reduces the drain of EMP attacks. Level 1: Moderately reduces the drain of EMP attacks. Level 1: Highly reduces the drain of EMP attacks. Pffff. Useless. What's the point of reducing the BE drain of EMP attacks by using an augmentation that itself drains BE? Plus, I can count on my fingers the number of times you encounter threatening EMP attacks in the whole game. Skip this one, trust me. Cloak (300 BE units/minute) Level 1: Makes you invisible to organic enemies. Power drain is normal. Level 2: Makes you invisible to organic enemies. Power drain is reduced fairly. Level 3: Makes you invisible to organic enemies. Power drain is reduced moderately. Level 4: Makes you invisible to organic enemies. Power drain is reduced highly. Invisibility is a big plus when the time to be sneaky comes. Cloak's power drain is terribly prohibitive, though: at Level 1, that's 5 BE units a second! And it only works on organic enemies, such as troopers or commandos, not bots or security cameras. Worth upgrading to Level 4 if you decide to use this one. Radar Transparency (300 BE units/minute) Level 1: Makes you invisible to bots and cameras. Power drain is normal. Level 2: Makes you invisible to bots and cameras. Power drain is reduced fairly. Level 3: Makes you invisible to bots and cameras. Power drain is reduced moderately. Level 4: Makes you invisible to bots and cameras. Power drain is reduced highly. Identical to Cloak in terms of cost and improvement, save that it makes you invisible to electronic systems such as cameras or robots instead of organic enemies. I like it a lot, to be honest: you can kill organic units easily but getting rid of cameras or big robots is another matter. Another "sneaky" augmentation you should definitely consider if this is your style. Upgrade it to Level 4. Verdict for Subdermal: EMP Shield is right out. This leaves you with 3 augmentations for 2 slots. Ballistic Protection is always good when paired with Radar Transparency, although if you're afraid of troopers and commandos, Cloak will serve you well. I myself like to pick Radar Transparency/Cloak, but that second installation canister comes rather late in the game. Keep in mind that all the subdermal augmentations require a lot of upgrade canisters to be useful. CRANIUM (F5) Aggressive Defense System (10 BE units/minute) Level 1: Detonates rockets and grenade from a bit further. Level 2: Detonates rockets and grenade from moderately far away. Level 3: Detonates rockets and grenade from far away. Level 4: Detonates rockets and grenade from really far away. If I were you, I'd try to avoid fights with people totting rocket launchers in the first place! Not a very good augmentation, at least not before you get it to Level 3. Some bots and the MJ12 commandos use rockets so you may want to turn it on just in case when you encounter those enemies. It's pretty cheap to use anyway. Spy Drone (150 BE units/minute) Level 1: Creates a Spy Drone. Level 2: Creates a slightly tougher Spy Drone with a weak EMP attack. Level 3: Creates a tougher Spy Drone with an average EMP attack. Level 4: Creates the toughest Spy Drone with a strong EMP attack. Bleh. Remember EMP Shield? Spy Drone is worse. It has the second- highest BE cost of all augmentations (first is a tie between Cloak and Radar Transparency). It makes you immobile while you control the Drone around. And that Drone is so slow and useless! Install Vision Enhancement (see below) to check *through* corners instead of *around* them. Verdict for Cranium: Honestly, it's a toss-up between two fairly useless augmentations. In the end, I usually pick ADS because the icon looks cooler. ARMS (F6) Microfibral Muscle (20 BE units/minute) Level 1: Can lift medium crates and push large crates. Level 2: Move faster when carrying medium crates. Level 3: Can lift large crates. Level 4: Move faster when carrying large crates. This augmentation is cooler than it sounds. A lot of crates either block your passage or are needed to climb up to goodies or alternate paths. Microfibral Muscle allows you to manipulate them to your advantage! However, I don't think it's worth upgrading at all, since lifting large crates isn't terribly useful. Install it but save your upgrade canisters for other augmentations. Combat Strength (20 BE units/minute) Level 1: Slightly increases melee weapons' damage. Level 2: Fairly increases melee weapons' damage. Level 3: Moderately increases melee weapons' damage. Level 4: Highly increases melee weapons' damage. More damage sounds good in theory, right? In this case though it's misleading. First of all, you should *always* use melee weapons from behind, where they'll take out enemies in one hit. Second, to see any difference in effectiveness you need to upgrade this augmentation. Not a good choice at all. Verdict for Arms: Microfibral Muscle all the way. Combat Strength doesn't help you at all when performing a takedown from behind, and running up to enemies from the front to strike them is begging for a lead sandwich. Moving crates is cool! LEGS (F7) Speed Enhancement (40 BE units/minute) Level 1: Run, walk, and crouch slightly faster. Jump a bit higher. Falling damage is slightly reduced. Level 2: Run, walk, and crouch faster. Jump rather higher. Falling damage is fairly reduced. Level 3: Run, walk, and crouch pretty fast. Jump pretty high. Falling damage is moderately reduced. Level 4: Run, walk, and crouch the fastest. Jump like there's no tomorrow. What falling damage? Speed Enhancement has tons and tons of uses. Window above leading a cool room? Jump up. Gotta get down in a hurry? Jump down. The increase in movement speed is also great if you need to make a run for an exit or have to escape a hazardous situation. It even works when you're crouched! I'm not sure exactly how much you should improve Speed Enhancement; Level 3 sounds about right. Run Silent (40 BE units/minute) Level 1: Running and walking noise is slightly reduced. Level 2: Running and walking noise is fairly reduced. Level 3: Running and walking noise is moderately reduced. Level 4: Running and walking noise is absent. Bah. Run Silent is another augmentation that sounds really cool in theory. In practice, it requires a lot of upgrading to signifcantly reduce the amount of noise you make. If Run Silent were a passive skill or some such I'd jump on it, but as it is, activating it when you *think* somebody's around the corner listening is just too much of a hassle. Verdict for Legs: Speed Enhancement 100%. There's no reason to get Run Silent at all: if you want to move silently, just crouch and turn on Speed Enhancement! Not to mention Speed Enhancement lets you do other things that Run Silent can't, like getting to hard-to-reach places. OPTICS (F8) Targeting (40 BE units/minute) Level 1: Slightly increased accuracy. Basic info about enemies. Level 2: Fairly increased accuracy. Info about enemies' body parts. Level 3: Moderately increased accuracy. Info about enemies' weapons. Level 4: Highly increased accuracy. Telescopic vision. This is a pretty low-profile augmentation. When I finally decided to try it I was pleasantly surprised with its usefulness. The information about enemies is not too fascinating, but the increase in accuracy is more than welcome - especially if you're using a scoped weapon, such as the sniper rifle, and are less than a Master at the relevant weapon skill. Targeting also reduces the time it takes for your aim to tighten. This lets you use weapons you have little training with at greater efficiency. Vision Enhancement (40 BE units/minute) Level 1: Night vision. Level 2: Adds infrared vision. Level 3: Adds short-range sonar imaging. Level 4: Adds long-range sonar imaging. Let's get one thing straight: if you install this augmentation you *must* upgrade it to Level 3 and *should* upgrade it to Level 4. If not it will be useless. The "night vision" effect is terrible in actual low-light conditions, one reason why I never bother with Tech Goggles. The IR vision (which lights up units and bots in your field of vision) is marginally useful but not enough to justify installing this over Targeting. However, short- but especially long-range sonar imaging translates into the ability to see enemies through walls! That's a tremendous asset for planning attacks or sneaking by. Short-range sonar imaging detects enemies about 10 feet away and closer; long-range sonar imaging's detection radius is approximately 30 feet. Verdict for Optics: I think Vision Enhancement is better than Targeting... *if* you upgrade it to level 4 almost as soon as you install it. If you won't or can't do that, then install Targeting instead. The increase in accuracy allows you to wield weapons you don't have any training with better. CHEST (F9, F10, F11) Environmental Resistance (20 BE units/minute) Level 1: Slightly reduces damage from toxins and radiation. Level 2: Fairly reduces amage from toxins and radiation. Level 3: Moderately reduces damage from toxins and radiation. Level 4: Highly reduces damage from toxins and radiation. Environmental Resistance does the same job as a hazmat suit at a low BE cost. Of course, the first couple of levels don't reduce damage by much; but do you want to invest 2-3 upgrade canisters in an augmentation that's only useful at a handful of locations in the game? I personally prefer to upgrade my Environmental Training skill to Master and depend on hazmat suits, which are usually available near those toxic, dangerous areas anyway; it also allows me to use rebreathers, ballistic armor, and thermoptic camo efficiently. Do keep in mind Environmental Resistance reduces the damage you suffer from toxic attacks such as venom or tranquilizer darts. Aqualung (10 BE units/minute) Level 1: Extends lung capacity slightly. Level 2: Extends lung capacity moderately. Level 3: Extends lung capacity highly. Level 4: Extends lung capacity indefinitely. I admit it: I'm a fan of Aqualung. I always install it whenever I decide to skip on the Environmental Training skill. Needless to say, it's a bit of a waste to upgrade an augmentation that's not useful at all in combat to Level 4, but if you upgrade your Swimming skill to Trained and use Aqualung at Level 1 or 2, you'll be able to stay submerged long enough to explore all the underwater areas in the game. Its BE cost is also terrific. Energy Shield (40 BE units/minute) Level 1: Slightly reduces damage from energy attacks. Level 2: Fairly reduces damage from energy attacks. Level 3: Moderately reduces damage from energy attacks. Level 4: Highly reduces damage from energy attacks. Energy-based attacks include electricity, plasma, and fire attacks. The latter two are particularly nasty so you might think that Energy Shield is a good idea. You're partly right. The problem is that there are very few enemies who use these attacks at all, and a lot of them can be avoided or disabled by other means. To add insult to injury, it's in the same install canister as Regeneration, a truly kick-ass aug you should always get over Energy Shield anyway. If you happen to find that canister again and still have a free torso slot then go for it, but otherwise I'd advise you to pass. Regeneration (120 BE units/minute) Level 1: Heals 5 hit points per second. (2.5 HPs/BE) Level 2: Heals 10 hit points per second. (5 HPs/BE) Level 3: Heals 25 hit points per second. (12.5 HPs/BE) Level 4: Heals 40 hit points per second. (20 HPs/BE) Healing on the go? Awesome. Regeneration has a high BE cost (2 units per second) but allows you to heal even the most grievous wounds given time and a sufficient BE reserve. Face it, you're gonna eat a bullet or two in your adventures or fall from a rooftop a bit higher than you gauged. Since Medkits are in limited supply and depend on investing skill points in Medicine to become more efficient, Regeneration makes a lot of sense. Pair it with Level 4 Power Recirculator to almost double the amount of hit points healed per BE unit. Synthetic Heart (100 BE units/minute) Level 1: All other active augmentations have their level increased by one. I honestly don't consider Synthetic Heart a worthwhile augmentation. First of all, its BE cost is rather prohibitive, and is added to the cost of whatever aug(s) you've already activated and want to improve. Second, its very nature is self-defeating: since it has only one level, it frees up upgrade canisters to improve other augmentations... but that's its job in the first place! Considering there are some augmentations you'll never use (*cough*Cranium*cough*) and others you don't need to use at high levels (like Microfibral Muscle), and provided you make a thorough search for all the upgrade canisters, Synthetic Heart will be useless. I suggest you get the next augmentation instead. Power Recirculator (10 BE units/minute) Level 1: Power drain of other active augmentations is reduced by 10%. Level 2: Power drain of other active augmentations is reduced by 20%. Level 3: Power drain of other active augmentations is reduced by 33%. Level 4: Power drain of other active augmentations is reduced by 50%. I love this little sucker. It's a life-saver if you're constantly using other costly augmentations - Cloak, Radar Transparency, Regeneration, or even Vision Enhancement. However, to get a noticeable effect, you need to upgrade this augmentation all the way to Level 4, and fast. Remember that Power Recirculator has a BE cost too, and that it doesn't affect itself: therefore, only use it when the reduction to other augmentations is greater than 10 BE units per minute. Verdict for Chest: Three slots means a lot of options. I tend to stay away from Environmental Resistance and Energy Shield. Regeneration is a must. Take into consideration that you can't get both Synthetic Heart and Power Recirculator since there's only one installation canister in the whole game. Aqualung is useful but not overly so. Bottom line: since I myself often max out the Environmental Training skill, which removes the need for both Environmental Resistance and Aqualung, I go with Regeneration, Power Recirculator, and Energy Shield. If you don't invest in Environmental Training then drop Energy Shield and get either Aqualung or Environmental Resistance. I've personally never seen much use for Synthetic Heart. 6) ITEMS (uyc) There are lots and lots of items in the world! Most of them have an obvious use, which I will chronicle here. Every item in this list takes one space in your inventory: remember, you have 30 spaces (5 by 6) to carry these things around, so select your weapons and gear carefully. I've organized the item list in 3 categories. A value in parentheses next to the item name is how many items of that kind you can carry at once - but don't worry, they all stack in the same inventory space. Disposables are items that disappear after you use them, either in a menu or in the game world. Equipment are items you must use to grant JC a bonus for a certain period of time, and which also disappear when their effect expires. Finally, Miscellaneous items are just that: random items, some useful some not. Needless to say, I didn't list all the items you'll come across: gotta leave some surprises... *DISPOSABLES* Multitool (20) Reduces an electronic system's resistance, allowing you to bypass it. The lowered resistance is a factor of your Electronics skill. You should seek those out and use them with enthusiasm. Lockpick (20) Reduces a lock's resistance, allowing you to unlock it. The lowered resistance is a factor of your Lockpicks skill. Like Multitools, collect those and use them when you can't find a key or blow up a door. Medkit (15) Heals injured body parts to restore functionality. There are 2 ways to use Medkits: either consume them directly in the Inventory screen, or switch to the health menu and click the "Heal" buttons by each body part to use a Medkit on that particular body part. The "Heal All" button at the bottom will use as many Medkits as needed to heal all the damge you've suffered. This allows you to use your Medkits to maximum efficiency: if you use the standard "Heal" button on an arm with 90 health, the 20 extra healing will be lost, but if you use "Heal All" that extra healing will carry over to the next damaged body part. A higher Medicine skill will increase the damage each Medkit can heal. Bioelectric cell (30) Restores 25 points of bioelectricity per cell. Use them directly in the Inventory menu or in the Augs menu. *EQUIPMENT* Ballistic armor When equipped, reduces the damage you suffer from blades or bullets. The higher your Environmental Training skill, the more damage ballistic armor absorbs and the longer it lasts. Thermoptic camouflage A truly kick-ass item: wearing camo makes you totally invisible to *everything*, organic and robotic alike! It barely lasts ten seconds, though, so you really want to improve your Environmental Training skill to get more mileage out of these babies. Oh, and while camo makes you invisible, it doesn't affect the noise you make by running or jumping. Enemies can pinpoint you by sound so be smart. Hazmat suit Makes wading into a pool of radioactive materials easy as pie! The hazmat suit protects you from toxins and radioactivity. Again, Environmental Training makes hazmat suits much better. Rebreather A mask that replenishes your O2 constantly for a short period of time. Doesn't last too long at first, but with Master in Environmental Training, grants you 200 seconds of underwater time! If you plan to swim a lot carrying a rebreather around is a good idea. Tech goggles Grant you night vision for a short while. Truth be told, goggles are useless. Night vision actually doesn't do much in truly dark areas, since all it does is amplify already existing light sources. It's also *not* improved by Environmental Training. Don't bother. *MISCELLANEOUS* Binoculars Quite nifty! Equip them then press the attack button to zoom in. This lets you observe targets and areas from far away. If you carry a weapon with a scope throughout the game, you might not want to waste 1 inventory space with Binoculars. Flares (30) For the dedicated tactician, Flares can be useful. When you throw them they light up a small area for a period of time, and also produce a bit of smoke. However, if thrown from far or high enough, they make a sound upon landing that will draw enemies' attention. Not a necessary item by any means but still useful at times. Fire extinguisher If you catch on fire, using this on yourself will put it out. But I suggest you avoid getting doused in napalm in the first place! 7) ENEMIES (mnb) Okay, so you've got your gear, your skills, and your augmentations. That doesn't mean it's gonna be a walk in the park, though! Between you and your objectives stand a couple of armies of terrorists and conspirators hell-bent on taking over the world. In this section I'll give you some pointers for dealing with them. The advice I gave in the General Concepts section still stands: in general, you should avoid confrontation altogether. Sure, it's tempting to shoot everything that moves to be able to search the bodies and clear the streets... But often you won't find much in terms of ammo or cool items, and are putting your life in great danger - especially at the Realistic difficulty level. If you're on Easy, feel free to fight the largest security bots if you so desire, but otherwise you're better off staying put. The first thing you'll notice about enemies is that they either have a patrol route or stand in the same spot without budging. If the latter, then they're pretty easy to sneak by or surprise. If the former, you must observe their movements and get a feel for when will be the best time for action. Some guards have extremely short patrol routes that take them from one side of a small room to the opposite one; other enemies' routes can cover half a base's grounds. Again, observation is key. There are two classes of enemies: organic and robotic. Organic enemies include animals (such as guard dogs) and regular humanoid soldiers, such as troopers, MJ12 commandos, and Men/Women in Black. Organic enemies are unaffected by EMP attacks but most can be incapacitated by gas. They can be killed with regular ammo, or knocked unconscious with tranquilizer darts, the riot prod, or the baton. Lastly, the Cloak augmentation can render you invisible to them. Overall, organic enemies are easier to deal with than bots but are much more common in the world: there's more than ten organic enemies for every bot in the game. Nevertheless, organic units can be killed rather quickly. The first and easiest way to deal with them is with a melee weapon at close range from behind: a knife, sword, or prod strike to the torso from behind will dispose of regular troopers in one blow guaranteed, but not MiBs or commandos. For those guys you should resort to the second method, the headshot: aim at an enemy's head with a ranged weapon that deals lethal damage (i.e. not tranquilizer darts). Again, one hit from pistols and rifles will kill troopers. A sniper rifle shot might kill commandos and MiBs too, but definitely not a pistol one - you'll need at least 2 of those. Lastly, pumping anyone full of 7.62mm or Buckshot for a couple of seconds always does the trick, but be wary of the response. The second class of enemies are none other than robots. Robots are invulnerable to gas and nearly invincible to low-grade ammo. However, they can be hurt by EMP attacks and affected by scramble grenades. Secondary ammo such as 20mm HE and Sabot shells will hurt them, as will any explosives - LAMs, LAWs, GEP rockets, TNT crates, you name it. Robots can be "incapacitated" by frying their internal circuits with EMP attacks (usually via EMP grenades), but otherwise they always explode on death. Lastly, the Radar Transparency augmentation will completely defeat their sensory equipment, allowing you to sneak by undetected. (In some levels you might discover security consoles or computers that allow you to tamper with nearby security bots - take advantage of any such opportunities!) Robots are far tougher to deal with than organic enemies. They have near-perfect aim and are very resistant to regular bullets, not to mention Low-tech weapons. They also lack "body parts" like the ones organic enemies have. The best way to tackle robots depends on their power. The weakest bot of all, the security bot, looks like a miniature tank with 4 guns. It can be destroyed with one well-placed explosive or EMP grenade. You'll see those guys a lot in the early missions. They should still be avoided but won't kill you outright the moment they notice you. The other low-grade bot is the spider bot. Need I describe what it looks like? All it has is a close-range electric attack, so it's not a big threat. LAMs, grenades, or a couple of Sabot shells will take care of those. Listen for quick metallic steps. The medium bot, the Bravo-3 Peacebringer, is a bipedal military-grade bot equipped with a 7.62mm gun that *will* put the hurt on you if you're not careful. You'll need two EMP grenades or LAMs to kill those, or a single GEP rocket or LAW. They're definitely a bigger threat than the puny security bot and present from beginning to end. The heavy bot is called the Delta-2 Peacebringer. It's a humongous monster reminiscent of ED-209 from the movie RoboCop. Its armaments include a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and twin chain guns designed to make minced meat out of any target in seconds - that includes you. Avoid facing this guy at all costs. On the flip side, due to its slow movement and turning speed, you can very easily sneak by a Delta-2 by crawling after it until it reaches the end of its patrol route and turns around. Just make sure you stay in its six and don't make any noise! Terrible things will ensue if other units spot you while you're pulling off this stunt, so plan ahead. Lobbing LAMs or EMP grenades at a Delta-2 isn't the best idea, since it will take quite a few direct hits to disable or destroy them. I suggest dealing with them at the longest possible range with a GEP gun or a LAW. (Although using scramble grenades on a Delta-2 does make for hilarious results.) Lastly, I should mention the topic of detection. Enemies have two ways of detecting you: by sight or by sound. Enemy units have a field of vision roughly 120 degrees wide and approximately 40 feet long. Stay out of it whenever you can by hiding behind obstacles. If an organic enemy gets a glimpse of you, it will pause for a few seconds to verify the threat then either open fire or run to sound the alarm. Nearby enemies will be automatically be alerted to your position too, whatever the detecting unit does. The detection range for sounds is much shorter; I'd say it's about 20 feet in all directions. Sounds that will get you detected include running, walking, jumping/landing, dropping items on the ground, and firing a non-silent weapon. Reloading or turning augmentations on/off will *not*. When an enemy hears a sound - any sound at all you made - it will turn to face the sound's direction and pause for a few seconds to find its source. If it sees you, it will open fire or sound the alarm. Paradoxically, sound is both more and less forgiving than sight: while you can distract enemies with well-placed sounds (such as throwing an object far away to divert their attention), enemies can hear you through walls, floors, and ceilings, making even the slightest movement dangerous. I suggest you spend a lot of time crouched, which does not produce any noise and makes you a smaller target. ************************* 8) SECURITY (pgh) Besides enemies, you'll also have to tackle security systems on the lookout for you. Security systems are much harder to outsmart but easier to bypass. If you want to make security your forte, then I suggest you improve your Electronics and Computer skills. The Radar Transparency augmentation is also wonderful since it makes you invisible to cameras, although you should also consider Ballistic Protection (protects you from gun turrets) and Speed Enhancement (zip by cameras before they can sound the alarm). All security systems start with the basics: a security console terminal, one or more cameras, one or more gun turrets, and alarm pads scattered around. The security console is like a regular computer: to use it you need to either find the correct username/password combination or hack it with your Computers skill. Once you're in, you'll have control over the console's dependent cameras, gun turrets, and doors. You might also get special security options that enable you to tamper with security bots or other features of the environment. It's a *very* good idea to seek out security consoles in order to turn off cameras and turrets. Otherwise, you'll have to resort to avoiding the areas they cover, using augs or items to bypass them, or risk setting off the alarm. After the security console, the most basic device is the camera. All cameras have two states: On (characterized by a green hue surrounding its lens and a tell-tale sound you'll soon recognize) and Off (no green hue, no sound). You can turn cameras off by finding their security console or bypassing them with Multitools. A camera's field of view is slightly narrower than an organic unit: I'd say it's about 90 degrees. Some cameras are immobile, always covering the same area, but others pan left and right (or up and down). Immobile cameras can be bypassed simply by avoiding their field of view entirely; panning cameras can be bypassed by staying in their "blind spot", i.e. out of their field of view, as they pan back and forth. An easy way to bypass a panning camera watching a room from overhead is to run to the spot right underneath it. Then wait for it to pan away from your destination, and make a break for it! When a security camera spots you, it will go into "confirmation" mode. Its eye will start tracking you (even if you go into one of its previous blind spots) and blink red and green. This lasts about 5 seconds; the only way to stop "confirmation" is to run away from the camera's possible field of view, such as by hiding behind something, or to quickly bypass it with a Tool or console. "Confirmation" mode activates any gun turrets near the camera, so be careful about being spotted. If the camera still sees you after 5 seconds of "confirmation" mode, it will sound the alarm. Needless to say, that's *bad*. All gun turrets on the level will activate and shoot you whether a camera sees you or not. Organic enemies will also investigate the threat so try to find a good hiding spot until the alarm passes. Alarms usually last about 30 seconds or so, sometimes longer. Alarms can also be triggered by organic enemies if they see you; instead of shooting you, they'll run for the nearest alarm pad. You can either shoot the offender before he gets there or, if you're feeling *real* sneaky, deactivate the alarm pad with Multitools beforehand. Lastly, all of those electronic systems I've mentioned above - cameras, turrets, and alarm pads - can be blown up with explosives or messed with by using EMP grenades. Have fun finding out what works with what! ************************* Well, that's it! Thanks for reading. If you have any questions not answered in this FAQ (***READ IT FIRST!***), then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The original content of this FAQ is copyrighted to me, Korasoff. The name Deus Ex and the names of games, characters, etc... are copyrighted to Ion Storm. You can distribute this FAQ in its entirety and for free without my permission; all other distributions are prohibited.