Saturday, 20 March 2010

Innovative New Text-based Speedrun

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I'm done with Contracts and this will be the last post regarding that game (not counting possible walkthroughs and fukkarounds of the future). The bad news is... I don't know, there's a lot of text to sort through?
The rest of the missions are actually all just remakes from Codename 47, apart from the very short final mission, so I had an easier time finishing them and I think I even finished one or two of them in one single try. Having played Codename 47 to death gave me an idea of what to do even though several aspects of the missions have changed. Up till the 6th level I had spent something like 2 hours playing (not counting failed tries) and the rest 6 only added one hour more to the total, so I guess the post should be relatively short considering how many chapters I'll be describing today.

Also, forgive me my mistakes. I noticed I am a bit tired right now, I made several typos and I even wrote hospital instead of hotel at one point, but I try and fix the mistakes I find.

Chapter 7: Traditions of the Trade
47 wakes up on the table and sees the syringe the doctor left sticking out of his leg. He grabs it and pulls it, and this sends him right to the beginning of the next chapter with him holding up a syringe he used to knock some shmuck unconscious outside a hotel.

So the remaining two international terrorist brothers Fuchs, Frantz and Fritz (I can never remember which one is which) are going to detonate a biological weapon (or something, I care not) in a fancy hotel during a peace conference. Someone attending the conference has ordered 47 to come and take out the men instead of bothering the police with it, although insiders know it was actually professor Ortmeyer who probably didn't give a shit about the actual bomb. The mission objectives are to kill the brothers and retrieve the bomb for study. And of course 47 must also exit the hotel, but if you didn't guess that then you must be pretty slow.

47 is standing next to an unconscious guy and is holding a suitcase with a sniper rifle inside it. Since the game is nice enough to supply me with weapons I decide to use it and I run to the end of the road to unpack the rifle. The hotel has been slightly redesigned but I have a hunch they moved the fat Fuchs to the side, and sure enough I spot a suspicious looking guard on one of the 2nd floor balconies. One bullet later there's a blood splatter on the wall.
I drop my guns and run inside the hotel through the metal detectors, with some help from the VIP card I picked up from the guy 47 had knocked out in the beginning. As I am familiar with how the mission works I skip the signing in part and just run to the 2nd floor. I steal the master key from the boy who cleans the rooms and break into one of the rooms with an unconscious guest on the bed. I sneak out to the balcony and since this room is on the same side of the hotel as the Fuchs, or Björn Wolff room I jump from balcony to balcony until I'm on the balcony where the dead bodyguard is. I take his clothes because they're cooler than 47's suit (comes with shades) and sneak in. I take everything from the desk, letters and guns and such, go strangle Fuchs no. 1 in the shower and leave through the balcony with the bomb case.
Backtracking to the hall I make my way to the west wing, drop my guns in a broom closet or something and head to the pool area. I go through the women's shower because in this remake the pool is actually closed for everyone but Fuchs no. 2, and there's a guard preventing people from entering the men's side. I sneak past this copper guarding the actual pool area and go into the men's changing room just as Fuchs deux is coming to change into his formal wear. Only seconds later he's dead in the stall.

I pick the lock on the door to the men's changing room and sneak past the dumb guard, and right when I'm out I go back into walking mode and head to the previously mentioned broom closet. Being stupid I forget to check if it's possible to cross the roof and enter the dentist's through a window in this remake, and so I just jump from balcony to balcony some more in order to get behind one of the guards in the hall and strangle him since I happen to know my new shades don't fool him. I sneak into the x-ray room, although my disguise does seem to work here since the guard sees me but isn't alerted. I take the bomb and leave.
Although I am not entirely sure if the bomb case triggers metal detectors I decide it's best to play it safe and go around the hotel to the 1st floor of the east wing in order to avoid the metal detectors in the more populated areas. There's apparently been some sort of an accident here but I care not. I apparently enter a restricted area as one patrolling guard tells me to leave, but being on my way out anyway I just keep walking. I exit the hotel and the guards outside take my guns away, even though I'm leaving, not entering. I get to keep the bomb case, though (naturally, there's only one exit since 47 can't open windows without action commands), and I just run away.

2 enemies killed and one shot fired make me a Professional.
An alright remake, but the flavour has worn thin by now. Not as exciting as it was in Codename 47, though the dark and the rain and the bigger hotel design pep up the mood nicely. It may seem a bit more boring here because the earlier missions of Contracts already had the same feel to them, but in Codename 47 'TotT' was very different from all the other chapters and many people's favourite.

Chapter 8: Slaying a Dragon
Second to last hotel room cutscene of the game shows the police surrounding the hotel as 47 is changing his shirt. 47 hears something and looks outside the window but doesn't see anything suspicious, until he hears a helicopter go buy. This somehow sends him back to the earliest Codename 47 missions, and I could understand it well if the Contracts version HAD a helicopter in the next level. It doesn't, or at least I didn't see or hear it.

The main goal over the course of the next four missions is to get to Lee Hong, and this can be achieved through starting a war between the red and blue triads and making sure the police drop Lee Hong's protection. First step is to kill a red triad negotiator and frame the blue while the two are having a walk in the park. In Codename 47 this was an exciting starting mission, in Contracts this is a less exciting middle-mission.
I start running towards the edge of the park and unpack my sniper rfile on a shady hill. I wait and aim through the round gate, and when the red and blue negotiators walk into my sights I pop the red in the head. Then I just leave.
Mission accomplished. Yay?

Silent Assassin rating.
In Codename 47 such a short starting mission was "forgivable" if it even needed to be forgiven, because it was new and fun. Making your way to a rooftop, waiting for the negotiators to arrive, aiming carefully and then leaving quickly was lots of fun and put you in the assassin/hitman mood nicely for the rest of the game. Here... you can't even climb a ladder to a rooftop with the guards seeing everything except the shady armed men on small hills, and even though the maps hint at a three-story building I could use as a sniping point, why bother? It has enemies in it and I honestly don't even know which fucking building it is since the maps don't show where they connect to each other. The small hill worked wonders, just as I thought when I just casually strolled there the first time I started the mission. Didn't need this much/little remaking, to be honest.

Chapter 9: The Wang Fou Incident
Since the next three missions are a direct continuation of the previous, there's no hotel room cutscenes.
The blues are meeting the reds at the red dragon's restaurant. 47 must kill the blues in order to frame the reds for it. This mission still has some bits from the Codename 47 version intact, but expands the mission. It's some fun, though not much of a riot.

I start running towards the restaurant and go up the ladder on the side. I pick a lock on a door and sneak inside to pick up a bomb and a remote. Why Lee Hong has to provide the items 47 probably knew he needed, I don't know, but I go back outside and just like in the original when the blues' car stops the driver goes to take a leak in an alleyway where history repeats itself. He gets strangled, undressed and dropped into the sewer. Dressed as the chauffeour I go and plant the bomb in the car and then go wait near where the car will leave the map. Soon the blues get in the car and try to escape, but I detonate the bomb just as the car is passing by these two other blue targets. Five killed, two more to go inside the restaurant. Why two of the blues were left behind in the empty dining area in the red triad owned restaurant while the others tried to run, I'll never know.
I enter the small room again where I found the bomb, and put on the spare red dragon costume and take the conveniently placed supressed sniper rifle. This room must be legendary in the contract killer circles, it provides you with EVERYTHING you need from bombs and detonators to disguises and weapons. I say, Lee Hong was really asking to be framed with these tools.
Anyway, I just casually leave the room and take the elevator to the first floor. I walk into the restaurant and make my way to the small prvate dining room. I sneak in from the very right to avoid having the blues bust me (how can they recognize reds better than the reds themselves, I once again do not know) and aim with the sniper rifle from the side. Boom! Last two men killed with one bullet.
I just leave the way I entered and run to the exit point.

A shot fired and a civilian killed net me the title of Professional.
It's an alright mission, though it makes no sense at times and maneuvering inside the restaurant is no difficult task. Knocking out the driver instead of killing him would most likely end it with a Silent Assassin rank even with my described methods and since the NPCs are incapable of climbing ladders I suppose dropping him in the hole would prevent him from raising an alarm anyway, if the fall doesn't kill him, which might be possible in this crazy game. The possible methods and equipment are also spoon-fed to you as much as they were in the original, making me wonder if the developers really even gave all this a second thought before remaking the level.

Chapter 10: The Seafood Massacre

The reds and blues are bickering and the police chief is trying to help the two sides to restore peace in the neighbourhood. We don't want that, in fact we want the police to give up Lee Hong's protection altogether, so when the two triad negotiators and the police chief are meeting at a tiny restaurant we're going to make damn sure the three amigos are dead before the evening is over. The objectives are to kill and hide the body of the red negotiator so that nobody knows that he's also dead, plant evidence against the red negotiator inside the restaurant, kill the blue negotiator and the chief of police and split.
Although it's entirely based on luck whether the civilians will see the dead red before he's dragged away and the mission and areas have changed slightly, my experience with the original helped me a lot and the most drastic changes to the design actually HELP me more than hinder my efforts. This remake is truthfully a lot easier than the original, even with Silent Assassin rating.

I run to intercept the red negotiator first. In Codename 47 the three men arrived at different times, but here they appear at the same second in the very start, only the red just stops in his tracks suddenly and stands in one place for who knows how long (I didn't push my luck much). A bit dumb way to achieve the same outcome from the original, if you ask me, but allows impatient fucks to run through the missions from beginning to end. It's the modern way of gaming, I'm afraid.
I kill the red and just pray the game doesn't send civilians my way, and luckily the town seems deserted for the 10 seconds it takes me to kill and then drag the man into the sewer where I undress him and take his clothes and his amulet.
This remake is funny in the sense that it gives you the sniper rifle case from beginning, AND there's this conveniently placed scaffolding across the street from the restaurant, and this makes the mission easier to complete than it was in the original. Just run to the ladder, climb up, snipe the two bastards through the window with one bullet, climb back down and enter the restaurant. Drop the amulet on the table and leave. Mission accomplished, although for old times sake I climb out the washroom window.

Silent Assassin rank with one bullet and minimal effort.
Fun remake.

Chapter 11: Lee Hong Assassination

Finally getting to kill another one of the original fathers-- I mean to say, targets. Objectives are to kill Lee Hong and retrieve a jade figure. A new whore in the brothel knows the combination to the safe with the jade thingy and the agent in the basement knows which of the many safes it is, although we're supposed to know all that only after talking to the bartender.

I climb in to the restaurant through the same way I used two missions back, although this time there's no assassination equipment to be found. Guess Lee Hong got wiser. I strangle the guard outside just for old times sake again and take his clothes and head to the basement. I free the agent and find out the safe is in this same basement, but before opening it I need the combination from Mei Ling in the brothel who once again asks me to help her escape. The escape is harder but less exciting and comical this time. I end up having to strangle a guard in the restaurant's second floor warehouse since I accidentally made him turn around when I originally entered, so he was facing our exit and the guards always start shooting if they see Mei Ling after she's asked me to help her.
I get Mei Ling out from the back door of the restaurant and with the combination and some lipstick on my face I go open the safe. Lucky me that the safe was in the basement, because I would've completely missed THE SNIPER RIFLE ATTACHE CASE AND AMMUNITION! Lee Hong is a generous man, gives me bombs, sniper rifles and disguises like nothing, just like the crime lord father of a legendary international hitman should.
With the jade and the sniper rifle I walk around the restaurant a bit, trying to figure out a good sniping point. Lee Hong is eating at the moment, and soon I grow tired of waiting for him to leave so I plan to poison the food with the poison I picked up in the brothel so I can get the fatty out of the picture while making Lee Hong flee to his mansion. BUT, before I venture back to the first floor I happen to notice that there's a good vantage point on the second floor, a beeline to Lee Hong's head as he's dining in the small room where I previously sniped the two blues. So, I unpack the rifle, shoot Lee Hong in the head, pack up and then leave the same way I've been entering this restaurant all night long. Nobody found the corpse of Lee Hong during the time I spent running away. No alarms.

I recall getting Professional rating for 2 enemy kills and a shot fired. At least I think so, though I also recall being very surprised by the result screen somehow...
Not as exciting mission as the original and is it just me or does Mei Ling look uglier? The above screenshot showing Mei Ling does her a ton of extra justice, as she looks like a squarey blowfish in the other one I took.
I do like this mission, but I don't think the mechanics here really beat the original. Did like the sniper rifle surprise, though.

Chapter 12: Hunter and Hunted
The final chapter, the only mission that isn't a flashback starts with the police shouting something outside and 47 talking to himself about the unavoidable end of things before making up his mind about at least killing the French police chief with too much information regarding 47, even if 47's going to die tonight. 47's not going to die, though, since the last objective after killing the chief is again to escape, not drop dead.
The mission briefing acts as if all this commotion is just the latter half of possibly the mission 47 was carrying out when he was shot, so the information given is about people and places I've never seen nor heard of before, and they certainly don't have anything to do with the upcoming escape from the police.

47 is standing in his hotel room, and I immediately run out in the hall and enter one of the many rooms just as the police is storming in. I go out and jump off a balcony to the roof of the next-door building, then I jump back in to the hotel through the balcony of another hotel room. This places me behind the squad in the hallway.
I sneak to turn off the lights and use the darkness to sneak down into the elevator shaft. I'm on the 2nd floor now, with almost all the guys searching the 3rd floor. There's only this lone policeman in the hall trying to order people to get out of the hotel, so I sneak behind him and strangle him. After dragging him to one of the empty rooms I take his clothes and run downstairs and outside to the back alleys. I drop into a manhole and navigate through the sewer to another manhole. I climb out and go around the alleyways to get behind the chief of police. I cap him in the head with a silenced pistol and then just haul ass to the nearest exit as police start shooting at me.

One enemy killed, one shot fired, 4 close encounters. Executioner? What the fuck?!
A very difficult but also a very short mission. Didn't like it much.

The final cutscene shows 47 on a plane, talking to someone. It's Diana, but we don't see her, and we shouldn't. All we need to see are 47's bald head from behind and the targets when they're getting strangled, anything else ruins the mood. Anyway, apparently the agency 47 works for is having problems with some other group and they're losing friends. 47 tells he's going to lay low and if agency doesn't sort things out he'll find a new employer, but Diana mentions that all the heat is because of 47 and hands 47 a new assignment. 47's surprised at how high profile the target is and asks if the agency has this kind of money.
I suppose this dialogue foreshadows the events of Blood Money, but I'll find out soon enough now that I have that one on my shelf also.
The end.

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