SYSTEM SHOCK: THE FINAL CYBERSPACE
Mike Fay, 12/31/94
The following are cheats for the final System Shock cyberspace battle
against Shodan (the terminal on station level 9). Do NOT read if you
don't want to know!
This is how the game worked for *me*. Some things could be random
and/or Origin may have released different versions, how would I know? I
used the floppy version that says "version F1.5S" when you exit the
game, with a SSCHOCK.EXE of 1,174,697 bytes dated 9/11/94 12:21.
The general layout is two concentric square "rings", with Shodan inside
the inner ring (like a bullseye). There are rooms at each corner of the
outer ring (i.e., four), and none in the inner ring, with three
crossovers between the two rings (all sides except where the entrance
comes in). There are also three external rooms (including the entrance
hallway), sticking out three of the "sides" of the outer ring.
You enter the grid at the outer ring. The inner ring's flow goes in the
opposite direction of the outer ring's. There is only one entrance to
Shodan's innermost room, opposite the entrance to cyberspace.
Room 4 >---------------------> Room 1
"torso" "ovoidal plus"
| ---<-------<-- |
| / ^ \ |
| | | | |
| v v ^ |
| | -------- | |
"volley | | | | | | Crazy
ball <--->|<--->| | SHODAN | |<--->|<---> Health
court" | | | | | | Room
| v -------- ^ |
| | | |
| \ / |
| --->------->-- |
| ^ |
^ | v
Room 3 <--------------------< Room 2
"barn with "hourglass"
* Spacebar moves you backwards in Cyberspace *
When I'm in cyberspace, I rely heavily on the spacebar to speed me up,
so as to outrun shots from cyberguards and to move quickly in general.
In this final cyberspace, however, I found that the spacebar moved me
*backwards* when first used. This makes it almost useless for keeping
on the run to avoid bullets. The warning Elaine tried to email when the
final level is entered may have been about this. I have not yet been
able to verify that other players have found it to do the same thing.
But I found that it was only temporary. Namely, if I "sat on" the
spacebar as soon as I got into cyberspace, it would move me back for
about 15 seconds (keeping me pegged in the "Start" chute), and then it
would move me forward as usual for the rest of the time. So, I just
"burn out" the backward movement before leaving Start, and it's fine for
* Combat *
Aside from the initial spacebar problem, it's combat as usual in
cyberspace. Use your Pulsar for shooting at guards, NOT the Drill.
(Note that you can simply use the Tab key to save time when switching
between Pulsar and Drill software.) I find it quite effective to keep
moving fast with the spacebar when guards are shooting at me. Their
slow shots then usually miss.
Note that guards must turn (slowly) to face you, in order to shoot you.
Thus, if you keep moving fast with the spacebar, you can kill them
pretty safely by (1) swooping around them in a wide arc (i.e., don't
move straight toward them, "eating" the bullets they're shooting at
you), and (2) zoom to right behind them and open up with rapid fire.
They will still be slowly turning to face you; meanwhile, most anything
will be killed within a few shots (except Shodan). The upshot, so to
speak, is that you can kill most guards with only taking a few stray
shots, if you move fast and zoom behind them.
Keeping on the move with the spacebar has the added advantage that, if
you didn't see one of the guards, you won't suddenly have several
bullets from him piling into you. You'll see them whiz by, and then you
can take action.
Also use "cover" to your advantage. For example, in the first "room" of
the last cyberspace, there are two banks of guards in two of the four
"coves" of the room. Move quickly into a cove that has no guards, then
move into position so that you can come over the edge into one of their
coves with guns blazing. Conversely, if you just sat in the middle of
the room where the four coves converge, they'll all be taking potshots
at you the whole time.
* Goodies *
Most of the four rooms on the outer ring have some real goodies in them.
Of particular interest, Room 2 has a Drill version 8 on ice, and Room 4
has a C-Shield version 8 and a FakeID. Since the FakeID is used to
break through ice, and Room 2's ice had the best goodie (for me), it
makes sense to use Room 4's FakeID to break Room 2's ice.
I couldn't tell what was in the ice in Room 1, because it was obsolete
(for me). Upon entering this last cyberspace, my software versions were
Drill 4, Pulsar 8, and C-Shield 7. If your versions are not this high,
either you missed something in previous cyberspaces or Origin makes
different versions of this game. (And if yours are higher, than *I* may
have missed something.) Note that, for example, Level 2 has *two*
cyberspace terminals in it, and they do go to different cyberspaces.
Also, I can distinctly remember at least one semi-hidden passageway in a
previous cyberspace that had a goodie in it. So, look carefully through
all cyperspaces if you're going through the game another time and you
didn't have software versions as high as mine your previous time through
* The Rooms; Movement Tactics *
If cyberspace had actually been *challenging* -- if it had been hard to
live through and kill the guards in some of the rooms -- then it would
make sense to use some strategy to moving. Such as, initially zooming
through Room 1 ignoring the guards and going straight for the exit, then
getting to the inner ring and going directly to whichever room had the
best software goodies for protection and firepower, and *then* come back
and kill the guards. But, for me (I began the game with all difficulty
settings on 2), it was easy enough to just go through the rooms
sequentially and take out all the guards. Yes, I took some hits, and
even got pretty low once, but the health snacks always got me back up to
par. If you're difficulty settings are 2 or easier and you're having a
hard time surviving cyberspace, you need to do something better, such as
some of the tactics described above.
So, just go through the four main rooms sequentially, and come back and
use the FakeID on Room 2. Then feel free to explore the two bonus rooms
off to the sides. I call "the volleyball court" this name because it's
as though you are traveling through lines that define one:
\ | \ |
\ | \ |
Something like that. There's no "flow" in this "room"; you just move
whichever way you want. I couldn't find *anything* in here; let me know
if you do. The other room ("Crazy Health Room") is fairly simple and
contains a few health snacks.
* Shodan *
Although you can zoom in to Shodan's room pretty quickly and fight him
without worrying about the rest of cyberspace, that takes the fun out of
exploring the rest. Do what you want.
When you're ready to fight him, if your version of System Shock is like
mine, you'll find it surprisingly easy. Some "snow" appeared on my
screen when I entered Shodan's cyberspace room, which I guess is
supposed to represent jamming or something. But, Shodan is not even
shooting at you, as far as I can tell, so you just need to sit there and
fire away. After maybe a dozen hits, Shodan dies, and it's on to the
endgame video! That's all there is to it.
* Summary *
System Shock is a pretty good rollercoaster ride. More atmosphere,
mind-puzzles, and plot than Doom, with some very cool extra effects
(love those rollerblades!). Yet somehow not quite as viscerally
gripping as Doom. Basically, it's a lot of fun to work one's way
through, but after you've been through it one or three times, that's it.
It seems (*seems*) like they could've fairly easily made the cyberspace
episodes a lot more elaborate, much larger with far more nooks and
crannies to explore, more movement capability (side to side, etc.) and
combat options, and worse monsters such that getting better software
along the way really makes a difference in winning at the end or not. I
really looked forward to finding each new cyberspace terminal and taking
a ride on the virtual side -- but they were always so easy. As with the
rest, it was a fun ride, but when it was over, it was over.
Best of luck in your successful recovery of the TriOptimum space station
and the saving of humankind!