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System Shock 2

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System Shock 2
System Shock 2
Vital statistics
Title System Shock 2
Developer Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios
Publisher Electronic Arts/Night Dive Studios (Re-Release)
Release Date August 11, 1999
Genre Role-Playing Game
Sub Genre First-Person Shooter
Themes Horror, Science Fiction
Year 2114 at Beginning, 2118 at End

System Shock 2 is the sequel to System Shock. It was released on August 11, 1999 in North America. The sequel was originally designed as a standalone title with no relation to System Shock; story changes were made when Electronic Arts—who owned the Shock franchise rights—signed on as publisher. Like its predecessor, it did not sell well even though it received positive reviews.

Despite being obscure and hard to find for many years, System Shock 2 is now available for purchase on Good Old Games, GamersGate, and Steam.

GameplayEdit

Like its predecessor, gameplay in System Shock 2 is an amalgamation of the role-playing game (RPG) and first person shooter (FPS) genres. The player uses melee and projectile weapons to defeat enemies, while a role-playing system allows the development of useful abilities. Navigation is presented from a first-person perspective and complemented with a heads-up display that shows character and weapon information, a map, and a drag and drop inventory. Backstory is explained progressively through the acquisition of audio logs and encounters with ghostly apparitions.

The game begins with the player choosing a career in a branch of the Unified National Nominate, a fictional military organization. Each branch of service gives the player a set of starting bonuses in certain skills, though he may thereafter freely develop himself as he pleases. Marines begin with bonuses to weaponry, Navy officers are trained in repairing and hacking, and OSA agents get a starting set of psionic powers.

The player can upgrade his skills by spending "cyber-modules", which are obtained as rewards for completing objectives or searching every nook and cranny of the ship. Skills are enhanced by spending cyber-modules at devices called "cyber-upgrade units". O/S units allow special one-time character upgrades to be made (e.g. permanent health enhancement), while in-game currency, called "nanites", may be spent on items at vending machines. "Quantum Bio-Reconstruction Machines" can be activated and reconstitute the player for 10 "nanites" if they die in the same area. Otherwise, the game ends and progress must be resumed from a save point.

The player can hack devices, such as keypads to open alternate areas and vending machines to reduce prices. When a hack is attempted, a minigame begins where a grid of green nodes form; the player must connect three in a row to succeed. Optionally, electronic lock picks can be found and automatically hack a machine, regardless of its difficulty.

Various weapons can be found throughout the game, they are classified as standard weapons (pistol, shotgun etc.), energy weapons, heavy weapons and exotic (alien) weapons. Non-melee weapons degrade with use and will break if they are not regularly repaired with maintenance tools. Different ammunition types exist which are more effective to susceptible enemies. For example, organic enemies are vulnerable to anti-personnel rounds, while mechanical foes are weak against armor-piercing rounds. Because ammunition is scarce, the player must use it sparingly and carefully search rooms for supplies. Additionally, players can research unknown items and enemy weaknesses, by sampling their organs and combining chemicals found in storage rooms. Software upgrades can be found to help with research. Psionic powers can also be learned, such as invisibility, fireballs and teleportation.

StoryEdit

The story begins in 2114, forty-two years after the events of System Shock. After joining the United Nations Nominate, the protagonist, Soldier G65434-2, is assigned to the UNN Rickenbacker, a military starship. The Rickenbacker is escorting the Von Braun, an experimental faster-than-light starship, on its maiden voyage. As the Rickenbacker does not have an FTL system of its own, the two ships are attached together for the trip.

A few months into the journey, the ships respond to a distress signal from the planet Tau Ceti V. A rescue team is sent to the planet surface where they discover strange eggs. The eggs infect the rescue team and integrate them into an alien communion that calls itself The Many. The infestation eventually overtakes both ships.

The soldier awakens in a cryo-tube on the MedSci Deck of the Von Braun with amnesia due to a computer malfunction. He is immediately contacted by another survivor, Dr. Janice Polito, who guides him to safety before the cabin depressurizes. She demands that he rendezvous with her on Deck 4 of the Von Braun. Along the way, the soldier battles the infected crew members. The Many also telepathically communicate with him, attempting to persuade the soldier to join their collective.

After restarting the ship's engine core and purging an elevator shaft, the soldier reaches Deck 4 and discovers Polito is dead. He is then confronted by SHODAN, a malevolent artificial intelligence that devastated Citadel Station, in the previous game. It is revealed she has been posing as Polito to gain the soldier's trust.

She goes on to mention that she is responsible for creating The Many, the results of her bio-engineering experiments on Citadel Station. The Hacker ejected the grove that contained her experiments to prevent them contaminating Earth, an act that also allowed part of SHODAN to survive the events of the first game. The grove crash-landed on Tau Ceti V. While SHODAN went into forced hibernation, The Many evolved beyond her control.

SHODAN issues an ultimatum to the soldier, stating his only chance for survival lies in helping destroy her rebellious creations. SHODAN informs the soldier that destroying the Von Braun is their only option, but he must transmit her program to the Rickenbacker first. While en route, the soldier briefly encounters two survivors, Tommy Suarez and Rebecca Siddons, who flee the ship aboard an escape pod.

With the transfer complete, the soldier travels to the Rickenbacker and learns both ships have been enveloped by the infection's source, a gigantic mass of bio-organic tissue. The soldier enters the biomass and destroys its core, stopping the alien infection. SHODAN congratulates the protagonist and informs him of her intentions to merge real space and cyberspace by subverting the reality-altering mechanics of the Von Braun's faster-than-light drive. The soldier confronts SHODAN in cyberspace and defeats her.

The final scene shows Tommy and Rebecca receiving a message from the Von Braun. Tommy responds, saying they will return but Rebecca is acting strange. Rebecca is shown speaking in a voice similar to that of SHODAN, asking Tommy if he "likes her new look", as the screen fades to black.

Weapons Edit

Standard Weapons Edit

Weapon Requirements Ammunition Types Firing Modes Modifications
Wrench - - - -
Pistol Standard - 1
  • Standard Bullets - The most common type of bullets in the game which deals Standard damage.
  • Armor-Piercing Bullets - Deals additional damage to partly and fully Mechanical opponents.
  • Anti-personnel Bullets - Deals additional damage to partly and fully Annelid opponents.
  • NORM (Primary mode) - It fires a single shot when the trigger is pulled.
  • BURST (Secondary mode) - It fires three rounds in rapid succession.
  • Level 1 - Increases clip size from 12 to 24 and increases damage by 10%.
  • Level 2 - Reduces reload time by 2/3 and increases damage to a total of 25%.
Shotgun Standard - 3
  • Rifled Slugs - The most common type of shotgun shell in the game that is often carried by Shotgun Hybrids. They deal Standard damage.
  • Anti-Personnel Shotgun Shells - Rare ammunition that is effective against organic opponents and deals High Explosive damage.
  • NORM (Primary mode) - It fires a single shot when the trigger is pulled.
  • TRIPLE (Secondary mode) - It fires three rounds simultaneously and deals double damage.
  • Level 1 - Reduces reload time by 2/3 and increases damage by 10%.
  • Level 2 - Reduces kickback by 2/3 and increases damage to a total of 25%.
Assault Rifle Standard - 6, Strength - 4
  • Standard Bullets - The most common type of bullets in the game which deals the same damage to all opponents.
  • Armor-Piercing Bullets - Deals additional damage to partly and fully mechanical opponents.
  • Anti-Personnel Bullets - Deals additional damage to partly and fully Annelid opponents.
  • NORM (Primary mode) - It fires a single shot when the trigger is pulled.
  • AUTO (Secondary mode) - It fires bullets continuously until the player stops pulling the trigger or the magazine runs out of ammunition.
  • Level 1 - Reduces reload time by 2/3 and increases damage by 10%.
  • Level 2 - Increases clip size from 36 to 72 and increases damage to a total of 25%.

Energy Weapons Edit

Weapon Requirements Ammunition Types Firing Modes Modifications
Laser Pistol Energy - 1
  • Electrical Energy (Portable Battery) - This weapon features a built-in electrical capacitor which is rechargeable and allows it to fire Energy Projectile.
  • NORM (Primary mode) - It fires a blue projectile when the trigger is pulled and consumes 3 units of electrical energy per shot.
  • OVER (Secondary mode) - It fires a red projectile when the trigger is pulled and consumes 20 units of electrical energy per shot. The shot has a larger blast radius and deals more damage.
  • Level 1 - Increases storage capacity by 50%, which is counting Maintenance bonus and increases damage by 10%.
  • Level 2 - Decreases energy consumption by 33% and increases damage to a total of 25%.
Laser Rapier Energy - 4, Agility - 3 - - -
EMP Rifle Energy - 6
  • Electrical Energy (Portable Battery) - This weapon features a built-in electrical capacitor which is rechargeable and allows it to fire Energy Projectile.
  • NORM (Primary mode) - It fires a single shot when the trigger is pulled and consumes 2 units of electric energy per shot.
  • OVER (Secondary mode) - It fires a single shot when the trigger is pulled and consumes 20 units of electric energy per shot. The shot has a larger blast radius and deals more damage.
  • Level 1 - Increases storage capacity by 50%, which is counting Maintenance bonus, and increases damage by 10%.
  • Level 2 - Decreases energy consumption by 50%, increases projectile speed by 50% and increases damage to a total of 25%.

Heavy Weapons Edit

Weapon Requirements Ammunition Types Firing Modes Modifications
Grenade Launcher Heavy - 1
  • Fragmentation Grenades - The basic ammunition type. Does Standard damage to all enemies.
  • Proximity Grenades - Launches a grenade that functions like a landmine and deals Standard Damage. The grenade will explode when directly contacting an enemy, otherwise, it will have a slight delay before it starts functioning as a mine. The mine will explode if either the player or any enemy approaches it. Shooting a mine will also cause it to explode.
  • Incendiary Grenades - Does large amounts of Incendiary damage to biological targets, but is negligible against mechanical targets.
  • EMP Grenades - Does large amounts of EMP damage to mechanical enemies, and stuns them temporarily, but does no damages to fully organic targets.
  • Disruption Grenades - Available later on in the game and are designed as a direct upgrade of the Fragmentation Grenades. Although it has a smaller blast radius, it does huge amounts of Standard damage to any type of enemy.
  • CONTACT (Primary mode) - The grenades will explode on impact.
  • BOUNCE (Secondary mode) - The grenades will bounce around and explode three seconds later.
  • Level 1 - Increases clip size (6 to 9) and increased damage 100%.
  • Level 2 - Increases projectile speed by 50%, reduces reload time by 2/3, and increases damage bonus to a total of 128%.
Stasis Field Generator Heavy - 3, Strength - 3
  • Prisms - Crystal prisms which are good energy storage mediums and allows the Stasis Field Generator to operate.
  • NORM (Primary mode) - It fires projectiles which temporarily immobilize a targeted enemy when the trigger is pulled. Each shot uses 4 prisms.
  • AREA (Secondary mode) - It fires projectiles which have an area effect and temporarily immobilize a group of targets when the trigger is pulled. Each shot uses 8 prisms.
  • Level 1 - Increases projectile speed by 100%.
  • Level 2 - Reduces ammunition consumption by 50%.
Fusion Cannon Heavy - 6, Strength - 4
  • Prisms - Crystal prisms which are good energy storage mediums and allows the Fusion Cannon to deal Energy damage.
  • NORM (Primary mode) - It fires a slow projectile when the trigger is pulled.
  • DEATH (Secondary mode) - It fires a even slower projectile when the trigger is pulled, but deals significantly more damage.
  • Level 1 - Increases clip size from 40 to 80 and increases damage by 10%.
  • Level 2 - Reduces reload time by 2/3 and increases damage to a total of 25%.

Exotic Weapons Edit

Weapon Requirements Ammunition Types Firing Modes Modifications
Crystal Shard Exotic - 1, Research - 4 - - -
Viral Proliferator Exotic - 4, Research - 5
  • Worms - Annelid tissues which appear all around the game. When collected in laboratory beakers, they can be injected into this weapon and will allow it to reproduce nanite-virus hybrids.
  • HUMAN (Primary mode) - It fires a pink projectile which deals Anti-Human damage. As long as the fire button is being hold, the projectile will not explode unless touching any surface. Each shot consumes 2 units of Worms.
  • ANNELID (Secondary mode) - It fires a pink projectile which deals Anti-Annelid damage. Both the firing mechanic and the ammunition consumption are same as that of the primary mode.
  • Level 1 - Increases clip size from 8 to 18 and increases damage by 10%.
  • Level 2 - Decreases worms consumption by 50% and increases damage to a total of 25%.
Annelid Launcher Exotic - 6, Research - 6, Strength - 3, Agility - 3
  • Worms - Annelid tissues which appear all around the game. When collected in laboratory beakers, they can be injected into this weapon and will be chemically altered into deadly substances.
  • HUMAN (Primary mode) - It fires a yellow projectile which deals Anti-Human damage. Each shot consumes 4 units of Worms.
  • ANNELID (Secondary mode) - It fires a pink projectile which deals Anti-Annelid damage. The ammunition consumption is unchanged.
  • Level 1 - Increases clip size from 8 to 18 and increases damage by 10%.
  • Level 2 - Increases projectile speed by 100% and increases damage to a total of 25%.

PSI PowersEdit

The following descriptions indicate how PSI powers generally work. Some exceptions may be found; for example, not all creatures can be calmed by Psionic Hypnogenesis and some may be more or less vulnerable than normal to certain attacks.

PSI powers are divided into five tiers:

  • Tier One - Tier One powers all cost one PSI point to use. The Tier One ability increases your maximum PSI points by 2.
  • Tier Two - Tier Two powers all cost two psi points to use. The Tier Two ability increases your maximum PSI points by 4.
  • Tier Three - Tier Three powers all cost three PSI points to use. The Tier Three ability increases your maximum PSI points by 6.
  • Tier Four - Tier Four powers all cost four PSI points to use. The Tier Four ability increases your maximum PSI points by 8.
  • Tier Five - Tier Five powers all cost five PSI points to use. The Tier Five ability increases your maximum PSI points by 10.

Main CharactersEdit

Shodan HD Wallpaper

EnemiesEdit

Main article: The Many

ModdingEdit

Main article: ShockEd

There has been a modding community built up with this game. Some of the most well known mods are the SHTUP mod which sharpens the pixily environment, the Reborn mod which changes models and skins, and the Multiplayer mod which allows two players to connect over the internet and play together.[1]

External LinksEdit

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