There are two basic kinds of Corp runs. Acquisition runs are when the Johnson asks you to recover a package that was taken from one of his couriers. Extraction runs are when the Johnson mentions a client wanting a career change but being held at his current company, and it is your job to find the client within the corp building and escort him back out the main entrance. The different levels of difficulty correspond to the corp that you are sent into -- see each entry for building-specific tips.
For acquisition runs, The package you are looking for will always be inside one of the wall safes located throughout the building. After you find it (you'll be given a special message saying you found it), leave as quickly as possible and return to the Johnson for your pay.
For Extraction runs, your client, who looks like a normal civilian, will be standing still inside a room when you find him. If you approach him, he should automatically join your group. If you have trouble getting his attention, though, hit B to target him (but don't shoot him though, heh heh) and walk up to him. Once he's in your group, try to keep him out of the crossfire if any battles erupt, and make your way back out. If your client dies, you obviously fail the mission. You will know your client has kicked the bucket if the screen fades out, then immediately back in again.
Just as bodyguard runs are basically identical to courier runs, so are extraction runs, for the most part, identical to acquisition runs. Besides the obvious fact that you have to guard a person instead of a package, the only other difference is that during an extraction run, if you leave the building without having found your client, you will automatically fail the run. Just a heads-up... other than that, though, everything is pretty much the same. Each level of difficulty corresponds with the same corps, so all the tips for the above section are relevant to this one too. So, if you need tips for extraction runs, just check out the previous part.
Here are some general notes for all corp runs, period, since acquisition runs are basically identical to extraction runs:
- The primary threat in a corp run are the guards and other potentially hostile random encounters, who are very likely to sound the alarm on you if you're not prepared. The ways of reducing the threat of alarm, in order from most effective to least effective:
- The Invisibility spell,
- A fake badge, available from Max for a pricey 6,000¥, and
- A high Charisma attribute.
- Note that none of these are infallible: patrolling mages are especially good at seeing through your invisibility and/or fake badge. You might get lucky and find someone willing to tell you the location of your target; the Invisibility spell prevents that. While you can theoretically get through a corp run without any of the above, you'll want a lot of guns, ammo, and patience as you sound the alarm on every floor you come to.
- You need some way of dealing with maglocks; to get by a level 5 door you need one of:
- A character in your party with a 12 in Electronics,
- A character in your party with roughly a 6 in Electronics and an Electronics Kit from the Crime Mall,
- A Level 5 maglock passkey, preferably from Alesandro Hobbs, who sells one for a paltry 20,000¥, or
- Frag grenades, which are used one per door and will set off the alarm.
- It's possible to get by with less (For instance, Fuchi only has a single level 4 door, but it's guarding Stark's heart), but if you want to tackle mid-level corps you need to reliably get past level 4 doors.
- In addition to unlocking doors, an Electronics expert will help you shut off alarms, cameras, and locate your quarry, either through certain random events or at a security terminal (the ones with two side-by-side terminals). You can theoretically do the same thing in the Matrix, but even low-level corps are an upper-mid-level challenge for a decker to hack into, and takes a lot more time to do.
- The downside of having a corp badge is the cost. They'll cost several thousand nuyen and will supposedly only last one run. I say "supposedly" because I've played many games where one set has lasted for the entire game, but I've also played games where they really did go away after every few runs, if not after every single run. I have a few theories about how this works, but haven't had time to test any. So, for now, the best advice I can give is if you keep losing your badges, just forget it and focus your efforts on improving your Charisma attribute.
- Here's a tip for a situation that will probably never happen to you -- but if it did, you'd feel cheated. There is a bug that will happen if the main character, Joshua, dies (or gets knocked out, whatever...) inside a building. If Joshua goes down and another character approaches a maglocked door while he's still dead, the game will count that as leaving an area without him and will therefore wipe out your party. So, if Joshua loses all his life and you're forced to take over with another character, DON'T approach any doors or it will mean certain death. Take the time to revive him before you continue running. It may seem like a silly little thing, but if were to happen to you, you'd probably be real frustrated by the computer's deficient logic.
- To kind of go along with the previous note, here's a tip about dying while on an acquisition or extraction run: you can die as many times as you need to before you get the package or client, but once you have your it/him in your possession, getting your party wiped out will cause you to fail the run.
- You will probably become familiar with the alarm inside corporations after a while. It can be triggered by a number of things such as unsilenced gunfire, explosives, being seen by a camera, random encounters, screwing up when using a database or picking a lock, and many other events. Alarms are a big pain because during an alarm, all elevators are locked down (as well as the main entrance, if you're on the first floor) and corporate security floods the area, attacking your party on sight. Beside simply waiting for the alarm to end, there are two options for ending an alarm, and they both involve the terminals that you will find inside a building. If you find a Matrix terminal (usually a single terminal in the wall), you can enter cyberspace and deactivate the alarm by crashing the CPU. If you find a security terminal (usually two terminals side-by-side), however, you can simply choose to shut off the alarm. Your success will depend on your Electronics skill and if you fail, you'll set the alarm off again -- but, you can just go back to the screen and try again until you shut it off.
- When you first enter a building, find the nearest security terminal. This is the best way to find what you're looking for and cut down the amount of time spent in the building. When you choose your use your Electronics skill on such a terminal, you will not only be able to shut off any alarms, but will also be able to shut off the security cameras (quite helpful) and find which floor your package/client is on (VERY helpful). If you don't get the information on your first try, just keep trying, and don't worry about setting off the alarm, since you will always be able to turn it off using the same security terminal.
- The upper levels of many corp buildings are split. For example: when you come to the elevators on the first floor, there may be three right in a row. On the higher levels, though, the rooms where each elevator gets off may be walled off from one another, and you'll need to go back down and take a different elevator to the same floor to reach the new areas. Remember this when you've searched the whole floor that your goal is supposed to be on, but still can't find it. You may need to find another elevator on a different level.
- Magic, melee attacks, grenades, and silenced guns will never set off an alarm inside a corp. Shotguns and non-silenced guns will ALWAYS set off an alarm. Stores sell silencers for a reason, and they're very affordable, so you really have no excuse for setting off an alarm with your own gunfire. Unfortunately, corporate security doesn't feel the same way, as none of their weapons are silenced. As a result, you can forget about maintaining secrecy if you give a guard reason to attack you. Also, for what it's worth, hell hounds don't set off alarms by themselves. But a hell hound attack is probably one area where you're going to worry less about the alarm and more about blasting the things. Oh well.
- Try to stay out of the way of guards, even when they aren't hostile. When you're around a guard, you have a MUCH greater chance of being asked for your badge, and it follows that you would have a much greater chance of getting attacked and sounding the alarm. Most guards walk a patrol around the major rooms and hallways on each floor, so spend as little time in populated areas as possible.
- A couple camera facts: once you turn off the cameras with a security terminal, they are off for all floors, permanently. Even if an alarm is subsequently triggered, they won't come back on. The only exception (and of course, this doesn't apply to extraction runs) is if you leave the building and return. In this case, everything will be reset, except for the location of the package/client.
Simple Acquisition/Extraction RunsEdit
- 550¥/450¥ (from Mortimer Reed)
- 600¥/500¥ (from Julius Strouther)
- see above
Simple runs will be against either the Fuchi or the Mitsuhama buildings. The Fuchi building is perhaps the easiest one to run against: it has a lot of big open rooms, a very simple layout, and abundant security terminals. In fact, the first one is just as you enter the building, in the room to your left. Walk down through the door to access it.
Mitsuhama is not much different. Its layout is a little more complicated, but it still has relatively few cameras, and plenty of security terminals for when things go sour. Its first security terminal is on the first floor, in the far upper-left corner next to (but in a different room than) the elevator.
Finally, note that both Fuchi and Mitsuhama have two locations: one in the Penumbra District, and one in Downtown Seattle. Regardless of which branch you are assigned to, the building will be the same. Just a little something that may be worth remembering.
Moderate Acquisition/Extraction RunsEdit
- 1,000¥/900¥ (from Julius Strouther)
- 1,400¥/1,200¥ (from Caleb Brightmore)
- 1,700¥ (from Vigore & Jarl)
- 4 (3 from Vigore & Jarl)
- see above
Moderate runs will target Ares or Lone Star. These two corps, particularly Lone Star, can get pretty mazelike at times. Also, expect to see several split floors as described above, and more security cameras.
Ares isn't that tough... it's got a lot of winding passages and tiny rooms to explore, but the security is pretty lax. The first security terminal is in the upper left end of the first floor, go up and into the room right before you would enter the large open room with the elevator.
Lone Star can actually be pretty tricky. The security seems to be tighter, and the room layout is very complex. The first security terminal is pretty tough to find as well, and terminals in general are somewhat scarce. For those interested, the first security terminal is in a room off of the hall that runs behind the elevator. In other words, get to the elevator and keep going. To get to the elevator, go out into the hallway from the main entrance and take the second door leading upward. Keep going upward until you get to the large room with the desk and chairs. When you get there, go through the door on the left and you should see it.
Expert Acquisition/Extraction RunsEdit
- 3,850¥/3,500¥ (from Caleb Brightmore)
- 4,500¥/4,000¥ (from Vigore & Jarl)
- 6 (5 from Vigore & Jarl)
- see above
Expert runs are against Renraku and Renraku only. The difficulty of the Renraku building is quite a leap from the Ares and Lone Star buildings, and it can be a real pain for those who don't know their way around.
For one thing, there is no security terminal on the first floor. This can be the source of endless frustration for runners, because (unless you cast Invisibility on your party) you are GUARANTEED to be stopped by security in the first room. There are guards stationed everywhere, so it's basically impossible to make it through that first room without being stopped at LEAST once.
Also, you'll notice that there are cameras placed in very tricky locations -- around corners and near very common locations. It's pretty much impossible to get anywhere without having to deal with a camera, which is all the more reason to get to the first security terminal as quickly as possible. From the entrance, go right into the hallway and follow it all the way up. Now, before you turn left into the elevator area, hug the lower wall tightly so the screen doesn't scroll up and show the camera right at that corner. If the camera is in the screen, it will almost definitely see you and sound the alert, which you'll have to wait out since -- well, you know why. Anyway, hug that lower wall and step past the camera, then turn upward and get in the elevator. Go to the second floor and when you get out, go right until the hall turns downward. Don't worry about the camera in the corner triggering an alarm -- you're almost to the security terminal. Follow the hall down and take the door on the left that you will see. Continue left into the next room -- this is the room that has the security terminal. I suggest that you make this route a kind of ritual whenever you first enter the Renraku building. It will really help shorten your runs.
Anyway, besides the terribly frustrating first floor, there are also the standard features that make Renraku a pain to run: a large building (six levels) with a bunch of split floors and extremely tight security. You name it, it's here.
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