Awakened in Africa

I awake and find myself in an abandoned armory. All I can hear is the sound of a fly buzzing through the air. Occasionally, some other unidentifiable animals create a serene soundscape of yelps and caws in the background. Despite the complete lack of windows or portholes in the weapon dealer’s hut, I get the feeling that it’s sometime in the early morning.

In an attempt to determine what I’m supposed to be doing, I bring out my journal. According to its pages, I am tasked with going to a chemical dump and finding a recipe for Agent Yellow. According to my notes, Agent Yellow is a military-grade defoliant and the other faction, who I’m pretty sure was the source for my last mission, is sitting on a huge supply at this chemical dump. So that’s that then.

Putting my journal away, I open up my map to try and re-orient myself. I can only assume this is what amnesia feels like. My map says I’m at Mike’s Bar. I figure I’ll go to the actual bar and catch up with old friends. Opening the door back to the outside world, I see a big white supply truck parked right outside. It’s got an absolutely massive gun mounted atop it. I think this is mine. Even if it’s not. Also it’s the middle of the night. So much for intuition.

Every movement I take is confusing. Basic walking is simple enough. Jumping too. I’m clearly still in tune with what it takes to both aim and fire my gun as well. As I attempt to switch my weapon, though, I find myself throwing a grenade. A grenade right into the back of my supply truck. My old supply truck now, I guess. I keep trying to get my pistol out, failing miserably every time. One time I even noticed that I was crouching. Then it hit me and, by hit me, I mean I reached the end of the combinatorial line and only had a few impulses left which would get me what I wanted. Success. I have my silenced pistol in hand now as I walk to the bar.

Along the way I shoot a lawn chair.

When I enter the bar, I notice the fly that in the armory must have followed me in. An old guy at the bar looks at me, and leans on the bar in an apparent attempt to feign disinterest. He says “Here comes trouble” when I approach him and has a grin on his face. He seems incapable of saying anything else once we’re face-to-face, though, so I assume we had some awkward relationship in the past. A twenty-something at a nearby table asks me “What are you doing out here, man?” when I walk by. That’s apparently as far as he wants to take the conversation as well. A blonde guy near the door doesn’t even care for an introduction and just stands there, checking out the old guy at the bar. I feel the urge to break the ice between the two. This bar’s dead.

Leaving the bar I accidentally threw a Molotov Cocktail instead of switching back to my AK-47. It, unfortunately, landed on a blue jeep near the bar. I hope this was blondie’s. I notice that my white supply truck is still there in one piece; I get in, the engine turns over, and drive as quick as possible out of the growing fire by the jeep. Quickly opening my map, I see I’m only about a five minute drive out from the chemical dump. I put the map away and get going. Thirty seconds pass and I take the map back out because I’m lost. Oh. Okay. There. Got it. Map goes away again. Okay, fuck it. This thing stays out.

Is it wrong of me to wish this thing had a radio? The creaking I’m hearing from this bridge as I drive over it is somewhat terrifying.

My map says I’m near Cock Fights. That sounds awesome. Wait, what, why am I being shot at. Oh. There’s apparently a patrol near the Cock Fights. I suppose that makes sense. Keep the cocks in check. Feverishly, I put my already-damaged supply truck in reverse and go as far away as I ca–I hit a tree. I jump out of my truck (from the right door as apparently I hit something on the left side as well) and make a run for it oh god dammit I just threw another grenade. Amnesia is rough. Hiding behind a nearby rock, I wait for the sound of the voice of one of my assailants to get a bit closer… And, there. It took half a clip, but he’s down. I sit still for a few seconds and see one of his comrades running out to look at his downed body and, bam, he joins him. Well. He would if I could aim. Now that I have three of them shooting at me at once, I fall back a bit.

Unfortunately, I fell back too far. As I attempted to take out the other guards I managed to burn through both of the clips of ammunition for my AK-47. Swapping to my silenced pistol, I realize the futility of being an amnesiac who jumps right back into the fight as if however many months have passed won’t affect a thing. Crouching down to the ground, I move through the grass in a serpentine fashion just as I have been taught. I notice a two-door white car as I walk past and just as I make a mental note of its location, I see a slumped over body leaning against it. I don’t remember shooting this guy.

My screen turns red. How have I been shot? I’ve been all sneaky-like. Looking around, I see the body slumped against the car was not a dead body, but someone who had been injured and was taking cover. He holds his pistol weakly in the air as he lets a few more rounds off in the direction of my face. I’m hit once more. I throw a grenade — this time it’s intentional — and run for cover. Now he’s dead. Oh. The car. So is the car. Frick.

I know there’s at least one other guy still in the area. I have a mental count going. Plus I hear him talking to himself. I think I can sneak up on oh my god it’s a grenade and this time I didn’t throw it. And I’m still near the near-wreckage of this car. I run for cover, away from the guard, and scrape by with just a few injuries. I have the cat-like reflexes of a cat. A cat recovering from amnesia. I stick a syringe in myself to make the pain go away and then switch back to my weapon HOW MANY TIMES CAN I ACCIDENTALLY THROW A GRENADE. Or in this case another Molotov Cocktail. My bodily impulses need to get in check. Also my sneaking ground is now on fire. Time to take this fight to the guy who started it. And there he is. I drop my pistol’s entire magazine into his face. And… He’s still standing. I reload and fire off eight more rounds in rapid succession. Still standing. I say screw it and run up closer, aim for his head — because it’s personal at this point and because my pride can only take so many misses — and he goes down like a drunken narcoleptic.

Looking around, I lost my supply truck. The car I planned on taking is only a burned-out husk. My sneaking area is on fire. There are three dead bodies. I’m down a health syrette. And I have no ammo. There are also neither cocks nor cock fights occurring at this location.

Oh, this is apparently an ammunition-heavy outpost, though. So scratch that bit.

As I’m walking to the chemical dump, I notice my diamond finder 2000 blinking. I follow its signal to a nearby, thankfully abandoned, shack. I whip out my machete without lighting anything on fire, break down the door, and open the briefcase that I only hope isn’t some poor soul’s life savings. One measly diamond. So I’m sure if that was the case he just recently started saving. I’m providing him with an incentive to find a better stash, really. I slash a few more things with my machete because it restores some small amount of self-esteem given that I just blew up two cars and almost died at the hands of three poorly-trained guards. I also run in sprints and do neat little slides which make me think of fonder days.

I see an unmarked guard post near the Claes Products chemical dump that I momentarily contemplate seizing for the sake of cryptographical completeness. I then have a flashback about the rigorous battle I just completed and think better of it. Maybe some other time, I say. Well. A little look won’t hurt. I ascend a nearby hill and take out my spyglass and have a gander at the guard post. I see angry guy with gun. Two angry guys with guns. Three– oh, they have ammunition. I don’t need any of that. I mark that on my map and skidattle.

Except apparently I chose the one direction in which they have a sniper looking at. This can’t be a real thing right now. I run through the forest towards the chemical dump with my machete, in the hopes that this sniper has ADD. He doesn’t. He somehow has the only direct line of vision into this small little valley entrance to the chemical dump. I turn around, try to find him, and eventually see a small sliver of a man in the distance. Armed only with my silenced pistol, as I don’t want to alert the whole guard post to my location, I line up the shot and…

I die. This is an actual thing that’s happening. Oh. Wait. I’m not dead. I open my eyes and low and behold: a beautiful woman! She’s helping me! This is totally the best icebreaker. I’d talk but the only thing I can think to say is “Hey, I like your face” so I keep it in. She gets me to my feet, instructs me to check my wound, and fires off a few rounds at the sniper to give me some breathing room to do so. I like this lady. By the time I inject a syrette into my wound, she’s gone. And I make a mad sprint towards the chemical dump.

It’s a very wide-open space. Scoping out the terrain with my spyglass, my only real option is a sprint towards a nearby wood pile and then take out the only guard I can see quickly and quietly. Chances of success: slim.

I make the mad dash to the wood pile easily enough. I pull out my silenced pistol and creep a bit closer to the guard. He’s walking towards me, so I line up the shot. Holy crap I actually took him down. Go me. As I crawl towards the body to get some ammo, I discover that there was a second guard nearby whose clothes helped him blend in with a tree. I duck behind cover and hope he just thinks his friend is sleeping. He stood over the corpse a second too long and I took him out in one shot. I now assume that before I lost my memory I was pretty much the consummate badass. Crawling a bit closer to the big warehouse, I notice another guard who is almost completely invisible in the darkness. He was dispatched with as much ease as his two compatriots.

Moving forward, I crawl along the side of the building look for an entrance. I hear at least two guards chatting it up inside. I eventually find a small torn hole in the fencing which is just big enough for me to crawl through. It’s also right next to a giant explosive barrel. And a nearby guard. Fantastic. If I was a smart person, I would not do what I’m about to do. I take out the guard in the warehouse with my silenced pistol, hoping it doesn’t draw an abundance of attention in the next ten seconds. I slip into the warehouse prepared to be sighted by a group of guards and… nothing. I look up to the second floor railing and see nothing. I then hear a group of guards outside talking:

“Do you hear that?”
“Yeah, are they attacking?”
“I don’t think so. I think it’s just one guy.”
“I–”

I killed that guy.

His friend ran for cover, so I made my way to the back of the warehouse. Unfortunately, another guard discovered the corpse of the first guy that I dispatched in the area. Just as I turned around, he tossed a grenade my way. I run, evade the blast, switch to my AK-47, and empty a clip through the smoke. Unsurprisingly, I fail. I then see a muzzle blast from the enemy as the smoke clears, aim at it, burst fire, and kill him. I run up to the second-floor railing in the warehouse as three more enemies close in from me at the front entrance. I try to throw a grenade and realize, unfortunately, that they’re all gone for some strange reason. I see a crate filled with grenade supplies in the distance, though. I drop two magazines taking out two of the three enemies closing in on me. With only fourteen rounds remaining, I turn around to drop down to the ground and see, oh hey, I see a brief of diamonds. I grab it, because money is important, and then run out of the warehouse to a nearby hut (grabbing the grenade supply in the process).

I also find some ammunition and syrettes in the hut. And, uh, a folder? I grab it and I feel like my objective is complete. Now I just have to make it back to blondie at the bar who I now discover is the source of my mission. There’s a jeep nearby that somehow managed to make it through the skirmish that I grab and drive out in style. I hit a few trees and ran into a river, but I made it out of those A-OK. No problem. The engine is smoking but that’s a feature.

Since I took the same route back to the bar as I came, I knew to avoid the cock fights. I hug a nearby wall as I drive speeding by and WHAT WHY is my malaria striking now. Really? I take a quick pill and realize that not only is the cock fight guard post restacked with enemies, but they heard my not-so-incognito jeep. This time, though, I’m not screwing around. I man the mounted gun and just relieve the guards of their posts. Done and done. I do a quick repair job on my jeep’s engine and we’re good to go.

The rest of the drive back to the bar was surprisingly uneventful. When I walk into the bar, blondie says “The bitch is back” which I guess is a thing. He then promptly asks if I found “it.” I hand him the folder, and I guess his name is Paul, and he tells me “Holy crap this is great!” And that’s it. No diamonds or anything. My reputation increases, which is all well and good exept I can’t buy new weapons on reputation alone. Thanks a lot Paul. Dick. I knew you were no good. I should have gotten the old man to take you out. Why do you even want a recipe for Agent Yellow anyway? I should just kill you now. I won’t. But I should.

And because a simple mission for some blonde guy in a bar yields such interesting, dynamic gameplay that compels me to write about it in ways that I simply don’t for most games, Far Cry 2 is my Game of the Decade.