Sanctuary 17


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DoraSanctuary 17This is it; the last door. Despite the efforts of the Elders, you've made it this far, and you don't intend to stop. Your followers will set up a camp for anyone who wants to come and join your cause, but it's up to you to brave the darkness. Why are you here? What exists beyond the long, dark tunnels full of strange machinery and menace? This is Sanctuary 17, the new retro, action, exploration game with roguelike influences from Twofold Secret.

Initially, you can see very little; all you have is a weak flashlight that severely limits your vision. Use the [arrow] keys to move around the randomly generated map, [X] to charge your shield (if available), and [Z] to interact with certain terminals and fire your weapon. But you might not want to do that unless you absolutely have to, since you have a limited amount of battery power and each shot uses it up. Most enemies are minor annoyances. Robots, however, are another story; you can spot them at a distance because of the glow they give off, and you'll probably want to steer clear whenever possible. A single hit from a robot laser means instant death, and with narrow corridors like these, maneuvering can be difficult.

Keep an eye out for terminals; each one you boot up provides a save point. They also allow you to communicate with Rusty, someone who stayed behind (wherever "behind" is), but is still pulling for you and can be of great help. Unfortunately, most of the terminals you'll find need to be jump-started with some of your battery power... a significant chunk, in fact. Looks like you'll have to hunt down some robots after all, since they drop valuable batteries when destroyed.

Sanctuary 17If you die, well... stop it! Your group has a limited number of followers, and as long as somebody is still alive, you can continue the journey as a new person. More people join your group the longer you last and the farther you go, so learning how to keep your eyes and ears open for danger becomes important if you want to last. Of course, the farther you go, the more dangerous the robots you'll face become.

Analysis: If pressed by a pressing sort of person, I might describe Sanctuary 17 as a "kinda roguelike". It's got the randomly generated levels and items, but is realtime rather than turn-based. Strategy will get you far; trick robots into firing on each other, and learn to be an opportunist... whoever said shooting someone in the back is cowardly probably wasn't talking about deadly robots. While the tools at your disposal are initially pretty meager, if you're lucky you can find better items within boxes in certain rooms; from more powerful weaponry to lanterns to night vision goggles. With the simple, pick-up-and-play style and intriguing story, Sanctuary 17 is pretty addictive. Unfortunately, it can be pretty frustrating sometimes, too.

Sanctuary 17The problem is that since the map is randomly generated, you tend to see a lot of long, meandering corridors, and the game doesn't really offer much in the way of scenery to liven them up other than "Robots!", "Oh God, other robots!" and occasionally, "STUPID, STUPID SPIDER CREATURES." It really makes you wish the layouts tended to be more involved than just hallway after hallway. As such, you can go a long time without anything happening, and it's easy to get discouraged, particularly when your heroes are so inclined to burst into squishy redness at the slightest provocation. The end result is a somewhat uneven experience, swinging between periods of atmospheric exploration that have you going "Oooo" and keyboard-snappingly frustrating instant death that has you going "ARGH".

Fortunately, the game's randomly generating layout comes to the rescue when you least expect it to. After several playthroughs (okay, attempted playthroughs), I was still finding new rooms and bits of plot that fascinated me, and it was enough to keep me coming back for more, at least until I finished it. There are apparently three endings to discover, but if you've played Sanctuary 17 all the way to the end at least once, you've probably seen most of the little events and rooms it has to offer, and trying to complete it two more times might be asking a bit much. Still, if you've been looking for that elusive "something different", Sanctuary 17 will provide, and despite its limited appeal, is still worth a look.

Play Sanctuary 17

Walkthrough Guide


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Hello everyone,

I've compiled a walkthrough + spoiler for Sanctuary 17. I may be missing some email texts, and I suspect that I am missing some follower names, since these are selected randomly. Other than that I think this guide is complete.

Also, I've discovered a glitch that can occur with the game's save system, important enough to go outside of the spoilers:

Important Note: If you allow a character to die, pick up their gear, and then refresh the page without visiting another terminal, you will start from a checkpoint prior to picking up the items, and the items will be GONE from the spot where you died. When you go to pick up your stuff after a death, make *sure* that you can get to a terminal without being killed again. If you do get killed again, do not refresh, you need to start with another follower and get them to your corpse to get your items.

Enjoy!

Areas of Sanctuary 17

There are 36 areas in total, laid out in a 6 by 6 grid. You can view your current exploration by hitting the escape key.

There are:
1 starting passageway
26 regular rooms

The regular rooms each use a preset layout, picked randomly from a set of at least a dozen layouts. You will come to recognize each layout with a few playthroughs. Besides the starting passageway, these are the only rooms with regular terminals that can be used to communicate with Rusty and 'save' your game. Activating the terminal also switches on some faint red lamps in some of the layouts.

4 supply rooms

There are four small supply rooms to find, each one containing one item to pick up. Look for the blue bins in the centre of the room, the closed bin with the green light contains the item.

3 facilities

There are three facilities that you have the option of activating. If you choose to, they must be activated in order: the water pump, the geothermal power plant, and the scanner / communications array. It costs a full 5 bars of energy to activate them. If you seem to have enough energy but the terminal refuses to activate, it's possible that you have spent a fraction of the fifth bar and are just short. Go shoot another robot.

After activating the power plant, any time you access its terminal, your energy bar is refilled.

Use a regular terminal to talk to Rusty, and he will let you know what beneficial effects have occurred for the others when you activate a facility. Activating the facilities is only required to get the best ending.

1 history room

This huge room is here purely for flavour, the two computers at its centre hold some historical records written by Sanctuary 17 officials

1 exit to the surface

Access the computer in this room to download the door's encryption key, which is the first step toward all of the game's endings

The only room that is not placed randomly on the map is the starting room, which is always at 3,3 (with the top left room on the map being 0,0). In the regular rooms, the terminal numbers indicate that room's position in the grid, ranging from 0,0 through 5,5)

The 26 regular rooms are the only ones where robots and animals will appear (excepting that harmless bat who shows up in the starting passageway), all of the others are safe rooms.

Equipment

Shield - Hold x to activate, drains energy while active. Blocks incoming shots, invaluable when caught in a long hall by a robot. You begin the game with this item, but you will need to retrieve it from your corpse if(when) your first character dies, as with all the other items.

Lantern - Drains energy while active, illuminates a small area around you. The distance is less than that of your flashlight. Not very useful. Press [X] to toggle on and off.

Heavy Laser - The biggest gun you've ever seen, fires a very fast, and very powerful laser shot. This weapon will destroy the 2hp hover bots in one shot, and in the unlikely event that you can line up multiple robots, will destroy all of them. The downside is its massive cost: 4 energy per shot means that you need to hit at least 2 robots just to break even. Most of the time, when robots get lined up, if you pop in at one end of the column they will end up shooting each other anyway. Tough to recommend this one.

Night Vision Goggles - These green goggles drain energy while active, and reveal the entire screen in monochrome green. An incredibly useful item! You can briefly flick the goggles on to scout the passageways nearby, and then turn them off while moving to save energy. Press [X] to toggle on and off.

EMP - Described as a coil with a lightning bolt marking. At the cost of 8 full energy bars, destroys all robots in the region. Robots respawn very rapidly though, so you will be dodging lasers again before you know it. If you destroy at least three robots and collect their batteries, you can regain the energy spent to trigger the EMP (combined with your built in recharge). Becomes much more useful when the 2 hp robots appear in the late game, and is godly when combined with the night vision goggles. Once the region has filled up with robots, trigger the EMP, and use the night vision to quickly hunt down all of the batteries, you can easily restore full power this way. The EMP is limited in that pursuing your goals (activating terminals and facilities) leaves your battery low most of the time. Press [X] to trigger it.

Press [A] to switch between the standard laser and the heavy laser,
Press [S] to cycle through all of the other items.

Enemies

Bats - move quickly, stun you briefly if you run into them. You will be ambushed from behind many times by bats.

Spiders - move very slowly, stun you for a good few seconds if you bump into them. Spiders also drop webs throughout the maze, which makes a staticky splat sound that you will hear in the distance. Webs slow down movement for anything traveling through it, and can be destroyed with a shot. Webs absorb the entire shot though, which can block your robot sniping opportunities, and occasionally save you from a robot's shot.

Green wheeled robots - moves randomly, will fire at you even if there are walls between you and them

Blue trashcan robots - turns corners to move toward you, will fire at you even if there are walls between you and them

Blue multi-armed robots - turns corners to move toward you, do not fire into walls

Red tracked 'Samus'-faced robot - turns corners to move toward you, and will spin around and fire if you sneak up behind them

Green hovering masked robot - turns corners to move toward you, will spin and fire if you sneak up behind them, take two shots to kill

All of the robots will fire on you if you are in their line of sight: on a straight horizontal or vertical line to them, even from offscreen. It's sometimes possible to dodge shots, but the laser moves faster than you do, avoid long hallways! The best way to hunt robots is to destroy them as they approach a corner, but you can also sneak up behind the initial green and blue robots, and shoot them in the back.

Robots illuminate a few squares in front of them, much as your flashlight does (though they don't depend on this light to see you!) You can use the movement of these beams of light, and their colours, to locate the robots and their types in the maze. Animals emit no light of course, making it easier for you to be ambushed by them.

Regarding robot turning, robots always turn a corner if they can, even if taking a straight path through an intersection would get them to you faster. You can use this to your advantage to escape them.

Energy Costs

Your energy meter has 10 bars, each of which is divided into 8 subunits of energy. Your battery slowly recharges up to 1.5 bars when it gets below that amount.

  • Activating a Terminal: 3.5 bars

  • Activating a Facility: 5 bars

  • Firing your gun: 1.5 bars

  • Battery pickups add: 2 bars

  • Firing the heavy laser: 4 bars

  • Using the EMP: 8 bars

  • Lantern, shield, and night vision goggles: drain 1/8 of a bar every few seconds, with the shield draining much faster than the other two items.

  • Using the power plant terminal (after activating it): refills all 10 bars.

Hunting robots one at a time and picking up their batteries after every shot adds a net 1/2 bar per kill. Missing a single shot will set you back three kills worth of energy. Storing up energy this way can take quite some time.

There is a faster way: after destroying a robot, wait until you have recharged up to 1.5 bars before picking up any batteries. If you are above 1.5 bars, wait before picking up the batteries all the same, and allow your charge to go down after several kills. If you can destroy multiple robots without pickups, relying on the automatic recharge instead, you earn a net 2 full bars per kill. This is faster, but more dangerous, the slow recharge may leave you without enough energy to defend yourself in a pinch.

Note that the automatic recharge plus one battery adds up to 3.5 bars, enough to activate a terminal. Killing one bot, waiting, and grabbing its battery will let you move quickly through each area. (Be careful not to use your night vision after grabbing the battery, or you will have slightly less than 3.5 bars of energy, and will need to kill again.)

Note also that the toughest robots in the game take two shots to kill, costing 3 energy, but still only drop 2 bar batteries. Generally, avoid these guys and hunt the weaker blue robots, you'll lose energy otherwise!

The Save Trick

Sanctuary 17's roguelikeness shines through in its difficulty: death is sudden, frequent, and permanent. Other commenters found a way to get around the game's permanent death though: when your character is killed, quickly hit escape to pause the game, and then refresh the page. You will begin from the last time you accessed a terminal, with the same energy and equipment as before, the same facilities activated, and the same number of followers in reserve. You do appear to lose progress in the random messages that Rusty had sent though, he begins sending messages that you have already seen again, in the same order as before as you make new progress.

Important Note: I've discovered HUGE GLITCH in the game's save system. If you allow a character to die, pick up their gear, and then reset the game without visiting another terminal, you will start from a checkpoint prior to picking up the items, and the items will be GONE from the spot where you died. When you go to pick up your stuff, make *sure* that you can get to a terminal without being killed again. If you do get killed again, do not reset, you will need to start with another follower and get them to your corpse to get your items.

Whether the game is more enjoyable with this ability to restart, or is more properly played with no reloads and instant death, I leave to you.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • When you reset the game, the graphics for the facilities and terminals revert back to their 'disabled' state. Don't worry though, the game still remembers your progress even though it doesn't appear so.

  • You begin the game with yourself, and two other followers, for a total of three lives. Locating enough terminals will add an additional two followers to your group, but activating the facilities does not attract any followers.

  • Activating terminals also seems to increase the difficulty of the robots you face. At the highest level, there are two or three of the 2 hit point robots, for every 1 hit point blue robot, making it a challenge to build up energy!

  • The starting followers are named Topher and Elisabeth; Kyra is always the next to follow. Other follower names that I have seen after that include Alex, Gilbert, Ashish, and there may be more.

  • The red robots and hovering robots will notice you if you try to sneak up behind them, or pass them while their back is turned. Don't try it unless you know you can get out of the way before their shot arrives! Alternatively, you can exploit their quick trigger fingers to cause robots packed together in one hallway to attack one another.

  • The game does not display a count of the number of open terminals anywhere, except for the victory screen at the end. Choose a systematic strategy if you try to activate all of the terminals. (Getting to the end with one terminal missing is a major letdown!)

  • When using terminals and opening supply room bins, make sure that the gun icon switches to the hand icon before pressing 'z' on your keyboard, or you will waste precious energy shooting the walls.

  • The random layout of the game can make it very difficult or fairly easy, depending on what you get. On one playthrough I was fortunate enough to have all of the facilities, the exit to the surface, and a supply room with the night vision goggles all connected to the main entrance, making for an easy (well, easier!) play through.

  • When you do arrive at a safe room, check all of its other exits to see if they are also safe rooms, you can frequently find several safe rooms chained together.

Rusty's Emails

Rusty will send emails to you throughout the game, which you receive at the terminals in regular rooms. There are a few messages that he sends when major events happen, and some random messages that don't seem to have any bearing on the game, besides establishing the post-apocalyptic setting.

Some events that can trigger random messages appearing are: activating a facility, finding the exit to the surface, and beginning with a new character after one is killed, but the game may randomly not give messages at those times too. Only rarely does activating new terminals trigger these emails.

For all of these messages, [you] is replaced with the name of the current character. Also, the messages you see may have the same body but with different opening or closing sentences than the ones I've listed, they appear to be randomized per message. I've written down the combinations I've seen here, I bet that any opening or closing sentence can appear with any of the messages, though.

Major Event Messages

Water Plant Activated:

Hello [you], what did you do out there? Our water reserves just doubled! Fresh water, too, not recycled stuff. The others are amazed, and we know we have you to thank for it.

Please send us more stories as soon as you can.

Rusty

Power Plant Activated:

Hello again, [you]. The strangest thing happened; our power supplies just shot through the roof. The elders are confused, but I know that it's some thing you did, isn't it? The people here are really starting to believe you can really make things better.

Try not to get killed.

Rusty

Scanner Activated:

Hello again, [you]. You received a message from the surface!? But that... that flies in the face of everything the Elders have ever told us!

Could there really be people still living up above...?

This could change everything... I have to talk to the others right away.

Try not to get killed.

Rusty

Exit to the Surface Found:

Still alive, [you]? You sure are something else. / Hello again, [you].
So you think you've found the door to the surface? That's incredible! But the fact that it's sealed is kind of discouraging. I took a look at the handshake key you sent along; it's got some pretty heavy encryption on it. Since we don't have the matching private key anymore we'll have to do this the hard way.

Unfortunately, if I tried to do it on the mainframe here, it would eat up the whole system, and I think someone would notice. Don't worry, though, I figured out how to distribute the workload onto the terminals you've opened up to let it run in secret!

I'll be waiting for your next message.

Rusty

Key Decoded:

Great news, [you]! Thanks to all that computing power, the decode is done!

I'm attaching the results now; this sequence should allow you to open that door, wherever it leads to.

You'll have to let me know what you find.

Stay safe out there, [you].

Rusty

Random Messages

Hi, [you]. My sister gave birth to a son yesterday - her first child. This made me very happy, of course, but seeing the child also made me kind of sad. I realized that he, and all the other children here... even us, since we were children... we know nothing of a world beyond these walls. These hallways that all look the same, these cold, electric lights...

We've all seen pictures of the surface as it once was; of the sun, burning in those strange blue skies we can only imagine. That a child could grow up in such a place, where they could wander with no walls to contain them, it's incredible to think about. But also kind of scary.

Not to you, though. When I have these thoughts, I feel like, maybe just for a moment, I understand you and the others a little better.

[you]... just watch out for yourself, ok?

Rusty

Still alive [you]? You sure are something else. The Elders held a meeting last night to discuss the recent disappearances. They told us that you and the others had left to "reaffirm your faiths in the plan."

Most everyone believed them, but those of us who have heard your stories know better...

Be careful out there, [you]

Rusty

I'm here [you]. I didn't think I'd hear from you again.... / It's a relief to hear from you, [you]. / Hello again, [you].
You're building up quite a camp out there, aren't you? I've noticed the people missing... the others who have left to follow you. You're really shaking things up in here.

Please send more stories as soon as you can.

Rusty

It's a relief to hear from you, [you]. I don't know what it means, but I've been seeing a lot more spiders lately. Not big ones like you talk about, thank goodness, but lots of little ones. Maybe they know something we don't?

Try not to get killed.

Rusty

I'm here, [you]. I didn't think I'd hear from you again... I've been thinking, lately... we've been living down here for generations; we don't know how long exactly, since the Elders don't want us to know. But, it's just... it's all I've ever known. That you and the others could even envision a life outside of here - a life on the surface, no less! - it was just something beyond me.

Now, though, since I've been talking to you... I've had a hard time thinking of anything else.

We're all pulling for you. / Be careful out there, [you].

Rusty

I'm here, [you] I didn't think that I'd hear from you again... What made you leave in the first place? So much of our history is kept from us... the Elders say it's "for the best" that things just go on as they always have. I guess maybe you got tired of asking questions and never getting answers.

That's what makes you different from most of us... we just keep up being happy in the dark...

Be careful out there, [you].

Rusty

Hi [you]. There was an explosion by the exhaust vents this morning. We thought it was a robot attack at first, and then I thought maybe it was them taking revenge for all that you have killed.

It turns out it was a gas build-up, and no one got hurt. For a moment though, I was angry at you. I'm sorry.

I'll be waiting for your next message. / We're all pulling for you

Rusty

Hi, [you]. I heard that someone snuck out last night to join up with you. I wish I was that brave... I'll just keep passing along your stories from in here. For now...

I'll be waiting for your next message.

Rusty

It's a relief to hear from you, [you]. I asked Elder Caughman something I'd been pondering... "where do the robots come from?" I thought he was going to strike me right there on the stop. There was such anger in his eyes, and he said I "shouldn't think about such things." They probably just don't know. Or they used to know, but have forgotten.

If we used to live on the surface, and the robots drove us away, they had to come from somewhere. Did man make them? Could they have made themselves? Could they have come from... somewhere else?

I just don't know. Maybe you'll find the answers out there somewhere...

[you]... just watch out for yourself, ok?

Rusty

Hi [you]. The Elders have gotten word of your survival, [you] and it makes them nervous. You've given many of us a hope we've never had before, that we might someday escape this place. They have forbidden us to speak with you or anyone who has followed you anymore, but I've shielded this terminal from their spying.

As long as you and the others are out there, I will make sure that your stories are told.

I'll be waiting for your next message. / We're all pulling for you.

Rusty

Hello again, [you]. One of the hydroponics systems failed yesterday. They think we'll lose a third of next quarter's crop. Food is going to be tight, but the Elders tell us we'll persevere.

Please send us more stories as soon as you can.

Rusty

It's a relief to hear from you, [you]. Is it lonely out there, [you]? All that darkness, all that death... that you and the others can still keep up the fight is just amazing. You've shown us in here that we can be more than just prisoners hiding in our tiny bubble of light.

Maybe this isn't what you intended, but every robot you slay, every story you tell, they brings[sic] other to your cause. We're counting on you to be our lights in the darkness... don't let us down.

We're all pulling for you.

Rusty

Hello again, [you]. Something that's been weighing on my mind... if there are still others out there - if people really are still alive on the surface - why haven't they ever come to save us? We've been trapped down here in the darkness for so long, and no one has ever tried to seek us out.

Have they completely forgotten us? Did we do something so wrong in the past that they chose to abandon us? Or do they really not exist... I'm sorry; I don't mean to discourage you. Talking to you has put so many questions in my mind, it's hard to sort everything out.

Be careful out there, [you].

Rusty

Endings

Ending 1:

To get the first (worst) ending:

  1. Find the exit to the surface and download the encryption key from the terminal

  2. Activate at least 9 terminals (not including the terminal in the starting passageway)

  3. Return to the exit after receiving the decrypted key from Rusty, use the terminal to open the door, and leave for the surface.

You will get this ending if you ever leave through the door to the surface, regardless of how many of the facilities you have activated.

Ending 2:

The second ending is slightly better, and only slightly more difficult than the first:

  1. Find the exit to the surface and download the encryption key from the terminal

  2. Activate at least 9 terminals (not including the terminal in the starting passageway)

  3. Return to the exit after receiving the decrypted key from Rusty, use the terminal to open the door

  4. Now return to the starting passageway, and return down the starting door

Ending 3:

The third ending takes a little bit more work to attain, the difference being that the three facilities scattered around the sanctuary need to be activated:

  1. Find the exit to the surface and download the encryption key from the terminal

  2. Activate at least 9 terminals (not including the terminal in the starting passageway)

  3. Return to the exit after receiving the decrypted key from Rusty, use the terminal to open the door

  4. Activate all three facilities. They must be activated in order: water pump station, geothermal power plant, and scanner array

  5. Return to the starting passageway, and go to the starting door

It isn't important what order you deal with the terminals, facilities, and finding the surface exit, you will naturally work toward all of these objectives as you play.

I've confirmed that only 9 terminals need to be activated for any of the endings; going for more than that number doesn't seem to be necessary. I can confirm that nothing special happens for activating all terminals, facilities, equipment, and getting the best ending. Nothing besides the nice feeling from all of the large numbers on the ending screen, at any rate...

Ending Scripts

Ending 1 Script:

As you step across the threshold, the huge metal shutters slam closed behind you.

Up ahead, you see something bright... something warm...

As you ascend the passageway leading ahead, your nostrils fill with scents you've never smelled before.

You take a few more steps forward and pause... you could look back at the darkness you are leaving behind, but the choice has been made.

The others will go on without you... they will forget about you in time...

Ending 2 Script:

[you], what is it?

You've found the door to the surface? That's incredible! We knew you wouldn't fail us.

I'll get the others, now is our time to taste true freedom.

As the last of your group steps through the doors, the giant metal shutters slam down behind you.

A light such as you have never seen before pours through an opening ahead. Though your eyes sting at the sight of it, you push forward.

As you ascend the pathway leading ahead, your nostrils fill with scents you've never smelled before.

The others murmur in amazement; could this truly be the freedom you have all dreamed of?

The others push ahead eagerly. You follow, though the tears streaming from your aching eyes makes every step a stumble.

You pause for a moment and consider looking back. Those that you have left behind... they could have followed you to freedom... but they made their choice.

If they wish to hide in the darkness, so be it.

Ending 3 Script:

[you]?

Is that you?

It's me... Rusty!

It's happened... it's really happened. Once I told the others that you had heard from the surface, well, things just started happening faster than I could have imagined.

The Elders... they were so angry, so full of hated towards you. But we had seen through their lies, and we weren't scared anymore.

They... they're gone now. They and those that still wished to hide from the truth. We're in control now, and we're ready to follow you back to the surface.

Lead on; I'll be right beside you.

I've disabled the door, [you]; now anyone should be able to come and go as they please.

Do you see that ahead?

That light... it's so bright, so warm...

My eyes are stinging, [you]. It hurts, but I know we must keep pushing forward.

Do you smell that in the air? These are scents I've never smelled before... everything seems so strange here.

This is it, isn't it? What you've been dreaming about is just ahead. If it weren't for you, none of us would be here.

When I got your first message after you left, I thought you and the others were mad. I thought you would die out there, and that, in the end, maybe you'd realize how wrong you were.

But you weren't though, it was all of us who were wrong. Not anymore, you promised us freedom, and now here we are! No matter what we find up ahead, no matter what the future holds, I'll always thank you for that, [you]. All of us, we will always remember this.

C'mon let's keep moving.

"Try not to get killed." --Rusty, words of wisdom

45 Comments

This is a very tricky game...

A life system? Do we still have those?

@#*$&&#$@&*#$! I've played this game at least half a dozen times. About every single time, I've come quite close to what I believe is winning... and then guess what? "Ashish never returned, blah blah blah, nobody else dared take up the cause..."

It really stings because due to the randomization, once you get that screen you know that all your hard work was completely for naught. My last run got me 18,xxx points and absolutely nothing to show for it.

Come to think of it, this reminds me a lot of Where We Remain.

Ezra: That's because it's by the same developers who made Where We Remain.

Fantabulous game; barely gotten anywhere in it, but it's incredible. Almost TOO difficult though, giving you more than one hit before dying would have been nice.

Well, just like Where We Remain there's constant tension between, on the one hand, excellent atmosphere and exploration, and on the other, painfully frustrating random deaths.

I can't play it any more right now. We'll see if I want to come back later.

This game is just too frustrating. If there had been an infinite number of continues, a wider field of vision, or even a health system, it would have been so much more fun to play. As it is now, it's just frustrating. Instant deaths from off the screen is just ridiculous.

A HUD map would go a longgggggg way to make this palatable.

I really like this, but every time I die, I hate using "somebody else"... don't ask me why, I just hate the idea of someone coming to replace me. I feel like I can't go on. I mean, what's the point of naming one character if you can't name the rest?

Fun fact: After you die, if you close the game before the screen fades out, you can continue at the last terminal you used.

Cheating? Maybe a little...but I don't wanna start over from the beginning when I run out of people!

The save trick works, but it seems as though you don't keep your followers if continue like that, and the rooms that I activated seem to go dark.

I hope someone writes a walkthrough soon, I've only gotten one ending so far. Has anyone found all three?

Here are random stuff I discovered ... I guess they would be spoilers for the case of roguelikes

- Bats and spiders only stun you
- I've only made use of the shield and the gun. The shield is indispensable because of the random lasers flying from off-screen
- The geothermal room recharges your energy
- Emailing Rusty after every major event (Such as powering on the rooms) seems to progress the game.

The first couple of times I played, the game didn't interest me that much, but now it does, but I find it a little too hard for me. Also I like that Kyra character, I try extra hard not to die when I get her, but I always die just as fast as the others, as I am a bit hasty! Also my first character is always the guy, and I name him Rick!

Shudog, did you notice that when you use a terminal, it tells you the coordinates of the room you're in? The starting room seems to always be (3,3).

I found two endings. I might have done extra stuff that aren't actually required to get the endings, but oh well.

First off a list of special rooms and items.

Rooms

- Entrance (the room you start in)
- Exit (has a door like the one in the entrance with a blue terminal in front of it)
- Water supply (has a water tank in the center with a ble terminal in front)
- Generator room (eye-like things are scattered about and there's a blue terminal around the center)
- Scanner room (gray discs are scattered about with a blue terminal around the center)
- Memory bank (has two normal looking terminals next to each other in the center)
- Cargo room x4 (has 6 cargo boxes in the center, one of them will be still closed holding an item)

Items (you can find)

- Heavy Laser : Uses more energy, but can kill the heavy robots in one shot (probably, haven't tested) (mostly useless)
- Lantern : Uses energy when turned on. Gives light in a circle around you, but the range is less that that of the flashlight. It actually makes it harder to see what's coming up. (useless)
- Nightvision : Uses enegry when turned on. You'll see the entire screen in greenscale. Use it to find terminals and the layout of the room quickly. (must have)
- Emp Pulse : Uses almost enegry when activated (about 8 bars). Haven't tested, but probably kills all robots in the room. (mostly useless)

As you progress, more and more advanced robots will start to appear. One or more of the following will case more advanced robots to appear. (would need testing to find out witch one specifically)
- Game time elapsed
- Gamplay progress
- Rooms explored
- Terminals activated
The most likely ones are the last two, but I can't be sure.

Robots

- Green robots will turn corners randomly, and will shoot at you if you're in the same column or row, even if there is a wall in between.
- Blue robots will turn in the direction closer to you, but no U turns. (example, if you are standing lower than them, they'll turn downwards instead of upwards) They also will only shoot if they have a clear line of sight.
- Human shaped red robots will behave like the blue ones, plus they'll do U turns if you move behind them, and they can shoot faster. (They can shoot instantly after making a turn)
- Giant green hoverbots will act like the human shaped ones, but will take two shots to take down.

Gameplay tips

- Your battery has a minimal self charge feature. If you drop below one and a half points of energy, it'll slowly charge itself up to this ammount. This is exactly the energy needed to fire your laser. Use this to your advantage. With small rests you can use nightvision indefinitly this way, withch is usefull when have to traverse multiple rooms without a need to stop in them.
- If you're not using nightvision, keep the shield ready. Don't forget you can't move while it's on.
- Shoot robots as they turn corners. You can safely shoot them before they make the turn.
- Easy way to get the necessary energy for terminal jumpstart. Find a robot and shoot it down. Before getting the battery, wait for the auto charge to finish chargeing and then collect the battery. In almost all cases this shoud give you enough energy to start the terminal.
- In general, if you can, use the auto charged energy to shoot robots, and only after you cleared your immediate area should you collect the dropped batteries.
- Use the save cheat/trick. When you die, or you're shore you're about to die press esc and refresh the page then select continue from the main menu. (Thx to Ryunosuke)

Endings

Ending 1.

- Find the exit
- Use the terminal to download the key
- Find a normal terminal (and activate it, if it isn't already)
- You'll send the key to Rusty who will try to decode it
- Use the terminal again, if there's no progress, explore and start activating terminals
- After sufficient ammount of terminals have been activated (don't know the exact ammount, I always had enough when I found the exit) Rusty will use the activated terminals to break the key
- Go back to the exit
- Use the terminal to open the door
- Leave

Ending 2.

- Do the things in Ending 1. except the last two steps
- Find the water supply room, and activate the terminal (like the normal ones)
- Explore the entire 6 by 6 map, and activate all 26 normal terminals (might not be necessary, but I think this refers to the grid)
- Read the terminals in the memory bank (probably not necessary, but you'll surely stumble upon this room anyway)
- Find the generator room and activate the terminal
- Find the scanner room and activate the terminal
- Send email to Rusty (use normal terminal)
- Go to the exit and open the door (might not be necessary)
- Instead of leaving, go to the entrance, the door will be open, enter

Ezra, I should have been more clear. I want that map on there all the time. I can't navigate, I can't plan, I can't orient myself. It's not fun. If it's really going to be a shooter, I want to shoot, not spend a minute getting lost.

Ending 1 Script:

As you step across the threshold, the huge metal shutters slam closed behind you.

Up ahead, you see something bright... something warm...

As you ascend the pathway leading ahead, your nostrils fill with scents you've never smelled before.

You take a few more steps forward and pause... you could look back at the darkness you are leaving behind, but the choice has been made.

The others will go on without you... they will forget about you, in time...

Some more random things I've noticed:

In total there are 26 terminals, 3 facilities (water, generator, scanner), and 4 items.

To activate the facilities, I think you need to activate the water, then generator, then scanner? When I got to both the generator and scanner before the water, it wouldn't let me activate them. They also require quite a bit of battery power.

The EMP kills all robots on screen. It does not kill all robots in the room. Useful if there's a ton of robots jittering around on your screen and you have the battery power to use it.

Yes, your shield is vital. I prefer it to the night vision goggles which I ended up only using for quick flashes to check for the terminals.

The lantern is completely useless.

The save trick (pressing ESC as soon as you die and refreshing the browser) is indispensable. I wouldn't have the patience for this game otherwise.

The special rooms are marked with dots on the map. Keeping note of which room is what is probably a good idea... also make sure you activate the terminal in every "normal" room before you leave. It's simply easier to keep track of your progress that way. Finding the "ends" of the entire map first and working your way around the "walls" is also the easiest way to explore without having to guess where you need to backtrack.

A good way to refill your battery is to hang out near an entrance to a room, shoot robots using your self charge, and leave the batteries there. The batteries will stay where you leave them but the robots will respawn every time you leave and re-enter. You can collect quite a few batteries near a good entrance and then collect them all at once to refill your battery without really having to play "remember where I left those damn batteries".

Using a terminal and reloading will save your battery power at the level it was at when you last used the terminal.

All the files in the data room:

ENTRY001:
To Whom it May Concern,

My name is Alexander Kolczek, and I begin this historical record in my capacity as Adjunct Sub-Theron of the SHP. Our glorious illuminary, High Theron Matias, has sho[gibberish]om once again to be correct. The robots have proven too great a strength for the na[tions of the wo]rld, and their military strength lay in tatters.

The scouring of the surface has begun, but our people remain safe in our new homes. Here, nestled in the loving embr[ace of the earth its]elf, we shall remain, carving out a new world for humanity. Let this proclamation stand so that future generations may understand our glorious beginnings.

As decided by the High Theron, each of our facilities shall remain i[???]

ENTRY024:
A small problem in the hydroponics system has set us back several weeks, but Solon Wesk assures me we will meet target food prod[duction this qu]arter. The expansion into the lower strata has been moving slowly, but Solon Philips estimates we will have ample living space for the projected five year population plan ev[en ???]d.

We lost contact earl[ier with Sanct]uary 5, but the technicians believe this is due to increased high-energy exchanges on the surface. Let them fight; let them be consumed in the fires of their own creation.

ENTRY025:
Today marks the one year anniver[sary in our new ]home. Though the past year has presented us with many trials, we have persevered. Solon Wesk has organized a celebratory banquet in the gardens, and the diversion should he[lp placate the] citizens.

Solon Philips informs me that our geothermal power capacity is now at 90%, putting us well ahead of schedule for project completion. Construction of facility gamma was halted this morning due to an unexpected gas pocket. The engineers believe they can have it secured by the end of the week.

The commun[ication] array remains down, though Sub-Solon Aziz assures me that there are no syste[tem pro]blems on our end. We have not heard from the other Sanctuaries in months, but I am sur[e it is all w]ith High Theron Matias's plans.

ENTRY 150:
The robots have discovered us. I do not know how, [???]d the surface and have compromised our outer facilities. Our defenses were ill-prepared, but we have fallen back towards the inner chambers and sealed ourselves off from the outer areas.

I must admit that I am confused. The High Theron's plans for us coun[???] he have not foreseen such an occurence?

These are but idle thoughts; I trust that all is as he has envisioned. We will be safe here, though many of our plaz[???] Food supplies will be tighter with the loss of the gardens, but Humanity will persevere.

ENTRY190:
My name is Elsa Wesk, and I continue this historical record in my capacity as Solon of the SHP. Sub-Theron Kolczek's mortal body has been destroyed- may his soul thrive in the thre[ads of beyond]. Our defenses have been overwhelmed by the robots. They came with such numbers and with such speed that we had no hope of resisting them. We have retreated deeper into the Sanctuary and sealed off the outer [???]

The citizens are scared, but I must be strong for them, and we must trust in the vision of the High Theron. Humanity will persevere.

ENTRY 195:
Ten citizens abandoned us last night. They felt we were fool[ish to fol]low the High Theron's plan. They spoke words to stir dissent and distrust in the hearts of others, and such negative energies are counter to our wa[y of ]life. They may face their own fates[ with the ]robots; their hungry mouths and black hearts will not be missed.

With the other Solons killed, we have selected a council of able citizens to assume their duties. They are our eldest and [???] they lack the clarity of vision of the Solons. Times are troubled, but Huma[nity will p]ersevere.

ENTRY 200:
My name is Theodore French, and I continue this historical record in my capacity as Elder of Sanctuary 17. Solon Wesk's mortal body has been destroyed- may her so[oul thrive in] the threads of beyond. The robots have once again breached our defenses, pushing ever deeper into our sanctuary.

The Geothermal po[wer generators h]ave been lost, and we now have only the emergency reactor left to provide power. It has been decided that we will retreat further into the complex, setting our defenses around the reactor and hydrop[onics system.]

There, at least, we will have light and heat and food to supply us until rescue arrives. Several dissenters have crept away into the darkness, to fend for themselves; [such is the] fate of those who would sow disunity.

Darkness encroaches, but Humanity shall persevere.

Am I confused about the terminal/save system? Whether or not I use the terminals, I seem to start over from the beginning with whoever's left after I get killed. Is twofold secret messing with my head again?

Oh, it's a save as in "You can close the window and start the game from where you left off, if you haven't died in the meantime." Well, OK.

I got these two endings:

Ending one, you don't activate anything, you just get the exit key, enough terminals to crack it, and leave on your own.

Ending two, you activate the scanner and get a message from the surface, tell Rusty, then go back to the entrance instead of the exit. The people scare off the Elders and you lead them outside.

I didn't activate all of the terminals and I'm too lazy to replay this a third time to try and do that so I hope somebody posts the third ending...

The more I play this game, the more I love it. The strategy is incredibly simple, once you know the behavior of the robots. And, whenever you hear a laser shot, press shield. Once the big bad robots come out, killing robots is no longer sustainable, usually, and it becomes a lot more like pacman.

I love this game -- simple, elegant strategies that one slowly figures out, completely fair for the most part (since you have a shield, after all), and still frustrating enough to generate those cherished roguelike "yet-another-stupid-death" moments.

I'm going back to the dungeons of doom to retreive the orb of z -- I mean, find the third ending, so wish me luck.

Other great roguelikes:
======
Dragondot
Where We Remain
Desktop Dungeons

Okay, the first time I tried it, I got all of my followers killed before I reached my third room. Next time, I got a bat in the starting room (what?), the water supplies as my first room, to the right, a store room with the heavy laser. I found the geothermal room to the right of the water supplies, where I went upward trying to find more batteries to activate it. I died there, but activated the geothermal room with my second character with only one terminal activated!

Randomized maps!? ARE YOU KINDDING ME!? NO life system, you die, someone else takes your place, until all are dead and you lose. No defense to talk of, only the first character even has a shield and if you don't see the enemy behind you, your dead, oh yeah, there's STEALTH BOTS WITH STEALTH LASERS THAT CAN AND WILL SNEAK UP BEHIND YOU!!!!

Oh, and lets not forget this excuse of a save system, no juice to start a terminal, no problems, you can start back at the beginning loosing all your hard work. Can't gather the juice to start an important terminal? Well, the stealth bots will be behind you soon enough.

All I really got to say is, those that finished this, don't play it off all cool, you got lucky and you know it. This "team" that developed this game and that other one someone else mentioned, are laughing at us right now. They made it purposefully impractical to beat for all but the extremely lucky few that luck out and don't get cornered by the night vision bots, while the stealth bots take aim from all the way across the other end of the room!

Point 1: If your first character loses their shield (or if anyone loses any equipment), you can retrieve it from the corpse.
Point 2: None of the robots are "stealth". All of them glow, as do all of their projectiles. They also all emit noise when moving, or firing.
Point 3: Stop acting paranoid about the perceived superiority complexes of people who win games you can't.

Shudog: Try hitting Escape.

I take it you've never played any Roguelikes before? Within that genre, this is downright easy.

Does anyone know what one of the pickup items does? It's described as having a button with a lightning bolt.

@Daedalus

That is the EMP. It kills all robots on screen and uses up a lot of energy.

Is there a way to get to the main menu without reloading the page?

There seems to be about a 10% chance of unavoidable death (enter a room and get shot in the back), with a much higher chance of nigh-unavoidable death. Continuing from save seems the only way to go, but it's seriously annoying to have to reload the page every time.

I like the exploration, but this isn't as much fun as Where We Remain.

Well, I turned on the terminal in all 27 rooms and didn't get the third ending. I've checked other websites and still no word. The emails reset after every "save scum". Does this mean the third ending requires a perfect, one-play through game?

Some more random random observations:

1. The Shield works on zero energy.
2. The email terminal seems to occur in the same place every map: lower center of the room
3. Easiest route is: Water Supply --> Geothermal --> Everything else, because of the energy recharge.
4. Robots upgrade based on number of flipped terminals. Near the end, geothermal is pretty essential.

5. The third ending probably involves the satellite array, somehow, since that seems to be the only unused room.
6. I would receive a random email about a "tiny spider infestation ... maybe they know something we don't?" that could also be a hint. :-/

Beat the game without using the "save" trick... though I did happen on a glitch that saved a life or 2 (could have done without it though).
Some things to note:

Using or reusing a terminal "saves" your progress should you quit and come back.

Activating enough terminals has Rusty mentioning that people are deserting to join you. This gains you followers... which are the extra lives some of you people mentioned wanting.

Though the green scanner works wonders, it makes it harder to see the glows of the robots flashlights and steadily drains your battery.

The emp wave (the unknown item you find) drains all but 1 1/2 bars of a full battery and destroys all enemies currently on the map. Near the end, this is actually quite useful as there spawns enough robots to recharge most of your battery with 1 emp. Also if you want to grind for score you can always use it next to the recharge room.
*GLITCH* should you die when/right after activating the emp, the game... doesn't really count it as a death. As in, your sprite disappears, but there's not the gore+battery image and the game just hangs there. You don't respawn or anything, and are forced to close and refresh. Works like the "save" exploit, though requires you to have mostly full batteries.

The satellite room allows you to send the encryption code found at the exit. It requires the generator/recharge room to be activated. Once you do that and enter a terminal you gain access to the second ending.

For all you people that abused the save cheat and never died: A minor thing you missed is that at the end of the first ending, there's some graves dedicated to those who died and how many things they killed.

Hello everyone,

I've compiled a walkthrough + spoiler for Sanctuary 17. I may be missing some email texts, and I suspect that I am missing some follower names, since these are selected randomly. Other than that I think this guide is complete.

Also, I've discovered a glitch that can occur with the game's save system, important enough to go outside of the spoilers:

Important Note: If you allow a character to die, pick up their gear, and then refresh the page without visiting another terminal, you will start from a checkpoint prior to picking up the items, and the items will be GONE from the spot where you died. When you go to pick up your stuff after a death, make *sure* that you can get to a terminal without being killed again. If you do get killed again, do not refresh, you need to start with another follower and get them to your corpse to get your items.

Enjoy!

Areas of Sanctuary 17

There are 36 areas in total, laid out in a 6 by 6 grid. You can view your current exploration by hitting the escape key.

There are:
1 starting passageway
26 regular rooms

The regular rooms each use a preset layout, picked randomly from a set of at least a dozen layouts. You will come to recognize each layout with a few playthroughs. Besides the starting passageway, these are the only rooms with regular terminals that can be used to communicate with Rusty and 'save' your game. Activating the terminal also switches on some faint red lamps in some of the layouts.

4 supply rooms

There are four small supply rooms to find, each one containing one item to pick up. Look for the blue bins in the centre of the room, the closed bin with the green light contains the item.

3 facilities

There are three facilities that you have the option of activating. If you choose to, they must be activated in order: the water pump, the geothermal power plant, and the scanner / communications array. It costs a full 5 bars of energy to activate them. If you seem to have enough energy but the terminal refuses to activate, it's possible that you have spent a fraction of the fifth bar and are just short. Go shoot another robot.

After activating the power plant, any time you access its terminal, your energy bar is refilled.

Use a regular terminal to talk to Rusty, and he will let you know what beneficial effects have occurred for the others when you activate a facility. Activating the facilities is only required to get the best ending.

1 history room

This huge room is here purely for flavour, the two computers at its centre hold some historical records written by Sanctuary 17 officials

1 exit to the surface

Access the computer in this room to download the door's encryption key, which is the first step toward all of the game's endings

The only room that is not placed randomly on the map is the starting room, which is always at 3,3 (with the top left room on the map being 0,0). In the regular rooms, the terminal numbers indicate that room's position in the grid, ranging from 0,0 through 5,5)

The 26 regular rooms are the only ones where robots and animals will appear (excepting that harmless bat who shows up in the starting passageway), all of the others are safe rooms.

Equipment

Shield - Hold x to activate, drains energy while active. Blocks incoming shots, invaluable when caught in a long hall by a robot. You begin the game with this item, but you will need to retrieve it from your corpse if(when) your first character dies, as with all the other items.

Lantern - Drains energy while active, illuminates a small area around you. The distance is less than that of your flashlight. Not very useful. Press [X] to toggle on and off.

Heavy Laser - The biggest gun you've ever seen, fires a very fast, and very powerful laser shot. This weapon will destroy the 2hp hover bots in one shot, and in the unlikely event that you can line up multiple robots, will destroy all of them. The downside is its massive cost: 4 energy per shot means that you need to hit at least 2 robots just to break even. Most of the time, when robots get lined up, if you pop in at one end of the column they will end up shooting each other anyway. Tough to recommend this one.

Night Vision Goggles - These green goggles drain energy while active, and reveal the entire screen in monochrome green. An incredibly useful item! You can briefly flick the goggles on to scout the passageways nearby, and then turn them off while moving to save energy. Press [X] to toggle on and off.

EMP - Described as a coil with a lightning bolt marking. At the cost of 8 full energy bars, destroys all robots in the region. Robots respawn very rapidly though, so you will be dodging lasers again before you know it. If you destroy at least three robots and collect their batteries, you can regain the energy spent to trigger the EMP (combined with your built in recharge). Becomes much more useful when the 2 hp robots appear in the late game, and is godly when combined with the night vision goggles. Once the region has filled up with robots, trigger the EMP, and use the night vision to quickly hunt down all of the batteries, you can easily restore full power this way. The EMP is limited in that pursuing your goals (activating terminals and facilities) leaves your battery low most of the time. Press [X] to trigger it.

Press [A] to switch between the standard laser and the heavy laser,
Press [S] to cycle through all of the other items.

Enemies

Bats - move quickly, stun you briefly if you run into them. You will be ambushed from behind many times by bats.

Spiders - move very slowly, stun you for a good few seconds if you bump into them. Spiders also drop webs throughout the maze, which makes a staticky splat sound that you will hear in the distance. Webs slow down movement for anything traveling through it, and can be destroyed with a shot. Webs absorb the entire shot though, which can block your robot sniping opportunities, and occasionally save you from a robot's shot.

Green wheeled robots - moves randomly, will fire at you even if there are walls between you and them

Blue trashcan robots - turns corners to move toward you, will fire at you even if there are walls between you and them

Blue multi-armed robots - turns corners to move toward you, do not fire into walls

Red tracked 'Samus'-faced robot - turns corners to move toward you, and will spin around and fire if you sneak up behind them

Green hovering masked robot - turns corners to move toward you, will spin and fire if you sneak up behind them, take two shots to kill

All of the robots will fire on you if you are in their line of sight: on a straight horizontal or vertical line to them, even from offscreen. It's sometimes possible to dodge shots, but the laser moves faster than you do, avoid long hallways! The best way to hunt robots is to destroy them as they approach a corner, but you can also sneak up behind the initial green and blue robots, and shoot them in the back.

Robots illuminate a few squares in front of them, much as your flashlight does (though they don't depend on this light to see you!) You can use the movement of these beams of light, and their colours, to locate the robots and their types in the maze. Animals emit no light of course, making it easier for you to be ambushed by them.

Regarding robot turning, robots always turn a corner if they can, even if taking a straight path through an intersection would get them to you faster. You can use this to your advantage to escape them.

Energy Costs

Your energy meter has 10 bars, each of which is divided into 8 subunits of energy. Your battery slowly recharges up to 1.5 bars when it gets below that amount.

  • Activating a Terminal: 3.5 bars

  • Activating a Facility: 5 bars

  • Firing your gun: 1.5 bars

  • Battery pickups add: 2 bars

  • Firing the heavy laser: 4 bars

  • Using the EMP: 8 bars

  • Lantern, shield, and night vision goggles: drain 1/8 of a bar every few seconds, with the shield draining much faster than the other two items.

  • Using the power plant terminal (after activating it): refills all 10 bars.

Hunting robots one at a time and picking up their batteries after every shot adds a net 1/2 bar per kill. Missing a single shot will set you back three kills worth of energy. Storing up energy this way can take quite some time.

There is a faster way: after destroying a robot, wait until you have recharged up to 1.5 bars before picking up any batteries. If you are above 1.5 bars, wait before picking up the batteries all the same, and allow your charge to go down after several kills. If you can destroy multiple robots without pickups, relying on the automatic recharge instead, you earn a net 2 full bars per kill. This is faster, but more dangerous, the slow recharge may leave you without enough energy to defend yourself in a pinch.

Note that the automatic recharge plus one battery adds up to 3.5 bars, enough to activate a terminal. Killing one bot, waiting, and grabbing its battery will let you move quickly through each area. (Be careful not to use your night vision after grabbing the battery, or you will have slightly less than 3.5 bars of energy, and will need to kill again.)

Note also that the toughest robots in the game take two shots to kill, costing 3 energy, but still only drop 2 bar batteries. Generally, avoid these guys and hunt the weaker blue robots, you'll lose energy otherwise!

The Save Trick

Sanctuary 17's roguelikeness shines through in its difficulty: death is sudden, frequent, and permanent. Other commenters found a way to get around the game's permanent death though: when your character is killed, quickly hit escape to pause the game, and then refresh the page. You will begin from the last time you accessed a terminal, with the same energy and equipment as before, the same facilities activated, and the same number of followers in reserve. You do appear to lose progress in the random messages that Rusty had sent though, he begins sending messages that you have already seen again, in the same order as before as you make new progress.

Important Note: I've discovered HUGE GLITCH in the game's save system. If you allow a character to die, pick up their gear, and then reset the game without visiting another terminal, you will start from a checkpoint prior to picking up the items, and the items will be GONE from the spot where you died. When you go to pick up your stuff, make *sure* that you can get to a terminal without being killed again. If you do get killed again, do not reset, you will need to start with another follower and get them to your corpse to get your items.

Whether the game is more enjoyable with this ability to restart, or is more properly played with no reloads and instant death, I leave to you.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • When you reset the game, the graphics for the facilities and terminals revert back to their 'disabled' state. Don't worry though, the game still remembers your progress even though it doesn't appear so.

  • You begin the game with yourself, and two other followers, for a total of three lives. Locating enough terminals will add an additional two followers to your group, but activating the facilities does not attract any followers.

  • Activating terminals also seems to increase the difficulty of the robots you face. At the highest level, there are two or three of the 2 hit point robots, for every 1 hit point blue robot, making it a challenge to build up energy!

  • The starting followers are named Topher and Elisabeth; Kyra is always the next to follow. Other follower names that I have seen after that include Alex, Gilbert, Ashish, and there may be more.

  • The red robots and hovering robots will notice you if you try to sneak up behind them, or pass them while their back is turned. Don't try it unless you know you can get out of the way before their shot arrives! Alternatively, you can exploit their quick trigger fingers to cause robots packed together in one hallway to attack one another.

  • The game does not display a count of the number of open terminals anywhere, except for the victory screen at the end. Choose a systematic strategy if you try to activate all of the terminals. (Getting to the end with one terminal missing is a major letdown!)

  • When using terminals and opening supply room bins, make sure that the gun icon switches to the hand icon before pressing 'z' on your keyboard, or you will waste precious energy shooting the walls.

  • The random layout of the game can make it very difficult or fairly easy, depending on what you get. On one playthrough I was fortunate enough to have all of the facilities, the exit to the surface, and a supply room with the night vision goggles all connected to the main entrance, making for an easy (well, easier!) play through.

  • When you do arrive at a safe room, check all of its other exits to see if they are also safe rooms, you can frequently find several safe rooms chained together.

Rusty's Emails

Rusty will send emails to you throughout the game, which you receive at the terminals in regular rooms. There are a few messages that he sends when major events happen, and some random messages that don't seem to have any bearing on the game, besides establishing the post-apocalyptic setting.

Some events that can trigger random messages appearing are: activating a facility, finding the exit to the surface, and beginning with a new character after one is killed, but the game may randomly not give messages at those times too. Only rarely does activating new terminals trigger these emails.

For all of these messages, [you] is replaced with the name of the current character. Also, the messages you see may have the same body but with different opening or closing sentences than the ones I've listed, they appear to be randomized per message. I've written down the combinations I've seen here, I bet that any opening or closing sentence can appear with any of the messages, though.

Major Event Messages

Water Plant Activated:

Hello [you], what did you do out there? Our water reserves just doubled! Fresh water, too, not recycled stuff. The others are amazed, and we know we have you to thank for it.

Please send us more stories as soon as you can.

Rusty

Power Plant Activated:

Hello again, [you]. The strangest thing happened; our power supplies just shot through the roof. The elders are confused, but I know that it's some thing you did, isn't it? The people here are really starting to believe you can really make things better.

Try not to get killed.

Rusty

Scanner Activated:

Hello again, [you]. You received a message from the surface!? But that... that flies in the face of everything the Elders have ever told us!

Could there really be people still living up above...?

This could change everything... I have to talk to the others right away.

Try not to get killed.

Rusty

Exit to the Surface Found:

Still alive, [you]? You sure are something else. / Hello again, [you].
So you think you've found the door to the surface? That's incredible! But the fact that it's sealed is kind of discouraging. I took a look at the handshake key you sent along; it's got some pretty heavy encryption on it. Since we don't have the matching private key anymore we'll have to do this the hard way.

Unfortunately, if I tried to do it on the mainframe here, it would eat up the whole system, and I think someone would notice. Don't worry, though, I figured out how to distribute the workload onto the terminals you've opened up to let it run in secret!

I'll be waiting for your next message.

Rusty

Key Decoded:

Great news, [you]! Thanks to all that computing power, the decode is done!

I'm attaching the results now; this sequence should allow you to open that door, wherever it leads to.

You'll have to let me know what you find.

Stay safe out there, [you].

Rusty

Random Messages

Hi, [you]. My sister gave birth to a son yesterday - her first child. This made me very happy, of course, but seeing the child also made me kind of sad. I realized that he, and all the other children here... even us, since we were children... we know nothing of a world beyond these walls. These hallways that all look the same, these cold, electric lights...

We've all seen pictures of the surface as it once was; of the sun, burning in those strange blue skies we can only imagine. That a child could grow up in such a place, where they could wander with no walls to contain them, it's incredible to think about. But also kind of scary.

Not to you, though. When I have these thoughts, I feel like, maybe just for a moment, I understand you and the others a little better.

[you]... just watch out for yourself, ok?

Rusty

Still alive [you]? You sure are something else. The Elders held a meeting last night to discuss the recent disappearances. They told us that you and the others had left to "reaffirm your faiths in the plan."

Most everyone believed them, but those of us who have heard your stories know better...

Be careful out there, [you]

Rusty

I'm here [you]. I didn't think I'd hear from you again.... / It's a relief to hear from you, [you]. / Hello again, [you].
You're building up quite a camp out there, aren't you? I've noticed the people missing... the others who have left to follow you. You're really shaking things up in here.

Please send more stories as soon as you can.

Rusty

It's a relief to hear from you, [you]. I don't know what it means, but I've been seeing a lot more spiders lately. Not big ones like you talk about, thank goodness, but lots of little ones. Maybe they know something we don't?

Try not to get killed.

Rusty

I'm here, [you]. I didn't think I'd hear from you again... I've been thinking, lately... we've been living down here for generations; we don't know how long exactly, since the Elders don't want us to know. But, it's just... it's all I've ever known. That you and the others could even envision a life outside of here - a life on the surface, no less! - it was just something beyond me.

Now, though, since I've been talking to you... I've had a hard time thinking of anything else.

We're all pulling for you. / Be careful out there, [you].

Rusty

I'm here, [you] I didn't think that I'd hear from you again... What made you leave in the first place? So much of our history is kept from us... the Elders say it's "for the best" that things just go on as they always have. I guess maybe you got tired of asking questions and never getting answers.

That's what makes you different from most of us... we just keep up being happy in the dark...

Be careful out there, [you].

Rusty

Hi [you]. There was an explosion by the exhaust vents this morning. We thought it was a robot attack at first, and then I thought maybe it was them taking revenge for all that you have killed.

It turns out it was a gas build-up, and no one got hurt. For a moment though, I was angry at you. I'm sorry.

I'll be waiting for your next message. / We're all pulling for you

Rusty

Hi, [you]. I heard that someone snuck out last night to join up with you. I wish I was that brave... I'll just keep passing along your stories from in here. For now...

I'll be waiting for your next message.

Rusty

It's a relief to hear from you, [you]. I asked Elder Caughman something I'd been pondering... "where do the robots come from?" I thought he was going to strike me right there on the stop. There was such anger in his eyes, and he said I "shouldn't think about such things." They probably just don't know. Or they used to know, but have forgotten.

If we used to live on the surface, and the robots drove us away, they had to come from somewhere. Did man make them? Could they have made themselves? Could they have come from... somewhere else?

I just don't know. Maybe you'll find the answers out there somewhere...

[you]... just watch out for yourself, ok?

Rusty

Hi [you]. The Elders have gotten word of your survival, [you] and it makes them nervous. You've given many of us a hope we've never had before, that we might someday escape this place. They have forbidden us to speak with you or anyone who has followed you anymore, but I've shielded this terminal from their spying.

As long as you and the others are out there, I will make sure that your stories are told.

I'll be waiting for your next message. / We're all pulling for you.

Rusty

Hello again, [you]. One of the hydroponics systems failed yesterday. They think we'll lose a third of next quarter's crop. Food is going to be tight, but the Elders tell us we'll persevere.

Please send us more stories as soon as you can.

Rusty

It's a relief to hear from you, [you]. Is it lonely out there, [you]? All that darkness, all that death... that you and the others can still keep up the fight is just amazing. You've shown us in here that we can be more than just prisoners hiding in our tiny bubble of light.

Maybe this isn't what you intended, but every robot you slay, every story you tell, they brings[sic] other to your cause. We're counting on you to be our lights in the darkness... don't let us down.

We're all pulling for you.

Rusty

Hello again, [you]. Something that's been weighing on my mind... if there are still others out there - if people really are still alive on the surface - why haven't they ever come to save us? We've been trapped down here in the darkness for so long, and no one has ever tried to seek us out.

Have they completely forgotten us? Did we do something so wrong in the past that they chose to abandon us? Or do they really not exist... I'm sorry; I don't mean to discourage you. Talking to you has put so many questions in my mind, it's hard to sort everything out.

Be careful out there, [you].

Rusty

Endings

Ending 1:

To get the first (worst) ending:

  1. Find the exit to the surface and download the encryption key from the terminal

  2. Activate at least 9 terminals (not including the terminal in the starting passageway)

  3. Return to the exit after receiving the decrypted key from Rusty, use the terminal to open the door, and leave for the surface.

You will get this ending if you ever leave through the door to the surface, regardless of how many of the facilities you have activated.

Ending 2:

The second ending is slightly better, and only slightly more difficult than the first:

  1. Find the exit to the surface and download the encryption key from the terminal

  2. Activate at least 9 terminals (not including the terminal in the starting passageway)

  3. Return to the exit after receiving the decrypted key from Rusty, use the terminal to open the door

  4. Now return to the starting passageway, and return down the starting door

Ending 3:

The third ending takes a little bit more work to attain, the difference being that the three facilities scattered around the sanctuary need to be activated:

  1. Find the exit to the surface and download the encryption key from the terminal

  2. Activate at least 9 terminals (not including the terminal in the starting passageway)

  3. Return to the exit after receiving the decrypted key from Rusty, use the terminal to open the door

  4. Activate all three facilities. They must be activated in order: water pump station, geothermal power plant, and scanner array

  5. Return to the starting passageway, and go to the starting door

It isn't important what order you deal with the terminals, facilities, and finding the surface exit, you will naturally work toward all of these objectives as you play.

I've confirmed that only 9 terminals need to be activated for any of the endings; going for more than that number doesn't seem to be necessary. I can confirm that nothing special happens for activating all terminals, facilities, equipment, and getting the best ending. Nothing besides the nice feeling from all of the large numbers on the ending screen, at any rate...

Ending Scripts

Ending 1 Script:

As you step across the threshold, the huge metal shutters slam closed behind you.

Up ahead, you see something bright... something warm...

As you ascend the passageway leading ahead, your nostrils fill with scents you've never smelled before.

You take a few more steps forward and pause... you could look back at the darkness you are leaving behind, but the choice has been made.

The others will go on without you... they will forget about you in time...

Ending 2 Script:

[you], what is it?

You've found the door to the surface? That's incredible! We knew you wouldn't fail us.

I'll get the others, now is our time to taste true freedom.

As the last of your group steps through the doors, the giant metal shutters slam down behind you.

A light such as you have never seen before pours through an opening ahead. Though your eyes sting at the sight of it, you push forward.

As you ascend the pathway leading ahead, your nostrils fill with scents you've never smelled before.

The others murmur in amazement; could this truly be the freedom you have all dreamed of?

The others push ahead eagerly. You follow, though the tears streaming from your aching eyes makes every step a stumble.

You pause for a moment and consider looking back. Those that you have left behind... they could have followed you to freedom... but they made their choice.

If they wish to hide in the darkness, so be it.

Ending 3 Script:

[you]?

Is that you?

It's me... Rusty!

It's happened... it's really happened. Once I told the others that you had heard from the surface, well, things just started happening faster than I could have imagined.

The Elders... they were so angry, so full of hated towards you. But we had seen through their lies, and we weren't scared anymore.

They... they're gone now. They and those that still wished to hide from the truth. We're in control now, and we're ready to follow you back to the surface.

Lead on; I'll be right beside you.

I've disabled the door, [you]; now anyone should be able to come and go as they please.

Do you see that ahead?

That light... it's so bright, so warm...

My eyes are stinging, [you]. It hurts, but I know we must keep pushing forward.

Do you smell that in the air? These are scents I've never smelled before... everything seems so strange here.

This is it, isn't it? What you've been dreaming about is just ahead. If it weren't for you, none of us would be here.

When I got your first message after you left, I thought you and the others were mad. I thought you would die out there, and that, in the end, maybe you'd realize how wrong you were.

But you weren't though, it was all of us who were wrong. Not anymore, you promised us freedom, and now here we are! No matter what we find up ahead, no matter what the future holds, I'll always thank you for that, [you]. All of us, we will always remember this.

C'mon let's keep moving.

"Try not to get killed." --Rusty, words of wisdom

Thanks for the awesome walkthrough, Pathogen!

Send me an email at our contact address (found in the site footer) and I'll send you a game coupon or gift certificate.

As with Where We Remain, TwofoldSecret has delivered another difficult game that's impossible to stop playing.

One of the most successful aspects of their games is that you really, really treasure a character's life. I'd really hate it when I get blasted, to the point that I'm a bit sad when I do. Rusty's emails reinforce these sentiments, as does the entire post-apocalyptic setting.

It's weird. We are so used to a life system, or restarting the game with a same character with (technically) infinite lives, that when you actually control a character that has only one life, we become shaken in the way we behave in the game.

I for one, become very cautious and edgy with every character, because it seems to me that Topher, Elisabeth, Kyra, Alex, Gilbert and Ashid are much more human to me than simple game sprites.

Bravo TwofoldSecret. I'm currently hoping to play through the 2nd/3rd ending, with as little deaths as possible.

Aaa... so that's the third ending--

Oh man, that sucks, I actually got the third ending when I thought I got the second. I was expecting a huge weird plot twist like Where We Remain.

A missed Rusty message:

Hi , I think Elder Voight suspects I am stirring up dissent. He's had Ovitz following me around in the shadow for days. I didn't realize that talking to you was going to be this much trouble!

Please send us more stories as soon as you can.

Rusty

Note about terminals/messages:

Activating the facilities also counts as activating a terminal in terms of robot increase/random mail. Not sure if it counts for the number needed for the encoded message though.

Interesting detail on the 3rd ending:

Amongst the graves of those who have fallen, the initial character (Topher) and Elisabeth don't seem to be there.

I only had two graves, Kyra's (*sobs* I liked Kyra) and Alex's. Wonder if that means anything.

Also, I agree wholeheartedly with Pathogen's advice: If there's a safe room, try exploring the surroundings of it as it is almost always connected to another safe (and potentially significant) room.

Hmmm, maybe its

dying spawns random messages?
Anyway, more observations: lower lvl robots tend to be stupider and try to shoot you through walls. Later robots don't do this reducing the amount of "team kills". Also if you didn't know press ` to toggle "debug" notes. Useful to see things like your difficulty level.

Anyway, found some more Rusty notes... which is actually somewhat useful rather than insightful.

(found right after transmitting the code)
Hello again, *name*. With your latest activation, that gives seven functioning terminals. I'd estimate completion in 420 hours as it stands. I think a few more will really speed things up.

Be careful out there, *name*.

Rusty

(next terminal gives this message)
Still alive, *name*? You sure are something else. Eight terminals are showing up on the chain. And that's telling me we it can finish it in 90 hours! If you could get just one more, I think we can max out the processing capabilities.

Please send us more stories as soon as you can.

Rusty.

I've noticed something rather odd. At the end in the stats on your game it reads that you activated 9 or 10 of something like 27 terminals. Way more than there are terminal rooms, assuming that there is one terminal to a room. Anybody have any idea what this is about?

@JIGuest Yes, I did indeed miss that message.

@Psychicpotato About character names, you get to name one of the male or female starting characters, and the other will be named Topher or Elisabeth respectively. You should still see graves for both the one you named and the one with the default name, if you get them killed and beat the game, though.

@JIGuest There are eight other messages that can appear at the terminals after you obtain the encryption key while you are decoding it. Each message is a variation on 'there are x hours left to go for decryption' and 'you have y terminals active', with the hours dropping and the terminal count increasing with each activation.

None really add to the backstory so I left them out of the guide. If you want to see them all.

Find the door to the surface and get the key before activating any terminals. Then activate the nine terminals you'll need to decrypt the key, you will see the eight 'working on it' messages in sequence. The ninth terminal gives the 'key decoded' message, which is in the guide.

I want to like this game, really, but it's too bloody difficult. They already have the energy mechanic, why not have the shield work automatically but drain power when hit? Then you have a health system basically, instead of this instant death garbage that makes the game a total exercise in frustration.

Also the items could be more useful, such as not making the night vision goggles cost energy and having the lantern actually cast enough light to be useful. It'd also be nice to have a hand to hand attack that costs no energy if you're lucky or skillful enough to kill a robot at point blank range.

Basically, a hardcore mode where you still have the instant death and a normal mode where you have energy as health would make the game much more playable for more people instead of being as brutal as possible and alienating all but the very best players.

Wait...........
Why did it direct me to site with no game?!?!?!?

^ Scroll Up | Homepage >

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