|The Flooded City:
This arena at first resembles the Flooded City stage of Virtual
On, but that's only the beginning!
This stage contains numerous in-jokes and silly humorous references
put in by the programming staff.
In the center of the city, a square platform juts out of the water.
On this platform there are several roads and four four-story (about
53 feet/16 meters) buildings, just like in the Virtual On stage.
Many players will think that it's just like that video game, and
be totally surprised when they try to run against the arena's
"edge" and fall into. . .
The animal life here doesn't pose much threat to a Mekton unless
somebody grabs a hammerhead or great white shark and uses it as
a melee weapon (1K/25H and 2K/50H respectively, a hammerhead will
last one blow and be converted into goop all over your opponent's
(and your own) Mekton, a Great White will last three hits before
dying and another two before being pulped, if you're fighting
in Roadstrikers then you take either 5H (HH) or 10H (GW) damage
yourself from the tooth-scales cutting your own mecha). There
are lots of buildings around with lots of rather fragile windows
that can shatter from the sudden massive shifts of pressure resulting
from an underwater mechanical leviathan racing past on hydrojets
(not to mention from an underwater mechanical leviathan being
punched into a building!) These shards glitter in the water and
will injure life forms nearby but have no actual effect on game
play unless the players stop to watch the show. There are underwater
distortion patterns from shifting sand in the water, fractally-rendered
bubbles. . .
There are very few power ups in this arena, as the emphasis is
on verisimilitude (the appearance of realism in an unrealistic
situation): two identical 13K beam swords (space efficiency so
that they are only 4 spaces large - i.e. even a Superlight can
at least use them two-handed), hidden in opposite sides of the
area map. These swords are handed to the gamers by silk-covered
female arms. If the mecha pilot has time, there is a service station
(with a cute pink-haired, green-eyed female attendant in scuba
gear) where he can go to refuel his thrusters, hydrojets or even
if he has a combustion type powerplant he can refuel that. The
money that the pilot *must* pay her in order to leave (the mecha
is unable to pass the perimeter of the gas station until he does)
is "virtual" money (player doesn't get really charged!), but each
player has a limited number (up to the GM) of them, and looks
like American dollar bills but has on them the "Dogs Playing Poker"
painting and the motto reads, "In Dog We Trust."
Q: What do you get when you have a dyslexic, insomniac agnostic?
A: Somebody who stays up late wondering if there is a Dog.
The attendant is programmed to be very flirtatious with male pilots;
she will always blow a male pilot a kiss when he leaves. She will
be courteous and friendly toward female pilots.
I forgot to add that the Service Station is a designated Neutral
Zone. When you have umpteen tons of volatile mecha fuel just waiting
for a spark, fighting is a BIG NO-NO!!!
In another part of the city there are mer-children at play, any
mecha pilot who has the audacity to stomp them on purpose will
find themselves under attack by Mama Mer-Mekton (Mega-Heavy construction
with Mega-Heavy Gamma armor, main weapon is a 100K BV 5 mega laser
cannon). 3M is programmed by the same psychopath responsible for
If the mecha fight boils over into a residential area, several
Police Meks will arrive 1d6 turns later and politely ask that
the players take it elsewhere. If attacked, the Police Meks will
respond with deadly force. They are Heavy Strikers armed with
a 4 Kill beam pistol and a 10 Kill nightstick, which behaves as
if it were being swung through air rather than through water.
The backup mecha will be armed with 15 Kill beam rifles and *pairs*
of 10K nightsticks, so compliance with the first cops is suggested.
One of the parking garages is built for Virtual Mektons rather
than for cars; one level of this garage contains row upon row
of Temjin Virtuaroids; any player attempting to steal a Temjin's
beam rifle will find himself attacked by that Temjin, but by some
strange quirk of the game if he is killed he is not dead but merely
"bonked" for a while, after which time his mecha is totally repaired
of all damage suffered while fighting the Temjin.
If the players look in the windows of the buildings below water
level, there will be revealed mer-people calmly going about their
daily office routine. Directly attacking the mer-people will result
in the aforementioned Mama Mer-Mekton coming in and beating the
bejeezus out of your VM (the only thing that counts as directly
attacking them is launching a melee or ranged attack that is CLEARLY
targeted at the building and not at an opponent).
Obviously necessary in this stage is Underwater Environmental
Protection, but despite this and because of the beautiful level
of detail in the stage (it's suspected that the cute service station
attendant helps too), it's one of the most popular areas of the
game. On the Raised Platform, the programmed music ("In the Blue
Sky," the Flooded City stage theme in Virtual On Cyber Troopers)
overrides the player's own music, reinforcing the stage's motif.
Once underwater, the players' sound systems kick back in. However,
if at any time the players return to the Raised Platform, the
Virtual On music will return.
Items (compressed statistical write-ups):
(all mecha have the Underwater environmental protection multiplier
Hammerhead Shark: Striker torso, 1K sacrificed for 2 Spaces, 1/5 scale, "Beastmecha"
Great White Shark: Heavy Striker torso, 1/5 scale, "Beastmecha" form. 50H/2K, takes
0.66K damage per hit because of "armor"
Non-Shark Fish: Various servo sizes, 1/100 to 1/10 scale, "Beastmecha" form, between
.25 and 0.8 kills
Mer-People: MA 3-10 (human scale hexes), REF 6. They can't take mecha weapons.
Mer-Children: MA 2-6 (human scale hexes), REF 10. Just don't step on 'em, okay?
Cute Service Station Attendant: ATT 7, INT 6, REF 8. What kind of sick bastard are you anyway!?
Car (small): Striker torso, 1/5 scale, Auto form. 30H/1.2K.
Car (large): Medium Striker torso, 1/5 scale, Auto form. 40H/1.6K
Minivan: Heavy Striker torso, 1/5 scale, Mundane form. 50H/2.0K
Pickup Truck: Heavy Striker torso, 1/5 scale, Auto form. 50H/2.0K
Medium Truck: Medium Weight torso, 1/5 scale, Mundane form. 60H/2.4K
Semi Truck: Super Heavy torso, 1/5 scale, Mundane form. 100H/4.0K
Beam Sword: 13K, 3K structure, 4 Spaces.
Mama Mer-Mekton: Mega Heavy structure, humanoid plus Pod, secondary Torso servo
instead of 2 Legs, MH-Gamma armor, MA 10 swimming, MV -0, weapons:
+3 WA 100K BV 5 laser cannon, no penalty to hit ANY mecha.
VR-Temjin: Medium Weight structure, humanoid plus Pod, MW-Beta armor, MA
6 walking/14 dashing, MV -2, weapons: 6K beam rifle, 8K beam sword,
Police Mektons: Heavy Striker structure, humanoid, HS-Beta armor, MA 4 walking/10
swimming, MV -3, weapons: 5K beam pistol, 10K tonfa.
SWAT Mektons: Medium Weight structure, humanoid, MW-Beta armor, MA 5 walking/12
swimming, MV -2, weapons: 15K beam rifle, 10K beam tongfer, heavy
Arena created by Mark Berger
MIDI SOUND FILE!
Music theme of the "Flooded City" stage of the Virtua On arcade
The "Flooded City" stage started out as just a cover of the Virtual
On stage "Flooded City" until the programmers thought, "Hey we
should do something with this, it's kind of bland as-is." From
there an entire underwater universe evolved.
"Flooded City" is the "benchmark" stage for the purposes of verisimilitude.
There are other stages that are more realistic in appearance,
but "Flooded City" is the most intricate and the largest - the
stage covers approximately 1024 square km (400 square mi), which
translates to a good sized chunk of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro
Area (the distance between the two most recognizable South Metro
landmarks - the Mall of America in Bloomington and the Minnesota
Zoo in Apple Valley - is about 10 miles).