Project Eden

Project Eden

For the anime, see Dirty Pair.

Project Eden is a video game for the PC and PlayStation 2 released in 2001. It is a hybrid between first- and third-person shooter with an emphasis on teamwork and puzzle solving over combat. Players switch between control of four UPA (Urban Protection Agency) agents, each with their own special abilities, as they work their way through a city that has grown upward and upward, leaving delving buildings and neighborhoods "below city limits.". Among other unique mechanics of Project Eden is the fact that player characters don't die; instead, they are respawned at the last checkpoint, where their health is fully restored. With its emphasis on puzzle-solving over combat, the game may be thought of as a cyberpunk updating of The Lost Vikings, as it has more in common with that game developed by Blizzard Entertainment than traditional first- or third-person shooters. A single player can control any of the four characters at any given time, and other players can jump in at any time and assume control of team members.

Characters

No subsequent background information is given on the characters (except for Minoko), only their abilities are listed.

  • Carter: Leader of UPA Incident Squad No.4. 36. Serious character and not looking forward to a forced retirement at 40 to a desk job, which is standard in the UPA. He loves coordinating the team members and cares for their well-being. He can interview some suspects and civilians, open secured UPA Doors.
  • Andre: Technician. 32. Former SkyLift engineer, joined the UPA at 25 looking an exciting job. Has a perceived attitude problem but will take over the unit when Carter steps down. He has a casual attitude, which can be explained by the phrase, 'shoot first and ask later'. This has often led him to trouble with the seniors in the past, but his team members find him to be a good guy. He uses an Omnitool to fix any equipment or device that needs to be repaired to be used.
  • Minoko: Computer tech. 20. Orphan taken in by the UPA as a youth of 9 years old. She has worked with Carter's team for only an year so far, but so far, she has gone quite well with her teammates. Her maturity is also unusual for her age. She thinks quietly before leaping to action. She can hack into almost any system (she had once tried to hack into the UPA system but in vain). She can log onto the terminals scattered throughout the areas that the squad enters, can hack into cannons, computers, devices, cameras, and can retrieve information.
  • Amber: Heavy Support (Cyborg). 27. Involved in a SkyWay accident which resulted in horrific injuries at 19. She chose to have a full robotic makeover as opposed to more realistic surgery; however, has become more withdrawn and robotic over the years (supposedly typical of people who have had this transformation). Amber carries heavy weaponry as a default function (missiles, which are later upgraded to homing missiles), and can withstand hazardous environments such as gas, electricity, extreme cold, flames, harmful laser beams (only encountered in Eden Bunker).

Plot

The game starts with UPA agents Carter, Andre, Minoko and Amber heading below city limits to find two technicians missing from the Real Meat Company (a corporation that produces organic meat, hinting that most of the food in that time is synthetic). The suspicions of the team revolve around a local and powerful gang named The Death Heads. The UPA team tracks the gang down to their base in St. Lucia's Church; but on their way, the gang members and many animals also start mutating into strange creatures. Clearing their way through the Church, battling the mutants, the UPA Team finally get close to the technicians, only to see them being taken far below city limits, possibly to ground zero (the term used for the sea level). The UPA Control, instructs the UPA Team to recover a creature, a live one, for analysis; which shows that it has been a regular dog, which had been tampered with using an old MK-4 Gene Splicer (this hints at the fact that genetic technology has advanced greatly). The analysis also reveals that the creatures they have been attacked by are being controlled by a signal; which is their next job, to both find and if possible, recover the technicians, and locate the source of the signal.

On their way, the UPA Team start to encounter little girls (blonde, and dressed in a red dress) that go by the name of Lucy, who talk about irrelevant things before mutating into dangerous creatures themselves. Minoko, while going to another sector of the city by a SkyTran, mentions that she once had a sister named Lucy, but that Lucy had probably died due to a genetic illness she and their mother suffered from. As they continue, the team starts to question if Minoko's family was involved in their situation. The train crashes before reaching its destination, and leaves Minoko trapped in by a group known as cannibals. Upon their arrival, Carter asks Control to check out Minoko's father. Dr. Joseph Molenski, who was once a skilled technician and a genetic engineer, was kicked out of Real Meat, due to his act of stealing machinery. As a fugitive, Molenski was never acquired by UPA, nor was Lucy. Minoko was taken to the UPA Recreation Program, and thus became a UPA Agent.

Clearing out an old zoo (which is filled with cannibals along with mutants) due to their SkyTran accident, the team arrive at Ground Zero. However, since what they are looking for is further down, the team advances to the underground levels; below sea level. Upon their investigation, they stumble upon a video of Dr. Molenski, saying that he has found a nuclear bunker underneath, and has also rigged up a basic gene splicer. He also mentions that using it, he hopes to cure Lucy finally.

The UPA Team enter the Eden Bunker, and upon their entrance, they discover that Dr. Molenski was trapped in a time dilation field (a field that which stops time around a given area, or slows it down immensely; something used in a weapon the team uses, TIMESHOCK). Molenski is seemingly reaching out to a computer. Upon dwelling deeper and deactivating the time dilation field, Minoko is kidnapped. Lucy tells Minoko that she has been creating the creatures, and the girls that mutated (in attempt to find a new body for herself), but that the DNA synch ratio was just too much to deal with. Since Minoko is her biological sister, Lucy wishes to take her body.

Meanwhile, Molenski is told that 15 years has passed, and asked what has happened. The answer is simple; in order to keep Lucy alive, Molenski had linked her mind to the computers, running half of her mental faculties with them, while keeping her body in a time dilation field. However, since the computers were networked, Lucy took over them all, and tried to solve things her way. The other three UPA Team members rescue Minoko, and they deactivate Lucy's time dilation field; causing her death. Molenski removes the harddisk from Lucy's head and inserts it into a robot body he has built for her. The UPA Team return to the surface.

Weapons

Each weapon has two modes. Weapons do not allow friendly fire. A minor drawback of this is that, explosive weaponry will not explode whenever used upon an enemy that is too close to the member using the weapon.

Pulse gun: The Pulse Gun is the most basic weapon of all the UPA Members, and the only weapon that they start with. The initial rapid mode simply fires out rapid bursts of energy to harm the UPA Squad's opponents and/or the surfaces that need to be broken down. The secondary mode, charge, charges the energy and fires out a single, more powerful burst.

Pipe Bomb: The Pipe Bomb is the second weapon the squad acquires. It's initial mode, contact, makes it explode upon contact with anything at all. The secondary mode, proximity, simply stays wherever it's thrown, and explodes when and if something comes in close proximity. Pipe Bombs can be recovered when in this setting.

Disk Launcher: The disk launcher covers the arm of the member using it. In the first mode, launch, it engages a laser pointer which is both visible on the radar (more useful on the bounce mode) and in front of the player, and when the trigger is released, throws an explosive disk straight forward. The secondary mode, bounce, also includes the laser pointer, but when the disk is launched, it bounces off twice and then explodes when and if it hits something.

Time Shock: The time shock slows down time on wished target. The initial mode, beam, has to continuously be held upon an opponent to slow him down. The secondary mode, area, launches a blast that creates a minor time dilation field around a certain radius (the shape of which is a sphere, which means it encompasses everything within that area) which effects anything that crosses through it, the player included.

Extractor: The extractor comes late in the game, but is quite useful. The first mode, extract, while damaging the opponent it is aimed at (with a rate equal to or slightly slower than the rapid weapon), takes the energy of the opponent and uses it to refill the ammunition of weaponry (the ammunition is a general energy source for all weapons, not just for the extractor). When the ammunition is full, the excess energy creates energy cells. The secondary mode, blast, drains the ammunition energy at tremendous speed, but focuses that energy onto numerous waves which damage the opponnent with more or less the same speed.

Missile: The weapon is Amber's secondary weapon by default. It launches a missile towards the crossair. The homing missile upgrade, however, first locks on the target, and launches a missile that follows the target regardless of the direction its headed.

UPA Equipment

Stationary

Regen Point: "Tags" team members who enter its range, and thereafter acts as the respawn point for that team member; can also heal team members within range. Characters are linked to one regen point at a time. Each level starts the team near (and linked to) an initial regen, and the end-of-level elevators contain regen points. They are 'checkpoints' in the Story Mode. Recharge Point (orange lightning bolt symbol, blue in last chapter): Recharges weapon energy of a character when activated. As with the regen point, there is usually a recharging station near the start of each level, and multiple recharging stations at different locations; often, but not always, near a regen point.Computer Terminal (light blue 'information' symbol, red in last chapter): Minoko can use terminals to open doors, control cannons, access cameras, and activate a variety of unique devices or machinery throughout the game. Most devices require a simple "hacking" mini-game to be played; the player must activate each of a set of spinning circles when it enters a particular region, usually within a short time limit, with the circles spinning at different rates, and in different directions. Terminals appear frequently throughout each level. High Security Lock (deep blue lock symbol): Secure access control panel; requires Carter to open. Often used to protect critical areas, including some access lifts. These tend to appear fairly infrequently throughout the game. There is also one secured storage area; an alcove with the standard panel, which Carter needs to open, containing an item required to proceed.Standard Security Lock (green lock symbol): These are similar to the High Security Locks, but are more frequent and can be opened by any member of the team. Access Lift: Service elevator which provides access to new weaponry and equipment, and less often, is used to return samples of interest for laboratory analysis. Retrieving equipment and delivering samples are usually level objectives, and there is an access lift in most levels of the game. Battery Panel (yellow battery symbol): Not to be confused with the recharge point above; a Battery Panel is used to charge nearby electrical equipment, particularly in later levels of the game (where powered-down equipment appears more commonly); these reduce a character's ammunition energy, which varies everytime. Cannon: Ceiling-mounted turrets which can be hacked by Minoko (via a terminal) to obtain their control; they usually initially appear having been previously hacked by some enemy, and consequently fire upon the team. Cannons are fairly effective at dealing damage, and will swiftly kill most enemies and any UPA operatives. Fairly frequent appearances as of the fourth level; often coupled in nearby pairs to present a tactical challenge.

Mobile

Once obtained, any UPA member can spawn any of the devices below, and will (in the case of the rover and flycam) immediately switch to controlling that device. Devices can be "reverted", or "exited"; a reverted device will be returned to inventory, while exiting a device will sever the remote connection, which can be re-instated.

Spawning items causes a reduction in weapon energy; in the case of the rover and sentry gun, provided the device is not damaged, this will be refunded in full, whereas the flycam uses up energy to maintain propulsion, and will gradually run out of energy. Rover: The rover is a small device with tank-like wheels and a low-power weapon. It can activate simple devices and destroy smaller enemies, and is frequently used throughout the game to access locations the team cannot, including ventilation shafts and smaller holes in walls and doorways. Flycam: Sphere-shaped device with a camera and a simple propulsion jet; can be flown around an area and is used to activate switches and simple devices which are out of reach. Sentry Gun: Deployed onto a flat surface, the sentry gun will automatically fire upon any enemy which approaches it; it can also be remotely controlled.

Miscellaneous

Omnitool: For Andre only, the omnitool is basically a tool which can fuse with all kinds of circuitry, and can be used to take care of any shortcuts or damages.

Radar: Each UPA Member has a radar on their standard armour which can be used to locate objects marked on it, to find other team members, civilians or locate enemies.

UPA Data Pad: Each member have a data pad on their standard armour which can be used to view objectives, read mails sent by UPA Control, and review the interviews.

Torch: Each member has a torch (mounted on their earpiece). This can be switched on and off at will, but when on slowly drains weapons energy. The torch is noticeably better-looking in the PC version.

Items

Access Device: Mostly a keycard that is needed to open particular doors. Energy Cell: These are required to restore half of the total weapon energy of a member, in case of an emergency. The neon green ones have one energy source and the cool blue ones have four of them together.

External links

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