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Johnny Mnemonic


     The  good  news  is:  if you've read William Gibson's short story
"Johnny  Mnemonic"  it won't help you to play Sony Imagesoft's game of
the  same  name. The game is substantially different from the story --
even  some  of the major characters are different. Similarly, although
the  game  bears  more resemblance to the recent JOHNNY MNEMONIC movie
release  than  to the original short story, most portions of the movie
script  never  appear  in the game and vice versa. So you needn't feel
that  having "seen the movie" or "read the book" will completely spoil
your enjoyment of the game.

     The bad news is: the good news. Double for those who have neither
seen  the  movie  nor  read  the  book. The game plops you down in the
middle  of  an  ongoing  story,  and  you have to absorb gradually the
significance  of  all that you encounter. Since this is an interactive
movie,  just  about  everything  you  interact  with -- people, items,
places  --  you'll perceive only through sight and sound. The game has
no  subtitle option, so, for example, unless you listen carefully as a
character describes him or herself or another character, you will have
no  idea  what  the  names of the characters are. The same is true for
items, which the game does not identify for you. You're expected to be
able  to  tell  what  the item is just by looking at it. This can be a
problem  since  some  of the items are far from the familiar household
variety,  and  it's  worse  if  your  computer system isn't generating
perfect  video  quality. I found that I was simply unable to tell what
some   of   the   items  Johnny  picked  up  were  from  their  visual
representation.

     The game's fundamental conflict, as you find out from reading the
box  and some of the material in the booklet that comes in the CD case
(and  which becomes more apparent during the first few scenes) is your
basic race against time. Johnny is a courier in a near-future society,
carrying  data  in  an  implant in his head. Unfortunately for Johnny,
it's  far more data than his implant's designed to carry, and in about
12  hours  it  will  wreak havoc on his nervous system and kill him --
unless  he's  able  to  download it from his skull. The problem is, he
needs  a  code  to  download the material, and he doesn't have it. The
main  object  of  the  game  is to find the code and then download the
information.  But  of  course,  this information is valuable, and some
prime goons from the organized crime conglomerate Yakuza are literally
after  Johnny's  head.  They  aren't above killing him before the data
overload does.

GENERAL NOTES FOR THE ADVENTURER

     This  game  differs  from some traditional adventure games in two
significant  respects. First, you cannot necessarily save your game in
the  place  you think you're saving. There are certain "key" places in
the  game  described  in  the  booklet  (including Johnny's apartment,
Spider's  lab, Ralfi's office, etc.) and if you save before you get to
the  next  of these, you'll start in the last one you left. Also, your
saves  won't necessarily resume exactly where you left off even if you
do save in a "key" place.

     Second,  the game has no conscious inventory control. Johnny will
pick up items if you USE where he can pick something up, but you won't
be  able  to  select  the item from inventory to examine it or USE it.
Instead,  if  he's  carrying  an item that can be used in a particular
place, he will do so automatically if you USE in that location.

     A  fair amount of combat occurs in the game, but it is relatively
simple  and  not  very challenging once you get the hang of it. I died
quite  a  bit  at  the beginning before I found that feet were a great
all-purpose  weapon.  KICK  became  my  primary  weapon in each fight,
except  one.  For  the first couple of enemies, I didn't use any other
combat  function  -- I just KICKED each time I got the "letter" screen
(the  screen  with  black  top and bottom edges) and that took care of
that.  Later  in  the  game, you have to deal with a couple of tougher
fighters.  I  had  to adjust my timing a bit, but I found that KICKING
liberally and using the other options sparingly worked on one of these
guys,  and  for the other I just used PUNCH the same way I'd used KICK
throughout the rest of the game.

     In  general,  you'll want to LOOK, MOVE and USE in every possible
direction to make sure you don't miss anything. Sometimes MOVE and USE
will  have  the  same result; other times you'll miss something if you
don't  USE  instead of MOVE. Be sure to try USE more than once in each
location  as  sometimes  that will find you more items. In some cases,
when  you  USE  determines  whether  you'll  find a new item or not. I
couldn't  really  find  a pattern to it, so if you need to USE to find
more  than  one  item,  I've  noted  the  items I found instead of the
specific  number  of  times  you  should USE in case you don't hit the
timing just right.

     At  many  points during the game, you won't have any option to do
anything.  You'll  be  watching  the  "movie"  part of the interactive
movie.  But  don't  go  running off for popcorn because you'll soon be
back in the "interactive" part and if you don't act, Johnny frequently
will.  I've used the term "movie mode" to describe what happens during
these sequences in this walkthru.

     Because  the  game is non-linear, different ways of approaching a
particular  problem  exist.  What  follows is the way I approached the
game  and  what  happened as I played. Your mileage may vary, but I've
included   information   on  those  of  the  possible  alternatives  I
discovered. I have noted these where applicable.

STARTING OUT:  Johnny's Apartment

     JOHNNY  MNEMONIC  begins in Johnny's BEDROOM, where he awakes and
snaps  rather  uncharitably  at  his female body guard for letting him
sleep.  After  this,  you're  presented  with  your  first interactive
sequence.  My  game  began  with the short walkthru of the first scene
that is included in the game booklet at page 10. This seemed as good a
place  as any to start since it felt like I hadn't played a completely
keyboard-controlled  game  since  I  retired my 286, and I knew it was
going  to  take  me  awhile  to  become  fully  comfortable  with  the
interface.

     After Johnny's finished squawking at the bodyguard, he's facing a
FISH  TANK  that's poised on one of his BEDSIDE TABLES. As the booklet
instructed,  I  MOVED toward the TABLE, and Johnny sat down, picked up
some  GOGGLES,  and  flashed back to the experience of having the data
uploaded  into  his  brain.  When  this  was  over,  he was facing the
bodyguard.  Again,  as  the  booklet says, I MOVED toward her, and saw
another  segment  of flashback to the uploading and the destruction of
the  disk containing the information uploaded into Johnny's head. Then
Johnny  was  facing the FISH TANK again. Johnny and I were also now on
our own because the booklet's walkthru ended here.

     I  next  experimented  with LOOK and MOVE. I LOOKED right and saw
the  BODYGUARD  again.  I  LOOKED  right  again, and faced the BEDROOM
DOORWAY.  If you don't do anything else here, after awhile Johnny will
take off on his own and walk out the bedroom door (bad Johnny! bad bad
bad!).  I found this out when I ended up in the next room before I was
ready  and  discovered  I  was  in  a very difficult situation indeed.
You'll  see  that Johnny will travel on auto-pilot throughout the game
at  various  points,  so it's important not to abdicate control unless
you really intend to.

     After  starting  over and replaying to this point, I LOOKED right
again,  and  found that I was facing the second of the BEDSIDE TABLES,
but  I  couldn't  MOVE  toward  it. This should, perhaps, have been an
immediate  tip-off  that I should have USED here, but I didn't since I
was still getting used to the MOVE and LOOK keys. (If you do USE here,
you'll  find  a card that says "Beijing Grand Hotel" on it and see yet
another  flashback  to  the uploading in which Johnny learns that he's
now  carrying  in  his  head the only copy of the data that was on the
disk.  USE  again  here, and you'll find some items that are described
later in my game.)

     Instead  of  USING,  though,  I  geared  up  for  that  difficult
situation  I  hadn't  felt  ready  for, LOOKED left, and MOVED. Johnny
walked  into  the  next room where several guards were present. Now we
entered  movie  mode,  and  Johnny spoke to Ralfi, his agent, over the
vid-phone.  This  segment  drives  home  the  point that Johnny has to
download  or  he'll  die,  but  he  doesn't have an access code. Ralfi
assures  Johnny  that  he  has a "geezer" standing by who will get the
info out of Johnny's head.

     Still  in  movie  mode,  enter  Jane  who's there to "help." Jane
displays  that  she's quite unpredictably tough when, while being held
at  gunpoint by one of Johnny's guards, she reverses the situation and
points a very nasty weapon at the guard's head. After this exhibition,
some  truly  unpleasant  people arrive. This is one of the spots where
having seen the movie (or read the screenplay -- I did both) can help.
If  you  have, you'll recognize the leader as Shinji and (perhaps) his
side-kick as Henson, both of whom are Yakuza. You'll also realize what
it  is  that  Shinji's  doing, which I found terribly unclear from the
game.  Shinji  has  a  very  unusual  thumb, which doubles as a lethal
weapon.  His  thumb  has  a  metal  cap  on  the  end, and inside is a
filament.  He can extract the filament from the thumb and neatly slice
through   the   unlucky   enemy  quicker  than  you  can  say  "yuppie
cheeseboard."  And  he's  extracting it now with an eye toward Johnny.
Since  I  was  pretty  sure  I had no weapons (not being able to check
inventory,  I  wasn't  certain),  I  decided it was best to get out of
there as soon as possible.

     As  soon  as  movie  mode  stopped, I ran while I had the chance.
After  a  few  false  starts where I died uncermoniously, I discovered
that  if  I  hit  MOVE  each  time  I got a letter screen (three times
total),  we  were out of there after a confusing scuffle in movie mode
which is peppered by machine gun fire.

ESCAPE FROM THE APARTMENT:  In the Hallway

     The  goon  who  appears to be Henson (I say appears to be because
there's  a  Henson  in  the  cast  list  in  the CD booklet and in the
screenplay  he's  described  as an American Yakuza) was waiting in the
HALLWAY after we escaped the apartment -- and he was in fighting mode.
I figured there wasn't much choice except for Johnny to put up his own
dukes.  I  don't care what the booklet says, the main timing challenge
with  hand-to-hand  combat  in  this game is not standing still. After
trying  several  combinations of fighting techniques unsuccessfully, I
just  KICKED  the  guy  immediately every time I got the letter screen
until he didn't get up anymore. Once I figured out this method, Johnny
didn't even get a scratch.

INTO THE DEPTHS:  From Hallway to Subway

     Now  we  were  in  movie  mode,  and  after  Jane gives Johnny an
understated  compliment  on his prowess in kicking down his adversary,
the  two  of them run outside and have a little heart to heart. Johnny
spills  his  guts  to  Jane  about his predicament and reveals that he
calculates  12 hours before the overload burns his neurons to garbage.
During  this exchange, Jane develops a bad case of the shakes. Hmmm...
what  does this mean? Is she a junkie? The game doesn't tell you. Jane
does  tell you that she needs to see someone called Spider, who Johnny
refers to as a "body hacker." Johnny would really rather not deal with
this  problem given his own time constraints, but relents, throws Jane
over  his shoulder, and heads into the subway. Once there, Jane's shoe
promptly  decides to weld itself to the subway rail, which is very bad
news indeed.

     However,  an apparent subway dweller (who I suspect from the cast
list is the fellow called Squatter) appeared and offered Johnny a HOOK
once  we left movie mode. This was a seemingly attractive alternative,
but  each  time I went for the HOOK and attempted to "get to the rail"
as  this  guy  suggested,  Jane and Johnny soared into oblivion at the
nose of a high speed train. Instead, if after taking the HOOK I LOOKED
left  twice  and  then  MOVED (the opposite direction from the one I'd
been  facing  when  I  met  the hook guy), Johnny and Jane ended up in
front  of  a  large  fan and the train passed by without incident. The
hook  guy  then  told  me  where  to  find Spider, and Jane and Johnny
proceeded to his lab in movie mode.

HUMP?  WHAT HUMP?:  In Spider's Lab

     This  Spider  person  doesn't come off as a particularly friendly
sort,  but  why should he be different from any of the other so-called
cyberpunks  in the game? He does have a weak spot for Jane, who he has
apparently  doctored in some way, shape, or form (or perhaps more ways
than  one) in the past. He denies that his work is responsible for her
current  condition  and  gives a terse lecture on how "clean" his work
is.  If you've seen the movie, you know that Jane's "condition" is NAS
(Nerve   Attenuation   Syndrome),   but  this  wasn't  developed  very
thoroughly in the game. After this, movie mode ends with Spider taking
Jane  away  to  tend to her. Now Johnny and I were free to explore his
lab.

     Initially,  we  were  facing a TABLE with some RED BOXES on it. I
USED  in  this  direction and found something in one of the BOXES that
appeared  to  be  a  kind of cable. Johnny examined it and then put it
back.  After  this,  I LOOKED right and was facing another TABLE which
was  farther  away.  I  MOVED  toward  it and USED it. I found I could
examine  three  items  there  and  take  one of them if I USED several
times.  One  of the items was a CASE shaped like a head. It appears to
me  from  reading the screenplay that this is a cryogenic storage unit
of  the sort that the Yakuza would like to take Johnny's head home in.
The second was a framed PICTURE of Jane. The second time Johnny picked
up  this  PICTURE, he took an item and placed it in his jacket pocket.
This  item appeared to me on first examination to be a piece of cloth.
I now believe it to be a RUBBER GLOVE, for reasons explained later.

     I  then  LOOKED  right  and  found myself facing a TANK with body
parts  floating  in  it and a red light flashing next to it. I USED it
and  got a close up of the TANK, but no amount of USING would allow me
to do anything with the tank.

     I  LOOKED right again twice and faced a HUTCH with a bookcase and
two  DRAWERS. USING the hutch several times allowed me to look in each
of  the  DRAWERS.  Inside  one  I  found  an odd looking RED CASE that
appeared  to be locked. Inside the other I found some READING MATERIAL
on NAS. Johnny examined but didn't take either one.

     At  this point, I turned around and walked back the way I'd come.
On  the  left  hand  side was a table with a BULLETIN BOARD over it. I
USED  here  and  saw  a close up view of a medical-type (body hacker?)
anatomy  chart.  I  then LOOKED left and saw a CHAIR in front of me. I
MOVED toward it and Johnny sat in the CHAIR. From this vantage, he was
facing  a  small table with a glass-doored CABINET in it. Neither MOVE
nor USE worked for me here.

     While Johnny was making himself comfy in the CHAIR, I LOOKED left
and  found a KEYPAD that I could USE. This sent the contraption Johnny
was  sitting in, an ONO-SENDAI MACHINE, into a whirring frenzy, but it
didn't do anything else at this point. I LOOKED right twice, and saw a
TOOLBOX. I USED it and Johnny picked up another hard-to-identify item.
It  looked  to  me like a very large version of one of those KEYS that
you use to open sardine cans. Whatever it was, Johnny nabbed it.

     I  LOOKED  right  and  MOVED to get out of the chair. When Johnny
stood  up,  he  was  facing  a  YELLOW CURTAIN. I USED the curtain and
Spider  parted  it.  I got a peek of Jane lying down in the background
while Spider yelled at us that she needed rest. Afterwards, Johnny was
facing the center of the lab where we started.

     Since  I'd  given  everything  in  the  LAB the once-over at this
point,  I just let Johnny leave on his own through a different CURTAIN
(this  time  a  WHITE  one).  Here  we entered movie mode. Johnny asks
Spider  to  give  his  apologies  to Jane. Next stop: Ralfi's. We were
whisked there in movie mode.

OFF(ICE) WITH HIS HEAD:  Ralfi's Office

     Guess  what?  Not  only  Ralfi,  but  his flunkies and the Yakuza
baddies  are  waiting  for you at the office. They're gearing up for a
decapitation  party  at  which  Johnny's  the guest of honor. No one's
interested   in  Johnny's  suggestion  that  they  just  download  the
information  from  his head because traces might be left for others to
discover. And Shinji's starting to do that thumb thing again.

     Luckily,  Jane has thrown off her shakes and comes to the rescue,
although  she  won't  shut  up  about her fee and keeps driving up the
price of her services. She does, however, create a ruckus during which
she and Johnny scram. Before they were clear, I had to fight (as Jane)
a female ninja-type who may be (from the booklet and the movie script)
called  Pretty,  although this is unclear at this point. Again, I just
KICKED  her  immediately  every time I got the letter screen until she
succumbed.

HOME SWEET HOME:  Back at Johnny's

     After  the  fight  we  were  back  in movie mode, and returned to
Johnny's  apartment  where  movie  mode promptly stopped. When it did,
Johnny  was  facing  the  VID-PHONE. I USED it. A woman appeared and a
short movie sequence ensued. She tells Johnny that to get the data out
of his head, he needs to rebuild a data rig. Pictures of the pieces he
needs  to  build  the  rig float past on the screen as she speaks. She
further  tells  him that she has the download code and it is stored in
three  separate  data  port locations "here" in Newark. She warns that
Johnny  must  hurry  because the data is going to start seeping out of
his  implant.  (Gee,  I bet you wondered where you were all this time,
didn't  you?  Newark?  Why  couldn't it have been Paris?!) If you keep
USING  the VID-PHONE, you'll eventually get the blonde Asian woman who
greets  you when you die in the game instead of the first woman (whose
identity  at this point is a mystery). The Asian woman (a.k.a. "Gobble
Net Girl") is not much help.

     I  LOOKED  right  to  a  BULLETIN BOARD and USED it several times
until  I  concluded  I'd seen everything on it. I found a MENU from an
Italian  take-out  joint,  a  CALENDAR, a POSTER, and a motion-picture
POSTCARD  from  a  fetching pal vacationing in California. Johnny took
none of these. I LOOKED right twice more and Johnny faced a WINDOW. If
you USE here, Johnny winces in pain. The data is beginning to seep out
of  the  implant  and into his system as the message from the woman on
the vid-phone warned.

     I LOOKED left and MOVED forward. LEFT and MOVE again took me back
to  Johnny's BEDROOM. I LOOKED right and MOVED (USE worked too) toward
the  bookshelf.  Johnny  picked  up  a  BOOK and heard a tag line from
Gibson's  short  story  "If  they think you're crude, go technical, if
they  think you're technical, go crude." Ponder this for awhile. Maybe
you'll  be  able  to figure out what it means. If you can, send me the
answer  by  email because I'm still at the pondering stage. And by the
way,  if you know the meaning of life, I'll take that too while you're
at it. And don't say 42!

     Then  I  LOOKED  right  again  twice  and  was back at the second
BEDSIDE  TABLE  where I didn't USE the first time through the bedroom.
This time, I USED here, and Johnny picked up what appeared to be three
CARDS  of  some  sort.  I LOOKED left and MOVED back to the main room,
where  I  found myself facing mountains of ELECTRONIC GADGETS. I MOVED
toward  them,  and  Johnny sat in a chair across from a SCREEN. I USED
the  SCREEN  several times and saw the news from Beijing, from which I
learned  that the powers that be are denying that NAS exists in China.
J-Bone  also  insinuated  himself into my view for the first time, and
gave  his  message  that the "man's" making money off of NAS and there
isn't  a  cure. I kept USING the SCREEN until no new images showed up.
Then  I  LOOKED  left and found myself contemplating another KEYPAD. I
USED,  and  entered  VIRTUA-VILLE.  There, I encountered another short
movie  in  which  the first woman from the vid-phone appears and tells
Johnny  again  that  he needs to rebuild the rig and that she's hidden
the download code information in three locations in Virtua-ville. This
is  an  important  distinction:  information  in Virtua-ville, code in
Newark.  But  when I listened to this the first time through, I didn't
catch  it.  Instead  my  reaction  was:  oh  my.  Is  it Newark? Is it
Virtua-ville?  Where  the heck are the dataports? And why in tarnation
is this nice lady trying to confuse me like this?

     As an aside, I played this sequence (the bedroom and the chair in
front  of  the  screen) a few times, USING all over the place multiple
times  to make sure I didn't skip anything and both times there came a
point  where Jane screamed and Johnny was swept into a fight with that
same  Henson-maybe  guy  --  the  exact  same  fight as the one at the
beginning  of  the game. If this happens, KICK KICK KICK until he goes
down.  Then  you  can  go back to the apartment and continue where you
left off. Just MOVE (or wait for Johnny to) when the fight is over.

     Note,  however,  that you now also have other options in the form
of  the  "DIRECTION  SCREEN"  where you land after the Henson fight or
after  leaving  Johnny's apartment under your own power. Here, for the
first  time  in the game, you can choose the next place you visit. The
default  is  Johnny's  apartment,  and if you do nothing you'll end up
there.  "Up"  also seems to take you to the apartment, and "down" does
nothing, so you'll end up there unless you choose right or left. Right
takes you to Ralfi's; left to the subway.

     In  my  case,  I  was  certain  I  wasn't  finished  in  Johnny's
apartment,  because  I hadn't had a chance to LOOK right while sitting
in the chair in front of the computer screen. So I made my way back to
the  chair  (LOOK  right  twice and MOVE) and then LOOKED right again.
Johnny was facing another part of the electronic GADGET, so I USED and
sure  enough,  he  detached  some CABLES from some sockets and stuffed
them into his jacket pocket.

     I  had  also  noticed while examining the keypad (LOOK left twice
from  where  Johnny  detached  the  cables)  that there appeared to be
another  room  --  perhaps  a  bathroom -- beyond it. I MOVED from the
keypad  and  entered  this  room, which was, in fact, a BATHROOM. When
Johnny  stopped  walking, he was facing the BATHTUB. USING here gave a
close  up  view  of the SHOWER HEAD. LOOKING right made Johnny turn to
the  BASIN. USING at the BASIN few times caused him to contemplate his
reflection  in  the  mirror above it, as well as the data seepage that
appeared to be continuing. Jane walked in during one of these USES and
promised Johnny that they would get the data out.

     I  LOOKED  right  two  more times and faced the... Johnny. I USED
here  several  times, hoping Johnny would opt for technical instead of
crude, and was relieved that the only two things he did were flush the
TOILET and open its tank to take some MONEY hidden there.

     At  this  point,  I decided to consult the game booklet. I knew I
had  seen  a  description of the items that make up the rig somewhere.
Turns  out  the  items needed are listed on page 16: (1) data goggles,
(2)  interlocking  bi-directional  cables,  and (3) a mini-ROM reader.
Nice, I thought. Those cables Johnny had picked up to the right of the
chair  might be interlocking bi-directional ones. But of course, since
there  is  no  subtitle  option  and  Johnny  didn't  jump up and down
shrieking "Eureka! Interlocking bi-directional cables!" when he picked
them  up,  I had no idea whether they were actually the ones I needed.
And  I'd  seen  goggles  before, on the bedside table. I didn't expect
them  to be the right ones (too obvious) but I tried it anyway just in
case.  As  I suspected, Johnny wouldn't take them, he just kept having
the  same  flashback  from  the beginning of the game and putting them
down again.

     While  I  was  in  the BEDROOM, I checked the bookshelf again and
found  nothing  new. I also checked the second BEDSIDE TABLE again and
bizarrely, the CARDS Johnny had picked up before were there again when
I  USED  and  he  took  them again. I kept trying to USE at this TABLE
after  getting  the  CARDS again to make sure I hadn't missed anything
and  guess  what?  I  got dragged into that fight with Henson from the
beginning  of the game yet again. This was really starting to get old,
so  after  kicking  Henson  down  yet another time, I decided to leave
Johnny's  apartment and go somewhere else. Ralfi's sounded like a good
idea, since circumstances (ahem) had prevented me from exploring there
on  my  last  visit. I left Johnny's apartment and LOOKED right at the
direction screen to go to Ralfi's.

JUST BUSINESS:  Back at Ralfi's

     Once at Ralfi's for the second time, movie mode starts and Johnny
finds  that  Jane  is  very curious about his wet-wiring and what must
have  been  erased from his memory to make room for the data. She asks
about  his  memories, his parents. He turns the question around on her
and  she answers that she has one parent that she never sees. Then she
announces  that she's going to look for their "friends" and walks off,
leaving Johnny alone to poke around Ralfi's.

     As soon as Jane left, Johnny was facing a DESK. I MOVED toward it
and  then USED. Johnny examined the DESK. I USED again and he found an
unusual  device  that appeared to be a MAGNIFYING GLASS of sorts, with
lights  around  its  edges.  He inspected it and put it down. I LOOKED
right  to  a  VID-PHONE  and  USE  gave me a closer look at it. I then
LOOKED left twice and USED twice. Johnny adjusted the settings on some
sort  of  GADGET and then USED the MAGNIFYING GLASS to read a piece of
paper,  which  turned out to be in a language other than English. This
paper  mentioned  the  Grand  Elegance Hotel. Johnny then secreted the
paper  in  a desk drawer. I continued to USE in this direction to make
sure I hadn't missed anything. I USED four times, and each time I did,
Johnny repeated the sequence with the MAGNIFYING GLASS and a different
language appeared on the paper. The fourth time, English appeared. The
English translation announced a package scheduled for delivery. Johnny
then  folded  the  paper  and  placed  it  in his jacket. I didn't get
anything else by USING in this spot after that sequence.

     Next I LOOKED left and MOVED twice until I was facing the DOOR TO
RALFI'S.  Here, I LOOKED right and saw a number of PHOTOS. I USED here
and watched a video clip that confirmed that the female ninja-type who
challenged Jane before was indeed Pretty (and I wasn't). After that, I
LOOKED  left  and  USED  to  see  another film clip. Apparently, I was
looking  at  promotional materials for some of the "talent" that Ralfi
represented. I LOOKED right twice and USED. Pretty scary how much that
guy  looks  like  Johnny,  isn't it? You'll be delighted to learn that
this  character  is  being marketed as "a regular Fort Knox" and has a
180  Gb  storage  capacity. Him and Einstein. If it is Johnny, too bad
they've stuffed over 300 Gb in there.

     I next LOOKED right again and MOVED twice. Now Johnny was sitting
on  Ralfi's  SOFA  facing a small SCREEN. I USED here and a propaganda
film  about New Newark started. As Johnny was watching it, Jane called
to  him  to  hurry.  When the film was over, Johnny was facing an item
that  looked  for all the world like a MINI-ROM DRIVE, which he needed
to reconstruct his rig. I USED and Johnny took it. Then I LOOKED right
and  saw  a  rumpled JACKET slung over the sofa. USE here until Johnny
discovers  what looks to be a CHIP in a packet and some GOGGLES, which
were the only items I found here. Johnny took them both. I LOOKED left
twice  -- another strange GADGET on Ralfi's floor. I got no results by
USING it.

     Just  to  be  thorough  now  that  I  had  some  items  that were
apparently from Ralfi's jacket, I went back to the DESK before leaving
the office and USED the VID-PHONE there. To my partial surprise, I was
able  to  view a message that had apparently been stored in one of the
items Johnny had picked up. And I learned... not much at all from it.

     I  should  note  that  the longer you take to explore Ralfi's the
more  likely  it  is  that you'll get drawn into another fight between
Jane  and Pretty, just as you were drawn into the fight between Johnny
and  Henson  while  investigating  Johnny's apartment. This can happen
multiple  times depending on how long you fiddle around in the office.
Each  time  it happened to me, I did my KICK number on Pretty till she
went  ker-splash  in a nearby fountain, then just went back to Ralfi's
(RIGHT  at the direction screen) and continued where I had left off. I
wasn't at all impressed with this design "feature." It became flat out
boring  after  awhile  to  have  to keep fighting these fights and the
impediment to progress was quite annoying.

     I  decided  at  this  point go back to the subway, since, as with
Ralfi's,  I  had  been rather rushed there last time I'd been there. I
had developed a short term goal of going back to the lab after looking
around  the  subway  and  trying to download at the Ono-Sendai machine
there.  I  was  pretty  sure at this point that I had what I needed to
construct  the  data  rig  since  I'd  found  goggles,  a mini-ROM and
something that might be the right cables. I also felt fairly confident
that  the  lab contained one of the three data ports (either by Newark
or Virtua-ville standards, since I was still laboring under my initial
misconception  about  what  the  woman  in  the vid-phone had told me)
because  the  machine  there had the same setup as the one in Johnny's
apartment  that  had  accessed  Virtua-ville before. But what happened
next totally confused me.

URBAN SPELUNKER:  The Subway

     Upon arriving in the subway for the second time, we were facing a
RAILING. MOVE took me face to face with Squatter, who was chortling in
a  very  silly  manner.  I  MOVED  again,  and  Johnny walked past the
TURNSTILE  and  came  up  against  Squatter  again. I USED, and Johnny
offered  Squatter  the MONEY he'd taken from the toilet for Squatter's
RIG.  Squatter  wouldn't  give  his rig up, but he did give Johnny the
extra  RIG  he had for his (now deceased) dog. (Note that if you don't
have  the MONEY and you USE on Squatter a couple of times, Johnny will
just  relieve  him  of  the  GOGGLES.)  Here's  where I started to get
confused. I was left wondering why I needed to buy a rig when I'd been
told  to  construct  one  and sent on a quest to recover the necessary
pieces  --  which  I  thought I'd done, or at least come very close to
doing.

     When  Johnny had taken the rig, he was facing a walkway. I wanted
to  see  whether  I could get anything more from Squatter, so I LOOKED
right  twice  to  go  back to where he had been standing -- but he had
disappeared.  USING  here only gave me a view of WATER dripping down a
wall.  I LOOKED right to face the TURNSTILE. USE here caused Johnny to
lift  a  panel  on  the  TURNSTILE mechanism and reveal another one of
those  GADGETS  I'd seen at Ralfi's on the desk and to the left of the
sofa,  then replace the panel. I LOOKED right to the walkway again and
MOVED  to  take  a  step  down it, then LOOKED left. There was a PHONE
here,  and  when  I USED it, the Gobble Net Girl told me she wasn't in
service at this time. Typical. After all, it's a subway phone.

     Next I LOOKED right and MOVED again. I seemed to have come to the
end  of the walkway. USE here gave only a close up view of a POSTER on
the  PILLAR I found myself facing. I LOOKED right and MOVED again, and
Johnny  crossed  the  subway  tracks.  He  stopped in front of an odd,
ELECTRONIC GIZMO that spoke to him. I've certainly never seen anything
like  it, even in New York (but then again, this was Newark). It might
have  been  a  cross  between  a  subway  ticket vending machine and a
maintenance  station.  I  USED  here  and Johnny put on a RUBBER GLOVE
(which  I  believe  is  what I thought was the piece of cloth he found
behind  the  picture  of  Jane in Spider's lab earlier) and placed his
hand on the machine's IDENTITY READER. This, we were meant to believe,
fooled  the  machine  into  thinking he's a transit worker, so much so
that  it  opened  a  PANEL  on  its  side. Inside was another of those
GADGETS like the ones at Ralfi's and the one in the turnstile, as well
as a KEY. Johnny took the KEY and the panel shut.

     I  then  LOOKED  left  to  find  another MACHINE. USE made Johnny
insert  the  KEY.  This  MACHINE  appeared  to me to control the power
source  for  the  subway's  rails.  A METER in the machine showed some
numbers decreasing, but I could not determine exactly what they meant.
I tried this several times, and the same thing happened each time.

     When I was finished playing around with USE on the machine, I was
facing  the  subway  TUNNEL head-on. MOVE, LOOK left and MOVE, took me
under  the GRATING that saved Johnny and Jane when the train sped past
at  the  beginning of the game. Johnny stepped out of here on his own.
Then I LOOKED right twice, MOVED, LOOKED right, MOVED and LOOKED right
to  check  out the one spot in the subway we hadn't examined until now
--  another  RAILING.  I USED. Oh. So this was where the HOOK Squatter
had  given  Johnny  came in. I uttered an audible humph and decided to
move on.

     Now I felt as though I had pretty much exhausted the subway, so I
LOOKED left, MOVED, LOOKED left and USED to go back into the lab.

RETURN TO THE PLANET OF THE SPIDER:  Back in the Lab

     I used the same basic routine in the lab the second time as I had
the  first,  and  on  the assumption that you're now familiar with the
lab,  I'll  spare  you  repeating  the  LOOKS and MOVES again. I doubt
you'll  find yourself needing to refer to them, but if you do they are
they're listed in the HUMP? WHAT HUMP? section.

     I  USED  at the RED BOXES, and this time Johnny found an electric
drill  with  a  small  CIRCULAR  SAW in its bit. He tested it and then
pocketed it.

     At  the TABLE, I USED and found nothing new, just a rehash of the
views of the cryogenic head freezer.

     At  the  body  part TANK, I USED. Johnny took out the sardine-KEY
shaped  tool  and  inserted it into a hole at the base of the tank. He
turned  it,  and a submerged GADGET (another one of those I'd now seen
four of elsewhere) raised up briefly, then lowered back into the tank.
USING multiple times here yielded the same result.

     At  the  HUTCH,  I  USED  and Johnny took the RED CASE out of the
drawer  and  used the CIRCULAR SAW he'd just picked up to hack through
the  case's  lock.  He  opened  the case, examined it, flashed back to
reading the message about the delivery at Ralfi's office, took out the
sheet  of  PAPER  he'd  translated, and compared the letterhead on the
paper to the writing inside the CASE. He then replaced the CASE in the
drawer.  USING  again  gave  only  another  view of the NAS literature
Johnny had examined earlier.

     Back  at  the BULLETIN BOARD, I USED and Johnny eavesdropped on a
video  intercom  message from Jane to Spider. It was about Johnny, but
wasn't  very  instructive.  I  LOOKED  right  and  USED  at the YELLOW
CURTAIN.  Oooooooh....  Spider and Jane! I was definitely interrupting
something  here,  but  at  least  they  were  fully clothed. Whew. How
embarrassing.

     I sat Johnny back down at the ONO-SENDAI MACHINE. Before I tested
my  hypothesis  about  this  device accessing one of the data ports, I
wanted  to  make  sure  I'd covered all the other bases. I USED on the
table  with  the glass CABINET. This time Johnny took another MINI-ROM
READER.  More  confusion.  Why did he need another one? We now had two
sets  of  goggles  (one  from  Squatter  that  might have already been
"rigged"  with cables), two mini-ROMS, and some other cables. Maybe we
had to have two rigs? To complete the circle, I LOOKED right and USED.
Nothing new in the TOOLBOX.

     DOWNLOADING  at  the  KEYPAD  didn't  work,  so  I  USED  and was
transported to VIRTUA-VILLE. For some reason, I got it into my head to
try  to save here and see if I would return to the same spot after the
save.  No such luck. I had to go all the way back to the chair and USE
at the keypad again.

ON THE TRAIL OF THE DATAPORTS:  Virtua-ville and Newark

     Once  in  VIRTUA-VILLE  I  sat  through  the host's rap about the
various  "shows"  available.  Three  doors,  three  options,  and  bad
memories  of  Monty  Hall  waving  a  handful  of cash as a woman in a
chicken  suit  scratches  around  in  the  unfathomable  depths of her
handbag for a clothespin.

     The  left  door  would allow me to visit the RAINFORESTS of Costa
Rica; the center door, the GOBI DESERT; and the right door, the middle
of  the  PACIFIC OCEAN. Costa Rica rang a distant bell. I went back to
the  game  booklet and found, at page 14, a reference to Costa Rica in
the  context  of  the transfer of someone called Dr. Allcome's payment
for  the  data Johnny was carrying. This sounded promising, so as soon
as the Virtua-ville host finished his spiel, I MOVED, LOOKED left, and
MOVED  again  to  enter the RAINFOREST. The host started gabbing again
and I just waited for him to stop before I started to explore.

     It soon became painfully apparent that the rainforest was a maze.
Once I discovered this, I let Johnny walk back to the start on his own
and  started  over  after  getting out my trusty graph paper (don't go
gaming  without  it)  so that I could map it. I must say, mapping this
thing  was a total bummer because of the lack of full control you have
over  the movement interface. If you wait too long (as in, if it takes
too  long  to  draw your square on the graph paper), Johnny will start
walking  back  out  of  the  maze  on  his  own  and then it's hard to
determine  where  you  left off. Also, as you've probably found out by
now,  sometimes  MOVING doesn't take you where you wanted to go on the
first  try  if  you've hit the MOVE key at the letter screen too late.
This  is  deadly  for  mapping  because  if you hit what seems to be a
boundary  to  the  maze,  which  you  can tell from the static on your
screen, then turn and hit more static, you can't be completely certain
whether  you've hit different static or the same static (i.e., whether
you've actually moved or not).

     I  started  this maze over and over again because of these issues
and  kept  trying to map it. Eventually, I ran into the woman from the
vid-phone in Johnny's apartment. These directions took me to where she
was,  just  beyond  a  grey-barked  tree that was approximately in the
center of the screen.

     After entering the rainforest, LOOK right, MOVE, MOVE, LOOK left,
MOVE, LOOK right, MOVE, LOOK left, MOVE, LOOK left, MOVE.

     You then see a movie mode segment in which the woman tells Johnny
that  he  has  to hook up to certain specific data ports that she will
direct  him to to avoid frying himself, and shows him a picture of the
FIRST  DATA PORT. I found it infuriating that this picture (as well as
the  second  and  third  ones, described below) showed up for all of a
couple  of  seconds  and  I  couldn't  figure  out how to retrieve it.
Luckily,  I recognized the spot she'd shown Johnny because of the blue
chart  at  the  upper  right  hand  side. It was the BULLETIN BOARD in
Spider's lab.

     I  let  Johnny  walk out of the maze and Virtua-Ville on his own,
then  saved my game. Once back in the lab, I went back to the BULLETIN
BOARD  and DOWNLOADED. Johnny put together his rig and hooked it up to
the  GADGET at the base of the bulletin board, making it apparent that
the  various  GADGETS I'd seen in different locations up to this point
were  DATA  PORTS.  The  "downloading"  took place without a hitch. It
seemed  to  free  up  some of Johnny's own lost memories as a field of
yellow  flowers  spread  across  the  screen after this portion of the
downloading was completed.

     What works once sometimes works again is typically a useful maxim
for  me, so of course, I tried DOWNLOADING at that data port again. It
didn't  work.  But  what  _did_  work was returning to the spot in the
RAINFOREST  where  I'd found the woman before. Once there, she appears
again and shows Johnny the location of the SECOND DATA PORT.

     It  occurred to me as I met the woman for the second time that it
was,  perhaps,  unnecessary to go wandering around the Gobi Desert and
the Pacific Ocean at this point since she seemed to be willing to make
repeat  performances in the rainforest. And indeed, this turned out to
be  the  case,  as I only met her in the RAINFOREST during my game and
was  able  to  get  all  the  information  I  needed to finish. I did,
however,  take  a  break after finding the first data port to look for
her  in  the  GOBI DESERT. She was there, but she didn't have anything
different  to  say  --  she  just  showed  Johnny the second data port
location  again  and  it was the same location she'd showed him in the
RAINFOREST.  For the purists among you, I'll include the directions to
her  hangouts in the desert and the ocean as they appeared in my game.
GOBI  DESERT:  LOOK  left,  MOVE,  LOOK right, MOVE, LOOK right, MOVE,
MOVE.  PACIFIC  OCEAN:  MOVE,  LOOK  left, MOVE, LOOK left, MOVE, LOOK
left, MOVE. (I don't quite get this last one as it just takes you in a
circle,  but  I  tried  it  three times in my game and it was the same
every time.)

     Unfortunately, the second time I visted this woman, I had no idea
what  the  location was that she was showing Johnny. I was glad that I
had  saved  after the first "downloading," because I had to go back to
the  RAINFOREST  several  times  to  get another glimpse of the second
port.  Before  it  dawned  on me what the second picture the woman was
showing  me  actually  depicted,  I  fried  poor  Johnny  at:  (1) the
turnstile  port,  (2)  the  subway  phone, (3) the port on the counter
under  the photos in the frame in which you're facing the picture that
might be of Johnny in Ralfi's office (which port noticed for the first
time  while  on this data port hunt), (4) the port on Johnny's bedroom
wall,  and (5) the port on Johnny's living room wall, as you're facing
the  exit  to  the  apartment (which I also noticed for the first time
because I was searching specifically for data ports).

     The  more I examined the picture of the second location, the more
I realized that the yellow color at the left of it was not a wall or a
background  (which assumptions had led me to make the mistakes above),
but  something that was reflecting light. I'd seen a light coming from
the  same angle at the open panel in the SUBWAY'S talking GIZMO, where
Johnny  had  taken the key. Sure enough, this was the SECOND DATA PORT
and I DOWNLOADED here successfully.

     After  saving  the  game,  I  ran  back  to the LAB, fired up the
ONO-SENDAI  MACHINE,  and  hopped  through the RAINFOREST again to the
woman  from  the  vid-phone.  This  time she shows Johnny a location I
recognized  without  a  doubt:  it  was  the port on the floor next to
Ralfi's  SOFA.  After  Johnny  took  himself  out  of  Virtua-ville, I
high-tailed   it  to  Ralfi's,  sat  on  the  SOFA,  LOOKED  left  and
DOWNLOADED.  The  now  familiar  movie  mode  view  of  some  sort  of
electronic  data  moving took place. At the end a screen appeared that
stated  something about PharmaPath and NAS, and the cryptic suggestion
that  the data was ready for downloading. Then I saw Johnny's eye, and
that was the last thing I saw until I had a very unpleasant surprise.

AN EXEGESIS ON SOFTWARE FRUSTRATIONS:  The Disk 2 Fiasco

     After  movie  mode  ended,  the Gobble Net Girl told me to insert
disk  2.  In  any  multi-CD  game I've ever played, this experience is
never  the  most  fun of the lot since it requires you to make a quick
judgment  as to whether the pizza grease is sufficiently banished from
your fingertips to trust them to the disk changing process. But it has
always  given  me  a  feeling  of  accomplishment, and has always been
pretty  painless.  Just take out the old CD, stick in the new one, and
continue.

     Except  in this game. Here, as I was inserting the second disk, I
was  suddenly  dropped  out of the game to the JOHNNY MNEMONIC Windows
icon. I tried to start up again once I got disk 2 inserted, but when I
tried  to call up my last saved game, I got a message from the program
saying  that  disk  1 hadn't been completed so the saved game wouldn't
take me to disk 2. Excuse me. Wasn't I just told to insert disk 2? And
now you want to blame me for the fact that my saved game won't take me
there?

     "Ok  then,  I'll  play  it  your way," I said aloud to my screen.
"I'll  go  back  and  save."  I  tried saving during the beginning and
middle of the third "download." I tried saving at the end of the third
"download,"  when  the NAS screen appears. I tried saving right before
the  Gobble  Net  Girl  appeared to tell me to insert disk 2 and right
after. All of these saved games produced the same message when I tried
to call them up after inserting disk 2. I tried just hitting the X key
and  pausing  the  game  while  I  inserted the disk. I felt the tears
starting  to  well  in my eyes as the last of these failed to work and
produced some ear-shattering static through my speakers.

     I  started  to  think that perhaps there was no way to do what it
was  that  I  was  setting out to do, at least on my system. So I went
searching  for answers. I found nothing in the game booklet to address
this  point  and nothing on the Sony Web site listed in the booklet. I
did,  however,  get  some  responses  to a message I had posted in The
Gamers'  Forum  on  CompuServe.  It appeared that I was not alone, and
that this exact same thing had happened to at least two other people.

     One  of  these  folks  told  me  that  he  had concluded that you
couldn't  save, and he had determined that you had to proceed with the
game  by  using the disk 2 button that appears when you start the game
from  disk  2.  The  other told me that he had been able to save right
when the Gobble Net Girl appeared, but before she said anything.

     I  decided  to  call  Sony,  and this is what I learned: the data
ports that Johnny is supposed to use can be different depending on how
the  game has been played up to the transition between disk 1 and disk
2. Apparently, the last data port in my game may have been responsible
for a bug in the transition. I was asked to examine my MNEMONIC\ENGINE
directory for the file CINEACTV.MPP. I was told that file contains the
game  data  from disk 1 and is created after disk 1 is finished. I did
have  this file in my directory, so tech support told me to just start
with  disk  2  and I wouldn't be missing much of anything. I can't say
that this made a great deal of sense to me since I wasn't able to call
up my saved game, but I figured Sony probably knew better than I did.

SOME PIECES BEGIN TO FIT:  Spider, a Weird Holy Man, and the Yakuza

     What  was  missing  from  my game, according to Sony, was a movie
mode  scene  after  DOWNLOADING at the THIRD DATA PORT in which Johnny
becomes ill and is taken to Spider's. This accounts for the disjointed
feeling I had when I hit the disk 2 button and Johnny was no longer at
Ralfi's.

     Disk  2  begins  in  movie  mode  in Spider's LAB, where Jane and
Spider  flit  nervously  around Johnny while Spider explains that what
Johnny  has  stored  in his head was all of the R&D information from a
company  called  PharmaPath  relating to the cure for NAS! Spider also
reveals  that  the  woman  from the vid-phone is Anna K., PharmaPath's
founder,  who  is  now dead in body, but remains alive in mind through
the  transfer of her cognitive qualities into some form of AI. Spider,
it  turns  out, is also Dr. Allcome, and he's setting about taking the
data  out of Johnny. (Of course, if you've seen the movie, you already
know  about Anna, the nature of the data, and that Spider is a part of
the  underground  community of doctors who are trying to deal with the
rampant  problem  of  NAS  which  affects half the world's population,
regardless of what they're saying in Beijing.)

     This  sequence caused a big "wait just a minute here" on my part,
because  I  had  interpreted  the "downloading" I had just done at the
three data ports as downloading the data. I considered for awhile, and
decided  that  what had happened, despite the fact that I had used the
game's  download  command,  was this: I had not actually downloaded; I
had  obtained the three parts of the download code and that Johnny was
now  primed to have the information _actually_ downloaded. That's what
the  message at the end of disk 1 on the NAS screen had been trying to
tell  me.  How much less confusing it would have been had there been a
separate key for the process of obtaining the download code as opposed
to actually downloading it.

     Still  in  movie  mode,  we cut to the subway where a new baddie,
Street  Preacher is shooting the breeze with Squatter. Street Preacher
then  crashes  Spider's  lab and interrupts the downloading efforts by
dispatching  Spider.  Jane  and Johnny run out of the lab and onto the
subway  platform.  Jane tells the faltering Johnny that she's going to
take  him  to  J-Bone.  Then  Street  Preacher  catches up to them and
engages Jane in a fight.

     Although  this  fight is a little more tricky than the others I'd
encountered  before,  I found, after some persistence, that I was able
to  get  through it repeatedly with a slight alteration to my previous
strategy. Jane will take a few hits, but it's worth it -- because when
she does, you know exactly where she'll be when it's over.

     In this fight, I BLOCKED the first time Street Preacher attacked,
and  then  used nothing but KICK. However, I didn't use it just as the
letter  screen appeared. Instead, I used it _before_ the letter screen
appeared,  every time I got a stop-action shot on Jane. This seemed to
make her avoid most of Street Preacher's blows by swooping down toward
the  ground  and  kicking low -- or thwapping him head-on if he was in
the  right  posture.  Note  that  if she gets hit while she's kicking,
she'll  jump  in  the  air  and turn around until she's facing forward
again.  The  stop-action  shot  I used here was the one right when she
faced   forward.   I   got  to  the  point  where  I  could  hit  KICK
instantaneously with this stop-action shot. I don't know if this was a
quirk with the way the game ran on my system or not, but it worked for
me.  If  you're  blessed with completely smooth video, try timing your
KICKS  so  that  you  direct them immediately before the point of view
switches from Jane to Street Preacher and maybe this will replicate my
technique.

     As Street Preacher goes down, he screams "You're going to burn in
the  fire," then there's a movie mode sequence in which Shinji and Co.
appear  as  Jane  and Johnny are hiding behind a pillar in the subway.
Our heroes discuss their situation and note that three Yakuza is going
to  be  a  problem. When movie mode ends, they're facing the door that
leads  to Spider's lab. I USED here. Doo doo. It was locked, and while
I  was trying to open it, Jane and Johnny were incinerated by a Yakuza
flamethrower. I should have known the intercom was there for a reason.

     Saving after the victory over Street Preacher hadn't helped me to
avoid having to fight him again to get back to this point, so I had to
go  through  the  entire  fight  again. Afterwards, I LOOKED right and
tried  to  USE hoping that Johnny would grab the pipe hanging in front
of the POSTER to do a Tarzan number (after all, Jane was right there),
but  this  didn't  work  either.  So  I had to bop Street Preacher yet
again.

     After  the  next  time  I'd  started over and knocked down Street
Preacher,  I  LOOKED  left twice and MOVED. Jane and Johnny ran across
the subway TRACKS and stopped in front of the GIZMO. I held my breath,
doubting very seriously that Johnny still had the rubber glove since I
hadn't  been  able to start from a saved game. Luckily, he didn't need
it.  I  had  to USE twice before Johnny committed, but when he did, he
grabbed  the  GIZMO,  which  directed a bolt of electricity at Henson.
After  Henson  went  all  crispy, we were facing the GRATING. I LOOKED
right  and MOVED toward the exit. Jane and Johnny clambered up and out
of  the subway, with Shinji close behind. Shinji cut off his own route
when he blasted the rungs Jane and Johnny had climbed up to escape.

HEAVEN CAN'T WAIT:  In Heaven with J-Bone and the LoTeks

     Movie  mode  went into high gear once Jane and Johnny made it out
of  the  subway.  J-Bone  is  waiting  for  them  and takes them up to
"Heaven."  If you've seen the movie, you know this is the above ground
"underground"  headquarters built under a bridge. Here the LoTeks live
and  work,  "outing"  important  information that the big corporations
would  prefer  hidden  from  the  masses.  They're  well  equipped for
wide-band broadcasting.

     J-Bone  tells  Johnny  his  plan:  Johnny  will download the cure
through  J-Bone's  setup,  a  neuro-binary translator, and J-Bone will
broadcast  it  to  the  far  corners  of  the  globe. Johnny's initial
reaction  is  to resist, but Jane implores him to help and he gives in
immediately.  J-Bone  sets  about  preparing  for  the downloading and
broadcast.

     Of  course, just as the downloading starts, who should appear but
the  Yakuza. The scene erupts into chaos as J-Bone tries to get Johnny
and  Jane  out  the  back  way.  During  the  madness,  Jane gets some
well-placed  kicks  in  and sends Shinji over the side of Heaven, into
what  might  be  Newark  Bay. J-Bone takes a slug in the shoulder, and
yells  to  Johnny, who is in some type of hydraulic lift, that he must
reconnect  the broadcast signal and download "direct." When movie mode
ends,  Johnny's  above where J-Bone and the rest are, facing a bank of
computer  screens,  controls  and  switches.  It's a good idea to save
here,  so  you  can  be  assured that you won't have to go through the
subway  sequence again. You're about to encounter the only real puzzle
in the game, and it may take a few tries to solve it.

     I  found  out  as  I was messing around with the various machines
just to see what they did that I was under some time pressure here. If
you  don't  get  the  right  settings on all the machines and download
before  time's  up, the game ends here and you have to go back to your
saved  game.  If  you  download  without the settings on the computers
adjusted  properly,  Johnny  dies.  So  I  decided  to  approach  this
methodically,  taking my time to see what all the options were even if
I  had  to start over because time ran out. I reasoned that this would
prepare me to make a serious attempt to set the machines.

     I  started by MOVING forward so that I was close to the machines,
then  LOOKING left four times. I was facing the far left control. This
is a POWER SWITCH; it's a toggle with two options, ON and STANDBY as I
found  out  by  USING  here  several times. I then LOOKED right to the
POWER  SETTING  CONTROL.  USING  here several times revealed that this
control  has  three  settings:  1/3  power,  2/3 power and overload. I
LOOKED  right again and discovered a CONNECTOR CONTROL. USING numerous
times  showed  me  three  possible  settings here: emergency in/out, a
damaged hard drive, and neuro-binary translator.

     I  LOOKED  right again and found an ENCRYPTION PROTOCOL SELECTOR.
USE  and you'll see four settings: Secon Script XX, ISDN-559 Data Flo,
Gro-well  9488 and Zuur Anti-block. USING changes them from one to the
other,  but  the kludginess of the interface makes it a little hard to
predict  which  one  will  come up with each USE. After this, I LOOKED
right  and  saw  the  screen  I'd  faced  at  the  start  --  it's  an
INFORMATIONAL  SCREEN  that  will  either tell you the transmission is
blocked  or it isn't depending on the encryption other settings you've
chosen,  notably  (as I found out later) whether the satellite dish is
"active."

     The  next  thing I saw when I LOOKED right was the most difficult
to  interpret.  It  was a GRAPHICAL DISPLAY (a Sony -- how cute) which
might have controlled wave-length, but didn't disclose exactly what it
did. I also found it difficult to tell whether this display had two or
three settings. USE definitely made some sort of change because Johnny
turned  a knob. I tried to count the number of different turns he made
as  I USED, but was still unable to tell with certainty whether it had
two or three settings. As it turned out, it didn't really matter.

     I  LOOKED right again. This time, I saw the EMERGENCY I/O HOOKUP.
USE  did nothing for me here, but DOWNLOAD did -- it sent Johnny to an
untimely death.

     RIGHT  from  the  EMERGENCY  I/O  HOOKUP led to two screens (more
Sonys  --  more  cute)  which,  at  the time, were showing nothing but
static.  USING here caused Johnny to manipulate a button, but resulted
in nothing but more static. I'll call this the SATELLITE CONTROL.

     RIGHT from the TWO SCREENS led to another screen (you guessed it)
with  a  satellite dish depicted on it and the message "stand by." USE
toggled it between ACTIVE and STAND BY. This was the SATELLITE SWITCH.

     Initially,  I  thought  it  would be a good idea to keep both the
power  switch  and the satellite switch on stand by and then flip them
both  once  I got the rest of the settings right, but I found out that
with  the  power  switch  on stand by, I couldn't get much of anything
else to work. So I left the POWER SWITCH at the ON position.

     I  had  pretty  much decided that the CONNECTOR CONTROL had to be
set  to  EMERGENCY  I/O because that was the only DOWNLOAD option near
by.  So  I  set  it to EMERGENCY I/O and left it there while I tried a
number  of  other  things.  I turned out to be right about this in the
long run.

     I  flipped  the  SATELLITE  SWITCH  to  ACTIVE  to see what would
happen.  This brought the SATELLITE CONTROL alive. I now saw identical
views  of  a  satellite dish on each screen, and now when I USED here,
the  positions  of  the dish changed. I found four positions in all --
back  right,  back  left,  front  left, and front right views -- but I
didn't find the last of these until after I'd fried Johnny a couple of
times.

     The  most  confusing  part  of  this  puzzle  to me was the mixed
message  the  INFORMATION  SCREEN  gave if you adjusted the ENCRYPTION
PROTOCOL  SELECTOR  from its initial setting. On the one hand, it said
broadcast  was  blocked. On the other hand, this same screen said that
it was set for no encryption. It seemed to me that I'd want to have an
unencrypted  message  for  this broadcast, and the game didn't give me
any  clues as to why I'd want to use encryption and if so what kind --
except  that  I  had  to  use  some  sort  of  encryption  because the
ENCRYPTION  PROTOCOL  SELECTOR  didn't  seem  to  have a no-encryption
option.

     In  any  event,  I  tried  it with the blocking message (and with
other  wrong  settings,  as  it turned out) and Johnny died. So I went
back and USED until it was set for Gro-well 9488, which gave me an all
clear  message  on  the INFORMATION SCREEN. But this alone didn't save
Johnny.

     It  took  a  few tries, but I eventually discovered some settings
that  worked: power on, power set to 2/3, I/O connector, Gro-well 9488
protocol,  satellite  control showing the dish pointing forward and to
the  right,  and  satellite  switch set to active. I stumbled into the
correct  setting on the GRAPHICAL DISPLAY by USING it last until I got
a  message  "uplink  successful." Then I LOOKED right to the EMERGENCY
I/O HOOKUP and DOWNLOADED.

WELCOME TO VIRTUAL SAMURAI 3000: Virtua-ville Revisited

     I  was  disappointed  to  find myself back in Virtua-ville -- the
shows  hadn't  changed,  and the host was still giving the same spiel.
And  I had to go back through that maze again, since there weren't any
other options.

     I  picked my favorite, the RAINFOREST, and returned to where Anna
had  been  (see  ON  THE  TRAIL OF THE DATA PORTS above) when I'd been
looking  for  the  locations  of the data ports that held the download
code. This time, I found myself face to face with the Virtual Samurai.
I  soon discovered that despite his warrior get-up and his threatening
speech,  he  was  basically  a  wimp.  KICK immediately at each letter
screen  dispatched  him post-haste. Just for fun, if you feel like it,
let  him get a few blows in and watch Johnny have his head chopped off
or  be  cleaved down the middle, then reassemble himself. Ah, the joys
of  virtual  reality.  Be  aware, however, that if you tempt fate, you
might  end  up back at the beginning of the Heaven movie sequence even
if  you  saved  after  getting the "uplink successful message." That's
what  happened  to me, although the machines remained at their correct
settings,  so  all  I  had  to do was download and go back to meet the
samurai again.

     After  we  defeated  the  samurai,  we went into movie mode. Anna
appeared  and  stretched  out her hand; Johnny placed his palm to palm
with hers. This triggered the download. Afterwards, Anna congratulated
him  on  its  success,  and revealed that she was, after all this, his
mother.  This  was  the one place where the game was clearer on a plot
mechanism  than the movie. The screenplay had been quite pointed about
this, but was obviously changed during filming.

FIGHT AND FINISH:  The Endgame

     Still  in movie mode, Anna takes her leave, and Johnny returns to
the  non-virtual  world.  One  would  think  now  would  be  time  for
rejoicing,  but no... it's not over yet. A Yakuza shows up, and J-Bone
lets him know he's outnumbered and would be well advised not to pick a
fight.  But  Jane  yells,  "He's  mine!"  even  though  the LoTeks are
offering to off him. Now why did she have to go and do that?

     In  this  fight, I departed from my kick method because it wasn't
meeting  with great success, and substituted PUNCH immediately at each
letter  screen.  I  died  a  few  times  before I arrived at the PUNCH
solution,  and  ended  up having to start over at the computer bank in
Heaven  even though I had saved after Virtua-ville. This did not bring
a smile to my face.

     PUNCH,  however,  worked  well. When the Yakuza fell, the LoTeks,
with  J-Bone  and  Jane in the lead, slapped him into the chair they'd
planned     to     use    for    Johnny's    downloading.    In    the
don't-ask-for-something-or-you-might-  get-it  vein, they're now gonna
give  this Yakuza the data he wants so badly by mainlining it into his
brain.  Jane  yells  to  Johnny to "download everything!" and he finds
himself back up at the computer bank.

     I  found  that I couldn't turn off the SATELLITE SWITCH by USING,
nor  could  I change the SATELLITE CONTROL. So I just went for it, and
changed  the  CONNECTOR  CONTROL to NEURO-BINARY TRANSLATOR -- which I
knew  was  the  contraption the Yakuza was sitting in since J-Bone had
mentioned  its  name  before.  Then  I  LOOKED right four times to the
EMERGENCY  I/O  HOOKUP  and  DOWNLOADED.  Bye  bye Yakuza. Rather like
watching execution by electric chair.

     After  a  short  movie mode clip in which everybody's happy happy
happy  --  Johnny's  got  the  data  out  of  his head, the Yakuza are
vanquished, and the world has the cure for NAS -- the credits roll.

AFTERMATH

     JOHNNY  MNEMONIC  is  an  ambitious  project  that  unfortunately
doesn't  live  up to its promise as a game. It had a few good moments,
decent  acting, and a fairly well-written (albeit somewhat disjointed)
script.  However,  I  got  the  feeling that the game was developed by
people  who just don't play games, because I can't imagine any serious
gamer  enjoying  this  interface  and engine, and certainly no serious
adventure  gamer  would  be  satisfied with only one true puzzle in an
entire game.

     The lack of inventory control, the saved game function that still
resulted  in having to replay numerous scenes, the lack of a mechanism
for  identifying  items  by  the  names the designers had in mind, the
repetitive   and   unsatisfying   combat,  the  unresponsive  movement
controls,  and  above all, the inability to pass from disk 1 to disk 2
through  a  saved  game  at  all possible transition points or a clear
direction  to  start  from  disk 2 regardless of success at saving all
detracted  from the game and made it nonrecommendable and unmemorable.
Sony, if you're listening...

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