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Headscratchers / Prey (2017)

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  • So exactly how does Neuromods work to give you increased strength or extended life by rewriting the neurons in your brain?
    • For strength, it could be the old sci-fi fallback - Uninhibited Muscle Power - taking a person's mental blocks will give them super strength.
    • Seeing as how neuromods are actually made out of shapeshifting alien matter, there's nothing stopping it from consuming and then creating a modified form of the rest of your body, just like what neuromods do to your brain.
    • Note that the strength power is called "Leverage" — you're not developing more muscle power, just understanding how best to use it. Likewise, the power for more health is "Conditioning" — you gain a better understanding of how your body works and how best to use it, allowing you to cope with injury more effectively.
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    • When throwing items with leveled Leverage power, there is a particle effect visible - as if you used telekinesis to throw them.
    • The placebo effect works because the brain has more control over the condition of the body than it consciously or subconsciously believes. Neuromods could take advantage of that fact and change how the brain handles injury and aging, such as preventing you from going into shock (which can be more fatal than the injury itself), or otherwise stopping the brain from overreacting to something otherwise non-lethal, such as the death of a partner. Increasing the time the brain is in its prime health will also increase natural lifespan on the whole.
    • You are a typhon made to think you are Morgan. The neuromods make it so you remember that you have superhuman strength and Typhon powers. Jossed with Mooncrash DLC implying that actual humans get typhon abilities from neuromods

  • When TranStar has hundreds of "volunteers" to run tests on, why would they use one of their top researchers and the vice president of the company as a test subject in a way that involved deleting years of invaluable memories? Morgan invented the psychoscope in his/her early 30s at the latest. That's a multi-billion dollar mind they are messing with. In fact, the practice of routinely wiping researchers memories by pulling neuromods is just ignorant of the way science works. Research is cumulative, and you would constantly have learning curve problems. I can understand the dystopian aspects and need for keeping the Typhon secret, but it breaks willing suspension of disbelief that they would have any progress given these needless self-limiting factors.
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    • From what it sounds like in the dialogue, Morgan volunteered to test the neuromods on himself. Considering he's the second most influential person on the station next to Alex, it's not like there's anybody who's going to say no to him.
    • The game takes place within a simulation based off of Morgan's memories. We, the players, have no idea how much of the simulation diverges from what Morgan actually experienced; the real Morgan may have only tried one or two neuromods before quitting for all we know.
    • The latter point is specifically called out as a problem in an email to Alex. Even with backups of the work they've done, constantly resetting the entire research staff at the same time is showing signs of impacting progress. The author of the email suggests reevaluating a staggered schedule of wipes at the next meeting in an attempt to alleviate the problem.
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    • Notes you can find indicate that among the powers that Morgan was testing was the incredibly lethal Kinetic Blast. In the intro, the scientists seem concerned that the glass might break, and you're only throwing a chair around. Presumably, the Yu brothers didn't trust anybody else with this kind of power. A pissed-off human guinea pig on death row who can kill people with his mind is a recipe for disaster.

  • Why does Danielle Sho work for TranStar when she hates the owners so much?
    • Well first and foremost, the Transtar company appears to be worth somewhere upwards of "more money than God" amounts of dollars, perhaps even "bought out God, paved over heaven, and built a quaint summer home in its place" territory going by the fact that they were able to build Talos I on the skeleton of basically a floating septic tank, comparatively. Secondly, in Mooncrash there's documents detailing how once you join a company like Transtar or KASMA, they basically have you over a barrel until you pay them back for the pleasure of having employed you at all, so maybe she joined for the money, and then learned she was working for jerks later?
    • It's established that if you quit work on Talos I, they pull your neuromods (causing you to forget everything you saw there.) Presumably she wants to avoid this. Beyond that, lots of people stick with jobs for people they hate - there might just be other things she likes enough to make up for it, like her cute co-worker.

  • During the opening sequence, everything goes south during Morgan's test, and s/he is sedated and wakes up back in the apartment. What, did someone take the time to drag Morgan back? Or were there Operators which automatically took care of that once someone hit the 'end test' button?
    • Chances are there are operators for that, but as to the why, the simulation room probably doubles as Morgan's containment cell or else not realizing the neuromods was blank, they probably thought Morgan would not remember the test and containment breach and that it would be better if he woke up in a familiar room.
    • The containment breach didn't happen all at once (the way emails progress makes this clear); the mimic attack the player first witnessed was really just a minor part of it as mimics slowly started infiltrating everywhere. In particular, there was enough time for Bellamy's corpse to get taken to the morgue in Psychotronics (and for people to follow Alex's orders and do this, without realizing how bad things had gotten and that it was completely pointless or to flip out on Alex the way pretty much everyone has by the time the player wakes up.) Although really, Bellamy's corpse being taken to Psychotronics is a much bigger issue - it's reasonable that people didn't realize how bad the breach was in the Neuromod Division, but the Psychotronics division was the place where it started, so whoever dragged Bellamy's corpse there should have been greeted by angry electric phantoms. In particular, the only way to reach the morgue requires going straight through the chamber with the interrupted (and, when you reached there, incomplete) test that led to the breach, so there's no way whoever brought the corpse there could have missed it.

  • The major downside to neuromods is the amnesia induced when one is removed. You can find emails and notes in the Sales department lamenting this, saying that it can't even be mentioned to buyers because "no one is going to risk losing years of their life just to speak French". However, the game never addresses why a neuromod would need to be removed from an ordinary customer (as opposed to one of the test subjects). Why not just keep them installed forever, keeping both your new skills and your memories? If, for whatever reason, neuromod removal was necessary on a regular basis, the word on the amnesia would eventually get out to other consumers, and neuromod sales would crash regardless.
    • Correct, and that's why Sales can get away with just pretending that removing Neuromods is impossible. But if people found out about it, even if they never had any desire to remove a Neuromod, it would severely impact customer faith in the product.

  • Talos I makes no sense as a work of architecture.
    • The hospital is in the lobby between the executive offices and the ground floor, but there's no elevator for emergency access; The only way for injured people to reach the hospital is by being carried up a flight of stairs.
    • How the hell do shuttles get into the shuttle bay? Where are the shuttle bay doors, and how is the rest of the area not depressurized when they open?
      • Take a look at the section at bottom of the lift that holds the shuttle up, there is a big door there, probably as part of an air lock system for the shuttle.
    • The primary glaring flaw? There is no rapid transit system! To get to the engineering wing, you have to walk through the executive conference room. To get to and from the crew quarters, you have to walk through the arboretum. The only access to the cargo bay is via a microgravity maintenance tunnel!
      • Some of those things are the result of events in-game limiting proper access; normally, for instance, the bottom floor of the elevator leads to a wide corridor and hub that gives access to cargo bay (presumably the "main" entrance.) The player rarely has a reason to take that main route (it doesn't open up until you're mostly done with the area), so it's easy to overlook, but normally people don't have to go through G.U.T.S. - you were only forced to go that way because the elevator was disabled, and later forced into more circuitous routes when Alex shut everything down.
    • It's a bit explained in that Talos I was not originally built as a research station. It was originally a satellite built purely to contain the Typhon until Transtar purchased it and started gradually adding more and more sections to the station.

  • So the handguns are suppressed because they'd risk hearing damage and hull breach on a space station otherwise, well and good. Anyone care to explain the far more lethal and distinctly un-suppressed shotguns?
    • Noise issues aside, buckshot would likely have even less penetrating power than subsonic pistol ammo.

  • It's established that the fact that removing a Neuromod strips your memory (and the fact that they can be removed at all) is a secret. The fact that volunteers are Released to Elsewhere when done is also a secret. In-game, you can find a book (presumably Transtar propaganda) that makes it sound like volunteers are returned home, playing up how much good they did for humanity; fair enough. However, this book notes that the fictional returned-home volunteers do not remember anything of what they did on the station (though they're sure it's important.) The narrative reason for this is obvious - the player finds out that removing a Neuromod resets your memory early on, and only learns that volunteers all die much much later; making the book blatantly lie about the memory issue would give the game away, so it has to have the volunteers talk about losing their memories. But it doesn't work from an in-setting standpoint, because in-universe, the memory-erasure is just as secret as the fact that volunteers are being killed - as propaganda, the book ought to have them remember everything, or just not mention memory at all.

  • In the Hardware lab where recycler charges are tested (a darkly humorous result of one such test is a fragment of organic material that used to be someone's foot before a charge went off too close to it — right under a post-it note recommending greater caution with recycler chargers), Yu finds an email from a researcher who somehow unknowingly recycled a Typhon, resulting in some Exotic material. The researcher has no idea what it is. But there are posters all over the station reminding employees to use the recyclers - that clearly show cubes of all four materials, so doesn't that mean they should know about Exotic Matter?
    • The email is fairly old. One possibility is that it prompted Alex Yu to come up with some sort of explanation for Exotic Matter and to officially list it as one of the things recyclers could produce. After all, once they were mass-produced and recyclers became available everywhere, someone was going to try recycling a neuromod, a psi injector, or something else with exotic matter in it eventually. The signage would have been updated after that with the new "discovery."
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