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Video Game / NeoTokyo

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Not to be confused with New Neo City, nor with the film of the same title.

NEOTOKYO° is a Half-Life 2 mod inspired by Ghost in the Shell. If that alone doesn't convince you to try it, just keep reading.

NEOTOKYO takes place about 30-40 years from now in a Japan that has drifted into social/political strife due to the inevitable stresses that come from changing times. The Japanese government is grappling with intensified external (Asia geopolitics) and internal (economic/social) problems, and there is mounting pressure from within Japan to return to the days when it exerted influence through military power and strength. A failed legislative push to alter the Japanese Constitution (allowing the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to engage in offensive actions outside of the country) leads to an attempted military coup by members of the JSDF. The coup fails, but was very close to succeeding. In an effort to suppress further coup attempts, Japan's Prime Minister forms a branch inside the Interior Ministry's National Security Forces (NSF) called Group Six. They answer directly to the Prime Minister and are sworn to protect the Japanese Constitution at all costs. They immediately begin to hear rumors of a rogue element of the JGSDF special forces unit called Jinrai, maneuvering for a second coup attempt. These Jinrai are part of the Special Operations Group 43 (SOG43), fierce nationalists who desire to put Japan back into a position of strength and power.


This begins the war in the shadows between the NSF and Jinrai.

Gameplay is divided into rounds, similar to Counter-Strike. At the beginning of each round, all players choose a class. There are only three classes, but each class represents a huge variety of gameplay styles and tropes. They are:

  • Recon. The game's resident Fragile Speedster, Recons have unlimited sprint and their long jump ability allows them to take shortcuts other that classes can't. They also have a long-lasting thermoptic camo, as well as nightvision, which helps them navigate darker areas. Recons excel at ambushes and infiltration, but are unlikely to survive a straight-up firefight, due to their frailty and lack of heavy weapons options. To help even the odds, they have access to a powerful remote detonation pack explosive, which can be placed on the ground and detonated at a distance.

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  • Assault. Roughly speaking, the Jack-of-All-Stats. Assaults are moderately armoured, equipped with deadly fragmentation grenades, can sprint across limited distances, and can even use thermoptic camo for short periods of time. They are also capable of seeing through thermoptic camo with their motionvision, which highlights any moving players regardless of whether they are cloaked or not. They also have access to a large variety of weapons options, including an automatic shotgun and a heavy sniper rifle, allowing them to excel in firefights at any range.

  • Support. The Brute mixed with elements of Mighty Glacier. Supports can't sprint or cloak, and are slower than the other classes. However, they are heavily armored, capable of absorbing about twice as much damage as any other class. They also possess smoke grenades, which can block the vision of every other class except Supports, whose thermalvision can see through smoke and highlight differences in temperature. Supports have access to several weapons right off the bat and can use light machine guns, though they are somewhat lacking in long-ranged weapons options.

This is a team-based game, so it's essential that all three classes work together. To aid this, players can divide into squads; you can always see where everybody else on your squad is, and how much health they have at all times, making it easier to coordinate your efforts.

There are two gameplay modes:

  • Team Deathmatch, or TDM. The round is won by eliminating the enemy team.
  • Capture the Ghost, or CTG. The objective is to pick up the "ghost" and bring it to your "capture point," located behind your enemy's front line. Complicating this is the fact that whoever has the ghost has to drop their primary weapon, leaving them with only a pistol; additionally, the enemy can see where the ghost is at all times. However, the ghost is also a powerful ally, as the person holding the ghost can see all enemies in a 40 meter radius, allowing them to communicate with their team to set up an ambush. The round is won either by capturing the ghost or eliminating the enemy team.

Another distinguishing feature of NEOTOKYO is the omission of a directional damage indicator. Hits taken will make your whole screen flash red without telling you where those shots come from. Inattentive players and disorganized teams will be going down FAST.

The mod is approved by Steam Greenlight and officially released on Steam in July 2014.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Supa 7 Tactical Shotgun can load a single slug round for long distance target.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Recon's main method of traveling and ambushing. And there is a lot of them hidden in the maps!
  • AKA47: Done with some weapons to indicate that Science Marches On; for example, instead of the AA-12, you have the AA-13. Most of the weapons are just plain made up, though.
  • Bilingual Bonus: All of the posters and signs in the environment are in Japanese.
  • Boring, but Practical: Many players have a favorite weapon on the low tier that they stick with even when better weapons are available. This is especially true of the Recon, whose higher-tier weapons usually don't have a suppressed version. Common choices are the Jitte and ZR68.
  • Computer Voice: The ghost.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The recon. They have fewest hitpoints but when you learn to use powered jumps properly they're hard to stop.
  • Friend or Foe: In retrospect, blue (NSF) and green (Jinrai) are probably bad choices for the color schemes of opposing teams.
  • Grenade Spam: Averted as each player are given only one grenade for each classes to prevent this. Support gets 2 smoke grenades however
  • Invisibility Flicker: When camouflaged, you become more visible when firing unsuppressed weapons. Fortunately for stealth-loving players, there are plenty of suppressed weapons to choose from. You also give out a bright flash and noise when activating the camouflage. It can be permanently jarred if you get shot as blood splashes are left on your suit.
  • Loading Screen: Before every round, the game gives players ample time to choose their class and loadout, which is Hand Waved as their cybernetic implants loading.
  • More Dakka: The Lieutenant-only weapons, especially for the Support.
  • One Bullet Clips: Averted to hell. Ammo clips completely disappear each time you reload, no matter how many ammo is left in the clip.
  • Puzzle Reset: So why do you have to capture that damned ghost twenty times before it sticks, anyway?
    • Word of God says that the Ghost contains killcode that can be used to disable newer generation military equipment. Jinrai have been amassing older decommissioned ones. With the Ghost they could stop NSF dead in it's tracks and launch coup d'etat unhindered.
  • Reverse Grip: Recons hold their knives this way.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Good at what they do, but you'd better know what that is, or you're going down fast.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Sort of. Recon's long-duration thermoptic camo are useless against Assault's motion vision which in turn gets blocked by Support's smoke grenades. But Support's slow movement speed and the fact that thermoptic camo don't show up on infrared vision means they're Recon's chew toy. Good players however can avert this.
  • You Bastard!: Worked into gameplay: if your score is negative (due to self- or team-killing), you get the "Rankless Dog" rank, which only allows you to use the machine pistol.


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