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Operation: Overkill II - The Oracle

This message was posted on OKILLERS, the FidoNet Operation: Overkill II players conference by Hawk.

The Oracle for v.1.00

What is the Oracle?

The Oracle is an entity that roams the wastelands. There is a rumor that the Oracle is the spirit (ghost), of a dead HX Soldier killed in Earth's last attempt to defend against the invasion of Overkill and his Hydrite forces.

What the Oracle does for you:

  1. The player's ability will be increased. Strength, Dexterity and Hit Points will go up by 1-3 points in each category, for a total of 3 points minimum, 9 points maximum for overall Total Ability (TA).
  2. Player will receive experience points. Amount varies from encounter to encounter.
  3. Player will receive water crystals. Again, amount varies from encounter to encounter, usually, its in the 10,000-30,000 range.
  4. Player will be healed of all wounds, if injured.
  5. Player's radiation level will be reduced to "0".
  6. Player's hunger level will be dropped to "not very hungry."
  7. Player will be cured (not vaccinated) of any disease, which they currently have, including poison.

What the Oracle can do to you:

In the game configuration, the Oracle Threshold Point (maximum number of times the Oracle cab be found in a day) can be set to any value between 10-99. The configuration default is 10. If the Oracle Threshold Point is reached during the day, the Oracle, thereafter, when found will start to warn players not to look for him. If he is encountered, even by accident, the Oracle will punish the player, taking ability points, ammo from weapons, experience points, and cause injury to the player by reducing their hit points.

Purpose of the Oracle:

The main purpose of the Oracle is to help lower level players increase their ability and/or to give them wisdom. However, not all agree on this and abuse the Oracle. In the past, some players used the Oracle to increase their total ability to ridiculous levels, (100 + statistics in each ability category), this is no longer possible. Because of past abuses, there has now been a 200 Total Ability Cap placed on the Oracle. Once the player has reached 200 TA, they will be informed that they can no longer be helped. However, this doesn't mean that if you have a 199 TA that you will only get 1 extra ability point. Its possible with that when a player has a 199 TA, their stats may be increased past the 200 TA Cap. But, the Oracle will NEVER increase a player's stats past 208 TA.

The location of Oracle:

In the .998 version of Overkill, the Oracle roams maps 1-3 of the Wastelands, but now in the 1.00 version the Oracle roams maps 1-5. The Oracle can be anywhere on these maps, including in Impassable Rocks, but he will only be in one place at a time and only on one map. He roams the maps. In previous versions he would stay in one location until he was found or he moved when the player changed map levels. In the .998 and 1.00 versions, however, since his movements are more like the Cyclone he will not stay in one place for very long, so he no longer moves when the player changes map levels, but he will stay on the same map until he is found. No matter how many players log into the game, if he's on map 1 and isn't found, he will stay on that map and not move to another map until one of the players in the game finds him. When he finally is found then he has a chance to move to another map or possibly move to another location of the map he was found on.

How to find the Oracle:

There are six ways that you can find the Oracle. Three ways are by chance; a monster gives you his location; and/or you use a TriKorder which reveals his location within its scanning range. The other three ways require a more advanced knowledge of the new features included in the 1.00 version and some common sense. One reason I'm not going to reveal the additional three ways is because they will seldomly be used and they are time consuming. I only mentioned them here so you will know that there are more than three ways to find Oracle. Don't ask me because I'm not going to tell you. It's a waste of time. Maybe... One day. <g>

"By chance" is pretty much self-explanatory. The other two however, may require a bit of explanation. You can read about what the Trikorder does in another section of this document, so I will not go into much detail about it here. The monsters, however, I will explain now.

In the .998 version of Overkill, there were 4 monsters designated that would give the location of the Oracle (i.e. the Shockel, Mantis Warrior, Vengier, and the Mad Medic). In the 1.00 version, however, a new twist has been added. Instead of having specific monsters give the location of the Oracle for version 1.00, the game will pick 5 "Humanoid Monsters," one for each map, at the start of each individual game. These monsters will be the monsters that give the Oracle's location for the duration of that game. When the game is reset, the game will choose another 5 "Humanoid Monsters" which will give the Oracle's location. It may or may not be the same (1-5) monsters chosen in the previous game.

The monsters that give the Oracle's location, will also give the location of Oracle *OR* the Hydrite Prison. Pay attention to the *OR*, the *OR* is important if you want to figure out who is giving the location of the Oracle.

Let me explain: The way the game is designed, each monster was initially created by the use of the Monster Editor, or can be edited by it. One of the options in the Monster Editor, is the option to designate what they say. This option is ONLY allowed for "Humanoid Monsters," because "Beast" don't talk. This option only allows for, four lines of text. Each text line is displayed separately during combat with the monster. Two of the lines are for when the player is not carrying a Galacticom and two of the lines are for when the player *IS* carrying a Galacticom. So during any given combat with a Humanoid monster you will ONLY see two of the lines the monster says. In order to get the Oracle's location from a monster you MUST be carrying a Galacticom. So for the below, assume that you are carrying a Galacticom.

Now back to the *OR* statement up there. Now since you know that the monster will only say two things to you when you are fighting him, what you have to pay attention to is the following: If the monster talks to you, and what he says DOESN'T make mention of a coordinate, then that monster WON'T give you the location of the Oracle. On the other hand, if the monster talks to you and it DOES have a coordinate in what he says to you, then that's the monster that gives you the location of the Oracle and you write down who he is for future reference. The ONLY thing you have to do then, is figure out if that coordinate is the Oracle's location *OR* the Prison's location, and if you have the maps that shouldn't be hard to do.

In order to get the these monsters to give you the location of the Oracle, you MUST be carrying a Galacticom, and you MUST let the monsters live long enough to tell you where the Oracle is at.

Now when I say, "let the monsters live long enough to tell you where he's at" may seem simple, but it can be frustrating if you go about it the wrong way and it could get you killed. So here are some general guidelines to follow when you are in combat with the above monsters.

Let's start off with the map 1 monsters, since they would probably be your first ones to give you a location of the Oracle or Prison. The first thing I would like to say about these little guys is that if they have weapons and armor, you should really be careful with them. Just because they are map 1 monsters, doesn't mean they can't kill you! If you are a level 0-1 player you shouldn't mess around with the any of the monsters. You should kill them and not try to drag information out of them, because you will more than likely get yourself killed. Be patient, wait until you have a few more hit points and better weapons and then go after them. Now with that said and done I can say, "I told you so," if you get killed trying to get information from them.

Let's get a little further into the game and let's say you have a salanger of your own and possibly leather armor. With these you can enter combat with the monsters on map 1 and try to get the info you need. What I would do is, I would enter combat with them and try to knock their hit points down to around 11-15, while watching for a set of coordinates. If I see they aren't the monster I need to find the Oracle, I will go ahead and kill them, but if I still don't know, I would then switch to fist to knock them down to 10 exactly. Once I get their hit points down to 10, I would start missing them purposely, because most of them have low bravery and they will, usually, run from me when their hit points get below the 10 mark. When they finally do tell me the location of the Oracle, I would then switch back to my weapon and kill them. Now the thing to remember is, finding the Oracle isn't worth losing your life over, so when they or any of the other monsters knock your hit points down into the high teens go ahead and kill them. Don't let yourself get stuck and have to surrender or get yourself killed. ITS NOT WORTH IT!!!

Let's proceed and let's say you are further along in your life and becoming a Killing Machine. You now have more powerful weapons, and much better armor, your stats are considerably higher, so what do you do? For the monsters on the lower maps (2-5) I would say follow the same technique described above. Get your opponent down to 10 hps and start missing. (If you are using a short range weapon that has ammo, switch to fist so you don't waste it.) But remember, if they get your hit points down into the high teens, kill them off, it isn't worth dying for.

Now let's say that you are on map 1, with those same good weapons and the map 1 monster appears. First of all don't use the long range weapon, go straight into hand-to-hand combat. If you use a powerful long range weapon, you will knock their hit points below 10 and they will run from you. Also, follow the same procedure of missing until you get the location of the Oracle, then kill the monster if possible.

What to do once you get the location of the Oracle:

Once you get the location of the Oracle, you will need to plot a path to the location given. The quicker you get there, the better the chance you will have of finding him right away. Teleporting to his location is usually the fastest way, but it can be expensive, if you are teleporting to locations other than another base. (See the Base section of this Document for further enlightenment) If you do decide to use the telepod check and double check the coordinates against the maps you have (If you do *NOT* have the maps do not risk teleporting to anywhere other than another base) and make sure you enter the coordinates properly. Teleporting into Impassable Rock isn't healthy and you will not see the Oracle before you are declared dead. (Trust Me!)

If you get to the location of the Oracle and the Oracle isn't there, make sure you are in the right spot, and are on the right map. If you are at the correct location and the Oracle isn't there, don't sweat it, he's in that general area. He usually doesn't move more than 1-5 spaces where he was previously, so you can either use the TriKorder to locate him or if you don't have one, then you can usually blanket the surrounding area by moving around and covering the adjacent areas a couple of times until you do find him.

If the Oracle is located on a border between two divided areas of the map, you might have a problem of him moving to the opposite side from where you are located. If this happens, you will have to move to the other side to get to him. This is rather time consuming and unless you have a TriKorder to see where he actually is, you would be better off staying in the area you are and wait for one of the monsters to show up so you can get an updated position on him.

Using the TriKorder to locate the Oracle:

In the previous versions of Overkill, prior to .998, using the TriKorder was a pretty straightforward approach. Since the Oracle could be found on almost every map, depending on the player's experience level, all you had to do was search one map to find him. But in the .998 version, the Oracle is on maps 1-3 and for the 1.00 version he's on maps 1-5, and he moves around for both the .998 and 1.00 versions. So using the TriKorder exclusively to blanket a map to find the Oracle is more or less ignorant. However, the TriKorder is still a useful tool to locate the Oracle, if done properly. Its also more or less luck when you do find the Oracle with the TriKorder, but its still nice to be able to locate him without having to fight a monster to get his location and trek across the Wastelands to get to him. So I have a few things I do that help me find the Oracle a few more times than if I just fought monsters to get his location.

One of them is that if I have a TriKorder, every time I use equipment in an area I haven't been to recently on maps 1-5, I will also use the TriKorder. That is, if I go up or down a hole, I will use the TriKorder before and after I go through hole, and if I use a medpack or ration. And finally, I will use the TriKorder immediately after I have found the Oracle because sometimes he doesn't move that far away. I have had times that he was right next to me, or two steps away, immediately after I found him previously. Also in the .997 version (Which I'm assuming the code for moving him is random and basically the same as .998 and 1.00) I had a time where he didn't move at all, so I found him twice in the same spot. <g>