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Analysis Guide by C.LE

Version: 1.12 | Updated: 08/08/2013
Highest Rated Guide

              C h r i s    L e e ' s

            U l t i m a t e    S S 2    A n a l y s i s        v 1.12

  The officially latest (as well as latest, official) version of this 
FAQ/Guide can be found at www.gamefaqs.com.

Table of Contents
  A word on navigation: to jump to a specific section, simply use the
'FIND' command (CTRL-F) and type in the 5 letter key next to the
section (doing only the 3 numbers within the brackets will probably 
send you to a random section of the guide).
  1.  Introduction and Contact Info (aka What the hell is this?)  [100]

  2.  General Notes (aka What other guides won't tell you!)  [200]
    a.  Stats  [210]
    b.  Damage bonuses  [220]
    c.  Difficulties  [230]
    d.  Cyber Modules  [240]
    e.  Character Creation [250]
    f.  Weapon Durability  [260]

  3.  Standard Weapons  [300]
    a.  Wrench  [310]
    b.  Pistol  [320]
    c.  Shotgun  [330]
    d.  Assault Rifle  [340]

  4.  Energy Weapons  [400]
    a.  Laser Pistol  [410]
    b.  Laser Rapier  [420]
    c.  EMP Rifle  [430]

  5.  Heavy Weapons  [500]
    a.  Grenade Launcher [510]
    b.  Stasis Field Generator  [520]
    c.  Fusion Cannon [530]

  6.  Exotic Weapons  [600]
    a.  Crystal Shard  [610]
    b.  Viral Proliferator [620]
    c.  Annelid Launcher (aka Worm Launcher)  [630]

  7.  Technical Skills  [700]

  8.  PSI  [800]
    a.  Tier 1  [810]
    b.  Tier 2  [820]
    c.  Tier 3  [830]
    d.  Tier 4  [840]
    e.  Tier 5  [850]

  9.  OS Upgrades  [900]

  10. Researchable Things  [A00]

  11. Managing Impossible Difficulty  [B00]
    a.  General Tips  [B10]
    b.  Full OSA  [B20]
      i.  A Word on PSI Hypos  [B21]
      ii. PSI Hypo Economics  [B22]
      iii.OS Upgrades  [B23]
      iv. Technical Skills  [B24]
      v.  Stats and PSI  [B25]
      vi. Typical Build  [B26]
      vii.Notes/Tactics  [B27]

  12. Character Concepts  [C00]

  13. Bestiary  [D00]
    a.  Damage Table  [D10]
    b.  Annelids  [D20]
      i.  Annelid Egg  [D21]
      ii. Annelid Grub  [D22]
      iii.Arachnids  [D23]
      iv. PSI Reavers  [D24]
    c.  Swarms  [D30]
      i.  Swarm  [D31]
    c.  Half Annelids  [D40]
      i.  Hybrids  [D41]
      ii. Rumblers  [D42]
      iii.Monkeys  [D43]
    d.  Half Mechanical  [D50]
      i.  Assassins  [D51]
      ii. Midwives  [D52]
    e.  Mechanical  [D60]
      i.  Turrets  [D61]
      ii. Robots  [D62]
      iii.SHODAN Avatar  [D63]
    f.  Basic  [D70]
      i.  SHODAN Shield  [D71]
    g.  SHODAN  [D80]
      i.  SHODAN  [D81]

  14. Appendix:  Molecular Transmutation Analysis  [E00]
    a.  The Equation  [E10]
    b.  The Table  [E20]

  15. Final Notes  [F00]
    a.  Conclusion/Special Thanks  [F10]
    b.  Resources  [F20]
    c.  Endnotes and References  [F30]
    d.  My Works  [F40]
    e.  Legal Disclaimer  [F50]
    f.  History  [F60]

1.  Introduction and Contact Info (aka What the hell is this?)    [100]
  System Shock 2 is one of THE most entertaining games ever created.

  That wild assertion being said, it surprised me how low the level of
discourse was for a game that is so amazingly complex.  Guide existed
with gross errors, huge fallacies, and oversimplifications.  

  Thus I felt I had a mission to produce a high-quality (can you feel
the pretension yet?), in-depth analysis of everything System Shock 2
has to offer.

  I must warn you:  this is NOT a walkthrough.  If you want to find
out where every cybermodule is, this is not the guide for you.  If you
do want to see just how useful everything is, then by all means, this
is for you.

  If you want to grab a hold of me, pop me an e-mail with the subject
line beginning "SS2 FAQ: " and send it to:


WITHOUT the underscores.  This is just to prevent auto-parsers from
nabbing my e-mail address for SPAM.  So, the final e-mail should be
an 8-letter word followed by @uchicago.edu.

2.  General Notes (aka What other guides won't tell you!)         [200]
  So there's a lot of basic information that most guides won't tell you
and are fairly important to know.
2a. Stats                                                         [210]

  Strength:  each point gives you 3 extra inventory slots, plus 
increases melee damage.
  How much extra damage you deal with a melee weapon is determined as:
          Strength Score                  Bonus Damage
                 1                              0
                 2                              1
                 3                              2
                 4                              3
                 5                              4
                 6                              6
                 7                             10
                 8                             15
Note that this damage is dealt after any multiplicative bonuses to
your weapon, as otherwise it'd just be ridiculous (8 Strength with
maxed Wrench would do absurd damage per hit).

  Endurance:  each point reduces toxin/radiation and PSI Burnout
damage and increases Health.
  How much damage you take from toxins, radiation, and burnout is 
determined as:
          Endurance Score              Environmental Damage
                 1                            100% 
                 2                             94%
                 3                             85%
                 4                             73%
                 5                             58%
                 6                             40%
                 7                             20%
                 8                              1%
Normal burnout damage is 3 damage per tier of PSI that you burned

  Agility:  each point increases movement speed, fall damage 
reduction, and reduces weapon kickback (only matters for Standard and
Exotic Weapons).
  Movement speed is modified in the following way:
           Agility Score               Movement Speed Factor
                 1                            1.20
                 2                            1.30
                 3                            1.40
                 4                            1.50
                 5                            1.60
                 6                            1.70
                 7                            1.85
                 8                            2.00

  PSI:  each point increases PSI points and PSI effectiveness (see
Difficulties section for PSI Points and specific PSI powers for more
details).  For most purposes, PSI is capped at 8, although a few PSI
Abilities (Remote Circuitry Manipulation, Molecular Transmutation,
Advanced and regular Cerebro-Stimulated Regeneration, and Metacreative
Barrier) count as high as 10.

  Cyber-Affinity:  each Cyber-Affinity reduces the number of ICE nodes
during a technical task by 1 (so a Cyber-Affinity of 6 means you have
6 less ICE nodes with which to deal) and also increases your success
at a technical task by 5%.
2b. Damage Bonuses                                                [220]

  Investing in weapon skills increases damage with the weapons of that
category.  Specifically, each skill level above the minimum skill
needed for a weapon gives you a 15% bonus per skill level.

  So, if you a have a pistol (minimum Standard Weapons 1) and have
Standard Weapons 3, you'll have a 30% damage bonus with the pistol.
This means that weapons that require a skill level of 6 for weapons
will never get a damage bonus this way.

  In addition, aside from any other bonuses, the first modification
you make to a weapon gives it a 10% bonus.  The second modification
increases the bonus to a total of 25%.  However, melee weapons 
cannot be modified so they can never get this bonus damage.
2c. Difficulties                                                  [230]

  Depending on your difficulty, various things change.  The most 
apparent is the cost in cyber modules of various abilites.  In
addition, how your HP and PSI Points are calculated change, Replicator 
costs change, and how frequently enemies drop loot changes.

  On Normal, abilities cost according to this table:

Skill Level       1      2      3      4      5      6
Tech              10     5      8      12     25     50
Stats             -      3      8      15     30     50
Weapon            12     6      8      15     36     50
PSI Level         10     20     30     50     75     -
PSI Powers        3      5      8      12     20     -

  In addition, maximum HP is 30 + 5 x Endurance.  Maximum PSI Points
is 5 + 10 x PSI.

  On Easy, cybernetic module costs are 85% of Normal, rounding down.
Maximum HP is 45 + 10 x Endurance.  Maximum PSI Points is 10 + 16 x
PSI.  Furthermore, Replicator prices are 85% of Normal.

  On Hard, cybernetic module costs are 139% of Normal, rounding down.
Maximum HP is 24 + 3 x Endurance.  Maximum PSI Points is 3 + 8 x PSI.
Replicator prices are 125% of Normal.  In addition, enemies have a 
30% chance of not even checking their loot tables upon death.  (So, 
if an enemy has a 50% chance on their loot table of not dropping 
anything, first the game checks to see if the enemy checks the loot 
table (30%).  If the check is successful, it drops nothing.  
Otherwise, the game checks the actual loot table (in which there's a 
50% chance that it still won't drop anything).)

  On Impossible, cybernetic module costs are 179% of Normal, rounding
down.  Maximum HP is a paltry 7 + 3 x Endurance.  Maximum PSI Points
is 1 + 5 x PSI.  Replicator are 200% of normal.  Enemies have a 75% 
chance of not even checking their loot tables upon death.

  On Multiplayer, cybernetic module costs are 139% of Normal, rounding
down.  Maximum HP is 24 + 3 x Endurance.  Maximum PSI Points is 10 +
16 x PSI.
2d. Cyber Modules                                                 [240]

  This is an important point of reference for anyone who wants to 
plan their character in advance;  there are 875 total cyber modules
in the game.  

  Note that there are *no* cyber modules hidden within crates although
there are still some in areas generally accessibly only by a hackable
keypad or some such (but generally logs exist that reveal the code
of the keypad).  So you don't have to worry too much about getting
Hack so that you can get all the cyber modules in the game.

  Remember:  the game requires you to have Research 1 and to be able
to hack a Replicator.  The game gives you a non-cyber-module solution
to both by providing you with a LabAssistant implant (which gives you
Research +1) as well as several ICE Picks (which gives you a free
2e. Character Creation                                            [250]

  Alot of behind-the-scenes happens when you're creating a character.
In addition, it's worth noting that not ALL paths are created equal.
While you get bonuses for free during character creation, those same
abilities are going to cost you hard-earned cybernetic modules once
you board the Von Braun.  So, sometimes, when you know you're going to
get several choices eventually, you should opt for the one that gives
you more cybernetic modules for free, especially on Hard and Impossible
difficulties, where the discrepency in free modules between choices

  All cybernetic module equivalences are for Normal difficulty.  
Multiply by .85 for Easy (rounding down), 1.39 for Hard (rounding 
down), and 1.79 for Impossible (rounding down) to get values for those 

MARINES:  simply by choosing this path you get Standard Weapons +1 for
free (worth 12 modules).
  Year 1:  All choices are worth 11 modules.
  Year 2:
    a) +1 Energy Weapons, +1 Cyber-Affinity:  worth 15 modules.  You
       also begin the game with a poor condition (2) Laser Pistol
       in your inventory.
    b) +1 Heavy Weapons, +1 Cyber-Affinity:  worth 15 modules.  You
       also begin the game with a poor condition (2) Grenade Launcher
       in your inventory with a full clip of Fragmentation Grenades.
    c)  +2 Standard Weapons:  worth 14 modules.
  Year 3:  All choices are worth 10 modules, but with +1 Maintenace,
       you also begin the game with a Disposable Maintenance Tool in
       your inventory.
  CONCLUSION - You can get a maximum of 48 free cybernetic modules.

NAVY:  simply by choosing this path you get Standard Weapons +1 for
free (worth 12 modules).
  Year 1:  All choices are worth 13 modules.
  Year 2:  
    a) +2 Cyber-Affinity:  worth 11 modules.
    b) +1 Maintenance:  worth 10 modules.  You also begin the game
       with a Disposable Maintenance Tool in your inventory.
    c) +2 Standard Weapons:  worth 14 modules.
  Year 3:
    a) +1 Research:  worth 10 modules.
    b) +2 Endurance:  worth 11 modules.
    c) +2 Agility:  worth 11 modules.
  CONCLUSION - You can get a maximum of 50 free cybernetic modules.

OSA:  simply by choosing this path you get Tier 1 PSI for free (worth
10 modules).  You also begin the game with a PSI Amp in your inventory.
  Year 1:  All choices are worth 26 modules.
  Year 2:
    a) +2 PSI:  worth 11 modules.
    b) +1 Research:  worth 10 modules.
    c) +2 Endurance:  worth 11 modules.
  Year 3:  All choices are worth 13 modules.
  CONCLUSION - You can get a maximum of 60 free cybernetic modules.

  In the end, the biggest difference is between Navy/Marines and the
OSA.  This basically means that if you plan on getting PSI at some
point in the game at all (especially the abilities offered by the OSA
path), you should probably become an OSA.  On Impossible, this is
18 more cybernetic modules for free over the Navy, choosing solely
optimal paths.

  On Normal and Easy, you can afford to be "wasteful" with your
cybernetic modules; the difference matters little in the end and plays 
mainly into your short-run goals.  If you want to be able to research
as soon as possible and get that 25% bonus against hybrids asap, 
that's fine.  Or maybe you're going to get Research anyway, but you
want +2 Endurance so you'll have better early survability.

  On Hard, you have to weigh your choices a bit more.  The difference
can be as much 20 cyber modules (inefficient NAVY versus efficient
OSA), which is enough to boost a stat up two levels or get a Tier 4
PSI ability, all of which matter a whole lot more than Normal or Easy
since you have comparatively less of them (stats and PSI).  Still,
even here, the difference is not nearly as pronounced as Impossible,
and it really ultimately works down to the character concept you have.
2f. Weapon Durability                                             [260]

  Just a note: in the following weapons section, treat all durability
as if you were rounding up for purposes of what is displayed in-game.
That is, if you have a weapon at 9.5 durability, it'll show as "10"
in-game.  Likewise, .9 durability is "1".

  Yes, that's right.  Durability is stored as a decimal with 3 
digits of precision (so up to 2 decimal places).  You only get to see
the integer part of it, but that's all you really need to know.

3.  Standard Weapons                                              [300]
  Standard Weapons are, without a doubt, the single most powerful path
of training you can take in System Shock 2.  With proper management of
ammunition types (so you use the right ammo on the right enemies), 
almost NOTHING will ever stand in your way.  Not only is it absurdly
powerful, but it's also the easiest for which to obtain ammunition.
  In fact, you may be stunned by the lack of challenge you face in the
end-game if you take this path.  If you want this game to be more than
a walk in the park, I wouldn't take standard weapons past level 3
(for shotguns).
3a. Wrench                                                        [310]

  Prerequisites:  None
  Damage:  7 (9 with Smasher)

  Damage Type:  WeaponBash

  Assessment (4/5):  Despite not having any prerequisites, the Wrench
is a standard weapon.  Which means if you max out Standard Weapons,
you'll get a total of a 90% bonus to damage.  

  The Wrench will pretty much be the meat of your offense for most of
the early game.  Dealing WeaponBash damage, it'll deal full damage
to most everything and half damage to robots.  With certain Hard
difficulty builds and on Impossible difficulty, this will be the 
workhorse of your offense.

  However, its weakness is in the fact that it's so basic.  There
are other weapons that will do better in any task you need it do to,
although the wrench is the most cyber module-effective (in other words,

  DANGER:  The wrench does *not* damage SHODAN.  Take care to have a
SHODAN-damaging backup weapon on hand if you plan on going all out
with wrenching.
3b. Pistol                                                        [320]

  Prerequisites:  Standard Weapons 1

  Damage:  Primary mode - 4, Secondary mode - 4 x 3 shots

  Damage Type:  Standard, Armor Piercing, High-Explosive

  Ammunition/Consumption:  Bullets/1 per shot, clip size of 12

  Fire Rate:  Primary mode - 2 shots/sec, Secondary mode - 3 shots 3

  Reload Time:  .5 seconds

  Projectile Speed:  Very Fast (300)

  Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                   increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breaking at
                   durability 0.0.  Loses .1 durability per shot.

  Maintenance/Repair:  1/1
  Repair Difficulty:  20 Nanite cost, Base Failure 70%, Base ICE 3.

  Modify #1:  Increases clip size (12 to 24).  Damage increased by 10%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 1 required, 20 Nanite cost, Base Failure 70%, 
                Base ICE 2.

  Modify #2:  Reduces reload time by 2/3.  Damage bonus increased to a
               total of 25%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 3 required, 35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 90%, 
               Base ICE 4.

  Assessment (3/5):  Early on, this is a terrible weapon.  Ammo is
rare and the Pistol is in fact weaker than the wrench.  Moreover, the
Pistol degrades quite quickly, especially in the triple-shot mode.
However, once ammo becomes more common and once you've been able to
develop the ability to quickly switch to the appropriate types of ammo
(Standard ammunition is not quite efficient), the Pistol becomes quite
an effective tool for dispatching tough enemies.  Although, you should
be able to do quite well with a wrench in most cases, though the
Pistol is a nice way to dispatch Protocol Droids, turrets, and all
other forms of tough monstrosities.
3c. Shotgun                                                       [330]

  Prerequisites:  Standard Weapons 3

  Damage:  Primary mode - 8, Secondary mode - 16
  Pellet Damage:  Primary mode - 1 x 6 scattered shots, Secondary
                    mode - 2 x 6 scattered shots

  Damage Type:  Standard, High-Explosive (Pellets)

  Ammunition/Consumption:  Slugs/1 per shot, 3 per shot in secondary
                             mode (yes, 3x ammo for 2x damage)

  Fire Rate:  Primary mode - 1 shot/sec, Secondary mode - 1 shot/sec.

  Reload Time:  Primary mode - 1 second, Secondary mode - 1.5 seconds.

  Projectile Speed:  Very Fast (300)

  Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                   increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breaking at
                   durability 0.0.  Loses .1 durability per shot.

  Maintenance/Repair:  2/3
  Repair Difficulty:  35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 85%, Base ICE 4.

  Modify #1:  Cuts reload time by 2/3.  Damage increased by 10%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 1 required, 25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 75%,
                Base ICE 3.

  Modify #2:  Cuts kickback by 2/3.  Damage bonus increased to a total
                of 25%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 3 required, 40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 100%,
                Base ICE 5.

  Assessment (4/5):  Shotgun ammunition is plentiful (just make sure
to unload the shotguns found off Shotgun Hybrids).  It's not really
necessary to upgrade from the Pistol until you start facing off 
against harder enemies than just Hybrids and Monkeys (so maybe once 
you hit Operations deck).  

  Using Pellets isn't terribly effective since the ammo, instead of
doing one shot of 6, it deals a scatter of 6 shots of 1 damage each.
So, you have to be quite close to the target, otherwise you'll only
hit a target marginally, although this has the side effect of
giving a small area of effect spread.

  However, at best, the Shotgun is a way to transition from the Pistol
to the Assault Rifle.  When the Pistol starts getting too weak, the
Shotgun keeps your damage level up while you can re-stockpile ammo
for the Assault Rifle.
3d. Assault Rifle                                                 [340]

  Prerequisites:  Standard Weapons 6, Strength 2

  Damage:  Primary mode - 10, Secondary mode - 10 (Full auto)

  Damage Type:  Standard, High-Explosive, Armor Piercing

  Ammunition/Consumption:  Bullets/1 per shot, clip size of 36.

  Fire Rate:  Primary Mode - 2 shots/sec, Secondary Mode - nonstop
                cascade of 10 shots/sec.

  Reload Time:  1 second

  Projectile Speed:  Very Fast (300)

  Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                   increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breakign at
                   durability 0.0.  Loses .05 durability per shot.

  Maintenance/Repair:  4/4
  Repair Difficulty:  25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 100%, Base ICE 5.

  Modify #1:  Reduces reload time by 2/3.  Damage increased by 10%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 2 required, 40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 85%,
                Base ICE 4.

  Modify #2:  Increases clip size (36 to 72).  Damage bonus increased
                to a total of 25%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 4 required, 60 Nanite cost, Base Failure 110%,
                Base ICE 6.

  Assessment (5/5):  *The* most powerful weapon in the game.  Period.
Ammunition is plentiful (and available since the beginning of the 
game).  As long as you use the right type of ammuntion (again,
Standard isn't terribly efficient), you should be able to mow through
enemies easily.  Rumblers will fall in five quick shots WITHOUT ANY

  You should never have to use the secondary mode, since it offers
very little bonus except a temporarily heightened damage per second
rate.  Maybe if you've got three Rumblers charging at you, this'll
be your best bet for surviving the fight and ending it quickly.

  On Impossible mode, despite however expensive it is to get this
skill, it's almost definitely worth it.  Unlike the Grenade Launcher,
ammunition is available freely without having to resort to Replicators,
and it's the cheapest to duplicate (even not using Molecular 
Duplication).  Plus, it makes your wrench all that much more powerful 
in the process.

4.  Energy Weapons                                                [400]
  Energy Weapons, like Exotic Weapons, are highly specialized.  They
focus on doing massive damage to robotic creations (most of them do
Energy, which does double damage against robots, but half damage 
against organic and semi-organic creatures).  Unfortunately, Mechanical
and Robotic enemies are much less frequent then organic creatures.
However, this is made up for by the fact that ammunition for Energy
Weapons is essentially infinite, since you can instantly recharge all
of them by visiting a Charger.  If you're not near one, you can just
use a Portable Battery or Electron Cascade (PSI power) to buy yourself
  More than anyother weapons category, Energy Weapons benefit from a
high Maintenance.  Maintenance increases the maximum charge that can
be stored by 10 per Maintenance, which is hugely significant.  The
last thing that you want to happen is to run out of charge in the
middle of a fight.
RIFLE.  It is remotely possible with just a lasier rapier, but close
to impossible with just a laser pistol (unless you do a *lot* of 
nimble footwork and backtracking to the recharge station... which 
becomes impossible after a certain point).
4a. Laser Pistol                                                  [410]

  Prerequisites:  Energy Weapons 1

  Damage:  Primary Mode - 2, Secondary Mode - 12

  Damage Type:  Energy

  Ammunition/Consumption:  Energy/Primary Mode - 3 units, Secondary
                             Mode - 20 units.  Storage capacity 100 
                             (plus Maintenance bonuses).

  Fire Rate:  Primary Mode - 3 shots/sec, Secondary Mode - 1 shot
                per 3 seconds.

  Reload Time:  n/a (can't reload; recharge at a Recharge Station)

  Projectile Speed:  Fast (100)

  Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                   increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breaking at 
                   durability 0.0.  Loses .05 durability per shot.

  Maintenance/Repair:  1/1
  Repair Difficulty:  25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 75%, Base ICE 3.

  Modify #1:  Increase storage capacity by 50% (stacks on top of
                Maintenance bonuses).  Damage increased by 10%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 2 required, 20 Nanite cost, Base Failure 75%,
                Base ICE 2.

  Modify #2:  Decreases energy consumption by 33% (rounding down).
                Damage bonus increased to a total of 25%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 4 required, 35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 95%,
                Base ICE 4.

  Assessment (2/5):  The Laser Pistol isn't that great of a weapon.
Its Primary Mode is weaker than the Pistol (which is already weaker
than a Wrench).  Its Primary damage is so low that any bonuses you
get from Weapons skill, Modify, or OS Upgrades basically make no
impact whatsoever in your kill power.  

  Its overdrive mode (Secondary Mode) is, however, much better
if slightly inefficient.  It'll be a fast way to deal with robotic
creatures or if you're in a hurry to take down a turret.

  Otherwise, the Laser Pistol is primarily for taking out Protocol
Droids, Cameras, and for doing the finishing touch on exploding
Robots.  Maybe if you've got no other choice, you can use it to take
out turrets.  The Laser Pistol, however, does make up for all these
deficiencies by being very sturdy (twice so than the Pistol) and
having almost limitless (essentially free) ammunition.

  It's interesting to note, though, that once you get 6 Energy
Weapons, both Modifications, and Sharpshooter OS upgrade, that
piddling initial 2 damage becomes somewhat effective due to the high
rate of fire and the efficiency of ammuntion.  Plus, that 12 damage
from overdrive mode has become a serious damage dealer (and not *that*
inefficient with 6 Maintenance and the suitable Modification).  Still,
that's a lot of ifs, and it's still nothing compared to a properly
loaded Pistol.

  Remember:  Energy does half damage against Spiders and PSI Reavers,
but double damage against all fully mechanical things.
4b. Laser Rapier                                                  [420]

  Prerequisites:  Energy Weapons 4, Agility 3

  Damage:  11 (14 with Smasher)

  Damage Type:  Energy

  Assessment (4/5):  The Laser Rapier is a VERY powerful weapon.  It's
easily and quickly accessible (as early as Engineering).  It deals
huge amounts of damage so that you can still use it against fully 
organic targets to good effect.  When you come up against a robotic
target, you can take them down *lightning* fast.

  Its shortcoming is that it's not as universally useful as either
the Wrench or the Crystal Shard (or for that matter, the PSI Sword).
If you do plan on going dedicatedly melee, this should be, at best,
just a short stop on the way to the Crystal Shard (and you might
just be better off skipping it completely for Cybernetic Module
efficiency).  In addition, because the Laser Rapier is at level 4
of your Energy Weapons, you'll only get a 30% bonus to its damage
from maxing out Energy Weapons, versus 90% and 75% for the Wrench
and Crystal Shard, respectively (a maxed out Laser Rapier still out-
damages a maxed out Wrench, all things being equal).

  So, all this makes the Laser Rapier the second-best melee weapon in
the game.  Where does it fit in?  Melee builds can skip this over.
PSI builds (aside from pure PSI builds) can use this, since this gives
the PSI user a great answer to robotic creatuers until the EMP Rifle
becomes available, and it also becomes a replacement for a Wrench.
Unless it complements your build, don't go out of your way to get this,
but if it does, it's a very strong weapon.

  NOTE:  The Laser Rapier has a larger range than the Wrench.  It also
has a slightly different sweep, so be sure to adjust your melee-ing

  SECOND NOTE:  It is a special distinction that the Laser Rapier is
the only non-PSI melee weapon taht can damage SHODAN (provided you've
lowered her shields so that you can jump onto her support platform).
4c. EMP Rifle                                                     [430]

  Prerequisites:  Energy Weapons 6

  Damage:  Primary Mode - 10 (Area of Effect of radius 10 ft), 
             Secondary Mode - 15 (Area of Effect of radius 15 ft)

  Damage Type:  EMP

  Ammunition/Consumption:  Energy/Primary Mode - 2 units, Secondary 
                             Mode - 20 units.  Storage capacity 100
                             (plus Maintenance bonuses).

  Fire Rate:  2.5 shots/sec.

  Reload Time:  n/a (can't reload; recharge at a Recharge Station)

  Projectile Speed:  Medium (70)

  Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                   increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breaking at
                   durability 0.0.  Loses .15 durability per shot.

  Maintenance/Repair:  6/2
  Repair Difficulty:  35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 95%, Base ICE 4.

  Modify #1:  Increases storage capacity by 50% (stacks on top of
                Maintenance bonuses).  Damage increased by 10%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 3 required, 25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 80%,
                Base ICE 3.

  Modify #2:  Decreases energy consumption by 50%.  Increases 
                projectile speed by 50%.  Damage bonus increased to a
                total of 25%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 5 required, 40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 100%,
                Base ICE 5.

  Assessment (4/5):  At first glance it seems like the EMP Rifle is a
very inferior version of an Assault Rifle.  EMP damage hurts ONLY
robotic and mechanical creatures and doesn't do a thing to organic
creatures.  However, there is no kickback (kickback is only for
Standard and Exotic Weapons), so any frantic firing can be done with
precision.  In addition, the Secondary Mode can easily deal with
clumps of powerful robots and does massive damage, due to its massive
kill spread.  Moreover, the rifle is powered by charge, ammo is
essentially limitless and free - not only that, but with the second
upgrade and judicious use of the Normal mode of firing (you'll rarely
ever need the secondary mode's Overdrive), this weapon is *very*
efficient compared to its damage potential (240 shots before needing a
recharge?! wow!).

  However, it does nothing whatsoever to fully organic enemies.  Good
for multiplayer friendly fire cases, but this makes the Energy
Weapons' main weakness even more painfully clear.  Second, it's rare
for tough robots to cluster (when was the last time you fought two or
more Assault Bots at once, and how close were they to each other?), so
the Secondary Mode is limited to just a high-damage mode most of the
time, though it also means you can be less precise with aiming.  In
addition, you need a Maintenace of 6 just to fix this baby, but if
you're going full Energy Weapons, you might as well max out your
Maintenance anyway to get full benefit out of your weapons.

  To sum it up, as long as you know the weaknesses of the Energy
Weapons, you won't be disappointed with this final-tier weapon.
Anything remotely mechanical will die so insanely quickly that you
won't even have time to blink.

5.  Heavy Weapons                                                 [500]
  Heavy Weapons are hard hitting.  If Standard Weapons are agile,
mobile, and precise, Heavy Weapons are the opposite.  However, like
Standard Weapons, alot of the power for Heavy Weapons comes in knowing
when to use the right ammo at the right time, but even moreso, since
each weapon carries a special task.

  At first blush, ammunition for Heavy Weapons seems terribly rare.
Grenades are expensive and generally are found in small clips.  When
you first start getting Prisms and have an unmodified Stasis Field
Generator, it seems like you're doomed to go through them at an insane
rate.  But, with proper management, you'll realize that you won't
actually need that many grenades (due to the sheer power of the
Grenade Launcher).  Plus, with limited use of the Stasis Field
Generator and early, aggressive moves to bring both the Stasis Field
Generator and the Fusion Cannon to modification level 2, you'll find
yourself actually hard-pressed to use up all the Prisms you'll start
tripping over in later areas.

  There are really two ways to approach the Heavy Weapons mindset.  In
one, the Grenade Launcher is the star, a high-power weapon capable of
dealing with any threat, and the rest just there to supplement
specific needs.  In the other, the Fusion Cannon is your cureall, with
the Grenade Launcher there to deal with very specialized targets (and
very well at that).  It's probably best to decide on an approach early
on, so you can better utilize the ammunition you'll be coming across.
5a. Grenade Launcher                                              [510]

  Prerequisites:  Heavy Weapons 1

  Damage:  20 (Fragmentation), 10 (EMP/Proximity), 15 (Incendiary)
             35 (Disruption) (all with Area of Effect of radius 10 ft, 
             Disruption with an Area of Effect of radius 5 ft)

  Damage Type:  Fragmentation/Disruption/Proximity - Standard, 
                  EMP - EMP, Incendiary - Incendiary

  Ammunition/Consumption:  Grenades/1 per shot, clip size of 8.

  Fire Rate:  1 shot/sec.

  Reload Time:  1 second.

  Projectile Speed:  Medium (80)

  Breakability:  At durability 1.0, will have a .5% chance of breaking,
                   increasing linearly to a 5% chance of breaking at
                   durability 0.0.  Loses .1 durability per shot.

  Maintenance/Repair:  2/2
  Repair Difficulty:  40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 75%, Base ICE 3.

  Modify #1:  Increases clip size (6 to 9).  Damage increased by
                100% for some grenades [sic].
  Difficulty:  Modify 1 required, 25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 75%,
                Base ICE 2.

  Modify #2:  Increases projectile speed by 50%.  Reload time reduced
                by 2/3.  Damage bonus increased to a total of 128%
                for some grenades [sic].
  Difficulty:  Modify 3 required, 35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 110%,
                Base ICE 4.

  Assessment (5/5):  This weapon rocks.  It starts off strong and
keeps getting better.  In addition, a 60% bonus thanks to a maxed out
Heavy Weapons skill means you completely demolish enemies with its
wide array of grenade types.  In Primary Mode, grenades explode on
contact, in Secondary Mode, grenades bounce around for a while before
exploding (or arming).

  However, it's very difficult to decide when to actually use it; the
ammunition, while not as rare as, say, Worms, is rare in any given
type.  So, while you may be carrying 50 grenades, 10 might be Frags,
10 EMP, etc.  The Area of Effect also doesn't really come into play
until the later sections of the game when enemies are more clustered.

  That aside, as long as you can use the right ammo for the right job
(and unlike Standard Weapons, the normal Frag, and later Disruption
grenades are good all-purpose weapons) you will positively demolish
enemies to smithereens with the greatest of ease.  Even if you don't
plan on using the Fusion Cannon, this weapon still makes it worth
getting 6 in Heavy Weapons.

  As an aside, Proximity Grenades aren't very good for setting up
traps.  They have the annoying tendency to go off while the enemies
are still out of range (though it depends on the enemy).  My preferred
use for them is as cheap, weaker versions of Fragmentation Grenades,
well suited for taking out a cluster of grubs, hybrids, or baby
arachnids, as Proximity Grenades that hit dead on explode normally.

  NOTE:  There is a glitch (or feature) whereby the first
modification of the Grenade Launcher increases damage by 100%, not
10%.  This means, with all bonuses, a single Frag grenade can one-shot
about anything save for Rumblers.  There is another glitch in which
Disruption Grenades do not get bonuses, which is in a way good for
game balance, considering the first glitch, since a fully upgraded
shot with a Disruption Grenade will one-shot anything in the game.
5b. Stasis Field Generator                                        [520]

  Prerequisites:  Heavy Weapons 3, Strength 3

  Damage:  Primary Mode - Stasis Freeze, Secondary Mode - Stasis Freeze
             (Area of Effect of radius 10 ft).

  Damage Type:  Stasis Freeze
  Ammunition/Consumption:  Prisms/Primary Mode - 4 prisms, Secondary
                             Mode - 8 prisms, clip size of 12.

  Fire Rate:  5 shots/sec.

  Reload Time:  Instantaneous

  Projectile Speed:  Medium (70)

  Breakability:  At durability 2.0, will have a 1% chance of breaking,
                   increasing linearly to a 10% chance of breaking at
                   durability 0.0.  Loses .2 durabilty per shot.

  Maintenance/Repair:  3/6
  Repair Difficulty:  60 Nanite cost, Base Failure 105%, Base ICE 4.

  Modify #1:  Increases projectile speed by 100%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 2 required, 25 Nanite cost, Base Failure 90%,
                Base ICE 3.

  Modify #2:  Reduces prism consumption by 50%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 4 required, 40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 115%,
                Base ICE 5.

  Assessment (2/5, Multiplayer 3/5):  Unlike every other weapon, this
actually deals no damage.  Instead, it stuns an enemy and holds them
in place for a few seconds, giving you time to prepare another attack
or just to run away.  The Secondary Mode consumes more prisms but
grants an area of effect, allowing you to freeze several enemeis in

  There are a few times when this might be useful; highly agile Cyborg
Assassins messing with you, a group of Rumblers are chasing you down,
etc.  Its duration is similar to a really low PSI Electron
Suppression, but paired with a quick switch a Grenade Launcher or
Fusion Cannon, it could be all the time you need to dispatch a mass of
enemies.  Plus, with both modifications, for limited use its prism
consumption is pretty frugal.

  Ultimately, though, it tends to work solely for emergencies (like
the aforementioned example of running into a group of Cyborg
Assassins).  Unfortunately because of this, it's so specialized in
when you'll need it, that you'll rarely be busting it out.  Moreover,
by virtue of how good the Grenade Launcher can be, you may end up
better off shooting a suitable Grenade instead.

  A special note for multiplayer:  this actually becomes quite a good
support weapon.  This won't stun your friends, so you can use it to
freeze monsters and let them do the dirty work without worrying about
accidentally killing off your friends with a grenade or fusion blast.

  NOTE:  PSI Reavers seem to be immune to this weapon.
5c. Fusion Cannon                                                 [530]

  Prerequisities:  Heavy Weapons 6, Strength 4

  Damage:  Normal Mode - 20 (Area of Effect of radius 10 ft), 
             Death Mode - 30 (Area of Effect of radius 12 ft).

  Damage Type:  Energy

  Ammunition/Consumption:  Prisms/Both Modes - 2 Prisms, clip size of

  Fire Rate:  Normal Mode - 1 shot/sec, Death Mode - 1 shot/2 secs.
  Reload Time:  .2 seconds

  Projectile Speed:  Primary Mode - Slow (60), Secondary Mode - Very
                       Slow (24).

  Breakability:  At durability 2.0, will have a 1% chance of breaking,
                   increasing linearly to a 10% chance of breaking at
                   durability 0.0.  Loses .2 durability per shot.

  Maintenance/Repair:  3/4
  Repair Difficulty:  40 Nanite cost, Base Failure 100%, Base ICE 5.

  Modify #1:  Increase clip size from 40 to 80.  Damage increases by
  Difficulty:  Modify 4 required, 35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 85%,
                Base ICE 4.

  Modify #2:  Reduces ammo consumption by 50%.  Damage bonus increases
                to a total of 25%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 6 required, 50 Nanite cost, Base Failure 115%,
                Base ICE 6.

  Assessment (4/5):  *This* is your final weapon?  Considering how
much ass the Grenade Launcher is kicking at this point, you have to
seriously wonder what role this even plays into your arsenal.  The
projectiles are very slow (ridiculously slow in Secondary Mode) and
the damage type is Energy, which means it's best against robots (and
pretty ineffective against PSI Reavers and Arachnids).

  However, then you realize that, compared to the other Prism guzzler,
the Fusion Cannon is *very* efficient - only 1 Prism per shot if
you've got the second modification done.  And this is done regardless
of whether you're using Normal or Death.  Moreover, even if Death mode
is really slow, it has a massive kill spread, so you can afford to be
relatively loose with the aiming, and it's well suited for taking out
slower moving robots, PSI Reaver projections, and stationary turrets.
I would pretty much argue that Death mode should be your default when
using this, switching only to Normal if you need a fast fire rate
(like to hit multiple, spaced out targets quickly).

  This ends up meaning that even though the Grenade Launcher is a much
more powerful weapon (being pretty much able to one-shot anything
short of a Rumbler at this point), the Fusion Cannon may end up
serving as your all purpose workhorse for situations when you couldn't
spare a (comparatively much more rare and expensive) grenade.  Prisms,
if you've been consuming them extensively with an unmodified Stasis
Field Generator, are in short supply.  But if you're frugal and
diligent early on, you'll end up with so many Prisms to fuel your
Fusion Cannon that you'll probably never actually have to buy any
(except maybe on higher difficulties).  In situations that you'd have
never wasted a grenade (like a random Cyborg Midwife), you suddenly
have an efficient and effective weapon at your disposal.  In fact,
short of really bad late game threats, you may just end up feeling
more comfortable using this weapon over the Grenade Launcher, due to
its sheer efficiency for a Heavy Weapon.  Just remember that you
yourself will take double damage from the area of effect, so a
misplaced Death blast will wipe you out.

6.  Exotic Weapons                                                [600]
  Exotic Weapons are the reverse of Energy Weapons - specializing in
dealing with organic targets.  This inherently makes Exotic Weapons
more powerful since organic targets are much more frequent than robotic
targets.  However, more than any other weapons category, Exotic Weapons
balances out any power with massive amounts of risk vs reward.  At
its most powerful settings, you can easily kill yourself.  Ammunition
is rare (until you learn Molecular Duplication).  The projectile
weapons suffer from massive degradation per fire, break much easier,
and have painfully massive kickback (although you'll soon see kickback
doesn't matter *too* much for Exotic Weapons).
  Continuing with the idea of being the reverse of Energy Weapons, 
Exotic Weapons require Research (as opposed to Maintenance) to be
used at all.  In fact, this is the only reason you'll ever need to take
Research up to 6 (although you can "cheat" and get it up to 5 and use
a LabAssistant implant).
  Ammunition comes in the form of Worms.  To get them, find
small or large beakers and drag them over a pile of worms that you
may come across, and you'll automatically get a sample of them.  As
far as I can tell, no replicator sells beakers.  If you're seriously
considering making extensive use of the Viral Proliferator and
Annelid Launcher, I *highly* recommend getting the Tier 3 Molecular
Duplication PSI ability, as otherwise you have no way of "purchasing"
more Worms (no Replicators sell beakers).  With Molecular Duplication,
you can use it on a collection of worms you have in your inventory
to create five more worms for 120 Nanites.
SHARD.  You *must* have an alternative weapon (be it Cryokinesis or 
just a Pistol) if you want to beat the game.
6a. Crystal Shard                                                 [610]

  Prerequisites:  Exotic Weapons 1, Research 4 (Yttrium)

  Damage:  12 (27 with Smasher)

  Damage Type:  WeaponBash

  Assessment (5/5):  The Crystal Shard is the ultimate melee weapon.
You may think that it's only slightly better than the Laser Rapier,
and even that's under dispute since the Laser Rapier can deal double
damage to certain enemies.  However, since the Crystal Shard is only
a level 1 weapon, you can get a 75% damage bonus, versus the Laser
Rapier's 30%, if you max out the Weapon Skill.  

  Like the wrench, the Crystal Shard works equally well against
everything, except against robots, in which case it'll do half damage.
Be warned that for some strange reason, the Crystal Shard does not
damage SHODAN.  Yeah, you read that right.  It does kaput.

  Otherwise, the Crystal Shard is one of the best weapons you can
have.  Even if you never plan on using any of the other Exotic
Weapons, with all the damage bonuses from weapons skills, the Crystal
Shard can absolutely demolish, especially when combined with a high
Strength and Adrenaline Overproduction.

  The Crystal Shard has a wierd quirk about it.  First of all, it
technically deals only 15 damage with Smasher, but the Crystal Shard
deals both normal and Smasher damage with a Smasher attack (for a
total 27).  Second of all, you get *twice* your strength damage bonus
to the Crystal Shard per swing (see endnote 1).

  NOTE:  The Crystal Shard has the longest range of all the non-PSI
melee weapons (roughly similar to the PSI Sword).  It also has a
dramatically different sweep (it tends to hit targets dramatically
better to the left of the targetting cursor).  Adjust melee strategy
6b.  Viral Proliferator                                           [620]

  Prerequisites:  Exotic Weapons 4, Research 3 (Technetium, Tellurium)

  Damage:  15 (Area of Effect of radius 10 ft).

  Damage Type:  Primary Mode - Anti-Annelid, Secondary Mode - Anti-

  Ammunition/Consumption:  Worms/2 per shot, clip size of 8.

  Fire Rate:  5 shots/sec.

  Reload Time:  Instantaneous

  Projectile Speed:  Slow (50).

  Breakability:  At durability 2.5, will have a 1% chance of breaking,
                   increasing linearly to a 10% chance of breaking at
                   durability 0.0.  Loses .3 durability per shot.

  Maintenance/Repair:  4/4
  Repair Difficulty:  50 Nanite cost, Base Failure 115%, Base ICE 6.

  Modify #1:  Increases clip size (8 to 18).  Damage increased by 10%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 3 required, 50 Nanite cost, Base Failure 95%,
                Base ICE 5.

  Modify 2:  Reduces worms used per shot (2 to 1).  Damage bonus 
               increased from 10% to a 25% bonus.
  Difficulty:  Modify 5 required, 75 Nanite cost, Base Failure 125%,
                Base ICE 7.

  Assessment (3/5):  First off, the Viral Proliferator fires very
differently from all other weapons.  If you just click the fire button,
it'll explode right in your face.  Instead, once you press down the
fire button, you'll launch a projectile, and when you release the fire
button, the projectile will explode wherever it is.  
  This odd way of firing has its strengths and weaknesses.  There is
no cooldown (like the EMP Rifle), so if you're on the Anti-Annelid
setting, you can fire this willy-nilly at point blank range and destroy
anything nearby.  Unlike the Grenade Launcher, this precision aiming
will allow you to control exactly where you want the projectile to
explode, possibly taking out several enemies from quite a distance away
(since the projectile keeps going until you detonate it or it runs
into something).  On the other hand, this form of aiming is difficult
to get the hang of, and if you do, it's ultimately a much slower way
of firing at anything at a relatively significant distance.

  That aside, you load the thing up with worms (which you get by using
Beakers on those piles of worms you see everywhere).  Then, you set
the setting (much like you change firing modes) to either Anti-Annelid
or Anti-Human.  With the right aiming, you'll be able to demolish the
majority of enemies in the game, although really you'll be hard-pressed
to waste the precious ammo on Hybrids or Monkeys.  Also, be warned that
accidentally letting an Anti-Human blast go off right near you will
almost assuredly grant instant death.

  Furthermore, each shot degrades the weapon *insanely* fast.  Plus,
it has a chance of breaking much earlier compared to other weapons.
In addition, the kickback is atrocious.  However, if you can master 
all these risks, then Spiders, Rumblers, PSI Reavers, and the like 
stand no chance against you.  Especially if they clump up.

  Remember:  Anti-Annelid will do 4x damage to anything purely 
Annelid and 1x to generic organic targets.  Anti-Human does the same, 
except for humans, but also dealing 2x damage to partially human 
targets.  However, remember that you yourself are the only pure human 
in the game, so watch out for that explosion.  Moreover, despite their 
appearances, Rumblers are actually half-human.
6c. Annelid Launcher (aka Worm Launcher)                          [630]

  Prerequisites:  Exotic Weapons 6, Research 6 (Molybdenum, Selenium)

  Damage:  Primary Mode - 25 (Area of Effect of radius 7 ft), Secondary
             Mode - 25 (Area of Effect of radius 5 ft).

  Damage Type:  Primary Mode - Anti-Annelid, Secondary Mode - Anti-
  Ammunition/Consumption:  Worms/4 per shot, clip size of 8.

  Fire Rate:  5 shots/sec.

  Reload Time:  Instantaneous

  Projectile Speed:  Very Slow (25).

  Breakability:  At durability 2.5, will have a 1% chance of breaking,
                   increasing linearly to a 10% chance of breaking at
                   durability 0.0.  Loses .3 durability per shot.

  Maintenance/Repair:  4/5
  Repair Difficulty:  35 Nanite cost, Base Failure 110%, Base ICE 5.

  Modify #1:  Increases clip size (8 to 18).  Damage increased by 10%.
  Difficulty:  Modify 2 required, 50 Nanite cost, Base Failure 95%,
                Base ICE 5.  

  Modify #2:  Increases projectile speed by 100%.  Damage bonus
               increased from 10% to a 25% bonus.
  Difficulty:  Modify 4 required, 75 Nanite cost, Base Failure 125%,
                Base ICE 7.

  Assessment (4/5):  Holy crap!  This weapon is powerful.  First off,
unlike every other weapon in the game, the projectiles of this weapon
*home*.  And no, you don't have some funky firing mechanism like the
Viral Proliferator.  There is a cooldown, but for god's sake it HOMES.
Meaning as long as the enemy was somewhere in your sight when you
fired it, this baby will seek it out and hit it (with a nice explosion
at that).  Which means you can pull off neat tricks, especially in the
Body of the Many, where you're just running past enemies, only turning
to fire off a shot, later hearing a satisfying "RAAAGHR!" as the
homing projectile took out a PSI Reaver.

  Look at those damage numbers.  Against a pure, Annelid target,
you'll do 4x normal damage, which is a base of 100 damage.  143 with
Sharpshooter and both Modifications, and that still doesn't count the
25% bonus from researching organs.  That's simply ridiculous.  This
means you can one-shot all but one PSI Reaver in the game (there is a
Greater PSI Reaver, which will take 2 shots to take down).

  Risk vs reward.  A misfire while in Anti-Human mode guarantees
death.  The weapon degrades insanely quickly and breaks very easily.
The kickback is atrocious, although you don't need to reaim too
precisely with a homing device.  On the one hand, the lack of a firing
mechanism like the Viral Proliferator means you don't have as much
control over the explosion, but on the other hand you can spam willy-
nilly those *HOMING* shots.  Deal with all the risks and your reward
is becoming a virtual nuclear weapon against all things organic.

  WARNING:  The Annelid Launcher's *massive* worm consumption rate
means not only that you should hoard worms beforehand and make
extensive use of Molecular Duplication, but also limit its use to PSI
Reavers and clusters of Rumblers.  In addition, the Annelid Launcher
DOES NOT HOME on the protective nodes around the Brain of the Many, so
make sure to either have the Viral Proliferator on hand or another
backup weapon.

  NOTE:  A good strategy is to have both the Viral Proliferator and
Annelid Launcher on hand.  Save the latter for insta-killing PSI
reavers and for swarms of spiders, and maybe if you're dealing with
multiple Rumblers at a time.  Use the former for any other organic
target, as the Viral Proliferator is *very* efficient for its ammo
use.  Also because you'll need an alternate weapon for reasons
described above.

7.  Technical Skills                                              [700]
  As a general rule, for tasks involving "success," each level of a
technical skill reduces the difficulty (chance of failure) by 10%, 
each level of software reduces the difficulty by 10%, and each CYB
reduces the number of ICE Nodes by 1 and redues the difficulty by 5%.
Be warned:  Hacking Software and any inherent Hack/CYB do *not* factor
in to the difficulty reduction when using Remote Circuitry
Modify:  Modify is an interesting skill in that it's usefulness
  correlates completely to the number of players in a game.  In a
  Single Player game, there are enough French-Epstein devices that,
  with proper weapon maintenance and prioritization, you will never
  need to pick this skill up (for example, there's no need to modify a
  Pistol when you'll eventually be getting the Assault Rifle) - though
  this is less true on higher difficulties where you'll run into less.
  However, in Multiplayer games, the number of F-E devices is split up
  between each player, which reduces the number each player gets,
  especially when you consider four players in a game (which
  translates into roughly one F-E device per player).
    This means that in a Multiplayer game, someone is going to have to
  pick this up.  Likewise, it starts making Tinker a more attractive
  OS upgrade since not only are Nanites more sparse since they are
  effectively split between players, but also using up Nanites on
  modifications is a painful sinkhole.

Repair:  An interesting ability that generally is considered
  worthless.  On the one hand, picking this up means you can get
  (many) weapons much earlier in the game, like Shotguns, Laser
  Pistols, or Grenade Launchers.  This also means you can repair some
  keypads and Replicators, though most Replicators aren't worth the
  effort and most keypads have a workaround.  Unfortunately, in most
  cases, getting a weapon earlier doesn't mean too much since at those
  points in the game they're not easily maintainable and well supplied
  with ammunition at the time.
    In addition, if you have a high maintenance, you'll never ever
  need to worry about good repair.
    Then again, having a good repair *will* mean you can get those
  weapons early.  Which is nice because getting a Fusion Cannon early
  can be wonders since you've already started stocking up on prisms.
  And having a good repair means you don't have to worry about the
  nanite cost spent on maintenance tools, since you can just repair
  anything that breaks... although it's bad if a weapon breaks in the
  midst of combat (hint: keep a wrench handy).  Unfortunately, you
  don't get any good side effects like Maintenance, and, unlike
  French- Epstein devices, Autorepair units are far more common.
    Like Modify, Repair becomes more valuable in multiplayer.  There
  are less Nanites and less Maintenance tools to go around, so
  repairing may become inevitable.

Maintenance:  Very good.  How high you take it is a different issue,
  since only the EMP Rifle requires a Maintenance higher than a 4 to
  maintain.  The most immediate result of having a higher Maintenance
  is to increase the efficiency of your Disposable Maintenance Tools,
  although this is highly subject to diminishing returns.  (Restoring
  a weapon's condition by 2 instead of 1 is a much larger gain than
  the difference between a recovery of 6 instead of 5.)
    In addition, if you have a good repair, you'll never ever need to
  worry about good maintenance.
    However, the secondary effect of Maintenance is that it increases
  the maximum Energy you can store in Implants, Powered Armor, and
  Energy Weapons, equal to an extra 10 per Maintenance Level.  If you
  don't have Electron Cascade (a PSI ability), this GREATLY increases
  the effectiveness of the very quickly draining Power Armor, reduces
  the trips you have to make to a charger, and extends the efficiency
  of your Portable Batteries.  If you DO have Electron Cascade, it
  then greatly increases the efficiency of the PSI power, although
  this is highly subjected to diminishing returns as well.
    The short of it, though, is that unless you go the Energy Weapons
  route, it's hardly ever worth it in Hard or Impossible to go past 4.

Hacking:  The most useful technical skill.  Even if you somehow (by
  use of Anti-Entropic Field) make a PSI Hybrid that never uses
  Maintenance, unless you make a dedicated PSI or a PSI Hybrid with
  the emphasis on the "PSI" part and get Remote Circuitry
  Manipulation, you probably will want to get this.

    True, you don't *need* it.  There is a game-crucial moment when
  you need to Hack, but there are ICE Picks for that.  And despite the
  niceness of loot in security crates, you can use an ICE Pick on the
  occasional high security crate if you so choose.

    However, being able to disable security (level 1), hack ubiquitous
  mundane security crates (level 2), replicators (level 3), and
  turrets of all sorts (level 4) brings about a level of advantage
  that cannot be disputed.  There are many builds that can live
  without it, but why would you?  Even just a Hacking of 4 is
  relatively affordable on non-Impossible difficulties and it adds so
  much to your survivability that it's too hard to deny.

    Do note that if you hack a turret that is right next to another, 
  both will immediately open and fire at each other, even if security is
  disabled.  If you want and are able, you can toss a Hazard Suit in
  between them (doesn't work for Laser Turrets Mk II due to their 
  ceiling placement) so that you can hack the other turret in the mean
  time, since the Hazard Suit is large enough to block fire.

    As for a Hack of 6, the only two things in the game that require a
  Hack of 6 are High Security Crates and your MFD Player.  There are
  only three High Security Crates and their loot is very specialized
  (if nice considering they come from one source):  one contains a
  Fusion Cannon, 20 Prisms, and a WormBlood implant; another a MedKit,
  2 Large Beakers, 6 EMP Grenades, and 41 Nanites; the other contains
  an Anti-Radiation Hypo, a WormMind implant, and 82 Nanites.  It's
  nothing you might not be able to get elsewhere (though without
  Repair or PSI Pull, it's the only other source for a Fusion Cannon),
  so if you don't need the loot or the extra 20% chance of success,
  you don't need to go higher than Hack 4.

    Hacking your MFD player will make available all games and give 
  you a very nice start in Overworld Zero:  you'll begin the game
  with a Potion and a Spell (click on the star and in a direction, and
  you'll fire a very powerful weapon, just remember that it's single-

    Hacking becomes much more effective in Impossible as there is a huge
  disparity between how high unhacked Replicator prices are and how low
  hacked Replicator prices are.  For example, a Med hypo costs 60 
  unhacked, 30 hacked.  A PSI hypo costs 150 unhacked, 80 hacked.  
  The difference is phenomenal.

    As a side note - if you're picking up hacking, try to ramp up to Hack
  2 as soon as possible.  You want to be able to hack every security
  crate you come across (which already are there from the start in med/sci)
  and, for the most part, if you manage to hack a crate in one or two
  tries, the contents are extremely profitable for you.  After that, you
  may not need to worry about getting to Hack 3 or 4 that immediately.

Research:  A very nice technical skill.  At the very least, you're
  required to have level 1 Research, although there is an implant that
  accomplishes that.  Researching organs is very nice since it yields
  you a 25% damage bonus with any weapon, PSI or not, to them.
    However, if you just consider that, there's hardly a reason to go
  past 3.  You'll already be able to research every organ, the PSI
  booster, and the two Annelid Organs.  Why would you want to go past?
  Well, if you're into Exotic Weapons and funky Implants.  Other than
  that, it's hardly justifiable.

8.  PSI                                                           [800]
8a. Tier 1                                                        [810]

  *Learning Tier 1 grants you 2 bonus PSI Points.*

Psycho-reflective Screen:  Gives you 15% damage reduction for 20
  seconds plus 30 seconds per PSI.
    Analysis:  The damage reduction is so negligible that most of the
  time it just ends up being a rounding error.  Moreover, the duration
  is so short that the only time you'll set this up is right before a
  fight.  That time is better spent actually dealing damage.
    NOTE:  All PSI armors (Psycho-reflective Screen, Energy
  Reflection, Psycho-reflective Aura) stack with each other and with
  normal armor.

    Score:  1/5

Neuro-reflex Dampening:  Eliminates all weapon kickback for 1 minute
  plus 20 seconds per PSI.
    Analysis:  It's not that hard to deal with kickback, and
  sufficient Agility deals with that anyway.  Furthermore, only
  Standard and Exotic Weapons are affected by kickback, and only
  Exotic weapons have a truly severe kickback problem, and even those
  have such specialized aiming mechanisms that this PSI ability is of
  debatable merit).  Then again, full-auto Assault Rifle with this
  enabled is quite vicious for anyone with less than amazing Agility.
    Score:  1/5 (possibly 3/5 with Standard)

Kinetic Redirection:  Pulls an object toward you for 1 second per PSI.
    Analysis:  A useful ability since you can get it for free for
  training.  If you can get it for free (going OSA path), get it.
  Otherwise, it's probably not worth it.  There are a few places you
  can use it to great extent (in fact, if you don't have an autorepair
  unit or Hack 6, it may be your only way to get a Fusion Cannon), but
  generally nothing you'll ever absolutely need.

    Note that if you ever see cyber modules seemingly out of reach,
  you will always be able to reach it somehow; you can't use Kinetic
  Redirection to grab cyber modules from afar.

    Score:  3/5

Psychogenic Agility:  Increases your Agility by 2 for 2 minutes plus 1
  minute per PSI.
    Analysis:  A *very* great ability.  This is an essential Tier 1
  ability, and you should have it active at all times.  It will
  increase your movement speed significantly and has the side effect
  of reducing damage from running into things or falling.
    Score:  5/5

Psychogenic Cyber-Affinity:  Increases your Cybernetic Affinity by 2
  for 2 minutes plus 1 minute per PSI.
    Analysis:  If you plan on getting Hacking or any other technical
  skill (which is almost a necessary unless you're scrimping and
  getting Remote Circuitry Manipulation at Tier 4), this is a very,
  very important skill, reducing your ICE node exposure andimproving
  your success rate.  However, this isn't an ability you need to keep
  on all the time like Agility, just right before a technical task.
    Score:  4/5

Projected Cryokinesis:  Launches a projectile that deals Cold damage
  equal to 3 + PSI.
    Projectile Speed:  Medium
    Analysis:  If you don't start off with OSA, it's almost pointless
  since whatever weapon you pick up (and you can always pick up a
  Pistol since non-OSA paths start off with Standard Weapons 1) is
  most likely more efficient and more effective than this.  However,
  for PSI users, this is an essential ability, ranging from taking out
  cameras, detonating robots and turrets, and taking out eggs from a
  safe distance.  It is also the most efficient PSI damage power
  you'll get, all things being equal.
    Just for comparison to the other PSI damage powers, with PSI 8,
  you'll do 11 damage per PSI point.  Note that this PSI damage is the
  only one capable of hurting fully Mechanical enemies, at full
  strength too!
    Score:  1/5 (non-PSI), 5/5 (PSI)

Remote Electron Tampering:  Reduces security alarm timers by 5 seconds
  plus another 5 seconds per PSI.
    Analysis:  A very bad ability.  You should either not be setting
  off alarms, or you should be able to find Security Consoles with
  enough ease that you can disable alarms faster than this ability can
  do it.
    Score:  0/5
8b. Tier 2                                                        [820]

  *Learning Tier 2 grants you 4 bonus PSI Points.*

Anti-Entropic field:  Weapons do not degrade or break for 10 seconds
  plus 20 seconds per PSI.
    Analysis:  Hardly worth the modules.  Maintenance/Repair will take
  care of any problems, and only Exotic Weapons degrade so much that
  you may even begin to consider to use it as a pre-combat buff.  If
  the duration lasted much, much longer, then it might be worth it.
    Score:  0/5

Adrenaline Overproduction:  Increases melee damage by a factor (that
  is, multiplied by) a number based on current PSI:
                  PSI                 Damage Factor
                   1                       1.13
                   2                       1.52
                   3                       2.17
                   4                       3.08
                   5                       4.25
                   6                       5.65
                   7                       7.37
                   8                       9.32
  The effect lasts for 10 seconds per PSI (see Endnote 1).
    Analysis:  A *very* good ability.  On Easy or Normal, a
  Melee-based character can tear through the biggest enemies in two to
  three swipes with sufficient PSI.  On Hard/Impossible, melee-ing
  will become such a primary tool that this becomes a very valuable
    Note that the damage multiplication is based on *current* PSI, so
  overloading has no effect on the damage multiplication (other than a
  longer duration).  Thus, the only way to get up to an effective PSI
  of 8 is by having a PSI of 6 and having both an implant and a
  booster or Annelid Armor.  Or by having a PSI of 4-5 and having all
  of the above.
    Score:  4/5

Neural Decontamination:  Radiation absorption reduced by 80%.  Lasts
  10 seconds plus 5 seconds per PSI.
    Analysis:  There are enough anti-rad and anti-toxin hypos that
  you'll never need this.  If, however, you're playing multiplayer,
  then there aren't enough Hazard Suits to go around, so you might
  want to consider this.
    A special note - on Impossible, you may run into a problem where
  you'll have piddlingly poor Endurance, very low health, and even
  with a Hazard Suit you have problems with some of the Radiation
  Pools in the Body of the Many (or you may not have had room to carry
  the hazard suit with you).  In that case, this ability becomes
  pretty handy to have.
    Score:  0/5 (Single player), 2/5 (Single player Impossible), 1/5

Cerebro-Stimulated Regeneration:  Heals 2 Health per PSI.
    Analysis:  Very effective healing.  PSI hypos can equal several
  med hypos, however, this is too slow to use in extended battles
  effectively, so it's mainly good for post-battle healing.  Or, in a
  pinch, ducking around a corner and popping off a heal against a
  slow, lumberingly huge enemy (like a Security Bot).
    Cerebro-Stimulated Regeneration is one of few PSI abilities that
  count a PSI higher than 8 (up to a total of PSI 10).
    Score:  5/5

Psychogenic Strength:  Increases Strength by 2 for 2 minutes plus 1
  minute per PSI.
    Analysis:  Not nearly as good as Adrenaline Overproduction, and
  unlike Agility, it's not nearly worth the investment or the PSI
  points to keep it up.
    Score:  2/5

Recursive Psionic Amplification:  Increases your PSI by 2, but doubles
  the PSI Point costs of all abilities.  Lasts 10 seconds plus 10
  seconds per PSI.
    Analysis:  On Easy or Normal, this greatly increases your killing
  power.  On Hard or Normal, this greatly reduces your efficiency,
  which matters alot more.
    Score:  2/5

Localised Pyrokinesis:  Deals 5 Incendiary damage every two seconds
  for 15 seconds plus 8 seconds per PSI.  Also grants immunity to
  Incendiary damage for the duration of the effect.
    Analysis:  The damage it deals is far too slow for anything higher
  than Normal difficulty, although if you have the cybernetic modules
  to spend, you can combine this with Photonic Redirection (use this
  first) to deal damage invisibly.  Very useful in high-clustered
  areas such as the Body of the Many.
    NOTE:  A quirk about this power is that it also bestows immunity
  to Incendiary damage for its duration.  Incendiary damage is rare,
  but it shows up in the form of exploding robots (Protocol Droids and
  other robots as they die).  Also, do note that this is *the* most
  efficient PSI damage ability in the game, provided a good number of
  "hits" actually hit an enemy.  Unfortunately, melee builds would be
  better off with Adrenaline Overproduction, and non-melee builds have
  better, less-risky ways to deal with enemies than this slow ability.
    Score:  4/5 (Easy or Normal), 1/5 (Hard or Impossible)
8c. Tier 3                                                        [830]

  *Learning Tier 3 grants you 6 bonus PSI Points.*

Molecular Duplication:  Has a 30% + 10% per PSI chance of duplicating
  a non-PSI hypo or clip of ammunition for some Nanite cost.
    Analysis:  A *very* strong ability, getting even stronger on Hard
  and Impossible difficulties.  It duplicates ammo and hypos (except
  for PSI hypos) equal to the cost of a hacked replicator on *Normal*
  difficulty, meaning massive discounts for Hard and Impossible
  difficulties.  You can also duplicate things you couldn't normally
  buy at a Replicator, specifically PSI Boosters (20 Nanites) and
  Beakers filled with Worms (120 Nanites for a clip of five).  In
  fact, for pursuing an Exotic Weapons path, this ability is almost
    Keep in mind, though, that you should factor in the cost of the
  PSI Hypo you're going to have to buy to refill your PSI points.
  Since this ability costs 3 PSI Points per shot, you should either
  increase the cost of anything you buy by 3/20th (without
  Pharmo-Friendly, 1/8th with) of the cost of a PSI Hypo at a
  replicator.  If you don't have Hack on Normal, or if you're just on
  Hard or Impossible, it's still a really good deal.
    Score:  5/5

Electron Cascade:  Recharges 20 per PSI units of charge to an energy-
  based item (implants, energy weapons, and power armor).
    Analysis:  A *very* strong ability, even stronger if you plan on
  pursuing Energy Weapons.  Even if you don't, this ensures your
  implants and Power Armor will always stay charged at full power.
  Increased Maintenance will help increase the efficiency of this
  ability by increasing the maximum capacity of your Energy-based
    Score:  5/5

Energy Reflection:  Grants 50% Energy damage immunity for 20 seconds
  per PSI.
    Analysis:  Not that worth it except on Easy or Normal difficulty,
  where this is cheap.  
    NOTE:  All PSI armors (Psycho-reflective Screen, Energy
  Reflection, Psycho-reflective Aura) stack with each other and with
  normal armor.
    Score:  2/5

Neural Toxin-Blocker:  Grants 100% Toxin immunity for 10 seconds plus
  5 seconds per PSI.
    Analysis:  Unless you're having alot of trouble avoiding getting
  infected by eggs or Spiders, this is completely useless.
    Score:  1/5

Enhanced Motion Sensitivity:  Shows the location of all nearby
  creatures for 30 seconds per PSI.
    Analysis:  Marginally useful, a bit more useful in combination
  with Proximity Grenades or External Psionic Detonation so that you
  know when to set traps without having to rely on hearing the enemy a
  few seconds in advance.
    Score:  1/5

Projected Pyrokinesis:  Launches a projectile that deals Incendiary
  damage equal to 5 + 2 per PSI.
    Projectile Speed:  Medium.
    Analysis:  A really good weapon for a dedicated PSI user.  It
  deals double damage to purely organic creatures and half-organic
  creatures, so the fact that it does nil to purely robotic and half
  to half-robotic (different from half-organic), which are far rarer,
  makes this quite devastating.
    Keep in mind that on a damage/PSI Point basis, on a general level,
  Projected Cryokinesis is far more efficient.  However, there are so
  many enemies against which Projected Pyrokinesis does double damage
  that in reality, Projected Pyrokinesis is more efficient.  However,
  this is like using the proper ammo for the job.  It'd be very dumb
  to use Pyrokinesis against a Camera or even a Cyborg Assassin.
  Although, even if Cryokinesis is more efficient, Pyrokinesis deals
  its damage so much absurdly faster that it makes up for its
  efficiency loss by giving you effective healing by not giving
  enemies the chance to hurt you as much, if any.
    All else considered, however, this is nigh-useless for non-PSI
  users.  Furthermore, Adrenaline Overproduction is much more
  effective when you can Melee safely anyway.  Always use the right
  PSI power for the right situation.  Given the right situation,
  though, this shines.
    For reference sake, with PSI 8, this will do 7 damage per PSI
  Point, although this climbs to 14 damage per PSI Point against
  Annelids and Half-Annelids.  If you're interested in maximizing your
  efficiency, in many cases it'll behoove you to bring the enemy close
  to death and then use Projected Cryokinesis (so long as it takes
  less than three uses) to finish them off.  This is of particular
  note, for example, with 8 PSI against an Arachnid with a researched
  organ:  doing one Pyro and one Cryo will kill the Arachnid and use
  up 4 PSI points, whereas using just Pyro would use up 6, a 50%
    Score:  0/5 (non-PSI users), 5/5 (PSI users)

Psionic Hypnogenesis:  Target partially organic creature is pacified
  for 20 seconds per PSI.  If the target is damaged, it will
  prematurely end the effect.
    Projectile Speed:  Slow.
    Analysis:  Surprisingly amazing, especially for higher
  difficulties.  Enemies respawn anyway (sometimes at insane rates),
  and at Hard and Impossible, they don't drop items nearly as often,
  so it's not a very good use of your resources to keep on fighting
  the respawns, especially when you're dealing with Rumbler respawns.
  So, for 3 PSI Points, you can effectively "win" fights against
  Rumblers or even minor, yet annoying, enemies.
    Also, in fights involving multiple tough organic enemies, this
  gives you crowd control; ie two Rumblers against you is tough, but
  reducing it to one Rumber at a time makes the battle much more
  manageable.  In addition, using this to hold a Cyborg Assassin in
  place while you get off a good attack can be very vital.  Just be
  careful about the slow speed of the projectile.
    Score:  5/5
8d. Tier 4                                                        [840]

  *Learning Tier 4 grants you 8 bonus PSI Points.*

Photonic Redirection:  Makes you invisible for 5 seconds plus 5
  seconds per PSI.  Activating a PSI ability or using a weapon will
  prematurely end the effect.
    Analysis:  Incredibly powerful, for the same reason as Psionic
  Hypnogenesis, especially in the last few levels where enemies are
  incredibly dense.  For 4 PSI Points, you effectively "win" the next
  few battles.  If you have the cybernetic modules to spare, you can
  use Localized Pyrokinesis in advance and run around and damage
  enemies while still invisible.
    For Hard and Impossible difficulties, it's almost definitely worth
  just getting PSI to get this ability, as this is a HUGE life and
  time saver in areas like the Body of the Many.
    NOTE:  It's rare, but it happens, but spiders seem occasionally
  capable of still seeking you out while invisible.  In addition, some
  of those capable of still seeking you out are still capable of
  attacking you.  It only tends to happen if you were at any point not
  invisible while you were in their sight and then went invisible.
    Score:  5/5

Remote Pattern Detection:  Shows the location of many different
  items, like nanites, ammos, hypos, and implants.  Lasts 1 minute per
    There is a very similar effect to this PSI ability - having played
  the game once before.  Memory (or a good strategy guide) is more
  effective than spending cyber modules on this.
    Score:  0/5

Electron Suppression:  Disables a purely robotic target for 3 seconds
  per PSI.
    Projectile Speed:  Slow.
    Analysis:  Only really useful if you're heavily PSI and need to
  buy yourself some time (since robotic creations are the hardest with
  which for PSI users to deal).  Note that unlike Psionic
  Hypnogenesis, hitting the robot won't make them "wake up," so this
  is as much free damage as you can squeeze in.
    Score:  2/5 (Non-dedicated PSI users), 4/5 or 5/5 (Depending on
  how completely you dedicate to just PSI)

Psychogenic Endurance:  Increases your Endurance by 2 for 2 minutes
  plus 1 minute per PSI.
    Quite nice.  When it wears off, you'll lose the extra hitpoints
  you gained to begin with, but you won't be dropped below 1 HP.
  However, unlike Tank (the OS upgrade) it doesn't scale effectively
  with difficulty.  While it helps no matter what, it's still only a
  small gain on Hard or Impossible.  Just hope it doesn't wear off in
  the middle of a tough fight.
    Note that because you can never be dropped below 1 HP when this
  ability wears off, this effectively gives you some "buffer" health.
  If you used this on Hard, for example, there is no difference
  between having 1 health and 7 health, since when this wears off you
  go straight down to 1 health anyway, so it's health you don't have
  to worry about.
    Score:  4/5

Molecular Transmutation:  Lets you turn a clip of ammo or a single
  hypo into Nanites.  The yield is an equation based on your PSI, the
  size of the ammo clip that you're transmuting, and a factor based on
  the item itself.
    Analysis: In some case more effective than the Recycler you pick
  up, but the "profitability" of it decreases as difficulty increases
  since PSI hypos (which are your fixed costs) increase in cost.  In
  most cases the Recycler is more profitable, but some things
  (especially Grenades and Prisms) are immensely profitable targets
  for Molecular Transmutation (see the Appendix for a more thorough
    NOTE:  Because your nanite yield depends *heavily* on your PSI
  stat, boost it up as far as you can before transmuting things.  In
  addition, this is one of few abilities that count PSI past 8 (up to
  a total of 10 PSI).
    Score:  5/5 (Easy or Normal), 4/5 (Hard or Impossible)

Cerebro-Energetic Extension:  Turns your PSI Amp into a powerful melee
  weapon (18 Standard damage, 24 with Smasher upgrade).  Lasts 10
  seconds per PSI.  While it's active, however, you cannot use PSI
    Analysis:  It's quite a weapon, but if you want to use Adrenaline
  Overproduction (since there are no other ways to boost the damage,
  since the PSI Blade doesn't fall into a weapon category to be
  upgraded), you have to use it before you use this.
    Keep in mind that a fully upgraded Crystal Shard or Laser Rapier
  (against a robotic or semi-robotic enemy) is far more damaging than
  this.  Then again, this costs a lot less, cyber-module wise, then
  having to pick up the appropriate weapons (and in the case of the
  shard, research) skill.  In addition, unlike the Crystal Shard or
  the Wrench, the PSI Sword will actually damage SHODAN, at full
    Score:  3/5

Remote Circuitry Manipulation:  Lets you Hack using half your PSI
  stat, rounding up, for both your Hack skill and your Cybernetic
  Affinity stat.  Nanite costs are instead taken from PSI.  Hacking
  modifications (software, OS upgrade, any inherent Hacking stat) are
  ignored.  Cybernetic Affinity is also ignored.
    Analysis:  Only useful if you're heavily PSI-dedicated.  True for
  two reasons - a) you need an INCREDIBLY high PSI for this to be
  remotely useful b) if you aren't heavily PSI dedicated, you should
  already have Hacking anyway.  Even though you only use half your PSI
  as your Cyber Affinity and Hack, it is possible to hack at a Hack
  level of 5 by getting yourself an effective PSI of atleast 9.  This
  is one of few PSI abilities that actually count a PSI score higher
  than 8 (up to a total of 10 PSI).
    However, even with a PSI of 10, you're still effectively missing
  out on at least 45% worth of difficulty reduction, 10% from an
  additional point in Hack, 5% from an additional Cybernetic Affinity
  (at least, up to 15% for a CYB of 8), and 30% from three levels of
  Hack Software.  As a result, even with maxed out PSI, the late-game
  difficulty rate ends up being about 65% - still very high by normal
  standards.  Plus, when you're stuck at lower PSI levels,
  difficulties can easily hit into near-impossible 80% and higher
    Since Remote Circuitry Manipulation is a PSI ability, it has the
  nice side effect of giving you range; this means you can Hack things
  from a distance, as long as you're aiming correctly.  Being able to
  hack a turret from down the hall is very nice; you can be behind a
  pillar, lean to the side, quickly activate this ability, and lean
  back behind the pillar and still be able to hack the turret.  In
  some cases, you can hack directly through walls and windows.  Just
  be warned that while you have range, the aiming is a bit finicky.
  In some cases you'll be able to hack across an entire open area to
  get a turret, in other cases you'll have trouble trying to get the
  game to recognize that you're trying to hack something that's right
  around the corner.
    With the right plan, even on Hard, you should be able to get this
  early enough to make good use of it.  On Impossible, however, even
  if you do prioritize this and get it early, this becomes an
  expensive Nanite sink, since it'll eat up your PSI points like
  nothing else and PSI hypos are not cheaply obtainable by Molecular
  Duplication.  Nevertheless, dedicated PSI users should definitely go
  for this, simply because the payoff of being able to hack is so
    Score:  0/5 (Non-PSI users), 5/5 (Dedicated PSI users)
8e. Tier 5                                                        [850]

  *Learning Tier 5 grants you 10 bonus PSI Points.*

  NOTE:  Tier 5 is almost out of affordability for Hard and
Impossible difficulties, so this is really for consideration for
Easy and Normal.  You can, if you want, afford these nonetheless with
a completely dedicated PSI approach, although be prepared to make
significant sacrifices in other areas, especially on Impossible.
But some of these powers are just so powerful as to be worth it.

Advanced Cerebro-Stimulated Regeneration:  Heals 5 Health plus an
  additional 5 Health per PSI.
    Analysis:  Ridiculously fast healing, but incredibly inefficient.
  In addition, even on Normal difficulty, this will still generally
  heal in excess of the amount of health you actually have.  This is
  best for emergency heals on Normal and Easy.
    Advanced Cerebro-Stimulated Regeneration is one of few abilities 
  that count a PSI higher than 8 (up to a total of 10 PSI).
    Score:  2/5

Soma Transference:  Transfers 10 Health from target partially organic
  creature to yourself, plus an additional 5 per PSI over 5.
    Analysis:  Ridiculously amazing.  Only damages organic creatures,
  but when it does work, you will never die (short of an outright
  insta-kill hit from a Greater PSI Reaver).  Although, honestly, on
  any real difficulty (Hard or Impossible) you should be good at
  avoiding damage that this isn't THAT powerful.  But then again, just
  one use is generally enough to fully heal yourself at the expense of
  the enemy on these higher difficulties.  However, this is the least
  efficient damage ability in your disposal...  although it may just
  be a price to pay for virtual immortality.
    A nice quirk about this ability is the fact that it's
  instantaneous, a welcome change from the slow moving projectiles you
  get on earlier Tiers.
    NOTE:  Soma Transference allows you to bypass a Metacreative
  Barrier, which allows for some combo opportunities.  It also lets
  you strike the Brain of the Many without having to destroy the
  protective stars.
    Score:  4/5

Instantaneous Quantum Relocation:  When used, sets a teleporation
  marker.  If used again, transports you to that marker and clears it.
  Press ALT-T to clear an existing transportation marker.
    Analysis:  I find it very difficult to find a general use for
  this.  I can't!  You can do some neat party tricks, such as killing
  yourself on the tram in the Rickenbacker, or messing with the last
  monologue, but otherwise useless.
    However, I *can* think of a very specific, limited applications
  for this.  In the body of the many, you can set a marker right next
  to one of the Replicators and use it to teleport back right before
  you destroy the brain, since you won't have any other chance to
  spend your nanites.  But this use alone doesn't justify the
  cybernetic cost.
    If there was a PvP multiplayer option, though, this would be an
  amazing ability.  Maybe if you and a friend want to duke it out in
  Med/Sci or something, this would be a very strong escape ability.
    Score:  0/5

Imposed Neural Restructuring:  Target non-robotic creature becomes
  hostile against all non-human creatures.  Lasts for 10 seconds per
  PSI or until damaged by a human.
    Projectile Speed:  Medium.
    Analysis:  Ridiculously useful for multi-Rumbler fights, but on
  some enemies, it's just not PSI-efficient.  Rumblers, Spiders, and
  Cyborgs are good targets for this (just make sure they're not alone
  as otherwise it's a waste).
    Remember that unaffected enemies still view you (the player) as a
  relatively high priority, so they may still go after you if they
  were already attacking you to begin with, even while being attacked
  by their former allies.
    NOTE:  PSI Reavers, Arachnids, and Swarms are immune to this
  ability, though this doesn't stop them from attacking other
  creatures that you have *have* successfully hit with this spell.
    Score:  4/5

Metacreative Barrier:  Creates a wall that has 150 Health plus an
  additional 50 per PSI over 5.  The wall lasts for 4 minutes or until
    Analysis:  If you're about to die and need to buy some healing
  time, you can try to quickly erect a wall to block out an enemy.
  Other than that, it's not terribly useful.  You can try to use it to
  avoid combat, but Psionic Hypnogenesis or Photonic Redirection are
  far more useful and the enemy has a much greater ability of
  remembering that it's out to get you when you use the Barrier.  This
  probably best has use trying to choke off SHODAN's Avatar or trying
  to get close enough to hack a turret.
    NOTE:  You can use Soma Transference through a Metacreative
  Barrier, but doing this costs so many PSI points its rarely worth
  it.  Plus, Soma Transference already essentially gives you
  immortality, what more do you need?  In addition, Metacreative
  Barrier is one of few abilities that count PSI past 8 (up to a total
  of 10 PSI).
    Score:  2/5

External Psionic Detonation:  Creates a PSI proximity mine that will
  explode for area of effect damage of type PSI equal to 30 when
  anything comes within range.  The mines last for 4 minutes.
    Analysis:  Deals double damage to Spiders and the PSI Reavers, but
  otherwise it's terribly inefficient for not that much faster killing
  power over Projected Pyrokinesis.  Still, setting up a few of these
  and instantly killing a Rumbler is a great, safe way to end a fight.
    It's strength, however, lies in its Area of Effect.  Even doing
  double damage to a single spider means that Pyrokinesis will still
  be more PSI effective.  However, two or more spiders means that
  you'll be doing way more damage per PSI.
    For reference sake, the damage dealt is independent of PSI; a flat
  30.  This means that regardless of PSI, you'll do 6 damage per PSI
  (per adversary in area of effect).  Against Annelids, this is 12
  damage per PSI.  This is also the only PSI damage ability that deals
  full damage to Half-Mechanical creatures (Midwives/Cyborgs);
  Cryokinesis and Pyrokinesis both do half damage.
    If you're interested in maximizing damage output efficiency, use
  this against half-mechanical creatures (Cyborgs Assassins and
  Midwives, but only if you've researched the Midwife organ, as
  otherwise you just end up doing lots of overkill damage), in such a
  way as to hit two organic creatures where they average out to having
  atleast 6 + 2 * PSI health (as otherwise you're better off with
  Cryokinesis on them individually), three creatures that average out
  to 4 + 1.3 * PSI health, or virtually any combination of four
  organic creatures.  Note that while in some cases Pyrokinesis will
  be generally more efficient, the efficiency is ignored due to
  Pyrokinesis doing more damage than is actually necessary.  Thus, if
  you're fairly aggressive about using PSI over other weaponry (like a
  wrench), pretty much any group of two organic enemies (excluding
  Grubs, Pipe Hybrids, and Monkeys) is a good opportunity to use this
  (just make sure they're close enough together to get hit by one
    Score:  3/5

Psycho-Reflective Aura:  Grants 60% damage reduction for 10 seconds
  plus 20 seconds per PSI.
    Analysis:  A bit ironic.  It's use is best for Hard and Impossible
  when this damage reduction is sorely needed, but it's hard to afford
  for Hard and impossible to afford on Impossible (atleast without
  sacrificing many skills and abilities).  But then again, the damage
  reduction is MASSIVE.  Even with just wearing Light Combat Armor or
  Worm Skin Armor, combined with this, SHODAN will deal almost
  negligible damage to you.
    NOTE:  All PSI armors (Psycho-reflective Screen, Energy
  Reflection, Psycho-reflective Aura) stack with each other and with
  normal armor.
    Score:  4/5

9.  OS Upgrades                                                   [900]
Strong Metabolism:  Damage from radiation and toxins reduced by 25%
    This ability is nearly useless.  Unless you're a complete moron,
  the occasional anti-toxin hypo/anti-rad hypo should be more than 
  enough to deal with any problems you may have.
    However, it is important to note that once you get to Impossible,
  the piddling radiation damage that gets through in between anti-rad
  hypo doses becomes significantly more painful, and you'll find
  yourself hard-pressed to deal with Toxic Eggs and Annelids without
  getting infected.  Only then can I see a real use for this, but
  honestly there's probably something wrong with your character setup
  if you are choosing this over something else.
    Score:  0/5, 1/5 (Impossible)

Pharmo-Friendly:  Extra 20% benefit from all hypos
    One of the strongest abilities you can get, although more so for
  strong (but not dedicated) PSI users.  On Hard and Impossible, this 
  squeezes so much efficiency out of every hypo that it's almost a 
  necessity.  Med Hypos will heal 12 Health (2 per second) and 
  PSI Hypos will heal 24 PSI Points.  Those extra points go a long 
    You may think that this essentialy means that Hypos simply cost 
  16.67% less at replicators, due to increased efficiency.  Because of
  this, this may seem worse than Replicator Expert, since that gives
  you a 20% discount on everything.  However, a huge percentage (in
  fact, sometimes a majority) of the hypos you have are *found* not
  *bought*, as such, you are actually saving even more Nanites by
  not having to need a Replicator as much.
    PSI users will probably get the most out of this since other 
  character types have other ways of healing aside from just 
  Med Hypos.  However, completely dedicated PSI users will probably
  be better off with Replicator Expert as you'll just simply be buying
  SO MANY PSI Hypos than you'll be finding.
    Score:  5/5
Pack Rat:  3 extra inventory slots
    Useless if you plan on maxing out Strength or plan on getting
  5 Strength and using a BrawnBooster Implant.  It may be useful on
  Hard or Impossible when you need to squeeze every cyber module
  and still need inventory space, but honestly you should be able
  to manage your inventory decently.
    Score:  1/5

Speedy:  Movement speed increased by 15%
    Quite nice for strafing attacks, for speeding through levels, and
  for ducking in and out of safe spots.  Not game-breakingly amazing,
  but far from useless.
    Score:  3/5

Sharpshooter:  Ranged, non-psionic weapons do 15% more damage
    Very nice.  One of the strongest upgrades, although only if you
  actually pursue decently into ranged weapons.  Although, on
  Impossible difficulty, you'll be doing so much of your work via melee
  attacks, that you may be better off with melee upgrades.
    Score:  4/5  

Naturally Able:  8 extra cybermodules
    HORRIBLE.  The amount this upgrade gives you is less than 1% of the
  total amount in the entire game.  Very small.  On low difficulties,
  abilities cost so dirt cheap that you don't need it.  On high
  difficulties, you need to be so efficient with your upgrades that this
  has no place in your character development.
    Score:  0/5

Cybernetically Enhanced:  Allows use of two implants at same time
    An amazing ability.  You can't stack the two same implants at once,
  but stacking a BrawnBoost and an EndurBoost is nice.  This ability is
  made even more amazing if you have good Maintenance.
    Almost any character plan can be made better by adding this 
  upgrade.  This one is almost certainly a must.
    There is a caveat though - you should think about what you're using
  that extra implant slot for.  SwiftBoost?  Getting Speedy may be
  better.  EndurBoost?  On Hard and Impossible, Tank is strictly better.
  So long as you have a clear idea of how you're going to be using the
  extra freedom, this is a fabulous upgrade.
    Score:  4/5

Tank:  Increases maximum HP by 5
    An upgrade that actually scales in effectiveness with difficulty.
  On Easy or Normal, Endurance is dirt cheap to increase and yields 
  more than 5 HP per point.  On Hard or Impossible, Endurance becomes 
  far harder to afford and yields much smaller returns.  On Hard and 
  Impossible, this upgrade reflects a larger percentage of your HP 
  so that this becomes a better upgrade as the game gets harder.
    Score:  2/5 (Easy/Normal), 4/5 (Hard), 5/5 (Impossible)

Lethal Weapon:  Increases hand-to-hand damage by 35%
    On Easy or Normal, this is an excellent upgrade if you choose to
  pursue a Melee-based character, although poor otherwise.  On Hard or
  Impossible, this becomes much more important as more of your
  fighting takes place with a Wrench or the Laser Rapier.  In some
  cases, this might be better of a choice than Sharpshooter, even
  without pursuing a Melee-based character.
    In any case, always take Lethal Weapon before Smasher.  It's
  slightly more effective in damage and is faster to execute.  If you
  do take this on Hard or Impossible without dedicating to a Melee
  path, make this your first upgrade so you get the most out of it.
    Score:  4/5, 5/5 (Impossible)

Security Expert:  +2 hacking skill applied only to security computers
    If you're a hardcore hacker, you don't need this at all.  If
  you're a full PSI hacker (using the 4th tier ability), this won't
  help you at all.  This is useful, however, if you're splashing a bit
  of Hacking.  Nevertheless, there are generally better choices.
    Score:  2/5

Smasher:  You can execute overhand attacks with melee weapons
    As you prepare to swing your melee weapon, if you keep the attack 
  button held down, you'll lift the weapon upwards and swing down.  
  You'll do the second damage listed for each melee weapon (which 
  is slightly less than the 35% you can get from Lethal Weapon).  If 
  you're doing a Melee-based character, this is a must.  Otherwise, 
  this is a pretty specialized upgrade.
    On a side note, the Smasher changes your plane of attack (vertical
  instead of horizontal).  This changes the angle of your attack, so it
  might be harder to aim at first, but it's easy to get the hang of it.
    Stacking Smasher and Lethal Weapon is vicious.
    NOTE:  Because of the Crystal Shard's odd Smasher damage glitch,
  it's worth getting Smasher as quickly as you can if you plan on
  going all out Crystal Shard melee.  You should still get Lethal
  Weapon first since you'll be meleeing with the Wrench for quite a
  while before the first Crystal Shard.

    Score:  1/5 (but 5/5 if you're Melee-based)

Cyber Assimilation:  Can find items off destroyed robots that heal 15 HP
    A very nice upgrade.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work off Protocol
  Droids.  This gives you a way to get free healing after fighting tough
  enemies.  However, on Hard or Impossible, you should be avoiding getting
  hit as much as possible, so you may find better options.
    Then again, fighting Security Bots and Assault Bots are viciously
  hard to do with just a Wrench, and being assured of a healing item
  when many (on Hard) or most (on Impossible) monsters drop absolutely
  nothing is quite nice.
    Score:  3/5, 4/5 (Hard/Impossible)

Replicator Expert:  Replicator items cost 20% less
    A VERY useful upgrade.  If you're going to get this, get this as 
  early as possible so you can save as much Nanites as possible.  This
  is perhaps most useful on Hard or Impossible when replicator items
  cost more.
    Score:  5/5

Power Psi:  Burnout no longer damages you
    Burnout is rarely a problem.  It's only useful if you use Tier 4/5
  powers, which charge up very quickly and may be hard to use without
  burnout.  However, this limits its use to Easy and Normal, since
  Tier 5 is almost out of reach of Hard and Impossible affordability.
    However, if you're going for a completely dedicated PSI approach,
  this ability will probably become much more valuable, as not only
  will you be able to afford Tier 4/5 abilities, but you will also 
  probably spend alot of time burning out on Tier 5 abilities (as the
  timing is dramatically shorter than Tier 4 abilities).  Burning out
  on just one Tier 5 ability is *very* bad for your health on Hard or
  Impossible (and will probably just kill you straight out in 
    Score:  2/5, 4/5 (for completely dedicated PSI users)

Tinker:  Nanite cost for weapon modification down by 50%
    In Single Player, there are for the most part, enough French-
  Epstein Devices that, with careful planning, you never actually
  need to do modifications.  
    In Multiplayer, there aren't enough F-E Devices to go around, and
  someone will actually have to pick up Modify.  In the process, it
  becomes effective to modify weapons whenever possible to get
  immediate benefit, creating a sort of feedback loop of benefit.
  With that in mind, Tinker becomes a better deal the more players are
  involved (especially since Nanites get split amongst the players),
  though you won't need more than one person with Tinker.  The
  Multiplayer nanite cost savings can be truly dramatic depending on
  what your allies use.  Just a single attempt at a second
  modification on an Exotic Weapon costs 75 Nanites, so a few failed
  attempts and you've already saved enough nanites to buy, say, a clip
  of 20 Prisms.
    Score:  0/5 (Single Player), x/5 (Multiplayer, where x is
  the number of players involved)

Spatially Aware:  Automap always filled in for every level
    Completely useless.  Seeing the entire map is rarely useful, and 
  having a good memory or a good walkthrough is better than wasting an 
  OS upgrade.  If for some reason you still feel compelled to get this,
  don't get it as your third or fourth OS, as the automap for the
  Rickenbacker is pretty useless, and there is no automap once you enter
  the Body of the Many.
    Score:  0/5
  Since you're only allowed to have four OS upgrades, these are some of
my recommended paths to take to get best use out of your upgrades 
(listed in order to take).  Remember, just because I like these paths
doesn't mean they'll necessarily work for you.

  Melee-based:  Lethal Weapon, Smasher, Cybernetically Enhanced,
  Should be self-explanatory - you get the two melee OS upgrades,
you'll be able to plug in two implants (Strength and Endurance?
Strength and Agility?), and you'll be super fast to weave in and out
of fights.

  Energy Phreak:  Lethal Weapon, Cyber Assimilation, Sharpshooter,
Cybernetically Enhanced
  For a concept that depends majorly on Energy weapons.  Lethal Weapon
helps out your Wrench and later your replacement Laser Rapier.  Cyber
Assimilation is there because you can easily dispatch robots, so that
15 health is a free goody.  Sharpshooter improves your EMP and your
Laser (mainly its overload mode).  Cybernetically Enhanced lets you
take advantage of that high Maintenance and exploit two implants to
good effects.

  PSI-based:  Pharmo Friendly, Replicator Expert, Cybernetically
Enhanced, Speedy (Hard/Impossible) or Power Psi (Easy/Normal)
  You can get a more detailed look at what would make a good PSI-based
OS path in section <<B20>>, but this a general all-purpose idea.
Pharmo-Friendly and Replicator Expert extend the efficiency of your
PSI Hypos, you'll probably have Electron Cascade to help sustain two
implants, and depending on whether or not you'll be likely to have
Tier 5 abilities you get Power Psi to minimize killing yourself from
burn out or Speedy to help you race around enemies while charging up
your PSI abilities.

  Multiplayer Techie:  Tinker, Sharpshooter, Replicator Expert,
Cybernetically Enhanced.
  This is sort of themed into a character who provides a support role.
Tinker means the other players and you can recklessly pick up new
weapons and discard them when they break and still enjoy lots of
modifications.  Sharpshooter for offense, Replicator Expert to be an
effective mule for other players, and of course Cybernetically
Enhanced because why not?

  Impossible Difficulty:  Lethal Weapon, Replicator Expert, 
Cybernetically Enhanced, Tank
  A generall all-purpose Impossible path.  Lethal Weapon because
Wrenching things is your main game plan.  Replicator Expert for
efficiencies in buying what you can no longer loot off enemy corpses
as well.  Cybernetically Enhanced because of its good payouts.  Tank
because 5 health is a huge chunk of your life on Impossible.

10. Researchable Things                                           [A00]
  High-level researchable things deserve their own category simply 
because they involve risk vs reward; instead of giving you a flat stat 
or ability bonus, they give you quirky perks.

  Annelid Armor:  Requires Research 3, Technetium and Hassium
    Provides +20% damage reduction, +2 PSI, and 30% toxin/radiation
  resistance.  Has no stat requirements other than the research, 
  although it will constantly drain away your PSI while using it.
    One the one hand, this essentially gives you free overload on all
  your PSI abilities (since most PSI abilities tend to get capped 
  at 8, so at a PSI of 6, just rapidly activating PSI with this on
  still gives you a benefit of 8).  On the other hand, it gives you
  only as much defense as Light Armor and also constantly (if slowly)
  drains away the precious resource for any PSI user - PSI. 
    On Hard or less, this drain and low defense is negligible.  
  The drain is slow, and you can afford more PSI hypos with relative 
  ease.  In addition, you have enough health to survive huge attacks.
  On Impossible, having only 20% damage reduction at such late points 
  in the game is near-suicidal and PSI hypos are prohibitively 
  expensive.  But then again, instantly overloading your PSI abilities
  (and removing the need for PSI boosters and PSI implants in most
  cases) is really just that nice - this is also a cheap, quick way
  of using Remote Circuitry Manipulation to simulate CYB 5/Hack 5.
    NOTE:  the drain rate is 1 PSI Point per 30 seconds.
    Availability:  First on the Rickenbacker.
  WormBlood:  Requires Research 4, Copper
    This lets you "eat" piles of worm (actually making them disappear)
  and consequently heal 10 health.
    There's absolutely no reason why you have to keep this installed.
  If you see a pile of worms, just swap out the implant and use it.
  It's always nice to have another way to heal, so if you're already
  building up Research for some reason (maybe Exotic Weapons), there's
  no reason to not research it and leave it in your inventory.
    Availability:  First on the Research deck.

  WormMind Implant:  Requires Research 3, Cesium
    Every 4th point of damage is instead taken out of your PSI while
  this is equipped (obviously you must have more than 0 PSI for this
  to work).
    This is essentially a further 25% damage reduction after armor
  effects have already been calculated.  For a non-PSI user, this
  will translate into an actual 12.5% additional damaage reduction
  when using Power Armor, for a total of 62.5%.
    However, for those wanting something more durable and consistent
  than Power Armor, this effectiveness varies.  For dedicated PSI
  users stuck with Light Armor, this essentially means upgrading
  to Heavy Armor for free.  For those stuck on Medium Armor, it means
  upgrading to a slightly weaker Power Armor for free (47.5% damage
  reduction).  For those using Heavy Armor, it means a slightly better
  version of Power Armor (55% damage reduction).  
    If you don't use PSI at all, this is an excellent implant because
  it puts your PSI Points and PSI hypos to use.  If you are a PSI 
  user, your PSI Points are more effectively used by Cerebro-
  Stimulated Regeneration, or even by Advanced Cerebro-Stimulated
    Availability:  First on the Operations deck.

  WormHeart Implant:  Requires Research 5, Cesium and Hassium
    This gives you complete Toxin damage immunity, heals 1 health
  every 30 seconds, but injects you with massive Toxins if this runs
  out of power or you de-equip it.
    This gets a lot of undeserved bad press.  Immunity to damage from
  Toxins in your blood isn't something to write home about, but it's
  something (though, it's particularly good on Hard or Impossible
  where you may end up having to melee Arachnids, which can easily
  inject you with Toxins).  However, healing 1 HP every 30 seconds is
  huge.  Free healing, although it's best for Hard or Impossible when
  this 1 HP reflects a much larger percentage of your health pool, is
  always amazing.  If you're already getting up to Research 4 for some
  reason, you can just tack on a LabAssistant and get this researched
  and put it to good use.
    Just remember.  Taking this off or letting it run out of charge
  will inject alot of bad toxins into your blood.  Either monitor the
  charge or have some anti-toxin hypos handy.
    Availability:  First on the Command deck.

11. Managing Impossible Difficulty                                [B00]
  The designers weren't kidding when they named this "Impossible."  If
you don't have the basic tactics/strategies down, a familiarity with
the game, and a solid character concept ahead of time, you'll find 
yourself really believing that the difficulty is impossible.
Fortunately, I'm here to help you.
11a. General Tips                                                 [B10]

  You should get intimately familiar with how your wrench works and how
to optimally use it against virtually every enemy in the game.  You
may think I'm kidding, but as I once heard said, System Shock 2 on
Impossible isn't a sci-fi/horror first person role-playing game, it's
a wrench simulator that lets you simulate hitting all sorts of things
with a wrench.

  Why the wrench?  Loot is obscenely rare (you can easily go the
entire game without getting organs from a given enemy type),
replicators are ridiculously overpriced, and the wrench is something
that everyone has access to and doesn't require any cyber modules to
use effectively.  And, for the most part, most of your enemies can be
vanquished with some nimble footwork and good use of the wrench (refer
to the Bestiary, section <<D00>> for a detailed, creature-by-creature

  As a result, Lethal Weapon becomes perhaps the single best and most
important OS ugprade you can get on Impossible.  Get it first and as
quickly as you can afford to, it's just that absolutely important for
getting through the game.

  Robots can be dealt with fairly easily if you simply know how to deal
with their AI.  If you keep circling them back and forth while hitting
them with the wrench, they'll generally spend all their time trying to
turn instead of trying to shoot you.  Of course, you still want a plan
to finish them, as the explosion they give off can stil kill you.
11b. Full OSA                                                     [B20]
  This deserves special mention.  This is not a partial-OSA approach,
this is a completely dedicated PSI approach on Impossible difficulty.
If you don't think that's hard, go ahead and try it.  I'll wait.
  Back so soon?  You've got many things working against you.  Your
wrenching is already less effective than a Navy's or Marine's (no
starting Standard Weapons skill), and you're not going to be spending
anything to improve it (save for one OS upgrade).  All your offense and
utility will come from a Hypo that's ridiculously expensive and much,
much less common than even a Prism.

  This section is aimed at making clear alot of things you need to 
know about any PSI-related approach on Impossible.  You can generalize
some of this to other difficulties and other PSI-based builds as there
is alot of useful PSI-related information here.
  i. A Word on PSI Hypos                                          [B21]

      PSI Hypos are your life.  If you run out, you die.  Well, maybe
    not early on, where you can just Wrench your way through life, but
    you have no chance in hell of just Wrenching your way through the
    Rickenbacker.  You *may* find an Annelid PSI Organ (fully recovers
    PSI), which you must HOARD.  Using one when you only have around
    30 total PSI Points is a waste.  You should save it until you have
    maxed out your PSI stat and achieved access to *all* tiers for a
    total of 61 PSI and only when you've completely run out.  Of
    course, on Impossible difficulty, each Annelid Egg (that is
    capable of being searched like a crate) has only a 1.25% chance of
    yielding one.  Which means you can easily go the entire game
    without ever finding one.
      Your PSI Hypo consumption will dramatically increase the further
    you go into the game.  All the more reason to horde the ones you
    get on Med/Sci, Engineering, and even Hydroponics.  You don't
    *need* to use PSI too much (other than to destroy cameras, eggs
    from a distance, and deal with pesky turrets).  However, once you
    start dealing with swarms of (Security/Assault) Bots, Cyborg
    Assassins, Rocket/Laser Mk II Turrets, Rumblers, waves of
    Annelids... you need those PSI Hypos, and you'll be using them
    faster and faster with each deck.
      Hoard everything.  Why?  PSI Hypos are freaking expensive.  150
    a pop.  But, for the love of god, *DON'T* buy any until Operations
    (more on this in a bit).  And by "Hoard everything" I mean exactly
    that.  Bullets.  Beakers that you've filled with worms.  Even
    those Magazines and Potted Plants (when you have room).  Once you
    get to Ops, you need to hack (either with ICE Pick or with PSI
    Ability) the Replicator near the Command Center for a Recycler.
    Turn everything that's not a Speed Booster, Rad/Toxin Hypo, Med
    Hypo, Med Kit, an Implant, an Annelid Organ, or a PSI Hypo/Booster
    into Nanites.  Constantly recyling *EVERYTHING* you find will be
    *absolutely* crucial to your ability to outpace your PSI Hypo
    consumption, in addition to any PSI Hypos you find normally.  In
    addition, the Replicator you just hacked for a Recycler *also*
    happens to sell PSI Hypos, which now only cost 80 nanites.  Stock
      Starting with Command, the hacked price of PSI Hypos goes up
    from 80 nanites to 100 nanites.  Doesn't sound like much, but
    that's a 25%; increase, which means 20% fewer hypos for you.  If
    at all possible, (when you're still on Command deck) go back to
    the Replicator just by the Elevator on Engineering to buy hypos.
    Once you get to the Rickenbacker, though, you're pretty set with
    100-a-pop PSI Hypos.
      PSI Hypos on Command and on the Rickenbacker are *RARE*.  I
    don't know why the game designers decided this, but both the
    increase in hacked prices for them and the increased rarity of PSI
    Hypos means you need to be absolutely careful about PSI
    efficiency.  And that makes it much more important that you stay
    on top of Recycling everything you can possibly find.  An
    individual nanite here or there might not mean much, but over the
    course of one deck can mean 2 PSI Hypos.
      As you can tell, getting Replicator Expert will be your best
    friend.  About 80% of all PSI Hypos you consume will be things
    you've bought, so that 20% discount is significant.  However,
    Pharmo-Friendly will also be your best friend.  While most of your
    PSI Hypos will be bought, you will never ever be buying Med Hypos,
    so getting an extra 20% bonus from them will go a *very* long way.
    Plus, even if you *only* bought PSI Hypos, the extra 20% bonus
    effectiveness roughly means a 16.66% discount in replicator price,
    just from efficiency.  Which you choose is ultimately up to you,
    but having atleast one of the two is *absolutely* essential.
      PSI Hypos in the Body of the Many are plentiful, and Nanites and
    things that recycle well into nanites (huge beakers filled with
    worms, huge amounts of prisms, huge ammo clips) are plentiful.
    Plus, most of the level is within a quick access to a Replicator
    that you can hack for 100 Nanite PSI Hypos.  Stock up as much as
    you can here as there are NO replicators after the Body of the
  ii. PSI Hypo Economics                                          [B22]

      PSI Hypos are so fundamental to your character that you should
    really base most of your decisions on maximizing your PSI Hypo
    uses.  After all, nanites are effectively a finite resource, so
    once you're out of nanites and PSI Hypos because you've been
    casting all the PSI stat buffs at every opportunity, you're pretty
      To that matter, PSI buffs that may have been good to have pretty
    active on Hard or less become high-cost decisions.  Is it *really*
    necessary to have Psychogenic Endurance on all the time, knowing
    full well that each use consumes 1/5 (1/6 if you have
    Pharmo-Friendly) of a PSI Hypo?  Do you *really* want Power Armor,
    knowing that once you get to higher decks, that 1% charge loss per
    5 seconds will result in you having to keep it maintained with a 3
    PSI point cost Electron Cascade?  Do you really want two implants
    (for the same reason) provided by Cybernetically Enhanced?
      Similarly, should you really use 3 Pyrokinesis attacks to take
    out an Arachnid when you could use almost half the PSI point cost
    by hitting them with Hypnogenesis and then powering up with
    Adrenaline Overproduction?  Or a third of the cost by just
    whapping them with Hypnogenesis and hoping not to run into them
    again?  This line of reasoning is far more situational (for
    example, with better PSI stat and a researched organ, you could
    take out an Arachnid with 1 Pyro hit and 1 Cryo hit instead of the
    far more expensive 3 Pyro hit option).  Nevertheless, such
    reasoning should be an important part of your play, as reckless
    PSI use has undesirable consequences later on, such as when you're
    staring down a charge of several Rumblers and you get the
    horrifying notice: "Psi Hypo: none found in inventory".
  iii. OS Upgrades                                                [B23]

      As mentioned before, either Replicator Expert or Pharmo-Friendly
    are absolutely essential for your guaranteed survivability.
      What else are vital?
      Well, rules that apply to other builds on this difficulty also
    apply here, so get Lethal Weapon first.
      As a completely dedicated PSI user, your Wrench is your only
    effective way of dealing with the various Bots (Maintenance,
    Security, Assault) and Cyborg Assassins.  If you've ever tried
    fighting these with just a Wrench, you know how hard it can be,
    especially against Cyborg Assassins.  You *need* the +35% damage
    as otherwise you simply can't fight these guys with any remote
    effectiveness.  Moreover, so much of your offense will be made up
    of Wrenching things that the +35% pays off over the entire course
    of the game.
      So what else is good?
      Cybernetically Enhanced, Tank, Power PSI, and Cyber Assimilation
    are all good contenders for the other two OS upgrades (in
    adddition to the possibility of the doing the other of the
    Replicator Expert/Pharmo-Friendly choice).
      The effectiveness of Cybernetically Enhanced is debatable -
    presumably you'd want an EndurBoost as one of the implants (as
    your health is spectacularly low).  In this case, you're better
    off with Tank, which gives you a better yield and doesn't cost PSI
    to recharge every so often.  Of course, this doesn't preclude the
    option that you may want an EndurBoost and Tank together, or you
    may be using other implants whose effects aren't replicated by
    other OS upgrades (such as a PsiBoost and a WormHeart).
      For reasons hinted at above, Tank is a great upgrade here - it's
    almost worth 2 Endurance and doesn't have the same exorbitant
    cyber module cost, nor, like an EndurBoost implant, will it
    consume PSI every once and a while to get recharged.  But
    depending on your Endurance, Tank can represent upwards of a 50%
    boost in your health, which is absolutely outstanding to say the
      Power PSI is a contender for a last upgrade as you'll start
    picking up Tier 5 abilities which are *very* easy to burn out on
    and also *very* painful to do so (in fact, you may just end up
    dying if you manage to burn out).  However, if you plan on getting
    Annelid Armor, you don't want this at all as Annelid Armor gives
    you instant overload with maxed out PSI.
      Cyber Assimilation is terrible for a last upgrade (as there are
    NO more robots after the last upgrade station), but good for a
    third, as you'll be fighting many, many robots after the third
    station, and without Cyber Assimilation, every single robot battle
    is a negative result: the costs far outweigh the benefits.  This
    way, though, you can recoup a 15-health healer that you can carry
    around or, in a pinch, turn into a Nanite with a Recycler.
    Considering that you may not even have more than 15 health for a
    while, and you'll have substantially less access to med hypos by
    virtue of being unable to hack for most of the early game, that
    kind of healing is massive.
      So, in the end, this is the OS upgrade path you want to follow.
      First:  Lethal Weapon (no question about it).
      Second:  Replicator Expert or Pharmo-Friendly.
      Third:  Cybernetically Enhanced, Cyber Assimilation, or
    whichever you didn't take as your Second upgrade.
      Fourth:  Tank or Power PSI.  If you didn't take Cybernetically
    Enhanced as a third, then you almost definitely want it here
      There is a bit of wiggle room otherwise - there's no rule that
    says you can't do Lethal Weapon, Cybernetically Enhanced, Tank,
    Speedy, for example - it may even be very effective.  The ordering
    I provide is simply one that I tend to think is pretty optimized
    for Impossible play.
      For reference, my current favorite upgrade path is Lethal
    Weapon, Pharmo-Friendly, Replicator Expert, and then Tank.
  iv. Technical Skills.                                           [B24]

      Yes, there is room for some technical prowess.  Research 4 is a
    great idea simply because WormHeart is just that good of an
    end-game implant.  (You'll also need a LabAssistant implant to
    research it as it needs Research 5.)  This also means you'll have
    access to Annelid Armor and WormBlood.  WormBlood is so important
    as you'll be able to turn those piles of worms (after you're done
    harvesting them with your beakers) into valuable health.  Annelid
    Armor can give you instant PSI overloading, which is just
    ridiculously powerful.  If you're not interested in using
    WormHeart, you can settle with Research 3.  If all you care about
    is researching basic enemy organs, then you can settle for
    Research 2, though you need a LabAssistant implant so you can
    research an Annelid PSI Organ, should you find one - they payoff
    of finding one and then being able to use it is so great that I
    wouldn't be willing to drop any more research.
      Apart from that, you'll probably want Maintenance of some kind,
    since you'll be potentially relying heavily on implants and Power
    Armor.  Get as much as your build can afford, but remember to
    leave some leeway in case you miss a cyber module or two - though
    the import for Maintenance drops a lot if you don't plan on
    getting Cybernetically Enhanced or using Power Armor.
      If you *want*, you can try and get Hack 2.  It's not *that*
    expensive, and with Psychogenic Cybernetic Affinity, you'll be
    able to hack those ubiquitous security crates from day one, which
    gives you nice payoff.  However, going higher than Hack 2 starts
    getting prohibitively more expensive with decreasing payout.
  v. Stats and PSI                                                [B25]

      PSI 6 is mandatory.  No questions asked.  Apart from that, the
    requirements becomes much more dependent on your end game desires.
    If you want Power Armor, get Strength 3 and fast, as you'll be
    able to get that sweet 50% damage reduction starting at
    Hydroponics.  On the other hand, if you're planning on using
    Annelid Armor, your starting Strength 2 is fine.
      Apart from that, I recommend getting whatever Agility and
    Endurance you can afford (generally getting it up to 3 is the most
    your build can afford).  3 or 6 extra Health may not sound like
    much, but trust me, there'll be plent of times you'll escape a
    battle with 1-2 health and thank god for that extra Endurance.
    Agility is important because it lets you chase down those damn
    Cyborg Assassins and strafe ranged attacks (and sometimes those
    enemies can run and fire really damn fast...).
      By the way... if you can help it, reload an auto-save game
    instead of letting yourself respawn at a station.  Losing 10
    nanites every so often will deprive yourself of several PSI Hypos
    over the course of the game.  Plus, dying costs you even more PSI
    Hypos as all your implants are still losing charge (meaning in the
    time it takes to run back to where you died, you lose more charge,
    which means having to recharge them with PSI sooner), and all your
    PSI Buffs (namely Agility and Endurance) wear off.
      As for PSI Abilities... first off, you need to get every single
    tier.  Not only does this mean you'll get the maximum possible of
    61 PSI Points (which makes the Annelid PSI Organ very good), but
    because you're not going to have any non-PSI weapons, you NEED
    Tier 4 and Tier 5 stuff to guarantee your ability to survive the
    last parts of the game.
      As for specific tiers, for Tier 1, Projected Cryokinesis is
    essential (anti-Camera, anti-Turret, anti-Egg, finishing blows on
    robots).  Psychogenic Agility is one of the most important buffs
    in the game (though depending on your playstyle, you may not like
    the constant PSI drain having this on entails).  Kinetic
    Redirection is a nice helper skill, though you should only really
    get it if you can get it for free, via an OSA path.
      For Tier 2, Cerebro-Stimulated Regeneration is vital as it lets
    you turn PSI Hypos into massive amounts of health.  Believe it or
    not, Neural Decontamination (80% rad resistance) is vital, but not
    until you get to the Body of the Many - the radiation pools will
    murder you otherwise; you have poor Endurance and little health.
    If you're good about keeping the Hazard Suit around, though, you
    may not need it.  Adrenaline Overproduction is a good way of
    helping to dispatch robots and other tough enemies (like Cyborg
    Assassins) for whom you may not have other decent PSI answers.
    You may want to consider Psychogenic Strength, since the +2
    Strength will help alot with carrying stuff around (until you can
    Recycle), and it does let you wear heavier armor or do more
      For Tier 3, Projected Pyrokinesis will be your best way of
    dealing with Spiders and Rumblers for most of the game.  Psionic
    Hypnogenesis is great crowd control and also probably the best way
    to help deal with Cyborg Assassins so you can position yourself
    for some good hits.  Electron Cascade is important as there aren't
    enough Recharge Stations or Portable Battery drops to keep your
    implants/Power Armor charged at all times.  Molecular Duplication
    *may* be something you want to consider, as it's the only way to
    assure yourself of a steady supply of PSI Boosters or if you want
    to stock up on Med Hypos for mid-fight use, though
    Cerebro-Stimulated Regeneration is more efficient.
      For Tier 4, Electron Suppression is your best answer against the
    huge bots - it's pretty much a required skill if you don't want to
    pound your head against the wall in frustration.  Photonic
    Redirection is your BEST ability on hand for anything starting
    with the second part (Pod 2) of the Rickenbacker onwards.
    Psychogenic Endurance is your other important buff, though the 4
    PSI Points it periodically costs to have up may be too expensive
    for your tastes.  Remote Circuitry Manipulation is a high-priority
    Tier 4 ability; hacking is so important to your survivability.
    Mainly hacking replicators, but also some turrets and crates -
    though don't go hacking everything, as hacking with your PSI is
    really expensive and hard.
      At the Tier 5 level, there's more room for flexibility.  I would
    highly recommend Imposed Neural Restructuring, Soma Transference,
    and Psycho-Reflective Aura.  These three abilities will make you
    near unstoppable in the Body of the Many.  Invisibility from
    Photonic Redirection *can't* always work, as you need to bust
    through membrane-doors, and doing so will invoke the wrath of
    many, many creatures around you.  In addition, some spiders are
    actually able to attack you despite being invisible (if you were
    at any point uninvisible while they could see you).  Using INR on
    a Rumbler and then going Invisible again is very effective, and
    the virtual immortality that Soma Transference gives you is
    powerful.  Moreover, Soma Transference does have a very important
    use for the battle against the Brain of the Many (more on this
    later).  Psycho-Reflective Aura is almost vital if you want to use
    Annelid Armoppr... otherwise, SHODAN will just eat your paltry
    health alive.  If you're so inclined, you can also think about
    External Psionic Detonation, if you can get it early enough, as it
    is then your best answer against 2 or more spiders, 3 or more
    Hybrids, and a good answer to a hard-to-wrench group of Midwives
    or an answer of some kind to Cyborg Assassins (a solid hit with
    two Psi Mines will kill an Assassin instantly).  At the very
    least, you'll want Soma Transference, but again, this Tier is a
    bit more flexible in what you should get.
      Metacreative Barrier has its uses (such as keeping your hide
    safe from SHODAN's Avatar or letting you manuever around turrets).
    External Psionic Detonation is actually fairly effective and, if
    you use it wisely, more efficient than Cryo or Pyro hits.  Just
    don't think about getting the teleport ability :).
  vi. Typical Build                                               [B26]
      With all this information, my current typical OSA build for
    Impossible looks like this:
      2 STR
      3 AGI
      4 END
      6 PSI
      2 CYB
      4 Research
      Tier 1:  Projected Cryokinesis, Psychogenic Agility, Kinetic
      Tier 2:  Adrenaline Overproduction, Cerebro-Stimulated
    Regeneration, Neural Decontamination
      Tier 3:  Projected Pyrokinesis, Psionic Hypnogenesis, Electron
      Tier 4:  Electron Suppression, Photonic Redirection, Remote
    Circuitry Manipulation, Molecular Transmutation
      Tier 5:  Imposed Neural Restructuring, Soma Transference,
    Psycho-Reflective Aura
      OS Upgrades:  Lethal Weapon, Pharmo-Friendly, Replicator Expert,
      Equipped with:  Annelid Armor, WormHeart, Wrench/PSI Amp
      Low priority goals:  Metacreative Barrier, +1 STR
      My OSA mission paths were: 
      1st year:  Tier 2, Cryo, Redirection
      2nd year:  +2 PSI
      3rd year:  +1 STR, +1 AGI, +1 CYB, Agility
      For a total cost (ignoring the low priority tasks) of 818 Cyber
    Modules.  In one of my recent run throughs, I actually ended the
    game with 0 Cyber Modules left, even though I hadn't pursued my
    "lower priority" spending targets (such as PSI Wall in this case)
    - this probably just means in my hurry I missed a few in the
    Rickenbacker or in the Many.  The point of this is that you should
    probably, similarly, leave some wiggle room with "low priority
    targets" in case you do miss a few cyber modules, as otherwise you
    may end up being screwed when you can't afford that oh-so-crucial
    PSI ability that you had been putting off.  As a result, I tend to
    plan for roughly 800-ish cyber modules of stuff I definitely need
    to have.  The upside of this is that your character concept will
    be completed earlier, so you'll be able to enjoy its full power
    for longer.  Remember - simply missing a small pile of 2-3 every
    so often can add up to an entire 5th tier spell or a stat at its
    4th level.
      For me, I'm a *really* huge fan of Annelid Armor and WormHeart.
    I love free healing, and I love free PSI overloads.  If you've
    never played a game where you've used either, I highly recommend
    you give it a shot.  You don't know raw power until you can spam
    PSI abilities left and right at full 8 PSI power without having to
    worry about overloading.  In fact, this particular build is really
    geared towards maximizing PSI Hypo efficiency - this gets both
    Pharmo- Friendly and Replicator Expert, and gets Pharmo-Friendly
    first on the assumption that you won't need to buy PSI Hypos (or
    atleast more than one or two) until after the third OS upgrade
    station.  It also prioritizes Molecular Transmutation and a high
    PSI so you can turn those grenades, non-standard ammo clips,
    prisms, and worms into nanites much more effectively than a
    Recycler.  The build also ignores Cybernetically Enhanced (and the
    ensuing PSI costs to keep the second implant charged) in favor of
    Tank (Speedy may also be a good contender).  Moreover, this build
    ignores any PSI Buffs (Psychogenic Agility is there because it's
    free and has its occasional use when risking a long fall) due to
    their recurring PSI costs.  Thus, with all these efficencies in
    the build, in the end game areas, you may find yourself flush with
    50+ PSI Hypos, at which point, any constant PSI drip is neglible,
    and you can recklessfly fling around Pyrokinesis, Imposed Neural
    Restructuring, Photonic Redirection, Soma Transference, and any
    and all other spells without worrying about any consequences.  The
    Rickenbacker, the Body of the Many, and the final area is
    basically an opportunity to go haywire with sheer, raw power, and
    seeing as how it's roughly timed with the emergence of your
    powerful capabilities (Pyrokinesis, 4th/5th Tier stuff, Annelid
    Armor), this is when the build really shines.
      Again, this build isn't a definitive WHAT YOU MUST DO list - it
    works into playstyle.  You may not like the steady PSI drip of
    Annelid Armor and instead pursue a Power Armor-based strategy.  Or
    maybe you can live without Aura, Molecular Transmutation, and a
    few other PSI skills, but you really want that extra Endurance.
    Or maybe you want to strip away some more PSI abilities and the
    PSI Wall low priority target so that you can get Hack 2 (and thus
    maybe you'll take a different OSA training path so you can get
    Psychogenic Cybernetic Affinity instead of Kinetic Redirection).
    Perhaps you aren't a fan of the micromanagement necessary to take
    advantage of Hypnogenesis + Adrenaline Reproduction, etc.
  vii. Notes/Tactics                                              [B27]

      Leave 200 Nanites open and available.  The sympathetic resonator
    you HAVE to purchase on Command deck costs 200 on
    Impossible... and you don't want to be like me, scrounging through
    all the decks for anything I can recycle because I forgot about
    how expensive it was.
      Don't Hack every crate you come across, or every Replicator.
    PSI Hacking is *very* expensive as just one attempt on a crate can
    cost you 9-14 PSI, which (with no OS upgrades counted) is 67.5-105
    Nanites of an unhacked PSI Hypo replicator.  You should only Hack
    replicators and turrets that are strategically advantageous.
    Moreover, you should save before any crate hacking so that you can
    reload in case the fruits of your labor aren't worth the effort.
    Plus, never ever hack security.  By the time you get PSI Hack,
    security is very hard to hack and you won't be able to hack
    security for any long periods of time.
      Speaking of strategic turrets, one turret you *must* hack is the
    one where you'll end up fighting Korenchkin.  (If you don't know,
    then you really shouldn't be playing Impossible yet.)  You should
    never have to fight a PSI Reaver at any point in the game with
    this build, and they are truly anti-PSI opponents as they are
    immune to both Hypnogenesis and Imposed Neural Restructuring.
    Plus, Korenchkin's PSI attacks do nothing against turrets, so that
    turret will still be around to be your new buddy.
      You can "glitch" out the AI of Cyborg Assassins and big Bots by
    running forward into them while attacking.  This will make them
    try to back up a bit instead of attack you, but it doesn't always
    work, especially on Assault Bots.
      Soma Transference is your best friend at the Brain of the Many.
    You'll probably be invisible and surrounded by wandering PSI
    Reavers (which are immune to INR and Hypnogenesis).  You can try
    just INR-ing Rumblers, watching them take out a few Reavers before
    dying, then INR-ing their replacements, but this is not PSI
    efficient (and you want lots of PSI hypos to spare for the battle
    against SHODAN, I'd say like 6-7).  Instead of trying to shoot the
    floating stars with Pyro or Cryokinesis and then taking out the
    brain, just do a fully charged Soma Transference on the brain
    twice to kill it.  It'll bypass any protection, and just in case
    you get hit by a PSI Reaver's blast before you kill it, you'll
    heal up the damage again and you'll be good to go.
      As a testament to how rare loot drops are - I, personally, have
    on several instances been able to go the entire game without
    finding a single Monkey Brain organ to research (that's quite
    impressive considering how many Monkeys there are in the game).
    Because of this, you lose significant resources in every single
    battle.  In Hard, and especially Normal, there's a good chance you
    could recoup some of the effort you put into the fight from the
    loot on the monster, but not so on Impossible.  As a result, once
    you deal with a level's initial monsters, you're probably better
    off disabling or skipping respawns instead of fighting them
    (especially cyborg assassins), if you can help it.

12. Character Concepts                                            [C00]
  These are character concepts that either I've played, heard/read 
about, or theorize would be fun to play.  Credit is given where 

  Standard Characters - These are the general archetypes that most
players ever choose.  They select a path and then pursue the theme
of that path until the end of the game, maybe splashing a bit into
other stuff.

  Complete PSI - No weapons skills, just PSI.  I detail further about
a Complete PSI approach on Impossible difficulty in the previous

  Melee/Ninja - Only melee weapons.  You can have PSI abilities
that complement your melee abilities (Psychogenic Strength, Agility,
Endurance, Photonic Redirection, Adrenaline Overproduction, etc.) as
well as Ninja-esque tech skills (mainly Hack).  On Normal, you can
easily progress from Wrench to Laser Rapier (great against Bots)
to Crystal Shard.  On Hard or Impossible, you'll have to either stick
with the Wrench or pick either Energy Weapons or Exotic weapons,
as you won't be able to afford getting all.  Basic inspiration from
the Strategy Guide.  Getting good with this sort of build on Normal
is good training for all builds on Hard/Impossible (Where being
good with a Wrench is vital to survival).  NOTE:  Make sure you
have a ranged weapon of some kind as otherwise the Brain of the Many
and SHODAN (unless you Hack her) are literally impossible.

  PSI-Energy Hybrid - Perhaps the most effective OSA combination: a 
mixture of good PSI skills (no Tier 5) and Energy Weapons.  Your
PSI skills make you excellent against non-robots, your Energy 
Weapons make you fierce against robots and partial robots.  Make
Energy Weapons a high priority as getting the EMP Rifle on 
Hydroponics, just in time to deal with Cyborg Assassins, is quite
nice.  Prohibitively too expensive on Impossible difficulty without
significant sacrifices on the PSI-side (and you never, ever want
to skip out on Invisibility with this build, as Energy is near
useless in the Body of the Many).

  PSI-Warrior Hybrid - You use standard weapons, but you use PSI to
back them up; neuro-reflex, anti-entropic field, psycho-reflective
aura, etc.  Taken from the official strategy guide.

  Annelid Mimic - You use a wrench and basic PSI up until you start
getting exotic weapons.  Then, you exclusively use exotic weapons
and annelid armor/implants and PSI abilities that complement them
and make you more... alien-esque (stat enhancers, INR, Soma, 
Invisibility).  Basic idea taken from the official strategy guide.

  The Antipodal Navy - Energy Weapons and Exotic Weapons.  Hack,
Maintainence, Modify, Research.  You'll be the best anti-Robot and
the best anti-Alien guy alive; similar philosophy to the PSI-Energy
Hybrid.  Just be warned to horde those worms... you'll be using them
alot in the Body of the Many.

  The Alcoholic OSA - For those who want a challenge without resorting
to Hard/Impossible.  You're relatively dedicated to PSI, but you can't
help but drink alot of booze (which heals 1 health but drains 3 PSI).

  The Smoker - For those who want a challenge unrelated to PSI.
You've been trying to quit for years... but you just can't help 
smoking a pack when you can (which drains 1 health).

  The Redneck - You can only use a shotgun, you smoke and drink alot,
and you have no PSI, but have lots of skills to make sure your shotgun
is always in top form (high maintain, repair, and modify).  You'll
probably have lots of leftover cyber modules with which to beef up
all your stats.  Remember, a maxed Standard Weapons is still good 
for letting you beef up your shotgun damage.  A good multiplayer 
concept as this character picks up skills that will benefit everyone

13. Bestiary                                                      [D00]

  For various creatures, I'll list their "wrenchability," which is 
really an assessment for those on Hard and Impossible difficulty on
proper tactics/difficulty in using your wrench on these guys.

  Note that some creatures will drop stuff not normally on their loot
tables; these are specific creatures and do not occur on random 
respawns.  For example, there is a Shotgun Hybrid that will drop an
Implant, and there is also an Arachnid that will drop a PSI Hypo.
13a. Damage Table                                                 [D10]

  Throughout the weapons and PSI sections, you'll notice I mention 
what types of damage various weapons and certain PSI abilities do.
Here's where it all comes together.  Some damage types are best against
certain creature types.  Maximize your efficiency.

  NOTE:  Pay careful note to which damage types do not damage SHODAN,
Annelid, and (if you won't be able to hack well) Basic, as you will
*have* to damage these to beat the game.

  The Table is displayed such that each cell is a multiplier (1 means
the damage is done normally, 2 means that double damage is dealt, etc).

Type             Annelid Swarm Half-Annelid Half-Mech Mech Basic SHODAN  
Anti-Annelid           4     1            1         0    0     0      0
Anti-Human             0     0            2         1    0     0      0
Armor Piercing        .5     0           .5         2    4     1   1.25
Cold                   1     0            1        .5    1     1      1
Droid Fusion*          1     0            1         1    1     1      0
Soma Transference      1     0            1         1    0     0      0
Electricity*           1     0            1         4    4     1      0
EMP                    0     0            0         2    4     0    1.5
Energy                .5     0            1         1    2     1     .5
High Explosive         2     0            4         1   .5     1    .75
Incendiary             2     0            2        .5    0     1      1
Psi                    2     0            1         1    0     1      1
Standard               1     0            1         1    1     1      1
WeaponBash             1     0            1         1   .5     1      0

*These are damage types only available to enemies, but they do have
the possibility of hitting other enemies (via area of effect or
misfires) so their appropriate damage modifiers are shown.

(see endnote 3)

  Though it won't come up too often, Humans (namely you and any other
players if you're doing multiplayer) are also vulnerable in specific
ways.  Humans take 4x damage from Anti-Human attacks and High
Explosive attacks (so if you ever feel like killing your friends in a
hurry...).  Humans also take 2x damage from Energy-based sources, but
only .5x damage from Armor Piercing sources.  Humans take normal
damage from all other sources except for Anti-Annelid, Soma
Transference, EMP, and PSI, all of which do no damage to humans.
13b. Annelids                                                     [D20]
  i.  Annelid Egg                                                 [D21]

    Health:  10

    Damage:  None

    Damage Type:  n/a
    Speed:  n/a

    Loot:  (Toxic/Grub/Swarm) 30% of Annelid Heal Organ, 5% of Annelid
             PSI Organ, 65% of No Loot (only if inspecting the egg 
             before destroying it); Grub and Swarm eggs drop the 
             appropriate organ (100%) when destroyed.

    Wrenchability:  It's generally a really bad idea to wrench the
                      eggs unless they've already released their
                      contents, especially Toxic Eggs.

      If you walk slowly up to an egg, you'll be able to inspect it
    (like a security crate) without it opening, although various eggs
    have various activation ranges (how close you need to be for it
    to release whatever it contains).  In general, you'll be able to
    creep up to Toxic and Grub Eggs, but Swarm Eggs tend to have
    pretty large activation ranges, so you'll probably have to deal with
    the Swarm first before you can actually check the egg.

      Black eggs drop nothing and cannot be inspected.  They are there
    solely for story purposes.
  ii. Annelid Grub                                                [D22]

    Health:  5
    Damage:  1

    Damage Type:  Anti-Human

    Speed:  Medium

    Loot:  None

    Wrenchability:  Really easy, as long as you've gotten handy at
      knocking out monkeys.
      By the time you come upon grubs, you should be handy enough at
    hitting small targets (from all those monkeys) that they shouldn't
    pose much of a problem.  One hit from almost anything (except for
    a Laser Pistol) will kill it.

      Be warned that some Grubs will leap really high into the sky to
    attack you.
  iii.Arachnid                                                    [D23]

    Health:  Baby - 10, Adult - 60, Invisible - 60

    Damage:  Baby - 2 plus mild Toxin, Adult/Invisible - 10 plus heavy

    Damage Type:  All - WeaponBash

    Speed:  All - Fast

    Loot:  20% of Organ, 80% of No Loot

    Wrenchability:  You can use a non-wrench on these guys as Adults
                      and Invisibles are very jumpy and hard to hit
                      once they start jumping around, moreover, just
                      getting hit once will inject *alot* of bad toxins
                      into your blood stream.  Sure there are plenty
                      of Anti-Toxin hypos, but eventually it just 
                      becomes more cost effective to just shoot the 
                      damn things.

      Spiders are annoying, plentiful, and tough.  Their normal damage
    isn't that bad, but the toxin they inject is supremely annoying,
    as basically only death will get rid of it if you have no 
    Anti-Toxin hypos left.  Invisible Spiders aren't actually
    invisible, and if you are the slightest bit aware, you'll be able
    to see these guys, especially since the chittering sound Spiders
    make is *very* easy to identify.
  iv. Brain of the Many                                           [D24]

    Health:  Defense Node - 10, Brain - 100

    Damage:  None

    Damage Type:  n/a
    Speed:  n/a

    Loot:  None

    Wrenchability:  Impossible.  You *must* have a ranged weapon here.

      In case you don't know by now, you shoot the three Nodes first,
    then pummel away at the Brain, all while the Many's reinforcements
    march in by the dozens.  The hardest part of this fight are the
    many Rumblers that will keep respawning.  As long as you have
    sufficient Agility, you'll be able to outrun them.

      Be sure to take out the PSI Reaver brains, especially since the
    Greater PSI Reaver here (the only one in the game) will basically
    kill you in one hit on almost any non-Easy difficulty.  Don't deal
    with any other creatures, as by killing one, you end up with about
    two more to replace it.

      If you have Soma Transference, the battle gets a whole lot
    easier, as just a few quick activations will bypass the Defense
    Nodes and kill the Brain really quickly (as well as healing 
    yourself in the process).
  v.  PSI Reavers                                                 [D25]

    Health:  Brain - 10, Normal - 120, Greater - 200

    Damage:  Normal - 5, Greater - 15

    Damage Type:  All - Anti-Human

    Speed:  Brain - Immobiles, Normal/Greater - Medium

    Loot:  Normal - 75% of Organ, 25% of No Loot; Greater - 80% of
             Organ, 20% of No Loot.

    Wrenchability:  Very hard, aside from the Brain.  By now you should
                      be pretty handy with some other weaponry.

      PSI Reavers aren't too hard, once you know how to fight them.
    You should *never* go after them until you knock out their Brain,
    as otherwise they just respawn.  Fortunately, despite being
    super-deadly, their accuracy leaves something to be desired.

      There's only one Greater PSI Reaver in the game, and he's
    guarding the Brain of the Many.  You'll be able to tell which it 
    is as the Greater PSI Reaver is much larger and quite darker than
    normal PSI Reavers.  Be *very* careful dealing with him, as one
    direct hit from him on non-Easy (especially Hard and Impossible)
    can kill you from full health.

      Sounds intimidating, but their slow speed, the vulnerability
    of their Brain, and the relative inaccuracy and slow speed of
    their projectiles does not make them that hard.
13c. Swarms                                                       [D30]
  i.  Swarm                                                       [D31]

    Health:  36

    Damage:  1 per 2 seconds

    Damage Type:  Anti-Human

    Speed:  Fast

    Loot:  None

    Wrenchability:  Impossible, nor do you want to kill them with a 
                      weapon, in most cases.

      Just run around (careful to not activate any more swarm eggs)
    until they die.  If you have a Viral Proliferater, you can try
    and kill them, just for the novelty of it.  (Don't use the
    Annelid Launcher, as it'll require 8 worms to kill a Swarm.)
13d. Half-Annelids                                                [D40]
  i.  Hybrids                                                     [D41]

    Health:  Pipe - 12, Shotgun - 24, Grenade - 15

    Damage:  Pipe - 10, Shotgun - 4, Grenade - 10

    Damage Type:  Pipe - WeaponBash, Shotgun/Grenade - Standard

    Speed:  Medium

    Loot:  Pipe - 2 of the following: 20% of 5 Nanites, 5% of a Med 
            Hypo, 25% of a Soda Can, 5% of Organ, 45% of No Loot;
           Shotgun - Guaranteed shotgun with 1 Chambered Slug (no 
            matter the difficulty), plus 2 of the following: 
            10% of 6 Rifled Slugs, 20% of 5 Nanites, 10% of a Med 
            Hypo, 25% of a Liquor Bottle, 5% of Organ, 30% of No Loot;
           Grenade - 2 of the following:  10% of a Med Hypo, 15% of
            3 Frag Grenades, 15% of 5 Nanites, 5% of Organ, 25% of 
            Cigarettes, 30% of No Loot

    Wrenchability:  Unless you're swarmed, you should *always* wrench
                      Hybrids.  Always.

      Pipe Hybrids will be immensely hard the first time through the
    game, but once you learn to weave in-and-out, they're a piece of
    cake.  Grenade Hybrids aren't too bad, because they're very slow
    about throwing their grenades, and generally you can run up to
    one and hit them before they get a throw off, since the moment
    you hit a Grenade Hybrid, it interrupts them if they were 
    throwing anything.  In fact, the hardest hybrid is probably the
    Shotgun Hybrid.  You can't strafe their attack (they seem to have
    pinpoint accuracy most of the time), so you're almost guaranteed
    to get hit atleast once, which can be very, very bad on
    Impossible difficulty, especially since being hit doesn't interrupt
    their shots (unlike Grenade Hybrids).
  ii.  Rumblers                                                   [D42]

    Health:  220
    Damage:  20
    Damage Type:  WeaponBash

    Speed:  Fast

    Loot:  30% of Organ, 70% of No Loot;  I believe the first one you 
             encounter in Recreation is guaranteed to drop an organ.

    Wrenchability:  It's like a Pipe Hybrid on drugs.  If you *really*
                      need to, you can weave in and out and take down
                      Rumblers, but unlike Pipe Hybrids, their attacks
                      come out very fast and hurt *alot*.  Hopefully
                      you have more powerful weapons by now.

      The Rumbler is not so bad when you realize that it can't attack
    and run at the same time.  Thus, if you have a ranged weapon, you
    can just run circles around the rumbler and fire away.  However,
    with melee weapons, being so close to the Rumbler means they can
    stop for a split second, let out an attack (which comes out fast
    and isn't always expected) and start running again.

      Unless you've *only* been going Energy Weapons, you should have
    a good answer to Rumblers by the time you see your first one.  
    Even the Laser Rapier works decently, so long as you're *very* 
    good with your footwork.
  iii.  Monkeys                                                   [D43]

    Health:  Blue - 10, Red - 12

    Damage:  Blue - 10 range (small Area of Effect), 4 melee; 
             Red - 15 range (large Area of Effect), 4 melee.

    Damage Type:  Blue - Cold, WeaponBash; Red - Incendiary, WeaponBash

    Speed:  Medium

    Loot:  All - 30% of Organ, 30% of Chips, 40% No Loot

    Wrenchability:  Get good at wrenching them.  These guys are
                      generally not worth any ammunition.

      The most surprising thing about Monkeys is the fact that their
    projectiles have Area of Effect to them (even though your
    equivalent PSI attacks don't).  For this reason, getting even
    partially hit by a Pyrokinesis attack from a Red Monkey can be
    quite painful (and may mean instant death on Impossible
    difficulty).  On the other hand, their projectiles *will* hurt
    enemies, especially the Pyrokinesis (which will do double damage
    to organic targets).  So, if you can put a Hybrid between you and
    the monkey, you can use the Hybrid as a meat shield while you get
    into position to knock out the monkey.
13e. Half-Mechanical                                              [D50]
  i.  Assassin                                                    [D51]

    Health:  Normal - 60, Red/Virtual - 48

    Damage:  All - 10

    Damage Type:  All - WeaponBash

    Speed:  All - Fast

    Loot:  All - 20% of 5 Nanites, 5% of 20 Nanites, 75% of No Loot;
           Red - Additional guaranteed Sim Chip (story-related drop).

    Wrenchability:  Very hard.  One trick is to move forward into them
                      while attacking, which will generally make them
                      try to move backwards instead of attack you.

      Probably the hardest enemy in the game, simply because nothing is
    particularly good against them, they move lightning fast, and their
    attacks come out quickly and accurately.  On Impossible, you can
    be killed in just a few seconds from full health.  Your best chance
    is AP ammo or an EMP rifle, but you still need to keep your 
    reflexes up when encountering more than one at a time.
  ii.  Midwife                                                    [D52]

    Health:  36

    Damage:  5 range, 5 melee

    Damage Type:  Energy range, WeaponBash melee

    Speed:  Medium

    Loot:  20% of Portable Battery, 5% of 20 Nanites, 10% of a Med
             Hypo, 25% of Organ, 40% of No Loot.

    Wrenchability:  In fact, recommended.  Their melee damage is 
                      lower than their ranged damage, and their ranged
                      damage isn't particularly easy to avoid, unlike
                      their melee swipes.

      One of the creepiest enemies in the game.  They can be dispatched
    quite easily if you charge them, as their melee abilities are poor
    compared to their ranged.  Also, their Energy attacks will harm
    other enemies, so take advantage of enemy positions to exploit
    Midwives to harm your enemy.  
13f. Mechanical                                                   [D60]
  i.  Turrets                                                     [D61]

    Health:  All - 48

    Damage:  Slug - Three shots of 2, Laser - Three shots of 5,
               Laser Mk II - 7, Rocket - 10 (Area of Effect).

    Damage Type:  Slug/Rocket - Standard, Laser/Laser Mk II - Energy

    Speed:  n/a

    Loot:  Slug - 50% of 6 Standard Bullets, 50% of No Loot;
           Laser - 50% of Portable Battery, 50% of No Loot;
           Others - Nothing

    Wrenchability:  Slug, Laser, and Rocket Turrets have a very slow
                      turn around speed, so you can essentially just
                      circle strafe around a turret.  Make sure to 
                      have a back-up ranged weapon, since they explode
                      upon destruction.

      Turrets will be the bane of your existence.  The Laser and Laser
    Mk II Turrets do double damage against you, so they can easily do
    away with you in seconds, if you're not careful.  Fortunately,
    Slug and Laser turrets are highly inaccurate (but don't push your
    luck too much).  Laser Mk II's are rare, which is good since 
    they're highly accurate and fast to acquire you.  Rocket Turrets
    are mainly deadly because it's super hard to strafe their attacks
    or take cover behind something (they have huge area of effect).

      Hacking turrets is great, but rarely will it ever actually attack
    your enemies, but the few times it does is a godsend.  Having a 
    Rocket Turret take out a PSI Reaver for you, or a Rocket Turret
    take out a swarm of Shotgun Hybrids is just amazing.
  ii.  Robots                                                     [D62]

    Health:  Maintenance - 100, Security - 160, Assault - 200

    Damage:  Maintenance - 6, Security - 8, Assault - 12 (Area of  

    Damage Type:  Maintenance - Electricity, Security - Energy,
                    Assault - Droid Fusion

    Speed:  Slow

    Loot:  Maintenance - 2 of the following:  30% of Maintenance Tool,
             10% of Rad Hypo, 50% of 20 Nanites, 10% of No Loot;
           Security - 2 of the following:  15% of 10 Prisms, 5% of 
             Iridium, 80% of No Loot;
           Assault - 2 of the following:  15% of 10 Prisms, 30% of
             Portable Battery, 55% of No Loot.

    Wrenchability:  The biggest problem is closing the distance with
                      them, as Assault and Security Bots can easily 
                      kill you before you get into melee range.  Once
                      in whapping range, circle strafe while pushing 
                      into range, and they'll be generally too busy
                      trying to back up or acquire you as a target to

      The most interesting thing about these bots is that the Assault
    Bot doesn't do *that* much damage.  However, with each upgrade,
    they fire faster and more accurately.  Security Bots have the best
    chance of flat out killing you before you have a chance of
    responding, as their attacks are almost instantaneous and fairly
    accurate.  Assault Bots have greater inevitability over you:  they
    fire their shots very quicky, and even if you strafe their
    attacks, they explode in a huge area of effect - in fact, if you
    don't have very good Agility, you may find it completely
    impossible to dodge all their attacks due to their unrelenting
    frequency and blast radius.  Moreover, all robots are tough as
    nails, so if you don't have any EMP Grenades/Rifles, AP ammo, or a
    Fusion Cannon, you're going to be in for a pretty extended fight.
  iii.  Protocol Droids                                           [D63]

    Health:  20

    Damage:  15

    Damage Type:  Incendiary
    Speed:  Fast

    Loot:  None

    Wrenchability:  If you get within melee range, they explode.  So,
                      not wrenchable.

      The bane of your early life.  You won't have much in the way of
    ranged answers, and your health pool will be on the shallow end.
    15 damage (especially if all you have is Light Combat Armor) is
    a massive chunk of your life (an almost guaranteed one-hit kill
    early in Impossible).  However, there is a slight delay between
    when they stop moving and when the explode, so you can try and
    trick them into exploding and run out of their explosion range
    quickly, but this is a very risky strategy.

      Later on, they just become annoying ammo sinks, because they
    will always remain an enemy that you just can't melee or even
    avoid effectively.

      Note that since Localized Pyrokinesis gives you effectively
    immunity to Incendiary, a potentially effective means of dealing
    with a group of these (like in the Engineering Cargo Bays) is to
    just switch it on and then run amongst them.
  iv.  SHODAN Avatar                                              [D64]

    Health:  100

    Damage:  12

    Damage Type:  Energy

    Speed:  Medium
    Loot:  None

    Wrenchability:  A bad idea for many reasons, the biggest one being
                      that you shouldn't even have to fight the Avatar.

      Fearsome.  Powerful.  And also instantly regenerates after being
    killed.  However, you don't have to even fire a single shot at the
    Avatar, as that is not how you kill SHODAN.  So, as long as you're
    constantly on the run, the Avatar will never be able to land a 
    shot on you.
13g. Basic                                                        [D70]
  i.  SHODAN Shield                                               [D71]

    Health:  140

    Damage:  n/a

    Damage Type:  n/a

    Speed:  Special

    Loot:  None

    Wrenchability:  As there is a huge pit around the shields, melee-
                      ing the shields is impossible.

      There are six of these surrounding SHODAN's core.  Unless you're
    good at Hacking and hack the three security terminals, you'll need
    to blast through these shields.  However, the shields are 
    constantly rotating, so you'll probably be hitting lots of
    different shields.  However, each shield is a distinct color, so
    if you're good enough, you can just shoot the same shield over and
    over to get rid of it, and then just shoot SHODAN through the
    breach in the shields.
13h. SHODAN                                                       [D80]
  i.  SHODAN                                                      [D81]

    Health:  125

    Damage:  16

    Damage Type:  SHODAN

    Speed:  n/a

    Loot:  None

    Wrenchability:  SHODAN is immune to both the Wrench and the
                      Crystal Shard, but if you have either the PSI
                      Sword or Laser Rapier on hand, you can just
                      jump over the pit surrounding her and wop her a
                      few times.

      Either disable or destroy the shields surrounding her and then
    unleash everything you have.  SHODAN's missiles have a huge
    area of effect, so stay on the move while attacking her.

14. Appendix:  Molecular Transmutation Analysis                   [E00]
14a. The Equation                                                 [E10]

  Thanks to the official Prima Strategy Guide for providing this 
helpful info.

  [(.8 + .2 * PSI) * n * factor] = Nanite Yield (see endnote 2)

  Where PSI is your PSI stat (up to a total of 10 instead of 8), n is
the minimum of (objects in the stack, objects in a standard clip of
the stack type), factor is a multiplier dependent on the type of
item you're transmuting, and [ ... ] truncates decimal values (a floor

  n needs a bit more explaining.  Whereas with recycling, you'll 
recycle the entire stack in one go (bye bye 150 bullets), Molecular
Transmutation only affects a "clip", or however much is left in the
stack, if it's less than a normal clip size.  For bullets, a clip is
6.  For hypos, organs, and medical kits, a clip is 1.  If you are 
trying to transmute less than the clip size (4 bullets, for example),
it instead uses however many objects are in the stack for n (so n = 4
instead of n = 6).

  Now, recycling yields 1 nanite per object.  So you may think that
Molecular Transmutation is almost strictly better (as it will
always more nanites than the equivalent amount yielded by a recycler).
However, you have to keep in mind that Transmuting costs you PSI 
Points, and those PSI Points will cost you Nanites to replace via PSI
Hypos.  So to compute the profitability, you have to take that into

  Cost = ((4 / (20 + bonus)) * cost * difficulty * discount)

  If you have Pharmo-Friendly, set bonus to 4, otherwise set it to 0.
Cost is 75 Nanites unhacked and 40 Nanites hacked before Command deck,
75 Nanites unhacked and 50 Nanites hacked after Command deck.  If you
have hacking available, use the hacked price, otherwise use the normal
price.  If you're on easy or normal, set difficulty to 1.  If you're 
on hard, set difficulty to 1.25.  If you're on impossible, set 
difficulty to 2.  If you have replicator expert, set discount to .8,
otherwise set it to 1.  The final result is how many nanites each use
of Molecular Transmutation is going to cost you.

  On normal, with everything optimized, cost is
    (4/24 * 40 * 1 * .8) = about 5 Nanites
  On impossible, with just pharmo-friendly and pre-Command hacking, 
cost is
    (4/24 * 40 * 2 * 1) = about 13 Nanites

  To get your profit, simply subtract your Cost from your Nanite 
Yield.  So let's say you have a PSI of 10, you're on impossible with
only pre-Command hacking available, and you're transmuting a clip of
Frag Grenades (which have factor = 8 and have a clip size of 1):
   [(.8 + .2 * 10) * 1 * 8] - (4/20 * 40 * 2 * 1) = 
   24 - roughly 16 =
   roughly 8 Nanites
Compare to what a Recycler would've yielded (2 Nanites) and you've got
yourself a far better return.  However, getting 10 PSI is essential for
profitmaking, and with only 1 PSI, most items won't be profitable with
everything else optimized even on Normal.  
14b. The Table                                                    [E20]

Object           (factor)  Clip Size (n)  Recycle Equivalent (per Clip)
Frag Grenades           8              1                      2 Nanites
Other Grenades        2.5              1                      2 Nanites

Standard Bullets        1              6                      6 Nanites
Other Bullets         1.5              6                      6 Nanites

Prisms               1.75              5                      5 Nanites

Worms                   2              5                     12 Nanites

Slugs                1.25              3                      3 Nanites

Med Hypo/
Healing Gland/
PSI Organ               4              1                      2 Nanites

Medical Kit             6              1                      2 Nanites

Anti-Rad Hypo/
Anti-Toxin Hypo/
Speed/Strength Booster  3              1                      2 Nanites

PSI Booster             5              1                      2 Nanites

PSI Hypo                8              1                      2 Nanites

  (see endnote 2)

  Of particular note, clips of Frag Grenades, Prisms, Worms, and
Non-standard bullets are almost always preferable to recycling with a
reasonable PSI, no matter what difficulty you're on.  PSI Hypos are
also relatively profitable, but why would you transumte them?  You'd
have to transmute 4 hypos only to buy another anyway.  Everything else
seems to not be worth the effort except on lower difficulties with
some combination of Pharmo-Friendly and/or Replicator Expert.  In
fact, at Normal difficulty with PSI 10 and Pharmo-Friendly or
Replicator Expert, everything is profitable and superior to Recycling.

  If you don't have PSI of 10, you should either wait or use Molecular
Transmutation on Frags and Prisms, as otherwise you'll most likely just
lose Nanites over the alternative (I highly recommend running your own
variables through the equation so you don't screw yourself).

14. Final Notes                                                   [F00]
14a. Conclusion/Special Thanks                                    [F10]

  Kudos go out to DSimpson (for his excellent guides).  Without 
DSimpson, I never would've felt compelled to try to write something as 
awesome as his.

  A moment of silence for Looking Glass Studios.  May you rest in 
peace.  A hats off to Irrational Games.  May you have many years of
prosperity ahead of you.  (Addendum: judging from how well BioShock is
doing, guess they've got it made.)

  Thanks to all the hardcore SS2 fans that have made it possible for
me to continue my unhealthy obsession after upgrading to Windows XP
(and then as I moved to Gentoo Linux).
14b. Resources                                                    [F20]

  ttlg.org - An excellent resource for anything you could ever want
for anything related to Looking Glass Studios.  At the very least,
they have links to stuff that will let you run System Shock 2 on a
newer OS.

  Special thanks to d00m from ttlg.org for feeding me some cool info
on the Crystal Shard and Adrenaline Overproduction.

  shocked - A system shock 2 editing tool I used to extract some
non-obvious information.

  System Shock 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide - an uncanny example
of a thorough, well-done official guide.  Lots of non-obvious 
information is in this book (such as changes made to the game after
the manual was made and not mentioned in the readme), and this was the
source for the Molecular Transmutation equation and all the enemy
14c. Endnotes and References                                      [F30]

  Assume that non-obvious information not noted by endnote is 
information that I've researched myself.  If you feel that I have
erroneously not cited something within the guide, please let me know
by e-mail (I may have missed something as the citations were done
retroactively, after 150k worth of text was written).

  (1) http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1186168#post1186168
courtesy of d00m.

  (2) Equation and Table from Official Strategy Guide, pp 72-73, though
several entries were incorrect and were manually fixed.

  (3) Damage Table from Official Strategy Guide, p 81.
14d. My Works                                                     [F40]

1999 Mode Guide (Bioshock Infinite)
Clash in the Clouds Guide (Bioshock Infinite:  Clash in the Clouds DLC)
Heart of Fury Guide (Icewind Dale 2)
Party Creation Guide (Baldur's Gate)
Party Creation Guide (Baldur's Gate:  Enhanced Edition)
Populous II Guide (Populous II)
Thief Guide (Baldur's Gate 2)
Ultimate Analysis (System Shock 2)
Ultimate Oblivion FAQ (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)
14e. Legal Disclaimer                                             [F50]

  I am not affiliated with Looking Glass/Irrational/EA in any way, and
any information I provide should be treated as third party information.
Therefore, Looking Glass/Irrational/EA cannot be held responsible for
any misuse of information provided herein, and I cannot give a full
guarantee that the information provided herein is 100% accurate. 
Therefore, no party, that is, Looking Glass/Irrational/EA/Me, cannot
be held responsible for any problems that may result in the misuse of
information or use of faulty information; the best reparation that can
be made in the latter case would be for me to correct the faulty 
information so that it is accurate.
  In addition, you (the party reading this) are free to distribute this
work freely on the internet and in any other media as long as credit is
given to the original author (Chris Lee).
14f. History                                                      [F60]

  08/08/2013:  v 1.12 completed (minor).
    - Updating my works.

  10/27/2011:  v 1.11 completed.
    - Added section highlight my works.

  7/13/2008:  v 1.10 completed.
    - Fixed more typos.
    - Fixed Grenade Launcher clip size.
    - Revised Fusion Cannon assessment.
    - Added Fusion Cannon modification information.
    - Updated Stasis Field Generator assessment.
    - Revised Heavy Weapons synopsis.
    - Clarified WormHeart description (you can still have Toxins put
    into your bloodstream)
    - Formatted PSI/Technical/Impossible sections for greater
    uniformity and readability.

  7/08/2008:  v 1.9 completed.
    - Fixed various typos.
    - Found some errors in the transmute table.
    - Updated Special Thanks section.
    - Fixed a typo with WormBlood (should be 10 not 15 Health).
    - Reformatted Impossible section.
    - Fleshed out OS path suggestions.

  7/06/2008:  v 1.8 completed.
    - Fleshed out Impossible section.
    - Fixed some various typos.
    - Expanded some sections.
    - Added some modification info for Fusion Cannon (more forthcoming).

  3/22/2006:  v 1.6 completed.
    - Added some details on Crystal Shard, Adrenaline Overproduction,
    and Smasher.
    - Added Endnotes and References section as well as adding a few

  3/22/2006:  v 1.5 completed.
    - Fixed some minor inaccuracies and grammatical glitches.
    - Fleshed out Bestiary.
    - Completed Molecular Transmutation appendix.
    - Greatly expanded all weapons sections.
    - Fixed some errors in Difficulties section.

  3/11/2006:  v 1.2 completed.
    - Fixed some minor inaccuracies and grammatical glitches.
    - Added extra stuff to Character Concepts.
    - Added some extra information throughout the guide.
    - Greatly expanded PSI section.
    - Greatly expanded Stats section.

  3/9/2006:  v 1.0 completed.  
    - Need to complete Modify/Bestiary sections.

The Stinger
  "With only a few short years of evolution, they've been able to 
conquer this starship, mankind's mightiest creation. Where were we 
after forty years of evolution? What swamp were we swimming around in, 
single celled and mindless? What if SHODAN's creations are superior to 
us? What will they become in a million years, in ten million years? 
What's clear is that SHODAN shouldn't be allowed to play God. She's 
far too good at it." 
        - Prefontaine

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