Hopepunk City Case File: The Underground Path

 A couple of months ago, while thinking about the game balance, I developed a problem that needed my attention. There is an employment path that does not require training of any sort, just exercise. It goes table busser > restaurant server > diner server, and that is where you are stuck until you train in something. If your interest is “outdoors” it is shorter: Delivery driver > Bike Courier. I wanted to make a path that did not require training, just constant exercise, and decided to find a way to extend the Bike Courier path with an equivalent of diner server. The answer I came up with hit me hard because it was so obvious considering the state of America in the game: Smuggling.

The whole bike courier thing was inspired by a 2000-2002 TV show called “Dark Angel” starring Jessica Alba who plays a genetically enhanced super soldier. What got me interested in this show as an influence, was that except for the genetically enhanced super soldier part, the show’s vision of the 2020’s future was pretty damn close. Blade Runner was wrong, Back to the Future was way wrong, The Jetsons … all set in 2020s America, all wrong. Dark Angel with its broken America, people struggling to survive, corrupt government and police, huge class divisions between rich and poor, got it mostly right.

The bike courier boss is designed to look like Max from the show, another person you meet is “Original Candy” inspired by a show character named “Original Cindy”. Here is how Max can get you through the entire game real easy.

1. When Ariane asks you what you are interested in, say “Outdoor Sports” or “Help the Community”.

2. When you pick a job, pick “Delivery Service”

3. At the market, until you get more access, select “Gift for roommates” / “Dinner”

4. Week one “Afternoon run” and “Clean House” etc

5. Week 2 is “Gifts”/”Dinner” and plan “Afternoon run” and “relax”, Take offer to be a bike courier.

6. Week 3 is “Gifts”/”Dinner” again. Running won’t be an option because your job provides exercise, so plan “Relax” and “Hang out with Roommates” Both choices give you an extra friend point with a random roomie

7. Week 4, you should be eligible for more expensive things. Go to “stuff for yourself” and “Video Game System” This will give you access to augmented reality with friends, which keeps the exercise going and scores random friend points at the same time. At the planning stage select “Play Augmented Reality” and “relax”, and that is your pattern for the next month except to take a turn cleaning on week 5 or 6.

8. From this point forward at the market, just keep buying expensive and luxury stuff for yourself, until you run out of stuff to buy, then buy gifts for roommates to boost whoever is a little behind in the like count. Bed and Relaxation Spa, should be bought early as possible. Once relaxation spa membership is bought, evenings should be hanging out with roommates to maximize likes.

9. Week 5 should offer you a promotion as a smuggler, take it.  

*Achievement Spoiler 2 Work as a smuggler for at least two weeks

10. In week 7 you will notice a red indicator that you have not trained in any skills. Ignore it. You can get past that requirement by earning enough money, and the smuggling job should earn enough easily.

11. Week 8 market, buy a gift for someone if you are still seeing red names.

12. On week nine, the weekly plan should be “Play augmented game” and “Clean house”. If you bought a relaxation spa membership, subsequent weeks should be “Play Augmented Game” and “Hang Out With Roommates” to maximize like points. 

13. Around week 10 or so you will find out you cannot be a smuggler anymore, but you will get an offer to work in Intelligence, take the offer (usually this requires training in Cooking and Security to get)

14. When Rachel comes to you and Ariane saying her sister needs rescuing from St. Reagan, you get an automatic pass on this one because of your connections as a former smuggler.

*Achievement Underworld Connections Rescue Leah using your smuggling contacts

15. Intel is the best job to have at the council meeting, you will have the stats to present to the meeting. “We should convince them that the war is not popular” for Forbes and “We are not ready for a war” for Sanchez is enough votes to win.

16. You should have plenty of likes to get the best scene in the game, too.