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8/01/2015

Quick-and-dirty Shadowrun (SNES) guide

By Spoony Spoonicus ©2015.  May not be reproduced or republished without permission.

Karma
Stats
Skills
Spells
Equipment
Walkthrough


Karma


You don't really have catch-all "experience levels" in Shadowrun.  Instead you get Karma, which can be spent to improve your skills or your core statistics.  Karma is primarily earned by defeating enemies to earn experience.  Eight experience points equals one Karma.  Nearly all normal enemies in the game give a flat 1 or 2 experience, but most boss characters and scripted encounters give significantly more.

Karma is spent while you're resting at a bed, and can be used to improve your stats or any skills or magic you currently have available.  The cost to upgrade a skill is equal to that skill's current level; for example, upgrading Body from level 3 to 4 costs 3 Karma, from 4 to 5 costs 4 Karma, and so on.  Most skills only go up to level six, but Body, Magic and Firearms can go much higher.


Stats


Body 

Determines your maximum HP on a simple formula of 10 * Body level, with the maximum being 20 for 200 points.  This stat is absolutely invaluable, especially early on; boost this to at least 6 before entering the Caryard, and at least 10 before you leave.  Over the course of the rest of the game you'll want to raise it higher, but it should take a backseat to other important abilities you need to learn.

Magic

Determines your maximum MP total, on the same formula as Body - Magic * 10 for a max of 200 points at level 20.  Very useful to have and a good thing to dump your extra points into (especially once you get the Heal spell), but again, it should take a backseat to more important things that come up.

Becomes available once you get your first spell.

Strength

Determines what equipment you can equip.  Maxes out at 6, at which point you can equip the biggest, heaviest, and best equipment in the game.  You won't get those until a good while in, though, so stick to 3 at first, upgrade to 4 once you hit the Caryard (to equip the shotgun), and only worry about maxing it out once you hit the endgame.

Charisma

Determines the number of Shadowrunners you can hire, on a simple formula of Charisma/2, rounded down.  If you plan to hire a party of Shadowrunners, this is an essential skill to have.  Otherwise, just ignore it.


Skills


Firearms

Determines your accuracy with all firearms, and only that; it has absolutely no effect on damage output.  Maxes out at 16.  Push it up to 6 before entering the Caryard so you can do well at the arena, and maybe push it up to 7 or 8 if you find yourself missing a lot of shots.  Anything higher than that tends to be a waste of points.

Computer

This is essentially the Firearms skill equivalent when working in the Matrix, determining your accuracy in hitting ICs.  Maximum level is 6.  Maxing it out is essential later on, but you can ignore it in the early stages, since you won't be doing any hacking until a good while in.

Leadership

Determines how long hired Shadowrunners stay with you (in number of battles).  Good to have if you plan to hire help, but if you're going it solo (or with just Kitsune) you can safely ignore this.  Maximum level is 6.  Unlocked once you buy the Skill Software from Dr. Maplethorpe.

Negotiation

Allows you to negotiate lower prices in some circumstances, most notably when hiring Shadowrunners.  Worth raising to 2 once you hit the Caryard to save a bit of cash, but pretty pointless outside of that unless you plan to party with higher-end Shadowrunners on a frequent basis.  Learned from the arena master in the Caryard.  Maximum level is 6.

Armed Combat

A skill unavailable to Jake, but some Shadowrunners have it listed in their statistics to show that they can fight at melee range as well.  It doesn't actually factor into their combat abilities at all; it's just for show.

Unarmed Combat

Same as Armed Combat - it's just for show on Shadowrunners that have some melee combat abilities.  Jake cannot learn it under any circumstances short of cheating (and even then it has no effect).


Spells


All of Jake's spells max out at Level 6.

Heal

Restores 15 HP per level on yourself or one of your allies.   I'm sure you can see how valuable that is; Slap Patches only restore 10 HP apiece (which isn't much once you advance past the early stages) and run you 100 Nuyen apiece, while this only costs MP and restores up to 90 HP at a time.  Absolutely essential to have; max it out as soon as you get it.

Restoration formula: 15 * Spell Level
MP Cost Formula: 4 + Spell Level
Required components: Dog collar, Magic Fetish, Leaves

Powerball

An attack spell with high damage output.  Not very useful honestly, since it has just as much chance to do 1 damage as it does to do 30+ damage.  Just stick to guns, since they have a higher and more reliable DPS overall.

Damage Formula: 6 * Spell Level
MP Cost Formula: 4 + Spell Level
Required components: Paperweight, Ghoul Bone

Invisibility

As its name implies, this makes the spell's target invisible, making enemies unable to target them (though they may still get hit by a stray shot or two aimed at someone else).  Raising the spell level increases the duration.  An extremely useful spell to have, and it can be a life-saver in big and fierce gun battles (or just a useful way to draw fire away from your squishier Shadowrunners).  Some bosses and tougher foes can see through invisibility, however.

Duration Formula: Spell Level * 5 Seconds
Required components: Potion Bottles (filled with Clean Water and Dirty Water)

Freeze

Encases an enemy in ice, taking them out of the battle for several seconds.  They can still be harmed while in this state, which essentially renders them a sitting duck.  Comes in handy against very big, tough foes, but not so much in big firefights with a lot of weaker enemies.  Up to four enemies can be frozen at one time.

Duration Formula: Spell Level * 5 Seconds
MP Cost Formula: 4 + Spell Level
Required Components: Black Bottle (filled with Octopus Ink), Mermaid Scales

Summon Spirit

Another offensive spell that targets all enemies on the screen, doing up to 36 damage to each of them.  More useful than Powerball in that you don't need to select a specific target to hit, but unfortunately still not that great - its high MP cost and long casting delay don't make it very practical to use, except as an occasional quick screen-clearer.  Most of the time, using Invisibility and just gunning your enemies down is a more efficient option.

Damage Formula: 6 * Spell Level
MP Cost Formula: 2 * (4 + Spell Level)
Required components: Dog Tags, Dog Collar

Armor

A spell that gives you 30 extra points of armor, effectively rendering you invulnerable for its duration; however, you can still be hit and will be stunned when hit.  This would have been a useful spell if you got it earlier in the game, as it would allow you to tank through bosses and tough enemies.  However, Invisibility does the same job better and is available sooner, so Armor's usefulness is unfortunately limited at best.

Duration Formula: Spell Level * 5 Seconds
Required components: Mermaid Scales, Serpent Scales


Equipment



Weapons

Weapon Name Str Required Accuracy Rating Damage
Beretta 101T Pistol 1 1 1-3
Colt American L36 Pistol 1 1 1-3
Fichetti Light Pistol 1 1 1-4
Ares Viper Heavy Pistol 2 2 1-4
Ruger Warhawk Pistol 3 2 1-6
Defiance T-250 Shotgun 4 2 1-8
Uzi III SMG* 4 3 1-8
HK227 Assault Rifle 5 2 1-10
AS-7 Assault Cannon 5 6 1-20
Grenade 1 - 1-13

*The Uzi also has a unique benefit in that it has auto-fire - you can simply hold down the button to fire the weapon rapidly instead of having to repeatedly tap it.

Armor

Armor Str Required Def Rating
Leather Jacket 1 1
Mesh Jacket 2 2
Fully Concealable Jacket 4 4
Partial Body Suit 5 5
Full Body Suit 6 6


There is a "bulletproof vest" in the Dark Blade weapon shop, but you can never actually buy it.  This was apparently fixed in some of the European releases though.


Walkthrough


Important items will also be indicated in bold.  Keywords and phone numbers will be indicated in bold italics.


The Morgue to the Caryard


You wake up in the local morgue after being gunned down by a group of hitmen (as seen in the intro), with substantial memory loss and only one item in your inventory - a Matchbox from the Wastelands Club.  A good thing to keep in mind for later.  In the meantime, search the slab you woke up on to find your name (Jake Armitage) and a Torn paper; read it to get the clue "Warehouse No. 5".  Search the room to find a Scalpel on the table (get it) and a Slap Patch in the cooler on the left side of the room.  Slap Patches restore 10 HP when used, but you should save this one as it will be handy later.  Now exit the room and the building entirely to end up on Tenth Street.

Outside, you'll encounter a punk who will say he saw you get geeked.  Talk to him to learn the keywords Hitmen and Firearms.  Once you exit the conversation, he'll run off; follow him to the southwest, then go southwest again to an alley where he gets wasted by an Orc.  Grab the Beretta 101T Pistol near the guy's body, equip it and use it to kill the Orc, then search his body to get the Leather Jacket.  Equip it as well, as it provides some protection against enemy attacks.  Now go to the north end of this alley to meet a Dog acolyte; he will tell you to seek out Dog.  You can also examine the nearby billboard to get a hint about a Cyberdeck, but it's not strictly necessary.

You will notice very quickly walking around that seemingly everyone is out to kill Jake, hitmen will pop out of dumpsters, take potshots at you from windows, attack you from behind walls and atop ledges, or just pop up in the streets to try and gun you down.  So our first order of business is to find a safe place to rest and restore HP before they overwhelm us.  Thankfully, there is one close by.  Go back two screens to the central area with the morgue.  Open the gate on the north end of the small park in the middle to free the dog; it will drop the Dog Collar.  Pick it up and continue out the exit on the southeast end of the map.

Here, you will come to a building next to the monorail station (which is currently closed for repairs).  Inside, enter the door on the left (the right one just contains enemies).  You'll find a dead guy on the floor here; search him for a Door Key which bears the number 6.  Examine the memo on the table to get another clue to your past.

"Armitage to perform courier run to Matrix Systems.  70-30 split."

The room next door is a restaurant with more respawning enemies.  Exit the building and duck down the alley between it and the monorail station.  Jake will remark that the building here seems familiar, so we might as well take a look.  Enter and you'll find that it's an apartment building.  Well, we have a key labeled "6", so we might as well try it out on that door.

Hey, it works.  Welcome to Jake's apartment.  Pick up the Shades on the table and use them to put them on.  This is an essential part of a disguise we'll be utilizing a bit later, though it unfortunately won't deter the constant waves of hitmen.  Examine the Note on the table to find Sassie's phone number and the filing cabinet to find 20 nuyen (currency).  Jake also has a pay phone in his apartment (which requires a Credstick) and a bed.  Beds are where you rest to top off HP and MP, save the game and spend Karma points to level up your abilities, so we'll be using them quite often throughout the game.

Doors 7 and 8 lead to a large room with respawning enemies.  This makes for an ideal spot to level up, as you can quickly return to your apartment to top off your health.  Stay here and kill enemies until you have enough Karma to boost your Body and Firearms stats to a decent level (say, 5-6 each), using your bed to rest up whenever your HP drops below 10 or so.  Also be sure to grab the nuyen they drop; it's not much, but we'll need a bit of spending money soon.

Once you're sufficiently powered up enough to last a while on the street, head back to the central area and then go southeast once again to that screen we passed by earlier.  Enter the building on the south end of this area with the double doors.  Inside, the first door on the right contains some more respawning enemies, but it also contains a paperweight.  Grab that and head to the second room.  There's a non-hostile secretary here, but she won't respond to any of the keywords you currently have.  So just grab the cyberdeck off the table and leave.

(Despite having this, we won't be able to enter the Matrix just yet; Jake's datajack is on the fritz and will need to be repaired first.)

Continue to the northwest (dealing with any window snipers) and enter the club building you find on the next screen.  This is the Grim Reaper Club, and it will provide us with several important clues.  Talk to the guy near the entrance to learn the phrases Street doc and Healing.  Talk to the bartender and he'll serve you an Iced Tea; talk to the guy at the table and give him the Iced Tea.  He'll tell you that a scalper named Grinder got wasted by Lone Star, robbing him of his chance to get Tickets to the Maria Mercurial show.  Then talk to the Bartender again to learn the keywords Shadowrunner, Decker, Datajack, and Hiring, all of which will be important later.   You can also hire a Shadowrunner named Hamfist here for 500 Nuyen if you wish; I recommend saving your money for now.

From here, you can head east to find a graveyard populated by ghouls.  The ghouls always spawn in the same places and can only harm you in close quarters, which this makes a decent place to grind out a bit of Karma; however, you should be aware that the ghouls will get stronger each time you kill them.  Your real objective here is to pry open the door of the left-most crypt with your scalpel, and use your Slap Patch on the injured shaman inside.  As thanks, he will give you the Magic Fetish and teach you the keywords Shaman and Magic Fetish.  Examining the fetish reveals that it has a bat symbol on it, which is an important clue for later.

Searching the coffins in the four crypts will turn up either ghouls or some Nuyen.  After speaking to the shaman, one of the next ghouls you defeat will also drop a Ghoul Bone; be sure to pick that up as well.

Once you've gathered as much Karma as you care to (raising your Body and Firearms stats to at least 6 each should do for now), it's time to follow up on some of the leads we got at the bar.  Return to the morgue and talk to the two morticians; they won't recognize you if you have the shades on.  You can ask about Grinder, but they'll only cooperate with you if you're "family or a badge."

We can't do anything about the former, but fortunately we can find a Lone Star badge nearby.  Go back to the screen outside the Grim Reaper Club and enter the building on the right.  The first room in here contains more hitmen, but the second room contains a shady guy whom you can talk to.  Ask him about "hiring" to get the Negotiation keyword (necessary to get the skill later!), then ask him about "Lone Star" and he'll sell you a stolen Lone Star badge for 150 Nuyen.  You can also ask him about "firearms" and he'll sell you grenades for 100 Nuyen each.

Skip the grenades, but definitely get the badge.  Use it on yourself to equip it and return to the morgue.  Talk to one of the two guys about Grinder and he'll unlock the nearby file cabinets for you.  Search them to find a Credstick and the Tickets we heard about from the bar guy.

Now that we have a Credstick we have a couple of phone calls to make.  We could go back to Jake's apartment for this, but it's more convenient to use the one at the Cage, so let's do that.  Head east of the graveyard to find The Cage, then use the Credstick on the phone in the lobby to call Sassie.  She's your old girlfriend, who threw out your stuff when she heard you were dead.  Dang.  Well, at least you can talk to her to get the keyword Calls.  Ask her about that to get the keyword Glutman and she will give you his phone number.

Now use the phone again and call Glutman's number; he's not in, but you'll get his secretary.  Ask her about Glutman and she will tell you that he's at the Cage.  Hey, that's where we are.  How convenient.  End the call and give the tickets to the troll bouncer to get in.

Talk to the guy in the upper left corner of the club about Ghoul Busting to learn the keyword Ghouls.  This earns you the ability to hire another Shadowrunner at the Grim Reaper club called Jangadance (he was the guy on the phone the last time you visited).  He's not too useful though, so I'd suggest just skipping him.

You can ask around a bit about Glutman, but you'll find him soon enough anyway; he's the guy on the couch on the north end of the bar.  He'll be surprised that you're still alive considering the value of the tech you're sporting, and offer to take you somewhere safe.  Once you end the conversation, Jake will be blindfolded and taken to the Caryard.

The Caryard and Old Town


You arrive in the Caryard, which, as its name implies, is a small hovel made of junked cars.  You can rest at the small mattress next to you, which functions as any other bed in the game does.  Head south one screen and talk to the various NPCs around; you'll learn that the Caryard is run by King, and that there is a conflict occurring in the Matrix.  There is also a brief mention of Drake, the guy who left a message for you in your apartment.  You can also talk to a kid near the exit (and King), who will sell you Slap Patches for 100 Nuyen apiece if you ask him about "healing".

King refuses to let you out unless you pay him 4000 nuyen.  Another option is to fight him, but you're probably a bit underleveled for that at this stage.  So instead, head east one screen to the Arena.  Here, you can talk to the owner and fight in a series of battles, which offers some hefty cash rewards.  Just be sure to heal up and save in between each fight, as they do get very tough after your first few wins.  If you're having trouble with a fight, exit the arena and go to the small area out the southeast exit of the Caryard to power up.

1. Gang Member - 300 Nuyen
2. Heavy Dude - 700 Nuyen
3. Heavy Dude - 1000 Nuyen
4. Mage - 2000 Nuyen
5. Mage - 3000 Nuyen

The first five fights are pretty easy; you should have no problem beating them with around 5 in Body and Firearms.  Once round six hits, however, things get much tougher.

6. Samurai Warrior - 4000 Nuyen

This guy totes an automatic weapon that can drain your health very quickly.  However, if you fight him in close quarters, he'll wield a knife instead, which does considerably less damage and has a much lower firerate.  So get up close to him and shoot him until he goes down.

7. Ferocious Orc - 5000 Nuyen

This is a tricky one, since he meanders around a lot (making it tough to draw a bead on him) and fires bursts of shots at you for pretty hefty damage.  You'll probably want an 8 or 9 in Body and at least an 8 in Firearms before taking him on.

8. Gang Leader - 6000 Nuyen

This guy is definitely one of the toughest the arena has to offer.  He moves around very quickly, circling around you and bobbing off-screen to throw off your aim, all the while pelting you with automatic gunfire that will quickly drain your health.  You may not be able to win this one without upgrading your equipment.

9. Troll Decker - 7000 Nuyen

A very dangerous opponent, having a high amount of HP as well as a powerful rapid-firing weapon that can hit for double digit damage.  You will almost certainly need to upgrade gear to beat this guy.

10. Mage - 8000 Nuyen

Considerably easier than his predecessors, but he can still be a challenge.  The mage creates up to four duplicates of himself to attack you, and having five guys firing at you at a time can make it easy to get stun-locked.  The clones die in only a couple of shots, so you have to balance between  keeping the clones relatively low and training your shots on the real mage to avoid being overwhelmed.  Still, if you got past the Gang Leader and the Troll Decker, this shouldn't be too difficult to handle.

You can also talk to the arena owner about "Negotiation" to learn the skill from him; however, he'll charge you 1000 Nuyen for the privilege.  You can also ask him about "King" to challenge the King in the arena; he won't go down easily, but defeating him earns you 3000 Nuyen and a pretty hefty chunk of experience.  This is the more lucrative option for leaving the caryard in the long run, though you may have to power up a bit to make it through (9 or 10 Body should do the trick).

If you don't want to fight the King, you can raise Negotiation to level 2, which will cause him to lower his price down to a more reasonable 2000 Nuyen.  Since you need to pay 1000 to learn the Negotation skill, though, you only really save 1000 Nuyen.  Not to mention you come out 6000 Nuyen short when you factor in the 3000 Nuyen gain from beating him!

Whether by the gun or through bribery, though, you'll eventually be able to leave the caryard and reach Old Town.  Immediately to your left as you exit are the local monorail station and the Sputnik Club (where more mediocre Shadowrunners can be hired).  Go past them and up the street to the northwest; here, you'll find an artillery shop and a talisman shop.  Enter the weapon shop first, and purchase the Defiance T-250 Shotgun for 15,000 Nuyen; while expensive, the damage and accuracy upgrades it provides are well worth the price.  You will need 4 Strength to wield it, though, so get that first if you don't have it yet.

Grab the Mesh Jacket too if you can spare the expense; you can sell your old pistol (200) and leather jacket (1000) to offset the cost.  With these equipped, and a decent Body score and a bit of luck, you should now be able to return to the arena and clear out the remaining challengers.

Now check out the Talisman shop.  You can save a bit of time by buying everything here now, but it's not really necessary to do so.  Keep these items in mind, though, as we will need the Stake to defeat a certain enemy and the other two items will be necessary to learn two very useful spells.  For now, talk to the store owner to learn the keyword Talismans.  Ask about that to learn the keyword Shaman and get the talisman store owner's phone number.

Make sure you have at least 2000 Nuyen before you continue onward.

When you're ready to move on, head down the alley just south of the shops to find Ed's Patch n' Fix, a street doc.  Ask him about your datajack and he'll investigate it for 500 Nuyen... and inadvertently activate the Cortex Bomb in your head.  Talk to him again and ask about the Cortex Bomb to get your 500 nuyen back, then ask him about Street Doc to get referred to Doctor Maplethorpe downtown.

We'd best head there right away, as that bomb in your head will detonate in 30 hours (which equates to 30 minutes of real time).  So go to the monorail station and take the northern monorail to Downtown.

Downtown



As soon as you step off the monorail, you'll be attacked by some orcs; take them out, and one will mention the Rust Stilettos with his dying breath.  He also drops an Iron Key, which you should pick up, and another Dog acolyte shows up shortly thereafter to give you some more cryptic words.  Whoever Dog and the Rust Stilettos are, we'll just have to worry about them later; that bomb in your head takes priority!

Alright.  This is by far the biggest map area in the game and it's easy to get lost when you first visit, so here's the quickest route to Dr. Maplethorpe's.  Exit the station via the southeast exit, then take the northeast exit in the market.  Cross the street (avoiding the traffic) and go southeast down the sidewalk on the other side (don't approach the big building here - the enemies outside are seriously badass).  Continue down to the next screen, then enter the door to your right.

Talk to the secretary and tell her about the Cortex Bomb; she'll let you in to see Dr. Maplethorpe, but will still charge you 2,000 nuyen for it, hence why I told you to save that much cash.  Talk to Maplethorpe about the bomb and he'll disable it and then try to sell you on some Cyberware.  Ask him about that to learn the keyword Matrix Systems.  You can also ask him about "healing" to buy Slap Patches from him (100 Nuyen each) and purchase two pieces of Cyberware from him.

Skill Software - 3000 Nuyen, teaches the Leadership skill (which keeps hired Shadowrunners around longer).
Boosted Reflexes - 15,000 Nuyen, raises the rate at which you fire weapons.

Skill Software is only useful if you plan to hire Shadowrunners, but Boosted Reflexes is a very worthy investment, raising your weapon fire rate and allowing you to deal more damage in a shorter period of time.  Very useful to have, especially since we'll be hitting a lot of very long enemy gauntlets from this point on.  This should be your next purchase, especially since you're probably close to 15,000 Nuyen (if not over it) from clearing out the arena.  If not, keep it in mind and come back for it a bit later.

With the bomb out of his head, Jake can now utilize his Datajack (in conjunction with the Cyberdeck) to enter the Matrix and begin hacking.  Top off your Computer skill as soon as possible; it will make your life much easier when dealing with the Matrix.  For now, you can head back to Glutman's office on Tenth Street and hack his computer for 1,000 Nuyen.

Our next stop is the docks; from the marketplace, head out the west exit, then go south, past the Drake building, and west again once you hit the wall.  Go past this screen and you will come out on the docks.  The enemies here are significantly tougher than those you've encountered to this point, so I really hope you bought the Shotgun and Mesh Vest.  Head down to the end of the dock on the first screen and talk to the guy here to learn the keyword Docks.  The first door you come to on the second screen also leads you to a small office with another computer you can hack for 2,000 Nuyen.

The third screen is another important locale.  The first door you see is locked (permanently), but the second leads you to Dog.  He tells you to find items of man, a creature, and the earth.  Pretty cryptic, but keep it in mind.

The last door down on the far end of the third screen contains an encounter with a miniboss - a shapeshifter that first appears as Sassie, then turns into an octopus.  Kill the octopus (which nets you 2,000 Nuyen) and note the puddle of ink that appears.  If you have 2500 Nuyen to spare, go get the Black Bottle from the Talisman Shop and use it here to gather the ink.  If not, keep it in mind and come back for it later (the Boosted Reflexes upgrade should take priority).

That's all we can do here for now, so head  northwest to the intersection, then take the west exit to end up on another street.  Here, you can stay at the inn (right door) and enter the Jagged Nails club at the top of the screen; however, they'll be reluctant to let you in until you take out the Rust Stilettos, so let's do that now.  Go back to the intersection and go north, past the Wastelands Club, and you'll come to the Rust Stilettos' territory.  They'll open fire as soon as you enter, so return the favor and take them all out.  One of them will drop an Iron Key, which opens the door at the end of the street leading to their hideout.  Another will drop a Crowbar, which we will need a bit later on.

Inside, you'll have two more rooms of Rust Stiletto goons to take out.  If you start running low on HP after clearing out one of them, just retreat and rest at the inn, then come back; with a decent Body and Firearms skill, and the shotgun, it shouldn't take long to clear them all out.  One will mention the keyword Drake and drop a password to the Drake Building; we won't be going there for a while (way too dangerous at this stage), but we will need that password to get in, so don't miss it!

You can also bring Jetboy (one of the Shadowrunners available at the Wasteland Club) here; he'll spot a cach of 2,000 Nuyen for you.  He's pretty weak, though, so it's a bit more practical to clear out the building, then bring him here.

Return to the Wastelands Club on the way back and talk to the barkeeper, who will mention that he's waiting for a shipment of Ice.  That earns us a keyword we'll need later, so don't neglect to do it!

Now go back to the screen with the inn and inter the Jagged Nails (the doorman will only charge you 50 Nuyen now that you've cleared out the Rust Stilettos).  Talk to the bartender on the right and he will mention Kitsune, who is performing on stage.  Stand by the phone and wait for her to come to the bottom of the stage, then talk to her; she will reveal that she is the one who saved your life at the start of the game, and offer to join you as a Shadowrunner.  She will also give you Leaves if you ask her about Dog.

(It is worth noting that Kitsune will stay with you indefinitely if you hire her for the first time, then defeat the Rat Shaman while she is still in your party.  However, she is quite difficult to keep alive, so I don't recommend keeping her around in any case).

With the Leaves, Magic Fetish and Dog Collar in hand, you should now be able to return to Dog and get the Healing spell.  This also unlocks your Magic stat so that you can raise it.  You should max out Heal as soon as possible to maximize its effect, and put some points into Magic so that you can cast it a few times; this will allow you to tank your way through most of the longer dungeons in the game.  Spend some time killing random enemies on the docks until you can do just that (5 points of Magic should do for now).



Once you're ready, you should take on the Rat Shaman next.  Head to the southeast corner of the marketplace and take the left exit to a small graveyard.  Take the northeast exit here to end up at the sewers, where you'll have to fight your way through several groups of rats.  They do give a pretty hefty amount of Karma for your trouble, at least.  At the end you'll confront the Rat Shaman himself; take him down and the Jester Spirit will emerge; he'll taunt you and say that you won't see him again until you learn his true name, then vanish.  Examine the Rat Shaman's body for another 3,000 Nuyen.

Now return to Dog; he will be happy that you have defeated his mortal enemy, and will tell you that the Jester Spirit will be bound to your will if you learn his true name, but offers no help on how to learn it.  However, he will teach you the Powerball spell if you have the Paperweight and the Ghoul Bone from Tenth Street.  It's not very useful, though.

Return to Jagged Nails and ask Kitsune about the Jester Spirit; she will suggest that someone at the Dark Blade Manor will know about it.  Ask the left Bartender about Dark Blade to learn the keyword Vampires, then follow up that to learn that they're susceptible to Strobe lights.  Ask him about Strobe and he'll give you a light to use.

Since we're dealing with Vampires, we'd better bring along something they're susceptible to.  Return to the Talisman shop in Old Town and buy the Stake for 2500 Nuyen (and the Potion Bottles if you have the cash for it).  Talk to the owner about Vampires and he'll give you the Dark Blade Phone Number; get to any phone and give them a call.  Mention the Magic Fetish and they'll open the door for you.

Now head back downtown, and take the exit next to the one that led us to the graveyard earlier to end up outside the Dark Blade Manor.  Go through the gate to the courtyard.  Note the exit on the far east end of this area, as it takes you to a weapon shop with some very high-grade (but also very expensive) weapons and armor.  Keep it in mind for later, as we'll want to save our cash for the best stuff they have on offer.



Enter the manor and talk to the mage.  You can mention the Magic Fetish to him to avoid a fight, but since we'll have to fight our way through this area anyway, we might as well just go in guns blazing.  Take out the mage in the main hall, then head into the doors at the north and south ends and take out the enemies within, which will earn you a good bit of cash.  The head vampire, Vladimir, will flee as you enter the top room.  Hack the computer in here to get 10,000 Nuyen (nice), and the one in the bottom room to get another data file, hinting that Vlad is in league with Drake and the Jester Spirit.  Be sure to grab the Bronze Key off the shelf in this room too.

Head into the room to the east and you'll fight a few more enemies.  One is carrying another Mesh Jacket, which varies slightly from the one you can purchase; it offers the same protective value, but no shop will purchase it.  This doesn't stop you from equipping the new one and selling your old one back for a bit of cash, though.

Continue north to the kitchen, take out a couple more enemies, and sneak behind the wall on the right to unlock the gate with the Bronze Key.  This takes us to a crypt with continually respawning ghouls, which is a pretty convenient way to earn some quick Karma (but like the ones we encountered earlier, they do get progressively stronger the more you kill).  Continue through 2-3 rooms of them to reach the bottom level, where Vlad will attack you with a small entourage of ghouls.  Use the strobe light to stun him (your gun will have no effect), take out the ghouls, then use the Stake on him.  Ask him about Jester Spirit and he'll say that he's located at Bremerton and his true name is Nirwanda.  That message you saw on his computer implies that he's lying, though, so stake him a second time and ask him about Nirwanda and he'll give you the Jester Spirit's true name: Laughlyn.  Stake him a third time to kill him and get 5,000 Nuyen.

Bremerton


If you don't have the Potion Bottles from the Talisman Shop, go get them now; you should have more than enough cash for it after dealing with Vladimir and his goons.  You'll also want to return to Tenth Street and visit the fountain in the center of the area; use the Potion Bottles here to fill one with clean water.  This would also be a good time to rest up and spend your Karma points at Jake's apartment; boost your Magic skill up to at least ten and put any spare points you have into Body.

After that, return to the docks; on the way to the boat driver, you'll meet a big orc who drops Explosives when killed.  Grab them and talk to the boat driver about Bremerton.    He'll tell you that he won't be able to take you there because some Mermaids are attacking any ships that attempt to set sail.  Ask him about that and he'll say that they're attracted to the warm water coming from the sewers.

Hm, didn't the bartender at the Wastelands Club say he was waiting for a shipment of ice?  Let's head back and see if he ever got it.  Talk to the bartender and he'll say that the "chiller" has come in, and that he's the guy over in the far left corner.  Talk to him about Ice, then pay him 100 Nuyen and tell him to have it delivered to the Docks.

Return to the docks and the mermaids will have gone, leaving behind some Mermaid Scales on the dock on the northmost screen.  Collect those, then go into the top warehouse and collect the Octopus Ink in your black bottle if you haven't done so already.  Return to Dog with these in hand and you will learn the Freeze spell, which is a lifesaver in an upcoming fight.  You don't need to power it up just yet, but keep it in mind.

Now return to the captain and ask him to take you to Bremerton; he'll agree for the price of 1000 Nuyen (which shouldn't be a problem with our current resources).  Bremerton is a long dungeon filled with dangerous foes, so you definitely want to come prepared; if you don't have at least Level 6 Healing, 10 in Magic and 13-15 Body, turn back and power up until you do.  Once you're ready, pay the toll and we'll head off to Bremerton.

Head past the first few screens, taking out the gangers you encounter along the way (and the Doggie, who drops the Dog Tags), until you come to a staircase.  Fight your way through a couple more gangers to reach a pair of doors; one locked and one rusted shut.  Use the crowbar to pry open the locked door (not the rusted one?) and enter the ship.

Inside, you'll quickly encounter two red-colored slimes.  Fortunately, they both go down in a single shot.  Press the switch on the wall to open the door and go through, which will lead you to a two-way fork; take the upper stairs and follow the long staircase down to a room with a safe.  Kill the enemies in here and root through their stuff to find a Safe Key, which - surprise - opens the nearby safe.  Get the Detonator inside, which will combine with your Explosives to create the Time Bomb.  There is also a broken bottle in there, but it's a useless item, so skip it.

Go back the way you came and, once back at the fork, take the bottom exit.  This leads us to a four-way path; go down the southeast path and you'll come to a room with a gray slime.  Kill it, then use your potion bottles on the Toxic Water it leaves behind to fill one with it.  At this point, you can retreat from Bremerton (by returning to the boat) and talk to Dog again to be granted the Invisibility spell, and it's honestly not a bad idea to do so, as it will be very handy in this dungeon.  Once again, power it up to level 6 as soon as you get the chance to.  Collecting the Dog Tags will also cause him to grant you Summon Spirit, which isn't nearly as useful.

When you're ready to move on, return to the four-way split and go down the stairs in the room that you found the gray slime in.  This takes you to another of those long stairwells riddled with orc enemies.  Go all the way down it to another room with a safe... and several orc enemies that will open fire on you for heavy damage.  You can't defeat them in a gunfight, so just retreat from the room before they take you out.  Go back up the stairs and press the button near the door you came through, then go through it and back up to the second stairwell section, where you'll find a second switch by this door.  Press it as well.  These two buttons in conjunction will seal off the airlock door in the orc room and flood it with water, which will drown all the orcs.  Once "maximum pressure has been reached", press the button nearest you again, then go back downstairs and press the other button.  You may now safely enter the room with the safe.

This safe cannot be opened by a key, so use your Explosives to blast it open instead (stand clear of the safe, lest you take damage).  Inside, you will find a Green Bottle full of toxin-dissolving fluid.  Now return to the four-way intersection once again and take the path on the upper right.  You'll find a single green slime in this general area that, for some odd reason, you cannot kill with the Green Bottle.  When you reach a room with two of them, though, the Green Bottle will work on them.  Press  the rightmost switch to open the door; then the leftmost switch to detonate all the mines in the next room.  The center switch will just arm more mines, so don't mess with it.

Go past the mine room and into the portal to end up in the Jester Spirit's dimension.  In the first room you'll be attacked by ghouls and a giant Naga, which gives four Karma when killed but is a challenging target to take down (due to its high damage and because its constant movement making it hard to lock onto).  Fortunately, he's much less of a threat with an Invisibility spell.

Continue past the bubbles (you can shoot the large masses of them to destroy them; you'll just have to dodge the bouncing ones, though) and enter the final room to confront the Jester Spirit.

This is a pretty dangerous boss, again because of his high damage output.  It's also not immediately clear that you can't defeat him through sheer force; you must whittle him down a bit with it, but it's not how you win the fight.  At first, he'll just lob fireballs with no real target, making them easy to avoid.  Once you've damaged him a bit, he'll start throwing them directly at you (and they hurt, so stay healed up).  Once you've whittled him down a bit more, he'll remark "You are a fool to come here.  You are no match for the Jester."  Once that message appears, you must talk to him and choose the phrase "Laughlyn" to end the fight.

Talk to the spirit again and he will offer to help you now that you've bested him.  Ask him about Drake to learn that his lair is a Volcano.  This will also cause him to transform into a Jester Spirit item you can pick up; do that, then exit via the portal that appears.

Drake Tower and Volcano


Exiting through the portal trips a flag at Dr. Maplethorpe's, which causes him to get in a very useful new implant called the Dermal Implants; these boost your innate defense by 2 points, making you more resistant to enemy attacks.  While they are somewhat expensive at 15,000 Nuyen, they are very much worth the upgrade, so go and get them now.  You may also wish to stop by the weapon shop at Dark Blade Manor and pick up the HK Assault Rifle for 15,000 Nuyen, as your shotgun is beginning to get a bit obsolete by this point.  The Partial Body Suit also helps, but isn't strictly necessary, so you may want to save your cash for a better upgrade a bit later on.  Both items require 5 Strength.

There is a trick you can exploit here as well.  Entering the portal in the Jester Spirit's dimension also resets another flag, causing Vladimir to respawn at the Dark Blade Manor.  This means that you can enter the basement and kill him again for another 4 Karma and 5000 Nuyen.  You can exploit this as many times as you wish by going back to Bremerton, going through the ship, and exiting through the portal again; it is a bit tedious, but it's a relatively quick and infinite source of money in a game that's notoriously stingy about giving it out in large quantities, so it may be worth it if you really want to buy everything available at this point.

In any case, once you're suitably armed, armored and implanted, it's time to raid the Drake building.  You should know where it is, as we've already walked past it several times on our way to and from the docks.  Head into the lobby and take out the single mage, then hack the computer on the desk (you will need the Password from the Rust Stilettos) to unlock the elevator.  Enter and head upstairs.

This is a pretty straightforward dungeon; just five floors of enemy fights, all of whom are packing some pretty heavy artillery.  If it becomes too much to handle, just cast Invisibility and they will all stop firing at you, making them easy to pick off.  Once that's done, hack the computers you find to unlock the next elevator, as well as find several expository data files and Nuyen caches.  The second floor has a computer cache with 8,000 nuyen to find and the fifth floor has a cache with 10,000.  You can also find Drake's Phone Number in one of the data files you come across, but it's not necessary.

Once you fight through six floors of baddies, you'll reach the roof.  Fight off the goons up here, then talk to the helicopter pilot; ask him about Volcano and he'll fly you there.  Odds are you're probably pretty beat up from your trip through the tower, though, so you may want to back out temporarily in order to rest up and spend Karma points.  Top off your Freeze spell, make sure your Body and Magic are both at least 15, then take the helicopter ride to the Volcano.



If you ever need to back out (not unlikely considering the enemies here are quite dangerous and can drain your health very quickly), just talk to the pilot again and mention the word Drake to have him take you back to Drake Tower.  Continue down the small hallway inside, then take the first elevator down.

Something to note about this area is that many rooms have scientists in them; once they see you, they'll sound the alarm, which causes troll decker enemies to appear in the halls on a frequent basis.  They're pretty dangerous, so it's to your advantage to just shoot the scientists dead on sight.  The first floor does have a computer you can hack to disable the alarm, though.  Another terminal in one room will open the elevator on the east end of the level.  Take it down to sub-level 2.

This floor is a bit more straightforward, but the same rules apply.  This is also where the sentry guns begin to appear; make sure you shoot at the scientist operating them to disable them, not at the gun itself.  Hack another terminal to open the next elevator down, then head down to sub-level 3.

Sub-level 3 has a lot of enemies, but is also a very lucrative place to do some hacking; there are data stores with 5,000, 12,000 and 25,000 nuyen here.  You can also find Akimi's phone number in another data file, but again, it's not necessary to do so.  She is definitely a worthy ally for the final dungeon, though, so if you use Shadowrunners it is definitely worth picking up.  Hack another terminal, go through some more rooms to reach the elevator, and head down to the final stretch.

As soon as you step off the elevator, cast Invisibility immediately - there is a large swarm of scientists and trolls immediately to the south who will make your life miserable in a hurry.  They respawn every time you come back here, too, so it may not be worth your while to fight them every single time.  The south exit leads to Drake, but you can also take the east exit to reach a long hallway filled with nagas.  The first two are green and inflict some pretty hefty damage; the last one is gold and significantly tougher.  However, all can be defeated relatively easy with the Invisibility spell.  The gold one also drops the Serpent Scales, which are a component of the Armor spell.

This is also the site of another trick.  As long as you don't pick up the Serpent Scales, the Gold Naga will respawn each time you enter the room, allowing you to kill it again and again for 6-7 Karma each time.  This is a good way to level up, but it's also risky given that the Naga is a strong opponent and you're deep into enemy territory.  Still, if you want to max out your stats, this is definitely the quickest way to do it.

In any case, you should head south from the elevator to another room full of Troll Deckers.  Take them all out, then check your status - if you don't have at least 40-50 Magic left, you may wish to back out of the volcano and rest up, then return.  If you do, press on again.  Run through the next room full of grenade-lobbing scientists (they should only hit you once or twice for minimal damage) and you'll finally come face-to-face with Drake.

...Well, if by "face to face," you mean "he starts dropping ice on your head until you approach, at which point he starts spewing fire at you for monstrous amounts of damage".  As soon as you enter the room, use the Jester Spirit from your inventory; this stuns Drake for several seconds and chops off a massive chunk of his HP, allowing you to move into a more advantageous position in the meantime.  Cast Invisibility while you wait for the animation to play out, then once it finishes, immediately cast Freeze on Drake to immobilize him.  Once that's done, fire away at his with your weapon, and once the ice starts to fade, recast Freeze.  This is a bit cheap, but given that Drake's fire breath can easily deal upwards of 150 damage to you in an instant (and he can see through your invisibility), it's all but necessary to win the fight.  Once you dish out enough damage, he will die and fade to gray, netting you a whole bunch of Karma.

Enter the door to Drake's right and you will find a scientist named Pushkin, who was being held hostage by Drake.  Ask him about Drake and he will mention that Aneki has developed an AI computer, which he intends to use to take over the whole of the Matrix.  Then ask him about "Head Computer" and he will realize that you're the courier carrying the program capable of destroying Aneki's AI   He gives you the Password you need to enter the Aneki building, and you're automatically sent back to the roof of Drake Tower.

Aneki Building


Our goal is clear and our true enemy's name is known, so it's time to end this once and for all.  But first, we should arm up.  Head back to the Dark Blade Manor weapon shop and purchase that shiny new AS-7 Assault Cannon they have for sale.  Yes, it costs a whopping 40,000 Nuyen, but given that it's by far the strongest and most accurate weapon in the game, it's worth every cent.  The Full Body Suit is also worth getting if you can spare the 30,000 Nuyen (and 6 Strength) it requires, but the Assault Cannon definitely gets top priority.

Get yourself armed up, spend all your extra Karma on Magic, and head east from the marketplace to reach the Aneki Building.  As soon as you approach, several armed guards will open fire.  Waste them all with your assault cannon and enter.  Hack the computer  you see to unlock the elevator, and head up.

This dungeon actually unfolds very similarly to Drake Tower - at each floor you'll have to fight a mess of enemies (invisibility makes them much easier to deal with) and hack computers to unlock the next floor up.  You'll also need to recover passwords and data files to ensure that you can access some of the files within said computers, so make sure to check every node you come across and examine every data file within them.  Oh, and don't loiter too long in the hall with the elevators, or a troll will spawn and open fire on you.  You'll also be finding some rather large nuyen caches in some of these computers (22,500, 25,000 and 75,000), but it's all rather moot at this stage of the game.

On the fifth floor, the north room will have you confront Otto, Aneki's big, bad resident Troll decker.  Unfortunately for him (and about 95% of the other enemies in the game), he cannot see through your invisibility, so just click that on and waste him.  Now top off your health and hack the large computer in this room.  Destroy the two CPUs here and you're done.  Sit back and enjoy the ending.