DataDyne Research: Investigation

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dataDyne Research: Investigation

dataDyne Research: Investigation is the second level in Perfect Dark.

Players on this level are entirely at the mercy of the blue cleaning bot, which only deactivates down the (otherwise impassable) lasers for you at specific intervals.


1:27 Strat

Wait through the entire opening cinema. Run through the level and photograph the isotope and recover the CamSpy afterwards. Then run for the laser section. No specific strategy is given here as you can do all this at a relatively leisurely pace, and you will still find yourself waiting around for the bot to lead you through the lasers.

The time at which the bot reaches the first laser is critical. For a good run, you need a good bot, the faster the better. It's as simple as that. However, this time is also - as far as anybody can tell - absolutely random. (It does seem that PD cartridges purchased AFTER the initial release give consistently faster times at the first laser. Make of this what you will.) So there is a significant luck/perseverance factor in getting good times on this level.

It is the section after the lasers where you can actually use your speed to get faster times. As you get to the final laser, go right up to it (hurt yourself on it!) and pause and release the CamSpy on the far side. Use the CamSpy to open the two doors ahead of you and save yourself a second or so. Speed strafe through and start Data Uplinking the computer next to the locked door, ignoring everybody on the level who shoots you in the back at this point. Carefully turn around and move to face the door while this is happening, but don't let the uplink break. Pause and unpause repeatedly while listening out for the precise time of the uplink completion, then open the door and bolt through.

Strafe like a loon through the rest of the level, avoiding switching strafes for any reason. In the final room with the drone guns, just go straight down the middle and they will not shoot you once. Spam B as you reach the last door.

Special Agent

Strat here.

Perfect Agent


  1. Holograph radioactive isotope
  2. Start security maintenance cycle (i.e. activate cleaning bot)
  3. Shut down experiments (3 experiment rooms in all)
  4. Obtain experimental technologies (K7 Avenger, Night Vision Goggles and Shield Tech Item - the latter is much later in the level and always collected last out of the three)
  5. Locate Dr. Caroll (must be completed last)

This is one of the most complex and open-ended levels in the entire game due to its non-linearity. A large variety of increasingly fast and dangerous strategies have been employed over the years.

The general principle of the current world record strategy is to activate the cleaning bot as early as humanly possible, then photograph the isotope, deactivate all three experiments and collect the first two experimental technologies at blistering speed before meeting the bot at the lasers - all while retaining enough energy to survive the suicidal Data Uplink section.

The following explains the second-fastest strategy for this level and needs altering to reflect the fastest strat. (The main difference is that activating the semi-secret floor hatch is skipped.)

Activating The Bot

Watch the opening cinema until the camera switches to the guard's point of view, and looks up in the top-right corner in the room, then hit A. You should kill the cinema about a second after the guard goes "Huh?" Immediately run forward slightly and then strafe right, shifting the joystick slightly so you bear down on the far door. Hit A before you reach it to switch to Unarmed. Hit B to open the door. If this is your first attempt today, switch to Disarm as you head for the guard here. When you reach the computer, hit Z and B one after the other in quick succession to activate the computer and disarm the guard simultaneously. Left-strafe back the other way immediately.

Given when you quit the cinema, the little brown door that you are aiming for will close at around 0:14.5. So if you get caught on the first door, or miss the computer and have to go back and try again, then you've lost too much time and you'll miss the brown door - pause and quit. However, if you failed to disarm the guard, that's OK. It's hitting the computer that's critical; you can manage with 10 fewer bullets in your gun.

Left-strafe along the long corridor towards the guard who appears around the far corner. Switch to your Falcon 2 as you run, and aim upwards slightly to shoot over his head. Fire one bullet over his head as you pass him and dodge around without reloading. (Sometimes he is further down the corridor - just shoot where his head would have been. It doesn't make much difference.) Switch instantly to right-strafing at the corner and fire the remaining seven bullets madly at the door ahead, the frame around it and maybe one or two in the tiny brown passageway as you switch back to left-strafing and dive left into it. Listen out for the shouts of the alerted guards in the next room, to make sure they heard you shooting. Reload as soon as possible while you round the corner and aim down at the glass ahead of you while still right-strafing towards it. Rapidly fire as many bullets as you like at the glass - it takes four hits to break it - and jump off the edge.

Switch to right-strafing as you fall - not too early, or you'll end up back on the top level again! - and head diagonally for the nearest computer. Reload. Smack the computer and left-strafe away diagonally across the open room towards the second computer. There are two ways to activate it, one about a second faster than the other, but slightly less reliable. The easy way is to simply left-strafe into the corner where the computer meets the wall, hit B while facing the side of the computer, then turn and left-strafe away again around the corner. The hard (but smoother) way is to left-strafe to the computer, switch momentarily to running forwards, hit B as you hit the edge of the computer head-on, then right-strafe for a fraction of a second to avoid actually running into the computer, then switch back to left-strafing. This is all done without stopping moving at full strafing speed for more than a fifth of a second. Try it out, you'll get what I mean, and if you don't, try to figure it out for yourself because it's not too hard. After you've tried both methods, decide which one you want to try to use.

There are two guards who are at random patrolling points in this area. Usually, the first on is walking away from you, and the second one is around the corner near the exit door. In this case, the first guard will probably see you out of the corner of his eye when you get to the second computer, and fire a couple of shots at you. Just ignore him, or take a pot shot on the way past - do not let him slow you down, you'll never see him again for the remainder of the level.

If the guards are all together waiting for you or something, just ignore them. It makes no difference whether you kill them or not, provided you don't take too much damage from them.

Now, up to this point your speed is a major factor in your final level completion time, but not actually a critical factor in making sure you beat the bot to the lasers (which is the major speed challenge on this level). The reason being, you haven't activated the bot yet. For this reason, any kind of error you make on the way here - mucking about on the glass ledge is a frequent one, or missing one of the two panels - will reduce your final time, but they will not make you any less likely to beat the bot to the lasers. So a good run up to this point is not especially important.

Typically, you should expect to activate the second computer at around 0:21 (though the mission timer will be blocked by onscreen messages at this point). This will result in the first set of lasers at the other end of the level closing for good at around 1:50. The next one minute and twenty-nine seconds are the most critical part of the whole level. Any error you make could cost you the run.

Getting The K7 Avenger

After activating the computer, left-strafe away hugging the wall, whirl around the next computer and activate the up-and-under door as fast as possible, ignoring the second guard. He will probably see you at this point, and you can expect a stream of ricocheting bullets to chase you up the ramp. If you're unlucky he'll see you early and shoot you as you pause at the door, or if you're especially unlucky you may get shot on the way up the ramp. This is unfortunate but not critical - as long as you don't get shot more than once or twice, you should continue with the run, as you have a good chance of success with your current health level. Head up the long ramp and round the next corner at 0:25-0:27.

Here begins the first random part of this level. The shots you fired before entering the brown door may have summoned anywhere between zero and five guards from elsewhere in the level. These will be scattered along the path between here and the brown door. Sometimes there are no guards in the corridor at all, which is a good sign because it means that, since the first guard you shot at in the corridor always comes to investigate, he will be about to open the brown door for you.

There is a chance there will be a guard around this first corner at 0:25-0:27, whom you should ignore. If there's a guard just running down from the narrow passage ahead of you, ignore him. Dodge around behind him if he shoots at you, but don't bother shooting back.

If you listen out carefully and watch carefully as you run through this next bit, sometimes you can hear the door opening on the way up, which is a good sign. Also, believe it or not, sometimes you can tell as the framerate drops slightly that there are guards in the top brown corridor. It sounds strange, but it's worked for me on a couple of occasions.

Sometimes there is a guard at the top of the short ramp in the narrow brown corridors - he doesn't need shooting as you can dodge effortlessly past him. However the final short corridor to the brown door can be infuriating, as there may be a guard (sometimes even two) standing here - and they are hard to get past. So, when you arrive at the top, shoot a stream of Falcon 2 bullets down this corridor to take out anybody who might be in the way. Keep shooting if it turns out somebody is there. If you get squashed up against somebody and you can't shoot him because he's too close, and the brown door is open, push frantically at the gap to either side and turn yourself sideways to try and slip through. If somebody is behind the brown door, shoot them as you approach to get them out of the way and to maybe grab some ammo.

If the door is not open when you get there, shoot around four bullets in a pretty pattern at the door in the hope that this will attract somebody from behind the door. Sometimes this actually works, albeit rarely (about one time in four). Shoot whoever opens it at least once to get them out of the way and for the chance for more ammo. On a bad run, nobody will open the door until the yellow bot itself returns.

On an optimum run you'll leave the brown door as you arrive there at 0:29. The worst-case scenario is having to wait for the bot at 0:37-0:38. Any time in between these two is also possible. Although 0:34 would seem to be the maximum acceptable time to stand a good chance of reaching the lasers intact, you can just about do it if you wait for the bot at 0:38. But you'll need to pray for a good, good run on the next part of the level if you want to make it, and you'll have to take a couple of risks as well.

Here is a kind of benefit of being slow earlier on. Regardless of when you activate the blue bot, the yellow one always opens the brown door a second time at 0:37. So if you feel like it, you can wait (or fool around, or get stuck - it happens) for four or five seconds by the second computer, then activate it, then run for the brown door in the certain knowledge that the yellow bot will open it for you right away. It's a thing to bear in mind if you do activate the second computer late, and also end up waiting for the yellow bot at the brown door. But I don't recommend relying on it for a genuine run - it's darned slow, that's why.

Any of the next two white up-and-under doors may be open for you, for various reasons. The second one in particular may be open thanks to a guard running through it to get help. You should try to shoot him in the back when you arrive behind him - he'll make a nuisance of himself later if you don't. Sometimes only one shot to the back will be enough to kill him.

Don't reload yet. Right-strafe across to the red hatch in the middle of the room - this is what you unlocked by activating the first computer of the level. (You may get shot at by the two guards stationed behind the door at this point, if they haven't also run off to get help. Just ignore them, it's unlikely that you'll take any damage during this next bit.) Release the C-buttons to slow to a halt over the centre of the hatch or as near as possible - close enough to fall through, if it was open. Turn around so you are facing the wall of the room opposite the door to the isotope, and look down at the hatch. Hit B to start the hatch sliding open, then pause.

Select the CamSpy and rapidly pilot it backwards and left so it goes towards the door leading to the radioactive isotope. Keep moving for about half a second, just enough to make sure you don't pick it back up again, then hit A to return control to Jo - if you were standing in the right place, you'll be about halfway through falling down the hatch. If you're not, quickly move into the hole and drop down. Start strafing forward and left before you hit the ground. When you hit the ground, you should be aiming for around 0:40 as an acceptable time. Anything better than 0:44 will do - 0:47 is the absolute limit, and that's only if you had to wait for the yellow bot. My personal best is 0:36.5.

At this point, if you need to, you should reload. Don't reload too early while you fall as you may find yourself closing the red hatch behind you! Zoom along to the corner, turn a fast 90 degrees right and carry on strafing at high speed for a second. Then turn left and shoot at the guard with the K7 Avenger, grab his gun, and high-tail it back the way you came.

Most often he is still standing in the middle of the corridor, usually running forwards. Just shoot four or five bullets at his chest area before he has time to aim and shoot back at you. Try to avoid the scientist who runs across from right to left in the background. If you're unlucky, however, the guard will roll left or right, which you'll need to compensate for but won't lose you too much time. On a really awful run, the guard will run away to the left. This will take between two and six extra seconds to remedy. Make it as quick as possible. (Note: if this happens, and you waited for the yellow bot earlier on, then you are now definitely not going to make it. Quit and restart.)

Reload if you like on the way back to the red hatch, and switch to unarmed. You should arrive at the ladder at around 0:50 on a typical run - 0:47 is possible, and 0:55 is about the worst acceptable time. Anything slower is too slow. If you were reasonably fast the red hatch will still be open when you get there. This is a good measure of if you're being fast enough at this point. If the hatch is still not closing by the time you leave it, you made the K7 run fast enough. If it closes as you slip through that's OK too... if it's closed when you get there, you'll waste two more seconds reopening it (you'll have to turn around on the ladder to do this), so just... bear that in mind.

Experiment Room One

Left-strafe out of the small pit towards the doors on the left. Look at the door. Sometimes there is a guard here running for the door - he occasionally opens one or more of the doors for you. If he's there, make sure you don't try to open the doors yourself, as this could lead to confusion and wasting a second or more, plus, while you wait, the guard in between the doors could shoot you.

Whatever the situation, strafe through, disarming the guard standing in between the doors as you pass him. Disarm the other guard if he's there. Sometimes one of the patrolling guards in the next big room is at the end of the first corridor on the right when you get there - if this is the case, disarm him too. Left-strafe down this long sloping passageway and arrive at the door leading to the first experiment room at 1:00 exactly. (0:55.5 is my personal best for getting to this door, and 1:07 is about the latest time you should be aiming for.) Open the door, switch to right-strafing while it opens, and strafe in towards the panel on the right. The guard inside usually doesn't shoot you, in which case make a token attempt to disarm him on the way past, but sometimes he does shoot you once.

Now is as good a time as any to talk about alarms. If the alarm is set off for any reason, a squad of four blue-clothed guards will materialise in the room where the radioactive isotope is positioned, and swarm along this corridor towards your current position. They will then encounter the CamSpy on the way, study it for a few seconds, then destroy it, failing the mission.

Activate the computer on the right. (Note: these small terminals are annoying in that you need to be right up close to them when you activate them for it to work.) If you hear the sound of the experiment being deactivated, quickly leave (you should escape before the door closes). If it sets the alarm off, quit and restart, as you've lost the level. If the message "This terminal is not active" comes up, and you arrived in this room at 1:03 or earlier, quickly left-strafe around to the next panel and try that one too. Again, if the experiment deactivates you should leave ASAP, and if the alarm goes off you've failed. If it still says "This terminal is not active", and you feel like it, you could try the next two panels but frankly I think it's a lost cause. I quit and exit if the second panel is not the right one. (However, if you want the practise, you could ignore this fact and carry on running to see if you can beat the bot to the lasers. You won't be able to finish the level but it's worth a shot.)

Switch to your CMP-150 as you left-strafe up the sloping corridor. You'll have between ten and forty bullets. Don't bother trying to shoot any of the one to six guards who will have amassed in this corridor. Generally, if you left-strafe up the right-hand side of the corridor, whilst facing the wall so you don't actually see any of the guards, you can escape this corridor with two hits or less 90% of the time - often, you can make it with none. Make sure you are careful not to get stuck on anybody at the top, because the longer you stay stationary the more likely you are to get shot. Make a right at the top - you may get shot as you head along here no matter how fast you run - and you arrive at the night vision goggles room.

Night Vision Goggles

The two guys around this corner could be in two positions. The first one is if they have heard you coming - they'll be together, one in front of the other, on a diagonal line between you and the door you're heading for. When you round the corner they'll both start to shoot at you. The second is if they haven't heard you coming, in which case one of them will be over on the right and start running left when he sees you, and the other will be knelt on the left and shoot you when he sees you. You have to act quickly to save your skin as you round this corner - if they knew you were coming, and both open fire as you get there, sometimes you can be dead within one and a half seconds. Rare but possible.

To prevent this, when you round the corner, position yourself so that you are looking right at the door and open fire with your CMP-150 just as you round the corner. If both are in the middle, keep the target on them and keep firing. You should kill or at least injure both of them. If they're on either side, quickly move the target over to shoot the guy crouched on the left, who you'll probably at least hurt badly. In both cases, you should keep running straight for the door. Do not slow down under any circumstances.

Depending on how much ammo you have at this point, you'll want to be more or less careful how much you shoot these guys. You need four bullets left in your CMP-150 to break the glass around the night vision goggles. So if you only have 10 bullets to start with, just a token volley of shots is all you'll be able to manage. If you have a full clip, however, a good long spray is allowed, but don't go nuts. CMP-150s empty very, very fast.

Regardless of the status of the two guards when you get to the door, turn to face it as you open it and fire four bullets at the glass panel straight ahead while running straight towards it. Resist the temptation to strafe in to grab the goggles. This is possible, and about half a second faster, but it frequently results in you missing the broken section of glass and wandering around the outside of the glass cylinder instead, wasting precious seconds.

If, as you open the door to the goggles room, you haven't got enough bullets left in your gun to break it, you have three choices. The first choice is, as soon as you realise you're out of ammo, to reload. This takes about one extra second. The second, if you don't have more ammo, is to quickly switch to the K7 Avenger which comes complete with 60 bullets, and use it to break the glass instead. Thirdly, if you find yourself with, say, only three CMP-150 bullets remaining, you can fire them at the piece of glass, then wait beside it with your back to the door. If you left at least one of them alive behind you, which is probably, there's a surprisingly good chance that they will shoot in after you, breaking the glass for you. You may take damage but it's actually fairly unlikely.

Rush in, grab the goggles, switch to K7 Avenger if you haven't already, and leave. Now, since there is likely to be at least one guard waiting for you outside the door (which is still open, by the way), they'll be shooting back. To minimise the risk of being shot as you run madly towards them (not shooting, by the way), move for about a quarter of a second behind the left or right wall as you run towards the door, using it as cover. The majority of the bullets won't be able to hit you until you go through the door itself. If you were very slow in this room the door might close on you, by the way.

Ignoring anybody out here, including guards who may have caught up on the left, run right. Now, again, there is a double situation here. There is a guard who patrols in this long corridor who is usually waiting right behind this corner - he can be ignored. However, there are also two more guards who are guarding the next experiment room. These two can also be in two positions. The first is right where they usually stand - one to your left, behind the pillar, and one on the right. The second is if they heard the commotion, and in this case they will have left their posts and be right around the first corner after the night vision room! Now, if you do find them there, you can still ignore them and rush past as fast as possible like normal. But, it changes your tactic for the next area very slightly, so keep an eye out as you blur around this corner for more than the usual number of guards, OK?

Go around the next corner, K7 in hand. If the two guards who are usually here have left their posts, there's nothing to stop you running straight for the door to the experiment room. However, if they're still there, you should open fire into the right-hand corner. The K7 has such a withering rate of fire that you can easily kill the guard there as you pass him. However timing and anticipation is of the essence. Also try to keep as much of your ammo clip as possible for the next bit as you have no time to reload as yet. Left-strafe for the door and open it, pushing yourself into the left-hand corner and switching to right-strafing as it opens.

More Experiments

As you burst into the room, open fire again, this time to kill the guard stationed inside on the left. You should kill him almost instantly on entering the room - start firing just before you go in so the first bullets catch him just as he comes into view. You should use only a short burst of ammo on him. If you miss, wait a fraction of a second to aim at him properly, then finish the job with another short burst (four bullets at most should finish him off). Try to keep at least two bullets in reserve. It is vitally important that you kill this guy, otherwise the whole run is messed up completely, dig? Unfortunately you also need to wait for as little a time as possible here because the other guard who was waiting outside the experiment room - you know, the one behind the pillar, the one you ignored - will start to shoot you now (you can tell by the way the glass in front of you explodes). You may take damage at this short a range.

Quickly run right to get away from the gunfire and towards the next guy. This guy needs shooting too, before you leave this room. The reason you need to shoot both of these guys is to make sure the scientist overseeing this experiment stops cowering and talks to you. Run straight towards the second guard, who will probably be aiming back at you by this point, and rake him across the chest with the rest of your K7 clip. Two bullets in the chest kills him - shoot four to be on the safe side. If you miss him, try not to have to reload, but whirl around and shoot him from behind as he a) groans and clutches his injured limb or b) moves into position to shoot you some more. However with a bit of luck you'll kill him on your first pass and be able to open the far sliding doors.

If you got both of the guards in this room, you'll be rewarded by hearing the scientist say "I haven't seen you before!" as you reload and head for the second set of double doors. Check your timer during this brief peaceful moment. 1:26-1:30 is what you should aiming for. 1:33 at worst.

Now, in the next room you have a major risk to take. If the scientist over on the left sees you, he will say "Who the hell are you?" Regardless of what happens next (even if you run away), Jo will continue the conversation with him, and he will then run to one of the consoles and set the alarm off. To make sure that he doesn't see you, the best course of action is to spend as little time as possible in this room. Not actually looking at the scientist also helps, though it won't guarantee success - this is an urban myth.

However, let it be noted that although setting the alarm off yourself will most likely result in your CamSpy being destroyed, being spotted by the scientist is not instantly fatal to the mission. This will be explained further later.

Ideally, to minimise the probability of being spotted, and for speed purposes, you should run in on the right-hand side of the pillar, activate the panel on the far right, then leave by the same route. You should easily beat the second door before it closes (though you'll have to reopen the first one regardless of how fast you are). However it is possible to activate more than one panel in this room losing minimal time. In this case you can run in, staying to the right but this time going on the inside of the pillar. You can then activate the far right panel from behind instead. If it is the wrong one but the alarm doesn't go off, you can then proceed to activate the panel just to the left very soon afterwards. Then, if necessary, you can go to the third one but this isn't recommended as it takes a great deal of time. Unless you're way ahead of schedule, you might as well quit and restart.

Once you've hit the panel, and (hopefully) this experiment has been deactivated (or even if it was the wrong one - it's still worth seeing if you can make the lasers), head back the way you came. Now begins the only part of the level that is too random to be covered step for step. The first door will be open for you when you get there but the second one, depending on how fast you are, will either close on you or already be closed. However, if you're lucky, you may catch sight of guards entering the room from the left. They may open the door for you when you get there. Try to avoid a mix-up.

When the door opens, stand looking for a fraction of a second at the scientist standing between the panels ahead of you. Jo should say "Pull the plug on that, now." Run left around the panels. If Jo didn't give her speech, turn right slightly to grab another look at the scientist as you pass him, this time hopefully triggering the speech. Don't stop moving.

Of course, there are between three and eight guards waiting in this area, all of whom are shooting at you. Up to four of them will block the door (usually on both sides) and there are usually two more waiting outside in the corridor. This is the first truly suicidal section of this suicide strategy. Don't start shooting yet. Strafe madly for the door, dodging left or right between guards so they shoot air. When you get to the door, if it's open, run through. If it closes as you get there, but a guard is right behind it, resist the temptation to open it yourself as this is most likely what he will do himself. If it's closed, open it. Hope like crazy that it opens smoothly and quickly before the guards in this room shoot you. If any guards are blocking the door on either side, shoot your K7 at one of them quickly and run through the small empty gap opened up by his collapsing corpse. Repeat on either side of the door. Push like mad to get through alive, and pray you don't get killed.

Once you pop out the other side, don't stop moving or panicking! The remaining guards here and there in this corridor may well shoot you as you reload and right-strafe for the far door. There's little that can be done to avoid it but you have about a one in three chance of being shot to death in the back on the way across this area.

Open the door and run through to open the next one as quickly. There are four guards in this area who will run towards you and make a spirited attempt to kill you. Usually the best way to avoid them is to move over to the right while you wait for the second door to open, then strafe around the side of all of them.

Door number three is a fun one. If it's closed, that's it - you missed the bot. You can try to open it and get through but it's equally likely that either you'll get through and reach a closed set of lasers, or you'll get shot while the third door opens. If, on the other hand, door number three is open, you still have a shot at it. Not a guaranteed success, but at least a chance. Disregarding everything else on your screen, right-strafe as fast as you can towards the lasers and don't stop strafing until either you make it through or you fry to death. It's not over until the fat lady sings. Sometimes the lasers close 0.05 seconds after you get through them - sometimes they spring up a fraction of a second before. The usual time at which the lasers close is 1:50. (Sometimes, if you've been insanely fast, the bot hasn't yet reached the lasers when you get there. My personal best for getting there is 1:43. If this happens, rapidly strafe left and right in front of them to avoid being shot from behind while you wait for it.)

Once you're through the lasers, breathe a huge sigh of relief, for you have achieved the near-impossible. If this is your first time through, the chances are your heart rate will be very high and your hands will be shaking by this point. This, in turn, will affect your performance over the rest of the level. Whatever you do, don't pause and leave it for an hour or two before coming back. That is the worst thing you could do. Keep going. The only way to get rid of the adrenaline is familiarisation. The second time you make it through, you'll be much cooler. The third or fourth time, you'll be playing at near-peak performance. Of course, you may not live long enough to make it through four times altogether...


Depending on where the bot is, the next set of lasers may be already open. If not, wait in the corner behind the pillar, facing away from the guards, to minimise the risk of being shot, until the lasers open. Go through and repeat while you wait for the next set of lasers. Pause while you're waiting. Check the amount of energy you have left and also the objective list. Quickly open the next door, shoot the guy inside with your K7 before the bot gets to the second door.

Now, if the scientist saw you in the third experiment room, then the alarms will have started to go off by now, and guards will be on their way to your CamSpy. Hide inside this small room on the right. Nobody will be able to see or shoot you here. Pause, activate the CamSpy, turn 180 degrees and head for the sliding door leading to the radioactive isotope. (Remember, CamSpies can speed-strafe too!) Dodge around any guards here, snap a quick shot of the green crystal and hit A to return to Jo - all as fast as possible.

Right, to continue. Now begins the section of the level whose speed is dictated wholly by your playing ability and not how fast the bot goes. There is no physical incentive to play this section fast - you go as fast as you like and the time reward is proportional to the effort put in. Depending on the amount of energy you have left at this point, you'll want to change strategy over the next section. If you're really low (i.e. already in the red) then you're gonna want to take it really slowly. Not too slowly, however, or you'll end up wasting the bonus you got from pulling off the laser strategy. However, if your health is above the threshold of about one-third green, you could consider the suicide strat a major possibility. There is a fast way and a slow way (about 0:10 slower) to do the next section.

The slow way: Run in with the rest of your K7 clip still out (if you've run out, use your CMP-150, or as a last resort, the Falcon 2), and shoot the guard ahead right as you run towards him. Grab his ammo and turn left. Run forward a bit and shoot the guy behind the plant as well. Grab one of the CMP-150s from the circular desk in the middle while you're here. Pull out a nearly-full CMP-150 (or reload if it's already out). Run for the far door and open it and the next two. While the second door opens, hold position to the right of it, facing in and left. Shoot the first shock trooper from this position. Quickly whirl in and right and shoot the next one. Grab either Dragon, throw it against the first door (making sure the second one doesn't close on you while you do this!) and then switch to the Data Uplink. Pick up the second Dragon and connect to the computer. The proximity Dragon will blow up the guards who come to attack you from behind while you do this. while uplinking, if you haven't already done so, get the CamSpy out and pilot it to the isotope. Take the picture then exit back to Jo as fast as possible. By now the uplink will have finished. Open the door to the left and run down the steps.

The fast way: This is what makes this strategy truly suicidal. Left-strafe straight across the open area towards the far door, taking a pot-shot at the guard on the right if he passes near you. Pause and switch to your Data Uplink once you pass him. Open the two doors, run in, hit Z while standing by the computer on the left and pause again. Make sure the "Connection established" message comes up before proceeding with the next bit, otherwise unpause and connect properly before pausing again. Select the CamSpy and fly it to the isotope, and take the photo. You will get shot in the back at least twice here, but having the CamSpy active reduces the damage taken. As soon as you take the photo, hit A to return to Jo, quickly turn left and open the door, hoping that you don't get shot to death while you open it. Right-strafe down the stairs. You'll most likely be left with your health in the red.

If you got to the lasers but you didn't manage to deactivate all the experiments, then you can try out the suicide strategy for yourself just to prove to yourself whether you can do it or not. The Data Uplink won't work but you can see whether you survive being shot.

Shield Tech Item

Switch to whichever of your K7 or CMP-150 has the most remaining ammo and jump down the stairs to the far door. You might get shot in the back if you're unlucky on this bit. Open the door and strafe around this blissfully guard-free area to the next sliding door. Open it while hugging the left side and strafe quickly across the large open area to the door on the far left. Ignore the three Dragon-toting guards here - they'll catch up later.

If you are intending to take this area dead slow, be warned - guards whom you left behind at the lasers will start to catch up now. Keep on your feet and you can stay ahead of them, but it can sometimes prove even more dangerous to go slowly. I recommend ditching safety and running fast through the next bit - it's a waste of a good opportunity not to. Also, since you made it this far, you are very likely to be perfectly able to pull off a fast run.

Open the door but be prepared for the next section - doors through here are up-and-under jobbies which open automatically. Behind the first door there is one guard hiding behind a pillar - strafe in and shoot him, no messing. Try to conserve at least half your clip though. Quickly whirl right as the next door will now automatically open. There are two more Dragon guards behind it who will instantly begin shooting at you. This is, as you might expect, a point where you are very likely to die. Target the one who is likely to start shooting first (aiming animations take varying lengths, you see) and shoot him, then spray across onto the other one. You should be aiming to at least kill one and injure the other, preferably to kill both. Collect whatever ammo flies your way and continue to strafe past to the far end, where the wall will move away to reveal the shield tech item on a table. Switch to whatever weapon (this time, make it CMP-150 or Dragon - the Dragon has a lower fire rate and a larger clip than the K7, which is important) has the most ammo left. Grab the shield (which is sadly non-functional). Exit back the way you came. The door will close on you on the way back, but it'll open again automatically, letting you see what you have to face on the way back.

This time, there's no room for suicidal insanity. Open fire straight down the middle of the four or so guards who are running down the corridor to catch you, giving priority to those who are moving to fire back at you. Just injuring each one will be enough to stop them firing long enough to exit through the end door. Sometimes it may be open for you. Rapidly right-strafe around the glass pillar to the door on the left, ignoring everything and everyone. Open the door.

Home Stretch

There are, once again, two strategies for the very last section with the drone guns. The first, safer but two seconds longer, is to start on the left and zigzag right and then left again before you get to the door. This guarantees you don't get shot. The second is to strafe along the left or right-hand side of the central path at top speed - this has a fairly high possibility of being shot, say, once. If you're on absolute minimum energy you'll want to go with option one. If you're feeling lucky, go with two.

As you arrive at the final door, hammer B repeatedly until it opens and you can check your wondrous time.



External Links

Perfect Dark solo missions
Defection | Investigation | Extraction | Villa | Chicago | G5 | Infiltration | Rescue | Escape
Air Base | AF1 | Crash Site | Pelagic II | Deep Sea | CI | Attack Ship | Ruins
MBR | SOS | War | Duel