|Faction||United Nations Nominate|
|Location|| Von Braun|
|Game(s)|| System Shock 2 |
System Shock 3
~ The Soldier, July 12th, 2114
Before The Many's takeover of the Von Braun, the soldier was incapacitated and involuntarily outfitted with military-grade cybernetic modifications by SHODAN, masquerading as Janice Polito. He was cryogenically frozen and stored in Cryo-Recovery A on the MedSci Deck of the Von Braun. Bayliss, acting on orders from SHODAN, erased the Soldier's memory recovery files.
By the time the game begins, The Many is in control of the Von Braun and UNN Rickenbacker, save for a few resistance fighters. SHODAN, as Polito, wakes the soldier and briefs him on the situation, where System Shock 2 begins.
First Three Decks
After his awakening, the Soldier's main imperative is to meet with Polito on the Operations Deck two floors above. However, the Von Braun is crippled by The Many, and the elevator shaft is shut down by a series of malfunctions on the Engineering Deck. Advised by Polito, The Soldier restores the elevator to working condition, only to discover that the elevator shaft above the Hydroponics Deck is blocked by The Many's growing biomass. After a further detour through Hydroponics, which The Many have transformed into a grotesque hatchery for their Annelids, The Soldier uses a special chemical, Toxin A, to push back The Many's growing biomass and unclog the elevator shaft.
Alliance With SHODAN
When The Soldier reaches Ops, SHODAN drops her facade. In reality, Polito had committed suicide days before, and SHODAN assumed her identity in a misguided attempt to establish trust between The Soldier and herself.
SHODAN explains that she is responsible for creating The Many, and that they are the results of her bio-engineering experiments on Citadel Station's Beta Grove. The Hacker ejected Beta Grove to prevent SHODAN from using her experiments to contaminate Earth. Thirty years later, the Grove landed on Tau Ceti V, where it would be discovered by the Von Braun. A sliver of SHODAN's memory was contained in the Grove, which survived on a Data Wafer which Bayliss brought aboard the Von Braun. While SHODAN went into forced hibernation, The Many evolved beyond her control.
SHODAN issues an ultimatum to the soldier, stating his only chance for survival lies in destroying The Many for her. SHODAN informs the Soldier that destroying the Von Braun their only option, but that he must transmit her consciousness to the Rickenbacker first. Furthermore, SHODAN tasks the Soldier with sabotaging the XERXES system, so that SHODAN can assume control of the Von Braun's systems.
Destroying The Many
With control of XERXES' systems, SHODAN discovers that The Many has wrapped its biomass around the Von Braun and Rickenbacker, fusing the two ships. She deduces that the only course of action to destroy The Many is for the Soldier to enter its biomass and kill it from within. She sends him to the Rickenbacker, which has a final pod that, when launched, would propel the Soldier into The Many's body.
However, before the Soldier can travel through the umbilical between the Von Braun's Command Deck and the Rickenbacker, he is stopped by a psionic force shield. The Soldier is summoned to the Bridge by Anatoly Korenchkin, who gave in to The Many's influence and mutated into a powerful Psi-Reaver. Korenchkin meets his end in a battle with the Soldier.
The Soldier finally reaches the Rickenbacker's command center, and launches its single escape pod with himself inside. When the Soldier comes to, he is inside The Body of the Many, and fights his way past the Many's strongest forms. He makes his way to the The Many's "brain" and destroys it. Before The Many dies, it leaves the Soldier with a final warning that SHODAN is not to be trusted.
The Soldier is spat out of The Many's dying body though an orifice, and finds himself on the Rickenbacker's bridge. However, something is different. SHODAN reveals that she never intended to destroy the Von Braun, but rather that she planned on using the Von Braun's reality-warping faster-than-light drive to reshape space and time into her own image. The line between reality and SHODAN's mind is blurred as the Soldier fights his way through SHODAN's consciousness. Along the way, he discovers data logs hidden in SHODAN's own mind by Marie Delacroix, a former pawn of SHODAN who had been killed on the Von Braun after outliving her usefulness. Delacroix posthumously reveals that she opened for the Soldier a weakness in SHODAN's defenses. The Soldier confronts SHODAN in her godlike form and defeats her, bluntly rejecting her offer for him to join her.
As space and time return to normal, the Soldier approaches a terminal on the bridge of the Rickenbacker, deactivates the ship's alarm, and sends out a hail stating that he has regained control of the ship.
Soldier G65434-2 is set to return in System Shock 3.
As the player character, the Soldier has almost no dialogue and no established backstory. This is so that the player can relate to the Soldier by imprinting their own feelings and thoughts onto him. This helps with the role-playing and statistical aspects of System Shock 2 as well.
The Soldier's quantity of health and Psi power depends on the game's difficulty and their own stat levels. The Soldier's speed and damage output also vary.
At the beginning of the game, the player can choose one of three branches of the UNN military to serve in. This choice effects what statistics the player starts the game with. After this, the player selects from three off-screen tours of duty per year for three years, to further build their character's starting stats. Each tour of duty has unique flavor text and statistical bonuses. Their choice of military branch and tours of duty also effects what gear the player starts the game with: for example, picking a tour to boost the Maintenance skill as a Navy soldier grants the player a Disposable Maintenance Tool, and selecting a tour to train the Energy Weapons skill as a Marine starts the player off with an Apollo H4 Laser Pistol. After the third tour of duty, the Soldier is deployed to the Rickenbacker, and the game proper begins.
The Soldier is arguably the most powerful human character in the game and story, due in part to his illegal military-grade cyber modifications. The Soldier is relatively weak at the beginning of the game, but grows in power by spending Cybernetic Modules, awarded for completing objectives and rarely found throughout the Von Braun and Rickenbacker. Upgrade Units use Cyber Modules to improve the Soldier's abilities, such as his Hacking skill, speed, physical strength, and Psi powers.
The Soldier can become even more powerful through O/S Upgrades, which are permanent, free statistic bonuses. However, he can only select four out of sixteen throughout the whole game, and the upgrade terminals are single-use and extremely rare. O/S Upgrades cannot be uninstalled.
|System Shock 2 Characters|
|Starship Von Braun|
|Engineering Deck||Marie Delacroix • Juan Curtiz • Constance Sanger • Martin|
|MedSci Deck||Grassi • Taz Amanpour • Angela Loesser • James Watts|
|Hydroponics Deck||Marc Miller • Erin Bloome • Prefontaine|
|Operations Deck||Janice Polito • Melanie Bronson • Rebecca Siddons • Turnbull • Malick • Yount • Wood|
|Recreation Deck||Frank Yang • Alice Murdoch • Rosenberg • Enrique Cortez|
|Command Deck||Anatoly Korenchkin • Norris • Malone • Myers|
|UNN Rickenbacker||William Diego • Bayliss • Thomas Suarez • Croker|
|Non-Specific Location||XERXES • SHODAN • The Many • A. Bananas|