Shadowrun is one of the most storied franchises in tabletop gaming, with a dedicated fanbase and plenty of tie-in novels and video game adaptations of varying quality. The latest game to bring this unique RPG series to consoles is Shadowrun Trilogy, a comprehensive bundle of the three games developed and released by Harebrained Schemes.
The trilogy offers fans and newcomers a chance to dive into some of the best-written RPGs released in recent years, with all the updates and expansions built-in. But, despite the compelling stories and fun gameplay, you might still walk away thinking that some things just don't quite make sense.
7/7 Why Was The Walled City Rebuilt?
Shadowrun: Hong Kong heavily features the Kowloon Walled City, an autonomous and densely-populated urban structure full of suffering and crime. The Walled City exists in the real world, too - or at least, it did.
The real-world Walled City was also known as a haven for crime, and while most of its residents lived peaceful lives, the structure's reputation - and its comparatively squalid living conditions - ultimately led to its demolition in 1994. So why, then, did the Shadowrun universe's version of Hong Kong decide to rebuild the Walled City, given all the baggage it carries?
6/7 Just How Smart Are Orcs?
Shadowrun's big hook is its combination of cyberpunk aesthetic and fantasy themes - it presents a dystopian future with orks who can hack into cyberspace. Shadowrun Trilogy allows you to choose your character's race for its campaigns, allowing you to build your own future-fantasy avatar.
The in-game description of trolls insists that orks are just as smart as the other races, and that the stereotype of their stupidity is just a myth... and then, if you look at the stats, you'll notice that they have a generally low intelligence stat. So... what gives?
5/7 Does Doctor Who Exist In-Universe?
In the first game of the trilogy, Shadowrun Returns, you can find a couch that's positively stuffed with Easter eggs. It's scribbled all over with references to sci-fi franchises like Doctor Who, Portal, Half-Life, and BioShock. And sure, it's a neat little nod to the audience.
But it also brings up a whole slew of unanswerable questions. In the world of Shadowrun, does Doctor Who exist? Do video games as we know them exist, too? And does that mean that, somewhere, there's an in-universe version of Shadowrun Trilogy being played by some cyberpunk aficionado? It makes your head hurt just thinking about it.
4/7 What's The Point Of The First Game?
Shadowrun Returns is also notable for how it ties into the overarching lore of the series. In the Shadowrun universe, a section of Chicago is eventually overrun by insect spirits, forcing the detonation of a nuclear bomb in order to reclaim the city. But Shadowrun Returns takes place before all that.
You play as a decker who encounters the insect spirits long before they make it to Chicago; you even find an anti-insect weapon that allows you to keep Seattle from suffering the same fate. That's great, but why wasn't this weapon ever brought to Chicago? What's the point of bringing this up if the canon is already set?
3/7 How Does Monika Know About Flamewing?
Dragonfall, the second game of the trilogy, kicks off with a tutorial mission set by a character named Monika Schafer. She's one of the leading figures in the anarchist state of Berlin, doing all she can to maintain the balance of power and keep the citizens safe.
So, when she dies during the mission, it registers as a huge shock and sets the game's plot in motion. Specifically, her last word kicks off the whole campaign: "Feuerschwinge." This is the German word for Flamewing, the revived Great Dragon who figures in the story. But this dragon was supposed to be dead, and only a select few know she's still alive. How did Monika find out? Who told her?
2/7 How Does The Slapdash Pistol Even Work?
Like any RPG worth its salt, Shadowrun Trilogy features a wealth of equipment and lets you customize your loadout to your liking. Most of the weapons you'll find are pretty straightforward - if it raises your attack, you'll want to equip it.
But the Slapdash Pistol, which appears in Dragonfall, is a strange exception. True to its name, it's a pistol that seems to be made by hand, held together with superglue and a prayer. It doesn't sell for much money and its attack stat is extremely low. But it also has the highest critical hit values in the game, making it a shockingly powerful weapon - despite the fact that it looks like it's about to fall apart completely. How?
1/7 Why Don't The Snipers Kill You?
Shadowrun Hong Kong kicks off when your team is ambushed by the corrupt Hong Kong Police Force, forcing you to fight your way to safety in the Walled City. During a part of this mission, you'll be menaced by snipers who are unseen and, therefore, unkillable.
The way to survive here is to take cover in the level... but literally any cover will do. It doesn't matter which way you're facing, and it doesn't matter how good or bad the cover is. If you're behind something, you're safe. But how? If there are multiple snipers attacking you from multiple directions, how does this work, physically speaking?