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Cybercombat is like a seperate game unto itself, and played differently from the regular game. The decker assumes a persona, which in this game looks like the Silver Surfer sans facial features. He flies through the Matrix and his programs resemble a superhero's powers in action.

To surf the Matrix, you need a Cyberdeck. You get one very quickly, but its not a very good one- you'll want to upgrade whenever possible. Matrix Runs will earn you a lot of cash-but you'll be channelling that Nuyen right back into your Deck.

A Cyberdeck includes the following stats:
MPCP: This is the maximum of the persona's stats- the higher this number, the higher the maximum stats.

Hardening: Not sure what this one does. But I'm sure its useful.

Memory: Programs must be loaded into active memory before being used. The more powerful the program, the more space it takes up- the more memory you have, the more powerful programs you can use at one time. You can never have more than five programs in active memory, however.

Storage: Both programs and files require space to store- another reason to limit the number of powerful programs in your Deck.

Load/IO speed: When you load a program during Cybercombat, the time needed to load the program depends on this number.

Response: This is like Wired Reflexes. The higher this number, the faster you can recharge for another attack.

Bod: This is just like Body for your Shadowrunner.

Evasion: Increases your ability to evade ICE programs and commands- useful for combat.

Masking: Very important if you prefer to avoid combat whenever possible.

Sensor: This is only useful if you like to use the Analyze program. But if you do, then this is an invaluable stat to upgrade.

Cybercombat is performed by travelling from Node to Node within a particular system, dealing with the ICE at each location. ICE may be dealt with using a variety of programs, from programs such as Deception which fool the ICE into allowing you to proceed, to Sleaze, which lets you avoid the ICE entirely, to Attack, which is one of the only two programs that can actually "kill" an ICE.

During the course of surfing the system, alerts may be initiated. As the alerts increase to passive and then active alerts, the ICE you face increases in power level. At Active alert, the ICE will automatically treat you as hostile- no chance of using Deception- and the system will eventually cut off your connection to the Matrix when all else has failed.

Each node has a function within the system, and many can be very useful. Here's a discription of the nodes you're likely to find while exploring the matrix:
CPU: The most vital part of the system, the one most heavily protected (usually), and the one with several good reasons to hack. A supressed CPU may be used to cancel an alert, or it may be crashed- which can make a Run on a corporation much easier, by shutting off their electronics equipment.

SPU: This one is merely a Node to be passed through to get to the good ones. How you do it is up to you.

IOP: This is one of the two Nodes that you will enter the System from. If you're hacking into a Corps' computers from inside their building, this is where you start.

SAN: This is where you start from, when you enter a system from the outside.

SM: These control various functions within a building. Shutting them down can turn off security cameras, unlock doors, etc.

DS: The MEAT of the Matrix. These are where you go to download files. These files can then be sold to a Fixer for cash. Lots of cash, depending on the value of the file. You can also delete a file, if necessary. Lastly, many files may be pertinant to the plot. You can read them in your notebook.

Access ICE Trace & Burn Blaster ICE Killer
the dreaded Black ICE attack mode 1 attack mode 2 attack mode 3
Cyberdeck screen with all programs shown the Shield program in effect using the Medic program Scanning in action
Degrade being used Sleaze in action Deception The Cybermap


A program's usefulness depends largely on its level, and the skill of the skill level of the Decker. The higher the level, the more powerful the program. However, programs become increasingly expensive with each upgrade, as well as consuming additional memory and storage space. It's best to pick a few favorite programs and upgrade each to level 8.

Combat Utilities:
Combat Utilities are those that are strictly offensive in nature, having a (generally negative) affect on the ICE the Decker confronts.
Attack: This is one of the only two utilities capable of actually destroying a hostile ICE. Pressing the A, B, or C buttons will unleash a lightning bolt, a silver shuriken, or an energy bullet, which can do varying amounts of damage to varying ICE. This should definately be one of your favorite programs for long term survival.

Slow: This Utility is not the most useful piece of software available. Aside from using it to slow down hostile ICE, its best use is as bait- letting it be devoured by a Tar Pit ICE.

Degrade: One of the two "hidden" utilities, you need to get a contact to obtain this program- depending on the contact, at either level 3, or level 6. This utility attempts to weaken the ICE, reducing its level- and thus, how resistant it is to Attack and other utilities. Fairly useful, in that regard.

Rebound: The only other program that can defeat an attacking ICE, this "hidden" utility creates an moving shield that deflects hostile attacks, ricocheting them back at the ICE. Cyber-Aikido-their own attacks defeat themselves. One of my FAVORITE utilities.

Defensive Utilities:
These utilities guard you against the depredations of hostile ICE. No small thing, considering that in Shadowrun, hostile software can boil a Decker's brain until it comes pouring out the ears and eye sockets.
Medic: Just like a Heal Wounds spell, for the Matrix.

Shield: Actually, it resembles body armor in terms of graphics. But it's the most basic defense, a way to blunt damage from ICE.

Smoke: My least favorite utility. Makes EVERYTHING more difficult- for both you and the ICE. Sure, the ICE is weakened- but so are you!

Mirrors: Creates multiple illusory Deckers, drawing away hostile attacks. In other words, it reduces the ICE's chances of hitting you.

Mask/Sense Utilities:
These are the tools for the more subtle of Deckers. Defeating ICE without necessitating a battle, or bypassing the ICE entirely. Also, the Analyze program.
Sleaze: This disgustingly named program might have been better described as "shadow," "ninja," or "fade." The Decker attempts to sneak past the ICE, bypassing the node without affecting it in any manner. The ICE isn't suppressed, but you didn't have to try your skills against what could have been too tough for you to handle.

Deception: A sort of electronic "lockpick", Deception allows the Decker to recreate the passcode used by a legitimate system user to suppress the ICE instantly. One of my favorite programs.

Relocate: This program attempts to lead Trace ICE on a wild goose chase. In other words, its an "instant kill" program, but only for Trace ICE. If you're the kind of Decker who wants to be known as a subtle touch, rarely (or never) using the Attack utility, this is a very useful utility.

Analize: Scans the ICE, learning its type and level, as well as the name of the node it guards. As long as you didn't fail to use the program, you can then use Sleaze, Attack, or Deception, depending on whether you want to try to suppress the ICE or not.

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