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Columnists - Maximillian on Medium
"Maximillian on Medium" - Evil Genius Walkthrough and Strategy Guide, written by By Mike Duncan

Note to the reader: It helps to read this aloud: 1) in a Mike-Myers inspired German accent, 2) while stroking a white Persian cat, and 3) while wearing a Nehru suit jacket.

Introduction

Ah, Mr. Bond' sorry, Mr. Steele, yes. You are all so alike! I hope you are enjoying my giant laser of indeterminate purpose. I am not quite sure what it is good for, but my scientists tell me it is valuable.

Yes, yes, I see the laser beam is rapidly nearing your genitals. I will try to keep my gloating to a minimum.

Here, on the eve of my final victory, I feel a strange urge to tell you everything about my master plan' for perhaps only you, the famous James' John, yes, John Steele, can understand ' appreciate, even! ' the many difficulties inherent in constructing a doomsday device, when it is so hard to get good help these days.

I should start when I emerged from hiding - a pauper with little but my faithful samurai Jubei, a mere trio of minions, and a quarter-million American dollars.

Normally, Mr. Steele, I execute people who point out my mistakes, but my years in exile have taught me patience. I shall relate to you, mistakes and all, how I constructed my evil lairs and brought my doomsday plan to fruition. I intend to write a memoir in my declining years, you see, which will be required reading for all inhabitants of the Earth. You are my first critic' at least, the first I have allowed to live for so long.

What was that? Ah, very amusing, Mr. Steele. Choose your next comments carefully ' they may be your last!

Base Design

You like my volcano lair, yes? The first was not as large. I suppose you might say it was a learning experience. In real estate, there is a saying: the three most important things are location, location, and location. I would like to add an IQ of over three hundred to that, given that I found the perfect locale from which to start my evil plans; a rocky Pacific isle. It did not have a volcano, regrettably, but there is also the concept of 'baby steps' when aiming for total world domination!

Still, the real estate agent that sold me that first locale is now deceased. I was not aware that the island was surrounded by giant cliffs that could be easily hang-glided from by secret agents, or that the future location of my lair was close enough to land to allow agents to arrive by inflatable craft! Curses! That arrangement infuriated me to no end.

But all of that is moot now. I was made very welcome on my first visit to the island, besides a few pesky intelligence agents that I had Jubei dispose of, and I immediately supervised the dynamiting of the beginnings of my secret liar in the mountain. There were several ways I could have gone about it, of course' in my misspent youth, Mr. Steele, when I carved out subterranean lairs' pay attention now, your precious manhood is still intact ' yes, I understand it's getting warm' I tended to just add rooms at random, wherever they would fit and whenever they became necessary. It was inexpensive ' good for my cash-poor lean years, when I didn't have $100,000 to rub together ' but it made for poor security.

As I grew older, I became more cautious. My base under the Rockies, as I recall, had complicated entrances with switchbacks and many devious traps. This cut down on surviving intruders, but it was expensive and killed many of my minions as well.

These days, I have learned to rely on social minions to confuse the enemy, and to keep the more alarming items of my lair as far from the entrances as possible. I built a layered defense from the start ' first, empty corridors with low security doors, with social minion traffic, then an armory layer for more difficult threats, and last, the lair proper.

I have considered at great length, also, the number of entrances my lairs should have. Having only one increases security greatly, but makes logistics horribly inefficient, especially on my volcano lair, where the depot and the helipad are widely separated; therefore, two entrances, one near each of the departure points, is an acceptable compromise. Also, to balance out security, I protect one with an extensive trap system, but leave the other clear, relying only on social minions.

The area of the base immediately after the entrance is key. It must either delay or direct away any unwanted visitors. At least two s-bends, perhaps even three or four, with strong doors at the junctions, are desirable. Curious agents tend to check all doors they see, so additional doors should be placed protecting nothing but perhaps a tiny bit of extra, empty corridor.

Stealth is the best approach, Mr, Steele. It is always best to keep your enemies at bay, rather that confront them directly. As you no doubt know, the first island I inhabited followed the last pattern closely, as does this one, the second, which will also serve as your tombstone!

Bold in the face of death, are you? I will restrain myself from laughter.

Types of Rooms

One technology that is necessary to even consider total world domination is miniaturization. With this, my minions can fit any object, no matter what they size, into a standardized 1x1 cardboard box. This makes lair redecoration simplistic. Another necessary technology is dynamite, which makes predictable cube-shaped indentations in solid rock ' extremely handy, Mr. Steele, when you're trying to make a quick and dirty evil lair.

I have already detailed my brilliant design philosophy ' perhaps I should also describe the purposes of the various sections of my lair. Your brainpan is not nearly as large as mine, Mr. Steele, and I understand you are slightly distracted, but I hope you can at least glimpse some of the underlying brilliance.

For my power needs, nuclear is best when it is available; however, in the early days, I had to compromise with gas turbines. Leaving expansion space is very important when considering power room construction, for eventually over 600 units of power will be necessary to power a fully functional lair of evil, complete with an assembled rocket.

As for money storage, I am an advocate of building two small strongrooms instead of one, Mr. Steele. I prefer to distribute my ill-gotten gains about my lair, so my minions can revel in my infamy. Room for two suitcase racks, my gold reserves, and a future gold refining machine in one or the other is more than sufficient. It is very important to place these rooms so that neither the trip to the helipad or to the depot is too long, for I do all my evil purchases in cash only. I have not been able to get a credit line ever since I threatened to destroy Delaware in 1967.

Security is accomplished through the careful placement of armories, Mr. Steele, and these are best placed near entrances to the lair, so a fresh supply of military minions will be on hand to meet any threat. They should be far away enough so that my social minions will get first crack at distracting any threat, but big enough to force any agent entering the base to pass by or through them, thus making a sneak attack an impossibility while my all-seeing eye is distracted. Also, given the propensity of fire breaking out in the armory, I like to build them large, with important, expensive items widely separated. It is quite off-putting to build cells and security desks over and over again due to well-placed demolition charges; your antics are not appreciated, Mr. Steele.

A fully equipped base should have at least four holding cells, to accommodate some of the more taxing missions (the kidnapping of diplomats, for example) and to ensure there is always an empty cell when such a powerful agent as you is captured.

Regrettably, my minions need time off to sleep and exercise. This is most inconvenient; they should be able to toil without rest in the service of my evil plans. Still, a barracks should be within a brief walk of anywhere a minion might be, so they can quickly return to supporting my devious endeavors. Building small ones combined with larger rooms like training areas and control room is quite valid and useful; there is no need to group all the sleeping apparatus and lockers in one location. Bunk beds are cheap and effective, but exercise machines provide the best cost/time ratio for endurance recovery.

You may have noticed, Mr. Steele, that there are no lavatories in my lair. I have not found them necessary, as none of my minions generally live long enough to defecate.

An archive room is best located near a laboratory, for my scientists are one of the few minions in my service that have need of middling brainpower. Also, as every object in an archive save the desks can be used as a torture device, it is not a bad idea to place it near an armory with holding cells.

A large, centrally located laboratory is best. This is so my scientists can quickly move from device to device and all the expensive equipment can be easily defended. Placing 4-5 loot items in the laboratory is all that is needed to ensure a reasonable level of military traffic.

It is quite possible to run a strong base without feeding the workers, given their extremely short lifespan. However, for humanitarian reasons, I like to install a mess hall. Speed is important; the less time minions are chewing and drinking, the more time they are working toward my eventual dominion over the Earth. Two of these, one near each entrance, are ideal.

There are two major concerns in control room design, Mr. Steele. One is that the computers are manpower intensive, taxing my resources, and two is that a supportive instrument must be there to keep their spirits and attention high, or they will pass out at the panels. I must either supervise the workers personally, place a large piece of loot nearby so it may affect all of them, or a giant screen must be installed. Using all of the three is preferable. The massive totem I acquired on the first island is an excellent way to accomplish the second of those requirements.

Being able to upgrade the control panels to one-seated versions is a major advantage in my doomsday plan ' it cuts the necessary minions by almost half, discounting the tape machines. How many panels and tape machines are necessary, you ask? Six of one and half a dozen of the other have served me well. .

An infirmary near an armory or a typical conflict zone is a good idea, as heavily wounded minions are near useless in a firefight. These rooms do not need to be large.

And how could I forget, Mr. Steele? An inner sanctum is very important. This is world conquest in style, Mr. Steele; it must not be a slapdash affair. You must have seen my office when you were skulking about earlier; you seem obsessed with it, even. There is something about royal blue carpeting that attracts super-spies. Perhaps I should switch to purple later, when I construct my stately pleasure-dome of terror inside Mount Everest.

But I digress. The sanctum should be placed near the laboratory, in the center of the lair; too many perverted agents are anxious to rummage through my belongings. The door should be at level 3 or 4 at all times, and I tend to keep a henchman in there, if I have one to spare.

Controlling Minions - The Art of Compromise

Ah, but base design is not merely a matter of superb architecture, Mr. Steele! It is in reality merely the means by which minions may be controlled. I shall provide an example. Early on, I noticed some of my minions were smoking cigarettes. They would not dare to do so in my presence, of course, but my eyes are everywhere.

Naturally, I had them executed. Lung cancer is a legitimate threat and I wanted to press this upon them, so I crushed them to death with the bookcase in my archives. However, I kept seeing minions smoking after that, and even my henchmen! I briefly debated killing them all, but my doomsday plans must take precedence. So, since then, I have turned a blind eye to their self-destructive behavior.

My point is this, Mr. Steele; minions are foolish creatures. They do not have our natural brilliance; they are comparable, to, say, childish primates, or the flawed AI construct in my laboratory. They would quickly destroy themselves and open my magnificent lair to the world if they were not carefully supervised.

Recruitment

You may have noticed with your MI-6 trained eyes, Mr. Steele, that none of my minions are female. That is on purpose! I only recruit homosexuals. It tends to improve morale, in my experience. I try to distract too much sexual activity by installing only bunk beds, but somehow they manage, when my all-seeing eye is engaged elsewhere. They certainly do a great deal of postcoital smoking. But it is all part of my grand design!

My overseas human resources staff is normally very efficient. New construction workers automatically arrive at the island every sixty seconds. Impressive, no? With additional incentives, I can have them appear every second, but only at a great cost. This is generally only necessary if you or another annoying super agent has decimated my minions below a total of 80.

Obviously, the more minions I have, the more powerful and secure my lair becomes. It is always in my best interests to keep my minions at their maximum number of 100. More than that is too difficult to supervise. I'm sure you can appreciate the strain on my genius, Mr. Steele, at having to count on such disposable imbeciles. It is difficult to maintain effective security without at least 80 minions. 90 or more is ideal. Below 70, it becomes increasingly difficult to train more skilled minions, as they are too busy occupied with other tasks, such as distracting meddlesome intruders. This is an excellent reason to support many martial artists, as they are the most difficult to kill of all the types ' even by your hand, Mr. Steele.

Assuming a total of 100, I prefer to keep a mostly even distribution of the various types, as their abilities are often mutually exclusive, all the types are needed for various acts of infamy, and if I kept only the highly trained minions, it would take too long to replace them with a supply of the intermediate types.

My ideal breakdown is the following:

Construction - 8 Workers
Military - 8 Guards, 7 Mercenaries, 15 Martial Artists, 6 Marksmen
Social - 8 Valets, 8 Spin Doctors, 7 Diplomats, 5 Playboys
Science - 8 Technicians, 8 Scientists, 5 Biochemists, 5 Quantum Physicists

Keep in mind, Mr. Steele, that the only kind of raw talent that I can ship to the island is construction workers. Every other type of minion must be trained, which takes precious time when they could otherwise be advancing my doomsday plans. Therefore, I find it useful to keep the limit for workers always higher than the current total I possess, so they will continue to be hired.

My fondness for martial artists has already been mentioned, but you will also note the emphasis on diplomats. As my plans developed, they became increasingly important and valuable, and I was always running short of them. Eventually, I learned to keep at least 5 in reserve before I risked one of them on a mission. It was too easy to just leave one at the base, then have them killed by some disagreeable band of soldiers. One must be careful to nurture talent, Mr. Steele.

Tagging

Even the brightest of my minions is quite unimaginative, Mr. Steele. They all need explicit instructions on how to deal with intruders. With this in mind, I have developed a simple four-state 'tagging' system, which even their tiny brains can comprehend. Superimposed in the air above your head, Mr. Steele, there is a floating tag that determines the actions they should take toward you. You have not noticed it before? That's because you lack the experimental brain implant that all my minions possess.

No tag at all, of course, means that they should do nothing. This is good when I wish to allow foolish agents into an area that is thick with traps. There is no need to dissuade them from walking into their death, after all. I might also have something I wish for them to see and report to their ignorant superiors, or an object, such as the fake research machine that fooled your superiors, that I'd like for them to steal as misinformation. The lack of a tag ensures my minions will not interfere. I have been greatly amused to see you wander the casinos, wasting precious time, with this method.

A capture tag means that nearby minions will attempt pummel you into unconsciousness and place you in a cell. Yes, this is all sounding very familiar, isn't it, Mr. Steele?

A kill tag requires all nearby minions to kill you. This does not work on 'super' agents such as yourself (I have never managed to do anything but make you pass out dramatically for some infernal reason) but most agents succumb quite easily to punches, kicks, and firearms. Weak bags of soft flesh, all of them' they are not Ubermensch like you and I, Mr. Steele, even as tragically wasted as your abilities are. The kill tag works best with marksmen, as they will use their fists only if the capture tag is present.

The final tag is a psychological weakening one, which directs any social minions in the area to engage you with their colorful techniques, seeking to either drain your attention span, your intellect, or your loyalty. I wonder, often, how agents even as strong as yourself are quite helpless in the face of a quick shoe-shining, a flurry of shots from a disposable camera, or a furtive display of cheap watches. This is easily the most useful tag, and for unwanted visitors to my islands, almost a default. I tend to tag agents for weakening when I first spot them wandering about; that way, if they wander into my lair when I am distracted, my social minions will take care of them automatically.

Training

I am aware there is some controversy regarding my training methods. However, I believe that 99% of a minion's effectiveness resides in having the right clothes for the occasion. Therefore, a quick minute's lesson and a change of clothes is more than enough to move them up the ranks.

I will admit I have not perfected the process. For some reason, only my valets can use fire extinguishers. Everyone else here is incapable of even registering their existence. You'd think with all the minions in white coats that I have, that something could be done about this, but I am consistently surrounded by incompetence! And no, Mr. Steele, I don't even know how to use a fire extinguisher. Such tasks are too petty for my brilliance.

At least one of every training device must be built at all times, though I favor building three each of the guard, valet, and technician trainers, and two each of the mercenary, scientist, and spin doctor variants. This ensures a rapid retraining regimen in case of a sudden manpower shortage ' all I have to do is guarantee a supply of construction workers, and the problem will fix itself.

It is uber-important, Mr. Steele, and I cannot stress this enough, to make sure that once the highest types of minions are acquired, that at least one remain alive at all times. If the number of any them drops to zero, then I have to launch another mission to capture another, which is dangerous and time-consuming.

Types of Minions

Mr. Steele, I wager that your crime-fighting mind has often wondered about how the various uniforms that my minions wear connote their various abilities, and why you see more of certain kinds.

Social minions are quite adept at distracting enemies, and are the preferred first-line defense of the lair, but they are useless in a fight, die quickly, and are slow and expensive to replace. My valets, in particular, are prone to stumbling into battles while they gallantly extinguish fires; and all my social minions tend to bunch together while waiting their queued turn to perform psychological weakening on an opponent. This leads to inefficient tragedy when the encounter becomes violent. None of them are fighting material save when I call a red alert, and even then they are exceedingly ineffective. Still, only social minions can staff the hotels and carry out psychological attacks, and the valets, as mentioned before, are the only ones that can put out fires.

Military minions are powerful, but violence is a crude instrument, Mr. Steele, and I prefer to save such brutes until the last moment. Therefore, it is best to keep them as a secondary defense. A carefully constructed network of alarms, cameras, and armories near crucial junction points is necessary for managing such physical creatures, as they have an alarming tendency ' forgive my pun, Mr. Steele! ' to not be near a loudspeaker when troublesome agents have invaded the base.

Guards and mercenaries, unlike martial artists and marksmen, are much more dependent on armories, as they keep their weapons stored there. They also need more babysitting, as they will only get their firearms if I push the base to yellow or red alert. Therefore, I prefer my formidable orange-clad martial artists over all other military minions, for in the close confines of a well-constructed lair, their superior strength and toughness will overcome the forces of good in almost any situation. The ten of them you fought to the bitter end are a fine example! Marksmen are also good, but a bit pointless inside the base. They are more useful if you are the kind of evil mastermind that prefers an outer perimeter of topside shacks with armories inside ' their rifles will come into play more often with such an arrangement.

Science minions are crucial to my evil plans and the development of technology for my lair, but they are all aesthetic weaklings with no capability or inclination for defense. They will calmly waltz into a gunfight and die with thoughts of nothing but equations. There is no way, regrettably, to manage them, as their duties require them to be able to wander the base at will. However, despite their oblivious nature, they are easily the most stable and long-lived of the three basic types.

A strong supply of technicians is crucial in keeping a system of traps in good repair. Agents enjoy smashing the trigger devices in particular. Also, in a power shortage, a swarm of technicians will keep the generators from exploding. However, due to their front-line duties, technicians die the most often. How I'm sure you would love to wait idly as my base destroys itself due to lack of maintenance, Mr. Steele!

The generic scientist minion, as well as the biochemist and the quantum physicist, are all required to do basic research tasks, with the latter two kinds speeding the process and opening up new avenues. They keep to themselves, Mr. Steele, and do their jobs; they are the most professional minions I have. They also can staff the control room, freeing up military and social minions that could better be used elsewhere.

Executions, Body Disposal, and Torture

Yes, it is ideal to keep minions on their toes. Randomly executing one from time to time, I feel, keeps them motivated to do their best. I try not to kill the highly-trained ones ' constructions workers are easily replaced, so I look for a yellow jumpsuit when I want a quick boost of team morale. A crowded area, such as my control room, is best for this purpose. I find a single clean shot to the head makes my workers respond quite well. Other masterminds may differ; there is an Eastern gentleman, I understand, that uses a blade' you don't agree with my morale policy, Mr. Steele? Shall I demonstrate? You over there' you have failed me for the last time!

Was that not invigorating? Note his dissolving corpse. When my minions die, their bodies are rapidly absorbed into the floors of my lair. The remains are then shunted into my mess halls, where they feed my still-living minions at the salad bar and automat. Your comrades-in-arms, Mr. Steele, however, are a bit tougher lot, and require more preparation. They must be sealed into body bags and stored in a freezer until they are tender enough for cooking.

What, Mr. Steele? You don't believe me? Have you ever seen a food shipment to my lair? I think not. At heart, I am a pacifist, Mr. Steele. I abhor violence. However, nothing must stand in the way of my plans. That is why you are strapped to a laser instead of sabotaging my doomsday device. And if any others insist on trifling with my designs, they will be dealt with. I have plenty of freezer space and many hungry minions!

Torture is another fine means of raising morale. The clapping and cheerful minions watching you squirm even now is highly amusing. I have been known to even chuckle a little myself! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! That felt much better. For you, no ' for me, yes!

There are a wide variety of technologies that may be used to extract information, weaken agents, or execute the troublesome. I began with a mere interrogation chair, but I have branched out into more creative technologies. The mixer in the kitchen; the bookcase, brainiac machine, and brain washer in the archives; the centrifuge, environmental chamber, AI construct, bio tanks, and greenhouse in the laboratory, as well as the laser you are currently strapped to; also, the shooting range in the training area and the infirmary chair in the infirmary are all quite useful.

While it is not always possible to do so, keeping cells and torture devices close together saves a great deal of time in transition. It is also useful for what I'm doing with you right now, Mr. Steele ' I can keep you occupied, moving from torture device to cell, while the countdown for the rocket proceeds. For you see, Mr. Steele, I intend for you to be on it when it departs'

The World Domination Screen

I am too important a man to be bothered with petty details. Therefore, my scientists have constructed a simplified view of the world so I can see the big picture. There are five different world factions I can steal from - one of which is yours, Mr. Steele - and each is represented by a different primary color. I need only gesticulate, and my minions can venture into the world to plot, steal, or carry out acts of infamy.

My scientists have also provided me with a simple scale by which I can measure the heights to which my infamy has climbed. I have noticed strange things happen only when I have reached a certain level of notoriety ' at 130, for example, Mariana Mamba appeared, much to my alarm ' at 180, Jet Chan started the first of his many unarmed rampages, then Frostanova at 240, the two-fisted Dirk Masters at 290, and you, Mr. Steele, at 340. I am now nearly at 500; it seems you are the last best hope for Western civilization.

Heat, the concept my scientists have devised to estimate the level of unwanted attention by the authorities, is often on my mind when I consider the world map. I must be careful when placing minions, for they attract attention from the authorities. Too few minions stealing and plotting leaves me with little funds or opportunities for crime; too many, and the lair is overwhelmed with aggressive agents and soldiers via heat.

I feel a constant income of roughly $5000-$6000 per minute is sufficient for most tasks; this can be accomplished solely through the use of military minions, if necessary. While valets and the like can reduce heat on the world map, they are more valuable when distracting enemies on the island, as they can also reduce heat in that fashion when their victims leave ignorant, while simultaneously securing the base.

Plotting minions allow me to reveal more delicious tasks of insanity. Stealing minions allow me to raise my gold reserves, so I can improve my lair and further my plans. Acts of infamy allow me to send teams of minions to accomplish devious goals, such as destroying Nashville or stealing the Eiffel Tower - both of which, Mr. Steele, I have accomplished with glee.

It is fortunate that I possess an unlimited number of helicopters and boats, all capable of supersonic travel. They can reach any point on the globe in 60 seconds or less! This makes for highly adequate logistics, don't you think, Mr. Steele?

There are several important tricks involved in sending minions out. One, the presence of a henchman in an area greatly increases the chance of an act of infamy succeeding, as well as making plotting and stealing more efficient. Two, social minions reduce the heat caused by other minions. Three, military minions, in addition to being the best at stealing, decrease the chance of other minions being killed. Four, science minions are the best at plotting.

Saving and Pausing

I am sure you have wondered how I have eluded your best efforts, Mr. Steele. I must seem charmed to you, and able to avoid danger with the slightest effort. But no! I have simply harnessed my massive intellect to master time travel! I can go back in time in multiples of ten minutes, using a remarkable device my scientists have developed, called 'Load Game'!

Once, in the past, you succeeded in blowing up much of my lair ' you don't remember that, do you, Mr. Steele? ' a small wonder, for I simply went back in time ten minutes, armed with the knowledge of your plans, and captured you. Even now, were you to somehow escape from my escape-proof cell (which should really be renamed at some point, considering the amount of times that infernal Jet Chan has blown it and my entire armory to smithereens), I will still defeat you!

And that is not the least of my secret abilities! By using the P key on my impressive desk, I can suspend time itself while I plot and brood my next move! How could you ever think that you could defeat me, Mr. Steele' British super-spies are always overconfident.

Hotel Management

I am not a fan of hotels. I find the threadbare towels and packaged soap that they serve to be wholly inadequate in cleansing my misshapen torso. However, they are somewhat useful in not only distracting tourists, but in distracting agents, when built near my lairs. On my first island I built one with two wings; on the second, I built another with three wings, and a second one with one wing.

I felt my base design was secure enough to not worry about them being staffed 24/7 ' besides, Mr. Steele, every time you wander into the casino, it's a bloodbath. It's best sometimes just to let you have the place to yourself, or even Mr. Masters, who is incapable of civilized discourse if it does not include an M60.

Cloning

You have already met one of my clones, Mr. Steele. His death scream was exquisite, no? I was surprised that the red Nehru jacket did not clue you in immediately. I would not be caught dead wearing such a color. Caught dead! Ha! Why are you not laughing, Mr. Steele? It was a simple matter to send a clone to observe your torture. When you escaped, per usual, you killed him in your overly predictable fashion and fled. I gained much time from your childish naivet'!

Care and Feeding of Traps

All trap construction revolves around the wind machine and magnet traps, Mr. Steele. Traps work best when chained together, and this requires movement ' those two are the only ones that can move pesky agents about, so when I ponder the best ways to confuse or maim my opponents, they are always foremost in my mind.

I had access to the wind machine much earlier than the magnets, so most of my best trap designs revolve around it. Some simple arrangements I have found useful:

- Wind machine + Electric generator + Piranha Tank
- Wind machine + Satan's Chimney
- Wind machine + Gas traps

More complex arrangements would include:

- Wind machines arranged in a square of corridors, so agents can be blown in a circle - a square circle, Mr. Steele!
- Wind machines blowing agents into new triggers, setting off another combination
- Large amounts of beehives
- As many separate triggers as possible, to increase chances of catching the tough-to-trap super agents

Care must be taken when employing the fire traps, as they can set nearby devices on fire This not only endangers the inevitable heroic valet, but also the technician who may arrive at the same time. It is not unheard of to have 5 or 6 minions die as a result of a too-successful trap. Experimentation, Mr. Steele, is the order of the day!

Outdoor traps are not as desirable. Most, save the pop-up trap, give off heat. Even the disguised versions, such as the sentry gun, are more trouble than they are worth. I prefer a low-key approach, Mr. Steele, so I keep my traps indoors. However, I do try to build one of each of the outdoor traps for research purposes.

Henchmen

My henchmen are very strong, Mr. Steele; you have already felt the sting of Jubei's blade, and the satisfying thunk of the Matron's morning star. But they, too, are mortal; super agents such as yourself can kill them if I do not pay attention to their wanderings.

With this in mind, I have created a special room for them in the center of my base. I lock the door to Level 3 and order them in; they stay there until needed, unwilling to defy my brilliant, if somewhat strange, orders. This way, they are safe from random encounters from agents such as yourself, but I can call on them quickly in an emergency - such as your recent arrival. I feel sorry for you, Mr. Steele ' you did not stand a chance against Jubei, Lord Kane, and the Butcher all at once. Normally, I keep 2-3 henchmen in this room, and the rest out in the world, plotting and stealing for my evil cause.

Yes, Jubei will make a fine evil genius one day, when he learns ambition. Perhaps, when I get older, I will let him kill me so as to bypass his oath of fealty. He is easily the most competent of my henchmen, for he can teleport instantly anywhere on my islands, making him the first choice to send into a bad situation. Coupled with his Eviscerate ability, he can subdue almost any enemy. However, I guard him quite jealously and do not send him after the most powerful agents, such as you, Mr. Steele, alone. If he is lost, my ability to quickly respond to threats is greatly lessened. He is also somewhat weak against large groups of firearm-equipped enemies.

The mysterious Lord Kane is nearly as useful to me as Jubei. He cannot teleport, alas, but he can frighten entire groups of enemies with Psychic Terror and make nearly any agent forget what he has seen via his Smooth Operator talent. Still, he too insists on not carrying a gun, and suffers slightly because of it. It is safe to give him a measure of autonomy; his endurance and rapidity of attack are very high.

Eli Barracuda, the outrageously coiffured American, is best kept out in the world, stealing funds, as that is his strength. However, when he is in my lair, his willingness to use firearms is very useful for chasing down fleeing agents. He can also distract large groups of weaker agents with his primitive stereo amplifier, until reinforcements can arrive. The only other henchman that has a ranged attack, aside from Eli, is Montezuma, though his Haitian voodoo powers are best used on single enemies. He is not strong enough for crowds. I tend to keep him in reserve, as a subtle tool; for with his Mind Fog, he has sent several Super Agents home before they have even begun their investigation!

Red Ivan is a Bolshevik to be used sparingly. His tendency to use a rocket launcher and grenades regardless of whether he is inside my lair or not is unfortunate for everyone involved. He has preoccupied Dirk Masters and you, Mr. Steele, more than once, however, so he has his uses, but he must be carefully managed and kept on the move in combat, lest he fire at will into a mixed crowd.

The Matron is a sweet old grandmother with a taste for pain. I am quite fond of her. She is especially powerful when accompanying someone such as Jubei or Lord Kane, as she can recharge their special abilities through her motherly attentions, though I personally prefer to use her to lower heat on the world map. When she is on the island, though, her electrical attack is devastating to small groups.

The Butcher is an amusing diversion; good at melee, but not enough to defeat a super agent alone. He is a reasonable opening act for an assault by Jubei or Lord Kane, however. Another simple henchman is Moko; a man of but crude muscle. I use him to attack only when I feel the urgent need to see multiple broken bones and copious amounts of blood. There is not enough brain power in his tiny skull for much else. Still, when he pounds the ground, even you fall, Mr. Steele!

Dr. Neurocide is a delicate creature who is useless at fisticuffs, but she is an effective plotter when dispatched to the world map, and her perfume can be used to drain endurance over a large area ' useful in a pinch. You've coughed on it quite a few times, no, Mr. Steele?

The Great Mesmero' he took forever to perfect his hypnosis techniques under my service, but they were quite formidable when he first used them. His Willpower Drain sucks agents dry of the very desire to do me harm. And yes, Mr. Steele, his Mind Control works even on you.

Super Agents

Mariana Mamba was never a serious threat, for she is easily surrounded by a few minions and captured. Jet Chan, however, possessed the ability to decimate legions of melee opponents; he required at least six guards and a henchman, preferably Jubei, before I felt confident of capturing him.

Dirk Masters was the first super agent that I encountered that proved too much for my social minions. Valets and spin doctors fell before him like wheat. Teleporting Jubei on top of him and then having my trusty samurai use his Eviscerate ability was more than enough for the hardy American, though, and this also worked on Mamba, Chan or Frostanova (unless she turned invisible, in which case I simply waited until she reappeared).

However, you, Mr. Steele, required more consideration' 3-5 henchmen plus several martial artists, always. Once a super agent like yourself is captured, Mr. Steele, constant torture and babysitting is advisable, as you all have a tendency to quickly break out of cells.

I eventually found ways to defeat all of the others permanently, save you, Mr. Steele, which I will get to' but I have perhaps followed too many tangential shifts? Your mind refuses to comprehend the sheer inevitability of my dire will' yes, there were many problems along the way. But I handled them one by one.

Objective Walkthrough

Capturing the Maid

Back in the beginning, after my initial arrival, when a lonely maid decided to vacation on my barren island, I knew the time for my reemergence onto the world scene was ripe' but not quite yet. Capturing and torturing her for the secrets of valet training, I knew, would surely alert authorities all over the world! No, it doesn't make quite sense, Mr. Steele, but when you're planning on becoming supreme ruler of the world, insanity is not a disadvantage.

So, before I captured her, I built up my minion force to over 60 with the judicious use of lockers, then placed several workers in each of all the world areas, each one stealing. I then took a long nap at my desk. When I rose from my diabolical slumbers, I had millions of dollars to play with, and not an ounce of heat to be felt!

A pity I must insist on gold bars; I would very much like a vault like the formidable Scrooge McDuck, so I might swim in my accumulated fortunes. Ah, the American sense of humor' you do not share it, I see, Mr. Steele.

Summoning the Crime Lords

The first real challenge that I encountered on my first island was collecting all the various underworld figures, so I could then establish my dominance over all their petty regimes. Building a proper conference table in the sanctum, complete with the usual rotating map and laser cannon, was easy, but getting them all there was not.

I found the first three in India, California, and China; they were all simple acts of infamy, and found with a minimum of plotting. Nikita Leonov, however, brazenly wandered into my base and refused to sit down with the others. The usual torture methods did not work, so I decided to use the giant mixer in the mess hall to convince him. You are intimate with the inner workings of that device, I'd imagine, Mr. Steele?

I was puzzled briefly by my difficulties in finding Nigel Ewing in Africa, until my notoriety reached 70 and he suddenly became available. However, it was Caine who gave me the greatest trouble; he dared to send assault teams to the island. My base was rather strong by then, though, and between Jubei and many rifle-toting guards, I had them all put to death quickly and efficiently! This brought Caine to the table, so to speak. Ha!

The Research Phase

The main problem with starting my research program, Mr. Steele, was money. You have no idea how expensive these evil toys can be. Sometimes I think it would have been cheaper to build my own planet rather than outfit my lair, but what must be done, must be done!

After stealing the plans for a research machine from Japan, I built a laboratory to house it. This is where your government made a crucial mistake in trying to retrieve it; I simply constructed a fake one, set it inside a topside shack to the north of the base, and waited. It could not have been five minutes before it was missing. How long, exactly, Mr. Steele, did it take for them to notice it was a large balloon? Was it featured in the Macy's Day parade, you think, this year?

Research could not proceed at that point; I had to steal the giant laser you are currently enjoying so I would have at least one experimental apparatus. I could have stolen a centrifuge or an impact analyzer, but I acquired them later anyway.

Developing a Doomsday Plan

Once my scientists were reasonably equipped, I moved on to matters of greater moment: namely, further establishing my insanity. I figured a ranking of 200 would be sufficient to lure any ideas for doomsday devices to me. I am not much for original ideas; I prefer stealing them. This was not a difficult objective ' I merely attempted as many acts of infamy as possible. You'll note, Mr. Steele, that I started with the ones that let me acquire more loot, as such objects make for a happier minion population.

I found the six missing pieces of doomsday information by the following methods: interrogating agents roaming about my demesnes (in the midst of tagging them, my calculating mind determined that they might be of some use, so I tortured them for what they knew), and completing three different acts of infamy with information as a goal (some needed additional plotting to discover).

Looting

A man, a plan' world domination! I could almost taste the moment I would be able to construct my proper volcano lair, but I needed more funding. Therefore I determined to not only steal as many of the most valuable items on the Earth as I could, but to push my fundraising efforts to $10000 per minute.

The uber-loot missions were very important; without all of them in hand, and along with all the doomsday pieces, it is possible that I might not have been able to research all of the delightful toys that I now have at my disposal. I could have stopped at 4, but I stole all 6 ' the Ark, the mummy's sarcophagus, the Eiffel Tower (in a convenient carrying case), a million dollar bill, a suit of samurai armor, and the legendary sword Excalibur.

Transferring to the Volcano Lair

Moving is a cottage industry, they say, but despite this I could not find a company willing or able to handle my needs. Therefore, I decided that my men could manage it themselves. First, I brought in all my minions from the rest of the world, and had them demolish every piece of equipment I could and sell it for scrap, leaving the minion's quarters and such for last. I had all of my previous loot items moved to one strongroom near the depot during this process. When everything was recycled, I then pressed the convenient 'new island' button my scientists had installed on my World Domination screen, and waited near the depot with Jubei, in case Mr. Chan decided to show up and help carry something. I had over a million dollars in hand at this point.

You did not know me yet then, Mr. Steele. I had been careful not to let my notoriety grow too high while I labored on the first island ' below 240, so not even that infernal Russian vixen had yet appeared. I also made a careful count of all my loot items, as I know movers tend to lose things from time to time. If the count was not the same on the second island, I used my time machine to travel back to the first and try again.

First seeing that glorious peak, full of molten lava, nearly brought a tear to my eye, Mr. Steele. But the future dictator of the Earth cannot be swayed by base-born human emotion! I had a doomsday plan to implement.

Stealing the Codex and Defeating Mamba

First, the Codex of Knowledge in Russia had to be stolen, and then researched with the aid of a disaffected mercenary scientist. I recruited one from Antarctica, as I had just dispatched Mariana Mamba and the yellow areas were mine to ravage. Jubei dispatched him after he became a liability.

How did Mamba met her fate, you ask, Mr. Steele? My scientists discovered the key to her powers was her self-image; a quick bit of unnecessary surgery on an infirmary chair, and she fled in tears. A shame ' I am quite fond of large women. She would have made an excellent queen. But no! She had to oppose me! Such are the sacrifices one must make to rule the world! Sigh. Now I am melancholy.

Building the Rocket Parts

With the codex researched, I needed raw materials to build my rocket in the volcano cavern. I took them during a massive act of infamy in Africa (again, as Mamba was out of action, the safest target). Afterward, I was able to build every part of the rocket save for the engines and the satellite payload.

Defeating Jet Chan

I learned how to defeat Jet Chan during this period; I kidnapped his mentor from Tibet and tortured him to learn the secret of his Kung Fu ' pride. After that, it was but a simple matter to set up a rigged match in one of the training dojos. Defeated in single combat, he ran away in shame. Such a pity ' he would have made a fine henchman.

Interrogating and Installing the Diplomats

One of the toughest parts of my climb to ultimate power, Mr. Steele, was installing my own minions in places of power around the globe. Luring a diplomat from every major power bloc to the island and interrogating them was the easy part; the actual placement of my replacements was difficult. I have already mentioned the delicate nature of diplomats ' they are easily killed, and eventually I had to send 2 henchmen and several martial artists along during each infiltration, to guarantee success.

And what a success it was! I laughed for a full five minutes after seeing bands of roaming agents kill each other instead of infiltrating my lair! My diplomats did their work well. How you and Mr. Masters fought each other time and again! Too much evil chortling makes one short of breath, I've found.

Defeating Frostanova

On the face of it, the solution should have been obvious; an ice queen must have an inner mental weakness. Upon a mission to Siberia, I found it ' Mr. Snuggles. How she shrieked and screamed as we cut it to pieces in front of her! The childhood scars freshly opened! How I chuckled so gleefully! I felt ten years younger, Mr. Steele.

Stealing the Engines and Building the Satellite

The rocket engines were of no great moment ' I stole the plans easily from Casablanca. As for the payload, though' I had three choices. I ultimately decided on the earthquake beam (via capturing the cosmonaut) instead of the ID scrambler and gravity device.

The cosmonaut was simple to capture, but a tough nut to crack. I had to torture him no less than six times, on six different devices ' the interrogation chair, the laser, the greenhouse, the centrifuge, and the two brain machines in the archives ' before he talked. Afterwards, I built the satellite.

Defeating Dirk Masters

Around this time I finally rid myself of that American menace, Dirk Masters. A careful mission to North America gleaned a sample of his DNA ' before long, I dipped him into my bio tanks to see just what he was made of. He did not prove to be Ford tough. Ford tough! I am a riot, yes, Mr. Steele?

Testing the Engines and Delivering the Ultimatum

In order to properly test-fire the rocket engines, I expanded my science minion levels to 15 technicians and 15 scientists. I admit I did not do this the first time I tried, Mr. Steele. 10 of each did not prove sufficient, given the electrical arcs spanning the rocket cavern. It was only the third time, after 20 minions had given their ephemeral lives in my service, that I managed to get the engines to fire for one minute.

I felt quite confident after that trial, so I built a TV studio in my sanctum and 10 antennas outside my lair. I only needed 5 to reach the entire world with my ultimatum, but given the agents that tend to roam about, it doesn't hurt to overbuild.

You already know what the world's dim-witted leaders did in response, Mr. Steele. They laughed. But there is an Italian saying, Mr. Steele: he who laughs last, laughs best. And it is I who have the last laugh.

Launching the Rocket

And now we come to the end of our tale. I had prepared well ' it only took 11 minutes to assemble the rocket. Even the occasional gangs of intelligence agents at the doors of my lair had little chance. I simply brought all my minions in from the rest of the world, sealed one entrance to level 3, and let my enemies try to enter through my trap-infested entrance. Only you got in, Mr. Steele - a poor idea on your part.

You struggle so, Mr. Steele! My rocket is ready to launch and still you fight so valiantly! Oh my, you've fallen into the rocket gantry' shame, that' hold on tightly to the nose cone, Mr. Steele. Your new career as an astronaut will be succinct, I'm afraid. I'm glad I had the foresight to have you in a cell when I initiated the launch sequence; otherwise, I would have missed a particularly rich footnote to my victory'

Soon, the leaders of the world will kneel before my evil genius! Have you no last remarks? What was that? I cannot hear you over the roar of the exhaust. Did you perhaps say, 'I can breathe in space?' No? Then I'm afraid it's over for you, Mr. Steele'

MWAHAHHAHAHAHA!

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