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Stubbs tactics (spoilers!)


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#1 zapranoth

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 02:48 AM

---==== S P O I L E R S ====---

Don't read this thread if you haven't played the game through.


[Edit - I'd like to add, do not give away any story or plot points at all - tBC]

I just finished Stubbs tonight, and have a few thoughts.  Didn't see a thread that discusses dealing with specifics of the levels, so thought I'd start one.

First of all, ha ha ha, TBC can't dance.  I must say, that dance contest was huge in pure WTF-ness for me, as a gamer, but I did enjoy it.  And it was a chance to just enjoy the soundtrack.

I thought the barbershop bastards (aka "internal security quartet") were the biggest pain in the arse.   Particularly flying barbershop bastards with the white lasers.  I found it easiest to kill them by possessing a sniper, or with a tank.

Seemed liked the best way to deal with large groups of armed opponents was to lure one near a hiding place, eat his brain and then shove him out into harm's way... toss a bomb into any decent concentration of foes, and once "enough" zombies are out there drawing fire, rush in.  

Never managed to get a flying eat on a SWAT guy with an arm shield.. is it possible?

Shoving zombies into mine fields is vastly satisfying, especially when they bounce multiple times.

I particularly enjoyed the chainsaw hillbilly boss in the mall, and just in general running amok in the mall.  Driving the sodommobile was tedious, but driving jeeps and tanks was fun.

Did anyone manage to possess a flying barbershop bastard?  I never seriously tried, but wondered if it would work.  Did anyone else notice that some army guys can't be possessed -- that they throw the hand off?

The staircase to the last room was fairly tough, on normal setting.  Will see how it is on heroic setting (whatever they called it, I forgot).  Enjoyed the game of Star Castle at the end (remember that particular gem?  That's what the rotating shields reminded me of..)

The sick humor was the funnest part... lots of bizarre and sick conversations between bots and humans along the way if you stopped and listened...  and the Guide Bot's voice and attitude were great.    Overall give the game an 8.5/10, bearing in mind that it's just a single-player campaign and a short one at that.

and yes, I liked the flying eat animation too, TBC.
"I use heavy strings, tune low, play hard, and floor it.
Floor it.  That's technical talk."   - SRV

#2 the Battle Cat

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 11:45 AM

There is a bug in the game on my machine apparently.  The reason I can't play the dance contest is that only one dance move button works.  The other 3 don't do anything.  I had the same problem the second time through the game.  

I brought down a flying barbershop guy with gut bombs yesterday.  If it didn't hit him, I made it explode in the air beside him.  The two you encounter after destroying the water supply can be had if you possess a guy at the start, fight most of the way through with him, eat a brain to regain your hand for a fresh unharmed guy.  The scientist at the very end has a powerful weapon, possess him and  you can easily beat down the two flying barbershop guys at the end of that run.

The game has a well thought out balance to it that makes you plan out your approach.  You can possess someone and whack through the bad guys (actually the good guys as we are the bad guys) with a powerful weapon but the balance to that is that you do not produce zombies nor do you resupply your zombie weapons that way.  Best to use a possessed man to take out the guys with the most powerful weapons then take on the rest by eating their brains or killing them by hand for zombies and zombie weapons.  Of course, if your zombie weapons are maxed out, go for the easy kill but save one guy so you can get your hand weapon back.

You can't flying eat a SWAT guy.  You can only kill them, if you press your eat key you rip their arm off.

The mall was a hoot.  I took a bunch of screen shots of the different store marquees.  The announcements were very funny.

If you let the game idle it will go into demo mode.  You can see a flying barbershop guy get possessed by throwing the hand up at it.  I imagine you could do this at the dam and fly him into the electric arcs as a means to kill him, don't know.

The way I handled the staircase was to "possess, shoot, eat, possess, shoot, eat" my way up the staircase.  There is a room off to the right that gives Stubbs shelter while he possesses.

At the farm, make sure you go into the barn outside the main house and kill everybody inside, making zombies of some, before going into the house. Didn't do that the first time and I missed out on a treat.
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#3 ViralDoctor

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 12:07 AM

Yeah, the bottom floor of the barn was great. :D

And it seems you can't possess soldiers wearing helmets.

And during the 'contamination' part, did you try knocking over one of your zombies with the stream? There weren't any humans nearby, so I don't know how they react.

#4 the Battle Cat

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 09:10 AM

ViralDoctor, on December 5th 2005, 10:07 PM, said:

Yeah, the bottom floor of the barn was great. :D

And it seems you can't possess soldiers wearing helmets.

And during the 'contamination' part, did you try knocking over one of your zombies with the stream? There weren't any humans nearby, so I don't know how they react.

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Right, you can't bite through any helmets except for the WW1 helmets of the militia.  You can't possess through helmets.  You can however rip the arms off of any helmeted individual and an arm is a powerful weapon.  I found I couldn't possess the bubba with a chainsaw in the mall.  He threw me off.  I planned to make him jump over the rail and suicide.

And why of course, my first instinct was to "contaminate" the zombies!  ::turning quickly:: "What's that you say??  scuse me."  :lol:  Too bad you can only contaminate over the rail.  I'd love to run around contaminating everything.  

And yes, we are purposely saying "contaminate" rather than giving it away.  Some things shouldn't be spoiled in a game and instead experienced in the manner in which the game presents it to you.

Xbox.com said:

After you finish the game, you'll unlock developer commentary. To listen to these pearls of insider wisdom, you need to play through the game again and collect the Wideload logos scattered around each level.

Linky.  I've finished the game and am playing through it again, but I'm not seeing these Wideload logos.  Anybody finding any logos?
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#5 gromit

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 09:30 AM

the Battle Cat, on December 4th 2005, 12:45 PM, said:

The way I handled the staircase was to "possess, shoot, eat, possess, shoot, eat" my way up the staircase.  There is a room off to the right that gives Stubbs shelter while he possesses.

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I found crawling the hand up a couple of floors gave me the high ground advantage.  Crawl up, being careful to avoid the staircases themselves, then possess and shoot at the guys below.

the Battle Cat, on December 6th 2005, 10:10 AM, said:

Right, you can't bite through any helmets except for the WW1 helmets of the militia.  You can't possess through helmets.  You can however rip the arms off of any helmeted individual and an arm is a powerful weapon.  I found I couldn't possess the bubba with a chainsaw in the mall.  He threw me off.  I planned to make him jump over the rail and suicide.

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Of course, you can kill your victim by simply pressing "H" again to disengage the hand.  But I suppose that shows a bit less panache.

#6 zapranoth

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 07:44 PM

gromit, on December 6th 2005, 08:30 AM, said:

I found crawling the hand up a couple of floors gave me the high ground advantage.  Crawl up, being careful to avoid the staircases themselves, then possess and shoot at the guys below.
Of course, you can kill your victim by simply pressing "H" again to disengage the hand.  But I suppose that shows a bit less panache.

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When I do my third play-through (on Insane) I will look for Wideload logos.  I have not yet seen one, but I have not gone everywhere there is to go, either.

One of my favorite things to do with  possessed people, after I have done all I can do with them (that is, nothing else is moving) I will find some way to suicide, usually.  Aiming the bazooka down usually works.  =)  Or overloading the laser.

I really enjoyed the speech in front of the flag.

And the song the quartet sang leading up to the last level, holy cow!   What a thing to put together for a game!    And the little comments they sing when you fight them ("kill the zombie scourrrrrrge!" "stop eating peoples' braaaaains!")
"I use heavy strings, tune low, play hard, and floor it.
Floor it.  That's technical talk."   - SRV

#7 the Battle Cat

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 09:01 AM

zapranoth, on December 6th 2005, 05:44 PM, said:

And the song the quartet sang leading up to the last level, holy cow!   What a thing to put together for a game!    And the little comments they sing when you fight them ("kill the zombie scourrrrrrge!" "stop eating peoples' braaaaains!")

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Concerning the music, much of it is the brain child of Matt Soell, especially the lyrics.  Matt shared this with me during development of the game:

Matt said:

On Tuesday we took barbershop music to places it doesn't often go...possibly even places it was never meant to go.

Mike (our audio overlord) and Gary (our special barbershop consultant) wrote and arranged some great tunes - we're all still humming them days later, which is a good sign.

Four singers came in, took one look at the sheet music and nailed the songs right away.  Those guys are GOOD.

Mike and I are both pleased with how it all turned out.  We had not written any barbershop music prior to this and we were rather antsy about the whole thing.
When I pressed him for more detail he said this:

Matt said:

Mike is Mike Salvatori.  He's done all the audio for Stubbs (with help from a few other people at his studio - Bryen Hensley, Tom Blakemore, and the intern known only as Brian the Lesser).  You might remember Mike's name from some other games.  A couple of them were pretty big.  He shuns the spotlight, but he's really good at what he does.

Gary is Gary Polkow.  He's a longtime friend of Mike (they met in second grade) and a professional musician.  Gary wrote and arranged two of the three barbershop tunes in the game, along with two or three dozen one-liner tunes for combat dialog.  Gary is great.  I can't say enough nice things about Gary.

As for writing music, this is what happened: I went to Mike's studio with some lyrics, which I sang(?) for him so he could figure out the rhythm and pace I wanted.  Mike and Gary turned that tuneless ramble into actual songs. The three of us reconvened at the beginning of the next week and pulled a late night in the studio, hunched around Mike's keyboard, arranging the songs for traditional barbershop harmonies.  This is where Gary's encyclopedic knowledge of music truly came to the fore.  All four parts for each song were entered into a computer and magically transmogrified into sheet music.  Apart from the original "demo" and one or two suggestions during the arranging process, I didn't have anything to do with the music - I just wrote the words.
The end result, in my opinion, turned out to be funny, enjoyable and a very cool thing to add to a game.  I will never see barbershop singers in the same light again.  Especially ones with flying backpacks.
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#8 Hippieman

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 11:36 AM

You can take over a flying guy, the jetpack controls quite well.  The hand has amazing reach in terms of taking over guys.
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#9 ViralDoctor

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 07:18 PM

Just beat the game, and I didn't think it was too short.

I would say the most difficult part for me was that one street near the end, after you get the tank. It has the sniper, flying barber, and quite a few soldiers. I'm somewhat disappointed I ended up running to the end and skipping the part.

Next playthrough I'll have to try possessing more characters, missed out on most of the non-regular barbershop singers, chainsaw guys, and some of the scientists.

Oh, and one of my favourite arm-removal quotes:
"I'll never play the piano again!"

#10 zapranoth

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 09:07 PM

ViralDoctor, on December 8th 2005, 06:18 PM, said:

.

Oh, and one of my favourite arm-removal quotes:
"I'll never play the piano again!"

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I liked, "I ain't never been disarmed before!"

Favorite brain-eating quotations:

"Stopeatingme!"

"It's! .... eating! .... my!....  SOUL!"

and of course the best one,

"aaaaaiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIiiiiiieeeeee!"

When you rip an arm off, do you usually drop the arm and go back to brain-eating, or do you use the arm up clubbing enemies?  I usually drop the arm unless those SWAT guys with shields are around, or unless I'm hurt VERY badly.  If I'm only hurt halfway or 2/3 I'll eat brains to recover.
"I use heavy strings, tune low, play hard, and floor it.
Floor it.  That's technical talk."   - SRV

#11 the Battle Cat

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 10:17 AM

zapranoth, on December 8th 2005, 07:07 PM, said:

When you rip an arm off, do you usually drop the arm and go back to brain-eating, or do you use the arm up clubbing enemies?  I usually drop the arm unless those SWAT guys with shields are around, or unless I'm hurt VERY badly.  If I'm only hurt halfway or 2/3 I'll eat brains to recover.

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I try to chomp everyone I can.  Those you can't chomp the game provides you with being able to tear their arm off.  Once I have that arm I use it to bash other people you can't chomp.  It's very effective.  I'm an Arm-y of one with it.  Sometime in a confusing melee I rip an arm off but if I don't see another helmeted character I drop it.  I need all the zombie weapons I can muster and you can only get that by eating BRAINS!
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#12 the Battle Cat

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Posted 11 December 2005 - 11:51 AM

Because the hand can activate switches, I sent it on ahead in the dam to activate the turbine switches.  That killed all the scientists on the upper walkway and opened the door to let other scientists out.  I hid the hand until one of them ventured away from the others and possessed him, took out as many as I could, save at least one so I could recharge the hand.

When I'm shorting out the breakers, I use the vehicle for most of my kills.  I'll load up the truck with zombies and then zoom around the entire breaker system killing everybody while releasing a zombie into each breaker.  Then as scientists and barbershop guys appear to kill the zombies I left behind, I'll go back and park between a scientist and the group he is with hop out using the vehicle as cover from the others to recharge my zombie weapons with some brains.  After that it's pure road rage again.  Near the end I need to use up a gut bomb or two on the flying barbershop guy, but if you don't save him for last, scientists will appear to kill a breaker shorting zombie and you can recharge your gut bombs and recreate new breaker shorting zombies.

I also found that the enemies shoot at very regular intervals.  You can actually time it to side step just before they shoot again.  This is extremely effective with the pistol ray scientists and sidearm cops.

One last thing, has anybody found any Wideload logos the second time through the game?  I'm thinking only Xbox players have that and it didn't make it into the Mac/PC side.
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#13 iEvan

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Posted 11 December 2005 - 03:36 PM

Also, always place an inanimate object between you and your attacker. You can move the camera above the action to see which direction they are headed. Then simply run around the opposite side and eat their brains from behind. They always seem to stop when they loose sight of you and are sitting targets.

Remember guns don't kill people... Pfhor do.


#14 ViralDoctor

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 04:44 PM

Second playthrough:

Look out for hippo heads! Grab them if you see them. :)

#15 the Battle Cat

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 07:55 PM

I've noticed that you can hang back with a possessed rifleman far enough that they won't bother you but you can shoot them.  Works best with a sniper rifle or squirrel rifle but if you throw enough full auto lead out there you can bring them down.  Worthless tactic with the shot gun or ray pistol.

The Wideload logos seem to be broken on some computers.  Mine for example.
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#16 Tomatocow

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 04:16 AM

OK how do I kill that damn scientist flying up in the bubble? I push the four red buttons which seems to bring him down for a moment, but 5 seconds isn't enough for Stubbs to limp over and start hitting him! Am I doing something wrong?? How do I kill that flying spectacled nerd!? :angry:

#17 Quicksilver

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 08:48 AM

Start chucking gut grenades (you can manually detonate them in the air by pressing G again).  When you run out, find one of the civillians nearby and eat their brains to replentish your supply.
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#18 the Battle Cat

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 09:08 AM

I've also killed him by repeatedly cycling the buttons.  Push them all then go recharge your zombie health in the shelter of the periphery.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

The iMac Man, on December 23rd 2005, 11:45 AM, said:

Wow, you must not play very many games then.

I find Stubbs to be extremely entertaining.

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Your review would be welcome too!
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#19 Tomatocow

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 07:55 AM

the Battle Cat, on December 25th 2005, 12:08 AM, said:

I've also killed him by repeatedly cycling the buttons.  Push them all then go recharge your zombie health in the shelter of the periphery.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

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Thanks gents, I was actually trying tBC's method before reading the above so I guess that works. Damn lasers kill me before I can do more than three cycles though. I'll try again :happy:

#20 Batcat

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 08:27 AM

Wouldn't this be better in the Tactics thread than the Reviews thread?  :unsure:

Stubbs spoilers in Reviews! :o