Wednesday, 26 August 2020

TECNO: The Base (PC) - Guest Post

Today on Super Adventures, occasional guest poster mecha-neko's back to show off... uh, I have no idea what this is. I've never heard of this game before. What even is this?

Hello everyone!

I'm playing TECNO: The Base, "An FPS-Adventure game with its own unique style".

Tecno The Base Title Screen
Developer:Paolo Cosentino
GURUY Entertainment (Uruguay)
|Release Date:7th September 2007
(freeware May 2012)

Set in a huge research facility run amok, TECNO: The Base promises a plethora of lethal robots, an arsenal of experimental weaponry and many ingenious objectives to complete. Sounds awesome to me!

I only found out about this game this month, entirely accidentally. I was looking for interesting DOS games to play, and ended up on a thread on about old games that had been released for free. On that list was TECNO: The Base, even though it's very much not a DOS game, and was released in 2007 for Windows 98 up to Vista. Five years later it was re-released as freeware, which is the version I'll be playing.

The game menu has a fly-through of the base in a very Unreal fashion, with some intense but not quite 'techno' music. It's also intensely green in an intensely Daikatana fashion.

There's two difficulties: NORMAL mode, with 'less and easier enemies, with simpler puzzles', or HARD mode with 'more enemies and harder puzzles'. NORMAL sounds like wussing out to me, what's the point of playing a sci-fi survival horror adventure game if all the doors are already open for you and there's ammo everywhere?

Let's see how long it takes me to get cornered by cyber-zombies and beaten to a pulp on HARD!

You can click on these screenshots to see them in 1280x960 resolution!


The setting of TECNO: The Base is a techno-base named TECNO BASE.

Alright, I can roll with that.

A pre-rendered, very low bitrate video introduces us to the base. We don't get any narration to tell us what's happening at TECNO, we just have to figure it out for ourselves. The jagged rooms and boxy caves are looking very Red Faction, which gets no complaint from me.

Already I like this game more than Half-Life. Why?

Those five little words are like a cold glass of juice on a summer's day.

Give me the option to skip your cutscenes and maybe I won't. Deny me the option to skip cutscenes, and I'll be hammering at the walls of my monorail car and screaming like I'm on fire.

There's nothing the folks at TECNO like better than big rooms, big robots, big tanks, big cylinders of gas and lots of scientists.

As you know, when you store all those things together in one place, explosions are inevitable. There are no survivors. Some handy-dandy flying robots breeze in moments later, to clean up the place for the next lot of scientists.

The pre-rendered intro fades to black and is replaced with three cryptic words...

Alexia gets through

Somewhere in TECNO BASE, a lone survivor awakes! The camera spins around our protagonist and we glide inside her head, GoldenEye-style.

The game automatically pauses to let me know we're going to be use Left Mouse for shooting and Right Mouse for interacting, just like System Shock 2. The default Arial font the game uses for in-game dialogs is a bit immersion breaking but the game's doing pretty well besides that: lots of atmospheric sounds and coloured dynamic lighting.

Alexia is very insistent that I get the file on the counter to the right. She doesn't speak, but she does give a single beep like she's paging me from inside my head. Give me a second to get used to the controls, will you?

The mouse feels heavy, like Alexia's really feeling the effects of those explosions she just ate. There's a slider for mouse smoothing in the options menu, but it doesn't feel as if I can turn it off completely, which is a mite annoying. Dead Space on the PC had hilariously lumpy mouse smoothing for a long time. Every time the game was re-released on another storefront they seemed to get it wrong in another way - I'm not sure there was ever a PC release of Dead Space where the controls didn't feel like you were trying to physically push Isaac around with your bare hands.

Aha! We're not going for System Shock 2 after all! We're going for Resident Evil. Very nice.

I am Alexia Rietvell, age 29, a Class B Worker in 6F9 Section at TECNO BASE. I have no weapons to my name, but I do possess a single tasty 40% restorative Health Syrup.

Everything seems in order here: I've got weapons, health items, key items, and Files. Whenever you switch from one tab to another, the menu panels extend out and move across the screen, it's quite fancy. You have to navigate the menu with WASD and use the mouse buttons for Confirm and Cancel, which takes a bit of getting used to.

You've got to use the document viewer to find the code to exit this room. Since we're in the tutorial, they've made it nice and easy. You still have to remember it yourself and type it in using the keyboard. Sorry, joypad users.

Pick a door, any door. Except the red ones, you can't go in those.

At the end of the corridor is a window, and in the other direction is a laser gate which makes it very clear it doesn't want me going that way.

Here's the power generator. The mysterious explosions in the intro blew the fuse right out of its holder, and it's my job to put in a new one. (While the whole thing's still running, naturally.)

In the highlighted cabinet on the right is a pair of night vision goggles!

The Night Vision equipment goes in my Addition slot, toggled on and off with Q. There's no power gauge on these, so I bet they're programmed to malfunction precisely when it would be most spooky to do so.

I like that you could clearly see some of the scientists wearing these in the intro video. I'm not sure it's safe laboratory practice to require night vision goggles for normal work when you could just light the lab properly, but I'm no scientister.

Stop with the beeping Alexia. I don't need you to tell me what to do! I have to explore the remaining rooms next, now that I can see stuff. I soon find a pistol, just lying about on a desk.

m92fs hand gun
weight: 2.25kg

Semi-automatic pistol using 9mm bullets. It causes minor damage.

Whoaaa! Steady on, Alexia! Nix on the burst fire! You only need to shoot off the lock once! This is a survival horror game, you know? We can't just be blasting bullets around every which way. It's not even a very good burst fire. There's a clear half-second between each shot and there's no way to stop it.

We've got ladders. This is gonna be awkward. It takes me a few tries to approach the ladder in the correct form for it to accept my ascension. They work closer to System Shock 2 mantling than Half-Life ladders.

Nothing of interest happened in the vents. There's atmospheric sounds in the background, but they're neither physical noises nor synthesized sounds. They sound like something in between. Spooky technological sounds.

On the way out I found a box of shotgun slugs and a very strange tutorial message.

- Important -
Average items, such as health packs or ammo, will respawn into the level once you've depleted your supply, so you can go back and grab it again.

That is a very strange rule for a survival horror, but not entirely unheard of. Off the top of my head, the PS2 launch title Extermination is set in a base and has bullet dispensers all over the place - you power up your character by finding empty reusable magazines to add to your collection.

This box of shotgun slugs did disappear though. Perhaps those flying robots from the intro will have put a replacement down if I come back later.

More ominous doors and metal plated floors await me on my exit from the vents. I've managed to get to the other side of the glowing laser gate that I saw in the corridor, so I'm making progress.

No enemies yet. Nobody on the radio telling me what to do or where to go, save for Alexia's beeps.

Hey a save point! I haven't seen one of these in a game for years!

Cyberspace at TECNO BASE takes the form of a glowing, spinning cube of green Matrix letters. That's so goofy and cheesy, I love it.

Also, this means I can only save at save points - I'm surprised I didn't have to use up an I.D. Card or anything.

All of the doors leading out of this new room are locked -

My only choice is the sinister elevator.


Aw come on, don't make me use the night vision goggles again. They're so green.

This corridor is the only way forwards. The door to my left is locked by something with the friendly name of 'Global Security System'.

The room ahead is crawling with scanner robots clinging to the walls. The make creepy(-ish) beepity boopity squiggly sounds all around me. I don't think I can avoid their lasers, but I don't think they're hurting me.

I've reached an office, but I have no clue what I'm supposed to do here except perhaps just get through it. I'm searching every desk I can for a new fuse for the machine room, but there's nothing here.

A storeroom. I've found more shotgun shells, but Alexia doesn't want to take them.

BZEWM! Something's shooting something. I can see bursts of light and leaping metal around the back of the shelves.

Yikes, a robot! He's ragdolling and twitching all over the place, having a whale of a time.

I think I'll just take the fuse on the low shelf here and get the heck out. Seeya!

One Energy Regulation Fuse acquired. Now to go retrace my steps through the office, the dark corridor, the elevator, the vents, through to the machine room and put this in.

I'm positively certain that all those robots aren't going to take umbrage at my taking this plot-critical item. Let's go.


Nothing happened. I plugged the fuse into the machine and was rewarded with a cutscene.

Apparently, that fuse was key to powering the entire base. All the lights in the large office on the second level have come on, but unfortunately so have some nasty looking evil sinister robots. Oh no!

I had another look around the dark room where I found the pistol and found a new File for my collection. I wonder if this was here the whole time, or whether it magically appeared when I turned the lights on. It's a code for a bridge. Or a partial code, anyway. Maybe the bridge will extend half-way!

Hey, the computers are working now too! This one is showing an ominous-looking timer counting down from eight minutes. On the plus side, it says 'connect' rather than 'self-destruct', but on the minus side, when has a timer like this ever been good news?

Bullets, on the right! Thank you, reticule! Alexia grabs ninety of them and says she has enough now. The box doesn't disappear when used, so this is a good room to remember.

Now I know where I can find ammo, there's no reason not to be ready for combat at all times. Guns out, Alexia. With the power back on, I'm surrounded by mechanical sounds, the music has come on, and most of the doors have become green. Looks like we're on.

I love that I might be the only person to have played this game in a long time. Anything could happen!

I found a gadget on a table and a robotic voice announced "Combo item!". I didn't catch what it was that I picked up and it didn't show up in my inventory menu. I'm guessing it was an E.M.P., since I accidentally farted one out seconds later when I hit the Caps Lock key by accident.

Free shotgun!

name:Shotgun (model R870)
weight: 4.35kg

Manually fed and fires 16-gauge slugs, the R870 deals medium damage to targets at close-range.

Beside the pistol room was a tunnel leading to something called the 'sterilization tunnel', which requires a keycard to pass safely. With a name like that, I think it might be a mistake to try to sneak through it.

The only other room on this floor I can access leads to another office with a large window showing the sunset! I assumed that the techno-base was going to be deep underground and we'd be fighting to get to the surface and only see the sun at the very end of the game, but here it is. I wonder when or where this game is set. I don't even know what planet I'm on!

Shooting the window didn't shatter it. Alas, I am trapped within the techno-base. Alexia doesn't do angst, however. She only communicates with the player through beeps and hint captions, and she's stopped doing that since I turned the power back on and earned her trust. It's completely up to me to figure out where to go next and what needs to be done.

On the upper floor of the sunset office is a great big 'Electric Gun', a battery and a second regenerative Syrup.

name:Tesla Bolt Gun (model esg-9a)
weight: 5.75kg

Fires electrical bolts with high range. It causes a low/medium damage depending on how sensitive to elecric shock its target is.
Shoot by holding down the -Shot- key. The longer the button is held down, the more powerful your shot.

All of these weapons have a weight statistic but it doesn't affect gameplay at all. I don't think I could drop these guns even if I wanted to. Alexia doesn't have any inventory restrictions other than the amount of bullets, slugs and syrups she can carry. She has no concept of inventory slots, and can carry as many key items as she needs. Compared to other survival horror protagonists, she's practically superhuman.

Uh oh! The robots have found me!

Let's be very sneaky about this and hide behind all these lockers and cabinets.

Robot attack!!

This was the least graceful combat encounter in history - I flailed about with the burst fire pistol, missing like an idiot while the robot sparked and went absolutely manic stumbling all over the place, zapping me a few times until I finally blew its head off. The rest of the robot landed on the ground, bouncing about as a ragdoll, so I shot it a few more times and it faded away. Phew.

It was all a cunning ruse though, because the killer robot wasn't alone! Argh!

Where the heck did they come from?

Despite the disaster I only lost 14% of my health. It's good to know that Hard mode isn't 'they see you you're dead and you have to spend three minutes reloading' mode, like in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

I think I'm going to back down the elevator and save now I've found all these nifty weapons. While I'm there, I'll visit the magic pistol box too.


The office that was haunted by the scanner bots is now lit up, as foretold in the cutscene. I can't see any of those walking laser robots around though. I would say that it's a relief to not have to wear the blindingly bright green night vision goggles any more, but it turns out the room just looks like that anyway.

It's time to rummange through every one of those desks for anything useful. It isn't so bad, seeing as useful things get picked out with reticules. That seems like the kind of convenience that a lesser game might turn off on Hard mode, but not TECNO.

I've found a File telling me all about the hand-held map computer that my inventory menu is saving a slot for but I don't yet possess. There's also a computer that requires a CD, and a Data Box item which looks like a CD but is evidently distinct in some way. There was a projector that required a Data Box near where I found the Electric Gun, so that's something to add to my mental list of things to do.

I've gotta admit, the desk lamps that resemble killer robot heads which turn to face you when you walk into the room kind of spooked me. Good job.

If memory serves, this game resembles both Codename: Tenka and Coded Arms a lot. (Code Codedname Tenkno: The Base?)

Click to enlargify

There's Tenka on the left, Metal Gear Solid 2 in the middle and Coded Arms on the right. Released four years apart and shown here in chronological order. TECNO comes last.

Four different games about sneaking around giant blue cube rooms. Games that try their best to be action games at times, but are best played sneaking around the corners of objects to avoid ever getting hit. What are the chances?

Unlike Coded Arms, I've not yet been locked in a room and had to fight my way out, and unlike MGS2 there aren't any security cameras, and I don't miss having to avoid them. Unlike Codename: Tenka... well, actually TECNO's pretty similar to Tenka. I went back to Tenka last year and really got into it, much to the disapproval of my family and friends. I think I'm about 80% of the way through it! It's a real test of skill and luck if you play it as the nail-biting survival game it is rather than the action-packed blastathon you'd like it to be.

One thing that is identical between Tenka and TECNO is finding mysterious machines at the ends of corridors and having no idea what you're supposed to do to activate them. This thing needs batteries, which is not the same as the fuse I used to repair the power system, or the batteries for the Electric Gun that I've found all over the place.

No sooner had I complimented Alexia on shutting up than she beeps me about returning to the storeroom where I got frightened by the sparking ragdoll robot. She's adamant there's something in one of the crates that I need to find. Her messages told me to shoot the top of the crate, but what she really meant was that I had to use my physics engine powers to knock the crate onto its side with my knees and then shoot the base of the crate with the shotgun. Inside was...

A MapMate of my very own! And hooooly heck, what a map. It's got levels and scrolling and room names and the window is really damned small. I get they wanted it to fit into the interface, but that just makes this a bad interface. I'm not sure all of these options are strictly necessary. It feels like it's adhering to the conventions of Resident Evil's menu without any need to.

You have found a MapMate
If you overlook your objectives, look for flashing areas in the map layouts.

I've got no complaint about the game telling me which rooms I've yet to complete. Being stuck is the worst thing that can happen in an adventure game, I reckon. It's a concept that's almost unique to adventure games: the idea that the entire fictional world can be held in complete stasis until you find one specific hammer in a world filled with various incompatible blunt objects, and that that's supposed to be a fun thing.

I've found a survivor! Hello there, survivor!

He doesn't say anything and he's not pounding on the glass. To get to him, I'll need to solve a very Resident Evil control panel puzzle involving lines and numbers and flashing lights. I've got a grasp on how the puzzle's logic works (it's the kind where each button toggles a specific set of lights on and off), but I can't figure out the answer. Lucky for me, the bridge interface computer tells you where to get the code - it's on that File I picked up earlier!

But that only has half the solution on it! Darn! I suppose I could go back and have another look, except that timer has expired by now and the room has probably exploded. Won't hurt to check. Unless it's become a radioactive crater to prevent me from infinitely restocking on pistol rounds, in which case it probably will hurt.

I can hear the biddly-beep of the scanner bots outside. I can't see any bigbots, so perhaps I'm safe.

Yaagh, my eyes!

Definitely classing the scanbots as 'harmful now'.

Here's a little hint: when the scanbots start blinking red, it's not a friendly signal. Get out of there unless you want to become a pair of smoking space-boots.

I've been going back and forth between a few of the rooms, trading items and filling in slots on machines as I go. That seems to be how TECNO goes, if you're into that kind of thing. Alexia knows exactly how to use everything you come across. All you need to do is possess the right item and she'll pick it out for you automatically without you having to go into the menu. If you don't have the right gadget, she'll tell you what's missing.

If you like Resident Evil's key-and-lock, emblem-and-slot room to room backtracking, I imagine you'd be in heaven.

I've somehow managed to sneak up on one of the bigger robots.


What's the point of being able to sneak when there's no alternate routes through the level to avoid enemies, and no super special sneak attacks to disable them more quickly?

The combat in TECNO is utter havoc. Not in a happy-fun, wall-running, diving out of the way of lasers sense, but more in a backing away in teeny-tiny corridors behind corners and mashing the fire button to make whatever's filling the screen with green stop doing that. It is a survival horror after all.

Time for a Health Syrup. BWOOOOOOOP. Health is now 98%. I need to be more careful.

This is the Projector room underneath the office where I first encountered bigbots and found the Electric Gun I'm currently holding. I've inserted the Data Box into the Projector as requested and, well, it's showing me some data about the robots. They're called 'CYLZU' (which I guess perhaps is a bit of developer humour seeing as it 'kills you'). That's about it. There's no narration or sales pitch. I'd say it's hinting at the ability to knock limbs off robots, but I'm not that choosy about where I shoot a robot as long as it blows up when I'm done.

I think I can see a robot bumbling about in one of the rooms between me and the timer room. Say, why don't I give this Electric Gun a whirl, seeing as there's recharging packs for it all over the place?

Taste lightning you bastard!

I love how the little gauges all incrementally light up while the gun is charging, and how it spews out a trail of sparking, crackling lightning goop when you release the trigger. It's not a very practical or effective gun, like, but it's better than nothing. You can get six fully charged shots out of it before you need to find a battery pack, but they're everywhere and never disappear.

I finally made it back to the pistol room at the start of the game, where it turns out the timer PC hadn't exploded at all! It had spent those seven minutes downloading the full nine digit code sequence for the bridge (which is about average for my internet connection these days).

When I entered the correct code, the camera hatched from Alexia's head and gave me a tour of the bridge room, showing the needless array of mechanical squares pirouetting about and slotting into their new position. The survivor behind the glass doesn't seem to be that pleased that the new bridge is leading away from him instead of toward him, but I don't make the rules.

The bridge was a dead end. All that's on the other side was more laser fences, and a mysterious orb receptacle that demands a 'Power Generator', which must mean something other than the 'Combo-Batteries' and the 'Industrial Battery' items I possess. At least I could tell that the computers in here are useless at a glance thanks to the lack of reticules.

Before I left, I fired my EMP item at the laser gate: no effect. Nothing else here. Time to go back.

The most dangerous thing that can happen to you in TECNO is The Exploding Trousers Configuration. (And if that doesn't sound like a Lemmings level I don't know what does.)

Trying to shooting the arms off the robots is useless. CYLZU bots can fire lasers out of their eyes and both of their arms. Aim at the body or head and you'll often blow their torso off, which turns them into a pair of indestructible, self-destructing robo-trousers hell bent on running straight at you yelling "SELF DESTRUCTION".

These scanner bots are really ticking me off now too. Enemies reappear randomly in rooms and corridors you've already cleared, which is a real pain in the arse when you're going from place to place constantly. Scanner bots can climb walls, which means sometimes they're zapping you from the ceiling out of range of your weapons.


Alright, that's it. I've done a few laps of both floors of the base that are accessible to me and I am completely stuck.

TECNO demands the player keep track of their own clues and objectives as they open up more of the base. Here's where I'm at:

• There's a computer in the main office that needs a Data CD I haven't found.
• I've collected three of the four Industrial Batteries I need to power the Delta Machine.
• There's a chat program on a computer in the starting room that I can't activate but might be able to later.
• I need a Power Generator to fill in the orb receptacle on the other side of the bridge I activated, which presumably shuts off the laser gates nearby.
• I need a Silver Keycard to open the robot hangar.
• I need a Green Keycard to open the sterilisation tunnel.
• There's a lot of red doors on the map and in the level which I can't open.
• I have a Delta Code for a user named Jacobs, together with a map in the form of a grid.

The MapMate is highlighting a couple of the relevant rooms, but I'm not getting any more information than that. Alexia is being no help whatsoever. I've looked through all my Files to see if there's any outstanding codes that might fit the computers available, but no dice.

I think I'm going to have to look at a walkthrough. :(

Luckily for me, there is a twenty-plus part video walkthrough for this obscure game on YouTube. This means I'm not the only person on Earth to have played the game after all sadly, but it means I don't have to be stuck. Let's see.


When you get the MapMate, you're supposed to check it for your objectives, which are the slightly yellow coloured rooms in this screenshot. I need to get to the room to the West of my current position. The red door is locked. The maroon corridor to the South is a vent shaft leading to the locked room from the room I'm currently in.

But there's no vent shaft here, just this row of identical panels!

Despite the locked vent cover in the tutorial having an explicit reticule on the lock mechanism you had to shoot, there's no reticule showing me that anything here is interactive, so perhaps these are triggered elsewhere?

Just in case I had to blast the vent open, I shot at each panel here with the pistol anyway. No effect.

You have to use the shotgun.

Grr. I'm giving you a C minus, TECNO.

I see what you tried to do here. It's a fine observation puzzle, forcing the player to use the MapMate to look for secret passages, but you can't establish that there's going to be hints and then not provide them consistently when they would be relevant. Other things I've had to shoot have always either been obviously damaged or had a reticule on them!

Through the vent is another bigbot and a room full of computery gizmos for me to mess with. There's a PC tower here with an interactive little motorised CD tray for you to open and steal its disc. There's a couple of computers that want codes that I don't think I have yet, and another super prize: the final Industrial Battery!

The combined power of the Industrial Batteries opened a large door leading to this very shiny room. I don't understand the design of this place - if it's supposed to be a secure, secret, clean-room lab that requires a huge amount of power to access, why is it overlooked by a row of windows leading to some random storeroom that I've walked past a dozen times?

The Jacobs code comes in handy here, and the attached map prepares you for the floor tile maze leading to the treasure at the end of the room.

After I pick up the super swirly secret orb, the room reveals its true nature as a dastardly trap! A panel opens and two regular robots emerge, gun-arms blazing. This is perhaps the largest open space I've had to fight in, but evasive combat is pointless when every single enemy in the game uses laser beams that hit their targets instantly regardless of range and speed! Like every other encounter, what happens is you panic, you shoot with whatever you're currently holding, you forget that Space is the weapon switch key, you get blinded by flashing green lights and you almost dodge the inevitable self-destructing trousers.

Hmm, I guess I can cross off 'you don't get locked in a room with awful combat' off my game comparison list after all.

After escaping from the trap, I can go back out, cross the bridge, up to the laser gate rooms and insert the orb into the orb receptacle.

Wouldn't you know it, nothing whatsoever happened. I'm stuck again.


That's annoying. I missed something that I could have worked out, but it was subtle. Very subtle.

I mentioned that one of the red locked doors was locked by the 'Global Security System'. When you inspect one of the computers you can access, Alexia notes it's linked to the 'Global System'. These clues only appear in very tiny text when you inspect the item. There's no reason to suspect that inspecting the unmarked red door would give you a useful response other than generic 'it's locked' text.

The 'Global System' computer (on the other side of that damned breakable vent) asks for the name of a sector. If you find the File containing the documentation for the MapMate computer, it mentions that it 'displays the names of sectors, which can be used as passwords'. In the MapMate, you'll find certain important rooms are labeled, such as 'Delta Generator Room' and 'Digital Workstations'. You start off in a section named '6f9', and the bridge leads to section '4xc'... that's not the answer though: a section isn't a sector despite it being abbreviated to 'sec' on the save game screen. If you scroll to that one specific red door that's linked to the 'Global Security System' on the MapMate, it branches from a corridor labelled 'Area-G', which is the name of the sector you need.

Now call me strange, but 'Area-G' is what I'd call an 'Area' and not a 'Sector'. I need consistency in the wording of my puzzles.

This corridor annoyed me a lot more than it should have.

When you've opened the 'Area-G' door, it leads to a dead end: a locked door blocked off behind a bunch of crates. You're given a reticule telling you that there's something on the other side of the crates, but Alexia can't jump.

You have to use one of the powerful weapons to blow the crates over, or just run at them hoping they'll topple over in a way that'll let you get through. The final puzzle is figuring out how to pick up the item since the game won't let you. Alexia has teeny tiny baby arms - if an item is below waist height, you have to toggle into crouch mode to pick it up otherwise you'll be there for days trying. With this Green Keycard, we can now enter the sterilization tunnel!

Beyond this tunnel is a bunch of switches that need flicking, but they'll only work if you've completed the Delta Machine. The level leads around in a big circle: through the sterilization tunnel you can get to the control room behind the laser gate next to where the Power Generator needed to be inserted.

EXCEPT you can't deactivate the laser gate, so the level is really horseshoe shaped. You have to go the long way around if you haven't solved all the necessary puzzles up to this point, which also makes the route useless for evading enemy robots. Fabulous.

Under my expert guidance, and for want of anything better to do, Alexia has finally successfully powered on the Delta Machine. The room fills with spirals of blue lightning, joining together to form a vortex leading up into the ceiling. Alexia steps closer and is swept up into the waves of energy...

...few minutes before...

If this is a time machine and your plan is to avert the disaster, Alexia, we might need a bit more than a few minutes, but I admire your lateral thinking.

The camera shows Alexia waking up in the control room at the beginning of the game in third person once more. This time, we leave her to her quest and fly through the window, outside TECNO BASE entirely. We glide over the helipad, past the copper sunset, and dive into a ventilation shaft on the building opposite Section 6f9.

Deep inside the HYDRA Laboratory is our new protagonist, Mika!

Mika's journey

Mika Rietvell, age 36, a Class B Worker, 9PA3 Section. Relation to Alexia unknown.

We don't know what he was doing when TECNO BASE started exploding. We find him looking at a laptop receiving a message from Alexia that I sent to him in her game. He doesn't know the password so he can't reply, so it's up to me to take control and guide him to safety!

We begin in HYDRA Laboratories. No inventory items, no goals, except perhaps to reunite with Alexia somehow. We know where she's likely to be for the next few minutes, but if we don't stop her before she gets sucked into the Delta Machine, who knows where the hell she'll end up?

There's two exits from HYDRA, one of which is engulfed in flames, which leaves just one way out.

For Mika, exiting TECNO BASE is as simple as walking down a ramp and out the door.

But my mission is to un-escape back into TECNO BASE and find Alexia!

There's the control room where she started!

New protagonist, new level, new weapons! Same old interface. Boo! Different characters should have different shapes or colours for their menu at least.

MP5K-Personal Defense Weapon
weight: 4.85kg

Firing 9mm rounds at full automatic, the MP5K provides a very good degree of personal firepower in a package small and light enough to be worn at all times.

The elevator into Section 6f9 leads to two new areas, one which is completely locked off with laser gates, and another which leads to lots of MP5 ammo and a big-huge laser cannon.

The laser really did not like Mika wandering into its room. Two seconds after entering, Mika was nothing but a screaming red pile of ash, and the screen faded back to title.

If you head up to the control room beside the laser cannon, however, you can take control of it through a real-time screen, just like Shadow Warrior! You can see the tip of the laser cannon in the top of this screenshot through the window!

There has to be a puzzle involving this laser, but there's nothing in that room that needs shooting as far as I can tell.

Right, I'm stuck. I'm stuck and I'm done. Are you ready for words? Because I've got some.


That last screenshot looks fantastic but it completely misrepresents what TECNO is all about.

TECNO: The Base promised to be "An FPS-Adventure game with its own unique style", and in both of those respects it's absolutely correct. It's ¼ FPS and ¾ Adventure.

I'm enjoying TECNO when I'm making progress, but the amount of progress I'm making in between trips to the walkthrough is getting less and less, and I've accomplished naught as Mika. I asked for HARD and I got it. TECNO completely kicked my ass. I don't think NORMAL would be that much different. The game pauses while you're in the menu so you've always got time to think if you're stuck on a puzzle, but most times I'm stuck it's because I'm missing a piece of information from one of the scenes and need to be out exploring. The game hasn't set up any puzzles that are truly unfair yet, but I haven't been in the 200% ultra concentration adventure game lateral thinking mindset TECNO wants. I feel like if I were to ever reach that point, the constantly, aggressively respawning robots would knock me back out of it.

The combat is worse than the original Deus Ex, so let me let you down gently if you're looking forward to some satisfying rootin'-tootin' robot shootin'. The gun animations are stiff and annoying, and precision is impossible. Brute force is impossible too, somehow. Enemies will rush at you from all directions en masse as soon as they're aware of you and there's nowhere to run. The game wouldn't be changed much if, whenever you entered a room with an enemy robot, the screen flashed green and black repeatedly while the words "A ROBOT HAS SEEN YOU! MASH LEFT MOUSE BUTTON TO ESCAPE!" filled the screen.

The robots can also open the doors, which is a real poor design decision if TECNO is going for tension. Rooms with doors should be safe spaces, and you should have to use windows and audio clues to figure out which of the exits is the safest way out, except most rooms in TECNO only have one door, so entering any room during combat means you're immediately cornered. The levels are so cramped and linear you're practically cornered at all times anyway. I don't like the level design of the areas I've explored much at all - if you were to map them out, they'd branch outwards over and over. There's never any loops or secret passages linking different areas, except when it's an infuriating impassable forcefield. You will be backtracking endlessly, and Alexia doesn't run very fast. She's got a miniscule sprint gauge, and you'd better get used to hearing the 'you've run out' beep. Also walls don't block explosive damage and most enemies self-destruct.

As a setting, TECNO BASE just sort of exists. There are no bodies, no bloodstains. I don't think you'd believe me if I told you that I hadn't found one single audio diary lying around, but it's the truth. I still haven't found the antagonist (or antagonising force), if there is one. I haven't found any memos with "hilarious" office black comic satirical humour, read any whiteboards with 'DON'T TRUST TECNO!' scrawled on them, or snooped at any private email messages. I haven't hacked a single computer! How bizarre is that? Alexia's story so far has been nothing but bumbling about and turning on every switch I see. I'd be astonished if the game carried on like this, but you should be prepared for a story-light experience.

All the ammo sources I've found so far have been infinite, and important items are marked with obvious reticules, so the challenge in TECNO comes from surviving the rush from one ammo room to another, making stops at any unfinished puzzles along the way when you've figured out which one of the items or walls that should've been marked wasn't. It's bearable since the game isn't quite difficult or stingy enough to force the player to play perfectly. TECNO might have obtuse, almost Spycraft-ish clues that rely on complete awareness of the environment to make sense, but at least it has clues, unlike Spirits of Xanadu.

That said, when has any of this stuff ever dissuaded an adventure game fan, or somebody who really likes escaping sci-fi labyrinths full of murderbots? TECNO is, despite itself, really interesting and fun. There's no being told where to go or what to do. No being dragged from scene to scene and forced to use specific guns against hordes of enemies. I didn't notice any loading screens in all of Alexia's first chapter.

If you want to wander about a mysterious, non-linear techno-base, completely alone, with no-one on the radio, while thumping tense electronic music pounds into your head - and honestly, isn't that what videogames are all about? - TECNO: The Base is for you.

Hi, thanks for reading all of mecha-neko's words. Super Adventures will be taking a break soon but before then I've got one last article for you. Thing is, it's not about a game exactly, so identifying what that image on the left is from won't help you any. Feel free to show off your game knowledge and do it anyway though.

You can also share your own thoughts about TECNO: The Base if you're into that, and there's a Super Adventures Discord to join if you want all the top secret insider information.


  1. I know what the next "game" is because I contributed to the discussion about it on Discord when you were putting the article together. So I won't say what it is, because that's cheating.

    This particular bit of screenshot is from Quik the Thunder Rabbit though.

    1. Yeah, it's Quik the Thunder Rabbit himself, moments before being eaten. Poor bunny, his life was suffering.


Semi-Random Game Box