It's 2196 and in the future, the World Economic Consortium controls nearly every facet of life as we know it. As a Silencer, players are an elite member of a private military force dedicated to providing covert problem solving for the WEC.
Returning from a mission to eliminate civilians under the pretext that they were rebels, the Silencers that had refused the order are making their way back when they are attacked by a military servomech. As the only survivor and having witnessed the true face of the WEC, players join the Resistance.
Crusader: No Remorse is an isometric action game developed by both Realtime Associates, Inc. and Origin Systems. The main designer was Tony Zurovec.
The packaging for the game was notable for including a number of items created to enhance the player's immersion into the backstory regarding the world of Crusader. This was typical of many titles released for the the PC at the time, such as Maniac Mansion's inclusion of a mock-bulletin board poster or the newspaper that came with Alone in the Dark, before the practice became relegated to providing material for Collector's Editions.
A manual titled "Anti-Terrorist Site Security" described the security features and enemies of the WEC within its fiction intended as an introduction for those working within the corporation. Another booklet, titled "Resistance Confidential", described the various weapons and dangers within the game from the rebel point of view. A newsletter was also included showing the news for the day, albeit from the WEC's perspective.
The game was built with the same engine behind Ultima VIII, but was heavily modified for its debut as an action game. CG cinematics alongside live action cutscenes (as well as photographs of actors in their respective roles for use within the included booklets) were used to help detail the world.
Assets in the game were not in true 3D. Instead, they were represented by meticulously animated 2D stills of 3D-rendered objects with a number of explosive and gory special effects similar to that of Diablo.
Crusader is also notable for its extreme violence, especially with the death animations suffered by player's targets. Enemies can die a variety of ways from the player, either by simply being shot or by having their flesh burned off leaving only their skeleton to fall to the ground.
Destructibility also played a part within the game with many objects, such as barrels, storage tanks, and even office cubicle walls, valid targets for the player's many weapons.
The silent protagonist of Crusader: No Remorse. His true identity is unknown as shown in the intro cutscene, the mech is unable to identify Silencer. A Captain in the MilOps Cartel armed forces and a former Silencer Corps member of WEC, The Silencer is a highly trained soldier who is heavily armed, deadly accurate, and depending on the player's own moral compass, a ruthless killer. He also has a variety of special items at his disposal including spider bombs and detonation packs. The Silencer joins the Resistance after the murder of two of his fellow Silencers. His missions vary from saving key members of the resistance to destroying strategic WEC assets.
One of the two companions of The Silencer killed in the intro scene by an AP-4400 mech. He had been in service as a Silencer since February 2193.
The other companion of The Silencer. He met the same fate as Anton. He had been in service since September 2195.
General Quentin Maxis
The General is the first person to brief The Silencer on his mission.
An honors graduate of the MilOps Cartel Military Academy and Strategic College, Quentin Maxis attained the rank of Colonel in the WEC infantry by age 30. In November of 2181, he disappeared while assigned as an instructor at the Academy. In March of 2183, he emerged as the leader of a resurgent Resistance military force. As the most visible symbol of the Resistance, he has been Security Cartel’s Public Enemy #1 since June of 2184.
Wanted by the WEC for: Treason, conspiracy, murder, terrorism, and political agitation.
Major Stephon Ely
The Major runs the rebel base in Sector 5 and is the man The Silencer reports too.
Citizen # 9A-8T99-5613-XXX.
Stephon Ely gained an ROTC military commission and enlisted for active duty immediately after college. He served in a Special Forces mechanized infantry battalion, first as a platoon leader, then as a staff officer. Other than the fact of qualifying for Special Forces duty itself, his career was undistinguished. In 2189, then-Captain Ely’s chances for further advancement were shattered when he was reprimanded for questioning his C.O.’s orders during a routine riot-control operation. Six months later he left on a two week leave and never returned.
Wanted by the WEC for: Treason, conspiracy, murder, terrorism, kidnapping, and desertion.
Jo Anne Vargas
Vargas is the only member of the Resistance saved during the second mission of the game.
Citizen # 4V-9G31-4556-XXX
Jo Anne Vargas was at one time one of the Communications Cartel’s most promising young public relations specialists. She has undergraduate degrees in literature and art, masters degrees in communications and marketing, and a Ph.D. in socio-economics. In 2192 she resigned her executive position in the cartel and announced she was taking an unpaid leave of absence of unspecified duration.
Wanted by the WEC for: Treason, conspiracy, and political agitation.
Sargeant Shannon Brooks
Citizen # 2N-9U3-2214-DXX
Shannon Brooks is a second-generation rebel. Her parents joined the Resistance shortly after her birth, in the wake of the ‘60s food crisis. They were killed during the Petra Insurrection of ‘92. Both were members of the central committee of Petra’s “provisional government” at the time of their deaths. When Quentin Maxis revitalized the military arm of the Resistance in the early ‘80s, Brooks rapidly emerged as an extremely active and efficient terrorist operative. She is known to have been involved in the sabotaging of the supertanker Cordelia in ‘84, and to have led the force that destroyed the Osaka chemical plant in ‘92.
Wanted by the WEC for: Treason, murder, terrorism, arson, assault, kidnapping, and grand larceny.
Nicknamed "Wizard", Troy is responsible for insertion and extraction for Silencer, hacking teleporters to allow him to move from the Rebel base into mission areas, and get him out just as quick.
Citizen # 7B-8Y21-5489-XXX
Troy Reaves has been a computer hacker for his entire life, spending his adolescence at the Dormitory for Incorrigible Youth at the Information Cartel Technical Institute. Although his technical aptitude was prodigious, all attempts to turn his skills to more responsible channels failed. In the end he was discharged from the Information Cartel and assigned to Maintenance Cartel as a sanitation worker. He vanished from Maintenance Cartel training after less than a week.
Wanted by the WEC for: Treason, data terrorism, unauthorized access to secured nets, fraud, extortion, and grand larceny.
The player first meets "Yo-Yo" in the cantina and tells the player to back off, or else.
Citizen # 6Y-5B52-4589-XXX
Nicholas Cardova displayed radical tendencies as far back as grammar school. His college career (majoring in political science) was interrupted his sophomore year by a three-year sentence for disseminating anti-Consortium propaganda. Immediately after his release he was recruited by the Resistance and went underground, where he has remained for most of the last decade.
Wanted by the WEC for: Treason, terrorism, assault, kidnapping, and political agitation.
Nicknamed "Taxman", Andrews is one of the few rebels sympathetic towards Silencer after returning from a mission in which many rebel prisoners die.
Citizen # 46-9L22-1677-XXX
Andrews worked as an associate accountant in the Revenue Assessment Division of the Administrative Cartel for almost a decade without incident, but had a moral crisis triggered by witnessing Consortium action to suppress the El Paso Tax Insurrection of ‘89, causing him to abandon his loyalty to the WEC. In 2192 he went underground.He is currently under the command of Shannon Brooks.
Wanted by the WEC for: Treason, terrorism, espionage, and assault.
Weasel is the black market vendor of the game. He is often seen with a ferret sitting on his shoulder. Some of his known aliases are: Alvin Tarkin, Alberto Devense, and Sally Horrowitz.
Citizen # Unknown
Weasel appears to have never been registered as a citizen of the WEC, based on retina-scans obtained from video images. WEC investigators theorize that he may have been raised in a refusenik encampment by individuals opposed to universal registration for political or religious reasons. His given name is unknown — none of his known aliases match the names of any known refuseniks. What is known is that about 2193 he emerged as the most successful black marketeer in his region.
Wanted by the WEC for:
Treason, terrorism, kidnapping, black-marketing, conspiracy, grand larceny, petty larceny, smuggling, hijacking, gun-running, arson, assault, blackmail, extortion, fraud, battery, organ-legging, bootlegging, pandering, felonious misrepresentation, unauthorized impersonation of a citizen, impersonation of an officer, maintaining a bawdy house, tax evasion, unlicensed ownership of a firearm, exploitation of a minor, and failure to register identity.
No Remorse is a solo, isometric shoot 'em up where the player tackles fifteen different missions across a variety of environments ranging from manufacturing plants to office spaces in a quest for vengeance. There are sixteen weapons in the game that the player can purchase or find as well as a number of interactive sites within each area that the missions take place in.
A bar on the bottom of the screen displays the current weapon, ammunition remaining, equipped special item, health, and shield strength. Health is provided by medical kits or through special devices along with shield recharge.
The player has a full 360 degree range of aim around himself and the keypad can be used as a control, although it is often better to use the mouse instead. Sidestepping, rolling to avoid enemy fire, and even jumping are all useful in avoiding an early death from the many dangers that are encountered from both foes and the environment.
Searching bodies for ammo and cash to purchase items on the black market is important, and the player can also talk to Resistance members back at their base in between missions to learn more about the story or what they were expected to do next.
There are a large number of destructible assets within the world of No Remorse ranging from toxic barrels to office cubicles. Many of these can be used against enemies, often with devastating results such as setting them on fire.
The player can also take control of certain servomech droids through interface panels to help them pass difficult areas or to solve puzzles such as activating lift buttons to access unreachable spots or in using their superior firepower to blow through enemy forces.
The degree of detail within each area is considerable and often leads to frenetic firefights through a variety of corridors and scientific laboratories. Each area is often populated by security forces, robots, and engineers or scientists.
Traps consist of a mixed variety of environmental dangers (such as exploded pipes blowing flame) to deliberate traps and security measures including laser barriers and turrets.
There is no alignment or reputation system in place, so the player could be free to almost do whatever they wanted while fighting for the Resistance. Civilians within each area will often surrender, but can also be killed for whatever goodies (often credits) that they might have. The choice is up to the player, but has no ultimate bearing on the outcome of its linear narrative.
The rebel base that serves as the player's hideout is accessible only from in between each mission and is not a true hub. Using the teleporter sends the player immediately to the next mission once they get their briefing instructions.
A Black Marketeer is also on hand to resupply the player with medical packs, ammunition, and even new weapons if they can afford them. Talking with the other NPCs can reveal different aspects to the storyline.
Encounters and Combat
The security forces of the WEC will be the player's primary antagonists throughout the game. They normally consist of a mix of the following:
- Guard - These are the most common sight within the game, easily dispatched and most likely not trained well enough to run away from real danger.
- Soldier - Slightly better paid than the guards and better armed, they're found everywhere the WEC has an interest in.
- Special Forces - Highly trained and deadly, these are often armed with standard slug throwers and energy weapons.
- Enforcer - Elite members of the WEC's military, they have a personal shield like the Silencer and aren't afraid to wade in with the heavy stuff.
- Silencer - These are what the player used to be; unfailingly loyal super-soldiers armed with whatever they can get their hands on, which usually means the best stuff. They are the absolute best in service to the corporate cartels of the WEC.
Combat is handled by using the keypad or the mouse to aim a reticle on the screen at prospective targets and then simply firing at them with whatever they are equipped with. Obstacles can be used as cover (although not as part of a cover system), or shot through if they are destructible.
Weapons, Equipment, and Robots
Sixteen different weapons are found in the game along with a number of armed servomechs that can be remotely controlled to cause additional collateral damage. There are also a variety of different pieces of equipment that can be purchased or found in the game.
|BA-40 Patriot||A pistol slug thrower. Small, but useful.|
|BA-41 Peacemaker||A slightly better version of the pistol.|
|RP-22 Conciliator||A compact, burst firing rifle that deals a considerable amount of damage. Especially useful against soldiers.|
|RP-32 Pacifist||A more powerful 3-burst-fire assault rifle based on the RP-22 featuring a larger magazine and flash suppressor.|
|SG-A1 Conformer||A standard, yet powerful shotgun with a fantastic range and spread.|
|AC-88 Reaper||This riot gun is one of the most powerful anti-personnel weapons the WEC has at their disposal. A variation of the Conformer, the Reaper fires at more than twice the rate of its shotgun counterpart.|
|SW-404 Spitfire||This unique weapon designed as an anti-sniper and anti-siege weapon, fires a low powered shell, that immediately splits into 3 smaller shells that spread out in a fan formation. It is an absolutely devastating weapon.|
|GL-303||The grenade launcher which is great for wiping out floor installed enemies, turrets, and destructible targets like barrels and people at a distance.|
|PA-21 Arbitrator||A laser weapon that does decent damage.|
|PA-31 Adjudicator||A standard laser rifle. An efficient and powerful energy weapon, affectionately called the "Lightning rod".|
|PL-1 Unifier||This plasma rifle turns enemies into energy vapor leaving only a memory behind.|
|EM-4 Vortex||Fast firing energy weapon that doesn't do much damage, but is useful for its speed an accuracy. It is better served as anti-servomech weapon.|
|UV-9 Pulsar||A rifle that fires a pulse of ultraviolet energy that fries the flesh off of whoever it hits, usually resulting in immediate death and is not issued to anyone outside of field trials. This is one of the more gruesome weapons in the game. It's closest contemporary could be traced to the Type-7 particle weapon in Monolith's F.E.A.R..|
|Detpac||Set and watch the fireworks from afar with this remotely detonated surprise.|
|Limpet Mine||Detonates when the enemy gets too close for comfort.|
|Spider Bomb||As the Resistance guide describes it, an "ambulatory munition" controlled by a "joystick unit".|
|Ionic Shield||Surrounds the player and absorbs kinetic energy from projectiles, greatly reducing damage taken.|
|Plasma Shield||A stronger variant of the ionic shield, it envelops the player in a sphere of protection.|
|Graviton Shield ||This rare, experimental shield protects the wearer in a space-time distortion field. While active, it is impenetrable. However, the duration is quite short and its use is currently relegated to protecting VIPs.|
|EMP Inhibitor||Great for zapping robots, but drains energy quickly requiring a good stock of energy packs.|
|Medkit||Restores a large chunk of health to the player.|
|Batteries and Power Cells||Needed to power shields and other equipment, these items can be found in many areas.|
|Energy Cube||Restores a very small amount of shield.|| |
|Data Link||Used to review mission objectives.|| |
|MS-40||Called the "Roaming Susan", this is normally used for maintenance although it comes armed with a pistol. Just in case.|
|MS-110||Also referred to as "Android", the MS-110 is a far more advanced, humanoid variation of the MS-40. This servomech can be programmed to complete complex technological and laboratory tasks. It is not however, used primarily as a defensive mech, as the expense made to increase the "brains" leaves it with a low defensive power.|
|AP-4210||Also referred to as "Thermatron", this lithe, two-legged mobile minigun, it might not be well armored but it can cut a swath through soldiers and security troopers.|
|AP-4400||Sometimes called "Vetron", the big brother to the AP-4210, this hulking platform can demolish most anything in its way, including other servomechs, with relative ease. WEC expects to replace its AP-4210s completely by 2201.|