Back in TSW, Finishing Issue #9

Tokyo has been tiresome almost since the moment I stepped foot in the zone. There’s something about the metropolitan atmosphere that kind of killed my enthusiasm for The Secret World and I haven’t been able to establish any momentum in the game since stepping foot in the city, despite having set the goal of completing Issues 9-11 in March. All the grey-blue tones, the depressing atmosphere of a dead city, and the exhausting threat of filth creatures and their AEGIS shields all combine to make Tokyo one of my least favorite areas in TSW.

That isn’t to say I haven’t enjoyed moments here and there; the Fear Nothing building was an excellent story chain albeit a little too similar to the Orochi’s facility in Transylvania. And I just met Harumi and her brother, two colorful characters I really liked and I’m glad Issue 13 will have me interacting with them a little more. Nevertheless, right now I see Tokyo as a zone to get through rather than one to enjoy like I did with all the others. I wish there had been a bit more variety, with perhaps an overarching story in Japan, not just Tokyo, that would have included rural areas and people affected by the filth bomb but not as directly as everyone in Tokyo.


I would love to see an entire zone set in Japan full of rural roads and colorful trees like the ones in this screenshot.


There be spoilers ahead… ye’ve been warned.

Because my progress has been going slowly, I’m having a hard time keeping all of the story elements together, having played through the missions over a longer period of time than usual. What I remember though is that I will be searching for the White Rabbit now (the start of Issue 10), an individual who has been killing people on a list of assassination targets before the hired demon assassins have been able to do the job themselves. This White Rabbit is probably related to the Fear Nothing group, likely one of the few members to escape the mass suicide committed by the cult. But whose behind Fear Nothing? Are they related to the Orochi and their experiments on children? And who is John?

One thing The Secret World does really well is telling stories without filling in every last little detail. Some of these questions I have may be answered over the next few Issues but others may remain vague and uncertain. Rarely are loose ends neatly tied together in this game and I think that’s intentional. It nurtures the air of mystery and conspiracy that makes The Secret World such a unique MMO and it allows for speculation by the players which may not be conclusive, but it is a lot of fun to think about. If there’s one thing that might draw me back in to Tokyo, it will be the story.


This is what happens when you don’t bring coffee and donuts to a 7am business meeting.


However since I’m not as excited about this zone as a whole so far, my plan is to spend 2-3 nights a week playing through two main or part of a story mission and however many side missions I come across. This way I can make progress slowly even if I’m not as eager to play as I once was. To be clear, it’s not the game I don’t enjoy— I still love the combat and suspenseful horror of the stories being told, it’s the environment that just doesn’t work for me.

I may also queue for a dungeon or for PvP each time I play as well but for the most part I want to make progress through Tokyo without getting burned out on The Secret World. Because I’m slowing down a bit, I’m not as concerned about upgrading my gear even though it will happen passively regardless so on my list of goals, I will make some progress but it is unlikely to be completed this month. Doing things this way ought to get me through the Tokyo issues I have left in a couple of months and then I can check out the new Issue that Funcom just released.

For those of you who have played through Tokyo, what did you think of the zone? Where would you rank the environment among the others in TSW? What about the story?


I must admit, sometimes even the muted greys and blues of Tokyo can be beautiful.

2 thoughts on “Back in TSW, Finishing Issue #9

  1. I can understand your attitude on Tokyo. You don’t blame Aegis or something, which i respect, especially as i also found that while it created a rough entry, it’s not a problem once you get used to it and adapted.

    At the same time, i very well understand that the dark and bleak atmosphere is troublesome. Interestingly enough, i still think that the darkest and bleakest part of them all is Issue 5. When finishing it, i had to log off and take a break to stomach it, which no other part of the game ever managed to do to me. I will spoiler at the very end of the posting, why.

    On Tokyo, while most of it is grim and dark, even for the games standards, i also very much enjoy Ricky Pagan. I might not quote him word by word, but he on one of his cutscenes expresses that given the choice between madness and desperation, he choose the former. And for some reason, this works out well. There are pockets of resistance, there are traces of hope. That’s more than Solomon Island can offer.

    Other things to mention: i am amused on some things you mention in your posting. A few things will turn out to be different that what you think them to be. And despite all of the darkness and desperation i think that Issue 11 very much rewards you for going through all of that. [Mind you, the tower can turn into an extreme grind if you let it do that to you. But that’s not a problem of the storyline, but on how it is built and what you can do there if you want to “complete” it. ] Issue 11 is an excellently written finale for the games first season.

    Issue 12 is “only” the dungeons, but they also continue the storyline, while Issue 13 wraps up some loose ends. By it’s nature it’s not as fascinating as the Issues 10 and 11, but still worth it in my eyes, despite the recently released Issue 14 easily surpassing it.

    Spoiler-Alert for Issue 5:
    My reasoning why Issue 5 is the darkest of them all is, that you can find out, when paying attention, that the bees, thus all the player characters, effectively function as vector for the filth infection. While the bees are immune to being corrupted in the way other living beings are, they can carry the filth infection with them. Every player character at one or another time was exposed to filth, and Issue 5 also states that small doses of filth are in the air of Solomon island, so every living being there by now is infected, it just has not broken out on everybody yet. This includes the player characters, who now travel throughout the work, leaving filth behind wherever they go.

    Of course, there is no alternative. Laying down to die not only doesn’t work that easily as a bee, it also just means that you don’t oppose the filth any more, allowing it to spread even further. There’s no known cure yet in TSW.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m looking forward to meeting Ricky Pagan. I’ve seen him in game, but I’m waiting until I’m further along in the story missions to start up that main mission chain. It’s good to hear there are some unexpected twists and turns in the plot ahead of me, not that I would expect anything less from TSW. Issue 9 started off slow I thought, and didn’t really peak my interest until the Fear Nothing facility came in to play. I’m definitely more excited to move forward than I was prior to completing issue 9.

      I’ll have to go back and do 5 again, I feel like I missed a lot story wise while playing through that one. It was definitely dark, but really that was just during the instanced area. The rest was typical Solomon Isle. Tokyo feels (almost) that oppressive but it’s the whole zone.

      AEGIS upgrading is going quicker now that I’m back to playing through the story, I’ve gotten up to 1.2 with a couple of my controllers. I still kind of like the system, especially in dungeons, but it was stressful running through Tokyo knowing how easily I could be overwhelmed until my AEGIS skills and controllers improved. I can see where it will become almost negligible once I’m fully upgraded (or close enough anyway.)


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