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Immercenary is a 1995 3D first-person shooter video game for the 3DO by Electronic Arts. While the player explores the Immercenary world, called the Garden, in first-person and engages in real-time combat, it is considered by some to be a computer role-playing game, rather than a first-person shooter. This is because the player increases "stats" throughout the game by killing other in-game characters and "crashing" their algorithms by walking through.
The object during game play is to eliminate other players by killing them, then "crash their algorithm," which is accomplished by walking through a cloud of static left behind. Depending on the type of algorithm that is crashed, the player receives a boost to one of their three statistics: defense, offense or agility. The tougher the opponent defeated, the larger the boost that the player will receive.
Opponents range in difficulty and rewards received. The least difficult, and usually most killed, are the "Goners." A good portion of the players early game time will be spent killing Goners and crashing their algorithms to build the three statistics categories. Once sufficient defense, offense, and agility has been obtained, the player can feel comfortable taking on more difficult opponents to receive higher boosts to their stats. Such NPCs have names from classic art, literature, mythology, and even the Christian and Hebrew Bible. Such examples included a "beautiful" nude rendition of the Roman goddess Venus, and a powerful black male character dubbed David.
Once a character’s stats have diminished, they are sent back to the “real world.” While there, the player receives tips from scientists gathered around. Each time back to reality costs the player a portion of the boosts they have been earning. If these are completely depleted, the player dies. If the leading character decides its stats are well enough developed, it may choose to challenge one of the boss characters. They are decidedly much more difficult than the other look-alikes in the Garden. If the player is well enough developed and defeats a boss, he/she is rewarded with crashing the bosses algorithm and gain a large boost to their stats.
The game is set in 2004. The player is working with a team of what appear to be scientists on a type of virtual reality MMORPG. Immercenary takes the player back and forth between these two realities through a series of filmed cut scenes.
The job of the “immercenary” is to build his/her stats in the Garden, taking out the major bosses in the process of making it to the main evil boss, the Perfect, who is killing the in game players. It is later revealed to the played in a filmed cut scene that when he/she crashes another characters algorithm, there is actually a human being playing that character. The human then goes into a state of shock, from which they will die (and normally do) if the Perfect is not defeated.
Other characters in the game actually have the same goal, become strong enough to defeat the Perfect. The one character that has advanced the farthest is Raven. She tells the player that she realizes that she cannot defeat the Perfect, and asks him/her to crash her algorithm. The player obliges, and goes on to defeat the Perfect, thus freeing those who were recently put into a state of shock. The game ends with a filmed scene showing Raven’s user in the real world smiling at the camera and pulling her virtual reality head band off.