I should've known it was too good to be true. Turns that the job I was hired for in Denvalley was just another one of Terry's traps to get even with me and to get Sparkman back in one shot. You'd think that paralyzing him from the waist down, throwing him down a set of stairs and hurling him through a window would teach him not to fuck with me, but apparently not. Not that it matters. I beat that stammering butler-bitch of his within an inch of his life, and Sparkman and I live to fight this punk another day. But all I've got to show for it was 1324 zenny Sparkman bagged from virusbusting and the remains of Vineman, the navi that tried to walk off with Sparkman. Actually, his remains might brighten up my day if I play my cards right. I might just be able to shoehorn them into Sparkman's programming and make him really badass and frigged up. People customize their navis all the time, and I got a "For Dummies" book on this. How hard can it be?
I swear to god, if I get one more goddamn error message spouting technobabble no sane person can understand, I'll just decorate my walls with this PET's innards. I just thought it'd be as simple as cutting and pasting Vineman's remains into Sparkman, but nooooo. Apparently, Sparkman's programming is wired to some sort of thingamajig called a Sparkflux battery. I don't know all the details myself, but it looks like all of Sparkman's attacks eat up volts off this thing, basically forcing Spark to work under a budget whenever he attacks. And if Sparkman fires off a barrage of attacks that go over 23 volts, bad things start happening. Good news is that Sparkman's always generating more electricity to recharge the battery, so however many volts he consumes will be replenished in ten seconds, give or take. Why the hell didn't Sparkman mention this at any time? Well...it's not like I asked or anything. I guess I oughta jot down how many volts each attack consumes, but really, I'm not in the mood for that crap. Trying to format the Vineman's remains so that they're compatible with that friggin' Sparkflux battery is pissing me off enough. Hell, just trying to change the wood element to an elec element on one attack was more freakin' tedious than it needed to be. Well, that programming ain't gonna write itself. If worst comes to worst, I can always just simply say "fuck it" and it hand the dirty duty off to some Navi Engineering Wiz on campus and hope he doesn't ask too many questions.
Damn, that took longer than I would've liked. I ended up having to read that entire Dummies book, plus two or three more I had to pick up at the local bookstore, but I got the last of Vineman's remains programmed into Sparkman, and if nothing else, no rage and fear-inducing error messages have popped up. And Sparkman seemed to be okay for the most part when I switched him on, so I guess I did something right for a fucking change. However, he was inexplicably green and blue rather than orange and yellow, but what the fuck ever. I guess Vineman's remains screwed with the programming that control his appearance, but other than that, he'll live. Maybe I should go back and patch that up, but I'm not gonna take him off-line and spend hours of staring at mind and soul-crushingly confusing programming just to fix his but ugly appearance. To hell with that.
Anyway, I guess I should write down all of Sparkman's weapons of choice for future reference. Like I said, the bottom line is that all of Sparkman's attacks draw off this damn Sparkflux battery, and Spark can use up to 23 volts worth of attacks, easy-peasy. After ten seconds, the battery will be fully recharged, and Sparkman's free to splurge on whatever he wants. However, as soon as he goes over budget, he trips a circuit breaker that shuts down the most recent attack. The catch is that the circuit breaker can only handle power spikes ranging from 24 to 32 volts, but Sparkman will at least live to tell about it. But if he goes over 32 volts, he'll overload and take ten times the number volts he's over by. Here's one textbook example:
33 volts-23 volts=10 volts*10=100 damage
Sparkman says that he might be able to fry anyone else who's dumb enough to get close to him when he overloads. He said that's at least how it worked with the anti-elec and Vineman. Guess I'll take his word for it. Here's Sparkman's new bag of tricks (which I'm thinking about dubbing "Shadow Thunder"):
Using a Battlechip: Yes, using even a battlechip eats up volts. What a pain in the ass. But the bright side is that the attack is being generated from a chip rather than Sparkman himself, so it at least costs next to nothing to use them. But it still requires some juice in order to activate them. .5 V/chip
Spark Shock: Essentially Sparkman's offshoot of the arm canon. It's always been here, but I want this to be complete. It fires off a little spark (or a big ass spark if it's charged), that paralyzes whatever it hits. It's pissy damage, but I can use it to sneak in a few pot shots while they're stunned. 20 dmg,1 V (uncharged). 60 dmg, 3 V (charged).
Spark Mine: Again, nothing I haven't seen before. I just want this damn thing to be complete. Spark fires off an electrical bomb that explodes in an X-shaped pattern. 80 dmg, 3 V.
Spark Wave: One of Spark's favorite tricks. It fires off a zig-zagging blast of electricity that can go through and over anything. For a few extra volts, Sparkman can fire off a "White Sparkwave" that does same thing, except it can blind everyone. Kickass stuff. 80 dmg, 7 V (White Sparkwave: 10 V)
Shadow Maker: Spark gets a kick using this on sword lovers, and I don't blame him. It's kinda expensive, but it creates a shadowy hologram that lashes out with a weapon before vanishing. The fun part is that the weapon the hologram uses is copied straight from one of his opponent's. Guns, bombs, and crap like that are too much for it. But melee weapons like swords, spears, fists, whips, and a plethora of other shit like that can be copied. Even if his opponent isn't into those sort of weapons, the hologram can still be programmed to use a widesword or a longsword. Best part is that I don't need to pack sword chips with this around. I can just steal whatever sword chips the opponent used. Dmg varies. 11 V
Illusionary Dance: I originally referred to this as Sparkman's cloaking prowess. But that name always bugged the shit out of me since it was too Star-Trekish, and Sparkman and I agreed that this name was cooler. It was originally Sparkman's most expensive "attack" but not any more. When it's activated, Sparkman emits a light high enough in spectrum that he can disappear from sight and most known detection methods. Spark claims that even Searchman can't see him coming a mile away while it's on, but I think that's bullshit. The drag to all this is that this isn't quite like using an Invis chip. He can still be damaged if the other guy's lucky of if he's using an attack that covers enough ground. I guess that's way it's not more expensive. There's a programming conflict that I couldn't resolve that won't let Sparkman use another attack and the Illusionary Dance at the same time. Guess I can't win 'em all. 11 V, 1 V to deactivate.
Hydra: Now we're getting into the stuff I got bagged from Vineman! Unfortunately, this is where things start getting ugly. When Sparkman throws the switch for this attack, several "vines" of electricity unfurl from Sparkman's chest. Once they're out, the imagination's the limit. Sparkman can use them to tie up whatever chump's fighting him, he can throw stuff with them, swing around like Tarzan, whatever pops into his electrical mind. He seemed kinda creeped out by it when I described it to him, but he'll learn to love it. One thing that bothers me is that in order to keep this thing running, Sparkman needs to pony up 18 V plus an extra volt every ten seconds or else it shuts down. So naturally, if left to its own devices, it'll trip the circuit breaker a little after a minute and shut itself down. It'll also shutdown if Sparkman's hit with a slashing weapon. But oh, that's not the half of it. Once it shuts down, it needs thirty seconds to reboot. Yes it blows, but a navi's programming is so fucking anal retentive. 60 dmg/ten seconds. 18 V to activate, +1 V every ten seconds.
Gluttonous Hydra: Another gift from Vineman. It's kinda like the original Hydra, except when Spark latches onto someone with this, he taps into their power supply and sucks out HP at the same time. Again, it needs that extra goddamn volt every ten seconds to keep it running. But that's okay, it'll shut down on its own in less than a minute, or if Spark gets nailed by a slashing weapon anyway. And yes, it needs half a minute to reboot. Oh and, yet another friggin' programming conflict keeps Sparkman from using this and another attack at the same time. If I could've programmed it any other way, I would've. But still, if it works out, I won't need to pack recovery chips anymore. Does 80 dmg and restores 80 HP every ten seconds. 20 V to activate, +1 V every ten seconds.
Forsaken Woods: Now this is just fucking awesome. It's basically an anti-wood that Sparkman can activate as long as he's got the volts for it. The downside is that it needs thirty seconds to reboot once it's tripped or shut down. And Sparkman constantly needs to pay 20 V to keep it running, but I don't give a shit. It'll clear out some room in my folder for some really cool stuff. Thank you Vineman! 200 dmg, 20 V
All Clear: Expensive, but worth it. Once it's activated, it disables any anti-elecs that may be active. It'll only pick up anti-elecs, so other stuff like anti-recover, and anti-fire will fall through the cracks, but that's good enough for me. I found this in Vineman's corpse, except it was geared towards rooting out anti-wood. Pretty tricky, Terry. 21 V
Hollow Thunder: It's not something I found in Vineman, but I figured Spark would've liked it. I know I do. But after spending several hours copying and futzing with the Illusionary Dance programming, I was able to come up with this: an electrified, bona fide invisibility. No two ways about it, it's the most expensive card up Spark's sleeve. It needs 23 plus an extra volt every ten seconds to keep running. So it's only good for dodging one attack, but it's more than what Sparkman could do before. 23 V to activate +1 every 10 seconds.
And as an added bonus, his stats and HP went up a little. Between this and all the badass screwed up powers, I guess this works out better in the long run than the 50,000 zenny.