Chapter 3: Weapons factory

Hard to believe this block of ice once served up deadly weaponry.
Hard to believe this block of ice once served up deadly weaponry.

Launch your ship and watch as two more locations open up on the starchart. The game will automatically select the Vesper Defense Outpost, so let's go there first. This ancient, frozen and creaking space station sure has its fair share of surprises. Hop off your ship and scan the terminal beside it to learn more about this munitions depot.

You might be wondering what all that funky frozen material all over the station is, apparently it's a mix of toxic and radioactive explosive fuel leaked from within over time. Sounds like nasty stuff, thankfully you don't have to worry about it.

Wander over to the door beyond the two jump pads and scan Alimbic Prophecy 03 above the door. Exit the gateway and cross the corridor beyond to locate the Bioweaponry Lab. Clear the perimeter of Petrasyl, then make sure you scan objects Fuel Rod, Clone Engine, Mixing Tanks, Spore Farm and Lab Equipment for your Logbook.

Ahead of this chamber you'll discover the Weapons Complex, a giant area filled with various smaller chambers. Straight ahead of you lies an impenetrable shield, so instead walk down the sloping ramp on the left (scanning the Frozen Fuel Line on the floor for your Logbook as you go).

Watch out for an Alimbic Turret v1.4 up on the ceiling ahead, scan it then dodge any shots fired while you take care of it. See the small hatch on the left wall where the turret was? Before going in there, head right through the opening in the wall. Two Psycho Bit spawning units will come to life in the next wide chamber, deal with them both and watch as the force field in the floor powers down. See the artifact in the corner? Time to go get it.

Fall below and watch out as two Lesser Ithrak drop from the ceiling to attack. Deal with both targets to summon the Shield Key, pick it up to lower the artifact shield. Jump atop the moving platform to return above, then leap across and claim VDO Attameter Artifact 01.

Before leaving this area, be sure to scan Octolith Safeguard, History 03 and History 04. That green force field nearby can't be opened, so for now head through the small hatch on the wall back where the turret was positioned.

Through this tunnel you'll find yourself in the Cortex CPU tunnel network. There's a bunch of things to look for here, so let's start by bomb-jumping up the platforms as you enter the area. Once at the top, watch out for the pulsating green lasers, make your way past carefully and drop below to find a perpendicular exit leading out of this area. Before going through there, see Missile VD.01 right above you? Use a double bomb-jump to reach it. With the missile secure, fall below and roll over to the moving platform. Roll across the top of it to find a jump pad pointing up a shaft filled with more pulsating green lasers.

Wait for the lasers to disappear before touching the jump pad, then watch as Samus ascends the shaft thanks to more jump pads above. Once at the top, roll through the tunnel you find and take in the sights as you move through a heavily damaged section of the station. At the far end of the winding tunnel you'll discover a small chamber, stand up and scan the Cortex Chamber at the center for your Logbook.

See those small switches showing up in your Scan Visor? Scan all four to summon up a small green orb-like object from below the chamber. I wonder what this is? Scan the object to reveal it as the Battlehammer - your first new weapon for the day.

With your new toy tucked away, you'll be given an initial 40 rounds of Universal Ammo. You won't be able to pull off a charged shot if you run out like in Echoes, so watch your ammo carefully. Turn around and you'll notice a green force fields thinks it can stop you from leaving. Show it otherwise by sending a shot from the Battlehammer into the field's guard node.

Head back the way you came and return to the main tunnel network. Go back to the area where you picked up your last missile and exit the network there. Through this tunnel you'll find yourself in the Compression Chamber, another segmented area filled with force fields.

See the Stronghold Portal not far away? Scan it for your Logbook if you haven't already. Also be sure to scan History 07 nearby as well. See the two green force fields blocking your path to the other region of this area? Blow them open with the Battlehammer and head through. As you enter watch out for two Psycho Bit spawning units on the ceiling along with a lone Alimbic Turret. Deal with all this opposition first, then walk over to the crate at the rear of the chamber and use it to reach the ledge above.

Scan the switch you find there to lower a force field below guarding a Universal Ammo Expansion within a pillar. Hop down and look for another force field switch directly opposite - this one will power down a trio of fields below you. With all force fields taken care of, make sure you scan History 05, History 06 and Alimbic War 10 before leaving.

Take note of Alimbic War 10's entry, it mentions a plan by the Alimbic Order to contain something called Gorea and warns the reader not to seek it. You'll definitely find out what that means soon.

Return to the entrance you accessed this area via and backtrack to the Cortex CPU region. Once back in the main tunnel network, travel down to the bottom-left corner of the region and follow the tunnel you find there (watch out for the lone inhabitant). You'll pop out back in the Compression Chamber, this time below the area where the force field controls were.

But you won't be alone, two spawning units will open up and spit out a pair of Psycho Bit v4.0. Scan one quickly before opening up on them. These ones are tricky as they'll fire projectiles your way capable of freezing you. If you get caught rub the touch screen to break free.

With both targets taken care of and the spawning units shut down, feel free to grab Universal Ammo Expansion VD.01 from within the central pillar. With your prize secured, roll through one of the narrow openings to the other section of this room. Watch out for an ambushing Lesser Ithrak, deal with it to reveal a handy Shield Key at the center of the chamber.

Pick it up to lower the force fields guarding the rear section of the room, then swing around the corner to find a narrow opening in the wall. Scan Oubliette 08 here before going inside, then hop in to be launched up to a chamber containing VDO Binary Subscripture 01 (and History 08 for your Logbook).

With this artifact secured, only one left to find. But you'll now find yourself sealed in as a Guardian enters to give you trouble. It's using the Volt Driver, but now that you've got the Battlehammer it's time to break it out in combat. Drop below and open up on the target, just watch out for its shots as they'll mess up your visor view if you're hit. With the target down all the remaining force fields here will shut down, granting you easier access between floors.

Now for that final artifact. Return to the Cortex CPU area and backtrack to the Weapons Complex. Once there, step forward into the chamber where you found your first artifact and deal with the two Psycho Bit spawning units again. With your position clear, walk over to the green force field and take it down with the Battlehammer.

Step forward to find an odd creature in front of a red door. Scan it to reveal it as a Crash Pillar. This thing can only be harmed from below, so stand close and wait for it to hop into the air. Run back and send a missile into its underside before it lands to inflict damage. Send two more its way to finish the job.

With the target down a platform will come to life, granting you access to the floor above. Before going topside scan the red blast shielded-door and Alimbic Prophecy 07. At the top you'll instantly discover the ship deck teleporter, so fire it up and return to your ship to save the game. Return to the Weapons Complex and explore the area.

You'll find most areas sealed off by force fields, but one tunnel down the far end is open. Step through there for another nasty greeting - rival hunter Sylux awaits you down the far end. He'll attack on sight, so refer to the bosses guide for tips to finish this relentless target off.

With Sylux tasting defeat and limping off aboard his ship, the Shield Key will promptly appear. Pick it up to gain access to the final artifact - VDO Cartograph Artifact 01. With that done the Stronghold Portal is now active. Scan the Gestation Tanks here first before returning to your ship via the teleporter nearby and save your game before moving on.

Head to the Compression Chamber via the Cortex CPU and hop in the teleporter once you arrive. Cross the long elaborate hallway to the Octolith chamber ahead and step inside to face the second version of the Cretaphid defense system. Refer to the bosses guide for tips to survive this one.

With Cretaphid v2 taken care of you'll have secured your third Octolith. By now you should be getting the hang of things, only five more to find now. The telepathic message received after retrieving this Octolith warns you not to trust your senses, so let's see what else they have in store. Exit the chamber and proceed to the hallway for... you guessed it, another security protocol transmission. This time you've only got 3 minutes to put this place behind you, so no time to lose.

Return to the VDO to find yourself potentially attacked by Guardians (you might only hear their music playing but not see them). Don't worry about them as the hatch ahead isn't locked. Quickly roll through the narrow tunnel back to the Cortex CPU and make your way back through to the Weapons Complex. Nothing will hold you back once there, so simply run back to the VDO Gateway from here and hop in your ship to escape.

Next Chapter: One eternal ice age