I was playing XIII again the other day. The US GameCube version this time. I remember enjoying XIII on the original Xbox back in the day, as well as on PC.
Even today, there’s nothing quite like playing these old style shooters with blurry textures and blocky unsmoothed 3D objects.
That aside, I had a tough time making the Grappling Hook work, mainly because the controls on the GameCube version must be the most terrible in the history of console gaming. Sadly my copy did not come with an instruction booklet, but at $4.99 with free shipping I’m not complaining. I found no instructions on the internet either, I’m probably a lost cause and too late for the XIII party anyway.
For future generations, and my future self, here’s how the XIII GameCube control work (from what I could figure out).
The strangest one: select the hook with the D-pad left/right, then aim it at something to use with. You’ll see a border around the object you can use it with, such as yellow hooks. Now press FIRE (right trigger) to place the hook.
You’re now attached and dangling. Press FIRE again (left trigger) and you’ll move upwards. But even if you press the right trigger, you’ll also move upwards. So how the hell to we DESCEND safely?
It’s the B button. Go figure.
Press the A button to release yourself from the hook, potentially falling several thousand miles to your certain death. You can swing before doing this to land safely on a ledge.
You can duck down and sneak around using the oft forgotten Z Button. That’s the third trigger button (the purple one on the top right). Press it again to stand up.
From time to time you’ll have to use things like the lock picking device, or place a fuse. Those are all items you can browse. Sometimes just pointing at something that requires an item with bring said item up automatically if you press the A Key. It doesn’t always work though.
To pick an item in your inventory, use the left/right D-pad keys. Usually the A button uses the particular item.
The X and Y keys will go through your weapons inventory. This includes all guns, throwing knives and whatever else you find.
The only exception are items that you pick up, such as chairs and bottles. They can be carried in addition to your regular weapons and they usually break on impact.
The right trigger button fires your currently selected weapon. Some weapons (like the assault rifle) have a secondary fire mode, such as firing a grenade instead of bullets. You do that with the B button (100% unintuitive, and someone at Ubisoft should have been fired for making decision like that).
Weapons that do not have a secondary firing method (like the throwing knife) will be used as melee weapon instead when you press the B button.
Using Health Packs
You can either pick a health pack from your inventory and use it with the A button, or simply press UP on the D-pad to use one. The latter is great when you’re in the middle of a tricky situation.
How to escape the Plain Rock Asylum?
It appears that Dr. Johansson’s office is locked, and there’s no key around to open it. Clearly Dr. Johansson is extremely evil and needs to die, so we must enter that office. We can do so via the morgue: we’ll find a nurse and a doctor in here, as well as several drawers at the back. Some of those open up and can be used to jump on top of that whole arrangement.
At the very top above all those drawers full of stiffs is a breakable vent. Enter it to find a sneaky way into the good doctor’s office. Prepare for a boss fight. Then take the nurse hostage (since she’s volunteering) and lead her out of the main entrance.