Category Archives: Methods

Step by step guides to stuff I’ve done, including tips, tricks and shortcuts

Ingress – CNY Mini-Series and Mystic @Haw Par Villa Mission Series

Back again with a new mission series less than a month after the last one. The way I use my mobile data only lets me do one major mission series a month, which suits me well XD

Anyway, I made new friends! After finally fixing all the broken links as a result from my blog split, a couple of happy Enlightened players contacted me and one of them (Andrew | floodplug) invited me to his group to do this mission series last Saturday.

I’m very honoured to receive all this recognition and appreciation. ūüôā

Before the actual mission notes, here’s a short part on the “CNY mission mini-series” my dad and I did to create a separator (Dad likes a line of six missions to separate the large pictures).

01 CNY Series

Mini-series mission notes:
– All missions are made up of four hacking waypoints in any order
– All missions are clustered in the Tampines Central Park, so it takes less than half an hour to hack everything
– You might want to prepare some multi-hacks and heat sinks, because all the portals in the are make it very tempting to farm and very confusing at the same time. Sometimes I forgot which portal I already hacked
– I suggest you only hack the portals on the missions first, then once you’re done you can go bananas

Okay it’s not actually a proper mission series. Each mission gives a picture of a Chinese character on a red background. Since I can’t read Chinese, I have no idea what each character means. Apparently there were supposed to be eight missions, so perhaps they were meant to be two sets of four-character idiom-type things. Only seven were approved, so pick any six Chinese character missions to create your separator.

02 CNY Row Complete

Now that that’s out of the way, I can dive into the Mystic @Haw Par Villa (hereafter referred to as HPV) mission series notes and report. Created by Resistance player Halette, here’s what the entire mission series looks like. It’s a Kirin! A flying dragon horse thing that’s on fire. SO MUCH BADASS! Halette might have chosen the wrong side, but she chose a really awesome picture.

03 HPV Kirin

Mission Series notes:
– Consists of 24 missions, and mostly hacking and capture/upgrade waypoints
– All mission waypoints can be completed in any order
– Mission series starts at Exit A of Haw Par Villa MRT station and ends at a Korean restaurant just across road from the starting point.
– The last two missions contain passphrase waypoints, so details on the questions and answers will be shown later.
– Even with the passphrase waypoints, we completed the whole mission series in about an hour
– I recommend you go in the morning (9am, like what we did), or in the late afternoon (5-6pm). You can’t do it at night because HPV has opening hours of 9am-7pm daily. Free entry, but I think you’ll get kicked out by the wardens if you stay beyond the opening hours. Besides, HPV contains depictions of Hell, so going in after dark would be super creepy.

04 HPV Opening Hours

SPOILER ALERT: Answers to all passphrase waypoints will be shown below. Turn back now if you don’t want to know.

So Andrew had invited to me to join him and a few other players for this mission series. I met him first at NUH Burger King for breakfast and we talked for a quite a bit. I found out he loves puns so now I have a new best friend XD

After breakfast, we headed down one stop to Haw Par Villa station and met Jwei (jwei_jwei), an Enlightened agent from the West. Two other Enlightened players Derek (ShagGamer) and Jeremy (Skulldaeron) were supposed to join us at 9am, but they were late, so the three of us set off first to claim all the unique caps we could. ūüėõ

We had a good time racing each other to capture portals and complete the mission, as well as explore Haw Par Villa. I haven’t been there since… Hmmm I do remember going once before, but I was very young. Can’t remember if it was on a school trip or one of those family and friends outings Mum used to organize.

As I mentioned in the mission notes above, the first 22 missions consisted only of hacking and capture/upgrade portal waypoints. The last two missions had some passphrase waypoints, so here are the questions and answers.

05 Mission #23

06 Passphrase #1

07 Answer #1

08 Passphrase #2

09 Answer #2

10 Passphrase #3

11 Answer #3

12 Mission #24

13 Passphrase #1

14 Answer #1

15 Passphrase #2

16 Answer #2

17 Passphrase #3

18 Answer #3

19 Passphrase #4

20 Answer #4

And when I finished it…
21 Mission Complete

At about mission #5, there was a section of HPV that was roped off and we thought we’d have to climb over to ropes to get to the next waypoint. I was like, we’re going to hell for this – oh wait, we’re already here!

We had quite a few hilarious moments, like when Andrew said “Ingress: taking you to interesting places only for you to stare at your phone”. Then after the mission when we went to have lunch/brunch at Vivo, all of us were staring at our mobiles hacking whatever portals we happened to drift over and I said “Ingress: Making people be anti-social together!”

I finally met Derek while he was on mission #7 and I was doing #18, so note the overlap of waypoints. I also met Jeremy only after we finished the whole mission. We took a group picture together with the Haw Par Villa sign.

22 Group Pic (Original)
Left to right: Me, Derek, Jwei, Jeremy and Andrew

I sent the original to the Telegram group, and I got “scolded” because the picture wasn’t sharp. I said I was a writer, not a photographer, so John (FortMax) edited it for me.

23 Group Pic (Edited)

-Jace

Ingress – Gardens by the Bay Mission Series

After more than two months since our last mission series, we finally completed another one: Gardens by the Bay by Sharkzy!

01 GBTB Complete Pic

We did this series with two new Ingress friends: husband and wife couple Ann and Jen¬†Hwa. They’re almost our neighbours, we only live a few blocks apart.

Mission Series notes:
– All 24 missions are in Gardens by the Bay area, and waypoints can be completed in any order
– The order to complete the missions is to follow the alphabet of the missions. Start with “Assemble in GBTB”, followed by “Balance in GBTB” and so on, until you hit “Yearn in GBTB”
– The letters “X” and “Z” aren’t used in these missions, so don’t look for them
– I recommend you start from Bayfront MRT and walk in. We parked below and so when we came up, we had to backtrack quite a bit before we completed the first mission.
– The whole series takes about three hours to complete on foot. We took three and a half hours (7.30pm to 11pm) because we stopped halfway for prata
– Most of the missions consists of hacking waypoints and an average one passphrase waypoint per mission. Two exceptions: the “Kiss in GBTB” mission contains TWO passphrases, while the last mission (“Yearn in GBTB”) only has hacking waypoints.
– All the passphrase waypoints are questions related to the layout of the Ingress tabs and in game actions. Very easy to figure out.
– When you reach a passphrase waypoint, DO NOT HACK IT FIRST. Some of the missions overlap portals, so do prep Multi-Hacks and Heat Sinks in case you make mistakes

As we drove in, I managed to snag a picture of the GBTB sign. I thought it wouldn’t come out nicely since we were moving, but it came out well.

02 GBTB Entrance Sign

I came loaded with water and my charger pack and I was so efficient that I managed to complete two Carousell deals at Raffles MRT before we started. Go me. Anyway, we took a group shot before we started.

Most of the missions were uneventful, so I’ll just post the screenshots. Since there was no order to the waypoints, I soon realised that it was futile to take the mission map screenshots. Instead, I took screenshots of the passphrase questions and answers.

SPOILER ALERT: THIS IS A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THIS MISSION SERIES. ALL ANSWERS TO THE PASSPHRASE QUESTIONS WILL BE PROVIDED.

Assemble in GBTB
04 Passphrase A1

05 Passphrase A2

Balance in GBTB
06 Passphrase B1

07 Passphrase B2

Cultivate in GBTB
08 Passphrase C1

09 Passphrase C2

Discover in GBTB
10 Passphrase D1

11 Passphrase D2

Exercise in GBTB
12 Passphrase E1

13 Passphrase E2

Fashion in GBTB
14 Passphrase F1

15 Passphrase F2

First Row Complete
16 GBTB One Row of Six

Glitter in GBTB
17 Passphrase G1

18 Passphrase G2

Hibernate in GBTB
19 Passphrase H1

20 Passphrase H2

Illuminate in GBTB
21 Passphrase I1

22 Passphrase I2

Joy in GBTB
23 Passphrase J1

24 Passphrase J2

Kiss in GBTB
Take note that in this mission, there are TWO (2) passphrases and that the last passphrase portal is the first portal of the next mission so DON’T HACK IT FIRST.

25 Passphrase K (Double passphrase)

26 Passphrase K1

27 Passphrase K2

28 Passphrase K3

29 Passphrase K4

Learn in GBTB
30 Passphrase L1

31 Passphrase L2

Two Rows Complete
32 GBTB Two Rows of Six

Move in GBTB
33 Passphrase M1

34 Passphrase M2

Navigate in GBTB
35 Passphrase N1

36 Passphrase N2

Orchestrate in GBTB
38 Passphrase O2

37 Passphrase O1

Photograph in GBTB
39 Passphrase P1

40 Passphrase P2

Quest in GBTB
42 Passphrase Q2

41 Passphrase Q1

Revitalise in GBTB
43 Passphrase R1

44 Passphrase R2

Third Row Complete
45 GBTB Three Rows of Six

Sleep in GBTB
46 Passphrase S1

47 Passphrase S2

Transform in GBTB
48 Passphrase T1

49 Passphrase T2

After this mission, we decided to have a break. There was a 24 hour hawker centre that reminded me of the one at East Coast Park. We had prata and decided to take a group picture while we ate.

I didn’t take a very good photo…

50 Group Pic (Prata Break)

Unite in GBTB
51 Passphrase U1

52 Passphrase U2

Visualize in GBTB
53 Passphrase V1

54 Passphrase V2

Wanderlust in GBTB
55 Passphrase W1

56 Passphrase W2

Whole GBTB Picture Complete!
57 GBTB Four Rows of Six

After we finished, we took another group picture. Man, were we tired!
58 Group Pic (After)

-Jace

Ingress – You Mad Bro? Mission Series

Fourth mission series! This brings my total missions up to 95, so I’ll definitely get the Gold Spec Ops badge once we complete the fifth mission series. Created by Enlightened agent MelvinChen, this series was set in Toa Payoh and was actually pretty fun and funny.

The whole image is made up of 18 missions in two 3×3 blocks. One block forms a troll face and the other forms the internet meme catchphrase ‘You Mad Bro?’.

01 You Mad Bro Complete

Mission Series notes:
– All missions are around Toa Payoh Central and Toa Payoh Sensory Park
– Mostly Hacking but there are several Capture/Upgrade Portals, Create Links, Create Fields, Passphrases, and at least one Install Mod
– All mission waypoints have to be completed in sequence
– Two missions are Hidden Waypoints with Passphrases
– Passphrases and answers to the clues to find the hidden portals are included in the guide
– Took Dad and I three and a half hours to complete, mostly on foot
– There are lots of repeated portals, so start the next mission before you hack a non-mission portal, and make sure you don’t fully upgrade or mod any portals until you finish the whole series
– Prep MultiHacks, Heat Sinks and Jarvis/ADA viruses in case you mess up (I had to use two ADAs myself and a few multi hacks)
– There are two ‘O’ missions (for the O in ‘YOU’ and ‘BRO’). Doesn’t matter which one you do first, but I recommend following the order we did
– I also recommend going with only one or two other people, since it’ll be easier take down enemy portals and you won’t have to fight so much over linking or deploying mods

SPOILER ALERT: THIS IS A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THIS MISSION SERIES. ALL ANSWERS TO THE PASSPHRASE QUESTIONS AND NEXT WAYPOINT CLUES WILL BE PROVIDED.

We completed the whole thing on Saturday night (2nd May), starting from 10.30pm and finishing at 2am. We started out driving, then walked when we met a portal that we couldn’t access from the road (the B mission), then it rained and slowed us down. Averaging out all the time taken and I think you should take around the same time we did if you go completely on foot.

The first six missions were really easy. Just hack-in-sequence waypoints.

02 O Mission
‘O’ Mission Map

03 R Mission
‘R’ Mission Map

We started off driving to complete the first two missions, but when we hit the third mission, we realized we’d have to get out of the car, so Dad parked at the car park beside the Toa Payoh interchange.

04 B Mission
‘B’ Mission Map

At this mission, we had some problems because the portals were under shelter and we took some time to drift over to the right ones. I think MelvinChen purposely chose this location to make it difficult for us (i.e. trolling XD).

Important Note!
Do NOT install any mods on the TP Giant Coin portal in the ‘B’ mission. You’ll need to install a mod on it later for the first part of the middle face section, just after the ‘M’ mission.

Anyway, after that, Dad and I continued on with the bottom of the troll face. Pretty straightforward and much easier since the portals were all out in the open.

05 Face Bottom Right
Bottom of Face Mission #1 Map

06 Face Bottom Middle
Bottom of Face Mission #2 Map

07 Face Bottom Left
Bottom of Face Mission #3 Map

So that took us down and then back up around Toa Payoh Interchange and I took a screenshot of our progress.

08 Bottom Row Complete

We moved up to the Toa Payoh Library for the next three missions, ‘D’, ‘A’ and then ‘M’.

09 D Mission
‘D’ Mission Map

10 A Mission
‘A’ Mission Map

11 M Mission
‘M’ Mission Map

For the ‘A’ Mission, there’s no need to cross the road for the first two portals. You can reach the second portal from the Library side before turning southward to the last two portals. You do have to cross Toa Payoh Central for the ‘M’ mission though, but you don’t need to cross Lor 4 Toa Payoh.

Now, the missions get tricky. The Face Middle Mission #1 is the first mission I’ve encountered to have hidden waypoints. Luckily, all the clues were very easy to workout or Google. At this point, it would’ve been a good idea to head back to the car for a drink of water before continuing on. But ah well, hindsight.

12 Face Middle Right
Middle of Face #1 Mission Map

So yeah. That’s all they showed for the hidden waypoint missions. This was a Capture/Upgrade portal waypoint, which we passed easily. The next waypoint was the clue: “Biggest Coin in Toa Payoh”. If you tap on the nearby portals, you’ll find one named TP Giant Coin, slightly westward. Once you get into range, it’ll tell you to install a mod.

13 Clue - Biggest Coin

This was the problematic portal because it was under shelter. I had to drift to ADA it because I’d maxed out mod spaces, then we had to take it down, then drift over it again to plant a mod. Sigh. That ate up a lot of time. This should totally have been a mission on it’s own.

Thanks a lot MelvinChen

After we completed walking around and waving our phones in the air installing the mod, the next clue was: “Top transport service that will break down now and then”. I couldn’t help but snigger; it was obvious this was the MRT, so I tapped around for the Toa Payoh station portal, which turned out to be northward.

14 Clue - Top Transport Service

Once we reached the TP Station portal, a passphrase popped up. The clue was: “In what year did the squatters start to move out?”

15 TP Station Passphrase

It was an easy Google search for “toa payoh squatters move out” and I found the answer in the first hit. On the Wikipedia page in the History section, it says that the squatters started moving out in 1962.

We typed that in and passed. The clue to the next portal was: “Tree that fell in 2013”. I started Googling for it, but before the results came back, Dad had already found a nearby portal and guessed it.

16 Clue - Fallen Tree

The portal is Banyan Tree and it’s northeast of the TP Station portal. I think it’s the unclaimed portal in the screenshot above. When we reached it, this passphrase popped up: “In which yeah did Queen Elizabeth II first visit Toa Payoh?”

17 Fallen Tree Passphrase

Again, I flipped to Google and again, before the results came back, Dad had figured it out by guessing. The answer is 1972, and I found it in the second result. And just like that, we completed the mission.

The next mission also is a hidden waypoints mission, with the first waypoint being a Capture/Upgrade Portal as well.

18 Face Middle Middle
Middle of Face #2 Mission Map

After we completed that waypoint, the clue was so straightforward that it was an actual instruction: “Travel North East 55 Degrees”. Small note here: Cross Toa Payoh Central road northward when you finish this waypoint. The next portals are all on that side of the road.

19 Clue - Travel Northeast

There was only one portal North East and close by: Sun Floor Mural. In the screenshot above, the Sun Floor Mural is the portal near the COMM tab. We moved down a bit, without crossing the road, and this passphrase clue popped up: “How do you write Toa Payoh in Malay?”

20 Sun Floor Mural Passphrase

Now this was the best troll waypoint ever. Toa Payoh in Malay is Toa Payoh. I had no idea and didn’t even think to guess that before turning to Google. I hadn’t even loaded up the screen yet when my Dad guessed it successfully. In my defence, I was busy taking screenshots and making notes of the mission. Since he’d already put in “Toa Payoh”, I put in “toapayoh” to check for case sensitivity and whether the space matters.

It doesn’t. My answer was accepted and the next clue appeared on screen: “Also a mural, but it’s not a Sun”.

21 Clue - Also a Mural

See the only blue portal in the picture? That’s the portal you need to go to. It’s called Flower Mural. Now you know why I told you to cross the road first. And the passphrase clue for Flower Mural is: “Name the TV show on Toa Payoh”.

22 Flower Mural Passphrase

Hah! Finally something Daddy couldn’t guess. I Googled it and found the answer in the second hit: Home in Toa Payoh. Actually, the answer was also in the Toa Payoh Wiki, but I tapped on the second one first.

The clue for the next portal was last of the hidden waypoints for this mission series and also the most obscure: “It’s near a MSCP”. I was about to Google “MSCP” when my genius Dad kicked my butt in the guessing game again: MSCP stands for Multi-Storey Car Park. Looking around, we saw the MSCP and headed to the portal nearest to it: Birds on a Grill.

23 Clue - Near MSCP

The passphrase clue that showed was: “Who is the Minister for Toa Payoh?”

24 Birds on a Grill Passphrase

Now, the accepted answer is Dr Ng Eng Hen, but we tripped up a bit here. When I Googled for the answer, I misspelled his name, adding a “g” at the end, so it was wrong. Dad and I puzzled over this for a while, but finally figured out my careless mistake.

I’m concerned: What if this changes? Is there a way to alter the waypoint clue? Also, I’m not sure if “Dr” is required. Can you leave it out and just put Ng Eng Hen? Can you enter “Doctor Ng Eng Hen” instead? Someone try and let me know, thanks!

Finally, back to normal missions!

25 Face Middle Left
Middle of Face #3 Mission Map

I was quite happy to find this complete map. But this one is not just hacking! Here’s what you need to do:

26 Face Middle Left Waypoints

Do note that when you create a field, you must stand on the stated portal and close a field from there. My dad had the same keys I did but there was only one field available, so I let him close that while I jogged to collect keys and create another field. Simple enough. Once we finished that, I took a screenshot of our two complete rows.

27 Two Rows Complete

I saw that the ‘U’ mission was back at the Sensory Park, so I suggested that we head back to the car, have a drink of water (man, we were parched), and drive over, so that’s what we did. Also, it had just started drizzling and we were hoping to complete the rest of the missions by car. I didn’t want to have to go home with only two rows and have to come back again another day.

28 U Mission
‘U’ Mission Map

29 O Mission
‘O’ Mission Map

30 Y Mission
‘Y’ Mission Map

The ‘U’, ‘O’ and ‘Y’ missions were all back to hack-in-sequence waypoints, so we cleared those quickly. Or, at least, as quickly as the rain would allow. The rain became really heavy just before mission ‘Y’, so Dad parked at the start of ‘Y’ and we took umbrellas out of the car.

It was a nightmare completing the last three missions under our umbrellas, but the rain didn’t dampen our spirits, only our pants and shoes. Besides, it was just three more missions and like I said, I really didn’t want to go home without completing the series.

31 Face Top Right
Top of Face #1 Mission Map

32 Face Top Right Waypoints

This mission was a harder one, starting with a Capture/Upgrade portal waypoint that my Dad and I had already fully upgraded and modded. I had to use my second ADA virus to recapture the portal and complete the waypoint. The second portal was shooting a link, so since we had a bunch of keys, we passed this waypoint easily. And the last two were normal hacks.

33 Face Top Middle
Top of Face #2 Mission Map

All hack-in-sequence. No trouble. Do note that the third portal is in between the first two, so focus on hacking in sequence, otherwise you might be stuck there for five minutes. That would be okay if you had a heat sink or it doesn’t rain, but we didn’t have that luxury. Luckily I snapped a screenshot before we hacked the first portal so I was able to warn my Dad.

34 Face Top Left
Top of Face #3 Mission Map

35 Face Top Left Waypoints

Last mission! This was pretty okay. We had shelter for the first portal, but the rain got a little lighter so we didn’t have much trouble hitting the middle two waypoints. Since they were Resistance portals, we were able to take them down and clear the waypoints easily. Install Mod and Create Link respectively.

The last waypoint of the mission was past the car, but I noticed it was by the roadside, so we headed back to the car and then Dad drove us to the portal. Since it was near 2am, there was hardly any traffic and we were able to stop by the road side for a few minutes to upgrade the portal.

36 Three Rows Complete

And we’re done! Now might be a good point to let you know that there’s a 24hr MacDonald’s near the library, so once you’re done, you can pop in for a midnight snack. It was still surprisingly crowded at 1.30am.

Overall, I think this was a pretty good mission series and heck of a lot easier than the first three series we did. It had just the right amount of complexity, humour and required time to complete. We didn’t have to drive so far like we did for Uniquely Singapore, nor do it over several days like the Land missions, nor even walk 15km for Perdition’s Road.

Very satisfying indeed. Although the shelter at the TP Giant Coin was very annoying.

You Mad Bro?

-Jace

Ingress – Perdition’s Road Mission Series

So, another mission series by FortMax, although this time all the missions were in Seng Kang area. This is a series of 18 missions, forming a pretty nice image of the Ingress logo with the Resistance and Enlightened symbols on either side.

01 Perdition's Road Complete

Mission Series Notes:
– All missions contain a series of 4 Hack Portal waypoints
– All waypoints have to be hacked in sequence
– Takes more than 6 hours to complete on foot, so do it in batches, or use a bike/skates, or a car, like we ended up doing in the end.
– Always, ALWAYS start the next mission before hacking any portal that’s not part of the current mission you’re doing. See below for details.
– There are two major breaks, between Chapters 5-6 and Chapters 11-12

22 Mar 2015 – Chapters 1-3
We started this mission series immediately after the Land of Series, hoping to complete at least a row of six before we went back. But, as mentioned in the last post, we got rained out. Managed to push through the first three chapters before we were thoroughly drenched.

These three chapters weren’t much of a problem. The first chapter was a lot farther south from the end of the Land of Water mission (and our car) than I’d estimated, so it was a quite a walk to get there. However, the end of each mission was pretty close to the start of its subsequent mission, so it was easy to brave the rain and continue once we started. The third chapter ended closer to our car than if we were to finish the fourth, so we stopped for the day and went home for dinner.

02 Perdition's Road Chapter 1
Chapter 1

03 Perdition's Road Chapter 2
Chapter 2

04 Perdition's Road Chapter 3
Chapter 3

4 Apr 2015 – Chapters 4-18
And we’re back, two weeks later, to complete this mission series. Did this over Saturday night/Sunday morning, starting at around 9.45pm. Dad parked the car and we were off to Chapter 4. Here’s a warning though: Chapters 4 and 5 are VERY close. Literally one portal away. Take a look at the maps.

05 Perdition's Road Chapter 4
Chapter 4

06 Perdition's Road Chapter 5
Chapter 5

See, the end of Chapter 4 is less than 40m from the starting portal of Chapter 5. Dad and I made the same mistake of hacking said portal before we started Chapter 5, meaning we had to stand around for five minutes before we could hack again to satisfy the mission waypoint. We didn’t want to take it down because we felt it took too much time. The point was to complete the missions as fast as possible, so we only took down low level portals that had little to no shielding.

Take note that there’s a huge break between Chapters 5 and 6, and Chapter 6 itself contains portals that are quite spread out. It looks decent on the map, but if you look closely, you’ll notice that the map is quite zoomed out.

07 Perdition's Road Chapter 6
Chapter 6

08 Chapter 1-6 Complete
Decided to take a screenshot of the first 6 chapters completed.

We slowed down at Chapter 7 because there were quite a few clusters of portals we could take down and link together. At the end of that mission, we sat on a ledge that allowed us to reach three L8 blue portals and were happily glyph hacking. We decided to take down all three, since we were already sitting down and each blast could hit three portals.

09 Perdition's Road Chapter 7
Chapter 7

The Resistance are really fast. Within minutes of our attacks, three enemy agents (ahzpek, ecchua and diamana) appeared to reinforce the portals we were attacking. I guess they were alerted to our presence when we were hitting the small clusters before reaching the three L8 portals. I continued attacking a bit more before I realized we were outnumbered. Dad and I said our hellos and goodbyes and continued on our way.

We completed Chapters 8-11 without incident, then realized we were turning northwards, back towards our car, starting from Chapter 11. I thought the whole series would make a circuit, but it didn’t.

10 Perdition's Road Chapter 8
Chapter 8

11 Perdition's Road Chapter 9
Chapter 9

12 Perdition's Road Chapter 10
Chapter 10

13 Perdition's Road Chapter 11
Chapter 11

Chapter 12 was 1.2km away from the end of Chapter 11, which was mildly annoying. It was a little past midnight, so there was little traffic, which was nice. Chapter 12 was a very weird mission. Take a look at the map.

14 Perdition's Road Chapter 12
Chapter 12

First, it was in a U-shape. The other missions were all more or less in one direction. This mission was also the most ulu. We walked into semi-detached-like houses, but there was very little light. No street lamps at all. It’s a good thing there were two of us; I don’t think I would have entered alone. Remember that it was way past 12 midnight and especially eerie.

15 Perdition's Road Chapter 1-12
After we completed it, I took another screenshot. It was nice to see the whole image slowly developing, like watching IE buffer a large image. Heh.

Okay here are a few important notes for Chapter 13. Remember I said to be careful of hacking random portals lest you make the same mistake my Dad and I did for Chapter 4-5? Well, Chapter 13 is weird in that you will walk past the second portal to hit the first. Since it’s a sequence mission, if you don’t look at the map, you’ll naturally want to hack that portal since it’s on the way.

16 Perdition's Road Chapter 13
Chapter 13

When you move from the end of Chapter 12 to the start of 13, you’ll need to actually go into IMH area. I don’t know how to describe it. Just look and follow your game map. Last thing to note is that once you get portal waypoints 1 and 2, turn back out the way you came in. Dad and I continued walking inwards, making a bee line for the third waypoint, but we were blocked by a gate. Apparently, it isn’t open at night.

17 Perdition's Road Chapter 14
Chapter 14

After we completed Chapter 14, we decided to head back to the car because it was about 1.30am and we were tired. Bought a 100+ on the way back from a 7-Eleven, which was the most refreshing thing ever. We got back to the car and completed the last four missions. Luckily, they were all easily accessed from the car. There was only one portal that we had to hop out to get in Chapter 15, but that took all of two minutes and there were no other cars on the street.

18 Perdition's Road Chapter 15
Chapter 15

19 Perdition's Road Chapter 16
Chapter 16

20 Perdition's Road Chapter 17
Chapter 17

Chapters 16 and 17 were both around a HDB area, so it was easy to just drive at the parking lot area to get all the portals.

21 Perdition's Road Chapter 18
Chapter 18

Chapter 18 made us end up at Jalan Kayu area, waaayyyy further than where Dad had parked the car. Imagine if we had decide to walk the whole thing. I think we’d have gotten back to the car at around 5am. The end of the whole mission also proved to be nostalgic for my Dad, because that area was where he’d first lived with my mum.

-Jace

Ingress – Land of … Mission Series

This was the second mission series I’ve done, which was created by Yi Hong (chikidi28). As I understand it, he took inspiration from Naruto. I’m not a Naruto fan, so I don’t understand the reference, but the missions do form a nice row of six badges. There’s no particular sequence to the mission series, so the missions can be completed in any way you want to (cue song from Journey XD).

After the 8-hour Uniquely Singapore mission series (which took twice as long as previously estimated), Dad decided to split these six missions into several different trips over a few days, so that we could spend more time collecting unique hacks and captures, as well as¬†smashing smurf portals. I decided to write each mission as we did it, so here’s our experience in chronological order. Mission notes are at the start of each mission log.

15 Feb 2015 – Land of Iron
Mission Notes:
– This mission consists of hacking eight portals in any order. That’s it.
– All portals are around Raffles MRT.
– The portals are in a circuit, so it doesn’t matter where you start. (Exit E is a good start point IMO)
– Can be done in 10-15 minutes; 5 mins if you just blow through.

My dad (Crossbow88) and I did this mission with Joel (xhans). Dad had printed out a map of the area and divided it into several sections. We started by hacking, smashing and capturing portals around Raffles area first (each one of us taking a different sector), before moving in to actually do the mission. The point was so kinda mark out which areas we’d already captured and to give each player and equal chance to capture portals, so as to not step on one another’s toes. Dad also designated the actual mission area to be no-man’s-land, where the portals were available for any of us to take.

I spent more time glyph hacking and doing max value captures in my sector (self flipping Resonators L1 through L8, deploying two mods per portal and creating stacked fields), so I only managed to capture about ten or so new portals before heading off to do the mission. Also, when I started, I smashed portals and built them up only to Level 4 so that I could farm Level 4 resonators. This made me slower than the other two, even though Dad dropped me off first.

22 Feb 2015 – Land of Earth and Land of Wind
Mission Notes:
– Land of Earth is at Bukit Batok. You can start at the MRT, like we did. It takes about 30-40mins if you go fast.
– Land of Earth requires a few capturing/upgrading portal waypoints, so note those.
– Land of Wind is at Buona Vista. This mission is more of a circuit, but it’s a very long walk. Took us more than an hour, but then again we were capturing and fielding.
– Land of Wind portals were all hacking waypoints (I think) except one visiting waypoint and one capture/upgrade portal waypoint.
– Both missions can be completed in any order.

Dad and I did these mission with Joel again and Bukit Batok turned out to be a mission of medium difficulty. Dad parked at the public carpark opposite the MRT station and we started from there after a quick toilet break and picture.

01 Joel, Daddy and I at Bukit Batok MRT

Although we started at Bukit Batok MRT station, it wasn’t a perfect route. There were a few portals on the west side of the station, not too far, that we snagged before moving eastwards. There was at least one capture/upgrade waypoint there. I was faster than the other two, so I snapped up most (if not all) of the unclaimed portals. Ended up netting 19 new unique captures over this whole mission.

There were more portals on the east side of the station they were spread further apart, that was a bit of a walk. Since the whole place was mostly green (meaning few unique captures), Dad had decided to blitz this mission and focus on the Land of Wind mission in Buona Vista, which was mostly blue.

The Land of Earth mission ended somewhere at Bukit Batok East CC about 40mins later, then Joel spotted a cluster of uncaptured portals on a hill near the Church of St Mary of the Angels. We raced to capture them and I stole about seven from him, while he only got two XD Because of our detour, we were late back to the car, so we had less time for smashing and capturing portals in Buona Vista and the Land of Wind mission.

Like I mentioned in the notes above, the Land of Wind mission is more or less a circuit, so if you start from Buona Vista MRT, it doesn’t matter which way you go, you should end up near the station again. I recommend spending some time fielding, as there’s a really nice cluster of portals at the south corner of The Star Vista (the shopping mall beside BV MRT station) where you can just sit by the fountain and reach all four, forming a very easy stack. Those portals are part of the mission anyway, and if you want to extend it to a third stack (which you should), the next nearest waypoint portal is a perfect extension point.

If you want to spend time capturing portals, I suggest you start from Buona Vista MRT and go anti-clockwise, capture the easy stack I mentioned, then spend the rest of your time taking portals at the Biopolis area. On a Sunday, it’s nice and quiet with nobody there to disturb you at all and not much traffic to look out for. More importantly, it’s very densely populated with portals for the taking. Make sure you’re fully stocked on items, or farm the area before smashing.

6 Mar 2015 – Land of Fire
Mission Notes:
– All waypoints are in Tampines area and they can be completed in any order.
– 10+ portals, all either hacking waypoints or capture/upgrade portal waypoints
– The portals are all spread out pretty far apart from one another, so some form of transport is recommended. You will literally travel almost the whole of Tampines.
– If you go with more than three people, prepare ADA/Jarvis viruses; some capture/upgrade portals are nearly Level 8

My dad and I did this mission together, just the two of us. Since most of the portals were spread pretty far apart, we couldn’t just park somewhere and walk, so I directed him to portal after portal. My dad drove and we were able to hit most of the portals without getting out of the car. For the portals that weren’t accessible from the car, there were parking spots nearby, so we could just pop out, hack and flip the portal, then move on.

Almost all the portals that we hit were green, so we didn’t need to spend time attacking and capturing. Rather, we took the time to flip each other’s resonators, so that we could increase our resonator deploy count, gain 65AP per deployment and reduce our inventory. We kept glyph hacking, so our inventory kept refilling itself.

Glpyh hacking really presents a happy problem. The more you hack, the more you want to play to use up your inventory. But the more you play, the more you’re tempted to glyph hack. Repeat ad infinitum. It’s a good way to keep us all playing Ingress.

Very clever, Niantic. Very clever.

Anyway, there was one portal that required a capture or upgrade and it was a Level 7 portal with two R7s and six R8s, just enough for my dad and I to deploy R8s and clear the waypoint. If we had one more person, we’d have needed to ADA the portal, which would have been a perfectly good waste of a fully modded and well linked EP8. So if you want to complete this mission, do take note of these sort of portals, especially if you’re on the right side Enlightened side, because the Enlightened agents¬†in Tampines are very active and organized. It’s probably best to go alone, or with two others at most.

Even with a car, we took about an hour plus to finish the entire mission, including the time we took to glyph hack and flip resonators.

15 Mar 2015 – Land of Lightning
Mission Notes:
– All waypoints are in Yishun area around Yishun MRT and they can be completed in any order.
– 15 portals, mostly hacking waypoints but at least 5 are capture/upgrade portal waypoints
– If you arrive by MRT, finish the west side portals (Portals 1-13-12-15, see Mission Map below) before crossing to portal 14 and working your way back up to Yishun MRT station. This way it forms a circuit.
– The original Yishun bus interchange is closed for now because of a new condo being built I think, so you might have to sneak in somehow to get a few of the portals (Portals 9-10-11)
– Takes about 1.5 hours on foot, some form of light transport (bike, skates) is recommended
– The northern portals are a little annoying because there’s a lot of human traffic, but once you go south of Portal 9, the number of people reduces drastically because it’s mostly park areas.

It was just Dad and I again for this mission. We’d intended to finish off this mission and the last one at Seng Kang in one shot without smashing and capturing any smurf portals, because Yishun was mostly green and also because the next mission series we’re gonna do (Perdition’s Road) is at Seng Kang. Unfortunately, we ran into some problems with this mission.

At the second last portal we hit (Rain Garden) my dad’s GPS went haywire, making him jump everywhere but on top of the portal we needed. This was a capture/upgrade waypoint, so even if he did manage to drift within range, there was no guarantee that he’d stay long enough to upgrade one of my resonators. In the end, he skipped the portal, saying that he’d come back another day and finish it, which he did a few days later with no problems. Weird.

I had no problems at all, but we ended up spending half an hour there, with me capturing and farming the nearby portals. I netted 25 unique captures with this mission XD

Dad’s device is a Samsung. I forget which model, but as far as I’m concerned, Samsung is the Apple of the Android world. Also, while I was doing research on which smartphone to get, a friend of my told me she’d been having problems with Samsung devices, so that immediately raised a huge red flag for me. (Aside: Huh. I was looking for a post I did which explained why I chose to buy the Sony Z1 over anything else, but I realised I never actually wrote one.)

Anyway, let’s forget about electronic devices; this post is about missions!

This mission was a great opportunity to use Niantic’s new Mission Map feature. This is what it looks like:
02 Land of Lightning Mission Overview

The waypoints can be completed in any order, so the numbers are just the portal positions. Dad and I completed it top down, starting with Portal 4, moving down to Portal 15 before walking to Portal 14 (the one where Dad had GPS problems) and finally ending with Portal 7. The distance between Portals 14 and 15 was about 1km. Thanks, Yi Hong, I got my weekly route march in with this mission.

So yeah, the distance is quite long, so use a bike or skates. Best not to do it in the day time like we did, because of the heat and also because the brightness of the sun increases the need for a bright screen, thus draining a lot of power and you risk overheating your device.

22 Mar 2015 – Land of Water
Mission Notes:
– All waypoints in the Seng Kang area, not around Seng Kang MRT, but within walking distance
– Three Capture/Upgrade, One Visit and the rest are Hack waypoints and can be completed in any order
– Finished it in just under an hour. Didn’t really blitz this, but we also didn’t stop often. Most of the waypoints can be completed without breaking stride.
– SengKang MRT is just south of waypoints, 2, 3 and 4.

Mission Overview
03 Land of Water Mission Overview

This was a pretty quick mission, I felt, since we didn’t stop much. We’d decided not to focus on smashing and capturing and instead concentrate on the mission itself. We only took portals that were easy to destroy and I netted 46 new captures, I think. I only kept dropping R1s, R4s, R5s and R6s because I had a surplus of those and never bothered to fully deploy a portal. I let my dad do that then just linked whatever I could.

We parked at a multi-storey carpark beside Compassvale Primary (somewhere between Portals 10 and 12), then started the mission. We hit waypoints 12-11-13-10, then moved to portal 4 and completed the rest in a clockwise direction. Note that the northernmost three portals are in a cluster of other portals, so you might want to spend some time capturing and/or linking up the place.

After we finished, we started on the Perdition’s Road mission series. Moving on immediately to this series was why we hadn’t¬†focused on smashing and capturing. And¬†just two missions in, we were trapped by the heavy rain.

Very apt, seeing as we just completed Land of Water. By the time we got back to the car after completing the third mission, we were drenched and our shoes were soaked.

Thanks a lot, chikidi28.

And here’s what the whole series looks like.

04 Mission Complete

-Jace

CC

THIS IS MY 200TH POST!!!

Hot damn, I’ve actually physically written 200 posts, including this one. So I probably should talk about what I’ve done since last year. Hmm…

Well, I’m quite happy that this blog is still very much alive and will continue to be, at least til I reach another major change in my life schedule. It’s still and will be filled with whatever I feel like writing. I think dropping down to three posts a week is a lot more manageable, although I have run out of buffer posts for lazy days XD At the point of writing this, it’s literally the last post I’ve written (am writing? will have written? I’m always¬†confused about which tense to use :P), although I do have a lot more topics in draft mode.

I’ve found that personal recounts have been the easiest things to write. Like, duh, I’m just writing out what I did, with a few opinions sprinkled here and there. Posts I write that have a lot of emotion behind it (rage, sadness, etc) seem to be the next easiest. It always feels like the words just flow from my fingers. I don’t really have to think much about what I want to say, just how I want to say it. Of course, I always go back and make sure it’s as diplomatic as possible before I actually release it, unless I’m aiming to insult and injure.

Reviews were pretty tiring to do, because I found it difficult to balance how much should be summary of the context, how many spoilers I should reveal and how much of the post should be my actual opinions. Critiquing something, be it a book, or a movie, or even a person, is really not up my alley.

I’ve also discovered the joys (and pains) of writing fiction. Back when I was still doing a lot of R&D on love, dating and relationships, I created a series called Through His/Her Eyes (THE) which was supposed to be story pairs about how couples I knew in real life actually got together. Well, each story isn’t a hundred percent true; I make stuff up to fill in the gaps. The point was to write something around a kernel of truth. So far, I’ve written three story pairs, but I’ve lost interest in writing them.

I also started and shelved a trilogy I was writing – The Minders Trilogy. I thought I had a cool concept that interested me enough to build a story around: superhuman mental abilities. But I sorta scrapped it, partly because I was in NS Monday to Saturday and partly because I felt it was a bit too ambitious for me. I’ll return to it in future, perhaps rewrite the whole thing, but for now, no more chapters will be coming out anytime soon. If I’m honest, the lack of appreciation for the whole project was a factor as well. I mean, no one is missing my work. There’s no incentive for me to continue. I know I started writing it just because I wanted to, but I guess some support would have been nice.

The most recent fiction project I’ve started is Birthday Stories – short stories I write in dedication to my friends’ birthdays. So far, I’ve done two – True Blue and Slice of Life. My inspiration for this project was actually drawn from three blogs I follow. Not surprisingly, all three are authors in their own right.

K. Jered Mayer, who writes Word Whiskey, actually does write birthday notes. I always enjoy his flash fiction, although he hasn’t done one since December. He’s been busy writing an actual book, As the Earth Trembles, part three in The Convergence Trilogy. He shares a lot of life experiences which are very insightful for me. But no matter what he writes, I can always count on them being nice, long, entertaining reads.

Lynette Noni, Australian author of the newly released Arkarnae, shares a lot on her life and journey as an author, as well as writing tips. She’s really funny and knows how to use memes appropriately, which always gets a laugh from me. I think it was from her that I learnt how to create a mystery; a reader should be able to jump in the middle of a story and want to keep reading. I can’t remember exactly where I read this from, but I think it was her. The closest post I could find was this one. It’s probably not the exact quote, but my takeaway was huge. I suddenly understood why I shelved the Minders Trilogy: I’d spent too much time building and establishing the world. It stagnated and even I got bored of writing it.

This lesson was very apparent when I read Angela Floratos’ snippets. She writes at My College Odyssey and this was her first snippet. I finally understood that I wasn’t supposed to spoon feed everything to my readers. If the reader just jumped into the story knowing neither head nor tail, like Angela’s snippets, then he/she is more likely to want to find out why. At least, I felt that way. This was how I needed to pique a¬†reader’s curiosity.

During my sentry duties, I have a lot time to just sit there and think. Sometimes I get cool ideas¬†that I can build around, like the sapphire that vibrates when a lie is told to it’s wearer, or the knife that heals your injuries if you cut yourself with it. These two things¬†were the basis of the birthday shorts, and were my first attempts at creating mysteries and questions, leaving the rest up to the reader’s imagination.

It was in writing these stories that I discovered that writing in third person was a lot more comfortable for me than writing in first person. I tend to use the word “I” a lot, which I’m acutely aware of even in these personal blog posts and I’m doing my best to stop sounding so selfish. Also, there are more pronouns to use in third person.

Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, the title of this post is the number 200 in roman numerals.

-Jace

Ingress – 18 Uniquely Singapore Mission Series

Last Friday night, a few Enlightened agents and I completed the 18 Uniquely Singapore missions in order. Each completed mission gives us a mission badge and, when all 18 are completed in order, the images of the badges align nicely to form a map of Singapore. This mission series was created by Enlightened player FortMax.

Here’s what it looks like, as well as all 18 locations.

01 Uniquely Singapore Mission Locations

I predict that the Ingress players who¬†read this post will want the full instructions and tips, so I’m giving it up front first. The rest of the post will be a personal recount of our experience doing all 18 missions. Here’s what you need to know if you want to do the missions yourself:

This picture is all you need. Just download it into you mobile and go play.
All the missions are at the MRT stations. If the location is underground, you’ll have to go to the surface to get the signal, which means you’ll have to tap out of the station. I don’t think there are any missions that can be completed without tapping out of the station.
Each mission consists of hacking four nearby portals, so a very efficient player shouldn’t take more than five minutes to complete them. Unless you want to glyph hack, which I highly recommend, given the new Translator badge.
If you complete them all by MRT, you’ll take about a whole day, so start early, or do it over two days.
– If you go by car, you’ll travel about 140km and take about eight hours or so.
Make sure your device is fully charged and bring at least two portable chargers or spare batteries. I started with 73% and two fully charged portables (3000mAh and 10000mAh) and I still wound up with 7% on my mobile and two completely drained chargers when I got home.
Do prepare water. Lots of water. And perhaps snacks. If you’re going by train, it might be a good idea to pack sandwiches so that you can keep moving.

I have several other mission-specific tips as well, like problem portals, but you’ll have to read the rest of the post.

We started at 11pm on Friday, 30th January. Our team consisted of my dad (Crossbow88), Yi Hong (chikidi28), Nicole (draconitas) and me (JaceTan). My dad had planned it out and estimated we would need about five hours to finish and have a snack at 4am to celebrate. I thought we would finish the missions quickly and take less time, but it turns out we took just over eight and a half hours from leaving to returning home, including our snack break at about 4.30am.

My estimation sucked. ūüė¶

Anyway, before the mission started, my dad and I decided to have a late dinner. My mobile was at 100% when we left to eat at about 8.30pm, but we did some fielding on our home ground, doing our best to use up our items and glyph hack. We both managed to get the Bronze Translator badge (200 points), but I utterly failed at using up my items. I ended up 1998 items in my inventory, even after recycling all the useless keys and weapons I had, and consuming cubes to recharge all the Enlightened portals I had keys for. As we headed to ECP to get to Raffles MRT (our first stop), I managed to glyph hack the last portal before we hit the highway, pushing me to 2008 items in my inventory.

Sigh.

We had quite a bit of fun chatting on the way there and as we neared Raffles, my dad asked us to guide him to Raffles MRT, so I looked at my Ingress map. At one traffic light, he asked if he should turn right or go straight. Our target was half right, so both ways were fine. So I said, “Both ways are fine, but turn right… there are more portals this way.” We all had a good laugh at that.

Raffles MRT area was full of Resistance portals, so I was busy releasing X6s and deploying Resonators and Mods to free up space in my inventory, which I kept refilling via glyph hacking. One of the portals was really difficult to reach because it was inside a building and our GPS kept getting messed up because of the tall buildings. We spent half an hour here walking back and forth before finally touching the last portal and finishing the mission. My dad wanted to take pictures as proof, so here’s a selfie I took at Raffles Place. I was quite reluctant to do so because I’m quite uncomfortable with selfies that I take alone.

02 Raffles Place MRT

The next stop was Dhoby Gaut MRT. We were surprised at the number of cars on the road, even thought it was past 12am. Anyway, we completed this mission relatively quickly, since dad found a public car park. We were able to spend a little more time linking and creating fields as well. I forgot to take a picture at the Dhoby Gaut MRT sign, but we were already halfway back to the car, so I took a picture with my dad at the Istana Festival Arch.

03 Dhoby Gaut Istana Festival Arch

After that, we headed off to Orchard MRT. Dad parked at the back and we went to do the mission. This one also had another annoying portal inside Ion Orchard which we could only reach by walking back and forth and catching it as our GPS corrected itself. This mission took another 30 mins. I was too annoyed to take a selfie, so I just took a picture of Ion Orchard.

04 Ion Orchard

Once we all finally managed to drift into the portal’s range, we headed off to Bishan MRT. This mission was quite simple, although one of the portals required walking all the way through Junction 8 to the bus interchange. The four portals form a very neat stack, so I recommend taking the time to hack and stack.

05 Bishan MRT

Next stop, Yishun MRT station. This mission required quite a bit of walking, but only slightly more than the Bishan mission.

06 Yishun MRT

After Yishun, I stopped taking photos because we wanted to do the missions quickly and move on, so I have no photos for Woodlands, Choa Chu Kang and Jurong East. CCK area was fun because all four portals were clustered together and all were accessible from the road. There were no cars, so dad stopped by the road side and we could all hack without getting out of the car. CCK was also completely under Resistance control, so we unleashed our weapons and consumed cubes to destroy as much as we could. It was quite satisfying to convert five portals and unload a lot of our items.

Clementi MRT was our next stop and our halfway mark. We decided to take a group photo here after we completed the mission since the lighting was relatively better than our previous stops.

07 Clementi MRT

It looks like we took a picture with the Toilet sign XD

At this point, it was a little past 4am and we were getting hungry, so we went for prata. These missions were taking twice as long as my dad had predicted; we were supposed to have ended by now, or at least nearing the end. I blame the missions in city area, where we had so much difficulty hacking the portals that were out of reach. I figured that once we started hitting the East side, we wouldn’t have much problems. I’d already done the Paya Lebar, Bedok, Tampines and Pasir Ris missions before, so I knew that they were all easily accessible. I still had to redo them in order to align them nicely.

Anyway, we soldiered on, the next stop being Tanjong Pagar. This was a quick one and we all finished quickly except dad, because we were able to hack the portals as he parked. Heh. Then we hit Bugis. I managed to snag the far portal while dad drove past, but the others didn’t so after we parked, they¬†crossed the road to do the mission. I finished up on my side then hacked and converted seven other portals while waiting for them.

We quickly finished up the next four East missions, then headed up to the northeast area. We spent a bit of time at Sengkang too, because of another unreachable portal. I kept walking back and forth through the sheltered interchange, trying to “catch” the portal when I drifted into range. Took me four attempts before I got it. We decided to take another picture at Sengkang before we left.

08 Sengkang MRT

When we left Sengkang, the sky had just begun to brighten and Hougang was bustling with activity by the time we reached it. The Hougang mission was also quite a bit of a walk, so we spent a bit of time here. We took the opportunity for a toilet break as well. I think that was my first toilet break since we started the whole mission. I really sweated out most of the water I put into myself.

Serangoon’s mission was at Nex mall and all the portals were accessible from the rooftop. Dad parked the multi-storey car park and we crossed the bridge to Nex. We kept ascending the rooftops until we found a space that allowed us to reach the last portal.

Finally! We had finished all 18 missions!!! And here’s proof:

09 18 Missions Complete

Thanks a lot, FortMax. Couldn’t have made it a nice circuit, so we wouldn’t have to drive 140km in such a weird way. -.-

I took a screenshot of my stats before and after we finished the missions, so here they are:

10 Status Before
Before

11 Status After
After

Almost 300,000 AP gained
201 Unique Hacks
11km walking distance
Deployed nearly 700 resonators
Created 69 links *snigger*
Closed 24 fields
Captured 60 portals, of which 51 were new to me
Destroyed almost 300 enemy resonators which neutralized 35 portals, taking down 71 links and 32 fields in the process
Of the 18 missions, 11 were new to me
Hacked over 330 times, netting almost 550 glyph points.

-Jace