Monday, April 27, 2009

Walkthrough for The Fed: Quest for the Bull Market (For Playstation 3 and Xbox 360)

By Doug Lieblich * Other Doug Lieblich Posts

Level 1: The Federal Reserve Bank: New York Branch

What was that racket? Run out of your office into the trading room. You will witness a cut-scene of The Liberal Left ransacking the building. The ghost of John Keynes will emerge informing you that The Left has captured the seven Board of Governors as hostages. Look out for his three riddles. Answer: “No, we’re not in a recession,” “What do you mean by sub-prime crisis?” and “Yes, I miss Reagan too. We all do.” The ghost will give you gold-standard armor and disappear. Open the treasure chest behind the secretary’s desk and collect $5,000 Unmarked Bills. Take the elevator to the Federal Dungeon.

Level 2: The Federal Reserve Dungeon

Jump over the flaming tar pits. You’ll encounter a Socialist Chimera. You should have your gold-standard armor equipped and thus, will be resistant to his physical attacks. Keep casting Tax-Cutter and you’ll eventually lop off one of his heads. You’ll have to move fast and finish him off with Tax-Cutter. Otherwise he’ll cast Universal Healthcare to recover completely, and then you’re back to square one. When the beast falls, you’ll get $2,000 Unmarked Bills and 190 Experience Points. You gained a Credit Level! Turn left and pick up the gargoyle fang before you exit the screen (you’ll need it to learn your ultimate attack).

Level 3: The Federal Reserve Catacombs

Look for a Fat Mummy in one of the wall niches. Throw your Tax Cutter to open the bandages and free WARREN BUFFET. He’ll give you a gargoyle fang and join your party. Warren Buffet is a Hedge Fund Knight and extremely useful against Undead Economists. His supportive spells like ‘stimulus’ can increase your Interest Rate by two points. He has high intelligence and a strong business capital. He also comes equipped with a Thunder Axe. Continue over the bridge and break open the pot for a dragon orb, 50 Experience Points, and another Credit Level. If you haven’t reached Credit Level nine by now, I strongly suggest that you backtrack to level a bit more. When you finally reach level nine you’ll learn Tax Evasion, which raises your tax evasion. This will prove invaluable in your fight against Wall Street Douchebag.

Miniboss: Wall Street Douchebag

The dialogue in this cutscene is extremely confusing because you cannot tell when Wall Street Douchebag talks to you or into his Bluetooth phone. When the battle starts, scan his portfolio. You’ll notice he’s weak to cocaine and hookers. Throw bags of nose candy at his face while Buffet seduces him with Old Man Musk. Dodge his drunk driving Mercedes attacks and try to maneuver him into the Bear Sterns building. After enough damage, he’ll try to dazzle you with his Movado watch. Rapidly press B to resist becoming envious. When he starts radioing the SEC for help, bribe him with $3000 Unmarked Bills for the coup de grace. He’ll explode in a cloud of cocaine and stock options. You’ll gain 480 Experience Points and Warren Buffet will learn Demon Rage.

Level 4 The Federal Reserve Docks

Save your game and visit the merchants along the pier. Restock on calculators and nose candy. PRO TIP: Make sure to talk to the Mysterious Fisherman. Buy the GOLDEN PARACHUTE and REAL ESTATE IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS from him. You’ll need these to achieve the good ending in the game. Kill all the pirates in town. After you defeat the captain, the Secretary of the Treasury will approach you and request that you take the Federal Reserve Airship to the next level. DECLINE the request and ignore Buffet’s objections. Instead, talk to the mob boss and he’ll offer to show you the secret warehouse. If you have enough unmarked bills, purchase the third and final gargoyle fang. You should now be able to cast Government Bailout, which revives any bank, so long as its president has donated and is a member of your party. Escape the warehouse and run north past the dwarf village.

Level 5 The Federal Reserve Forest

If Buffet complains of hunger pains, give him some birdseed to abate his nagging. Now that you have all three gargoyle fangs try casting Government Bailout during your next battle against an angry mushroom. If you do so successfully, a dark shadow will appear, impressed with your skill. You’ll discover that it’s secret character, Henry Paulson. You’ll have to accept his challenge and defeat him if you want him in your party. Henry Paulson is a level 58 International Monetary Fund Lord—so short-selling his stocks or raising anxiety will have no effect on him. You can try summoning Jim Cramer to confuse him, but it will most likely just cause Paulson to lose a turn and confuse everybody in the battle. Make sure to return Jim Cramer to his Lamp of Insanity before his magic points are depleted. The most effective way to defeat Paulson is to throw a Conflict of Interest subpoena (you did remember to write one didn’t you?) This will paralyze Paulson, causing him to sputter incoherent statements as he rotates in place. Charge up and finish him off with Buffet’s Sexual Investment. The following cut-scene will show you why the game was rated M for Mature.

Level 6: Lehman Brothers Ruins

This area is the game’s stealth mission. Sneak through the enormous crumbling remnants of the once great Lehman Brothers tower without waking irritable investors and enraged shareholders. If one of them detects you, he’ll call his friends, pin you down, and force a credit default swap on you. If this occurs, reset the game. Your character will never be the same. Along a side path, you’ll find a wandering merchant named Charles Schwab. He’ll repeatedly offer you to “talk to Chuck.” Don’t be fooled--this is simply a reference to himself in the third person. If you’re running low on financial advice, feel free to purchase some. Otherwise, you’re better off investing your money on something practical like a new broadsword for Henry Paulson or a mount for your wyvern.

Final Level: The Federal Reserve Volcano

As you ascend to the peak to the volcano, you’ll discover a band of Latte-Sippin Lefties relaxing around a campfire with some orcs. Destroy the camp and free the Board of Governors. Wow, that seemed easy—almost too easy. While the hostages thank you profusely and shower you with stock options, the volcano erupts! Behold, you are now face to face with the Overlord behind this chaos in its true form.


Final Boss: Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac

The image of this twin-headed demon is almost too horrific to translate into words. I suppose the best description is two levitating secondary mortgage markets. As it emerges from the lava, floating over the pit, exuding magma in all directions, the beast explains its diabolical plan. Of course, it seems so obvious. As GSEs, Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac only buy within a conforming loan limit so they can repackage liquid revenue streams into the secondary market, lowering the demand for structured investment vehicles. By virtue of Gresham’s Law, then, it is harder for lenders to sell loans, thus costing more to the consumers--typically 1/4 to 1/2 of a percent—(The CDS protection rate limit is 50 percent higher in Alaska and Hawaii). However, since the demand for bonds not guaranteed by the corporations is almost non-existent, ARM loans are almost 1% to 1.5% higher than typical hyperbolic discounting margins! And the most insidious twist in their nefarious plot: even though FNMA and FHLMC are exempt from SEC filing requirements, they still voluntarily file their SEC 10-K and 10-Q forms! Yes, so simple, yet so unbearably evil. And they would’ve gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling warriors.

As you unsheathe your sword, the battle begins. This boss is a toughie. Throw a few Taxcutters at it and have Paulson issue a moratorium on commercial paper transactions. Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac will bellow a deep laugh and then summon its minion, Goldman’s Sack. Killing it is easy: just release some telecommunication assets at an overvalued rate, and watch it shrivel up and disintegrate. Now the Fanny and Freddy is left vulnerable. If you can execute a hostile takeover and have Buffet cast Glacial Vengeance, you should be able to take down the monster. The two-headed hellspawn will file Chapter Eleven Bankruptcy. From there sit back, relax, and enjoy the credits.

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