Act 2 Plot

The plot for Act 2 was delivered throughout the course of the game via plot snippets unlocked through solving puzzles and at various fixed locations throughout the game. We've gathered all of that plot together here. Each section includes a pre-puzzle plot intro, a link to the puzzle that was delivered, and then any post-puzzle plot.

Characters

You – With an aptitude for computers, hacking, and security—and a fondness for the bright lights of the Vegas strip—you apply to work for a security company in charge of the security of Woodgrove Banks, an old and illustrious Las Vegas casino owned by the Allure Bay Entertainment Group. After being unjustly framed and shut out from any future dream job, you accept an offer by the mysterious Mark Masters to be a part of his heist team as their hacker, focusing on breaking into the logistical systems of the Allure Bay casino in the Strip via their virtual casino.

Supporting Mark and his heist team remotely, they get to the target of the heist, the Golden Chip. After getting the Chip, Mark betrays the group, leaving with the goods and leaving your group for arrest. Helping them get out and fed up with being betrayed by those above you, you become the mastermind of a counter-heist against Mark Masters to reclaim the Chip.

Mark Masters – A charismatic con man—think Danny Ocean—who's setting his sights on his next big target—the Golden Chip, held by the Allure Bay Entertainment Group in the vaults of their crown jewel and namesake, Allure Bay casino. Seeming to be a robin hood type, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, he is in fact a nefarious, take-no-prisoners mastermind, dropping his kindly façade as soon as the good are secured.

Heist Team – A random assortment of miscreants, con people, and general tricksters rounded up by Mark Masters to steal the Golden Chip from the Allure Bay Casino.

Whale A stupidly wealthy, if not somewhat dubious, individual you are tasked with helping win money in the High Roller Lounge of Allure Bay—because I guess I am being literal with stupidly. You are asked to help them directly by Mark Masters, as it seems he owes Whale. In the aftermath of Mark's betrayal, the Whale, wanting to put Mark in his place, helps you arrange the counter-heist by setting up a meeting with Mark to purchase the Chip from him.

Locations

Woodgrove Banks – A casino owned by the Allure Bay Entertainment Group. Its main market is more old school and illustrious. Think more like a Bellagio, Caesars Place, etc. Roman columns and penny slots. This is the casino focus for Act 1 and isn't directly interacted with in Act 2.

Allure Bay – The largest and most impressive casino owned by the Allure Bay Entertainment Group. It is modern, hip, and luxurious. Think the Cosmopolitan, Aria, and Linq. Allure Bay has two locations: their physical location on the Las Vegas strip where the heist of Act 2 will be taking place and a recently created virtual location, the main location for the player character and outlined further below. NOTE: the virtual Allure Bay casino (as primarily interacted with by players in the game) is NOT a stand-in for a physical casino. It is its own, in-universe location separate from, although modelled after, the physical Allure Bay location.

Virtual Allure Bay – Due to the current remote nature of the world under the global pandemic, the Allure Bay Entertainment Group set up a virtual Allure Bay casino, modelled near-exactly after the famed one on the Vegas strip. The virtual Allure Bay casino experience allows patrons to play casino games, watch Allure Bay's famous shows, and soak in the ambiance akin to their physical location, all with that renowned Allure Bay hospitality.

It has also been rumored that the virtual Allure Bay casino contains all the logistical systems (security, fire, cameras, music, etc) for the physical Allure Bay location.

Day 1

This isn't how you pictured your life going—staring at a mysterious business card of a mysterious man with a mysterious job offer. You pictured yourself starting a bustling career in logistics and security in one of the most glamorous places in the world: Las Vegas. However, that dream crashed and burned faster than a slot player's bankroll.

And now you are here.

"Mark Masters, eh?" You mumble to yourself, flipping the card over in your hand. On the back of it, a question was scrawled: "Do you want payback?" The word "pay" is underlined several times. You grimace, eyeing the stack of unpaid bills in your periphery.

Groaning, you put the business card back down on the desk and try to focus back on your computer, the screen showcasing jobs in your area. You scroll through the page, scanning the job descriptions. Hours pass and you've applied to a few positions, but nothing really catches your interest…

…except the business card.

Before you know it, you are holding your phone to your ear, listening to the sounds of ringing.

"I was wondering if you would take me up on my offer," the voice states after picking up—you assume it's this Mark Masters.

"Uh… yeah… what exactly is this offer again?"

"A spot on my team."

"Like a security team?"

"Something like that…" It's almost like you could hear a grin as he says that. "Ever heard of the Golden Chip?"

Loading...

Now recruited into a heist team, led by Mark Masters, you are tasked with getting to know your hacking heist group, before the plan gets started. You choose to get to know the team while stuck on the load up screen as you connect to the virtual Allure Bay.

The Golden Chip, as you learned soon after, is a solid gold poker chip owned by the Allure Bay Entertainment Group—your former employer. Housed in their flagship location and namesake Allure Bay Casino, the Golden Chip is worth an untold fortune.

And Mark wants to assemble a group to steal it.

When he tells you your potential cut, all you can see are dollar signs in your eyes. You feel like you would be stupid to pass it up. Also, you would just be the virtual assistance; with enough IP redirects and a VPN, it would be relatively low risk in your eyes—you've definitely done shadier activities in college. With all this in mind, you accept Mark's proposal.

A few moments later, Mark messages you a link via an encrypted messaging service.

You message Mark as you open the link:

allure bay is a website? i thought it was a real place.

They made a virtual casino experience during the recent quarantine as a way to still attract customers. They still have their physical location on the strip—that's where I will be operating. You will be primarily working in this virtual space.

why? it doesn't seem… helpful?

My intel says that in their rush to pop up the site, the virtual casino has some meaningful connections with their physical location. They still have their staff working as dealers and virtual characters.

uh… okay.

You don't quite understand the "meaningful connections" bit but aren't sure what to ask.

Trust me the intel is good. Just check it out.

With that, you see Mark's status turn to away and you click back to the tab where you first loaded the screen.

"This Allure Bay virtual casino must be popular… it's taking forever to load up," you grumble to yourself.

So you wait for it to load…

You take the time to learn about the rest of the heist team, or at least the ones that Mark mentioned in his initial discussion. They all seem to have similar stories as your own. How Mark was able to find everyone, you have no clue. But they all seem interesting and skilled in their own way, so you can't complain.

Bluprint

Mark's first task for you—construct and examine the blueprint for Allure Bay's physical location to see if there are any physical exploits they can leverage to their advantage. He suggests that you use their virtual casino as a starting point, as it is a near duplicate of the physical location.

i'm in… so what's next?

As you press send, you hear a knock at your door. You jump slightly at the noise—nobody would suspect anything shady already, right? Trying to be stealthy in your own house, you tip toe to the door.

You look through your apartment door's peephole—nothing. Exhaling, you creak open the door to find a definitely-not-sketchy-looking manila folder lying on the ground.

"This is normally where you find pictures of yourself taken from a distance," you mumble to yourself. The folder has no markings on it, nothing even indicating that you are the supposed recipient, but you can only assume that this would be Mark's handiwork. You snatch up the folder and hurry back to your desk.

Opening up the folder you find a series of papers with lines on them—a blueprint?

You look back up at your chat window where a message from Mark appears.

Had some trouble securing the proper blueprints for Allure Bay. See if you can reconstruct it and if there's anything useful for us.

"Well… time for some arts and crafts"

…you say as you put the blueprint back together. Upon examining the finished product, you notice that there is a specific opening detailed in the diagram that isn't in the virtual Allure Bay or any of their published maps. You take a photo of the diagram, circling the anomaly, and send it to Mark. As you wait for his reply, you idly think about burning the evidence.

That might be too much…

Little Birds

You are tasked in a recon/stakeout mission in the virtual Allure Bay to see what the new virtual casino holds.

It looks like there are some interesting differences between the blueprint you constructed and the virtual casino's

blueprint. Good work.

The ping from Marks snaps you out of your thoughts.

I'll have the team here take a closer look at those discrepancies. It might be our ticket in.

np. it was simple.

You don't know why you felt the need to downplay; perhaps you wanted something more from Mark. Something more difficult. You try not to think too much on it.

It's time to test other piece of my intel. Investigate the virtual casino and get more information about what it might contain and what its connection might be to its real-world counterpart.

Booting up the virtual casino, you load up your avatar for a stakeout of sorts.

After not very long—people are always chatty in public and virtual forums, the overlap of both only made it worse—you are able to find a secret back area hidden from the rest of the casino. It isn't even on the blueprint for the real Allure Bay—you had to glitch through a wall like you were speed-running a game.

The back area seems almost like a staging place—a singular room with a large bouncer avatar in front of a door.

Well, someone has a sense of humor, you think as you spy the imposing avatar. You can't walk through the avatar, nor the door it is "guarding." Activating the bouncer character results in a prompt appearing on your screen. The prompt simply states "passcode" alongside a text box, a proceed button, and a cancel button.

You halfheartedly type in 'password' and press enter.

…You are denied with some red text.

"Can't blame me for trying," you mutter to yourself as you close out of the prompt and navigate back to the main area. "I guess we go looking for a sticky note then…"

Eavesdropping on more employees reveals to you that the owner of the passcode is the pit boss in the high roller lounge.

High Roller Lounge, should be simple enough…

Casino Games Hub

After learning that all the logistical and security systems of the physical Allure Bay are held in a password protected space in the virtual Allure Bay, and that that password is held by the pit master in the High Roller room, you are seeking to gain enough money to gain entrance to that space in the virtual casino.

You've been into a high limit lounge or two in your day, but never really to do any gambling; mainly just to catch a glimpse of the fancier set up and the high values listed for the table minimums. You about want to faint thinking of how much money that would be for an hour of play.

Maybe someday… you think wistfully as you navigate your character to the High Roller Lounge in the casino. As you try to cross the threshold into the area, you notice your character bump against an invisible wall. A notice appears over your screen: "You do not meet the minimum chip requirement to proceed into this area."

You frown. You don't believe that Mark is just going to give you enough money to get into an area of a virtual casino—he already lent you a modest sum for blending in with the patrons. You are going to need to raise that capital yourself and you are going to need to do it fast.

At least I'm in a casino…

You quickly scan the area you actually have access to to see what games are available.

Slots-o-Fun

A classic of casinos everywhere, you are trying to earn money playing slots. Though, with some trickery on your part, you are looking to bypass luck and make winning a more surefire thing.

You spot slot machines. They are a classic! You can't even count the number of times you've had to code a version of a slot machine for a programming assignment. You find yourself drawn to a colorful bank of slot machines.

"Low stakes, low barrier to entry… but also fairly low payouts."

Maybe there is something you can do about that.

After examining the series of slot machines, you realize that just like your projects of yore, they are comprised of simple code and are therefore hackable. You play the newly forgiving slot machines enough to earn an ample boost to your winnings. It seems easy enough to use them to increment your winnings to a high enough amount to get into the High Roller Lounge, but with the amount you would win each time from the slots, it would also take a while. Furthermore, getting that much from just slots would seem suspicious. Time to move on to something else.

Sparc

You are trying your luck at one of Allure Bay's many unique casino games, Sparc. As an added immersion factor, Sparc includes hardware for the virtual casino goer—so you still get the fun of rolling the dice.

You decide to hunt out the table with the largest jackpot, figuring that's the best approach to make more money. Spying a game that boasts a substantial payout, you immediately click in. Your avatar connects to a table session to see some common sights—numbers on the board… chips splattered around… dice.

"Oh, this must be Craps," you remark to no one in particular. You didn't quite glance at the name before going into the game, your focus laser directed at the payout.

"This is actually Sparc," the dealer replies, not taking your remark as a rhetorical. "An innovative new dice game created by the great minds of Allure Bay."

"Sparc?"

…you inquire, to no real response this time from the dealer, who continues on with their directions on how to play. The game is fairly self-explanatory, and you participate by the book. You enjoy the feeling of real dice and rolling them into the tiny "official" rolling box you had to procure. You reckon that even with the success of virtualizing games, nothing beats the fun of the genuine article–or dice in this case.

It takes you a bit to master the right rolling…. technique, let's call it. But with the right flick of the wrist and a bit of that good old-fashioned thing called statistics, you are able to score the mega-jackpot of them all. Even with that considerable increase, you are still below the threshold to gain entry to the High Roller Lounge—and you doubt they are going to let you play Sparc again. You roll on to the next game.

Heart of the Cards

You are trying your luck at one of Allure Bay's many unique casino games, Heart of the Cards. This interesting card game has the potential to net you a lot of money.

Now, while you don't pretend to be an expert at every casino game in the world, you would like to think you have about come across all of them at this point. Which is why, while looking at all of the games, a peculiarly named game called "5 by 5's" catches your attention.

Sounds pretty simple, you ponder while dissecting the name, and it has a reasonable table minimum. I might be able to win big—or at least not lose too much trying.

You decide to give the game a shot

It took you a couple of hands to get the hang of the rules, but after a while, you are flying through the game like you have been playing it your whole life and are able to increase your bankroll by a sizeable sum. Since you approached during a lull in the game, and seeing as your dealer went offline, you opt to move on to a different money-making method.

Roulette

You try your luck to gain money by playing the classic casino game of roulette.

You now notice an iconic table image amongst the others—a roulette table. A definite and familiar way to make a good sum of cash! While roulette always struck you as a random chance, you feel like lady luck is on your side.

You join the roulette session in progress and test your theory

And oh boy, could your theory not be any more correct. The numbers that you bet on net you a nice cache of coins. You wonder if you showered in rabbit's feet this morning or something.

With this luck, I should definitely get a lotto ticket.

You bring yourself down from the high of winning so much, centering yourself on the task at hand. You are doing all this gambling for a reason, after all.

<MONEY GATE #1 HERE - Teams needed to complete a series of schemes before being able to progress.>

High Roller Room

After enough gambling, and minor scheming, you finally collect enough money to make it to the acceptable level of richness as deemed by the programmers of the virtual Allure Bay.

"Finally!" you say as you spy your avatar being allowed to pass the threshold into the virtual casino's High Roller Lounge. It's not quite the same feeling as walking into a real high limit room in person with a giant stack, but it's still an accomplishment.

You glance at your chip amount in the corner, half torn between just cashing out and trying your luck for more. Though this is all just child's play compared to the amount Mark has promised, you think to yourself. Gotta stay focused.

You still have a job to do.

Save the Whale

Now in the High Roller room, you receive a personal request from Mark Masters to help an associate of his at one of the blackjack tables in the lounge. The associate seems to be trying their best but… just doesn't know when to quit and cut their losses, so Mark wants you to give them a nudge in a more winning direction.

Your eyes gaze around the screen of the high roller lounge. "If I was a pit boss's avatar, what would I look like…" you trail off. Just as you spot a particularly glitzed up dealer avatar, you hear a ping from another page.

I have a small favor to ask before you continue your task.

It was Mark on your chat client.

yeah?

I have a business associate with a perchance for gambling who has been taken with the new virtual casino. If I'm right, he should be in the high roller area of the casino, inevitably wasting his money.

doesn't know when to cash out?

Unfortunately… It's in all of our best interests that he doesn't have a bad day. Could you check on him?

It was a weird request with a story obviously hidden behind Mark's words, but you decide not to press on it. You doubt you would get a clear answer either way.

where would he be?

He will likely be at the blackjack tables.

we all have our weak spots. i'll see what i can do.

Thank you.

You spot an avatar with what looks like plenty of extravagant add-ons attached to his avatar hovering around the blackjack table. He would be swarming with free drinks at the real deal. Connecting to his table, you hear a jovial, boisterous man talking a great deal with his dealer. From the tone of his voice, you would think we was riding a hot streak, but looking at the chip counter… ouch.

You safely play blackjack as you do some research about the technology they seem to be using to run the game on another monitor.

"Looks like they took the easy way out for blackjack," you mumble as you find documentation on the program they use to run the system.

Let's see how I can use this…

You stretch your clasped hands outwards in an ironic display and get to work. Connecting to the session of the software being run on that table, you were able to… creatively tweak the software to give the winning edge to our friend. Not too obvious, you think to yourself as you have your avatar nicely bow out of the session.

That should definitely make our friend, and by extension Mark, happy.

Confidence

Now in the High Roller Lounge, you are tasked to find and extract the passcode to the security systems from the Pit Boss. However, being as you are in a virtual state, you will need to rely more on social engineering to get the information you need.

Your eyes gaze around the screen of the High Roller Lounge. "If I was a pit boss's avatar, what would I look like…" you trail off.

You then spot a particularly glitzed up dealer avatar; it's wearing the same iconic red jacket as the other dealer avatars, but with a little something extra. Also, unlike the majority of the worker avatars, this one periodically moves around.

Now how do I go about getting the passcode out of them? You ponder to yourself. It couldn't be as easy as just going up and asking for it, right?

Did somebody say "social engineering?"

You decide to go with a classic, some good old-fashioned social engineering. While technology might be getting more and more secure, you are only as strong as your weakest link and… humans, virtual or otherwise, tend to be the most fallible link.

Some questions here, a suggestion there, and you are able to reset the pit boss's passcode to something more your taste. In the process, you also change their reset questions to something you can leverage if the passcode changes again.

With the new passcode, the bouncer NPC moves aside and allows your character to walk through to the back area.

Now let's see what you are hiding, Bouncer-man…

End of Day 1

Once fully rendered, the back area is not nearly as lavish as the rest of the casino; it's all business. A blank series of rooms with computer assets in them. Scanning the labels on the rooms, you see phrases such as "camera systems," "electrical output," and "employee management."

"Jackpot!" You smirk to yourself. Quickly accessing one of the consoles shows that this back area contains key logistical systems of Allure Bay's physical location. You jot down the names of the systems you can see from a first pass.

And then you log off—not wanting to have a very obviously player character avatar roaming around the area too long. Bringing up the messaging client, you write a report of what you found to Mark and wait.

You stare intently at the three dots bouncing up and down, signaling he is writing a response.

Excellent. The plan will be executed at 0900 next week. Be on the lookout for further instructions.

A determined smile appears on your face; you will be ready.

Day 2

There wasn't much for you to do in the intervening week. It just made you antsy. You wonder if this is what everyone's first heist feels like, but quickly realize that is probably not a very universal experience for people.

To keep up appearances and not set off any flags, you spent the week continuing to go into the virtual Allure Bay casino to gamble. Neither trying to be too lavish with your spending nor too boastful with your winnings; modest, discreet, careful.

You hadn't heard much from Mark in the preceding week, which only added to your anxiety.

He didn't get caught, did he? An obtrusive thought would pop up while doing something mindless, like eating breakfast. You were always able to assuage you fears. Mark is smart. Experienced. Cautious. It's fine.

And then… the day of the heist came around. You check your encrypted messaging client and spy the first sign of life from Mark in a while.

T-1 hour. You good to go?

You breathe a sigh of relief and reply.

i'm ready. where do you need me?

The logistical systems. This is going to go fast, and we only will have one shot before they will get wise about what we are doing.

Mark proceeds to outline the plan of attack; you furiously take notes on an adjacent notebook.

Laser Maize

You are tasked with using the virtual Allure Bay's logistical systems to guidance your heist team through a laser maze leading to the vault containing your target. After getting your team through the maze, you need to fix the systems kernel error and revert the system to normal—to avoid suspicion.

Your first stop? The laser security system administrative console. After inputting your passcode, you pass easily through to the back area of the virtual casino. You remember "security systems" being one of the door labels and, therefore, quickly move into place.

You glance at the clock at the lower right corner of your computer–it's almost time. You can feel your heart beating particularly loudly as the nervousness sets in. Mark tasked you with disabling the laser grid blocking the hallway to the safe. Attempts to disable the grid with more brute tactics proved too noisy or too dangerous in testing, so it's all on you.

You glance again. A few minutes remain. You take a deep breath in and out, trying to calm yourself. You turn on the video feed of the heist team, so you can see what they are doing and follow their progress through the casino. You watch as they get close to Allure Bay's elaborate vault set up—the anomaly that you found in the blueprints. It will be your turn soon.

Clicking, you load the laser system admin console and start… everything.

You find that you are only able to redirect lasers for safe passage, as opposed to being able to completely disable the entire system. The latter, you found during some early week research, would have set off some serious alarms and forced thick, steel reinforced security doors to come crashing down, blocking all movement.

The laser set-up changed between your initial recon and now, so you couldn't just memorize how to redirect them properly. No matter though, since the team wasn't stuck long before you had the laser grid system set up in a more navigable state.

"Good job," you hear over the video feed. You see them slowly traverse the beams; even with your help, it takes them a bit to get to the end.

You finally exhale, not realizing you were holding your breath in the whole time. You even relax briefly … until you see a peculiar error state flash all over the console. Shoot. You need to fix this issue before it resets the whole laser grid, ruining your work and definitely blowing your cover.

After completing the second part of the puzzle

After fiddling around with the bizzarro error pages, you were able to re-stabilize the laser system and not ruin the heist right in the thick of it. You finished with perfect timing, too; looking at the video feed, the heist team has made it to the next section.

Safecracker

In the last step of the heist, you help the team in the physical Allure Bay open the safe to the vault containing the Golden Chip, using the systems in the virtual Allure Bay.

A large, imposing safe comes into the view in the video feed—your next task. Mark wanted a clean in and out; Getting to the Golden Chip without showing any real signs of a break in or without tripping any alarms will mean they will have an easier time selling off the chip and erasing any of their involvement. All in all, it will just mean a cleaner getaway. Which means you are in charge of getting past the safe.

"You there?" Mark speaks through the video feed. You unmute yourself to reply.

"Yeah, I'm ready to go."

"Our lookout is saying we are looking pretty good, just take your time and make sure you don't trigger an alarm. We are going for cautious, not speedy."

"Roger. Activating the safe's admin controls now."

You mute yourself and get to work. The safe's locking mechanism is hidden under a series of safeguards, timeouts, and vague messaging. It takes you a few attempts to realize what everything is, but as soon as you see the lock icon unlock, you smile infectiously.

You click the lock to unlock and open the safe. Through the video feed, you see members of the team carefully shuffle into the room beyond.

"It's here." You hear from someone behind the door.

Climax Plot

Even through the subpar video feed, you can see the glimmer of the solid gold poker chip. The room, circular in appearance, contains what looks like several security deposit boxes implanted into the wall. In the center, extravagantly displayed on a pedestal, is where the Golden Chip stands, ensconced in a glass dome.

The chip itself looks larger than your typical poker chip. If you had to guess, it is approximately palm sized. A member of the team, in a fashion very reminiscent of Indiana Jones, carefully removes the chip from the glass case and replaces the chip with a sandbag of similar weight. You see a hand appear from the side of the video feed.

"Let me see," you hear Mark say, gesturing to be given the chip.

"It's lighter than I would've thought," the team member remarks as they hand the item to Mark. "Didn't you say it was solid gold?"

You see Mark turn the Golden Chip over and over in his hands.

"I did say that, didn't I?" Mark chuckles to himself. "Well, what I meant was that it's worth its weight in gold. More than that really."

You notice through the video feed a port on the side of the chip, like where a cable would plug in.

"It's… a computer chip?" You say to a muted telecom as you hear Mark confirm the very same thing to the team.

"—a chip containing the vast majority of Allure Bay Entertainment Group's funds; the money they don't want anyone knowing about. Beyond their gambling enterprises, they have several… alternate business ventures, all of which have been wildly successful. To keep it out of the way of prying eyes, they have encrypted it in this chip."

"We're going to be rich!" One of the more precocious members of the team cheers out. The team exchanges various high fives and cheers.

"Well… I'm going to be rich," Mark abruptly clarifies. The jovial nature of your team quiets down. You notice that during his speech he was methodically inching himself out of the safe. A pit forms in your stomach as you can only watch from a distance.

"Here is where I will have to bid you all adieu. After all, I need to give the police, and Allure Bay, someone to go after." In a split second, you watch Mark pull out a bean bag and toss it behind him. You assume he triggered the lasers—a blaring alarm erupts as the large security doors fall shut, trapping the rest of the heist team in the safe.

"Don't worry," Mark sneers at the camera—grabbing it off of his lapel where it was situated and pointing it towards himself. You can only see his teeth as he continues. "I'll give you a head start. After all, you did get me this far."

The video feed goes black as Mark drops the camera to the ground and stomps on it with his foot.

The Grate Escape

After being deceived by Mark and having your heist team left to the sharks, you attempt to guide them through the ventilation system as a last-ditch effort to not have them be arrested by the police. Will you succeed?

You jump into action, feeling the need to help the others who were duped by Mark. You quickly dial the first number of the team you manage to find. They pick up on the first ring.

"CAN Y—" bzzt. "HELP—" bzzt. "ESCAPE?"

"YES! I'm here to help! What do you see?! Any openings at all?!" you are practically shouting into your phone. You hope your neighbors don't hear—or at least don't suspect anything worrying.

"I—" bzzt. "SEE SO—" bzzt. "GRATES—" bzzt.

The call drops.

Shoot! Between the inches of steel cutting out any real cell signal and the blaring alarm in the background, you'll have to think hard to find a way to help them get out in time.

Grates … that I can work with…

You opt to use a slightly unconventional method to get them out

Using some old yet stable technology, you are able to direct the team out of the casino using the available vent systems. In an added stroke of genius, you direct them to four different exits of the casino—blind spots in the casino's security camera array—making it easier for them to individually blend in and disappear.

Aftermath Plot

Relief is the first emotion you feel. You were able to get the team out.

Now comes the fear. Adrenaline courses through your body once the gravity of the situation sets in, putting it on edge. You have to get out, now. Mark knows where you live and, frankly, he probably knows a great deal more than that about you.

Acting swiftly, you proceed to completely deactivate your casino's account—cashing out a moderate amount of your chips to a random PayPal account before doing so. Afterwards, you wipe your entire computer clean, destroying your hard drive to put a further punctuation mark on your getaway. You pack up what you can manage to bring with you easily and make a quick exit from your apartment. Taking one last look around the place before you leave, a pang of something bittersweet hits.

You manage to check in to an inconspicuous motel with moderately good Wi-Fi. You register with a fake name and manage to pay for an indefinite time with the PayPal account.

In the relative silence of the motel room, the last emotion hits: anger. Is this what your life was going to be like? Being manipulated and duped by anyone you come across?

No. Not again.

You have felt this feeling of futility before—after being unjustly fired from your security position at Ace in the Hole Security. You were able to get past it because of Mark. He was able to bring a new level of confidence out of you. You have done things you would have never been able to do in a million lifetimes.

And… while Mark's not here now, those skills haven't left. Realizing this brings a whole new resolve to yourself.

Mark did always offer you a chance for payback. I guess he just didn't specify on who.

I'm going to out-mastermind the mastermind, you think as you proceed to re-set up your computer with a new hard drive. I'm going to re-steal the Golden Chip.

nm, just heisting. wbu?

In an effort to steal back the Golden Chip from Mark, you go about recruiting your own heist team where this time you are in charge.

"So… how does one plan a heist?" You ponder looking up a WikiHow on "How to Steal Something from a Master Con-Man" but decide to think about it from a more pop culture angle.

"Let's see… how do they do it in movies?" You scan a list of the Top 10 highest rated heist movies. "Step 1: find a target. Easy. Mark Masters. Golden Chip. Check. Done. Step two… compile a team."

You briefly think about contacting your former team but are unsure about their willingness to put themselves through another bout concerning Mark. Hours later and without any better options, you message them all through the burner phone you have. Radio silence comes from all of them save one.

Can't risk the heat right now, but I have the name of someone who might be able to help. The name's Eric Stahl, but he goes by Rick for short… don't ask.

With the included phone number, you contact Rick

And then a few others. After a certain amount of convincing, you are able to compile a modest squad with various talents and expertise.

Your team consists of…

"Now for… the rest of the heist," you say as you glance across the photos of the team you've assembled.

While you could just try keeping all the brainwork solely to yourself—a definite Mark Masters move—you decide to actually work with your heist team. Collaboration is the key to success, after all; you think you've read that on one of the motivational posters at your old job.

After a bit of brainstorming and recon, Perry, a member of your newly-formed heist team, is able to set up a meeting with Mark under the guise of purchasing the Golden Chip off of him for some serious cash.

it seems like he doesnt know how to decrypt the money and doesnt want to deal with trying to find someone who can

You smirk; you at least know that Mark truly needed your skills.

mark seems desperate to get the money he needs now

With the help of Sam, Perry arranges a meeting for the exchange in a few days' time at Allure Bay.

Sam feels the need to explain.

Mark knows you are on to him. Where is the last place you would think to look for the chip? The place it came from – that's where Mark will want to meet.

Unorthodox, but Sam is a lawyer and seems smart about all that, so you decide to go with his conviction.

we have a few days to prepare, so let's make the most of it.

America's Next Top Heister

In order to keep your team low profile while crafting this new heist and make it easier to go in and out of Allure Bay, you create fake identities for you and your team.

If you're going back to Allure Bay, you'll need disguises and fake identification. While you have Rick working on some very convincing IDs, you get on a video call with Erin to compile outfits. Luckily, based on her past experience as an actress and her theatre troupe's myriad of costumes, she has quite a few to choose from.

Though her closet is a bit of a mess…

…you are able to comb through it and create getups for every member of the team—along with matching personas. After talking Erin out of a ridiculous scarf and hat combination, the two of you scour the virtual Allure Bay to figure out a place to stash certain apparel for quick changes.

You find a peculiarly named area called the Maid's Dorms. Erin tells you that she may know one of the Allure Bay maids ("She was a fantastic Lady Macbeth at last year's Shakespeare festival"). Satisfied with the location, you leave the outfits in Erin's capable hands to distribute and set up as needed.

Some Assembly Required

You craft a convincing duplicate Golden Chip in order to switch with the real one in the counter-heist.

You video call Amos next. When he picks up, you see him munching on a hot dog, feet up on his desk. He doesn't seem to acknowledge your presence, even though he clearly had to answer the call for you to see this.

"So, uh… how has your… research been going?" You tentatively ask, almost feeling like you are interrupting him.

"I'm gonna be straight with ya," Amos pontificates, still more focused on his lunch. "I found this set on the internet to create whatever ya want and I was thinking… duplicate Golden Chip?" His free hand flails around, emphasizing his points. "But I've been flush with shifts at the casino. Haven't had any time to make heads or tails of the instructions."

"Listen, Amos, I need you to put down your sandwich and be a bit more helpful with this prep work, we only have two days left." You try to maintain a level head while navigating Amos. He may not be the most proactive, but you have seen the kind of dexterous prestidigitation he can do—unfortunately, you can't really afford to cut him out this close to the counter-heist.

"Yeah, yeah… however… you're the technologically inclined person amongst the pair of us and personally I would think it would be irresponsible of me to try to make this thing all by myself." Amos says, exasperatedly. You inwardly groan, knowing that you will be doing all the work to make this counterfeit chip.

"Okay, fine. Just send me the instructions."

"Wait… did you just call my hot dog a sandwich?"

"Are you drawing dead? Did you just call my hot dog a sandwich?" Amos is now fully paying attention to you.

Before he continues on that black hole of a discussion, you simply cut him off with goodbyes and end the video call. Shortly after, he sends you a massive series of seemingly disparate instruction manuals and a kit. After connecting this, soldering that, and a papercut or two, you manage to construct a fairly realistic looking duplicate Golden Chip. You send over a picture of it to Amos, who replies he will pick it up from you after his next shift.

As frustrating as it was, you feel accomplished. You look at your watch. It's almost time for all of your planning to come to a head.

<MONEY GATE #2 HERE - You lost a lot of money, and a heist requires some serious capital. You need to acquire more money before proceeding. Back to the schemes!>

Counterheist Is On

To right the wrong against you, and to nab back the Golden Chip, you and your assembled team plan out and practice perfecting the one chance you have at a counter-heist against Mark Masters.

While you were setting up other aspects of the heist, Rick was helping you with some side modifications on the virtual casino—hey, you might be the mastermind now, but you can't forget your roots.

As this is the first heist with you in charge, and considering who you are going up against, you know that you only have one shot to get this scheme right. Rick managed to modify the virtual Allure Bay's source code to add a similar Allure Bay virtual space so that you can lay out and practice the many movements that need to happen.

As the avatars of your various heist team members appear in the space, you take a breath and start to rehearse the plan.

"So it's going to go a little something like this…"

…you start as you explain every choice you made for the heist setup. As you practice, you start to see certain flaws in some of your decisions and the benefits in others. After trying iteration upon iteration of what could go wrong or right, you and your team formulate a full-proof plan.

And just in time… your meeting with Mark is tonight!

During the night, you observe your team execute the plan through the camera systems. You watch as Perry, posing as a would-be buyer, meets up with Mark in Allure Bay's bar and restaurant. Through the cameras, you see Mark open a suitcase and show the Golden Chip to Perry. He picks up the palm sized coin and turns it over in his hands, inspecting it in clear view of the security camera you were looking at—a sign to confirm to you it's the real deal.

That's when the chaos ensues. And by chaos, you mean a carefully orchestrated mess of spilt water, a mess of food, and tied shoelaces. In retrospect, the shoelace thing was probably a bit much, but you rationalize that every good heist has a bit of a flair for the dramatic. As Amos comes to clear up the mess at the table, he looks toward the cameras and winks, another sign. You start heading out of your motel room.

At a pre-determined physical meet up—a rarely used rehearsal space of Erin's—Christa, who posed as a chef, drops a suitcase on top of the lone table in the space as you enter. This suitcase is the suitcase Mark brought to the exchange while the suitcase currently in his possession—after a good old-fashioned switcheroo done in the fabricated commotion—contains the fake Golden Chip (which actually is a GPS location tracker to monitor Mark's movements).

Popping open the suitcase, you see the familiar glow of the genuine Golden Chip. It looks so much more brilliant in real life.

Cryptocurrency

After a successful heist of the Golden Chip, you aim to crack its security and get your rightful riches.

As you gaze upon the chip, a sinking feeling comes over you. A familiar combination of doubt and urgency. You need to get to their private key in the chip, sign over the coins in their cryptocurrency wallet using it, and you need to do this all fast, before Mark or any other power-that-be gets wise to what you are up to.

"How difficult could it be to figure out the private key to their cryptocurrency wallet?" you say, attempting to calm the team of your own internal anxiety. Christa, one of the few in your team actually with you, simply shrugs and stalks off to guard the hideout. You start unloading a pile of computer equipment to connect to the chip. Plugging the chip into your laptop, you access a security page embedded on the computer chip, bringing up a complex looking grid.

"Oh… that's how difficult."

You hope no one heard you.

You calm yourself and try to get in the zone as you work to conquer another security system. It takes everything you have learned up to this point, but you are able to crack the private key to Allure Bay's cache of cash—something even the illustrious Mark Masters couldn't do. Feeling quite triumphant, you pat yourself on the back and dial up Sam.

Sam helps quickly sell off the wallet's contents into a less cryptographic currency and launder the resultant money into a series of offshore bank accounts and trusts, effectively hiding everyone's take under several layers of bureaucracy. He messages out the appropriate account information to the relevant parties.

Checking out your sudden intake of wealth, you realize why people like Mark get into the heisting game. You briefly wonder what another scheme would do for your net worth…

…but then you remember the stress and think better of it.

After all, in gambling and in life, you always gotta know when to fold 'em.

Epilogue

That being said, you're definitely ending on a high note. And you definitely need a vacation as a start to your retirement from crime.

As you lounge around in a hammock on a beautiful beach, sipping on a tropical beverage given to you by one of the waiters at the resort, you receive a blip on your phone. It's Sam.

Thought you might like the scoop on Mark… seems "John Doe" ;) sent them a tip. The cops tracked him down and brought him in.

You put down your phone, give a mock cheers to Mark, and think about where your next vacation should be.

I've never checked out Monte Carlo before… you think to yourself as you check airfare prices on your phone.

END

Floating Puzzles

The floating puzzles may have occurred on either day one or day two and there were different plot intros depending on the day.

White Rushin'

You have hacked into a bartending robot (kind of like http://thetipsyrobot.com/) to record intel on the physical Allure Bay casino—based on the hack, you also need to perform the services of the robot manually to retain cover and control of the robot.

Intro (Day 1) – [To be after Little Birds and before Confidence]

Mark pings you for a high priority ask—record some video from the bar of the casino. You don't have access to the back area yet and ask for more time for that, but Mark emphasizes that he needs it done sooner rather than later.

So I need a plan B…

The blueprint you have doesn't show anything particular about the bar space, so you bring up the casino's website and navigate to a page describing their food and drink options. You spy the phrase: "Now featuring our new Robo-Bar!"

Bingo.

Intro (Day 2) – [To be after nm, just heisting, wbu? and before Sights and Sounds]

So, we are going to meet Mark at the casino for the switch, huh?

Unfortunately, while you have a blueprint and the virtual casino replica, you haven't had the opportunity to step inside the physical space. And attempting to do so now before you try to swindle Mark feels risky. While you could always task someone to go around the space, which might be more cautious, you feel there is a better way to optimize.

The security camera array in the back area is fairly useful but seems to fail to really get any depth of field or high detail. You grimace. You think about where a hand-off of something like this would happen. It needs to be discreet, casual.

Like… the bar.

You bring up the casino's website and navigate to a page describing their food and drink options. You spy the phrase: "Now featuring our new Robo-Bar!"

Bingo.

On Success

"Bingo," you say to yourself. After finding the make and model of the Robo-Bartender, you're able to use an administration application used for maintenance to gain access to the functionality of all of the Robo-Bartenders at the Allure Bay location. Among the various options, you find a camera feed.

You connect the feed to your computer and hit record. To not arouse the suspicion of the employees in the area, you manually override the controls of the robotic arm—creating drinks for patrons while meticulously and slyly getting the camera to capture all parts of the bar.

After enough time, you disconnect from the camera feed and re-enable the robot's programming, a clear surveillance video of the entire bar space in tow.

And no one the wiser.

…Though you do feel thirsty after all of that bartending.

Painted People's Pack

In an effort to kill time and lay low, you decide to check out Allure Bay's Blue Man Group-esque entertainment.

Intro (Day 1) – [To be before Confidence]

You're stuck—and you haven't heard back from Mark about anything. Last you heard he was busy with some on-site recon and would be offline for a while. You need something to do. You consider plopping your avatar down at one of the tables but… gambling could only be so satisfying.

Skimming the signs around the casino and looking up more information about the virtual Allure Bay online, you find that there are also other activities in the space. Namely, the virtual casino contains a livestream of their in-house entertainment—a show by the famous Painted People's Pack. You've always heard about them, but never had time to get a ticket to their shows when you've visited the Strip.

"Well… I'm not doing anything right now…"

You justify your curiosity as you navigate your avatar to the show.

Intro (Day 2) – [To be after The Grate Escape/Aftermath Plot and before Cryptocurrency]

You're stuck—your brain is a mess of thoughts and you need something non-heist related to do to clear your head. You consider plopping your avatar down at one of the tables but… gambling would only be so satisfying.

You recall looking up more information about the virtual Allure Bay online and finding that there are also other activities in the space. Namely, the virtual casino contains a livestream of their in-house entertainment: a show by the famous Painted People's Pack. You've always heard about them, but never had time to get a ticket to their shows when you've visited the Strip.

"Well… this should definitely help me get my mind off things…"

You justify your curiosity as you navigate your avatar to the show.

On Success

…and watch the livestream intently. It was nothing like you expected—it was a fantasy of color and sounds and… awesomeness. You suddenly wish to experience the show live in all its wonder; If the livestream was that great, being in the space in person must be even better.

Note to self: check out more of the shows in Las Vegas and get a Painted People's Pack t-shirt ASAP.

You leave the livestream invigorated and refreshed, ready to get back to the task at hand.

Fountain Dew

In an effort to kill time and lay low, you decide to check out Allure Bay's famous dancing fountains.

Intro [This puzzle should not be done during 'heist' section (Laser Maize, Safecracker, The Grate Escape trio)]

As you wander around the virtual casino's space, you notice the front entrance of the casino leads to an outdoors space complete with a large, complex fountain. You don't believe the real Allure Bay has this impressive of a fountain on the outside and a quick map search confirms your memories. The fountain reminds you a bit of the Bellagio's massive fountains—except probably a fraction of the price to make.

All in all, Allure Bay's recreation is a bit mesmerizing. You feel yourself staring at the animation… oddly soothed. You wonder if you could mess with it.

You've got time

Upon quick inspection of the fountain and the outdoor space, you are able to find the fountains' console to reprogram its water jet sequence. In a bit of a cheeky move, you modify the sequence to something more interesting. Nothing crude though, and nothing to arouse suspicion; you're having a bit of fun… not being stupid.

As you go back into the main casino space, you wonder, if it is this easy to mess with the fountains' programming in the casino, what else could you have access to or modify? It piques your interest, and you file the question away for later consideration.