The self-test of a terminal's defense system is arguably one of the most dangerous parts of the game, next to entering another's terminal, and must be handled diligently lest you miscalculate a single step and lose everything you have acquired!
The self-test occurs when you attempt to leave your terminal and there have been changes to your terminal since the last time you completed a self-test. In it, you will start at the doormat with no tools and must reach your vault. Fog of war is on, traps are active, and your bots will attempt to escape if they spot you.
The only way to cancel a self-test is to exit back through the airlock. If the player is cut off from both the vault and the doormat, there will be no option but to commit suicide. All termination in the self-test is termination like in any other part of the game.
After completing the self test you are free to view the terminal list and others are able to see your terminal. All changes to your terminal are now saved. You do not need to redo the self test until your terminal has changed again.
It is a necessary part which all players must go through, and ensures the fairness of the terminal is maintained; all terminals must be built such that the vault may be reached without the use of any items.
If you close the game in build mode before completing a self test, any changes you have made will not be saved.
Common Miscalculations Leading to Death
Miscalculations that more commonly lead to player terminations in this phase of the game are:
- Improper tile elements receiving no power when they ought, or receiving power when they ought not to.
- Improper proximity; when a droid (Tracker Droid, evader droid, or Terminator Droid) moves in a way which was incorrectly predicted and subsequently ruins the remaining procedures of the terminal.
- Improper switching; when a switch (either Droid or player activated) activates out of the proper order of sequence to complete the test, possibly leading either to immediate termination, or a dead-end.
- Dead-end; when a recent modification to the terminal (either addition, or removal) makes it impossible to reach the vault, and the player has also cut themselves off from exit via traps.
Safely Testing Your Terminal
Terminals and traps are easiest to test when the terminal has a low cost, and plenty of open space, allowing the player to remove sections of wall which would otherwise entrap them. By this means you can test trap concepts safely, with a guaranteed means of leaving the terminal when fulfilled.
There are non lethal alternatives available for many tiles which still function in a similar way:
- Terminator Droids can be replaced with Tracker Droids
- Shock Panels with Red Indicator Panels.
- Powered Doors and Trash Compactors can be replaced with Green Indicator Panels.
As a terminal becomes more thoroughly constructed and the traps more intricate and interdependent, this means of safely testing a terminal becomes marginalized, until eventually the only option left is to do a straight run-through of a completely constructed terminal. You must become accountable for your own safety in this event, and take the time to double-check the elements of your security system, or run the risk of carelessly losing all of the credits, time, effort, and creative ideas which went into your security system's construction. Be careful!