A bug in conversation

Bug Ambassador is one of the original missions in SpyParty and is one of the four missions used in beginner maps.

Mission Description Edit

This mission requires the spy to plant a listening device on the ambassador. Both players can see a purple triangle over the ambassador's head. There are two ways this mission can be accomplished: bugging while standing still, and bugging while walking. There is no action test for either method, and both constitute a hard tell.

To bug the ambassador in conversation, the spy must stand in a conversation circle close to the ambassador (who is usually, but not necessarily, in the same conversation circle as well), then select the "Plant Bug on Ambassador" action. The action looks like the spy briefly grabbing the ambassador's rear. The circle beneath the Ambassador will be completely filled when the spy is close enough to them to bug while standing.

While walking, the spy can bug the ambassador simply by getting close to them and selecting the "Start Planting Bug on Ambassador" action when it appears. Typically, this is done while walking past the ambassador (the "drive-by"), but can also be done while the ambassador walks past the spy (the "reverse drive-by"), or when both are walking. The spy can start the action a few steps away from the ambassador, but must be right next to them when their arm is fully extended for the bug to succeed. The spy will extend their arm out at an angle to perform the bug, as shown in the image above. This action takes longer than the conversation bug.

With both bug methods, the spy will see a meter at the upper-left filling while the action is performed. A conversation bug will transform into a walking bug if the spy moves. A walking bug will fail if the spy doesn't get close enough to the ambassador at the peak of the animation, or goes out of range too quickly. The ambassador leaving bug range will fail either kind of bug. There is no consequence for failure other than giving a hard tell without accomplishing the mission.

Bugging requires that the hand nearest the ambassador be empty. This means that a spy that holds a drink or a closed book can only bug the ambassador with their right hand, and a spy holding the briefcase can only bug the ambassador with their left hand. A spy that is holding a statue or reading a book cannot bug at all.

It should be noted that the game decides which hand to bug with based on which side of the spy is closer to the ambassador at the time that the action is initiated. If the spy turns around immediately after starting the walking bug action, they can execute a "wrong-arm bug," where the spy's arm extends away from the ambassador instead of towards them. As long as the other bug conditions are met, a wrong-arm bug will still succeed.

Spy Strategy Edit

As with most missions, you will want to try to bug when the sniper is looking elsewhere, or use cover from map geometry or other partygoers to block the sniper from viewing of your actions. Note that if you stand with your side to the sniper, it will be much harder for them to see the bug, as there will be no lateral motion relative to the sniper's point of view. This position also facilitates using your own body or that of the ambassador to block the sniper's view. Unlike Swap Statue or Purloin Guest List, this hard tell leaves no trace, so if you pull it off without the sniper noticing, they'll have no way to know that it has happened.

Rushing the bug during the Time of Chaos has the potential to be very effective, while still allowing the spy to push for a fast opening by grabbing a book or going to the statues once the bug has been planted.

Remember that you can bug any time you are close enough to the ambassador, regardless of whether you or the ambassador are in motion, or what pads the two of you may be standing on. Standing on a pad and planting a bug while the ambassador walks past is difficult to accomplish, but also is more difficult for the sniper to spot, since most "walking" bugs are accomplished by the spy moving towards the ambassador.

The animation completing is not an accurate indicator of when the bug is complete; watch the meter at the upper-left instead. Typically, bugging the ambassador while walking past them requires that you make a small bend in your walking path. Otherwise, you risk moving out of range before the bug completes.

Sniper Strategy Edit

Many snipers like to highlight the ambassador in order to better keep an eye on them and watch for bug attempts. Anybody getting near the ambassador in any way is a possible bug attempt, but you'll especially want to watch people standing next to the ambassador in a conversation circle, or brushing past them.

Venue Specifics Edit

  • Aquarium: The shark coming by is the spy's friend, if the ambassador is behind the shark, it is almost impossible for the sniper to know if any of these guests did bug or not.
  • Balcony: As it is very small and there are few partygoers, these are possibly the hardest venues for performing the bug.
  • Ballroom: The Ballroom venue is fairly balanced for this mission, providing no special advantages to either player. However, as spies are required to complete all four missions in Beginner Ballroom, the sniper can opt to simply camp the ambassador and watch for the bug. The bookcases are at back left and back right corners of the room, which can provide good bugging opportunities with the proper cover, unless the sniper decides to sacrifice their all-seeing vantage point to focus on that corner.
  • Courtyard: Although there are many partygoers, the sniper can see almost the entire map at once, so bugging can be difficult. It's possible for the spy to bug the ambassador while both are standing in one of the alcoves, although it's advisable to do so while the sniper is on the other side of the pillar.
  • Gallery: The venue's depth and many partygoers provides significant bug opportunities for the spy. As the sniper's line of sight to the bookcases at the back of the room are often blocked by partygoers, an ambassador at a bookcase provides a good opportunity for the spy to pull up next to them for a bug. Bugging while looking at paintings is also quite doable, as the sniper will see you mostly in profile. A tricky spy can pull off a bug out on the sidewalk while the sniper is zoomed in on the interior of the building.
  • High-rise: The small pad between the conversation circles and the other side of the venue is one of the best place to bug as the sniper will have a hard time checking for a bug over there, although there are not many guests on that side of the venue.
  • Library: With many partygoers and the sniper able to view only about a third of the map at a time, bugging is significantly easier for the spy on this map. Columns between windows can obstruct the sniper's view of the bug, and they cannot strafe to compensate.
  • Pub: It can be hard for the sniper to see bugs that are performed inside the building.
  • Veranda: The map's large size and many partygoers makes it easier for the spy to bug, especially if they can get near the ambassador on one side of the map while the sniper is at the other side.
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