A spy in the act of transferring the microfilm

Transfer Microfilm is one of the original six missions in SpyParty.

Mission Description Edit

To accomplish this mission, the spy must move a microfilm from one bookcase to another. To start, the spy removes a book from a bookcase and automatically starts reading it. It does not matter which bookcases the spy chooses, as long as the microfilm is not returned to the same bookcase from which it came. (It is presumed that the spy knows where the microfilm is located and to where it must be transferred, and thus wherever the spy chooses is correct.)

Once the spy has a book in their hands, there are two ways that the spy may choose to transfer the microfilm: a direct transfer or an indirect transfer. To perform a direct transfer, the spy simply returns the book to a different bookcase. There is no action test for a direct transfer. To perform an indirect transfer, the spy removes the microfilm from the book, puts the book away, takes a book from a different bookcase, inserts the microfilm in that book, and puts the book back. The act of removing or inserting the microfilm can be done anywhere as long as the spy is holding a book, except when they are in a conversation circle with one or more NPCs. Removing or inserting the microfilm requires an action test (see below).

The spy holds the book with the left hand when it is closed, and both hands when it is open. The spy opens the book immediately upon taking it and before returning it or transferring microfilm. An open book is immediately closed when the spy begins walking. Thus, mission availability depends on the state of the spy's hands:

  • If the spy is holding any object other than a book, they cannot advance the Transfer Microfilm mission. (Note that the spy can hold a book and the briefcase simultaneously, but they must put the briefcase down before they can open the book.)
  • If the spy is holding a book, they cannot inspect or swap statues, bug the ambassador with the left hand, or fingerprint the ambassador with a statue or drink.

Action Test Edit

The action test determines how stealthily the spy removes or inserts the microfilm:

  • Green: The spy moves their right hand under then over the book, briefly rubbing their left wrist.
  • White/ignored: The spy reaches into their pocket with their right hand, then moves it under and over the book, ending with rubbing their left wrist. During the transfer, they turn their head from side to side as if checking for witnesses.
  • Red: The spy reaches into their pocket with their right hand, but their head jerks with surprise as they realize they took the wrong object. Their hand then returns to their pocket, and the transfer then proceeds like the white action test.
  • Aborted: If the spy moves before the action is complete, their arms move in a rather confused manner and the action fails.

Spy Strategy Edit

Each bookcase has an assigned color, and books will have the same color as the bookcase from which they came. However, books appear grey to the sniper when they are first removed from bookcases.

Like most missions, you will want to try to do the deed when the sniper is looking elsewhere or behind cover. Maintain constant awareness of the location and direction of the sniper's laser in order to choose the optimal moment to perform the transfer. Each transfer method has its advantages and disadvantages, and your choice of method will depend on the situation and your skill.

The direct transfer is simpler to perform, as it requires fewer steps and has no action test. Additionally, there is no hard tell animation to give you away. However, NPCs never return books to the wrong bookcase, and the sniper can mark books in order to track what bookcase they came from. (If you see the sniper's laser rest on you momentarily while holding a book, they have likely marked it.) However, once a marked book is put away, the mark disappears, leaving no trace that you performed the action.

The indirect transfer requires more steps, and the animation of removing or inserting the microfilm is a hard tell. However, it does not require you to walk around holding a book, allowing you to accomplish other missions which require a free left hand between bookcase visits. While it is most common to remove or insert the microfilm while standing in front of the bookcase, you can do it anywhere (except when not alone in a conversation circle).

Avoid entering a bookcase pad that is "full" (three NPCs for a large bookcase, two for a small one), as the NPCs try not to overcrowd the bookcase pads.

Some maps (Gallery and Veranda in particular) provide good opportunities to perform what the SpyParty community refers to as the "cheese microfilm": taking a book from one bookcase and immediately putting it in another. In many cases, doing this would get you shot, but if the bookcases are close to each other and sufficient cover is provided, it can be pulled off without the sniper noticing.

Sniper Strategy Edit

You can shoot any character you see rub their left wrist with their right hand, reach into their pocket, pass their hand under the book, look side to side, or jerk their head suddenly while reading. Note that passing the hand over the top of the book is a normal reading action; be careful not to mistake that for a transfer. The wrist rubbing motion will always give away the spy during an indirect transfer, even with a green action test, so try to be positioned such that you can see the character's left wrist.

Because NPCs always return books to the bookcase from which they came, you can shoot anyone who returns one to the wrong bookcase. To help you track where books came from, you can mark books so that they match the color of the bookcase instead of being grey. To mark a book held by a character, aim your laser at the book so that you see a green wireframe box around the book. Then click the left and right mouse buttons or pull the left and right triggers to cycle through the available colors. Note that your laser can mark books through the bodies of the partygoers. Also note that experienced spies will likely notice your laser pausing momentarily on the book they're holding and know that you probably marked it.

NPCs almost never enter a pad in front of a bookcase when a certain number of characters are already there: three for a large one, two for a small one. A character who enters a "full" bookcase pad is a strong contender for the spy.

Map Specifics Edit

  • Ballroom: There are two bookcases at opposite ends of the room: a small green one at the sniper's left and a large blue one at the right. Snipers tend to spend most of their time on the long side of the room, making the blue bookcase a little easier to perform an indirect transfer unseen. However, the sniper is able to move to get a very clear view of either bookcase, although it tends to make the other bookcase harder to see.
  • Gallery: The two bookcases are both at the back of the map, which provides a lot of cover due to the map's depth and large number of partygoers. This makes it one of the easiest maps for performing this mission. However, the heads of tall characters (such as the Danger Brothers) are easily visible above the hustle of the gallery, making a white or red action test stick out. Marking books is also tricky. The proximity of the bookcases allows for cheese transfer opportunities, particularly when the nearby conversation circle is well-occupied to provide cover.
  • High-rise: The blue bookcase on the left is partially obscured by a plant. A pane of frosted glass gets in the way of getting a clear view of the green bookcase on the right. It can be more clearly seen by moving far to the right, but then the blue bookcase is obscured by the other frosted glass pane.
  • Library: There are three large bookcases on the map, and they are far enough apart that there is always one that the sniper cannot see at any given time, making it easier to get away with an unseen hard tell.
  • Veranda: There are three bookcases on this map: a large green one on the sniper's left, a small red one near the green one, and a blue one on the right. Due to the extra bookcase on the left, that side tends to be busier than the other. The building also provides cover for the spy when the sniper moves to once side or the other. The green bookcase is typically the most difficult one for the sniper to see clearly unless they move far to the left. The green and red bookcases are close together, providing opportunities for cheese transfer when the sniper moves to the other side of the map.

The Transfer Microfilm mission is not available on Balcony, Courtyard, Pub, or Terrace because these maps do not have bookcases.

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