Comprehensive Guide to Threat Echoes
While Receiver II brings a lot of new features and functions to the table, one of the ones that many players may not be properly aware of until it ends up bringing an abrupt end to one of their runs is a Threat Echo.
Spontaneous, surprising, and something you're given no advance warning of prior, especially during your first encounter, quick reflexes and quick thinking are a must. As a result of this, you'll find this guide details what a Threat Echo is, what an encounter with one looks like, and most importantly, how to survive it.
While there are several other guides that cover these, this one goes into full detail and explains why they happen, how they happen, and what you need to do to still be alive by the time one ends. It is likely by far one of the most verbose and detailed explanations of them as a whole, be aware there is a lot of reading ahead, although important information has been compartmentalized into its respective sections.
What Is a Threat Echo?
Threat Echoes (Which will now be abbreviated as TE or T.E.) are a new feature in Receiver that sets apart a few key facets from the first game. The primary thing about these is that they occur as the player progresses through the game via collecting tapes on their way up the chain of ranks, there is supposedly no set autonomous guideline or parameter for triggering a TE, rather, it happens upon encountering specified tapes, and said tapes are randomly scattered among the ones found throughout the map. So far, there doesn't seem to be any correlation between events in the game and a chance of finding a threat tape.
Threat tapes can be acquired and TEs can be caused before rank 3, it appears to just entirely depend on whether or not you pick up a tape that is marked as one.
Clarification: The only way a T.E. can occur is if the player picks up a specific type of tape, they cannot be randomly triggered by the game or randomly forced on the player, acquiring and listening to tapes is the only way they can occur. These tapes do not appear to spawn below rank 3.
What Does a Threat Echo Do?
Simply put? A TE attempts to make you end your run by using one of the closest and most dangerous sorts of weapons the Threat has available, most specifically, the firearm you have on yourself. If you listen to several of the tapes in the game that explain more about the Threat, you will eventually learn that, besides it being able to manipulate chance or the odds, it can also manipulate thoughts and urges, and to some degrees, even take control of people.
With all this information compiled, you might start understanding that one of the quickest and most useful ways for the Threat to dispose of you after it considers you a risk is by simply making you kill yourself, and that is exactly what it plans to do. As you have a sidearm, and more often than not, ammunition for it, it will readily attempt to put two and two together to end your run as quickly as possible and send you back to where you started.
This is an incredibly complex process, and having control of your only means of self-defense not only stripped from you, but turned on you by an entity from another reality is likely terrifying and demoralizing above all else. Thankfully, there are ways to fight a TE, and if you're smart and quick enough, survive it.
How Can I Identify a Threat Echo Occurring?
One of the first, and arguably quickest ways to figure out that you're about to experience a TE is via listening to the tape you've just picked up. While the tapes commonly recorded by the narrator are generally monotonous, lighthearted, or otherwise neutral, TE tapes can be distinguished by the fact that they have a much darker tone and topic. The narrator will sound depressed, frustrated, hopeless, forlorn, or some mix of many negative qualities, and the way he speaks will commonly convey that it is from the standpoint of a person rather than him simply reading off the information he was told to. Spotting the vocal inflection and change of topic from the tapes you usually listen to is by far the fastest and most concise way to figure out you are about to have to deal with a TE, and training to spot it at this stage is oftentimes the best method of ensuring your survival.
Should you fail to recognize that the tape you're listening to is one containing a TE, the things being talked about in said tape will gradually grow worse and worse, until you are left to realize that the individual in question who is being narrated for is likely about to attempt to commit suicide. After it gets to this point of the tape, your window of time to react before the TE starts is commonly down to only several seconds, if not less. Should you only realize it at this window, you are at a point where only fast reactions and a very thorough knowledge of how your firearm operates will be what saves you. Get familiar with memorizing and understanding what a TE tape sounds like at its start and middle, and the second you recognize it, prepare to defend yourself.
If you have still not managed to recognize the TE by the second stage, the third and final stage where the TE actually occurs will be marked by a single line across the center of your screen, which reads as follows:
The voice of the Threat is taking control
Once this shows up, you are now actively under attack by a TE, and if you have not prepared or are already defending yourself at this point, you only have a few seconds to do so before your demise.
Overall, the full list of symptoms which make up a TE, from its prelude to actual occurrence, is as follows:
- You will pick up a tape, there is no way to distinguish TE tapes from regular tapes.
- The narrator will generally sound depressed, frustrated, angry, distraught, or otherwise emotional.
- The tape you picked up will cover a much darker topic.
- The end of said tape will oftentimes hint at or otherwise imply a suicide attempt.
- You will receive the 'The voice of the Threat is taking control' warning on your screen.
- Your movement will be slowed to a crawl.
- You will lose control of your weapon.
- Your weapon will turn around to try and aim at you.
- The TE will have officially begun.
How Do I Defend Myself From a Threat Echo?
Once a TE starts, there is no way to get out of it early that doesn't result in your death, you have to knuckle down and do everything you can to stave it off until it is over. Unfortunately, you don't quite know when that will be, but TE events don't last longer than twenty seconds after they've started, and some don't even last fifteen. You will have to plan accordingly as to your position and where you are when a TE occurs, because going through one while engaging turrets or drones will almost always result in your death. Consider all your resources and combat capability to be either nullified or otherwise occupied when a TE occurs, as that's exactly what they will be.
Upon a TE starting, you'll likely notice that your firearm has started shaking uncontrollably, and more importantly, that
it is beginning to turn around to try and aim at you.
This is exactly what will happen in each and every TE, regardless of what weapon you have or what condition it is in. The Threat is trying to kill you, and the very thing which has saved your life up until this point is the method with which it's doing so.
The steps which the Threat will take to try and kill you via TE, in order of occurrence, are as follows:
For those of you carrying revolvers:
- The Threat will turn the revolver around to aim at you.
- If the cylinder is open, the Threat will close it.
- If it can, it will pull the hammer back while doing so, regardless of whether or not the revolver is single or double action.
- The Threat will then pull the trigger a minimum of six times, cycling through every chamber in the cylinder. The number it seems to do most often, if only, is 7 trigger pulls before it stops. You cannot carry out any actions once the Threat has started pulling the trigger, so if your weapon is still loaded by this point, you will die.
- If the revolver is not loaded and it fails to kill you, control will be returned to you.
Important: I have seen it said once or twice that having a couple unloaded chambers on a revolver will save you as the threat will only check a few of them, this is not true. The threat will try to fire every chamber in the revolver at least once before giving up.
For those of you carrying handguns:
- The Threat will turn the handgun around to aim at you.
- If there is a magazine in your hand and the weapon is not loaded, it will load it into the weapon.
- If the safety on the gun has been engaged, it will disengage it.
- If the slide has not been pulled back to chamber a round, it will chamber a round.
- If there is a round chambered but the hammer is not pulled back, it will pull it back.
- If the slide lock is engaged, it will disengage it.
- If there is a Failure-To-Feed or Out-Of-Battery failure, it will fix/clear them.
- The Threat will pull the trigger multiple times, often enough to go through half of, if not a whole magazine. You cannot carry out any actions once the Threat has started pulling the trigger, so if your weapon is still loaded and can be fired by this point, you will die.
- If the handgun is not loaded and it fails to kill you, control will be returned to you.
Important: multiple people in the discussions will say that the threat cannot disengage the slide lock during a te and that it is the easiest way to stop it, it can and will if it is able to do so on the firearm. Having the slide lock engaged will not save you if there is a round in your magazine.
Remember that the Threat can:
- Load magazines if they are in your hand.
- Close the cylinder of a revolver if it is open.
- Rotate the cylinder of a revolver to a live round if one is in it.
- Disengage the safety of any firearm if it is engaged.
- Pull the hammer back on any firearm, regardless of whether it is a revolver or handgun, or single or double-action.
- Rack the slide to chamber a round if there is one in the chamber, or to both pull back the hammer and chamber a round if the hammer isn't pulled back already.
- Disengage the slide lock to chamber a round.
- Clear Out-Of-Battery and Failure-To-Feed failures.
- Fire the weapon multiple times once it is aimed at you, it will keep firing regardless of whether or not the gun is empty, you are not safe because the first trigger pull resulted in an empty click. Once again, you cannot carry out any actions once the Threat has started pulling the trigger, so if your weapon is still loaded and can be fired by this point, you will die.
The Threat cannot:
- Redo certain actions you have undone.
- Pull magazines from your inventory.
- Manually load rounds into a revolver or chamber-load a handgun.
- Pull a follow-up TE without prompting, after this TE has subsided, you will need to find another TE tape for it to happen again.
- Clear Stovepipe or Double-Feed failures.
The Threat, while performing all these steps to ready your weapon for killing you, can be interrupted or stopped by using certain safety features of your gun, specifically undoing whatever it's done, however, you should understand that the Threat can and will have all safety features of your firearm disabled by the point where it attempts to shoot you. Your weapon must be unloaded by this time or you will die. The most this might do is buy you an extra moment or so to unload your firearm, make the most of the time you have.
You will want to follow the list of steps below as to how you can properly survive this encounter.
Remember: The sooner you recognize that you've picked up a TE tape, the more time you have to prepare yourself for this and carry out these actions without being under the imminent stress of death.
For those of you that have revolvers:
- If the hammer is cocked, immediately decock the hammer. This is done by holding F, then the left mouse button, then releasing F. You cannot open the cylinder if the hammer is cocked.
- Immediately open the cylinder.
- Press V until all rounds in the cylinder are ejected.
- Make sure that no rounds are still inside the weapon. If even a single live round is still inside the revolver, the Threat can kill you.
- Close the cylinder again, or leave it open, this does not matter if it is empty, but it is an extra safety step to take so that you don't accidentally load a round and give it a method with which to kill you.
For those of you that have handguns:
- Immediately eject the magazine by pressing E, then either return the magazine to your inventory or drop it, you can pick it up after the TE ends.
- Clear the chamber by holding R, this will eject any round loaded into it.
- If your weapon has a safety, engage it.
- If your weapon has a slide lock, engage it.
- Perform a quick check to ensure that your weapon is not loaded and you do not have a magazine in your hand, as the Threat will load a magazine if you have one in your hand while going through a TE.
Important: there have been a few cases of players claiming the threat cannot clear any failures, this is incorrect. The threat can clear failure-to-feed and out-of-battery failures. It cannot clear stovepipes or double feeds.
The aftermath of a Threat Echo:
After a TE has come to pass, you thankfully no longer have to worry about the Threat troubling you again for the immediate future. A TE can only occur in one instance at a time, and after the current one has subsided, you will need to find and listen to another TE tape for it to happen again. Overall, this means that as long as you prepare yourself prior before picking up a tape, you can be relatively certain that should it turn out to be a TE tape, you are safe and it is not a threat to you for the duration of which it is active.
Even then, though, I would recommend thinking about the following things in the aftermath:
- Was I able to recognize that it was a TE tape before the TE started?
- Was I able to safely prepare my firearm for the TE?
- What firearm was I using?
- Was I able to prevent the Threat from using said firearm to kill me?
- What steps did I try to take to prevent it?
- What steps did the Threat try to take with my weapon?
- What mistakes did I make that could've gotten me killed?
- Overall, am I happy with how I handled that situation?
In the end, the ironic thing about a TE is that the best way to treat it is as if it's just like a firearm. You have to give it respect, assume that it's always loaded, and assume that in any possible instance it can be a potential threat to you. Approach every tape like it's a potentially loaded gun, and be ready to unload and safely stow your own the second anything seems out of place. As long as you remember all the details listed here and follow the proper steps, a TE should eventually be so much muscle memory that there won't even be any concern or danger to running into it, it'll just be another routine to quickly run through before you're back on your way.
Refer to this information as often as you'd like, memorize it as thoroughly as you'd like. The game has many more complicated features to solve, but this one is one that catches many new players off guard.
Now that you've read it though? Should you have not encountered a TE yet, you'll have a good grasp of what to expect once you do.