Financial Meltdown: The Video Game (Walkthrough for Playstation 3)

11/04/2010 05:28 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Level 1: The Federal Reserve Bank

What was that racket? Run out of your office into the trading room. You will witness a cut-scene of investment bankers ransacking the building. The ghost of JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES will emerge informing you that that Wall Street has taken the Board of Governors as hostages. Take the gold-standard armor and leave. Open the treasure chest behind the secretary's desk and collect $5,000 Unmarked Bills. Take the elevator to the FED DUNGEON.

Level 2: The Federal Reserve Dungeon

Jump over the flaming tar pits. You'll encounter a SOCIALIST CHIMERA. You should have your gold-standard armor equipped and thus, be resistant to his physical attacks. Keep casting TAX-CUTTER and you'll eventually lop off one of his heads. You'll have to move fast and finish him off with TAX-CUTTER. Otherwise he'll cast UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE to recover completely. When the beast falls, you'll get $2,000 unmarked bills and 190 Experience Points. You gained a Credit Level! Turn left and pick up the GARGOYLE FANG before you exit the screen (required for ultimate attack)

Level 3: The Federal Reserve Catacombs

Look for a FAT MUMMY in one of the wall niches. Throw your TAX-CUTTER to open the bandages and free WARREN BUFFET. He'll give you a GARGOYLE FANG and join your party. Warren Buffet is a Hedge Fund Knight and extremely useful against UNDEAD ECONOMISTS. His supportive spells like 'STIMULUS' can increase your interest rate by two points. He has high intelligence and a strong business capital. He also comes equipped with a THUNDER AXE. Continue over the bridge and break open the pot for a dragon orb, 50 Experience Points, and another Credit Level. If you haven't reached Credit Level nine by now, I strongly suggest you backtrack. When you finally reach level nine you'll learn TAX EVASION, which raises your tax evasion.

Level 4 The Federal Reserve Docks

Save your game and visit the merchants along the pier. Pro tip: Make sure to talk to the MYSTERIOUS FISHERMAN. Buy the GOLDEN PARACHUTE and REAL ESTATE IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS from him. You'll need these to achieve the good ending in the game. Kill all the pirates in town.

Level 5 The Federal Reserve Forest

Defeat BERNIE MADOFF --level 53 Thief. If you survive his PONZI SCHEME attack, you'll pick up the third and final GARGOYLE FANG. You should now be able to cast GOVERNMENT BAILOUT, which revives any bank, so long as its president has donated and is a member of your party. If you do so successfully, a dark shadow will appear, impressed with your skill. You'll discover that it's a secret character, TIMOTHY GEITHNER. You'll have to accept his challenge and defeat him if you want him in your party. TIMOTHY GEITHNER is a level 58 INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND LORD -- so short-selling his stocks or raising anxiety will have no effect on him. You can try summoning JIM CRAMER, but that will just cause TIMOTHY GEITHNER to lose a turn and confuse everybody in the battle. Make sure to return JIM CRAMER to his LAMP OF INSANITY before his magic points are depleted. The most effective way to defeat TIMOTHY GEITHNER is to throw a CONFLICT OF INTEREST subpoena (you did remember to write one didn't you?) This will paralyze TIMOTHY GEITHNER, causing him to sputter incoherent statements as he rotates in place. Charge up and finish him off with a CREDIT DEFAULT SWAP.

Final Level: The Federal Reserve Volcano

If you have any leftover cash, buy something practical like a broadsword for TIMOTHY GEITHNER or a new mount for your wyvern. As you ascend the volcano, you'll discover a band of mortgage brokers relaxing around a campfire with some orcs. Destroy the camp and free the BOARD OF GOVERNORS. Wow, that seemed easy -- almost too easy. While the hostages thank you profusely and shower you with stock options, the volcano erupts! Behold, you are now face to face with the Overlord behind the chaos in its true form.


Final Boss: AIG and Citigroup

The image of this twin-headed demon is almost too horrific to translate into words. I suppose the best description would be two levitating secondary mortgage markets. As it emerges from the lava, floating over the pit, THE BEAST explains its diabolical plan.

Of course, it seems so obvious. As GSEs, AIG and CITIGROUP only buy within a conforming loan limit so they can repackage liquid revenue streams into the secondary market. By virtue of Gresham's Law, it is harder for lenders to sell loans, thus costing more to the consumers--typically 1/4 to 1/2 of a percent. However, ARM loans are almost 1 percent to 1.5 percent higher than typical hyperbolic discounting margins! And the most nefarious twist: even though FNMA and FHLMC are exempt from SEC filing requirements, they still voluntarily file their SEC 10-K and 10-Q forms!

Yes, so simple, why didn't we see it before?!

Unsheathe your sword and let the battle begin. Throw a few TAX CUTTERS and have TIMOTHY GEITHNER issue a moratorium on commercial paper transactions. AIG and CITIGROUP will surround themselves in a TOO BIG TO FAIL force-field. If you can execute a HOSTILE TAKEOVER and have WARREN BUFFETT cast GLACIAL VENGENCE, you should be able to take down the monster. The two-headed hellspawn will file CHAPTER ELEVEN BANKRUPTCY. From there sit back, recover, and enjoy the end game credits.