Terminals appear in Offices, Computer Rooms and Cipher Rooms. They should not be confused with a Computer, a type of Buggable Furniture, which tends to appear in the same rooms (except the Office), but looks very different.
Terminals always appear away from the wall, facing either North or South.
You can hide behind a Terminal when crouched. It is not possible to jump over a Terminal.
Terminals are unique, and function completely differently from all other pieces of Furniture. There are two ways to interact with a Terminal:
- Collect letters for the current Password. This is done by walking up to a Terminal and pressing the "ENTER" key. Only one letter can be acquired from each Terminal in the Hideout. Once collected, a Terminal will no longer provide another letter until the current Break-In ends.
- Hack the Terminal by guessing (or completing) the Password, and query it for information. You can do this at any Terminal (repeatedly if required) as long as you can acquire or guess the Password. This is done by walking up to a Terminal and pressing the "F4" key, the inputting the password and query when prompted to do so.
- Main article: Password
To access any Terminal, Max must first collect part or all of a Password. This is done by approaching various Terminals and hitting the "ENTER" key. Each Terminal will provide exactly one letter.
Passwords are selected randomly from a set vocabulary pool, and are always valid English words. They are never shorter than 5 letters, and never longer than 12.
Once you feel confident that you know the Password, you can try to Hack a Terminal with it. Whether or not the Hacking was successful, the Password will immediately change. If there are any Terminals remaining that have not yet been "tapped" for a letter, they will now provide letters to the new Password.
- Main article: Hacking
Hacking a Terminal is pretty much the only way to acquire information about a specific person, place or thing. It is possible to collect lots of different types of information through Hacking.
To Hack a Terminal, Max must walk up to any Terminal and press the "F4" key.
You will first be prompted for a Password. You get only one chance to guess the correct one by typing it in. Failure to guess the password will invariably raise the alarm, end the Hacking process, and change the Password automatically.
Once the correct Password has been entered, Max is prompted to make a query to the Terminal. There are many possible things you can type in, as explained on the Hacking page.
Not all Terminals hold data about everything that you might query. If the Terminal does not have the data you requested (or if the Query is invalid), you'll get another chance, and then another. If Max fails to get any data after three Queries, the Hacking process ends normally (see below).
If a correct query is entered, the Terminal will provide the data you asked for, and the Hacking process ends. On higher Difficulty levels, there's some chance that the alarm will be raised immediately. On the Global Crisis Difficulty, it will always be raised.
Once the Hacking process ends, one way or another, the Password for the Terminals is changed. You will have to collect more letters if you wish to Hack another Terminal.
Any Terminal may be hacked any number of times, regardless of whether or not it has provided a letter to the Password.