NETRICSA is a personal computer that was embedded into Sam's skull sometime before the series began. NETRICSA allows him to retrieve information about subjects such as enemies and weapons. Later versions are also able to analyze locations the user is in and give tips regarding where the user is. It also helps Sam by overlaying a HUD over his eyes, which shows a crosshair showing where Sam's bullets and projectiles will hit a target, the amount of ammo he has for each of his weapons, and the amount of armor and health he has.
NETRICSA will automatically update Sam about new information when he encounters a subject for the first time. For example, when he picks up the M1A2 Thompson, NETRICSA will update itself and analyze the data from the weapon. Also, if Sam kills an enemy type for the first time, NETRICSA will also update itself with data on the subject Sam just killed.
Gameplay-wise, NETRICSA will show the player's statistics, such as enemies killed, time in a level and secrets found. The only versions of NETRICSA that do not do this are the Serious Sam 3: BFE and Serious Sam: Next Encounter versions of NETRICSA.
Serious Sam 3: BFEEdit
The Serious Sam 3: BFE version of NETRICSA (no version name given) provides a detailed view of a subject, and will occasionally pan the subject around to show off interesting details about the subject. These panning movements are automatic.
NETRICSA does not provide large blocks of texts regarding locations. Instead, NETRICSA will show off a 3D map of an objective and any interesting points regarding the location. These points are brief and generally instruct him where to go, along with a historical fact or two to help him understand what he's getting into. When Sam is first told of a new location he must go to, NETRICSA will show a small 3D map of the location the lower left-hand corner of the screen. This is the same map that NETRICSA will show if Sam brings it up while in NETRICSA's databanks.
All subjects are in one list. Generally, enemies are on the top of the list, weapons are past the enemies, and location information is at the bottom of the list.
Serious Sam 1Edit
The Serious Sam 1 version of NETRISCA (v2.01) has changed compared to its appearance in Serious Sam 3: BFE, most likely to accommodate Sam's current situation. Instead of rotating a subject around and showing off interesting facts while doing so, this version of NETRISCA shows a large text writeup of the subject in a box on the right side of the screen, while the lower left-hand corner shows the subject. The writeup is much more detailed than the Serious Sam 3 version, as it shows off data such as weight, height and metabolism (the latter for enemies only).
Locations receive much more detailed information this time around. Whenever Serious Sam enters a new location, NETRICSA will show text relating to the new location, and how it relates to Sam's current goal. In addition, NETRICSA can analyze areas Sam is in independently of him and draw it's own conclusions regarding. This new function is very handy for Sam, as post-time travel, he doesn't really know much about the locations he is in, nor does he have someone on the radio helping to guide him.
The background color of this version of NETRICSA depends on the game it is used in. In Serious Sam: The First Encounter, the background is green, while The Second Encounter version has a blue background. Both versions include a line stating "personal version for:" followed by the name of the profile the player is using.
Information is divided into several categories. They are Tactical Data (hints for a certain location), Strategic Data (general overview of a location), Enemies, Weapons, and Statistics.
Serious Sam 2Edit
The Serious Sam 2 version of NETRISCA, 2.00 Lite, is quite different compared to previous versions. The ability to show information about enemies and weapons has been removed for some reason, which prevents Sam from learning about the enemies he defeats and/or the weapons he acquires.
In exchange for losing the ability to learn about enemies and weapons, NETRISCA has gained a voice, and will occasionally talk to Sam in order to point things out to him, state a fact, or to encourage or warn him. Sam can also talk back to her, but there are no instances of them talking back and forth after the introduction. Whenever NETRICSA talks, she appears as a blue woman with light hair and a black tank top on the left side of the screen.
The Serious Sam 2 version of NETRICSA also shows Sam a list of his objectives in a location, which previously did not exist. This lets Sam keep track of what he needs to do.
Statistics can be accessed by pressing the “enter” key. Pressing the Enter key again will switch back to showing an objective.
This version of NETRICSA will also verbally announce when the player has found a secret area, depending on the player's audio settings. The implication here seems to be that the secret area notifications from the other games were also the result of NETRICSA, but were simply not vocalized.
Serious Sam: XboxEdit
The Serious Sam: Xbox version of NETRICSA shows the same information that the Serious Sam 1 version does, but has a completely different display. Instead of having information in boxes, an image of the subject is shown on the left and the text information appears on the right with nothing between them. The background is different as well; the background is a dark blue background with numbers floating around.
Information about subjects is not divided into different categories. Instead, all of the data is in one list. The data is differentiated by the color of their icon.
Serious Sam: Next EncounterEdit
The Serious Sam: Next Encounter version of NETRISCA is exactly the same as the Serious Sam: Xbox version.
Serious Sam AdvanceEdit
Serious Sam Advance's version of NETRISCA is very close to the Serious Sam 1 version of NETRICSA, but it provides less detailed information on subjects, such as their weight and height. Instead, NETRICSA will provide statistics regarding the subject, such as how many times an enemy has been killed or how many shots have hit a target.
Serious Sam: Double DEdit
Serious Sam: Double D features NETRICSA, but only as a talking hologram. This version of NETRICSA appears as a woman with short black hair and green skin with spots on it. She advises Sam on what to do next and will occasionally start talking back to him if he talks to her. She does not provide any detailed information about a subject, Sam's objectives, or the player's statistics in a level.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Test 1 shows off a slightly different layout for NETRICSA's statistics screen. Some of the statistics are on the left side of the screen where the map would be. The statistics shown on the left side use a different font compared to the statistics on the right.
- The Test 1 NETRICSA has a voice, but will only use it when Sam receives a new message. It will say “INCOMING MESSAGE” in a mechanical-sounding man's voice. There is also a sound clip of NETRICSA saying “HIGH SCORE” with a similar voice, but this clip is completely unused in Test 1. It was most likely to be played when the player reached a high score.
- Previews of Serious Sam 2 suggest that NETRICSA would be able to appear as a hologram and interact with Sam and the world. Hologram NETRICSA on a stage with Sam in what appears to be Coast 2 Cost can be seen in preview footage.