How to Kill Bug Pillars in Shadowrun Returns

Return of Shadowrun has a grand campaign full of twists and intrigue, and it all turns into an extended climactic mission set deep within the bowels of the Universal Brotherhood building. After a series of tough battles and being ambushed by terrifying insect spirits, you can feel relieved when you come to the final showdown.

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This battle is quite different from anything you’ve faced so far. There are more moving parts to manage and particularly difficult working conditions. Without further ado, here’s how to handle the final battle and defeat Jessica Wattsonce for all.

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The Battle Setup

When you enter the final room of the Universal Brotherhood mission, you’ll be confronted by Jessica Watts and Lynne Telestrian. No matter how this conversation goes, you will quickly be thrust into battle – try conjuring up sam for some interesting dialogue, though.

When the fight begins, you will notice that the battlefield has four interesting insect pillars dotted around the center, where you’ll find Lynne Telestrian preparing to become a bug queen. These pillars are important for battle, but you will find that they are completely immune to damage at the start of the encounter – normal damage and the Aegis cannons.

Instead, your enemy is Jessica, who will run around the battlefield activating insect pillars to draw power from them.

How to win the battle

It is important that you don’t kill jessica too fast. There seems to be a nasty bug preventing you from completing the game if you kill Jessica before the battle storyline progresses enough.

The goal of this fight is to follow Jessica around the battlefield, destroying the pillars of insects that she activates. You will know that a pillar is activated when it begins to glow with bright light. They’re weak and easy to hit, so unleash hell. You can tell a pillar has been defeated when it starts emitting “zZz” messages.

As this continues, more enemies will crash through walls as they complete this entire mission. Eradicate them as soon as you can, paying particular attention to Bomber insects and poisonous insects – these are the most dangerous. Worker bugs can be safely ignored if necessary, but others cannot.

You will want leave Jessica alive long enough to activate all four insect pillars. Once she’s done that, she’ll start coming back to reactivate the pillars you’ve already destroyed once. This is the safest way to face the fight as it gives the game enough time to progress the storyline of the battle.


You’ll know it’s safe to finish off Jessica once the soldier bug spawns from the wall north of the map.. This is the latest addition to combat.

Once you defeat Jessica and scare her away, then eradicate all the remaining True Insect Spirits, the fight will end and you can chase after Jessica to decide her fate.

If you end up with an empty battlefield (perhaps from accidentally killing Jessica too soon) with no enemies to fight, try to move your group around the perimeter of the arena. Sometimes a bug will only burst through the wall if you have an ally nearby. If you do this and no bugs burst, however, they probably haven’t appeared in-game and you’ll need to restart the level from the pause menu. Don’t worry though, this will restart you at the start of the fight, not the Universal Brotherhood mission.

Consider saving just before that – there are achievements for the three possible choices in the final dialogue with Jessica. Reload the game after getting the achievement and make a different choice to get the other achievements.

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