: If you’re wondering why we just jumped from being in the Yukimura building to here, that’s how it is in the game. You didn’t miss anything.
: “Move carefully…”
: “Whatever, hurry the fuck up!”
: There’s only one thing we can do here, and that’s go south through that door. Don’t ask me how Big Dick gets through it with that desk in the way.
: “He’s totally emaciated.”
: “The bomber, Hanao Hiseki, killed himself. Our one and only lead…”
: “Time to put some work into it, I guess.”
: “Tetsu, you sound like it’s someone else’s problem…”
: “Huh? Well, I mean it isn’t ‘my’ job, so, you know.”
: “It’s not my turn to shine yet.”
: “Why not?”
: “You don’t wanna get in the way now, do you? We don’t need anymore breaks.”
: “What is it?”
: “It’s here!!”
: “Son of a bitch!!! Put it up on the screen, now!!”
: You can hear a lighter going off in the background and an exhale.
: The blow-up doll is covered in some kind of liquid from above.
: “What the hell is this…? What does this mean? Is this some sort of riddle?”
: “Maybe it’s a threat?”
: “So ‘murder’, huh… where’s Kosaka?”
: “At the satellite.”
: “Give it to Kosaka!”
: “Sakaguchi, how’s it going?”
: “Is this Kosaka?”
: “Did you see it?”
: “Yes, from over here.”
: “What do you think?”
: “What do they want?”
: “They must want something.”
: “What is it?”
: “At this point…”
: " ‘This point’ is the last one! There is no ‘next time’! Feel it, Kosaka! Feel their voices! What they’re trying to say… what they believe in… search out their screams!"
: “I’ll do everything in my power!”
: “Good!! I’m counting on you, Kosaka…”
: “This is the first case I’ve ever seen that needed this much legwork.”
: “Really. I don’t even know what to think.”
: “We’re screwed at this point.”
: “Us, too… our research guys have nothing. Nothing from the body of the bomber, Hiseki, nor from the items left behind…”
: “How about Tetsu’s side?”
: “No idea…”
: “Nothing here, either…”
: “How about you, Tetsu?”
: “He’s all shut off.”
: Kusabi is in the HC Unit 1 office.
: “This is Kosaka from Central. Is this Kusabi?”
: “Actually, this is top secret, but…”
: “It’s just some dickhead… Hey! Whose radio do you think this is?!”
: “I know I’m not supposed to contact you here. I have no excuse.”
: “The hell do you want?”
: “That Kosaka guy, what a fuckin’ dick. Just cutting me off like that?!”
: “It’s fine. Hachisuka is working behind the scenes. Timrod, find an open desk.”
: This is one of the few things in this game I think truly needed a re-design. You see how all of the desks are apparently empty?
: If we try contacting these computers, directly in front of us, the game will act like it’s doing something and then dump us back at the contact menu.
: Instead, we have to turn to the right and contact this computer, which for some unknown reason isn’t occupied despite there being no visual indicator that it isn’t.
: “Just hurry the fuck up.”
: “Wait a second. We can’t just go off.”
: “Huh? What do you mean?”
: “It’s not like I have some special skills or anything…”
: “Oh really?”
: “You didn’t know?”
: “Then why did the old man put you here?”
: “Because I’m more ‘common’.”
: “Yeah. That’s what the boss said.”
: “The fuck kind of standards are those?”
: “They needed regular people.”
: “So what, you’re some kind of neutralizer?”
: “Basically, yeah.”
: “And you’re okay with that?”
: “I mean…”
: The same video we saw in the conference room plays again.
: Metal Gear!?
: “If you look through the picture, a code appears.”
: “What, like invisible ink?”
: “Exactly. Like modern-day invisible ink.”
: “To be more specific… this picture uses discrete cosine transformation for image compression. Burying data inside the DCT coefficient renders it invisible to the naked eye…”
: This might sound like something Suda made up, but it actually isn’t. It’s hard to explain what the Discrete Cosine Transform actually is - everything I found about it has a bunch of incredibly dense math.
: The easiest way to explain it is like this. The DCT is an algorithm that takes an image or audio file, runs it through this complex math equation, and then outputs a lower-quality version of the file to save space.
: In fact, you’re seeing the DCT in action right now - this site compresses my original screenshots (which are in .png format and are 1:1 copies of what I see on screen) into .jpgs which have lost some of the original data.
: One other thing I’d like to add is that hiding data inside the DCT coefficient is very much a thing, but most of the implementations I could find of it stopped being updated in like 2003.
: I want to talk about this a bit too, because this is actually something that doesn’t exist. The largest diamond ever mined is called the Cullinan - it was mined in 1905.
: The Cullinan weighed around 1.25 pounds before it was cut, and a quick search tells me that its estimated value is around $400 million.
: Keep in mind that diamond prices are jangly key man bullshit - they basically sell for whatever the person grading them thinks they’re worth.
: Anyway, 600 billion yen is around $4.625 billion US dollars at current exchange rates and about 11.5 times what the Cullinan was worth uncut.
: “These guys are greedy. Get hold of Kosaka right away.”
: “600 billion by tomorrow… is that even possible?”’
: “No idea. Maybe selling that building would bring about that much in?”
: “That wouldn’t be enough.”
: “Well then, Yukimura’s finished.”
: “Difficult. Things have gotten pretty shaky.”
: “The fucking hyenas…”
: “We’ll continue to negotiate. If that doesn’t work out…”
: “The government can pay. Get a mortgage on all Yukimura-owned land, there should be no problem.”
: This seems crazy until you remember that the zaibatsus probably are the government.
: “OK then…”
: “Go ask Tsubaki. It should work out somehow.”
: “We’ll have to deal with the aftermath, but…”
: “I don’t care. A man’s life is at stake. Necessity knows no law.”
: Funny how the cops that have a license to kill suddenly give a shit about human life when it’s a rich person.
: “Understood. I’ll get right on it.”
: “Do it.”
: “OK… be careful.”
: “See you later…”
: “Big Dick… no, it’s nothing… never mind.”
: “One hour ago… there was a phone call from someone assumed to be the suspect.”
: “A phone call here?”
: “Could they trace it?”
: I was going to say something about them having a spy satellite, but then I realized the spy satellite didn’t know that the person it was tracking wasn’t Kamui.
: “I see. – What’s up with Sumio?”
: “He went back to HQ.”
: “At a time like this…?”
: “Looks like they’re ready.”
: It looks like Kusabi’s going senile, but I left the dialog on this line while I waited for the video to play while recording to ensure I didn’t miss anything.
: “The items specified by the suspect.”
: “Specified? What do you mean?”
: “All they said was that we’d need this…”
: “What about the rest of the equipment?”
: “It wasn’t allowed.”
: " ‘Wasn’t allowed’ ?"
: “They said if they saw anything, they’d kill the chairman.”
: “Yeah, that makes sense.”
: “Why Big Dick?”
: "Chief Director Kotobuki’s insistence.
: Kotobuki clearly realized that this is a job for a highly trained chinchilla.
: “The old man?”
: “Yes. I was told by Sakaguchi.”
: “Whatever… Big Dick, go get a real good look at their faces, burn them into your eyeballs…”
: “Anyway, just be sure to come back.”
: “Until we get the signal from the suspect, please go ahead and rest.”
: “Weren’t you at HQ?”
: “They told me to wait here.”
: “I see…”
: “Any contact from the suspect?”
: “No movement at all.”
: “Everything feels really heavy now.”
: “Here it is!”
: “This radio.”
: If you’ve played No More Heroes, you probably remember the weird text-to-speech voice that Suda used. This uses the same thing.
: “What’s it mean?”
: “Let’s dance…”
: “He’s fucking with us.”
: “Timrod, you’re up. Transporting a 600 billion-yen diamond… it’s a big job. I’ll guide you over the radio. Work out the rest on your own. Timrod, it’s all on you now. Don’t mess this up.”
: I don’t know if this is supposed to be Big Dick’s car or what, but it looks like something a chinchilla would drive.
: “Why do these assholes know about our radio frequency?”
: “They must be a pretty technically-skilled group.”
: “Or it’s an inside job…”
: “That can’t be possible. Those radios are set to a very specific frequency specified by the suspects.”
: “So of course they know the frequency, then.”
: “No… actually, it’s quite a difficult range. It’s not the sort of range that could be easily used to communicate.”
: “A real veteran then, huh?”
: “Timrod, move in accordance with the instructions.”
: “No instructions from the suspect yet.”
: “Where would he be headed moving in this direction?”
: “The industrial zone.”
: “If he enters into a highly concentrated industrial zone, it will be hard to pinpoint them.”
: “I guess it’s gonna be up to Big Dick then…”
: “Here it is!”
: “What’re they saying?”
: “I guess they want him to get off.”
: “Timrod, get off at the next interchange.”
: Big Dick does some sick drifts in the Chinchillamobile. Somehow, he knows exactly where he’s headed based off “go to the crematorium”… even though what we’re headed to really isn’t a crematorium.
: “Emergency communication! Surround the trash processing plant. Set a three-kilometer perimeter. Don’t let a single ant get through. Keep it totally locked down!!”
: “They’re jamming the signal… I can’t reach Timrod by radio.”
: What we have to do here is take the left turn.
: This puts us in front of one of the incinerators, at which point we get the message…
: Turn left and move one space, and we get…
: When we move to the next tank, we get this message before we can turn to face it.
: Okay, that makes sense, because that’d make us face the last incinerator…
: I… guess we’re going back the way we came?
: Or we’re going to face away from the incinerator. That works too.
: Nope! This is just Suda trolling us. What we actually have to do is go back to where we came in, and then take the right path instead.
: This leads us to this cable box. We can try to contact it, but nothing happens.
: Remember how Kosaka had that pocketknife and the stun gun on the table?
: In a rare use of the Implement command, we have to use the knife to cut open the cable box, in a move straight out of the beginning of Resident Evil 2.
: This leaves us with a contact point that also doesn’t do anything if we attempt to contact it.
: This is what the stun gun is for.
: “Timrod, where are you now? What’s the situation?”
: “We’ve got him. This position would be… smokestacks? What’s the suspect thinking? Where are they gonna trade…”
: “They’re using the smokestacks to… Timrod, they’re not here. Check the surrounding… the radio’s out again…”
: I’m not entirely sure how this guy gets the briefcase with the diamond in it, or how a diamond that big would fit in that briefcase, but okay.
: Yep, that guy just jumped into a smokestack with the diamond. I’m sure he has some plan to get out, and…
: Uh, do smokestacks work that way? I didn’t think they actually shot fire like that.
: For some definition of ‘unharmed’.
: “Is this OK?”
: “Isn’t it? We got the chairman back unharmed.”
: “Yukimura is stuck with a 600 billion yen loss.”
: “Yukimura’s finished, I guess.”
: “Finished? Why?”
: I was kind of curious as to how much of a hit this would be to one of the big Japanese companies in reality, so I looked at two of them: Sumitomo-Mitsui and Mitsubishi, both of which were formerly zaibatsus.
: According to Fortune, Sumitomo-Mitsui had revenues of $36.8 billion in 2021. Of that, their profit for the year was around $4.8 billion. Would a $4.6 billion loss sink the company? Probably not. It’d hurt a lot, but they’d most likely survive it.
: For Mitsubishi, we’d need to look at their 2020 numbers, because Fiscal Year 2021 is kind of an outlier. They usually have around $5 billion a year in profit, so they’d likely survive as well.
: What if we adjusted for inflation?
: If we did that, both Sumitomo-Mitsui and Mitsubishi would be in trouble - they’d have lost their entire profit for the year and it’d wreak havoc on their stock price. Would they go under? I still doubt it.
: Both companies have hundreds of billions in assets, as Japanese companies tend to sit on massive piles of cash, and could probably survive it.
: “In Yukimura’s current situation, he can’t handle something of that scale.”
: Either 1999 is a real bad year for Yukimura, or they’re a really shitty zaibatsu. I mean, you probably control the government and you can’t even take a $4.6 billion hit?
: “Right? So he’s finished.”
: “The wounds the suspect inflicted were deep… I guess that was their target.”
: “Most likely… rather than money, screwing Yukimura over may have been their real goal. The guy jumped into a smokestack. As for the guy thought to be the actual perpetrator, we have no ID on him… there weren’t even any bones left.”
: “We have no way of finding out what it is he was after.”
: “What about the diamond?”
: This is another thing that I thought was fake, but is actually quite plausible. Because diamonds are pure carbon, they bond with oxygen at high temperatures and vaporize into carbon dioxide.
: This process starts at 763 degrees celsius (1405 F). According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, most trash incinerators are operated well above that.
: The average incinerator runs somewhere between 980 to 1200 degrees celsius (1800 to 2200 F), and an industrial trash plant is probably going to be on the high end of that.
: " ‘A diamond doesn’t turn to ash.’ Or, ‘didn’t turn to ash’, rather."
: “What a waste…”
: “From Central?”
: “My name is Kosaka. Is Kusabi here?”
: “He’s in the back room. Go on in…”
: “Thank you…”
: “Hey… what’s up, you guys get it cleaned up?”
: “Yes. We’ve finished removal.”
: “Where’s Afro?”
: “He went back to Central. He said to send you his regards…”
: “Regards for what?”
: “I believe he’s trying to scout you…”
: “Tell him I’m too expensive.”
: “I’ll tell him.”
: “I’m kidding.”
: “How’s your stomach?”
: “Like a medal of honor. Thank you.”
: I’m not sure if this is saying that he didn’t try seppuku, or that he did but stopped early enough to not die from it.
: “I just thought I’d say hello. Thank you for all your help.”
: “Thank you.”
: “Let’s get together again sometime.”
: “It would be an honor.”
: “It’d be better if that time never came, but…”
: “I agree. Crime can ruin one’s heart. Even innocent bystanders can be greatly affected.”
: “Reducing that exact thing is our job.”
: “You mean covering it up?”
: “Close, but not exactly.”
: “Using ‘disposal’ as a method of solving crimes… but I’ve started doubting my opinion on the matter. The idea of bringing everything to light is…”
: Speaking of which, Kusabi hasn’t killed anyone this entire game, apart from that one guy from Moonlight Syndrome in the intro case.
: “No… so far, the case we’re working on has yet to claim a single person’s life, and we’re on our way towards solving it.”
: “Maybe the perpetrator’s motivation was simply to act? To me, it feels like it was some sort of demonstration.”
: This part I’m a little confused by. We’ve already seen Morikawa and Nakategawa outright tell us why the crime was committed - it was done to ruin Yukimura’s company and him in the process.
: I think it’d be pretty clear to both of them, especially given that Kusabi is usually the one spearheading the investigations.
: “They’ve committed plenty of crimes with plenty of victims. But without showing their motive…”
: “There are many crimes for which the purpose isn’t clear.”
: “What’re you trying to say?”
: “I don’t know. I don’t know, but…”
: “I feel like the fact that the perpetrator has put together such a huge-scale puzzle means they’re trying to say something to the world.”
: “You think too much.”
: “Do I?”
: “They’ve left some sort of message. But at the same time, they’ve left others with scars. The information distributed by the media is going to cause a great number of people to fall victim to their crimes.”
: “So I feel that covering up the very crime itself is a necessary evil.”
: I’m not sure whether this chapter would be better or worse without this part. I mean, I know why Suda is probably doing it - this is meant to be a character moment for Kusabi - but still.
: " ‘Evil’, huh…"
: “And… by covering everything up, we take away the chance for certain people to assert themselves. That is to say… the chance for the weak to fight back. They’ll be left with no way.”
: “Whether or not that’s actually necessary, I just don’t know anymore.”
: “Sounds like you’ve gotten in too deep. I get what you’re trying to say. But that’s some naive bullshit. You need to get rid of any superfluous emotions. Totally nuke them.”
: “Just look at what’s right in front of your eyes. Keep your eyes on the prize. Stare down the enemy in front of you. That’s how you investigate.”
: “Am I wrong?”
: “You’re right. I think I’d been getting a bit soft. I will repent. I’ll throw everything I have into this investigation.”
: Next time, we’ll finish Parade.