YIIKES! Let's Dunk on YIIK: A Plagiarism RPG

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I hope you’re ready for what is almost 30 minutes of straight cutscene.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Our first cutscene is 33 textboxes, followed by a monologue.

Fuckhead: “Hi, I’m Rory. I’m a scene kid with a dead sister. Uh-- that’s it.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Historical note: no one would have described themselves as “scene” in 1999. That was more of a mid-2000s thing that sort of went hand-in-hand with “emo”. The worst part is, the game’s about to double down on the whole being set in 1999 thing.

Fuckhead: “Yeah, I work at this shitty video store, Planet VHS. We can get you any movie six to twelve months after its continental U.S. release on VHS. So basically, we suck.”

Michael: “Any plans for college or anything?”

Fuckhead: “I don’t know if college is really in the cards for me.”

Douche: “Why do you say that?”

Fuckhead: “Well, after my sister died, my parents aren’t really themselves. They’ve had a rocky relationship as it is. So I think if I left, everything would fall apart.”

Douche: “But that’s not your job. You don’t have to keep your parents together.”

Fuckhead: “Do either of you have jobs?”

Michael: “I used to deliver papers, but nothing lately. Now my dad pays me to proofread the things he writes.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Here’s what I really hate about this cutscene. They’ve already used a lot of words, and we’ve learned surprisingly little. I feel like Andrew Allanson must’ve had a motivational poster on his wall reading “TELL, DON’T SHOW” or something.

Michael: “Oh yeah, and Alex is unemployed.”

Fuckhead: “I might be able to get you a job at Planet VHS.”

Douche: “Oh yeah. No, I’m good. I’m just holding out for the right job. I’m not really in a rush.”

Michael: “Didn’t you tell me on the way that your mom lost her job and you needed to help her out?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Wait, wha- did they just… did they just summarize to almost avoid repeating a plot point we’ve already known about? My god. Why couldn’t they have done this FOR THIS ENTIRE FUCKING CUTSCENE?

Douche: “I think she was just saying that. But I know she wouldn’t want to push me into anything I’m not ready for.”

Fuckhead: “Did you go to college?”

Douche: “Yeah, I graduated earlier this year. I have my B.L.A.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I have never heard anyone refer to a degree that way in casual conversation. It’s an actual term - Bachelor of Liberal Arts - but still.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I wish I had kept a count of typos in the script, but that’s at least the third one I’ve noticed.

Douche: “I’ll find something. I just need to hold out a bit longer til it feels right.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: “Jetset City” is obviously a stand-in for Jersey City. I’d look up whether Frankton is a stand-in name for an actual place in New Jersey, but I’m too lazy.

Douche: I’m not exaggerating. I didn’t want to remember any of it. It was so pathetic.The more I thought about my life up to then, the more I hated myself."

Douche: “It wasn’t that I hadn’t been happy or hadn’t enjoyed my high school experience. I could recall a handful of really great times. But if you added them up, the shameful, painful memories far outnumbered the others.”

Douche: “When I thought of how I’d been living, how I’d been approaching life, it was all so trite, so miserably pointless. When I made it to college, I knew this was a time for reinvention.”

Douche: “All I needed to do was imagine the Alex I wanted to be and work towards him. Forget the old Alex and be someone worth being.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: God, he is such a fucking tool! And the thing is, I don’t think the devs were doing this in a way that was like “Oh, that’s how you’re meant to see it, he’s supposed to be that way”, they probably thought it was actually good writing! Fuck!

Douche: “So anyway, I got to college. Made friends with people I never thought I’d hang out with, got interested in poetry, started listening to Dylan.”

Douche: “I was in with the hip crowd, but being hip doesn’t mean you have direction. That isn’t to say some of the kids I met weren’t going places and I hear many of them did.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Okay, so we’re at a train station that we apparently took the bus to? This looks way too anime. Let’s just take a break and grab that trash can and…

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Nope! The game forces us straight into another cutscene.

Michael: “Yeah. I am.”

Fuckhead: “You don’t sound so excited!”

Michael: “It’s just scary. Not the leaving home part, I don’t care about that. But you have four years to ensure that you have a future. That’s a lot of pressure isn’t it?”

Michael: “When my parents were kids, you didn’t HAVE to go to college. I bet, in 10 years, you’ll need your master’s to even be considered for a job.”

Michael: “I’m also scared of the debt, you know?”

Douche: “Did your parents set up a college fund?”

Michael: “Nah. They didn’t really have that kind of money. They did good for a while, but my dad’s work hasn’t been going so well.”

Fuckhead: “Do you know what you want to go for?”

Michael: “It’s 1999 and the economy is terrible compared to my parents’ day.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The economy was actually good in 1999 due to the fact that the dot-com bubble was still a thing. Even after the bubble popped, nothing was really that bad until the financial meltdown in 2007.

Michael: “Imagine what it will be like for our kids’ kids if we don’t get our shit together.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This reminds me of that one page in the Doom comic.

Fuckhead: “Yeah, it’s scary. But you need to face that reality eventually. What are you leaning towards?”

Michael: “Computers, probably. Maybe I’ll make computer games.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: OH! Michael’s a self-insert too. I hadn’t realized.

Michael: “Huh. I have no idea. I wonder if they have to translate programming languages.”

Fuckhead: “They don’t. All programming is done in English, unless you’re working in pure binary. Then you have just ones and zeroes.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: 01010100 01001000 01001001 01010011 00100000 01000111 01000001 01001101 01000101 00100000 01010011 01010101 01011000

Michael: “How do you know this?”

Fuckhead: “Oh yeah. I’ve tried making games before. I used Objective C. It’s pretty fun. Not great at making graphics, but I’m getting there.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Just going to skip the next five textboxes because even the game admits they’re pointless.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This part is particularly fucking egregious. See how there’s stores here? We can’t go in any of them until we’ve gone to Burger Joint. You can’t see it very well, but right next to the “Toys & Sports” store is the Planet VHS Rory ostensibly works at. Worse, after we do the Burger Joint cutscene, we STILL can’t go in any of the stores except the Record Stop next door.

Douche: “Michael, concerned about the future. Rory, who had something to aspire to.”

Douche: “At the time I told myself I had a purpose: I was looking for Semi Pak. I was going to find her, save her, I don’t know. Something was going to happen. Somehow there would be meaning in all this craziness.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I really can’t think of anything more exciting you could do in a game than watch people make uncomfortable small talk.

Michael: “Yeah.”

Fuckhead: “Really seems like the world is going to shit, doesn’t it? First Alex loses Sammy, I lose Carrie, the economy is tanking. Future looks bleak in 1999, boys.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: By mid-1999, local news stations would run shit about Y2K all the time. It was 1999’s equivalent of those days where they have the weather guy standing on the tarmac at the airport so they can say there’s a heat wave. The fact that this is the first time they even mention the thing their game is named after, and that they do it in a completely irrelevant small-talk segment, does not bode well.

Fuckhead: “This will cause various problems with dates and finances, and will probably cause a big mess. People all over the world are panicking.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So, let’s talk about the real Y2K ‘crisis’ for a bit. It wasn’t really a crisis. The problem had been thought about for years before 1999, and by 1998 the U.S. government had an entire task force devoted to solving any Y2K-related issues before they popped up. It got to the point where there was even an international body called the International Y2K Cooperation Center that formed specifically to address this problem.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Most private organizations that had systems that might’ve been effected had long since patched it or found workarounds by the time January 2000 hit. By the time all was said and done, according to the BBC over $300 billion had been spent globally to mitigate Y2K.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So, did anything actually happen? Not really. Wikipedia has a list of possible Y2K bugs, and the worst was a minor issue at a nuclear plant in Japan that may not have even had anything to do with Y2K in the first place. In fact, there’s a lot of people who argue that the entire Y2K taskforce was a gigantic waste of money because plenty of systems that hadn’t been “Y2K-prepped” never had any issues.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Really, the only silver lining to the Y2K ‘crisis’ was that it helped mitigate the effects of 9/11.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: One other thing I found that was kind of amusing was that apparently, there was a miniature “Y2k10” crisis in Germany revolving around a credit card system not being able to handle a date of 01/01/2010.

Douche: “What’s wrong with you guys?! That could cause serious problems! This is crazy. How have I never heard of this before?”

Michael: “Probably because you live under a posh little rock and only hear about the things your mommy wants you to hear about.”

Douche: “Screw you, man.”

Fuckhead: “Maybe that’s why everything is going to shit. Maybe the world will end in the year 2000, we’ll all die, and our souls will float up into the Soul Space.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Maybe I died in 2000 and this is what hell looks like.

Michael: “Could you imagine?”

Douche: “Do you really think Y2K could have something to do with Sammy’s disappearance?”

Fuckhead: “No, I mean, that’s a computer problem, right? But then again, the world does feel like it’s falling apart - all that war and what not overseas.”

Douche: “What wars?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I really, really don’t get where the fuck this conversation is going, or why they’re having it, or really anything at this point. My brain shut off like thirty text boxes ago. I also took the liberty of fact-checking this, because at this point doing research is less boring than this game is. All of them check out, but with the time skip the Kosovo War would either already be over or be very close to being over - it ended in June of 1999.

Douche: “I had no idea there were so many wars happening. What are they fighting over?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: In order: the border between Ethiopia and Somalia, Communism, the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, separation from Yugoslavia and the persecution of the Albanians by the Serbs, the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and overthrowing the government of Sierra Leone but also diamonds and PMCs.

Fuckhead: “Isn’t that what war is usually about? War for war’s sake?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Who the fuck are you, Kazuhira Benedict McDonell Miller?

Douche: “I’m so uninformed. Geeze, I used to read the newspaper in college, but now all I read is ONISM 1999.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I feel like this was supposed to be the setup for a stupid Family Guy style “joke”, but they never deliver.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The record store cutscene is a whopping eleven textboxes long, and all they really needed was this one. So we’re free of the godawful cutscenes now, right? …right?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Nope, because we need to get on the bus again!

Douche: “There was something fun about our little quest for this record.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: No there isn’t! No there fucking isn’t!

Douche: “Far from my mind were the things that brought me here: Sammy’s disappearance, the entities, Vella.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: You thought about Sammy in the fucking burger place! You know, where you just were not even minutes ago! You fucking assclown!

Douche: “Vella - she was probably still mad at me, fuming away at her arcade, taking out her anger at me on unsuspecting tweens. I wondered why she didn’t want us to find the record.”

Douche: “I wondered if she had some bad memories associated with it or if there was something about entities that I didn’t know My mind turned to Y2K. Could the world really end this year?”

Douche: “If you asked me six months ago I’d have laughed at you. But now that I’d seen so much strangeness, I could honestly say that stranger things have happened.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Welcome to Flag Town. There’s… really not much of a point to a lot of this place. The shops sell the same stuff we can get in Frankton, and nothing new has been added to them since we left. Let’s go hit the record store.

Douche: "Hey man. I’m looking for this record, you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s called ‘Mystical Ultima LP Legend.’ I have the jacket, but I’m missing the record.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is Claudio, one of the two people who will shortly be joining our party. Claudio is… quite literally a black Travis Touchdown. The thing is, he’d have to be REALLY into anime to have a shirt like that in 1999. Importing stuff from Japan was not nearly as easy as it is today. I also like how they had to rip off Travis’s shirt rather than make something even vaguely original.

Douche: “What?! Yeah, I mean. I go on there but how did you know?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I kind of hate all the characters in this game for being badly written, but Claudio has one thing going for him: he uses an actual weapon… even if it’s a katana.

Claudio: “I’m guessing it wasn’t you who posted it then, was it? Haven’t you checked the forum today? Someone posted a photo of this record jacket, and they’ve been asking people if they have a copy. They said it has to do with Semi Pak’s disappearance.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Typo counter: at least 5 that I know of.

Claudio: “I go on the forum too, obviously. Yeah, I’ve been following Semi’s story for a while. But aren’t you the guy who posted the photos of her last known location?”

Douche: “I am. But – wow-- it’s just-- I had no idea anyone around here even knew about Semi. I’m just shocked.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: RIP punctuation.

Douche: “I’m Alex. This is Michael, he is the one who took the photos. This guy here is Rory. He also lurks on ONISM.”

Claudio: “Great. So you’re looking for Mystical LP, huh? Well, sorry we don’t got it.”

Douche: sigh

Claudio: “But I do know where you can get it! It’s going to sound a bit odd. Hell, you know what? I’ll come with you. I own this stupid place, I can take a break whenever I want.”

Douche: “Yeah, we’re down. Where do we go?”

Claudio: “He’s a really chill guy, a bit out there, but he has the biggest record collection on the east coast. He’s bound to have it!! Let me just grab my sister.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Gotta love how they go ahead and repeat shit we’ve already heard IN THIS SAME FUCKING CONVERSATION.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The menu is now a clusterfuck. The four people on the left are our active battle party. I immediately dumped Rory for Chondra, because she has an actual attack. However… let’s talk about what happened when I tried to equip Claudio and Chondra.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: “Timrod,” I say to myself, “You should probably get some battle footage with Claudio and Chondra, and maybe show off their stats to cap off what is otherwise going to be an entire update of nothing but cutscenes.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: First, I went and explored the town. Flag Town is very big, in that it’s bigger than Frankton, but also very empty in that the only “hidden” chest is in this dipshit maze over here. It’s a pog.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Then, I say to myself “I’ve been pretty stingy with money, but we’re fucking loaded. Let’s go get some proper equipment for the new party members because we have none.” What you’re looking at right here is a softlock.

Apparently, the game has a bug where if you are within interaction range of an NPC that brings up a menu (basically any shop owner) and attempt to open the main menu to, say, equip your characters and take a look at their stats, the game stores the menu state and then locks up if you hit F2 (the menu key) again. I got a video of this. You’ll notice menu sounds - that’s me pressing buttons. I took this as a sign from the gods that this update would not in fact be the update where I show off any actual gameplay.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’m going to end the update on that softlock, but here’s something that also pissed me off. See these? This is the equipment store’s loadout right now - the only things missing are the default weapons for Claudio and Chondra, which aren’t visible. They sell flip-flops THAT DO FUCKING NOTHING. JUST LIKE THIS GODDAMN GAME. IT’S LIKE A FUCKING METAPHOR!

Next time, we’ll head to the mountain and hopefully get some actual gameplay in, and not softlock a third time this game.

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You notice that the game is setting Alex up to be a victim here? I’m not just talking about the part of last update where he’s trying to guilt trip Vella for having the temerity to be mad at him for being a complete and utter fuckchimp. I’m talking about how all Vella will actually say about The Quest For The Cursed Long Play is “don’t do it I swear to God” several times over before she finally loses her temper and tells him to make like a tree and fuck off. This way, when this inevitably blows up, it will be Vella’s fault for being an irrational bitch, and not Alex’s for ignoring an extremely strong and clear warning.

In a better game she would have told him straight up and Alex would have had a compelling reason to consider ignoring her anyway but that’s kinda the rub now isn’t it. This game was MADE to have someone like Niosi in the starring role.

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Oh, I absolutely do. I have to wonder if Niosi had some kind of input on the character, since that’s a thing that has happened at larger studios - I know as an example that JK Simmons had some issues with the script Valve made for Portal 2 and outright refused to read some of the lines because they sounded too creepy. Sure, Niosi doesn’t have anywhere near the pull JK Simmons does (especially now) but when he’s a relatively big-name voiceactor working with a studio consisting of two chucklefucks whose claim to fame was some indie game no one ever played I can imagine him having the pull to get script changes made.

I think what this game really shows is why it’s important to have a diverse audience of beta testers, even if you’re a small studio and have to rely on giving copies away to people because you don’t have the money to pay full-time testers.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Now that we’ve managed to avoid softlocking the game yet again, let’s check out Chondra and Claudio in battle.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Claudio has the highest HP and strength stat by far of anyone in the party. He’s… also somehow less useful than Vella was when we had her. Chondra has a higher strength score than Alex but does about 1/5th of his damage.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is the world map near Flag Town. To the right is a burger store, which sells nothing we need.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The blue house is an internet cafe, which conveniently has a healing spot inside of it. You can access ONISM to pick up a couple of sidequests, but I don’t think we can do any of them right now.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There are… several monster dens near Flag Town, but the EXP they give is jack shit compared to those random encounters from the last update.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Chondra… Chondra fucking sucks. She’s better than Rory, but only because Rory can’t attack. Her gimmick is that she has four stances and the ability to spread items across the party.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Devil Stance outright fucking kills one of your party members, and also costs a bunch of Chondra’s HP and PP to boost her damage from maybe like, ten with a max combo to… around fifteen. Still well short of Alex and Michael.

Strong Stance costs HP, and Wild Stance costs PP with each attack.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is Chondra’s QTE. The hula hoop has a hand on it, and the hand will touch an icon on the left or right which has a random button on it. Now, here’s the shit part of this. Missing an input will SET YOUR COMBO TO ZERO, causing you to automatically miss your attack.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: In contrast, Claudio is much easier to hit with, but his damage… still isn’t great.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: His QTE is a bastardized version of the power meter from Neo Turf Masters. If you manage to hit the green line, Claudio attacks all enemies instead of just one for a bit more damage. You know what I want? I want a Neo Turf Masters RPG.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: In contrast, I can routinely hit for 20+ damage using Alex’s attack.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: One thing I haven’t shown off is that this game has an assist mode. You can turn it on, and it will give you infinite time energy. Given how bad Chondra’s attack is even at max combo, I might consider using this if we run into another Golden Alpaca level boss fight (and I’m sure we will) just to maximize damage assuming we don’t get Vella back before the next boss. Correction: by the time I recorded the dungeon coming up, I turned that shit on and never looked back.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s a couple of other locations we can visit now, including the place where Alex presumably went to college, the news station Semi worked for, and a mall that has fuck-all in it except a healing item store and a pog.

Chondra “Usually it’s so quiet here. Any ideas, Claudio?”

Claudio: “Well… there may or may not have been a post on ONISM about a ghost sighting nearby.”

Fuckhead: “Oh yeah, I saw that. Some people said the ghost of Semi Pak was haunting the cave nearby.”

Douche: “SAMMY?!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I wonder what Alex’s codename would be if he somehow got into MSF or Diamond Dogs. Whining Panda? Douchebag Duck?

Fuckhead: “I really doubt it’s her… one of the commenters on the post said it was his sister, who was haunting a cassette tape, or something. Personally, if you want to details I’d just check ONISM.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: What this is supposed to be is an intro to the game’s sidequests, which are hidden in ONISM posts. I didn’t even know about these until I looked up how to solve one of the puzzles in the dungeon and someone mentioned it on the Steam boards.

Douche: “We need to check it out. If it’s Sammy, I need to know.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: To get to the cave itself, we need to go through Mount Town until we reach the northern exit. There’s a bunch of fuckheads wearing proton packs and some vending machines, and that’s about all there is in Mount Town.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The chests contain healing items and money, which we’re going to need because of how badly designed this dungeon is.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I figured that guy would be a Pokemon reference and fight you, but he isn’t.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There is, however, a bridge that needs to be lowered.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The solution is easy: climb up here, and then use Dali to hit the switch.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Past the bridge, we have a single enemy encounter of two bats and a shitpile that awards an amazing 11 EXP. We also have this sign, which is one of the reasons this dungeon is very badly designed. This pink shit is the same stuff we saw outside the factory: it’ll do damage every second we’re in it, even if we’re not moving.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: A lot of people apparently didn’t bother reading that last part, because the developers have an FAQ on the Steam forum for this game telling you that you have to run through the shit to progress. This is BLATANTLY lifted from Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne which had multiple dungeons like this, usually followed by a bullshit boss fight.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: To get to the stairs, we need to take two hits minimum from the pink shit. That’s about 2-3 damage.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The next floor has a hidden chest up here with nothing good in it, and an enemy directly in front of a long path of pink shit. This is where a lot of people apparently got tripped up - we need to wade through the pink shit to get a key.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The encounter contains a new enemy: the Stop Sign Man, which is basically a rat but tankier.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The enemies here hit like trucks, doing as much as 8 or 9 damage on a successful defend. Combine that with the damage from the pink shit, and I wound up leaving at one point to go find a healing fountain. Yes, I could use healing items… but fuck that.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I also had to level up Alex because of how bad our damage is right now. I was holding out hoping we’d run into more Soul Survivors, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. There’s another cutscene on Floor 20 of the Mind Dungeon. I’m not posting the whole thing, as it is… 17 mostly full textboxes long.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: On the other side of the room from the pink shit is a wall we can blow up with Amp. This dungeon abuses the FUCK out of both Amp and Hairwhip for no good reason.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The next floor has an immediate battle, so I wanted to show off one of the new skills we got: EP Strike. We also got a useless ability for Rory and the Final Fantasy “Throw” command for Chondra. An achievement popped up letting me know I had all the skills, so we have all the skills now - meaning that my guess is we’re not getting any more party members.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: EP strike is some bullshit. Without assist mode, it’s not terribly hard to hit the red area, but it’s annoying as hell if you miss.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Here, we have a split in the path. To the right are a couple of hairwhip trees blocking the way to the next floor. To the north is a giant field of bullshit that will probably reduce your entire party to 1HP.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s two doors. The one on the left is a bunch of chests, four of which contain healing items. The last one is a Camo Jacket but you have to go through more pink shit to get it.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The one on the right is a puzzle, which we can’t fully solve right now… at least I’m pretty sure. The idea is you blow everything up - the trees have switches underneath them that you can put Panda on to lower one of the three gates.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s also three levers that lower the bars halfway, so you can get whichever one Panda is sitting on the switch for. This room is also really badly designed. You’d think that we’d need to be on the lower level where Alex is to grab the chests, but Dali won’t reach them from there. I thought you had to drop down from a different room (a mechanic we’ll be seeing shortly) to get them, but instead you have to just do it from the upper level.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The chest on the left and right aren’t important, but the center one has a camera for Michael that is a straight upgrade even to the ones we could’ve gotten from the camera store.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Now, here’s the thing. I actually wound up almost game overing and thus re-recorded this part. You don’t want to go up to those rooms with the chests just yet. Instead, you’re going to want to go back to the internet cafe, heal, and come back, then go this way first.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This room looks like it’s got a lot going on, but really it’s fairly simple but also BULLSHIT FUCKING REPETITIVE. You’ll notice there’s a switch in the bottom-right. We can’t reach that with Dali (actually, I’m pretty sure you could) and if we drop down, there’s no way back up.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Down below is a monster fight. There’s only one of these in this room.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is, I believe, the only time we’ll encounter Traffic Cone Monsters in this dungeon. Traffic Cone Monsters, which are absolutely not a ripoff of the Putrid Moldyman from Earthbound, are a complete pain in the ass. Their attacks are dodgeable, but they have… a fuckload of HP. The trick here is to get rid of the alien first, not because it’ll do much (it does maybe 2 damage) but because it has that unblockable party-wide attack that is fucking annoying as shit to sit through.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This right here? This is why I said make sure you do this part first and go out and heal. I came in here with 1HP on the entire party the first time because I’m fairly good at dodging and Alex was able to kill the alien before it could use its unblockable attack. The chest on the left has a healing item. The chest in the middle has a dungeon key we need to progress. The one on the right?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The one on the right’s a fucking mimic.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The mimic is a miniboss with as much, if not more, health than the Golden Alpaca had. While it only possesses one single-target attack, that attack is undodgeable and will hit for 7+ damage even if you make the QTE.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is after I had Alex use EP Strike, which did 46 damage to it. EP Strike will pretty much oneshot any regular enemy, so this is how much HP the mimic has.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I also decided to use this time to show off Claudio’s only skill: Bushido.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Bushido’s deal is that after a three-second countdown (in Japanese, of course), the game will give you a directional button to press. If you miss even one, the entire attack fails.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I hit all the prompts I could and it still only did like 20 damage, which is about the same as Claudio’s regular attack if we hit the green zone on his attack QTE. By the way, 17.25 seconds feels like FOREVER. Really, the strategy here is to have Alex use EP Strike every turn and have everyone else use regular attacks.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This battle gives the entire party a full level-up. Why do we give a shit? Because levelling up also refills your HP and PP. Granted, you could also go into battle and have Chondra use Spread Item (which stupidly enough she can’t use outside of combat) a few times, but this is easier.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The Mimic also drops a walking stick, an accessory that boosts PP by… 5 I think. Equipment comparison in this game sucks.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: More unavoidable pink shit and two ladder animations we’ll have to see multiple times later…

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The chest has another collectible pog in it. Once we clear the area out, you’ll notice that there’s three holes. We have to do the whole “walk through pink shit, climb two ladders” routine a total of three times, because this game is shit and it knows it.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The first time, we land on the southern pillar and can hit the second switch.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I have absolutely no idea why the developer thought that they needed to make you do this twice. Did they think people would find one hole but not the other somehow, even though they’re mere inches apart?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Anyway, the third hole lets us cross the bridge and go back to the room we came from.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Oh look, more unavoidable pink shit. In fact, apart from that one square of it in the room with the camo jacket (which we technically didn’t need to pass as we could’ve used Dali) I don’t think any of the damage floors in this dungeon are optional. Fuck this game.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Directly on the other side is an encounter with another new enemy type: the sheep man. Sheepmen are basically tankier aliens - you’ll want to LP Toss and/or EP Strike them to death before they use their undodgeable attack.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: An empty room, and a room with a couple of vending machines in it. Something tells me we’re in for a boss fight and…

9_2iVBrO_400x400: God dammit! I mean, the gameplay part of this sucked, but god dammit! The worst part is, this cutscene is totally fucking pointless!

Douche: “So how did you get interested in the disappearance of Sammy Pak?”

Chondra: “Can we not get into that now? I’m sick of hearing about that poor girl.”

Claudio: “Easy, Chondra. I’ve been interested in missing people for a while. The idea of people vanishing is something that hits close to home, you know?”

Claudio: “So, I started going in chat rooms for people with missing kids and someone on there was talking about Sammy Pak. I followed the link and it brought me to the ONISM 1999 post - the one with the video of her on the elevator. I kept going back each day and keeping up with what you guys posted.”

Douche: “That’s a little dark, isn’t it? Going on chat rooms for parents of missing kids.”

Claudio: “Oh, no I don’t, like, get off on it or anything. My little brother went missing when we were younger. I guess I still wonder if he’s out there.”

Chondra: “Okay. Let’s go see the Wizard. I don’t want to hear any more about missing kids. It really drains me.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: If this was where the cutscene ended, I’d be fine with that. It sort of establishes a character motivation for Claudio, even if it’s a little weak. The thing is…

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Fuck you, Rory!

Fuckhead: “Most guys aren’t brave enough to walk around in a shirt like that. Also, you know that’s a girl’s shirt right?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: You’re saying this to the guy who I’m pretty sure is wearing lipstick.

Claudio: “This is no more a ‘girls’ shirt than Mahou Shoujo Haru no Shimai is a ‘girls anime’! This show represents everything that is good about life.”

Fuckhead: “Oh, well, I’ve never seen it. I just uh, assumed it was a girls’ anime with all the exploding flowers, pink and Sailor Moon rip-off characters.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I don’t think you can call something a ripoff when you plagiarize an article about the composition of the human body.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: You know what, Claudio strikes me as the kind of person who posts on 4chan’s music board about “essential patriciancore” and insists that Neutral Milk Hotel is the be all and end all of music.

Claudio: “Without this series, the art form never would have progressed. You see, while the anime premiered in 1985 in the US, there were already episodes of this magical series in production, in Japan, in 1977.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: One thing I realized right away while recording is that the dates for this more or less line up with Shin Lupin III (“Red Jacket”) which in reality WAS a pretty major influence on anime as a whole. Why they didn’t just go with a Lupin ripoff is beyond me. Probably because it would’ve required effort.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’d also like to point out that magical girls as a genre have existed since 1966. I think it’d be pretty hard to say that Sailor Moon was inspired by any one work, especially given that it’s almost a completely different genre than earlier stuff. You can thank the guy on my twitter who posts about nothing but magical girls for that.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Again, this would absolutely be Lupin III he’s talking about - not so much the TV show (which was rushed out on a weekly basis for like 3 years) but definitely Castle of Cagliostro.

Claudio: “If Father Spring had never laid with a human woman, the world would have been destroyed time and time again by his evil daughters, the Winter Sisters! It’s the balance of humanity that allows them to control their powers. And don’t even get me started on the soundtrack.”

Claudio: “The amazing blend of funky jazz and Japanese pop blows my mind every single time!!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is pissing me off so much. What they’re talking about is the original OP for Shin Lupin III, which I can’t fucking find anywhere and it pisses me off.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Here’s an overview of the next room. I’m not going to go through most of it, simply because it’s really straightforward and a time waster. You have to extend the bridges so you can drop down to the lower level.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This bridge is particularly bad because you can’t see it from where you have to stand to launch Dali at it.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Once you’ve done all that, there’s a rock you can bomb to get a switch that opens half a bridge we need to progress.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s also another mimic in the bottom-left corner. This one drops an “Occupy Bank Street” sign for Rory, which we will never use because fuck Rory.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Oh, and guess what! SOFTLOCK NUMBER THREE! I forgot to save after recording most of this, and went back through real quick… and softlocked after climbing a ladder. As it turns out, if you’re playing the game in windowed mode and click anywhere outside of the window, the game will probably softlock. Anyway, once you kill the mimic I highly recommend using the free level-up it gives to heal everyone.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The third lever is up here, by the bridge. There’s two bullshit enemy encounters down here - they’re just regular enemies with super-pumped stats to the point where one of them hit Chondra for 16 damage even though I made the defend QTE. You might ask why I’m glossing over this part, and friend, it’s because this game’s writing is about to take a fucking nosedive.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Surprisingly, neither of the chests in here are mimics. They have… cash and healing items. So clearly, there HAS to be a boss through there… right?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: You can’t hear it, but the same music that played in Sammy’s area in the factory is playing here.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Oh fuck, an anime ghost! Somebody grab a fucking proton pack, we have to kill it before it can spread!

Fuckhead: “Oh, shit. I didn’t expect this…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Surprise, motherfucker! It’s another cutscene! Boss? What boss, there is no boss in this dungeon.

Claudio: “Is that her!? Is that Sammy Pak!?”

Douche: “NO! No, it’s not.”

Douche: “But, then I thought about the spirit of the ghost woman in front of me. I realized that there was someone out there missing her, just as much as I was missing Sammy.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So, it was about this moment that I realized that I know what the fuck this game is going to pull simply by the fact that it’s playing the same music. Sammy is fucking dead, and what we met was her ghost. I don’t know this for sure, but at the same time it’s so incredibly predictable.

Douche: “Someone out there lost this girl. She was someone’s daughter, or sister, or friend…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Yes! Yes I fucking can! You’re an asshole!

Claudio: “She’s a ghost. How much harm can she really do?”

Douche: “So, what do we do now that we’ve found her?”

Fuckhead: “I think we should talk to her. See why she’s here.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I don’t know what song this is they’re quoting, and I’m guessing I should probably be glad for that. Edit: I looked it up and of course it’s fucking Ace of Base. Why wouldn’t it be?

Douche: “Hi… I’m Alex… this is Rory, and Claudio. Are you okay?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: She’s fucking dead, you dipshit!

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Is that… did that fucking ghost just quote fucking Wndrwll? They’re aware Neil Cicierega didn’t write that song until like, 2013, right? Moreover, how do you go from Ace of Base to Neil Cicierega? I don’t think he’s ever sampled from them. Anyway, it’s not in their bibliography so I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s plagiarism.

In fact, please just play this for the remainder of this cutscene.

Douche: “Why are you here?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This could practically be a tagline for this entire game. “YIIK: Shit, I feel stupid.”

Douche: “Guys, what the hell am I supposed to say to a freakin’ ghost?”

Fuckhead: “You’re doing fine. Just keep talking. You’ll make a connection… I hope.”

Douche: “Why are you here? In this cave? Why aren’t you… moving on? Is that a thing guys, do ghosts ‘move on’?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Correction. “YIIK: Shit, I feel stupid: I honestly feel like I’m just plagiarizing movies at this point.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Fuck this game for trying to resurrect that shit song.

Douche: “Are you haunting that boombox? Guys, I think she’s haunting the boombox.”

wndrwll: “You’re my…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Honestly, I was too busy laughing at just how badly my life had spiralled out of control that I’m watching a scene that is ostensibly supposed to be serious with a ghost fucking quoting Wndrwll at me. I mean, imagine if, say, Nier Automata had Wndrwll play over Ending C or D instead of Weight of the World. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to do that because there’s people who probably haven’t played Automata yet, so have one of the original NieR instead (NieR video credit: The Dark Id). Unmute the bottom video first, then hit play.


wndrwll: “He was supposed to be my… boyfriend. I made you this mixtape. I made it, and gave you everything.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Here, we see the rare female Reginald in action. I never thought I’d have to post that comic in a second LP. Also, this would ABSOLUTELY be Alton’s girlfriend if she was in Why Am I Dead At Sea.

wndrwll: “You forgot about our date… I ran across the street when I saw you. I was so excited to throw my arms around you… and what did you do when you hear me shout your name?”

wndrwll: “What did SHE have that I didn’t have? I made you… this… stupid… mixtape… I was never good at talking. I can’t say things like you can say things.”

wndrwll: “So I thought… I thought maybe these stupid songs would make you know how I felt. But… you didn’t want me for me.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Gotta love how they crammed another pointless 90’s song reference in there, this time to a song I did not know is called “Hey Leonardo”.

wndrwll: “You were so cruel… you didn’t even stop when the car brakes screeched, and my body hit the asphalt. When the red from my head poured onto the ground, and everyone screamed. I was invisible to you. I was… dead.”

wndrwll: “This mixtape was for you. Wherever you are… I know if you could just hear it, I could be at peace. You would be able to feel the pain you caused me. Feel how much I loved you.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: You know, I’d probably do the same thing if someone handed me a fucking mixtape with Wonderwall on it.

Claudio: Poor girl…"

Fuckhead: “… I wonder what we should do with it.”

Claudio: “Way I see it, we have two options. We can give it to that Shane Irving guy, or… we can return it to her brother who posted on ONISM.”

Douche: “I don’t know what’s right. On one hand, her brother really wants his sister’s cassette back. And on the other, what if we give Shane Irving the cassette and she just haunts him for all eternity? What if that revenge doesn’t bring her peace?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This sounds a hell of a lot like that quest in Witcher 3 with the ghost on the island.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I think that’s about all I can stomach of this game for right now, so I’ll skip the other six textboxes. Next time, we’ll start with a lengthy and equally stupid cutscene, and then finish this sidequest. I’ll do both solutions, so there’s no need to vote or anything.


9_2iVBrO_400x400: We’ve got a very lengthy cutscene coming up, so I figured what I’d show first is finishing the sidequest. There’s two solutions to it: you can either deliver it to a guy in South Town, or deliver it to an identical guy standing outside the university. As it turns out, the cutscenes are basically the same save for one detail.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: As with everything else in this game, the cutscene is stupidly overwritten, so I’ll pare it down a bit.

Douche: “She wanted you to have this.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The reward for finishing it the other way is identical, only her “soul is finally free”. Whatever. This will bring our party up to level 25 - though I could go higher if I felt like clearing out all the monster dens.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Back outside of the tunnel dungeon, we find a single cabin on top of the mountain. As it turns out, I’m pretty sure you can’t come back here without going through the whole dungeon again. There’s a few chests around with money in them.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Strangely, the game starts using this other chest model and I don’t know why.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I know this is supposed to be based off some celebrity, only I don’t know who.

Moron: “And Chondra, did you get even more beautiful? Always changing for the better, you two.”

Claudio: “I brought my friends Alex, Michael, and Rory, with me. They wanted to check out your record collection and see if you could help them locate an album.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I like how they not only do an Oxford comma in that last line, but add one after Rory for no apparent reason.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Thanks for reiterating that, Claudio, I might’ve forgotten the plot thread we’ve been following for the last hour.

Douche: “We’ve been looking for it for a while… we’ve been to literally ten record shops. Claudio says you’ve got quite the collection?”

Moron: “I do indeed. So what sort of music interests young people these days?”

Douche: “Err… I mean, I’m not really into metal. I mean, it’s cool.”

Fuckhead: “That’s more of Vella’s thing I think… with the eyeliner and choker.”

Moron: “Who is this enchanting young woman…? Is she here as well?”

Douche: “Nah, she isn’t here. She threw a hissy fit when she found out we were looking for this record.”

Chondra: “Hissy fit…? Do people even say that?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Mark sounds like a creep, but also no, the last time I heard someone say hissy fit it was a 60+ year old elementary school teacher.

Moron: “I don’t believe they do. So what sort of music are you into, Alex?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I have absolutely no idea what the fuck he’s talking about.

Moron: “Ah, I don’t think I have anything like that. Perhaps you’ve noticed my collection of guitars?”

Douche: “Yeah, I think I saw it on my way in. Do you play?”

Moron: “I do.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: What I like about this is how the Allansons were either on too tight of a budget or maybe were just too lazy to get the artist who did the portraits for this to do one of Chondra where she’s not doing a weird arm stretch thing.

Claudio: “That was long before you could even walk. Hell, I was a kid then.”


Moron: “You see, heavy metal is the aural manifestation of all things good and powerful in this world.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This sounds like a line they probably ripped from that Metalocalypse show or whatever. I never watched any of that.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Uh… what?

Moron: “With the power of the metal gods channeling through my guitar strings, I was able to bring peace and prosperity to the Middle East!”

Chondra: “Well, he got our cousin home.”

Moron: “Yes, I did. Okay, I got ahead of myself. I brought peace to one family, whose son had been taken captive. It’s a harrowing tale filled with adventure and intrigue!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I hate Mark so fucking much. I didn’t think it was possible to be a bigger tool than Alex, but clearly I was wrong.

Douche: “Yeah, I don’t know if we really have time for that… and besides, like I said, I’m not really all that into metal. With all the… bad fashions… and… teased hair. It’s all so… '80s.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Yes, this is the 90s, when music was about things.

Moron: “Yeah, I’m going to pretend that you don’t mean to imply that heavy metal can’t be about things. Clearly you have never heard the soaring scream of the guitar paired in a perfect counterpart to an orchestra, accompanied by the sound of a trillion angels.”

Moron: “You, my dear boy, must listen to my greatest hit: 'Murder Run: … and Melancholia Reigns Unbroken.”

Chondra: “It’s a lot less depressing than it sounds. All of Mark’s music is like that. He has albums and albums filled with skeletons and decaying corpses, but somehow he manages to make music that speaks to the soul.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: You might ask where they’re going with all this, and the answer is absolutely fucking nowhere. In fact, this entire cutscene is about to drop in relevance again.

Claudio: “One of Mark’s tracks were featured in some pretty great animes!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: No, I’m not having a stroke, the grammar in that last sentence makes no sense.

Claudio: “Dragon of Thy Delusion and Powered by Delirium were featured in my second-favorite anime Panic! Control.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Why. Just why.

Moron: “This is something I only bring out when friends are over. It’s called Da Hong Pao. It’s a world-famous tea, exceptionally rare and difficult to come by.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I sure do love repeating things with slightly different phrasing in the same sentence.

Moron: “The bushes that produced this tea are reportedly over 1,000 years old. Make sure you don’t spill a drop. This is very special tea.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This reminds me of a scene in The Water Margin where a couple of the protagonists are at an inn and complimenting the owner on her meat dumplings only to find out that she’s a cannibal.

Douche: “Where did you get this? It’s amazing.”

Moron: “It is amazing right? Can’t explain to you in detail how all these circumstances are related. It would be a very long, and very complicated story. And I mean no disrespect to you when I say this, it would be virtually impossible for you at this stage, young man, to understand.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Great! Way to pivot and end this stupid off-topic conversation that has no bearing on the plot of the game. Just what I like to see-

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Nope, he’s gonna fucking do it anyway! Fuck you, Andrew Allanson! Prepare for something that sounds like it came out of a Rudyard Kipling novel published in 1914.

Moron: “I had a partner, a very good man, who became ill in his mid-thirties. At the time, I considered myself to be very worldly. I lived for the dirt under my feet, but I also did not believe in the supernatural in any form.”

Moron: “Alas, my partner came down with a severe stomach cancer that began to claim his life. He was a spiritual man, one might say, and he believed in miracles. His faith and failing body led to the ending of our friendship.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Oh, phew. For a minute, I thought they might’ve written a gay character into the plot, but they sure dodged that bullet.

Moron: “He was gone for many weeks when I received a letter from him. The letter was scribbled in the handwriting of a dying man. It featured coordinates, that upon further inspection in my atlas, proved to be in the mountains of India. So I began my journey.”

Moron: “At the top, I found my friend - my friend, who only a few weeks ago had been on the brink of death, had been cured through the power of water.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This story is, I’m pretty sure, stolen wholesale from… I think Roald Dahl, but I might be wrong on that. All I remember is reading a story once where the main character was British and went to India to learn of the mystic powers of yoga or some shit and was told he couldn’t use them for personal gain but then did so anyway. If I remember right it ends with him using it to stop himself having a stroke.

Moron: “The water boiled in the particular style of pots, created by the Doddabetta Yogis, is said to have amazing healing powers. Now, when my friend had regained his strength tenfold, I was in shock.”

Moron: “I longed to take a sample of this drink back to an American laboratory where it would be tested and ultimately turned into a cure.”

Moron: “But I was told that the last bush bearing the tea had burnt up in a forest fire. Naturally, I demanded proof.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: … Didn’t you just say they used water?

Moron: “There was no evidence that any such fire ever occurred. Angered, furious, and on the point of striking the Yogis, my friend had to take me away.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Also, is it just me or does Mark have a Hitler moustache?

Moron: “In India, I’ve always felt an incredible glow of joy. On our last day, before we were to return, the earth gave out beneath my feet and I was stuck.”

Moron: “Soon a storm came. The storm was so bad I feared it would wipe away the mountain, and I would be stuck in a landslide.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: And then what, you had to sail through the changing ocean tides and handle the seasons of your life?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: No! No, they really don’t! None of this is at all interesting! At best, you’re plagiarizing Roald Dahl. At worst, it’s fucking boring and pointless!

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I think we just found the main backer of the Juicero right here.

Moron:“I believe I would have died on that mountain had it not been for him. I hold true to the fact that he survived his cancer so he could save me.”

Claudio: “Wow. That’s a fascinating story, man. Really, this is an amazing cup of tea.”

Moron: “Yeah. You know, it’s valued at $3,000 an ounce.”

Michael: choking

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Remember Michael, guys? The character who was struggling to be relevant even when he was our only party member? And here I thought Ni no Kuni 2 did a bad job keeping characters relevant.

Moron: “So what did you kids come for? How can I help you?”

Moron: “That name - it sounds so familiar. How did you find out about this mystical LP?”

Douche: “I found the jacket - here, I have it with me.”

Moron: “Yes. But didn’t you know this already? It’s on the cover. Did you even read it?”

Douche: “I, uh–”

Douche: “Suddenly, everything made sense. Well, at least a little bit of sense - Vella, the keytar, her ability to fight with sound. Clearly she was a musician and the creator of this record. How stupid I had been. I told her about the record and she must have assumed I’d read the title closely. Vella Wilde, probably a stage name.”

Moron: “Did I say something wrong? You uh, kinda stopped talking there for a while, and looked all deep in thought.”

Douche: “I just realized something.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The Allansons weren’t going to draw a line at ripping off Personas 3 and 4. No, they’re going to rip off Persona 5 as well. As soon as that first line comes out, the Mind Dungeon music starts playing in the background.

Claudio: “Damn. So you don’t have it?”

Moron: “No, how could I? It hasn’t come out yet. Check the date on the back of it. See the sticker? Do not sell until January 1st, 2000. Since I’m not a time traveler - well, at least not in this life - I couldn’t possibly have this record.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Stop it! Stop fucking doing that!

Moron: “You kids should pay closer attention to your record jackets. They have lots of useful information on them!”

Douche: “Thanks a lot, Mark. I know where to find this record now.”

Claudio: “WHAT!? YOU DO!? HOW?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So, what’s about to follow is a pointless recap that takes… about 15 or 16 text boxes up. I’m going to skip it, because I think we’ve all had just about enough of this game repeating itself.

Claudio: “Got on his bike one day to go to our neighbor’s, seven houses up the street, and he just vanished.”

Claudio: “Never came back. We looked for him for months. Dad never stopped. Still hands out flyers at the grocery store every Sunday. He even got an artist to draw him aged.”

Douche: “Were there ever any leads or anything?”

Claudio: “No one really ever investigated it. Sure, they looked around for him, and for a week they had a task force. They had one guy they suspected, but every lead fell through.”

Claudio: “Yeah, it’s just – it’s complicated, Alex.”

Douche: “I don’t remember this being on the news or anything and you’re from Wind Town, right? That’s like an hour outside of Frankton. How the hell didn’t this get national coverage?”

Claudio: “Isn’t it obvious, man? Same reason no one gives a shit about Semi ‘Sammy’ Pak.”

Chondra: “I’m sure if Aaron had been a beautiful white woman, everyone would have cared that he vanished. Everyone would have had a candlelight vigil and a moment of silence, but that’s just not how these things work.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Or, you know, the fact that Sammy was dead the entire time.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’m also not really sure why Claudio and Chondra both exist as separate characters. I feel like they could’ve been combined into one.

Claudio: “Alex, don’t you think Sammy’s parents tried to get some attention for their daughter’s disappearance? It’s not that easy. Those people you see on TV are the people who can make a great story for the press.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This could easily be another tagline for this game. “YIIK: I don’t think I ever gave it any thought.”

Claudio: “Yeah, man. That’s just how they get away with it. People like you don’t think about it. And people like us? It’s all we ever get to think about: where our kid brothers went.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Typo count: 6+

Chondra: “And they aren’t really talking about it for awareness. You guys get off on it in a way, don’t you? Some fantasy about being the white knight swooping in and saving the exotic Korean girl. Phftt.”

Claudio: “Haha. Easy now. Okay okay, let’s go find this record!!! Where uh, do we do that again?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This turned out to be another one of those “What does Denny do?” conversations. Note that Alex hasn’t said shit about where the record is.

Chondra: “Not a day goes by where I don’t think about him. And you know what’s really funny? I don’t even remember what he looks like. We have a few old photos, but most of them he just looks like every other kid to me.”

Chondra: “Round faced, happy, playing video games or falling off a bike.”

Douche: “You don’t remember ANYTHING about him?”

Chondra: “No, I don’t think so. I think I only remember what people tell me about him. And you know what’s funny? He was my twin brother. I was a minute older than him.”

Chondra: "Claudio still gets frustrated with me sometimes. ‘You’re his twin, can’t you feel him out there!?’ or ‘Don’t you have special twin powers that let you know if he’s in pain!?’ "

9_2iVBrO_400x400: No, because then it’d be that movie “I Know Who Killed Me” with post-drug issues Lindsay Lohan. I’ve seen parts of it.

Chondra: “I don’t believe in that stuff. Well, not usually. Sometimes I do. It’s in those moments that I really do think he isn’t out there anymore. If there was a connection, I’d feel something.”

Chondra: “And since there is nothing there, he must be gone. Sometimes people just vanish. They’re there one moment and gone the next. Bad people take them. They fall into sewers. But life has to move on.”

Chondra: “It’s harder for my parents, I think, since they made him and whatever. But Claudio? I don’t think he’ll ever move on. It’s all he thinks about.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: …huh? Oh, I’m sorry, I must’ve fallen asleep during that goddamn shit conversation. Let’s just keep going. Maybe if I keep believing, this game will have actual gameplay and stop being the equivalent of a Neil Breen movie. By the way, we’re over seven hours into this game now.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The fastest route to Frankton is going to Flag Town and taking the bus.

Douche: “As I walked across the chewing gum and popcorn-covered floor, I imagined what the title of my quest would be if my life was a video game.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The Adventures of Dipshit Man, the Most Boring Man in the Universe.

Douche: “Quickly it was becoming ‘Apology Quest’ or ‘Legend of Please Forgive Me’.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Douchebag no Densetsu: Fushigi no “Why Does this Game Exist” no Nazo.

Douche: “I wondered how many other people I’d have to say I’m sorry to before I found Sammy, if that’s even where life was taking me.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Life’s taking you straight into a dumpster, where you belong.

Douche: Lately, Sammy was not at the forefront of my thoughts. I wanted to find her, and I really wanted her to be safe."

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Typos: 7.

Douche: “I came here to say I’m sorry. In my infinite arrogance and constant thinking of myself I didn’t look at the record properly.”

Douche: “I had no idea you created it. I had no idea it would upset you. So basically, if you’ll still be my friend, I’d very much like that.”

Douche: “Haha. Okay, great. I expected to do more begging.”

Bitch: “Don’t push your luck. Just let it go.”

Douche: “They told her about their brother. Rory talked about his sister. Michael talked about his college fears. And I just listened. I never expected to find such an amazing group of friends so close to home. It was a great feeling.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: You know what I could really go for right now? You know that scene in Hotline Miami 2 where it shows the bearded guy walking out of his store and right into a nuclear explosion? That, but with Alex.

Douche: “And now came the tricky part - to ask her to go inside of the Mind Dungeon with me and look for the record.”

Douche: “So, I was wondering if you could tell us about the record. The one you made.”

Bitch: “What’s there to tell? In my previous reality, I made a record. Pretty simple.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: By the way, this DEFINITELY breaks the record for longest cutscene in this game so far. It’s well over 40 minutes long.

Douche: “Can you tell us why a record jacket from the album you made in another reality that was set to be released next year was found in this reality?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: It was right here that I was immediately able to predict exactly where this plot is going. Vella is from a dimension where Y2K ended the world. I haven’t read ahead in the plot, but I just know I’m right.

Bitch: “There are reasons I wanted to escape.”

Douche: “Yeah, no, I get it. Just – I wonder if it’s somehow linked to everything going on.”

Bitch: “I’m telling you Alex, you’re looking for puzzle pieces where there is no puzzle. You’re talking like there is some cosmic plan here. What exactly do you think is going on here?”

Douche: “It’s just – it’s all so weird. Sammy disappearing, me meeting you, then Rory, Chondra and Claudio. We’re all linked --”

Bitch: “Fine. If it will make you stop sulking, I’ll go with you into the Mind Dungeon. I’d like to know why my record is here myself.”

Fuckhead: “I’m a little confused here, guys. How the hell does Alex know the record is in your Mind Dungeon?”

Douche: “Because I know she’s trying not to think about it, and the things we try not to think about always end up on our minds.”

Fuckhead: “That seems like more of a stretch than the link between Sammy and the record to me. But sure, I’ve got nothing else to do. Let’s get inside Vella’s head!”

We now have a choice. I levelled everyone (but Alex, because I’m hoping we can find more entities to farm for stat-ups) to 26. I’ll let the thread decide who to bring. If you really want to make me suffer, we can bring Rory and Chondra.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: In the meantime, let’s go do a little bit of scouting. I mean, how bad could it be?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Gee, it sure is Persona 4 around here. As in, it’s a direct ripoff of the TV world.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Okay, so far it looks… pretty much like a blatant ripoff of Persona 4, only not done nearly as well.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s an NPC we can talk to by the stage, but I’ll wait until next time for that. Let’s just keep going left.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK! Not only do I hate the fact that they associated VA-11 with this pile of garbage, but they have the stupid robot from Read Only Memories on there. ROM was basically the answer to the question “What if SNATCHER was shit?”

Next time, we’ll explore the TV world and attempt to find Teddie.

the hindsight with VA-11 HALL-A is particularly painful

who would be my guess too :smiley:

I was actually thinking Michael Bolton myself. With Kurt Cobain’s hair. Am I giving the devs too much credit for assuming it would be music-related given the context?

You know what maybe your next project should be an LP of VA-11 Hall-A. The last time someone tried around here they found it as self-absorbed and thoughtless as you’re finding Yiik, and dull to boot; they had to give up partway through. Maybe someone who likes it can make it to the end, and explain why they find it engaging.

Don’t go shittin’ on ROM if you’re going to praise Valhalla though; it is certainly not without its flaws but if you said “one of these is going in the incinerator” I wouldn’t even wait for you to finish your sentence.


The site ate my post edit a few times, but here’s a video version of everything that is in this update and then some.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Vella’s Mind Dungeon is EXTREMELY badly designed, though they do exactly one neat thing in it. The first thing we want to do is talk to this assclown.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The very first thing we want to do is come over here and drop the panda. The stage manager will give you a hint that you need to get in someone’s way. You’ll notice the Vella on a skateboard just above where Alex is. She skates around the table area on a pre-set path.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: For reference, I didn’t do this until after I had already visited all of the things that we need to do this for.


Bitch: “It’s too dangerous for me. I’m scarred for life now. Thanks for that.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The skateboard makes Alex move very quickly in one direction. The only problem is that he can’t stop until he hits something, but it’s pretty good for reducing travel times.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s a total of nine doors in this dungeon (but not nine persons or nine hours, because that game was actually okay apart from the digital root gambit). There’s these two…

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Four over here…

9_2iVBrO_400x400: And three over here. We want to go into this red door first.


9_2iVBrO_400x400: The red door leads to a heal room, which will be very important due to how we want to handle all of the enemies in this dungeon. The chests have a new weapon for Vella and… I think money.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The next door we want to do is this one. We only want to go halfway in right now - in the video I go all the way in which was a mistake.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: To the right is this dungeon’s gimmick: skateboard ramps. What we’re here for is behind that door.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is a key item we’ll need for… you can probably guess.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is the next door we want to handle, because it has a key item behind it and also because we only need to go inside once.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Beyond the door is a generic horror movie set that is absolutely not 100% post-consumer recycled assets from Alex’s house, no sir.


9_2iVBrO_400x400: The bookcases in back have $5 each in them, and there’s a fight I simply had Alex LP Toss his way through. The way we set up Alex’s stats, LP toss will kill any enemy in this dungeon in one hit.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Nothing important in here, but you can check the fridge for a couple of okay healing items.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is what we came here for.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Next up is the dark blue door two north of the Sammy room. We want to skip the green one for now because there’s nothing we can do there yet.


9_2iVBrO_400x400: This room is so badly designed that the devs actually posted a guide on how to get through it. See those three switches on the floor? You’d think that we’d need to find something to put on one, then use Panda and Alex to press the other two. I already defeated all the enemies here, except…

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s a mimic. This one has about the same amount of HP but hits far less hard and far less often than the one in the last dungeon. Unfortunately, it only awards 10 EXP instead of 100.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So anyway, when I tried this room the first time, I assumed that ladder in the back was supposed to be used to hold down the third switch. Nope! Let me show you the solution.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: What you have to do, against all common sense, is have the panda on one switch, Alex on another, and then use Dali to hit the last one. Considering that every other time we’ve ever had to hit a switch with Dali it was a toggle and not a weighted switch… yeah.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: From there, we put the ladder up against the staircase and drop the panda on that newly-spawned platform.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: It’s simply a matter of lining Alex up with the panda and skateboard jumping over the hole.


9_2iVBrO_400x400: The door brings us to the Vella room, which has all four of the musicians we need to find. The middle room you might recognize from those cutscenes with the hooded figures.

Bitch: “Do me a favor. When my solo comes up, turn the volume down. We can pretend it was a technical error. I hate having to do these stupid shows.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Now, there’s a sort of neat thing that isn’t at all original that the game does here. The background music for Vella’s mind dungeon changes slightly every time we find a new Vella. Bassist Vella changes it the least.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Up next is the door directly north of the dark blue door we were just in. This is where we need the door piece we found in the Sammy room.


9_2iVBrO_400x400: We need to do this for one of the other doors. There’s like… fifteen textboxes of the baby crying, and I’m not going to transcribe that shit.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Now we need to backtrack into the first room we were in. Jumping the first ramp brings us to this door, which is an event flag we need to set for a “puzzle” in that green door on the right side that we skipped.

So, I had the rest of this update done, and then the site ate my goddamn post edit. Second time this has happened to me. I’m just going to give this the Tim Fuckley treatment and gloss over everything. It’s funnier that way. Laugh at my goddamn pain.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s three stupid plot flags we need to get in order to pass a quiz about Vella in one of the rooms. This is one of them.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So anyway, earlier I said that I handled combat in a very particular way in this dungeon. That way is using LP Toss, which instantly kills anything it hits due to Alex’s high strength stat. He also has the highest PP of anyone in the party. By the way, I also found out that EP Strike is completely useless. It actually does less damage than LP Toss does, and only does it to a single target while at the same time costing 2 more PP. The formula here is “do battles until Alex runs out of PP, run to healing room, repeat”.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: At the end of the room, past a couple more skateboard jumps, is Bathtub Vella, who also happens to be the guitarist we need to find. We need the baby blanket to give her… so she can use it as a towel.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: One of the other doors has Drum Vella, who wants a drink.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: To finish this, we have to go to this robot that looks nothing like Jill Stingray from VA-11 Hall-A and… go clear a room of monsters. By the way, Jill would know that only three people work at the bar: her, Dana, and the guy whose name I forgot.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The loading dock is through the door in the back. marked “EXIT”.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This room is a big fuckoff maze and I hate it. We have to kill all the enemies (not a big deal) but also find two more plot flag Vellas to get quiz answers from. There’s a weapon in here somewhere I got on my first playthrough but forgot on this run - it’s garbage anyway. It’s a record for Alex that comes with -10 HP and doesn’t have as good of a combo potential.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Vella is afraid of being fat. Haha it’s funny because the joke is that she puts on a complex appearance but in reality she’s such a basic bitch that you could use her to neutralize sulfuric acid.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Also she dunks on Alex if you have him examine the scale.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The fun part is that NOTHING IN THIS DUNGEON MATTERS. Vella is going to tell us her fucking life story the second we leave this dungeon, and none of this is at all relevant.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: What’s funny about this is how this cameo of Jill is absolutely nothing like what she’s like in her own game. This is a line she uses - to herself. In VA-11, she works as a bartender at a bar that is about to be closed by the giant international conglomerate that owns every bar in the world, and thus her entire job is pointless.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’m seriously considering taking this LP to SA and never looking back. Seriously, I had an ENTIRE UPDATE ready with dialog and everything and then the site ate it. Anyway, welcome to the shitty piano room which has no reason to exist. The hands damage you if they touch you but it doesn’t matter because by this point we’ve cleared every enemy out of the dungeon anyway.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I had a joke here in my original update about how I wished this was like that Junji Ito story with the balloons that look like people and they try to hang the person they look like.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Anyway, the stupid balloon asks three questions before we get through to the last Vella we need to collect. You can get these right but unless you have the plot flags set it doesn’t work.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: You know what this site needs? A thing like that LP Test Poster thing I can’t get because I don’t have an SA account, or at least a “Hey are you sure you want to post this?” prompt so I don’t wind up posting half the update early because my mouse fucks up.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Pointless busy work! Is this Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean or what? I didn’t have a Baten Kaitos joke in this spot originally but I just read an LP of it and this is exactly the kind of thing that game would do only you’d have like 8 seconds to do it before the scale rots in your inventory and turns into a bird.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I didn’t show it because again, it’s in the video and I just want this update to be over, but Vella (the real one) has to volunteer to sing because… I dunno. There’s an actual song here with vocals but they covered it with booing which is real fucking dumb.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: More importantly, once we do this, the curtains open. I have questions, questions like why couldn’t Vella just open that herself? Why is her mind dungeon so different from Alex’s? Why does this segment exist at all other than to be a Persona ripoff? Why is there no bossfight?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Also why are there so many goddamn hooded Alexes here?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Next update, we’ll finish this bullshit and then hit another 40 minutes of cutscene.

Oh, “Poke” Flute. As in, you poke someone with it. That’s not as bad as I opened this text box to complain.

Also this area just makes me want to play Psychonauts instead.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Okay, that last update is over. Thank god for that. Moving on…

Douche: “She pretended it had to do with not knowing what would happen after we broadcast the record, but I knew something else was wrong.”

Michael: “I think it’s obvious. You want us to listen to music and Alex’s spoiled ass has the best sound system out of the six of us.”

Bitch: “That’s actually correct. Back in my reality, I had written an album - this album. But, I guess you already knew that. Anyway, just listen. I hope you enjoy what I made.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The song that starts playing here isn’t bad, since none of the music in this game was done by the Allansons (as far as I know) but it kind of makes no sense. The lyrics are entirely in Japanese and it’s supposed to be Vella singing it so… yeah.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is like that one time at work when the system was down for the entire day and I almost fell asleep listening to Rush.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There are fifteen Vellas here, and most of them have nothing important to say, but I’m going to transcribe it anyway.

Bitch: “I don’t think I should have played this… everyone is going to hate my song!”

Bitch: “The guy who I wrote this for… I wonder what he’s up to?”

Bitch: “I hope this isn’t as bad as I think it is…”

Bitch: “Can you hear my heart? It’s caling.”

Bitch: “This is what music from my reality sounds like. Pretty different from yours, huh?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Honestly, the song sounds like generic mid-2000s techno with Japanese lyrics over it.

Bitch: “Do you think I’ll ever feel the way I felt when I wrote this song? I don’t ever want to feel that way.”

Bitch: “I don’t think I ever loved that guy.”

Bitch: “Which of me is your favorite? I think you’re my favorite you.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Haha, Final Fantasy 13 joke… so funny.

Bitch: “Just don’t be awkward about it. Don’t tell me that it’s beautiful like me. Please, just appreciate my art.”

Bitch: “My appearance doesn’t matter… only what I make. You know?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Oh, that’s good to know. This game has slowly warped me into an amorphous blob that knows only hatred.

Bitch: “Like, I appreciate you for who you are. Yes, you’re kinda a brat… but Alex, you’re really not that bad. I bet there is a reason why you are the way you are.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: If I had to guess, it’s because he’s written by the Allansons, though I’d probably make him a colossal douchebag just off appearance alone.

Bitch: “Just like there is a reason I am the way I am. We spend so much time of our journey learning about all of our friends… why don’t we ever ask about you?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Because Alex is a boring manchild whose entire personality and character motivation is a gaping void in the sorry excuse for a plot this game has?

Bitch: “Who are you? Where did YOU come from? How did you get to be the way you are…? I think that’s what this song is about. Sorry I lied.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I like how Chondra is taking her headphones off as if to say she was never listening in the first place.

Michael: “Yeah, really nice.”

Douche: “Better than I could do.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: My life! It’s now or never! I ain’t gonna live forever! I just want to live while I’m alive!

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Oh boy, is this one of those judgment circles? Shun her! Shun her from society, for her taste in music sucks!

Douche: “The music had shown us a side of Vella that we had never expected to see - a sort of vulnerable side.”

Douche: “I felt compelled to chase after her, to tell her the music was beautiful, and that she was incredible, but my feet didn’t move.”

Douche: “I remained as still and silent as everyone else. My body motionless, I surveyed everyone’s eyes, willing my brain to bind with theirs and GET what they had been thinking.”

Douche: “Had they all hated it? What had triggered such a lack of enthusiasm?”

Fuckhead: “Let her know it was great.”

Michael: “If this is Vella’s album, why was a guy singing on it?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I have no idea what the fuck he’s talking about. If you go back to the last update and watch the video, the voice singing is pretty clearly female.

Chondra: “I almost cried.”

Claudio: “I hope she’s okay.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: When we get outside, the town is suddenly Halloween for no reason. There’s no explanation given - unless we had a timeskip from April to October without anyone mentioning it.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Either that or Alex’s house is in Silent Hill again.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: We could go right to the arcade, but… if we go near Michael’s house, there’s a sidequest we can do only at night.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I assumed I could just LP Toss my way through the fight, and I was sorely mistaken. The cone enemies go down in one hit, but the stop sign is a miniboss.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: By the way, I found out the hard way that the stop sign men have a fucking annoying gimmick. If they hit you, even if you successfully defend, the character that gets hit is stunned and loses a turn. I almost died on this fight.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Oh boy, we’re doing this shit, aren’t we.

Bitch: “But I want you to promise not to judge me.”

Douche: “I won’t judge you.”

Bitch: “I have come to understand certain things, things I know to be true, things that I know others wouldn’t understand unless they had experienced them.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: You mean like how science has proven that all Skittles actually taste the same, and it’s just our brains expecting the flavors to be different that makes them seemingly have different flavors?

Bitch: “The link between our bodies and physical space is strong, but it is nothing compared to the link between our minds and physical space. Our bodies exist as a visual representation of our minds. They are nothing more.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Bull fucking horseshit, if this was true I’d have both laser eyes and chainsaw hands.

Bitch: “Every mind has the capability of transcending physical form. Many do, even if they do not realize it.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Basically what they’re doing here is setting up the whole “transcending your physical form” thing as a euphemism for suicide.

Bitch: “The very nature of physical reality is VERY unphysical. Humans have evolved to ignore the complexities and realities of the universe by using physical form to protect themselves from the harshness of existence.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This sounds like something they stole out of a freshman philosophy textbook, but I checked and it doesn’t appear to have been - or if it has, it’s from a physical book.

Bitch: “To cope, we developed corporeal form. The use of physical form is not unlike leaving the light off at all times, obstructing the undesirables in the room. Do you understand what I am saying so far?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: That you’re trying really hard to be deep by spouting pseudo-intellectual bullshit? Yeah.

Douche: “More or less. Please continue.”

Bitch: “When I entered your reality, I was a much different person than I am now. My reality was much worse than this one. I was a girl who was entirely lost. From a young age, people thrust their expectations on me. They believed I was destined for artistic greatness.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So… what you’re saying is that you’re Doogie Howser, only without the part where Neil Patrick Harris had a career after that show?

Bitch: “I was, for all intents and purposes, a disappointment. Picture for a moment being a young girl who can’t do wrong.”

Bitch: “Everything I created, everything I said impressed those around me. I was the perfect child artist, but that’s all I ever was. When I became an adult, my body grew, but my artistry remained childlike.”

Bitch: “I considered quitting piano, considered removing myself from art altogether, but something pulled me back. Somewhere along the course of my life, I had developed an artist’s mentality.”

Bitch: “I knew I wasn’t a good adult artist, but I was still compelled to create. And with each new thing I tried, I disappointed those around me.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Honestly, I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t just one of the Allansons’ life stories re-packaged.

Bitch: “At 3:02 AM, I walked into a music club in the city. He was on stage, playing to a small but enthusiastic audience. Each note he played on his guitar seemed to tell me something that I had always known, but had never really understood.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: You know what would’ve been cool? If they had a segment where you play as Vella experiencing this instead of just… telling us about it. Also, who the fuck remembers exact times like that?

Bitch: After he finished, I knew that I had to speak with him. It wasn’t before long that we became both romantically and artistically involved."

9_2iVBrO_400x400: That “wasn’t before long” bit isn’t my mistake.

Bitch: “It was as if knowing him had somehow broken the seal around my mind that was preventing me from creating something worthwhile. The lack of refinement to his playing freed me from the confines of rhythmic and artistic regularity.”

Bitch: “Never before had I given myself to someone so literally and spiritually before. Together, we wrote ‘A Distant Voice’ and I knew that I still had the hopes of being, not only a good artist, but an interesting human being.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Honestly, I was pretty much falling asleep when I got to this part, and now I’m falling asleep again transcribing it.

Bitch: “At 3:02 PM, his daughter had come home and found us together. He hadn’t yet told his children about me. I was a much younger woman. He followed her out and into a coffee shop. I waited for them to return, hating myself more and more for entering his life and making it difficult.”

Bitch: “I waited there until 3:02 AM, completely beside myself. And the strange thing is, he never returned. He never came back to his own apartment. I stayed there for a few days, knowing he’d have to come back eventually. And he simply never did.”

Bitch: “I called his friends, I called his manager, and they all said they hadn’t seen him. Just like that, he slipped through the cracks of my reality, and never returned.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Seriously, what the fuck is it with that date?

Bitch: “A minute into the first concert I had put on since his disappearance. I had refused to do our music live or release ‘A Distant Voice’ until I had seen him again. Finally, legal pressure forced me to schedule a release for May 22nd, 1999, with a year-long tour to promote it.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Okay, we fucking get it! The guy was a dick!

Bitch: “This girl was not his daughter, though she was probably his daughter’s age. I left the stage and receded into myself. The man who placed his arms around that young woman was not the same man who placed his arms around me so many times. It couldn’t have been.”

Bitch: “The man I knew would not have put on such a display of affection knowing it could hurt someone so much.”

Bitch: “When the separation happened, it was almost immediate. It was so sudden that the painful moments leading up to it felt trivial. I was just my mind and I had left my physical body behind.”

Bitch: “I floated until I found a reality that seemed different from mine - hoping to find a reality that contained the HIM I knew, hoping that he had fallen into this reality and we could be together again.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Okay, so basically you killed yourself because you figured life was like the ending to Looper. Got it.

Douche: “Was his voice the one we heard on the record?”

Bitch: “No. No, it wasn’t. I don’t know whose voice we heard. I was so nervous sharing that music with you guys, I almost didn’t realize it wasn’t me singing! haha…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So wait… let me get this straight here. You put out a record under your name on which you didn’t even perform? I mean, plagiarism is what I’d expect from this game, but still.

Douche: “Well, everyone loved it. It was amazing.”

Bitch: “Really? I can never tell what people think when I show them my songs.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I was going to put this to a vote, but then I realized… nah. We’re playing as a giant douchebag who may or may not be influenced by his voiceactor. Let’s pick the option we all know he’d pick.

Bitch: “Yeah, no, it’s cool. Let’s just… let’s go back inside and… whatever. Just not that whatever.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Why do I have a strange feeling that this guy she was going on about is Alex’s isekai counterpart?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I know this is boring as hell, but trust me, by the end of this update we are going to hit this game’s dark world mom moment. It was so bad that I actually had to stop recording, that’s how fucking stunned I was.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’m going to skip some textboxes here because I REALLY want to get to this particular scene. We get to spend the next few minutes walking back through the radio tower maze for a third time. No new enemies, no new treasure, just the same goddamn maze.

Douche: “For myself, it was in days since Sammy had been missing. For Michael, it was days until school began and he lost his freedom.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: For me, it’s days until I’m done playing this godawful game.

Douche: “For Vella, time was measured in music - a careless and overwhelming existence where the aural world carried more weight than the physical world.”

Douche: “For Claudio and Rory, it was days since their siblings vanished from their lives. For Chondra, I think it was days unti lshe could escape counting days since her little brother’s disappearance.”

Douche: “But for all of us, time moved at the same rate - calculating days until we found a way to feel important.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: For the record, I said no.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Meet The Essentia 2000, a robot who is absolutely not, in any way, a complete ripoff of Aigis from Persona 3.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: We are immediately thrust into battle with her versus two Soul Survivors.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Unlike everyone else, The Essentia 2000 does not have a "defend’ command. Instead, she can charge her health back up by wasting a turn. This command doesn’t work in this battle.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Her skills also cost health, as she has no PP bar. Self Destruct kills her, while M. Launcher takes 50% of her HP.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Her QTE is surprisingly hard to hit. I didn’t have infinite time energy on, but I probably should’ve because she does no damage unless her combo is maxed and doing that is pretty difficult. Also, isn’t this just that stupid pizza-cutter sword from Final Fantasy Tactics A2?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: She also has a machine gun in her chest, in case the fact that she’s literally Aigis isn’t hammered home hard enough.

Bitch: “I–”


Michael: “See what exactly? You guys put on the record and went into an epileptic fit.”

Chondra: “It would’ve been funny in any other context.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: By that, Alex means the realdoll he ordered.

Fuckhead: “Woman made of plastic? What does that mean, Alex?”

Douche: “She’s like, an android or something. But she’s, like, plastic.”

Bitch: “That’s happened to you before?!”

Douche: “Yeah, like, once or twice. It’s been a recurring dream or… something.”

Bitch: “But the Entities that were behind the camera… she destroyed them so easily and that wasn’t Banish she was using.”

Bitch: “If she could destroy the Entities that easily, I don’t think there is much danger she could be in.”

Douche: “But we need to find her!!! That’s why the Entity who was living with me had us play the record right? To wake her up!?”

Bitch: “I agree. You’re right, but what’s actually going on here? What is she? I–”

Douche: “You okay?”

Bitch: “Yeah, I am. But – forget it, never mind. I can’t really explain it yet - it’s just a feeling. Give me some time and maybe I’ll be able to put it into words.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Did ANYONE read this fucking script before release? Anyone at all?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Anyway, here comes the dark world mom moment. This was so out there that I had to stop recording.

Douche: “What’s up?”

Fuckhead: “I was wondering if we could go somewhere and talk for a bit? There’s been something on my mind and… yeah.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So this comes absolutely out of fucking nowhere. I had no idea this was coming, and what I figured is that I’d put it up for a vote in the thread. Only… there hadn’t been any save points between when I saved after the conversation with Vella on the swingset and now, and I really wanted to just find a save point - so I figured hey, what the hell, I’ll just pick the top one in case that’s what people pick, and if they go the other way I can always go back.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Here’s my logic of picking this option. I assumed that Rory had a character sidequest or something that we could do to get bonus EXP. I was very wrong.

Fuckhead: “Well, I’ve just been real depressed lately. Thinking about my sister, my parents, just how much life is going to change from now on. My sister was a lot younger than me, but she really was my best friend.”

Fuckhead: “And now that she’s gone, I feel aimless. We had plans, things we wanted to do in the future, places we wanted to go, movies that we wanted to see, new games to play together.”

Fuckhead: “And now, none of that will happen. Sometimes I wish – You know what I mean, right?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Just wait for it. What you are about to see is the moment when this game hits rock fucking bottom.

Douche: “Bad things happen. But life has to move on, right? You don’t have your sister anymore, but you have all of us - Michael, me, Vella, Chondra, Claudio. We can’t replace your sister, but we’re happy that you’re still here. If you had become a soul survivor, then we’d never have met you and that’s really depressing.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I mean, technically he DID become a soul survivor, but whatever.

Douche: “I’m not the best with these sorts of things, but basically I’m saying, I’m happy we met you.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Are you ready… for YIIK… to attempt to implement a gay romance option? And are you ready for them to do it in the worst, most insulting way possible?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Yep. We’ve just hit rock bottom. Oh wait, no we haven’t, I haven’t hit confirm on that yet.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Sorry, NOW we’ve hit rock bottom. The following picture pretty much sums up exactly what I did when I saw this shit.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: That’s about all I could take of this game for right now. Next time, we’ll listen to a… 32-textbox monologue… followed by what I can only assume is this game finding a drill so it can continue trying to go deeper.


I felt physical pain seeing those two scenes, holy shit. Holy shit Yiik team.

Ah you’re doing a 100% rejected kiss attempts run, bold.

I’ve been lurking this thread at work because I was bored and

I had things to say about this game. I could probably, if I really truly wanted, rip this game to shreds line by line.

Then the game just dead ass lets you try to kiss two characters, one girl and one guy, and the end result in both cases is the characters 1000% shooting you down and pretty clearly hating the fuck out of you as a result and I’m just left awe-struck at the depths of idiocy this game will go through.

I feel like if this game was just slightly to the left of “absolutely trash” instead of standing in it up to it’s waist, it might actually be good. If it had even the faintest hint of self-awareness, it’d reveal itself to be a meta-textual thing about how self insert fantasies, about looking at tragic moments online and inserting ourselves into it is a dangerous, toxic behavior.

But there is no self awareness here. There is not even the slightest hint of it. This is just banal, endless garbage as far as the eye can see. It’s mechanically worthless and writing wise one of the dullest, most non-existence thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s actually horrifying that people might like this.


Also note: It’s “Kiss Vella” and “Try to Kiss Rory”.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is a very long, very awkward cutscene, and as much as I WANT to skip it, I need to show this entire thing off. I also ran each and every one of these lines to check for plagiarism - they were awkward enough that I thought they might be plagiarized, but they’re not.

So I know this is a long time ago and honestly my eyes glazed over for most of this game, but I need to point out:

This whole sequence is clearly “inspired” by the events in After Dark. The language is altered, but the intention is the same. The matter-of-fact tone, using an omniscient “we,” directing an “imaginary camera” around an unconscious woman… And look, there’s a TV in the room, doing something, oooOOOOOooo. It’s not directly plagiarism, but it’s definitely a rip-off. I know it’s been well-established, but Andrew’s a hack.


9_2iVBrO_400x400: This was a fun update, and by fun I mean I was confused as all hell and managed to softlock the game a fourth time after going through several minutes of cutscenes and without saving.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is why we don’t use the skateboard at the radio tower. I was up here doing a sidequest (it’s real dumb but gets you 100 EXP and a decent accessory) and got stuck here because the skateboard pushed me through geometry. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled cutscenes.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I do have a save file before I tried to have Alex kiss Rory. This will be important. However, this cutscene is exactly the same regardless of what we did with Rory - I’d know that because I did this twice.

Douche: “I love my mother and I love my sister, my cousins, my female friends.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Don’t kid yourself Alex, you have no female friends. You have no friends in general.

Douche: “I love them, but not in a way that’s filled with the romantic sense of love. I’ve had seven girlfriends throughout college and high school. None of them lasted long and I never minded when things were over.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Calling bullshit on this.

Douche: “Something funny happened that night when I went to bed. I had a dream again. Yes, it was about the android, but she wasn’t trapped inside a moving van. She was free, and human.”

Douche: “In my dream, I knew her very well. We had been together for a long time. We weren’t old, we didn’t get old. I knew inside my heart how well she treated me.”

Douche: “Inside my dream world, she entered my dreams - she entered my thoughts. She filled up every part of my mind, even the parts I wanted to hide away.”

Douche: “She was like the old Bruce Lee quote, ‘Be like water.’ She was my water, rushing into all the cracks. Nothing could have hidden from her. But I didn’t mind. She didn’t judge. She didn’t have a place to judge.”

Douche: “She, unlike all other humans, was aware of human flaws. She didn’t pretend we didn’t think about hatred, violence, jealousy, sex. I was a person- she got that.”

Douche: “Now if only she was, too. She is, and always will be, a woman made of plastic. I know how funny this sounds. Trust me, I do. How can a woman made of plastic be loved so much by a real flesh and blood human?”

Douche: “Someone had flipped a switch inside my brain and I now understood something I wasn’t capable of understanding before.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Alex finally learns what bisexual means.

Douche: “I felt a weird joy inside me, like I had a secret no one else was allowed to know, a secret that was meant only for my ears, and it was the android who told me.”

Douche: “But it couldn’t – I tried to recall the dream but it was already slipping away, to the periphery of my mind.”

Douche: “I couldn’t remember specific scenes, but I could remember the feelings the dream had given me and I knew they wouldn’t be leaving me.”

Douche: “I thought about Michael, then Rory, then Claudio, and Chondra. I had no desire to see any of them. I thought about Vella, then Sammy, and I felt weird, like I had done something wrong, as if I had wronged them somehow in the dream.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Gee, I dunno, maybe because you tried to kiss her last night?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The game never tells us this directly, but overnight time has skipped from June to October.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I got really fucking confused at this whole section. We still don’t know where exactly it is that Vella lives - in fact, we don’t know where Claudio and Chondra live either. The answer is…

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Nope, not the arcade.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: She’s been sitting at this same place for the past four months.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This sounds like a line from Mood Rings by Relient K. That song sucks just as much today as it did when I was in high school.

Bitch: “Of course it doesn’t. Probably because I get so sad to see it go. I like Thanksgiving. That’s always fun.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: She sounds like one of the people on those dumbshit reality shows.

Bitch: “But, like, Christmas, that’s always depressing. The celebration always makes me feel uncomfortable. Like are you really happy or are you just pretending because it’s Christmas?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: What does this have to do with fucking anything!? What is the fucking point? WHAT IS THE FUCKING POINT?

Douche: “It always meant seeing my friends again, but I guess starting school again sucks. You know, I haven’t thought about school since last winter, or spring, whenever it was.”

Douche: “I don’t miss tests or any of that shit, but I miss learning. I was good at school.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: He’s so good at school that it took him five and a half years to finish college.

Douche: “I’m not a genius, but I’m great at writing, philosophy, psych. I don’t think I’m great at anything that helps real life though. Maybe dreaming. I have a lot of dreams, things I want to happen.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: SHUT THE FUCK UP! God, shut up! What the fuck is the point of this conversation?

Douche: “Now if only they’d be grounded in reality.”

Douche: “That we’re sad sacks?”

Bitch: “Haha, something like that.”

Douche: “Can I ask you a serious question?”

Bitch: “Go for it, Ginger Boy.”

Douche: “What was your world like? The one you came from.”

Bitch: “You know, I don’t think anyone has asked me that since I’ve been here. Wow! I try not to think about my old reality, but it really wasn’t all that bad. Things are mostly the same. We had more cows though. Lots of cows.”

Bitch: “My mother would love your thrash metal. We also didn’t say ‘The Nineties’. We called it the ‘End Times’. Isn’t that funny? We all joked that 2000 would be the end of the world.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is like that one joke from The Simpsons where Abe talks about how the Germans stole the English word for “twenty” so they had to use “tickety”, only not nearly as funny as that was.

Bitch: “That and - well, this is going to sound weird - but we don’t look at death the same way. In this reality, death is like giving up or making a mistake. How can you fault someone for dying?”

Bitch: “We all publicly acknowledge that when someone dies, you’re sad for yourself, not for them. That, and–”

Douche: “What is it?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This entire segment is basically one giant fucking exposition dump. You know what would’ve been way more interesting? Actually visiting Vella’s reality and getting to see it for ourselves.

Bitch: “I’ve spoken to her once a month for the past twelve years. There are phones, special phones. You put in money, dial the social security number of your loved one, and for three minutes you can speak to them.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This sounds like a neat concept but it kinda falls apart when you realize that it wouldn’t work outside the US because there are still a good deal of countries that don’t use national ID numbers.

Bitch: “You can talk to them about anything, with one exception. Under no circumstances are you allowed to ask about where they are and how they’re feeling. If you do, they lose their phone privileges forever and you have a ten year hold on your account.”

Douche: “What? Like, for real?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’m like, 90% sure that she’s just fucking with him.

Bitch: “I had my first dream the night before I met you.”

Douche: “Must be fate.”

Bitch: “We also don’t have fate where I come from. I think we never put ourselves in that sort of box. You might take away your own freedom by even pretending things like that might exist.”

Bitch: “I don’t have the talent with words to explain it. It’s something you should see for yourself.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I feel like this was originally intended to be a dialog menu thing where you could pick questions to ask, but then they turned it into an unskippable cutscene.

Douche: “What!? Leave my body? I don’t think I could ever.”

Bitch: “Maybe not, but-- okay, look at it this way. Before I travelled the Soul Space, I was a different person - someone who got hurt by someone - someone who believed they were loved unconditionally.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: That’s gonna be a flag from the refs, Jim. Looks like they’re calling a 5-yard penalty on number 22 for abuse of hyphens.

Bitch: When I was out there, I realized unconditional love exists, but only as something to strive for. It’s just a concept. There is no way to actually put it into practice. We can say we love someone unconditionally and we can act like we do, but it’s not to judge people for what they did to you, or someone else. To accept someone for being human."

9_2iVBrO_400x400: That… is some cynical bullshit.

Douche: “We’re all human. We all have flaws. We all hurt each other. But is that the thing to be fixated on? And I do believe unconditional love exists.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I haven’t been to church since I was a kid, but this sounds like something you’d hear in church.

Bitch: “Oh? Have you felt it before then?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I was kind of hoping Alex would go full-on Jack Chick right here and just be like “Yes I have, Vella. I felt it from Jesus. You gave up your soul and you’re going to hell.”

Douche: “So what if I have?”

Bitch: “From who? What’s her name?”

Douche: “I don’t know. It’s just – I had this dream, and in this dream I was loved unconditionally. Whoever loved me loved my flaws and loved my mistakes as much as they loved the things worth making me loved. Is that so hard to believe?”

Bitch: “Ha! Sounds like a dream. So who was she? Spit it out. Was it Sammy Pak?”

Douche: “No, I don’t think so. Maybe it was. Maybe it was you. Maybe it was the android in the van.”

Bitch: “Well, I think you’re a lazy ass half the time, so I don’t think I’m the one to love you unconditionally. But yes, keep chasing the missing girl who entered the Soul Space. I’m sure, when you finally find her, she’d love you unconditionally.”

Douche: “Hey, that’s not fair. Also, Sammy is out there. She isn’t in the Soul Space. I can – I can feel her out there.”

Bitch: “Hmm. Maybe you’re feeling her out there in the Soul Space.”

Douche: “Maybe. So Vella, what the hell are we going to do about finding the android? She’s trapped in the van and–”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The gameplay bit after this cutscene confused the FUCK out of me, and this is one of the reasons why. The game tells us to go check ONISM, which led me in a circle until I looked up what to do.

Bitch: “Rory made a thread pointing out a mysterious van in all the most recent and believable posts. And here is a strange one for you. In one of the photos of Sammy Pak, there is a van.”

Bitch: “He asked everyone who sees the van to reply to the thread and post the location so we can check it out.”

Douche: “Wait. Are you serious!? How did I NOT see this!? Holy crap. Okay, I need to go back and check. Wow! This is perfect. So that means she is around here then!!”

Bitch: “Well, I mean, vans have wheels, so it could be far away, but yeah, it could be.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Comma abuse. Ten yard penalty, offense, number 22. The game will remain on third down.

Douche: “We’re going to need a car! How else can we catch up to it!? Do you have a car!?”

Bitch: “No. You’re forgetting I’ve lived in this reality for a year. How do you expect me to even have a license? I don’t even have a social security number and I make minimum wage at an arcade.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Here’s something I really don’t quite understand. The way Vella implies that the whole “giving up your body” thing works, if you become a soul the only way to get a body back is to find a different dimension where one of your isekai realm counterparts did the same thing. Did the Vella in this dimension not have an SSN, or is this Silent Hill 2 now and she was born from a wish?

Douche: “Damn. I wonder if Mom would let me borrow hers.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: What’s funny is that Claudio doesn’t own a van. You’ll see what I’m talking about in just a minute. He drives a Jeep.

Bitch: “He’s a bit older than us, so it makes sense. I think he’s in his late twenties. You should spend some time with him and Chondra, really get to know them first. Not usually a good idea to ask for rides unless you really know someone, at least where I come from.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I mean, it’s not like they’ve known each other since summer or anything.

Douche: “Yeah, good idea. You know, this is going to sound a bit weird. Lately I’ve felt like I don’t even know my own reality. The more I think about it, nothing is as I remembered.”

Douche: “When I was a kid, things felt different. Pre-college Alex’s life was so much more simple. I never noticed all of these things - all of these strange, strange things.”

Bitch: “That’s how I felt right before I left my reality. Maybe you’re starting to get it? Whatever it is.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Thank god that bullshit’s over. I’m going to go ahead and gloss over most of the upcoming exposition dump because I think we’ve all had enough of that for one update.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So yeah, as you can see, no van.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The game will also make kind of a big deal that Rory isn’t around. I wonder what’s up with that?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: On the way back to Alex’s house, I stopped and used the Mind Dungeon to level up. This actually wound up not being canon due to the softlock you saw at the top of the update. One thing I discovered is that if you pick all of the doors and talk to Marlene, Marlene will open them all for you at once.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Here we are at Floor 29, with just enough EXP to hit 30.

crow: “Things… yeah, things will be fine. Your mom is a good mom. She’s… yeah, look…”

crow: “You know I’m your dad, and I’ll always be your dad… so yeah… don’t forget that.”

crow: “Look… things might be tough… but, yeah… uhm… crap, I’m terrible at this. Sometimes adults realize that they made mistakes… and sometimes… their mistakes cost a lot of money, and require a lot of food… and educations…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I fucking knew it! Alex is canonically a goddamn mistake.

crow: “And some adults, like your mother, are better at providing for these mistakes than fathers. Look, you’re lucky that your mom is smart. Smarter than I am.”

crow: “Anyway, sometimes the realization of these mistakes leads you to following other mistakes halfway across the country in hope of finding some dream… a youthful dream with nice legs. Only, those legs aren’t as smart as your mom’s, but man…”

crow: “Try not to make the same mistakes I made… okay?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I like the idea that Alex dresses like his dad even though he knows his dad was an asshole. I also like the idea that his dad saw Alex and immediately knew his son was going to be a colossal douche and a self-insert and ran away so he wouldn’t have to be in this game.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The next thing we have to do is check the computer. Now, all of these locations are on the world map. It would make a lot of sense to just take the bus and walk over. That’s what I did when I was recording this, and that’s… actually not what you’re supposed to do. I definitely wasn’t the only person confused by this because there are a number of posts on the Steam forum for this game asking what the shit you’re supposed to do here.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: What you’re supposed to do is find Chondra and Michael. If you come by this area on the way to meet up with Vella, neither of them will be here - they only spawn once you’ve looked at the computer.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Chondra’s plot dump consists of her letting you ask two questions. The bottom option pisses her off, while the top two are basically her thinkpiece about how she went to Japan once.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This plot dump is almost as long as the one we just had with Vella, so there’s a good reason I’m not posting all of it. Those three should be enough to get the point.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Michael also doesn’t have a lot to say. However…

Douche: “Nah, never bothered to get it. We can swing by and pick him up on the way if we want.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Yeah, I mean, why bother to get his number when clearly all he wanted was to make out? The game is making a really big deal about Rory here. I wonder if… nah, there’s no way our actions have consequences.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So, there’s a whole bunch of places we can stop. The only ones that are important are the Bowling Alley and the Mall. Gee, the game REALLY wants us to see Rory though.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: We’ll head to Wind Town first to pick up Rory.

Douche: “It’s Alex and the gang.”

Chondra: “More like Chondra and the gang. You think you’re that important, don’t you?”

Douche: “It’s Chondra and the gang. We’re going to check out some of the leads about that weird van. You want to come with us?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The water tower is completely pointless. It’s located behind the overpass, and there’s no van near it.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is the reservoir.

Douche: “So is it worth swimming out there and checking it out?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Next stop, the bowling alley. We REALLY don’t want to miss this because it has an encounter that is annoying, but worth it. The encounter vanishes if we finish this segment without hitting it. I also have no idea why it’s perpetually night time at the bowling alley.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is the Flasher. He has an assload of HP, and has a full-party attack that hits for a good amount of damage and poisons on hit. I kind of forgot to level up again on this take after hitting the softlock.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Even without levelling up, this guy is pretty easy, even though only Alex is doing any sort of damage to it. He also awards 200 EXP, which would mean that had I levelled everyone up, they’d be level 31 right now.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Yeah, I said the same thing about this game and its developers.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Here’s the gas station. There’s nothing of note here apart from the fact that you can clip Alex into the building. This doesn’t cause a softlock, surprisingly. I didn’t bother going to the University because there’s nothing there (most likely) and also because I wound up going to the spot that ends this chapter first on accident.

Chondra: “I can’t believe it! We actually found it!”

Bitch: “The first step is to calm down. Let’s all get around the van and then one of us will knock. Let’s be ready to fight since we don’t know what’s inside!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I mean, if you think about it, is there any reason we’re doing this?

Bitch: “Doesn’t anyone else find this a little odd?”

Douche: “So the Soul Survivors are working with the mall rats…”

Bitch: “Don’t be stupid! Something isn’t right here. Okay, so those kids have the keys to the van. The only course of action is to track them down and ask them nicely for them.”

Chondra: “And when they say no, we kick their twelve year old goth butts!”

Douche: “Wait, can anyone pick a lock here?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This entire “joke” is stolen straight out of Telltale’s Walking Dead game - except there, it was used to show that Kenny was in fact a redneck.

Claudio: “And don’t pretend you didn’t think it! So, to answer your racist-ass question, I CANNOT PICK A LOCK. Well, at least not a car lock. I went through a Sherlock Holmes phase and learned to pick basic locks.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Great. Let’s just move on to another segment where a bunch of people get stuck.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Inside the mall, there’s a sequence where you have to chase after the rat-people. They have a couple of spots they can hide, and one of them is absolute bullshit.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: See this? You can barely see a rat tail sticking out of the garbage can. I had to look up where this was because I couldn’t see it.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: After four or five hiding spots, the rat-person will eventually leave out the rear exit door.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Mistake number one, I forgot to re-level and we just walked into a boss fight. Mistake number two, I should’ve replaced Claudio with Chondra. Why, you ask?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is the Gothic Entity, our second real boss fight after the Golden Alpaca several hours ago. The Gothic Entity is a kick in the dick unless you have Chondra with you.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The boss opens the fight by draining everyone to 1HP. This is unavoidable - no QTE, no nothing.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: It then follows up with a full-party attack that will do 15 fucking damage if it hits. Now, if you have Chondra, you can heal everyone up to full using a single Ambrosia. Unfortunately, I didn’t have Chondra, so I had to use everyone’s next turn immediately healing up. Somehow, no one died.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I missed a button prompt and wound up healing Vella twice instead of Claudio. The boss took its turn and did this. In this state, the boss is invincible and has to be banished to take damage again.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: On Claudio’s turn, I got ballsy and figured I’d just attack. This was the first attack I was able to get off in this fight, after three full turns had passed.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: If it wasn’t for Alex and his LP Toss, this fight would probably take upwards of 40 minutes of just chipping away at the boss and dodging as much as possible.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This was how I ended the fight. Vella died from the multiple 15-damage party attacks, and Alex only barely survived to get one last LP Toss in.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: That about does it for this update. Next time, Alex will meet the robot in person.


Time for a quick mailbag update.

Yeah, I got to that point not knowing what was coming and I was like “Am I going to go there? Do I want to give the viewers a choice?” and then I went “You know what, I’m going to do exactly what Alex would do and pick the worst possible option.” I also feel like I’ve never seen a game before that lets you attempt to kiss a character without knowing what their orientation is.

Trust me, I would LOVE to see someone take this concept and make something good out of it. You’re right in that I would love to see a remake of this where it turns out that Alex made the entire thing with Sammy getting taken up (removing the stupid paranormal shit), and the idiots on the internet just wholesale fell for it. Have a scene where Alex is leading a group of people to investigate a possible sighting, only to get arrested and told at the police station that they found Sammy dead three days ago and that his band of idiots might’ve stopped them from getting to her in time.

I’ve never read After Dark. I just bought a copy for like $7, so I’ll give it a read. It’s probably better than that godawful Gabriel Knight novelization I bought from the last LP.

There is no speedrun page for this, but I feel like if Spore Spawn races are a thing in Super Metroid there should absolutely be a leaderboard for getting to that spot.

“First off, good job for assuming the black guy can pick locks. Also, yes, the black guy can pick locks, but the plot says you have to go have a boss fight.”

Nah, Andrew’s showing his ignorance again.

Technically, the Social Security number is not a national ID number. It’s used as one, but it wasn’t designed to be one and it’s very poorly secured for the purpose; it was literally only ever intended to track what you paid into or withdrew from your social security account. In fact, the SSN isn’t even universal, there are a bunch of exceptions (most notably a number of anabaptist religious sects; you can’t call grandma if you’re Amish, I guess). Ironically the US has no actual, official national ID card, which puts it in a minority. Most other countries in the world have compulsory ID cards and a number of the ones that don’t have optional ones (the wikipedia page on the topic says that the passport card is our de facto noncompulsory ID card but no one’s ever asked for my passport card before, so…). Presumably the US is just barely included in the program, using the SSN in the same stopgap manner as in real life. Other countries probably have much more robust necromantic services; pre-paying for phone time, packages that allow for longer conversations, appealing the “permanent phone loss” decision. Postmortem pizza delivery.

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The “point” of the water tower scene is for Rory to deliver the rest of the Elisa Lam story. If you didn’t talk to him there, good for you. If you just decided to leave that out to spare everyone… also good for you.