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”.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: “I love my mother and I love my sister, my cousins, my female friends.”
: Don’t kid yourself Alex, you have no female friends. You have no friends in general.
: “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.”
: Calling bullshit on this.
: “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.”
: “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.”
: “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.”
: “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.”
: “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.”
: “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?”
: “Someone had flipped a switch inside my brain and I now understood something I wasn’t capable of understanding before.”
: Alex finally learns what bisexual means.
: “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.”
: “But it couldn’t – I tried to recall the dream but it was already slipping away, to the periphery of my mind.”
: “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.”
: “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.”
: Gee, I dunno, maybe because you tried to kiss her last night?
: The game never tells us this directly, but overnight time has skipped from June to October.
: 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…
: Nope, not the arcade.
: She’s been sitting at this same place for the past four months.
: 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.
: “Of course it doesn’t. Probably because I get so sad to see it go. I like Thanksgiving. That’s always fun.”
: She sounds like one of the people on those dumbshit reality shows.
: “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?”
: What does this have to do with fucking anything!? What is the fucking point? WHAT IS THE FUCKING POINT?
: “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.”
: “I don’t miss tests or any of that shit, but I miss learning. I was good at school.”
: He’s so good at school that it took him five and a half years to finish college.
: “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.”
: SHUT THE FUCK UP! God, shut up! What the fuck is the point of this conversation?
: “Now if only they’d be grounded in reality.”
: “That we’re sad sacks?”
: “Haha, something like that.”
: “Can I ask you a serious question?”
: “Go for it, Ginger Boy.”
: “What was your world like? The one you came from.”
: “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.”
: “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.”
: 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.
: “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?”
: “We all publicly acknowledge that when someone dies, you’re sad for yourself, not for them. That, and–”
: “What is it?”
: 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.
: “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.”
: 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.
: “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.”
: “What? Like, for real?”
: I’m like, 90% sure that she’s just fucking with him.
: “I had my first dream the night before I met you.”
: “Must be fate.”
: “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.”
: “I don’t have the talent with words to explain it. It’s something you should see for yourself.”
: 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.
: “What!? Leave my body? I don’t think I could ever.”
: “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.”
: 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.
: 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."
: That… is some cynical bullshit.
: “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.”
: I haven’t been to church since I was a kid, but this sounds like something you’d hear in church.
: “Oh? Have you felt it before then?”
: 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.”
: “So what if I have?”
: “From who? What’s her name?”
: “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?”
: “Ha! Sounds like a dream. So who was she? Spit it out. Was it Sammy Pak?”
: “No, I don’t think so. Maybe it was. Maybe it was you. Maybe it was the android in the van.”
: “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.”
: “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.”
: “Hmm. Maybe you’re feeling her out there in the Soul Space.”
: “Maybe. So Vella, what the hell are we going to do about finding the android? She’s trapped in the van and–”
: 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.
: “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.”
: “He asked everyone who sees the van to reply to the thread and post the location so we can check it out.”
: “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!!”
: “Well, I mean, vans have wheels, so it could be far away, but yeah, it could be.”
: Comma abuse. Ten yard penalty, offense, number 22. The game will remain on third down.
: “We’re going to need a car! How else can we catch up to it!? Do you have a car!?”
: “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.”
: 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?
: “Damn. I wonder if Mom would let me borrow hers.”
: 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.
: “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.”
: I mean, it’s not like they’ve known each other since summer or anything.
: “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.”
: “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.”
: “That’s how I felt right before I left my reality. Maybe you’re starting to get it? Whatever it is.”
: 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.
: So yeah, as you can see, no van.
: The game will also make kind of a big deal that Rory isn’t around. I wonder what’s up with that?
: 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.
: Here we are at Floor 29, with just enough EXP to hit 30.
: “Things… yeah, things will be fine. Your mom is a good mom. She’s… yeah, look…”
: “You know I’m your dad, and I’ll always be your dad… so yeah… don’t forget that.”
: “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…”
: I fucking knew it! Alex is canonically a goddamn mistake.
: “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.”
: “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…”
: “Try not to make the same mistakes I made… okay?”
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: Michael also doesn’t have a lot to say. However…
: “Nah, never bothered to get it. We can swing by and pick him up on the way if we want.”
: 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.
: 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.
: We’ll head to Wind Town first to pick up Rory.
: “It’s Alex and the gang.”
: “More like Chondra and the gang. You think you’re that important, don’t you?”
: “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?”
: The water tower is completely pointless. It’s located behind the overpass, and there’s no van near it.
: This is the reservoir.
: “So is it worth swimming out there and checking it out?”
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: Yeah, I said the same thing about this game and its developers.
: 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.
: “I can’t believe it! We actually found it!”
: “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!”
: I mean, if you think about it, is there any reason we’re doing this?
: “Doesn’t anyone else find this a little odd?”
: “So the Soul Survivors are working with the mall rats…”
: “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.”
: “And when they say no, we kick their twelve year old goth butts!”
: “Wait, can anyone pick a lock here?”
: 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.
: “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.”
: Great. Let’s just move on to another segment where a bunch of people get stuck.
: 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.
: 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.
: After four or five hiding spots, the rat-person will eventually leave out the rear exit door.
: 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?
: 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.
: The boss opens the fight by draining everyone to 1HP. This is unavoidable - no QTE, no nothing.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
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.
As a writer the “oh bet you thought the black guy can’t pick lock” scene in this game made me vomit in my mouth. Not the first time this game has done this, but this is the most noteworthy time of it. God, not only is it extremely, awfully racist, a bad version of a good ass joke from Telltale, it’s also just actually written really poorly! It’s disgusting to look at with my eyes in every way possible.
Truth be told, in my “this but good” idea, Alex just straight up is the one that killed Sammy. He’s obsessed with her to such a degree that I feel like that might be the case even in this shitty version of the game.
Oh also a thing to keep in mind for The Future tm: draft your posts in a word program or something first. That way if the forum farts or has to update you won’t lose any progress. I realize you’re probably doing this already, but I wanted to put it out as a suggestion.
Those Mall Rats are giving me a “is this lifted from South Park” vibe, specifically the Vampire Kids. Great.
it’s also a lot more uncomfortable after Christopher Niosi’s shit came to light like holy shit
: So uh, before I start this update, I’d like to point out that I was JUST NOW made aware that there are already two VLPs of this game done by people on SA. I don’t have an SA account, thus I had no idea that they existed. One of them is done with the game, the other is… maybe about an hour or two ahead of where we’ll be at the end of this update.
: I know that there’s not really that much left - with any luck, I’ll have this done before Ni no Kuni 1 gets re-released so I can do that. Still, I wish I had known this BEFORE I started a godawful SSLP of something that had already been VLPed twice by people better at this than I am. Apologies to both GrandmaParty and Diacorn.
: “Why was I so convinced finding this android was such a good thing? Why was I putting myself in danger like this?”
: “A lot of times, I felt like I was an airplane circling the landing strip waiting for clearance, waiting for a purpose.”
: I really want to see a video in the style of one of those “REAL LAWYER REACTS TO ACE ATTORNEY” videos that Youtube’s shitty algorithm always puts in my recommended videos, only it’s an English teacher responding to Alex’s monologues.
: “Maybe I was Alex, Android Hunter. No, that didn’t make sense. Alex, Soul Survivor hunter? Still not right.”
: This sounds like something taken straight out of this one kids book I read to a little girl when I was still doing volunteer reading. The book was called… I want to say Sophie the Awesome, but I might be wrong there. Congrats Allansons, you can write at a second-grade level.
: “What do you see? Anything interesting?”
: “She’s incredible.”
: I think this screen transition is meant to symbolize the fact that Alex has now gone so far up his own ass that he has finally come out the other side.
: When I read this, I immediately thought of that one line from The Room with the random lady who tells Tommy Wiseau’s character that he’s her favorite customer.
: “I imagine you are wondering who I am, why I know your name, and where we are going.”
: I mean, yeah I’m kinda wondering where the fuck this plot is going myself. It hasn’t really gone anywhere in the past nine hours or so.
: “I think it is necessary that I first introduce myself. I am The Essentia 2000.”
: “I exist in all realities simultaneously and can account for all parallel versions of my soul. Now, for the questions that is burning away at you the most: how do I know your name?”
: “You and I have met time and time again.”
: “This is the part where you say ‘I’ve never met you before!’ and then silently add ‘Except in my dreams’. This can and will be explained.”
: “Many months ago, you had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a Miss Semi Pak. Semi had begun the process of leaving her physical form behind.”
: “When you met her, she had already made up her mind to leave her body and enter into the place between places, the Soul Space. You disrupted her transition. Shortly after, you witnessed two Soul Survivors taking her away.”
: “Those two entities were that two-thirds of her soul that had transitioned - two injured parts that hadn’t begun to heal.”
: I feel like this is a colossal ass-pull, even for this plot.
: “I was there. I am Semi and Semi is me. When one soul leaves a reality, another can freely enter. The only requirement necessary is having some relation to the departing soul, whether it’s being a parallel version of the departing or having an emotional connection to the departing.”
: “When Semi left your reality, I entered. Before that, this physical form was destroyed, captured, and held prisoner by the two entities that you just defeated in combat.”
: This is another thing I feel the game never really explains well enough. Was Vella just wrong when she said that soul-people don’t give a fuck? I mean, I sort of get why Sammy got kidnapped - that was basically her kidnapping herself - but why do they care about the robot?
: “Ever since then I had tried to return, but as my physical form still held trace amounts of my conciousness, I had to wait until Semi, THIS reality’s version of me, died or escaped into the Soul Space.”
: “I lived with you for weeks as I gained my strength. Finally, I was able to appear to you and guide you to the radio tower. I needed you to find my physical form so that I could speak with you.”
: “But what did-”
: “-- Vella’s record have to do with my physical form? I am glad to see you are keeping up with all of my robotic exposition.”
: Lady, this entire GAME has been nothing but robotic exposition.
: So uh, is it safe to say that you’re every woman? It’s all in you? Every one from A to Z?
: “I do not mean to imply that I go by all of these names and that I happen to share the name of two women in your life. I am explicitly saying that I am them and they are me.”
: Stop stealing from Persona, you fucks!
: “You’re going to have to explain how this is all possible.”
: “First, I will begin with the dreams you had of me. As a spirit, we are not restrained by physical barriers. However, without a body, it is impossible to astral project.”
: “When you slept, I was able to enter inside of your vessel and use it to launch my spiritual form out into the world to seek my physical body.”
: “I am sorry that I violated you in such a way, but it was the only way for me to find my body and make physical contact with you.”
: Sounds like something Chris Niosi would say.
: “Adjacent to your reality is another that contains someone with the same soul as yourself. In one reality, I am Serna Yemima, a Palestinian girl on the run from financial trouble.”
: “In another, I am Vella Wilde, a talented musician whose only setback is the pressure I put on myself.”
: “In all realities, I am The Essentia 2000, a pan-dimensional android made of plastic created so that I can better understand myself in all of my realities.”
: Welcome to uh… the vore dimension? That model is just fucking hideous.
: Please bear with me as I take you on a tour of my parallel lives."
: “Where exactly are we going?”
: “We are going into a very dangerous place - my Dungeon of the Mind. Here I will share with you my other selves. I am doing this in hopes that you will one day understand the nature of reality.”
: “Why do you feel that I need to understand the ‘nature of reality’?”
: And now, we’ve gone from the Vore Dimension to… machine cancer hell. If it were me, I’d be lighting this place on fire.
: “I feared separation from my own body, so I created the Essentia 2000… except it wasn’t THAT me, Naila El-Amin, who brought the plastic ME into existence.”
: “I came to be, through the intellect of another me, a Vladimira Tesar… in that reality, I was a Russian woman with similar goals, sans the severe sorrow and physical fatigue.”
: “As the Essentia 2000, I explored the Soul Space and became aware of all of the different versions of myself. The Essentia 2000, the Essentia 1999, and the yet to be created Essentia 28-90.”
: “So you mean to say that Vella and Sammy share the same soul? But they are not the same person.”
: Uh. Yeah, she kinda said that several minutes ago.
: Essentially, yes. We have the capacity to be anything that we’d like to be. More often than not, we get to be the thing we least want to be."
: “If you’d join me now, I’d like to take you on a journey - a journey so that you can better know Sammy, Vella, Naila, and the other versions of myself. In doing so, I think you mean learn something that you so desperately need to know.”
: So right after this part, I levelled up. What I didn’t know is that one of the existing VLPs somehow got into the game’s code and found out how all the stats work. Apparently, Luck is the best stat. Who’d have thought? It doesn’t matter much though, because as soon as we got in here and I levelled up, something fucking broke with the battle system.
: Our first stop is this pile of crap that has a key in it.
: This dungeon hurts to look at. This isn’t even as bad as it gets, but there’s an annoying static effect all over everything.
: The broken wall just has an item in it, so let’s get into a battle so I can show off how badly I managed to break the battle system. I have no idea whether it’s intentional or not, but I did play ahead a little bit past the end of this dungeon and I think it isn’t.
: This dungeon has a bunch of new enemy types, including the brains in a jar (they have a stun attack) and the frankensteins which… fucked if I know because we’re about to snap the game in two.
: See this? This is ONE LP TOSS. 371 damage is enough to kill this thing about three times over, and by the end of this dungeon, Alex was hitting for almost 900 damage with it. I think what happened is that there’s something incredibly broken about the way LP Toss scales with stats (most likely Strength) that causes it to ball out of control after Strength hits a certain number. The best part is that I didn’t have the Ultima LP equipped at this point. From what I’ve heard, the damage formulas in this game are massively fucked up.
: Pretty much every room in this dungeon is a stupid, badly-designed puzzle. Some are more badly designed than others. I’m not even going to talk about the stupid pun.
: This room has these weird hands sticking out of the ground. Interacting with them makes them rotate a quarter turn. If they’re pointing at a thing of bollards, the bollards will lower to let us past.
: The wall wants us to fetch her some limbs, which is going to be the central theme of this dungeon.
: You can pretty much guess how all the fights go here, I’m just showing off a new enemy type. Again, you barely notice anything because of how fucked LP Toss is. By the way, one thing I found out pretty quickly is that Essentia SUCKS. See, Essentia can’t heal the way everyone else does - she needs a special type of healing item that are rare and expensive. The only other way she can heal is through using the “Charge” command, which lets you charge for a number of turns to regain HP (Maximum of 5). However… if you finish the battle before then, she gets reduced to 1 HP.
: We can access I think two different doors in this place right now, but we want to do this one first. Thankfully, I happened to go in here first.
: This room fucking hurts to look at. There’s a lot of flashing bullshit and it just… sucks.
: There’s a puzzle in this room that I figured out on my own. The game will outright tell you how to solve it if you go down the hall, but I guessed it out. See the footprints on the floor? We have to follow those.
: The ghost spawns a combat with another new enemy type - the Millennium Bug. These cause poison if they hit you, but we have the utter brokenness that is LP Toss.
: A key gets left behind, which we then need to put into a locked door just off-screen from this position.
: I should mention that these stupid tunnel effects take like… 15 seconds each. They’re pretty clearly masking a load screen.
: You know… wasn’t this the one that the robot said was supposed to be Palestinian?
: She then has a mental breakdown for like seven textboxes that I’m not even going to bother posting. Fuck this game.
: This room took me a minute to figure out, because it sucks from a design perspective. This is where you get warped immediately after that last cutscene.
: What you have to do is hit the left switch, then use the Amp on the statue.
: We’ve found what I believe to be the final tool - the Flamethrower. The flamethrower does exactly two things: it melts giant candles and lights torches.
: The two chests hidden behind the candles in this room just have some PP restoration items in them.
: If we go to the end of that last room we were in, there’s six torches around an altar. You can probably guess what comes next.
: We have all the tools we need to clear the dungeon, and we can melt these candles to go upstairs … but we don’t have a key for the door at the top. Instead…
: I sure hope this is prophetic, because goddamn that’d be fun to watch.
: We can also take the dead body’s right arm. This is the only body part we don’t have to do a puzzle to get. What I find hilarious is that Alex has no reaction whatsoever to seeing himself dead on the ground.
: Our next destination is behind those rocks over there.
: This room is EXTREMELY badly designed. It has a gimmick that the game explains - but only AFTER you’ve figured out what the gimmick is. So naturally, your first instinct would be to light the torches.
: Nope! If you do that, you can’t do anything. No, the solution here is about as fucking dumb as it gets.
: So, let me explain what the gimmick is. When the lights are off, the border around the edges of the room disappears, and it allows you to wrap around to the other side. I had to find the guide the developers put up to figure out what the fuck the deal with it was - at one point I figured you had to drop down from somewhere else to flip a switch or something.
: The problem is that most of the chests and switches in this room can’t be accessed unless the lights are on. These chests have around a thousand dollars and some healing items, with the one on the left containing a 9-volt, which heals Essentia to full.
: In the middle is this fucker, who explains the gimmick… after you’ve already figured about half of it out. Also, that would be typo number nine.
: There are a couple of okay chests in this room. This one has a Platinum Bracelet, which gives one more HP than the Gold Bracelet does. I equipped it to Alex because his HP is the lowest out of any of the party members. Not that it matters.
: There’s also a fur lined coat up here, which is still only marginally better than the Camo Jacket we picked up for Alex at the start of the game. I equipped it even though it lowers his strength by one - at this point, we don’t give a fuck.
: The goal is to press a couple of switches to lower some bollards and then wind up here, where you can grab the key we need for the main room.
: Leaving this room puts us up here, where we can create a shortcut. I don’t know why you’d want to do this unless you missed chests or something.
: This is the third puzzle room of this dungeon. It looks complex, but is actually pretty simple - the guide from the dev lists like 50 steps and I skipped a bunch of them. The goal here is to go to the right first.
: See that brown switch? The brown switches turn the wind from the giant masks on and off, which opens up different routes for you to take the moving platforms through. We need to get this one first to open the door up top.
: The problem is that while the door is open, we can’t actually get there unless we turn on a mask right in front of it. That’s what the left side is for. The right side chest has an Ambrosia in it. I’d describe all of the steps I needed to take to do this, but I did the left side first. If you do that, you have to do the left side twice because hitting this switch stops you from accessing the right side. As long as you hit all the brown switches you encounter and do the right side first, this is easy.
: “We are not born the same year. We do not, obviously, die at the same time. As Naila El-Amin, I was a mother of three, a very intelligent scientist living in Sweden.”
: “My children, whose names I will not reveal to you for various reasons, lived with their father.”
: “He took his anger out on the men who worked for him. And they feared him.”
: “I was very lonely. I met a man, whom I loved very much. I gave myself to him in every way possible. I forgot about my children, my husband, my life back home.”
: I’ve seen some hentai in my day, and this sounds like a line from an h-manga.
: “When I was with him, I forgot my name. I forgot my purpose. This relationship lasted six weeks and then he vanished. Gone.”
: So is it just me, or is there a pattern of Essentia or whoever having very poor taste in men?
: “I returned home, prepared to tell my husband everything, but he wasn’t there. My children were gone too.”
: “I felt myself becoming increasingly ill, and I deteriorated over the next days. Finally, I saw a doctor and was informed I had a terminal illness. Then I began to develop my android self, The Essentia 2000.”
: You ever just have such bad taste in men that you develop cancer?
: Immediately after the cutscene, we get warped to this room with the severed left arm in it. That’s three body parts down, one to go.
: To progress, we now have to turn that blue hand in the ground so it points to this hand, and then use this hand to open that barred door just north of Alex’s position.
: This room has toxic goo in it, but we can avoid it by walking around the edges just so.
: One switch and one poorly-hidden button later, and we can cross the bridge to…
: A giant comb. We need to carry this back to a door that was north of where we entered this room.
: This particular spot shows off one of the more poorly-designed aspects of this dungeon. See those pillars in the middle, with what look like vines on them?
: We can Amp those to get to the door behind them.
: This is the final big bullshit puzzle of this dungeon. It’s a maze where certain platforms have skateboard ramps between them, and there’s also light bridges.
: You can’t see it very well, but there’s two doors we need to bring to the faces at the very top. One is in the top-left corner, the other in the bottom-right.
: The first thing I did was go around collecting all the chests, of which there are quite a few. The most notable is this mimic, which is one tile up and one tile right of your starting position.
: One LP Toss erased it, giving us a free level up.
: The mimic drops some money and a Football Helmet, which gives Alex some pretty decent stats. We want to equip this because there’s a chance we’ll miss an enemy with LP Toss in a multi-enemy fight, and Alex is pretty low on HP.
: There’s a switch just below where the red door is that shifts the bridges so that we can get the red door in place.
: The platform next to the mimic also contains a new weapon for Alex.
: Anyway, after some more bridge shifting we eventually get the green door into place. You have to do two switches I think, one to get the green door to the middle of the right side and a second to get it up to the door.
: “The memories here are very painful. So please bear with me as I can only tell parts of the story.”
: “I lived as a young girl with my parents in Pontresina, Switzerland. I had four brothers. My brothers and I rarely spoke, as I was much younger than them.”
: This entire dungeon feels like one of the dumb stories Drebin tells you in MGS4 after you kill a member of the Beauty & Beast Corps.
: “My father was always away on business and my mother was a teacher at my local school. I spent most of my time alone, wandering the Pontresina Valley. I dreamed about writing and other worlds.”
: “In that valley, I found another world - the world of my other selves. Getting lost in solitude is the quickest way to other-worldliness.”
: “Someone who is surrounded by others can achieve this, but only if they are selfless. If you so love another person that you could follow them from the world itself, you can truly see the wonders of all the universes.”
: I’ll just cut the rest of that out. We have another big monologue coming up.
: This room has a series of puzzles that have no real reason to exist.
: There are two of these sets of switches - one on the right of the guillotine and one on the left.
: This room has two torches in it. Lighting one but not the other will open one set of bollards, while lighting both will allow access to the chest. The chest has a new weapon for Vella that we’re probably never going to see because of how broken LP Toss is.
: The executioner wants us to find people to kill. The one we’re looking for in this room is directly at the bottom.
: Not pictured: carrying the guy back to the guillotine, then carrying his severed head to the statue on the top.
: The other side is equally stupid. There’s a poison pool that we can just barely skirt around.
: I really, really do not understand what the fuck the point of this is, or why we need to do it twice.
: We need a third victim, and there are no more volunteers, so let’s just watch Alex die.
: Unfortunately, he doesn’t die and we instead unlock the final door out of this shithole.
: The masks will blow Alex off the ledge if he walks by, but we have to do that to progress.
: It might not be obvious what to do here, but what you have to do is follow the hands to the outline.
: Just gotta make a trip to the freaky glue room and then open the door with the comb. The game will warn you to save first, and I actually did, in addition to levelling Alex up a bunch. What I learned is that while all your party members will get a full heal on level up, Alex does not.
: “These machines - they’re so familiar. And yet, something feels wrong.”
: “Is it safe to approach him?”
: “I cannot say. I would never harm you, Alex. But it is logical to assume that one of my many parallel lives may have some reason.”
: This is Yuzu Imajo. Yuzu is a Japanese soldier who comes completely out of left field. It’s never explained what his deal is (as far as I know) or why he hates Alex so much other than for the perfectly obvious reasons.
: “Somehow you look different. So many lives wasted, taken, and experimented on in hopes of obtaining this moment. And now that I’m looking at you, I don’t know if I should love you or hate you.”
: “To kill you, in the way that you killed me time and time again, has been my only dream, my only waking thought for the past fifty lifetimes.”
: Something tells me that if Alex started a fight with this guy in any universe that doesn’t involve LP Toss being an instakill, he’d kick Alex’s ass.
: “What’s he talking about?”
: “What did I do? What’s wrong with you, man?”
: “Everything was taken because of YOU! You bastard! I lost everything - my research, my wife, my kids. And all for what?! For you!? What the hell were you worth!”
: “Alex, I can’t recall this life. For some reason, it’s blocked off to me. There is a void in my mind. There are white spots where I should see this life on the astral plane.”
: I don’t understand it any better than you do. Honestly, my brain had long since shut off by this point. What it kind of reminds me of is the intro to Senator Armstrong in Metal Gear Rising.
: “Alex, I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to say such terrible things. Come here. Let me hug you. Let me say I’m sorry in your ear.”
: If there was an option to hug him, I would ABSOLUTELY force Alex to do it.
: “What!? Get away from me!”
: Welcome to a boss fight that is going to be as boring as the rest of this game.
: Yuzu starts the fight by healing himself for around 30 HP before we even get to go.
: Alex goes right after him and LP Tosses, killing him in a single hit.
: But what’s this? A second form using a meme that wasn’t concocted until sometime in the 2010s?
: Yuzu shows back up in a battle mech, because of course he does.
: Levelling up strength by somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 points caused LP Toss to go from 350 damage to 843, killing Yuzu in a single hit once again.
There’s a bunch more exposition I don’t feel like typing out, so that’ll do it for this update. Next update, we’ll learn about Alex’s destiny and… well, we’ll learn that actions have consequences.
Okay so… ignoring the fact that there is just so much contradictory in the whole “Semi got dragged into soul space by two thirds of herself” or whatever the fuck, I really, truly must say that this entire segment of the game is… basically the worst it’s ever been.
The idea that Vella is Alt-Semi is a thing I kinda guessed since they were both vaguely Asian. I didn’t expect them to go this balls to the wall stupid about it though. The idea that your alternate selves are not the exact same age or even gender as you is… interesting, but feels like a mistake.
But the presentation of all of this, especially given Alex is the one responsible for all of their lives being ruined, and seemingly Alex is always Alex no matter the reality, makes for one of if not the worst presentations of a thing I’ve ever seen. If this really is near the end, I CANNOT tell, because not one fucking thing has actually happened in the plot.
Also, side note. The writer is so bad I doubt they’d even notice or care, but saying that the only thing holding Vella back from stardom is her own self confidence is fucked up given the entire reason she did a soul suicide is because she fell in love with a manipulative bastard pedophile.
I know the “can’t use conventional healing on an android” thing is more common in tabletop games but I can’t help but think this case in particular was “”“inspired”"" by Phantasy Star IV, but with much worse alternative methods
: “However, while I am with you, nothing bad can ever happen. I am here to protect you.”
: So, the entire reason that Essentia is here kind of doesn’t make any sense. In fact, there’s a pretty good reason (as we’ll see shortly) that putting a bullet through his head would be a better option for everyone.
: “I think I need you to answer some more questions. I’m really confused. Why did this Japanese guy know me? Why did he attack me? What did I ever do to him?”
: “I can only deduce an answer based on the information I have. This information is the same information that you have, so these are simply educated guesses based on my own personal bias.”
: “Okay, fine. What do you think it is?”
: “I think it would be a safe assumption that in a parallel life, you have harmed me. That this Yuzu Imajo had some sort of relationship with you and you hurt him in some way.”
: Wait a second, what? Yuzu never said his name.
: “When he saw you, he recognized something in your soul and became angry. This is why he attacked.”
: Is this like that reboot of Prey where people inject Alex neurons into themselves to gain douchebag powers, but everyone can tell that you’ve got alien stuff in your head?
: “I harmed him in a parallel life? I harmed you?”
: “There are times where someone expresses how they have been harmed, and as humans our immediate reaction is to become defensive. In our defense so that we do not harm others, we become offensive.”
: This is another one of those things where it really, really does not sound good after all that stuff about Chris Niosi came out.
: “It is in these moments where we decide what type of human we will be. Which is worse: to harm someone in the past and continue to harm them by justifying your past actions, or harming someone in the past and accepting that your choices hurt them?”
: Keep this in mind, because it is going to be relevant immediately after we escape this stupid dungeon.
: “Yes, you might feel harmed in the process by admitting your mistakes, but this is a good type of pain. Pain that heals you into a better person is always better than the small pain of accepting you are wrong.”
: What the hell kind of writing is this?
: “Did I always deny I harmed someone? Do I always feel the need to justify my actions?”
: Well, yeah. I mean, really this is true both in and out of the game.
: “Maybe. Yes. I totally did.”
: Clearly, this isn’t a sentiment shared by the developers.
: Yeah, like hiring a fucking proofreader to fix all these spelling and grammar errors.
: “There are moments when I understand intellectually how I must act, but then something happens. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, like a warm light in the distance, an idea forms - a completely human, flawed, and kind intentioned idea something that all versions of me know to be a mistake.”
: Things like making this game.
: However, the overwhelming feeling of doing the ‘right thing’ takes over and I am forced to make a choice. And every time, this version of me chooses the kind path. I cannot allow any harm to come to you."
: Gee, this doesn’t sound at all like an abusive relationship, sort of like the ones Chris Niosi had.
: “So just remember: It’s not important, Alex, to worry about what we will accomplish. Somewhere out there, we have both accomplished and failed at all tasks. Take solace in this.”
: I hope that there’s a dimension where this game never existed, and I wish I was in it.
: “There exist perfect versions of us who didn’t fail or harm others. Just keep working as hard as you can and you’ll be able to be that perfect version of yourself.”
: So, uh, this advice is total fucking bullshit. This is basically the Jungian idea of the “true self” - it’s a concept that gets brought up a lot in Persona 4 to the point where the title screen track is called “Pursuing My True Self”. The only thing is, Jung himself admitted that actually attaining the true self was impossible.
: “So should I feel guilty that I harmed him in a parallel life?”
: “That question is irrelevant. Just acknowledge that the part of you that harmed him exists in all humans. And then work to polish the blemish on your soul that had led to that action.”
: I feel like they really did not handle this whole parallel dimension thing well at all. It would’ve been one thing if they had done it where you see the parallel Alex doing whatever it is he did to Yuzu - but you don’t. It also is really hard to have an impact when it’s basically “Well, some other version of you - who isn’t even necessarily physically or mentally anything like you and who you can never meet - did something horrible at one point.”
: “Wait, I have one more question. Did – did I harm any of the other women we met, the ones who are also you? Oda, Naila, Serna, Vella?”
: I had been suspecting for some time that there was going to be a really dumb plot twist where the guy who abused Vella was an alternate version of Alex. At this point during recording, I said to myself “How much do I want to bet that every single one of them was harmed by a parallel Alex?”
: “Looking at her, I thought of a satellite floating in space - a drifting piece of man-made material, traveling through a place man can barely go.”
: “What I had said was out of pure curiosity. I had no way of knowing with any certainty that I had harmed any of these women. My words, though, seemed to have jabbed at something in there. I could read the effect on her face. Eventually, without a word, the Essentia 2000 turned away and proceeded from the room.”
: As you can probably tell, the answer is absolutely yes.
: “There is one last location I would like to show you, and it’s quite a distance. I will answer more questions when we get there.”
: “I longed to wash away the bitter taste in my mouth. But even sipping from a water bottle wouldn’t cleanse me of it. The whole situation felt like a dream, as if I was wading through pools of jello.”
: You’d think Alex would learn to just shut the fuck up by now.
: “Even then I kept telling myself that the things around me weren’t ‘that weird’. That seeing Sammy vanish, meeting entities, and entering inside a dungeon in my mind should have prepared me for this. But you know, I don’t think it did.”
: “I wanted to ask the Essentia 2000 if I could feel the feelings of my parallel lives. I realize now that I was just seeking an explanation for the various feelings that were surging through my heart.”
: “I felt closer to Vella, closer to – well, every single parallel life of the Essentia 2000, and yet furthest from Sammy.”
: Wait… what? Why do you even still care about Sammy? She’s fucking dead. The robot just told you that she committed soul suicide and that she’s gone forever.
: “Did I really ever want to find her now that I know what ‘finding her’ actually meant? No, I did. I really did.”
: “Those stairs were the exit to my Mind Dungeon. Now we have returned to the foyer. In order to proceed, we must first return to the beginning. Allow me to open your mind, to grant you access to the Hall of Parallel Lives.”
: “Inside are the various parallel lives that your soul is currently engaged in.”
: And I believe it would be a good idea to HIRE A GODDAMN PROOFREADER!
: “Our destination is at the far end of this hall. That room is used to chronicle the past and future of this Alex, the one I am speaking to now, my favorite.”
: “Why aren’t I here?”
: The dumb thing is that from his perspective, he should be able to see where he is. It’s hard to make out, but notice how there’s a body-shaped outline on that big red disc in the background?
: “You are, and you are speaking. What I’m about to show you is something that lies at the heart of all of your selves. Please, prepare yourself for a harsh amount of bitter truth. What you are about to see cannot be unseen.”
: Okay, let’s see, bitter truth: this game sucks. It wasted all of its potential in the first ten minutes and never recovered. The story sucks, the combat is laughably broken, the writing is godawful, there’s typos everywhere. The Allanson brothers should be banned from all major game stores for plagiarism.
: “Should I be worried?”
: “No. Not if you took to heart what I have taught you.”
: Fuck you, Alex! I’m the only one who gets to shut my brain off during these pointless fucking cutscenes!
: “To recognize your flaws and work to correct them. I am about to show you your greatest flaw of all. Destruction.”
: “Then the sky lit up and we were overcome by a bright aura. My soul left my body, as my body disappeared. Where am I now?”
: “It’s a curious thing, losing your body and universe. We don’t have a good way of describing reality, so we show it as the earth, since that’s all most people ever know. I’m sorry it came down to this. You tried your best. I would do it too. In fact, maybe I did.”
: Now we can go up and inspect the disc, and…
: “In a way, it is everyone’s flaw. Destruction. To be destruction, or to be creation. We can only be one in the end.”
: “But what will I destroy?”
: Pffft… there’s no way. Alex is such an unimportant fuckwad. Is there a term that’s like, the opposite of a mary sue? Where the character has literally no redeeming qualities whatsoever, but they’re not supposed to be the villain?
: “How could I destroy a reality? What powers do I have that could lead to this type of devastation!?”
: “Inaction is just as much an act of aggression as taking up arms.”
: Someone should tell that to Rory. Let’s make a note to do that as soon as we get back.
: “When will this happen? How will I do this?”
: “I do not know. But what’s important is that it hasn’t happened yet and --”
: “Wait, you’re saying we can still stop this?”
: “All realities cease to exist. The only thing you get to decide is if you aid in the destruction or fight against it.”
: “Fight against it? But you said it was doomed! NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE!”
: “This reality will fade away, and another will take its place. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t prevent the loss of future realities.”
: “How would I do that if we all die!?”
: You know what would’ve been perfect for Alex to reference right here? No wait, let me do it.
: So what Essentia’s saying is that it’s closing time? That every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end? That you don’t have to go home (even though it’s going to be destroyed) but you can’t stay here? That song’s actually from 1999, by the way. I remember when it was still on the radio. Suck it, Allanson! This is what, the third time I’ve done that? I feel like it gets better every time.
: “We can take your friends with us. Together, we will protect realities from the ultimate loss - loss of souls who perish with worldly attachments in their hearts. When a soul is bound to the planet by thoughts and obsessions of worldly things, they die with the reality.”
: What a great idea. Let’s send Fuckface, Destroyer of Worlds into different realities so he can teach everyone some kind of fucked-up cyber-buddhism and then it’s just Jonestown on a dimensional scale. Great idea!
: “But I want to save this reality. What about my mother, my friends? I couldn’t just convince them to enter the Soul Space. I don’t even think I could convince my mother that there IS a Soul Space.”
: “What do you want to do, Alex? Whatever you decide, I am with you every step of the way.”
: “But wait, why is this – why is this my choice?”
: “Because this is your reality, not mine. I just want you to be happy.”
: “Essentia, how do you know me? Why do you care so much about me?”
: “Because you have been in all of my lives. And at every turn, I have been there for you, even when you have harmed me. I have always loved you. I would fight a losing battle for you.”
: “I-- what do I even say to that?”
: I feel like “helped” is kind of a strong word here, given that Alex basically sat in an elevator pissing himself while Sammy got taken by… well, by herself. Now, are you ready for the fucking stinger? Well, the first fucking stinger. There will be another at the end of this update.
: I don’t normally include mailbag updates in the regular LP, but even better, the entire reason Vella killed herself was BECAUSE OF ALEX!
: “Shh. Alex, regardless of how much you have harmed me in any of my parallel lives, I am always here for you. I want to help you be the best you can be.”
: This doesn’t feel like unconditional love. This feels like a fucking hostage situation. This feels like those stories I hear about people who get abused by a partner and won’t leave the relationship.
: “Can’t you help me be the me that saves this reality? From whatever the hell all those things are falling from the sky?”
: “It is impossible. But if you could like to try, we may try.”
: I remember reading an interview someone did with Yoko Taro in regards to Drakengard. This is the first one mind you, not 2 or 3. I remember that the interviewer asked him why it was that all of the endings to Drakengard were bad endings - the protagonist dies in all of them. Yoko Taro replied that it was because he felt that Caim (the protagonist) didn’t deserve a good ending.
: Now, Caim was a murderous bastard, but the way the world in Drakengard is portrayed, there are virtually zero people in that game who aren’t assholes of a caliber equal to or greater than Caim. I feel like Alex is worse than most of the characters in Drakengard in a lot of ways. He doesn’t deserve a good ending. Something tells me that the Allansons were not at all aware of this and he’s going to get one anyway.
: “But how do you KNOW it’s impossible?”
: “I can feel the reality breaking apart. I can feel souls fleeing in every direction. This world will soon end.”
: “But there has to be something we can do - some way to be strong enough to take down whatever is going to destroy this reality!”
: “But what about me, Vella, you, and the others?”
: “It pleases me that you want to fight for something. I know this isn’t your usual way. It thrills me to see the passion in you.”
: “Together, we can attempt to fight this ender of realities. Just know, we will fail, but we will fail together.”
: “Don’t be such a downer. If I’m going to die, I at least want to go down swinging. What other choice do I have?”
: “I understand now that in your heart, there is no other choice. Perhaps you, Alex, are different from the others. I will stay and fight with you. But if we are going to do this, we must convince your friends to help us and we must train. Even I am not at my most powerful.”
: “We must complete the Mind Dungeon before the end comes and be prepared to fight it.”
: “How do we convince them that the world is going to end?”
: “By convincing them that this reality will soon perish and by making them understand that this world is just a byproduct of that destruction.”
: “Okay, so what’s this great destruction that will be obliterating reality?”
: “It’s the same destruction that destroys all realities. And yet, I can’t give it a name. But when you see it, you will recognize it.”
: “I think I want to go home now. Everyone is probably wondering where I went.”
: “Yes, we’ve been gone quite a while.”
: “Really? How long?”
: “I’m not sure. Maybe we can take a bus?”
: I’m going to skip the rest of this pointless conversation (it’s only a couple of lines about “America has no mass transit”) and get to what I’ve been wanting to get to for a while. Also, it’s now apparently December despite the fact that Alex was only gone for 5 days.
: The fastest way back to Frankton is via Flag Town. There’s a couple of random encounters on the way, but you can imagine how those went. I managed to level Alex up to 41 and got his strength to 88. I’ll find out how much damage that makes LP Toss do at some point.
: “ALEX!!! WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN!!?? I WAS SO WORRIED!!”
: Holy fucking punctuation.
: “Missing!? You reported me missing!?”
: “I haven’t seen you for days, and none of your friends knew where you were!”
: “Hey, I’m sorry. I, uhm–”
: “I’m sorry, Mrs. Eggleston. Alex was with me. My car broke down and he was kind enough to walk with me to the auto body shop and help me out.”
: Very believable excuse for why he was gone for over 5 days.
: “He’s been with me and has been perfectly safe.”
: “Who are you? Why is your hair green? Alex, why are you hanging out with a woman with green hair?”
: “Mom, that’s the latest fashion. Everyone does it. It’s the 90s. Multicolored hair is the bomb, or whatever.”
: “Yes, my hair is the bomb.”
: I get that the cop is probably a Reno 911 reference, but he looks like Mike Dawson.
: “That’s awesome!! What are you doing?”
: “Basically, I’m rebranding all their products as Y2K compatible, and selling them for twice the cost.”
: She then goes on a long spiel about what Y2K is. I should think everyone who has read the LP would know what it is.
: “I’m sorry, I could not resist.”
: “Okay, so you do have a sense of humor. I wasn’t sure if being part android took out the fun parts of a personality.”
: “I can be very funny. Would you like to hear my stand up routine?”
: “What? Really? Now? The world is going to end, this is no time for jokes!”
: I hope you’re ready for the worst excuse for a joke I have ever seen.
: “We should begin by asking your friends to join us. Although there is a possibility that they may be smart enough to enter the Soul Space before the end.”
: “Do you really think they’d do that?”
: “It is a possibility.”
: “Okay, if we’re going to do this, I need you to stop reminding me that you think this is a lost cause. I’m determined to try and stop this - whatever it is!”
: “Okay, I am sorry. I did not mean to upset you. I am here to help you with whatever you need. I think it would be wise for me to speak with Vella alone as we are one and the same. Perhaps you should call her and arrange a meeting.”
: Let’s do just that, because it’s time for me to end this update with the second plot bombshell we’re going to see.
: Now, this will go just fine. I mean, Alex was gone for almost a week but it’s not like anything drastic could possibly have occurred. I am going to go pure screenshots for this part because I need you all to know that I am not making this shit up.
: …what? How could this… well, actually, I could see exactly how it could happen. But wait…
: Wait, what? Why did it just go back to… Chapter 4.1? What is this shit, Earth Defense Force?
: “No… it can’t be. I remember what we did that night. How could I forget? He came up, and asked me…”
: "Yeah, that’s right! He asked me if we could talk, so we went to Burger Joint and he told me how he was feeling.
: “I probably wouldn’t have remembered it normally, but I remember trying to kiss him. It was weird, but I just… felt the need to do it.”
: Oh my god, is this doing what I think it’s doing?
: I can’t convey this in screenshot form, but the game automatically selects the second option.
: "WAIT, WHAT?! I NEVER SAID THAT!!! I never, ever said that! We went to Burger Joint, talked it out, and I tried to kiss him! That’s what happened!
: “Alex, that’s not what Rory told me. I talked to him on the way home from the mall, after you went missing in that stupid van. He told me that you told him to fuck off and take his bullshit with him. He even said you threatened to hit him if he told anyone else.”
: Holy fuck. This is… wow. I mean, it’s basically ripped straight from Silent Hill 2, but god DAMN. I wonder if they added this in with one of those patches after the plagiarism accusations.
: “You might not have actually pushed him off the water tower, but you may as well have. Tell me, Alex. Why did you do it? You knew he was depressed. You KNEW he was reaching out to you for help! Why didn’t you help him?”
: I mean, they didn’t exactly keep Vella’s characterization the same but that’s to be expected since the Allansons can’t write for shit. I wonder if they had someone else write this for them? Who would even volunteer to do that?
: “And another thing. I talked to Michael, and he says there’s someone on ONISM who found a video of you following Semi Pak into that elevator. Only, there was no elevator, just an open elevator shaft. I didn’t believe you could do it. Michael didn’t believe you could do it.”
: “But I know the truth now. You pushed Semi Pak into that elevator shaft. I don’t want to believe it. I don’t want to believe you could do it, but…”
: GODDAMN! This game just took a fucking 180-degree turn. I mean, it’s not great, but compared to the rest of this pile of shit it’s fucking amazing!
: “I didn’t do anything! I tried to save her!!! Are you saying that you think I killed her?!?! Vella, that’s insane!!! The Soul Survivors did it, not me!!”
: “Alex, you did it. I don’t know what you did with her body, but the police are going to find it. And what do you think they’re going to find on it, Alex? They’re going to find your fingerprints and your clothing fibers all over her body.”
: “Vella, you have to believe me!! I DIDN’T KILL SEMI, YOU STUPID FUCKING BITCH!!”
: “Alex Eggleston, are you in there? This is the Frankton PD! Open the door! We have a warrant for your arrest in conjunction with the murder of Semi Pak! Open the door now, and come out with your hands above your head!”
: I couldn’t capture it, but there’s a black screen and then you can hear a door being forced open, then a gunshot. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be the cops shooting Alex, or Alex killing himself. God damn, that was one incredible way to end this game. Is this that “third ending” people kept talking about?
: Well, I guess this is the end of this LP. I’d like to thank everyone for reading. I’ll probably do Police Quest 3 next since as far as I know, no one’s ever done it, and then I’ll move on to Ni no Kuni 1 when that gets re-released next month. This is probably the best ending to a trash game I’ve ever seen.
: At least… that’s how I would’ve ended it. Unfortunately, I’m not the first person to do a complete LP of this game, so pulling something like that is easily disproven. Next time, we’ll see the rest of the suicide scene. Before I go though, people who have watched the second LP will know that something else isn’t kosher here, so let me explain.
: Remember that scene I just flashed back to with Rory at the radio station? If you do what we did in the LP - even if you try to kiss him - Rory doesn’t die and that scene doesn’t play. What I actually did was recorded an entire second run of that area just to do that scene the other way, which is now the canon run for this LP. I got spoiled on this while looking up how to finish that stupid part where we had to talk to everyone in Frankton before heading off to the mall.
: Surprisingly (or not) whether Rory lives or dies has almost zero impact on the game. I don’t think he has any more lines even if he lives (not that I’d know) and has zero impact on which ending you get. I don’t know what the endings ARE, just that Rory has nothing to do with them. The game treats his death as so unimportant that the scene that plays if he DOESN’T die plays immediately after the call about his death as if nothing even happened. We’ll see that next time.
I think I’ve figured out that this game’s whole “alternate versions of you” dealie just doesn’t work as described. There are too many questions it doesn’t even bother to answer. The only connection an alternate “you” seems to have to you is that, if you “leave your physical form”, they’re blocking you from occupying their reality. But you don’t like, take over their life when they leave, you’re still the you that committed suicide back in your old reality, but you don’t transplant your old existence, so…what then? Do you just…appear? Naked and confused, in whatever spot maps metaphysically to the spot you entered the universe from? Does the universe generate a history for you, so that even though you literally couldn’t exist until this moment, now you always have existed? Semi Pak’s death and therefore the window for Vella to come in happened like, a day before we saw her glaring at nothing in particular in that arcade where she works. How do you have a job when you didn’t even exist a day ago? If your alternate yous can have nothing to do with you and who you are and still be you then what makes them you? If Vella is here now then how can Essentia 2K, the Ur-Vella, also be here when there can only be one you in a reality at any one time?
Because of an Alex who was explicitly pedophilic, so my point counts. And is gross as hell good fucking lord.
Unironically if this was how the game ended, it might be almost vaguely worth it, barely. It’s absolutely horrendous but having the reveal be the pretty obvious “Alex is a shit-heel whose perspective is warped and wrong” thing would be what a good version of this game would have done.
: What we’re about to see is Alex set the world record for fastest 180-degree turn. Also, this is going to be a short update because… well, there’s a vote at the end.
: “What the actual hell had I done? I was so stupid. He tried to reach out to me. He asked me for help. ME.”
: “For some reason he had picked me as his confidant and I turned him away.”
: “Were my own personal whims so important that I couldn’t see he was begging for help?”
: So honestly, this feels like it just should’ve been the only route. When, at any point, has Alex shown that he gives a fuck about anyone other than himself?
: "A year ago I would have thought ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself’ or ‘If someone wants to die, there isn’t anything you can do to stop it.’ "
: “I would have convinced myself it was somehow not my fault. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to feel guilty. Why was I so afraid of feeling guilty?”
: “Why did I continue to convince myself that nothing was ever my fault? Sometimes things ARE your fault.”
: I think this is supposed to be berating me as the player, but honestly I just did what we all know Alex would have done.
: “Or in this case: me, me, me.”
: God dammit Alex, that song didn’t come out until 2015.
: “I wanted to tell Vella that he had reached out to me. I wanted to tell her I had been cruel. I had been so selfish.”
: What’s amazing is how even in a situation like this, the only person he gives a fuck about is himself.
: “I did my best to not let her know I felt guilty. Why? Because I wanted her to like me. I needed everyone to like me. I needed to be a solid guy in everyone’s book.”
: “No. I just needed to seem like a good person to myself. And I needed to change that. Self love, disguised with gifts and lies, does not make a good person.”
: “Inward appearances? If I wanted to like myself, I needed to be someone worth liking. Grief - it can make you forget about all the things you thought were important.”
: “But time goes on and we were running out of time. I needed to get my shit together and focus.”
: There’s also one thing I realized just now that kind of makes no sense. If you’re in a world where you can commit soul suicide and potentially wind up somewhere where there’s at least a chance you could be happy, why would you ever kill yourself the regular way?
: “The Essentia 2000 worked hard to console me. She reminded me of a mothering Vella, a truly all knowing being. Vella - I needed to call Vella. I need to bring myself back to a functioning level and actually DO something.”
: So basically, the devs were too lazy to actually make a different gameplay sequence for if Rory offed himself. What happens is that you get the death scene first… and then the game switches over to the same scene you’d see if he hadn’t.
: “Vella, this is the Essentia 2000. Essentia 2000, this is Vella.”
: “Hello, Vella. It’s nice to see you.”
: “Likewise… what’s going on here?”
: “I don’t even know where to begin. It’s so complicated.”
: Something about this just made me fucking laugh. “Alex, you’re so irrelevant that we could easily continue this game without you, please fuck off”.
: “Do you know how weird was thinking that? No, you really can’t. Well, maybe now you can that you’re in the same situation.”
: What the fuck is he talking about? I seriously don’t get it. Are they trying to go for an Omikron the Nomad Soul thing here?
: “One soul, but many people. In the darkness, thinking about the end of all reality, knowing inside myself that all of this was true.”
: “These concepts, previously absurd, were now mysteriously vivid in every detail, to the point where I felt I could grasp them in my hands.”
: What the fuck kind of metaphor is that?
: God, this line is just so…off. It sounds like something you’d see in a game written by someone who doesn’t speak English as their primary language.
: “Everyone was gone and then she floated by. Sammy. But she wasn’t Sammy, she was Vella. But also not Vella, she was the Essentia 2000, Oda, Yuzu, and Naila.”
: “Somehow these people were linked by their ‘soul’. Whatever that meant. What did it mean to share a soul, but be a different person?”
: What’s funny is that as many of you have pointed out, I’m not even sure the developers understood what the fuck the deal with the soul thing is.
: “What had the Essentia 2000 called it? A parallel life? I thought of Buddhists and their concept of past lives. Before I was Alex, I was a pirate or a poor village girl living in Croatia.”
: “But in a parallel life, I was Alex, a pirate, and a little girl in Croatia. I lived all of my lives at once, in distant but similar realities.”
: “Similar was only an assumption. I realized how how little I knew about reality.”
: “I have explored the Soul Space, and I have seen the beginnings of destruction to many realities.”
: It honestly feels like for this part, the Allansons contracted the dialogue out to like, one of those late-80s anime fansub groups who did literal translations.
: “I have seen the remains of many souls, and Alex, this scares the living hell out of me. I will do anything I can to help stop whatever is coming for us.”
: “You spoke to us in the past, specifically to Vella, about a feeling that fate brought you two together. I am that fate. This was meant to happen. I do not know if we can stop whatever is coming, but I know that we are meant to try.”
: “So what’s next? What do we do? What’s the plan?”
: “We should get the others onboard.”
: “And then we should train in the Mind Dungeon. Alex, you have seen what is coming for us, and you know better than anyone else the only way to stop it is to understand yourself.”
: This part is really weird because of our entire seven-person party (counting Rory), only three of them have ever been to the Mind Dungeon.
: “If we can get as far into the Mind Dungeon as possible and learn as many abilities as possible, we may stand a chance of dying with dignity.”
: I feel like this is a thing saying “Hey go grind those monster dens” but we really have no reason to. LP Toss already oneshots everything. I feel like that isn’t likely to change given that we’re fighting every enemy we come across.
: “Alex, what did you see in the Mind Dungeon? What did the end look like? Why did she say that?”
: I was really fucking torn on this one. On one hand, I kind of wanted to know what the fuck he thought he saw other than just himself on fire. On the other, dodging the question might piss off Vella, which is EXACTLY what Alex would do. That’s why I picked the second option.
: “Alex, I believe the best course of action now would be to go and find each one of your friends individually and talk to them about the current situation. Remember that the better you do, the more Mind Dungeon Keys you will unlock and the stronger you will become.”
: Why do I have a feeling that this is going to be like Ni no Kuni 2 where I farmed out overpowered equipment only to have the game force me into using worse equipment?
: “It is vital that all of your friends are onboard. Without achieving the highest level by the time the end comes, our futile efforts will be even more futile.”
: “But we don’t even know when the end is coming! It could be tomorrow for all we know.”
: “Y2K. Could that be it? Could the turn of the millennium be the date?”
: “I don’t know, maybe. What do you think, Android-me?”
: “It is possible.”
: “I’ve had a weird sense of impending doom ever since Rory and Michael mentioned it. That might explain why '99 has gone to shit. I’ve been looking at the newspaper a lot lately and things are really screwed up out there.”
: “Well, I suppose having some estimated date is good enough for me.”
: “Alex, you can return to the Mind Dungeon at any time to see how many days remain.”
: “WAIT WHAT!? You mean that date was real!? It has so many numbers and zeroes. How do I even calculate that into a date?”
: “I could not see the number myself, but if you take me there and tell me the number I can help you convert it into days.”
: “Well damn, why didn’t you tell me that sooner?”
: Why is it that the devs can never just let a cutscene end?
: “Well, she didn’t. Lay off of her. We’re not perfect you know!”
: “Is that your new thing? Referring to her as you and et cetera, et cetera?”
: And… it’s now winter in Frankton. What I like is how the devs put in the effort to do things like add icicles and decorate some of the houses, but Alex (and all the NPCs in town) are wearing summer clothing.
: It’s strange to me that they also never bothered to give Claudio and Chondra a house. In fact, we don’t even know where they live.
: I’m going to skip a bunch of this because just like the last time, a lot of what they have to say isn’t important. However…
: This to the guy who caused someone else to commit suicide.
: I wonder if Claudio committed soul suicide and someone else took his place.
: Chondra is over here. She has pretty much the same thing to say Claudio did: that she had a dream about Alex and… yeah.
: “Did I really deserve everyone’s help? Nope. Not at all. Maybe this is why I was exceedingly grateful.”
: “I thought about Michael. He was the only one I hadn’t seen since I returned from my trip into The Essentia 2000’s mind. Where had he gone? Why hadn’t anyone else seen him?”
: The Forest Meadow is an area I actually visited once way back before we did Flag Town.
: That chest there contains an Ambrosia, which I picked up the first time I visited.
: There’s also $5,000 in this chest, located behind some candles. This is mostly important if you want the achievement for having $15,000 without selling any of your ambrosias.
: “I’ve been looking for you for the past week! I called your house, knocked on your door, and no one ever answered.”
: Meet Proto-Michael, who is attempting to do his best Naked Snake impersonation. Somehow, I can’t picture someone with that build having that much chest hair.
: “It’s so trivial. Don’t you see? No, of course you don’t. I wouldn’t have a week ago.”
: “What happened? You sound different. Your voice is different. What’s going on?”
: “Alex, something has happened to me. I am transformed. I’ve come to understand certain things. I’ve been exposed to the truth.”
: I feel like Michael just smoked weed for the first time and now he’s ready to write a 3000-word thinkpiece on it.
: “What do you mean? What happened?”
: “Something happened to me. Something very startling at first, but now - now it’s just incredible.”
: So apparently, being “proto” means that you just keep saying the same line over and over with slightly different wording.
: “Are you going to tell me what happened or are you just going to keep acting like Vella?”
: “I met a parallel self. I lived so many lives. I am everything.”
: “Uh, what?”
: “Alex, I entered the Mind Dungeon alone and I wandered and wandered. Soon I stumbled upon a hall of names. Each of these names was etched into a door.”
: Way to describe what we literally just saw, fuckhead!
: “Alex, what I’m trying to say is that I’ve seen the Vore Dimension. All of it.”
: “The very act of experiencing a parallel life is mind shattering. When we are born, we immediately begin developing a series of biases and defenses that help us ground our lives in the ‘reality’ that we invent for ourselves.”
: “In doing so, we lose sight of the temporary nature of life. We forget everything. We lose track of where we came from and only look to the future. Experiencing a parallel life disassembles all physiological constraints that have been built up over the years.”
: “Do you know what the funniest part is?”
: Say what one more goddamn time, motherfucker! I dare you!
: “I know what you’ve come to ask me. And I know that I’ll say yes even though I always turn you down. Do you realize how many times we’ve had this conversation? It’s like clockwork.”
: “He soon asks me to try and save him from self-destruction. Every time I say no and every time you destroy our reality.”
: If someone could please, for the love of god, draw that last line and the one in the screenshot above it, only Michael is Odie and Alex is Garfield, I would greatly appreciate it.
: “Maybe it took for me to realize what not helping a friend can do to that friend, but I’m in. Let’s win this thing.”
: This feels like it’s meant to be a burn on Alex for letting Rory die.
: “Michael, did you see how reality ends?”
: “No. All of my lives end with you destroying everything, but I’m never there to see firsthand how you do it.”
: “Crap. I was really hoping you knew the answer.”
: “I’m surprised you’re not alarmed by what I’ve told you. What have I missed while I’m away?”
: God the grammar just kills me.
: “I think you should meet our new android friend.”
: What the fuck is this, Pocahontas?
: “Their positions have changed. Did you notice the colors?”
: Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grins?
: “Everything is wrong. This isn’t what it was like. Something is wrong. Something is broken. Can’t you see it?”
: “Michael, I – I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe things feel different. But dude, they’ve felt different for a long time. The very feeling of being me has changed. I can’t really put my finger on it, but something is wrong, you’re right.”
: “Do you ever remember things wrong?”
: “No, I don’t think so. What does that mean?”
: “As we walked back to my house, a strange feeling of nostalgia overwhelmed me. It was as if I hadn’t seen Michael in a really long time, as if the Michael I’d spent the past year with had been broken and now he was fixed. This was the Michael I remembered.”
: “In the cooling winter air, I had a series of memories return to me. All of them involved Michael, but none of them felt real. As if I had experienced them in a far off distant life.”
: “Although in a way, we have met many times before, both in the past of our parallel lives and in the future of our parallel lives.”
: “I am going to make this brief. Starting tomorrow, we will train in the Mind Dungeon.”
: “But tomorrow’s Thanksgiving.”
: “Thanksgiving? Tomorrow?”
: “Yeah, so we should start on Friday.”
: “What about shopping on Friday! Just kidding. Seriously. Just kidding.”
: “Many of my parallel lives were Canadian so this is somewhat a surprise to me. As I experienced Canadian Thanksgiving a few weeks ago. All right. Fair enough. Friday we begin.”
: I really think this entire gigantic cutscene-monologue hybrid is here entirely to pad the game out, because the rest of this game is going to be real underwhelming.
: “Now with the threat of impending doom, I realize how silly it was to do so. But what else could be expected of me? I’ve lived the past 25 years knowing nothing but a series of tomorrows. In fact, ‘I’ll do that tomorrow’ had become my mantra over the past two and a half decades.”
: “Tomorrow there may be nothing. Today may be the last day. This knowledge triggered something in me to fall away. It was as if the core of my personality dropped away and nothing came in to fill the hole.”
: “It was like being hungry all the time, except food, mindless fun, and things that normally bring happiness had lost their appeal. The knowledge that this was all temporary had stripped me of the ability to experience basic human pleasures.”
: “What I craved was a sense of normal. The desire to go back. No, that’s not right. I didn’t want to go back. If I went back, I’d be the same person I used to be: selfish, unfocused, lazy.”
: “I had no purpose. I was a blank slate that was covered in war paint. I was going to defeat whatever was coming for my reality, even if it was me. I would defeat myself. What that meant, I didn’t know. But I was prepared to do whatever it took.”
: “It feels good. I was so excited to get to the Mind Dungeon I barely slept last night.”
: “Impressive! Well, get to work!”
: As you can guess, the game just basically became Persona, only way shittier. Alex now has a phone in his room that he can use only to save. Now, you might think we want to head to the mind dungeon - but doing that only brings up the standard level-up menu. What we want to do…
: Is go explore the town. Spending time with friends gives you 100 EXP, but wastes an entire day.
: If you look on ONISM, a whole assload of sidequests just opened up. Most of these are pretty boring, so I’ll gloss over a lot of them. By the time I finished recording for this update, I had basically 100%ed all of the side material.
: First up, if you’re dead-set on maxing Alex out, there’s a couple of places with Soul Survivors in them. This is one of them.
: The one annoying thing is that every time we complete a sidequest, the game will send us back to Alex’s house.
: It’ll also cross off a day. We have just over 30 days, which is WAY more than enough to max everything out.
: I also found the true final tool, the Monster Flute. The Monster Flute is used specifically for monster dens. You see that skull icon on the ground behind Alex? Playing the Monster Flute turns that into an encounter. Naturally, it’s an Ocarina because references.
: The main draw of this sidequest segment is this chest, which was going to be part of a hidden ending to the game that never came to fruition. To get this chest, you have to do a sidequest that involves talking to a ghost in Wind Town’s graveyard, then talking to a second ghost at the Strip Mall, then talking to the Wind Town ghost again and finagling your way in here. This sidequest does NOT end the day.
: Next up, there’s another Soul Survivor here, by the water tower. I’d like to think that this is Rory.
: I should mention that against these lower-level enemies, LP Toss was doing like 1400 damage.
: The next day, I went to finish the pog sidequest. The last one is hidden down here behind some trees.
: So, what’s our reward? An ultimate weapon? A few ambrosias?
: Nope, just worthless money. The shops haven’t stocked anything new since we did the cave near Flag Town. We also get 100 EXP and get sent home.
: Next up is this pathetic excuse for a sidequest. Back at the reservoir, there’s a group of high-level aliens. They SUCK to fight, mostly because of the fact that they can chain-stun Alex and can also dodge LP Toss, but I got them down no problem.
: I like that this quest, which takes like two minutes to do, gives more of a reward than finding all the pogs.
: Our next time slot gets taken up by trading the buried treasure we found to this guy for…
: Pokemon cards… and 100 EXP and a trip home.
: We can then trade the cards for a geiger counter. This is where the trading quest stops having a point - neither this nor the final step get you anything.
: What this was supposed to do is lead you back to where we met Sammy at the start of the game, which would then send us through the window room to find the combination to the locked chest we were never able to open.
: Next up is this kid, who is “missing”. He gives 100 EXP and $400.
: There’s also one I’m going to ignore in Wind Town which consists of fighting a handful of samurai tortoises and getting 100 EXP for it.
: Finally, there’s this lady. She wants us to hang up missing posters for Semi… which is incredibly dumb because someone on ONISM posts that they found her dead right after we went into Essentia’s mind dungeon.
: There’s six spots we need to put these. One is right here, in the mall.
: Then there’s one at the university…
: Strip mall.
: Gas station.
: Wind Town.
: And finally on the arcade. As for our reward…
: We get what I believe to be Michael’s ultimate weapon. Now that we’re done with this shit, our only objective is to level up to whatever the maximum is.
: This is after I cleared out all the monster dens, and did pretty much every encounter in the game. I think we’re down just a bit of EXP (probably like 30) because there’s a specific sidequest for the Soul Survivor that was in the factory that we couldn’t do because it was already dead. Also, then the game glitched and docked me like 200 EXP when I had to reload, which is not a big deal.
: I levelled Alex up to like… level 54 I think? I’m not sure what the max level is, but someone on the Steam boards for this game insisted it was 50. You’ll notice that we’re only on the 5th of December. We have to go ALL THE WAY TO NEW YEAR’S. The fastest way to do this is going to the Mind Dungeon and immediately leaving. However… we could do some of the scenes for “hang out with friends”. Let me put it up to a vote. We can SKIP THAT SHIT or keep doing the visit with friends thing and I can post a few shots of each cutscene until there are no more. Let me know what you want, and next weekend I’ll finish the Endless Eight here and get us back on track.
By the way, if we do go for cutscenes… there’s one other thing you’ll need to vote on.
Go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell go to hell GO TO HELL I don’t know why but this, THIS makes me so mad.
I vote you look at all the scenes and force us to look at them too. Also, wuss out. Alex deserves nothing and I bet at this point if you try to do a kiss you get it, since Essentia is basically a fuckbot made from Sammy’s corpse and Vella’s brain is broken from talking to her.
"I did not kill him, it’s not true, it’s bullshit, I did not kill him! I DID NAAHHHT.
Oh hai Vella"
also so I guess aside from unique cutscenes the only benefit of hanging with not-actually-friends is the unique cutscenes, which I vote for and also insist Alex just backs out of everything that requires the slightest bit of courage