Library Battle Simulation: Let's Play Library of Ruina

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Welcome, everyone! I'm TeeQueue, and it's time to check up on some old friends. Let's get started.

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Library of Ruina is the second game by South Korean developers Project Moon, and was released on Steam and Xbox on August 12th, 2021. A direct sequel to their first game Lobotomy Corporation, in it we follow along with the exploits of the director of a mysterious dungeon known as the Library, which has sprouted from the site of the now-defunct corporation's main branch.

It's a radically different experience than their first game, with a darker tone and a new art style to match-in many ways Library of Ruina serves as a primer on the dystopian world that these games take place in, making much more clear how dour things are in the City. They've also changed the gameplay entirely, from a monster management sim to a Library Battle Simulation.

Wait... 'Library Battle Simulation?'

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Yes. Library Battle Simulation.

What's a Library Battle Simulation?

Card games, apparently! Library of Ruina's gameplay is all about card games, and the system itself is surprisingly complex. While it takes some getting used to, once it clicks and we're making decks that can flow well inside of the system's mechanics it feels really fun to play.

Do I need to play Lobotomy Corporation to understand this game?

Not really! There are a number of callbacks to events from the first game, but the plot of the game stands well enough on its own. However, since I've already made a complete Let's Play of the first game, there's nothing wrong with going back and reading that first if you're interested.

Will you be taking character submissions again?

Since the Library is linked so closely to Lobotomy Corporation, I'll be reusing most of the same Agents that we saw in that thread again here. Like the game itself, I'll be aiming to not let that get in the way of the enjoyment for new readers. In lieu of that, the thread will be doing something else very important.

Thread Participation

Once the game opens up a bit, it'll be your job to pick where we're going and what order we're doing things in. I have a pet theory that it's possible to beat Library of Ruina in pretty much any order the game offers to us, and to that end I'm happy to let you all pick our route through the game. In order to keep everyone from being totally blind, I've even made a series of challenge markers for the choices. In order:

Image This is a trivial challenge.
Image This is an easy challenge.
Image This is an average challenge.
Image This is a difficult challenge.
Image This challenge will probably kill us.
Image This is only to be used for certain unique events. Suffice to say they are generally very difficult.

Hopefully I won't have to give up on what the thread picks, but if I do get completely stuck then I'll be showing exactly how and why we're losing, and then reopening the list of choices.

Spoiler Policy

No spoilers, even in spoiler tags. Lobotomy Corporation spoilers are fair game, and discussion of Project WonderLab and Distortion Detective are both a-OK here as well, so long as we keep away from anything connected to Library of Ruina itself.

Blanket Content Warning

While both Library of Ruina and Lobotomy Corporation are horror games, Library of Ruina is significantly darker and has many more mature themes. I might even say fuck this time. Thankfully I don't have to list them all, because Project Moon's done it for me.

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(This is technically for their next game, but it covers Library of Ruina nicely as well. :ssh: )

So what's the plan?

Once again, I'll be splitting updates between story and gameplay. The battles themselves tend to have wrapup segments, which I'll put at the end of them (space permitting). Because this game has voice acting, I'll be putting videos of each story section alongside their accompanying update, and some of the more complicated battles may get videos as well. Unlike Lobotomy Corporation, there's no risk of missing anything no matter the order the thread chooses to go in-the game is designed to be played through without any time rewind shenanigans on our part.

What if I want to give you money?

I've set up a ko-fi link here. Don't feel like you have to-I'm fine, but tips are always appreciated. :buddy:

One more thing…

Image Text quoted from the game will always be italicized. This stuff is 100% direct from the game.

Image Any additions or extras will not be italiziced.

Table of Contents

Main

--Canard
-Book 1: Prologue
-Book 2: Rats
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
-Book 3: Yun's Office 1
-Book 4: Yun's Office 2
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
-Bloodbath
-Book 5: Yun's Office 3
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
-Book 6: Brotherhood of Iron
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
-Scorched Girl
-Book 7: Hook Office
Chapter 1


Bonus
-Mechanical explanations and other things go here

Appendix 1: Rats
Appendix 2: Yun's Office
Appendix 3: Brotherhood of Iron
Last edited by TeeQueue on Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:37 am, edited 18 times in total.

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Fanart/Memes

:siren: SPOILERS BELOW :siren:


MiracleGrow edits the most important thing onto Angela's desk.


Gridlocked gives us a "Book em', Roland" meme.



Probe17 calls the curtain on the previous reception, then makes the beer the proper brand.


MetaMeme brings us a very clear tutorial from the Upper Layer Sephirot.


MetaMeme created this lifelike image of the Sweepers outside Lobotomy Corporation's perception filter.
Last edited by TeeQueue on Mon Aug 30, 2021 12:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Book 1: Prologue

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Upon booting up the game, the first thing that happens is the game's title appearing with a resounding thrum.

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Then comes the company logo. My recording software can't shut off the mouse no matter what settings I put it on, so it's coming along for the ride in this LP as well. I'll try and keep it out of the way.

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Then, a loading screen. This takes a bit to get through, so let's talk about it. This initial load screen changes throughout the game to show the CG of the last level we've played! It's a neat touch, and now that I've mentioned it here I will never have to show it off.

Music: Title Ambiance
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Once it's loaded, we hit the title screen. From here, our options are New Game, Continue, Options, and Quit. Given that we don't have anything done yet, the only thing we really need to choose is New Game.

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Each of the main chapters of the game begins with a screen like this one. Canard means "an unfounded rumor or story," which may or may not be important.

Music: Canard 1 Ambiance
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Unlike its prequel, Library of Ruina's scenes are all completely voiceacted in Korean. I'll be putting video versions of any scenes we see at the end of each update for those who want to give it a listen. Because it's voice acted and we'll be hearing her again in a few minutes, I'll be using her icon rather than playing it coy.

Image Even at the end of all this, I cannot be free… Am I not allowed to have a dream that is beyond my means…?

The scene changes after this. Each time that the scene changes to a new one, the game plays a distinctive page turning noise and a diagonal wipe effect to make it seem like turning the page in a book. It's a nice touch-Project Moon is very good at the little aesthetics.

Music: Entrance
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It seems the Library has a visitor. Unlike in Lobotomy Corporation, there's no cognition filter to make everything look cartoonish.

Image Can’t believe this is how she handled it…
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Image What the hell happened? What’s with all this smoke?

Image Sigh… Guess I’ll have to trust her…


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The screen wipes to black here, and we hear a distinctive SNAP before the transition is fully completed. Get used to that sound, we'll be hearing a lot of it.

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Our mysterious visitor is busted, it seems. :ohdear:

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Image So don’t try to get wordy. Just answer my questions. You don’t get to question me, either. Where did you come from, how did you enter this place, and for what purpose?

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Our mysterious man's title has been updated! This happens very rarely, and I'll try to point it out when I can. There's also a location listing in the upper-right if you hadn't noticed it yet.

Image Ugh, boy… I’m suddenly getting all nauseous…

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Our new friend is not screwing around. This moment is accompanied by a very visceral sounding noise.

Image AHHHHHH!!! My leg!!!

Image I warned you, and you crossed the line. Let me ask you one more time. Where did you come from, how did you enter this place, and for what purpose?

Image …I was just walking around, and ended up here before I even realized it. I have no idea how I got here. Dammit, blood’s gushing outta my right leg… I swear I wasn’t trying to trespass, I don’t even know where this is.

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HamHamPangPang is a real-life cafe run by the Project Moon staff. This is not the last time it will be mentioned in this game.

Image Anyway, I had bills to pay, got no jobs, had to make a living somehow as a one-man Offi—

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Image ARGHHHHH!!!!!

Image You dragged on too long. I’ll be taking your left arm and left leg next. You have no purpose, and you don’t even know how you got here… Just who are you?


Image Just an ordinary Fixer who’s hit rock bottom. What the hell is this place? And who are you?

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She did say no questions. :stare:

Image Grrhhhhrhghh!!! Come on, taking two limbs at once is cheating…

Image I’m the one asking questions. Your name?


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Image Good. Welcome to the Library. We’ve yet to serve any guests, but then you suddenly appeared out of nowhere. It took me quite a bit of effort designing this Library to ensure that no uninvited guest could enter, you see.

Image …Dammit, these limbs were all I had… I don’t have any cash or mortgages to get new ones anymore…

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SNAP

Music: Lobby
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Oh hey, guess Roland's not dead yet! Get very used to this song, by the way. We'll be hearing it for a long time to come.

Image Gasp! Huff, huff… My legs! My arms!!

Image …Wait, they’re all intact again?

Image You should be able to swing your arms and walk again. And I made a few readjustments to your body to make it a bit easier to use. Although you did trespass on my Library, I also took your limbs away without your consent, so I’m giving you these as an apology.


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:allears:
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Image Patient, my ass… Am I really supposed to be thankful for this?

Image And the, uhh… your warning isn’t in effect anymore, right?

Image Nope, not anymore. I had a few thoughts while you were knocked out. And here’s my conclusion: You’ll help me out here.


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Image I heard rumors that they abduct test subjects from here and there for Singularity research. An acquaintance of mine apparently began jumping between dimensions as a side effect of one of those experiments…

Image Sigh… My life really is an unlucky mess.

Image This is a library. I don’t know the “Syndicates” you’re talking about, but this place isn’t a Wing at least.

Image Doesn’t really matter. Whatever the case, I’m trapped here and you’ll exploit me, right?


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Image First, I need an analysis of how you could enter this place uninvited. Sending you back or neglecting you without knowing the reason could pose a significant threat to the Library.

Image Well, it’s not like you can leave without my permission anymore.


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Image And I want you to help me with this process. Since you are a resident of the City, I expect you to be helpful in various ways.
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Image …I knew this would happen to me someday. People would disappear without a trace, only to be found as chunks of flesh much later… I used to laugh at those poor folks for being careless and unlucky, but now I see it has nothing to do with carelessness or anything, huh. Just happens without a moment’s notice…

Image Don’t be too concerned about your life. You are not allowed to die here unless I permit you to.

Image Dammit, so this was a crazy laboratory sort of deal.


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In his defense, this is probably a valid question.

Image This has got to be the worst… I’d much rather die and be over with it all…
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Image If you spout such nonsense one more time, I’ll gladly turn you into a human popcorn machine as you so wish.


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Image Sorry, ma’am…

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What a pleasant smile. :shobon: Here's our first CG-during these parts there are no faces, so I'll be using the icons I have to match the tone as best I'm able.

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Image Ange…la… That’s a good name.

This is actually the end of the scene, and the next line is a completely new one. In my first recording, I definitely didn't let the game hang for about twenty seconds before realizing this. :v:

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Image Your role is to “welcome” the guests invited to the Library. I will carefully determine what guests to invite and write an invitation accordingly, and you will entertain the guests once they accept the invitation and arrive at the Library. Since you have actual experience working as a Fixer, I am sure you will be able to give the various types of guests a much better reception than I could.

Image I’m just a washed-up Grade 9 Fixer, though…

Image What’s this “reception” all about anyway? Do I catch their eyes, or be a waiter for them or something?


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Image The Library presents the guests with an ordeal, and books will open up in the process. The guests who have overcome the ordeal will be deemed worthy to earn their books. There is the possibility that you may die in the process of reception, but it’s only temporary. You’ll get back up when the Library closes. No one here may rest without my permission.

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Image That’s none of my business. I have prepared a manual for you, so go ahead and figure things out yourself.

Originally, the manual for the game would pop up here. That's since been broken up and moved throughout the early parts of the game. Project Moon's gotten… somewhat better about tutorials since their first game. Don't worry, there's still plenty of weird jank to get used to! :lobcorp:

Image I think I get the gist of it now. So, how does this invitation exactly work?

Image Open up the invitation, and register the books you wish to serve to your guests.

Image And next?

Image The invitation will be naturally sent to those who need the books.

Image That’s it? Sounds a bit too easy.


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Image Yes, think of it as a compass. It would be easier to understand that way.

Image Ah~ A compass? As in the tool that tells directions?

Image That’s right. The invitations will guide me towards the one book that I truly wish to obtain. And sometimes, the invitation may turn red according to the books you’ve registered. A red invitation indicates that it can be sent to the special guests who will unravel the next part of the story. Until we register the books that match what the red invitation wants, our journey will be halted for a bit.

Image But there’s no guarantee that the guest will always respond to the invitation, right?

Image In fact, there is. They’re destined to come. And the guests will accept the invitation of their own will and enter the Library.


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Image Most of the time, people’s lives are taken away by others without any consent or agreement.

Image Well, anyway, once we get those books, what comes next?

Image The Library is a place of limitless possibilities. Even I cannot fathom the infinite space and power of this library just yet. That’s why I wish to complete the Library by filling that space with books.


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Image The perfect book, huh… I suppose those “books” are different from the ones I know.

And with that introduction, the game takes us to the introduction. I could not possibly do it justice in screenshot-and-text format, so without further ado:

:siren: VIDEO: Library of Ruina OP - String Theocracy :siren: (If you're going to only click one video in the entire LP, make it this one. Trust me.)

From now on the opening will automatically play each time we boot up the game, so I can confirm that it never gets old. :colbert:

Once the opening is done, it's time to get to gameplay.

Music: Lobby
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This is the Invitation screen, where we send out the invites that bring guests to the Library. As the tutorial says, we need to click on the ? to continue.

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This brings up the episode select. Most later-game nodes have only one chapter, but if there are multiples they can be seen and selected here. For now, we only have one option.

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This takes us to the book selection screen, where the game tells us what books to place into the invitation to trigger the episode. Eventually we'll be able to use up to 3 books at once to find opponents, but for right now we're stuck with only one.

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Clicking on one of the book slots on the right side brings us to this menu, where we can see all the books we have so far. Again, we've got a very limited supply to choose from. Hopefully, that will change.

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Once selected, the entire invitation turns red. We don't know who we'll be facing, so all that's left is to hit Send Invitation. When we do this…

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All that's left is to stamp the invitation, and send it off to its destined recipient.

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The invitation itself is written at the top. It's pretty standard stuff, we're just turning people who lose into books. No big deal.

Wait, what?!

Next time, on Library of Ruina

Image Always check the organs before harvesting them.


Videos

Canard 1
Canard 2
Canard 3
Last edited by TeeQueue on Sun Aug 22, 2021 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Oh boy, I've been waiting for this! Absolutely loved the first game's LP, and from what I've heard of this game, it's only going to get better from here. Can't wait to see what bullshit Angela has in store for everyone this time.

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The first siren tag broke on the OP link. It really does never get old, though. Which you are you going to be?

Welcome back! Can’t wait to see things unfold. Have to say I love that project Moon is willing to make such massive changes between games between the art, gameplay and presentation it’s already promising to be a wild ride.

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Welcome back, TQ!! I've been anxiously awaiting you being able to play this game, and from what i've heard of some of the cards you can set up for this game, it's gonna be great. Wishing you well on the receptions!

Belated congratulations on the completion of the Lobcorp LP, and I am excited for the start of this one!

I am immediately disappointed in Angela's librarianship, that she's so fixated on getting the One Perfect Book. You can't have a perfect library with just one book in it. That would be like trying to run the original Lobcorp with just Architecture/Kether.

I'm also tempted to repost the Qlipha-SHODANgela fanart I made for the original Lobcorp LP, considering how close she comes to calling Roland an insect, but it wouldn't land now that she's lost the twintails.

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Book 2: Rats—Chapter 1


Music: StoryNervous
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Upon sending our first Invitation, suddenly we're seeing things outside of the Library! Whenever this happens, we get immediate access to the names of anyone speaking. Invitations aren't coy about details. For instance, this is Pete.

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And this is Lenny. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Image I just can’t seem to get a clean rip of his guts, the contents of this guy are weirdly different. I’ve never even heard of a body modification procedure that does this…

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Finally, this guy is Mang-chi. As we can see from their titles, they're what's known as Rats… whatever those are.

Image Damn it! Their footsteps are getting closer. Forget about clean cuts, just pull ‘em out and take ‘em!! At this rate, our heads are gonna get nicely chopped offa our bodies.
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Image Why does he have this kinda stuff in his body…

Image Whatever, just take ‘em! We’re out of time!

Image Just about done!

Image Now, run!


Music: StoryAlley
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Image You’re a bold one, Pete. Going for a gut-harvest in a territory managed by the Zwei.

Image These are the only jobs we have left. We have to climb up by any means necessary. Whatever it takes...

Image You know my dream, right? To become one of the Fingers of the Backstreets.


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Image Let’s sell off these guts we’ve hauled first. We gotta prepare enough cash to offer to the Stray Dogs.

Image True… This could be our chance to join an Urban Legend-class Syndicate… Alright, time to check out the harvest.


Music: Story Simgak
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Image I told you. This guy didn’t have a single proper organ inside him.

Image I expected innards soaked in drugs like Enkephalin at worst… These are damaged too badly. It’s almost like someone already blew them up.

Image We only doused him with anesthetics. Didn’t do no harm.

Image This doesn’t make sense… How could he have even walked around with these messed up organs…


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Image Yeah, I’ve heard of that, too. But look at the state of these things! Not the case at all. I hear those dolls are made by threading flesh and bones together. But this sonofabitch didn’t have any scars or stitches showing outside!

Image …Now that I think about it, there was a round orange symbol on the back of his neck. I thought it was a tattoo at first, but he didn’t seem like the type to have one. He was a desk-working dweeb.

Image Symbols? Tattoos? Damn it, please don’t tell me we poked the wrong beehive…


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Image He also had this envelope in his body.

Image What the hell is an envelope doing in a human body?! This keeps getting worse… Gimme that!

Image An invitation to a library? What’s this about…

Image Books? We can get books from the library? What a bunch of nonsense.


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Image We’ve got 7 hours, to be exact. That’s too little time for another run of gut-harvesting…

Image …We’re heading to the library as the invitation says. I don’t know what this ‘book’ thing is, but we’re out of options. We gotta take any chance we get.

Image Isn’t this just suicide? We don’t know what kinda place it might be.

Image Can’t be any worse than dying to the Stray Dogs or the Zwei Association; we’re screwed anyway! Shut up and follow me if you want to live.


Things are not going well for our new friends. :ohdear:

Music: Lobby
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Image Fragments of the invitation process. We can take a peek at the stories of our upcoming guests.

Image Didn’t take you for a peeping tom.

Image It’s more convenient to know what kind of guests will visit us in advance, isn’t it? Besides, this is the invitation’s will, not mine.


Image That’s a splendid thing you got there, ma’am. Pries upon people and kidnaps them, too. A perfect tool for crimes. Heck, if the invitation can do all that, why don’t we just skip the whole reception part?

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I like the way Roland thinks. :hmmyes:

Image I cannot do that. We can only take a peek when it has been decided that the guests are coming here of their own volition. And the invitation’s power isn’t wholly mine, either. I am simply borrowing it.

Image Yeah yeah, no way anything can go so smoothly in the City.

Image They’re desperate guests.


Image Tell me, was the invitation responsible for that symbol and internal damage as well?

Image What? Not a chance, it doesn’t have anything to do with what happened. The invitation simply finds a way to those who need it.

Image That means those weird happenings were someone else’s doing…


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Image Ruins?

Image …I don’t know a whole lot, either. I only heard stories of it. Should I describe it as… magic? That kind of stuff exists in the Ruins, apparently.

Image In any case, we simply greet our guests. They seem to be low class, but oh well.


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Image Groups of half-assed thugs that barely qualify as a Syndicate. They don’t have money or power. They’re losers who only think about making ends meet day by day.

Image Hmm… I might have just roasted myself here.

Image The Backstreets… I know of them.

Image You do?

Image Someone I know was from the Backstreets.

Image Well, that’s nothing special, really. The Backstreets stretch all over the city like veins. Heck, it might actually be tougher to find someone who isn’t from the Backstreets.


Music: Entrance
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Image Could be a bunch of valuable things here.

SNAP

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Image And I am Angela, the librarian of my role’s namesake. You may find what you desire here, but you also may end up yielding your precious possessions to us.

Image You the owner of this place? We’re allowed to take whatever we want here, right?

Image Indeed. You may earn books, to be exact. If you’re able, of course.

Image Are those book things really worth a lot, though…?

Image Of course they can be, if the information they hold is valuable.

Image Mang-chi! Beggars can’t be choosers. We gotta cling on to anything we can find.

Image May you find your book in this place, then.


Next time, on Library of Ruina: A 3v1 is the tutorial fight, somehow.

Video

Rats 1





Image Fighting against Rats over scraps… man. I really have hit rock bottom here.

Image Ah, well. It's not like these limbs are going to test themselves out. Who knows. Maybe I'll be able to move faster than the eye can see?
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Image Yeah… as though anything in the City would be that convenient.
Last edited by TeeQueue on Fri Sep 03, 2021 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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AweStriker wrote:
Sat Aug 21, 2021 2:56 pm
The first siren tag broke on the OP link. It really does never get old, though. Which you are you going to be?
Thanks! I did fix this.
Seniorswitchback wrote:
Sat Aug 21, 2021 5:14 pm
Welcome back! Can’t wait to see things unfold. Have to say I love that project Moon is willing to make such massive changes between games between the art, gameplay and presentation it’s already promising to be a wild ride.
They really kicked their production values up, I love it. I'm changing up a lot of my own formatting to try and match that, too.
blitz wrote:
Sun Aug 22, 2021 12:26 am
Welcome back, TQ!! I've been anxiously awaiting you being able to play this game, and from what i've heard of some of the cards you can set up for this game, it's gonna be great. Wishing you well on the receptions!
You've heard right—there are a lot of absurd setups in this game, and while I'm nowhere near as skilled at LoR as I am at LobCob I can still show off a lot of them.

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Book 2: Rats—Chapter 2

Music: GuestBattle01
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Whenever we start a reception, we begin by viewing both our and the enemy's stats on this screen. It's also used for selecting which floor we'll be receiving the guests on, but right now we only have Keter. On the right, we see our floor. By clicking on the characters along the top, we can see the details for each character we have. Below them is the stat block of the Librarian's current Key Page. We'll talk more about those once we have a couple—for now let's look at what the stats mean.

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1: HP. When this is reduced to 0, the Librarian dies.

2: Stagger Resist. When this is reduced to 0, the Librarian is Staggered.

3: Dice speed. This is the range that the Librarian's speed dice can roll during initiative. In general, the higher this goes the better.

4: Resistances. These show how resistant the Librarian is to various attack types. The three symbols represent, from top to bottom: Slash, Pierce, and Blunt-type attacks. The red side shows the resistances against HP damage, and the yellow side shows resistance against Stagger damage. Since Roland's stats are the same for both HP and Stagger damage, Roland will take 1x damage from Slash-type attacks (Normal), 1.5x damage from Pierce-type attacks (Weak), and 2x damage from Blunt-type attacks (Fatal).

Later on, we'll also be seeing Endured (0.5x damage), Ineffective (0.25x damage), and Immune (0.0x damage) as well, making it always a good idea to eye these statistics if only to make sure that our Librarian's cards will be able to damage the opponent, or to ensure their cards won't be able to harm us too much. Speaking of, we should check out our opponents.

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Each one of them has roughly 1/3rd of Roland's HP and Stagger Resist. If we look at the bottom of the screen, we can also see the combat pages of each combatant. Here's what an average page from the Rats looks like, which I'll use to discuss how to read them.

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1: Light cost. Pages are powered by Light, and we cannot play a page costing more light than we have. Generally, Librarians recover 1 light per turn.

2: The attack type. There are three possible attack types: Melee, Ranged, and Mass Attack. This sword means that it's a Melee attack—we won't have to worry about the other types for a while, so I'll explain how they work when we see them.

3: Dice summary. This is an at-a-glance summary of how many dice the card has, and in what order.

4: Dice information. This section holds a full list of all of the dice that a page has, as well as its possible rolls and any effects the page has. The red icons represent offensive dice, which use the Slash, Pierce, and Blunt icons that we've seen above to show which resistance they target. The Blue icon with a shield on it is a defensive die—specifically a Block die. These are used to avoid or mitigate damage from offensive dice. There are also Evade dice, which use the following symbol:

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We'll talk more about dice as they come up. Now that we know what one of the average Rats' pages looks like, let's take a look at a 1-cost page from Roland.

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This is arguably the weakest card in our deck, and it effectively can't lose against the one we saw earlier. They don't have a chance. :getin:

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After we're done looking over our and our opponents' vital statistics, we can start things off by hitting Begin Stageplay.

Music: KeterBattle01
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Image Chatty bunch, aren't they?

Image I don't think you have any room to speak about that.

Image Right… at least this time it'll be their limbs that go flying.

In the first part of each turn (called 'Scenes'), our job is to either click on the icon in top-center or press the space bar in order to roll initiative. Until this is done, everyone's speed dice (the dice above their heads) will show the possible range of rolls they can get.

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Once we roll, the game tells us about the intricacies of speed dice. Redirects don't actually matter until we have more than one Librarian, so I'll talk more about all of this later.

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Highlighting one of our speed dice will show us the Librarian's hand, as well as any attacks that are targeting them. We can also highlight an enemy die, which will show us who they're targeting and what page they're going to attack with.

Clicking on the die will let us choose a page from our hand to use. We need Light in order to use pages, represented by the three yellow dots above Roland's head.

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I decide to go with Focused Strikes, a 3-cost page and the most powerful one in the deck. Once I do, our mouse now leads around a blue arrow that will target whichever speed die we click it on. After taking a peek at our options, I see that Lenny is using a slash attack, and Pete's page only has an Evade die. Mang-chi is using a pierce attack, though—and Roland is weak against those. I decide to target him, which causes a Clash.

Clashes occur whenever two speed dice are targeting each other, and are faceoffs between the dice on the pages to determine who damages whom. They're also the primary generator of Emotion, which is a concept that we're going to completely ignore until it becomes more relevant later on.

After selecting a target, the game chimes in with a couple more tooltips.

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Quick mode is a godsend, and we will almost never be turning it off. Without it we'd have to press space for every die roll in the entire combat. This is a lot of die rolls.

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The autofill command will play the game for us. The hotkey to perform this on keyboard is P, and "P-space" has become a term in the game's community for letting the autobattle do all of the work. Like any tool that lets me get away with not thinking, I'm a big fan of autofill.

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Lastly, there's the targeting display. The usefulness of this tool cannot be overstated—it lets us quickly see where the enemy is targeting in larger battles, and also keeps track of which of our characters are or aren't getting a clash in after we've set up our own moves.

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For reference, here's what the enemy targeting display looks like when turned on.

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And here's clash targeting. We can have as many or few of these up at a time as we want, and I'll likely be using them to give the idea about where the pressure is going. Once we've finished setting everything up, we can click on the icon in the top-center again, or press space bar to begin the turn.

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Image Oh man… here goes!

In clashes between offensive dice, the higher die breaks the lower die and deals the damage rolled to the enemy.

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Image You're too slow. Nothing personal.

Image Gh..! I bit my tongue!

In this case, we rolled a 4 to his 1, and Roland dealt the enemy 4*1.5x (weakness) damage and stagger damage, for a total of 6. Since Mang-chi has only 5 Stagger Resistance, this means he's Staggered. Staggered characters:

-Cannot act
-Do not recover Light at the start of a turn
-Do not draw a page at the start of a turn
-Have all resistances changed to Fatal (2x damage)

Being Staggered lasts for the rest of the turn that it's triggered+1 additional turn. However… we still have two more attacks.

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The second one takes Mang-chi out. Every time an opponent is defeated, we get one or more books based on their emotion level. We'll still get the books they've dropped even if we lose the reception, though if we lose we also give up whatever books we had to use to make the invitation.

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Since Pete only used a defensive die, Lenny deals the only actual damage we take this turn. By the by, those neon lights that come out of the dice are related to the emotion system. We're still ignoring them for now.

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Characters dying also generates dialogue, from the killer as well as the dead person and their teammates. There's a lot of incidental talking in this game.

Music: GuestBattle01
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After all of the pages that have been played are finished resolving, the Scene ends and we start over from the beginning. That's the basic flow of a turn in Library of Ruina, and while there are some wrinkles which will give us more to think about as we go the basic structure will always remain the same. Don't worry too much about the sudden music shift, that happens when the enemy's total Emotion is higher than our own—since there's more of them than us, this is going to be the case for the rest of the fight.

Image You've slain one of them already. How efficient.

Image That's the job, isn't it? Wait, how are we talking right now?

Image It's another power of this place. Should the Library will it, parties here can converse remotely.

Image Another convenient power. Well then, do you have any advice for me, ma'am?

Image Yes. Win.
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Image ...Thank you. I'll do that.

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Despite spending 3 Light last turn, our Light has recovered fully and we've gained an extra one for a total of 4. This is because of Emotion Levels, which I'm still not going to explain yet—for now just know that a card's Light cost doesn't mean anything in the tutorial stages.

We've also drawn another Focused Strikes! Each turn all our Librarians draw one card—this goes the same for most guests as well. Lenny and Pete are both using Bash attacks, but Pete's has a Block die on it so I opt to try and clear Lenny out next.

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She's a bit more resilient to Slash attacks, so our first hit doesn't stagger her.

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Image You're kidding me..!

The second one does, however.

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And the third hit is lethal. Focused Strikes can effectively down any one of the Rats in a single turn. It's very powerful.

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Image Just you and me, now.

Image You killed them both like it was nothing… Dammit!
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Image Oho? You seem pretty upset there, dear guest.

Image Of course I am!

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Image I'll see you pay for their lives with yours!

Image Gh..!

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Image Are you still able to fight?

Image After that? It was just a scratch. This guy couldn't even have touched me if I wasn't taking on all three at once.

Image I see. You're certainly sturdier than the humans I'm accustomed to.

Image I'll take that as a compliment, ma'am~

While we didn't get another Focused Strikes, Light Attack is still enough to beat any page in the Rats' decks.

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Like so. I managed to get a good frame of the die breaking from the clash this time.

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Image I guess… this is the end...

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This is a good shot of the broken die effect when someone is Staggered.

Image It seems like he's one good hit away from death…

Image Then you know what to do. Handle it.

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This turn is really more of a formality than anything else, it's rare for any standard opponent to survive for very long after they've been Staggered.

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Once all of our enemies are defeated, we get a nice little victory screen. Then, since this is the only fight in this reception...

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The reception ends here, with our victory.

Music: Result
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On the results screen, we have the books we've earned appear on the left—if we lost the reception, any books we lose go here as well. In the middle we can see which floors defeated which foes, and on the right is a tracker of any Battle Symbols that our Librarians have gained.

Battle Symbols are cosmetic equipment which give a minor bonus to stats, and they're unlocked by doing a variety of tasks. I rarely pay attention to them unless I'm trying to make a Librarian look cool—even the most powerful among them are just a 5% chance to gain +1 power on a die roll. I'll likely just compile a full list of them much, much later down the line and leave them there.

Most main story beats have an extra scene which plays after the Reception. When we click Curtains Closed to move on, it plays.

Music: Lobby
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Image It’s all part of the City life. You have to belong to a group, be it a Syndicate or anything else. Living in the City gets too tough otherwise.

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After the scene, we officially open Keter—The Floor of General Works. We're not quite out of tutorial country yet, though.

Image That battle wasn't so bad, but I wouldn't mind having a few more options on hand.

Image The Library has a solution to that. The guests who have been turned into books shall become new strength.

Image Yet another on the list of convenient powers this place has…

Image It is incredibly convenient, yes.

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While we're on the main screen, we'll hold off on discussing it for a moment. Right now, the game wants us to click "Burn Books" on the left side.

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This takes us to the book burning menu, where we can select some of the books we just won to burn them—think of it like opening a booster pack of new cards.

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When we click on our Book of Rats, a list of its contents are shown to the left. Rewards come in Key Pages and regular Combat Pages. These are arranged into sets, meaning that if we were to draw 3 copies of Gut Harvesting, we wouldn't see any more until we either reset the rewards using the 'Reset Rewards' button at the top or pulled through the entire set of rewards. There are four types of page rarity, which affects both how often the cards show up and how many copies of its Key Page we can own. They are here:

Paperback - Green pages, the most common reward type. We can own up to 5 copies of any Paperback Key Page

Hardcover - Blue pages, effectively uncommons. We can own up to 4 copies of any Hardcover Key Page

Limited - Purple pages, basically rares. We can own up to 3 copies of any Limited Key Page.

Objet d'art - Yellow pages, these are our super rares. We can own only 1 copy of any Objet d'art Key Page. In addition, any given deck cannot contain more than 1 copy of any Objet d'art Combat Page.

Anyways, once we've selected the books we want to burn, we simply click 'Burn Books' in the lower right.

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When we do, we get a really neat animation of the book shaking and then exploding into a bright light. When it does…

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We get new pages! Each book burned gives 8 random pages from the set of rewards available.

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These rewards include more Combat Pages, like the ones we use to fight with—for some reason the things we get from Rats are far more powerful than anything they used, but hey I'm not going to question it. :v:

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We also get Key Pages. Key pages are the core on which our units are built. They have their own HP, Stagger Resist, Resistances, and Speed stats. Later on they'll also get passive abilities which can further define and mold our strategy.

I generally farm battles until I've got all of the new Key Pages it can drop. Doing this will give us the widest variety of options when it comes to dealing with later problems.

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I proceed to immediately burn every Book of Rats we have except for one. It's a good idea to hold on to one copy of every book, since those books are what open up future receptions.

Image So we have these new pages now… How does this work? ...I don't have to eat it, do I?

Image Please refrain from consuming the new pages. I shall handle the alignment process personally. Please wait a moment.

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For now, we'll end things with the Combat Bookshelf. This is where we change our decks, Key Pages, and just generally set up our Librarians to fight. By clicking Key Pages on top, or on our current Key Page's name on the right, we can select one of our new Key Pages to equip over Roland's default outfit.

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Our boy is now a gut-harvesting hobo with a dream. Perfection.

Decks are saved to the Key Page itself instead of the Librarian, making it easy to swap decks between Librarians once we have a few more of them.

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Once that's done, I head back to this page to set up Roland's deck. The interface is easy to use, just click on a Page to move it into the deck, click on one in the deck to remove it. We can have a maximum of 3 copies of most Pages in a deck, though as a reminder the yellow Objet d'art pages are restricted to 1 copy.

Image I dunno… this outfit just doesn't feel right on me.

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Lastly, we have Librarian Info. We can use the boxes on the right to equip the Battle Symbols we've acquired in our receptions in order to get minor bonuses.

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Using the eye icon in the upper left, we can also turn on or off the visual effect on our Librarian. With the Patron Librarians like Roland, I'll generally leave them off.

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Lastly, there's the Customize Librarian button. This takes us to an area where we can change the appearance and dialogue of normal Librarians. There's a lot of options here, but they're all fairly self explanatory.

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Most importantly for our purposes, we can use Appearance Projection to have the appearance of one Key Page while we're wearing another. We put Roland back in his suit.

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Image There we go. I just don't feel right unless I'm wearing a suit.

Image I wasn't aware one could attach sentimental value to clothing.

Image Sure. Think about it, even you must have an outfit that stands out in your mind. Maybe that feather dress?

Image ...This is foolish. I shall see if the next invitation is prepared.

Image Sure thing, ma'am~

In the future I'll be doing most of the book burning, character equipment, and deck finagling in the background. I'll call attention to anything particularly noteworthy, of course, but there's only so many ways I can say "we just use the strongest stuff we have."

Next time, on Library of Ruina

Image They abandoned a cat. None shall be spared.


Video

Rats 2


New Key Pages





New Combat Pages



Last edited by TeeQueue on Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Appendix 1: Rats

Today, we're going to be looking at the last option on the left hand of the menu: the Credenza.

Music: Lobby
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Clicking on the circled button brings us to the Credenza, a place where we can replay various sections of the game. We can view past scenes here, but what we're concerned with is something… new.

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In the Credenza section, there's a section for Books. Selecting a chapter of the story will show us all of the Key Pages we've acquired so far--and each of them has some bit of worldbuilding from the perspective of whoever the book is. Some of these get very wordy, so after each chapter is complete I'll be putting them in sections like these in text form.
Pete’s Page wrote: There’s not a lot of peeps who hang around in the Backstreets alone. It’s cuz that’s just madness. Weak and dowdy folks gotta band together to survive. Get into a small Syndicate or anything and make a living somehow. Some ignorant fool makes a scene in the Backstreets on their own, they’re just making themselves a target as soon as others notice they’re alone. That’s why we move in groups. We’re called Rats for a reason. We crawl about the dark in packs, and jump at prey for the chance to bite ‘em apart when we spot one.

So, you wondering if we Rats have any dreams? Hmm… I guess belonging to a proper Syndicate, if any. We’re just too tacky and amateurish to be called one. We hate being bound to rules, so hell’ll freeze over before one of us joins an Office, and no Rat I know would move to an examinee town and study for Wing entrance exams. Those nerds at examinee towns ain’t too different from Rats like us. We’re all dreaming silly dreams that’ll never come true with our petty skills. An Office, a Wing, a Syndicate, or whatever… Think it’s an easy task to belong to a decent group? People just accept what they got and live on. But still, I wanted to have a dream.
Lenny’s Page wrote: Wanna hear a secret? This is kinda embarrassing, but… I used to have a dream once, like Pete does now. Yeah, I know, I’m still younger than him with a long future ahead of me. But what could I do? Life’s too rough for that. Others say that Rats are a pathetic bunch who were too incompetent to join even the smallest Syndicate let alone a Wing. Filthy losers who feed on junk and leftovers, not making any effort to change…

Back when I was a young kid, I didn’t like that. I thought I was better than those Rats. So I decided to get into an examinee town. Little did I know that it’d be the one choice I’d regret the most… I begged and nagged at my parents, wanting to achieve that stupid dream. How’d it go, you ask? Seems you’re just as stupid, aren’t you. I wouldn’t be hanging out with these folks if I made it, now would I?

What I’m saying is, dreaming won’t do jack shit for you. They didn’t end up here because they gave up trying. Hell, they wouldn’t have set foot on this gutter in the first place if they had what it takes to achieve their dreams. You get it now? Pete’s a huge idiot.
Mang-chi’s Page wrote: Didja know? There’s grades for each alley in the Backstreets. Funny, ain’t it. Trash in a trash can are grading each other… The parts that’re under the protection of a Syndicate, Office, or Association are pretty safe. Sweepers can’t raid those streets easily. Putting the people who live there in a different grade from those who don’t, though… is pointless, honestly speaking. Sure, it’s a bit safer over there, but we’re talking about the Backstreets, get it?

You know what’s funnier? Even kids would group themselves according to what part of the streets they live in. They’d even shun the others whose clothes or manner didn’t fit their turf’s style. I had no choice but to accept this sad truth.

You wonderin’ how things were in the alleys I lived? Couldn’t afford to pay protection fees to a Syndicate, so the Sweepers came down at night and collected most of my neighbors. I had to witness ‘em take chunks of flesh outta my parents and brothers while they were still breathing. Don’t pity me, though. My story ain’t nothing special around here.

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Book 3: Yun's Office 1

Music: Lobby
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Once we're all done with preparations, we can select Invitation to get back to the Invitations screen.

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Here's a familiar screen! We've got a new node now, right above Rats. Selecting it will take us to the next part of the story.

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Fittingly, it requires a Book of Rats. This is normal—we'll generally need books from earlier paths to get to later ones. We send it, and get our second invite underway!

Music: StoryAlley
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Image You know how it is. Only a select few get to rise up in the ranks.

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Finn here seems like a good kid with a bright, sunny disposition! :buddy:

...We're going to book him, aren't we? :ohdear:

Image I envy your optimism, Finn. But a request like “Please find my lost cat before night falls” is seriously not it. Garbage Offices get garbage requests.

Image Yeah, Finn. You probably had better things in mind when you became a Fixer. Y’know, a bigger field to play on.

Image I’m sure I can move to a nicer Office or become an Associate Fixer someday if I keep working hard. Then I might…


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:ohdear: :ohdear: :ohdear:

Image Smells fishy.

Image Can’t overlook something like this. Besides, if what’s written on the invitation is true, those “books” would be of interest to several Associations.

Image It is interesting, but… We don’t exactly know what’s in the library, right? We should report this to the Office first and take care of it formally.

Image I ain’t about to feed a garbage Office that won’t feed me. We’re going first if you don’t wanna.


Music: Lobby
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Image What? Look, assuming all Fixers know each other is… It’s like picking two random pedestrians and hoping they know each other.

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Image Sigh… I should expect to see many different kinds of Fixers if what you’re saying is true.

Image Pretty much.


Music: GuestBattle01
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Our guests today are the Yun's Office Fixers—specifically the pair who brushed Finn off. Since we're still in tutorial territory, neither one is any stronger than the Rat pages from last time. They are using real cards this time, though. Each one has two copies of Evade, two Light Attack, and two Light Defense. These are starter cards for us, so using our new toys we'll be able to rip them apart.

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Don't feel bad for them—they skipped a job to find someone's lost cat for this. They deserve what is about to happen to them. :colbert:

Music: KeterBattle01
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Image Wow, so you abandoned that poor cat without a second thought, eh?

Image These books you've got here have to be worth more than a garbage assignment like that.

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Image Well. I suppose I know who's first.

Both of them are using Light Defense against Roland, so I opt to lead off with Rats' Guide to Survival, as it'll give me a good opportunity to talk about defensive dice and how they work in clashes.

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The first clash is his Evade versus our Block die. Because his Evade die wins, he recovers Stagger Resist equal to the result of his die. If our Block die had won, he'd have taken Stagger damage equal to the result of our roll.

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Next is a Block die versus our offensive die. We roll a 4 to his 3, and as a result break through. However, the 3 he rolled is subtracted from the 4 we rolled and the remaining 1 damage is dealt to him. Block dice are frequently valuable because no matter who wins or loses, our Librarians are guaranteed to take less damage. If his Block die had won, Roland would have taken Stagger damage equal to the result of his roll.

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Finally, we have an offensive die versus an Evade die. Roland's evade rolled higher, which means that damage is evaded, and he restores Stagger Resist equal to his result. Additionally, the Evade die will be recycled to use against any other offensive dice that come later in the same clash. If the offensive die had won, then Roland would be taking the full damage from the attack.

This leaves only Block vs Block and Evade vs Evade. When two Blocks face off, the higher die's result is dealt as Stagger damage to the loser—the loser's Block die does not mitigate this damage at all. Evade vs Evade is special: no matter the results, nothing happens. Both dice are lost, and no Stagger Resist is regained.

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The other Fixer manages to get a cheap shot in on Roland. Our Evade die did win the clash with the first Fixer's offensive die, but any die that is rolled in a clash will be discarded at the end of the clash regardless of if it'll refresh or not. Because of this, cards with an Evade die at the end tend to be situational, or best used to take advantage of another quirk of defensive dice.

Music: GuestBattle01
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Image They seem to be less fit than the body I've provided you, but your skills were evenly matched this time.

Image Nah. I've got this one all sewn up.

Image I'll leave it to you, then. Handle it.

Last turn, we successfully hit the first Fixer with our Rats page, which inflicted 1 Bleed on the next scene. We can confirm this by clicking on them or their die. Doing either one will place their detailed stats up in our top-left corner (We can also do this for one of our Librarians, their information will appear along the top-right).

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The status screen shows us quite a bit of information. Beneath their picture we can see their HP, Stagger Resist, and their % progress to the next Emotion Level at a glance (Please note, Emotions still do not matter yet). Below that we can see how many pages they have left in their hand, and the glowing markers show weaknesses at a glance. In general the brighter the icon is the weaker the character is to that form of attack—but we can just hover our mouse over an icon to get the exact description at any time. The lower-right section is dedicated to status effects, and that red splotch is the Bleed we inflicted last scene.

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Bleed shaves off HP each time the enemy attacks, but only lasts for a single scene and drops off in efficiency with every attack. However, the description here is misleading about one thing—we'll cover it in a moment.

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Because Fixer 1 is bleeding right now, I opt to attack Fixer 2. My plan here is actually very simple.

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Roland's 2 speed ensures that whoever we clash with will be the first attack of the turn. Gut Harvesting will win the first attack 87.5% of the time, and upon winning that attack will deal 5+ damage 75% of the time due to their weakness to Slash. This will stagger the opponent, at which point the second attack will be instantly lethal regardless of the roll. This means the enemy is incredibly likely to be outright dead, and guaranteed to be staggered at worst—and equally important, my Block die won't have been used.

Defensive dice have a special feature where if they aren't used in an attack (either due to it being a one sided attack or because the die never was reached to be rolled) they enter a defensive queue for the remainder of the turn. After that point, at any time that a one-sided attack would target the person with the stored die, that die is used against the attack.

With this one move we can book one enemy and guard against the other—who is slowly bleeding out from last turn.

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The first part of the plan goes off without a hitch.

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Image Shoulda… looked for the damn cat…

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When the remaining fixer attacks us, however, we don't get our Block die. This is because when we defeat an opponent, the remaining dice are simply discarded—defensive dice don't go into the queue, a fact I learned just now. :lobcorp:

Image Eheh... it seems I've misjudged how distracting a person imploding into a book can be.

Image I recommend that you keep it in mind for the future, then.
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Image Sigh...

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Roland takes a total of 6 HP/Stagger damage from the Fixer's two attacks. The Fixer also takes 2 damage from Bleed. Bleed states that the amount that's subtracted is equal to 1/3rd the number of stacks, rounded up, but this is not accurate. It's just 1/3rd of the current number of stacks—once we hit 1 or 2 Bleed it'll persist for the rest of the turn. Project Moon coding hits us twice in one turn! :lobcorp:

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We're officially in cleanup mode now. There's just one enemy, and his cards can't match up to our high-Light options.

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Also, we've just drawn Focused Strikes. :getin:

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He blocks the first attack—a roughly 16.5% chance of happening. The dice rolls in this game are completely fair, which leads to some very XCOM-like droughts of luck on occasion.

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The second attack is exactly enough to book him after the damage he took from bleed, however.

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Image I think I've got the hang of this, more or less.

Image Good. There is still much more to do before the end.

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Our second reception isn't really any harder than the first, the better cards the enemy has are being counterbalanced by there being one fewer body in the fight. We might lose clashes or take a few hits, but it's very unlikely that we'd ever die in this fight as long as we're willing to spam our 3-cost cards as we like.

Music: Result
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For our trouble we get a number of books, and a new section on the victory screen! The Emotion Level Bonus section on the left shows us the bonus books that we get for defeating opponents who are at high emotion levels... But we're still not talking about emotion, so all that matters is we got one extra book for free! :dance:

This is also one of the rare main story updates without a closing cutscene, so advancing will bring us straight back to the Library. There is one more thing that I need to cover before we move on, however: our new keypages are our first with passive abilities!

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Passive abilities are listed under the passive ability section, and give various benefits—some minor, and some major. This one isn't worth paying attention to, but we'll want to keep an eye out in the future for anything that may give us an advantage in receptions.

Next time, on Library of Ruina

Image Here comes the boy! Hello, boy! Welcome. :buddy:


Videos

Yun's Office 1

New Key Pages




New Combat Pages



User avatar
Book 4: Yun's Office 2—Chapter 1

Music: Lobby
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Despite winning the last reception, we don't have a new node on our path yet. This doesn't mean we're stuck, however.

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When we clear an Act and don't get a new node above it, this most often means that the node in question has multiple receptions. Selecting the node will show us what we need to advance, as usual. Let's put up our new book and see what we get!

Music: StoryAlley
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Image Something must have happened in that ‘Library’.

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Image Whether they died or ran off, further lack of response means a violation of contract, and they’re facing expulsion from my Office. And there is too little evidence to back up your claim about this “invitation”. A door appeared out of thin air when they signed the paper, and they disappeared into that? Could be rich people’s shenanigans, or a Wing experimenting with its singularity. ‘Yun’s Office’ does not have any time to spare with things like that.

Image I might still be a Grade 9 Fixer, but I can sense that something’s off about this.


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:iceburn:
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Image ……

Image Listen up, little frog in the well. In this city, insane events happen every second of the day, most of which you haven’t even heard of. You won’t have time to be feeling “off” about something when there’s numerous other things that need your attention. If you can’t present visible evidence right now, it’s not worth looking into.

Image What about that envelope right in front of you, operator?


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Image You little brat, trying to pull a cheap trick on me?

Image …I didn’t do anything, I swear.

Image Get out for a moment.


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Image Got a good lead this time. …… Lend me some cash so I can hire a few. …… No seriously, I have a good feeling about this. …True, it can end up failing like you said. …… …I can check just one more time if you want.

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Image Yep, I have one guy fit for the job.

Music: Lobby
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Image Well, that’s formally the case. I could bypass that since I ran a one-man Office, though. Fixers aren’t any better than Syndicates when it comes to greed.

Image And it looks like this guy’s trying to exploit a naive kid, too.


Music: Entrance
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Image Yeah, Yun said we might even get sponsorship from an Association if I succeed. I’ll do my best!

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Image Hello. I’m Finn, a Fixer at Yun’s Office.

Image …Is it true that I can find “books” containing lots of information in this place?

Image Yes, of course. You were given the invitation for that exact reason. May you find your book in this place.


Next time, on Library of Ruina: Are we the baddies?


Videos

Yun's Office 2







Image Alright! I'm gonna' find this book, and head home.

Image I may just be a Grade 9 Fixer right now, but if I just trust my instincts… I'm sure I'll get by.
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Image But it's strange… I always thought the boss didn't trust me enough for the big jobs.

Image No use thinking it over now! I'll just repay the faith he's put in me.

I feel real bad that the targets so far appear to be relatively hopeful optimists. Like Pete was an organ harvester but made a point that he was actively trying to build a better life for himself/maybe his friends, and now we have Finn who just appears to be an aggressively good boy. I get that even the characters are saying “having dreams in the backstreets is a death sentence” but it’s still rough to be the executioner on that.

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Book 4: Yun's Office 2—Chapter 2

Music: GuestBattle01
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So, Finn. Finn is an absolute roadblock that is considered the gatekeeper to a many first timer due to his sudden increase in durability compared to what came before. While his Stagger Resistance is 20% lower than the Fixers and Rats we fought earlier, his HP is more than 150% higher. On top of this, his resistance to Slash is Normal—not good, since our best cards are Slash-type. His deck is made up of Thrust, Wallop, and Preparation from the first set of enemies. On top of that, though, he's rocking another page we haven't seen before.

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Struggle is a page unique to Finn—while it's a 2-cost with two blocks and a blunt die, its rolls are actually on par with Focused Strikes, a 3-cost on our end. With Preparation to let him spam his highest cost cards, and Struggle to shore up his defenses and inflict Stagger damage on us, he's a terrifying opponent, truly worthy of his position as the first boss fight in the game.

It'll be a real longshot… but if we're really lucky, he might manage to land a hit before he loses horribly. :v:

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Music: KeterBattle01
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Image Huh? A person, like me? When that invitation said I'd have to face an ordeal, I thought you'd be a bit more…

Image You pictured a monster or something? Sorry, but there's nothing like that around here. It's just me and the ma'am.

Image I'd rather not harm a person who's done nothing to me. I don't suppose you'd step aside, would you?

Image If you ask like that, it's like you're making me the bad guy… That's not how things work around here.

Image If you can't, then it can't be helped…

Image But everyone's counting on me! So I'll have to give it my all.
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Image Sure, sure. I understand, sir.

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Finn is leading with Preparation, and I continue follow the early game rule of 'If we draw a 3 cost, we play that 3 cost immediately.'

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Image You haven't gone through any procedures…

Image You could tell at a glance?

Image From how you move. It's obvious to anyone.

Image I see… You're something, after all.

Image It's fine, though! I want to become a strong Fixer through my own efforts, without relying on things like that!
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Image Yeesh… rookies.

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Image This isn't chasing cats through the Backstreets. This is a fight to the death.
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Image Gyeh-!

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Image Pretty sentiment like that doesn't get you anywhere.

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Image The world isn't that kind. In the end, you're only as strong as your equipment.

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Image ...It's done. Is that all, ma'am?

Image We have only received one guest this time. Commendable efficiency.

Image I'd rather you didn't praise me for this one…

Image ...Oh?

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Music: Result
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Three books of Finn this time. We'll be burning two of them at the earliest opportunity, of course. Alas, poor protagonist… you were put into the wrong franchise.

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Music: Lobby
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Image You said yourself that our way is quite polite and fair before, didn’t you? That “most of the time, people’s lives are taken away by others without any consent or agreement.” The Library is different. People who enter this place have agreed to risk death to gain what they want. They even sign the paper to show such agreement. No coercion or compulsion is involved in this process. They make their own choice and pay accordingly.

Image Well, yeah, fair point. But still, it kinda feels dirty in a way.


Ooh, Roland struck a nerve. :razzy:

Anyways, once we get back to the lobby we have more tutorials.

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We get a tutorial about our assignments. These are tasks we're expected to complete before we unlock an Abnormality Battle. What are Abnormality Battles?

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They're battles that raise the Realization Level of a floor when cleared, of course. :v: Though this does also lead to the question of what that does for us.

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Raising a floor's Realization Level will also raise the overall Hazard Level of the Library—this means that the City will see us as more of a threat. This is required in order to move the plot forward.

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Whenever an Abnormality Battle is available, the floor will have a red ! next to it. While we could also try the next part of the story right now, it's designed to be almost impossible for our Library as it stands right now—we'd have to get insanely lucky in order to win, and then we'd be immediately stonewalled right after. Sorry, but we're not off the rails quite yet. Anyways, when we select it…

Music: Lobby
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Image …What else did you expect after greeting me in such a violent manner? Heck, I was shocked hard. I find myself in the middle of nowhere, and the first person I meet blows off my limbs…

Image I was lost at first, but I get the gist of receiving guests now that I’ve tried it a few times.

Image Though I do still have a complaint…

Image Complaint?

Image Sheesh man, again with that stare. Can’t say a thing…


Image

Image I mean, well… It’s kinda tough to receive all the guests alone. Guests arriving one by one I can deal with, but when a whole group enters, the first thing that comes to my mind is: “How the hell am I supposed to fight all of them…” There’s gotta be a point where one person is no longer enough, right? It’s only working right now because all we’ve been facing were minor Syndicates and stuff.

Image And the whole fuss about heightening emotions… You said I can’t just kill the guests right away because of that.


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Image …What’s that odd face hinting at.

Image There is a way, technically speaking. Although I’m not certain if it’s for the best…

Image You’re gonna join in the fights yourself?


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Image And those “entities” are?

Image The beings that used to wield tremendous strength and power, but are now too transient to maintain a physical form, hardly holding onto existence…

Image I don’t remember seeing any living being in this Library other than you and me.

Image They’re asleep inside books where the perfect environment for them is simulated, along with librarians who will be of assistance to you.
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Image Librarians? Entities inside books?

Image That’s all you need to know about them for now. What matters more is that they can be useful for the Library’s growth.

Image Alright, let’s say that’s the case… How are those sleeping entities supposed to help us, exactly?


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Image Since they’re highly unstable, they won’t easily trust us.

Image You’re basically saying they’ll take us for invaders…

Image Correct. If you can overcome all ordeals presented by them, they will come to accept you.

Image Instructions still unclear, ma’am… You said they’re as mighty as wet paper now. You sure they can give any help?

Image We are not making the Abnormalities receive guests for us. If they can be understood and accepted, they will empower the librarians, directly or indirectly.

Image Still too ambiguous, I’ve gotta say…


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Image Entering books… Sounds like something out of a fairy tale…

Image We’ll need their power to heighten the emotions of our guests to the peak, after all… I wish you success in there.

Image Sure sure, anything you say, ma’am…


Next time, on Library of Ruina

Image Many hands float in the bath. They are the hands of the people I once loved.



Videos

Yun's Office 3
Canard 4

New Key Pages



New Combat Pages


User avatar
Gen Works—001.51—Bloodbath

Music: Lobby
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This time, when we click on the red ! we're given a prompt asking if we want to enter the Book of Bloodbath. Saying Yes will bring us right into the fight without any preparation screen, so we need to make sure our preparations are done before starting.

Image So… here's the book.

Image Yes.

Image Then… now what? Is there a door?

Image Now I simply have to send you into it. I'm not entirely certain how the Library processes the order, but it shouldn't harm you.

Image I see… I'll just try not to think about it.

Image That would be best.

SNAP

Music: AbnormalityBattle01
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Image Well... you're definitely not a normal opponent.

Image Still, you don't look that tough.

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Image Okay… I take it back. You're kind of a pain in the ass. Maybe if I just hold on, I can...

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Image GAH..!

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I know what you're thinking: "TQ, how did you lose to the tutorial Abnormality?!" Let's go ahead and dissect why, starting from the beginning.

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When the fight starts, we're given another tutorial, this time about selecting enemy units. This is very important for Bloodbath, because…

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Enemies can also have passive abilities in combat. Bloodbath serves as the tutorial for this, and also...

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For Resistances in general! Abnormality Battles are usually a sort of puzzle to be figured out rather than a normal fight, and the solution to Bloodbath is very simple: Don't use Slash! Now, let's take a look at Roland's deck.

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I've x'd out all of the Slash dice in our pages—counting the rest up leaves us with a grand total of only seven dice in our entire deck that are able to deal meaningful damage to Bloodbath. While most of our dice will win clashes against Bloodbath's attacks, Library of Ruina's fights aren't won by winning clashes or knowing what decks are strong or weak. Ultimately, Ruina's fights are won by dying a little more slowly than your opponent.

And we have just enabled Bloodbath to die much more slowly than us.

By making this error, we forced the fight into a protracted 1v1 encounter. To discuss why that's bad for this deck, I'm going to pick up the fight again somewhere in the middle of it.

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Scene 10 will do nicely. It's time to talk about Light.

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Our Light gauge is right above our character's speed dice, and measures what strength of attacks we can use. Right now we have two full pips of Light, and two empty—this means we can hold a total of four Light, and use two on any given attack we want this turn.

Light naturally regenerates at the rate of 1/turn. We can gain additional Light by defeating or staggering an opponent. Additionally, our Light fully refills whenever we go up an Emotion Level.

We're still not talking about Emotion Levels, but for this conversation assume that it happens on Turn 2 or 3 basically every time, and then never again. What this means for us is that we have effectively unlimited Light at the very start of a fight, but if we go much longer than that we'll be unable to play our 2 and 3-cost pages without making kills. This means our deck's "Light curve" (a term for a measure of how the deck manages its Light) is incredibly frontloaded—as all early game decks are. We don't have means to recover Light yet, and once we're out of gas we don't have any way to play our powerful cards anymore—they become dead in our hands.

In short, we went into a protracted battle using a deck that's completely wrong for it.

Despite that, I still almost manage to win.

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Here we are at Scene 14, the deciding turn in the fight.

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Our opponent, Bloodbath, is using a 1-6 die roll. We're weak to its attack type, so it deals 1.5x damage if it hits. With 8 Stagger left, we're able to keep standing against anything but a max roll. In response, I've played a Dirty Blow—its 3-7 die will win the clash 66.5% of the time, and even its minimum damage is enough to deal 5 damage and Stagger Bloodbath. After that, I can play the Light Attack in our hand to finish it off—its average damage is 10 against a Staggered opponent, more than enough to squeak out a win.

Despite everything, we still have a 2-in-3 chance to win here. However, I never want to be in a situation where we only have a 2-in-3 chance to win.

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Because my luck is terrible. This was only a ~10% chance of occuring! :rolldice:

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So there you have it, I got my ass kicked by the tutorial Abnormality. It only took everything going horribly wrong. :v:

Image Ugh… The last thing I remember, I… died?

Image Yes. However, that doesn't matter here. I can revive you an infinite number of times.

Image Damn. I don't suppose we can just try that again, can we?

Image We can.

Image Of course not, nothing in this City is-
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Image Wait, we can?

Music: Lobby
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There's no penalty for losing an Abnormality Battle, and we can retry it as often as we like. Library of Ruina is a much kinder game than Lobotomy Corporation in that regard—no matter when we lose, there's nothing that we permanently lose. At worst we just have to do a reception we've already beaten over again.

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Before we go back, I swap out Roland's Key Page.

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I update the deck, too. Now our only Slash die is on a page where it will (hopefully) never be used for damage. Our Light curve still has some issues, but… we'll make up for it by winning the fight faster.

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Now… once more, with feeling.

Music: AbnormalityBattle01
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Now that we're done talking about me losing a tutorial fight, let's talk about Abnormality Battles. Abnormality Battles are a bit different than our standard receptions in a few ways. First off: because we're the invaders, we're on the left-hand side of the screen now. Secondly, the thoughts and feelings of the Abnormality will roll over the screen as we fight. There's a few things which the Bloodbath can bring up while we fight.
Bloodbath wrote: Image A knife driven by a vaguely aroused will doesn’t have what it takes to end a life.

Image Scars are but marks of failure… You won’t be any different.

Image I don’t want to face any more pain.

Image Can your petty courage leave a deep enough scar?

Image How many more failures must I bear until you’re satisfied?

Image Can you withstand this deep despair?
Bloodbath's AI is very simple. It has a total of three cards it can choose from.

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The first, Sinking, is a purely defensive card. It looks weak, with three dice at 1-4, so I use a Struggle against it for entirely educational purposes.

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Bloodbath's passive gives an automatic +3 to the maximum possible roll of any defensive die. As a result, these dice are actually 1-7. Because of that...

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We can get deflected…

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Three times…

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In a row. Notably, the last time we took Stagger damage it was only 1. This is because our offensive die rolled a 4, and the result of it is subtracted from how much Stagger the block die dealt. This is not mentioned anywhere in the tutorial. :lobcorp:

Now, Roland getting hit by a 6, 6, and 5 from a 1-7 range might seem unlucky… but it isn't. This one isn't Project Moon's fault, though! From what I've gathered, the C++ programming language's random number generator has an issue with specifically the 1-7 range where ~30% of the time the die will be 1-4 and the rest of the time it'll be 5+. This means that this particular die, with Bloodbath's abilities, is effectively a wall that new players can't easily get over with the cards we have early on. :lobcorp:

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So, how do we deal with Sinking? The answer is deceptively simple.

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Image Nice try… but you can't trick me with that. Twice.

We don't actually have to play anything—this means that Sinking does nothing as it's a wholly defensive page. The dead turns it gives will also let us regenerate our Light through the fight, and draw back into our stronger pages.

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Bloodbath's second page is called Pale Hands, and is very simple: If all three attacks hit, we're Staggered. Full stop. Luckily for us, all three of the rolls are very low, so stopping at least one of them is trivial.

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Image There we go. Now who's wide open?!

A good series of rolls with Struggle is enough to immediately stagger the Bloodbath.

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And I follow up with Wallop, the strongest offensive page in the deck.

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It knocks the Bloodbath down to only 3 HP.

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On scene 5, Bloodbath shows off its last page: Depression. This is a simple 1-6 attack which gives us Paralysis 3 on our next turn. Paralysis is a very annoying status effect, which lowers the maximum number of a die on every page we play that turn by 3 for each stack of it. This means that a 1-6 die will become a 1-3, and that a 4-5 die will become a 2-2. Paralysis can only affect each die in a page once, so Paralysis 3 is currently enough to ensure that every die we play next turn will take the -3 penalty. We want to avoid it.

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Image This is payback for last time.

I go for Dirty Blow, since it has the biggest lead die in my hand. As I calculated before, ~66% chance of winning, ~10% chance of us getting Staggered.

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Image My bones!!

:rolldice:

On the upside, the Paralysis won't matter since it only lasts for one turn regardless of if we're Staggered or not. On the downside…

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Bloodbath follows up with its strongest attack. It likes using Pale Hands right after Depression, as being paralyzed makes blocking its attacks' smaller die ranges significantly more difficult.

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As the pale hands hit, a filter is put over the screen.

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As Roland is dragged deeper and deeper down.

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Into the depths of the bath. If it connects all three times, the eyes in the background open.

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Image Phew. At least I caught my breath…
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Luckily for us, anything that's Staggered will be returned to normal at the end of the turn. Pale Hands can't chain-stagger us, regardless of its effect. We do get some special dialogue for the turn after a 3-hit Pale Hands combo, however:
Bloodbath wrote: Image Come inside. Get into this dreadful pool of blood.

Image The hands of the people you, or perhaps we, once loved are waiting inside.

Image Let go of it all, close your eyes, and sink into this bottomless pool.
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It's just a Sinking turn, however, so we don't have to do anything.

Image Even when given an opportunity, you don't know how to capitalize… How strange.

Once we have the basic game plan of Bloodbath figured out, all that's left is waiting for attacks we can counter, and then countering them. The battle is stacked in our favor as long as we aren't using Slash dice, so eventually…

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Image Alright. This time, for sure…

We hit a turn with a 100% chance of success—our second die will hit, and Bloodbath's weakness to Blunt makes it guaranteed to drop it.

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Image It was a valiant effort...

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Image But this round goes to me.

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We win! :woop:

Music: Lobby
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By winning, we've leveled up the Floor of General Works to 2, and awakened one Assistant Librarian. Additionally, we're given a higher Emotion Level threshold (Still not talking about those yet) and access to new Abnormality pages, which we'll talk about when we see them in action.

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They certainly look cool, though.

Image So… the plan worked, right? I finally get some help?

Image Of course. While I wasn't certain you would be able to win, my portion of the plan was flawless.

Image Nice. So let's meet this newbie.

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Image Newbie..? From where I'm standing, you're the newbie.

Image Hey, now, is that something you should be saying to a superior?
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Image Man, and I'd just finally managed to get myself a nice place to soak and relax… After all that mess, I really wanted a break. :sigh:
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Image Say, ma'am… are you sure we can rely on this lady?

Image There should be no issue. Despite her personal deficiencies, she should be equal to the task of assisting you with your duties.

Image If you say so, ma'am… Who are you, anyways?

Image Zaida Toniwan. Captain of…
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Image Well, I guess that doesn't exist any longer. No biggie.

Image Got it. Name's Roland. You'll be working under me from now on.

Image Roger that, boss.

Image Hey, wait—where are you going?

Image This uniform's too stuffy. Gonna' find something nicer to wear.

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Image Much better.

Image Is this really going to be alright..?

Next time, on Library of Ruina

Image Putting the newbie through her paces.

User avatar
Book 5: Yun's Office 3—Chapter 1

Music: Lobby
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Now that we've got some much-needed help, it's time to check out our next reception. Seems like we're not quite done with Yun's Office yet.

Music: StoryNervous
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Image He was just mediocre. He should have gotten a decent modification surgery, or had enough talent to make up for his lack of experience. But he didn’t have any of that. He was nothing more than an overconfident brat.

Music: STOP
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Image Though I agree, he was bound to die sooner or later.

Image Congratulations, by the way. You must have more options now that you’re a Grade 8 Fixer.

Image Yep! So you’d better be careful. If you don’t pay me well enough, I might move to another Office. Heard that you’re barely covering your own taxes these days, let alone the monthly rent for this Office space, am I wrong?
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Image …I believe the case I had Finn handle could make a breakthrough.


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Image But you said the invitation appears randomly, no? How are you going to get another one?

Image I wouldn’t have called you if I didn’t have certainty. I recently received another invitation.

Image Hmm. Is that so?

Image The existence of our Office depends on this case. The Library is sure to be profitable. I have a hunch. So we’re giving it everything we have.

Image Aight, let’s roll in some dough! I just bought this lovely thing here from a workshop, too.


Music: Lobby
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Image A whole Office coming at us, huh. It may be a small and insignificant one, but it could prove to be a little tough for the Library right now.

Image What if they make it all the way to your room?

Image The guests cannot act outside of the space we’ve prepared for them. It’s how this place works. After all, this space is created with limitless power.

Image Yet you somehow jumped right into my room, when you weren’t even invited…

Image Anyways, I’m capable of protecting myself, so there’s nothing for you to worry about.


Music: Entrance
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Image You must be the owner of this place.

Image She doesn’t even look that strong.


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Image Ah, that one has become a book.

Image I see, so you turn into a book if you die here~

Image ……

Image Acting all sentimental when you were the one who sent him here, knowing he’d fail?

Image Shut up. We all get exploited and abandoned at some point in our lives.

Image …May you find your book in this place.


Next time, on Library of Ruina: It's time to talk about our feelings.





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Image Huh… you changed your outfit?

Image Oh, this? I just had a thought. That Yun guy seemed to feel a little bad about what he'd done to his junior.

Image You think..?

Image It's just a hunch. Still, Fixers will do anything to get an advantage over each other, even if it's just a little bit.

Image If you say so... Honestly, I'll be fine as long as these ones don't shoot lasers when we kill 'em.
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Image Hey, hey… just what kind of crazy idea do you have about Fixers in your head?

Image Welp. Let's get this over with so I can go back to my precious downtime...

Image C'mon, don't just ignore me like that..!

User avatar
Book 5: Yun's Office 3—Chapter 2

Music: GuestBattle01
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When we enter Yun's Office 3, another tutorial shows up, teaching us about multi-Act fights. From now on, it's important to keep an eye on the Remaining Acts section in order to see how many fights we'll have to clear.

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Roland's deck gets a tweak, as I remove one Struggle for a Gut-harvesting.

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Here's what we're going with for Zaida's deck—it's very heavy on the defensive dice, with minimal offensive presence outside of Gut-harvesting.

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Our first opponents today are a pair of no-names. Neither one is particularly powerful, though they're both roughly on par with Finn.

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Music: KeterBattle01
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Now that we have more than one Librarian, let's talk about redirecting attacks.

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Here, the top Yun's Fixer is targeting Zaida. However, since their speed die is a 3 and Roland's is a 4, Roland can target their die with a page of his own.

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This changes the attack into a clash with Roland's speed die. This is a redirect at its most fundamental. We can use it to ensure that we get advantageous clashes, or to keep opponents from targeting our weakened or Staggered librarians with powerful pages. Just remember: it only works with speed dice that are higher than the opponent's. We can't redirect a 3 with another 3, and we certainly can't redirect it with a 2.

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Zaida returns the favor by pulling the second attack off of Roland.

Image I'm surprised. I expected you to be shaking at the thought of fighting someone.

Image It's a little different than suppressing Abnormalities, but ultimately it's all SSDD.

Image I guess that makes sense, from someone who could lounge in a pool of blood.

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Image What was it again..? 'Go with the flow of the body and the mind..?'

Now that we've unlocked Abnormality pages, it's finally time to start talking about Emotion levels.

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Image Worked like a charm. Not bad at all..!

Emotion is done entirely through gaining positive and negative Emotion Coins through combat—these are the blue and red lights which have been appearing in the screenshots from time to time, respectively. The biggest source of Emotion Coins are clashes. Whenever two dice clash, the winner of the clash gains +1 positive coin, and the loser gains +1 negative coin.

Additionally, if we get the maximum possible result on our die we get +1 positive coin, while rolling the minimum result is +1 negative coin. In this instance, our opponent received 1 negative coin from losing the clash, while Zaida received 2 positive coins: one from winning the clash, and one from rolling her maximum result.

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The next attack does the exact same—Zaida gains +2 positive coins, and the opponent gains +1 negative coin. Staggering a foe does not provide any bonus coins.

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However, Zaida's bar maxes out at 3. This is because it takes a total of 3 Emotion Coins to go from Emotion Level 0 to 1, and any excess coins are wasted. I've heard that negative coins can overwrite positive coins when the gauge is full like this, but I haven't confirmed it myself yet—we'll probably find out as we go, there's a lot of game ahead of us.

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Image Please submit without a fight, dear guest.

On Roland's end, his first attack gives him +1 positive coin for a clash win while his opponent gets +1 negative for a clash loss and +1 positive for a maximum roll.

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The second attack is a draw. In the case of a draw, both sides get +1 positive coin if both are using offensive dice. In all other cases, no coins are created. Because this is two defensive dice, Roland gets +1 positive coin for a maximum roll, and our opponent gets +1 negative coin for a minimum roll.

This maximum/minimum rule means that cards with dice numbers like 1-2 or 4-5 get special consideration—each die they have like that ensures either a minimum or maximum roll, and thus 1 extra Emotion Coin. They're very useful for strategies that want to rush to high Emotion Levels.

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Image Been a while since I've gotten the adrenaline pumping.

Image You certainly seem more fired up than a couple minutes ago.

Image Well, you know what they say—faster the work's done, sooner you can slack off.

Image Should you really be saying that in front of the lady?

Image I see no reason to pay attention to the words of the assistants. They are, ultimately, beneath my notice.

Image ...ouch.

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When a librarian's Emotion Level increases, their Light completely refills and their maximum Light goes up by 1.

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This also applies to the guests who come into the Library. The Emotion Coins required to go up in levels increases as the levels get higher, but for both 0>1 and 1>2 only 3 coins are required. Our maximum Emotion Level is based on the total level of the floor—since we've defeated Bloodbath, our Librarians can currently go up to Emotion Level 2.

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Finally (for now), there's the overall Emotion Level of our floor and the enemies. The gauge along the top of the screen tells us at a glance how high our overall floor's average Emotion Level is. A floor's Emotion Level is determined by the average of all the active librarian's Emotion Levels. For instance, three librarians at Emotion Levels 2, 1, and 0 respectively would have a total floor Emotion Level of 1.

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Anyways, Roland staggers the remaining Fixer and brings them to the cusp of defeat.

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While Zaida fails a 50-50 chance to book her target.

Image I thought this was all SSDD?

Image I'm not used to it mattering where I hit them.

:v: Could you not talk about me like I'm not here..?

This brings Roland's Emotion Level to 1, kicking us over the threshold for the floor's Emotion Level to rise.

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Every time our floor's Emotion Level increases, we get to pick an Abnormality Page. These pages apply special benefits to our librarians, and come in three levels: I, II, and III. At floor Emotion Levels 1 and 2, we select one of our level I Abnormality Pages to apply.

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I opt to go with Scars for its damage mitigation ability. Next, we select one librarian to apply it to.
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Image So this thing's suddenly offering us its power? Now what?

Image It's responding to our emotions and trying to help us. It's easier at times like these if you just say yes.

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Once we select a librarian to power up, a related quote appears over their head. Abnormality Pages last for the rest of the reception, barring certain cards which state they only last for a certain number of scenes or acts. Zaida can now take Slash hits like a champ.

Image I'll take the one that's still standing. Handle the other one.

Image Nice and easy. My favorite.

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The last main source of Emotion Coins is guests/librarians being defeated. Whenever a character is defeated, the one that defeated them gains 3 positive coins. Additionally, the defeated character's entire side gains 3 negative coins each.


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That means both Zaida and Roland gain 3 coins each upon booking their targets. Since going from Emotion Level 1 to 2 costs 3 coins…

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Our floor hits Emotion Level 2 as the act comes to an end—but since we've already won the Act we don't pick a new Abnormality Page.

Music: GuestBattle01
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Image Looks like it's time for the main event.

Image Here's hoping your idea works. It'd be a lot easier if there were fewer opponents to worry about.

Between each Act, we get the opportunity to size up our opponents. We could even select a new floor to face them with, if we had any.

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Our new opponents are another cut above the mooks we took out in act 1.

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Yun is particularly worrying, because unlike everyone else we've faced he's playing a real page. Commandeering is an incredibly strong 3-cost page which will knock us flat on our asses if we're not ready for it.

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Music: KeterBattle02
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Now that our floor is at Emotion Level 2, the music changes to the next phase in its battle music. This change is great for keeping up the hype in longer fights.

Image That sword…

Image Recognize it, do you?

Image You've no idea what you've just done.

Image Is that something the guy who sent this rookie off to die should be saying?

Image ...I'm not going to rise to your bait. It isn't my fault.

Image Hey, let me handle him.

Image ...Alright. End it quickly.

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Our guests are stuck at 1 starting Light, meaning that they can't play anything too powerful on the first turn. In hopes of cutting them off, I spam Gut-harvesting on the both of them

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Image Stealing Finn's body... Who are you?

Image Just a regular librarian, dear guest~

Image Bullshit you are.

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Image Good thing your face is different. I don't think I'd like watching him cry.

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Image You okay over there, boss? That sounded like your ass getting kicked.

Image Worry about your own fight!

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Image Yeah, yeah… I got it.

Image They're tougher than anticipated.

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After our first scene, we get the Abnormality Page we're owed. With only one option left, we're going with Pale Hands. Our third page, being a Level II Abnormality Page, can't show up until at least Emotion Level 3—something we can't get right now.

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Image Oh… oh this feels… off.

Image You get used to it.

Image What are you two talking about over there?!

Image It doesn't matter, boss. As hard as they came at us, it wasn't enough… and now I'm feeling fired up!

Both Eri and Yun reached Emotion Level 1 after their last turn. This means they get a full Light refill, and a maximum of 3 Light.

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Image Target the one that doesn't look like Finn. We'll rip them apart one at a time.

Image Got it!

Zaida is in for a bad turn, since those three spent light pips over Yun's head mean he's going for Commandeering. With our current deck, there's not a lot we can do to block it outright…

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So I go for defense. That blunt die will be rolling into a Fatal weakness, so any point of power Zaida's block die takes off of it is worth 2 HP/Stagger, and if we get extremely lucky we might even block the attack completely.

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We do not get lucky. Zaida gets a 2.

Image Got you!

Image

Image Oh yeah?! Then-

Image Too slow!
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Image Dammit! In the old days, they didn't block!

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Image Running away, eh?! That's fine—Eri! Follow up!

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Image Eri?!

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Image She's not going to be able to make it. Sorry, dear guest~
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Image Thaat's not good.

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Image

Unlike our team, Yun and Eri can't go above Emotion Level 1. Because of this, their Light refill on turn 2 is the only one they can get in this fight. Unless something goes incredibly wrong, that Commandeering is the only one we'll see today.

Image He's coming at you again. I think he's too nervous to go after me.

Image Maybe... I'm just gonna' punch him in the face. You got the other one?

Image I'll take care of her.

Image

Since our guests both have 1 Protection this turn, let's talk about what Protection does. Protection causes any attacks that would damage a character's HP do 1 less damage per stack of Protection. It does nothing to prevent Stagger damage, however, so we're able to stun Yun here.

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Here, it lowers the damage from 8 to 6—effectively, the Protection stacks work just like a Block die would in terms of determining HP damage.

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Image

Image One down.

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Altogether, with the two librarians and two Light refills that come with defeating Bloodbath this fight is very manageable.

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Image What, not going to attack?

Image I thought it'd be poetic if you took the last shot, boss.
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Image Sure you're not just slacking off?

Image I can have multiple motives if I want.

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Image We're all done here, ma'am.

Image Adequate work. Return for debriefing, now.

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Image Just another day at the office…

Image You mean the Library, right?
Image
Image Ah… right.

Music: Result
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A Book of Yun's Office was added to our prize pool for the fight—this is because battles are guaranteed to drop at least 1 copy of the book required for the next reception. In older builds, we would have had to do the entire fight all over again because we were unlucky enough to miss a drop. Additionally, Eri's high emotion level gave her a chance of dropping 1 extra book. Because we successfully got it, it shows up underneath the Emotion Level bonus section. In general, we want our guests to get booked at high Emotion Levels so we can get as many of those extra books as possible. More books = more pages = better decks.

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Image So… how're those new books looking, ma'am?

Music: Lobby
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Image They’re all like moths diving into flames. That Yun guy seemed like a clever sort, but even he ended up blindly jumping into the fire to get what he wanted.

Image “Once you’ve had a taste of desire, it comes in like an unstoppable wave.” It’s a quote I heard a long time ago. But is that desire true to one’s heart…?

Image Well, aren’t you funny? You said you despise roundabout speech, and now you’re being all poetic.


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Image
Image Sigh… Get back to sorting books.

Image Yes ma'am… Don't think there's anything left to sort up here, though.

Image Then it's fortunate that a new level has been added.

Image ...come again?

Image I was perfectly clear.

Next time, on Library of Ruina

Image L-let's meet a Syndicate.


Videos

Yun's Office 5

New Key Pages




New Combat Pages



User avatar
Appendix 2: Yun's Office

LPer's note: Some of these pages aren't able to be gotten in the game anymore, specifically Page 2 and 3 of the Yun's Office Fixer. I'll be keeping these texts in these updates, though I'll call them out like this if they've been dummied out.
Finn’s Page wrote: It’s been a while, sis. Actually… I talked to you some time ago. By myself, of course. It sounds a bit lonely… But I’m fine! Today’s not gonna be the same as the days before; I have good news. I finally joined an Office run by this guy named ‘Yun’ and officially became a Fixer. You’re proud to see your precious little younger brother grow up and make it, aren’t you? Isn’t it cool? I told you there’s no need to worry about me.

Oh, about Yun’s Office… I think it’s a really nice place. No, I’m not lying. Our operator Yun is a bit cold, but he teaches me a lot of things, and there’s also Eri, who’s my senior. I’ve yet to be friends with her… but she seems like a good person, too. For now, they’re giving me small jobs like searching for lost cats. Maybe they’re worried I’m too inexperienced to handle tougher stuff. It’s not really fancy, but… If I start out with small tasks like this and work up slowly, I’m gonna be a great Fixer one day, yeah? My heart is already pumping with excitement…

When I become a proud and dashing Fixer, I’ll buy a Nest migration ticket and get a nice new home for you. I could buy my gear at a workshop thanks to your help, and all that… Though that’s not all. You always looked after me, sis. …It’s kind of embarrassing to talk about this. Anyway, don’t worry about me, and do the things you want to do. I know you were always too busy caring for me to pursue your own interests. You offered to give me a prosthetic body or even a minor procedure the last time we met, but… I’m doing fine without any of that stuff. And you got money to earn for yourself. Hngh, chaa… I’m tired, so I’ll be going now. I ran around the whole town chasing a cat all day… Night, sis. I hope we see each other again.
Eri’s Page wrote: You have lots of things to prepare before you can jump into the Fixer business. Starting with choosing equipment, you’ll need clothes to protect your bodily accessories, et cetera… But, before any of that, body augmentation comes first. There’s no point having masterful skills or fancy equipment if your body can’t keep up, y’know? And training hard isn’t gonna do it. There’s a limit to training your body, and the fittest body is still no match for mechanical prosthetics or bionic organs. You gotta be able to keep your body intact to do anything, so you’re pretty much forced to spend a fortune on it.

There’s a ton of methods to enhance your body. Exoskeletons, bionic surgeries, nano-tattoos, prosthetic body parts… You name it. Deciding what workshop tech to employ is up to preference and purpose. Some would want insane muscular strength that could let them carry a power pole one-handed, and others would want ludicrous speed, quick enough to skip over multiple blocks in a split second. It’s so diverse, I could go on forever. You need any ability, they’ve got you covered. The only hurdle is money. In the City, money is what gets you power. That’s why the first thing we notice when we assess our foes is how much they’ve spent on their bodies… Oh, of course, some technologies patented by closed groups like certain Syndicates or Wings are hard to get your hands on even if you have all the cash in the world.

Just look at me, though! It took a teensy little procedure for me to lift this humongous weapon with one hand. This is the kind of power you can get, you see? Body augmentation is more of a necessity than an option these days, so you’ll want to study up on that. You don’t wanna stay a weakling when everyone else’s getting their augmentations, now do you?
Yun’s Page wrote: Finn was bungling in many ways. He had no talent, he refused to take modification procedures, all he armed himself with was a tiny weapon. I didn’t exactly dislike him, though. They say a delicate person like him is nothing short of pathetic here, but he had passion regardless, and he was going to be our colleague from now on. Besides, it’s not too common to see such a passionate fellow in this grueling mess of a City. He was an interesting one.

Then why did I exploit him? …“Exploit” is a rather harsh word to describe it, if you ask me. A sloppy kid like him would’ve gotten killed anyway, abducted in the Backstreets and fading away while witnessing his innards getting ripped from his body. And that’s one of the tamer examples I could give. In this City, worse things are happening here and there on a daily basis. If he didn’t die there, he could’ve faced a much more terrible fate somewhere else, isn’t that right? …Nevermind, this is all but rationalization. Think what you want.
A Yun’s Office Fixer, Page 1 wrote: The society of Fixers is built entirely up on meritocracy. The greater you are, the higher you can climb. On the other hand, if you don’t have the capability, you should be thankful for any org that accepts you and stay low. Thing is, ‘capability’ can mean many things. For some, it could be physical strength, and others might have superior intellect. It seems kinda unfair to me that they make arbitrary evaluations of a concept that can be taken in so many different ways. Not that I think I have some hidden talent that deserves a better grade or anything, though. I do feel a bit upset, but I think I’m at the right place. The jobs I usually do are looking for lost cats at night… You can tell how low my spot is, yeah?

I’m not a huge fan of the jobs I’m doing right now, of course. I mean, sure, I wouldn’t say no to some flashier requests. I just accepted to carry on with my life.
A Yun’s Office Fixer, Page 2 wrote: The Backstreets are alleyways densely spread across the city. They’re entangled like spiderwebs, and spread far and wide, so it is virtually impossible for one to know every single thing that occurs in the Backstreets. And they’re populated with all sorts of people.

Examinee towns where people preparing for entrance exams in hopes of getting into a Nest have gathered; Syndicates and Fixers thirstily looking for business; workshops that benefit from their conflicts, crafting various tools and gadgets… It’s a disorderly lump of all kinds of desires for wealth and dreams.

People think Fixers are “good guys” who fight off bad guys here, but they’re just humans in reality. They’re simply doing their jobs to make a living. Some clients look at us with sparkly eyes like we’re heroes or something. This might seem funny to you, but things get troublesome if we don’t fulfill their requests. They give us a disappointed look, yell profanities at us… Turn into rude customers before leaving.
A Yun’s Office Fixer, Page 3 wrote: A hotshot Fixer gets all the push they can get from their Office. And an Office housing competent Fixers can get sponsorships from Associations, Wings, or workshops. The same can be said for individual Fixers; the spicy ones are sought after by many firms. But that won’t be you guys. Most of us have to purchase equipment with our own budget. Insane things happen in the City, and even Rats could tear you a new one if you haven’t got any useful gadgets or procedures.

And how do you get the money for that? Duh, you’re supposed to earn it, isn’t that obvious? …Funny, isn’t it. You jump into the Fixer business trying to earn money, but you need to get into debt and spend money to be able to do proper work. How ironic is that? This world’s one giant hamster wheel.

I hear you in there, First Trumpet.

Also, I do appreciate the symbolism that our starting floor is Keter this time around. In the original game we were humans reaching toward a divine solution to the disease of the spirit Carmen found (starting from the world/the Kingdom/Malkuth and reaching toward God/The Divine/Keter), and this time we're following a Divine/"Perfect" entity trying to learn more about The World (and accomplish whatever deviousness we aren't party to yet), as Keter reaches down(up? I suppose we'll see how we're organized when Binah or Hokma open up) to Malkuth.

Speaking of the disease of the Spirit, the last game left me wondering just what the scope of that disease was. Is it something we'd recognize in the more dystopian corners of our world, or something stranger and peculiar to the World, and the City upon it? The question comes back into focus, as we seem to have a knack for booking optimistic/spirited/driven people like Finn and Pete. Were they success stories from X's previous efforts, or do we have yet to meet someone in whom the seeds took proper root?

User avatar
Book 6: Brotherhood of Iron—Chapter 1

Music: Entrance
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Image Hey there~ My name’s Rolan—

Music: StorySimgak
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It seems Roland's stepped into a conflict. :ohdear:

Image Angela, you…!

Image I thought we were already done with that topic. You simply need to cooperate without complaint.

Image ……

Image That was the deal, remember?


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Image Did you really think you could make me happy by just giving me a human body? Don’t forget. I still don’t agree with you!

Image …As you wish.


SNAP

Music: MalkuthStory
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Image …Hello there. I’m the Patron Librarian in charge of the Floor of History…

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Image You seem lively at least. What was going on just now?

Image I have some unfinished business with Angela. You probably heard bits of it, but… I have no choice but to follow her orders, no matter how I feel.

Image I’m in the same shoes as yours! Though we seem to have ended up here for different reasons. So, what can I do for you?

Image …You can bring me books, Roland.


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Image Us librarians will then read the collected books, gradually making our floors whole and completing the library itself as an extension. And we’ll naturally get to unlock more floors and awaken their patron librarians in that process!

Image So, the other librarians are asleep for now?

Image Yep, they are!

Image I get the gist of it. You’re surprisingly bright for someone who was so upset moments ago, by the way.

Image I was kinda worried I might have to endure some of that wrath.


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Consummate professional, Malkuth Librarian. :coal:

Image I still have my problems with Angela, but it’s not like getting mad about it will do me any good.

Image I’ve got my own reasons to do my best with this work, too!

Image Okay, then~ Let’s give it our best shot.

Image Yeah!


Music: Lobby
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Now that we have another partner trapped here forever with us (...yay?), we get access to our second floor!

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We can swap between the floors whenever we like using the center portion of the Library.

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And eventually we'll be getting even MORE floors! "Certain conditions" means "advancing the plot," there are no hoops to jump through to unlock the main floors.

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New floors only come with a limited number of Librarians and no Abnormality Pages, however, so ultimately they're next to useless until we get them caught up. Malkuth's mission is another Book of ???, so she'll get an Abnormality Battle before too long.

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Keter, on the other hand, will not be getting a new Abnormality Battle for a while.

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One final note, the colors that appear when burning our books differs based on which floor we have selected. I'll try to remember to show all of these.

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Image Ahh… at the end of the day, it's gotta' be a suit.

I update Roland with our new pages. I tend towards playing defensive pages overall, and Yun's passive encourages that even more than usual.

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Image So these are the invitations we use to call people?

Image Bingo. Seems like it just needed that book from the Office last time.

Image That's correct. We'll be able to call our next guests with this.

Image Then by all means, ma'am. Summon them whenever you're prepared.

Music: StoryAlley
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Image A-a dry brain dulls your thoughts.

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Image I-I think we should go for a workshop. W-workshops are rich, and they have useful components, too.

Image H-how about an Office? W-we should earn some infamy if we take down an Office or two.

Image I-I don’t think we’ll get anything valuable from the Offices we can take on right now.

Image A-a restaurant, then! I-I like delicious stuff.


Image

Image B-because we wanted to focus on earning without having to worry about food or sickness.

Image T-that’s right. W-we’re enduring like crazy. T-these bodies just need brain fluid, fuel, and some repairs from time to time. W-we can make money without feeling hungry or thirsty.
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Image T-that’s true. I-it cost a fortune to get ourselves whole-body replacements. B-but it’s still uncomfortable. I-I know I don’t have to eat anymore, but I keep thinking about all the tasty things I had before, and it makes me want to taste them again.

Image T-that’s because we got cheap bodies from a cheap workshop. W-we just have to earn more. T-then we can replace our bodies with better ones.

Image T-the most expensive ones can even adjust emotions and completely shut off desires, on top of having good performance… B-but those are almost as expensive as a Nest household.

Image W-we can worry about that later. L-let’s focus on money-making now. I-it’s all about money in the end. S-so don’t bring up restaurants. Y-you’re making me want to eat stuff, too.


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Image I-I like how this body doesn’t have any sensory systems, but i-it’s annoying to be unable to feel things like this.

Image L-let’s have a look at that piece of paper first. I-I don’t think it was in your body until just now.

Image M-maybe we got too infamous and someone sent us a calling card or something? O-or maybe a coupon for yummy new food…


Music: Lobby
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Image It all depends on the Syndicate. The City is crowded with them. You could even say there’s one for every Fixer out there. A number of thugs gather up and do things under a name, and you get a Syndicate. They’re involved in all sorts of different businesses, so it’s hard to give a general description beyond that.

Image They seem sloppy. Are those machines?

Image They aren’t machines or AI, despite their appearance.


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Image These guys are just using whole-body replacements. And low-quality ones from a shoddy workshop at that…

Image …I see.

Image Alright! Shall we prepare for the reception?


Music: Entrance
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Image W-we just have to chop up some monsters and take some books. T-this body has strength if nothing else.

Image W-we came here for loot, but what if that piece of paper was all a lie? M-maybe we were too naive.


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Image In this place, we strictly play by the rules written on the invitation.

Image Y-yikes.

Image Welcome, dear guests. This is the Library. And I am Angela, the director and librarian of my role’s namesake. In this library, you may obtain the books listed on the invitation. If you overcome the ordeal, that is.

Image M-must be one of those ploys by rich folks. I-it’s all entertainment to them.

Image I-I heard of that, t-they kidnap people from the Backstreets, trap them in a labyrinth no one can escape, and make them wander in there, fighting for eternity… U-until they die, never to see light again…

Image W-we’ve already come this far, we have to do this. D-don’t be so gloomy.

Image May you find your book in this place, then.


Next time, on Library of Ruina: R-rock 'em, sock em Robots!

Videos

Malkuth 1
Brotherhood of Iron 1







Image Are you sure it's alright for me to just stand by? I don't mind helping out.

Image That's just how it works, apparently. We're assigned to our own floors. If they break through Zaida and I, you're up next.

Image I see… I'll just think of it as myself being the last line of defense, then.

Image Don't worry, Roland. You can rely on me, if it comes down to it!

Image I won't let it get that far in the first place.

Image As long as the two of you succeed, it matters little what order you do things in.

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Image Right... I'm going to get to it. Have fun, you two.

Image That is unlikely to occur.

User avatar
Talisriel wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 12:53 am
I hear you in there, First Trumpet.

Also, I do appreciate the symbolism that our starting floor is Keter this time around. In the original game we were humans reaching toward a divine solution to the disease of the spirit Carmen found (starting from the world/the Kingdom/Malkuth and reaching toward God/The Divine/Keter), and this time we're following a Divine/"Perfect" entity trying to learn more about The World (and accomplish whatever deviousness we aren't party to yet), as Keter reaches down(up? I suppose we'll see how we're organized when Binah or Hokma open up) to Malkuth.

Speaking of the disease of the Spirit, the last game left me wondering just what the scope of that disease was. Is it something we'd recognize in the more dystopian corners of our world, or something stranger and peculiar to the World, and the City upon it? The question comes back into focus, as we seem to have a knack for booking optimistic/spirited/driven people like Finn and Pete. Were they success stories from X's previous efforts, or do we have yet to meet someone in whom the seeds took proper root?
As far as the disease goes, LC describes it as a sort of loss of purpose or dreams or something? Forget the more dystopian corners of our world, it'd probably be something like... that person working a dead-end job who knows it's a dead-end job and hates it, but keeps it up anyways because they're convinced there's no other choice.

Everything else I could say about that is basically spoilers, but there's definitely a reason the people we're booking are the ones getting booked. We're following the red invitations, after all. :v:

:stonk: Angela, what have you done to the Tree of Life!? That's my paragraph on the theming right in the garbage. I guess we might not be off course from the original game's layout, since we had X's office from the start, if not the Architecture Department. We'll just have to see if the next floor is Yesod (Reference?), or if things are completely out of order and Tiphereth (Fashion? Children's?) is up next.

And yes, my phrasing was meant to evoke bad jobs and abusive homes as much as literal countries as "places/situations that break the spirit in ways recognizable in the real world".

User avatar
Book 6: Brotherhood of Iron—Chapter 2

Music: GuestBattle01
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The Brotherhood of Iron is another 1 Act fight, but this time we can use two floors. This means if our main one is defeated, we get to pick another floor. Ideally this won't be a problem. Let's take a look at our opponents.

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None of them are particularly impressive, and we're still not yet at the point where our opponents have passive abilities. As long as nothing ridiculous happens, they shouldn't be too much trouble.

Image;

Music: KeterBattle01
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Image Monsters..? We're not that monstrous, are we?

Image W-we know looks can be deceiving. Y-you can't fool us with those pretty faces!

Image Aww… they called you pretty.
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Image How do you know they don't mean you?

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Image Call it a hunch.

The first turn has the enemy go hard on Zaida. Since we can't block all of the attacks, we have to mitigate the damage we take.

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Mo's attack is a weak 1-2 Slash, which is Zaida's best defense type. We can ignore it. Thankfully, Roland can intercept one of the remaining two, and Zaida herself can handle the last one.

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Zaida clashes with Consta. E-endure is a very strong defensive card for this early in the game, and the paralysis it adds on its third die in particular will be able to debuff later guests quite reliably. Here, I'm hoping Zaida hits the spread and blocks all three attacks—dealing real damage through an E-endure with the cards we have is difficult.

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Meanwhile, Roland is going to eat this card alive and then counterattack with a 4-6 damage die in almost every possible case. We'd have to get insanely unlucky to get hit here.

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Image I-I got him good!

Be honest: you all saw this coming. :rolldice:

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Image Boss… I don't want to be the one doing all the work.

Image I-it's overheating!

Image J-just stay calm!

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Image I-I've got your back!

Image ...ow?

Music: GuestBattle01
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Image Hey, why'd the music change?

Image Come to think of it, I've been wondering the same thing.

Image This place resonates with the emotions of the guests as much as you all. Should their emotions be overpowering yours, the library will reflect that.

Image So that's the story? Huh. Interesting.

Image Indeed! This was certainly worth having my life's work crumpled up and binned.

Image We have been over this.

Image That doesn't mean I have to like it.

Image As long as it doesn't get in the way of your duties, think whatever you like.

Image I will.

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Image Hey, Zaida… you sure you want to target that one? You've got a lot of heat right now.

Image Hitting a target that's not punching back is way easier than clashing. I'll trust you to have my back, boss~

Image Hey, hey..! Don't make me clean up everything.

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C-chop It Off! is the ideal target for our You're Too Slow, possessing three low-power offensive dice for our Dodge die to turn into power for our final attack.

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Zaida will definitely be taking more damage this turn, but I'm willing to do that in exchange for crippling or booking Consta.

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Image Whups.

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Image So close!

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Image Almost had me, dear guest~
Image
Image ...

Here we can see paralysis in action. Arnold's die dropped from a 3-3 to a guaranteed 1. These three clash wins also give Roland a total +6 to the power of his Slash die.

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Image M-Mo, they're strong..!

I immediately roll minimum damage. :rolldice:

The reason Arnold is taking 10 here instead of 8 is because of the broken shield icon—it's known as Fragile. Each stack of Fragile adds +1 to the damage that an enemy will take from each hit, like an inverse Protect. You're Too Slow inflicts 2 Fragile upon hit, making it very good for setting foes up to take a lot of damage—especially if we can Stagger them. Like Protect, Fragile is multiplied by weakness or resistance, so every hit against a Staggered opponent deals +2 HP damage per stack.

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Image This one's on their last legs, boss.

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Image D-don't bully my crew, monster!

Image Gh… even when you know it's coming, it stings like hell.

B-blow It Up! is a basic attack card that Paralyzes with its first die. Not much else to say about it. While we can tank some attacks with our current stock of Key Pages, letting the enemy get one-sided attacks can still take a good chunk out of our HP/Stagger Resist.

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We hit an Emotion breakpoint, though, so I can slap Scars onto Zaida to help mitigate further incoming damage.

Music: KeterBattle01
Image

Image These guys really seem to have a problem with me…

The AI for the Brothers of Iron isn't supposed to be solo-targeting one person like this, I'm just getting exceedingly unlucky. :sweatdrop: It shouldn't matter, though.

Anyways, this turn I make a very obvious mistake.

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Consta is attacking Zaida with D-dried Up, a single hit card that raises Strength next turn. Each point of Strength gives +1 power to all offensive dice played next turn, so stacking Strength is a good way to win games by dealing massive amounts of damage.

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Mo is using another E-endure. Roland is too slow to redirect either of their attacks, so we can only really clash with one.

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With Zaida's current hand, the best play would have been Rats' Guide into Consta, so that we could go for a Stagger and stop them from using their 2 Strength on the next turn. Instead, for some reason I decide to ram headfirst into an E-endure and risk taking more Stagger damage from a card whose dice would otherwise be mostly useless.

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Image G-get back here!

Image No thanks, I'm good.

Weirdly enough, luck turns out in our favor—Zaida manages to eke out a dodge against Mo's final attack and only takes a total of 1 Stagger damage all told.

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And then Scars completely negates the HP damage of Consta's attack. Zaida's close to getting Staggered, but this should be the last turn that it matters.

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Image Thanks for the distraction, Zaida. That's one down.

Image Yeah, no problem...

Roland lands his 75% chance to book Arnold, turning the fight into a 2v2. :hellyeah:

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Image I'll grab this power.

Image It's a little late for it to matter, don't you think?

Image It's practice. I'm not as used to using it as you are.

Image Fair enough.

Music: KeterBattle02
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Zaida's got a stack of Paralysis for -3 to a random die on her cards and Consta's got 2 Strength to be wary of, but the advantage is firmly ours now.

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Roland's hand doesn't have any good cards here, so I go with the best odds against E-endure. Thankfully, the 2 Strength only matters for the last die, which is now effectively a 3-5. For Zaida I just throw Gut-harvesting down and pray. Whichever die Paralysis hits will almost definitely lose, but hopefully she'll get through the turn without getting Staggered.

Image

Image Okay… that one hurt a bit.

Unfortunately, Roland's Evade die is immediately stuffed and he fails to damage Consta at all.

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As for Zaida, the Paralysis hits her first die, and Mo hits a max result on her E-endure. It's not a good start—but on the upside, look at how great the Brothers of Iron's running sprite is. :allears:

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Image Whew…

Image T-tenacious monster, aren't you..?

Zaida squeaks by by the barest of margins, winning the other two clashes.

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Image W-we can do this, Consta! J-just one last push!

Image F-for Arnold's memory.

Image I wouldn't get ahead of yourselves, dear guests~

Image
Image

Image Because I just drew Commandeering.

Image T-that sounds bad... I-I can still overcome it!

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Image Finally set this guy up again!

1 HP away. :rolldice:

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Image Nice work. This one's a bit shaky themselves.

Image I-I don't like this Commandeering thing..!

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Image So? Are you getting the idea behind receptions?

Image I think I've just about got it. You and Zaida make an unexpectedly good team.

Image I can work well with anyone.
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Image Yeah, you just don't if you can avoid it.

Image Bingo. You get me.

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We're in mopup mode. Zaida blocks C-chop It Off! with a Rats' Guide—this is a bit of a misplay, as if we roll a 1 and they roll a 3 then Zaida gets Staggered and takes a bunch of damage. Roland cherry-taps Consta with a 0-cost Page.

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Image Got 'em.

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Image Same here.

Image O-oh dear..!

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Image ...slacking off again, Zaida?

Image I've earned this one, boss.

Image Yeah, yeah. Fair enough.

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Overall, the Brotherhood is still a fairly simple fight to deal with. So long as we don't let any one Librarian get ganged up on too badly, we can outmuscle them and win.

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Music: Result
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Image I wonder if they still have that beer vending machine around here…
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Image You had a beer vending machine? I want in.

Image If I can find it.

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Music: Lobby
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Image Isn’t it still better than a frail human body though?

Image There are plenty of ways to enhance your body without replacing it for another. Heck, there’s actually many options. Tattoos, prosthetic limbs, medications and drugs, you name it. It’s all possible as long as you have the cash.

Image Replacing your body with a machine, on the other hand, is a one-way ticket you can’t ever go back on. Robotic bodies cannot resemble humans too closely, even if it’s for someone swapping out their flesh. Your life goes down the drain right away.

Image When does one put their brain in a machine, then?

Image One, when you urgently need a huge amount of money. You can sell off your old body and organs for a good chunk of cash. Two, when you need to do repetitive work for a long time. I heard mechanical bodies like that aren’t bad for that kind of labor. Broken parts can be quickly replaced, and desires can be kept under control, so it has its merits.
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Image Repetitive work for a long time…
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Image What, interested in getting a new body?

Image No, I was just reminded of my past for a moment.


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Image It seems like we've gotten the books required to move on, doesn't it?

Image That's true, but this Book of the Brotherhood of Iron also seems to belong on my floor. It seems to be trying to grow?

Image Oh, you'll want to watch out for that. One of those monsters is probably going to fight you.

Image Monsters... You mean the Abnormalities?

Image You know about them?

Image I know about a lot of things. Still... it's up to Angela to decide where we go next.

Image Not precisely. Ultimately, it's up to the invitation to continue the path as it sees fit.

It's finally branch time—though this one is relatively short. Here's how this will work: Each time that we have multiple options, I'll be leaving a strawpoll link in the post. After ~24 hours or so, I'll see where everything is and proceed based on what the thread's decided. In the event of a tie, I'll flip a coin. Have fun, everyone!

Next time, on Library of Ruina

Image I am coming to you. You, who will be reduced to ash like me.

Image Angela gets hit with a sword.

Results

Videos

Brotherhood of Iron 2

New Key Pages





New Combat Pages


Last edited by TeeQueue on Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.

I'm a little surprised you haven't mentioned C-charge up! given that it's the first tool available to improve light gain (even if it carries a nasty enough penalty that it's not worth using)

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Fair point.

It's terrible, and therefore not worth using, because the paralysis will screw you over if you're unlucky, and. /gestures at this LP so far. :v:

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Polling is now closed! Looks like we'll be doing Malkuth 2 next, then our next reception.

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Appendix 3: Brotherhood of Iron
Consta’s Page wrote: What’s your favorite food? That’s the question I used to ask the most when I still had a human body. I love… looooove eating. Talking about food was a huge delight for me. We would share each other’s tastes and preferences, and sometimes head to a restaurant for a meal just like that.

But now… My body’s a machine as you can see. I can’t taste anything anymore. Thanks for pointing that out. Mo told me to stop dreaming about it. I still wanna try more delicious foods, though. Hot and flavorful… Spicy and sweet… Stuff like that. I guess this body is too cheap to restrain delusional thoughts like this. If we get more money and change our bodies to new ones… then maybe I’ll be able to stop these thoughts from getting in the way of my work?
Mo’s Page wrote: I frankly don’t recommend replacing your entire body with a machine. Especially with a cheap one. Aside from basic issues such as vulnerability to damage and creaky noises, cheap prosthetic bodies compromise too much. You’re basically giving up all the joys of life. Can you imagine? You can’t taste anything when you eat delicious food, and you can’t feel the softness and coziness of a good bed. You can’t feel anything get stuck in your body, be it a piece of paper or a knife. The head remembers those feelings, but you can’t experience them again.

There are ways to overcome it, though. You can buy a desire stimulation chip and plug it in your brain, inject medications, or use other methods. They’re just absurdly expensive. You’re better off saving up for a more expensive prosthetic body if you really want your senses back. High quality, pricey bodies come with sensory organs. As I always say, it’s all about money in this world.
Arnold’s Page wrote: The City consists of 25 Nests, and 25 Districts of the Backstreets that surround those Nests. And countless Offices and Syndicates reside in the Backstreets. You know what’s a surefire way for a Syndicate to make a name for itself among all the competitors? The simplest method is Office raiding. You literally storm into an Office and wreak havoc on it.

You never know who will be the winner until you fight. It could stop at a good beating and one side surrendering, but some Syndicates raid Offices out of pure boredom and kill everyone. Each Syndicate has its own way of operation. It goes without saying that the Syndicate has more fame to gain out of raiding a high-grade Office filled with seasoned Fixers. So the Offices have to stay sharp at all times. But you’ll also have to watch it. If you misjudge your opponents, you’ll end up dead before you could try anything…

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History—102.02—Scorched Girl

Music: Lobby
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I can't remember exactly what today's Abnormality does, so I go with a sort of all-purpose deck. E-endure will keep us alive, the other pages are for attacking, and in an extreme emergency I'll try C-charge Up! to restore Light. It's a terrible page due to the self-inflicted paralysis, but it's an out to 0 Light.

Image Alright, I'm all ready to go. I'm a little worried about the lack of deterrence, but...

Image Are you sure you wanna' be using that body? It seems a bit rusty.

Image Don't worry about that. It performs at a higher spec than the one I came in, so I'll just wear it for the fight.

Image The body created for you by the light already functions significantly above human standards.

Image Besides, it's actually not rusted at all. The parts are worn, but very well maintained. That person took very good care of their body.
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Image Right, well… good luck in there.

Image Right.

Image Angela, I'm prepared to hold up my end of things.

Image Obviously.

SNAP

Music: AbnormalityBattle 01
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Image Alright. It's just a TETH. And it's weaker now, even without the deterrence.

Image Alright! I should have this! Let's give it a try!
Scorched Girl wrote: Image Step… by step… Burn into pitch black char.

Image A warm fireplace… A plentiful dinner… Fancy decorations… What will show up when I light the next match?

Image You’ll leave me when the light of the last match goes out, won’t you?

Image These match lights are my only hope…

Image When a shooting star falls from the sky, it means someone went to heaven. I wonder whose star that is…
Scorched Girl has much more HP than Bloodbath, but this is a hint that we aren't to fight her directly. As with all Abnormality Battles, the passives are very important.

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Scorched Girl takes next to no damage from all attacks, and while she staggers easily, there's a simple out in her passives. Each time we take out one of her allies dies, she'll take 250 damage. There's also something about losing light when Staggered—this is to stop her from getting her win condition.

Scorched Girl has a total of 4 Light, and cannot play a page until she's gotten all 4. That page, though…

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Fourth Match Flame is Scorched Girl's win condition—a page that will absolutely blow through anything we can use at this point, and can easily Stagger us by itself. If we mishandle this fight, we're staring down the barrel of one of these and that's most likely a reset. She does have unique dialogue when using it, though!
Scorched Girl wrote: Image If I must perish… Then I’ll make you meet the same fate.

Image Wait for me. I am coming to you, who will be reduced to ash.

Image To burn all things that are bright to ashes…
So, to summarize: our objective is to take out her two companions, while preventing Scorched Girl from getting to 4 Light. If we do that, we win. If not, we'll probably die.


Let's take a look at her minions next.

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The Last Match Flames have relatively low HP and middling Stagger Resist, and a weakness to Blunt damage. Each one has two pages they can pick from. The first, Broken Hope, costs 0 Light to play and is used whenever they can't play the other. This page is entirely defensive and can be safely ignored.

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The other page, Ember, costs 3 Light to play. It hits us right in a Fatal weakness for a guaranteed 6 damage, but its numbers are very low so we can run over it with some of our stronger pages.

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The Flames will always play Ember if they can, so thankfully one of them starts at 1 Light to the other one's 3. This means there's an occasional quiet turn where we don't have to worry about enemy offense.

Image This is all fairly complicated… but it looks like the best solution is to target the matchsticks when they attack me, and try to Stagger the Abnormality if she ever gets to 3 Light.

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Image Alright! Let's test that hypothesis!

Wallop might lose on the second die, but our enemy's weakness to Blunt damage means that the first die should do more than enough damage to make up for it.

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Image Take this!

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Or we could hit both. That's also good. :stare:

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The next round is a dual Broken Hope round. Honestly, it wouldn't have been a bad idea to Wallop Scorched Girl here in order to stagger her—Wallop costs 2, but Staggering an opponent gives +1 Light and thus it's a net 0 to our total Light. Instead, I opt to E-endure the one that's on the ropes. If we're unlucky it could restore up to 8 Stagger Resist with its dodge, but our last die should Paralyze it for the next turn and more or less +0 that gain.

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Or Malkuth could just Deflect it for a Stagger, and knock it to the brink of death. That also works! :buddy:

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Scene 3, we have another Ember coming at us from the bottom Last Match Flame. I opt to E-endure the top Flame, because Scorched Girl's Light is at 2 and I don't want her to get to 3.

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Malkuth takes it out, but not before both of the Block dice at the front of it are processed. This is important, because…

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Unlike with Gut-harvesting, it lets us add them to the defensive queue before suppressing the Abnormality. That means we have a defense against Ember.

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The other Flame gets blocked completely, and most importantly is Paralyzed by our second Block die. Dice in the defensive queue don't lose their effects, letting us do crazy things like this. :getin:

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Scene 4, and we're still untouched. Scorched Girl's lost half her HP due to the death of the first Flame. She has special dialogue for this, as well:
Scorched Girl wrote: Image No… Don’t take hope away from me.

Image The warmth, the feast, the prettiness… All gone. There’s nothing left now…
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Image Huh. This isn't so hard after all!

Because the Flame is paralyzed, that 1-8 is actually a 1-5. This is a decent risk, but if it hits then we'll be able to follow up and deal massive damage, and if it misses then the Flame can't regain more than 1 Stagger Resistance—plus our second attack can still hit. It's basically a no-downsides play for us right now.

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She rolls really well, and the 1 Stagger damage from before winds up combining with the 14 from this salvo to Stagger the final Flame.

I think Malkuth's floor likes me, you guys. :shobon:

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The next turn we finish off the final Flame, and Scorched Girl loses the other half of her HP.

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Image Perfect! Let's hope I can keep it up.

So long as we handle it well, Scorched Girl isn't really a problem—she mostly serves as a test of target prioritization and overcoming Evade dice. While fate smiled on Malkuth, having a page that led with an Evade die like You're Too Slow to negate their 1-8 Evade die would also have been a strong strategy for the down turns where neither Flame is using Ember.

Once most Abnormality Battles are over, we also get the next part of the plot for that floor as well, between the victory screen and the return to the Library itself.

Music: MalkuthStory
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Image Yep! I’m sorting them all somehow. It seems to be working thankfully!

Image Phew, that’s good to hear.


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Image Were you, like, not human before?

Image …It was like a replacement body. A change that couldn’t ever be reverted.

Image So you had a brain transplant surgery, but somehow managed to go back to your old human body here? That’s actually pretty impressive. Thanks to the Library’s powers, I’m guessing?

Image Yeah, I think so.

Image You can’t let yourself be held back by common sense in the Library, huh.

Image I take it that you don’t really like having your body back? You didn’t seem too happy back then.

Image Oh no, I actually do like it! It’s just that this isn’t exactly how I wanted things to go down.

Image What did you do in the past, then?

Image …Yeah, I wonder. What was I in the past, really?


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Image This Library and its librarians have a lot of history behind them.
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Image Third try? Can you come back from the grave or something?

Image It’s the accumulated memories from my two previous bodies that were carried over, to be precise. My past selves… I never really thought about it this way before.

Image A difficult problem you’re facing there. How about your present self?

Image …I’m an irresponsible person who let down everyone’s efforts.


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Image Whoa, whoa, hold your horses! Let’s not get too dark here. Let’s just calm down for a moment.

Image Take a deep breath~

Image Huuf~

Image And let it out~

Image Pah~

Image Iiiin~

Image Huuuuf~~

Image And out~!

Image Pah~!

Image Relaxed now?

Image Yeah, it really helped! Thanks, Roland.


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Image I gotta start with the things I can take care of first!

Image Alright. I’ll try hard with my work, too. Let’s take our time with the problem of past selves.


Music: Lobby
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Like with Keter, we get a new maximum Emotion Level of 2, a new Librarian, and new Abnormality pages. Speaking of...

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Scorched Girl's Abnormality pages are all based on applying Burn, an ailment which deals opponents a specific amount of damage each round. We'll talk more about Burn when it becomes relevant (and it will become very relevant). Right now, we can only get Ashes and Matchlight, and since receptions don't last long enough to actually get to the downside of Matchlight they're both pretty good.

Footfalls is… It's a good hail mary, and since a total annihilation of both sides counts as our victory it can occasionally save our ass. I try not to rely on it, though.

Image I've finished awakening the new Librarian, as well.

Image Is the smoke machine really necessary..?

Image Come to think of it, that happened for Zaida, too.

Image It's a byproduct of the restoration process. I don't know why it happens, but I'm certain it doesn't have any negative repercussions on their ability to function.

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Image Phew… That was a heck of a rest.

Image Bishop!
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Image Malkuth? You look... different.

Image You know him?

Image Of course! He used to work under me. He'd also bring flowers and treat me to lemonade after work.

Image Ahh, so it's like that.

Image I have no idea what you're talking about. I simply respect my boss very deeply.

Image Sure, sure. Welcome to the team.

Image I'm glad to see you again. I thought you were dead.

Image Psh. Like it's the first time I've cheated death? Let's see if there's anywhere nice to hang out around here—I've got to tell you what it was like inside that book.

Image I can't wait!

Next time, on Library of Ruina

Image Angela gets hit with a sword.


Videos

Malkuth 2

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Book 7: Hook Office—Chapter 1

Music: Lobby
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The Floor of History has a pair of new tasks. The Abnormality pages are easy, requiring only three receptions to hit 6 total pages passed out. As for the book, we'll find it soon enough, I'm sure.

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Either way, we've got a new reception to handle. Let's get to work. :black101:

Music: StoryAlley
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Image Yep. The new weapon you got from the workshop was a real killer, that’s for sure.

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Image Since it was a mistake on our part, we couldn’t even get paid for the extra kills.

Image Come on, don’t be such a killjoy. You’re the one who went on the biggest rampage in the end. Macca’s muscles are all sore because he had to try hard to calm you down.
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Image W-well, I said I’m sorry about it…

Image No need to sweat it. I owe you guys a few things, too.

Image I hate to admit it, but Taein has a point. We all should try to cool down our temper a little. As long as we’re working as Fixers, it’s not good to raise more trouble than necessary.


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Image Life really is full of surprises, isn’t it?

Image This Office is a weird one too. Can’t believe people like us are accepted.

Image Remember what the boss said. There are so many Offices and Fixers these days, so standing out from the others is the best way to survive in this industry. Our outfits are also quite radical compared to what other Offices have.

Image That’s why it’s filled with maniacs like us.

Image All we gotta do is kill the targets in the most gruesome way possible and hang their bodies out in the open. No wonder everyone’s excited to join.

Image It’s no different from what we’ve always been doing.

Image At first, I thought it was crazy that an Office would do this kinda work… But I guess “threatening targets and sending them a warning” makes enough sense. It seems to be working well, too.

Image Though we’ve only been getting requests from no-name Syndicates and poor folk. This Office has a long way to go.

Image It does feel more like a pack of Rats than a proper Office.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

Image …Got a message from the boss. Says we should drop by to get new work.


Music: Lobby
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Image The whole market’s a red ocean. Everyone wants to be a Fixer.

Image And that doesn’t count as raking yourself over the coals, because…?

Image …Listen, I may not look like it, but I used to be hot stuff, y’know? But then things happened and I fell to rock bottom.

Image So, what did you do for a living?

Image I did all kinds of stuff, really. Doing things within my ability!

Image Hmm. Is that so?

Image That means you didn’t get to do any proper work, then.


Music: Entrance
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Image Is this one of those Singularities?

Image Lots of surprises these days.


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Suddenly we get another red screen, this time accompanied by a metallic clang. These guys just tried to attack Angela! :monocle:

Image Hi there?

Image What the… She’s pretty damn sturdy. How much did you spend on that bod?


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Our Library Director: badass enough that getting attacked full-on by a sword just serves to mildly annoy her. :allears:

Image You’ll need to rampage with all you have soon enough.

Image I don’t like your soft tone.

Image You’re not human, are you?

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Image Ooh, look at her face now. Guess she really isn’t?

Image Yet another surprise. It’s so rare to meet a sapient being that isn’t human in this City.

Image I know, right? We might get a ton of cash out of this!

Image …May you find your book in this place.


Next time, on Library of Ruina: The Hook Office gets hit with a sword.


Videos

Hook Office 1








Image There you are. Thought I'd find you around here.

Image Yeah… sorry for not showing up, but I was halfway into a nap.

Image Keter and Malkuth being the only floors around, me being the Malkuth representative. And Keter's second librarian being mysteriously absent? It was obvious who I'd be working with—the clerk-turned-Captain, Zeta21.
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Image You've been back for an hour. Do you just not understand chill? And it's Zaida.

Image Not when there's this kind of possibility on the horizon. All we have to do is beat up some intruders, and we'll get access to what they know. You understand the implications, right?
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Image Do I look like I particularly care?

Image If we manage to get the right books, we might just find the one that has the answers I've been looking for. It's been ten years, but after all this time we might just find out what happened to my father.

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Image ...What?

Image Y'know, you're right. I'm sure if you work hard enough you'll find exactly what you're looking for. I'll just make sure to stay out of your way while you be a role model to all of us.

Image Thanks, Zet-er, Zaida. I knew I could count on you to understand.

Image Yeah, yeah. Have a good reception.

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