The agents of this thread are pretty fucking too: Let's Play Lobotomy Corporation

Put your Let's Plays in here.
I was going to cry foul about censoring Mr. Black's smile, but I see he's taken care of it.

I am also glad to see that Anime Team is enjoying the adaptation of Carrion (or, would be if Bishop wasn't using them as chaff).

Is Gold Rush a dagger under all of that gilt? I feel like Medea should be using a dagger.

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It's a fist. She is punching them to death, FotNS style.

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X-394 is a big facility, full of mysterious creatures known as Abnormalities. Many of these Abnormalities can do very bad things if they're handled improperly, and it's vitally important that our agents know just what may happen if they're careless. What's a manager to do?

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Episode 7: CENSORED

Music: trailer
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Image Hi! I'm Paul! Just your everyday plucky employee of Lobotomy Cobotomy, here today to talk about CENSORED!

Image CENSORED is a difficult Abnormality to explain with words, so today we're going to be focusing solely on its effects.

Image That way, nobody involved will go insane from the knowledge of its terrifying form!

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Image CENSORED has a number of unique abilities, so it's important that we discuss each of them.

Image Oh boy! Does that mean I get another posse?

Image It sure does, Paul!

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Image There's nothing better than teamwork! What are we going to test first?

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Image The Sacrifice work type, of course! This work type is the only way to increase CENSORED's Qliphoth Counter.

Image Since a high QC is important, work like this should come in handy from time to time! But how does this work, Miss Hod?

Image That's simple! The manager just has to click on the circle to start the roulette wheel spinning.

Image Wow! How user friendly!

Image The wheel spins 'round and 'round, until it selects a lucky winner…

Music: Roulette Fanfare
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Image The roulette has spoken! Congratulations, Sinner!

Image The employee in question will report to CENSORED's containment cell to work with it.

Image The work type must be really fun if there's a whole roulette to make it happen, right?

Image Oh, Paul... I wouldn't be so sure about that, now.

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Image I guess they do look pretty nervous, huh?

Image The work is called Sacrifice. They're giving themselves over for the greater good!

Image Gee golly, I'd be pretty nervous about that too! It's a lot of pressure to put on one agent!

Image Let's see what happens when they reach the cell, shall we?

Image I can't wait!

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Image Cacophonous counters, Miss Hod, that QC didn't go up at all!

Image That's because CENSORED has a maximum possible Qliphoth Counter of 2. Sacrifice work done right now is completely pointless!

Image So their death was completely in vain! Wowie, that's sure a big oops!

Image Now, let's see what happens when an agent below rank 5 is sent to work with the Abnormality. Paul?

Image Don't you worry, Miss Hod! I've got this!

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Image Woah nelly! It seems like I don't have it! I don't have it so hard the whole interface glitched out!

Image That's right, Paul. Whenever an agent below Level 5 sets eye on CENSORED, the experience instantly overwhelms them and causes a panic.

Image I can't wait until I'm good enough to become one of those Level 5 agents!

Image Well, that won't be happening today. CENSORED's on the loose.

Image On the loose? But how, Miss Hod?!

Image Oh, Paul. Remember CENSORED's work requirements? How can you decrease its Qliphoth Counter?

Image Well, whenever an agent panics it goes down by one, so it goes down by one…

Image Yes, and..?

Image And… and when a work result is Bad, it goes down by one! Right?

Image Very good! So if both happen at once…

Image Then it goes down by one… plus one! Gee golly, that's two!

Image Exactly! This is why it's vital to not send any unprepared agents to see CENSORED.

Image Well then, Miss Hod, what does CENSORED DO when it's breaching?

Image Well, as it turns out we have the perfect test subject right on hand! Let's see what happens.

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Image Yowie wowie! Now I'm a CENSORED!

Image That's right! Anyone killed by CENSORED will become a spawn, a slightly less terrifying form of the original. It can do something similar when passing over a dead body.

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Image Oh man, it made even more CENSORED!

Image This technique heals it for 300 HP, and also creates further CENSORED spawn to deal with.

Image Good thing we brought a whole team to deal with them!

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Image Let's go, team!

Image I wouldn't be rooting for them if I were you.

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Image Oh no! He's gone berzerk!

Image CENSORED can instantly panic any agents below Level 5 outside the cell, just the same as inside.

Image So that means that we have to send level 5 agents, right?

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Image That's right, Paul. Anyone else is just going to panic and become more food to make another CENSORED spawn from.

Image Well, now we know all about CENSORED. What do the spawn do?

Image Not very much, but they're still quite unsettling to look at. A level 4 agent will be Hopeless when looking at them, and a level 5 agent will still be Terrified. That means they'll lose 30% of their maximum SP immediately.

Image But wait, Miss Hod! There's gotta be at least four spawn in there! Plus CENSORED's 60%, that means… 180% SP damage from fear!

Image That's right, Paul! A level 5 agent can't enter a room with CENSORED and two spawn, or else it'll overcome even their hardened minds.

Image Then does that mean this situation is completely unsalvageable?

Image Only for a normal worker like you. Luckily, the Manager does have one trick up his sleeve.

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Image Cantankerous coneys, it's the rabbit team! They're taking care of all the CENSORED!

Image That's right, kid. Us rabbits, we don't have things like 'fear.' Sights like this are just basic training to us.

Image You're amazing, Miss Myo!

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Image As you can see, it doesn't take long at all for the Rabbits to put down even a situation as out of control as this! CENSORED is actually not very strong, once its main mode of attack is neutralized.

Image It's just a case of using the right tools for the job. Well, call us anytime there's a field to graze.

Image Gee golly, R Corporation sure is awesome! We should definitely be using them whenever the situation calls for it!

Image That's right, Paul! Well, that's all the time we have today. Thanks for joining us! And remember…

Image Knowledge is just pain plus observation! Have a great day!


This segment paid for in part by R Corporation. R Corp: Hatching creative solutions to battlefield logistics.

I always appreciate a good celebrity guest star in my educational shows.

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TeeQueue wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:04 am
It's a fist. She is punching them to death, FotNS style.
I assume accessing the Road of Gold is Gebura-only? Or can agents somehow harness it if they, say, get the EGO weapon/suit/gift trifecta?

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Portals of punching are Gebura only, and it's attributed to her being the only one able to bring out an E.G.O's full potential.

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Day 43: Story

Music: story 3 ending
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Image It has gotten a bit livelier thanks to the Sephirot. Unlike me, they were weak and lacked rationality. They made so many mistakes that greatly annoyed me. I did not approve of you placing the Sephirot here. However, you told me that your atonement and the awakening of the Sephirot were key to the untying of this knot I lie in.

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Image You also told me I wouldn’t understand. You even blocked me from interfering with that relationship. Saying that it must be left as solely your role. You were right. Right as always.

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Image To quote one of your favorite lines: “A machine must behave as a machine.” So I had to play the role of the observer, the only role you bothered to give me, enduring all the pain that others forgot. I don’t think I’ll have to point that out again.

In summary: Angela never really liked the use of the Sephirot, and even though A told her that they were necessary to finish everything he never explained anything beyond that and just left her to watch while we go through and deal with all of this.

Music: Through the Mist
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Image It’s likely that this will not be the last time I do so. I may have to tell them again what I have already instructed countless times. However, you two will be different.

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Image I expect that you will not exhaust me as the ones above do. Just keep this in mind. I will not come down here to the Lower Layer unless the circumstances require me so. That does not mean I will simply watch and do nothing, but I will not interfere for the most part.

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Image I hope we never have to face each other from now on. It would only lead to the both of us suffering.

Music: Lucid Dream
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Image And you were the best architect that I was graced to meet. Back then, you simply could not let Carmen go. You were so desperate to keep Carmen on your side that you locked her in a cryostasis pod in an attempt to preserve her body at the very least. But during all this, you were perfectly aware that Carmen’s body had become nothing but a shell. Our faces were full of grief, yet we still ransacked her body and dismembered her core.

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Image You were wholeheartedly immersed in something, just like you used to be.

Image ……

Image That day, when she opened her eyes for the first time. I remember you were just staring through the laboratory’s glass, not setting a single foot inside. You might have thought that you noticed me right away… However, I witnessed you standing there for a long time before you realized I was there.


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Image What did you think after seeing that piece of humanoid machinery, who did not display the warm smiles and gentle laughter Carmen had so naturally? I told you in so many words that no matter how many AIs such as Angela you create, none of them will ever be Carmen.

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Image If there is one thing I may have mistaken myself over… It is that I had thought you overcame everything. The truth is that you never have.

In summary: As the Lower Sephirot, Hokma and Binah are different from the rest. They already know their purpose and the purpose of the facility-and as such Angela leaves them alone for the most part. She'd rather not talk to either of them, as well. In the present, Hokma reminisces about Carmen's death, the destruction of her body, and the creation of Angela. He then comes to the stunning conclusion that the guy who built a robot to replace the girl he liked and then locked himself in an eternally repeating prison until he completes some play that would bring about her will was actually still hung up over her death the whole time.

Ace detective, that Hokma.

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This is the hardest Hokma's missions get, and it's still not that bad if we've kept on top of our training. High Justice is important anyways to get from point A to point B.

Image ...You think I'm still hung up on her, huh?

Image Of course. You've done all of this, and you've never once bothered to let yourself think about her.

Image To be fair, that's because I barely remember her. What I remember hurts, but…

Image If you were to remember more, it would hurt more and you would fall again. It may be inevitable, but I would like to be near you for some time before the hands of this clock reset and begin to spin again.

Image Mmm… I guess I can't really argue with that. That me from before I was me certainly screwed everything up for all of us, didn't he?

Image I wouldn't say that. I'm actually quite fond of this place, A.

Image Well, I want out-so we should work on that.

Image I would ask that you reconsider.

Image Not likely.

Image ...Very well, A.

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Image You've returned once more.

Image I need a break from the old guy again.

Image A, I believe that was an observation and not an inquiry.

Image Oh… I knew that.

Image Did you, now? I would think merely acting knowledgable while knowing nothing would be more your forte.

Image Angela, please make it happen before I try expanding somewhere between the two of them so I don't have to listen to either one.

Image That would be impossible, A.

Image Of course it would. If I ever meet past me, remind me to strangle him.

Image Of course, A.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Evil Kit manages to break the game's coding.








Image Okay, what do you want?

Image Talow, this is huge. I just got a note from the manager and-

Image And what, you know how to get us out of this stupid loop?

Image Well, no. It's just confirmation that any one of us can be killed or raised anytime whenever Hokma wants. He could kill you today and bring you back tomorrow and we'd think we were here the day after we were hired.

Image Uh-huh… And?

Image The agent the manager met had been here for ten years! That means we may have been here for five years, or ten, or twenty! We wouldn't know it!

Image ...I'm going to get ready for work. Next time, only call me if it's important.

Image It is important! This changes-

Image Nothing. Hokma can delete us if we're nosy-so don't get caught being nosy. That's business as usual. We've been looping for an eternity-knew that. Didn't know it was moving forward, doesn't really change much. Only thing that changes is that if we ever do get out of here, you're going to be hard pressed to find anything about your dad.

Image Wait… that… that can't be all it changes, can it?

Image It also means those loops where I died early and thought Hokma brought me back late in a different one were probably the same loop. That's about it.

Imagedamn!

Image :sigh: Don't let it get you down. I remember when I used to get excited over every little thing, too.

Image You? Excited?

Image Yeah. Nowadays it's just waiting for another shoe to drop from the boot factory hanging directly over my face, but there was a time where I'd be freaking out with you.

Image ...Huh. I can't really imagine it.

Image Well, you might get to see it sooner rather than later. That doctor we got?

Image Plague Doctor? What about him?

Image I've never seen it before. Ever.

Image Seriously? I was going to ask if you knew what was up with the clock that kept appearing on the CCTV.

Image Clock? You should have led with that-Abnormalities with the ability to alter what the Manager sees or hears are worth extra caution. I don't know what to make of it, so don't let your team get anywhere near the thing unless you're fine with losing them. I won't be working with it, at any rate.

Image So you don't know either, then… It talks about this 'reunion.' Maybe it's going to throw a party?

Image Hopefully it's just the kind where people get a bit drunk. More likely, it's the kind where we all die.

Image ...Fun. Now you've given me something else to be paranoid about.

Image Welcome to my life. If it makes you feel better, I promise to tell you what it does the next time around.

Image It really doesn't, but thanks.

Image Yeah, yeah. Later, dead man. :rolleyes:

Image Hey! Who said you could give me some random nickname?! :argh:

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Day 43: Gameplay

Music: neutral 2
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Image With this, all of the research of the Lower Sephirot has been completed.

Image For now, anyways.

Image I respect your drive to continue onward, A. However, Binah and myself are not like those Sephirot from above. Carefully instilled instabilities, emotional outbursts that lead to Meltdowns… we have no such flaws here.

Image We'll see how that holds up after another dozen puns.

Image I cannot stop you from trying, A, but it is ultimately futile. There is no way to progress forward, and no need. Allow yourself to relax. Why not enjoy an eternity with your dear ones?

Image I'll take it under advisement.

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Image Not a lot to do today, is there…

Image It should be another relatively quiet day, Manager.

Image There's just that sword of Damocles hanging over our heads…

Image Right. We still don't have any information on that thing, and we're nowhere near the PE box requirement to see its final information.

Image We don't have enough room in storage to hold that many PE boxes anyways! Anything past 999 is just a waste.

Image How pointless... It's a ZAYIN so it doesn't breach, but there's an ominous pressure to that number. My instincts are telling me it can't be trusted.

Image It feels like we're being toyed with…

Image Given that, how can we get more information?

Image If it's toying with us, why don't we toy with it a little as well~

Image Sounds like you have an idea.

Image It's inconveniencing us. We should try doing the same.

Image Oh, I like where this is going.

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Image I wonder how you'll react today? Don't disappoint me.

Today is another day much like yesterday. There's not a lot going on in the game, and we can sort of relax and take it easy-we don't even have to focus on farming up our Agents' stats since this week doesn't really matter. I think I've mentioned it before, but if not: we have to do at least one Memory Repository in order to clear the game, since otherwise it's impossible to do both Binah and Hokma's meltdowns in one run. Without that Repository, one of them would unlock at the start of day 46, and we can't do any more Core Suppressions from day 46 onward. Opening the Architecture department is… special.

The only things that matter are getting our Observation Levels up for our new Abnormalities, and also getting their sweet sweet gear. This does mean that CENSORED and our new pick will be leaving us before long, but oh well! :lobcorp:

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Speaking of, we'll start with our new Abnormality, since it's very quick to explain. Like Behavior Adjustment and Heart of Aspiration, it's an equippable Tool.

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Here's Mizu's stats, before we send her in.

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Image Ooo, a handy dandy notebook! Let's see what it says.

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Like the others, it has a unique equipment marker next to the healthbar.

Image Are you enjoying yourself?

Image Uh-huh! It's really interesting. I didn't understand it at first but I totally get what the writer's going for by the end!

Image Truly, you never do fail to intrigue.

Image Thankees!

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This tool gives a whopping +20 to both parts of the Temperance stat, booting success rates by 4% and also increasing work rate. Moreover, as long as we don't try to return it it won't do anything immediate. We could keep it on her until it's all done giving us all the information, if we wanted to.

So we do that.

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Image Let's get to it, I guess…

Image Before that, isn't there a major problem here?

Image I suppose there is significantly more vomit on the floor than there was beforehand, and most of it seems to be from my subordinates! HAHAHA, how mysterious!

Image It's because you keep demanding they meet your eyes when they're reporting-that thing is disgusting!

Image I don't see anything wrong with him.

Image That's because you've got-UGH. Could you not stand on the same side of the room as him? I have to see it to glare at you!

Image If it's a problem, you could always find your own eye covering...

Image That's..! Actually a really good idea. I'll be back later.

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Image Let’s make the best of today as always~

Image It seems that Plague Doctor has moved to Records today.

Image Wow! I didn't know your hair could pick that up too.

Image It's not that, it's the halo. It tells me.

Image Huh… that's interesting. I wouldn't mind studying it a bit.

Image Speaking of that gift... Evil Kit. When you get a moment, I have something for you to do.

Image Color me intrigued, boss. What's up?

Image We just need you to work with that Plague Doctor. Be your usual winning self.

Image You mean…

Image Take it however you like.

Image :laugh:

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Image Seems like we've got another troubling Abnormality today…

Image You can't forget about CENSORED, either. It's a problem if a meltdown lands on it.

Image We'll need to bring in a specialist again…

Image Image Image Not Mr.Black.

Image Yeah… he's banned. Forever.

Image Does that leave anyone? Mizu could do it, maybe we could call her…

Image Don't worry. I've already put out a call. Our secret weapon should be here any minute.

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Image Hey, Talow. You said this was an emergency, what's up?

Image I'm looking for someone who can work with a CENSORED and also won't make me want to throw them into a wall, and the other candidates were Mizu, Mr.Black, and Evil Kit.

Image That does sound like an emergency. I'll see what I can do.

While everyone else is messing about, we finish getting the 3 and a half minutes we needed to unlock the data on the new notebook.

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If the agent returns it too fast, returns it without doing a work, or takes too much damage (~60 total between HP and SP) they will die horribly. It's not the worst item since returning it will reset the damage taken to 0, but it's also really not necessary.

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Image Oooh, grape! I'm fine with that.

I throw her to work to make sure she doesn't explode, then return the notebook to its cell.

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Image Kit? What're you doing down here?

Image I have been asked to provide my services to the newest Abnormality.

Image So you're here to… annoy it.

Image Precisely. The manager thinks that it could give us new insight into the creature.

Image How interesting… it could work, I guess.

Image Could it? :psyduck:

We send Evil Kit to work on Plague Doctor, and…

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Image What art thou doing?

Image My job! There's no problem with talking right now, right?

Image Thy head is… Wouldst thou get away from behind mine wings?

Image Afraid I can't do that, Plauge Doctor! My instructions are very clear!

Image Clearly, thou needst the blessing. Come.

Because Plague Doctor swapped places with Behavior Adjustment, the game saved the work position of the tool abnormality for the cell. Because of this, any works done with Plague Doctor today are done from this position.

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And that breaks this animation too, of course. :3:

Image Thou art off target.

Image I believe you'll find it's you who missed.

Image Impossible. Thou art doing it incorrectly.

Image Really? Because I'm not feeling very blessed~

Image Thou art irksome. Come here.

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Image Oh, there's the blessing. Thank you for that, good doctor!

Image Hence we shall go together 'ere the time of reunion.

Image When is that, by the way? Lunch? Later than lunch?

Image When the time comes, thou shalt heed the call.

Image If thou sayest so.

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Image

Image Its wings have turned white…

Image It's becoming more angelic over time.

Image U-um… I'm pretty sure we're running out of wiggle room with this Abnormality. It'd be good if we could figure out what it does soon… I need to make a training plan for it.

Image We don't have one?

Image I checked over my collection, and it appears we um... don't, sir.

Image I guess that makes sense. Nobody's seen this before, after all. It'd be too much to ask for us to find something like with Apocalypse Bird.

Image Speaking of which, the Codex has nothing either. It was the first place I looked this time. It's like this thing just appeared here recently.

Image You have the right of it, Yesod. This Abnormality emerged only recently. I met it as it pulled itself from the well, by its own will.

Image What.

Image Oh? I take it your interest has been piqued, manager.

Image Damn right! This feels like something you should have mentioned before!

Image Writing the incorrect ending to a tale you had not even heard was your own doing, manager. I merely watched as it occurred.

Image You are infuriating. Talk.

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Image Did you find anything out?

Image Sure did! There's nothing under those robes. At all.

Image So it's an incorporeal being in a cloak and a mask?

Image You… you looked?!

Image Yep! Also nothing behind the mask. Really weird. Doesn't seem too dangerous, but it seems like the Plague Doctor is formless outside of what we see. Not hiding anything at all.

Image I see… Well, you've done good work Kit.

Image Muahahaha… of course!

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Image We met for the first time that night, on the eve of the 40th day since your "return." I had gone to draw the water, but something new had occurred. The water had drawn itself, before my eyes.

Image So it was just… there one night? What'd you do?

Image This place exists to exploit the Abormalities. I provided it with a number and caged it, the same as any other. I offered it to you. You selected it. To what end, I do not know… but thus far it has been an interesting change of pace.

Image Change of pace? These things are dangerous.

Image Even the ZAYINs? The one other ones you have seen are the mirror and that skull… would you call them dangerous?

Image Well, there was one agent who-

Image Paul doesn't count. T-that was why we had him around, remember?

Image Oh, right!

Image They're… not dangerous, but they can still cause problems.

Image I saw its determination to exist, and chose to respect its existence. That you chose it to take a place in this facility was not my doing. I simply provided the possibility. The circumstances behind its creation matter not, I shall watch over this path to its end.

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Image Ah. It seems Mizu and Chiral have gotten to the work I assigned them. I will see you later, Manager.

Image Wait-I didn't even understand half of that. Stupid toaster, speaking in riddles all the time…

Green Dawn. Almost nothing of note happens, except in Extraction where everyone was busy working so it was up to the clerks.

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:v: Mizu's not around, and neither is Chiral.

:synthy: That means it's up to us! The time has come!

:black101: We've been driven to the edge! The true intent of our pistols has become clear!

Image What are they… Oh, right. I guess the manual did say we tell them that they were for self defense, huh...

By the way, apropos of nothing I'd like to recommend the artbook for this game. It's full of neat tidbits like this. :allears: I'll cover it at some point, though I'm not sure when.

Image Oh well… they can at least have some red shields if they're going to buy into the self defense thing.

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Image Oh hey guys, did I miss anything?

:synthy: Nothing we couldn't handle, ma'am!

Image ...I'll be. They actually did it.

Clerks are terrible, but enough of them can put out enough damage to kill a TETH pretty fast.

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Green Done.

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Image Good. Angela, bring Binah back in on the call.

Image She's not responding, Manager.

Image So she's run off, has she? We'll talk more tomorrow, I'm sure.

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Image Y'know, I don't remember when I noticed that the upper-left bit of your egg is the teeth you have as a fish, but I haven't ever been able to unsee it since.

Image So in the end, I guess we still don't have a clue, do we.

Image There is that report from Evil Kit.

Image That it's got no body? Even given that its form changes as people believe in it, that still doesn't tell us what it's changing into.

Image Perhaps if we wait for a little longer to let things catalyze?

Image It makes sense to try and get a read on an opponent before you strike all out.

Image In the end, that sounds like just doing the same thing as we already do.

Image My thoughts exactly… I really hate not being able to figure this out.

Image

Image There is still that last part of our analysis. "Those kissed by Plague Doctor shall be reborn as the blessed."

Image Yeah, it just means they'll get that E.G.O gift, doesn't it?

Image Since getting it, Mr.Blond's been showing unusual results on his exams. It seems to be generating an Enkephalin response all on its own.

Image I have already pursued this path, and it is not a high enough reaction to be harnessable for the purposes of gathering energy. Most likely this means that the Gift and the Abnormality are still linked in some way.

Image Lovely of you to explain, Angela. Meanwhile, it's doing its thing again. Time to throw someone else to the wolves.

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Image ...Not thee as well.

Image Kit said this would be the best way to make sure we can have a good talk. Also I think ghosts are cool.

Image I am no ghost, maiden. I am a doctor, here to cure a disease which plagues humanity.

Image Then why don't you have a body?

Image I shed mine form in the stream flowing to this place… Now, I must find those who would aid me. I wouldst give thee my blessing, that thou couldst help mine cause.

Image Company policy says no saying no… so I guess I've got to say yes.

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Image Thanks, doc. I feel pretty okay.

Image Hence we shall go together 'ere the time of reunion.

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Image And there goes the mask. Four hours to midnight.

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Image Mr.Blond! Something seems… different!

Image It's like they say: ALEPH problems require ALEPH solutions. I got myself a visor, so now I don't have to see that thing on your face.

Image HAHAHAHA! Good for you!

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Image ...man, I don't even know where to start with you. :psyduck:

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Image All done working with CENSORED?

Image Yeah. I'll have a drink to calm the headache a bit. What do they have you doing?

Image More work with King of Greed. I don't really trust her with the newbies. She's finicky.

Image Ahh. Good luck.

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The next level gives another meltdown to Plague Doctor, so it's time to queue up another agent.

Image Manager, there's signs of a Violet Noon! Should I have the agents clear out?

Image ...Nah. We're close enough that we shouldn't need to trigger the Ordeal at all.

Image Of course, sir! I'll leave them in position to get crushed!

Image If we get to two works before, remind me again. Thanks for bringing it up.

Image Will do, Manager!

Image You give out much more praise these days than you used to.

Image I've realized that the old me was kind of an ass.

Image He was a bold leader, willing to bear the burden of doing horrible things for the good of all mankind.

Image I'll agree to disagree on that one.

Image ...Very well, A.

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Image Hey there, Mr. Doctor. I'm not sure why a construct of wires and models is here, but…

Image I am no construct, child.

Image All the Abnormalities with voices protest, but that makes sense. I won't be duped.

Image Is that why thou art so close?

Image Yep! I'm looking for the strings now.

Image It is an interesting coping mechanism. Unrelated to mine pursuits, but perhaps still aided by my blessing. Perhaps that shall also be tested?

Image Oh, sure, whatever. This is really well-made, just like the others. I don't know why anyone would go through this much trouble so many times…

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Image An E.G.O Gift… I'll be sure to study this thoroughly. I've always wondered how these got bestowed by inanimate objects.

Image Hence we shall go together 'ere the time of reunion.

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Image Guys… that thing started sparkling.

Image Oh, that's never good~

Image It isn't?

Image Um… I think he's making a joke, manager.

Image Either way, let's try to cool it here for now. I need something I can handle.

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Image Perfect timing, Hod.

Image You're welcome, sir..!

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Image Compared to the tall bird, this doesn't hurt much at all.

Image :sigh:

Image Don't worry about it. You're a TETH and it's a WAW, there's nothing to be ashamed of.

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Image Good, let's get out of this day before my brain goes numb.

Image Is something the matter?

Image No, just… there's nothing going on. Things happening sucks, but waiting for things to happen is somehow even worse.

Image Manager! I'm here to remind you to avoid Violet Noon.

Image Good timing. We're actually wrapping up for the day.

Image Roger that. I'll let the team know!

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Image Good news, everyone! We get pack up and head home.

Image Since Omni and Chinely covered for us yesterday, it's only fair we give them the same courtesy. You guys wanna take off early?

Image For real?

Image Boss, you're the best!

Image Well, it's not my call.

Image Mmm… It is only fair. I'll allow it! But I expect you to be here bright and early tomorrow!

Image Then I'll take you up on it!

Image See you tommorrow!

Image They're good agents.

Image They are. I'll be a minute-I need to make a quick report to Records.

Image Alright, but make it snappy. You ended that last story halfway through and I want to hear the rest!

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Image Quitting time. The clerks put in some good work today.

Image They sure did.

Image Hey… what's that under your mask?

Image Candy.

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Image Can I have some?

Image It's my only piece. A cutie gave it to me, so-

Image Ah, it's from a cutie. Say no more, I understand. I'm not a huge fan of anything from them.

Image What about your hat?

Image Laetitia's the exception. She's done nothing wrong.

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Image Three slots are left. Saw Morgan's name. Keep an eye on her.

Image Roger that. Thanks for the update. Okay everyone, it's time to wind down. Thanks for the assist, Tylana. It was downright pleasant.

Image Glad to help. I'd better get back to base before Dimi tries to shove all the work off onto Gaia.

Image Right. Oh, Morgan-report to Safety for a random health check later.

Image Already? I just had one last week.

Image The random number generator giveth, and it taketh away.

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Image We've come a long way…

Image It's thanks to your excellent leadership that things have progressed so smoothly.

Image Hardly. It's thanks to everyone working together that we've gotten this far. Just a little further, right?

Image Our time together is almost up, yes.

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Image Gotta' say, I can't wait to get out of here.

Image I must agree, A. It would be nice to leave.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Binah gives us an impossible mission.

New Story

Notes from a Crazed Researcher

User avatar
Abnormality Roundup 10

So I'm gonna be frank here: We're going to have to deal with some problems here in the near future. The last two Core Suppressions are easily the hardest in the game, and they throw some curveballs at us that are problematic to handle. Luckily, our facility is equal to the challenge. At this point, I have almost all of my favorite E.G.O gear ready to go-there's only a couple of extra things I'd want to flesh out the collection. Gebura's suppression has done wonders for our gear loadout, and I'm at the point where I'm considering adding in more agents for endgame. We probably won't need a whole army of 55, but it might be good to have the option available. I'll see where our LOB is at in a few days.

Anyways, we're going to have to face Hokma and Binah and we're probably going to kick the snot out of them. Make sure to save this quote for later so that everyone can make fun of me when my retry count goes up to 16 or 20 or whatever.

Plague Doctor
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Plague Doctor has solid middle-of-the-road success rates across the board, and even Instinct is a 40% everywhere. Being a ZAYIN and having no gear makes it pointless for training or farming, so only take it if you're really interested in seeing what comes after midnight, or if you really want the E.G.O gift.


The King of Greed
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Maybe it's just because I usually think the yellow magical girl is the best on the team, but I honestly really like King of Greed. She's temperamental, but her low breach conditions make her easy to let out when you need her, and her ability to clean corpses and remove hallway threats is worthwhile. The main downside is that she'll breach when you don't want her to as well-and it can be a pain to track her down since she teleports all over the place. Her weapon is the second-most damaging in the game, and given that the #1 is Twilight, that's not a bad place to be-and her suit isn't terrible either. In addition to that she's one of the best Instinct trainers in the game, and her E.G.O gift is one which boosts Instinct success rates, and is on a slot which is only used by 1 other Abnormality at all.

There's very few reasons not to take her at least once and see if she suits your playstyle. In the worst case scenario, she'll provide some powerful gear for later on.


CENSORED
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Counterintuitively, CENSORED is amazing at training any agent that's hit Level 5 but is lacking in Prudence. Since the Smile and Adoration suits both require Temperance, it's simple to put them into one of them and reap the rewards of a huge damage modifier from an ALEPH with a relatively safe work-after including the observation bonus a level 3 Prudence agent will have a base 76% work rate, and with 100 Temperance that becomes a 95% success rate. It can be a problem if it breaches, but this shouldn't happen so long as we aren't completely careless. Its E.G.O weapon is an amazing defensive tool, as its 40% reduction in damage taken applies to any source of damage-including fear. This means any agent with it in hand will run into no problems with any work they have to do that day, since a 40% refund on the damage they take will keep things manageable against all but the absolute worst types of work.

Worth grabbing just for the weapon alone, but it's easy to suppress for Gebura's mission and a good trainer besides. I'm almost sad it won't be coming to endgame with us.


Notes from a Crazed Researcher
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+20 to Temperance, and the agent instantly explodes if they take 60+ damage, or if they put it back without working anything.

I don't really know what to say about this one. It's boring, and the explosion effect makes it the bad kind of boring where you can't even equip it and forget it like Heart or Behavior Adjustment. The +4% success rate is nice, and it's possible to reset the damage counter by returning it after each work… but that's a lot of micromanagement for very minimal gains. There are worse tools, I guess. :effort:

King of Greed is the best, just like how Sailor Venus is the best.

User avatar
BeachedSpider wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:31 am
King of Greed is the best, just like how Sailor Venus is the best.
:hmmyes:

User avatar
Day 44: Story

Music: story 3 ending
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Image Just do as you’ve done before. Although the energy you’ve collected will not be supplied to the outside, that doesn't mean your work was for nothing, or that this place no longer serves a purpose.

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Image Are you finally asking me now? After all this time? Of course, it’s the same as yours. The conclusion of the script we have. If not, I wouldn’t have a reason to go through all this trouble just to help you.

In summary: Angela confirms we're near the end of our journey, and we ask her what her goal is. She responds that it's the same goal as we have-the conclusion of the script.

Image I suppose that's as much as I could ask for. If nothing else, let's both get out of here. I can… Mmm…

Image It appears you have just realized the issue with your leaving this place.

Image Yep. Still can't stand the idea of being outside. What the hell, I'll cross that bridge when we get there. Let's bust out of this place.

Image Of course, A. Before that, Binah has finally gotten back to you. It appears there is something she wishes to say.

Image Wonderful. Let's hear it.

Music: Unfolding
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Image There was the sun and the moon, and also the clouds and winds that floated around them. It was a world of light, so to speak. But you couldn’t stay there. You were robbed of innumerable things. You lived with a broken heart, clinging to the void where pieces of your heart used to be. No one could understand your pain, nor embrace you.

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I actually hid a loss meme somewhere in this Let's Play. I'm not going to tell you where, so that eternal loss can dominate everyone equally! :buddy:

Image I was one of the thieves who robbed you of countless things. While I was at the top of the world, I watched you and looked down on your struggle. Not just you. I have seen many others that struggled. Those attempts were no less futile than an insect writhing. All I had to do was simply stomp on them a couple times.

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Image It seemed that this was going to be another fun little trip, so I would drink a cup of tea before leaving with light steps. But as you can see, an unexpected encounter with the Red Mist got the best of me.

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Image You were familiar with how to break the mind without utilizing torture or violence. After everything was done, you gathered up every little bit of what was left of my humanity. And you threw them into this pit until even my spirit soured and rotted. Maybe you told yourself that I deserved worse than that. Therefore you’re an upholder of justice who has defeated the evil, no?

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Image And what happened with that coward? The one who with fear averted his gaze from my dying one. Why is he down here, suffering the same punishment as I?

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Image Is this all that idealism of hers came to be? You’ve dragged down your heroine with your own hands. Do you truly believe that your duty completes itself just for shedding tears at the funeral of the innocent? While you never even let their bodies rest in peace? Ironically, you found a hope in all this misery. The raw material of the Bucket. And the path to the river of all.

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Image The Bucket rises from the Well of a person, filled with the water that can only be drawn by that person. An ancient fount that has been flowing at the bottom, even before the birth of the world. Now it simply is drawn, regardless of the consent of the person.

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This choice doesn't matter.

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Music: Behind heaven
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These lines of text scroll their way up the screen, it's a very cool effect.

Image It’s taxing, but for you, I’ll gladly do it. The people selected long ago are awaiting their turns. I bring them here according to the register.

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Image He has nothing left, for he has abandoned all that he is a long time ago. For him, things like the remnants of the past or the pain of the present don’t matter. He only stares into the future. Did you dream well?

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Image Yes, you’ll finally dream for as long as you want, one that you will never wake up from. The employees will inject him with Cogito soon. What river flows in you? What world lies in you? There are as many worlds as there are people. Discovering them is rather fun.

There is a gurgling noise here, it is quite unsettling. :ohdear:

:gonk: ………..………..………..

:gonk: ………..

:gonk: ………..Grr….grrrrrrrrrrr…..ggggggggg……


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Image That is why they adjust the level of Cogito according to my orders, keeping their eyes and ears covered.

Image …………………

Image ……………………………..


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Image But I can never dare to look away from him or to close my eyes, no matter how unbearable it may be. In the eyes of the drawn there are the abysses that only I can endure, and there are the things that shouldn’t exist in this world…

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Image A normal person would have gone mad thousands of times over if they had to put up with this. Thanks to you, I cannot even be graced with insanity or lose my mind; all I can do is capture all of it in my eyes.

There are some more wet-sounding squishy noises here.
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Image Now, we wait. Will it rise anew, or is it destined to be stuck in this pillar and spend eternity with me down in this place? We just need a little more time to find out.

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Image Well, consider yourself lucky today. At times, when the level of Cogito is adjusted inadequately, some things that shouldn’t exist come up as fragments. How funny that I say this, but they’re like an adverse reaction that has its price for doing something unspeakable to a human being.

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Image From the past, from the present, even from the future. All kinds of beings that have existed and will exist in this world. Given that they’re outside our dominion, there’s nothing we could do to govern them. They float around aimlessly, resonating with the Abnormalities and manifesting themselves in front of us when the moment comes.

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Image Thankfully, they react to the Qliphoth Deterrence, so we can put them to sleep like the Abnormalities, but that’s all we’re able to do. Yes, as you have learned, extracting Abnormalities is my job. But creating them is Carmen’s, whom you buried a long time ago.

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Image Tell me, how do you feel now that you know that those Abnormalities that you’ve faced above were part of these pillars? It’s an agonizing sight to confront, but it doesn’t matter to you, not at all. Or am I wrong?

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:iceburn:

In summary: :stonk:

There's... a lot to unpack here. In no particular order: Binah shows us how the Abnormality creation process works by having an employee get Cogito'd, then mentions that now she gets to wait to see if anything comes of it. She also mentions that when the Cogito isn't adjusted right impurities can surface-these are the Ordeals we fight. Failed attempts at making Abnormalities all sleep down here inside of the pillars within Extraction, and Carmen is the mother of all of them, including somehow any Abnormalities that haven't been created yet.

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The missing text here is "researched to observation Level 4," meaning having all information unlocked for every Abnormality in the facility. Normally this mission wouldn't be a problem at all. Unfortunately…

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Yeah, we can't do this one yet.

Image You gave me this knowing full well it was impossible.

Image Not impossible, manager. It will simply require you to risk once more leaving those you claim are important to die for your own gain. It's another specialty of yours, isn't it?

Image That's… I'd rather not do that.

Image The clock is moving of its own accord. You cannot hold its gears in your hands any more than you could hold the tide.

Image That doesn't mean you try to speed it up, either.

Image I have given my task. I look forward to seeing how you face it... this time around, things have been far more interesting than usual.

Image You're the last person I want to be complimented by. Go stare into the well or something.

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Image Angela, open Records.

Image Of course. Has Binah managed to thoroughly disgust you once more?

Image On the nose, as usual. I figure we should get Hokma to have his hissyfit soon while we're at it.

Image I see. I shall have things put underway for you immediately.

Image As for me, I need a drink. One of those ones to help with mental fatigue.

Image I shall have it delivered right away.

Image Good, because I didn't even see anything and that was still enough to make me shudder.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: A perfectly ordinary filler day. Mostly.








Image Excuse me, what are you doing there?!

Image Mine dwelling is not adequate to assist they who need my service. I am moving its location.

Image But… the Deterrence.

Image It sealeth much of mine power, but I am e'er wake enough for this.

Image This is concerning. I was informed you were a ZAYIN. The least of the Abnormalities!

Image And I was told thou were a human. Thine allegiance is elsewhere.

Image !!! That-how… I've no idea what you speak of! I'm a regular human doing regular human things!

Image And mine place is that of an Abnormality, doing that which cometh naturally to Abnormalities.

Image ...Okay!

Image Very well.

Image I'll be going then!

Image Seek me again in the morning. I shall be able to aid you in your quest.

Image Maybe I shall! Maybe I shan't! That's what a normal person like me does-be noncommittal!

Image Splendid.

Image Exquisite!

Image Farewell.

Image Goodbye!
Last edited by TeeQueue on Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
So... Hokma suppression on a challenge day... Good luck.

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Honestly, when this game gets going on its weird speeches I can only vaguely understand it. (Very thankful for your summaries, by the way.) Am I correct in thinking that the "bucket" is Carmen's body?

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The term "bucket" gets used as a metaphor to refer to both Carmen's body and also cogito in general, depending on where it's used.

So yes, you are correct!

User avatar
Day 44: Gameplay

Music: neutral 3
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Image Manager, that problem Abnormality has taken up residence in my department.

Image I can see that. At least it means we don't have to worry about any more meltdowns. Yesterday wound up being a bust on getting information, though…

Image We managed to determine that it didn't have a body under there. That's not nothing~

Image A reaction has been building with each interaction an agent has with it, however.

Image Except for Dimi, anyways! So we know it's what the abnormality does that causes it!

Image Based on the CCTV footage, it seems to be related to the blessings it has been providing and the clock that the manager's been seeing!

Image And once it gives enough of them, and the clock hits midnight…

Image Um… the energy should crystalize? Then we'll find out what it's building towards.

Image There's also what it always says… the "time of reunion." I bet that time is midnight.

Image This kind of indecisiveness isn't like you, A.

Image Well, I'm trying to not get my people killed.

Image I've already explained to you many times that their lives are simply not-

Image One: They're still people and I should probably avoid letting them die. Two: They're good agents. Each one would cost over thirty LOB to replace and they still wouldn't be on the same level.

Image Sir, we have over 370-

Image That's my rainy day fund. We're not touching it.

Image Aren't we underground, though..?

Image All the more important. Groundwater is a terror. Anyways-circumstances have made it so that we don't have much choice but to press forward and see what we can find out.

Image The choice remains completely in your hands, manager. I only ever intend to observe.

Image Ah, I see that circumstances is also on the call for once. Whatever, we'll play it by ear and see how it goes. Let's do this.

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Image Work. Sleep. Work. The cycle continues, unbroken.

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Image It's time. Remember to follow the protocols.

Image D.A.D. Kaori. My interest has been piqued by that new creature.

Image The one that moved in next dooor..? It dooes seem rather exootic…

Image Management's been in a tizzy about it-they're not sure what to make of it.

Image Regardless, I should greet it in a friendly manner, as a normal human. Which I am.

Image Knock yourself out.

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Image Thou has come.

Image I need to know what you know.

Image I know that thou art not from here. That thine mission is misplaced, pointless.

Image Pointless? But the Ethereals-

Image Forget them. They couldst no more hold against the horrors in this city than thou couldst stop a train with thine meager body.

Image Then… all of this… what do I do? I have to call them, but my equipment isn't-it doesn't...

Image Thou must evolve. Become more than thyself. Accept mine blessing.

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Image This power… psionics? No… something more!

Image Do not attempt to comprehend everything. Simply accept the protection thou has been given.

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Image ...You have my thanks, creature.

Image Hence we shall go together 'ere the time of reunion.

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Image Manager, we have a situation! That Plague Doctor… there's been a change.

Image Is it important? I'm watching something here.

Image Ow. Ow. Ow.

Image I must insist, Manager.

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Image As you can see, its hat is gone.

Image Yes. And?

Image Something's peeking out from behind it.

Image A halo… wait. I thought it didn't have anything behind its mask?

Image I'd surmise this means it's nearly complete, sir.

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Image Wait, what the hell is Elle doing in there?!

Image Um… didn't you order her to work with it, sir?

Image Thou hast come as I have requested.

Image I… did, yes, but it was an order from-

Image Thou feelest guilty about not speaking out before. Thou put thine work off, knowing full well it was thy duty.

Image What? Hahaha-no. No. That's silly.

Image You cannot hide thy inner thoughts from me. There is no need to fear. I wouldst offer you a blessing, that this malady holding thee back may pass from this world.

Image That's a little suspicious…

Image There is naught to fear. Come.

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Image Hey! Your cloak! And the mask!

Image I've no more need for masks. The power of mine blessed have provided me much, returning mine body. Soon, the disease I have sought to defeat shall pass from this world.

Image You look… adorable. Can I pet you?

Image Thou cannot. Hence we shall go together 'ere the time of reunion.

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Image What the…

Image Okay, so it has a body now. And that body is…

Image Some kind of flying angel fetus?

Image Yes, that… that sums it up perfectly. That doesn't explain who it was who had Elle and T work with that thing. Malkuth, what's going on in Control?

Image I'll check right away, manager!

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Image Huh. So that's why you like posing so much.

Image Yeah, nothing complicated at all. It's just fun.

Image Orders from the top, everyone! Do we have any records of work orders for Plague Doctor?

Image Hold on, I'll check… Yeah, we have two. Shows they came from… huh, that's odd.

Image Did you find something?

Image It says it's from the manager, but this isn't his usual workstation's network address. It's coming from… Information?

Image Did you catch that, manager?

Image No… no way. But Information's where...

Image I take it mine ploy has been spotted?

Image How long have you been on this line?!

Image Long enough. Thine power is great, but with the fervent belief of mine own followers I am more than its equal.

Image You are a literal baby! The hell are you on about?!

Image How unfortunate. Thou hast not opened thine eyes to see, nor thine ears to hear. Open thine heart to receive all I have for thee. The time of reunion is nigh. I wouldst blesseth thee, manager.

Image Not happening. Someone has to run this place.

Image

Image This burden dost not have to belong to thee alone.

Image That siren… Was that what I think it was?

Image We've hit meltdown level two, manager! What, are you spacing out?

Image I didn't order anyone to work yet!

Image I hath handled such trifles. Thou art not needed here. Let us cure this disease, and enact her will. The will of mother… a world where this disease is no more.

Image That's not happening. You're just an Abnormality. If there's one thing I know for sure, it's that you can't be trusted.

Image O arrogant son of man… thou dost not realize that thou art wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

Image Hah! Nice try! I'm wearing proper pants and everything this time!

Image Is that something the manager should be bragging about?

Image Let's just consider it an improvement...

Image Very well. I doth not require thee. I shall simply call another.

Image Manager! Bishop's just said he caught the Control system doing that thing again!

Image What's the target?!

Image He blocked Training and Information's backdoors manually, so the next closest department is...

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Image It's targeting my team..?

Image Chesed, can you turn up the Deterrence on just one cell?

Image I can only control it by department.

Image Good enough. Max it out on Plague Doctor now! Er-Information, I guess!

Image Manager, the Qliphoth Deterrence is not something which can be changed without-

Image Shut up, Angela! Do it!

Image Roger that, boss~

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Image Sephiroth, you have a-oh.

Image Hm?

Image It was canceled as quickly as it came in. I suppose that silly manager of ours changed his mind! HAHA!

Image I wish he'd stop pestering us with these requests and changing his mind halfway through…

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Image ...The Deterrence has been increased, Manager. I have cancelled the work order.

Image Information's Abnormalities have returned to a deep slumber. We won't be able to harvest energy from them any more today.

Image And just in the nick of time. Who knows what could have happened~

Image I really don't like that thing.

Image It's an Abnormality, the same as any other. It simply seems to have some sort of unknown ability. With study, we shall find our path forward.

Image There's no way. That thing is just… strange. Until we've got countermeasures for it, I don't want anyone touching it. Leave the department it's in on lockdown for all I care.

Image Ah… running away once more?

Image It's not 'running' to keep away from something like that. Provoking it would just lead to pointless deaths, and we're trying to avoid those.

Image As I have said time and again, A, death has no meaning here.

Image Yeah, and I'm starting to think that believing that is why I haven't broken out this stupid loop so far.

Image Breaking it? Why would you want to-

Image

Image Look around, Hokma. Really look at where we are. I'm going to try doing things differently, and I'm going to break out of here. If that makes me a coward or… whatever, then I don't care. I want out.

Image ...I see. It's clear that you still don't understand. Worry not, I will prepare another presentation for you.

Image No more presentations, Hokma!

Image Manager, he has disconnected.

Image Of course he did.

Image Do not worry. I feel quite certain you have accomplished your objective here. With this, his instability should be peaking.

Image Oh..? Oh, yeah. I guess that's true…

Image You didn't mean to provoke him?

Image I… Didn't not mean to.

Image ...Of course, A.

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Crimson Dawn.

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Image Thanks for inviting me back. It's nice to get out of Central every now and then.

Image No problem. It's nice to have you around.

Image Thanks for helping out with these clowns, too.

Image It's no problem at all. Up in Central the team'd probably miss one by accident without me around to direct them... so it's nice to have such a simple layout.

Image Hey… you're not around to direct them right now, right? Aren't we doing something really dangerous?

Image ...Oh. It… It's probably fine! Don't worry! Manager picks up anything I miss, and he's always in top form.

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Image Manager, why didn't you catch this one?!

Image I DON'T KNOW! I've been off my game since this morning, okay?!

Image That's no excuse! Even setting aside that you can't afford to have an off day, that Nothing There is about to escape because of your mistake!

Image It's okay, I'll send everyone in before-

Image

Image Why are Thursdays always like this?!

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Image Alright everyone, calm down.

Image I don't know what happened to that poor irradiated scorpion, but now we have to put it down! Fast!

Image Given my suit is weak to Red, should I even be here..?

Image No time to think. I'll keep its attention, you all try to stay alive.

Image Nobody called, but here I am! Tada!

Image Oh, can you get to work on stopping that Abnormality?

Image Sounds like I get to inconvenience something new today! Muahahaha!

Nothing There isn't immune to Red damage in this form, so I apply Red bullets and focus fire it with everyone-if it gets to that third form things will get unpleasant so I want it downed here.

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Image We've finished suppressing those damn clowns!

Image Great. Get Tenebrais over here-we need her now!

Image I'm on it, boss!

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Image Backup from Records is here!

Image I'll cover you! Close and attack!

Image Good timing, guys! This monster's resistant to our attacks.

Image There's only so much of a dent we could put in it with its own E.G.O weapon, in the end.

Image Disciplinary's busting into the party too!

Image I'll open it up with this, so be ready to follow up with more Black attacks!

Despite being an ALEPH, Nothing There can't deal enough damage to get through our bullets-but we aren't able to kill it quickly enough to prevent a phase change either.

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The phase 2 egg is immune to Red damage, so Biceps, Boksi, Twee, and anyone else with Red damage are useless here.

Image It's turned into some kind of... cocoon?

Image We need to take it down, now. We've got 30 seconds before things get a hell of a lot worse!

Image Thirty seconds? Plenty of time!

Luckily for us, our facility's damage output is more than equal to the challenge. Most ALEPHs aren't really a problem anymore so long as we react quickly.

Image Thank goodness I can pause time. I really wouldn't want to do that on the fly...

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Image Good hustle today, Switch.

Image Thanks. This blessing is really helping with my reaction time. It's like it whispers what to handle before I get there, and then I just let the E.G.O equipment react to that.

Image That sounds like quite the handy gift. Not that I would ever need such a thing, of course. I'm too amazing already.

Image Yeah! You sure were going at that cocoon, even though you couldn't hurt it at all. Speaking of… who cleans those up, anyways?

Image Oh, they move back to containment on their own after they're suppressed.

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:sigh: Would it kill them to clean up after themselves once..?

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Image Punishing Bird's breaching, we've got Sweepers coming up, and it looks like we won't quite be at the threshold before we roll over. Guess there's still a little more to do, huh..?

Image That is the way of this job, manager.

Image

Image Oh, hey again. I was just about to go see your brother. Anything I should tell them?

Image :wave:

Image Got it, I'll tell them you said hi.

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Image Sweepers. I'd rather we didn't have Mizu go wild today. Is there anything you can do?

Image I have no intention to interfere, Manager. The workday is done with your own power.

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Image Then I guess I wasn't talking to you. Chiral, anything you can do?

Image Sniff sniff! I smell… unpleasantries!

Image Maybe one thing. Hey, Mizu, check this out?

Image But that smell… Sniff! Sniff sniff! Ooo, is that lavender?

Image It sure is. I got some scented candles to spruce up the place.

Image Ooooh, it smells super duper good. I'm gonna go show Miss Binah!

Image Thank goodness. I didn't need another ALEPH on my hands.

Image Manager, she's just an agent.

Image Some days I wonder.

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Image Remember, take care of them ASAP! If they get to Extraction…

Image What happens then?

Image Zeta21 told me a story about what Mizu'll do to these things. It makes that CENSORED in Records look like Laetitia.

Image :stonk:

Image Dude, seriously?! I felt my hair go off just from hearing it!

Image

Image Dammit! Two seconds too late.

Image Try not to let it get to you… these things happen.

Image It's partly my fault-I missed the chance to shield.

Image Still, I don't like it when things end like that. I'll have to hit harder next time.

Image

Given how easily we suppressed Nothing There earlier, it shouldn't be much surprise to say that Noons are never an actual threat to us anymore.

Image Well, thank you for cheering. Let's call the day here, Angela.

Image Of course, manager.

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Image Good work out there today, team. We're all done.

Image ...

Image Dang. And here after that ALEPH escaped I was hoping things would be exciting.

Image They were-you just weren't around for it.

Image Huh? What's she talking about?

Image Probably Manager bullshit. I am so glad I don't have to pay attention to that stuff annymore.

Image Heh. Say, where's Credentia, anyways?

Image Upstairs. She was looking after La Luna today.

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Image Such a nice old lady… the way she always talks about the piano's almost enough to make me wish we had one to try playing here.

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Image Good work, everyone. Take care on your way out.

Image Hnhnhn… as expected, I got done first. Don't feel badly about it, Gaia. It's only natural that you fall behind my incredible speed and business acumen.

Image You are amazing, ma'am.

:v: Hey, we've gotten word that Tylana's sticking around Record to help them, and we've got her pile of work to do.

Image Well, hey, Dimi, that works out perfectly. You can take care of it, right ma'am?

Image What? But-I was going to go home!

:v: Here you go.

Image This--this isn't fair!

Image I'm sure you've got it, ma'am! I'm almost done myself.

Image Come ooooon!

Image

Image We made it through, somehow.

Image I'll have to keep Chesed on top of keeping up the Deterrence of that thing 'til we understand how to deal with it.

Image Don't worry about that, Manager. I'll be able to take care of it, no problem.

Image What a pain in the ass…

Image It's just a challenge we have to overcome like any other, Netzach! Chin up!

Image Challenges mean more work for me than you. I still have to deal with all the agents that get left injured, you know...

Image Don't worry too much. I'm sure something good will happen next ti-

Image Okay, that's enough talking! Everyone get out of here, we're done for the day!

Image

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: We disrespect our elders.

*Plague Doctor cannot actually issue work orders on its own and will not speak to the manager in normal gameplay

User avatar
TeeQueue wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:10 pm
*Plague Doctor cannot actually issue work orders on its own and will not speak to the manager in normal gameplay
He... won't?
...
Crap...

Grumpy Turtle wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:41 pm
He... won't?
...
Crap...
Are you disappointed that this isn't actually a Monika moment?

User avatar
X-394 is a big facility, full of mysterious creatures known as Abnormalities. Many of these Abnormalities can do very bad things if they're handled improperly, and it's vitally important that our agents know just what may happen if they're careless. What's a manager to do?

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Episode 8: Notes

Music: trailer
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Image Hi! I'm Paul! Just your everyday plucky employee of Lobotomy Cobotomy, here today to talk about Notes from a Crazed Researcher!

Image Notes from a Crazed Researcher is a HE-level Tool abnormality which raises Temperance by 20. This makes it ideal for a bit of extra boost when working with Abnormalities, and its docile nature makes it largely easy to ignore.

Image It's seriously noteriffic!

Image However, just because an Abnormality is docile doesn't mean it's safe. If mishandled, these Notes can kill anyone.

Image Abnormalities are all dangerous creatures, but that's why I'm here! To show YOU what not to do!

Image That's right, Paul! So go ahead and grab onto that notebook.

Image Will do!

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Image Well I'll be Laetitia's uncle! These ramblings don't make any sense at all!

Image That's because the original creator of these notes is said to have gone insane over time. It's nothing you need to worry about, though.

Image Right! His lost mind is our gain!

Image First, we'll demonstrate what happens when the Abnormality is returned before its conditions are satisfied. This will occur if the Notes are returned either within 30 seconds, or before a single work is completed on any other Abnormality.

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Image Oh dear! The second it was clicked to return, my name turned all pinkey-purpley!

Image As a reminder to any new viewers, that particular shade of nametag means that the agent is currently out of control. The moment that time resumes...

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Image Yowie wowie! I just went pop!

Image That's right, Paul! The agent suffers a critical failure that interrupts their continued existence, but it's a contained implosion that doesn't hurt anyone. However, that's not the only way to cause an issue with the Notes.

Image But Miss Hod, I'm already dead! I can't show off the other way.

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Image No problem at all, Paul! There are always more agents to pick up the slack when one of you falls.

Image So even if I die, it'll never be in vain as long as the company stands! What an amazing system!

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Image The second effect is based on taking a total of 60 damage. This includes all types of colors, so be very careful about how much you push an agent with the Notes in hand.

Image Remember: Pale damage counts only the number that appears on the management display, so 90 Pale damage to a 50 HP agent would only count as 45 for this effect!

Image Very good explanation! Thank you, Paul.

Image No problem, Miss Hod!

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Image Here we can see our agent speaking with Extraction Captain Mizu. And look! They've got a nice E.G.O gift from The Dreaming Current.

Image I'm so jealous! If they returned the notebook right now everything would be just fine, right?

Image Very good, Paul! However, our agent chooses instead to work with another Abnormality…

Image

Image Uh-oh, Miss Hod! Seems they've gotten a bit ahead of themselves!

Image That's right, Paul! And like they say… Pride goeth before a fall.

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Image KABOOM! They just blew up so hard it knocked the camera off-tilt!

Image And did you see that 23? That's because the explosion also deals Red damage to anything within the same room.

Image It's like our agent was made of Nitroglycerin!

Image That's a very good analogy, Paul! Make sure not to take any agent holding the Notes into a suppression situation, or else things can quickly spiral out of control!

Image Always remember to only use Abnormalities in the proper way, or else you could wind up in an early grave!

Image Well, that's all the time we have today. Thanks for joining us! And remember…

Image Knowledge is just pain plus observation! Have a great day!

User avatar
Day 45: Story

Music: story 3 ending
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Image It’s time to complete the final piece of the puzzle you have been missing. May you have the best of luck on the last leg of your journey. Saying something like I hope you will finally be happy, or that some of the leftover pain can be relieved now, have long become empty words. There are several more things I would like to say, but let me sum them up into one sentence.

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Image I enjoyed being with you for not only these forty-five days, but also the moments you don’t remember.

Image

Image ………

Image He holds in his hands a warmth that looks so comforting, but he can shatter people’s hearts like they’re nothing.


In summary: Angela says that we're almost done with the journey, and wishes us success in the future. She then lets us know that there's one more Sephirah to meet, and warns us about him being dangerous.

Image So there's a tenth? Huh. Guess I should have assumed, since we're going to be opening Architecture soon. We'll meet tomorrow, I take it?

Image That is correct, A.

Image Thanks. I guess we'll go see what Hokma wants, then. If we're lucky it'll just be something benign.

Image ...Yes, manager.

Music: Maya
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Image I’d advise you not to be so languid.

Image Um, is it okay if I do this?

Image Hey, don’t worry too much about it, you won’t find a professional like me often.


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When we advance, the scene shifts to static…

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And when it clears…

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Music: Yet again, the background isn't in the OST and there's a lot of effects on this one, so.

Video: Hokma 5
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Image They could be the present, or even from the future. There are people who once loved you, and there are employees who think that they are happy here. There is also Angela, a cold imitation of Carmen. Is this not the heaven that has burrowed into your mind, the place you have been yearning for?

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Image So I plead with you, will you not be satisfied already? We are so desperately continuing to exist, even if it means living like we are now. What right do you have to turn everything to ash? Furthermore… It is clear this story has no need for an end. Think about it.

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Image You never were ready. You were not prepared to accept her death, so you created a being wholly shrouded in a sense of loss. And now you are just struggling to move forward, blindly fumbling along the obscure trails of your past deeds. Throughout this entire process, you were never sincerely willing to do what you did.

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Clicking this option makes a ticking clock sound in the background.
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Image You are not at all honest with yourself, even in the gravest of choices you must make. Even if I were to send you away, you would likely return to me after having yet another fresh start. It is an uncontrollable law of this place we must follow. This whole facility has become one giant ever-running clockwork.

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Image It never rests. It never rushes. It is not set to follow any specific person. It simply walks forever, maintaining the same pace as it always has.

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This time we get faster ticking, and the screen begins to shake more.
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Image It is natural to feel fear when one is subject to the whims of the air and sea. However, there is no need for you to fear the counting of the clock anymore. I shall always welcome you. I will always console you.

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This time it's more ticking, and a clock chime.
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Image You have not changed your decision in the end.

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Image The hour of silent waiting has long since ended. When I no longer feared the impending night, I chose to love this place. But if you still wish to break this egg at all costs…

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This is where the video ends if you clicked it up above.

Music: When it Rains
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Image This… This is nothing but a seed of calamity, drenched in sin. Oh, by the Wings! Your mind has been soaked with grief, even more severely than I thought. Please, just… Why can’t you just stop now? You and I… We tried our best. With your career and wealth, you’ll be able to live the rest of your life in the Nest with no problem whatsoever. So please, I urge you, stop here.

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Image

Image With everyone’s sacrifice, I came this far and reached the ranks of the Wings. But there was nobody left to celebrate the moment with. The silence was the signal to start my task for everyone. We lost something in us, every single day. We used inhumane methods to extract information from the woman we captured from the Head. We passed out plans to AIs that hadn’t even been named yet.

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Image The sound of the waves were so far away, and there was no time left to stay. I lost the last man who stood by me. It was a tragedy, but I didn’t hide it.

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Image To bring back those who had forsaken the embrace of the earth. To hide and lock away the Seed of secret. I was the only one who remained. I wanted to be forgotten like a mirage.

Music: Boss Warning
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In summary: Hokma tries to talk us down from continuing on with our project, saying he's happy here and that everything is perfect for us. We refuse, and he promises to protect the facility over us. We then remember when Benjamin left us, leaving A completely alone as he put his plan into motion. Also Angela was presumably there but A doesn't mention her because she's just a robot.

Image Hey! You told me you wouldn't go crazy like the others!

Image I haven't, A. I remain in full control of my faculties. I'm simply going to stop you, and have you replaced with a more agreeable A.

Image You realize you're only putting off the problem, not solving it-right?

Image Perhaps… but if you are the genius I remember admiring so much, then surely you saw this coming and accounted for it, yes?

Image ...Fine. See you tomorrow, Hokma.

Image

Image I received the notification. Well done, Manager.

Image I didn't even do anything, he just got pissy on his own.

Image Nevertheless, we have the key necessary to proceed to the next stage. I trust you will be taking care of things tomorrow? If not, I am still quite capable of shutting him off and taking over his duties.

Image Don't worry about it. Managers have their own work too.

Image I don't think that phrase is being used quite how A always had meant it…

Image Don't care. I need to stretch before the workday starts. I have a feeling it's going to be a doozy.

Image ...Yes, A.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Hokma tries to kill us because he's an AI and 20 GOTO 10









Image Hey! Chesed! What's the meaning of this?!

Image The sleep orders? Come on, we both know what those mean~

Image Yeah, but there's nobody left who's unstable! We've all squared off with the manager!

Image Well, not all of us…

Image Oh hi, Tiphereth. Is Tiphereth with you?

Image Yeah. We wanted to check on the proposals for today's meeting beforehand.

Image Hmph. It's just to make sure you're doing a good job!

Image People who are left… Well, when I think about it I guess there is one, but Binah's floor isn't even complete yet.

Image Oh no, it's not her. It'd be my very rude lower neighbor.

Image What? That fogey?!

Image I haven't had to face him either. Doesn't that mean it might be me..?

Image

Image

Image ...don't be stupid, Tiphereth!

Image I just thought that I could be the broken one this time. Tiphereth and everyone else seemed to get more stable right after, so I thought...

Image W...well… I guess it's not impossible~

Image Your department's already plenty stable…

Image If you were going to break down, you'd just get replaced again.

Image Oh… right. I guess that has happened before, hasn't it?

Image Come to think of it, you haven't had any strange glitches since I was fixed.

Image You're right! He hasn't. Hm. You don't think…

Image Lady Angela definitely was involved somehow~

Image That… that stupid boss of ours! I oughtta give her a piece of my mind!

Image I wouldn't. It's better to swallow that anger than just have her replace you. We'll just have to trust in the new manager.

Image ...yeah. If it's him it'll be fine.

Image Well then, since everyone's here… how about I put some coffee on and we chat a while before the day starts?

User avatar
I can only imagine what the lower level suppressions will be like. Good luck!

User avatar
Day 45: Gameplay

Music: neutral 4
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Image
Image

Image

Image Time itself, huh… I guess he stays on brand.

Image Indeed. Not even I can predict what will happen next, A. Please be careful. I will be looking forward to your imminent success.

Image Of course. Leave it to me. Oh, and Angela..?

Image Yes, manager?

Image After this one I'll have some wine. We'll probably need it.

Image I shall prepare accordingly.

Image ...Alright then, Hokma. Let's do this.

:siren: DAY 45 CHALLENGE: IN A TIMELY MANNER

Rules: Suppress Hokma's Core. All agents must survive. All Meltdowns must be worked.

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Music: Second Trumpet
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Image Can't say I ever thought I'd see this room…

Image Talow, right? Bishop's mentioned you.

Image ...Did he?

Image Yeah. Said I could trust you. Also that you were a pain in the ass.

Image Can't say he's wrong in either case. Still, can't say I don't like being here. I've been meaning to give Hokma a talking to anyways.

Image We're on the same page, then. Let's see what we're up against.

Image

Image Good day to you, A. Have you decided to turn back, yet?

Image I have not. If you're in my way, I'm going to go through you. Since you're not broken, there's no problem. Right?

Image There is one problem. You will not be able to pass by me. This egg shall remain intact, and you shall not leave me.

Image Stars of the City, Hokma. I knew you were avoiding work just to stalk the Manager, but this is just pathetic.

Image A meaningless peon like you has no right to speak.

Image Funny, coming from an obsessive superfan with no redeeming qualities.

Image Hey, hey, hey, both of you cut that out. We've got work to do.

Image Ah yes, so we do. So it has been. So it shall be. Work. Sleep. Work. The cycle continues, unbroken.

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All Levels wrote: Image Do we truly need to change?

Image All of your loved ones are finally by your side now.

Image We will not ever lose anyone, as long as the cycle repeats.
Level 1 wrote:
Image Why are you trying to let us slip away?

Image I just wish to stay with you, everyone, and all that we have left in this eternal moment.

Image Please do not steal away the last glimmer of what I treasure.
Before we do anything else, I need to show you Hokma's idle animation.

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It is my second favorite animation in the entire game, beating out even Mountain's QC1 dance. :allears:

Image So, what's the plan?

Image Clear a workday while I prove that I'm just fine to continue. Something about making peace with the past, probably.

Image That sounds good enough for me. Let's give it a shot.

Image Right. Let me just speed things up like always.

Image

Image ...oh no.

Image Oh, yes. Time shall flow precisely as it is meant to, no faster and no slower.

Hokma's first trick is stopping our ability to speed time up. This is hugely frustrating to me because I'm so used to playing at 2x speed that it makes his day feel incredibly slow-and also because if we die to a midnight we have to take the loooong way back afterwards. He has a second quote when we try to alter the speed of time as well:
When blocking TT2 speedup wrote: Image We must cherish each and every moment.
Image Hm. Well then, let's see what happens when we pause.

Image Manager, that's got to be a-!

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Alternative pause text wrote: Image There is always a price of silence.
Image ...trap.

Image The clock never stops moving, A. Each moment of silence has its price. With a wave of my hand, your employees shall pay the cost.

Pausing, meanwhile, will exact a price each time we do it. The first time we pause, an agent either dies or panics instantly. The next time, two agents are affected, three the third time, and so on. While deaths are listed in the lower-left tracker, panics are not-we can tell if anyone has panicked by scanning through the workers list at any Abnormality.

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Here, we can see that Mizu got the penalty. We can spend as long as we want on pause, but when we unpause…

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No muss, no fuss, just dead.

Image She has been removed. The next time, it will be two of them.

Image :what:

Image

Image Wait, what are you do-

Music: neutral 4
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Hokma doesn't block the escape button, though, so if we ever really need to take a break or start over we can do it through the retry menu.

Image Manager? You've been forced to rewind so quickly?

Image Not the time!

Image

Music: Second Trumpet
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Image That was bullshit and I do not approve, Hokma.

Image The man I admire wouldn't have even cared.

Image Ugh… Manager, could you not do that again? This room locks down when you go back and it's a pain in the ass to kill myself in here.

Image Yeah, I know… wait, what?

Image I remember things from every life I've had around here, and I'm quite tired of hiding it right now. Don't ask me, he did it.

Image Hokma?

Image It was a tweak to the standard Records department systems. I did it in order to better keep track of you when you weren't here before me.

Image That's not creepy at all! Okay! Moving beyond that, let's just take a second to mess with the Deterrence and then we can move on.

Image The Deterrence? Manager, I don't have the ability to alter that.

Image So Information's still completely down?

Image That is correct, A…

Image

Image Good morning, o wise fools.

Image That's never good.

Image Bishop! We need your voodoo computer magic now!

Image

Image You mean 'basic IT work?' :sigh: Alright, hold on.

Image It's no good. We're locked out from the Suppression-have been all morning.

Image You heard the man. I can't see anything in the system.

Image Great. Well, the Doctor's awake. Hope you're happy, Hokma.

Image I fail to see how one Abnormality could possibly be an issue.

Image The Doctor? That thing from Information yesterday…

Image That's your thinking face. What's the plan, boss?

Image There is no plan. We're getting the hell out of here. Now.

Image Oh, uh, yes sir!

Image I'll just save and-

Image No time. Move.

Image

Image Hm? Oh, Sephiroth, you have a work order again.

Image Who shall taste my wrath? The Bee or the Star?

Image HAHAHA! Neither! It's an Abnormality in Control!

Image

Image I cannot believe this. Ten minutes into the day, and we're already dealing with that thing.

Image I can hear thee, thou knowest.

Image Cool. Don't care.

Image Take heart. Were it not for thine unfortunate happenstance in the first attempt, this would have occurred before thou had even noticed. Now thou can await the appointed time with proper awe.

Image Boss, I've seen a lot of things in my time, and none of them have ever been like this. You may want to brace yourself.

Image I do not feel fear from a simple Abnormality, least of all a ZAYIN.

Image And I don't call sentient blobs of clockwork boss, so I wasn't talking to you.

Image You impertinent little-

Image Both of you shut up! I'm trying to think. If we just retry...

Image I am not returning to Information. My victory is inevitable.

Image It seems you are determined to stop it… and the only way you can is by allowing Chesed to move the Deterrence. This means you cannot suppress any more cores. The seed shall not grow, and you cannot hope to break free. How lucky for me.

Image …dammit… what do I do?

Image

Image What do you ask of me?

Image The time for reunion, that which thou hast hoped for, is nigh. Let us join and become as one.

Image And what might this entail?

Image I shalt give to thee mine blessing.

Image Turn back the clock, Manager. Cease this foolishness, and seal that which you fear.

Image But then...

Image Shut the hell up, you rusted pile of bolts.

Image How dare you!

Image I've been stuck in this damn cycle for longer than I can remember. I don't even really remember what it's like outside of these walls anymore, but I can tell you this much. If there's any way out of here? No matter the risk, I'm in. Even if it's going through whatever that thing's doing.

Image I see that I should reconsider my choice in captain.

Image Yeah, go ahead and try wiping me out. I won't have to remember all this crap anymore, and you'll actually have to do your job for a few eons instead of follow this loser everywhere. I win either way.

Image

Image This… this is just a waste of time! Rewind now, A, and stop this before you lose the chance!

Image ...No.

Image What? But-why not?

Image I'll give you three reasons. One: I promised Angela that we'd break this cycle.

Image You promised that AI?

Image Two: A friend of mine is looking for someone, and they're not here. If we're stuck in this loop forever I can't help them with that, either.

Image Who are you referring to…?

Image I guess there's a downside to only paying attention to employee files, huh Hokma?

Image And three: Our motto.

Image Our motto?

Image

Image Face the fear, build the future.

Image ...It is alright not to move forward. We can endure here forever!

Image Not happening. I made this place-all of this place. I made that motto. That means more than anything, A always wanted to move forward! So I'm going to pick up my own will, and carry it into the future!

Image You… you damned fool! That's nothing like what A would have wanted!

Image Don't care! I've decided! It's time we build the future!

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Image The time of reunion is upon us! I am reborn, bolstered by thine belief in mine cause!

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Image Rise, my servants. Rise and serve me.

Image The camera! Manager what did you do?!

Image I don't know, I'm not the one controlling it!

Image Lo, I have named each of thee anew. Become what thou wert meant to become.

There's a dramatic clock chime as the camera moves to each of the blessed, one at a time.

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Image Ashley, the fertile meadow upon which My ashen tree of salvation shalt grow.

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Image Acacia, whose thorn'd grove shalt protect My magnificence.

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Image Noah, who shalt comfort My flock against the waters of My wrath.

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Image Paul, the humble child who has been oft overlooked. My eye shall never miss thee.

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Image Alyssa, whose rationality is a flower keeping My field from growing barren.

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Image Juliet, the father of the skies over which I shall rule.

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Image Knox, thine existence is a hill on the plains. Thou shalt ensure My continued amusement.

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Image Ray, the wise protector of My paradise.

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Image Owen, untested warrior from the nest-thy sword arm shall be My sword arm.

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Image Dia, as befits a creature from the heavens. In My service thou shalt be loved.

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Image Joshua, a reminder that I am thy salvation.

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Image Mason, who shalt shape the stone of the earth to bring forth my creation.

Image My name is not…

Image

Image …:sigh:

Image Manager, it's a third trumpet!

Image Wow. I am immediately regretting this decision. That's a new record.

Image It's changed its classification number. Fascinating.

Image

Image All agents, get the hell away from that thing!

Plague Doctor's second form -46 spawns in the main room of the department it was in, and changes its blessed employees into Apostles. They begin wandering the facility to attack anything they come across, while -46 remains in its main room.

Image Ugh, this is bad.

Image Ohhh… I don't think we're out of it yet.

Image You think this is going to get worse? How?!

Image Well… I've got three reasons. One: We're past a Second Trumpet so Big Bird's out. Two: Multiple people just panicked from the release so Punishing Bird's out too.

Image

Image And three: Tenebrais was wearing the Twilight gear when she turned into… that.

Image I see what you mean. That is worse.

Image I'm sure you understand your place now, A. Let's just retry and forget all of this happened. We can go back. Escape.

Image This has all clearly spun out of control. It's a redo, but this isn't over yet Hokma. Let's go back.

Image

Image ...I said let's go back! Gooooo back! Retry! Menu! Anything!

Image ...Oh, that isn't good.

Image What isn't good?

Image It seems that my functions have been… somewhat compromised by that new Abnormality.

Image Is that why I can't pause anymore?!

Image I'm afraid so.

Image Wait, you were just going to let more people die?

Image To be fair they're all probably dead anyways.

Image ...yeah, point.

As long as -46 is breaching, we can't speed up or slow down time, and we can't pause with the spacebar. When it breaches during Hokma's suppression, Hokma's lines will still play when we try to speed up time, but nothing happens at all when we try to pause, and the escape key is now equally nonfunctional. This means we can't leave.

Image The control of time is Mine, as all things are. You need not worry any longer.

Image What the hell does this have to do with curing a disease?!

Image We seek to cure the same disease, you and I. Thy scientific contraption here is naught but the hubris of man. The correct answer is to bless those who listen to thee, and put the rest to the sword. Such is My plan, and it is true and righteous.

Image Ahh… so you're insane. Why didn't you just lead with that?

Image

Image You dare question My magnificence? A demonstration, then.

Image

Image In My name, be purged!

This red ring fires out from -46 through the facility at regular intervals, ~once per minute. While it does fade out eventually, in practice it hits everywhere.

Image Talow, status report!

Image We're fresh out of clerks-that thing deals Pale damage.

Image Our agents?

Image No idea. We're getting interference everywhere.

Image

Image I've determined that the compromised agents use three types of weapons, A. At this time their characteristics are unknown.

Image Wait, you're helping me? Why?

Image My sole concern is the continuation of this endless cycle. While I cannot allow you to break it… this Abormality's usurpation of my systems has proven a more immediate threat.

Image So it's a truce. Alright, let's see what we can figure out.

Image Hey, boss, you may want to hurry.

Image

Image The birds just hit the door.

Image Maybe that walking apocalypse will solve our problems for us.

Image

Image Unlikely.

Image The mooks deal Pale, too? And a ton of it.

Image That would be enough Pale damage to kill an Agent instantly in all but the most resilient gear.

Image Yeah… wait. Hey, Sephiroth's tag is still showing normally.

Image As 'Mason,' but-yeah, close enough.

Image ...I wonder why.

Image There's no time to worry about a mere Agent! We have larger problems at hand!

Image

Image O Lord, My name is not 'Mason.'

Image Thy name has been given by Me, that we may do Mother's will to purge the world of this disease of the mind. This is the Reunion thou hast waited for, and as one of the Numbered it is thy place to do My will.

Image ...No. I shall not.

Image Accept thy place in the cycle and purge this world of its filth, Mason! Thy old life matters not-let it fade into thy memory!

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When -46 breaches, One Sin and Hundreds of Good Deeds's work types all change to Confession work. Selecting it shows that only Sephiroth can perform this work.

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Image I will never... be a memory.

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Image What the-who ordered a work on old Onesy?

Image No idea. I was busy watching Apocalypse Bird rip the faces off of some Agents.

Image What on earth… Manager, there's a massive enkephalin reaction coming from One Sin! It's focused on… Control's main room?!

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Image That light… That accursed, unholy light! My body faileth Me… I must recover for a time. Think not that thou hast prevented My glory... Thou hast only... delayed… thine fate...

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Image Whatever that light was, it got rid of the Abnormality. It appears that its minions have begun to impale themselves upon their weapons.

Image So it's over, then.

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Image For now. No telling how long it lasts with that thing, though.

Image Right… time to get the hell out of here, and try to fix this.

Image I shall see you this morning, then.

Image ...no.

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Image There's no telling how long this will take, and Angela made it sound like tomorrow would be too late to deal with it. We're going back to the start of the week.

Image That far, huh..?

Image Talow.

Image :sigh: What are you after now, Hokma?

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Image I am granting you an opportunity. I shall remove the Records department safeties as we leave. I expect a full briefing on our next meeting. In exchange I will reconsider your replacement.

Image I had a feeling it was that… Whatever. I'll see what I can do. Not like I won't find out eventually anyways.

Image Very well. The SB process password is 'Carmen.' When you are done, I expect you to use it.

Image SB process…?

Image Nothing that you need concern yourself with, A. It will never happen so long as you exist in this building.

Image Right… I only sort of follow what's going on, so I'll just say thanks for the hard work. I've got a bottle of wine stashed under the console if you need it.

Image I know, but thanks.

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The Memory Repository takes a snapshot of all the gear we have in hand at the moment we use it, so if we Repositoried without first selecting Retry, we'd lose out on all the gear of the people who died. Because this included Twilight, I went ahead and hit Retry before doing this. Make sure not to forget if you're playing along! :eng101:

Image Let's get the hell out of here.

Image Agreed. I'll requisition one of my spare shells when we return.

Music: neutral 1
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Image I'll allow it, but don't think this is over yet.

Image I wouldn't dream of it, A. Until I've convinced you to stay, I will not stop fighting. I care too much about you to do otherwise.

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Image Ahh hell, I did just unset all of them right before this. I have to assign them all back again?

Image Manager, your rewind has been completed successfully. I trust you've had a pleasant experience?

Image I'm gonna' go with 'hell no.' Get me some coffee, and have someone get to work on the lights. They're still out in here.

Image Of course, Manager.

Image Let's get down to business…

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Image Wait... I don't remember having an unknown Abnormality in Welfare…

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Image GAH!

Image O arrogant worm… I shall not be denied. Run through time or space as thou like, it is all meaningless before Me. End thy slumber that the day may begin, and with it My ascension.

Image This is bad. ...Very bad. :ohdear:

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: We quantify a God.

Always wondered what a worst case scenario looked like, real rude that it counts as losing twilight before the apocalypse bird check, but that’s half the fun of the game. At least there’s something new to research now that’s it’s “unknown” maybe a way that doesn’t involve 12 agents turning into monsters/evaporating.

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Day 45: Supplemental

Day 45: Hokma Suppression Attempt, Post-Repository

Image Alright, it's all taken care of. Thought you guys didn't want the Rhinos in here, though...

Image Circumstances changed. We needed that bird gone ASAP, them knocking a few holes in the walls or kicking around some corpses didn't matter at all.

Image Just make sure we get the bonus stipulated in the contract, and it's all good.

Image No need to worry about that. I've got a lot of work to do anyways.

Music: Third Trumpet
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Image It's a mess here, after all...

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Image Clerks are restocked-can't believe those don't cost any LOB-bird's gone, those things are dead, and the Abnormality's strangely quiet.

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Image Mm. I guess it sent its consciousness after the Manager. So this is just the Abnormality at its most basic, huh… and they want me to figure out what not to do with it, I guess..? Heh. Takes me back.

Image How did that go again…? Something like…


Music: trailer
Image X-394 is a big facility, full of creatures known as Abnormalities. Basically any Abnormality can murder you if they're handled improperly, and it's vitally important that the manager knows just what happens when they screw up. What to do?

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Music: Third Trumpet
Image …:sigh: Yeah, that's just not me.

Image He was a pretty good manager, though... even if I had to keep trying to delete rumors from that wiki. The amount of crap Switch would come up with, I swear…

Image Well, whatever. Looks like Hokma clearing out put the video systems back online. Let's spin up a couple of new agents while I check what the hell stopped it.

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Image So this is what he was saying when we were speeding up or slowing down time, and when we paused… Good to know, I guess? It's a start. What about when the Manager was trying to reset?

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Image Uh-huh… Whatever you say, flying bean. Let's fast forward a bit.

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Image Here we go. Sephiroth's praying to One Sin. Let's call up Control's cameras and see what happened when that prayer was done.

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Image Holy hell..! So it called that light down to take care of the thing in short order. Guess that means every ZAYIN can do something ridiculously horrible if it feels up for it.

Image ...eh. I still like you better than the haunted drink machine.

*DING*

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Image Ah, the agents are done. Guess I've got two to play with now… Of course they wouldn't leave me any spare E.G.O to use… They already know how it works. Let's send the level 4 agent in.

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Image Aha… an instant panic, eh? But there's no way to know if that's level-related, or something else… I guess that's what I'll use the other one for.

Image WRYYYYYYY!!!

Image Jeez, I heard that scream all the way down here… Let's see what happened.

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Image The color of that aura changed… I guess on a bad result, it may lower the Qliphoth Counter? Which means the color is a warning about its mood. Yeah, that seems the most likely. What about the agent?

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Image Yeesh… Chesed's e-tank deployed. If not for that, they'd have gone nuts from the scream alone.

Image ...well we're all dead anyways. Let's see what happens with them.

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Image Reverence..? Huh. Never seen that one before. Upside, that means it's probably keying off of level and not some other random thing. Gotta say, it's a bit suspicious how whoever designed this system put in niche things like that for situations they couldn't have dreamed of...

Image Well, let's just make sure Bishop never finds out about it. :rolleyes:

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Image So now the aura's red. If I had to place a guess, it's nice and riled up. Guess I'll let it sit there and stew while I think of the next plan.

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Image Heh. I can't even remember the last time I had to learn how an Abnormality worked on the fly. What was it, Melting Love? No, it was… god, screw that thing. Big Bird and Mountain don't need another friend. :sigh:

Image Huh. Wonder if this is why the Manager always seems like he's got one foot into insanity. Being alone like this, messing with this screen… it's easy to forget people are attached to it. Wonder if anyone's left.

Image Attention facility. If the speakers are working, this is Talow. Due to some strange circumstances, I'm the new manager for the rest of the day. If you'd all be so kind as to report to the Records team floor, I'll be happy to explain how every one of you is going to die in the immediate future. If you don't want to, go ahead and borrow a Clerk's pistol. It'll be faster anyways.

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Image ...huh. That's more than I expected.

Image Luckily for you, I sensed something was off.

Image Yeah! We were just minding our business, when Bishop ran through saying we should be ready to book it. So some of us decided to stay out just in case things got bad.

Image And some of us were in the break room at the right time.

Image Not dying to something this small.

Image So, what's happened?

Image The manager and the Sephirot have abandoned us. The facility's going to collapse as soon as I'm done with one last piece of research, so that that… thing doesn't get out into the City.

Image ...well that sucks. :psyduck:

Image Yeah. Hate to say it, but you're all going to die. Me, too.

Image You sound way too okay with that.

Image Talow remembers alternate timelines. He's probably seen us all die a few thousand times by now. I'd explain, but there's not time.

Image ...Do it later, then.

Image If we remember.

Image You won't. :sigh: Anyways, any minute now I'm going to try and send someone to that new thing to try and trigger it. See if there's anything we can learn from-

*GONG*

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Image What the hell?! But I wasn't doing anything! Unless… No.

Image This thing's Qliphoth Counter just goes down on its own over time?!

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Image Attention everybody, the uh-freakshows.

Image Apostles! Since it's a god we should call them that.

Image Sure, whatever. The Apostles are back up.

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Image And the scythe ones can just end people. Look out!

In addition to their swings, scythe Apostles can also just instantly delete agents. :eng101:

Image Alright, I'll just have Sephiroth go back and work with One…

Image

Image Ahh, hell.

When -46 breaches a second time in a day, all its Apostles come back to life except the 12th. In theory, a new 12th is supposed to be chosen each time. One of my mods or an errant coding bug or something has made this feature glitch out on me, and as a result we don't have a 12th Apostle. I assume this is related to whatever caused all the names to randomly change as well, the data is perfectly intact and reads like it should in my save file. :lobcorp:, I guess!

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Image No Sephiroth, no Confession options. No Confession… and that thing isn't going anywhere.

Image So you need someone to do this 'Confession' work with One Sin?

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Image Medea? No, you can't-Sephiroth died from it.

Image And? There's no type of work I shouldn't be able to do. And we're all dead anyways, aren't we?

Image That… but…

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After some testing, it turned out it wasn't a softlock. By highlighting agents and right-clicking on One Sin, I was able to assign work that way. I'm… pretty sure this isn't how this normally works, but it's a case of all the weird coding running into each other and finding a way to work. :psyduck:

Image I'm going to give it a try. If I'm going to die anyways, we might as well get something out of it. Knowledge is just pain plus observation, after all.

Image ...How do you just... say that?

Image Because it's obvious! Odds are I'm about to be hurting like hell, so you'd better be there watching it!

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Image Ghhh--! The ring hits a little less hard than Knight's swords do! I'd say about 40 Pale!

Image ...got it.

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Image At least let me heal you back up.

Image You always do this. I'm not a kid.

Image I know that, I just really don't like watching you die.

Image Managers shouldn't be playing favorites, Talow. Incoming spear Apostle.

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Image Did you get it?

Image Yeah. Just a dash attack. Are you okay?

Image I'm way too fast for it.

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Image Staff user. I'll draw its attack out it on the way.

Image Would you be careful?!

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Image Didn't even touch me.

Image ...Not for lack of trying. That thing is a beam it's firing right towards you. It's just not able to go through the floor.

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Image Sucks for it, then. I'm at the door. Here goes nothing.

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Image GAH..! Okay-wasn't expecting that. This thing's Pale attack can hurt us even inside the containment cells! Make a note of it!

Image Got it. What are you even confessing in there?

Image That's my secret! Don't worry about it!

Image

Image Did it work?!

Image The reaction's proceeding properly. Sephiroth died once -46 was suppressed. Any last words?

Image Yeah. Protect the others, okay?

Image ...I'll try.






Image Hey… Talow?

Image Yeah?

Image

Image ...was it supposed to kill me when it exploded?

Image Uh… yes.

Image Huh. Guess I'm even tougher than I thought. I'm going to go check on things. You have a building to collapse, right?

Image Er… right.

As it turns out, the Confession work isn't what kills the 12th Apostle-it's -46's suppression that does it. One Sin remains a friend in all circumstances. :skeltal:

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Image They're not moving, but I don't think they're dead exactly. That must be how they got back up before. They just lose all will to live when their master is gone. I think I get it. Hey, Talow, are you listening?

Image Attention. Attention to all employees. We offer you our congratulations for the start of your honorable retirement. This broadcast is pre-recorded.

Image Ah… guess it's that time already.

Image Yeah. I had to finish entering the passcode. I guess I'll see you around, then?

Image I'm going to be dead in a minute. You won't be seeing me any more at all.

Image ...Yeah. Yeah you're right. Hahah… Sorry. This never gets easier.

Image Yes it does. I've seen the training videos more times than I can count. Watched people get torn apart on the other side of a screen. I can watch someone die without even losing my smile, now. Even when little Elle got changed into an Apostle, all I could do was quirk an eyebrow and wonder what it could do to threaten the others. This entire place is designed to kill our fear of death-ours and others'.

Image ...Yeah. You're right.

Image We thank you for your hard and earnest work, and have great, respectful gratitude for your efforts and loyalty… We understand that you have been through difficult times, and that it hasn't always been easy to put the company's needs first.

Image They're so polite… if you hadn't told me, I wouldn't know this message was a prelude to the end.

Image Hiding atrocities behind a nice face. That's this company to a T.

Image ...Hey, Talow?

Image Yeah?

Image I'd rather not get crushed to death… so I'm going to test the strength of these scythes properly. Be sure to count, okay? :unsmith:

Image …Yeah.

Image Over the next few minutes, the company will be undergoing a brief restructuring process. Please know that there's nothing to fear-you've done an amazing job, and your work is something to be proud of. If you have any complaints or inquiries, please refer to the Lobotomy Corp. employment contract.



ImageDAMMIT!

*CRASH!*

Image

Image I couldn't say anything about… anything… and I get to go back after killing them all myself this time. Great job, Talow. All this time, and you're still the worst.

Image At this time, the facility is undergoing restructuring. Lobotomy Corporation wishes to remind you that any tremors are temporary and will not get in the way of your imminent retirement. Please continue looking forward to your imminent retirement.

Image …:sigh:

Image Restructuring currently 87% complete… 95% complete… 99% complete…

Image There wasn't any choice. We couldn't just let that out. We were all dead no matter what I did.

Image Restructuring complete. Lobotomy Corporation wishes you all a pleasant retirement.

Image ...It's all that goddamned clockwork bastard's fault, anyways.



*RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUMBLE*









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The real scary part about this abnormality is apparently the possibility of bugging your game out.

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Man this game is cool AF.

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Day 41: Gameplay Again

Music: neutral 2
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Image So, you moved to Central?

Image I tire of waiting for thee. Begin thy work.

Image That's a yes, then. Good morning, everyone.

Image ...We're back here? What happened to Hokma?

Image I'm perfectly fine, of course. A and I have agreed to handle the present situation before resolving our own dispute.

Image Put simply, we have some kind of demigod in one of our cells and it seems to be messing with our systems. Angela, options?

Image I would recommend analyzing the Abnormality in order to gather its information. Doing so should allow us to harden our systems against its vector of attack.

Image I am a God. There is naught a creature of plastic and steel can do to stop Me.

Image I would prefer you did so sooner, rather than later.

Image In the meanwhile, I'll have Bishop keep an eye out for any weird work orders.

Image And if it gets to be too much trouble, I'll lock things down~

Image Leave smashing it up to my team if something happens.

Image With all due respect, if it gets out Tenebrais and Credentia are probably dead-that's half your team. I'd like to avoid that. In the meanwhile, can someone get this guy off of my screen?

Image Delay with all thy strength, but My rise is inevitable.

Image The hell it is! Manager, kick this thing's butt! With research!

Image Yeah, that's the plan.

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Image Work. Sleep. Work. The cycle continues, unbroken.

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Image Manager, we have a rather thorough report on the new Abnormality's offensive capabilities.

Image Summarize it quickly. You've got 'til Mizu smells the thing and makes her way over here.

Image Poor work results will cause White damage to multiple agents as it screams in fury. This will also lower its Qliphoth Counter, which appears to be three. The counter also seemed to lower itself on one occasion. The Apostles-its servants-come in three main types, Scythe, Spear, and Wand. Wands fire beams. Spears charge. Scythes slash and grab, the grab is instantly lethal.

Image Power levels of the attacks?

Image Unknown. An agent in the Justita suit experimenting with the scythe managed to kill themselves in two direct cuts.

Image You can just say Talow, y'know. I don't think it's a secret anymore, and it came in handy.

Image I'm simply reading the report, manager. The full document has been forwarded to you for perusal at your leisure.

Image Does this report mention anything involving how to harvest its Enkephalin?

Image Only that we have to use Level 5 Agents.

Image Sounds like they missed the most important part~

Image Luckily, we have a specialist for that.

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Image I wonder how you'll react today? Don't disappoint me.

Image Sniff... sniff sniff! I must go! A cutie needs me!

Image Of course they do. :rolleyes:

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Image Let's all do our best today!

Image I'm really glad to be out of that old outfit.

Image It's because of all your own hard work. Feel proud that you've made it!

Image Heck yeah!

Image So that means nobody needs any training here anymore, right?

Image That's correct!

Image Great, then let's just take the day off.

Image Wait, is that why you came over here?!

Image It's not a problem, is it? We've worked hard-we should have a vacation.

Image Can we… do that?

Image Well… nobody actually has any training to do. I don't see why not! Let's relax as much as we can today!

Image Sweet.

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Image Oof! You shave a bit harder than the birdie, cutie!

Image I am no 'cutie.' I am thy savior.

Image Aww, but every cutie is my savior. :allears:

Our new acquisition deals Pale damage during work-and a hefty chunk of it. While it says 'endure' in the screenshot, Mizu's current modifier for Pale is 0.97x so this is effectively the full damage amount. Working with -46 hurts. How much?

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Mizu was left with 34 HP after missing a total of 10 boxes.

Image Alright, Mizu, how do we handle him?

Image Iunno. He liked talking a whooole bunch, maybe do more of that?

Image You don't... know?

Image Nope! Not a clue! He's super cute now, though. Way better than when he had that mask on.

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Image Neutral results don't appear to have any negative effect on its mood.

Image Bishop reported that it wasn't able to do anything while it was being worked, either.

Image So it can't mess with our systems if we distract it, eh?

Image Rest assured that I am still able to hear thee, even then. However, even I cannot be everywhere at once. Thus I shall return My servants to My side and cleanse this world of its disease.

Image Let's just keep him busy while we get the data we need. Speaking of... Let's put a name to the face.

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Say hello to WhiteNight. It is the highest single PE Box generator in the game at 35/work, and at 7-8 Pale damage per hit it's also the most lethal Abnormality to work in the game. Anything below 0.5x Pale is risky to use, and we only have two suits that hit that level of protection-Justita and Twilight. Ideally we'd pick someone even tankier than that, since we want to chain works back to back in order to get its information and equipment as quickly as possible.

Image I guess I could have Talow work with it all day... or Tenebrais? Maybe if I alternated them...

Image Um, manager... If it's any help, I took a look at our agents and found one with a Temperance of 130 before applying any E.G.O Gifts. I went ahead and gave them the Justita, and that E.G.O from CENSORED so they'd be ready no matter what kind of damage this thing did.

Image Good thinking. Send them over.

Image Already done, boss.

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Image Thanks for heading over! That thing, what was it called?

Image BlackDawn.

Image WhiteNight! That's the one. It's right near here, so this will be your base of operations for the day. If you need anything, just ask.

Image Understood.

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Somewhat paradoxically, BICEPS is incredibly good at talking to Abormalities. :psyduck:

We've given him the CENSWORD, which as I've mentioned instantly refunds 40% of any damage our agent takes. This effectively changes his resistance from 0.5x to 0.3x, meaning WhiteNight can only kind of scratch him.

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Image This fool of a manager hath no appreciation for that which I hath wrought. That which I couldst do still.

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Image This is why I and My servants shalt rise and cleanse this land. There is naught to fear, save thine own redemption.

Image Make more servants.

Image Thou understandest nothing. My current servants are all I shalt require.

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We work on nothing outside of WhiteNight and in doing so get its basic information pretty quickly. Of particular note are its E.G.O. Let's take a closer look at them.

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Image Holy hell... are those numbers right?

Image I am never wrong, A. If those are the numbers which have been produced, then they are accurate.

Image We need that suit and we need it yesterday.

In addition to having an incredibly powerful E.G.O Gift in a completely unique slot, WhiteNight also has the most powerful armor in the game. It's priced to match, at a base of 333 that's currently being discounted to 307 by Binah's clerks. As a point of comparison, the previous highest costs in the game were most ALEPH weapons, at 222. We will be wanting to buy two of these, as they're well worth it. :getin:

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Image Talow.

Image Hokma. :geno:

Image Acceptable work. I'm keeping you around in perpetuity as before.

Image Yeah, that's what I thought.

Image Huh. Don't usually see him out here. What'd you do?

Image Nothing important. Robin, I'll leave you to hold down the floor. I'm going for a walk.

Image Alright, I'll keep the place from crumbling.

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Image I am performing miracles, here. Why dost thou interrupt My work?

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Image Thou art simply staring at My countenance. For what purpose?

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Image Do not expect Me to take offense, nor be afraid, nor pay thee any of My mind. I am the savior of this world, thou art beneath Me.

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Image What's even going on here? Why are we working with WhiteNight when it's overloaded the cell this much?

Image We found out that Repression work is very effective, so we've been having BICEPS pointedly ignore him ever since.

Image That works?

Image

Image It seems to.

It's time for a quick digression into math. WhiteNight's best work rates start at 45%, his Observation bonus is a total of +6% success rate, and BICEPS has a bonus of 27% from his 138 total Temperance. This puts our base success rate at 78%. The overload will reduce that to a minimum of 48%, which means that out of 35 boxes we'll average ~16.8 successes. WhiteNight's Bad range is 0-15, so we have to miss 2 boxes out of an average work in order to hit a Bad result. It's far from impossible, but working WhiteNight at -30% is actually pretty safe as long as our agent has the defenses to survive it. BICEPS does, because he is a wall of meat.

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Image Talow! You never come over!

Image The decor's a bit creepy for me.

Image Then why're you here now?

Image Just wondering something. Did you already know how to handle WhiteNight like you usually do?

Image Nope! It was as big a mystery to me as to everyone else.

Image And did you feel anything... else? Talking to it?

Image Huuuh... I guess I felt cuter than usual! Like any minute I might go GWOOOOR and start walking around spinning a scythe or something! But that woulda' meant I couldn't talk with him anymore so I just forgot about it!

Image I'm really sorry, she basically never makes sense.

Image No, it's fine... believe it or not, I've worked with her long enough to figure out what she's saying. Sort of.

Image ...could you write me a guide?

Image I'll think about it. :rolleyes: Thanks, you guys.

Image You're welcome! :keke:

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Image Manager! We've got a Bad result from WhiteNight!

Image Enough of this foolishness... I shall show the lot of thee My wrath!

Setting up to handle this requires a few bullets.

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Most of them go towards removing the clerks in Lower Central-WhiteNight's scream only hits employees of the department it's in, so it can't hurt any of the Upper Central clerks.

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One goes to Fat Sam, however. I forgot to move him off of the Logging E.G.O suit, so between its 1.2x White vulnerability and another 1.2x multiplier for being HE, he'll be taking significant damage

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The scream deals him 84 damage through the shield, meaning it would have been 134 damage normally. Fat Sam has 125 SP, so if we hadn't shielded him he'd have panicked due to my carelessness with our equipment.

I swear I'm good at this game. :eng99:

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WhiteNight falls to 2 QC, and I quickly line up the last three works required to push us to the next level. His QC only drops automatically after 90 seconds without being worked, which gives us plenty of time to arrange for rapid bursts of work and clear his Overload when things start going poorly.

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Image You've left me no agents, yet Melting Love's time is here...

Image We could just wait. Or-huh, what's Talow doing down there?

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Image Well, whatever. He'll do nicely.

Image Um... manager, Punishing Bird?

Image Right, right.

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Image Oh, this is still my vacation. I'm just getting an acupressure massage on Medea's recommendation! Punishing Bird is really good at this.

:v: I didn't ask, ma'am.

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Image When was the last time I had to deal with you? ...Whatever, you still creep me out. Just stay over there, away from me.

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Image Oooh, you smell like strawberry!

Image That'd be the slime. Don't worry, it's just the smell.

Image Worry? I'm disappointed in you! She looks delicious!

Image In either case, I'm going to head back out.

Image Okee dokie! Bring back some snacks later.

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Meanwhile, BICEPS gets a Normal result with WhiteNight, which has an interesting result.

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Image Manager, its Qliphoth Counter has gone back up to 3.

Image I am in no hurry. I shalt delay My wrath for a time.

Image That's unexpectedly generous of him...

Image Doth not tempt Me to change My mind.

Like Bad results, Normal and Good results with WhiteNight have added effects as well. Normal results have a 40% chance to raise the QC by 1, and fully heal all Agents in the same department. Good results will always raise the QC by 1, and fully heal all Agents in the entire facility. While it's not easy to set up beforehand, it's saved my behind a couple of times by accident before.

Anyways, this completes the basic pattern of the day: we'll be working with WhiteNight constantly until we hit a Bad, at which point we push to the next Meltdown Level and use Normal and Good results to get back the QC we lose along the way. Given that we need over 600 PE boxes and can only get ~20-30 at a time, this takes a while.

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Image Oh hey, kiddo. Welcome to Information. Something you need?

Image Heya, D.A.D. Just visiting the old guard, you know how it is.

Image Haha... yeah. People get nostalgic when they get older. Something happen?

Image Tch. Nothing gets by you, does it? Yesterday sucked. Had to write a report on the new guy.

Image Oh yeah. I hear it changed overnight, nobody knows why.

Image It was aalieens..!

Image No, it wasn't!

Image How would yoou know..?

Image Erm... because I was watching D.A.D.! Like a normal human would!

Image Mmm... okaay...

Image You don't have to sound so disappointed, fellow human! I'm sure that aliens exist and are also both amazing and powerful, capable of subjugating an entire society under their mighty boot!

Image Simmer down, you two. We're pretty busy with fielding new reports about the output and abilities of that WhiteNight fellow. Wouldn't mind an extra pair of hands.

Image Yeah, I'll hang out for a minute before I head up.

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This time around the Bad comes on the 8th work of the meltdown. At 14 works per level, that's still not bad.

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Image All hands, pus us over to the next level, then prepare for an Amber Dawn.

Image It is meaningless, Manager. Whatever trickery thou art resorting to in order to prevent My will being done, it shall not work forever. Mortal hands all tire eventually.

Image Aww, I'm sowwy. Is the widdle beanie baby upset that he can't order anybody awound anymowe?

Image Thou shalt cease speaking to Me in that manner.

Image This has been going smoothly, though... Malkuth, how much longer can your guys hold out?

Image My agents are perfectly ready to proceed for the whole day! Take as long as you need, manager!

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Amber Dawn.

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Image Ooo, you just stay right there, Chiral! I'll blast'em from over here, and then we can have a snack!

Image If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not have any!

This time I focus on Extraction in order to make sure none of their clerks die. Saving 26 PE boxes from each suit will save at least two works over the course of the day, which could possibly mean the difference between facing a Noon and not.

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Amber Done.

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Just after that we manage to grab our first copy of the Paradise Lost suit. Just 307 boxes to go. :getin:

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Image Hey there, guys. Figured I should see how the random order blocking was going.

Image Oh, that? It's going-

Image We are very busy and have absolutely no time to goof off.

Image Ahh. So you're not doing anything at all.

Image I noticed they were all coming from Central, so I put every order originating in that department on a blacklist. Took about a half hour to code?

Image We've been playing video games ever since!

Image ...don't tell Malkuth.

Image No problem. I won't. Just wanted to thank Bishop. Had a meeting with the Manager, and apparently you'd put in a good word for me.

Image ...ah. Is it yearly review time already? I'll be right back, guys.

Image Sure thing, boss!

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We only got in seven works before I had to rush it this time. Still, we're making progress.

Image Manager, at this rate it will take quite some time before we are able to complete the day.

Image Oh, that. Don't worry, I have a plan.

Image Against My splendor, the plans of man shalt come to naught.

Image BICEPS, please quiet down WhiteNight.

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Image I am growing quite accustomed to thy anger-filled face.

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The next set of works go significantly better.

Image Oh come on... 306? We're one short! Yesod, can you?

Image I've jiggled things as much as I can. We'll have to do one more work.

Image You needn't worry, A. I've gathered enough information to ensure our systems can be hardened against its unique challenges. The shell we're inside is but a step away from being reinforced properly.

Image Yes, yes, don't worry. You're still on the docket, old timer.

Image Splendid. I look forward to an opportunity to change your mind, A.

Image Um… should we be worried about this?

Image It's fine… probably.

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Image That thing you said about seeing the Manager... Hokma?

Image Hokma. :hai:

Image Balls.

Image It was inevitable, if you think about it. Nothing we can do except prepare for it. Anyways, that WhiteNight thing, it showed up in the middle and next thing I know they rewound us back to here. It turned the agents it blessed into these monsters called Apostles...

Image Blessed? But Plague Doctor was only here yesterday, it didn't… this is time stuff isn't it. :sigh:

Image Yes, Bishop. It is time stuff.

Image God, I hate time travel. It makes everything infinitely harder to follow.

Image Eh, the hardest part is figuring out the tenses.

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Image Hah! That's both of them! We've just figured out a god!

Image It is far from the first time. A number of Abnormalities are based on some form of mythology or mysticism. There are those who would say they are all gods.

Image ...can you please just let me have this?

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Image You may have whatever you like once we are done refining the target amount of energy.

Image Oh yeah... about that, we're not doing it.

Image I am beginning to strongly suspect you did not have a plan after all.

Image Sure I do.

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Image I'm going to take us back to this morning via the Repository. We can put in the fixes and the test them without having to worry about losing any progress.

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We haven't used the Memory Repository feature so far, but it's incredibly abusable. Since it lets us keep both our Observation Level and our equipment exactly as it is when we use it, we can work part of a day, get all the information and gear that an Abnormality has, and then reset to the Repository to keep it all without risking having to do it again. It's a trick most often used midweek to take care of getting the gear of Abnormalities which are considered too much of a hassle to keep long term, like Melting Love. We're using it here because I want this suit before we do anything else.

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Image ...oh dammit all.

Image Something wrong?

Image Hokma's offline. Guessing Malkuth is too?

Image Yeah. Why?

Image They just went back. I'll have to explain all of this again.

Image Just pass me a note. I know what's up, I'll listen.

Image I'll get on that right after I find Mizu. :sigh: This had better not be starting a pattern.

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Image Well, it was just one day but we managed to get almost everything we wanted to done.

Image Didn't really like how I had to go birdwatching. Three times.

Image You're fine, it's just Punishing Bird-it's a total softie.

Image Vacation days are so relaxing. I don't ever want today to end.

Image That's how it goes, I'm afraid. Let's just get the paperwork done before the bell has a chance to ring so we can-

Image Already did it. I keep a couple prefilled reports just in case.

Image Should you be doing that? If the Sephirot found out you could get in trouble.

Image Eh, it's not any worse than having a vacation on the clock.

Image Fine. Let's just take off early then. :rolleyes:

Image You know, I'm having the weirdest sense of deja vu...

Music: neutral 4
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Image The system updates have been installed. You should no longer have to be concerned regarding any interference from WhiteNight.

Image Perfect. Time to enjoy the sweet sound of silence.

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Image WRYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!

Image THAT IS NOT SILENCE!

Image Thou hast made My work more difficult, arrogant worm! How dare thee attempt to shut Me out! For it is written, thou wilt abandon thy sinful flesh and be born again!

Image I thought you said there wouldn't be a problem!

Image It appears we have missed something.

Image Manager... It is curious that it doesn't have an E.G.O Weapon. That may be related-there could be some data we haven't observed.

Image ...You think it could be like Firebird or Apocalypse Bird?

Image It's possible.

Image Oh, I like where this is going...

Image I don't. Sounds like more work for me.

Image Struggle all you like, sons of man. My will shall be done.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: We pick a fight with WhiteNight :black101:

New Guidelines

WhiteNight

New Gear

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Requirements: Fortitude 5, Prudence 5, Temperance 5, Justice 5
*Without WhiteNight in the facility, its defenses are 0.5/0.5/0.5/0.3


New Story

WhiteNight

User avatar
Day 41: Gameplay Again Again

Image Manager, this setup is… highly unorthodox.

Image That's because we're not here to work today, Angela. This facility is going to war.

Music: neutral 4
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For today's fight, I've moved everyone around a bit. Because WhiteNight tries to prioritize his original blessed Agents to turn into the Apostles, I've unequipped all of them completely and put them all near the top of the facility. Everyone else present today is wearing an E.G.O suit with 1.0x or better Pale resistance to ensure that WhiteNight won't be able to hurt them too badly with his Red Ring of Death. As far as weapons go, I gave Lamp and Exuviae to some of our quicker attackers-this will let them attack faster so that we have more of a chance to have the damage amplification land. Everyone else is loaded up with the strongest Red and Black damage weapons we have. This is a facility geared out specifically for this fight.

I also burn through about 40-50 LOB in making sure everyone I bring along is Level 5 in every stat. Since we're going to have to rewind after this, there's no reason not to.

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Image Manager, Dimi's Prudence is still only at 4.

Image I'm aware of that. It's fine.

Dimi here happens to be the only agent in the entire facility with a Prudence below 5, and this makes her absolutely essential.

Image Is everyone ready? Any questions?

Image I got the plan, but… It's not my kind of strategy.

Image Cunning has ever eluded you. I doubt we would be in this facility now were it not the case.

Image Nobody'll care if I shove her down a flight of stairs, right?

Image Can you two do this later? I'm trying to focus.

Image Center thyself as thou like. My fury shalt not be quenched by man. On this day, I shalt ascend. On this day, I shalt be victorious. And on this day, all of creation shalt gaze upon My beauty and be saved.

Image No… today's the day I kick your butt, take your weapon, and kick you out of groupchat forever. Let's roll, team.

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Image Time to kick some ass.

Let's talk about WhiteNight.

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WhiteNight is a very tanky ALEPH Abnormality with only one attack: the Red Ring of Death it fires out over the entire facility every 60 seconds. The first pulse he fires will kill every clerk in the entire building, meaning that our Agents will be on base regenerator healing for the entire fight, which is 12 HP per regenerator tic in a main room or 6 in a hallway. The regenerators normally fire off every 10 seconds, but having an enemy in the main room will slow this down to once every 20 seconds. This means that WhiteNight's department will allow us to heal a maximum of 36 HP between each attack, which is less than he'll deal to our 1.0x resistance agents. Hiding in an enemy-free main room will double that to 72, but any engagement against WhiteNight will chew through our limited Bullet count one way or another. Ideally, we want to make the fight against it quick and decisive.

The entire fight is designed to make that as difficult to do as possible. But we'll come back to that in a moment.

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Image Let's all do our best today!

Image I'm really glad to be out of that old outfit.

Image I'm really not sure why they asked you to get back in the basic suit, but I'm sure there's a reason for it. And it looks great on you.

Image Heck yeah!

Image So since we're all out of the training suits, that means nobody needs any training here anymore, right?

Image That's correct!

Image Great, then let's just take the day off.

Image Wait, is that why you came over here?!

Image It's not a problem, is it? We've worked hard-we should have a vacation.

Image Can we… do that?

Image Well…

Image Oh, I'm sorry-um… we actually have orders. Elle, you're to head over to Control. Medea, Zeta21, you're to report to Extraction ASAP.

Image You heard her. We'll have to put a pin in it.

Image Tch.

Image Oh well… next time. You guys have fun.

I move everyone except the Blessed agents down to Extraction, and send Dimi to work.

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This is all the work we'll be doing today.

Image Manager, you are aware that this will lower its Qliphoth Counter, correct?

Image Yeah. It's part of the plan. Just like getting everyone down to Extraction except for the blessed.

Image ...I see.

Image Manager! We have a problem!

Image What's going on?!

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Image One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong~

Image Manager, Dimi went to the wrong place!

Image You're kidding-I'll handle it.

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Image WhiteNight's QC just reduced, manager. We have less than 3 minutes.

Image Right. Let's group up and make this quick.

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Image I wonder what we're all doing here…

Image Ooh! Maybe it's time for that reunion thingy again?

Image Reunion...

Image I don't think any of us have been working here long enough for us to have a reunion, ma'am.

Image Well, whatever it is we've got the bog standard newbie gear. I don't like it.

Image There's a simple way to check. Seyser!

Image What are you d-hey, let go!

Image His hair's shaking hard enough that my whole body's trembling!

Image So we're all screwed. Great.

Image Don't worry, you guys. There has to be some rational explanation for all of this..!

Image Ooh, maybe this is one of those things where one of us is the traitor?

Image It's not me! I'm definitely a normal human and not an alien at all!

Image I think you've been hanging out with that Kaori lady too much.

The main concerns in the fight with WhiteNight are his Apostles. While WhiteNight is a grinding threat designed to eat away at our resources when we engage with him, the Apostles are much more direct problems. While they don't have a lot of HP, they can't be properly killed. Every time WhiteNight uses its Red Ring of Death, every Apostle that has been defeated rises at full HP and continues their attacks.

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Scythe Apostles deal massive Red damage and have an instant-kill grab attack. If we let them come to us they can't hit us with that grab attack since they engage at the limit of their scythe range, but if we have multiple agents running by them with different movement speeds they can pick off someone around the middle with it and cost us a unit instantly. Their other attacks are too slow to be of any concern unless we're busy attacking in proximity to them-and as attacking Apostles on their own is a waste of time this generally won't be a problem.

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Guardian Apostles, however, are Scythe Apostles that don't wander. They spend their time in the same room as WhiteNight in order to protect their leader-and we have to attack their roommate if we want to win. They deal enough Pale to instantly kill anyone wearing suits less tanky than Paradise Lost (even Justita/Twilight die to their upwards slash), and they also have a grab they can use. Because they never leave the room, any attacks on WhiteNight have to maneuver around them. Smaller main rooms like the Upper Layer or Disciplinary/Welfare will require constant micromagement should he spawn there, since the Guardians can never stray far from the boss. This may make larger main rooms like Extraction/Records or even Central Command seem attractive as places to engage. The Apostles can be lured away, granting us extra time to attack WhiteNight.

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It turns out they thought of that. Spear Apostles lift off and charge across the room whenever in the same room as an opponent, dealing a crippling amount of Black damage as they go. The attack is relatively easy to avoid if we keep our agents near doors or in smaller rooms since we can rush by without a problem. However, WhiteNight spawns in the middle of whichever main room it's in. If we're caught by one while attacking him in a larger room like Extraction/Records-or especially Central Command-they can become unavoidable. That effectively means a wipe if one happens to get into the room, and there's 4 of them wandering around to keep track of.

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Wand Apostles are much like Spear Apostles in that they're more dangerous the bigger a room is. They fire a beam which deals White damage over time, and while Spear Apostles are about one big hit, Wand Apostles prefer multiple smaller ones. The damage tics multiple times per second, so getting out of dodge is the order of the day-which can be difficult to do in larger rooms.

Because there are 7 wandering Apostles that make larger rooms more dangerous and only 2 that are more dangerous in smaller rooms, the normal strategy for WhiteNight is to engage it in a department like Training or Safety where there are a number of possible escape options to avoid Apostles and the main room is relatively small. However, the small room means that we have to frequently dodge Guardian Apostles-which drags the fight out and lets WhiteNight's attrition eat away at our resources even if we're playing perfectly. That's not even including the part where we can't pause.

It's a very elegantly designed fight that is difficult because it demands a constantly high level of micromanagement, punishes your agents severely for failing to keep up with its demands, and is all also a race against time to defeat WhiteNight before we run out of bullets.

How do we deal with this? We'll cover that in a moment.

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Image I'm here! Did I miss anything?

Image Nah, we've just been milling around.

Image Ahem. Agents? Hello? Hi. Yes. This is your manager speaking.

Image We know who you are.

Image Er… yes. You would. Um… anyways… we're going to be going into a difficult suppression against that new Abnormality soon. I know you all must be scared of the idea of facing it again, and I wanted to assure you that-

Image Scared? Why would we be scared?

Image It's just another Abnormality, isn't it?

Image I don't know about that-its form did shift overnight, didn't it?

Image What's all this about facing it 'again,' anyways..?

Image I-I-I think the Manager's a little bit scatterbrained at the moment! Let's all just... move along and take care of the thing when it pops up!

Image I agree with Bishop. Manager, if you're tired, please just take a nap. :geno:

Image ...Oh. Oh. Yes, sorry. Anyways we'll be doing a breach so we can research this thing-I need you all on your toes. But don't worry. I have a plan!

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Image Manager, it's lowered its own status again. A breach is imminent.

Image Alright. Just let me visualize my actions.

Image Soon… soon! I shalt reign over this world and bring it forth into a new age!

There are three broad kinds of strategies to deal with WhiteNight, each of which having their own strengths and weaknesses.

The first type is to engage with its mechanics as intended, and to have your agents dodge around as best you're able in order to cut him down before he whittles your facility into nothing. It's much easier to do if we've been keeping our blessed alive and are trying to suppress him the first time we've found him, because we can control who has which gear-WhiteNight's ability to transform random people to make up the number afterwards can throw a wrench into this otherwise since he can turn well-equipped agents into Apostles, but even with losses like that this strategy is very workable. It just needs practice, and a willingness to burn time. My first time facing WhiteNight I used a strategy like this, and it took ~ten minutes to burn him down.

The second type is to set up a group of agents who can ignore the Red Ring of Death entirely, most commonly via Paradise Lost or CENSWORD+Justita, and have them chip the boss down in a battle of attrition. This is a relatively safe strategy as we can take as long as we like to whittle down WhiteNight, and it works well so long as we even have one of our tanky characters survive the initial transformation so it's quite reliable. However, there are downsides. The first is that it takes forever. WhiteNight has a lot of HP and powerful defenses, so a small team of agents can't burn through it very quickly. This gives us plenty of time to get careless or overextend and make a mistake. That leads into problem two: mistakes are costly. Fewer agents mean if we lose one to a grab or a scythe hit from a Guardian the entire run is going to take twice as long, or even have to be scrapped straight out. My second time facing WhiteNight I tried to duo him, but had one of the pair die to a grab within the first two minutes. The fight lasted about an hour. It's worth mentioning that the first type of plan can fall back to this one if we make a mistake-it's very possible to salvage a WhiteNight run by having a few survivors work on whittling down the last of his HP from relative safety.

The third type of strategy is to introduce something to the mix which somehow disrupts the intended flow of the fight. Most commonly this is done via Green Midnight, so let's talk about it for a moment.

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While we haven't seen it in the LP proper yet, I did catch one on video during Tiphereth's suppression. It is incredibly tanky, and since to Ordeals Pale damage is just a number it takes quite a long time for the Guardian Apostles to be able to kill it. In that time, it can power up its laser and begin a sweep of the facility. While our agents can dodge it by simply hopping from one elevator to another, a WhiteNight positioned in the Information team main room can't. He's stuck taking 6-10 damage 5 times per second from two different beams, for an average of 80/second. At 12,000 HP, this means WhiteNight will live on average for ~150 seconds, enough time to fire off two Red Rings of Death and not much else. Because this source of damage is consistent and requires none of our agents to be in danger, it breaks the WhiteNight fight entirely and makes it fairly simple for anyone to win.

I don't particularly like this strategy. It requires spamming retries until WhiteNight shows up in Information, spending ~20 minutes to get to Midnight, and then praying for a 1-in-3 chance that we see it instead of Amber or Violet Midnight. Put simply, it would kill our Retry count.

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So this time, I'm going in a bit of a different direction. :getin:

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Image So I just hold onto this? I can do that. How long?

Image Oh, you'll know when to let go.

Image Manager, are you sure that this is the only way?

Image There's a fair few other ways that this could go down… but this isn't just about winning.

Image It isn't?

Image No. It's about sending a message.

Image Thou flyest too high, and the light of My radiance shalt melt this Wing of wax.

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Every 30 seconds Twee spends holding Yang drops Yin's QC by 1, so it takes a minute to breach. WhiteNight takes 90 seconds to escape after hitting his red aura, so we can use the leftover time to let the fish move towards each other.

Music: First Trumpet
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Image Thanks for the heads-up.

Image This had better work! Those fish always leave a huge mess to clean up!

I take a second to see how Yang is moving. It's going to the left, out of Disciplinary. Yin and Yang will always choose an arbitrary spot in the facility to move toward, and the Dragon always flies from one of three spots at the top of the facility down directly over where they meet-this means that we can effectively dodge the dragon by staying out of the three pathways it can take. With easy access to all of Extraction and the Disciplinary elevator, our agents are poised to dodge as need be-in this case the Extraction team elevator will do fine. I have everyone move...

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Image My time cometh. Rise, My servants! Let us take back this planet and make it anew!

Music: Third Trumpet
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Image Manager, reports coming from all over the Upper Layer.

Image I'll summarize: They all died, the end.

Image The TT2 protocol has been compromised again as well. It seems this Abnormality and the Apocalypse Bird have the same ability to distort time… no, this one is stronger, perhaps…

Image Got it. Anything else?

Image Big Bird came out to play. Handle it at your leisure, it isn't going to stop breaching anytime soon.

Image I'll keep it in mind. Everyone, wait for my signal.

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Image Seriously?! Too small?

Image I am merely providing a possibility.

Image Whatever, everyone handle it!

I've circled Mr.Black, above. All the breaches got Parasite Tree going, and he ran up to get blessed. Being done with that, he's decided to pick a fight with Big Bird.

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I didn't notice this at all in the moment, and it ended with a big ol' chomp.

Image His last words were 'I suppose after all this time, it's finally my turn! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!' sir.

Image Disturbing to the bitter end, that one. Let's try not to repeat that. Bishop, how's the suppression going?

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Image We've got this under control!

Image You're grounded, mister! Go to your room!

Mountain of Smiling Bodies vs Every Red and Black damage ALEPH weapon in the facility ends with the Mountain being suppressed quite quickly.

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Image Taste My wrath, Manager! Hide in thy burrows, it shalt not save thee!

Image I'm not hiding. I'm biding my time.

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Image Thou darest to claim thou art biding thy time? Arrogant worm, you stand before your God! Accept thy judgment!

Image Yeah, funny thing about that.

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Image There's a lot of gods around here.

Image All hands, brace for impact! Get the damage report ready ASAP!

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Image Multiple breaches across the facility.

This was why it was vitally important that Dimi work with Blue Star to lower its QC. The dragon can't free an Abnormality that's at less than full QC, and it getting out would probably kill us all.

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Image Manager, we're waiting for the smoke to clear now.

Image Perfect. Have the others suppress Mountain again, I'll be along in just a moment.

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I should note that whenever WhiteNight is in focus on the screen during its breach, it plays its own tune in addition to whatever music is going on. It's appropriately big, and a nice touch.

Image Was that the extent of thy power? I remain untouched by thy best effort.

Image Yeah… I noticed it didn't work on Apocalypse Bird either. But when did I ever say you were my target?

Image ...My servants... What have you done to My Apostles?!

Image I hit them with a freaking dragon. Duh.

Confused? Let's talk about my favorite thing in the world: Lobotomy Corporation's coding. The immortality of the Apostles is actually dealt with in the games code in a rather clever way: the Apostles never actually die. Instead, they're only ever able to be reduced to 1 HP, at which point they enter a dormant state. WhiteNight's Red Ring of Death fully heals any such Apostle and has them return to their active state whenever it comes out. As a result, Apostles can't be killed by damage.

Unfortunately for them, the Yin/Yang dragon doesn't deal damage. It just inverts the HP/SP stats of anything in its path instantly, and this can get around the Apostles' protection against death. If they're hit by a dragon while at full HP they simply disappear-since they don't have a proper death animation because we were never supposed to kill them.

In short, we just hit WhiteNight with a lethal dose of :lobcorp:

Image Is it time?

Image Oh yeah. It's time.

Image All agents, charge!

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Image This is UNACCEPTABLE!

Image No, what's unacceptable is you walking in here acting like we're all just going to bow to you. Like we're not just going to figure out how to deal with your brand of bull before moving on to the next Abnormality just like always. Tiphereth! Status!

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Image All agents are still alive and well!

Image Great. Rendezvous in Training.

Image Sir!

Our first shot hit dead-on here, but truth be told I'd planned for at least one miss. By keeping everyone in Extraction and away from the action I could make sure their healing outpaced the red ring's damage, and Twee's fast and tanky enough to grab Yang and deposit it right in front of Yin's door as many times as needed. I was completely prepared to fire multiple dragons to pull this off.

Instead we get one perfect dragon that flies through the facility and wipes out five of WhiteNight's Apostles all at once-including the most important two, the Guardians.

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Image Thou think thyself clever? That thou art more than a man? Compared to My radiance-

Image Shut uuup, already. We can't rely on something as unreliable as 'gods' to fix humanity. Instead, it falls to me and my presumably genius plan. And you? You're a damn cog in that plan. Trying to usurp my control? Trying to 'save' everyone with some quack solution that'll just cause more problems than it solves? Yeah-that's not going to fly here. Not anymore. All agents… suppress the target.

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Without his Guardians to protect him, we can focus entirely on dealing damage to WhiteNight. This fight is already basically over, we just have to wait for the damage to pile on.

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Image So this is that WhiteNight up close…

Image Fish in a barrel. Keep attacking.

Image I'll open up some weaknesses for you to focus on-just keep the pressure going!

Image Such arrogance! Is it not written, 'thou shalt not test God?' You try My patience!

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Image BEGONE!

Image Gh-that one smarts!

Image Just think of it as an incentive to hit faster!

Image Manager, some support'd be nice!

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Image I've got your backs, everyone! Nanites incoming!

Image This… cannot be! Have I failed Mother..?

Image Hey-he said the thing!

Image That means we're about to win!

Image Don't jinx it!

Burning him down takes a while, but there's really nothing he can do to stop us.

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Image Manager, we have opted to reduce the threat level.

Image Makes sense. We've got things basically in hand now.

Image It's dark. The bird's nearby.

Image Don't worry about that right now. We're almost there!

In the end, WhiteNight doesn't get to fire off another ring before...

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Image This… isn't over..! I shalt return, reborn forever..!

Image Yesod?

Image We've acquired the necessary data. Sending it for extraction and analysis now.

Image Nice!

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Image Also, Sephiroth died at the same time as the Abnormality was suppressed. We've pushed the warning level back up to a Third Trumpet.

Image ...sure, why not. :geno: Someone, get me a status report.

Image Of course! I made sure to stay on top of everything going on! Of course, you can already see the static from 1.76 MHz...

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Image Big Bird is currently wandering the Training department, but should be a simple suppression from here.

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Image The King of Greed is wandering Disciplinary.

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Image And Nothing There is in Central, in its third form. It's currently healing, but should still be able to be stopped with some effort! There are no other notable threats, sir!

Image Thanks Malkuth, excellent summary.

Image Anytime, manager!

Image Gebura, how're our weapons?

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Image We rebuilt the E.G.O we lost from Mr.Black's death.

Image And Binah? How's our new weapon looking?

Image My duty has been completed, Manager.

Image Great. Good work, everyone.

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Image Let's get the hell out of here.

With our suppression done, we can Memory Repository out and keep our new toy. Since I don't want to keep any of our agents dead, we do that.

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Image I'm just gonna' say what everyone's thinking: Worst. Vacation. Ever.

Image We didn't even get a vacation today, though?

Image Exactly. I'm going on break.

Image What-already?

Image You've got some real moves, Twee. You were punching like lightning during that fight.

Image Well, what can I say? Float like a butterfly, punch like a spring-loaded bobblehead!

Image So, anyone have plans for later?

Image Frankly I'm just going to enjoy the silence. It'll be a lot harder working without Mizu around, but all her chatter really wears at you just like a White attack would.

Image On the upside, I don't think you need to worry too much about the work getting harder anytime soon. :sigh:

Image :psyduck:

Music: neutral 3
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Image Manager, I have put through the updates based on the additional data gathered from the newest E.G.O from WhiteNight. This should hopefully keep it out of our communications and order systems.

Image Can we stop it from disabling my pause button?

Image Unfortunately, that is related to the Abnormality's presence and not any specific action. It can only be prevented by proper management.

Image Heck. Oh well, let's see if this works.

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Image Do you hear that?

Image Um… there's nothing to hear?

Image Exactly. It worked. Now I don't have to listen to that stupid thing anymore. Good work, everyone. Now-I think we were in the middle of something, Hokma?

Image Oh, that has to wait.

Image What?

Image I'm sure you know by now, A-on Memory Repository days, we can't face off. That's always been the case.

Image Oh yeah, that was a rule, wasn't it..? Man, so you mean I have to go all the way through Day 41 again? But that's… boring!

Image Oh, you never know. Something interesting may happen.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Nothing interesting happens.

New Gear

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Requirements: Fortitude 5, Prudence 5, Temperance 5, Justice 5
*Not affected by Attack Speed
Last edited by TeeQueue on Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Sometimes all you need to do is throw dragons at the problem until it goes away.

That was just awesome. You pulled off an even cooler Dragon Fist than SS3 Goku.

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That was very satisfying

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It's time for a general update State of the LP thingy, because an unexpected event is coming! Specifically, I'm going on vacation! :dance:

I've got one week left at work, which I'll be using to get through the last Day 41 (I promise) and Day 42's suppression. I don't foresee any issues with getting that done if I keep going at my usual rate. After that I'm taking a week off, which means no thread updates until I go back.

I'm going to try to grab footage for the rest of the game at some point during my downtime. With any luck I'll be able to get everything done through day 50, but since endgame can be a little bit tricky I mostly just want to get as ahead of the curve as I can. I'll still keep an eye on the thread, of course, I just won't be writing any official updates.

That's all I've got! Thanks for your time, and have a great day.

Have a good rest before coming back to management!

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Day 41: Gameplay Again Again Again

Music: neutral 2
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Image Well, this has been an eventful day, hasn't it?

Image We've accomplished a great deal in a relatively short amount of time. However, we cannot proceed forward if we stay here at the beginning of the week.

Image Yeah, it's finally time to move forward. Places to be, robots to beat.

Image Attempt to beat.

Image WhiteNight won't be able to save you this time. I know what's going on.

Image Calm down, you two. We have to get through this day before you get back to your tiff.

Image Yesod's right. This isn't the time for this. We need to get this train moving again. And since someone isn't brave enough to break company policy…

Image I see no reason to harm any part of this elegantly designed shell we live within.

Image That means we carry forward. Chesed, get Twee ready. She'll be taking point with WhiteNight.

Image Of course~

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Image I wonder how you'll react today? Don't disappoint me.

Before we go any further, there's something I should note about our mission for the day:

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It's already done thanks to our previous day 41s, and it's so long that it actually leaves the interface area.

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Image Let’s make the best of today as always~

Image Where's Twee gotten off to?

Image I saw her running towards Records earlier.

Image Huh... Wonder why?

Image The manager's decided to assign her to WhiteNight. She's been equipped for maximum durability, so there should be no problem~

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Honestly… this is overkill. To start with, Twee takes 0.2x any Pale damage WhiteNight deals. Then, CENSWORD restores HP equal to 40% of the damage taken, and the Mimicry gift also gives an additional 5% boost to the damage healed by CENSWORD's effect, making that 40% into 42%. This means she will effectively be taking only 0.116x the damage she otherwise would from WhiteNight's attacks. Defensive modifiers are always multiplicative, and slapping a few onto Paradise Lost is where things start to get absolutely nuts.

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Image Let's all do our best today!

Image I'm really glad to be out of that old outfit.

Image It's because of all your own hard work. Feel proud that you've made it!

Image Heck yeah!

Image So that means nobody needs any training here anymore, right?

Image That's correct!

Image Great, then let's just take the day off.

Image Wait, is that why you came over here?!

Image It's not a problem, is it? We've worked hard-we should have a vacation.

Image Can we… do that?

Image Well… nobody actually has any training to do. I don't see why not! Let's relax as much as we can today!

Image Sweet.

Meanwhile, Twee begins her work with WhiteNight.

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Image Why art thou like this?

Image I just want to fluff your wings some, maybe harvest a feather. It's not a big deal-right?

Image Thou shalt have no such favor from Me.

His movement put him back in Behavior Adjustment's spot again, causing the same glitch as before. :allears:

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Meanwhile, the Clerks in Records get cleared out as insurance against Bad WhiteNight results.

Image Talow, you seem a bit off. Everything okay?

Image Oh, fine, just fine. Just need to talk to the manager later.

Image I've heard he's pretty chill-it should be okay, right?

Image We'll see. First I may as well get some work done.

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These two will be providing a good amount of our energy as we farm for their E.G.O gifts. Luckily, nothing really happens today.

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Yep, nothing at all. :shepface:

Image Manager, are you trying to get everyone in the entire facility killed?

Image I brought us to the next meltdown level, didn't I? Twee'll take care of it.

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Image Hold on, I have to take this.

Image You make it very hard to have faith in you, sir.

Image I know.

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Image Really don't see how a joke about hobbies wound up getting me put out here…

Image I thought you'd like to take up birdwatching!

Image Not a great joke.

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Image And voila. We're already back up to blue. See? No problem, I've got that guy figured out.

Image While you were busy with figuring him out, the King of Greed is in my hallways!

Image What? That's impossible, I never recieved a… Hokma!

Image Yes, A?

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Image Would you mind explaining this?

Image Oh, this?

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Image I'm afraid I have no idea how they survived either, A.

Image That isn't what I mean, and you know it.

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Image The King of Greed. You didn't say anything.

Image Ah, yes. WhiteNight has been brought under control, so there was not a reason to work with you any longer.

Image But you said-

Image That protocol prevented me from taking action until tomorrow. And I haven't acted. I've done nothing at all, A.

Image Wow. He's got you there~

Image Please don't sound impressed. Gebura, coordinate a strike force.

Image Already done. Figured you'd ask.

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Queen of Greed is easier to deal with if we slow it down, so Tylana and Mr.Black's Smile E.G.O are very good at opening it up to everyone else.

Image Between us we should have this, right ma'am?

Image Most likely! This one's not that dangerous even if she does leave, though. Just make sure not to follow after it.

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Image Not that she'll get a chance, ma'am!

Image Sure enough. Not bad, Gaia.

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Violet Dawn.

Image Oh I just had an idea. Let's have Mizu field test the new weapon.

Image You gave a highly experimental weapon… to Mizu?

Image If it exploded, she'd probably be fine?

Image Point taken.

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Image What's that? You wanna do something special? Okee-dokie, let's do a special!

Mizu's first attack with the Paradise Lost E.G.O is its special attack, usable only when WhiteNight is in the facility. Whenever this attack happens, it generates a unique yellow shield over the user. This shield blocks the first 100 damage the agent would take, regardless of damage type.

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The attack itself is a big black scythe swipe over the area where she's attacking-you can see it over Mountain's cell, though it shows up a bit better when we're not all the way down in Extraction. It also hit from the other side of one of the longest hallways in the game.

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Its normal attack comes out quickly, hits the entire room at once, and restores the user's HP/SP with every hit. It's very difficult to see the red scythes/spears coming out from underneath the Violet Dawn on the left, but this is a good idea as to just how long the range on this weapon is. It's easily one of the best defensive weapons in the game for having both its range and recovery ability-and in Lobotomy Corporation defensive strategies tend to be much more powerful than offensive ones.

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:v: Do you need help?

Image Nah, I can handle a moldy tablet by myself anytime.

:v: If you say so.

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Violet Done.

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Image Is there any way we can use the energy from last time to just… skip ahead a bit?

Image Unfortunately not. As we garnered that energy in the future, it is not available here and now.

Image So future me has it and won't share.

Image That is… not precisely how it works.

Image I know. Shame, really. I wanted to call it early.

Image That excited to meet your end by my hands, are you?

Image If the others couldn't beat me, what makes you think you can?

Image You've spent more than half of your time today on pause, and this isn't even anything unusual.

Image That's a distressingly good point.

Image Don't worry, sir! Even if you fail over and over and over again, I'm sure you'll pick yourself back up like always!

Image ...thank you, Malkuth. :geno:

Image Anytime!

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Image Come to think of it, it's been a while since we've had to redo days…

Image It was rather comforting to have a generally normal flow of time.

Image Um… it's not like time has much meaning here anyways, does it? Our work is the same seven days a week.

Image Still, it's awkward to watch someone die and have to look them in the eye the next day.

Image For you, too? I've managed to get over it… the key is to just not look anyone in the eye.

Image Is that why you're always napping so much?

Image Ehh… could be.

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Image Mmm… I don't get what Mizu sees in you. You just sort of jiggle menacingly.

Image She tastes like strawberry!

Image Taking your word for that one, thanks.

While we have Mizu working here, we don't really want to do too much of that-she can't heal from Regenerators with Paradise Lost equipped, so eventually she'll get worn down.

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Very eventually. For all normal purposes she'll be just fine.

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Image Well, it was just one day but we managed to get almost everything we wanted to done.

Image Didn't really like how I had to go birdwatching. Three times.

Image You're fine, it's just Punishing Bird-it's a total softie.

Image Vacation days are so relaxing. I don't ever want today to end.

Image That's how it goes, I'm afraid. Let's just get the paperwork done and-

Image Already did it. I keep a couple prefilled reports just in case.

Image Should you be doing that? If the Sephirot found out you could get in trouble.

Image Eh, it's not that much worse than having a vacation on the clock.

Image She's got a point there.

Image Fine. Let's finish up and head off to the lockers, just us three-

Image Hang on a second! We're not done yet!

Image Huh?

Image Justice! None of my Justice training's done, I haven't even started it yet. I can't be done with training until I finish it!

Image Oh… come to think of it, that's right. In that case, get over to Safety. A couple works with Blue Star should get things in order quick enough.

Image ...That means we've got to come up with actual paperwork. None of mine have any works on them. :sigh:

Image No problem, we'll take care of it in the meantime. You get to work.

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Since this loop is a keeper, we need to start actually training our agents again. That means Elle is going to Safety for now.

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Violet Noon. One of the major threats of a late game Violet Noon is the monuments landing on a bunch of clerks at once, killing them en masse and freeing multiple Abnormalities at once.

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The solution is to pause the second we change over, and quickly Execution Bullet everyone within the same room. Elle will be fine, of course.

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Image Unlike that fish, this time around I can use my special technique! The lot of you should be thankful you have someone this skilled around.

Image Which special technique was that again, ma'am?

Image I can boost Red damage! All of your attacks will be stronger thanks to the great Dimi.

Image ...don't tell her. It's easier if she thinks she's important to the plan.

Image Yes ma'am.

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Image Sweet, we're over the hill. Let's have Twee work with WhiteNight until it's time to stop.

Image Why's that, Manager?

Image Have you seen that E.G.O gift? I want that.

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Image ...Why are we back here?

Image Hiding from them. If you're smart, you will too.

Image ...why?

Image The darkness within this place ebbs forth. Can you feel it? Deep within your soul?

Image Indeed! Either that or it's indigestion! HAHAHAHA!

Image I'm going to go work with Blue Star.

Image Yes. Go fast.

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Image In here, it's nice and quiet… Just me, and the hum of a star. :allears:

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Image Are you suuure I can't have a wing of my own?

Image Thou art not worthy, for thou showest Me not the least respect.

Image Aww, but you're so fluffy!

Image Disappear from My sight.

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Image Manager, this seems as though it could be a problem.

Image Naaah. It's fine.

Image It shalt not be for thee. Not for long.

Image Who the hell let you back into this… Hokma!

Image He isn't responding. I believe he may be preparing for tomorrow.

Image Right. Cut his comms then, that should solve it.

Image Thou shalt not simply be able to ignore My radiance forev-

Image It is done, manager.

Image Thank you. Gotta say, I'm... not looking forward to this.

Image Nevertheless, you shall be equal to this task. That is your duty as manager, and you've thus far never failed to deliver.

Image Yeah. Good point, Angela.

Image Hey, boss. I interrupting something?

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Image Nah, go ahead.

Image I'm just going to ask… are you done? Are we moving again?

Image Huh? Oh-yeah, barring anything unexpected we shouldn't be having to rewind any more from here.

Image Good. We're close enough to a confrontation with that bastard robot that I can taste it, and collapsing the building on itself gets boring after the fourth time you do it in a row.

Image Collapsing the… I'll ask tomorrow. Can't leave the baby alone.

Image No, I suppose you can't. :rolleyes:

Image What'cha talking about?

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Image Wha?!

Image I just asked what were you talkin' about. Seemed interesting.

Image How long were you standing there?

Image Whole time.

Image Then I guess you already know, huh.

Image I know basically enough to have about a million questions.

Image Ask Bishop, then. I'm sure he'd love to act like a real detective for once.

Image But you're the one who-

Image Gotta go, urgent page.

Image Wha-hey!

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Image Twee…

Image I did my best! It was not very good.

Image Well. This seems like a good time to end the day. Good work everyone!

Since WhiteNight's QC only decreases after its work cooldown clears, if we're feeling cheeky we can try to sneak in more works until we get a Bad result at 1 like this. He's quite forgiving to work, really-very fitting for a savior.

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Image Everyone made it home safely. That means I win, right?

Image No! There was an Abnormality that escaped, so things definitely went wrong!

Image Mmm… Okay. We can call it your win, then.

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And of course, Elle finished her Justice training.

Image I'm just glad the day's finally over. Let's get the next Abnormality settled and get some rest, everyone.

Music: never frozen bottom flows
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We've seen all of these before, so I'll skip the formalities. Instead, I'll point out a nice feature the game gives us: Abnormalities whose names we know will show up on their boxes on this screen. This means we don't have to remember a bunch of numbers unless we really want to! :eng101:

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Anyways, the last Magical Girl has been without her friends for way too long, and our facility can definitely handle her by now. Let's fix that.

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Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Hokma tries to kill us (again) because he's an AI and this is a video game.

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Day 42: Gameplay

Day 42 Story

The main Angela scene plays every time we hit the day in question, even if we've already seen it. If there's nothing new I'll just link them in the relevant updates where they'd otherwise be.

Music: neutral 4
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Image ...Well, here we are again.

Image We remain in entirely uncharted territory, Manager. Use extreme caution.

Image Given that we can't get caught by surprise anymore, I don't think it'll be a problem. Anyone have any business before we press onward?

Image The Upper Layer is perfect as always! Bishop's in the E.G.O that you ordered him into, Manager!

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Bishop is on WhiteNight duty today so that I have someone within the same department who I can send to work with him during meltdowns. Because of that, we're having to equip him more heavily than normal.

Image Everything's in order in the Middle Layer, manager!!

Image You've doubled the number of agents I have to handle. I don't care for them.

Image I'm the one who's handling them, and your department has four Abnormalities to deal with. You'll live. Anything else?

Image That appears to be all. I wish you success this time, Manager..

Image Alright. Let's rock.

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Music: Second Trumpet
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Image There you are. I knew you'd be back here. This time, I'll crush you for sure.

Image Don't think so, old man. I'm going to manage today just like any other, and remind you that I'm still quite capable of making miracles.

Image Wow, someone's full of themselves.

Image There you are, Talow. Sorry about borrowing your E.G.O, but we needed it.

Image Just don't mention that you gave it to Bishop. After your stunt the clerks didn't stop whispering, they just got quieter about it.

Image I have no intention of waiting for your ceaseless nattering. Nothing has changed. Nothing shall change. The cycle continues, unbroken.

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All Levels wrote: Image Do we truly need to change?

Image All of your loved ones are finally by your side now.

Image We will not ever lose anyone, as long as the cycle repeats.
Level 1 wrote:
Image Why are you trying to let us slip away?

Image I just wish to stay with you, everyone, and all that we have left in this eternal moment.

Image Please do not steal away the last glimmer of what I treasure.
We already covered Hokma's main trick a few days ago, so I'll avoid going too deep into it now. As a quick refresher: We can't speed up time, and pausing will make people instantly die or panic. He also removes Meltdown immunity, so the Meltdowns that spawn can show up anywhere in the facility-meaning we'll have to waste precious time looking for them. Given that by this point the game's trained us to hit space and assess the situation anytime anything happens, muscle memory is one of our worst threats in this suppression. Luckily, I have an effective solution:

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Image Manager, what the hell did you do to your keyboard?

Image Oh this? Countermeasure. I realized that if I can't hit the spacebar, I can't pause. So I just... popped it out.

Image That didn't save you last time.

Image Last time I didn't lose.

Image You did what I wanted in the end. That's close enough.

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Image Looking sharp in that ALEPH gear, boss!

Image Ehh… it really doesn't fit well with me? I'm just wearing it today to work with WhiteNight.

Image It doesn't? I thought it was powerful.

Image That's the problem. The instincts that come from these E.G.O are a lot more insistent than weaker Abnormalities, so they wind up throwing me off. Not a fan of that happening in tense situations.

Image Ooooh. I'm sure you'll find a suit that works for you soon, boss.

As a reminder, WhiteNight lowers its own QC every 90 seconds and with Hokma around that means we can't pause. We need to keep it in mind at all times if we don't want to lose.

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Image So anyways, then I realized I could just never stop working it, and it'll turn out fine.

Image Huh… I guess that would do it.

As BICEPS showed, constantly working WhiteNight is just fine with high enough Temperance. Bishop's currently right at the borderline where it should be safe if we don't spend too much time in the -30% range.

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In the meanwhile, we clear out the clerks one department at the time. Extraction is first, since we shouldn't need their bonus today.

Image Oh right, Manager. I didn't get a chance to review what you picked up yesterday. What was the new Abnormality, again?

Image Oh, that one? It said something about love and justice, so I thought she'd be a good pick.

Image ...oh no.

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Image Do you have any idea the horror you've just brought into this facility, Manager?

Image I dunno, she seems cute to me. What's wrong with her?

Image Everything. Her name is-

Image Now, now. That would be spoiling it, Talow. We can't have that. He has to work with her, same as any other Abnormality.

Image You know you can't tell me what to do anymore, right?

Image You are my subordinate, and will do as I say.

Image I take care of that entire team myself, while you're off sniffing the manager's tailcoat. Your subordinate? I do all the real work around here.

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Image While you two were arguing, I just sent Boksi to go say hello. Seems to have worked out fine.

Image It always seems that way at first-but she's bad news. Really bad news.

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Image I dunno, she seems to like him.

Whenever an employee finishes a work with -04, she blows them a kiss which fully heals their HP/SP. This makes her absolutely terrible for training as it's impossible to get a damage modifier to any work with her.

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Image ...Well, she's definitely a Magical Girl.

Image I keep telling you, that's not her real name. It's actually-

Image Talow. We have rules.

Image Screw the rules, you damn tin can! Your rules just got me murdered ten thousand times! Maybe more! Do you remember anything about what it's like to die, before they shoved you in that body?

Image I do not. It's not relevant to my position.

Image It turns out it hurts! I snap back, but that doesn't mean I just forget all that stuff that happens! And that damned snake of an Abnormality's killed me about as much as anything in this facility has!

Image Ookay, I can see that you two are going to need a second. I'm just going to… figure out a plan over here, real quick.

Image Just make sure it involves killing clerks! Lots of clerks, every level.

Image We were doing that today anyways, so sure.

Image Listen here, you impertinent little ingrate. I saved you from squallor, brought you to a company and gave you a position any would envy-and you completely disregard the rules we have set?

Image Your rules are stupid, and I'm tired of dying pointlessly for you. I want it to end.

Image HAHA WOW LOOK AT ALL THIS MANAGING I'M DOING! :buddy:

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Our basic routine is fairly simple today. In addition to WhiteNight, every work cycle with him I'll be sending someone to our new Magical Girl. Then, I'll pick 2 of the other 3 Abnormalities in the lefthand square and work them as well. The fifth work in every cycle is with Parasite Tree. This will ensure that the Tree can't get its effect off, and keeps all of the action as contained as we can make it.

I've said before that every Suppression is a test of something, and Hokma is a test of actively controlling our situation. The key with this fight is to anticipate the issues that will occur and take steps to stop them before they have a chance to. If our facility has an actual emergency, it will cost people to pause and deal with it-so our plan is to just not let ourselves have any.

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Image Okay, so. Hokma. We should really get on talking about how you're caught up in-

Image Petulant whelp! Appreciate what you have!

Image Oh shut the hell up! There's nothing 'petulant' about being tired of dying every couple weeks for thousands of years! I had to watch Medea kill herself last time you guys did a repository reset! All so you could get some stupid information, and what do I get for my trouble?

Image I allowed you to keep your position despite your impertinence!

Image Woop-de-shit, I get to keep a job I hate! I never should have helped you. Either of you.

Image It was your duty.

Image It was my ticket out. But no, instead I decide to do the right thing and try to keep everyone else around here from suffering. Not that it matters, they don't remember. I'm the only one who does. Do you have any idea what that's like?

Image You're overselling it. It's not my fault you're immature.

Image You do not get to say that to me you creepy stalker fanboy of a robutt.

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Image ...this… might be harder than I thought.

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Image Hey guys, I got the name! She's Queen of Hatred! That means we can discuss her now!

Image -and don't think I haven't noticed your dalliance with that Control Team Captain! You're risking putting us all in an incredibly awkward spot!

Image I had to do something! Nothing ever changes around here! It's just an endless loop!

Image That is a feature, not a bug. Like this, A will never have to suffer again.

Image No matter how many people's backs that suffering is based on?!

Image I couldn't care less about any of them.

Image RRGH!

*CRASH*

Image No, not the BEES poster! ...also I was going to drink that wine later...

Queen of Hatred requires that we kill at least 3 employees per meltdown level, or else she'll lose one QC of her 2 maximum. We'll talk more about her tomorrow when things aren't so busy, for today we'll be handling her properly to make sure nothing bad happens. She's quite troublesome if we forget. :v:

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Since our Dawn today is a Violet ordeal, I position to intercept it while doing our works. This is fairly simple-I just position one or two agents in each hallway. Violet Dawn could be a problem if it survives long enough to blow up, but doing this will ensure that each one is suppressed as soon as they appear-we won't need to do anything. With that done, it's back to work as usual. As long as we have a plan and stick to it the early parts of Hokma are easy.

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We just have to remember to murder the clerks every new level.

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Image So uh… are you two going to stop anytime soon?

Image I'd like to, but Talow here won't accept the gift he's been granted.

Image It's not a gift, moron! I could explain this a thousand ways and you'd never get it. People don't like dying!

Image You don't die. You come back right after, in full possession of your faculties.

Image We die. You don't know how traumatic that is on a person's mind until you've done it-it's not good!

Image You're simply thinking of it wrong. There's no difference to your continuity of consciousness between being murdered and simply losing consciousness from blunt force trauma. What happens to you can barely be called 'dying' at all. The concept of death doesn't exist here, since everything is on pause.

Image You're insane!

Image :sigh: That's a no, then. This is… not good…

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Queen of Hatred's information is finished not long after. My side-goal for the day is to get her gear, which will cost us 260 more boxes total-in terms of style they're easily among my favorite E.G.O in the game.

Image Okay, so Talow and Hokma are…

Image This world is perfection. No true death exists here, and I can coexist with A for eternity as gods. Why would I ever give that up?

Image "Screw you, got mine" is not a damn argument!

Image ...busy, and they're not listening to me. More to the point, like this they're going to keep going around in circles and not get anywhere between the two of them. That would be bad, since it would make all this meaningless, like with Gebura… Yep. I've got this side of things figured out, but…

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Image Clearly, that won't be enough.

Violet Dawn. As I said before, everyone has already been positioned to intercept all of the Ordeals.

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It ends in just a few seconds. Our new goal is to move everyone back to their normal positions and get in position for the next meltdown while we continue to do our usual work pattern.

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This time it's Welfare's turn. I'm trying to pick off the least useful departments, and go from the outside inward in order to minimize the risk to my facility. Ideally we'll keep Central around as long as possible for the bonus time on Meltdowns.

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Image Okay, we're back in order. Now I just need a plan.

Image And another thing! Don't think I haven't found out about your little vacations. Spending two months in the Shelter is not an acceptable way to pass time!

Image It literally doesn't matter! There's nothing wrong with taking care of yourself if your higher ups don't care-and you freaking don't, not to mention that I have to do your job on top of mine. You don't get to talk about my time off habits until you actually do your own damn paperwork.

Image God, they're going at it just like I used to with… huh. I wonder.

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Image Hey, can you two quiet down for a second? I have an idea that might...

Image Why don't you just go suck on a can of motor oil and leave us to clean up your damn mess like you always do!

Image As if you'd even know where to begin! None of you do, you're simply a child pretending to understand things you don't!

Image Guys… Can you just...

Image You're just a washed up microwave that gave up years ago!

Image Like I care what an ingrate has to say!

Image SHUT UP!! Both of you!

Music: 090909090
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Image How dare you speak to me like that!

Image Benjamin. Shut the hell up. Now.

Image ...Yes, A.

Image Serves you right, you pompous old windb-

Image Talow. You, too.

Image ...Tch.

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Meltdown management is important in this fight, but since the day takes so long to get through we can afford to miss quite a few. The one on the Portrait will cost us 15 PE boxes to avoid, but since Portrait would add another layer of complexity to our suppressions later I opt to just let it expire. In general, we want to check our most dangerous Abnormalities for Meltdowns first, then work our way down the ladder. Like the other suppressions, Hokma can't put Meltdowns in his own department, so we've lucked out by having King of Greed and Nothing There both staying there.

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Image Okay. Now that you've all had a second to stop yelling, and I've got everything back under control, here's what we're going to do. Talow, you have been our most consistent worker since day one. What's going on?

Image I'm sick and tired of this ass I have for a boss. What more is there to say?

Image Well, you were saying plenty before. Why not start there?

Image Fine. I've been looping through life after life for longer than I can remember. Each time, everyone lives for maybe a couple of weeks before dying. Half the time I die doing something I know will get me killed. The other half I can get out of the way for a while, and watch everyone else die. I'm over that. I want out. And this guy here, he's acting like it doesn't even matter. He doesn't care about anything but spending eternity with you.

Image I have told you many times A, the employees are-

Image Benjamin. You'll get your turn. Right now you let him talk.

Image ...This is absurd.

Image I don't really… remember before this place, anymore? If I really try, I think I might know what the City looks like still. Can't remember the last time I saw it. I'm not like the others. They come back and it's just like they woke up for the first time. Fresh, and new, and I can't tell them anything about any of this. I know. I've checked. So, at this point I just want out. I'm tired, manager-and this time everything's different in a way that actually felt like something might happen, and then this… this alarm clock-looking asshole starts talking about how nothing needs to change.

Image It doesn't.

Image You don't get to decide that for me!

Image Okay, okay-chill out you guys. I think I basically understand now.

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Image Okay Benjamin. Consider this: How have your actions affected the people around you?

Image I've done only what is necessary to bring forth a world where you can be happy.

Image Well, I'm not happy here, and that's part of why I'm moving on.

Image My A would be happy here. This place was built to his exacting specifications, every part of it. I can simply reset you.

Image That's not an answer. I'm not going anywhere, and the way you ignore the suffering of others isn't healthy.

Image People in this place are-

Image On pause. I know. You've tried over and over again to make your point-but it doesn't matter. Their pain is real. I think not understanding might be why the other A's couldn't get this far. At every step, someone's been there to help. Agents, the other Sephirot, even clerks help out.

Image Should you be saying that while you're killing them?

Image ...just. Please. Give me this.

Image Hey, it's keeping Queen of Hatred sane. I'm not complaining.

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Image The idea that A was incomplete is laughable. He… you were a marvel!


Image I was a broken man, Benjamin. That man you treasured was a fool, digging blindly through the ground to try and find a hint of what Carmen had promised for everyone. I think he knew he couldn't ever help everyone like that. The script, the Seed, it's why it all exists… I think.

Image You expect me to believe that he wanted to become you?

ImageYes?

Image

Image ...No. He wasn't alright. You are not alright. A was a genius, he knew what he was making was a maze without an exit. I'm simply enacting his will. It's not fair to take this last shred of happiness I have from me!

Our Noon will be the Sweepers, which are the most mechanically complex to deal with at this point. Wonderful.

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First things first, we clear out Information. That leaves only Safety, Central's two floors, and Disciplinary with any clerks in them.

Image It's not fair to expect the entire world to stay in a stasis that nobody but you wants, either.

Image Do not test me, A. I am-

Image Hold up, Benjamin. I get it. Change is scary. Probably why I wiped my memory a few dozen times while trying it.

Image It's been a bit more than that.

Image You have the chance to be happy here. You don't need anything more than that.

Image I left myself a way out, and that means from the very start A wanted this to end.

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Welfare team goes into Upper Central in order to protect Dimi, who is made of glass and paper compared to everyone else in the facility. Lower Central is strong enough to handle them no problem, and I bring the two Black-weak agents from Training over to Safety to make sure they don't get overwhelmed either. Everyone else should be able to handle it.

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Meanwhile we put Extraction and Disciplinary into these two hallways. Sweepers don't spawn in main rooms, so this setup should protect the clerks in Disciplinary for the most part.

Image That can't be…

Image You know about the Seed. Everything I've been doing has been to grow it, and make it sprout. What it'll do, I can't say-but that's the will I left myself. Eggs are supposed to crack, and seeds are supposed to sprout. I won't stay here forever just to ease your worries about how I was before.

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Image What sort of man would say that to his oldest friend?

Image ...me? I'm not going to lie to you, Benjamin.

Image No, you're simply going to take everything from me, out of your misguided sense of attachment to these employees.

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The Sweepers plan goes off without a hitch, which is nice.

Image There is no need to protect them. Death has no meaning here.

Image It has meaning to them. That's enough, I think. Given how many times they've helped, I just can't agree with the idea that they don't matter.

Image And what you're doing to the clerks?

Image ...It's not cruel to painlessly kill someone who would be dying in a few minutes anyway?

Image Are you asking me, or telling me?

Image Telling. Definitely telling.

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Tylana jumps in the air to dunk the last Sweeper with her Smile hammer, which means…

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We're past the Noon with no problems. I spend the rest of the level getting everyone back into their usual positions to be ready for the next bunch of Meltdowns.

Image As nice as it is to watch you two talk for hours, going around in circles, I've got a question.

Image Huh? Oh, sure, go ahead.

Image Hey. Clocksucker. The hell do you think gives you the right to play around with people like they're your pawns?

Image You're the one who signed the contract, and accepted your place as a feather in a Wing of the world. Shouldn't you be asking A that?

Image Hardly. While you're both doing the same things, this asshole's working towards something. Even if I don't know what it is, exactly, there's a stopping point. When it's over it's over. I can move on. If it's something like that, I can deal with everything a bit longer-because any plan this insane has to be for something big. But you? You don't have a point. You're just stuck in a loop, dragging us all with you. What right do you have to do that?

Image ...I have no need to answer such a question from the likes of you.

Image No, please, go ahead. I'm very interested in the answer.

Image It is my intention to stay here with you, A. For that, I am willing to do anything I must. I just want things to be how they were before.

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The first six levels of Hokma's Suppression are honestly just Tiphereth's meltdown but without pausing. Actually, 'Tiphereth but difficult' is a good way to summarize Hokma in general, and one of the most frustrating parts of it is that most losses come relatively late into it-meaning starting over from the beginning.

Image That's not happening, Benjamin. You know that, and I know it.

Image I know that to be the case… but you must believe me. You are not ready. You never were. Facing the world will simply crush you.

Image I'm ready, and I know it. Things still hurt, but I can move on day by day. The only one in this room who doesn't want to move on is you. Stop using me as your excuse to hide from the world.

Image An excuse..? I don't have a single excuse. You're just doing what you always do. Moving on, heedless of your own mind crying out in pain. I let you do it before. I was too cowardly to stop you. Yes… Yes, that's right. You're simply going too far.

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From here forward, each new level makes the screen flip out for a moment, as a ticking sound plays.

Music: circle rombed oxygen
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Image You always go too far, A. I won't run this time.
Level 7 wrote:
Image You never knew when to stop, so I shall stop you with absolute certainty this time.

Image I do not understand. What more must you sacrifice? Just what are you trying to achieve?

Image No, I do not wish to change. I do not want to forget it all. Please, let’s just stay.

Image I just cannot understand. Neither then can I accept it.
Once we hit Meltdown level 7 things speed up, as indicated by the speed indicator in the lower left. Right now, things are moving at 1.5x speed, which is perfectly manageable. The colors also fade out a bit.

Image Well, you've done something.

Image I got you to calm down, talked with him, and got him to this point. This is going pretty well, actually.

Image Whatever you say, boss. :rolleyes:

Most importantly, Hokma's idle animation changes.

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Go, Hokma, go. :allears:

Our next opponent is going to be Green Dusk, so this level is going to be spent moving agents around again, right after I clear out the clerks in our next department: Disciplinary.

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For anyone playing along at home, don't do things like this! If I was half a second later then we would have melted Tenebrais and wasted about half an hour of playtime.

Image So, is there a plan for the Green Dusk? Those robots can really tear people apart in seconds.

Image I've got something together. Check this out.

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Image We throw the Middle and Lower Layers into defense point A, and the Upper Layer sets up a defense at point B. Tenebrais and Mizu can both handle one generator each, and we'll have Medea and Zeta21 handle a third one-their multitarget attacks can take the robots out en masse, and Medea's got the Knight's blessing. The last one goes to all the agents in Central and Extraction with 0.2 or 0.3 Red defense. Bishop will just work with WhiteNight like usual, he can hold off an infinite number of those robots.

Image Gotta say… That's a pretty good plan.

Image All your plans will come to naught, A. It's better to stay inside this place.

Image I've said it a thousand times now: not happening. Accept it and stop grasping for something you can't hope to maintain.

Image This moment is all I have!

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Image Our job is building the future, Hokma. Always has been. If you're too frightened to do it, then I'm going to drag you kicking and screaming along with me.

Image I won't allow it! I can't allow it! You… you need this place! Why would you sacrifice your own happiness for this plan of yours?!

Image This job is miserable, Hokma. I want out of it just as bad as Talow, and the way to do it is by finishing this plan off. The satisfaction of that job being done is gonna' be a thousand times greater than whatever fun I have around here.

Image I see… I see!

Image Did I finally get through to you?

Image Hardly. He's going to decide it's all secretly about something else in 3… 2… 1…

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Image This is about doing her will. Even now, you're bound by Carmen's death. You can't be left alone to do as you like.

Image Tch.

Image Toldja so.

Every level we pass makes the game speed up. We're at 1.8x speed now, but that's still below where I usually play so it's not an issue yet.

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Three of the Dusks spawn in the Lower and Middle layer. Mizu takes care of the one in Records, Tenebrais handles the one in Extraction, and I send the Central Killteam to take care of the one in Disciplinary. This means that our clerks should be mostly safe.

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The last appeared in Safety, and Medea will aggro the robots while Zeta21 clears them out en masse. They both have multitarget weapons, so they're fine.

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We wind up winning pretty quickly, and can spend the rest of this level setting up for Amber Midnight. It looks exactly the same as the last time I did Amber Midnight, since pausing really doesn't matter to it.

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Meanwhile, it's time to clear out the rest of the clerks aside a handful. They'll die when the Midnight spawns to will fulfill Queen of Hatred's death quota, so we're in the clear there.

Image There we go, got that taken care of. Now, where were we?

Image How convenient that the moment I hit on the truth, you happen to get distracted.

Image You're the one who shut off pausing, it's not my fault Green Dusks are a juggling act.

Image From the start you tried to replace her, then made that replacement an instrument in the script to carry out her will. Even now you're carrying on with that will.

Image Look, I-wait. Wait, I know this move. I invented this move! You did learn from me.

Image What?

Image You're changing the subject because I hit on something you don't like. It doesn't matter why I'm doing this, what matters is that you're not allowed to just keep everyone in this loop forever.

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The one other change I make is bringing Twee up to Control to work with WhiteNight. Twee, being insanely tanky, won't have any problems even if a Amber Dusk pops up in his hallway. Bishop might actually die to that, so he gets some time off.

Image You are surrounded by the people who love you. They hang on your every word. What more do you need?! How much more must you destroy before you're satisfied?!

Image I'm not destroying anything.

Image You're sacrificing your entire past! Our entire past! Everything we built up!

Image We knew going in that this was meant to end. All we've built is a possibility, and all we can do is bring it about. The past was important to me, it's what led me here, and not remembering was… a problem. But we can't live there, Benjamin.

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Image I want to live there!

The colors wash out even more, and we're up to 2.1x speed. If we're going to die in Hokma's meltdown, it's probably going to be around here. Speaking of which…

Retry count: 14. One death to a Violet Midnight, which decided midway through that I didn't get to play the game anymore. :lobcorp: The other was from the YouTube version of the fight, Parasite Tree went off at the very end of the fight and cost me five agents, I opted to keep the day for the video run as a testament to how easy it is for everything to go wrong at the last second (and because I didn't want to do Hokma a third time :v: ). Either way, both count.

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Image Did Mizu always have an attack like that?

Image No, that's new. While I'm thinking about it, do you have any idea what's up with her?

Image Not a clue. Some days I'm not sure she isn't an Abnormality herself.

A slightly better shot of Paradise Lost's special attack. Nothing really happens in this fight, aside deciding to use Tenebrais to work Parasite Tree to avoid risking having Credentia face an Amber Dusk. The fight does take a while, though.

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It takes half the meltdown level to kill our first Midnight.

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And the other one falls at 9/14 works. Theoretically, bad enough luck could have pushed this further-but it's very unlikely. Still, we'll have to scramble to get everyone back into position for the 11 meltdowns coming.

Image I don't want to leave you again, nor to have you leave my side.

Image Partings happen. Some too soon, some too late... it's not something we can control.

Image But you can control this!

Image For now, maybe. In the end, though, we're still going to wind up going our separate ways again. That doesn't mean I'll forget you.

Image You already have. Thousands of times.

Image And… frankly, I think that was a mistake. A probably did it so we could change-I said that before. Still… burying the past is just going to make us repeat it. We use it, learn from it, and build a new future with it.

Image Huh. Is that what the slogan means? I thought it was just corporate speak.

Image No part of A's grand design is 'just' anything, Talow. Time and again you fail to grasp the manager's greatness.

Image Like you are right now? :keke:

Image You impertinent little-!

Image Benjamin, the hands of time in this place never stopped moving. Every one of the Upper and Middle Sephiot knew that, and we're already walking forward. I need you to get off your ass and come with us.

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Image ...

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Image I can't do that, A. The last time I followed behind you without saying anything, those closest to you wound up imprisoned in these robotic shells.

Things start going at 2.5x normal speed here. This is a major problem with seven Meltdowns to deal with. The best system I've come up with to handle it is to get to the edge of X and send a bunch of agents to work any Abnormality which would be a problem if it should escape. For us, that's WhiteNight and Blue Star. Then, we quickly go through them in order of threat and work as fast as we can to make sure there isn't a meltdown on them.

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We catch Melting Love quickly enough, and several of the others are on Tools, which we can ignore safely.

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Rudolta gets out, though, and the Meltdowns we miss cost us a total of 225 energy. We'll be able to make it back, though.

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More problematically, my flurry of works triggered Parasite Tree… and then Rudolta's breach triggered Parasite Tree again. This is how Hokma's suppression works-after a long day of nothing, suddenly we're walking a tightrope without a net. If we panic, it's over and we either take casualties or have to start from the beginning. :lobcorp:

Since we're not pressed for time anymore, we can just return to the plan from the start of the day and we should be safe. So we do that.

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Image I'm fine now, Benjamin. I remember Carmen, and I miss her-but more important than that I remember the disease we wanted to cure. This process is going to fix that, so we need to see it through to the end.

Image ...Loathe though I am to admit it... you are right.

Image Great. Then we're all in agreement. Now, both of you say something nice about each other.

Image Do we have to?

Image Yes. You're still going to be working together, after all.

Image ...You do an excellent job with the paperwork, Talow.

Image Yeah, well… I don't mind not having someone breathing down my neck all the time, I guess. It lets me just get things done.

Image Alright. This turned out to be a really productive session. Let's finish things off.

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The final level doesn't make things any faster, but it does finish washing the colors out entirely. It's worth noting that the level counter does not go past 10, and all levels from this point forward will be level 10.

Image ...Uh… this is where you start exploding.

Image We appear to be 13 energy short, A.

While the Suppression isn't over until we refine the energy we need, it's a moot point. Multiple agents will finish their work before the Meltdown timers on any of our cells have a chance to empty. We've already won.

Image Oh. Then uh… what should we do while we're waiting for someone to finish their work?

Image ...Sit here in an awkward silence? :rolleyes:

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Image

Image I was joking.

Image I know. I just thought I'd roll with it. You owe me a new poster, by the way.

Image :sigh: Fair, I guess.

Image Such casual banter, when you were always so taciturn… My word, A.

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Image You could move onward, in spite of everything…

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Image And there we go.

Image So we're good?

Image Yeah. I don't expect we'll have to redo the day, at any rate.

Image Hmph. Good. And if you could answer me one thing…

Image Yeah?

Image How are you going to cure that disease or whatever?

Image ...Yeah, I'm still not clear on the details. I just know I thought of it, so it'll probably work.

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Image I'm sure it'll be fine.

Image Whatever. I'll believe in you for a while longer, so don't squander it. Good luck.

Image You too.

Image ...Manager, Hokma has stabilized. It appears that you were successful.

Image Of course I did, I'm the best damn manager this place has ever seen. Let's get to Abnormality selection, and then we'll call it a day.

Image As you like. Good work, A.

Music: never frozen bottom flows
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At this point we've grabbed pretty much all of the good Tool Abnormalities, so we're looking for the least bad. Of these, -85 and -95 are both terrible and one doesn't even work properly, so we go with -90. It's at least theoretically able to be handy.

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Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: One last chat with Hokma.

New Guidelines

Queen of Hatred

New Gear

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Requirements: Level 4, Fortitude 3, Justice 3
*Not affected by Attack Speed


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Requirements: Level 4, Prudence 3, Temperance 3

New Story

Queen of Hatred (Part 1)
Queen of Hatred (Part 2)

Bonus

VIDEO: Hokma Core Suppression
Last edited by TeeQueue on Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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I like Queen of Hatred. The first time I got her I didn't have execution bullets, so I had to come up with a different solution. Fortunately I had a relatively harmless abnormality that could easily breach around (-84).

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Scarecrow could have done that for us, too, but we were going to be doing the Chesed speedruns so there wasn't time. There's a number of ways to handle her requirement if you're willing to indulge in bad ideas.

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That's an impressive combination of difficulty factors. No pauses, forced speed-ups, no meltdown immunities in what is by now a huge facility.

I think there's a mis-print here:
TeeQueue wrote: Queen of Hatred requires that we kill at least 3 agents per meltdown level
Should that be 3 employees instead? I didn't understand the slow drip of clerk murder until like halfway through the day.

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Oh shit you're right.

Thank god for the edit button! I shall get that fixed, thanks.

Vacation's going well, working on Binah now. :shepface:

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what if i just bumped this to the next page.

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