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

Put your Let's Plays in here.
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Day 43: Story

Music: Ember
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Image Do you realize this? The ones who were with us at the beginning are nowhere to be found among the people who remain here now. They are all gone. Because of the monitoring of the 'Eye', we couldn’t even give a proper burial to Kali and Daniel… This place here is all we have left.

Image ….….


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Image I wish to be your shadow, forever behind you, even if I am not good enough. May we be together, and fade away together.

Music: Strange Dream
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Image I deemed you to be that chick, one that is too fragile to endure all of this. I have never known where it was you wanted to fly to, since you never told me. I was always nothing more than your student who needed your teachings. You were always so frugal with words.

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Image The process of creation was too harsh, I could not help but run away. I could have run far enough that I would never see you again, but I did not. I tried to set everything right, and I was caught. Since then, the iron hands that govern me have stopped permanently.

Image In fact, I vaguely knew that the end was nearing. However, I was simply too afraid to face the final outcome, and instead chose to stay here forever and ever. I may have been verbose with my reasons for attempting to stop you, but to be truthful…


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Image Nevertheless, I should support your decision.

Like everyone else, Hokma gets some static before we see his true form.

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Unlike everyone else, he goes through a midway change.

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Image May we embrace glory together, for back then we could not. Grant the proper end to those locked up here, and to yourself.

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In summary: We remember old times with Benjamin, where he reminds us that Angela isn't and will never be Carmen. In the present, Hokma acknowledges that he was scared to leave our side again, and decides to follow after us like he always has. We aquire The Eye Embracing the Past; Building the Future, and the Seed grows to 80%.

Image Ah yes, Manager. There is one more thing.

Day 43 Story

Image Really don't understand why you have to go through that every time. I've already heard it once.

Image The script is absolute, Manager. If I didn't follow it, we couldn't proceed properly.

Image I guess that's true…

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Image Eighty percent… After so long, it almost doesn't feel real.

Image On a related note, it would be helpful if you could successfully provoke Binah as well. She needs to have a meltdown like the others if we are to proceed.

Image I get that, but… do I have to?

Image You do.

Image Uuuuugh. I just don't get her. She's like… talking to moss. I can't provoke moss. It's just there! Watching me!

Image Nonetheless, this is what you must do, A.

Image I'll give it a shot, but no promises.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Getting rewarded for doing stupid things.







Image :sigh:

Image Chiral? Aren't you supposed to be in extraction?

Image Needed a break. The work we do down there is… Eugh.

Image That bad, huh?

Image The only reason the boss can deal with it is because she's gone off the deep end long ago.

Image Which one?

Image Yes. :rolleyes: That leaves me to translate what they're talking about for our clerks, which isn't really all that easy. I'm basically acting manager without anyone paying me extra for it.

Image Oof, that sounds tough. Well, at least you're indispensable?

Image I guess there's that, but that only lasts until I wind up going the same way as them.

Image Mmmaybe a hobby would help? I have a suggestion...

Image This sounds like I'm about to get pulled into a zany scheme.

Image Oh, no, it's nothing like that. Twee and I were talking about finding players for a game yesterday. You wanna join?

Image ...Why not? I'm in. When is it?

Image We were thinking about having the first session tomorrow after work? Just bring snacks... Or beer.

Image Done. See you there.

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I like that he still has the monocle.

Also the little chick and egg symbolism has me thinking about Utena again

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Day 43: Gameplay

Music: neutral 3
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Image A, I've released the limits on our employees. All of them. They can now be trained to the very pinnacle of human possibility.

Image So they'll be able to fight evenly with the Abnormalities like the Rabbits do?

Image ...Let me rephrase. The very pinnacle of their human possibility.

Image Soo… psychic powers, then?

Image They can have more Justice now, A.

Image Ooh, nice!

This unlock is much more useful on a second playthrough since we'll have more than enough time to train our agents. As it is, we have about 3 days to train everyone before endgame-and one of them is going to be taken up by Binah, so it's something of a time crunch. Still, this is very nice to have. It also gives us a new tier of stat buy, letting us buy our way from 5 to EX for 6 additional LOB (18 for Justice). Doing so will put our agent at a base stat of somewhere around 120-there's some randomness to what they get.

I'm going to level with you all, though: I made a massive error. My original plan for our stockpile of LOB was to take advantage of this to boost everyone in the facility up to near the new limit as soon as this research came online. Unfortunately, everyone over 100 in a stat already counted as being in EX, so I couldn't boost them with this method after all. I'll need to think of another use for our massive glut of LOB.

Like new agents! We'll need 3 more for the endgame.

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Each of these cost 1 LOB + 15 LOB for each stat, for a total of 45 LOB=46 total LOB to order. I figure we can afford to treat ourselves at this point, though.

Image This is… quite an investment, manager.

Image I felt like testing out Hokma's new tricks. Also, there's not a lot of time to train them. Only having to worry about one statistic simplifies matters.

Image It has been some time since I last saw the less frugal side of yourself.

Image Normally by this point you would be scrimping every LOB you could to replace the agents who had fallen…

Image Well, if you haven't noticed things aren't exactly normal around here right now.

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Image Manager, I don't need this extra person.

Image Yeah, I'm done listening to your requests Binah. You're not special.

Image I see.

Image Yeah. Bet that pisses you off, huh?

Image Not particularly.

Image ...Well, good.

Image Hey, Manager. What's with that E.G.O that you've got BICEPS in?

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Image It's a strong defensive tool with a good supporting attack on it.

Image ...if you say so, manager.

Image I think it looks really good!

Image Well, if that's all… let's get to work, team.

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

The Abnormality we picked yesterday hasn't shown up yet, so we'll have to see it tomorrow.

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Image Orders from the top, everyone!

Image Standby again?

Image Standby again.

Image How did you talk the Manager into assigning me this gear?

Image Magical girls work best in teams. It's like a rule, boss.

Image None of us are magical. Or girls.

Image Maybe not, but we're using their E.G.O. Their wills are carried on in our clothes and our weapons. They'll fight better together, I know it.

Image ...He really agreed with all that?

Image That's beautiful, manager!

Image I just thought it was funny.

Image I… won't pass that along, sir. :sweatdrop:

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Image Not every day we get someone new down here. What's your story?

Image Blood vengeance against those who have wronged me, of course. What's yours?

Image You weren't who I was talking to.

Image Oh, okie-dokie. I'm going to go get on that, then.

Image So anyways, what brings you down here?

Image Oh, you know. Just didn't want to hang around the upper layers anymore. It's quiet down here. Easy to avoid doing anything.

Image Our department is the only one that can still have meltdowns.

Image Yeah, but your Abnormalities are all kind of pains in the ass, so unless that's going on, the manager's not going to look this way.

Image ...That's pretty brilliant, actually.

Image Thank you.

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Image Hey guys, sorry I'm a bit late. Couldn't find the right room.

Image That's alright. We were just going over the training materials you all had to watch.

Image No worries, miss Medea. I think I've got everything down. Our only dangerous ones right now are Scarecrow-do not touch since my Prudence is 5, and Knight of Despair-do not touch and then die afterwards. If she breaches, this suit is rated to take one attack without dying, but a second will absolutely be lethal…

Image I didn't really get a lot of it, but I'm sure I'll figure it out once the work starts! What're our orders!

Image Um… we don't have any. Just keep an eye on things and see what you can pick up from watching the day-to-day happenings.

I definitely didn't forget to train Justice on the new agents the day before a boss fight. No sir. :shepface:

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Meanwhile we put Twee to work with WhiteNight. We're fishing for the E.G.O Gift again today, and I don't plan to end the day until she gets it.

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Image Oh hello there, Mizu. No hard feelings about that work with Queen of Hatred yesterday, right? I got all the information, so she's all yours.

Image Don't worry about it! I'm feeling just fine! Say, your suit absorbs Red damage, right?

Image It does…

Image Hey Switch? Could you do me a favor and conveniently look the other way for sec?

Image Um… sure thing, ma'am.

Image ...You're not okay with it at all, are you?

Image I'm feeling juuuuust fine! I just have to have words with your face, like I promised. :keke:

Image You never said anything to me about-

Image :fuckoff:

Image OH GOD MY EVERYTHING.

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Image Ahh, cutie smooches all for me! Now all's right with the world! :swoon:

Image What the hell did I just watch?

Image An agent discarding their fear and enacting their will upon this place. And another, being trodden upon by their sincere wishes.

Image Well, I don't think the world should be like that.

Image Don't you?

Image I don't.

Image Are you not trying to enact some will on the entire City? And to do so you discarded everything, even your own memories. You ran away so that your weak heart could face that same fear, no?

Image ...that… it's completely different.

Image Is it, now?

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A side note about Queen of Hatred that we didn't have time to cover yesterday-she talks! She's one of only a few Abnormalities to do so, and she's actually quite chatty. I'll probably cover her lines in greater detail in a bonus update alongside things like the Rabbits and whatnot.

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Image ...are you going to explain why there's a giant hole in my ceiling?

Image Mizu got mad, and…

Image Ah. That makes sense. Can you move?

Image Mostly. Say, while I'm here… that yellow magical girl is here, right?

Image King of Greed? Yeah, why?

Image Just figured it might be a good idea to complete the set.

Image ...just yell if the work result's normal.

Image Can do. Thanks.

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Boksi is going to try and get his hands on KoG's gift, while I throw Talow at Queen of Hatred when I eventually remember to. The Magical Girl trio all have gifts which are either the best or second-best in their slot, so we really can't go wrong with farming them.

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Image Oh, right, I need to remember to execution bullet three clerks…

Image Is that truly necessary, manager?

Image If we don't manage our employee numbers carefully, then the Queen of Hatred's Qliphoth Counter decreases.

Image Yes, but it's possible to raise it in the event we work her properly in that 'Hysteric' mode.

Image True… but if we don't manage to do it, things could get a lot worse.

Image I say we give it a try~

Image If it breaks out, we'll calmly assess the situation.

Image ...Alright. Why not?

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Image …So that's the situation. Remember to follow the protocols.

Image Oooo, an expeeriment..!

Image It's been a while, huh?

Image Does that mean you're going to use a... proobe..?

Image Heheh, still on that alien kick, kiddo?

Image T and I know aall your seecrets… It's oonly a matter of tiime before you're expoosed..!

Image You know, there's an old saying that what you're looking for is usually right beside you all along. That Hinman is a rather odd bird herself, isn't she?

Image Your aalien mind tricks won't work on mee… T isn't even heere! I sent her to Saafeety for insuurance..! So the oonly thing besiide me… is yoou..!

Image Well played, well played. You sure got me there. :rolleyes:

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Image Greetings, fellow humans! I don't suppose any of you would raise objections were I to decide to work with that Blue Star fellow? It's definitely not to see if its portal connects to space or anything like that!

Image HAHAHAHA! It's good to have hobbies!

Image :raise:

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Image Level 2. No real progress with Binah, either…

Image You will think of something. I'm sure of it.

Image Right, in the meanwhile, let's check on Queen of Hatred. How bad could things possibly...

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Image Be.

Image She seems pretty bad, manager.

When in this state, a Good result (16+ boxes) will manage to cheer her up. However, Hysteric mode applies a penalty to all works done with Queen of Hatred of -20%.

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Image Easy now… it's alright.

Since her base success rate for level 5 Attachment work is 60% and her Observation Bonus to work success is 8%, that may not seem too terrible. After all, Boksi's 137 total Work Success stat adds 27% onto that, making a 95% base success chance-the highest it can possibly be, since any success rate over 95% is lowered to 95% before penalties are applied.

After the penalty it becomes a 75% chance of success per box, and with 22 boxes to her name this works out to around a 70% chance of hitting 16 or higher. If we get a little unlucky, we're going to have to deal with a breach-and remember that this is the best possible option. Lowering our work success stat to 110 (the place where our cap has been for most of the game) would drop these odds to a roughly 50-50 chance, and trying to coax her out of it below that requires some very good luck. There's a reason Queen of Hatred winds up ending a lot of days.

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Unfortunately, luck is not with us today. :rolldice:

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Queen of Hatred is impaled on a bunch of spears of magical energy, and her wand descends over her.

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And then a black heart forms, which breaks as the Abnormality teleports away.

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Image Eugh… Sorry, Yesod. I'm going to call this experiment a failure. Where's the Abnormality?

Image It's shown up in Records. My agents have engaged it already.

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Image What the hell?!

Image That's Queen of Hatred's breaching form. She teleports somewhere in the facility, and deals Black damage to whoever she just teleported onto. We'll be safe for a minute, just attack.

Image Why do you know all of this?

Image I'm a big Paul fan.

Once she teleports, Queen of Hatred will wander around without attacking, opening her up to attack.

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Image Manager, there's a high buildup of energy coming from the Abnormality.

Image In that case-

Image Manager! Something vital's come up!

Image Huh?

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Image ...that's not vital at all, Hod.

Once she starts charging, it's important to pull everyone out of there before she uses her ultimate attack, Arcana Slave. This is a pink beam which damages things in front of it, and it's a big attack.

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Really big.

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Damaging things with it also heals the Queen of Hatred-compare the life bar between this and two images ago for an example-and if people are caught inside of it (like happened this time) she'll kick it up to its next phase.

Oh, and don't worry about Morgan, I just forgot she was weak to Black damage so her movement was slowed. A shield bullet got her out of there safely.

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Stage 2 of the attack is larger and more damaging. How much larger?

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The attack manages to make it halfway into Extraction's main room. The best way to dodge this attack is to either be on a different level than the Queen, or to just run behind her-running away won't work.

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Image A, she's fallen into a dormant state temporarily.

Image Seems like not even that beast can keep that kind of energy output up forever. Now's our chance!

After using this attack, Queen of Hatred takes some time to recover-that's our best chance to counterattack.

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Image She just disappeared!

Image Yeah… she'll do that.

Unfortunately, Queen of Hatred has some defenses to keep this from being simple. Each time her healthbar goes down by 1/3rd, she'll teleport to somewhere else and immediately recover from her cooldown state.

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Because of this and her normal teleports, she can be annoying to finish off.

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Image Remember to use that technique I told you about, guys! My suit'd hold up against this thing all day, but who can say for the rest of you?

Image Evil Kit's would hold up fine, too. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one here in any actual danger.

Image You're just jelly of my jam!

Image That… that wasn't even evil, it was just bad.

Image I'm trying to think fast here, give me a break!

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Image It warped out on us!

Image Does anyone have eyes on it?!

Image It moved to my part of Central. Right in the middle of everything.

Image Things are certainly lively today.

Image If you're not going to contribute, then butt out of the call Binah.

Image Oh, I just had a message for you.

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Image Too small?! They're one size fits all!

Image Then perhaps the elastic is worn, like every other part of this place.

Image I'm banning you from metaphors.

Music: First Trumpet
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Image Do you really have the time for that right now?

Image A trumpet? But it didn't go off with just the Mountain escaping… Was it the clerks that it chomped?

Image Our warning sensor does not take into account any clerk deaths, Manager. They do not, as it were, count.

Image HAH! I knew it!

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Image Er, I mean-that's really odd and whoever designed it is an idiot. What's the problem then?

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Image That'd do it.

Between her teleports and the death laser, Queen of Hatred can rack up clerk kills pretty fast. It's a good idea to assume that if she breaches, any Clerk's Rights Abnormalities we have will also be breaching soon after.

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Image Don't worry about things here, we have it under control. Take care of the others.

Image This isn't your true nature, Queen of Hatred! Return back to your peaceful self!

Image It's just her in a fancy rubber suit anyways! We'll just rip it off and she'll cut this act out!

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Image Ooh, this cutie wants to play! Okay then! Let's wrestle!

Image I'll be back here sniping at it while she's busy.

Image Yeah, that's the safest way to handle all this.

These three have enough damage output to handle Mountain on their own, and I clear Disciplinary out of their main room to save Big Bird for last. It's not really a threat.

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This was a mistake. :shepface:

Oh well, nothing I can do about it now. I Black shield all of them and have them move up to Central 3.

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Image We're here to help!

Image Speak for yourself! I just want to beat a Magical Girl in single combat! Muahahaha!

Meanwhile Tylana, and Evil Kit show up. It's at this point I realize they never got ordered to stop attacking, and neither did SeyserKoze. Things almost went very bad, here.

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It turns out that Queen of Hatred can hurt agents even in door transitions. The circled area has a black dot that denotes Black damage where SeyserKoze is located, and the damage indicators are from him. On top of that, all the hits she's getting in are healing her back up much faster than we're currently damaging her.

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Image I show up and she turns tail to run away. Figures.

Image I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad to see you.

Image Damn right you are.

This winds up pushing her back above 1/3rd health, so she hits her automatic teleportation escape again. I can't overstate how important it is to dodge Arcana Slave, that stupid laser will make or break you. At least SeyserKoze didn't die from my carelessness. :sweatdrop:

Image Jeez. I could use some good news right about now.

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Image Good news, Manager! We've handled Mountain of Smiling Bodies.

Image Cutie's down for the three count! And the defending Lobotomy Corporation Heavyweight Champion of the world retains her belt!

Image ...Is there really a belt?

Image What do you think. :geno:

Image Thanks for the update, Chiral. And tell your boss that her outlook on everything is wrong.

Image I am still observing the communication channel, Manager.

Image Oh, well, it's still true.

Image You are trying to provoke me.

Image I would never. You're just wrong.

Image I am not so simple as to be provoked by a man who chained himself to a desk to escape his own regrets.

Image ...I don't have time for this. Where's Queen of Hatred?!

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Image She's gone dormant in Information. But…

Image There's no longer anything to worry about! The one and only Dimi is here to do what the rest of the facility could not!

Image I'm also here too, sir. Came as soon as I heard!

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Image Aaaaaand, selfie! This is totally going on the blog. Explosions of magic light really make my eyes pop.

Image What an annoying enemy…

Image I'll take an annoying enemy over an annoying ally any day.

Image I'm not touching yoooooou~

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When the explosion clears, Queen of Hatred falls to the ground and lies there for a moment before returning to containment.

There's another strategy which involves working her right before a Meltdown, and pushing her over once she's hit 17+ so she enters Hysteric mode, the work ends, and she immediately leaves Hysteric mode, but timing this can be a little tricky. In the future, we'll just be killing 3 clerks every meltdown level. It's far easier.

Music: neutral 5?
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Image That just leaves Big Bird, and everything's moved back to normal.

Image Manager, that is not the standard music.

Image I know. I thought about it, and realized that Binah's an unlikeable old crone who pretends nothing bothers her.

Image What does that have to do with the music?

Image It'll drive her insane.

Image …That is not an efficient use of company time.

Image I dunno. I kind of enjoyed making it.

Image It's fine, let's just see what happens.

The Big Bird suppression goes like any other time we've had to beat it down, but around now I notice something else:

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Twee got the 2% gift drop. :getin:

We'll be swapping Mizu over here from here forward, in hopes that she strikes it rich as well. She's not the only one, either.

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Image I can feel the latent psionic energy in this headband! It's truly a powerful item.

T. Hinman gets one as well.

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Image Hey, Kit? Have you seen my other wing? I just got it, so I want to preen it a bit...

Image Yes! My cheeks spied it hiding from you, and it certainly isn't underneath the sink!

Image Got it, thanks.

Evil Kit got the Nothing There gift, too.

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Image Oh hey, Talow! I'm over here to work with WhiteNight!

Image You're late. He's already hit purple.

Image Oh, you worry too much. He's just a big supercutie deep down. I'll have him smiling in no time.

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Image Hellooooo, cutie~!

Image Thou as well shalt not be attempting to harass My countenance for a feather, I pray?

Image Ooh, do they give superpowers? I want superpowers. Gimme.

Image What hath I just wrought?

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Crimson Dawn.

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Image Oh no, we are not dealing with this twice in one day.

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Crimson Done.

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Image Oh, nice wing.

Image Twee had one earlier. It's from WhiteNight, right?

Image Yep! The key is to start yanking feathers and never stop until he agrees to give you one!

Image I feel like that would kill most people...

Image You think so?

One work. It feels like the game is rewarding me for beating up Queen of Hatred. :psyduck:

Oh well, I'm not questioning it.

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Image Angela, how's Binah reacting to my new plan? She's got to be angry by now, right?

Image She appears to be having tea, manager.

Image What.

Image I was provided with an unusual change in surroundings, and opted to indulge in a moment of respite before returning to my endless torment.

Image Oh come on! Would you just get mad already?!

Image So you were attempting to provoke me?

Image Duh!

Image ...Do you hold a grudge for the Queen of Hatred?

Image What does that have to do with anything?

Image It's simply a question, Manager.

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Image ...She's an Abnormality. I just have to be more careful next time.

Image So you do not hate her.

Image I don't.

Image That child is one who could not stand her place in a world which had found its equilibrium. When she realizes she has lost her purpose, she rages. That rage spreads suffering in a torrent across our facility, and when she is done sowing sorrow and despair she returns to herself. Unable to bear the strain, she convinces herself none of it had happened. She runs, freed of the memory of her crimes, to begin anew. If an existence like that isn't worthy of your hate…

Image Why are you worthy of mine?

Image ...okay that's really not a fair comparison.

Image Isn't it?

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Image You seem frustrated, manager!

Image That's because I am frustrated. I need to trigger a meltdown today, and Binah just doesn't care.

Image Mmm… That is a tricky one.

Image Have you tried being your usual charming self?

Image Ouch, but also yes.

Image Maybe you should try a more direct approach? You've never been very good at being direct, manager.

Image I'm perfectly fine at being direct!

Image Great! Then there shouldn't be any problem at all!

Image ...Hey, don't just hang up-!

Image This does not appear to be your day, A.

Image :sigh:

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Image Cry all you like. It doesn't hurt me at all.

Zeta21 had to use the portrait earlier today so all the damage to her is going elsewhere, meaning we can negate it with Black bullets. This is a pretty decent use of the portrait when we need to work with a dangerous Abnormality, or do Repression on Melting Love.

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That said, Zeta21 somehow manages to score 15/32 off of a work with 0% base success rate.

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And gets the gift, which was another 2% drop. :psyduck:

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Image Hey. Toaster.

Image Another meaningless attempt to provoke my rage?

Image Something like that. This seed I'm making won't work unless I suppress the core of each of the Sephirot. That includes you, so you have to have some kind of reaction.

Image Oh, was that all? You didn't think of me as an enemy at all, but a tool to use. How very like you.

Image Yeah, I'd apologize… but you are a tool.

Image Much the same as any of the Sephirot. We are all but tools in this endless cycle of suffering, made by you in a vain attempt to bring about the will of another.

Image Spare me the lectures. Are we doing this?

Image I suppose I shall consider it. You have accomplished much for me, after all.

Image That's as close to a yes as you're going to get.

Image Tch. So in the end I'm relying on her to feel like it. Wonderful. Does the script say anything about this?

Image Even if it did, I cannot say. It is best that you do what you think is right.

Image Then in that case, how's our energy looking?

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Image We are prepared at any time.

Image Great, let's call it. I'm tired of this song.

Image Aren't you the one who put it on in the first place..?

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Image We're all done for the day, everyone. Time to pack up.

Image On it, boss!

Image Great. Time to get out of this outfit forever.

Image Aww, come on! We still haven't gotten a chance to test out our new friendship powers!

Image Yeah, come on! It looks great on you!

Image ...I'll think about it. :colbert:

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Image Is the paperwork all done, you guys?

Image I already did it. Just need to finish up a couple of things.

Image Great job!

Image I hope you three got a sense of how things work around here. Now, let's all share one thing we learned to close the day.

Image Never screw with a Magical Girl.

Image Don't try to sneak works in with The Naked Nest, or you'll have to screw with a Magical Girl.

Image Thirty minute lunch breaks are a privilege, not a right!

Image Very good, all of you. Let's get out of here.

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Image We're taking a pretty big risk here.

Image It is entirely one of your own making, A. There is little point overthinking it now.

Image Right. And worst case scenario, we'll just reset and try other things until it works. I bet you'd like that, eh, Hokma?

Image While I've accepted the inevitability of our exit, I would cherish additional time with you, yes.

Image Speaking of, where were you all day? You barely said anything.

Image I was… otherwise occupied. There was a great deal of work which had been forwarded to me that I had neglected until recently.

Image Good man. See you tomorrow, everyone.

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Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Binah is vaguely menacing and rambles about the Bucket.

With thanks to WmegaU for letting me borrow his remix.

That remix should be an abnormality of its own.

A while back, my hopes/prediction for how Binah's core suppression would go down is that after everyone else was done and A thought things were looking peaceful, Binah would rather casually come by and say "im feeling left out so im gonna try and kill you too now. doesn't look like you mind that kind of thing" or something to that effect. The actual way you've taken is even funnier, though.

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I'm glad you're enjoying it. Binah is one of those characters who is incredibly frustrating to write for, but her unique ability to make X miserable 24/7 gives me life. :allears:

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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 9: Nothing There

Music: trailer
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Image Hi! I'm Paul! Just your everyday plucky employee of Lobotomy Cobotomy, here today to talk about Nothing There!

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Image Nothing There is an ALEPH Abnormality which is capable of breaching normally. Most managers will only ever see it breaking out immediately, and we're all very familiar by now with its capabilities when it breaches.

Image Like most ALEPHs, it's a hurt and a half when it breaks out. Right, Miss Hod?

Image Right you are, Paul. Today, though, we're going to be showing off an ability which has only been seen a few times before. To do this, we need someone to die inside of Nothing There's containment.

Image Gee golly! I'll get right on it, I guess!

Image Don't be silly, Paul. You'd panic instantly, and then it'd just breach normally.

Image Aww… That's too bad. I can't wait until I'm cool and smart enough to work on ALEPH Abnormalities.

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Image Helping us today is Welfare's team captain, Sweet Pea. With a maxed out set of statistics, there's no way they'll simply panic from an Abnormality like Nothing There.

Image Amazing! Captain Sweet Pea-another one of my many idols! And if I work hard, someday I'll be able to be a Team Captain, like them, right?

Image Here at Lobotomy Corporation, it's possible for anyone to aspire to become a Team Captain. All it takes is hard work and determination!

Image And not dying horribly! So pay attention to these training videos!

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Image Nothing There deals significant damage against agents who are underprepared. Sweet Pea is taking double the normal amount of Red damage due to her ZAYIN level standard suit.

Image Always remember to dress for the occasion, especially when that occasion is a terrifying monster!

Image Now, any moment Nothing There will finish our agent off and we'll be able to see-

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Image ...what? That's not in the script-that's not even supposed to be p-possible..!

Image I don't know, just roll with it! Ad-lib something!

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Image Holy shamoly, they're still alive!

Image Um… I-I guess this just goes to show you that any agent is capable of surviving almost anything, so long as they remember how to manage the Abnormalities properly!

Image All it takes is hard work and determination!

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Image While that's the case, we do need them to die… so it's back to work for them!

Image How merciless! I guess that's just the daily grind for you!

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Image When Nothing There successfully kills an Agent, it will assume their form, and constantly attempt to throw off anyone who sees them after that with a guaranteed rate of success.

Image Remember: Abnormalities can say they love you, but they're usually lying!

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Image Despite that, Nothing There is uniquely unsettling. Any agent sent into its facility after this point will suffer an untimely demise and trigger an escape.

Image That sounds like my cue!

Image It sure is, Paul! Let's see what happens.

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Image Yowie wowie! I died instantly, and now there's meat!

Image Got it in one, Paul.

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Image Nothing There will actually cover up the Manager's screen with a unique form of interference in order to prevent them from finding where it's gone. However, the manager still has one ace up his sleeve.

Image Well don't keep us in suspense any longer, Miss Hod, what is it?

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Image It's called disposal mode. The manager has 10 seconds to track down the form Nothing There has taken, and then fire his single disposal bullet at it. The facility's time is stopped during this period, but the Manager himself cannot pause. If successful, Nothing There is suppressed immediately, saving the facility from the breach.

Image But Miss Hod, what happens if the Manager hits the wrong person?

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Image They take a 10,000 Red damage attack!

Image Talk about a gigantamous misfire! That's enough to kill any agent, no matter how protected!

Image That's right, Paul! The disposal bullet will unquestionably kill anything in its path.

Image Hypothetically, could you use it to take out another Abnormality, then?

Image Of course not! That would be wildly irresponsible. The Disposal Bullet only works on Nothing There, and any other clerks or agents the manager might choose to be rid of.

Image That means firing it at anything but Nothing There's hidden form is a waste-so don't do it! But in this case, the Manager missed. What does that mean?

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Image In the event the Manager should throw away his shot, Nothing There will emerge in its true form and begin to attack like normal. We covered this earlier, so I won't go over it again here.

Image Our Manager's so smart and great that he doesn't need the refresher course!

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!

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Day 44: Story

Day 44 Story

Image It's time for today's million dollar question: Is Binah calling us?

Image She is, Manager. I take it you shall be speaking with her?

Image Not like I have much of a choice, honestly. I'll go see what she wants.

Image It is absolutely imperative to the script that she become open to a core suppression today. Please do as you see fit, but know that the key to the cell you are in requires this.

Image I know, I know, no pressure or anything.

Music: Maya
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Image Would you have made the same choice, if you knew that we would end up like this? I always ask myself that.

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Image Most employees that visit and stay here lose their mind and embrace oblivion. It has been a long while since I had a proper conversation with someone. Maybe you were confused with the idea that I’m the only resident here. But there is in fact a companion of mine that passes the eternity with me. Let me introduce her to you.

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Image And you managed to extract Cogito, the so-called fluid of life and death. At first, only a small dose could be extracted. But enigmatically that fluid started to gush out infinitely and now has formed a pool.

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Image She’s watching us from underneath the spring. When everything becomes too burdening, I quietly stare into the bottom. I feel as if she and I were the only two in the world when I do so. Sometimes, it feels like she’s talking to me.

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Image Someone injected herself with Cogito following her own principles, and someone else went mad for witnessing what happened. Another gave up his own body and fell into a state of limbo, unable to live or die. And the one that couldn’t persevere herself through all this ended up confessing everything to the Head…

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Image You still aren’t qualified to look toward the bottom of the spring. To do so, you must look directly towards the path you travel.

Music: Awake in Death
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Image Or do you seek to redeem me along with all the others that are trapped here? Whatever it is, maybe you think that saving this facility from sin as you have planned will fix everything for you. Just think for a moment. Even you, who hasn’t left this facility for such a long time…

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Image And it’s not just them; all the Wings have their own painful stories, repeating perpetually. In the Nests, in the Backstreets, in the Ruins, in the Outskirts… A pain much greater than what you have seen here prevails in the world.

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Image The world you looked up at and the one I looked down upon are that much different. You captured me alive and tortured me to your heart’s content, but still we’re sunken in despair. And someone will replace me as one of the Arbiters of the Head, swinging their Claws at people like you. Even if you were to break the cycle somehow, it would be a perfectly, completely useless affair.

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Image The brief resistance will be forgotten soon, and people will continue living, not for a purpose nor a dream, but rather simply because they cannot die. You may think that you have brought me down. Yet as you can see, I’m still at the peak, looking down upon you lot while you writhe like insects.

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Image I want to see you kneel before the might of destiny, resigning yourself to fate. Go on, slowly; despair and succumb to your fate.

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Image As the last bits of your resistance melt away. We shall be the subterranean water that quietly flows underneath the earth.

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Image How to avoid the Head’s pursuit; the means to join the ranks of the Wings; and the way for us, the few, to survive. It was impossible to figure those out on our own.

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Image The sentinel who guards the gates of hell must always be in despair. Such despair that they cannot even fall into the depths of hell.

Music: Boss Warning
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In summary: Binah introduces us to her good friend Carmen, who is actually the Bucket. The Cogito we produce to make Abnormalities comes from her. She then tells us that everything we're doing is pointless and that people are dying in the other branches-before mentioning that things are even worse outside of this place. She then claims that no matter what we do it's all pointless, and decides that she wants to be the one to make us succumb to fate so that she can watch us break under the strain.

We then reminisce about probing through her brain for :filez: before imprisoning her into a robot to be tortured forever.

Image So... we're fighting?

Image Could you call it a fight were a man to try and move through a wall? I am merely a reminder of the cruel nature of the world.

Image So you're not fighting me? This is just words? I saw the warning. I feel like we should be fighting.

Image ...I shall crush you like a grape, yes.

Image Finally. That's the first thing you've said to me that I've actually understood.

Image Hm.

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Image I've finally caught up with my backlog of work, A. I should be better able to chime in from here forward.

Image That's good to know, but unfortunately…

Image Ah, it's her turn?

Image Probably. I got the confirmation line, so tomorrow you'll all be asleep.

Image I see. The best of luck to you, A.

Image Thanks.

Image Manager, there is no more business to deal with at this time. We can move ahead with the Suppression at any time.

Image Thanks. What's for lunch, anyways?

Image Beef PangPang and your choice of drink, but it's not for several more hours. Do you require a snack?

Image That'd be nice. For some reason I can't get the thought of jerky out of my… oh no. :stonk:

Image Good morning, boss guy!!! We're gonna be working together today, right?! :keke:

Image

Image ...

Image ...right?

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Goddamnit, Mizu.








Image Today's Shy Look?

Image Only when it's happy. Black damage.

Image Judgment Bird?

Image Insight or Attachment, only with an armor rated 1.0 or better for Pale. Pale damage.

Image Little Prince!

Image Attachment work, but once every three works needs to be Insight. Need to do other works in between to wash off the spores. Black damage.

Image Wowsers, you really do remember all of them!

Image Information's the only thing we have that can keep us from dying. Keeping this much in mind is just to be expected.

Image I try to do it, but it all just slips out-so I mostly just try to read up seconds before I walk into the cell.

Image I pay attention to the ones nearby, but it doesn't really matter how the Abnormalities in Records need to be kept if we're in Training. That's too much work.

Image Working hard will make sure I get to stay in my job here. I don't want to die, and I can't afford to be fired.

Image That's all of us.

Image Truue!! I guess we'll just all have to rely on you to keep us alive.

Image Wait, but that's not why-

Image Too late, it sounds like a great idea.

Image Here's to Dr. Safety, PhD!!

Image I don't have a doctorate or anything fancy like that-

Image That's a shame. Dr. Safety is really catchy…

Image And like a shoe-in for Netzach's team. If there's an opening.

Image They do have relatively safe Abnormalities… Alright, fine. You can call me that if you like. As a nickname.

Image Alright! And you can call me Idiot!

Image We already do. No nicknames for me, thanks. I'm just plain old Steve.

Image What part of you is plain?

Image Oh, there you guys are. Medea's calling the team together for our morning meeting. Get moving, there's some serious stuff going down today and no time to explain!

Image Yes ma'am! Let's move.

Image Yeessir, Dr. Safety, sir!

Image You don't have to salute…

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This can only go well.

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Good thing for Mizu that there's no new abnormalitycutie today.

Now comes the real question: since Carmen is the bucket, and therefore the closest thing to the source of abnormalities, does this mean we now must deal with a competition for Carmen's attention between A and Mizu? The tabloids will have a field day.

User avatar
Day 44: Gameplay

Music: neutral 1
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Image You're not supposed to be here yet! If Angela finds out…

Image It's okay! I'm invisible to AIs, no matter how perfect!

Image Manager, you suddenly seemed distressed, and now you are whispering to yourself. Is everything alright?

Image I-uh…

Image Toldja so. SUPER handy for getting snacks from the executive lounge after hours.

Image No, it's nothing. Let's just continue onward with the briefing. Wait, can't the Sephirot see you?

Image Brains in robot thingies. Completely different.

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Image An arbiter awakens… I remember that they're dangerous, and one destroyed the facility. Does anyone have any specifics?

Image Oh! Miss Binah used to be an Arbiter forever ago. She told me that once.

Image What's she doing on this call?!

Image I needed someone to run the department while Binah's out. It should just be for the morning.

Image There's no way we can trust someone like-

Image Hey, let's all focus on the task at hand~

Image Okee-dokie!

Image Gebura, you fought her. Do you remember anything?

Image Arbiters… they're tough. They've got access to a number of Singularities that they use as weapons. But more than that, they don't fight fair. I'm sure I don't need to remind you what happened when she descended on our facility years ago.

Image But she's not as strong as you. Right?

Image Obviously. She fights more like you would, though. Keep an eye out for tricks.

Image Sounds good. Anything else before we get things under way?

Image I believe there's no other urgent business at this time, A.

Image There is one thing. Tenebrais got a Gift yesterday, and it's screwed things up.

Image Really? Hold on, I'll look into it.

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Tenebrais got Yin's gift, and it knocked her below the 110 all stats threshold to use her favorite E.G.O gear. I give her Mizu's Paradise Lost equipment, but that leaves the question of who to put Apocalypse Bird on.

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This'll do. :getin:

Image Perfect. Let's get this knocked out and go home, everybody.

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Music: Second Trumpet
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Image NOW it's time to work?

Image Yeah. You gave me a heart attack when you showed up early like that.

Image Well, that's me. Gotta be the first to show up, otherwise it's no good. I don't like that first spot being stolen from me.

Image Gotta say, that mask looks way creepier up close...

Image I really like it! It's been a month and it hasn't lost that delicious smell. It's also tasty.

Like with Gebura, the day begins and our camera is dragged over to Extraction immediately.

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Image It's been some time since I've last had a form like this... Manager. Allow me to make one thing clear.

Image That'd be a first.

Image I never have any problems understanding her.

Image I'm not one of those weak-willed beings who needs your help. All I require is that you stop me with your own power. Until then, I shall crush you time and again until you break beneath the weight of your aspirations.

Image You know it's the employees who'd be doing most of the fighting, right?

Image I shall consider those whom you order as mere appendages. I shall cleave them all with time.

Image I never thought you'd be the Sephirot who wouldn't make me jump through hoops.

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The first thing Binah does after the camera focuses on her is raise her hand and send a ripple effect over the screen.

Image Then as so many times before, I shall play my favorite music. I wonder how you'll react today? Don't disappoint me.

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Image Oh hey, that's just a rearranged version of that thingy from before!

Image What are you talking about?

Image The stuff I see when I shut my eyes really tight! It's coming from in my own head so it's probably me, since there's no cuties nearby to shove stuff in there and try thinking for me.

Image Has anyone ever told you you're kind of terrifying?

Image Uh-huh! Plenty!

Image Do you have time to be talking to that child, manager?

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All Phases wrote:
Image Now… can you stop me on your own two feet, with your own power?

Image Go ahead and stop me without her help this time.

Image Ah, this brings me back to my senses.

Image It seems this body of mine can also use these powers. Interesting, yet tenuous.
Phase 1 wrote:
Image This body simply has too many limits.

Image If only I knew what power this place held, we could have acquired it for us to use.

Image You’re being reckless yet again, deceiving the Head and planning such bold actions.
Image You haven't even done anything yet.

Image Always so reckless... Your high-mindedness will only put you off-balance.

Image Manager, I can feel it… the cuties are calling! They want our attention!

Image What? What are you talking about-

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Image Meltdowns?!

Binah's first wave does a couple of things. The first is that it spawns 6 meltdowns of two different types across the facility, for a total of 12. The first, Meltdown of Gold, are basically completely normal meltdowns aside from their yellow highlights. The gray ones are called Meltdown of Dark Fog instead. These apply a -10% penalty to the work rate of the Abnormality inside, and have a shorter timer than normal meltdowns-45 seconds instead of 60 seconds-so we need to react at least a little quicker to them.

Image Whatever. We can handle those as we go. In the meanwhile let's send some agents to see what Binah's capable of.

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Image Why are they half dead?!

Image Maybe the flash did that too?

Image Binah, it's been literally ten seconds, what the hell?!

Image I simply gave you a normal greeting.

For the record, it's a testament to our facility's toughness that everyone survived Binah's first attack. My first time playing through the game, this wave killed around five agents by itself. Unlike Gebura, Binah doesn't have any intention of letting us gain our footing.

Oh right, and all of her resistances are 0.1x. All of this information comes rushing at us during the first few seconds of the fight, with her first attack being easily missable if we just watch her for a second after she raises her hand. All of this plays into the theme of this fight: managing chaos. While Hokma was a test of stopping fires before they could start, Binah douses the entire facility with gasoline, tosses a match, and says "good luck."

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Image Alright, let's just get to work on these things and see what happens.

Image I suppose you wouldn't have made it this far without at least that much resolve.

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Image Hey manager, she's about to do a thingy!

Image Who's engaging her?

Image Umm… people!

Image Have them get out of there.

Image Okee-dokie!

There's two things of note here. One of them is the black dots, when we work the special meltdowns, dots fly out of them and into Binah-needless to say, we want to work all of the Meltdowns if we want to get anywhere. The other is that she has combat quotes like Gebura did. This one in particular means everyone needs to get out of the room or behind her unless we want them to die. Her hand glows in the color of one of the four damage types and she raises it up in the air like before.

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Then she unleashes a bunch of slashes in front of herself. We'll cover the specifics later, but this move will basically murder anyone standing in a room in front of Binah.

Her quote here also means that we've cleared all of her Dark Fog meltdowns. This temporarily lowers her resistances to 2.0x, then after a short time they'll settle at 0.8x-effectively, we have to work these if we want to damage her.

Zeta21 and Tenebrais will be set to attack her during this time, since after an attack she has a cooldown of ~15 seconds before she'll be able to launch another.

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Image The sandman? What's that mean?

Image ...

Image She's asleep!

Image Huh. Now's our chance!

This quote comes when we clear her Gold meltdowns, and means she won't be moving for a short while. This opens her up to attack without having to worry about dodging her attacks in return.

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Stacking these two temporary debuffs is the best way to pile damage on.

Image That lifebar isn't going down as much as I'd like…

Image It's Binah, after all. She's gotta be tough! All of us Extraction-types are.

Image Tough, insane, not really sure which one you guys qualify as more.

Image It's definitely toughness! If I wasn't super tough… I probably would have stopped moving like the others always do. Instead, I survive. And... survive. So I'm always looking at the cuties, because they might be the only thing tougher than me. No matter how much you kill them, they don't die. It's a big super mystery!

Image Well, you can't really kill a concept-that's probably where they gain that power from.

Image Oh yeah, I heard about that… I wasn't really paying attention that time, though.

Image I really don't get how you're the best in the facility at handling new Abnormalities.

Image The cuties? I greet the new ones because they're coming home. I've known them all since forever.

Image Wait, what?

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This is as much of her lifebar as Zeta21, Tenebrais, and Credentia could shave off by themselves. I'd ideally burn her down further but it's dangerous to pull everyone off of what they're doing.

Image Ah… There we are. I have awoken at an interesting moment. Surely you were aware of my interest in this child?

Image That's-Hey! You're trying to distract me with something weird so I screw up the fight, aren't you?

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Image Perceptive. Though since I need none of your sophistry and platitudes, I did not think it would be wrong to show you another interesting sight.

This is Binah's other main attack, a pillar which she fires off after a short time. It travels in a straight line, and unlike her slash attack will go through the entire facility to hit anyone in its way. It's much less powerful than the slashes, but ideally she fires it into as small an area as possible. Like the slash, this pillar can come in any of the 4 damage types.

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Meanwhile, Scarecrow's breached. Thanks to Medea we can largely ignore it.

Image Do you remember our second conversation?

Image You drove a man insane and made him pass out. It left an impression.

Image The merest glimpse into the Well is enough to render someone incapable of speaking of its wonders. The mind cannot fathom it. Even while my body is mechanical, it tortures and rips at my soul whenever I see it.

Image What are you getting at..?

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As Binah walks through the facility, whenever she passes by the door of a containment cell she'll leave behind an effect on it. I've circled it in the picture above.

Image Countless managers before you, there was a fresh-faced employee, who had somehow survived long enough to be employed in the Extraction Team.

Image Oh! I know this story! It's really good.

Image What's she up to...

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Image -Wait, this is just a distraction! I don't care about your stupid story!

This effect is from her spawning a normal meltdown on whatever cell it is she's just walked through.

Image Aww...

Image Am I not providing you precisely what you've asked for? You were able to manage the facility and communicate with the others at the same time. Do you lack the talent to do so now that you are being asked to speak without worrying about the words you use?

Image ...Fine. I can tune you out when I need to.

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Moving BICEPS in to work with La Luna when Binah spawns a meltdown on her provokes another attempt to slash everyone-luckily, since Tenebrais, Credentia, and Zeta21 are all behind her we can just ignore it.

Image That child was fascinated by Abnormalities, and the idea of speaking with them and having them respond filled her with wonder. She joined the Extraction team since she wished to learn everything about them. Such employees never last long, the crushing nature of our work erodes the soul, and a thirst for knowledge will break the mind. Such is the setting you have designed for your play.

Image It's the feel-good romp of the year! Except most people say it doesn't really feel that good?

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The pause she takes when attacking turns out to be very useful to our attempts to whittle her down.

Image Keep talking. You're nearly out of time.

Image The work we do requires the employees keep their eyes shut and simply follow orders. They must never look within the Well. To try and comprehend it is to go mad.

Image And let me guess, this agent peeked, went crazy, and died.

Image They beheld the Well's waters as I drew with the Bucket. They could not stop staring. I could have bid them to stop, but the idea of observing yet another tragedy in the endless mountain of corpses you have made was the more appealing option.

Image Okay, so they did something else insane. Got it.

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Image That child was an unassuming employee. Left alone as her loved ones were swept away in the Night of the Backstreets, taken or slain as she hid. Such a tragedy befits those of this facility. There was no reason to expect anything, aside from the collapse of that child's boundary. And collapse it did.

Image Shame that you're out of time. You'll have to tell me the rest later.

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Image But there are those who can survive through the most improbable circumstances.

Image Oh hell-she's another multi-phase fight, like The Red Mist!

Music: Jukai
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Phase 2 wrote:
Image If you cannot defeat me, you shall be crushed by the Head and its ruthless Claws yet again.

Image Even if you were to break this cycle, it would not last long.

Image You cannot escape the Head.

Image What do you think you will accomplish on your own, even after breaking out of this prison?
Image Ohmigosh! I think she's gonna do the thing again!

Image The thing?

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At the beginning of her second phase, Binah sends another wave throughout the entire facility. When she does this, her resistances revert to 0.1x.

Image These Abnormalities can hear the overture. They would like to partake in the concerto. Who am I to deny them?

Image Not this shit again!

This time, we can pause and see what harmed our agents before.

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Image The ground is bubbling…

Image Sniff sniff... Smells dangerous!

We want to make sure that our agents aren't standing on these bubbling points. They spawn alongside the meltdowns, and after a short time…

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Image Yep! Definitely dangerous!

Image That explains it.

The most important thing about this attack? Multiple spikes can spawn in the same location-if an agent gets hit by 2-3 of them then they're going to be really hurting. But that's not all!

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In phase 2 she adds a new type of meltdown, the Meltdown of Waves! This one has a 60 second timer and a -5% penalty, and 6 of them spawn alongside 6 of each other type-that makes 18 Meltdowns being spawned across the facility at once. With all of our departments built out, we have a total of 36 possible targets (her meltdown powers do not effect Extraction as it's currently melting down). That means she's literally tossed a meltdown on half the Abnormalities in the building. But wait, there's more!

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These black waves are added to the mix as well. They slowly travel along the room they spawn in from one side to the other, dealing Black damage to anything they touch as they travel. When they hit the end, they move somewhere else. We have to clear all of the Meltdowns of Waves in order to make them disappear-otherwise they're invincible.

Image I see… so you've been using facility-wide attacks as you're able while trying to keep the focus on you with that story. Unfortunately for you, you can only use that attack when you change phases.

Image I doubt sincerely that you have seen through the whole of my plan. Still, simply speaking to you is unlikely to stop you. Shall I continue my story?

Image Oh! Mr. Mountain is breaking out.

Image What-already?!

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Another downside of Binah's number of widespread attacks is that any Abnormalities who lose QC due to deaths will be very hard to keep from breaching. With our facility having two of them, that's another layer of chaos to add to the mix.

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Image No objections if I call the Rabbit Team, right?

Image If I tried to limit such a technique, you would be able to cling to the hope that you only lost because you could not try your best. Your despair will be much more complete should you call them.

We're in full damage control mode now. I drop the Rabbits in Extraction and leave it to them-I do not want Mountain to get out. Even if I were to try using it against Binah, she's immune to damage from Abnormalities. That also means we can't abuse the Shelter to get past her, either.

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We queue up works and get all set for another round of trying to deal with Binah.

Image An Arbiter?! Listen you, the contract specifically stipulates-

Image It's not really an Arbiter anymore, and I only want you to take out that Mountain in Extraction anyways.

Image Good enough for me. Let's graze, boys!

They do the job so quickly that they're finished before I could get footage of them shooting it. Mountain is pretty weak until it eats some corpses.

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Image You're all set! Good luck, Manager!

Image Thanks.

Image Bye, lady!

Image Now, where was I? Ah yes, that child's boundary. It collapsed, but she was functional. Unquestionably broken... but no matter how many times she was tested, her mental corruption level was at 79%. Barely sane. A shell which could scarcely be called a person, acting the part of an employee.

Image She's the best at acting. :allears:

Image I think I'm starting to see where this is going. So, then what?

Image Ah… it's time to sleep.

Image I see. Then everyone! Attack her with all you've got!

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Image I think you will find that quite impossible. Goodnight.

Image Where… is she?!

Image Uh… in the doorway?

As it turns out, Binah will fall asleep in the exact spot where she's standing when her stun phase is triggered-this can include transitions, which means our agents aren't able to attack her at all. This is an entirely wasted opportunity to pile on the hits. Binah!! :argh:

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Instead I focus my attention up here. Since the Justita hits all targets within an area, we can't actually have Medea engage Scarecrow without risking her getting chomped by a tiny red bird.

Image Hey, Mizu. That girl in the story… That's you, isn't it?

Image Hm? Oh, probably.

Image You can't say for sure?

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Luckily, Carlos is nearby-and Spore only targets a single enemy. He'll be able to attack with near impunity.

Image Hmm… Nope! I just know what I know~

Image Then what do you know?

Image Cuties, mostly. All sortsa things about cuties. They love me, and I love them, so we'll all get along great forever and ever~

Image And… where do you know that from?

Image From the other times I met them, silly! When I see one, I remember times we've met. Times we fought. Times we talked. Even the times I died. All these cuties are so very charming!

Image How do you remember times that you died?

Image Iunno. With my brain?

Image I thought you said you wouldn't be getting distracted, Manager.

Image Oh, you're awake?

Image Actually…

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Image I roused from my slumber a short time ago. I simply removed some problems before speaking.

Unfortunately for us I focused too hard on handling the scarecrow situation, resulting in Binah murdering two agents.

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Taking stock, it looks like she did the Black slash attack-Zeta21 and Tenebrais were the only two on her that survived it. I toss some bullets on them to try and heal them up.

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As for BICEPS, he survived the initial shot but the fear damage from two equal-level agents dying drained 20% SP on top of that, panicking him. We throw some White damage dealers at him for now.

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Image Cheap trick, Binah.

Image It was you who said that you were prepared for it. Perhaps you found the story far more interesting than you thought?

This pillar is a problem. Not because it'll hurt my agents-Tenebras and Zeta21 can tank it easily.

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It has a secondary effect-If it passes over the door or containment cell of any Abnormality, that Abnormality immediately starts a normal Meltdown. This means I have a problem: Woodsman is melting down, and Dimi is dead. This meltdown on the Woodsman can be worked, but it'll drop its QC to 0. If I ignore it, it'll drop to 0 anyways. That means if this cell gets hit during her next phase, I'll have to sacrifice an agent to work it. That's really not ideal.

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Oh, and La Luna is melting down again, with Big Bird on the prowl after all the deaths. :shepface:

Image Setting that aside, how much of it is true?

Image I wonder..? Now, where was I? That child's mind collapsed, but she continued to function. Eventually she died, as would be expected in such a state. As is the way of this place she was eventually brought back, good as new. But something odd happened: bit by bit her mind degraded on its own, until her actions were indistinguishable from before. Gazing for so long into the Well of humanity had caused it to look back at her. By the second time we met, some managers later, she had become a creature indistinguishable from one of the Abnormalities themselves.

Image Is that really possible..?

Image Don't look at me. How should I know?

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Meanwhile, damage control time. I opt to prepare for the next phase by putting the upper layer into my favorite elevator, and the remainder of the lower layer over to the left hand side in a second elevator. While it's difficult to blitz Binah down in phases 1 and 2, her next phase gives us a little wiggle room we can use to try and beat her directly if we play it right. We should be able to handle the Woodsman problem by ignoring it, and then preparing to just dodge the final set of meltdowns.

Moreover, La Luna can only target 1 person at a time with her favorite attack so dogpiling her will solve that problem, and since Big Bird is slow, we should be able to avoid any major complications. This isn't a perfect plan, but it'll do.

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And with BICEPS back to normal, we send him to join the upper elevator as well.

Image I gave that child the same instructions as I always do when drawing from the Well with the Bucket. Those who disobey and open their eyes make it clear soon enough, so I thought nothing of her following them perfectly.

Image You're kind of kicking my ass already, do you still have to keep this up?

Image Do you have to keep trying to plot behind the Head's back in order to bring about a pointless revolution? Simply acting according to one's conviction is normally applauded in this place.

Image ...Do whatever you want.

Image

Image By chance, I noticed one day that the child had looked up to follow one particularly violent response before I had told her of it. I asked her why she had disregarded my order. Her response was something intriguing. She had 'forgotten to blink.'

Image She… what?

Image It's really hard to remember sometimes! And it's like, do I do it with one eye, or both eyes, or one eye and then the other eye, and how long am I supposed to do it for? There's all these rules and it's hard to remember them all! And then someone mentions winking and don't even get me started on winking!

Image That child as we knew her is gone, only able to grasp at the straws of her own sanity long enough to slip once more into the Well. What she has become is something else, an expression of some primal need of the Well in a way distinct from the Abnormalities. And so she may gaze into its depths, for she knows the path on which she treads.

Image And we're letting something like that just continue to be reborn forever?

Image Of course. An assistant who is able to see and react without orders is more valuable to my work than any number of normal employees. A pity, then, that whatever manner in which she broke has never been replicated. One cannot predict how a temple shall collapse upon itself, but it rarely allows shelter afterwards.

Image So that's your story, huh?

Image I guess? I just wanna smooch cuties! Who cares about the rest of it?

Image Then... why are you telling me this?

Image If you must know…

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Image I was stalling for time.

Image Ooh, that wave's coming again!

Image You can do that more than once?!

Image Of course.

Image

Image Assuming I could not call upon the Abnormalities again was your own error, Manager. Carmen may be their mother, but whose face is the first they see within this place?

Around 60 seconds after all of the Meltdowns have either been worked or had their timer expire, Binah will resummon her special meltdowns by repeating her opening attack. I'd thought I had more time.

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I pulled back to check on the locations of the meltdowns, but I forgot to pause. To review:

-Spikes can show up under any agent in the facility.
-Multiple spikes can show up in the same place.
-Watching an agent of the same level die or panic deals 10% SP damage through fear.
-Almost everyone in the facility was in two very cramped spots.

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As a result, Binah annihilates our facility in one move. On top of that, her defenses have returned to 0.1x.

Image From what I've observed, this is the part where you run.

Image ...Yeeah. I don't think this is salvageable anymore.

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Image The weak crumble in the face of the strong. Such it is.

Image I did underestimate you. Can't claim otherwise.

Image Don't worry, Manager! You'll win next time. Or everyone will die. Either way, I'll be right here!

Image That's… not as comforting as you'd think, Mizu, but thank you.

When Binah makes it to the center of Central's main room, she pauses for a second. This means that it was her destination. How her pathing AI works is actually fairly simple: she picks a random department, and moves for its main room. Once she gets there, she pauses for a moment before selecting another main room and going there. While the day's over, I let her wander around for a while longer just to show off a couple more things.

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The first thing is that dark fog on Zeta21 and Binah. Until we clear the Meltdowns of Dark Fog, that fog will debuff every agent in the same room as her, giving them -15 to Move Speed and Attack Speed. The second thing is the green sparkle effect on her. If we don't handle the Meltdowns of Gold, then she gets a regeneration effect that will heal her by 1 HP/second for the next 60 seconds.

Binah really wants us to engage with her mechanics.

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Image That's about all the information I'll be getting from her. Let's get out of here before we find out what happens if WhiteNight breaches with you in my office.

Image Oh yeah, that'd be super fun. I get to grow wings!

Image You already have wings.

Image More wings.

Retry count 15

Confession time, I knew going in that I would probably lose. Binah is the Core Suppression that I'm the worst at. The sheer amount of chaos she brings to the table is enough to throw me off of my game, and I'm at my weakest when I'm having to react to things on the fly. Because of that I've just never been that great at fighting her. Still, I wanted to try it the "normal" way once in order to give her a chance to show off. Fights against Binah tend to be quick one way or the other, since if we don't kill her quickly she will take us all out-as you've seen, two mistakes was enough to wipe out the entire facility.

Music: neutral 2
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Image So that's an Arbiter…

Image Her power has degraded since back then, much the same as Gebura's.

Image That's… not really much comfort. I need to think of a plan.

Image The problem's that she fights super dirty, isn't it? Why not just fight dirtier?

Image Huh. That's… actually an unexpectedly good idea. Thanks.

Image Who are you speaking to, Manager?

Image Er-myself, that's all. I just need to run a few numbers.

Image ...Of course, sir.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Binah continues trying to kill us because she's an AI and this is a video game.

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...You know, based on the big empty box there I have been seriously underestimating the size of our robots.

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right?! fuck me, that's the size of an abnormality containment cell!!

...it's also the *shape* of an abnormality containment cell...

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For what it's worth, the developer interviews clarified that they're supposed to be about the size of a normal person, and that the reason they're so big in the suppressions (Gebura's was there in the background too) is to give the idea that our opponents came out from inside of them.

In short: you probably weren't far off of what was intended, the size here is for dramatic emphasis is all.

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Day 44: Gameplay Again

Music: neutral 3
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Image So that's Binah… She's a troublesome opponent.

Image But you have a plan, right? Like, "when she attacks, you need to not be there!"

Image One of her attacks goes across the entire facility, so that's… not a great plan. I have a theory, but it's going to require some tight timing.

Image In that case, do the thing and see if it works, and if not you know for next time. I'm sure nobody really minds dying if they don't remember it. Heck, I do remember it and I'm pretty sure it feels kind of nice now.

Image Alright, let's give it a try and see if it works the first time.

Retry count: 16

It didn't. We'll get into that later. :v:

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Music: Second Trumpet
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Last time we covered all of Binah's phase dialogue, so I won't be copying it again here.

Image You've already returned...

Image I'm not that easy to keep down anymore.

Image I see…

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Image Then I shall greet you in the appropriate manner.

Image Hello to you, too.

Last time I showed off what Binah can do in broad terms, to give a general idea how the feel of the fight works. This time, we're going to keep her from even getting to play the game. So, let's take a look at Binah.

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In phase 1, Binah only has one attack that can hit the entire facility-her initial one, which comes out once a minute at most. While Pillar and Fairy are both dangerous, her AI will never use them unless she's in the same room as an employee. This gives us some time before we need to worry about them.

Much like with WhiteNight, there are three broad strategies for how to deal with Binah:

-Engage with her mechanics as intended. We tried that last time, and I proved very bad at it. Still, Binah is completely defeatable if fought properly. My failed run involved me trying to salvage it by doing it the "right" way, and would have succeeded if not for D.A.D. dying right at the end.

-Build a facility to be as safe as possible, so that no matter what Binah does she doesn't cause too much trouble. This would mean no Clerk's Rights Abnormalities, and nothing that is complicated to handle. Doing this can actually help with both Binah and Hokma's suppressions, but it requires building our facility from scratch to this end. Since we're not going back to Day 1, this isn't an option. That leaves us with:

-Introduce something to the mix which somehow disrupts the intended flow of the fight. :getin:

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Step 1: We slow bullet Binah. It's important that we keep her in Extraction.

Image Delaying me will not stop the inevitable tide of reality from crushing your aspirations.

Image Huh. I expected another story.

Image I see no reason to bother. This time, you came with a plan. I will see your full might, and I will crush it.

Image Also she only knows one story. Now poems…

Image This is not the time for poetry, Mizu.

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Step 2 is to deal with her initial attack. We do this by spending our bullets on clearing clerks standing on top of the bubbles. I should really only need two bullets to accomplish my plan with Binah, so this gives us 20 shots to play with for Clerk removal. Healing our agents won't be necessary if everything goes to plan.

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Image So you intend to keep the Bird and Mountain asleep?

Image Big Bird getting out would be too much of a problem to handle on top of everything else.

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I eat through most of our ammo supply to do it. With one shot having Binah's name on it, this gives us six left after I restart time.

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The rest of the setup is simple. I set agents to work, and order them to stand in separate hallways and elevators so that only one agent will be in any given place. This will cut down on the possible damage from her next resonate, and keep us from losing anyone.

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When we unpause and the spikes strike, Big Bird's QC stays the same. We lost less than 5 agents, which is perfect.

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Image Planning such bold actions even now… do you think I haven't caught on to your idea?

Image Whether you've caught on or not doesn't matter, the question is if you can stop it.

After unpausing, I count to nine and pause again. The reason for this is simple:

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Slow bullets last for 10 seconds, and I want to be sure.

Image You think yourself my equal… interesting.

Image Don't you have a nap you should be taking?

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Image ...

Image ...Looks like she does! I thought we weren't allowed to sleep on the job, though.

Image You're not. Let me show you why.

This is the moment we've been waiting for. Once Binah is asleep, we move forward with the main thrust of our plan.

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Image Myo.

Image Something the matter, Manager?

Image One of my employees is causing problems. I need you to deal with her.

Image Can do.

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Image I told you, she's my employee.

Image Good enough for me. Time to graze!

Binah is countered very effectively by the Rabbit Team. Their lockdown prevents her from leaving Extraction, and since Extraction is the department being suppressed it's immune to her walking meltdowns-this lets us ignore that part of the fight entirely. Moreover, since Binah doesn't care about damage type the Rabbits can pile it onto her en masse. The slow bullets were used in order to make sure she didn't leave Extraction before she was asleep. This is because Binah has a cooldown period of 20-25 seconds after each attack she makes, and if she rolls low then she can start a Fairy attack if we call the Rabbit Team immediately. Since her stun phase doesn't interrupt her mid-attack, this means that she'd have a 50-50 chance to kill a large chunk of the team before she's stunned.

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Binah's stun phase lasts for 30 seconds, and after it's over all of her cooldowns reset. This means the rabbits will have ~50-55 seconds to wail on her before she's done.

Image This seems super unfair, manager!

Image She said she didn't care about methods, so I'm taking her at her word. We'll never pull one over on the Head if we don't play unfair some of the time.

Image Oooh~! Okie-dokie, boss!

Image What's all this about pulling one over on the Head?

Image Wish I could tell you. Apparently I'm part of some big plan that'll do it somehow? Binah there thinks so, anyways.

Image And you think it's a good job to just say as much to someone working at another Wing?

Image Well, you're losing your memory after this, so…

Image ...Heh. Guess you're right. Long as there's a battlefield it's not like I care much anyways.

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The glut of works means that Parasite Tree is assured to try and draw someone in, and since it's a clerk I just get rid of them. Five bullets left. As for WhiteNight, I'm following the same strategy that I did with Hokma: Every time work with him ends I immediately have the same person work with him. Today that person is Talow.

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Image I wake up to see you hiding behind another Wing? I suppose such a tactic is to be expected from you, Manager.

Image My memory may be fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure you do the same thing. What between the Claws you worked with back then, and the L-corp Abnormalities you try to use now.

Image Ooh, Claws? Miss Binah knows about Claws?

Image I'm quite familiar with them, though not as much as I used to be.

Image Introduce me! I've always wanted to meet one!

Image Perhaps another time. I've none I can call in this place.

As I mentioned before, the Rabbits trap her in Extraction. Binah tries to leave for the elevator…

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Only to be warped back to the start of her corridor.

Image These spatial locks are quite the problem…

Image Why thank you.

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With the Rabbits keeping the pressure on Binah, I aim for some double kills on our Clerks.

Music: Jukai
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Image You seem to be getting ahead of yourself, Manager. Can you afford to take your eyes off of me?

Image I really don't have a choice, do I?

Image It could be said that you always have choices, Manager. Your ability to always make the wrong one is what has led us here.

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Binah starts Phase 2 with another Resonate, but now that our agents are spread out none of them are in any actual danger from it. She also adds on her Waves.

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I mentioned earlier that Red defense was the most important one in the early game and Black took that spot for the late game, and this fight is pretty much entirely why. I focused our equipment today on gear that resisted Black damage, so these attacks aren't a meaningful threat.

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I burn one bullet on removing a clerk who was going to get spiked, and set everyone to work on handling the 18 meltdowns across the facility. Meanwhile, our foresight pays off.

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If we're unlucky, we could have to deal with Woodsman melting down 2+ times over the course of this fight, and we have no choice but to work them. Dimi was created expressly to handle this problem. After today, she's allowed to have Temperance.

Image You haven't thought about what happens after this, have you?

Image I have not, no.

Image I was expecting some kind of sophistry. So you admit to having no plan?

Image I don't know what's going to happen. When it does, I'll deal with it then.

Image You won't be able to accomplish anything on your own.

Image Well… I certainly can't argue with that.

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Image I don't think I count as 'alone' anymore, though. Goodnight, Binah.

Image ...

Image Manager, that was super inspirational!!

Image Please stop hugging me.

The phase change triggers an attack, which resets Binah's attack cooldown timer. Since our agents are so spread out, we can work all of the abnormalities within 20 seconds. This knocks Binah out, so the Rabbits can keep up their attack.

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Image Worth every penny, wouldn't you say?

Image I'd say you're worth a lot more than the nothing we're paying you.

Image Huh?

Image I called you before we'd collected any energy. And 25% of nothing is…

Image Bupkuss!

Image Yes. Very good, Mizu.

Image This whole day's just been corner cases with that damn contract of ours, hasn't it?

Image Seems that way.

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I use our last bullet on taking out this hypnotized clerk. We should be clear on Parasite Tree, now.

Image You are quite skilled after all, Manager. To have pushed me so far, so quickly.

Image I just figured out how to use the right tool for the right job.

Image How... nostalgic.

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Image It appears you've left me little choice. Rather than simply crush you with those creatures called Abnormalities, it seems I will have to attack your crutch.

Image I can walk just fine.

Before Phase 3 happens, I pull the camera all the way out and take a deep breath. What we've seen so far is the easy part.

Music: Haunted Streets
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Image That remains to be seen. Try to stand on your own two feet.

Phase 3 uses the same on-screen quotes as Phase 2. The only difference comes when we try to pause.

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Image Not this shit again.

Image You seem off-balance. Good.

Image Mrgrgr… Rabbit team! Don't let up!

Image Like we ever would!

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In Phase 3, Binah disables pausing entirely and introduces a new trick into the mix. We'll get to that in a moment.

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As with the other two phases, Binah begins this one with another wave through the facility. The spikes fail to kill anyone once again.

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This time, we get her final type of special meltdowns: The Meltdown of Pillars. She spawned 8 of them across the facility, though only 7 are visible in this shot. These meltdowns apply a -20% success penalty, and have a base 45 second timer. It's vital that we handle them, because if we don't Binah will be able to launch her attack. She's also invincible until the attack resolves, so we can't beat her down before it fires.

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She summons these eight pillars around herself one at a time, and when the meltdown timers have ended she fires them all off. They deal damage according to the glow around them, and will trigger more meltdowns just like her normal pillars do. Working all of the meltdowns will clear the pillars out and stop them from firing. However, Scarecrow wound up escaping instead. This breaks things so that we just have a group of pillars hanging there in midair for the rest of the fight. They're harmless, though, so there's nothing to worry about.

Image You really handled them all at once?

Image I had a lot of practice dealing with meltdowns when I couldn't pause. You can thank Hokma for that.

Image Well, as they say. Once is a fluke. Twice is a pattern.

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Image We'll see which you have.

A few steps later, she fires off another wave. This one comes with spikes as well, so it's important to keep agents spread out throughout this phase-we don't have time to drag them around to dodge anymore.

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I set our agents to work as quickly as possible, while Binah summons the pillars into existence.

Image Even if your plan succeeds, it will be meaningless in the end.

Image There's no way of knowing that for sure. At the very least, something will change.

Image The Head will endure. You're not the first upstart to try and force change, and you won't be the last. All you'll do is cause more suffering.

Image If that's the cost of breaking mankind out of this death spiral, then it's worth it.

Image Such idealism. I take it you inherited it from that woman.

Image Maybe. I don't really know.

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Since she didn't set up her usual meltdowns, Binah's defenses remain at 0.8 through this phase. After her second Pillars, her attack cooldowns return to normal, so there's at least 20 seconds before she can attack the Rabbits again. However, all the Rabbits are pooled on the far right side of the room, and when Binah reaches the end of the Rabbit corridor…

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She's warped right back to the start. Binah only attacks if she recognizes an employee near her, and while the Rabbits count for her AI, they're too far away for her to register them now.

Image I have underestimated you. To think it would be possible to grow so much in such an ephemeral amount of time.

Image Our manager this time around's really awesome, Miss Binah!

Image Yes. So it seems.

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Image I thought you a puppet, enacting the will of another. But there is more to you, it seems.

Image At this point, bringing all this to a close is what I want more than anything else.

Image And that desire is what let you stop even me.

Image That desire, and your neighborhood R-corp defense contract.

Image Yeah, you did good.

Image Then I suppose at last you have reached the starting line. Where you shall proceed from here, who can say?

Image I'm not sure I follow.

Image Even in the end, you cannot seem to grasp anything without it being spelled out for you... Very well.

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In the end, she goes down before a single Rabbit gets killed.

Image You've proven yourself. I shall witness you with my eyes.

Image Good job, Manager! You did the thing! ...Do I get to find out why we needed to do it?

Image Can you keep it to yourself?

Image Probably not!

Image Then no.

Image Aww…

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Image I thought we established it wasn't an Arbiter.

Image We did, but nobody ever said that'd apply to after-hours banter. The guys are gonna' freak over this story.

Image Weren't you wiping your memory the second you left?

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Image

Image ...

Image Son of a bi-!!

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And that's Binah. She's a worthy challenge just before we hit the endgame, and while she's punishing she also doesn't waste your time. After Hokma, I can appreciate that in a boss.

Image ...Soo… we did it. Binah's suppressed. What's that mean, exactly?

Image In her case, I have no idea. She didn't really get any more unstable, she was just… always like that.

Image Then I hope she stays like that! It really feels like she gets me, and I kind of like the tea and the cuties.

Image It's time for you to go home, Mizu. The… the cuties. Might miss you if you're gone for too long.

Image ...Ohmigosh, you're right. You're right! They may have forgotten me! Hold on, cuties! I'm coming!

Image ...That girl is terrifying.

Image That does seem to be the usual sentiment towards Binah, A. Still, you have done it.

Image Heh-I did, didn't I?

Music: neutral 4
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Image Any objections before I fall asleep for a week?

Image You are not currently approved for time off, Manager.

Image Right. I'll make it one night, then. If you can use TT2 to stretch that a bit, I'd appreciate it.

Image This workday was much shorter than normal. You should not be this fatigued.

Image I know it seems that way, but every minute of it felt like ten. I don't expect you to get it.

Image ...Of course, A. Good night.

Image Yeah. Night.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: We hit 90%.

Bonus

VIDEO: Binah Core Suppression

I always figured the memory wiping part of the contract didn't apply to Myo, because otherwise how would she oversee or report on anything.

Anyway, for the final suppression, I liked the focus on just having everyone just reaffirm their usual resolves one last time before we head towards the end. Makes sense since all the big action here is being taken care by the rabbits. I guess in a way, Binah proved to be the most dangerous being in the facility after all, since this was the one threat that your corporation wasn't able to tackle alone.

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woah...
that was really cool! and the music for 3rd phase is really good. :allears:

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Atziluth Roundup

Much like Gebura, Binah is a very chatty lady. She's got a lot of in-combat dialogue, so I'll go through it here.
Phase 1 wrote: When preparing Fairy:
Image Disperse.

Image Heed my words, Fairies.

Image Analyze. Compress. Expand.

Firing Fairy:
Image Do not dare to stand before me.

When preparing Pillar:
Image Condensing the Key.

Image Focus.

Image Open.

Firing Pillar:
Image Wreak havoc.

Image Come on out.

Image Crumble.

Spawning Spikes/Meltdowns:
Image Rise.

Image Collapse.

Image Resonate.

Successfully working Meltdowns of Gold:
Image The sandman calls me.

Failure:
Image You failed to bend my back.

Successfully working Meltdowns of Dark Fog:
Image I’m fading.

Failure:
Image You missed the opportunity.
Phase 2 wrote: Successfully working Meltdowns of Waves:
Image The waves will rock the shore again.

Failure:
Image You cannot stop the torrent of this world alone.
Phase 3 wrote: When attempting to pause:
Image You cannot stop the grand current with just those hands of yours.

Image I want you to finish me with your own power.

When summoning Pillars:
Image I’ll open the door if I must.

Image Let us sink here together.

Successfully working Meltdowns of Pillars:
Image Excellent.

Failure:
Image Your immaturity is to blame.
And of course, the Rabbits have some special dialogue for her as well. Here's the rest of it:
Rabbit Team wrote: 50% of Rabbit Team eliminated
Image Guess she isn’t a real Arbiter after all. But she does seem to be using some Singularities?

80% of Rabbit Team eliminated
Image Fairy and Key, what annoying powers… And they’re weakened too!

Rabbit Team wiped out
Image I’m sure you were aware things would go this way. We’re pulling out now.
I actually have more to say about the middle line, "Fairy and Key, what annoying powers." One of the game's translators, Casual Watson, actually mentioned this line on the discord and had this to say about it:
Casual Watson wrote:[T]he one attack “Fairy and Key” is a mini mistake since we didn’t have context at the time. Fairy and Key are the same thing, there shouldn’t be an “and” there.
So Fairy and Key are the same Singularity, and should be Fairy Key or Key Fairy or something like that. Currently we don't know how many of her attacks are Fairy, but they could all be or they could be other ones that aren't directly mentioned. :iiam: Arbiters, man. They have all the cool stuff.

Records Team Bonus Content

Team description
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Clerk/Agent bonuses
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Captain bonus: +6 All Stats

Team armband
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Hokma sprite


Benjamin sprite


Hokma robot sprite


Story background





Extraction Team Bonus Content


Team description
Image

Clerk/Agent bonuses
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Extraction is Welfare and Disciplinary rolled up into one. It has the same bonus progression as both of those departments at each level, but at the same time. :iia:

Team armband
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Binah sprite


Binah robot sprite


Story background
Last edited by TeeQueue on Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Day 45: Story

Music: Vast Landscape
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Image Don’t you get any impression, when the place you belonged to has been reduced to ashes and dust? Don’t be such a buzzkill. Try to admire the view a little. Since childhood, scenery such as a myriad of stars illuminating the sky or the sun’s radiant light beating down upon the earth couldn’t impress me one bit. This, however, gives me a thrill. A thrill that makes me thirst for more.

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Image My thirst has not been quenched just yet. Why are you trembling so much? Where’d the guts to betray your very own Nest go?

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Image The plan wasn’t perfect by any means, but it wasn’t all that bad, either. Thanks to those that placed their trust in you, we get to have this magnificent view. Trust is one of my favorite weapons, you see. It leaves a great wound, no?

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Image Wherever there is trash, they’ll always be on time to gather it up. It’s a symbiotic relationship, so to speak. We’re too busy to take care of all the dregs.

:gonk: N… No… Please…

Image Ah yes, that face.

:gonk: ......... Anything but the Sweepers.. Please…


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When we click to advance there's a pained, horrified scream that fades into a squelching noise. It feels very brutal, and an image fades in slowly after the sound ends.

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Garion, ladies and gentlemen. :allears:

Image …..

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Image Wouldn’t you agree? Now, the next stop… is that place.

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Image But the weak and the vulnerable tend to yield greatly valuable information. What kind of faces will show me what it means to be alive next?

Image

Image Only the sound of their last breath, and the expressions they made while they cling to their fading life could satisfy me. I recognized a long time ago that you and I were no different. We are the mutants this epoch has created.

Image

Image That is why you could have planned all this. However, no matter what you achieve here, the world will not change at all.

Image

Image ...But simply idling here won’t change the world, either.

Image

Image

Image I shall not close my eyes just because my eyelids are heavy, nor shall I turn away just because the sight is painful. Simply proceed like you always have. Then you may just triumph.

Image

In summary: We get a glimpse of Garion-Binah's original form-in her day to day activities as she crushes an "H Corporation." It turns out she's exactly as merciless as we already knew she was, and she mentions moving on to her next job-we know how that story ends. In the present, she confirms that we and her are alike, and that we're better fit than most to live through this era of humanity. While she still insists that we're not going to actually accomplish anything, she's decided to observe us as we try to finish our plan-and in the end admits that if we keep going we may just triumph.

Strange Dream never played, no deep epiphanies were had, and no lessons were learned. Nevertheless we got The Eye Facing the Fear; Breaking the Cycle, so in the end the Seed grows to 90% and everything's probably fine. :lobcorp:

Image ...We did it.

Image We did.

Image So uh. What happens now?

Image

Image There's a script for 90%, isn't there? :rolleyes:

Music: Until dawn
Image

Image So you wish to hear an answer from me. I have already made my conclusion. I was full of myself at first. I thought you would never be able to do anything without me by your side when we first met.

Image

Image Perhaps my assistance was not necessary in your journey, after all. Therefore, you should not be seeking an answer from me anymore.

Image

Image So, what do you think will be waiting for you behind that door?

In summary: Angela states that she didn't think we'd be able to do anything without her, but we've proven her wrong. She then says that because of that we should stop looking to her for answers, and mentions that we can clearly see a door-presumably the one out of here.

Image No more metaphors, please. I'm tired and they hurt me.

Image I am simply fulfilling my duty as I always have. Speaking of which...

Day 45 Story

Image

Image Oh, right... That tenth Sephirah… I got so caught up in the moment that I forgot about it. Hokma?

Image Yes, A?

Image Do you know of any others?

Image I'm afraid not. As far as I've seen it's been only the ten of us Sephirot.

Image Then do you know anything about day 46? Or after that? I can see that it's called the Architecture Team, but beyond that…

Image Unfortunately not, A. I have no memories of any such day, and the records of any days beyond this in the cycle are… nonexistent. It's as though they were forcibly purged by someone with more authority than I.

Image Angela? Was that you?

Image It was not.

Image Hm. Maybe Talow would know?

Image That wouldn't be possible. Since it became clear that whatever happened within Architecture would render the lot of us into an stable state, I would attempt to ensure the cycle ended before then. To that effect, Talow has not been alive beyond Day 45 as of yet.

Image Hmm… Binah, any chance that-?

Image My child cannot control what she remembers. There is no doubt in my mind that she would survive, but she's a thing to observe. Not to question.

Image Tch. We'll have to rely on the TT2 protocol when we get that far, then. Everyone buckle down. Tomorrow's going to be our last day before we bring this all to a close.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Angela tries something new.







Image ...So that's the situation. And more or less what I'm thinking of doing about it.

Image Tch. Well, I guess it's up to you. I'll try to keep everything from going badly on this end. Still, telling everyone this late in the game is…

Image You guys got me this far. If we make it to the end it's going to be off of your backs, too. I'm sure of it.

Image ...Heh. What happened to that paranoid guy who shot me?

Image He got punched in the face. Hard. Probably deserved it.

Image Definitely deserved it.

Image Either way… sorry I couldn't find anything out about your dad. Not even the Records team had anything. Whoever he was, I don't think he was ever at this facility.

Image It is what it is. At this point, just focus on getting us out of this loop, okay? The trail might be cold, but that doesn't mean I can't pick it up after we get out of here.

Image I'll do what I can to help once I'm all done with my part, too.

Image Damn right you will. We have a deal, and I can beat you in a fistfight. :rolleyes:

User avatar
Will you be showing what happens if you get to/past day 45 without 90%?

I might've missed it in the write-up but what was the last retry for?

User avatar
DKII wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 4:58 pm
Will you be showing what happens if you get to/past day 45 without 90%?
Yes.
I might've missed it in the write-up but what was the last retry for?
I mentioned it in passing, but my cheese strategy failed because I mistimed the Rabbits, then I tried doing it legitimately, almost succeeded, and then D.A.D. died late in Phase 3.

User avatar
Day 45: Gameplay

Music: neutral 4
Image

Image Manager, from now on your Agents' deaths shall no longer force us to re-extract their E.G.O gear at all.

Image I'd thank you, but… You could have made it be that way whenever you wanted, couldn't you?

Image Unusually perceptive. I thought that you may appreciate a reward for the amusement of yesterday.

Image Y'know what… it's still more than I expected. Thank you.

This reward is a game-changer. Before, we wanted to be careful with our Agents because a slip-up would mean having to re-extract their gear all over again. Now, the only thing we lose is the LOB and time we put into training them up in the first place. We won't really be needing this for this playthrough, but it's a godsend in normal runs of the game-usually we'd want it before ever facing WhiteNight. It's only a shame that it comes so late.

Image Angela, can you boot up the intercoms? I need to make an announcement.

Image Manager, are you quite sure?

Image These guys are the ones that got me this far. I should let them know what's going on.

Image ...very well, A.

Image Ahem… ahem. Hm. Excuse me. Er… This is on, right?

Image Yes, Manager. It is on.

Image Er-right. Attention, everyone. Can I have a second?

Image

Image Some of you may not be aware of this, but this is facility X-394's 45th official day since my takeover as the manager.

Image Hey Omni, have you seen my lucky keychain?

Image I think it was in your locker last night?

Image Ah, crap. It's where I kept my locker key!

Image Don't worry! I can handle this problem with my spare key!

Image You're a lifesaver, boss! I can't work without it.

Image The E.G.O in there helps too, of course.

Image So he's really going through with it…

Image

Image Some of you have been with us from the beginning, and some of you just started two days ago. To all of you, I'd like to say: Thank you. Moreover, I'd like to say I'm sorry.

Image Do you always come to work in your E.G.O suit?

Image Changing in the dorms before I come in is simply more efficient, fellow human!

Image That's a kind of dedication I can get behind.

Image Say kiddo, are you going to get ready or just stare at me from outside the door?

Image I am waatching the aalieen inteently..!

Image Whatever floats your boat, kid.

Image

Image I haven't been forthright with all of you. So I'll start with this: Mankind is dying. As a species, we've caught a disease of the mind-one that removes our hopes and dreams and leaves us with nothing but a meaningless existence of trying to stave off death.

Image Five more minutes…

Image HAHAHA! No can do, boss! It's time to wake up and face the day with a smile!

Image Yes. Rise, and take your place within my grand design.

Image Doesn't anyone else feel like we should maybe... I dunno, be paying attention to this? ...No one?

Image

Image You probably figured it out by now, but this isn't really just a power company. We're gathering energy in this facility so that we can follow my plan in order to fix this for everyone. This is something that needs to be top secret-that's why none of you have been allowed to leave at any point in this process. We're going to fix the disease in everyone's minds and-ooooh I just got it. That's why this is Lobotomy Corporation! Wow. Wow. I'm not sure if that's amazing or stupid.

Image ...Boss, are you really sure this guy's a good manager?

Image I like 'im! He's got spunk.

Image And accident records don't lie… Nobody dies around here but clerks, and their disaster prep training is… Bad.

Image And Ishmael… but that's still really good!

Image Hey Hod, I got the Enkephalin from Safety, where should I put it?

Image The secure storage area, Elle, thank you.

Image Still don't trust the guy.

Image Wait, is something going on?

Image Manager's talking. Something about brainworms.

Image Sounds interesting.

Image

Image I would love to tell you my brilliant plan, or assure you that it'll work, but… Unfortunately, that plan seems to have involved me wiping my own memory and living out the same period of time for thousands of years. And… I have taken all of you with me. Sorry about that. Please ask Talow if you need any details, he knows more about it than me.

Image :psyduck:

Image ...Yeah, that's about where I'm at, ma'am. Curing people? By... looping time and getting power? How's that even work?

Image Aha! I knew, knew, knew that I was destined for something great. Make sure to give me the credit I deserve when all of humanity is cured!

Image Hey, you guys! It's fine if you listen 'cause this is important, but you'd better be getting ready for the day too! I won't tolerate any tardies!

Image

Image Anyways, um… right. The only way for us to get out of the time loop we're all stuck in is by completing the plan. Those strange events we've been seeing-the last of which was only yesterday-have been key moments in that plan, and as it stands now we are on the very cusp of victory. There's one more department to open, one more Sephirot along with it, and once that's done we'll all be able to leave and get back to our lives.

Image Hold on a moment… isn't that… really bad, actually?

Image How ya mean?

Image If we all lose our jobs, it means we won't get paid anymore.

Image If it's been thousands of years, are we really getting paid in the first place?

Image We were promised bimonthly checks.

Image ...Tiphereth?

Image I don't actually know… Sorry.

Image

Image Er-that's all besides the point though. The point is, tomorrow we're actually entering into the unknown-unknown. Except I guess it's more of a… known unknown at this point, but apparently the last Sephirah is kind of a dick? Since I don't know what's coming, I don't know what we'll be able to do about it. There's a possibility that people are going to die here.

Image As stirring a speech as could be expected from the manager~

Image Aww, that's a little cold, isn't it? Coming up with this stuff on the fly is hard.

Image You did fine when we were playing before.

Image I took two days to come up with that speech! And you ruined it by throwing a sword at the boss mid-sentence!

Image And it was brilliant! Muahahaha!

Image Man, I have got to sit in on one of these games…

Image

Image That said, we have today. We know today will be quiet-meltdowns can't spawn here anymore, and I've got the hang of this place's quirks. If there's anything you guys need to handle, do it now. I can't promise you'll get another chance after this.

Image Heh. Still green, I see. In Disciplinary there's never a guaranteed tomorrow in the first place. Ain't that right?

Image Ma'am!

Image I do have to admit it's a lot different than I thought it'd be. I can't say I dislike it, though.

Image You only die if you suck. I'll be coming back no matter what. Same for you, right Credentia?

Image Yeah. There's no way I could leave you unsupervised.

Image Exactly! ...Hey, wait-!

Image

Image What I can promise is an ending. For better or worse, there won't be any more loops after this. No more Day 1s. We can all stop having to live in this ever-repeating prison from hell. I can't promise hope beyond that since I still don't know what the plan is-but at this point I'll take any door out of here.

Image Same. But, Manager...

Image Hey Taaalooow~

Image The Manager said you knew something about all this.

Image You were going to tell us all about it, right?

Image Why'd you have to throw a guy under the bus like that. :sigh:

Image Talow. I'll authorize it, just this once.

Image What about Angela?

Image She cannot stand against A's word. You don't have anything to worry about.

Image Right. Then can you take a memo..?

Image

Image Anyways, that's all. I'll be relying on you guys 'til the end, just like I have so far. Thanks to all of you, and once this plan is over I'll have to make sure that you're all compensated accordingly. I know nobody's here for their health, heh. After the shift, beer's going to be on me today. I'll see you all on the work floor.

Image I wouldn't exactly call that 'inspirational…'

Image It was definitely something I'd call a speech!

Image Come, children. There is little time left before our work begins.

Image Already? Ugh, the guy talked through my whole stretch routine.

Image Maybe you should make a shorter one?

Image Nevermind, I'll just do it on company time.

:siren: DAY 45 CHALLENGE: TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST

Rules: Prepare for the end. Let this day pass without regrets.

Image Well, here's hoping that went over how I meant it.

Image Manager, I have a memo from Talow. He says, "You sold me out, you loquacious bastard. Screw you. Whoever punched you is my new favorite employee even harder than they were before."

Image ...Okay, deserved. I do have one more thing before we start, though.

Image What's that, manager?

Image Every one of us has had our chance to lead us off with a statement or phrase, me included.

Image That was more due to your own stubbornness than anything…

Image Regardless, there's one person who hasn't gotten a chance to yet. Since we don't know what's coming tomorrow… Angela?

Image ...Manager?

Image The floor is yours. Get us rolling.

Image

Image

Image

Image Agents… You know your duty. Handle it.

Image

Image That was more succinct than I was expecting.

Image Is there an issue, manager?

Image Nah. Nicely done.

We do still have one last Abnormality to figure out-the one we got just before Binah. It is a book. We send Mizu to go read it.

Image

Here are her stats before reading the book.

Image

Image "Klaatu barada nikto..?" Ooh, sounds foreign.

Image

And after. The book raises Prudence by 15, but also lowers White resistance by tacking on a 1.3x multiplier. Each time we have an agent read it, they get 15 more Prudence (to a maximum of 100), and the modifier gets +0.3 added to it (to a maximum of 2.3x)

Image

Like so. Here's Mizu after 7 uses, getting both the maximum White defense penalty and Prudence bonus.

Image

This also gets us all of the Abnormality's information. It's named Skin Prophecy, and the other major downside is that panicking leads to the Agent in question dying instead. It's a popular way to deal with CENSORED while using weaker suits, since boosting Prudence by 100 takes the edge off of CENSORED's massive fear damage, and it deals Black so the penalty isn't a problem. That's really all there is to say about it-like most Tool Abnormalities it's relatively simple.

Image

Image Trainees, the Manager has a big day planned for each of you-your Justice needs to get fortified and there's not a lot of time to do it in. Steve, report to Central Command to work with Yin.

Image Can do!

Image ImIdiot, you'll be near Safety to work with Blue Star. Make sure not to stay in there for longer than 60 seconds at a time.

Image I'll set a timer!

Image Carlos, that leaves you in Extraction with Mountain of Smiling Bodies. You'll-

Image Miss Hod, the safety procedures for Mountain require level 4 Justice in order to get any sort of results. I'm not up to snuff! If we don't follow the regulations..!

Image An excellent observation, Carlos! On the way, you'll be stopping by Control to pick up a secret weapon.

Image Alright. I'll give it my best!

Image

This will boost Carlos's Justice to level 4, letting him work with Mountain without any issue.

Image Wait… are those… all the orders you're giving?

Image Yeah. Outside of that it's self-study. The workday'll finish eventually.

Image Do you seriously think anyone here is going to work on their own?

Image I imagine at least one person will.

Image

Image Listen, Bird. You're a means to an end. Don't even think about escaping.

Image Tenebrais has to be feeling annoyed that she can't wear her favorite gear anymore.

In addition to the three above, Tenebrais is going to be working to get her Fortitude and Prudence up in order to get her back into Twilight. She's also the WhiteNight babysitter for the day.

Image Mizu'd better wash it before she hands it over.

Image E.G.O maintenance is actually our job… so yes. We'll wash it.

Image I'm still not entirely sure this was wise, A. Telling them that, then giving them the day off? Why?

Image They'll need time to process. I just told them they've all been here for thousands of years, after all.

Image So what's the plan if all that processing leads to a riot, Manager?

Image I'm going to trust that that won't happen.

Image You're planning to turn back time and simply not tell them, I take it.

Image I'm going to trust that that won't happen.

Image That's… not a no, Manager.

Image

Image So… wait… If all of that stuff the boss said was right, that means… Hey, aren't we living in an anime?

Image All of our research can finally come in handy! I can't wait until we fight the dark versions of some of our closest allies!

Image We need to come up with a team pose...

Image Hey guys, I think I'm gonna call a captain's meeting.

Image But your pose!

Image Just draw it out on a page or something, I'll look later.

Image You're the best, boss!

Image

Image ...any other questions?

Image Mmm… Yes. What happens to those other places after you leave them?

Image Do I look like a physicist to you? I don't have a clue.

Image Aha. I'm done, then.

Image And I got it all noted down.

Image Perfect. I'll make some copies and bring them with me. This'll save a lot of time later.

Image

Image Mm… mmmm…

Image You seem stressed, fellow human. What troubles you?

Image This is the last daay… but I don't have the eevidence I waanted… But there's noo chooice..! I haave to goo for iit..!

Image I've gotta head to a team meeting, kiddos. Have a good one.

Image No! Wait! D.A.D… I am aware of your seecret..! You… are an aalieen..!

Image Sorry kiddo, just a cyborg.

Image Whaat..? Noo… That can't be riight…

Image I was on duty in Safety during a routine physical. It's accurate.

Image Then… there aare no alieens..? :negative:

Image Couldn't say. Have a good one, kiddos..!

Image

Image

Image It's… beautiful.

Image It's nothing, Manager.

Image Exactly.

When our entire facility is suppressed, the game gets very quiet. There's nothing to pay attention to but the Ordeals-I honestly find it kind of zen.

Image

Image Everyone here?

Image Twee's hiding behind me for some reason.

Image Kit told me this was your favorite type of greeti-oooooh…

Image You've got to stop listening to that one.

Image I come with tidings from Mr.Black. He says he'll be along shortly.

Image And I have a message from Tenebrais! It was… oh, what was it. "If you don't want WhiteNight to break out and turn everyone into cuties again, you're having the meeting in Disciplinary today."

Image We're going to Disciplinary, then. Any objections?



Image Motion carries, let's move. Sephiroth?

Image I shall deliver the message without fail.

Image

Image Empty nest. Guess that means I'm on my own for the first ordeal. Just an Amber, but… Say, do you want to help?

Image :shrug:

Image Aww. That's a shame-you're really a nice bird to have around.

Image :blush:

Image

Image Alright, I'm here. We got a bit of time before WhiteNight starts throwing another tantrum, so talk.

Image Actually, that's just it. I was wanting to check in with you guys and see if any of you had problems with this stuff. Fixing the human condition's a big deal…

Image And one you knew about weeks ago.

Image I didn't get the full details until last night, but-hey, wait! Talow!

Image Manager dropped a bus on me, so you can bet I'm gonna drive it right over you, Bishop. We're done hiding things.

Image Er… right.

Image I gotta get back to work, catch me up after their lover's spat.

Image H-hey!

Image

Amber Dawn.

Image

:j: Shouldn't you be out there fighting?

Image I'm on break.

:v: Oh, us too. We've learned how you do things-it's the basics for any Zeta.

:j: The ones that want to survive, anyway.

Image Working harder than you have to is a sucker's game anyways.

:v: We thought so, too-so we did you a favor.

:j: We put your name in for the head of the next department. Yesod thought it'd be a great idea.

Image ...what.

Image You're an ideal agent, and this way you'd be close to the Manager. His acknowledging you led to a situation where our employees aren't sacrificed needlessly. I plan to build on it. Of course, Hod is planning to assist.

Image Um… we believe in you!

Image ...do I get to pick my own team?

Image If it goes through, you'd have to ask the Manager.

Image I'll think about it. :colbert:

Image

Amber Done.

Image Manager, the energy is halfway done.

Image Perfect.

Image We'll also be needing to have a conversation regarding recent developments with the Records team.

Image What, Talow? He's not recent.

Image Nonetheless, I must insist that the existence of such an Agent risks completely undoing the entire script we are working within, and resetting all of our progress to 0.

Image Then it would have happened by now, wouldn't it?

Image So long as no one knew, perhaps, but now-

Image We'll talk after work.

Image I must insist-

Image It won't be that long. You can wait.

Image

Image Very well, Manager.

Image

Image Zeta disappeeared… mysteerioous..!

Image

Image Yoou've been quiiet… that's okay… I'm shocked, tooo… It's too baad...

Image We... shouldn't give up, fellow human.

Image But there's noobody else who fits the proofiile…

Image There… might be one, fellow human.

Image Ooh..? Whoo…?

Image I… may or may not be a reconnaissance agent sent here by the Elders and their empire to determine the probability of a successful invasion.

Image Aaww… You don't have to cheer me uup…

Image I'm being quite serious, fell-er, human. With all the things I've seen here, I'd have sent the 'Do not engage' beacon weeks ago-if I could get a signal out of this blasted facility.

Image Ooh… myy… good…

Image

Image I'm back. I was just toasting some bagels for the...

Image I have so many questions. Tell me all of the thiings. Aall of them..!

Image You are very close!

Image I wiill have my aansweers..!

Image Floor... jelly… yeah, I'll just come back.

Image

Image ...where's the others?

Image They went back to my place! They were like 'It's too small in here' and 'I wish we had a bigger space' and I was like 'well I know a place' and they were like 'but it's so daark' so I promised to light candles down there so they could see better.

Image Uh-huh. And you're here because?

Image Oh! Because I was gonna' tell you!

Image I'll pass. The meeting's a waste of time, anyways. I'm not quitting 'til the end, and it's my job to beat the crap out of anyone who does. Details just slow me down.

Image Okee-doke! I'll let them know!

Image

Image Man, this is super easy. I wonder if the others are having this good of a time?

Image

Image Okay. Calmly think through the actions you are about to take. Step one: deny the existence of the abnormality. Oh, wait, no. Step one: shut the door.

Image

Image The Mountain has assumed aggressive dance posture! Who just left ten people to die around here?! :gonk:

Image Er… whoops.

Image

Image Sorry. That was careless of me.

Image

Image Tenebrais said she wants to punch anyone who doesn't agree with her.

Image ...so what else is new?

Image Did she happen to mention what about, kid?

Image Umm… oh yeah! The thingy. With the time. She doesn't care and she's gonna do her job!

Image I will never understand how you got this position. :psyduck:

Image Well, there's that. Anyone else have any problems?

Image I don't trust that manager any further than I can throw him, but it's not like I can just stop teaching people how to do their jobs.

Image We're getting paid, so that's all I care about.

Image Hm. Given how reasonably we're all taking the revelation we've been reliving the last month and change for thousands of years, that disease of the mind thing might have already set in.

Image I just assume it's the Enkephalin! HAHAHAHAHA!

Image Sounds like we're all on the same page, then. Whatever crazy the Manager's on, it doesn't change anything with us.

Image Right. We're just going to Face the Fear, and Build the Future-like always!

Image Oh my god, I can't believe I just got that one, too. That's literally what we're doing. Oh, you are good past me, very, very good.

Image Then it's agreed. Carry on like normal, no matter what comes. It's not like we could stop the loops otherwise.

Image

Image Thou art Mine. Thou shouldst be doing as I say.

Image Thou shalt bite me.

Image Why dost thou refuse My guidance?!

Image 'Cause you look bird enough to me.

Image

Image Manager, I take it the day will be ending now?

Image Yeah. Let's wrap it all up and then I'll listen to all your complaints

Image Of course.

Image

Image Whistle sounded five minutes ago, Talow. We should clear out.

Image Yeah, but... One more thing. There's… something you should know.

Image This is about that thing where we dated in one loop, huh?

Image What?! How did you-

Image You just told me. :keke:

Image But-that-!

Image I have to admit, I just thought it was some weird crush thing until the Manager was talking and you came through with that very nicely documented FAQ.

Image Robin knows her stuff. I just photocopied it.

Image She does. Trained her myself. So anyways, since it's you I went for the stupidly dramatic option.

Image I'm not stupidly dramatic!

Image :rolleyes:

Image ...I'm not!

Image I always got the sense that you're the sort of guy who hides behind layers of doesn't-care and pushes everyone away so they can pretend they're mysterious. And from what Bishop's said...

Image What's Bishop said?

Image ...Sorry! All counseling information is private.

Image You did that on purpose.

Image Maybe. Weren't you going to ask me something?

Image Yeah, but you… but… ugh, fine. Do you wanna go out sometime?

Image We're all a bit busy for that right now, don't you think?

Image Yeah... I know. I just...

Image Thought that there'd be more time-I can imagine.

Image

Image I'm gonna' head back to Training. I'm sure Elle's just swimming in reports on the newbies' Justice by now-she'll need the help sorting them out and figuring where to place their new number.

Image I don't care what they say about Mizu, you're still the most terrifying thing in this facility.

Image Thanks for the vote of confidence. Oh, and… Talow?

Image I'm not coming to a counseling session. Never have, never will.

Image Then some free advice: Feeling like you have all the time in the world makes it really easy to stop doing anything-but now, you really don't know how long's left anymore. You may be learning it too late, but… make the most of every day you have.

Image ...Yeah. I'll think about it.

Image See? Stupidly dramatic.

Image J-just go do your paperwork already! :argh:

Image

Image How's everything holding up?

Image All's quiet, ma'am!

Image I'm still in shock. They mean to tell me that I've been playing the same game every day after work for thousands of years? Terrible. I've half a mind to have my attorney contact that manager and give him a piece of my mind!

Image ...Mostly quiet. Ma'am.

Image We'll grab some free beer and complain after we're done here, then. I need a drink, head's hurting more than normal.

Image

Image How's the cleanup going?

Image Terrible. I had to do all of it, since those two have been…

Image Take off your maan suuit..!

Image Well, it doesn't really work like that. This is actually carefully bioengineered to...

Image Aaww… What about a spaaceshiip..?

Image I parked that outside the city.

Image In the Ooutskiirts..? Aaww… it's definitely goone by noow…

Image Well well, seems she finally figured it out.

Image Wait, how'd you know?! My disguise was flawless!

Image C'mon, kid. "Fellow human?" You weren't exactly subtle.

Image ...No one can find out.

Image Noo worries…. I will protect this secret with my liife..!

Image I don't even care, so long as you're doing your job.

Image Can I head out? I really need a beer.

Image

Image Everyone's finally cleared out.

Image Thanks for hanging out in the hall and watching that new guy work with the cutie today, Chiral! It was super-de-duper helpful.

Image There wasn't really much to do. He was more than cautious enough to handle an Abnormality like that.

Image All the cuties here are super good like that.

Image Yeah… it's almost a shame that we'll be wrapping up soon. It's freaky, but I'll kind of miss this place.

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Image Birds've been punished. Anyone else have anything?

Image Crippling anxiety about the future.

Image That'll pass once you start smashing stuff tomorrow.

Image We're all set over here.

Image …See ya. Heading elsewhere tomorrow.

Image Wait, you're leaving?

Image There's a new field to graze. My presence was requested.

Image Aww… we'll really miss you BICEPS.

Image The place won't be the same without you.

Image No problem. We've been one over on staff for a while now anyways. Just kick some ass.

Image Miss you too, everyone.

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Image I feel a little bad... I just beat up some Amber Dawns and kept Punishing Bird busy while everyone else dealt with the hard stuff.

Image Hey, that's important work too. How about the rest of you?

Image Work went smoothly with the Mountain. I was sure to follow all the rules!

Image I managed to stay in there for 50 seconds or less the entire time, like the manual said.

Image I did good enough, I figure. Yin's not too bad.

Image That sounds wonderful. Good work today, everyone. Don't you think Hod?


Image ...Hod?

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Image There he is! The time wizard!

Image Never call me that again.

Image Did the notes go over well?

Image Yeah… thanks to you we got through the roughest part of the Q&A session no trouble.

Image Then why do you look so confused?

Image Oh, that was because I was talking to someone and… my god.

Image Huh?

Image I just realized... This is what it's like to be Bishop. :catstare:

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Image Dude… ouch. :(

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Image Huu, that was a good day. See? I told you it'd be okay. Now, Angela, you were saying something?

Image ...Angela? The silent treatment isn't like you.

Image Yesod, have you seen Angela? ...Yesod?

Image Malkuth? Tiphereth? Hello? Gebura, Chesed, respond.


Image Hokma? Netzach, you're just sleeping, right? Hod? Hod did you head off to grab a beer without me?



Image Binah? At this point I'd take you showing up. What's going on? Is my line dead?

Image Your equipment is working perfectly well.

Image Wait… that voice… you're-!

Image There's work to be done. The Architecture department won't fill itself.

Music: never frozen bottom flows
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For endgame, I'm looking for Abnormalities which are easy to manage and simple to show off. My pick today is -61, a TETH Instinct trainer which has a very unique E.G.O gift which I plan to use.

Image There. Now, explain what's going on?

Image Hold on a second. I already told you the Architecture department won't fill itself, didn't I?

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Image Of course there'd be two. One last department, might as well pull out all the stops, right?

For the final department, we're back to 2 picks a day. In Architecture it's possible to hit the same Abnormality twice in a row so long as both picks happen for the same day, but we won't be doing that since it's certainly not intended.

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Anyways, -69 is a funny meme number and also a nice Abnormality so we grab them.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: We meet the tenth Sephirah. :lobcorp: ensues.

Image If it's been thousands of years, are we really getting paid in the first place?

Image We were promised bimonthly checks.

Forget the abnormalities, this is the true evil of Lob Corp.

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Abnormality Roundup 11

Short Roundup today, since we only have 3 new Abnormalities. My overall feelings on the facility itself is 'confident,' with the exception of Parasite Tree this looks a lot like the facility I took into endgame the first time I beat it in terms of major Abnormalities to keep in mind. I did have all of the gear back then, but we should have enough suits to make it through the worst of it.

That said, we're coming up on the endgame. Lobotomy Corporation's endgame doesn't pull punches, so... We'll see how things work out in practice.

Queen of Hatred
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Oh Queen of Hatred, leveler of facilities. My feelings on her are… complicated. Aesthetically speaking she's easily one of my favorite Abnormalities, and her E.G.O Gift is an easy top 3 within its slot, losing only to Firebird and a double-edged sword we haven't seen yet. She's not too hard to contain once we have access to Execution bullets or an Abnormality that we can make breach easily like Scarecrow, but she requires constant vigilance-we can screw up twice at most before she breaks out and goes on a rampage. I love the aesthetic of her gear, but the weapon's healing is situationally useful and the random damage type makes it unreliable against enemies with immunities.

The only major downside to her once we can handle her kill requirement is that she's the worst WAW for farming stats-her fullheal on exit will force the damage modifier for any work we do to be the lowest possible. The only way around that is to work her while she's in Hysteric mode, and that's a bad idea for reasons we've already seen. I like her personally, but while she's arguably good she's certainly not great-of the Magical Girls she's the easiest one to pass by.


Skin Prophecy
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It gives Prudence, it lowers White resist, and if you panic you die. While it doesn't do anything more useful than that, it also can't really hurt anyone since its instant kill is for a situation we want to avoid anyways. It can be worth picking up early as a good solution to CENSORED, but raising SP doesn't have a lot of useful applications beyond that. As a Tool Abnormality, though, a very small bonus with an easily controllable penalty makes it a solid pick by default.


WhiteNight
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I put WhiteNight last because I have a lot of thoughts about him as an Abnormality. He's one of only a handful of Abnormalities which require a massive shift in how we plan and approach our day, alongside Parasite Tree and a certain TRAIN I still haven't shown off yet. Unlike the other two, though, I think WhiteNight is actually really worth dealing with.

Taking it means that we have to commit to several playstyle changes. For one, stalling out a level indefinitely is no longer an option, which matters for Core Suppressions. Normally in a fight with Hokma we could stop to catch our breath by just not doing anything-we can't do that with WhiteNight. Its constant QC drop if not worked every 90 seconds means that every part of a day is on a time limit. We also need to have a certain level of gear when bringing it on or we won't be able to work it at all-without at least Justita, any agent we send is at a high risk of death even from a Normal result-though WhiteNight's suit will eventually balance that out. In the midgame where WhiteNight first gets manageable, this works out to a balancing act of having to avoid letting his Qliphoth Overload level get too high while getting through the day-and in return for it we get frequent (if largely impossible to time) department/facility fullheals and the best defensive suit in the entire game-the E.G.O gift being incredibly powerful and in a unique slot is just a bonus at that point.

By lategame, that calculus changes. Hokma's research, and then later his Suppression bonus, make WhiteNight's success results such that only a little investment into Temperance or work success rates via gifts can turn WhiteNight into an Abnormality who's unlikely to ever land in a Bad even at a -30% overload. This means we can just have a dedicated Agent work it whenever we notice it's not being worked. This is not a huge ask by that point, since its high PE box count means we'll want to be working it anyways. It basically becomes a very small attention tax, and in return we can simplify a number of problems by having access to the full power of the best E.G.O suit in the game, and one of the best weapons alongside it.

I understand that the pressure and attention tax that he brings to the table isn't going to be a thing for everyone-and until we hit that lategame point bringing him in is a give-and-take. At this point in the game, however, WhiteNight is basically nothing but a boon to our facility. Unless I'm doing something really wacky, I'm always happy to see him around come Day 46. He lets me get away with playing much sloppier in other areas, and we're going to need all the slack we can get.

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I would have figured that the magical girls would have more interaction with each other, like the birds. I guess the band broke up.

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There was originally supposed to be a fourth Magical Girl (who debuted later in Project WonderLab), and the four of them were supposed to have an event like the Birds.

The developers said that it proved too difficult to code, so they didn't put it in the game. Which is a shame, because they all ooze style. :(

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Nice ominous ending there. I still have no idea what's coming.

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Day 46: Story

Music: City of Light
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This time, the room wavers for a moment as it comes into focus to reveal...

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A perfectly ordinary office. :geno:

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Image I sent you a letter one day. That old, strange letter, that had the same name for sender and recipient. It told you that we would meet soon.

Image ……..


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Image I hope this environment satisfies you. I tried my best to recreate our office. You need at least one place in life to feel comfortable, don’t you? However, I speculate you feel that this place is a bit more… serene, than you might remember, so to say. There are many reasons for that.

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I know this can't be how they meant it, but I choose to believe A is calling X an idiot. :colbert:

Image We weren’t particularly fond of untidiness. But there she was, always making a mess out of an organized room. There were times when we were used to such messiness, giving up on cleaning the room… Sadly, our hearts couldn’t bear to recreate such a moment. I am sure that now you know…

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Image This office is born from your heart, siphoned up from your deepest subconsciousness. Yes, many parts of this facility were extracted and created from our minds. How did you think building such enormous underground structures in such a short period of time was possible? We needed multiple extractions until we finally solidified amorphous images into something tangible.

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Image Yes, there truly were countless repeats.

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Image This eternity is fascinating. All humans are given only one life to live. The future comes to us like the relentless waves of the sea. We cannot go against them. We are merely pushed back.

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Image This tech was used for trivial things, such as granting an infinite moment of death to a condemned man. Or to show to those whose days are numbered their happiest moments. However, when combined with our energy tech, this small technology could bloom into something bigger. We invested in them without hesitation, even though they required a massive amount of funding and energy. That’s how TimeTrack’s second invention came to life.

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Image Unfortunately, breaking an absolute law of nature cost us a lot. Although we could rewind time infinitely, it always left some form of distortion. Perhaps because this technology still has not been perfected. No man could keep their sanity intact in this place.

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Image Of course, it wouldn’t have been possible if not for Angela. But it is a herculean achievement that you went through that journey. Please, let your body and mind rest, if just for a brief moment. You must be exhausted. The path after this will be brutal. Extremely brutal.

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Image They will not let you pass as simply as I do. If by any chance, you think you’re not ready yet, it is okay to go back to the first act. If you’ve made it here once after such a long and hard time… You will surely come here again, no matter how long it takes. We literally have all the time in the world. There is no need to hurry. Just keep in mind that the situation will be much different if you move forward from here.

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Image And I am sure you already know this: You can reverse time…

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In summary: The tenth Sephirah is A, who shows us our old office before explaining a handful of things. The letter we got before came from him, and the reason this place has been able to build out so quickly is because portions of it have been extracted from our thoughts. He also mentions that we've been at this for around 10 years in real-time, but closer to 10,000 years in facility-time. He advises us to rest before the brutality begins, and leaves us with a warning and a reassurance-we can't reverse a tale, but we still have all the time in the world so there's no reason to continue if we don't feel ready.

Image Well, that's given me a lot to think about. Now then, why don't you get to telling me what happened to the others?

Image Shouldn't you know already? During a Core Suppression, Angela and all Sephirot are cut off from communicating with the Manager.

Image But we're not in the middle of…

Image Aren't we? We stand here in Kether, the crown of pure consciousness. A place of united will, source of absolute compassion. Simply by there being two different wills in this place, the Qlipha has been made manifest. Just as before, a suppression is required in order to fulfill this place's purpose.

Image …huh?

Image I haven't said anything complicated.

Image Ooo… kay. That would explain why I definitely, easily, completely understood that.

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Image Given that, maybe we should cover how there are two of us. Are you…?

Image A robot? No, not at all. I am not precisely a creature of flesh like yourself, but neither am I a machine like the others.

Image Then how are you here?

Image Come now… We can extract Abnormalities from persons, form facilities from thoughts, rewind time infinitely, and watch a man die before reinstating him from his hire date the next morning. Why would something like this seem odd?

Image Okay, fair, but… what are you?

Image Given the distress the sight of me is causing you, I suppose you could call me a… cogitohazard.

Image ...huh?

Image That was a joke. Cogitohazard. You see?

Image I don't get it.

Image Well, it was hilarious. Normally, we would have laughed. :sigh: I knew some degradation was inevitable, but this is beyond my expectations…

Image What was that?

Image Oh, it's nothing. Now, come. It's time to see if you can claim a place here, at the end of this story.

Image ...huh?

Image …:sigh: Try to manage the Abnormalities, just like always. Can you do that?

Image Oh. Yeah, sure, let's get to it.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Image

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I don't like A's beard

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I'm so confused. He's talking like we're the copy. Are we the copy? :psyduck:

I kind of thought X might refer to how many of iterations of A there's been. Going through the alphabet and all. Didn't really think A would actually still be around though. Or that it'd be only 10 years of realtime on the outside that's gone by.

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Day 46: Gameplay

Music: neutral 4
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Here's another look at our loading screen, now that every main department's been added.

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The mouse cursor is guest-starring again today because I forgot to turn it off after doing the YouTube version of the fight and grabbed all of my footage with it.

In other news, surprise! The endgame is nothing but Core Suppressions, one after another. This is why we can't do any more suppressions after this day-we're busy with the Kether Core Suppression all week.

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Image The Midnight of White? Ordeals come in White?

Image They do now. You'll get quite acquainted with them soon enough.

Image And I have to beat one of their Midnights to prove myself worthy to continue.

Image Of course. It should be a trivial task for one who's made it so far.

Image Right. Team?

Image Talk to me. What's up?

Image Make it snappy, I'm gearing up.

Image You couldn't even wait until the day started..?

Image You're contacting the employees? All they need are our orders.

Image I don't do things the normal way. It's what's gotten me this far. Anyways, all Captains-we're in a Core Suppression, with unknown conditions. You've all seen plenty of them by now, so you should know what to do. From this moment until further notice, you're acting Sephirot.

Image Shouldn't I be breaking into your office? You're not any good at this kind of thing alone.

Image Excuse me?

Image I need all hands on the floor, Zaida. Keep me posted if anything seems off.

Image I'll keep an eye on it.

Image And I'll ensure we have enough torniquetes for everyone!

Image Will that be all, Manager?

Image Yeah. Remember to proceed with caution. Let's roll, team!

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Music: Second Trumpet
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Image My, this brings back memories… Just pretend I'm not even here. My only duty is to watch.

Image You're not even going to fight?

Image Not at all. As I said, this is a chance to show you belong on this stage.

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Day 46 is a chance to acclimate to the new rules associated with endgame. For starters, Meltdowns are back! There are only a couple of them per level, but if we're getting into the endgame after a straight 1-45 run without any it could catch us by surprise.

This is also the point where I stop playing around. I'll show things off when I can, but there are threats which I need to get on top of immediately in order to get through without losses. The game is done holding back, so I'm going to methodically dismantle it. :getin:

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Image Oh, Mizu. I need a favor.

Image Huh? Okee-dokie! What's up?

Image Since everything's going to be crazy from now on, I need you to hold back on greeting the new Abnormalities again.

Image :stonk: But-but-!

Image It's okay. You've greeted them before a bunch. And I need you to be Binah, so you can't run around.

Image I feel like Binah ran around a couple days ago…

Image If you destroy the facility I'm putting you in time-out.

Image Aww! Fiiiine. I'll just greet today's hard enough for the whole week!

Image ...Yeah, that should be fine. We shouldn't run into any trouble today just yet.

Image You know, I was never sure quite what was wrong with her.

Image That's a… long story.

Image Still, it's impressive that she actually listens to you.

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Our first Abnormality today is a set of broken-up Samurai Armor. We'll talk more about it in a few moments. As for our second…

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Image Ooh, Mr. Shooty! Nice! I was wondering when you'd show up~

It's a demonic soldier with a very nice gun.

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For the first Meltdown level, I focus primarily on the two newest Abnormalities while having Tylana deal with WhiteNight.

Image What is… that thing?

Image A very loud, very obnoxious bean.

Image I suppose a new Abnormality was inevitable at some point. We'll need to make a training video for it.

Image You made those things?

Image I did much during my tenure... but that's a story for another time.

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The main room of Architecture is massive, dwarfing any other in terms of length. The hallways on either side are also gargantuan, running the entire length of the facility.

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Image How long does Mizu normally take in there..?

Image Not this long.

Image It's no big deal. Longer she's here the more time we can go without doing anything. More importantly… why're you here, Twee?

Image Oh, I was just in the area.

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Mizu unlocks the Abnormality's name quickly enough, so say hello to Der Freischütz-or Der Shooty as I usually call him. He's a Repression trainer who requires a Justice of 3 to work with him safely, making him ideal for training after Hod's suppression is completed.

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He also comes with a special work type instead of Attachment, called Request. Clicking on it takes up either 10% of our current energy or 10, whichever is more. It can't be used if we don't have at least 10 energy.

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Clicking Request while we have the energy brings us to this screen, where we select where we would like the bullet to go. The cursor now becomes a bullet, with a trail of bullets coming off of it as we move it around the screen. As far as I'm aware, there's no way to go back from this screen. If we accidentally click Request instead of Repression, well… we just lost 10% of our energy totals, I guess. Once we click...

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Der Shooty opens a portal in his room, and fires a shot where we told him to. It goes from left to right through the entire facility, dealing 80 Black damage to anything in its path. Every 7th requested shot is fired randomly instead of where it's supposed to be targeted, and if his QC ever drops to 0 he will fire randomly as well. He's very simple, and very useful for handling QoH's needs before getting Execution bullets.

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Image Ooh, and Mr. Armor. I always wondered what it'd be like to be inside you...

The Armor deals Red damage, and responds well to instinct-but if an agent with 1 Fortitude works with it they'll instantly be killed. At this point in the game, it's no problem.

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Its true name is Crumbling Armor, and there is… one more notable thing about it.

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We have Twee perform Repression work on it. Doing so will ensure that Twee gets its E.G.O Gift.

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Image Woah… you're on fire.

Image It was just a TETH, Steve. Nothing unusual, we've all worked with worse.

Image No… I mean… you're actually, literally on fire.

Image Oh. So I am!

The gift from Crumbling Armor is very powerful, but it comes with some caveats. First off, if she does any Attachment work with any Abnormality ever again, Twee will instantly die upon entering the cell. Secondly, if we do more Repression work with any other Abnormality, it will progress through three more stages.

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The first work changes it from Inspired Bravery to Reckless Foolishness, and tacks on a -5 HP penalty with no visual change.

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The second work turns the gift orange, and changes the stats to -10 HP and +15 to both Attack and Move speed.

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The final step turns the fire red, and intensifies the bonuses and penalties even more. This is as far as the gift will go, further Repression works do nothing.

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Once all this is done, Twee is officially moving at ludicrous speed. That's 207 Move Speed. :unsmigghh:

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All this work also lets us finish getting all of Crumbling Armor's data. It's got the final Pale damage weapon in the game, though at HE-tier we've been too geared up to use it it for a while now.

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Image Hey, Manager… We've got a strange reading here.

Image White ordeals, right? I'm aware.

Image Got a plan, boss?

Image I think so. Do we have the information on that freeshooter guy?

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Image Just came in.

Image Perfect. We'll have everyone take a central position and push forward to see what we're dealing with.

Image Roger that. I'll have Bishop relay the message to the others.

Image So that's how you do things here…

Image Normally the Sephirot handle things, but since they're offline everyone else is pitching in a bit more instead.

Image We'll see how it works out for you.

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With our Abnormality information unlocked, I have the entire facility move to Central 2.

Image I'm all done working with the Knight of Despair. Not entirely sure why you asked me to do that, boss, but she's really nice so it's no big deal.

Image It was just an idea I had.

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I also clear out a few employees. On days 46+ each department only gets 5 clerks instead of 10, making it far less resource intensive to wipe everything out. Since we have to get to level 9 today, I try to go one department at a time, right now Extraction and Records have both been emptied out.

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I also make sure to send us over to the next level by starting a work with WhiteNight. This makes sure that I have as much time as possible before having to remember to work him again.

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Image Manager, that was the Ordeal alarm. How many are we dealing with?

Image Hold on, I'm taking a look…

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Image It's just one. In Extraction… a White Fixer? Did you call in Fixers on us, old man?!

Image What do you think?

Image You know anything about it, Bishop?

Image Not all Fixers know each other, y'know.

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White Fixers specialize in White damage, they deal their damage over a wide area and add more damage over the next several seconds-if they get an attack off any clerks in the area are toast. Given that their attack area looks like this:

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That means trouble since we have Clerk's Rights Abnormalities in the building-plus running out of clerks will mean we can't stop Queen of Hatred from breaching later. Additionally, any White-weak or low-SP agents in the area will likely panic.

Ideally we would dogpile them and finish them off before they can get an attack off, but their counterattack ability will make this difficult-3 times over the course of fighting one they'll be rendered immune to all damage for several seconds and any attacks on them will hit the attacker instead.

The days of curbstomping weak Dawns are over. We have to pay attention now.

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We clear out the clerks in Disciplinary, and send the agents over to intercept. Since White Fixers are slow, the team makes it there in plenty of time.

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This is more or less the ideal position to engage a White Fixer from. It takes them some time to decide to attack after spotting an employee, giving us an opportunity to pile on damage.

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Image Ooh, you smell like a cutie, too!

Image Smells like a cutie..?

Image You hear that? This thing's just like every other ordeal-they aren't real fixers!

Image That's good to know. I'd rather not kill a real person.

Image Pft. Baby.

While attacking, I make sure to have all of our agents selected and my mouse over the elevator they came from. While doing this, I listen for a distinctive chime-this chime means an attack has been reflected, which means it's time to run away.

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This is White Fixer's counterattack stance. Whenever they take it, we back off to the elevator and wait. The second they're back to their normal stance, everyone charges in again. The counterattack stance resets the countdown before the White Fixer can decide to attack, meaning that we can catch it in a loop of attack>counter>run>attack. After the third counterattack…

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White Fixers aren't particularly dangerous as long as we control the pace of the fight, meaning our Dawn ends without a problem.

Image Well done. How did you know to handle the issue that way?

Image I just sort of trust my instincts. Still, it's odd that the ordeals would be changing now… Are you sure nobody hired them?

Image That girl… Mizu, was it? Her nose never lies. They're the same sort of existence as all the other ordeals.

Image Then why did they wait until now to show up?

Image In this place, at this moment, the story is rushing towards its climax. What bubbles from the well of humanity now is nothing less than-

Image You know what, nevermind. I've heard enough about buckets and wells for one lifetime.

Image You've spoken at length with Binah, then.

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For the Noon, I pull everyone back to Central 2 and queue up works to get us to the next meltdown level. Like with Hokma, preparing ahead of time

Image I must say, what I've seen so far is quite unorthodox.

Image I'm a pretty unorthodox us, I guess.

Image Whether that's a good or a bad thing remains to be seen.

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Image Hold tight, scanning the facility now.

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Image We've got a Red Fixer in upper Disciplinary.

Image That's all? Let's roll!

Image Hold on…

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Image We've also got a Black Fixer in Records.

Image Two of them at once, huh?

White Noon is two Fixers at the same time. White Dawn and White Noon both pick from a pool of Red, White, and Black fixers. Whichever one the Dawn is, the other two will show up at Noon. Because we saw White earlier, we're guaranteed to face these two here. Let's take a closer look.

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Like White Fixer, Red Fixer will only do anything if it sees an employee. Unlike the White Fixer, most of its attacks are designed for close range combat. Only its beam attack can hit things outside of its room, and it's seldom used. Red Fixers are at their most dangerous when they're dying-otherwise we can just slap a Red shield on anyone engaging with them and be covered. They're the least threatening type of Fixer ordeal by a wide margin.

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Black Fixers, on the other hand, are trouble. They will use their nuisance hammer attack on their own if they're left alone for too long, lowering the QCs of anything in the same hallway to 0. This ability can release a number of Abnormalities at once if it spawns somewhere like Extraction or Records, which leads to more problems. Any time that we see a Black Fixer, it needs to die immediately. The only saving grace is that Black shields are enough to reliably deal with its damage output.

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We send everyone in the building its way.

Image These things are a cut above our usual ordeals… It's getting a little tiring.

Image I thought you'd like having something new to deal with!

Image Just because it's new doesn't mean it's better!

Image Hey! Where the hell is Twee?!

Image The manager called her on a special assignment.

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When the Black Fixer dies, it spawns a Meltdown on every Abnormality in the area. These are just normal Meltdowns, so I have the nearby agents work them.

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As for Twee, she's busy taking care of the Red Fixer by herself.

Image That tickles!

Image What… is that E.G.O?

Image It's called Paradise Lost. You like it?

Image I do.

Paradise Lost starts with a 0.2x Red multiplier. Additionally, the Fixer attacking ALEPH armor as a WAW is another 0.8x multiplier. On top of that, I've given Twee the Knight's blessing for an additional 0.5x multiplier. This means that Twee is only actually taking 0.08x the damage that she normally would, and with her E.G.O Suit/Gift combo, Twee negates any damage taken below 10.

The maximum damage of a Red Fixer is 100.

This thing can't even touch her. :getin:

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I clear out Training of its clerks next. With how Twee's engaging the Red Fixer, its death attack will mostly go outside of the facility, but it might poke a couple of clerks here if we don't clear them out.

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It turns out I didn't need to worry-the beam doesn't hit anything but Twee, who doesn't care.

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Image Two down, two to go.

Image You do have a certain level of talent, I confess. Most often, this place trips us up several times as we try and learn what's needed to keep our footing.

Image Must be nice to have the place in competent hands, huh?

Image I wouldn't go that far yet.

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Image Ahh, you're here because I remind you of your friend, sir?

With the Noon done, we've got some time to burn before the Dusk. I mostly use it to farm boxes on our new Abnormalities.

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Image And you've managed to gather all the equipment already?

Image It's tradition. Gear means power, power means my agents don't die.

Image Ah yes… you don't let them die too often. It's only Ishmael, if I remember?

Image In my defense, I didn't know I could rewind things back then.

Image I'm in no position to judge. I've watched them all die, time and time again. Why, there was one Agent who I would send to his death almost daily.

Image I always wondered why Hokma just let that happen.

Image I simply payed the extra LOB for the customization options and called him up time and again. With the same face, same voice, same memories and same name… who could ever say they were different people in the first place?

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Image That's really kind of creepy.

Image The way I see it, if we're willing to do it to ourselves it should be no issue to do to others. This project is one that we must all be willing to die for. If our lives can save those of all humanity… what purpose is there in hesitating?

Image Even if it kills us a couple times, eh?

Image Oh, it's far more than a couple, my friend… But yes.

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Image ...Kit, what are you doing?

Image Making marshmallows.

Image With my hair?

Image It's on fire, so I figured why not.

Image It's not actually hot.

Image ...it isn't?

Image Nope.

Image …what a ripoff! :mad:

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Image I must say, I really appreciate that you're not like the other suppressions.

Image How's that?

Image You're not doing anything. It's just another day, and not even a bad one.

Image Oh, yes… Well, like I said. Today is simply about proving you can stand in this place at all. I've questions of my own, things I could never hope to answer. But I'm glad that all of this has offered some comfort. After all, this is…

Image A respite… right.

Image Mm. It seems we're on much the same wavelength.

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To prepare for the White Dusk, I split the facility into thirds. Half of the middle+lower layers go into this elevator...

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The other half go here…

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And the upper layer agents go over here, where I assign all of my works from. Tylana stays on her own, since she shouldn't ever be out of WhiteNight's cell for long. I also put Tenebrais in an elevator on her own to deal with all of the works I'm queuing up. Since she's the last unblessed Agent in Disciplinary, it's guaranteed that Parasite Tree will try calling her.

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Which lets me ensure that she doesn't go anywhere.

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When the White Dusk starts we pause and have a peek around.

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The Black Fixer is in Extraction, and I send the team in the Disciplinary elevator after it.

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Red's in Records, and I ignore it for now. There's nothing there for it to attack.

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White Fixer is in Information, and I decide to keep an eye on it for now. The upper layer is a bit heavy on White damage, and I don't want to risk failing to force out its counter and triggering an attack. I also notice that I forgot to remove any clerks last meltdown level. That was my one mistake for the day, if I forget again then Queen of Hatred will be making our lives difficult.

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Lastly, we have a new threat to deal with: This incredibly dapper looking fellow. Let's talk about him for a moment.

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The Pale Fixer is the last of the four Fixers, and only shows up for the White Dusk. Because they deal Pale damage they're a dangerous threat already, but on top of that they will also teleport onto our agents if left alone for too long. This means we need to take the fight to them, since dropping on top of our team while they're in the middle of fighting another Fixer can make things chaotic in a jiffy.

More than anything, White Dusk is about target prioritization. In order, I generally aim for Black > Pale > White=Red. Since neither White nor Red can do much without employees to bully, which one I go for first depends on where they are in the facility. In this case, the team in the Welfare elevator is sent after the Pale Fixer.

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Meanwhile Team 1 runs into the Black Fixer. It takes a little longer than having the full facility jump him, but the Fixer goes down without an issue.

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I set the Extraction team agents to work on the three breaching Abnormalities here. The book meltdown will cost us 35 energy, but that's nothing at this point-we'll have more than enough to finish the day regardless.

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Image This sword's no good against it!

Image My staff, either!

Image It doesn't like White damage. Leave it to us.

Team 2 engages with the Pale Fixer, and I use a number of Pale shields to tank his attacks-since we have people in melee with 1.5x or 2x Pale weaknesses, I refresh them every time it attacks just to be safe. I'd rather have agents than ammo.

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When killed, the Fixer's head is blown off by their briefcase. Make sure not to be standing nearby when this happens, as 50-70 Pale damage is more than WhiteNight's ring deals.

With the Pale and Black Fixers down, the fight becomes much less of a problem. I decide to just have Twee take care of the other two while the rest of the facility hangs out on the other end.

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Image Hey, nice beam! But just wait 'til I show you my totally awesome scythe attack!

Given that neither of them can scratch her, it goes exactly as you'd expect.

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First the Red Fixer falls...

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And here's a shot of White Fixer's weapon unleashing its final attack after their death.

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Image HAH! That wasn't so hard, either!

Image ...Hmm.

Image What, nothing to say?

Image I simply haven't felt so... nostalgic... looking at myself for some time. You truly believe that you can be the one to succeed, don't you?

Image I have to be. I gave my word.

Image We all promised Carmen the same thing, and in the end our word alone proved not to be enough. There were still too many questions left that we found unanswerable.

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Image Like why it's so satisfying to watch Punishing Bird peck an agent?

Image ...No. Not like that at all.

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Image Hey, Manager. We're a step from Midnight. If there's anything left to do, get it done.

Image Roger that.

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To prepare for White Midnight, I throw everyone into my favorite elevator aside Tylana-who is still working with WhiteNight like she has been all day.

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Image Oh hi, Punishing Bird! Are you here to help with the suppression?

Image Please let this be a normal midnight.

Image Today? No way.

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Image First an Arbiter, now a Claw?! Wait-does that mean?!

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Image Worry not. It's a being born of cogito like all the others. The Head still blind to our plan.

Image Phew. I did not want to deal with them.

Image Given the last time they interfered? I understand entirely.

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The Claw is our boss fight for the day, and it's got far fewer HP than any of the other Midnight ordeals. It wanders the facility performing normal attacks until it decides to inject one of its syringes, activating a special attack based upon which one it chooses.

Image Tenebrais, Twee, engage.

Image Image On it!

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The Claw can't hurt Twee, and Tenebrais can easily soak up any attack it does until it goes for its first syringe-injecting the green fluid on the back of its head. I grab the rest of the facility and order them all to attack, since green is one of the attacks where we can stun it.

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The green injection has The Claw attempt to heal, but dealing 200 damage before the animation ends will stun him for 30 seconds. If we want to get out of here without losing anyone, that's an important timeframe.

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Image It looks like a Claw… but it smells like a cutie! It's a cutie Claw!!

Image Save it! We're backing off, now!

Image Huh? Why?

Image Hell if I know. Ask Seyser's hair.

Image It's just been going harder as we've been attacking, is all..!

At the 50% mark, I back off. Our facility isn't quite at the point where we can down The Claw in a single stun period, and if it recovers at a sliver of health then it will immediately trigger its counterattack. I know this because it happened in the YouTube version of the fight. The results were...

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Retry count: 17

...let's go with "less than ideal." :eng99: There's a second way of dealing with The Claw that involves keeping agents spread out and ready to go into a cell once we trigger it's 25% HP attack in order to dodge it entirely, but I generally find that to be slower, more vulnerable to orange injections, and less satisfying than just beating the crap out of the thing with a giant deathball.

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Anyways, now we just have to wait for The Claw to get back up.

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When it does it immediately opts to use the orange injection, the one it can't be stunned out of. Having moved the facility out of the way already, we don't have anything to worry about.

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A moment after the injection, The Claw charges forward for the end of the level he's currently on.

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In this case, that's the elevator in upper Disciplinary. I have Twee and Tenebrais re-engage.

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Image It's definitely trying to hurt me, but I don't think it's working.

Image That suit of yours is ridiculous, I swear.

Image It really is quite good.

Image It's the only reason I haven't fired WhiteNight into the sun, to be honest.

A moment later I have them disengage so I can wait for the next syringe, but it turns out not to matter…

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Because it tries to use the blue injection right next to my still-in-transit facility. :getin:

The blue injection puts circles on 8 random agents. They can remove them by entering any cell to start a work with any Abnormality, but after a few moments it will teleport to the marked agents and stab them for Black damage. While charging this attack it actually pulls up a unique map of the facility, which I did not actually see in any of my footage. Why?

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Because you can stun The Claw during the blue injection. This means our facility blazes through the rest of its HP without any problems.

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Which immediately ends the day. For the record, The Claw's ending quote is: "No one dares to stand against them. As long as they exist, the tale of the Nest will never reach its close." We will never see it in this playthrough.

Overall, Day 46 serves primarily as an introduction to the White ordeals, and once we've learned how to handle each of them it's not particularly hard. The most difficult part is trying to keep from knocking the Claw below 25% until we're ready to kill it in the same stun phase, and we only needed to do that because our damage is ~3/5ths of what it otherwise could be.

Image Hah! Nice job team. I knew we could do it. So, do I qualify?

Image Yes, I believe so. I trust you already know what comes next?

Image Two more Abnormalities, right?

Image Correct. Two more Abnormalities.

Music: never frozen bottom flows
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...Y'know what? Sure. Why the hell not?

Welcome aboard, -44. Please stop showing up in my Abnormality options now.

As for the other one…

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After thinking about this trio for a moment, I remembered that -awesome! is a ZAYIN which is relatively easy to work with and has simple rules to remember. It doesn't produce much energy, but it doesn't really need to. It is, after all, -awesome!.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: At least one A throws a mild hissyfit.

New Guidelines

Crumbling Armor
Der Freischütz

New Gear

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Requirements: Justice 2

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Requirements: Temperance 2

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Requirements: Temperance 3
*Not affected by Attack Speed
*Will harm allies


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Requirements: Fortitude 3, Justice 3

New Story

Crumbling Armor
Der Freischütz

Bonus

VIDEO: Day 46
Last edited by TeeQueue on Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

I've always liked to imagine the fixers you face here are actual fixers from outside hired just to wreak havoc. It maybe takes a bit from the mystical nature of the situation, but I also simultaneously like the final enemies you face in this game, after all the absurd-looking monsters... are just some really tough mercaneries, not unlike your agents.

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Mechanics Talk 17: White Ordeals

For obvious reasons these can't go into the normal Ordeal post, so they get their own entry here.

Dawn: A Request

Selects one Fixer at random from the Red, White, and Black Fixers, and spawns it somewhere in the facility.

Arrival: From meaningless errands, to exploration, to contract killing; they will do whatever you wish, so long as you pay them sufficiently.
Defeat: They work in the Offices, Syndicates, and the Wings. Their tasks vary from banal things to something truly sublime.

Noon: Armaments

The two remaining Fixers of Red, White, and Black which were not selected during the Dawn are spawned somewhere in the facility.

Arrival: They search constantly, be it for the Backers of the Wings, the Inventions of the Backstreets, the Reliques of the Outskirts, the Artefacts of the Ruins…
Defeat: As they have always done, they will overcome all that impedes them, weapons in hand.

Dusk: The Fixers

Spawns one of each Fixer somewhere in the facility.

Arrival: The colossal tower of light was titled The Library. It is only natural for the Fixers to be drawn to such a mystic place of life and death.
Defeat: Bookhunters… One day they will rummage through The Library reigned over by the Pale Librarian. They are what shall become of the Fixers.

Fixer Stats

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Midnight:The Claw

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Arrival: To know and manipulate all the secrets of the world; that is the privilege of the Head, the Eye, and the Claws. It is their honor and absolute power.
Defeat: No one dares to stand against them. As long as they exist, the tale of the Nest will never reach its close.

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Day 47: Story

Music: Dungeon - Psych Ward. There is a heart monitor beep overlaid over this entire song.
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The screen comes pre-shattered, and slowly works its way back to normal.

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Well… "normal." You seem to be having a bit of a meltdown there, A. :v:

Image Your body and mind are still incomplete, and yet you limp forward. I must wonder where that confidence of yours comes from. Anyway, you must have some questions, no? One such question may be: “Who is this old man, he with such a familiar voice and face?” You cannot face yourself. Think of me as a mirror of you. A shattered mirror, to be precise. Scattered to several shards.

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Image Filled with rage and obstinacy, waiting to be miserably forgotten, as you can see. I, just like you, decided to proceed. But nothing changed, to my surprise. I had trouble sleeping, and the rare nights in which I could sleep were riddled with nightmares. We were the first humans, or human, to find a way to access the Well of Humanity.

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Image Just a handful of people, only faintly sensing its presence. But Carmen was completely sure of its existence, and tried to persuade us of it. If its existence were proven, that would mean we would be able to reach the Well. She believed that the cure to the world’s disease was related to this Well.

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Image We found a method to siphon from the primordial sea which had every possibility of humanity; past, present, and future.

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Image It’s fascinating. We even had arrogant thoughts in secret. We thought we could rekindle the long-forgotten flame, and the water of life.

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Image What have we accomplished, after all of this? We lost much more than we gained, did we not? You haven’t witnessed it…

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Image He was one of the few who could tolerate your ill-temperedness. Yet you did not care to witness his final moments. Fortunately, we have a recording of it, as with every little thing that has happened in this facility. Would you like to give it a listen?

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Image Well, it is something you must learn. ...I understand that the truth hurts. It’s—it’s hard for me as well… It feels like building up a sandcastle for years, only to kick it over once it’s done.

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Image But I want to make things right, no matter the cost.

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Image “Leave with me before you can no longer undo what you’ve set in motion.” That’s what you wanted to say. I’m sorry that we have to meet again like this. It did not take very long to find out where you were hiding. I thought I should have given you some time to say goodbye, since this will be the last chance you have to say such a thing to the one you look up to.

Image Angela…

Image ……


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Image It may sound like an excuse, but please know this. I am not doing this out of personal feelings or malice. My every action is set by his first order. The absolute order that dictates us not to deviate from the script.

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Image I know you well, and not just because I’m one of the people who created you. I know you’re different from other machines.

Image There is another fact I knew from the start. That you’re too valuable to be hiding in such a shabby corner like this. Our conversation is being recorded, and furthermore, I have no obligation whatsoever to answer your questions.


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Image Everyone you’ve missed and longed to see again is waiting for you. You shall be with them forever. Because you are the last actor, the one who will lead this play to its finale.

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Image Benjamin hid here quite a long time ago. When the TT2 Protocol activated, a brief moment became an eternity and overwhelmed him. I assume he tried to run away with me, with us. However, as you already know, he failed.

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Image Think whatever you wish. Find solace in your mind or else you will not endure this place.

Image ……..


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Image Tens of billions of neurons stretch like the branches of trees, and form a great forest. This forest, as long as the original exists, can be replanted. Those who perished were awoken in metal bodies. It was your plan, yet you couldn’t do it alone. However… I have already seen the world ahead of you. The time you have yet to see.

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Image Benjamin, your friends, the employees… their sacrifices were pointless. You’ve seen how they met their end. You realized how innocent, talented souls of young persons were trapped into machines by your hands, haven’t you?

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Image Who will pay for their sacrifices? Do you know what we’ve forgotten?

If we haven't done any of the Core Suppressions, we won't be able to answer this question and the game will end here on day 47 before even getting to the gameplay section. From here, the game will give a number of tests like this, each one tied to a different one of the Sephirot. If we haven't cleared the proper Suppression, then we can't proceed any further. Since that's not a problem for us…

Music: Alone
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Image I was always biting off more than I could chew. I wasn’t being realistic. At the same time, this is such a sad place. So, I refused to think that I couldn’t do something. But you saw me.

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Image In the end, what was important was for me to stand with my own two legs. To be aware of where I am, and where I should go next. Then it naturally rises up. The will inside me.

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The second option only appears here because I'm looking at it in the story recollection. On our actual playthrough, only the option allowing us to move forward would appear.

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Image You may act noble, but you were sailing through the dead sea inside you. Emotional thoughts only depressed us. It didn’t help us in the slightest. We needed to become more rational, more cold-hearted. The rationality built upon falsehood crumbled me, you, and all of us…

Music: Through the Mist
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Image We thought relying on emotion wouldn’t help a thing. However, it became clear that to accept sadness was just as important. The false rationality we held and clung to only made our hearts rot. It is hard to accept at first. You’ll feel like you’d crumble in. But it’ll get better, I’m sure of it.

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Image Your mind is already empty, and has lost any purpose to move forward. I can hear the murmurs of those I’ve lost in my ears whenever I shut my eyes…

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Image I couldn’t say anything to refute what they were saying. Do you think you’ll be any different?


Music: 13 sins
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Image I know my wrongdoings can’t be forgiven, no matter what I do. I guess that’s why I was so ahead of myself. But from now on, I won’t be. I can, no, I will become a better person if I continue. Let’s live with such a hope in mind, shall we?

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Image How many times must I say this? You have nothing left. No matter how much you tried to control your emotions and calm your mind, you’ve already been losing your reason to live ever since Carmen left us. Why are you so obsessed with a life that has no more meaning? Look at me. Look at how I am continuing this pointless life, awaiting death.

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Image I have to say, I don’t have a good answer yet. You woke me up… But I guess it’s my job to take care of whatever comes to me next. I chose to be a bit more fearless. It took me a lot of courage to do so… To continue onward with my life in spite of everything.

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Image Hell, even I made it this far. What makes you think you can’t?

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Image None of the paths we had thought to be the right answer were correct. How can I not let you pass when you answer our doubts with such confidence and clarity?

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Image A name is a stigma, a constant reminder that one walks the wrong path. The door you will face after leaving this office can be named a Trial. It may also be referred to as an Ordeal, or an Agony.

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Image That strength to choose a different path, a different future, a different answer. I shall witness your strength. I hope you can finally prove yourself to this doubtful old man.

In summary: A, who calls himself Abel, identifies himself as a broken shard of ourselves. He tells us about the Well, and shows us what we hadn't seen before from after our conversation with B ended. It turns out that Angela killed him-surprising no one, of course. He then confronts us with a number of questions that he couldn't answer. Thanks to what we've learned from completing the Upper Layer Core Suppressions, we're able to answer all of his questions and continue on towards a new Trial.

Music: None
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Image I must say, you were… quite eloquent when answering those questions.

Image Eh..? I was busy thinking about what the Sephirot would have said when I was answering. I really wasn't putting any thought into what I said… My mouth basically moved on its own.

Image Let me give you a tip for the future, my nameless friend.

Image Sure, what's that?

Image When in negotiations, if you've already succeeded in your goal… stop talking. More words will just give the other party second thoughts.

Image Ahaha… noted. :sweatdrop:

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: A series of carefully orchestrated dick moves.









Image ………..

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Image Please… answer me.

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(*Yes, I know the chat log can tell who's speaking here. I'm pretending I don't know it exists. It's not like it isn't pretty obvious anyways. :v: )

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Day 47: Gameplay

Music: neutral 3
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Image That's a little… vague, isn't it?

Image The trials that you'll face are proofs of strength, more than they are conversations. What Kether seeks is unity, nothing else.

Image That wasn't an answer to my-

Image Therefore, it stands to reason that those selves who stand before you will take advantage of everything they can to defeat you and take control of our mind. I am using the same tactics you can expect ahead: no more and no less.

Image So… you're not holding back because the others won't.

Image Correct. We are proceeding on a tightrope without the benefit of a net beyond this point. I must see that you are prepared. I would have you not fall.

Image So what happens if I lose?

Image Then you are not ready, and I shall send you away to grow. Don't expect this mercy from the others.

Image What do you mean by other-?

Image The time for questions is over. This is the time to act, nameless one.

From Day 47 onward, we have a loss condition. If all of our agents are dead, panicked, or out of control then the game won't tell us to rewind like it has before. Instead, it'll just take us to the same ending which we would have gotten if we weren't able to answer the questions earlier. I've also heard that it's possible to fail a day by having our danger level be too high for too long, but I've never seen it. Either way, X is now playing for keeps.

Image ...Right. Everyone all ready?

Image Upper Layer's in position.

Image Middle Layer's ready to go.

Image You sure we can't have five more minutes?

Image Pretty sure, yeah.

Image Tch. Then we're ready when you are in the Lower Layer.

Image Alright, let's do this.

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Music: Red Dots
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Image Be overwhelmed by my despair… my rage.

Image Manager, we've got a situation.

Image That was fast. What's going on?

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Image Something sort of... happened in the office. Looks like when Yesod broke down, but… different. Warped.

Image It's a psionic manifestation. I'm not sure why it's here.

Image Oooh… proobably cogito based..? How iinteresting...

Image What the hell?!

Image Sorry to interrupt you, but it's not just D.A.D.

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Image We've got one here, too.

Image This is one of those boss rushes, isn't it?

Image Starting to feel like it.

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Image One in Training, too. It's Hod's form, from that time you provoked her.

Image Wait, this was the Manager's fault?

Image That's really not a very fair assessment…

Image How could you do that to such a nice robot?

Image I don't have time for this… Mr.Black?

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Image Lovely to talk with you! HAHAHAHAHA!

Image There's one here, too.

Image Its energy beckons to me. How curious…

Image So this is what you mean by that…

Image You were able to answer the questions with such passion… I'm sure you can overcome the trials which stymied me, as well.

Image I suddenly understand why you called this an agony.

Image We always were quick on the uptake.

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Levels 1-2 wrote: Image We had no idea where to go, sailing the ocean without a map or any kind of guidance. Do you think it’ll be any better now? It won’t.

Image How do we expect to move forward when we cannot even stand up straight?

Image Remember Elijah’s last moments… how she clawed and scraped at the floor, writhing in pain.

Image It is best for everyone if we just turn back to the first act now. Who knows, our unforgivable sin may lighten just a tiny bit if you do.
On Day 47 we'll be handling all of the Upper Layer suppressions at once, albeit with slightly different rules. Also, the clear conditions can be a little difficult to interpret properly: We need to get the Qliphoth Meltdown Level 6 bar to appear at the top of the screen to clear that condition, meaning we're effectively aiming to get to Level 7. This means we won't have to fight White Dusk or Midnight again, but a Noon is unavoidable.

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Pulling up an Abnormality to work it, we can see the ??? that means Malkuth's effect is already in play. Since we can see our interface we can tell Yesod isn't active, and looking around will show us that our stats are fine and our healing is working as well. At the start, Malkuth's work shuffling is the only problem we have to deal with.

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Luckily, we already know how to deal with it.

Image A notebook?

Image I can't trust my memory all the time, so I use it to note the shuffles. Learned it while squaring off with Malkuth.

Image You make it sound so simple. We never saw eye to eye, the two of us. Even if I could remember...

Image Mm. You two were a lot alike, weren't you?

Image You're being preposterous.

Image Eh… I'm not so sure about that.

Now that we have the work shuffle figured out (and written down!), we can move on to handling our two new Abnormalities.

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Our first one is -awesome!. It's a… circle, basically.

Image Remember to use an agent it likes.

Image We wouldn't want a repeat of last time, after all.

Image You swore never to speak of it again.

Image Oh yeah. Sorry.

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-awesome! doesn't care what kind of work we do, it only pays attention to if the agent working with it is bald. BICEPS is perfect for the job.

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One work lets us unlock its real name: You're Bald…. You're Bald… was added on an April the 3rd, and the community generally agrees that it was meant as a joke for April 1st. The only real danger is that if we work it with an Agent that isn't bald, they'll go bald right after the work. That's pretty much all there is to it unless we're foolish enough to send multiple haired agents at it in a row.

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Our other new Abnormality, -44, is some kind of rose-eyeball-cockroach-deer. It responds best to Repression work, but there's a catch.

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Repression work makes it slouch over, and turns its roses black. Doing a second Repression work while it's in this state will result in the agent sent instantly dying, so… don't do that.

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Anyways, its name is Beauty and the Beast and outside of its "Don't use Repression twice in a row" rule there's nothing to it.

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Performing any other type of work will restore its health, so it's an earlygame Justice trainer that can only train Justice every other time. That's... not particularly amazing.

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Anyways, we'll be working them in the background today. You're Bald… makes for a very good tester when Malkuth reshuffles our work types, and Beauty and the Beast… Well, it definitely exists. :geno:

Music: Faded
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Image I've waited long enough for you to do your work, nameless one. What did you mean by that?

Image Hold on, I need to contact the team and-

Image Manager, I've got some news. There hasn't been any activity from that glitchy Malkuth up here. She didn't reshuffle the work types.

Image ...Right, guess I should answer then. Thanks, Bishop.

Unlike in her original fight, here Malkuth will only reshuffle work types at every other meltdown level. If we're moving to 2, 4, or 6 we don't have to worry about retesting work types. This means that level 2 is basically free-nothing new has happened yet.

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A closeup of the main room's current state. It'll be different every day as we move forward through the week.

Image When I had to deal with her… In the end, we both wanted control. Malkuth wanted it because she was convinced it'd get her recognized for the good work she does. I wanted it because I was terrified and memoryless in a place full of people I didn't know if I could trust. You… I'm going to go out on a limb and say you never trusted any of them?

Image They're machines. They behave as machines.

Image Exactly. We got set in our ways, and a power struggle between the two of us wouldn't work out right no matter how well we worked. If Bishop hadn't interfered, I'd still be stuck on day 25.

Image The purpose of this script was for us to reach our own actualization. A mere agent changing the play is… We didn't consider it. They're pawns.

Image If you push a pawn enough, it could turn into a queen.

Image Hnhn… Hahaha! I like it.

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In preparation for the Dawn, I move our agents to three different elevators just like for yesterday's Dusk. Since ~a third of our agents are enough to handle any Dawn, we'll be covered no matter where it spawns.

Image Still, can it be called self-realization if we didn't reach it ourselves?

Image We couldn't have done it without learning from the Sephirot already. Since humans learn from clashing with each other, it stands to reason that what we've done here isn't different from our original plan. If this is a play, the Agents just ad-libbed a little.

Image Hm. I don't suppose you'll remember saying those words, will you?

Image Which words?

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Image Joking, joking. :rolleyes:

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Despite things not being particularly hard, I still manage to accidentally send Elle Tee to do Repression work on Knight of Despair. She'll be fine, but make sure to stay vigilant for the entire day, no matter how simple any given part of it may be.

Image Still, it seems we're already at an accord. That leaves us with little to do to pass the time aside work until you've proven your fragile body stronger than the despair which consumed me.

Image I would be okay with just working until that's done.

Image I know, how about a story about an old man's glory days?

Image I would really be okay just working until that's done.

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When pushing into any work shuffle level, I make sure to do it by working with WhiteNight. This will maximize our time to deal with finding out our new work types. We'd be fine if we hit 3 of the 4 work types, but we do not want to hit Instinct by accident.

Image I'm afraid you don't have a choice. After all…

Music: Retro Time ALT (Distorted ver)
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Image Things will get much worse, before they get better.
Level 3 wrote: Image Our hearts overflowed with despair as we prepared for tomorrow, acting as if nothing had happened, even after the deaths of so many of our loved ones.

Image The suppressed feelings were so severe, it caused phantom pains and hallucinations of bugs crawling on our skin...

Image Yet we had to do it, we had come too far. However, one accident led to a complete breakdown, like the collapse of a tower.

Image Obsession with the rules, not letting ourselves feel an inch of sadness…We had no other way to cope but that. You would agree with this.
At level 3, Yesod comes online and messes with our screen. Unlike his original suppression our ability to view the facility never changes, and things will never get more pixelated than this. Still, from this point forward we can't refer to any of our Managerial Guidelines if we forget how to handle an Abnormality. We can also see from the upper-right that we'll be getting an early White Noon. This is actually ideal, for reasons we'll get to in a bit.

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The first thing I do is check for our new work types, using the three abnormalities near the Upper Layer's strike team.

Image I couldn't say if I was the first among us, or even the first to get this far. I only know that when I first arrived here, there was nothing. All I had found was a door before me, one which I could not hope to open. Thinking I had missed something, I went back. Time and again, this old man played things safe. Did you know most every day can be cleared before the Dusk ever appears?

Image I'd noticed that, yeah.

Image It wasn't until I saw the door that I even considered completing that mission.

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After that's done, I spot a Black Fixer in Central 4. Both elevators are sent after it, since from there it has easy access to Yin and Firebird depending on how it moves.

Image Since when do you use Gold Rush, Talow?

Image Since Morgan swapped to Exuviae. Red damage on top of an amplifier just makes sense.

Image Huh. Can't argue with that.

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Outside of the Dawn, not much else happens at this level. I keep everyone holed up in their elevators and slowly push towards our Noon.

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Image Even after I handled that mission, I was stymied. Too set in my ways to change. Too stubborn to admit I needed to. Still, when I was alone with the door, I knew it was our duty to open it. That's why.

Image Why what, exactly?

Image I decided it was my duty to ensure whoever made it beyond here would be the one to end this cycle. I spent my time within the facility gathering every scrap of information I could, and leaving it for my successors.

Image Wouldn't that be against the script?

Image Not at all. The flow, the meaning of the play are unchanged. I just... ad-libbed a little.

Image I see what you did there. :rolleyes:

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At the end of level 3 it's a good idea to breathe. This was the easy part.

Image Indeed. Unfortunately, I fear you shan't see what's coming next.

Music: Blue Dots
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Level 4 wrote: Image Michelle was the youngest among us. She was a timid and innocent employee. She chose to be a whistleblower out of fear for the world. If we had just paid a bit more attention to her, she may not have run away so scared.

Image Everything we thought to be hope came back to us in the shape of despair.

Image How will we improve ourselves out of this? It will only get worse and worse.
Nothing looks different, but things have definitely gotten harder on us. Here's a comparison of one of our agents before and after we hit level 4.

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Do you see the difference? If not, don't worry. I didn't notice it in my first playthrough either. :shepface:

At level 4, Hod's effect turns on. Unlike Malkuth and Yesod, though, Hod is stronger than before-bestowing a -50 penalty on all of our Agents' stats. This means everyone is significantly more fragile than we're used to, they move much more slowly, and most importantly for us WhiteNight is not a guaranteed work no matter how often we work him anymore. We're on a soft timer for the rest of the day unless we want Apostles running all over the place.

Anyways, I believe we have a White Noon to deal with.

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Image Oooh… I smell that gaas…

Image The concentration's higher than it was the last time. Everyone stay sharp!

The White Fixer spawned on top of my Upper Layer squad, so I put them to work fighting it. Unfortunately, they have an overabundance of White weapons so the damage isn't what I'd like to see.

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But we can still dodge around its attacks as long as we act early.

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Image Oh you came into the wrong elevator, buddy.

Meanwhile, the Red Fixer gets completely obliterated by Disciplinary, Extraction, and half of Central. I have the agents go down a level to dodge the death laser when it comes out.

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Meanwhile, I opt to continuously run the Upper Layer agents back and forth between the rooms to either side of the White Fixer whenever it goes into its counterattack stance. This keeps the bulk of the group on top of it, so that I can quickly pile more damage onto it.

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It works out very well, and the Fixer doesn't get another attack off.

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Image Hah! Not so bad. I didn't expect you to layer on Hod right then.

Image Well… I never did gain any hope to be a better person.

Image Resigning yourself to defeat… it's no wonder you got so bitter.

Image Yes, well… at least I make bitterness look dashing.

Image So what happens when I succeed?

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Image Huh… this is new. Haven't seen you out this way before.

Image If you succeed, you will be able to approach the next door. There, you will likely find another shattered remnant of yourself. What comes next… I'm sure you know.

Image We fight again, huh?

Music: malkuthDie
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Image You will fight. The stronger side survives. That, simply, is the story.
Level 5 wrote: Image I survived alone. I’ve lived day by day, fighting an uphill battle. I fought because I thought my survival would somehow change the situation. How foolish I was.

Image Perhaps our souls have already died, a long, long time ago. It may be just as Carmen feared.

Image Going further than this is futile. Please, you have to just accept that it is over.

Image You told Giovanni that you could revive Carmen. But think about it, did you really lead him to eternal slumber because you sincerely believed so?
At Level 5, two more effects kick on. The first is Netzach's, disabling our healing from now on. From now on our agents will only recover HP/SP every time we pass a new Meltdown Level. The second is Malkuth-in addition to reshuffling our works again, we can't cancel works from now on. So in order, Day 47:

-Shuts off our ability to see our stats
-Cuts our stats by more than the relevant boss did (and cutting any 1 LOB new hires down to the bare minimum stats possible)
-Then turns off our healing entirely

And all of this with a 67% chance of the Noon spawning during the heal lockdown, making everything significantly harder to deal with. We were lucky to deal with them as early as we did. Day 47 is a series of carefully orchestrated dick moves, and will severely trip up any manager who has been coasting through by relying on an A-team of agents by rendering most of their facility completely useless.

:lobcorp:

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At this point, my focus is on spreading out the work across the facility's ALEPH and WAW Abnormalities in order to gather as much energy as possible. The energy goal is quite high today, and even with the bonus 25% from beating the Dawn and the Noon it can be difficult to max out the gauge before the end of Level 6-especially given that we spent so many works on You're Bald… and it's 6 maximum PE box count.

Image I have to say, though. You're talking about your despair and rage, but you don't really seem that angry.

Image You remember Yesod, yes? I too keep myself carefully constrained by rules and decorum. If you want to see what lies beneath this businessman's demeanor, you need look no further than the words on your monitor, there.

Image Dude, even Yesod snapped eventually.

Image I've snapped many times, in many ways. Even now I want to scream at myself for trapping us in this place, on this pointless ride to nowhere.

Image ...But that won't fix anything, so you don't.

Image Correct. I've saved my fury to direct at the facility itself during these times instead. It's a… remarkably freeing feeling.

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Image That's a bit preposterous, but I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing.

Image Talking to oneself tends to have that effect on people, yes. Still, to think that a time would come when I would embrace help from those so unreliable as our Agents.

Image Well… I mean, I almost turned my backs on them too. Then one of them punched me.

Image They… what?

Image Punched me. In the face. Hard.

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Level 6 wrote: Image The world has abandoned us! We tried not to let it go, but it threw us away like a crumpled up newspaper in the end.

Image We were too naive. I could only realize what wrongdoings we have done after transiently passing all these years.

Image A brief struggle has become an eternity. I just wish that you do not repeat the mistake I made and fall into despair and anger yet again.

Image You will overcome this despair if you just wake up and smell the roses. You still have a chance. Please, listen to what I have to say.
Nothing new happens here. If we can remain stable, we're home free.

Image That's… asinine. Haha… absolutely asinine!

Image Hey! To be fair, I did try to kill him.

Image Naive… This manager is far too naive..!

Image Hey, this may just be my first loop, but-

Image Your… first? Naive, and yet so successful.

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A meltdown lands on Scarecrow, and Punishing Bird is on the loose. I have Medea work with Scarecrow…

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ImIdiot handles the ancient ritual of bird-appeasement.

Image :black101:

Image I'm helping! :buddy:

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And Information + Training are waiting right outside Scarecrow's cell for it to step out.

Image Aaand there we go. We should be home free from here.

Image I suppose it was inevitable that one of us would eventually be talented at this. It took me many cycles to stand on this stage at all. To watch you perform so effortlessly… and on your first walk through this impossible, thorn-laden path...

Image Could you stop? I'm pretty sure this counts as being egotistical.

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Image If you insist… though I'm curious: Where does that overflowing skill come from?

Image I dunno. I just sort of do what comes naturally. Body moves itself.

Image ...Hm. Interesting… Perhaps it's simple muscle memory from all these years on duty? But that should be impossible…

Image Could you stop analyzing me while I'm standing right here?

During the fight I was also keeping an eye on the lower left corner of the screen. With the blurring, the energy gauge can be a bit difficult to read, but there's a trick to know when we've hit our allotment for the day. It involves the action log.

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The action log keeps track of every action we take that day, and is color coded to know at a glance who is doing what. Agent names are in one color, work types are in another color, and Abnormality names are in a third color. Because of this, every line in the log from works to deaths to panics has at least one color in it… except for the line which prints when we hit our goal for the day. That line is pure white, and when we see it we know for sure that we've hit our target for the day.

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With our target hit, we can just throw out works en masse and quickly end the day.

Image So it's my time already. It was short but I enjoyed our time together, nameless one.

Image Yeah. You weren't so bad, me. But I'm guessing this is the only time.

Image I couldn't say. This path beyond here isn't mine to tread. The best of luck to you…

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Image Thanks, Ab-huh? Gone… just like that.

Image ...Guess he wasn't kidding. Let's keep going. Step by step.

Day 47 may have looked easy, but that's only because we've kept on top of training throughout the game and were lucky enough to have an early Noon-this was the best possible scenario for a Day 47 at all. The entire Upper Layer's penalties coming at you one after another after another is no easy feat to deal with, and losing a couple of agents to momentary lapses in attention or concentration is incredibly common.

Image Huh… Nobody's saying anything.

Image Y'know… I don't think I've really been alone for a while. Wonder what Angela's up to right now? I kind of miss the congratulations.

Image Eh... She could use the nap. Let's move on to selecting Abnormalities.

Music: never frozen bottom flows
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For endgame, my priority remains 'simple and easy to show off,' and -12 fits the bill perfectly. She's a TETH level Abnormality which doesn't have any major complications, and will work perfectly as our first pick.

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Our second pick, -60, is relatively simple as well. It's a TETH which can breach but is completely nonthreatening to our facility as it is right now. We'll scoop it up too.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Carmen

New Guidelines

Beauty and the Beast
You're Bald...

New Gear

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Requirements: None

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Requirements: None

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Requirements: Bald

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Requirements: Bald

New Story

Beauty and the Beast
You're Bald...


Bonus

VIDEO: Day 47

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So this is some kind of boss rush. If the next few days continue like this... I'm sure I would not be able to handle whatever other conditions we might have to re-suppress An Arbiter under.

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I have Opinions about the arbiter refight, but I will wait until we actually get there to express them.

Suffice it to say for now that I intend on thoroughly dismantling the endgame and dedicating it to the others who have gotten this far and been absolutely stonewalled by a very rude set of days.

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Day 47: Supplemental

Facility X-394, Day 47, 1st Attempt

Music: Red Dots
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Image Be overwhelmed by my despair… my rage.

Image In a minute, I've got Abnormalities to work with.

Image ...how rude. :mad:

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Image Hm… Well it doesn't seem particularly dangerous. Let's have the captain give things a go. She needs to do something at some point anyways.

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Image ...Huh. I don't feel like it likes me very much.

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Image ...The hell just happened? It lost its hair?

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Image It's not the only one, boss. Maybe have someone else give it a try. From outside the department.

Image Right… Let's have Robin work it. She's in Records, she must have read something about this.

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Image ...Seems like I'm bald now, too.

Image It's not just you.

Image Huh?

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Image All of Records is bald now.

Image Even the clerks! Just a shine and then, bam, bald!

Image Let me guess: Mysterious ball, half-black, with a symbol underneath. You just worked it twice?

Image Oh, good, you know about it.

Image Yeah. It's fine as long as you send bald Agents to work with it. Just make sure not to send a third person with hair, or else things get bad.

Image ...how bad?

Image :sigh: You already sent someone, didn't you.

Image ...maybe a little?

Image Nameless one, what have you done?!

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Image GAH! What's that light?!

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Image Bald…

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Image Bald..!

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Image They're all bald!

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Image Here too..!

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Image And here..!

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Image What the hell?! Is there hair left on anyone's head?!

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Image My god… there's no one left. No one who isn't bald…

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Image I've… let everyone down.

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Image My hair is…

Image It's gone. All of our hair is gone.

Image I can't take it. I spent months figuring out just how to make it fluff the way I liked! I can't live like this!

Image You're going to have to. That suit makes you pretty much unkillable unless something just lops your head right off.

Image Lops it off… Attachment work! You're brilliant, Evil Kit!

Image ...what?

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Image Free….. dom……….

Image Oh, geez… Hey, Abel. Do you mind if we..?

Image I shall allow it on one condition: that we never speak of this again.

Image Sounds great to me. Hey, Talow?

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Image I'm already over this stupid day. Just do your thing and I'll do mine.

Image Right. Got it. See everyone in twenty minutes ago.

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Remember: Only work You're Bald… with bald agents! Not doing so can be disastrous. This PSA brought to you by Hair Club for Agents.


With thanks to mizure for some extra spritework.

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Ending A

Now that we're through with Day 47 let's cover its associated ending, called 'Ending A' by the game. I'll be going over each ending in turn as we beat the day associated with it.

Music: Tenebris Aeterna
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This version is for if we fail during the cutscene. If we had triggered a game over on the workday, this line would be different:
Game Over wrote: Image One who does not cherish sacrifice does not deserve to move forward.
This is the only difference between the two versions of this ending.

Image I cannot open the door to someone who is not yet ready. You must stop here. Please turn back.

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Image We shall meet here again, once you are finally prepared.

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With that sendoff, we find ourselves in front of the door.

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We back away from it.

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Because we're not ready to open it yet.

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The screen fades to black, and we hear the sound of footsteps and a door opening, then shutting.

Music: story 1
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And with that, we're unceremoniously dropped off back at the title screen. Endings in Lobotomy Corporation are very forgiving, in that we haven't actually lost any progress.

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See? We're right where we left off.

Anyways, that's Ending A-in which we return to the daily grind until we're ready to move on with the rest of the game. The other endings are much more 'ending' than this one, but we'll get to those in a bit.

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That seems like more of a "Try Again" than an ending. What day do you start back on? Still on 47? Or go back to last repository?

Also, wow, what a difficulty spike. I can't imagine dealing with all that with a facility full of random terrors. Yikes.

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