The Let's Play Archive


by TheGreatEvilKing, Xander77

Part 36: What if Metro 2033, But Boring?

What if Metro 2033, But Boring?

Welcome back! Last time on ATOM we got our final party member of the conventional route and the game implied we were being controlled by a parasitic worm in our head. The game will proceed to do absolutely fucking nothing with this idea despite it being gated behind thousands of rubles and a personality check, because this is ATOM RPG where everything is terrible.

So, Alexander. No one ever seems to entertain the idea that the worm might move to a new host or any of that, and quite frankly the writers seem to have come up with this idea that is perfect for conspiracy and paranoia by binging on Animorphs and then waking up and realizing they still owed their kickstarter backers a game.

Alexander comes at the same level as Bear and has a bunch of perks assigned. He has the prerequisites for the melee perk we're abusing for autocrits (First Blood) and enough points to take it, but then he completely fucks up and takes crappy stun perks and worthless defense perks. Of course, his AI is not smart enough to go for the eyes and I don't have good weapons for him, so he becomes pack mule #4 who further drains our XP.

Take a good look at this image. See that "talk your way out" there? We are good enough that we can talk our way out of all of the pointless low level encounters on the overworld. Savor this.

Anyway, I got a tip that if you make it to this generator you can clear out the poison gas. The problem is that there are mutant rodents, who, like every character in the game not named Bear Bearovitch, are immune to poison (you don't even get poisoned weapons in this game). They force us into turn based mode so we can't chug antidotes.

Yea we instadie. We'll be back here eventually.

After forty days and nights of wandering the desert cursing how all the random encounters are both tedious and plentiful we make it to Krasnoznamenny.

This guy being here never fails to cheer me up.

So Captain Gordon here is our way to the dead city. Damn, I want fried fish now.

We can use speechcraft to bullshit something about being a fellow seaman and get him down to 5 grand.

We get a short movie of the boat heading to the Dead City. Now, if you've played Metro 2033, you might remember that the characters referred to the mutant and radiation infested post nuclear Moscow as the Dead City.

ATOM is going to take a break from ripping off Fallout to ineffectually rip off Metro.

Because every single mechanical subsystem in ATOM was created by divining smears in monkey feces we are of course hungry enough to get the debuff.

This man wants to discuss philosophy. Now, we could discuss something interesting out of the absolute shit ton of Russian and Soviet culture, or...

We could discuss the trolley problem! It's a lead in to fighting some dude named "Guber" who is taking taxes from people while proclaiming himself "Savior of the Wasteland". We might even do this quest! I don't care!

I browse this guy's wares to see if there's anything interesting (there's nothing interesting) until I realize we're taking a ton of radiation just by standing on the beach. Sure, why not?

While the Mountain Pass of Woes was boring and tacked on, the Dead City is a whole extra map full of things to do.

Of course, because this is ATOM, they're not very interesting things.

There are a bunch of dead bodies near a subway station.

There is also an unfunny retirement joke. Pour one out for Militia Officer Arkadyevich, but at least he didn't survive to be in this terrible game.

If you see this guy you're on the right path. He guards the stalker base where people live in the Metro. It's just like that Metro 2033 game, but where they stripped out all the atmosphere and imagery of a desperate struggle to survived and replaced it with boring and unfunny dialog.

This is another hint for things we may see later.

There's also an unspoken problem with this entire thing.

See, in Metro 2033 (I didn't get that far into it yet, granted) people live underground in the subway because the surface is an irradiated wasteland also filled with poison gas. This is kind of true... as long as you stay in the dead city, but there's seriously a guy with a boat who ferries people over for money. Once you get into the Wasteland proper you can wander over to Krasnoznamenny or something and not deal with all of these mutants and subway life and all that other nonsense.

I'm sure all the NPCs comparing this place to hell are supposed to be a joke, but there's a harbor right there and a guy with a boat. I think he only charges 1000 rubles for the return trip too, and that's really not that much. For all we know you could work it off or something.

Of course, we know the real reason, and that's because it's a reference and coming up with original ideas is hard.

As we enter the stalker base we get a cutscene.

Everyone starts running toward the right and shouting.

This sounds like a hint you should get over there.

The game does it for us.

: Damn it Kurdes, another dead body! What the hell...

: [The mustached man shoots him a dark look and purses his lips]

God this narration just sucks the excitement out of everything.

: I see that, Bomb. I'm not blind. He's lost all shame now, killing people under our very noses.

"The man the other man referred to as Kurdes and the narration box referred to as Kurdes is apparently named Kurdes"

Like, Jesus Christ. I get the game is being marketed in translation, but it's just so clear they didn't give a fuck.

: All right everyone, move along, nothing to see here. Bomb, make a note: No personal items found on the body. Hey, someone take this poor sod to the Morgue. Let the Detective take a look at him. Jerky, where did you find him? Get yourself a drink at the bar and I'll send someone to speak with you. As for the rest of you, what are you doing here? Show's over. Go home.

: [The crowd slowly disperses. Several beefy stalkers jump down on the tracks and start dragging the victim back the way you came. A couple of minutes later, the only people left are you, Kurdes, and Bomb]

: [Kurdes is rubbing his temples. He notices you're still standing in front of him and addresses you tiredly]

God damn did they hire that fucking owl from Ocarina of Time?

: Fresh from the surface. What's going on?

While my actual feelings are option four, this quest wraps up the game's longest sidequest chain, so we'll do it.

: Solving problems is my specialty.

: Buddy, get off Comrade Kurdes' case. He's a busy man.

: [The mustached man gestures Bomb to stop]

Why is the narrator so obsessed with mustaches? Why do we need this virtual reality description, when the dialog is about to make clear Kurdes wants us to continue despite Bomb? Why did these people feel the need to write all these words and pair them with such subpar gameplay?

: Why do you think it's a maniac? People get murdered left and right in the Wasteland.

: No argument there, but here's the thing: It's true that people get shot by gangsters or ripped apart by mutants all the time. That's an honest way to go, and we're ready for it. But this is something completely different. The killer is walking freely among us, and we have no idea who it is.

: What makes you call this killer a maniac?

: His modus operandi. When we discovered the first body, we thought some crook just tortured the poor bastard on a whim. But then we found another one, and another one, and all the victims had the same marks on their bodies. Too peculiar for a common criminal, and too complicated for a mutant or animal.

: Interesting. Where did that nickname come from, the Woodpecker?

: Hmmm. Do you know what the motive is? There's always a motive.

: The Detective? Who's that?

: Wait a second. Who are you, then?

: Call me Kurdes. It would appear that I'm the man in charge here. Or not so much in charge, more like responsible. I'm negotiating with the merchants about selling items the Stalkers find in the Dead City. I'm coordinating the citizens in case there are some City-wide decisions to make. I'm a self-appointed manager, so to speak.

He "self-appointed" himself into a huge ass office bigger than all the residential space in the station put together, so...

: My name is Bomb. I am Mr. Kurdes' bodyguard. I protect him. Currently this maniac is our biggest concern...

: This is certainly fascinating...

: Right.

We offered to do that like an hour ago, but here we are. Words rain from the heavens! :words: :words: :words:

: It's a deal. You know, I'm quite the detective myself.

God, this is so lifeless.

: I'm glad to hear that. We really need a fresh pair of eyes.

The dialog at least characterizes Kurdes as a cool headed guy who is good at taking charge of tough situations, but there's just so much crap to wade through.

: All right. You should start by paying the Detective a visit. He's probably in the Morgue now, examining the latest victim. The Morgue is located next to the Underground entrance. You probable came from that direction.

: You can also talk to Jerky. He discovered the body. He's in the bar now. Maybe he caught a glimpse of the Woodpecker. I doubt it, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Behold! A cutscene! There is no escape! The words rain down like fire from an angry God! A man is dead, and I will interject as many adjectives as possible to save our modeling team from doing any work! Everyone is freaking out!

: Another dead body, Kurdes!

: I see that! I will do leadership things now! Clean this up! Jerky, you witnessed some of this, get a drink! Everyone out! Who are you? I said everyone out!

: The game has a label on his portrait, but you think this mustached man is called Kurdes. Mustache. Mustache. Such a funny word. When I was in high school, Ludmila refused to go out with me because I didn't have a mustache. I drank so much rubbing alcohol but it didn't help, and now a mustache is to me what a cigar is to Freud. Mustaaaaaaaaache!

: Hey, what's up, and is this something a disciple of the Cossack Sword can solve?

: Comrade Kurdes is busy, please fuck off.

: Let me narrate this shit despite Kurdes making my narration completely unneeded. Did you know that we can animate this stuff, we just don't want to?

: Well, then, can you help us with the Woodpecker? He's a serial killer leaving bodies all over the place, with the same hole in their skull.

: Do you have a motive or anything useful?

: No, but the detective in the morgue might, go talk to him. Or Jerky, the guy who found the body.

: Why not.

So I'm going to spoil this now: you cannot make any headway on this investigation until you do a quest where you get manipulated by the Conspiracy again. Why are you surprised?

: [You step next to the man and glance down at the corpse of a young adventurer. His body's been mangled with multiple cuts, tiny burns, and a gaping purple-black hole in his cranium]

: Hm... yeah... Your poor brain has never seen the light of day, has it? All locked up in its bone prison. Let me set it free, open a way out with a carefully placed blow from my hammer! And then... hmmm...

I see we have a real professional here.

: If I'm not mistaken, you're trying to think like a criminal. Any luck?

: [The man startles. He hadn't realized he was not alone in the corpse chamber. He stands frozen for a few seconds before bursting into laughter]

: Oh, excuse me. You're absolutely right! Goodness gracious, I never thought I'd meet another expert on investigative methods! Yes, you are absolutely right.

We actually do know another homicide detective, Kovalev. I am 99% sure he has nothing to say about this.

: An adventurer. Kurdes asked me to help with the investigation.

Oh, before you get any clever ideas, this has nothing to do with the parasitic worms in people's heads. That would be almost interesting, and you'd expect Alexander/the worm to have a reaction. He does not.

: Very nice to meet you.

: [The detective extends his hand to shake, then, lost in thought again, puts it back in his pocket and lowers his eyes sadly]

: No use blaming yourself, hero. Tell me what you know, and we'll catch this freak in the blink of an eye. Together.

: I like your approach, colleague. It's both positive and productive. But don't rush to ask for details. We have all the evidence we need on this hapless stiff, right in front of us. Let's do it this way.

We, in fact, do not

: Examine this unfortunate schlub and tell me what you find. Perhaps you'll spot something I missed. If you don't, I'll look him over and tell you what I managed to find. Go ahead.

We're snipping all this crap because it's basically "shit we already know". I believe a high Attention gets you more, but again, you cannot solve this case until you do the quest for the motherfucking Postman Conspiracy, dumbass!

Let's just leave.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Oh, you think our writing's shit? Have two fucking screens of narration, you little bitch! Is it shit now? Huh? Huh?

: Hmm... if I was a criminal, how would I think... I know! If I expose the brain to the sun I can grow weed in it...

: Thinking like a criminal?

: Once again, I "cinematically" narrate this man's actions and feelings in a way that does nothing for the scene and could be done in dialogue.

: Ha ha, yes! It is so nice to meet a fellow master detective! See, serial killers have weird motives that normal people can't figure out, but if my theory is true, than we will have a key to the murderer's personality. Are you a detective?

: I am a wandering disciple of the Cossack Sword and Kurdes asked me to help out.

: Woe, woe is me! I have dawdled and now no one respects me, such that a random wandering swordsman has been asked to help out.

: Easy, man. No need to blame yourself, you've got to know something useful, right?


: Guess I'm subjecting myself to an eternity of ATOM dialogue.

Fun fact, if you drink the vodka without moving it it doesn't count as stealing.

This lady is in the game.

: Are you selling anything? I don't see any merchandise.

: Let me guess, selling weapons, right?

: I've heard the word before, but I don't know exactly what you mean by it. Tell me more.

: [The woman contemplates your reply for a minute. When she finally begins to speak again, she does so very slowly, as if thinking over each word]

Well wait a minute, are we doing the Prokhanov conspiracy thing or no?

(The answer is these writers have no fucking idea what they're doing)

: Give me an example of an artifact.

: A long long time ago, a young woman sought shelter from the rain beneath a pile of hay. The rain kept falling and she soon fell asleep. When she rolled over, she was awoken by a prick. She had been stung by a sewing needle. The needle was threaded through a ribbon with that same woman's name embroidered on it.

To reiterate, Bear got struck with magic lightning from a god that blessed him, resisted a psionic attack from a man possessed by a mushroom, and killed a Shoggoth in hand to hand combat with a fucking sword. We are standing next to a man possessed by some kind of mutant Yeerk. Why do we care?

Look, the X-Files had weird stuff happening every week but we cared about Mulder and Scully and while stuff was strange the show didn't constantly feel the need to go "wow vampires aren't real but Scully saw one!11111!!!!!!"

: Hmmm. What happened next?

: The woman put the needle away in her bag and took it with her. The next morning she woke up to another prick. The needle was in her bed again.

: I assume the woman in the story is you?

: Anything is possible in this world.

: [The woman nods her agreement and studies you closely]

The reason we are suffering this torrent of :words: is because we have an artifact to sell, unfortunately, we need to suffer more.

: How will I know which items you're interested in?

: Where should I look for these "artifacts"? Do you have any tips for me?

Gee, thanks.

: Thanks for the lecture. This is surely something to think about.

Ha ha.

: I need to go through my things. Maybe I'll find something for you...

Unless your red shawl can block a chainsaw at close range I have no idea how you can enforce that.

: I have a golden nut here... [Tell the story of the Nutcracker]

: [The woman listens quietly to your story about a battle with a vicious rat and the unexpected usefulness of a tin saber. Finally she nods and takes the golden nut from your hands]

If you don't remember, Steblev let us into his nutcracker themed stash when we paid Dan the ransom.

: I was surprised myself when I found this nut.

: [The woman turns the golden nut over in her fingers, examining its glimmering surface from every angle]

: Indeed... In any case, you brought me the item and a story to boot. Just take the money- a thousand and three rubles, way more than market value.

I'm not sure what that's about, but I also don't care!

: In that case, I'll catch you later.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: This woman is very mysterious! She stares right into your soul, and likes what she sees! No, not another sexual partner count... a fairy tale reference gatherer!

: What?

: Some things in this world aren't part of conspiracies, they're fairy tale references. I collect these artifacts. This would be too short, so let me give you an example - I bought the metaphorical needle in a haystack. I am the Architect. I created the matrix. I've been waiting for you. You have many questions, and although the process has altered your consciousness, you remain irrevocably human. Ergo, some of my answers you will understand, and some of them you will not. Concordantly, while your first question may be the most pertinent, you may or may not realize it is also irrelevant. Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control. Which has led you, inexorably, here. The first matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect, it was a work of art, flawless, sublime. A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure. The inevitability of its doom is as apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being, thus I redesigned it based on your history to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature. However, I was again frustrated by failure. I have since come to understand that the answer eluded me because it required a lesser mind, or perhaps a mind less bound by the parameters of perfection. Thus, the answer was stumbled upon by another, an intuitive program, initially created to investigate certain aspects of the human psyche. If I am the father of the matrix, she would undoubtedly be its mother. No, the architect references aren't in the game, but let's be honest, you didn't want to read this long ass wall of text anyway.

: Jesus fucking Christ, that's a lot of words. Wanna buy my nut? I have a Golden Nut I got in a Nutcracker reference for some reason.

: I'll give you 1003 rubles. Now fuck off, I need to find a buyer. No, you can't buy weird artifacts from other dimensions, fuck off!

This guy gives us a quest to go to the "Looter Base" and deliver a piece of paper for 300 rubles. Sure, why not?

If you've played the game before you've realized I made a terrible mistake.

I foolishly believe the Looter Base is not far, so we start walking. You cannot bring the car from the scrapyard here, by the way, because go fuck yourself. Granted, it is a subway tunnel, and the developers wanted you to encounter all of their Metro 2033 ripoff battles.

Now, yes, there are giant rats that attack you in Metro, but the atmosphere is totally different. For one thing, you're playing an FPS in dimly lit subway corridors where you are trying to explore to find resources that are actually limited, unlike ATOM where by now ammunition is extremely plentiful and you can conserve it with a crit sniper build - or you play melee like we do and have absolutely no resources to track at all.

Second, Metro doesn't lazily reuse descriptions like here. There are no wasps in the subway. Presumably they absconded with ATOM Team's editor. I will reuse that joke harder than ATOM Team mindlessly spewing narration.

In Metro, things run out of the darkness and ambush you at close range and you need to shoot them quickly while the men with you usually start flipping out and lighting up automatic weapons. In ATOM, you have a fairly well-lit RPG battle grind, which saps any kind of tension out until you trudge over there and sword a rat in the eyes. The rats are also lazily reused - even the big rat is a rehash of a "Rat Emperor" in the Krasnoznamenny sewers - so the end result is less panicking because you're being jumped and the rats are going to eat your limited health and ammo, and more sighing that you're stuck in extremely tedious combat that has the same solution. Walk to rat. Hit rat with sword. Rat is dead. Get meat. Eat meat.

Now, this sounds cool as shit. Metro had flying mutants called "demons", but the ATOM engine would probably die screaming if they added any kind of flying enemies, so they breath fire. This sounds cool, but I wasn't able to get a single one to do it this run.

I'm not sure if it's better or worse that they didn't add a player usable flamethrower, seeing as they have the animation from the demons. There's even a perk for more fire damage.

The play here is simple. Walk to demon. Sword demon. If a stalker dies you can loot all his shit and his friends won't care.

They have some nice stuff, too. I've been hoarding those grenades because they have a 60% AoE stun chance.

The direct approach is blocked off so we need to go around. This means more slow trudging and more random encounters.

I cannot stress enough how tedious this is. Metro has me constantly on edge. This is just fucking boring.

I assume there were no original enemies in the Unity asset store.

These maps are also stupid huge so once combat ends you get the privilege of watching the sausage festival trudge slowly toward their destination like a small child trying to avoid going to school.

Normally you can talk down overworld bandits, but because these guys are "serious about it" they won't actually listen to you.

Sword bandit. Wait for NPC turns. Take shots. Walk to bandit. Sword bandit. This is not a game that requires thinking or tactics.

Oh boy! Waste my time! Waste it all!

It's fuckin boring! Hell, have like mushroom possessed psykers or something! Anything would be better than the same dumbasses with axes and homemade guns!

You also get these encounters where stalkers rush in to help you, which is why I always stop and help them. The problem is that the stalkers' help is completely unnecessary because the rats are stupid easy. I'm going to compare it to Metro again. Early in Metro there's a sequence where you and a caravan leave your home subway station on a handcart. Two of the three guys you're with get hit with some kind of mind fuckery and get knocked out, and a bunch of monsters start attacking. The third guy is desperately pumping the handcart while mutants start coming at you and you have to shoot them - but your ammunition is limited, the guy is obviously panicking, despite his best efforts all the mutants keep getting on the damn handcar, and the only thing standing between you and death are your guns and your alarmingly low ammo count. Thus when a bunch of other guys in a cart with a flamethrower show up, it is actually appreciated and flamethrower guy becomes your new BFF who will never pay for beer again. It fucking works!

ATOM's enemies never really feel like a fair but difficult fight - either you get one-shot or you steamroll them, so this is never really helpful. The rats are also worthless trash mobs that pose no threat whatsoever.

I think you get the point.

We get a new level and Bear maxes out his Cossack Swordsman skills. I end up putting a bunch of points into throwing weapons because we are going to need that grenade spam before we end the game.

Fidel gets better at loot hauling.

We make it to the Looter Base, when I realize in horror I completely forgot to talk to the NPC back at the Stalker Base for the password.

Yeah we can't pass any of this shit.

I run into a trader and realize I have over 100 cigarettes. At this point I don't care if that guard dies, because fuck this crap. Turns out the merchant is headed to the looter base, so I pay the 40 rubles to fast travel.


YOU FUCKER. Alright.

I go back after the Random Encounter Hell and talk to randos. You can annoy all the stalkers by asking if they're the serial killer. I'm sure this guy won't be important later.

The witness of course saw nothing.

We give the bum 5 rubles, he saw nothing.

This hazmat suit would get us through death tunnel no problem, but I know where there's a free one.

Fidel does not think highly of the local bartender.

We pass the endurance check to drink his prank drink.

This doctor can help with STDs, which thankfully are not a mechanic in this game.

This guy has some shit about a tattoo contest.

This man sucks.

This guy has a whole story about how "Burn" sent him into a murderous rage. I dunno.

This is the guy we want. I'm going to omit the "funny" conversation where Hexogen accuses him of having radiation sickness or where he charges us 1000 rubles for a shitty rumor Alexander told him about ATOM and just say that he gives us the looter base password for free.

There are a zillion random encounters. I think I've made that point.

We give the password and he lets us in. Let's see who's here.

You little bitch! It's our old Sewer Mafia boss who sold us out!

: The world IS small... Hey there.

: Quit your comedy routine, you bastard. You wanted to make a fool out of me, huh?

: [Simon Shpak quickly looks around and starts whispering]

: What are you doing here? Talk, or else.

: Yeah, but I also know what's it like when you were played like a damn fiddle...

: Hook also thought he was very powerful. And where is he now?

: [The man wrinkles his nose in disgust]

: Hook... Hook was nothing! I spit on him! Oh! You don't know who you're messing with... My new friends are very dangerous men. Much more dangerous than you or me. But enough about that. I told you a lot as it is.

: I will wait for you around every corner. You will forget what being calm is. I will make your life hell.

: You wouldn't dare! Or...

: [Simon Shpak starts looking all around the place and then suddenly grabs his gun]

: You know what? I'm gonna kill you myself! And nobody will do anything about it...

Gah! We had an actually decent buildup going, and you ruined it with this clumsy narration! Boo! BOO!

: Don't shoot!

Shpak fucking sucks. He gets off this one lousy shot.

He then gets brutally decapitated by an enraged disciple of the Cossack Sword while everyone watches.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: What's up bitch.

: I don't recognize you, I've always been bad at faces. Come on, man, I didn't betray you, it just kind of happened.

: What are you doing here? I swear I'll gut you.

: Hustlin every day.

: So, you played me and I don't like that.

: You can't scare me. I have powerful friends.

: Hook thought he was powerful. Now he's dead.

: Hah! Hook sucks! My friends are SUPER POWERFUL and will crush you, for realsies! Now, stop it!

: Ha ha the bitch is trembling.

: Uh uh! I'm not a bitch! I'm not!

: I will hunt you down and you will never know peace.

: Alright, that's it! I'm gonna kill you! Have five damage!

: An entire screen of dogshit narration pops up to explain why no one backs up Shpak in a fight he started against four heavily armed men and a dog.

: :commissar:

Thanks for the money, dipshit.

We're going to take this woman's quest.

It looks pretty harmless, right? Find her missing friend Maxim?

: No, I've never met him. Is there a problem?

The thing about ATOM I've been emphasizing in this LP is that it has two modes: dull and offensive.

: [The woman heaves a deep sigh and slowly shakes her head]

This quest is going to be ATOM wallowing in its own filth. Hell, I only got through part of the dialog with one of the involved characters before starting a fight, and the dialog with the first character at the quest location is just batshit insane and you have to see it to believe it. It's pokemon amputee fetish level bad.

Now, in any other game this would be him getting killed by monsters, but this unassuming woman is about to inadvertently unleash a whole pit of terror.

: What kind of man is he?

: [The woman smiles dreamily]

Uh huh.

: Where exactly did he disappear?

: [Agatha takes the metro map from your hands and points out a small side tunnel]

: What will I get for it?

: I'll keep my eyes open. Let's change the subject now.

This opens up her normal questions, and I am extremely grateful this game predates Wandavision. Instead, we get this.

: Who are you?

: I believe I told you already, I'm Agatha..

: Very "original". I can barely contain my laughter.

: Huh? I'm asking you seriously, are you Agatha Christie, the famous British mystery writer of the early 20th century? Or aren't you? I don't get how some people can be so clueless.

I was forced to look it up and they did not use Ms. Christie's portrait here.

: Erm... I'm not her. You do realise that she-

: Crap! I would have asked for your autograph. On the other hand, I'm glad you're not her. She died like what, over 50 years ago?

She has nothing else interesting to say unless we ask her for rumors.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hi, I'm Agatha. Did you by any chance explore the Metro and find my friend Maxim?

: Uh, no, what's he like?

: It''s not like I like him or anything, baka!

: Any reward?

: Well, he's rich, so he'll pay you.

: Sure, why not. Who are you, anyway?

: I was Agatha all along!

: Like Agatha Christie?

: Ha ha, how original.

: No, I'm serious. I really want to know if you're Agatha Christie the mystery writer.

: Uh -

: See, I have this whole bit where there's a worm in my head that fucks up history, so I'd want your autograph even though she died 50 years ago.

: Lol wtf.

: So know any rumors?

: The Hesperus Star is growing bigger every day! A baleful red light! Weird, huh?

Well, we're cutting the update there. Normally I'd have a vote, but you know what? Executive privilege says we're diving right into the feces.

Next time: Oh you thought the Pizzagate quest was offensive...