The Let's Play Archive

Birth ME Code

by Mix

Part 6: MEmetic

Okay, so that didn't go so well. We know what we did wrong, though- spread ourselves too thin, and not learn anything of note we can use to defend ourselves. We've got a fresh save though, and maybe if who and when we talk to people gets shaken up, things'll go better!

As every playthrough starts from the same entry point, we're gonna be skipping the stuff we've already seen and don't need to re-experience. Ancora “wakes up” in the classroom (after activating her helmet manually), and, after speaking to the others, is given the choice of who to talk to.This time, we're going to keep talking with Invidia instead...

BGM: Medius

That... that's right. It's Ancora, Ancora's my nickname.

Another made-up nickname to hide behind. It's necessary, just like how I have to make sure nobody can find out I'm behind this. However... things could get dicey later.

Following that introduction...

You know, I can't remember my actual name, either. When I was thinking about it, Ancora just... poppsed out, but it's not really a name, is it...?

Invidia crossed his arms pensively, trying to make sense of the situation a little.

Yeah... I'm in the same boat. I bet the bunny is too afraid to admit she's got amnesia too, she completely dodged it earlier.

While they spoke, Superbia had tried to open the door. Despite the lack of facial features, it was easy to see she was getting worked up again. The boy held his hands up, calmly shrugging.

No kidding, that's what ME said before.

Stupid, stupid! We can't even leave for real. If anybody told me I would be stuck in some dumb classroom with a bunch of idiots to play a stupid game...

Superbia tried to twist the handle in vain. It wasn't going to work.

Fuck! I was so sure it was just a dumb fucking joke!

All the more a reason to hurry, then. We don't have any time- three minutes already went by. We can sort all other information later. When you're done trying to open the door, join me and Ancora.

Ancora agreed with Invidia.

Yeah... I don't know what this is all about, but our first priority is to leave, so... let's start looking around.

Let's see... leave anything you find in the cubicles in the back. That way, we can easily look at everything we find.

Both of them set off to explore the room, and see what they could find. Shortly after, Superbia joined them, having given up on the door. The timer in their helmets read 27 minutes remaining.

And then from here it just segues into exploring the classroom. This scene is pretty much identical to the one we got in the first save, but because we stayed to talk to Invidia instead of going to talk to Superbia his TRUST went up instead. Obviously there's not gonna be much variation here since this is the literal starting point, but later on the choices diverge a lot more.

After solving the classroom and leaving, they meet three other participants- Ira, Tristitia, and Avaritia. This time, we're going to talk to Avaritia...

BGM: Meridianus
The situation had come to a standstill between the two teams of three. All of them looked upon each other as if judging each other's potential threat level. The entire scenario was playing out similarly to a pack of predators sniffing out who would be the first to go, regardless if their given animal was a carnivor, herbivore, or omnivore.

This really can't last any longer. I can't blame anyone here for hesitating this much, because it's hard to tell who can be trusted... if anyone can even be trusted. The thing is, not even I know which one will be most useful... But there's no point in hesitating, then. It's a gamble, and that's all there is to it- so it doesn't matter.

As Ancora contemplated her options, Invidia and Superbia moved forward. Deciding to not fall behind, the girl did much of the same. Within the next moment...

She joined Invidia who was examining Avaritia, who reciprocated the stare. The air was a little tense, as though the older woman was utterly annoyed with him.

I just didn't expect... you're not a student, are you?

The woman stayed silent for a while, looking slightly ticked off. Ancora watched the exchange for a moment, comparing it to the others meeting Superbia not too far away- the rabbit was getting absurdly angry.

That's a contrast if I've ever seen one.

How astute- yes, I'm not a student. I'm a teacher in this school. Do I have to be examined by everyone here right now...? It's slightly annoying.

I'm assuming all the others already noted the fact it's clearly an older woman in the group, and that's what's ticking her off.

Invidia backed off, raising both of his hands defensively.

...I'm Avaritia, and obviously, it's not my real name. Do you know what it means? It's Latin for greed. I can't say I'm happy with it.

Good to meet you, at any rate. I promise I won't treat you any differently than anyone else.

Good to meet me...? In here? Don't think so, no.

Well, you're a teacher, a figure of authority, so that's reassuring...

Invidia looked like he'd received a gut punch from mere words alone. Dealing with this woman clearly wasn't going to be easy... Ancora couldn't see her face, but she definitely looked permanently annoyed.

Invidia walks away here without another word.

I'm Ancora. I was with Invidia and Superbia earlier.

Yeah, I could see that. Just, ugh...

She reached behind herself to mess with her hair a little, making it look even messier than before.

Um... thanks for your time.

I guess it wouldn't be a madhouse of criminals if someone wasn't extremely impolite.

From here, the six group up again and discuss their predicament, as well as wondering on the status of the last three participants- just for Gula and Luxuria to exit, alone. After another video message from ME, the two explain the third person with them died before they could get her name. The group begins introductions once more, and while Ancora thinks they should handle the puzzle first, she ultimately decides to talk to one of the new arrivals. This time, we're going to go talk to Luxuria and introduce ourselves.

Following that, the introductions began anew. This time, it included the pair who had just come out. Ancora didn't feel like talking to either of them, since her mind was entirely on the puzzle they had to solve... or that she had to solve, really.

It's probably on a few of their minds, too. This puzzle is fairly important to get past, like my avatar said, but... It can wait a little bit.

The blond girl hesitated for a few seconds, but she ultimately decided to not bother with the puzzle for now. Meeting with the two newcomers would allow her to learn important information about them. Having made up her mind...

Tristitia was already in the process of talking to Luxuria when Ancora waved, prompting her to join them instead.

And I'm Luxuria... or Lux. It's cuter, don't you think? Cute things are nice, I think. This helmet I have is really not cute, though...

I bet.

My name is Ancora, and it's good to meet you, Luxuria. At least... as good as things are here...

The smaller girl nodded, excited to meet Ancora.

She most likely smiled under her helmet there. If people could be likened to desserts, she'd sound like she's a cupcake.

Yeah, likewise too! It's just too bad for the third girl, though- she... she didn't make it out...

It's alright. There was nothing you could do, right?

Yeah... it was just a mistake in the end...

Invidia happened to come by at that moment.

Hey, I'm Invidia.

Hahaha, maybe so! You remind me of one of my six sisters.

Six sisters? That's a lot of siblings.

Yeah, I'm seventh in line. What are the chances of that happening, huh? I'm the youngest of the bunch, and days are pretty hellish.

Luxuria just kinda peaces out here without a word.

Oh, really? I guess that's true if your siblings are all the opposite gender... or if you have many of them.

It took them a few moments to realize Luxuria had slipped away during their little talk about siblings. She had joined others to introduce herself to them, too.

Oops, she's gone. Anyway, let's meet back up with the others.

Okay, sure.

He walked back to the group, leaving Ancora alone with her thoughts.

Afterwards, she solves the puzzle attached to the hallway exit, which allows the group to enter the Crossroads. In the process, Superbia hits her head and falls over, and we're given the option of whether to check on her or talk to someone standing nearby. This time, we're gonna talk to Invidia again, see how he's feeling :v:

A loud clank echoed from behind. Superbia fell down onto her ass, screaming some profanities.

Are you okay?

Interesting that he'd be the one to ask, given how Superbia treated him just before. Either way, there can't be any harm checking up on them... maybe?

Looking around, Ancora noticed Luxuria wasn't staring at the happenings, but at her instead. Not too far off, Invidia had his arms crossed, deep in thought. Presented with those options...

He stopped her with a hand. Before she could even say a word, he spoke to her.

Everyone's watching, but almost nobody is doing anything. I don't feel like anyone here can be trusted.

He leaned against a nearby wall, shrugging while explaining his reasoning.

Then, there's me. You can choose to trust me or not, but I trust you.

Which means he's perfect to use for now.

Trist is the horse guy. I dunno, he feels a little sketchy; he's stable, and he doesn't come off too strong. He's probably one of the more reliable ones of the group. In here, this means he's the one you have to look out for the most.

Ira... Honestly, he comes across as a real dimwit. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up being someone else's pawn. He's not too loud, though. At least, if he's dumb, he's not pushing himself on others.

Finally, about Ula... I feel like she should be feeling a lot more shame than she does. She has a very eccentric look too; is it on purpose? I don't know... I'm having issues reading her, too.

I see... uh, thanks for the monologue, but the others are on the move already, so we'd better hurry.

Ancora couldn't even place a word the whole time. Giving up on having a discussion while the others were on the move again, the two of them went to catch up with them.

From here, ME returns with another message explaining that the group will need nine keycards to be able to initiate the first round of voting- and that if they don't, they all will die once the hour is up. The group splits up to look for a few remaining keycards, giving Ancora the chance to find a quiet corner and hack into someone's helmet. She can only hack helmets whose frequencies match her own (as they change frequencies semi-regularly); this time, we're going to be hacking Avaritia.

At the moment, matching frequencies include... Ira, Avaritia, and Luxuria's helmets. For now, I'll be hacking...

BGM: Mens Metis

:v: Since we're hacking a different person's frequency, we have a different puzzle to solve this time. Surprise, its not just letters and words! The solution for this puzzle is...

This puzzle has two steps- you first need to figure out how to sort the numbers into different groups (they share the second number), and then from there figure out how to sort the numbers within that group (numerically). Thus, the solution.

BGM: Medius

Avaritia and Tristitia were together, as expected. They were talking about the ME-cards their group had found. Tristitia got one of them; by deductive process, Ira had the other.

Yeah, I still got it. Wouldn't let go of it in a million years now that I know what it's used for.

Hmph... I hope so, otherwise we won't be able to vote. Maybe the other teams will have found extras, too.

I don't think we should count on the other groups. I'm not saying we can't trust them, but... I don't think they'll be too much use.

The two of them were near the middle of the area, next to a giant black cylinder from floor to ceiling. Tristitia and Avaritia examined the material closely, with the boy also pushing against it with his hands.

Whatever it is we have to do will be in there, I bet. Look around this wall; it's completely flat and entirely unremarkable, but there are consoles on the sides. Seems you can fit cards in there.

I guess this is where we'll put those keycards, then. I think the bomb is in here, but these nine slots are just to free it.

That's a very precise guess- you're sure you're not involved with any of this?

Avaritia averted her gaze, turning her head to the side as if she didn't want to answer this.

No, don't be stupid now. If I organized something like this, I wouldn't put myself in danger.

Tristitia smoothly deflected the topic to another one.

I guess.

I think we were in Wing A before. This is probably the school we all go to. Since you're so knowledgeable about it, you're most definitely a teacher here too.

Okay, okay, any other topic?

She still wasn't happy with the current one. Ever since her introduction, it was clear she didn't like being reminded of her more advanced age.

Tristitia is the one with the online list, so he most likely knows a lot about My Emptiness. Maybe he's the one I have to look for- the one that needs to be killed.

Did you use your position as teacher as leverage?

Are you asking because you want to know my crime?

The horse-themed guy brushed the back of his head with his hand, not knowing how to tackle the question.

You're sharp... or maybe it wasn't that thickly veiled anyway. But I had two reasons for that, so listen to me before thinking badly of me.

It means anchor, or hope I guess in a more figurative sense.

Hope, huh?

Yeah, that's exactly it. And the other reason is...

I honestly don't care. Could you turn around for a moment?

Tristitia stared at her in surprise due to the sharp change in topic.

You're not going to stab me in the back, are you?

No, I just want to see something I figured out earlier.

Interesting. I knew I noticed something when walking with the others before. I don't think anybody else pointed it out or noticed it yet.

What is it?

On the back of our helmets is a symbol; it's a weird S. I'm sure you've seen it before, haven't you? The one on the cards.

BGM: Memini Meminisse
Actually... it's not only in this school. It's in every school. For some reason, all over the world, this symbol started being drawn by kids that had nothing to do with each other.

What does it mean, you think?

Normally, she's more annoyed than this. Does she find this topic interesting?

So it's completely unexplained. I've never really paid any mind to it. I thought it was just a graffiti people were drawing everywhere.

There's gotta be a reason. Anyway, let's keep searching. We can talk about it with the others later... since it's clearly related to our helmets.

The two of them left the middle cylinder. Instead, Avaritia looked at the debris scattered around the middle area of the Crossroads.

A lot of destruction here, isn't there?

Do you know what happened here?

Yeah. Don't you?

A bomb went off and destroyed all of Wing B with the cafeteria not long ago. A second one collapsed Wing C- reminder, that's the wing with the gymnasium. So the school closed for a while, and that's how there's no one around here now... Still, whoever kidnapped us really went in hard; they repaired so many walls, and put in all these plates.

I don't think anyone ever had classes in Wing D. What even was there, anyway?

Honestly, I don't even know. I've never gone there. Ugh. This is starting to grate me now; someone blew up the school, and now we're stuck here, can we move on?

BGM: Medius
Their assessment is more or less correct. The only wing still standing is Wing A... and I guess the Crossroads is still standing, too.

Avaritia reached into a small hole in the debris to drag out a ME-card. She said something, but the signal grew weaker right at that moment. All of a sudden, frequencies switched, interrupting the feed which cut and restored to Ancora's helmet.