Part 17: The TruthUpdate 16 - The Truth
So we've taken some damage from the last couple of fights. This is even more a problem than it first seems, since resting normally only restores the health of non-vampire party members, and that doesn't help Stark. The solution is to head back to Renfield's place, where we have a warm snug coffin for Stark to sleep in.
Because of that, everyone will be healed by resting.
It is safe for you to rest here. Everyone in the party will be healed.
Resting takes 4 hours this time. I'm not sure what constitutes how much time it takes.
But hey, it worked like a charm. Strangely, Stark's strength is at 90. We started the game with his strength at 82. Beats me how or when it was raised, but I'm not complaining. I did not off-screen getting any robot limbs.
Well, let's go mooch off of our favorite neighbor's internet access.
And we'll see what this whole reward is about.
One screen down on the general plane...
This must be the contact that Braque said would meet is in cyberspace. That happened just a little bit ago.
How did you find me? How do you know me?
You're in cyberspace, Stark, therefore vulnerable to people like me. Not to worry. I'm on your side, this time. Apparently Mr. Picaro is impressed with you. I'm to give you this. A probability randomizer program, effective against some variations of corporate ICE. You might have heard it called a safecracker. Lot of riders would trade an organ for something like this. Wonder what you did for Picaro. I'll find out.
Give Object posted:
The Safecracker is placed in your decking unit's memory.
I wonder what the description of that "Omicron Raider" with the dragon soul box will be...
This is just laughable. How do you fuck up this much? BloodNet's sister-game is Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller, and the designers apparently loved BloodNet so much that they dropped two references to it in Hell. The first is that BloodNet happens to be a password to some computer puzzle. The second that that some character in Hell is named Adam Schonbrun. Schonbrun is one of the cybergenetic arms you can get in BloodNet.
Whatever. We're going to go rob a cyberbank.
For some reason we still have all of the pieces of Charley Flyer's mind in our decking inventory, even though they should have been reformed or something.
Now we get to choose which amount we want to steal. I don't know why you'd ever try anything other than 100,000. The risk of getting caught increases the higher you go, and it increases seemingly exponentially after every withdrawal. The actual formula is a mystery.
After taking 100,000 once, you'll get caught no matter how little you try to take the second time. For the sake of being informative, let's pretend that we keep trying to take 100,000 virtual dollars. (We have to use the safecracker program every time.)
TransTechnicals Bank of New York posted:
Account Balance: 315105 Virtual Dollars.
We can never get back into the well if we leave, but we are not immediately kicked out. We can keep trying to steal money with the safecracker program, but that just results in them taking the amount of money from our pre-existing funds that we try to steal. You can become broke that way.
But, like I said, that was just for the sake of being informative. Let's pretend like we never tried to withdraw a second time, and that leaves us with 415105 useless virtual dollars.
I mentioned earlier that we've had access to Van Helsing's Penthouse the entire game, but the problem is that there's actually a pretty difficult fight waiting for us in there. We're now going to attempt the fight, since the penthouse holds a quest item we will need inside of Grant's Tomb. Fingers crossed.
We also deal with another ambush along they way. The short story is that we win. On to the penthouse.
This doesn't look good.
Why doesn't the cat go play in traffic?
Shhh. Don't get too excited, my dear. Your hot blood will flow too quickly, and I don't want to lose a tasty drop.
Melissa has no dialogue here.
There are two vampires to fight, a long with two humans. The vampires are what make this fight difficult. Stark and Melissa have blessed soul blades equipped, while the others use guns of some sort.
I've equipped a cross in Stark's right hand, which helps defend against vampire bites.
This fight is bullshit. I don't understand why, but Melissa is just standing there, not doing anything, when she should be attacking the vampires with her equipped soul blade.
Finally, she acts. Since vampires cannot be killed by anything except being stabbed in the heart, I've had our other 3 party members use their fists from now on, in order to preserve ammunition. I should have just told them to retreat.
We get them both eventually. I set it to quick combat because I was tired of reading all these messages. Our rewards from the fight are worthless (two shitty guns and ammunition for them).
We'll have to find the quest item somewhere else in the penthouse.
Van Helsing's penthouse apartment is furnished in the fashions of the day and contains obscenely expensive works of art. One of the best views in the city can be seen from this sitting room.
A search reveals nothing in this room, so let's head into the next.
This is where Abraham took Stark after he turned him half-vampire. I love the fact that it seems like it's literally the next room.
This room seems familiar. It was here in Van Helsing's tomb-like chamber that his deadly bite damned you to this nightmare. You have a sense that countless souls were lost in this room, their spirits trapped within its walls.
That's incorrect. It was in the main room of the penthouse where Abe bit Stark.
Here's what we find after a search:
Signal Scrambler posted:
A device capable of jamming a range of multimedia signal transmission at their source or at their destination.
This is the item we need in Grant's Tomb.
Red Crosse Breastplate posted:
An armored breast plate boldly adorned with a red cross.
Sir Anias of the Red Crosse Knights was looking for this. We will bring this back to him.
Here we go.
This is Grant's Tomb?
Shouldn't be a problem. We just need some firepower to take out this wall.
Don't look at me. I didn't know my father had anything inside Grant's Tomb.
You stand amidst the trash and debris surrounding the entrance to Grant's Tomb. Citygov long ago stopped maintaining the building.
I'm not sure about choice in lighting.
As Lash pointed out, there's a giant fucking wall preventing us from going further into the tomb.
Entrance Blocked posted:
The door is locked.
To get past this, we need to use the signal scrambler. I have absolutely no fucking idea why this works. Let me quote the item description again:
Signal Scrambler posted:
A device capable of jamming a range of multimedia signal transmissions at their source or at their destination.
When we use it inside of the tomb...
Okay, well, that seems sort of believable. What does this hidden entrance look like?
Inside of the room...
Is that Abe... flying down from the ceiling?
Hi, Daddy! Sorry Ransom. I love you, but a girl's got to do what her father wants. And he wants you dead.
There's a similar line to this that goes unused hidden in the dialogue files.
Hi, Daddy. Our trap is sprung, Ransom. My father wants you dead, and a good girl does what her daddy tells her to. You were fun while it lasted, little boy, but the game ends here.
But there had to be a love story.
This might be the hardest fight in the game. Melissa turned, so it's five against five. We're facing two vampires, and three hard-to-kill goons.
Stark and Hakim are using blessed soul blades, while Lash, Rymma, and Charlie are using guns.
That guy who looked like he was being crucified isn't on the wall any longer.
I've had to equip most of our party members with refraction shields because of the weapons our enemies use. I'm not sure why Melissa is using a gun instead of biting.
damage. Melissa Van Helsing is dead.
The fight can be incredibly difficult if you're not prepared in exactly the right ways to deal with the situation. We eventually kill the other 3 thugs without trouble.
They dropped a fuck-ton of equipment. Too bad it's all useless. Almost every item in the game is.
After the fight, this frame flashes for a half a second. Then...
(Melissa's first lines are replaced with someone else saying "This time you die, Stark!". It's like that in the actual game.)
She never said that. Go back and look for yourself.
You've got what you deserve, you lying witch. I almost believed you, almost believed you cared.
I did not lie about that part. It was my father. He . . . forced me to deceive you, forced me to betray you. I . . . wish . . . could have been . . . different. . . .
It never is different, Melissa, not in this city.
The subject of domination was never brought up in the first place!
The tomb smells of dust and blood, but hums from the energy of unseen machinery. A large marbled coffin--once the resting place of General Grant, but now your enemy's bed--sits in the center of the tomb. The remains of the coffin's former occupant lay discarded to the right.
General Grant looks like something out of H.R. Giger's artwork.
Do you see that item on the ground?
Emerald Pendant posted:
A pendant belonging to Deirdre Tackett. The jewel and setting seem gaudy and hollow.
Deirdre Tackett? Better take that.
We now turn our attention to the crucified man on the wall. He's back after disappearing during the fight.
Alexandar Tennant posted:
You see Alexandar Tennant hung from a wall like a prize trophy. He seems to be in great pain. A few feet below him on the wall is a console that you assume is the locking mechanism for Tennant's bonds.
We need to get him down. We do this by using our electronic lockpick on the locking mechanism.
An electronic lockpick was actually one of the awards from that fight, so we'd have one even if we didn't jury-rig it.
Easy. Easy. You're safe now. He can't hurt you anymore.
No! No! Oh, no! Do you . . . see his body here!? Uh, ahhhh! Does his blood stain the floor!? Did . . . your stake pierce his heart!?
You're saying he's still alive?
What dost thou mean? He is as dead as any Cainite I have destroyed.
He is still at large. He . . . has a . . . fail-safe condition on his . . . own life. I was coy . . . with you in the Hellfire Club, didn't tell you everything. . . . Somehow he knew you had been at the club . . . forced me to reveal what I told you. To kill him. . . . You must . . . . Room 1122 in TransTechnicals. It's important to him. He expends enormous amounts of his own money securing whatever is in there. His . . . heart. He has his . . . heart preserved. You must fight . . . to . . . destroy it. Shoot it. Stab it. You . . . must destroy it.
We've now unlocked the location, Room 1122, which is inside of TransTech. We've got some other things to do before we go there, however.
Helvecticus of the Red Crosse Knights wanted us to find his junky brother and bring him back to their hideout. We've been pretty much everywhere except this place. Bid Dina of the Flux Riders said that "they just made a big score." It could possibly mean they're weapons dealers?
Oh, and we get ambushed again along the way.
This certainly looks like a place where junkies would be.
Sid and Nancys? I hate these icon-worshipping losers.
A gang of retro street punks are hanging out on a street corner. The Sid and Nancys appear to have patterned their lifestyle after Sid Vicious and the Sex Pistols, complete with a punk look that's now over 115 years old.
I'm surprised the writers didn't conflate this with anarchism.
Oddly, everyone here is named either Sid or Nancy. We'll start by talking to the left-most pair out of the three.
Maybe, but I don't need any weapons to knock a nosy runt like you on his butt.
If you lookin' for a row, mate, these Sid 'n' Nancys will slam ya, but we're not glommin' for fists and boots, y'know.
I know some Sid 'n' Nancys who play with the big toys and sometimes share them with others. This true?
Not sayin' it don't happen. Gotta pay the bills, you know. Beats working for the wallets. I'm Sid. I'm the face for this bunch, y'know? Screenin' ya out. You got serious questions, you should talk to Nancy.
He means the one he's sitting next to.
A young dangerous-looking woman looks away, pretending not to notice your interest.
Your buddy Sid told me to talk with a Nancy about hardware. Don't scam me. I've bought from members of your gang before.
Is she a giant brown pear? I wanted to make a better joke about her portrait, but I'm just confused as to what it's supposed to be.
Stuff too hot?
Stuff sizzles. Company's looking hard. Stuff's unusual too, which is bad news for us. Gangers and punks just want laser pistols and shotguns, turning their backs to anything smarter.
So what do you have?
Gotta Doppelganger. Recent Company issue. Makes dupes of yourself during a row. Let's you get right in the enemy's face and BOOM! You dust him. Weapon's bitchin', but people don't want to pay for something less it can make bricks fly. You're a professional. I can see that. You can glomm onto this unit's uses.
Cut the sales pitch. What's it costing me?
Don't come cheap. Cost you 4,000 dollars.
Damn right that's not cheap. Thought you were having trouble moving this thing.
You're a pro. You know what this is worth. Give you a choice. You can give me the 4,000 dollars or make a trade: a laser rifle, laser pistol, and a dermal filament. I can always deal those. Interested in one of those options?
No. You might be surprised to learn the the doppleganger actually works in combat, but I find it to be pretty pointless.
I thought you were a big player, professional. You decide you want to be serious, come looking for me.
Their "big score" turns out to be a waste of time. Moving on to the middle pair.
A young woman has a blank look on her face, as if she doesn't have much to do in life. Still, the drugs in her system make her nervous and talkative.
Well, I haven't exactly been myself lately.
Yeah, well, it's probably this lousy city. It's bad enough with the crowds, the crime, and the pollution that gags you, but now people are talkin' about vampires, man. It's enough to really bring you down. Hey, you're right. You don't look like yourself. You want a little help? I got something that can at least make you look better.
Here you go. It's Instapigment. I buy all kinds of crazy colors for fun, 'cause I never did go for tattoos. This one's a good shade for you. Looks better than that pasty blue stuff you got on now. Go ahead. I can see you wanna get out of here. I'm sure you won't be calling me. What's one more promise broken, right?
She wouldn't have been happy if we brought Nimrod here.
Nimrod, you pig! Whatta you here to turn us in for this time? I didn't do anything! I'm standin' here on a corner. That a crime now? Nobody's plotting against the Company, Nimrod, so get lost.
Now we'll talk to the middle Sid.
What's it to you?
I'm just asking. Cause if you're using it to hide from someone, you must be into something pretty serious. And if you're wanted by TransTech you must be a decker. I've been wanting to get my hands on a decking unit. Just wanna get in and go for the ride. Never done it before. I only need the basic model, the Praxis 2300XC. I could pay you five grand for one. Into it?
Yes. Ludwig Sampson gave us a Praxis 2300XC a while ago, and this is the only purpose it has in the game.
If you got one on you right now, I'll buy it from you right now. Selling?
We just said yes, but we have to choose it again.
Take Object posted:
Sid takes the Praxis 2300XC.
Here's your five grand. If this decking thing is as edge as I've heard, I may never come out. Thanks, man.
Transfer Money posted:
Sid give you 5000 dollars. You now have 420105 dollars in your account.
We might have run across Helvecticus' brother, but how are we supposed to know who he is? It's not like Stark could just tell, right?
We turn to the last pair.
A skinny young girl looks bored, tired, and generally annoyed.
Hey, back off. I'm only passing through.
Yeah? Well, I don't like the look on your face. You look all pompous and full of yourself. Like Sid here when he first came to us. He looked like Mr. Junior TransTech Executive. Pitiful, really. But he loosened up. You should do the same thing, man. Lighten up. Life ain't that serious.
Well, it possibly could be this third Sid, but I'm sure everyone here came from somewhere else. Just because he looked a little different doesn't mean he's Helvecticus' brother, and besides, wouldn't he have looked like a Red Crosse Knight rather than a Transtech executive?
One of the Sid and Nancy punks is a good-looking guy who looks like he doesn't really have much to say.
I'm not a cop.
You look like a cop.
Hey, I'm as far from a cop as you can get. But there is someone after you. Someone who asked me to track you down.
Oh, here we go. Stark just somehow knew that this is the guy.
Great. So you're a freelance bounty hunter. Who's after me?
You got a brother, don't you? With the Red Crosse Knights?
Yeah, I got a brother who thinks he's a phreakin' knight of the round table. Why?
He told me he's been trying to track you down for a few years. He knew you ended up with a gang but that was all he knew. He asked me to find you and bring you back. You willing to go back with me?
Hey, I know you ain't doin' this out of the goodness of your heart or anything. Warren was a stockbroker before he became Sir What's-His-Name and joined the crusades, so he must be paying you a fortune. Sure, I'll come along. See how old Warren's doing. Maybe I can get a few thousand out of him while I'm there. Of course, I'll need a little something to make this family reunion bearable. You score me some hero makers, and I'll go, O.K.?
We don't have any Hero Makers on us.
We have to buy some from Madame Mescal.
A hero maker is an "amphetamine [that] gives many the feeling of invincibility, often causing recklessness." I've never used one, so I don't know what it does.
Now we can get him to come along.
Take Object posted:
Sid takes the Hero Maker.
He asked for multiple Hero Makers, but he only takes one.
All right, I'll go with you. It's been two years since I've seen my brother. It's probably time we got together anyway. But I'll tell you what--he better not get on my case or I am outta there.
Then the third Nancy leaves for some reason. In the dialogue files, there's an ususued confrontation between them after you recruit Sid:
Cut Dialogue posted:
Sid, you sell out! What are you doin' with this company man? You gonna sell us out, too, huh? Gonna go back to your old tight-ass friends with their stockholdings and TransTech promotions, huh?
Shut up, will you, Nance? You know I can only take my brother for so long. Maybe I can get a couple of grand off of him while I'm there and bring it back. Will that make you happy?
Yeah, right. Like you're comin' back. I'm not stupid, Sid. Piss off, both of you.
Let's take a look at just who we've recruited.
Sid is an awful companion, stat wise.
And his armor is a copy of Shock Maraud's.
We're going to bring him straight back to the Red Crosse Knights, but that will have to wait until the next update.
Bring Chuck (Electric Anarchy) the TransTech list of Deirdre's associates
Bring the Walter McCalaster HoloFilm to Bill Dougan, in order to help Mother Mary
Destroy Abraham Van Helsing's heart, located in room 1122 at TransTech HQ
Bring Sid to Helvecticus
Bring the Red Crosse Armor to Anias
Room 1122 (TransTech)