Part 7: Episode VI: Prey (Concert Hall 2)
Episode VI: Prey (Concert Hall 2)
When last we left our heroine, she'd encountered a ghost playing Chopin's work <poorly> and was once more cornered by Sledgehammer. With that said, let's continue...
First order of business: psycho with hammer alert. This is the first point in the game of which Alyssa can't just have a cop-out escape from her pursuer. So, I'll take the time to go into detail about Freak the Fuck Out mode.
Barring the rare instant-death trap, Alyssa is invincible until her Panic Meter fills. What actually fills it is a bit tricky. A near miss by an attack will fill it slightly.
While a full on crack to the back of the head will fill it significantly. An enemy taunting or just being around for extended periods while Alyssa is hiding will fill it slightly.
Once the meter fills, Alyssa will scream at the top of her lungs and enter Freak the Fuck Out Mode. This is noted by a quick inverted screen effect and the music switching to a pounding cord like the shower murder scene from Psycho.
After this, the a blurry filter accompanies the prior effects. In FtFO Mode, Alyssa runs non-stop in a flailing arm girly sort of way. Well, non-stop barring...
Stumbling like a token horror movie lead...
As well as just halting her frantic sprint to cower in fear, allowing ample time for old Sledge to waddle over in his 'shit in the pants'-esque dash and bring his hammer down on Alyssa's face. Which brings us to the final feature of FtFO Mode...
...you can die during it. Any attack, whether it is a light kick to the shins up, to a rather antagonizing mosquito, to a full force sledgehammer to the spine, will send our young heroine to an early grave.
This is, of course, a bad thing and should probably be avoided.
Assuming Alyssa avoided a dirtnap, Sledge halts his pursuit should she duck back behind the curtain. He will eventually give up the chase, should she just hang out back there for a bit and mend the ruffles on her uniform or fix her hair. He's not a very dedicated psychopath. He will, however, at somewhat random times (as well as several scripted) return for another shake down from this point on.
But, why just duck behind a curtain and play the waiting game with a teleporting killer when there's switches to be thrown!
Practical jokes had a much higher fail rate back in the '40s.
With no safeguards or guidelines to protect the innocent in the event of these shenanigans, results could be...most tragic.
Take note that approaching a mangled corpse falling out the rafters has no effect on Alyssa' panic state. In fact, she has absolutely no problem waltzing over to the stiff and wrestling a file from his death grip.
An extremely shiny piece of paper, at that...
This puzzle is almost insultingly retarded. Making no note as to how utterly out of place it is in any sort of context. Was the manager on his way to teach a particularly macabre Special Ed class? Was everyone who figured out this brain tumbler going to be a 'winner'?
Alyssa returns to the earlier locker.
I'm hoping if you're competent enough to turn on a computer, open an internet browser, make your way to this site, and click on this thread, you are competent enough to figure out how to find this solution.
This man cannot do any of that and is currently yelling about onions with his pants off in a restaurant and he still figured it out.
Solving that mindboggler nets Alyssa the Master Key. You can tell by the big M. Either that our Mickey Mouse is going to be pissed when he comes to pick up his belongings at the end of the night.
The master key unlocks the path to the rest of the concert hall. It also unlocks the front door, but our heroine has some sleuthing to do.
The offshoot of the main concert hall is a rather mundane hallway. To the north is an equally mundane corridor leading to the area above the stage.
There's not much going on topside, other than this little trinket.
An unlit, if poorly rendered, lantern. Now, what on earth would she need with a lantern indoors in a fully lit stage?
Why, just the unyielding urge to tightrope walk on a rickety plank high above the stage. Unfortunately, the dim lighting thwarts her compulsion for the moment. She'll just have to get back to her adrenaline junkie antics at a later time.
Alyssa returns back downstairs.
There is a second door in the earlier unremarkable corridor leading to the south. Of which will lead Alyssa face first into a Sledge-encounter.
"I'm barely fifteen you pervert!"
"Oh... Y-You are...? Geez... Way to kill my buzz..."
"Well, good. You should be asha-"
"I thought you were younger."
More than a bit creeped out, Alyssa retreats up a nearby staircase and heads to the second floor.
Here's hoping this hammer brother suffers from nearsightedness.
Luckily, he does. I guess his medical funds went toward dentistry and not eye-care.
Sledgehammer eventually teleports away to stalk another day.
Another handy magical rune marks that we're probably heading the right way. I'm still uncertain what that way is or if we have any sort of tangible objective, which I'm just overlooking.
In the meantime, Miss Hamilton finds herself in the upper balcony of the concert hall. Which has strangely more seating than the floor level viewing area. Audience arrangement anomalies aside, it's just a small task of cutting through this crowd of chairs to reach the next area...
"You can't just cut through the seating! That would be rude. What if you knocked down someone's belongings or stepped on someone's toe. It won't do at all."
Alyssa trots around the perimeter of the abandoned balcony and enters the next area. Being sure to close the door behind her so there isn't a draft. Someone could catch a cold!
Alyssa asks the questions that count.
You definitely might. Especially, after you've been riffling through that freshly killed body's belongings for simple puzzle solutions. But, forget about that. I'm sure there's something useful in that dashing glowing suit.
Oh Jesus H. Christ...
Alyssa shoves the freshly stolen matches in her...err... uniform blazer's pocket...(what happened to her backpack, anyway?) and continues back toward the wayward lantern.
It's got to be a hard gig to be a villain and finally come up against your rival only to discover it is not a fantastic mutant, a genius detective, or the Last Son of Krypton...but an unarmed teenager...
"Who ever said I was unarmed?!"
"That's a bleedin' violin case. The hell are you gonna do with that?"
Alyssa chucks that sonuvabitch.
"I'm sticking with what I know..."
How do you go from being introduced by brutally murdering a little girl to falling victim to pratfalls Wily E. Coyote would roll his eyes at...? All in the span of twenty minutes...
Minor threat extinguished, Alyssa continues pressing for to her incredibly retarded objective.
I'm guessing these are some manner of magically augmented matches, as their flame burns bright enough to illuminate the entire area in a degree conventional lighting failed.
With reckless enthusiasm and absolutely no presented motive to do so, our heroine
Any deviations to her path down the straight and narrow will result in her loosing balance and needing to straighten her footing. This three second animation plays in its entirety each and every time you deviate at all from the slightly slanted path of the board. This is couple with the PS2's somewhat loose analogue controls. I should also mention that pressing the controls in any direction while Alyssa looses her balance...
Results in death.
Oh yeah, and the plank of wood is somewhere in the ballpark of fifty feet long... And the final reward of this unbelievably retarded stunt?
...a pair of motherfucking pliers.
Tune in next time for:
Not to be featured:
A clock tower.
Panic Demo and Game Over:
Sledgehammer Instrument Room Encounter: