The Let's Play Archive


by Carbon dioxide

Part 1: Old friends and new issues

Part 1 - Old friends and new issues

As we start the game and the loading screen pops up we immediately get blasted by this jam.
OST: Exapunks :siren: LISTEN to this. Seriously. :siren:

This is my apartment.

It acts as the main menu screen.

OST: Apartment

The TEC Constellation II tablet is our options menu. Mostly standard stuff - controls, full screen vs windowed, sound volume, a few visual options, a profanity filter, and some options related to how online leaderboards are shown. I'll make one change so that my Steam friends aren't highlighted on the leaderboards, for their privacy. Otherwise the defaults are fine.

Well. I might be in all sorts of trouble but at least I got a good shitposting box. Let's check out my SAWAYAMA Z7 TurboLance.

(click to enlarge)

I'm using the Axiom Developer Edition operating system. It's what all the cool kids use. Very customizable and doesn't get in your way. Chatsubo is a nice chat program. I like to lurk in the EXAPUNKS channel, where all of the hackers from the old days hang out. It's a bit quiet at the moment though.

But I almost forgot, I'm supposed to meet up with someone. I'm gonna need meds soon.

*Knock knock*

Someone's at the door.
I can't remember... Did I ask them to come up?
Things have been hazy...
Every day, more of my body is turned into junk...

Nivas: Hey.
Nivas: Hey, can you hear me?
Nivas: I heard you were looking for some medicine for the phage?

Nivas is voice acted by Emma Adele Galvin. The protagonist's voice/thoughts are not voice acted.

Looks like you definitely need it.

That's right... Nivas.
Said they could find anything.
Even bootleg medication.

So, I do have a source. I know where to get it.
It's cheaper than the real deal, but it's still gonna be pricey...

Nivas pauses and looks me in the eye.

The going rate is 700 a dose. You need to take one dose every day.
Yeah, that's dollars.
Sorry, I don't set the prices. I'm just a courier.
It's not like any of that money goes to me...
Anyway, if you do get the money, give me a call.

Nivas left for now.

While I was at the door, there was some activity in the chat. At least it's not entirely abandoned.

Anyway, I'm going to need money and I'm going to need it fast. Well, I have this program, WorkHouse on my computer. People can hire me through that to do boring tasks for a couple pennies. At least I don't have to leave my house, so people don't have to see me like this.

Let's give it a go.

Man, this looks terrible already. And who the fuck has the money to pay 200 dollars for a steak or whatever? Ugh.


Huh? It said "validating..." and it accepted that? Still, ten cents? This will take forever.

I actually have no idea what makes this thing accept your input. Putting in completely random crap makes it say "A peer reviewer rejected your work.", but a certain amount of minor errors seems allowed.

what the fuck

Wow, a whole ten cents!
You only need to do 6,999 more of these and you'll have enough for today.

Sometimes the game gives you dialogue choices. I don't think it affects anything but the next line or two. You can replay cutscenes at any time so if you like you could go through all the choices to see what they do.

By the way, this character is voiced by Sarah Elmaleh.

Who is this?

Don't worry about that right now.
You need that medication to stay alive, right?
Well guess what? I can get it to you.
You'll need to start hacking again though.
One hack, one dose.

I've forgotten how...

You're about to remember.
Knock knock.

(click to enlarge)

I've no idea who or what that was but she seems to have set up residence on my desktop and I can't make her disappear.

There's also some activity in the chat but that's not important right now. A meeting with an old friend appeared in my organizer, and it's planned for, huh, right now?

*knock knock*

Someone's at the door again.

An old friend...
I knew his real name once, but that's gone now.

Hey. Came by to give you something.

Ghast hands me a small booklet. It's made of real paper.
Apparently, it's something called TRASH WORLD NEWS...

I can't hack like I used to.
Whatever edge I had, it's gone now.
But I had to keep doing something.
Something to keep the culture alive, you know?
Computers are running everything these days.
Before long, human beings aren't even going to have a say.
So now I equip people with knowledge.
The knowledge to make a computer do what you want, on your terms.
Anyway, I won't keep you. I know you like to be alone.
Hope you like what you see in the zine.

Thanks mate, I appreciate it.

Ghast is voiced by Cornell Womack.

As the game says here, it uses printed zines as a reference manual. Originally, these were actually printed and sent to your home if you bought the limited release. I absolutely love that! It makes the game feel much more real.

As a matter of fact, hacker magazines were a real thing in the 80s and 90s. They had all sorts of information on phreaking (phone hacking), early modem usage, and so on.

For the Steam version, they come as PDF files, both in a printable format and a format for digital reading. Since last year, it's also possible to buy physical copies again through Lulu.