Part 22: Gen-Bu 2, Electric BoogalooChapter 16: Gen-Bu 2, Electric Boogaloo
Don't let yourself be hurt this time... Don't let yourself be hurt this time
Then I saw your face... Then I saw your smile
The sky is still blue, the clouds come and go
Yet something is different...
Are we falling in love?
Falling, falling... Falling, falling
They're moving! They survived!
Of course they survived. You think one of my students is going to die from a little tumble like that?
Rub some dirt on it!
In the strictest sense of the word, I suppose. Ugh.
And here we are back in Base Town, because of course we're back in Base Town. But something is different! Let's explore, shall we?
Wow. It's really weird being back.
Agreed. I thought we'd never see home again. But, where are all the people? The streets are deserted!
Ah, that. I evacuated all but essential staff as a precaution. The town's populace is safe behind the walls of Castle Armor.
But why is leaving?
All kinds of people started coming out of the tower a few days ago! They kept asking for you, saying they were worried.
It was an ill omen, and I would rather make a fuss about nothing than act too late. Of course, no sooner did we get the last of them to safety than you come plummeting out of the sky! Fortuitous timing, that.
My liege, I must ask. Is my spouse safe?
As houses, my good fellow. I saw to it personally.
I can't thank you enough.
'Tis but a trifle compared to what you deserve.
But how is surviving? Fell 25 floors! Still alive.
You landed on a big pile of haystacks!
My hay! It was an entire's year worth of harvesting and work! I'm ruined!
Yup, nothing but good fortune and no downsides whatsoever!
Soooo! What have you guys been up to while we've been gone?
A most miraculous turn of events! After your defeat of the Steward of Shield, his soldiers recovered their free will and defected to our side. With our combined might, we were able to quell the chaos in the Kingdom of Sword. The entire world is now united under our banner.
The Equipment Wars are over?
They are, indeed! And we couldn't have done it without you.
We were just lucky enough to kill the right people at the right time, your highness.
Fluff and nonsense! Had you not saved my dear, sweet Amoebaea and asked for my armour, I would've never had the conviction to see it through. It's strange, but having lost the armour, for the first...
The measure of a man is not in the equipment he wields, but what he does with it.
Aw, look at you trying to play it cool. C'mon, Ell! We helped save the world!
Trog help too! Has said is helper in past. This proves!
Yeah, alright. It's pretty awesome being heroes.
Private Myra Elsom! Stop right there!
Oh Jesus flipping Christ.
Under the authority of the Base Town Militia, you are hereby under arrest for—
That was the warning shot. We're going to go over a couple of things now. Are you going to listen, or are you going to try and take me in?
Good decision. First of all, it's not "private." I transferred to the Neo-Atlantis marines, and you will address by my full military title of Gunnery Sargent Elsom. Are we clear on this?
Yes ma'am, Gunnery Sargent ma'am
Perfect. Second thing? I have a shitload of guns, and you have crappy second-rate swords.
So you can fuck right off.
...youareherebydischargedfromtheBaseTownMilita OKAY BYE
This brings up an excellent point. Now that we're back, I think we should split up and see how the world has changed in our absence.
Works for me. Meet back in two hours or so. We'll figure out our next move from there.
Hey! You two get hitched already or what?
Indeed we did! I am proud to call Amoebaea my queen.
I'm sure everybody else is, too.
And, there's more...
Oh, Amoebaea! Don't be shy! It's truly a momentous occasion.
Can I go to the baby shower? Can I?!
Made something of yourself, have you? Good, good.
Now that we've tried to climb the tower and failed, I was wondering if you would answer a question.
Sure, why not.
That pitfall before the final door... Has anyone ever gotten past it?
Don't know. Have you heard of anyone?
I didn't even know it was there.
Well, there you go.
Was Ashura right, then? Is Paradise a lie?
Did you even fight Ashura? Did Ashura exist?
Do you exist? Do any of us?
More truth. In the end, Elsom-Kohei, this life is nothing but fleeting dreams.
If that's true, who's dreaming us?
Heh. No matter how hard I try, I will never understand you.
Then maybe you should stop trying and just do it.
Ah, mon dieu...
...yet our actions are so different!
Pah! Answer is simple. Is looking like Jeanne. Which mean Jeanne is...
Non, this cannot be! How can you say such a thing?
Trog hear stories of twin. When one is hurt, other feels pain. Is true?
Also means, one doing good, other does good. Is also true?
I... I 'ope so...
Hope not needed. Already proven, is nothing worry about. Logic carries day, yes?
...logic carries day, yes. Merci, mon ami.
Dente! There's a face I haven't seen in ages. How the hell are you?
Right as rain, though a bit worse for the wear. You've... expanded your inventory since I last saw you.
Yeah, it's great! The people coming out of the tower have been swapping their old gear for swords. They think I'm a souvenir stand or something. But whatever gets the sale, right?
Always the enterprising sort, eh wot?
Hey, here comes one of my biggest suppliers right now. What up, big spender?
OH GOD TROG'S NOT HERE IS HE
No, but you had best explain before I give you a sound thrashing myself.
Look, when you killed the big boss, you put a lot of people out of work. We're all doing what we can to get by.
You took his blood money for years, and now you're peddling your tools of destruction to other cultures. I'm not in the most sympathetic of moods.
What, you think I don't have family? I got kids! I got a wife! Which is worse, working for that overbearing jerk or watching my loved ones starve?
Ah. I didn't know.
That's because he doesn't have 'em.
Oh, come on! You were just bragging an hour ago about the constant parade of women in and out of your pad!
Uh... W-We're going through a rough patch! We'll get back together eventually!
Barney, you may want to leave the shop now.
Sure thing. Just clean up after you're done.
Oh, hi, Sayaka! Commit any more atrocities since the last time we saw you?
Rezen, please. I need to talk to—
What? What's that? I can't hear you over the dying screams of the townspeople. You'll have to speak up!
Please. Just hear me out.
Make it snappy. I'm meeting Elly in about 15 minutes.
I'm asking for neither apology nor forgiveness, since I know I won't receive either. I just want you to know...
You've killed the rest of them. Come on. Get it over with!
Kill me! Why won't you just kill me?!
Hmm hmm hmm. Much as I'd love to, I'm afraid I have an infestation to take care of. I've already laid out traps...
...but I still need bait.
I didn't want to live. Neither did Socho. That's why he threw himself onto the reactor rods. He wanted one death out of so many to mean something.
Yeah, sure. His own.
After you left, I wandered the tower aimlessly in my shame. The monsters wouldn't come near me. It was like I was cursed...
A bloo bloo bloo. If you're done bellyaching, I got a meeting to get to.
Like I said, I didn't expect—
You caught all that, right?
Yeah. You can turn off the ESP now.
I told her I wouldn't tell you. Technically, I didn't.
DOORS system activated. Welcome back, Gunnery Sargent Elsom.
I'm taking some of our gold with me. Grab whatever's left and get us the biggest, baddest stuff Ashura Labs has to offer.
What are you doing?! Dente told us not to use that thing!
Rez, I'm sick of people around us suffering. I'm sick of people dying. I'm just so thoroughly, utterly sick of it all.
Coordinates locked in. Ready for travel.
Just this once... I'm going to do something about it.
We strive for fives!
Sure, why not. Laters!
Well, they seemed nice. Hope they stay alive a little longer this time.
What in the world...?
I just left here, right?
Great. I need a favor.
Isis protect us! What happened here?!
This is about a day and a half into your future. Su-Zaku busted in after the shields went down and slaughtered the entire town. She wanted to send a message to us. My friends and I just left to get revenge.
But what does any of that have to do with me?
Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is...
...and the bad news is, you're about to have the longest work day of your life.
Guess I better get my incense, then.
E—Elly! What a surprise to see you here!
I just undid your war crime. You're welcome.
What the hell is taking Rezen so long?
AH AH OH GOD IT'S A FREAKY MECHANICAL MAN
Gah! Warn me next time! And what the heck is that thing, anyway?
I'unno! You told me to buy the biggest, baddest thing Ashura Labs had, so here it is!
I was... kind of hoping you'd get something for us.
You're gonna love this next part, then. I found this slime snacking on roast zombie, and he sold me a couple of these!
That'll do, Rez. That'll do.
Now that we're in endgame, the shops back in Base Town have some ridiculous items for sale. At this point, you can pick up (in no particular order) Hermes shoes, missile launchers, lasers, magnums, and Power Armor. In addition, you can buy Doors to return to any other world and cash in there. This effectively means you have access to all martial arts (from Ocean World), all spells (Secret Town in Cloud World), and a lot of mid-to-high-tier stuff from "Neo-Atlantis" that you may have missed the first time around. (Neo-Atlantis is actually rebuilt when you visit it, by the way! It's not just my writing!)
But first, let's go back and talk about Power Armor. Because holy shit, Power Armor.
Power Armor costs 100k. Yes, you read that right—one hundred thousand. The only other item that sells for that much is the Hyper, and with obvious reason. That price tag better be worth it, right? So what, exactly, does Power Armor do?
70 defense. +10 to strength and agility. But it's biggest feature? It only takes up one armor slot.
Don't misunderstand this. You can't equip any other armor when you have the Power Armor on. (In fact, the game won't even let you equip it without removing your existing armor, shoes included.) The real advantage of Power Armor is how efficient it is. As you've seen, equipment slots in FFL are very tight, especially with fully armored party members. You don't normally run into the cap with humans unless you're also equipping items. However, with mutants, you're drastically reduced to four slots to start and even less with armor. As a result, you're constantly juggling your preferences: diverse attacks or not getting your skull pounded in.
All of that ends once you equip Power Armor. I think Rezen may have the single highest defense out of all of us now. On top of that, she can now equip a Cure book, attack spell, and a Psi weapon at the same time.
Moral of this story: Save the Hyper you get in the Skyscraper for emergencies and buy your mutant some Power Armor. You won't be disappointed.
Well, here we are. Again.
You're not wearing your armor?
Nah, it's still on. It's invisible or something. The screen said about "internalized operation mode," so I just started pushing buttons until something happened.
Fear not! Trog return!
Looks like the gang's all here. And don't think I don't see you there, Hat Guy.
Hello once more. After all you've been through, you're still trying to get to the top?
Hell yes we are.
Trog will win battle with floor yet!
Bound and determined. And yet, no one knows what's beyond the final door.
Hey, before we go, I gotta ask.
I mean, Hat Guy clearly isn't your name. Who are you? Where did you come from?
I really wasn't lying. I've been called so many different things in so many places that I don't even remember my real name anymore. "Hat Guy" is just as good as anything else.
That's gonna be pretty awkward on our first date. What am I supposed to call you? Mr. Guy?
No need to be so formal. Call me Hat.
Jeez, get a room you too.
Seriously, though. All I really am is a man with a dream. I can't do it by myself, so please. Live my dream for me.
I will. And I'll come back afterwards. Promise.
Alright, enough mushy stuff! In we go!
Wh—It's not working!
Are you doing it right? Did you trying slamming the spheres into the door?
Is strange. Usually works.
We got all the spheres! We visited every single floor! Don't tell me we're locked out of the stupid tower!
I knew a guy who locked his keys in his apartment once. He had to go up the fire escape and break into a window to get them back.
You're suggesting we find another way in?
No, I'm suggesting you use the fire escape.
Hoboken, New Jersey. 2145 AD.
Did you feel that just now?
Was that an invitation?
Ugh. Never mind.
I don't know anymore. Am I better? Are you better? Is the word better better? What's if it's worse, Elly? What then?
Friend Rezen think deep thoughts. Is impressive.
Pull yourself together, Rez!
I know, it's just... Look. Before we go back in there, I have something I need to do.
Alright, take your time. We'll wait.
Hey, have you seen a girl that looks exactly like me?
Yup. She's upstairs.
There she is. Hi, Ryzen!
Great. The freak came back.
Actually, I'm not a freak! It turns out I'm a descendent of Atlantis. I evolve in response to my environment.
Also I can set things on fire with my mind.
Good to go?
Yup. Let's rock.
Wow, they even use this layout in the fire escape.
It's certainly an impressive commitment to monotonicity.
And they put treasure in it, too!
Okay, I'm pretty sure at this point some architect had OCD. They literally had to leave this stuff here, or they'd go insane.
Well, their mental illness is our gain. Here, Elly! Put this on.
Where friend Elly go?!
Here it is—our last promenade up the tower. In the previous chapter, I said we'd be visiting the last floors inside the tower. I never said anything about the outside.
The monsters in here are not fucking around. You can handle them in singles and single groups, but if the game starts throwing multiple groups at you, get the hell out of here. I've seen a group of Scyllas accompany two other groups into combat, and they're devastating enough by themselves. (I don't care how much armor you have, 4Heads just ruins your day.) Honestly, it's not worth fighting in here—excepting certain were-monsters, because they're so fast you don't really get a choice. You have to conserve resources. And besides, what are you going to do with the gold you earn? If you still need equipment or grinding, why are you even here?
Alright. We got 25 floors to climb, so everybody limber up.
I did hold out the faintest hope we wouldn't be seeing any more stairs.
Aw, quit your grumbling! It could be worse!
Is... Is that...?
What the heck?!
Gen-Bu lives! But how?
Battle formation! Equip your strongest weapons! Remember to aim for the head, it's—
... ... what?
Kill me. Kill me.
Elly, something is very wrong here.
He's still coming! What do we do?
Oh. Well, that works.
What is happened? Why Gen-Bu? What was saying? Is not making sense!
He's gone now. Let's just move on.
Next Time: Of Mice and Adventurers