Part 9: A Crooked HouseUpdate 09: A Crooked House
Welcome back. Last time we experienced a rather nasty flashback showing the death of Rions mother, who appears to have choked to death on a clock. One might say that she ran out of time.
Music: Galerians - Manor Theme 1
Why indeed? Perhaps well find some answers upstairs.
With the doorknob in hand we can repair the door to the foyer.
Music: Galerians - Manor Theme 3
Two Enhanced Rabbits strike as soon as we enter.
Its a tough fight, since their attacks tend to sync up and prevent you from getting the charge wheel up to full.
The foyer is pretty big, so you have room to dodge, but since the projectiles are invisible and tank controls are awful chances are youll still take a lot of hits.
In a twist of fate the Enhanced Rabbits become victims of their own success, as their constant attacks cause us to Short.
The results are predictably messy.
After healing up we are free to open the front door, giving us a shortcut back outside.
The upper floor is similar to the first, two main sections divided by a single corridor.
Our key unlocks the door.
Once again, we find ourselves under attack as soon as we set foot inside, although this time the game is merciful enough to give us a scripted event letting us know theres an Enhanced Rabbit offscreen.
Hes alone, and therefore not nearly as difficult to take down.
The first room we come across is a small study. Were free to move, but as soon as we do
Rion has another seizure, and another vision forces its way into his mind.
: Pascalle. Suspicious men in black coats have been lurking around my house lately.
: Well then we cant keep them together.
: Thats exactly what I was thinking.
The scene shifts to a young Rion playing with toys. He looks up, distracted by something.
: We have to separate them. Ill take Lilia away from here.
: Thank you. For everything.
: Ill contact you once Lilia is safely hidden.
Pascalle leaves, and the cutscene ends. We gain a few answers, but more questions. Rions family was being watched by nefarious forces, and by Pascalles reaction it appears both had at least some idea of what was going on. The implication seems to be that Lilia was Rions childhood friend, and that she is a central figure in whatever Pascalle and Dr. Steiner were doing.
Theres a key on the table in here, just barely visible against the pre-rendered background.
I wound up missing this key on my first playthrough, which caused some frustration down the line.
There are also some consumables to pick up before we leave.
This door leads to the connecting corridor, but we still have business here.
This is the library. As expected, its full of books.
Checking this particular shelf yields a new document.
Viewers with good memories will remember that this book was mentioned earlier, in the newspaper article we found at the hospital. It appears to be describing improvements in computer learning, some of which involve the use of biological components.
Its not immediately obvious, but theres something else of note in here.
The decorations flanking the window seem a bit too conspicuous.
Naturally, these are part of a puzzle. Well be back here later once we have the means to solve it.
This is the corridor to the northern side of the manor. Its got a hole in it from when the Enhanced Rabbit busted in through the ceiling last update.
Walking up to it lets us glimpse a mysterious figure moving around down below. Another Rabbit? Or someone more sinister?
Whoever it is, we better get a move on. The hole is too big to inch around, so we have to jump.
Even then, Rion barely makes it. We have to mash the X button to climb up, a fact that the game never actually tells you. Failing to do so means falling down to the ground floor and have to go all the way back up.
The northern half of the manor is quiet, at least for the time being.
The first room we come to is Rions old room. Theres some nice, relaxing music for this room, but like Lems boss theme its not on the OST.
They also seem a bit too babyish for a boy of sixteen, but who am I to judge?
Also, why are there brain roids in here? Is there something Rion wasnt telling his parents?
For our next scene we need to use our psychometry on the bed.
: Albert! Rions fever wont break!
: Dont worry. Itll break by morning.
: I hope so. Im so sorry, Rion. Wont you find it in your heart to forgive us?
: I couldnt find another safe place to hide it. If it fell into Dorothys hands Doctor Pascalle also agreed that there is no other way.
: Im so sorry, Rion. Humankinds future is in your hands.
: Rion please, forgive us for doing this to you.
Suddenly the memory shifts, revealing itself to be a dream Rion had in the past.
Suddenly, an Enhanced Rabbit bursts in!
Rion, however, is nowhere to be found.
Well now, that was revealing. Rions parents apparently hid something inside his head, something so precious they were willing to drill into their only sons skull to keep it secret. They also mention Dorothy, the central computer system that controls everything in Michelangelo city. The plot is rapidly thickening, and were not even halfway through the stage yet.
One question with more immediate value is how Rion managed to disappear when the Rabbit came knocking.
The answer can be found here, with this vaguely square-shaped bright spot on the wall.
If we hang the Metamorphosis picture here
A section of the floor by the bed lifts up, revealing a hidden trapdoor! Where does it lead, you ask?
Why, back down to the ground floor sitting room. Its a nice shortcut, and makes sense given how paranoid Rions family seem to have been.
Anyway, lets move on.
The upstairs bathroom is utterly empty and devoid of anything interesting.
There is a balcony that overlooks the back yard.
We can take in the view, but theres not really anything else to do out here.
There are two rooms left to explore, the bedroom on the right and a smaller room at the end of the hall. Well try the bedroom first since weve got the key for it.
The bedroom has a nice, relaxing theme to it. Its a nice change from the grim, foreboding tunes playing through the rest of the manor. Unfortunately it is also absent from the OST.
Searching the chest of drawers yields a Recovery Capsule.
Theres also a note on the dresser.
A haunting letter from Rions mother. What does she mean when she talks about an activation system? Whatever it is, it seems to have left her wracked with guilt.
Perhaps it even strained her relationship with Rions father, considering they appear to sleep in separate beds. Regardless, theres something on the bedside table we need to look at.
A round hole, huh? Just like the one in the library. Lets see what our psychometry tells us.
The downstairs sink? We checked there before, but perhaps we missed something.
Before we go back, though, lets check out the final room on this floor.
Looks like a simple storage room, but take just one step forwards
Rion begins to freak out again, and we see yet another fragment of the past.
Past Rion slowly walks towards the camera, entranced by something on the ground.
That something being his fathers corpse.
Oh dear. It seems both Rions parents met with terrible fates. Whatever the Steiner family were mixed up in was not conductive to any of their long term health. Perhaps whatever is in the jewellery box will give us a clue as to what they were up to, but well have to wait until the next update to find out.