Part 25: Acclaim - Downtown BluesNow that we're getting our due, we of course want to lord it over all the failing shopkeepers and tradesmen that we know from downtown. What's success unless other people know you're better than them?
Ha ha, not me, lady!
I'm doing GREAT! Gonna win a prize or something you know.
Got a medicine that can cure anything, yeah probably your stuff too. Drives you insane, tho! :shh: Ha ha ok later!
Let's see what 'ol spooky thinks about our accomplishm
...huh. Well, nothing to do with us! Probably!
And that's it, no dialogue today. On to the pharm-
Oh, don't beat yourself up, guy! It's impressive what a bad businessman you were, I'll probably tell stories about that for at least a while! Should make for some amusing banter over cocktail hour!
Seems like... things are really crashing down.
Let's see if Mr. Liquor is doing any better?
You should just do what I do, and oversleep for work every single day, even the day that is literally the most important, career-making moment of my life!
- 's bad I say, real bad.
Don' got th' rent, lad.
- It's not over until the fat lady sings.
Maybe you can sell some things?
Like baseball cards! Or stickers! Or have a SEASON SAL*blam*
- Now 's over for this place.
Now let me m'failure erase.
- Leave this store!
Don't wanna talk no more!
Henry is basically an energy vampire - his success means everybody else hit rock bottom at the same time.
Don't worry though, not EVERYBODY just gives us one work: for example!
I might invest in this place soon...
- I'm thinking I might inject some cash here.
That is, after I've made a proper assessment.
I'm starting to make a name for myself you see,
and I'm thinking this could be a good investment.
And why do you think that, Henry? After listening to this guy tell you that it's doomed for the last five days.
I have to give any scrap of credit where I can, so I will say that it's at least INTERESTING to me that Henry wants to change the lives of people here.
I mean... not the pharmacy guy, who he should care about, and who is desperate for help. And not the failing liquor store that actually provides all the stock for this guy.
Ok, if I'm being honest, odds are he just wants to rub his success in the noes of the bar guy.
"Tell ME a kitchen is a stupid idea? Now I own this place, so you HAVE to! Ha ha ha ha what do you mean I wasted my money already?"
- Thanks, but I'm not looking for a business associate.
I rather steer my own ship, and be in charge of my fate.
Good call. I mean, you're doomed, but you would be anyway.
Know anything about the occult shop owner?
- Know anything about the occult shop owner?
He seems a bit peculair, strikes me as a loner.
Kind of mean, after you know that families and wives are a sore point for the guy!
- All I know is he comes in once a year, and orders a cherry.
He stares into space, raises his glass, and says "For you Mary"
Aw. Sorry guy. Is... does anybody know what a cherry is? Schnapps?
- He's a local so he's alright in my book.
I don't care what way he wants to look.
This guy is MUCH less judgey than Henry is, except when it comes to Henry's ideas.
What's your name?
- Goodness, I'm realizing now that I don't know what your name is...
Since we're friends, let's guess each other's. Just like a quiz!
Henry... it's kind of pathetic you trying to get on this guy's good side.
- Buddy, I don't know where you got the idea that you and I are friends...
I find your thousand questions annoying, I don't care how your story ends.
AND HE DELIVERS! Bartender, yer a champ.
did... did you know i'm winning a prize? :
Aw, c'mon guy! Don't be like that!
We're buddies! You bought cocaine for me once! And I left you to drown your sorrows and get divorced!
...ok, let's go see somebody we HAVE been investing with. The grocer!
Investing more than like, our therapist. Or wife. Still, friends are good!
TURNS OUT THIS IS A DECISION WE CAN MAKE:
Elope with the grocery lady
Tell her to get wrecked
Yes, we probably should have seen this coming. She's complimented Henry mildly twice, and is forced to listen to him.
That means that Henry has APPARENTLY developed feelings, and is able to either withhold any future support and friendship, or make a move.
I mean Grace is insane now, right? Time for GREENER PASTURES!
I restrained us from cheating earlier, but I'm TIRED. I'll leave it up to the thread. There's no guarantee that she'll even accept, of course!
I'm totally out of disappointed/depressed adjectives that I'm just into numb acceptance. Kind of like Grace, before we ruined her!
Well, let's head next door.
- Groovy? What an odd choice of word.
I love that you're such a movie nerd!
Still the only not-awful couple!
As the other guy we've invested in, there's a lot to go through today.
You're looking happier today...
- Hey, you're smiling today, that's nice to see!
You're looking pretty relaxed, and carefree!
- Mom's new boyfriend gave me some pills 'so I won't pout'.
They're really working wonders, and helping me chill out...
Aw. I thought he was going to forbid you from working? Well, I guess he doesn't mind, as long as you don't bug him. Poor kid...
Do you need someone to take you away?
- Listen kid, do you need someone to take you someplace safe?
My impression is that your home life, is really starting to chafe.
- What the fuck man, I think I'm starting to see...
All this casual conversation - are you trying to groom me?!?
This... seems like the only genuinely selfless thing Henry's done. My GUESS is that it's based off lingering feelings of protectiveness for kids from Henry's paternal instinct?
Like, there's one tiny grain of goodness, so of COURSE it gets rejected immediately.
- WHAT?!? No! You must be at your wtis end!
I'm just trying to help out, and be a good friend!
- I don't know why you think we're friends, guy...
If you're in here looking for friendships, then leave, goodbye...
Do I... feel... bad? For Henry???
WHAT IS HAPPENING.
Oh well! On with the casual conversation!
Has your home life improved?
- Has your home life improved?
Or would you rather be removed?
Seems like... we're a day too late on all this.
Yesterday this might have worked, now...
- Ever since my mom's new boyfriend started giving me pills,
I no longer feel like I should escape, and run for the hills.
... he's been motivated to be complacent.
What does the shop's future look like?
- What does the shop's future look like?
Has the customer numbers seen a spike?
- If anything, it's headed in the opposite direction.
The bank has refused any further cash injection.
So, everything's bad, but you're doped up so you don't care. Every story ends in its' own depressing way!
I Fell From Grace!
So those are the pre-apartment-building shops.
There are... significantly fewer people than there used to be - nailed or catkilled, it's just the sad oldies that are left!
- I'm on the breadline as it is,
I can't go on living like this...
I just appreciate how, if the game doesn't actually have time to develop a full story for somebody, they just shorthand fill it in with "AND THEN EVERYTHING WAS SUPER SAD AND THEY WERE MISERABLE".
And, skipping over the therapists (you should really read today's therapy session!)
We hit the last stop before our office victory...
Any news on the library funds?
- Has the library secured the money that it needs yet?
Maybe they can just start repairs, then later pay the debt.
Henry's financial management strategy: just run up a ton of bills! It'll be fine later, probably!
- I've heard rumors from the city, that the library will close.
Books will no longer enrich this area's minds with their prose.
Sounds like THAT hasn't been happening for a WHILE, but, you know, details.
Where will you go?
- Where will you go, if this place closes down?
Will you look for greener pastures out of town?
- I can't bring myself to leave this town.
Even if at times, I feel I'm about to drown...
- This is my home, I'll make my last stand.
I don't want to go into an unknown land...
There really is a TREMENDOUS amount of loyalty to this dying, awful city where nobody cares and the mold grows into your lungs.
I guess it wouldn't be sad if they all just left and moved to Houston or whatever.
How did Ben die?
- You said Ben was found hanging, how did he die?
Did you get a chance at least to tell him goodbye?
Yeah, that's generally how suicides work. Tell everybody goodbye, finish all your business, send out some cards. You know.
- We fell into different peer groups as time went on.
He'd hang out at the library, and me at the nail salon.
- My group of friends liked to pick on nerds.
They'd trip them up, and call them mean words.
Oh my heavens, this is the plot we're going with. She's a librarian because she was a Mean Girl in high school and bullied her nerd friend into suicide.
- I just wanted to fit in, I was just a stupid kid!
I never meant any of those nasty things I did...
You can make amends, but unfortunately, THAT defense carries 0 weight. If you did something, you can't just erase it by having secretly not meant it lady.
Make amends with people! It sucks, but it's the best thing to do! Usually. Unless they're toxic or whatever, then stay away! LIFE ADVICE FROM THE GUY LP'ING THIS GAME
- He begged me to stop, but my "friends" egged me on.
He went home one day crying, and then... he was gone...
Henry doesn't have NEARLY the emotional reserves to deal with this, so on we rush!
What awaits this neighborhood?
- What awaits this neighborhood? Will it survive?
Every enterprise seems to be in a nosedive...
Lot of awkward pauses these days...
- There is no future here.
Soon we'll all disappear.
Ahhhhh blessed oblivion! Thanks, game!
BUT BELIEVE IT OR NOT, WE'RE NOT QUITE DONE!
There's oooooone more thing to find having to do with the city today.
But first: to work!
Specifically, out back.
No, nothing important has ever happened here.
No, I don't know why this is the place, it doesn't thematically fit at all. We don't cause any hardships, we don't make any discoveries.
The last key is just straight-up hangin' from a tree.
Kind of losing our flair for fancy key names, huh?
WELL THAT'S IT! The final key!
Where do we go? Somewhere I haven't showed off, because there would have been no point to going, but it changed to this since day 2.
Remember that sad, weird kid in the playground?
WELL NOW HE'S A DOOR!
A door with 6 keyholes, so once we remove them one by one...
The First Key of the Last Moonrise...
The Second Key of the Failed Harvest...
The Third Key of the Bottomless Abyss...
The Fourth Key of the Endless Stillbirth...
The Fifth Key of the Untreatable Famine...
The Sixth Key of the Apocalypse...
I feel like this is some experimental metal album...
We fade to black...
Must be Henry's subconsciousness! And I guess that represents success! Say, what IS
- Why is this here? And what is here?
Is this the answer to a silent prayer?
WHOSE prayer, Henry? Not YOURS, obviously.
What was Grace's?
Dear lord, please let Henry find that locket that I'm pretty sure he lost while cheating on me with, to prove his love, since I know he's a good man deep down amen.
Poor Grace :
Ok, well, we didn't learn, grow, or do ANYTHING, and yet we stumbled into this cosmic coincidence. Sounds like about on par for Henry!
We stare at it in the dark and cold, as it gleams. Kind of a neat image.
Then we come to, passed out in the playground!
We've got the locket, the kid is still creepy, and we are ON TRACK FOR THE TRUE ENDING!
No, we can't go back now and show it to Grace, Henry has no idea what to do with it back home
NOW, ON TO THE OFFICE!