The Let's Play Archive

Linda Cube [Linda³]

by ivantod

Part 33: Autumn 1998-Summer 1999


Last time, Linda and Ken captured a few more species. They also discovered in the underground and old ark, which seems like it might be the one from the previous time loop (?). Today is the time to finish everything in this finale of Scenario C!

We start today's episode just as it becomes Autumn 1998.

We only have six animal species left to collect, so let's begin by getting a couple of them! We'll just head underground for that!

Let's see what we can find...

Ah, here it is!

The cobra!

In another place in the underground, we can find these guys. You can probably guess...

...that we're talking about elephants here.

Incidentally in the original PC Engine version, hydras are a palette swap of elephants (so that's another one in addition to what I discussed recently).

Anyway, after having done this, since we're so close to departure (?), perhaps we should think about equipping our living quarters on the ark a bit. Why this wouldn't have been done as part of the Escape Project itself I have no idea, but here we are. Luckily we have plenty of money. So, let's head to Ozport once again...

Or, rather, more specifically... the furniture/interior shop! Let's have chat with the first saleslady there.

We're a furniture shop which will transform your room into something gorgeous! But please remember that this has nothing to do wiht collecting animals, so only buy things here when you have some extra money to spare.

Both of the salesladies actually have a different list of things you can buy. So let's see what she has.

Well, the prices are definitely not on the cheap side, but... as you can see we have plenty of money anyway, so might as well buy everything! The "Namina" Takayama thing is a joke on Linda's voice actress Minami Takayama's name! It doesn't seem we can buy it, though.

So the other sales lady.

We have the perfect interior for a relaxing and luxurious time! A wedding only lasts a few hours; a honeymood a few days at most! A fridge is much more worth spending money on than such wothless things. And you can still use it even after you split up!

Sure. Let's see what you have to sell.

Well, that's even more expensive, but also a few things that are a bit more on the useful side. So let's buy all of that too.

Customer! You have just purchased everything in our shop! To celebrate, we have added something special! We will now deliver everything to the ark!

So everything gets setup in Linda and Ken's living quarters on the ark. Unfortunately, no, you can't arrange things yourself, everything just goes into a fixed place. But why not...

...head over there right now, and see how it looks?

Let's see...

Wow, there's a lot going on here. And if you examine stuff, you can get brief comments from Ken. So to make this a bit easier, I have assigned numbers to everything and so here is what Ken says about different things!

1. Houseplant: "This housepant... it was not developed by Dr. Flora, was it?"

2. Tourist souvenir flag: "A souvenir for toursts. The words "WELCOME NEOKENYA" are printed in bright red over a picture of The Grim Reaper."

3. Persian rug: "Hmm, it might be nice to sit down and have lunch on the floor every once in a while."

4. Beastman statue: "No. 1 most popular souvenir for tourists. Why on earth did I buy such a useless thing?"

5. Safe: "I am a common man who only relises after buying a safe that he has nothing to put in it!"

6. Sofa: "A sofa, huh? I guess we will sit here and eat dinner while we watch TV. Are we going to be able to watch TV even? I suppose probably not."

7. Coffee table: "No matter which angle you look at it from, it's just a low table."

Note: "low table" is what they usually call a "coffee table" in Japan!

8. Leopard rug: "Leopard fur is a bit stiff, but on the other hand it stimulates pressure points on the soles of your bare feet, which is good for your health."

9. Wardrobe: "A wardrobe large enough to hide a whole human being."

10. Closet: "The back side of this closet seems to be made of a rough material with cheap finish."

11. Dresser: "The mirror on this dresser makes my mole change to the other side of my face!"

Ahaha, a funny reference to the fact that Ken and Nek have matching moles on opposite sides of their faces!

12. Baby crib: "Let's see if the first one to use it will be a girl or a boy!"

13. Rotating bed: "It turns! Oh my god, it turns!"

14. Double bed: "It's a sturdy looking bed. Looks like it has enough space to do various kinds of things on it."

15. Standing lamp: "When the bulb goes out, it will just be in the way!"

16. Reproduction of a Rousseau painting: "Apparently, an Earth landscape. But animals are oddly shaped and don't look like anything I've seen before."

The French painter Henri Rousseau is famous, among other things, for his paintings of jungle animals in their natural habitat. Of course, they don't look like the ones on Neo-Kenya!

17. Bookshelves: "I just remembered... I heard that less than 1% of households who own an encyclopedia actually use it more than a couple of times in one year!"

18. Cupboard: "Looking at it closely, it doesn't seem to be a very high quality cupboard..."

19. Stuffed lion: "No matter how strong you are, in the end you still die."

20. Dining set: "Jessica Lange was pretty in that film, wasn't she?"

This is a reference to, uh, a certain scene from the 1981 movie "The Postman Always Rings Twice", with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson.

21. Refrigerations: "Let's see... the freezer is here... the vegetables go here..."

All right, that is everything we bought from the shop.

In addition, there is also that chest there, it contains the diamond ring which was purchased at the wedding shop. Also, there is a piece of paper hanging on the wall by the kitchen entrance. Since we bought everything from the shop, they gave us as a gift the autograph of "Namina" Takayama. Here it is:

It's just the name written in Japanese (高山なみな) and the date. But for some reason I'm having a hard time figuring out if the year is supposed to be 1990, 1996 or 1970 or what! Well, I suppose it doesn't really matter.

Anyway, that's the whole deal with the furniture shop, you spend a lot of money to have your living area look nicer and also to get some funny comments from Ken. This room will however, play quite an important role shortly before we depart from the planet!

So, let's head out for more hunting.

Outside, it's now already Winter 1998. Not much time left... but also we only have 4 more species to find, so not really so bad, I think. Just for clarification: the latest we can leave the planet is Summer 1999.

Before hunting, though...

...let's make a stop at Linda's house. Here, Hume has a few last words for us.

They will be departing soon, but in the meantime, we'll head back to the underground, for one last jaunt.

Let's see. There's exactly TWO more species left to be found down here (the other two are, surprisingly, actually above ground!).

One of them is the carp, however looking at the screenshot might already reveal a problem. There are no female carps present!

Yes, yes, this is one last one where the two genders are separated. Capturing a female carp "only" requires you to find where it is--there are no special conditions other than that. However, in this case, as it will soon become obvious, "just finding it" is not so easy and pretty much requires you to have explored literally everywhere else on the planet already. Again, we'll see soon why this is.

In order to get to where female carps are, we need to traverse one last dungeon/cave--yes, it's true, literally 5 minutes before the end, we are going into a new dungeon for the first time. However, I have an excuse--we COULDN'T do this before!

Here it is. The entrance is to the left of Ken, a bit hard to see I think.

This place is called Tricross, and it's actually quite interesting in more ways than one.

Most of it is actually on one floor, but...

...the map is actually fairly large. If you look carefully, you will notice that there are several completely disjointed parts of the map. So how does that work? Let's keep exploring!

After a bit of walking, we find this kind of situation. An inactive teleporter, and what looks like another (more elaborate looking one) on the other side of the wall. You're probably getting the idea, or at least part of it already.

After a while we reach another teleporter, but this one seems possible to interact with.

Ah, yes. Like other "strange collectables", the crowns too are used to activate teleporters, just those in this dungeon. Activating teleporters allows you to traverse from one isolated part of the dungeon to another. This dungeon also has several exits, so it's another way which connects all the different isolated parts of the underground. Of course it's not really an alternative to beastman statues, since in order to get the crowns you pretty much have to have the statues. There are a total of five crowns and I'm really not going to bother repeating their names here. I am also going to abbreviate the traversal a bit since despite the size of the place, there's not that much to actually see.

But, for now let's continue.

Pools of lava also make traversal a bit more difficult.

There is one new species to be found here, though!

The triceratops!

The appearance of pre-historic animals here definitely points to the direction that this is somehow where the ark originally landed in the previous loop, but maybe due to some geological events everything ended up underground or something. It fits also with the Beastian legend about how the animals came from the underground, too. I mean this is just me speculating.

Proceeding through the dungeon, while activating the teleporters...

...eventually leads us to a staircase...

...which eventually leads outside. We've found the second exit! (I count as the first exit the one we came in through.)

It leads to this part of the map as shown above.

After a while, we reach the next staircase.

It leads of course to the third exit.

It's located on this part of the map. Continuing back inside...

...we find more teleporters for our crowns to be put on.

And then of course the next staircase...

...and the next exit...

...leading to this part of the map. You can see what I meant that this dungeon allows you to move between different isolated parts of the underground, for example this part is not reachable by walking.

After a bit of walking, we get to the next staircase.

And the next exit to the outside.

Here it is on the map. Don't worry, there is a point to this exercise in the end!

Lot's of lava here...

Sometimes also a staircase!

It leads to this part of the world. And this one is quite interesting, because... leads to the part of the map where there is just that little pond, surrounded by mountains. There is literally no other way to get here except to activate all five teleporters in Tricross and to get through the whole dungeon.

But you kind of have to, because...

...well, it's the only place on this planet were female carps can be found!

So let me be very clear here. You have to (a) collect most of the beastman status of different colours, so that you can (b) explore all of the underground, so that you can (c) gather all the crowns, so that you can (d) explore all of Tricross so that you can (e) activate all the teleporters inside, so that you can finally (f) reach this last exit which leads only to this carp pond and nothing else, so that you can (g) capture a female carp, because this is the only place they can be found. Seems simple enough.

This one is definitely pretty crazy, but at least there's no luck involved--if you do the steps in order you will always get the result. Unlike the e.g. anglerfish eggs, where you might just get REALLY unlucky somehow (but it's not too probable, to be fair).

This is kind of what I meant when I said that we really couldn't have done this earlier--you simply need to have all five crowns first, so you have to spend time exploring before you can come here.

But anyway, now this is finally done and all species from the underground have been collected. This leaves us the two still to be found on the surface.

Before we leave, though, here is a PC Engine picture of carps:

As you can see on this picture, in the original, both male and female carps just appear together. This whole story with Tricross and crowns wasn't present. The triceratops appears instead in the pyramid in the place of T-Rex who are also not present in the original.

Coming back outside...

...we find that it is now Spring 1999. That text is not super easy to see, I know, but trust me, it's Spring 1999.

I wanted to check if that guy by the shack is still here, but turns out no, he's left. Ken receives a message notification, however! Who could it be from at this point in time?

Before we see what that's all about, though...

...we should check the calendar one last time. Note that even Ben seems to not be around any more.

Ahahahahahaha, but of course!

All right, all right, all right, let's focus. We still have two species to find and time is REALLY running out!

First of all, since we have now properly equipped our living quarters on the ark...

...we should make sure that we keep the place clean, etc.

However, it looks like we might have some kind of an infestation!

Yep, it's definitely maggots, and YES, they definitely need to be captured!

Actually I was just joking a bit above, they have nothing to do with the furniture. But they do appear on the ark starting from 1999 in the living quarters. So, uh, hope you remember to check here literally just before leaving the planet for good, because there is no other way to capture a pair of maggots.

All right, now, that puts us at 119, so where the heck is that one last species? We've truly explored everywhere at this point.

Well, this one requires you to have a good memory (or at least to be keeping notes). At the very very beginning of this scenario, one of the first things we did was talk to the elderly couple who live above the power station in Hardia. They were talking to us about aye-ayes and mentioned how those animals are able to masquerade as humans quite well. That's kind of the only remaining thing we haven't yet acted upon, so let's go back there and talk to them again!

The power station is here in the corner.

Oh, good, they're still here!

Hey Ken, sonny. We've talked about aye-aye's before, but I think I forgot to tell you the most important part. I must be getting old, I've been forgetting things lately... Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh, right, aye-ayes. To tell you the truth, actually the two of us are in reality aye-ayes!

And they just... yeah!

I've known you since you were kids, so I don't mind to let you take us to the ark with you!

This is awesome. I love it.

One point of note, though: you can only do this now in 1999, if you talked to them at least once before 1999. If you didn't, well then, tough luck, guess you'll be reloading your save file from 1998 or earlier! Or if you're playing blind, more likely, you'll be completely lost as to where the last animal could possibly be!

Obviously, you can never actually fight aye-ayes, so the whole deal about HP and how much they sell for is entirely irrelevant (there's nobody to sell them to anyway in 1999). Since you only get one of each, you can't really process them into equipment either--not that you'd want to, but...

This does mean, however, that we have finally collected all 120 animal species (although we haven't handed in all of them yet). But there's still a few more things to be done on the planet, so we won't be leaving just yet. As mentioned, we don't have to leave until Summer 1999, and right now it's still Spring. But now you can see what I meant at the beginning of this scenario. If you want to collect all 120, you literally cannot leave before 1999 (mostly because of these last two--maggots and aye-ayes, as they both only become available in 1999).

Next, let's head briefly to Ken's house...

Going in...

...we see that even Ken's mum appears to be gone! All right, let's go back out...

...and listen to that message finally! Here it is.

Ken, it's your mum! By the time you hear this message, my escape shuttle will have probably already left this solar system. Ken, make sure to get along with Linda, and... I really enjoyed having you around! Thanks for that!
It's me! Leave your mum to me, I will take care of her! So long and have a good life! That is all!

At least they managed to leave together, it seems!

Well, ok since we're already here, let's just go back to the ark...

...and hand in the last two animal species!

And, yes indeed, that makes it a full 120, as we'd hoped to achieve! Nice.

Well, ok, but we're not leaving yet. We do still have some unfinished business.

First of all, if you try to use the Bird Line, here's what you find:

The employees have left, to be replaced with robots!

The boarding for the last escape shuttle flight will be finished soon. Please proceed to Ozsat as soon as possible. Please be careful while doing so.

You can definitely still use the bird line service if you really want to.

However, the robot does have a point. Although we're not leaving on the shuttle ourselves, we do have someone on Ozsat who told us to visit them in 1999 before leaving.

So let's head into the airport (shuttleport?).

Everyone is gone, so we'll just head on up.

Up on the satellite, there is still this one technician here!

The final scheduled escape shuttle fights are almost done... I wonder if we've managed to transport everyone from the planet's surface? I hope we don't have any leftovers... The plans of the Federation are made by pencil pushers and don't always hold up in practice...

Ah, here she is, the lady we wanted to talk to.

Hey, I guess it's finally time to say goodbye, huh? But before we do, I guess I should let you in on a big secret about human race. I suppose you would have already heard somewhere that humanity as a species doesn't have much left to live. The only exception has been on this planet. Even if Beastians are what they are... it turns out that their powers, including the reproductive abilities are only maintained in the ecosystem of this planet.
So, do you understand now? You are the future of human race! So, do your best! Just like our ancestors did!

And by "our ancestors", who exactly do you mean? Because I could tell you something that would blow your mind!

Anyway, we more or less figured this one out already, but thanks for the chat!

Since we're not boarding the shuttle, let's head back down to the planet again.

More precisely, to Linda's house.

Here, we can definitively confirm that Linda's parents, too, have already left.

All right then. I guess we should be getting ready to leave too, huh?

But before that... there is still one last thing to do somehow!

Which thing is that? Well... you'll see in a moment! Let's head underground one last time!

We're heading back into the pyramid, if you can believe that!

We'll brave the teleporting maze full of T-Rexes again (they can't do much to us any more, though)...

...until we get to the room where we met with Ken's dad.

Let's step on this teleporter here...

It takes us... somewhere?

More precisely, it takes us to the other side of that door in Gapia we found last time! But what is here?

A garden, and a swing, just like the one in front of Ken's house. This HAS got to be some kind of remnant of a previous time loop. It just has to be!

If a person from the ark we saw recently is the one who made this... don't you have a feeling that we would have been able to be friends with them... even if they aren't human?

Incredibly, Ken can say no to this! But of course we'll say yes.

Hey, Ken... I...
Ahahahaha... I can't after all...
[ Say it already. ] / What are you laughing about?

Well, all right. Let's go, indeed.

But, before that. It turns out, when you visit the old ark in the PC Engine version, Linda has a small bit of dialogue which does NOT appear in the remake. So, here it is, for better or for worse:


This looks exactly like our ark, except it's old and a bit broken here and there. So I've been thinking... what if this was used to bring animals to Neo-Kenya originally? It was probably done by a couple similar to us!
Ahahahaha, it's got go be! You can always find a pair of idealistic people, no matter when!

So make of that what you will, but it doesn't contradict the possibility that the "couple similar to us" could still have been them in a previous time loop!

All right, and now...

The switch on the wall there opens the door back to Gapia where the old ark is.

Coming back to the (new) ark... is now finally Summer 1999. We should probably go, right?

Either way, if have collected at least 100 animals, the game doesn't let you fail: once the time is up, you will hear the famous disembodied voice we now know is probably coming from Ken's father, and the voice tells you along the lines of "what are you waiting for, it's time to go", and you are teleported automatically to the ark!

So yeah, there genuinely isn't anything left to do on the planet (and certainly nobody to talk to either), so let's just go!

Let's open the door to the bridge!

The same procedure as always, of course!

Let's get this ship going!

[ Now is good. ] / Let me think about that...
Is it really ok?
[ How many times are you going to ask? ] / Let me think about that...

As before we get two chances to turn back, but what for?

The rest of the ending is presented as a cutscene video, of course. Make sure to stay after the credits!

I have a feeling that this just left more open questions than it gave answers! Well, we can also watch the PC Engine version of the ending, which has some slight differences.

As always the ending song, in this case titled "Try Again", is performed by Linda's voice actress, Minami Takayama, and also as always a rearranged version of the song was recorded by Ryouko Kihara, the game's composer, for the CD which was given with the Sega Saturn version of the game. You can listen to it here:

Does anybody else think that even the name of this song is also a bit of a hint?

By the way, regarding that MA-RI-A part which is spoken with a synthesized voice. You might remember that when they were camping at the very beginning of this scenario, Linda asked Ken what they should name their first daughter and offered the name Maria as suggestion. You can accept that, or you can change the name into something else, where as player you have the freedom to input there any name you want by using katakana syllables. So, here when you get to the end, basically the game will synthesize the speech to pronounce whatever name was chosen for the first daughter during that conversation.

And well, there we go. That was Scenario C, presented for your enjoyment, and what, according to the game's designer was the actual orginal intent for this game. Some things were explained, some not, or left to us to connect the dots, but I think there is a somewhat clear-ish picture about the situation.

Since there's nothing really left to do in the game, I guess we're back at the main menu...

And perhaps, you might feel like starting a new game, just to see if you can do things more efficiently or something like that, and...


Oh no.

It's unclear to me which part of the game this is supposed to represent, honestly, especially since there is still another person present. Best to take it simply as a piece of concept art.

This second one, however, nicely gives strong hint that the time shenanigans/loop theory might just be correct!

As you can tell by Linda's hair colour, both of these date from the PC Engine era!