Part 107: Day 43 - GameplayDay 43: Gameplay
Music: neutral 3
A, I've released the limits on our employees. All of them. They can now be trained to the very pinnacle of human possibility.
So they'll be able to fight evenly with the Abnormalities like the Rabbits do?
...Let me rephrase. The very pinnacle of their human possibility.
Soo psychic powers, then?
They can have more Justice now, A.
This unlock is much more useful on a second playthrough since we'd have more than enough time to train our Agents. As it is, we have about 3 days to train everyone before endgame-and one of them is going to be taken up by Binah, so it's something of a time crunch. Still, this is very nice to have. It also gives us a new tier of stat buy, letting us buy our way from 5 to EX for 6 additional LOB (18 for Justice). Doing so will put our Agent at a base stat of somewhere around 120-there's some randomness to what they get.
I'm going to level with you all, though: I made a massive error. My original plan for our stockpile of LOB was to take advantage of this to boost everyone in the facility up to near the new limit as soon as this research came online. Unfortunately, everyone over 100 in a stat already counted as being in EX, so I couldn't boost them with this method after all. I'll need to think of another use for our massive glut of LOB.
Like new Agents! We'll need 3 more for the endgame.
Each of these cost 1 LOB + 15 LOB for each stat, for a total of 45 LOB=46 total LOB to order. I figure we can afford to treat ourselves at this point, though.
This is quite an investment, manager.
I felt like testing out Hokma's new tricks. Also, there's not a lot of time to train them. Only having to worry about one statistic simplifies matters.
It has been some time since I last saw the less frugal side of yourself.
Normally by this point you would be scrimping every LOB you could to replace the agents who had fallen
Well, if you haven't noticed things aren't exactly normal around here right now.
Manager, I don't need this extra person.
Yeah, I'm done listening to your requests Binah. You're not special.
Yeah. Bet that pisses you off, huh?
Hey, Manager. What's with that E.G.O that you've got BICEPS in?
It's a strong defensive tool with a good supporting attack on it.
...if you say so, manager.
I think it looks really good!
Well, if that's all let's get to work, team.
I wonder how you'll react today? Don't disappoint me.
The Abnormality we picked yesterday hasn't shown up yet, so we'll have to see it tomorrow.
Orders from the top, everyone!
How did you talk the Manager into assigning me this gear?
Magical girls work best in teams. It's like a rule, boss.
None of us are magical. Or girls.
Maybe not, but we're using their E.G.O. Their wills are carried on in our clothes and our weapons. They'll fight better together, I know it.
...He really agreed with all that?
That's beautiful, manager!
I just thought it was funny.
I won't pass that along, sir.
Not every day we get someone new down here. What's your story?
Blood vengeance against those who have wronged me, of course. What's yours?
You weren't who I was talking to.
Oh, okie-dokie. I'm going to go get on that, then.
So anyways, what brings you down here?
Oh, you know. Just didn't want to hang around the Upper Layers anymore. It's quiet down here. Easy to avoid doing anything.
Our department is the only one that can still have meltdowns.
Yeah, but your Abnormalities are all kind of pains in the ass, so unless that's going on, the manager's not going to look this way.
...That's pretty brilliant, actually.
Hey guys, sorry I'm a bit late. Couldn't find the right room.
That's alright. We were just going over the training materials you all had to watch.
No worries, miss Medea. I think I've got everything down. Our only dangerous ones right now are Scarecrow-do not touch since my Prudence is 5, and Knight of Despair-do not touch and then die afterwards. If she breaches, this suit is rated to take one attack without dying, but a second will absolutely be lethal
I didn't really get a lot of it, but I'm sure I'll figure it out once the work starts! What're our orders!
Um we don't have any. Just keep an eye on things and see what you can pick up from watching the day-to-day happenings.
I definitely didn't forget to train Justice on the new Agents the day before a boss fight. No sir.
Meanwhile we put Twee to work with WhiteNight. We're fishing for the E.G.O gift again today, and I don't plan to end the day until she gets it.
Oh hello there, Mizu. No hard feelings about that work with Queen of Hatred yesterday, right? I got all the information, so she's all yours.
Don't worry about it! I'm feeling just fine! Say, your suit absorbs Red damage, right?
Hey Switch? Could you do me a favor and conveniently look the other way for sec?
Um sure thing, ma'am.
...You're not okay with it at all, are you?
I'm feeling juuuuust fine! I just have to have words with your face, like I promised.
You never said anything to me about-
OH GOD MY EVERYTHING.
Ahh, cutie smooches all for me! Now all's right with the world!
What the hell did I just watch?
An agent discarding their fear and enacting their will upon this place. And another, being trodden upon by their sincere wishes.
Well, I don't think the world should be like that.
Are you not trying to enact some will on the entire City? And to do so you discarded everything, even your own memories. You ran away so that your weak heart could face that same fear, no?
...that it's completely different.
Is it, now?
A side note about Queen of Hatred that we didn't have time to cover yesterday-she talks! She's one of only a few Abnormalities to do so, and she's actually quite chatty. I'll probably cover her lines in greater detail in a bonus update alongside things like the Rabbits and whatnot.
...are you going to explain why there's a giant hole in my ceiling?
Mizu got mad, and
Ah. That makes sense. Can you move?
Mostly. Say, while I'm here that yellow magical girl is here, right?
King of Greed? Yeah, why?
Just figured it might be a good idea to complete the set.
...just yell if the work result's normal.
Can do. Thanks.
Boksi is going to try and get his hands on KoG's gift, while I throw Talow at Queen of Hatred when I eventually remember to. The Magical Girl trio all have gifts which are either the best or second-best in their slot, so we really can't go wrong with farming them.
Oh, right, I need to remember to Execution bullet three clerks
Is that truly necessary, manager?
If we don't manage our employee numbers carefully, then the Queen of Hatred's Qliphoth Counter decreases.
Yes, but it's possible to raise it in the event we work her properly in that 'Hysteric' mode.
True but if we don't manage to do it, things could get a lot worse.
I say we give it a try~
If it breaks out, we'll calmly assess the situation.
...Alright. Why not?
So that's the situation. Remember to follow the protocols.
Oooo, an expeeriment..!
It's been a while, huh?
Does that mean you're going to use a... proobe..?
Heheh, still on that alien kick, kiddo?
T and I know aall your seecrets It's oonly a matter of tiime before you're expoosed..!
You know, there's an old saying that what you're looking for is usually right beside you all along. That Hinman is a rather odd bird herself, isn't she?
Your aalien mind tricks won't work on mee T isn't even heere! I sent her to Saafeety for insuurance..! So the oonly thing besiide me is yoou..!
Well played, well played. You sure got me there.
Greetings, fellow humans! I don't suppose any of you would raise objections were I to decide to work with that Blue Star fellow? It's definitely not to see if its portal connects to space or anything like that!
HAHAHAHA! It's good to have hobbies!
Level 2. No real progress with Binah, either
You will think of something. I'm sure of it.
Right, in the meanwhile, let's check on Queen of Hatred. How bad could things possibly...
She seems pretty bad, manager.
When in this state, a Good result (16+ boxes) will manage to cheer her up. However, Hysteric mode applies a penalty to all works done with Queen of Hatred of -20%.
Easy now it's alright.
Since her base success rate for level 5 Attachment work is 60% and her observation bonus to work success is 8%, that may not seem too terrible. After all, Boksi's 137 total Work Success stat adds 27% onto that, making a 95% base success chance-the highest it can possibly be, since any success rate over 95% is lowered to 95% before penalties are applied.
After the penalty it becomes a 75% chance of success per box, and with 22 boxes to her name this works out to around a 70% chance of hitting 16 or higher. If we get a little unlucky, we're going to have to deal with a breach-and remember that this is the best possible option. Lowering our Work Success stat to 110 (the place where our cap has been for most of the game) would drop these odds to a roughly 50-50 chance, and trying to coax her out of it below that requires some very good luck. There's a reason Queen of Hatred winds up ending a lot of days.
Unfortunately, luck is not with us today.
Queen of Hatred is impaled on a bunch of spears of magical energy, and her wand descends over her.
And then a black heart forms, which breaks as the Abnormality teleports away.
Eugh Sorry, Yesod. I'm going to call this experiment a failure. Where's the Abnormality?
It's shown up in Records. My agents have engaged it already.
What the hell?!
That's Queen of Hatred's breaching form. She teleports somewhere in the facility, and deals Black damage to whoever she just teleported onto. We'll be safe for a minute, just attack.
Why do you know all of this?
I'm a big Paul fan.
Once she teleports, Queen of Hatred will wander around without attacking, opening her up to attack.
Manager, there's a high buildup of energy coming from the Abnormality.
In that case-
Manager! Something vital's come up!
...that's not vital at all, Hod.
Once she starts charging, it's important to pull everyone out of there before she uses her ultimate attack, Arcana Slave. This is a pink beam which damages things in front of it, and it's a big attack.
Damaging things with it also heals the Queen of Hatred-compare the life bar between this and two images ago for an example-and if people are caught inside of it (like happened this time) she'll kick it up to its next phase.
Oh, and don't worry about Morgan, I just forgot she was weak to Black damage so her movement was slowed. A shield bullet got her out of there safely.
Stage 2 of the attack is larger and more damaging. How much larger?
The attack manages to make it halfway into Extraction's main room. The best way to dodge this attack is to either be on a different level than the Queen, or to just run behind her-running away won't work.
A, she's fallen into a dormant state temporarily.
Seems like not even that beast can keep that kind of energy output up forever. Now's our chance!
After using this attack, Queen of Hatred takes some time to recover-that's our best chance to counterattack.
She just disappeared!
Yeah she'll do that.
Unfortunately, Queen of Hatred has some defenses to keep this from being simple. Each time her healthbar goes down by 1/3rd, she'll teleport to somewhere else and immediately recover from her cooldown state.
Because of this and her normal teleports, she can be annoying to finish off.
Remember to use that technique I told you about, guys! My suit'd hold up against this thing all day, but who can say for the rest of you?
Evil Kit's would hold up fine, too. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one here in any actual danger.
You're just jelly of my jam!
That that wasn't even evil, it was just bad.
I'm trying to think fast here, give me a break!
It warped out on us!
Does anyone have eyes on it?!
It moved to my part of Central. Right in the middle of everything.
Things are certainly lively today.
If you're not going to contribute, then butt out of the call Binah.
Oh, I just had a message for you.
Too small?! They're one size fits all!
Then perhaps the elastic is worn, like every other part of this place.
I'm banning you from metaphors.
Music: First Trumpet
Do you really have the time for that right now?
A trumpet? But it didn't go off with just the Mountain escaping Was it the clerks that it chomped?
Our warning sensor does not take into account any clerk deaths, Manager. They do not, as it were, count.
HAH! I knew it!
Er, I mean-that's really odd and whoever designed it is an idiot. What's the problem then?
That'd do it.
Between her teleports and the death laser, Queen of Hatred can rack up Clerk kills pretty fast. It's a good idea to assume that if she breaches, any Clerk's Rights Abnormalities we have will also be breaching soon after.
Don't worry about things here, we have it under control. Take care of the others.
This isn't your true nature, Queen of Hatred! Return back to your peaceful self!
It's just her in a fancy rubber suit anyways! We'll just rip it off and she'll cut this act out!
Ooh, this cutie wants to play! Okay then! Let's wrestle!
I'll be back here sniping at it while she's busy.
Yeah, that's the safest way to handle all this.
These three have enough damage output to handle Mountain on their own, and I clear Disciplinary out of their main room to save Big Bird for last. It's not really a threat.
This was a mistake.
Oh well, nothing I can do about it now. I Black shield all of them and have them move up to Central 3.
We're here to help!
Speak for yourself! I just want to beat a Magical Girl in single combat! Muahahaha!
Meanwhile Tylana, and Evil Kit show up. It's at this point I realize they never got ordered to stop attacking, and neither did SeyserKoze. Things almost went very bad, here.
It turns out that Queen of Hatred can hurt Agents even in door transitions. The circled area has a black dot that denotes Black damage where SeyserKoze is located, and the damage indicators are from him. On top of that, all the hits she's getting in are healing her back up much faster than we're currently damaging her.
I show up and she turns tail to run away. Figures.
I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad to see you.
Damn right you are.
This winds up pushing her back above 1/3rd health, so she hits her automatic teleportation escape again. I can't overstate how important it is to dodge Arcana Slave, that stupid laser will make or break us. At least SeyserKoze didn't die from my carelessness.
Jeez. I could use some good news right about now.
Good news, Manager! We've handled Mountain of Smiling Bodies.
Cutie's down for the three count! And the defending Lobotomy Corporation Heavyweight Champion of the world retains her belt!
...Is there really a belt?
What do you think.
Thanks for the update, Chiral. And tell your boss that her outlook on everything is wrong.
I am still observing the communication channel, Manager.
Oh, well, it's still true.
You are trying to provoke me.
I would never. You're just wrong.
I am not so simple as to be provoked by a man who chained himself to a desk to escape his own regrets.
...I don't have time for this. Where's Queen of Hatred?!
She's gone dormant in Information. But
There's no longer anything to worry about! The one and only Dimi is here to do what the rest of the facility could not!
I'm also here too, sir. Came as soon as I heard!
Aaaaaand, selfie! This is totally going on the blog. Explosions of magic light really make my eyes pop.
What an annoying enemy
I'll take an annoying enemy over an annoying ally any day.
I'm not touching yoooooou~
When the explosion clears, Queen of Hatred falls to the ground and lies there for a moment before returning to containment.
There's another strategy which involves working her right before a Meltdown, and pushing her over once she's hit 17+ so she enters Hysteric mode, the work ends, and she immediately leaves Hysteric mode, but timing this can be a little tricky. In the future, we'll just be killing 3 Clerks every meltdown level. It's far easier.
Music: neutral 5?
That just leaves Big Bird, and everything's moved back to normal.
Manager, that is not the standard music.
I know. I thought about it, and realized that Binah's an unlikeable old crone who pretends nothing bothers her.
What does that have to do with the music?
It'll drive her insane.
That is not an efficient use of company time.
I dunno. I kind of enjoyed making it.
It's fine, let's just see what happens.
The Big Bird suppression goes like any other time we've had to beat it down, but around now I notice something else:
Twee got the 2% gift drop.
We'll be swapping Mizu over here from here forward, in hopes that she strikes it rich as well. She's not the only one, either.
I can feel the latent psionic energy in this headband! It's truly a powerful item.
T. Hinman gets one as well.
Hey, Kit? Have you seen my other wing? I just got it, so I want to preen it a bit...
Yes! My cheeks spied it hiding from you, and it certainly isn't underneath the sink!
Got it, thanks.
Evil Kit got the Nothing There gift, too.
Oh hey, Talow! I'm over here to work with WhiteNight!
You're late. He's already hit purple.
Oh, you worry too much. He's just a big supercutie deep down. I'll have him smiling in no time.
Thou as well shalt not be attempting to harass My countenance for a feather, I pray?
Ooh, do they give superpowers? I want superpowers. Gimme.
What hath I just wrought?
Oh no, we are not dealing with this twice in one day.
Oh, nice wing.
Twee had one earlier. It's from WhiteNight, right?
Yep! The key is to start yanking feathers and never stop until he agrees to give you one!
I feel like that would kill most people...
You think so?
One work. It feels like the game is rewarding me for beating up Queen of Hatred.
Oh well, I'm not questioning it.
Angela, how's Binah reacting to my new plan? She's got to be angry by now, right?
She appears to be having tea, manager.
I was provided with an unusual change in surroundings, and opted to indulge in a moment of respite before returning to my endless torment.
Oh come on! Would you just get mad already?!
So you were attempting to provoke me?
...Do you hold a grudge for the Queen of Hatred?
What does that have to do with anything?
It's simply a question, Manager.
...She's an Abnormality. I just have to be more careful next time.
So you do not hate her.
That child is one who could not stand her place in a world which had found its equilibrium. When she realizes she has lost her purpose, she rages. That rage spreads suffering in a torrent across our facility, and when she is done sowing sorrow and despair she returns to herself. Unable to bear the strain, she convinces herself none of it had happened. She runs, freed of the memory of her crimes, to begin anew. If an existence like that isn't worthy of your hate
Why are you worthy of mine?
...okay that's really not a fair comparison.
You seem frustrated, manager!
That's because I am frustrated. I need to trigger a meltdown today, and Binah just doesn't care.
Mmm That is a tricky one.
Have you tried being your usual charming self?
Ouch, but also yes.
Maybe you should try a more direct approach? You've never been very good at being direct, manager.
I'm perfectly fine at being direct!
Great! Then there shouldn't be any problem at all!
...Hey, don't just hang up-!
This does not appear to be your day, A.
Cry all you like. It doesn't hurt me at all.
Zeta21 had to use the portrait earlier today so all the damage to her is going elsewhere, meaning we can negate it with Black bullets. This is a pretty decent use of the portrait when we need to work with a dangerous Abnormality, or do Repression on Melting Love.
That said, Zeta21 somehow manages to score 15/32 off of a work with 0% base success rate.
And gets the gift, which was another 2% drop.
Another meaningless attempt to provoke my rage?
Something like that. This seed I'm making won't work unless I suppress the core of each of the Sephirot. That includes you, so you have to have some kind of reaction.
Oh, was that all? You didn't think of me as an enemy at all, but a tool to use. How very like you.
Yeah, I'd apologize but you are a tool.
Much the same as any of the Sephirot. We are all but tools in this endless cycle of suffering, made by you in a vain attempt to bring about the will of another.
Spare me the lectures. Are we doing this?
I suppose I shall consider it. You have accomplished much for me, after all.
That's as close to a yes as you're going to get.
Tch. So in the end I'm relying on her to feel like it. Wonderful. Does the script say anything about this?
Even if it did, I cannot say. It is best that you do what you think is right.
Then in that case, how's our energy looking?
We are prepared at any time.
Great, let's call it. I'm tired of this song.
Aren't you the one who put it on in the first place..?
We're all done for the day, everyone. Time to pack up.
On it, boss!
Great. Time to get out of this outfit forever.
Aww, come on! We still haven't gotten a chance to test out our new friendship powers!
Yeah, come on! It looks great on you!
...I'll think about it.
Is the paperwork all done, you guys?
I already did it. Just need to finish up a couple of things.
I hope you three got a sense of how things work around here. Now, let's all share one thing we learned to close the day.
Never screw with a Magical Girl.
Don't try to sneak works in with The Naked Nest, or you'll have to screw with a Magical Girl.
Thirty minute lunch breaks are a privilege, not a right!
Very good, all of you. Let's get out of here.
We're taking a pretty big risk here.
It is entirely one of your own making, A. There is little point overthinking it now.
Right. And worst case scenario, we'll just reset and try other things until it works. I bet you'd like that, eh, Hokma?
While I've accepted the inevitability of our exit, I would cherish additional time with you, yes.
Speaking of, where were you all day? You barely said anything.
I was otherwise occupied. There was a great deal of work which had been forwarded to me that I had neglected until recently.
Good man. See you tomorrow, everyone.
Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Binah is vaguely menacing and rambles about the Bucket.
With thanks to WmegaU for letting me borrow his remix.