The Let's Play Archive

Lobotomy Corporation

by TeeQueue

Part 116: Day 47 - Gameplay

Day 47: Gameplay

Music: neutral 3

That's a little… vague, isn't it?

The trials that you'll face are proofs of strength, more than they are conversations. What Kether seeks is unity, nothing else.

That wasn't an answer to my-

Therefore, it stands to reason that those selves who stand before you will take advantage of everything they can to defeat you and take control of our mind. I am using the same tactics you can expect ahead: no more and no less.

So… you're not holding back because the others won't.

Correct. We are proceeding on a tightrope without the benefit of a net beyond this point. I must see that you are prepared. I would have you not fall.

So what happens if I lose?

Then you are not ready, and I shall send you away to grow. Don't expect this mercy from the others.

What do you mean by other-?

The time for questions is over. This is the time to act, nameless one.

From day 47 onward, we have a loss condition. If all of our Agents are dead, panicked, or out of control then the game won't tell us to rewind like it has before. Instead, it'll just take us to the same ending which we would have gotten if we weren't able to answer the questions earlier. I've also heard that it's possible to fail a day by having our danger level be too high for too long, but I've never seen it. (Future TQ note: I tested it by setting the danger level to max every two minutes for roughly 15 minutes of game time; danger level does not trigger a bad ending here) Either way, X is now playing for keeps.

...Right. Everyone all ready?

Upper Layer's in position.

Middle Layer's ready to go.

You sure we can't have five more minutes?

Pretty sure, yeah.

Tch. Then we're ready when you are in the Lower Layer.

Alright, let's do this.

Music: Red Dots

Be overwhelmed by my despair… my rage.

Manager, we've got a situation.

That was fast. What's going on?

Something sort of... happened in the office. Looks like when Yesod broke down, but… different. Warped.

It's a psionic manifestation. I'm not sure why it's here.

Oooh… proobably cogito based..? How iinteresting...

What the hell?!

Sorry to interrupt you, but it's not just D.A.D.

We've got one here, too.

This is one of those boss rushes, isn't it?

Starting to feel like it.

One in Training, too. It's Hod's form, from that time you provoked her.

Wait, this was the Manager's fault?

That's really not a very fair assessment…

How could you do that to such a nice robot?

I don't have time for this… Mr.Black?

Lovely to talk with you! HAHAHAHAHA!

There's one here, too.

Its energy beckons to me. How curious…

So this is what you mean by that…

You were able to answer the questions with such passion… I'm sure you can overcome the trials which stymied me, as well.

I suddenly understand why you called this an agony.

We always were quick on the uptake.

Levels 1-2 posted:

We had no idea where to go, sailing the ocean without a map or any kind of guidance. Do you think it’ll be any better now? It won’t.

How do we expect to move forward when we cannot even stand up straight?

Remember Elijah’s last moments… how she clawed and scraped at the floor, writhing in pain.

It is best for everyone if we just turn back to the first act now. Who knows, our unforgivable sin may lighten just a tiny bit if you do.

On day 47 we'll be handling all of the Upper Layer suppressions at once, albeit with slightly different rules. Also, the clear conditions can be a little difficult to interpret properly: We need to get the Qliphoth Meltdown Level 6 bar to appear at the top of the screen to clear that condition, meaning we're effectively aiming to get to Level 7. This means we won't have to fight White Dusk or Midnight again, but a Noon is unavoidable.

Pulling up an Abnormality to work it, we can see the ??? that means Malkuth's effect is already in play. Since we can see our interface we can tell Yesod isn't active, and looking around will show us that our stats are fine and our healing is working as well. At the start, Malkuth's work shuffling is the only problem we have to deal with.

Luckily, we already know how to deal with it.

A notebook?

I can't trust my memory all the time, so I use it to note the shuffles. Learned it while squaring off with Malkuth.

You make it sound so simple. We never saw eye to eye, the two of us. Even if I could remember...

Mm. You two were a lot alike, weren't you?

You're being preposterous.

Eh… I'm not so sure about that.

Now that we have the work shuffle figured out (and written down!), we can move on to handling our two new Abnormalities.

Our first one is -awesome!. It's a… circle, basically.

Remember to use an agent it likes.

We wouldn't want a repeat of last time, after all.

You swore never to speak of it again.

Oh yeah. Sorry.

-awesome! doesn't care what kind of work we do, it only pays attention to if the Agent working with it is bald. BICEPS is perfect for the job.

One work lets us unlock its real name: You're Bald…. You're Bald… was added on an April the 3rd, and the community generally agrees that it was meant as a joke for April 1st. The only real danger is that if we work it with an Agent that isn't bald, they'll go bald right after the work. That's pretty much all there is to it unless we're foolish enough to send multiple haired Agents at it in a row.

Our other new Abnormality, -44, is some kind of rose-eyeball-cockroach-deer. It responds best to Repression work, but there's a catch.

Repression work makes it slouch over, and turns its roses black. Doing a second Repression work while it's in this state will result in the Agent sent instantly dying, so… don't do that.

Anyways, its name is Beauty and the Beast and outside of its "Don't use Repression twice in a row" rule there's nothing to it.

Performing any other type of work will restore its health, so it's an earlygame Justice trainer that can only train Justice every other time. That's... not particularly amazing.

Anyways, we'll be working them in the background today. You're Bald… makes for a very good tester when Malkuth reshuffles our work types, and Beauty and the Beast… Well, it definitely exists. :geno:

Music: Faded

I've waited long enough for you to do your work, nameless one. What did you mean by that?

Hold on, I need to contact the team and-

Manager, I've got some news. There hasn't been any activity from that glitchy Malkuth up here. She didn't reshuffle the work types.

...Right, guess I should answer then. Thanks, Bishop.

Unlike in her original fight, here Malkuth will only reshuffle work types at every other meltdown level. If we're moving to 2, 4, or 6 we don't have to worry about retesting work types. This means that level 2 is basically free-nothing new has happened yet.

A closeup of the main room's current state. It'll be different every day as we move forward through the week.

When I had to deal with her… In the end, we both wanted control. Malkuth wanted it because she was convinced it'd get her recognized for the good work she does. I wanted it because I was terrified and memoryless in a place full of people I didn't know if I could trust. You… I'm going to go out on a limb and say you never trusted any of them?

They're machines. They behave as machines.

Exactly. We got set in our ways, and a power struggle between the two of us wouldn't work out right no matter how well we worked. If Bishop hadn't interfered, I'd still be stuck on day 25.

The purpose of this script was for us to reach our own actualization. A mere agent changing the play is… We didn't consider it. They're pawns.

If you push a pawn enough, it could turn into a queen.

Hnhn… Hahaha! I like it.

In preparation for the Dawn, I move our Agents to three different elevators just like for yesterday's Dusk. Since ~a third of our Agents are enough to handle any Dawn, we'll be covered no matter where it spawns.

Still, can it be called self-realization if we didn't reach it ourselves?

We couldn't have done it without learning from the Sephirot already. Since humans learn from clashing with each other, it stands to reason that what we've done here isn't different from our original plan. If this is a play, the agents just ad-libbed a little.

Hm. I don't suppose you'll remember saying those words, will you?

Which words?

Joking, joking. :rolleyes:

Despite things not being particularly hard, I still manage to accidentally send Elle Tee to do Repression work on Knight of Despair. She'll be fine, but make sure to stay vigilant for the entire day, no matter how simple any given part of it may be.

Still, it seems we're already at an accord. That leaves us with little to do to pass the time aside work until you've proven your fragile body stronger than the despair which consumed me.

I would be okay with just working until that's done.

I know, how about a story about an old man's glory days?

I would really be okay just working until that's done.

When pushing into any work shuffle level, I make sure to do it by working with WhiteNight. This will maximize our time to deal with finding out our new work types. We'd be fine if we hit 3 of the 4 work types, but we do not want to hit Instinct by accident.

I'm afraid you don't have a choice. After all…

Music: Retro Time ALT (Distorted ver)

Things will get much worse, before they get better.

Level 3 posted:

Our hearts overflowed with despair as we prepared for tomorrow, acting as if nothing had happened, even after the deaths of so many of our loved ones.

The suppressed feelings were so severe, it caused phantom pains and hallucinations of bugs crawling on our skin...

Yet we had to do it, we had come too far. However, one accident led to a complete breakdown, like the collapse of a tower.

Obsession with the rules, not letting ourselves feel an inch of sadness…We had no other way to cope but that. You would agree with this.

At level 3, Yesod comes online and messes with our screen. Unlike his original suppression, our ability to view the facility never changes and things will never get more pixelated than this. Still, from this point forward we can't refer to any of our Managerial Guidelines if we forget how to handle an Abnormality. We can also see from the upper-left that we'll be getting an early White Noon. This is actually ideal, for reasons we'll get to in a bit.

The first thing I do is check for our new work types, using the three Abnormalities near the Upper Layer's strike team.

I couldn't say if I was the first among us, or even the first to get this far. I only know that when I first arrived here, there was nothing. All I had found was a door before me, one which I could not hope to open. Thinking I had missed something, I went back. Time and again, this old man played things safe. Did you know most every day can be cleared before the Dusk ever appears?

I'd noticed that, yeah.

It wasn't until I saw the door that I even considered completing that mission.

After that's done, I spot a Black Fixer in Central 4. Both elevators are sent after it, since from there it has easy access to Yin and Firebird depending on how it moves.

Since when do you use Gold Rush, Talow?

Since Morgan swapped to Exuviae. Red damage on top of an amplifier just makes sense.

Huh. Can't argue with that.

Outside of the Dawn, not much else happens at this level. I keep everyone holed up in their elevators and slowly push towards our Noon.

Even after I handled that mission, I was stymied. Too set in my ways to change. Too stubborn to admit I needed to. Still, when I was alone with the door, I knew it was our duty to open it. That's why.

Why what, exactly?

I decided it was my duty to ensure whoever made it beyond here would be the one to end this cycle. I spent my time within the facility gathering every scrap of information I could, and leaving it for my successors.

Wouldn't that be against the script?

Not at all. The flow, the meaning of the play are unchanged. I just... ad-libbed a little.

I see what you did there. :rolleyes:

At the end of level 3 it's a good idea to breathe. This was the easy part.

Indeed. Unfortunately, I fear you shan't see what's coming next.

Music: Blue Dots

Level 4 posted:

Michelle was the youngest among us. She was a timid and innocent employee. She chose to be a whistleblower out of fear for the world. If we had just paid a bit more attention to her, she may not have run away so scared.

Everything we thought to be hope came back to us in the shape of despair.

How will we improve ourselves out of this? It will only get worse and worse.

Nothing looks different, but things have definitely gotten harder on us. Here's a comparison of one of our Agents before and after we hit level 4.

Do you see the difference? If not, don't worry. I didn't notice it in my first playthrough either. :shepface:

At level 4, Hod's effect turns on. Unlike Malkuth and Yesod, though, Hod is stronger than before-bestowing a -50 penalty on all of our Agents' stats. This means everyone is significantly more fragile than we're used to, they move much more slowly, and most importantly for us WhiteNight is not a guaranteed work no matter how often we work him anymore. We're on a soft timer for the rest of the day unless we want Apostles running all over the place.

Anyways, I believe we have a White Noon to deal with.

Oooh… I smell that gaas…

The concentration's higher than it was the last time. Everyone stay sharp!

The White Fixer spawned on top of my Upper Layer squad, so I put them to work fighting it. Unfortunately, they have an overabundance of White weapons so the damage isn't what I'd like to see.

But we can still dodge around its attacks as long as we act early.

Oh you came into the wrong elevator, buddy.

Meanwhile, the Red Fixer gets completely obliterated by Disciplinary, Extraction, and half of Central. I have the Agents go down a level to dodge the death laser when it comes out.

Meanwhile, I opt to continuously run the Upper Layer Agents back and forth between the rooms to either side of the White Fixer whenever it goes into its counterattack stance. This keeps the bulk of the group on top of it, so that I can quickly pile more damage onto it.

It works out very well, and the Fixer doesn't get another attack off.

Hah! Not so bad. I didn't expect you to layer on Hod right then.

Well… I never did gain any hope to be a better person.

Resigning yourself to defeat… it's no wonder you got so bitter.

Yes, well… at least I make bitterness look dashing.

So what happens when I succeed?

Huh… this is new. Haven't seen you out this way before.

If you succeed, you will be able to approach the next door. There, you will likely find another shattered remnant of yourself. What comes next… I'm sure you know.

We fight again, huh?

Music: malkuthDie

You will fight. The stronger side survives. That, simply, is the story.

Level 5 posted:

I survived alone. I’ve lived day by day, fighting an uphill battle. I fought because I thought my survival would somehow change the situation. How foolish I was.

Perhaps our souls have already died, a long, long time ago. It may be just as Carmen feared.

Going further than this is futile. Please, you have to just accept that it is over.

You told Giovanni that you could revive Carmen. But think about it, did you really lead him to eternal slumber because you sincerely believed so?

At Level 5, two more effects kick on. The first is Netzach's, disabling our healing from now on. From now on our Agents will only recover HP/SP every time we pass a new Meltdown Level. The second is Malkuth-in addition to reshuffling our works again, we can't cancel works from now on. So in order, day 47:

-Shuts off our ability to see our stats
-Cuts our stats by more than the relevant boss did (and cutting any 1 LOB new hires down to the bare minimum stats possible)
-Then turns off our healing entirely

And all of this with a 67% chance of the Noon spawning during the heal lockdown, making everything significantly harder to deal with. We were lucky to deal with them as early as we did. Day 47 is a series of carefully orchestrated dick moves, and will severely trip up any manager who has been coasting through by relying on an A-team of Agents by rendering most of their facility completely useless.


At this point, my focus is on spreading out the work across the facility's ALEPH and WAW Abnormalities in order to gather as much energy as possible. The energy goal is quite high today, and even with the bonus 25% from beating the Dawn and the Noon it can be difficult to max out the gauge before the end of Level 6-especially given that we spent so many works on You're Bald… and its 6 maximum PE box count.

I have to say, though. You're talking about your despair and rage, but you don't really seem that angry.

You remember Yesod, yes? I too keep myself carefully constrained by rules and decorum. If you want to see what lies beneath this businessman's demeanor, you need look no further than the words on your monitor, there.

Dude, even Yesod snapped eventually.

I've snapped many times, in many ways. Even now I want to scream at myself for trapping us in this place, on this pointless ride to nowhere.

...But that won't fix anything, so you don't.

Correct. I've saved my fury to direct at the facility itself during these times instead. It's a… remarkably freeing feeling.

That's a bit preposterous, but I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing.

Talking to oneself tends to have that effect on people, yes. Still, to think that a time would come when I would embrace help from those so unreliable as our Agents.

Well… I mean, I almost turned my backs on them too. Then one of them punched me.

They… what?

Punched me. In the face. Hard.

Level 6 posted:

The world has abandoned us! We tried not to let it go, but it threw us away like a crumpled up newspaper in the end.

We were too naive. I could only realize what wrongdoings we have done after transiently passing all these years.

A brief struggle has become an eternity. I just wish that you do not repeat the mistake I made and fall into despair and anger yet again.

You will overcome this despair if you just wake up and smell the roses. You still have a chance. Please, listen to what I have to say.

Nothing new happens here. If we can remain stable, we're home free.

That's… asinine. Haha… absolutely asinine!

Hey! To be fair, I did try to kill him.

Naive… This manager is far too naive..!

Hey, this may just be my first loop, but-

Your… first? Naive, and yet so successful.

A meltdown lands on Scarecrow, and Punishing Bird is on the loose. I have Medea work with Scarecrow…

ImIdiot handles the ancient ritual of bird-appeasement.


I'm helping! :buddy:

And Information + Training are waiting right outside Scarecrow's cell for it to step out.

Aaand there we go. We should be home free from here.

I suppose it was inevitable that one of us would eventually be talented at this. It took me many cycles to stand on this stage at all. To watch you perform so effortlessly… and on your first walk through this impossible, thorn-laden path...

Could you stop? I'm pretty sure this counts as being egotistical.

If you insist… though I'm curious: Where does that overflowing skill come from?

I dunno. I just sort of do what comes naturally. Body moves itself.

...Hm. Interesting… Perhaps it's simple muscle memory from all these years on duty? But that should be impossible…

Could you stop analyzing me while I'm standing right here?

During the fight I was also keeping an eye on the lower left corner of the screen. With the blurring, the energy gauge can be a bit difficult to read, but there's a trick to know when we've hit our allotment for the day. It involves the action log.

The action log keeps track of every action we take that day, and is color coded to know at a glance who is doing what. Agent names are in one color, work types are in another color, and Abnormality names are in a third color. Because of this, every line in the log from works to deaths to panics has at least one color in it… except for the line which prints when we hit our goal for the day. That line is pure white, and when we see it we know for sure that we've hit our target for the day.

With our target hit, we can just throw out works en masse and quickly end the day.

So it's my time already. It was short... but I enjoyed our time together, nameless one.

Yeah. You weren't so bad, me. But I'm guessing this is the only time.

I couldn't say. This path beyond here isn't mine to tread. The best of luck to you…

Thanks, Ab-huh? Gone… just like that.

...Guess he wasn't kidding. Let's keep going. Step by step.

Day 47 may have looked easy, but that's only because we've kept on top of training throughout the game and were lucky enough to have an early Noon-this was the best possible scenario for a day 47 at all. The entire Upper Layer's penalties coming at us one after another after another is no easy feat to deal with, and losing a couple of Agents to momentary lapses in attention or concentration is incredibly common.

Huh… Nobody's saying anything.

Y'know… I don't think I've really been alone for a while. Wonder what Angela's up to right now? I kind of miss the congratulations.

Eh... She could use the nap. Let's move on to selecting Abnormalities.

Music: never frozen bottom flows

For endgame, my priority remains 'simple and easy to show off,' and -12 fits the bill perfectly. She's a TETH level Abnormality which doesn't have any major complications, and will work perfectly as our first pick.

Our second pick, -60, is relatively simple as well. It's a TETH which can breach but is completely nonthreatening to our facility as it is right now. We'll scoop it up too.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Carmen

New Guidelines

Beauty and the Beast
You're Bald...

New Gear

Requirements: None

Requirements: None

Requirements: Bald

Requirements: Bald

New Story

Beauty and the Beast
You're Bald...


VIDEO: Day 47