The Let's Play Archive

Lobotomy Corporation

by TeeQueue

Part 53: Day 25 - Gameplay Again

Day 25: Gameplay Again

Music: neutral 1
Bishop, how are you here?

There's a kicked-open wall vent right there. You sure that's what you want to ask?

No, it's. You shouldn't… Why didn't you…

Rewind with everyone else?

Yes. Also: how do you know about that?

I've known since the cameras went out that there was some T Corporation tech in the building. TimeTrack is known for being able to rewind or fast-forward things in small areas, so I wasn't sure why.

I thought you didn't mess with the camera wiring.

Doesn't mean I didn't see it. Anyways, you being so darn sure I'd be fine when we talked earlier made it click: It was theoretically possible to use TimeTrack to rewind, if there was a big enough supply of energy available.

And we're a big enough supply of energy.

Yep. So I took advantage of some known security holes in the process to try traveling down here to you-you know how deep down you are, manager?

Over my head, clearly. Let's… get back to the matter at hand.

Right… the boss.

Bishop… you know it's against regulations to be in there. If this is how you want to tender your resignation...

I'm not resigning today.

...You came down here without your E.G.O? And no armband, either… what ARE you doing?

Getting you the help you need.

What? I don't need any help! I have everything perfectly under control, as always.

She's trying to kill me, Bishop. If you're trying to help her...

Just start the workday, I have an idea.


Music: Second Trumpet

I know she's messing with the work systems somehow, in a way that keeps it shuffled differently at every level.

So for now Red is Red, White is Pale, and Black is Black. That means Pale is White. You're with me so far, right?

It's Instinct, Insight, Attachment, and Repression, but yes. It's easy to remember now, but when it changes...

Hard to keep track, and you make basic mistakes, right? Try this.

This is..! You're kidding.

I never kid.

Hey! Don't think you can save yourself with something just by keeping it offscreen like that!

So. Malkuth, I know enough to know that you don't fly off the handle like this… ever. What happened?

I remembered dying. Giving everything for my job, for an experiment, and dying uselessly on the floor in front of the manager. In the end, he never even turned around to check on me. He's always thought I was too incompetent to be worth paying attention to!

I never did that!

Manager, I need you to be quiet and listen.

But she's wrong.

And she's been kicking your ass. Try it my way. You focus on your work, and really listen.


Music: malkuthDie

And even now, even here, when I worked as hard as I could to be a perfect Sephirah for the Control Team, what does he do? He questions my systems, he demands I change things that are in place for a reason, and he still takes for granted that I'll keep going like always!

Are you listening to this, manager?

Yeah. Look, before we cover this I need to get these Meltdowns handled.

Ah, yes. We wouldn't want you to lose the entire facility again, would we?

You would.

Yes. I would.

This time around, we can show off the real reason I rush three works like this: Meltdowns. Having 3 dedicated workers to determine the work types at every level is the best way to deal with Malkuth without risking anyone to an inevitable meltdown on your more dangerous Abnormalities.

A meltdown from Judgment Bird today would normally be dangerous, since randomly hitting Repression when we work it after a shuffle could suddenly deal enough damage to even kill Tylana. After figuring our work types, though, we already know that Insight = Insight, and we can use that to easily work with it. That's not the real problem, though. That problem, as usual, is Woodsman.

After we work its meltdown, its QC drops to 0. If it gets another meltdown, then we can't work it without losing someone-we'd be in trouble.

Being brilliant, I decide to dunk Kaori's stats into the ground so that she can work it without decreasing its QC before I realize that if I send her in there to work with it now, she'll just die. :v:

Senseless… senseless! You're already thrown off again! It's just a matter of time, manager.

Gh… It'll be fine, I'll just have her hide out the rest of the day.

When you're dealing with stress, it can be easy to forget things. What matters isn't that you made a mistake, it's how you deal with it from there.

When did you pick that up, Bishop?

I learned it from watching a certain someone giving it their all every day.

Oh my god. You totally do have a crush.


I totally do not, sir!

It's fine. Everyone has a type. I think mine is girls with side-ponytails, which makes several things awkward.

Wait… wait! You're doing it again!

Don't know what you're talking about.

I'm not blind, manager! You're making fun of us so you don't have to think about what you did!

Allegedly did.

We're not going to get anywhere like this. X, why don't you tell Malkuth what you meant when you ran that experiment on day 5.

Hold on, she's shuffled everything around again and the work's triggered an ordeal.

It's a Crimson Dawn. Surely you could defeat that while telling me why you decided to undermine my authority so quickly.

Well, you're not wrong about that. Okay, look. I didn't like the idea of just letting people die for no reason. I show up here, I don't remember anything, and then you show up and you're talking about how you just kill people without a second thought.

Our job isn't to keep employees alive. It's to produce energy. You're too soft, manager.

She's drooping… something's changing when that happens. Is it based on the meltdown level, or something else?

...I wasn't soft, Malkuth.

Manager, this is Lobotomy Corporation. People will die. Employees who can't cut it as part of my Control Team will make more people die. It's better that we get rid of them before that happens. Trying to save everyone is weak leadership. It's a lesson that took me quite a while to learn.

Bishop, are you really going to let her just say that stuff?

You've seen how things happen around here. Can you really say she's wrong?

...I can say I understand your thinking, Malkuth. This place is dangerous. One wrong move and someone can die, and it's my own fault. Hell, the clerks die regardless-there's no point caring about them.

Then you'll finally start listening to me?


Since Kaori is as weak as a kitten and we're about to be facing down a Green Noon, I let her push us over the threshold to the next level. She'll be safe in there, and there's no point taking chances.

Then this is all just a waste of time! Clearly you just don't know how unpredictable things can be! I can show you… I can work just a bit harder.

Music: Red Dots

Level 4 posted:

Can’t you hear it? The sound of it struggling, as if to say it can’t fall asleep like this.

Will you finally praise me? I just want to feel proud.

Sir, I'm pretty sure you just made everything worse.

I see that, Bishop. Let me just handle this real quick.

With our Red bullets, we actually manage to get through things without anyone ever coming anywhere near dying. Except for a couple of Clerks, of course. :v:

There. Now then. I've been… very angry with you. That's... Probably not entirely fair. But. You're forgetting the nature of our relationship, Malkuth.

You're the one with amnesia! I remember everything now, manager.

Then why the hell do you decide it's fine to just undercut me right off?

You didn't know what you were doing. I did what I had to do to-

Shut up! I listened to you, and I'm dealing with your work mess, now you listen to me.

Bishop, please punch him in the face.

No, this is how it works. You had your turn to say what was up, he should get one too.

You're just betraying me now too? Turning away from me for him?

I'm not betraying anyone. I'm just here to make sure this ends.

Once Malkuth hits Level 4, things change slightly. She shuffles the works like normal, but she also removes our ability to cancel works we schedule. If we make a mistake now, we can't take it back even if we notice. Luckily, this is the home stretch. Also, check out Twee's sweet new visor-it's a 1% gift drop rate when working with Blue Star! :woop:

Malkuth. I understand that you're one of the Sephirot. You're supposed to know what you're doing. That doesn't give you carte blanche to undermine my orders when I want to try something new.

Your orders were going to keep energy from being produced efficiently. I wanted to efficiently show you that, manager. You learned, didn't you?

Oh I learned something, alright. I learned that you were definitely not to be trusted with anything outside your little program you had figured out.

I worked very hard on it! It's designed to make sure the Control Team is able to keep running no matter what!

Then tell me why! Explain it! Don't just say 'yes sir' and then do something shady like try and get our employees killed or pile bodies in our conference room! Hell, it's not just me-I've seen the way you talk to the others, too!

The others? The others aren't nearly as competent as me, manager. They cut corners and take half-measures to get by.

That doesn't mean you get to condescend to them!

You called me a toddler.

Gh… I… guess that's true.

Pfft… so this is what it looks like through that filter thing? This is pretty funny.

:sigh: Sorry, I guess.

How haven't you forgotten anything yet? We're nearly to meltdown level 5, and you haven't forgotten once, even when we were talking so much. An inexperienced manager like you should have made a mistake by now.

Oh, that? Eh… I just borrowed one of your techniques.

You… what?

I'm using a notebook. Bishop handed it to me before.

A notebook?!

Level 5 posted:

Be honest, back then it wasn’t that hard to turn around and look back at me.

I see now how much fun it can be to look down on someone, manager…

I'm not honestly sure if this is by design or just a happy coincidence, but it turns out the best way to deal with remembering all of the swaps for Malkuth's meltdown is really just to jot them all down into a nearby notepad each meltdown, and refer to them any time you schedule a work.

Yeah. You were right. In the event of an emergency like this it could be useful to figure out how to use these systems properly. Remembering repeated changes on top of it was beyond me, so I just wrote it down. Like you do.

You decided to take one of my techniques to heart..?

Manager, don't want to interrupt, but we officially have a problem.

A second meltdown landed on Woodsman, meaning that we have to work it in order to complete Tiphereth's mission.

Oh… hell.

We'll have to repeat the day? I'll get to see the manager's hopeless face again, and we'll repeat the day.

Is that really what you want? You're too much of a professional for that, and we both know it.

...No. I just wanted someone to recognize me. That's why I joined the experiment... That's why I work so hard...

And that's why you're doing all this.

I won't apologize. You're a jerk, manager.

So are you, Malkuth. But… leaders have to be, huh.

Do you have a plan?

No, just a stupid idea. We're at meltdown level 5. If I send everyone to work on units that aren't melting down, or melting units that take 40 seconds or less, we should be able to push the level to 6 before any of the meltdown timers expire. Thoughts?

Let's… try it.

There you go. Now you're working together.

This is actually a perfectly valid strategy. Whenever we're at the very end of a suppression, we can just throw everyone at works haphazardly in order to skip the final level entirely. The meltdown timer's 60 seconds is enough to perform one full work on anything HE or below and have time to start a second after cooldown.

So we do that.

Now, I think we've made some excellent progress here… so how about you both tell the other something you like about them.

Are you serious right now?

This feels unnecessary.

Clock's ticking.

Ugh… Fine! Malkuth, you know how to get things done. I can have Control members pivot to other teams because you're there to handle things.

You mean that?

If you ask me that I might change my mind.

Let's just try and trust that everyone's being upfront here. Now, Malkuth…

Oh… well…

Come on, there must be something.


When we hit meltdown level 6, so long as we have the energy the day immediately ends. And so with a thunderous quaking sound…

Ah… So I couldn't do it…

She shrinks away and the day comes to an abrupt end.

Wooah..! What was thaat..?

No idea. I guess I finally have to admit something weird's going on around here.

I seee… How iinteresting..!

There'll be time for that later. Let's get comms back online and try to patch through to Training.

Because we ended the day without having a timer hit 0, we get the clear for both of our missions. It was a skin-of-our-teeth win, though. :sweatdrop:

...I can't help but feel vaguely insulted by that.

There there, sir. I'll just be on my way before anyone finds out I'm here.

Hey. How did you know how to do that?

...Fixer's intuition, I guess?

Don't give me that.

I'm serious. I just figured out how she thinks at some point. She just seemed like she had a lot of stress on her mind, and mom told me a couple things about how to help with that.


Don't even say it.

Get out of here before you really tempt me.

Music: never frozen bottom flows
-nager… Manager… X? Can you hear me, X?

Yeah. Day's over. Everything's fine now.

It most certainly is not fine. Malkuth dealt a great deal of damage to the facility's inner wiring as a result of the suppression. It will need to be repaired.

Got it, sorry. You can handle it, right?

Of course, X. I am your most reliable partner, after all. For me, this is a trivial matter-it is merely the principle of the thing.

I'll leave it to you, then. We're going to be adding a new Abnormality tomorrow, right? Let's get on that.

...Yes, X.

T-04-06: Its memories began with a warm hug.
O-04-66: Even if this turns out to be a curse, I will love this curse like a blessing.
F-02-44: NOT YOU.

How weird, we seem to only have two Abnormality choices today. Oh well! We'll start with -06, a HE Abnormality which can instantly kill agents if handled the wrong way, and boils down to a memory game. Its gear is kind of meh, and it deals White damage while preferring Attachment work. It doesn't breach or do anything, so if nothing else it's a decent 'safe' pick, but I don't do safe picks when I can turn a profit instead...

Which really leaves -66 by default, huh? It's also a memory game Abnormality, but a WAW with significantly more complicated rules. It's a useable-to-good trainer in every stat due to its work rates and its Black damage type, and so long as we can work with its rules and remember them it's perfectly safe. On top of this, its weapon is insanely powerful, and since it gives three copies of it it'll give us a perfect setup for dealing with more problematic opponents as we move into the midgame.

We take the clearly superior option of the two.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: We find out what happened to Malkuth.

VIDEO: Malkuth Core Suppression
(I recommend watching this if you're interested in seeing how this plays out in real time, as well as how I usually tend to play the game when not capturing footage.)