The Let's Play Archive

Lobotomy Corporation

by TeeQueue

Part 61: Day 28 - Gameplay

Day 28: Gameplay

Music: neutral 3

Manager! Hod and I have some news.

You're going to love this-we put our heads together and revamped the entire agent training course.

We've already taken the liberty of trying it with a new recruit, and the results can't be overstated. This is a total game-changer!

...holy crap. Good work, you two.

Hod's suppression is incredibly important for bringing new Agents up to speed quickly. Before just now, starting an Agent off at level 3 in all stats would cost 1+3+3+3+9 for a total of 19 LOB points. Now, it costs 1. Additionally, starting at level 3 in everything means our Agents are level 4 overall, this lets them deal with anything WAW or below without a fear penalty. We immediately put this new bonus to work to create a new Agent to handle work with Woodsman when it comes up.

While we can start Agents at level 3 in everything, we don't have to-we can drop their stats at no cost. Evil Kit here is a remorseless and unfeeling soul who should have no problems with the Woodsman.

Not to be outdone, Chesed has some research for us now as well.

HP-N Bullets: Using the power of nanomachines, son, we can shoot Agents to heal them for 25 HP. Like shield bullets, this can hit multiple people at once if they're stacked up together. Since shield bullets block 50 damage and this only heals 25, however, it's worse than a shield in almost every situation. The best use for it would be if we need to restore someone's HP quickly as they're bouncing from one work to another-something which rarely happens.

SP-E Bullets: Using the power of refined Enkephalin (which is apparently non-addictive), we heal Agents for 25 SP. These are literally the HP bullets, but for SP, so the same rules apply. In general we want to shield instead of using these, but sometimes there's just no substitute for an immediate, on-demand heal.

HP & SP Bullet Refining: This is supposed to raise the healing power of the HP/SP bullets from 25 to 40, making them both notably better but still slightly worse than the shield bullets. Unfortunately, it is completely useless. Due to a bug, this research does nothing in the standard game. There is a mod to fix this, and we will be using it.

For… reasons our pick today doesn't matter all that much, so we go with HP.

With us having a department closed we don't need any other new Agents just yet, so we keep it to just Evil Kit for the moment.

Alright, let's review the situation.

Of course, X. I am already preparing to replace Netzach in the event his current form should fail.

Alright. If things go completely south we may have to do that. Still, he obviously had issues. I put a lot of effort into trying to give him some time…

And it was useless. I could have told you that beforehand, but it is imperative that I allow the manager to function in the manner of his choosing in relation to the Sephirot.

Yeesh. Brutal as always.

Manager, I've had my team run preliminary diagnostics. It looks like he's having some kind of effect on the facility like the others. We probably won't be reachable once the day starts, so be careful.

Don't worry. I've got this. Probably.

That's not reassu-

Can't hear you starting the day byeeeee~

Music: Second Trumpet

It's not just you-everything is about one shade greener than normal today. That's Netzach.

Netzach, you're still with us-right? Netzach? Oh-wait, that lump in Safety...

That's him, alright! He's certainly put on a pound or twelve! HAHAHA!

Great. You're here. That's what I definitely wanted.

Hm, but you're not smiling!

Not a lot to smile about.

I disagree. Why, simply being alive is reason enough!

Then I'd like to stop smiling, now.

Now, we can't let that happen! Not to my favorite tin can on legs!

Netzach, things haven't gone quite as expected. We need to get you back to normal ASAP.

You're still trying to force me back into that hell, huh? It doesn't matter… Just do whatever.

All Levels posted:

No one is actually safe here. You know that the Safety Team is just for show, right?

Why do you want to continue prolonging these undesired lives? What’d you expect to see at the end of all this?

Level 1 posted:

Why must I wake up and do all the garbage I hate every single day?

The moment I woke up again here, I met you. You, whom I never wanted to see ever again.

Oh my! That's definitely not good.

What's going on?

It seems the regenerators are having a bit of an oopsie! HAHAHAHA! ...they're broken.

I'm sorry WHAT.

Nothing here is safe. What's the point of prolonging the inevitable? Just let them fall.

Netzach's suppression disables all forms of healing. From the main room regenerators to bullets, even to special E.G.O weapons or gifts-healing is ALL deactivated today. While Malkuth tested our observational skills and Hod tested our ability to work with Agents who are weaker than the Abnormalities, Netzach is all about pacing-how well can we control how much damage our Agents take?

If you can't see the new Abnormality, don't worry about it-that's its thing. Like the shark from yesterday, we'll not focus too hard on this one just yet. We'll cover them all when there's no Core Suppressions to deal with.

Aaand sent.

Did you just give Mizu an order to work the new guy?

If I didn't, she would have done it anyways. It's best to move along with how things will move already.

...don't touch the keyboard.

You should be smiling more! Come on, there's nothing to worry about!

Could you two keep it down? I'm tired, and I don't want to see your face anymore, manager.

Hey, what's wrong with my face?!

You were the last person I wanted to see. But here I am… and here you are.

With only 9 minutes to play with this time, our strategy here is similar to what it was with Hod. We start off by queuing up as many works as we can, in order to rush through the meltdown levels.

You're always in such a rush. Don't you know you're going to have an accident?

That's always possible. Even if we don't, we'll have an ordeal show up and it'll probably kill some of the clerks.

Right? So what's even the point of trying?

Music: Abandoned

When we hit a new meltdown level, there's a sudden pulse over Netzach. Since we hit it so quickly, we don't actually get to see what that does yet-but it's the other trick of this particular Suppression. We'll get to it in a moment.

Level 2 posted:

You weren’t the person I put my trust in.

This place will never be safe, you know.

Just let me rest...

That pulse… the Enkephalin's being subsumed. Hear that, Netzach? I can save you after all.

How nice for you. You've never cared about what I wanted. Feeling's mutual, I guess.

Netzach you are seriously trying my patience.

Now now, smiles everyone!

Why bother putting a smile on if everyone's just going to die anyways?

Because a smile is the perfect medicine to overcome any problem! You should always be wearing one, like me!

This is one of the most dangerous meltdowns we could possibly see-holding Yang for 30 seconds will lower Yin's QC by one, and forgetting we had to deal with its meltdown is a perfect recipe for a surprise breach.

Fat Sam grabs it and immediately returns it to its containment room.

You know, I've wanted a face like hers for a while now-it seems quite fun! But that Shy one just never wants to smile for me when I arrive. It's a shame, a shame! HAHA!

Oh, even now you're working with the new Abnormalities. How diligent… unlike me.

Don't give me that, I've seen you do work, and when you're in the mood to be you're remarkably on point.

Faster the work's done, faster I can go back to slacking. Not that it matters anyway. Not anymore… Just let me drift...

Don't even think about it. The agents need you.

It would be quite inconvenient if you were to die! Why, did you know you've taken down our regenerators?

Now that we've been at it for a bit, we can see that SeyserKoze here has done a couple of works and taken a bit of a beating for his efforts.

Oh… they're down, are they? Good. That way I can't be rebuilt.

You're still talking like that after all I did for you?

The things you've done for him, you say?

If you really cared about me, you'd fire me like I asked for.

...Oh, I see what you're saying. Y'know what, you're kinda right.

You're agreeing with me? How strange...

This came up yesterday. I'm not blind enough to miss when I'm doing the same thing.

So you admit you never cared?

That's… complicated. Even if I did it so I wouldn't feel guilty about your suffering, though, I'm not going to quit acting as long as it can help keep you alive.

Level 3 posted:

Abandon your sense of guilt, everyone. They couldn’t be saved anyways.

‘Cause this place is always horrible, the only thing I can hope for is a blissful end.

Doubt is a non-issue, not able to deal meaningful damage to any of our Agents. If we ignore it they'll eventually wander into main rooms and die on their own. So we do that. :v:

Seyser's been healed back up. Was it that pulse..?

This is the other rule of Netzach's suppression: every meltdown, all of our Agents are fully healed. While the safest strategy for dealing with Netzach is to carefully do things work by work with Agents who will take very little damage from whatever they're dealing with, this wrinkle opens up a second strategy: If we throw people at Abnormalities fast enough that nobody's ever doing a second work in any given meltdown level, then we don't ever need to slow down since a single work shouldn't kill any of our Agents. We do need to remember to use shield bullets if our Agents engage with a Noon, but our Noon today will be Crimson-one that's very easy to avoid entirely.

So basically, we're going to deal with having our healing turned off by getting through the day faster than attrition can pile on to our Agents. :getin:

I suppose the Enkephalin being subsumed is forcing the regenerators to heal everyone! How convenient.

Convenient? All we're doing is lengthening their suffering.

Look at them. While Mizu's found a Doubt, it still killed one of Welfare's clerks. Three more have gone insane from the brutality-this is everyday here. And you put me in charge of their safety. To put me in charge of keeping them safe… What else am I supposed to do?

Keep… going?

With a smile?

No thanks.

Get out of here!

:v: Don't worry, I'm shielded right now-I'll back you up.

You're right about one thing. It's hard to keep most of the employees safe.


The agents are no trouble, but clerks are the majority of our employees, and they're basically lemmings. Their guns are useless, they're made of tissue paper, and not even shield bullets can consistently keep them safe.

Doing nothing's nothing to be guilty over, Manager. You could just relax and sink, like me.

I can't do that. I said it before-even if it's for myself, if my actions can save someone… I should take them. Hod taught me that one.

How troublesome…

It is, isn't it? That's why I'm going to save you.

I never asked you to.

You didn't. Still, I'm pretty sure your staff wants you around.

Why yes, we do!

With the Doubt cleared out and our cooldowns reset, it's time to set up another massive round of works, enough to go clear into the Noon.

Music: Blue Dots

Level 4 posted:

I never wanted to be in this position anyways. I never asked for this. Not once.

In the end, the hope that anyone will live on thanks to me is gone.

I never asked for this. For any of this.

But someone must do it, and I say why not you?

Why does it have to be me, though? An impossible task...

Bah! Why, look at all we've accomplished thus far. Clerks aside, we've had not one problem with our agents since the current manager took over. Why, I've been off my Enkephalin for weeks and it hasn't been an issue.

You… what?

What if one of your comrades were to die?

I'm no stranger to it. People died every day in the Backstreets-I even knew some of them, HAHA!

How do you get beyond something like that?

Practice! The third or fourth time you gut someone, you don't feel anything at all anymore!

That's disturbing and I'm absolutely going to have to follow up on that later, but we've got work to do.

Oh, I wouldn't worry about it. I got out of that business! This pays much better.

Ahh… must be nice to not have to care.

The Noon spawned into Control, so we have Omni and Chinely run into the hallways in front of One Sin and 1.76 respectively to let it do whatever it wants. Energy isn't a problem at this point, so we can just let it wander around.

I wouldn't say I don't care. Quite the opposite, it's important to me that this place blossom. If everyone dies, why, I wouldn't get paid!

Doing that without falling into despair is impossible...

So long as you can keep smiling, you can move forward. That's the secret.

Must be nice. I lost my smile a long time ago.

When you became a robot, yes. That doesn't mean you can't still do it.

Mr.Black what the hell are you-

Voila! A smile!

Level 5 posted:

Just leave me alone, it’s what you’re best at…

All I want is to close my eyes and enjoy a good nap, just once.

...I'm not strong enough to do that.

Aren't you a machine?

You have to know by now there's more to it than that, manager.

Regardless! Strength doesn't matter at all! Perseverance is what counts-and that's what I have in spades.

I'm all out of it…

Then just remember: We're the Safety Team. We can't decide who lives and who dies every time, but we can certainly do something most of the time!

I'm tired of failure, Mr.Black.

Then just don't fail. We can't expect the sky, but we should at least be able to grasp the ground. We're surrounded by it, after all! HAHAHA!

Such a pain in the ass…

It is what it is. We're going to save you, Netzach. Then, you're going to get some rest. Then, we're all going back to work.

Get out of my way, Crimson Noon! I'm here to work with the cyootie-yootie patootiepie! :colbert:

We queue up our last several works, this mission is basically over at this point.

I don't like it, manager. I wanted to rest.

Yeah, well… too bad. Welcome to Lobotomy Corporation, you're here forever.

HAHAHAHA! Yes, you're stuck with us boss!

:sigh: Fine.

I stopped breathing, but if life calls out to me yet again…

And so, we beat the suppression in 4:14. Not having to go back to the main room and wait to heal wound up being a major timesaver.

...The Enkephalin reaction's cleared. I guess we did it?

So it seems! Splendiferous.

Great. Now we just have to finish cleaning up here.

You should put him in a giant bag of rice for about 12 hours. It always works for me.

There's a lot more to you than a cackling madman, isn't there?

HAHAHAHA!! Who can truly say what deliciousness lies at the core of any man?

Uh… huh.

I shall take my leave now. Remember to keep smiling!

Mm. ...In the end, we managed to fix him. I guess that's what matters.

Music: never frozen bottom flows
Manager, you have returned to me once more. Congratulations.

It wasn't that big of a deal, really. I feel like I barely did anything.

At the very least, you succeeded in making another step towards the end.

That you know all that... I can't be the first one to have done this, can I?

You are the first to have progressed so quickly, Manager. Take great pride in this.

The ability to undo any real mistakes I make has been a big help towards that, to be fair. Let's get on with it, shall we?

T-09-86: When the time comes, the train will chug down the tracks and sound its mighty horn.
T-09-85: Now everything will be just fine.
T-09-82: It literally makes itself into "the safest place on Earth."

We've talked about -85 and -82 before, and since I specifically asked -82 to show up again it's the obvious pick today, but… -86.

We must have words about -86 for a moment. I said in the thread that I'd mention when my least favorite Abnormality in the game showed up, and here it is. This Abnormality is one which applies a hard timer on our day as another plate which cannot ever be ignored unless we enjoy the idea of a train running ripshod through our entire facility and killing scores of Agents and Clerks each time. The timeframe we're working under is a fairly strict one-2 minutes and 30 seconds per check, resetting with each successful one-and there's never any actual downtime. In addition, the benefits that it provides in exchange for having to futz with it every ~2 minutes or so for the rest of eternity? Moderately decent healing. How decent it is is based on when Agents enter in relation to the timer, but overall it's just. Bad. Really, really bad. We will be taking it only to show off when the time comes to get the Abnormality codex to 100%, and once it's been shown off I will be rewinding and never looking at it again. I can deal with taking and managing pretty much any Abnormality in the entire game-except this incredibly rude tool.

Anyways, we pick up -82 so that I can use it later to do something incredibly silly.

Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: We check in on how Netzach is feeling after the battle.

VIDEO: Netzach Core Suppression