Part 85: Day 38 - GameplayDay 38: Gameplay
Music: neutral 4
Been a while since I've shown the loading screen off. We're a lot bigger than we used to be.
Anyways, much like back during Day 15-16 we finished Binah's mission-and while we don't see her next cutscene 'til the day after we expand her to 2 we do get the research. Let's see our options.
Gift Division: Doubles our odds of getting E.G.O gifts. Those 1% drops from ALEPHs? They're 2% now. On average this increases the odds of us getting E.G.O gifts-which is overall a good thing for us.
E.G.O Restoration: Whenever an Agent is killed, we have a 25% chance of keeping the gear they had equipped. I'm not sure if this is 25% per piece of equipment, or a flat 25% chance for both the weapon and suit-either way we're unlikely to be needing this for obvious reasons.
Re-Extraction: Completely breaks the game.
I should explain that one. Normally, Re-extraction gives us a button during Abnormality Selection that lets us reroll the Abnormalities once. It's basically a 'NO' button when we get hit with a choice like last time, or the one that gave me Parasite Tree, or what have you. This is very powerful, but not broken. However, there is a mod which allows us to Re-extract Abnormalities without making the button go away. We will be using this mod, which means that with a couple caveats I now have perfect control over every Abnormality we get from here forward.
Does this mean I am cheating? Probably. On the other hand, I'm going to endgame with a facility that has Parasite Tree and -109 in it, so what else could the game possibly throw at me?
So anyways, we're taking this research-something we'd be doing even without the mod because it's just that good.
Moving from that to some pre-fight business
Retry count: 12. This wasn't exactly a bloodbath, but I'm counting 3 retries here-the video version I took has a minor mistake that would have made it a retry if I didn't already know I was going to go back, my next run had Fat Sam get brainsucked by the Scarecrow because I had forgotten he was positioned to fight it solo, and my third run We'll talk about that one later.
I don't suppose there's a way to have Tiphereth try and cut off some of her freakout, is there?
The moment she was set to boot again she began invading the storage room and the multitude of discarded Tiphereths within. I have opted to keep him off for stability purposes. If you would like
No. I don't trust you, but you're pretty reliable at times like these. A machine has its own work, right?
...that is correct, A.
Alright. Let's get to it. I'll see you on the other side.
Music: Second Trumpet
Tiphereth doesn't have any sort of filter. Except for the obvious boss in the center of the screen, everything's normal.
That's uh quite a collection there, Tiphereth.
It is, isn't it? This is all of them, the bodies Tiphereth's been piling up over all this time. Please, can you set him free?
I I couldn't respond before because I was shocked. I'll tell you clearly: No. We need Tiphereth, and also Tiphereth.
Don't give me that! I've done the work myself loads of times! I asked you to do one simple thing, and you can't?
So you could! You're supposed to do what I ask you to do, so why aren't you doing this? It's not hard! Just fulfill one more request!
...All hands, please move to begin the workday. I'm going to take care of things directly again.
Manager, don't ignore me! I'm giving you your mission for the day, here! You had better not screw up!
All Levels posted:
Every Containment Unit is under my reign.
This song, Tiphereths dirge, its for him Tiphereth.
I hope this performance and song will appease our souls.
Level 1 posted:
We are two, but one. Do you know what this means?
I have been waiting all morning, I shall have my moment!
Yeah, welcome to the war room kid. Does that mean Tylana's-
Reporting for duty, sir!
What the-you're yellow. Why are you yellow? People are not supposed to be that shade of yellow.
Oh my god. Medea'd mentioned it, but you really don't read personnel files, do you?
How careless can you get? That's like the basics of management.
I read files!
Okay. So you'll stop asking, I got bilked into a phony body modification scheme where they'd splice me with some kind of waterfowl with a higher-than-normal amount of brain activity.
So you're yellow because
Instead of huge psychic powers I just got a bunch of really tiny feathers and a constant headache. Can we move on?
That's the backstreets for you.
Uh yes. Sure. Nothing we talk about or do here hits the floor, got it?
Did you just kill two people?!
I plan to work our new Abnormality today since I want its gear. That means I have to make preparations. One of them is killing all of the Clerks in the department in question. The other is that I send Chiral to hang out in upper Disciplinary. Mizu's on her own today.
Why would you do that? That's-
Because Mizu's already running for the Abnormality, and that thing
It disturbs me.
Oh ah um hi~
This Abnormality is a bit infamous in the community for being, quote, "A slime waifu."
She is also infamous for being insanely difficult to manage without losing anyone.
Her name is Melting Love, and she is death.
Whoever is the first to work with her gets a little heart. It restores SP periodically, boosts the agent's success rates with Melting Love by 10% and every 10 seconds or so the agent will host a pink explosion.
Like so. This explosion has a chance to infect anyone in the same room as it with a contagion that will make their face drip with slime. Infected Clerks/Agents can then also spread it to others in the same manner. While the initial host is safe-mostly-the other infected will then inevitably dissolve into slime creatures. It's nasty, it's terrible, we're not letting it get off the ground.
Manager! Why are you just ignoring me?!
I was dealing with the new Abnormality.
You're researching a new Abnormality now?!
If I don't, I'm just going to have to do it later.
You'll regret that
Eh. From what Angela said, you put yourself into storage to grab all those Tiphereths. Nothing's going on, the monitor's the same. You don't actually have an effect, other than keeping me here forever.
Manager that's not quite-
I mean, if you take away the mountain of vibing bodies, you're kind of tiny and cute.
...Let a nestborn try, Tylana. Manager, there's something important that you-
So like I'm just not that intimidated? I mean. You've got a bow.
Not intimidated? Try to find a manner of attack? Why would I need one? I am Tiphereth. Two in one. All that I can do, I can also do-and as I can do everything he is not required.
I mean, if you don't have an attack, then it's just a normal workday. Right?
The Central Command Team performs the basic management of the containment cells!
Wait, what's that mean?
It means I can create meltdowns anywhere I want.
Level 2 posted:
The Central Department is quite big. Everyone who works there has their hands full.
See? The places you thought were protected have lost their protection! I can melt them down just like before!
but only when they'd spawn anyways.
Well, yes. It's not like I can just make them at random, there's rules to this sort of thing.
And instead of focusing on the lower levels, where all my WAW and ALEPH Abnormalities are kept, you opened the Uppers back up to take hits for me.
It's really intimidating, Manager! It's not my fault if you're just some second-rate who can't understand it!
She's just so cute..! I can't..!
As a boss, Tiphereth is impossible to take seriously. She forces us to go deep-all the way to level X, but her manner of attack is such a joke it may as well not exist-it's basically just playing the game like we did back on day 20.
This is also why she's dangerous. If we're not careful, Lobotomy Corporation will murder us-and over a long day with a boss who is a noted step down in difficulty, Tiphereth has lots of time to let us get careless.
Unlike Fat Sam, Medea can easily solo Scarecrow-especially with the shields her special generates.
Hey, is this not what you expected?
Yeah. Manager, don't you have, like, something you should be doing?
Huh? Oh, yeah. Yeah I guess that's true.
That's not what I meant!
When aiming Execution bullets around our Agents, we can tell at a glance if it will kill them or not by if their HP/SP bars increase in size. Medea's safe here. Since we're definitely seeing a Midnight Ordeal, we want to clear out the entire facility of all its Clerks as we go.
Shouldn't you be talking to her?
Eh she's a kid, even if she's a robot. I've never really been very good at talking to them.
A kid ? Don't you work with her?
How could you call one of the Sephirot of this place a child?! Manager, the sheer amount of work that Tiphereth and Tiphereth have to do in a day is staggering! That's even with my help to keep things running smoothly-her dedication is nothing but striking!
I guess Central has run pretty smoothly.
Obviously! All the screwups around there were your fault, not mine! You got too used to the Uppers.
On a marathon day like this, Parasite Tree management is even more important than usual-BICEPS is taking care of the tree all day today.
Right. Sorry. That's not something a kid could do. So, what do you wanna talk about?
Retiring Tiphereth! I can handle the entire place by myself now, and do his part of the work. So before he gets worse, we need to put him to rest permanently!
Mm No. I told you that already.
Note to self: Attempting to smooch the cutie does not go over well, no matter the mood. Secondary note: strawberry-and-death flavored~
Meanwhile we hit our first snag with Melting Love-unlike most Abnormalities, a Normal will always reduce her QC by 1. She starts at 3, and if she hits 0 she breaches. If she breaches, her special friend will turn into a powerful slime monster alongside her. This is what caused the other reset-while my plan of working her twice per meltdown period is very safe, sometimes we just hit 24/32 instead of 25+ and take a QC hit. Three times. In six works.
Why won't you listen to me? Tiphereth's not even on the floor today, you know? I know what that means-he broke again, didn't he?
Violet Dawn is such a nonthreat that there's no reason to even say how it ended.
Level 3 posted:
Is it time for yet another replacement? Time to head to storage, then
None of the Sephirot are on the floor today. You should know why, doing this takes up a lot of energy.
Ah but I was so sure. Every time he speaks with you
Tiphereth is fine, Tiphereth. It's Tiphereth I'm worried about right now.
He did that on purpose, didn't he?
But you're just making fun of me!
Yeah I just It doesn't feel like you're trying to harm anyone. You're just trying to keep your pile of Tiphereth together, and doing the bare minimum to the facility. Hell, we're only even going to see meltdowns what, four more times? Three?
Hey! I'm definitely doing my best over here! If you're not careful, It's gonna be the end of all of-
Oh right, did we get back the full details on Melting Love yet?
UGH, Manager..! They're right here-I really don't see why you wouldn't just ask Binah though, since it's her-HEY! How dare you?!
See? We're even working together like normal. Ish. C'mon, Tiphereth, this isn't like when the Upper Sephirot melted down.
I'm not saying I'll be the best at listening, but You just want to talk about Tiphereth right now, don't you? Let's do that for a while. Mizu'll take care of things herself.
...You know Tiphereth's important to me. Really important.
We all know, yeah.
The feeling's clearly mutual. You're enviably close.
It's pretty obvious, yes.
Can you help me figure some things out?
Trying to do that does seem to be what these days are all about.
When he screws up, I'll elbow him.
Tylana! He's from a nest!
And Tiphereth's from the Outskirts. It doesn't actually matter that much right now.
Outskirts kid. I remembered it the other day.
I need a minute.
Anyways, let's talk-you and me.
Level 4 posted:
Did Tiphereth get what he wanted at the end of all this? No. Just what were you even looking for in the first place?
Here we can see Tiphereth's other form of attack-normally, a department that is being suppressed doesn't spawn meltdowns. Tiphereth can still spawn them in Central, which can lead to a nasty surprise. She didn't spawn any in Upper Central during any of the fights I had with her, so I'm not sure whether that's because the Suppression immunity only extends to Upper Central, or if she's actually coded to allow them everywhere and I got lucky-but it's worth keeping an eye on all of Central either way. I actually have a couple Agents in the upper Disciplinary and Welfare main rooms just in case.
Anyways, I definitely don't almost forget to return Yang and we move on.
Yep. Definitely didn't almost forget.
Manager Do you know what Tiphereth's always looking for?
I can't say I do. You were right when you said he always seems to be looking somewhere normal people can't reach.
Hah so even the great Manager doesn't know
There's no way I could say for sure. But I think he's searching for meaning. He said it once, in one of the flashes I saw.
Meaning Tiphereth wants his life to have meaning, but what kind of meaning could he have going through so much?
Mizu masters the art of Slime Management.
This is getting into 'Why do bad things happen to good people' territory, Tiphereth. I don't really know. They just sort of do, and there's no rhyme or reason to it.
Then there's no point in having a meaning!
Mm I wouldn't say that. Pursuing a meaning can bring about something pretty awesome in and of itself.
But what's it brought Tiphereth? Look at them!
Every one of them broke, thinking thoughts beyond what Sephirot are supposed to-replaced, over and over and over.
...yeah. It sucks.
It does! It sucks! That's why I don't want him to hurt anymore. Why I I
Level 5 posted:
Dont stand there looking at me like that, with your forlorn smile. Ive already abandoned you
I was mad when you made me bet with him one more time. Both times. I was trying not to get attached anymore. To distance myself. You screwed that up.
Ah did I? I'm sorry.
Manager, the meltdowns!
Oh, sorry about that-can you take the controls, Tylana? I'm a little busy right now.
I don't know how to-
You'll figure it out.
The outskirts..? But they're even better than me The outskirts?
After every set of work orders, I've gotten into the habit of sending BICEPS over to work the Tree. The few times I've forgotten I've been just executing the Clerk who wanders for the Tree. It's hard to overstate just how versatile and useful Execution bullets are.
I wanted to cut myself off from Tiphereth. Watching him hurting hurts me. I don't like it. But
You are two, but one. You can't get rid of them, and you don't really want to either-I don't think so, anyways.
No. You're right. What I want is
Level 6 posted:
I wish to walk with you again Tiphereth, with the sound of the waves behind us.
I want things to be how they used to be. Before he broke down.
With his new Smile E.G.O-because who else would I give it to, really-Mr.Black is able to solo these Sweepers. The others are there just to deal more damage.
Mizu mercilessly destroys this set before they can even touch her, thanks to her 3-hit multitarget attacks wait, where'd her hat go?
Laetitia's hat was for good boys and girls, and I'm definitely more a bad slime.
This is kind of cool, but also bad-that new gift gives her a -5 to her Work Success stat, and while a 1% decrease in work success rates isn't much we really want to avoid a restart due to Melting Love breaking out.
Talow and Medea are both just as useful as ever against these things as well.
Manager! I got the Sweepers under control somehow!
Thanks, Tylana! Keep it up.
...those times are never coming back, are they?
They're not. Tiphereth seems okay right now, but at any time he might wind up breaking down again. That's just a thing he has to deal with.
Then what's the point of having him around? How am I supposed to carry on with all this pain?
I don't know. But really, none of us do. Life is an unfair, arbitrary sack of crap. Uh, I think so, anyways.
That's really depressing, manager.
Er-yeah. Kinda. For what it's worth, I think Tiphereth would disagree.
Yeah. No matter what happened, he'd smile and say he was sure there was something good that would happen next time. No matter how much he suffered...
Music: Dark Fantasy Scene
Level 7 posted:
If this song of mine that you can hear right now is a dirge to you
I'm being selfish, aren't I?
Most people only care about their own problems. It's normal-but it's probably a good thing that you realize it. You're not the only one hurting.
Right. Tiphereth's also in pain, isn't he?
I assume so-that crusher looked like it hurt.
This poor Clerk is also destined for execution.
Over and over he's been stuck with me, who tried to harden her heart and keep from getting attached to him. Two but one But I wanted us to be two. I wanted to do everything because he was always hurting, always broken
Then there's only one option, right? We'll finish refining the energy, and then you and Tiphereth are gonna' go make up. For real, this time.
Yeah. I don't know about the big things he saw. I don't think I ever will but we'll work together at least. Alright, Manager?
Sure. Let me just check on the others. Tylana?
I don't want to do this anymore, manager, there is blood on this monitor and there's a smiley face on it and I can't really see anyone and I've been executing clerks because they keep getting into trouble?
...yeah. Welcome to my life. Let's trade out, okay?
Right. I'll go check on Boksi. You okay?
...you're fiiine. It's fiine!
Level 8 posted:
When he returns, could you show Tiphereth how Ive grown? Will you show him how strong I am now ?
We've seen Crimson Dusk already and it's still not a threat.
It does kill several Clerks, though. We'll have to clean them up in case Mountain breaches. Luckily, we have a way to do that with Mr.Black. First, though, there's a situation in Extraction.
Oh thank god, I ran down here from Disciplinary in a panic, there was this ball made of clowns and-
Ooh, sorry, I'm social distancing right now. You're gonna' have to go poof.
Be very aware of where panicked Clerks run. If I hadn't caught this, there's a possibility they could have walked back up into Disciplinary, infected everyone, and caused a wipe.
Tiphereth, can you have Mr.Black move down to Disciplinary?
Alright. If I can brag about running the entire facility I'm sure he'll be impressed!
We'll just leave the little details out.
The Smile E.G.O suit has a special ability that allows it to dispose of any dead bodies before Abnormalities like Mountain or Sweepers can consume them. We walk him through the corridor...
And it eats them.
Ah, resplendent! Just like my mother used to make!
Let's just move on.
Yeah Hey, if you were like Tiphereth would you keep on living, do you think?
...Yes. Of course we would. Most people would.
Because where there's life, there's hope. Father used to say that, before he died in the Smoke War.
To prepare for the incoming Midnight, I move everyone to the elevators outside of the Records, Training, and Safety main rooms, Control up to the side-main-room next to their main room, and Mizu gets the Elevator outside of Records all to herself.
This leads to some amusing shenanigans where Parasite Tree tries pulling someone from Training down half the facility to bless them. It's much easier to stop when that happens.
I've been very rude, boss, and I owe you an apology. My father he was a member of a Syndicate who managed to work his way into the Nest, where he met my mother. He said that as long as he had life, there was always hope for more-a good education for his boy, the money to never have to worry about living in the Backstreets again. But then the war. And the Wing we were living in fell. He drew his blade again, fought to protect us
Huh. Guess everyone does have their own problems.
I have to say, I just sort of assumed you never had a problem in your life.
That's because you don't read the personnel files.
...Yeah, I'll uh. I'll do that tonight.
I was born and educated in the Nest, to be the best of the best-the cream of the crop. I'm not supposed to be able to fail. But... it all crumbled so suddenly, and the best I could do to support mother and I was find a job here, in this off-brand Wing that employed anyone from the Outskirts to the Nest and anywhere in between. And in the end, even the boss whose work ability I couldn't possibly match was someone who shouldn't have been able to amount to anything. I've been a real mosshead.
Well as long as you realize it now!
Yeah. I thought it was just him being hopelessly optimistic after I'd heard he bit it-but now I think what he meant is that anyone can become something, so long as they're still breathing. So It'd follow that as long as you're breathing, it's fine to expect some meaning to show itself eventually. No reason not to, right?
I guess not. Thanks, Boksi.
Anytime! Letting my co-workers lean on me is still what I'm best at.
And you're still gonna be completely insufferable about it.
Hey, let go-aaaaa, manager! This is workplace harassment!
I'm glad we all had this moment here, but there's still that Midnight to deal with.
The most dangerous part of Tiphereth's suppression is the final Ordeal that we'll have to face-for many players this is their first Midnight experience ever, and messing it up means having to do an entire day over again.
Level 9 posted:
You said that something good would happen next time
The floor under two main rooms burn for a few seconds. This is our warning, because a couple seconds later
A giant worm bursts forth with a giant CHOMP to the entire room. How giant? Let's talk about Amber Midnight.
The Eternal Meal deals 500 Red damage to everything in the same room as it when it enters, enough to kill the vast majority of Agents instantly. It has a lot of hit points, and it moves around constantly, but worst of all it summons minions.
For now, we have Anime Squad run in and attack.
This is a really, really big worm Manager. Do you think Tiphereth would like it?
I feel like he may not be okay with how it kills our agents.
Yeah you're right. Well, you'd better not let any of them die!
Leave that to me.
When it lowers slightly, that's our cue to run as it's about to spawn a couple of its minions-Amber Dusks. Come to think of it, we haven't seen them before either.
These guys wander the corridors and bite anything they run into, but since they only travel one way they can be attacked from behind. They spawn Amber Dawns as nuisance enemies that wander the corridor they're currently in. After spawning, these Dusks go to the end of the main room and burrow out before simply patrolling the hallways. This leads to an enemy attack pattern that looks something like this:
Because of the number of safe spots we can use to stage attacks against the main bodies Amber Midnight is completely free and we should never lose a single Agent to it. From here, it's just a matter of beating the crap out of the two main worms-there's no need to bother with the Dusks or Dawns.
So we do that.
Is it okay if I put this down as a teambuilding exercise on my activity log?
You know what? Sure! I'll sign off on it later.
What follows is about 3 minutes of whack-a-mole as the worms pop up in various places and I either ignore them or have whoever's nearby suppress them, as appropriate. It gets easier after the first few as the Midnights stop spawning in more Dusks so I don't have to run until they leave.
Manager, the first one's been confirmed as suppressed in Records.
Perfect. We're almost out of this.
And not a moment too soon.
Omni, ready on the victory poses!
Good job, team. Perfect, as always.
It's impossible to overstate just how much of a step down in difficulty Amber Midnight is versus Violet Midnight, but we still have to be careful-it can kill us if we don't make sure to take full advantage of the obvious safe spots we've been given. As for why the mission cleared immediately? Whenever an Amber Midnight dies, its associated Dusks/Dawns are all supposed to die as well. This doesn't always happen, as when they're in the middle of burrowing they can get missed, but this time the code worked properly. We're basically home free now.
Hey, Tiphereth. We're about ready to get you back up and running like normal.
Wait, I was broken this whole time?
...yes. You were.
Oh, maybe this is what Tiphereth feels like, then. Heh. Well, thanks Manager. It was an unexpectedly good talk.
Yeah. You too. I hope every Core Suppression winds up going as smooth as this one from now on.
There's no way that would happen. After all, Tiphereth is two as one. You've only been facing half of a Sephirah.
Fair enough. See you on the other side, Tiphereth.
You too, manager! Bye Tylana! Bye Boksi!
Uh yes, see you later ma'am!
See you, then.
Sorcrane, take us home.
Ah Tiphereth... I'm still waiting on that 'something good' you said would happen... I wonder
Was all of this really worth it?
...and that's that. Thanks for covering for a bit there, Tylana.
Hey, I had to do something. I'm just amazed Boksi came in handy.
Of course you're amazed! I'm still amazing, you know!
Yeah, an amazing mosshead.
Not you too !
Heh I guess you guys are two-as-one too, huh?
Hardly. Later, boss. Clean your monitor, already.
I exit, gracefully and without a trace!
Manager, I have confirmed the suppression of Tiphereth's core. Are you alright?
Yeah. She's a nice girl-just lost sight of something important.
Well done, A. As always, I am amazed by your incredible managerial prowe-
You can cut the crap with me, Angela. We both know you don't want to say it and I really don't need a nanny anymore.
...Very well, A.
Let's move on to Extraction. What've we got today?
Music: never frozen bottom flows
T-09-09: "Do you remember this melody? The professor used to play this song when the students were sleepy. Happy birthday."
O-09-96: Eventually, intellect loses all meaning as they forget even how to exist.
T-09-85: Now everything will be just fine.
We've talked about -85 at length and -96 is like Heart in that there's little reason to ever not take it so it wins, but -09 is new. It is supposed to restore SP to everyone in its department, but has the downside of instantly panicking whoever's working with it if they do so for more than 30 seconds at a time. It's mostly harmless, I guess?
Anyways, -96 is the winner here, since it has the least downside.
Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Binah says some vaguely terrifying stuff.
Requirements: Level 5, Temperance 5
*Not affected by Attack Speed
Requirements: Level 5, Fortitude 5
Melting Love (Part 1)
Melting Love (Part 2)
Sephiroth doing the Old Faith dance.
VIDEO: Tiphereth Core Suppression
(I took a different tactic on this video, opting to ignore Melting Love since I wanted to try and keep myself from taking nearly an hour in-game to finish. We also have a Green Midnight in this one-hopefully we'll see it in the thread before too long, though.)