Part 87: Day 39 - GameplayDay 39: Gameplay
Music: neutral 2
Manager! It turns out there were some schematics underneath all of the bodies! Unearthing them yesterday let us find them.
We followed the instructions, and it looks like it's a device that will increase your ammunition count every meltdown level.
We can also finally manufacture bullets that can protect our agents' souls as well. They'll come in handy if we face that bird again.
Isn't it wonderful?
Huh good work, you two.
More bullets are always good, and while only a handful of enemies use Pale damage we definitely won't mind having our full bullet arsenal on hand.
Speaking of good work, sir, in honor of your own excellent work I have the ability to alter certain parameters in your favor.
Limit Break: The Virtue of Protection: Maximum base Fortitude increases from 100 to 120.
Limit Break: The Virtue of Governance: Maximum base Prudence increases from 100 to 120.
Limit Break: The Virtue of Creation: Maximum base Temperance increases from 100 to 120.
Hokma's research is boring but effective. While Fortitude and Prudence may let our Agents be a little more durable, Temperance works out to 4% extra success odds on every box when we hit the new maxout point.
None of them are particularly amazing, but I like the bonus success chance.
Manager, there's one more thing! Please tell Disciplinary to stop beating up our captains!
It's not my fault! That mosshead was acting all nice and stuff, it was definitely an Abnormality! I saved his life!
Oh, Tiphereth. While you're here that Boksi, we got him back up and running already. There were no signs of an Abnormality.
Good! But still, don't go beating up my captains! Gebura's offline, so it's your job to use discretion.
I did! I discretioned his face into the ground!
That's not what that means! At least use a White weapon next time!
Ugh, whatever! Some of us have to get ready for the workday!
Fine! I've got to get things wrapped up over here, too!
Fine! Enjoy your stupid nap!
I will, thanks! Bye!
Angela... what the hell was that all about?
Nothing of importance, A.
right. Let's try to get Gebura back online soon too, okay?
Of course, A.
All this chaos Well, that aside. Do be careful, A. Even a melancholic genius is still a genius, after all. He's surely thought of something.
Thanks for the warning. I'll figure something out.
Music: Second Trumpet
Rain, huh..? Time to go say good morning, I guess.
Ahh, manager. I was wondering if you were coming.
My brilliant Welfare Sephirah promised me a rebellion. I wouldn't miss it for the world.
Brilliant? You flatter me~ All I'm doing is what I should have long ago. Do you like it?
I have to admit, I didn't expect to see rain underground.
This is a company which gains energy from the tears of its employees. All I've done is overturn the cup they're stored in... Just a bit.
Well then let's have a good talk, you and I.
Yes. Lets make the best of today as always~
All Levels posted:
My my, Im feeling very moody today~
Let my employees rest in peace, wont you?
Feel this vast pain
Level 1 posted:
Rain is falling; this rain, the tears of all the employees. The downpour will never stop.
Alright, let's see what you've got.
Not yet. There's still one more piece that isn't on the board yet.
Oh, manager! There you are. Sorry, I got a little lost.
...Huh. So you saw that coming too?
I took the time I was booting up to thoroughly prepare. You usually work with the captain of the department to resolve crisis situations. Unlike previous managers, you trust them.
Yeah. Why wouldn't I? They work for me.
Twee, stab him.
...Huh? Wai-wai-wai-why would I do that?!
It's just a joke, manager~ Relax. But I guess that trust of yours isn't so strong after all~
...Gh Well played, you absolute dick.
Don't worry, sir! I promise I'm not here to stab you or anything like that.
Because we'll have to do more work with Melting Love today, Chiral is going up to Disciplinary and the Clerks are getting cleared out.
Hey, manager? I think Chesed left us a clue about what he's doing.
You think so?
It's a hunch. The Welfare Team works with Qliphoth Deterrence, so if he turned it down in various ways, it could make certain Abnormalities much more dangerous than normal. I'll bet that indicator's a hint.
Huh. I never figured you for being this sharp.
Any time you see a weird rune, it probably means something important-that's just how things work.
Chesed's rule is very simple: Whatever damage type is highlighted on the indicator is amplified, and deals 5x more than normal to our employees. It reshuffles at the start of every new level, so it's important to keep track of when things will change over.
While juggling the proper damage types is one way to deal with him, I tend to push with ZAYIN and TETH level Abnormalities instead. This lets us largely ignore the gimmick, since their damage output just isn't high enough to be a threat even when multiplied by 5. Of course, things aren't going to wind up that simple, but we'll cover those problems when we get to them.
We also still need another ~342 PE boxes from Melting Love for later anyways, so it's not like we'll be completely ignoring anything dangerous. Play lame, but not too lame.
So, Chesed, color me curious. What brought on this rebellion anyways?
Oh, it's nothing complicated. This place is simply a cup of coffee that's gone stale. You know I can't stand lukewarm coffee, don't you?
Mm I know that, but I'm afraid metaphors aren't really my thing.
Oh, let me then, manager. If that's the case Is the company the coffee or the cup?
Someone's been paying attention~
Level 2 posted:
Pour that lukewarm coffee down the drain, Ill need another cup.
Right now, there are only eight Abnormality cells my meltdowns can target, so I decided to attack the two in Extraction. Mizu's already been given the heart, so either Melting Love melts down and escapes, killing her, or Mountain escapes, causing more problems. You could send a second agent down to work both, of course but then they may get infected.
Tch. You really did think this through.
If you mistake this for those temper tantrums you had to deal with before you'll be in trouble, manager~
This is, actually, kind of problematic-our ability to deal with it is based on where Mizu's located in the room. We have her work with Melting Love first, of course-if it escapes she's dead.
She finishes the work and we send her right off to deal with Mountain. But since its QC lowers if we send an Agent in with less than full HP/SP
We top her off with some Healing bullets as she goes.
And she makes it with 8 seconds to spare. One of the keys to dealing with difficult situations like this is to keep all the tools our facility has to handle problems in mind-I said before that ideally we'd never use Healing bullets, but situations like this are a niche where they're the perfect tool for the job. Recognizing and handling weird niche situations like this is the key difference between a good manager and a great one.
It's around now that I also remember our new tool Abnormality exists. It's an equippable tool which we can give to an agent to boost their Move and Attack Speed by 15, at the cost of 10 Prudence-and its only downside is that running out of SP now kills the Agent instead of panics them (which in many cases is not really a downside at all-chasing a level 5 Wander-type panicking Agent is really annoying). Talow loves the extra Attack Speed, so he'll be holding on to it all day today.
Got that handled. Now to clear out some of these clerks
THE CODECES ARE COMING! THEY COME WITH THEIR VORTICES TO DESTROY US ALL!!
...who was that?
I think that was that Hinman employee?
Huh, guess so. Wonder how that happened?
You sent her to work on Knight of Despair, so I altered the damage boost to White units. Careless.
Normally Attachment work with KoD is super safe, but we really don't want to be messing with WAWs when their damage type is boosted. Luckily, she ran right in the direction of our Feather of Honor users, and they're really good for knocking Wander-type panic Agents out of it.
Good thing, too, since Chesed's damage boost increases all White damage our Agents take-including from terrified Agents wandering around. T. Hinman was suppressed in a few seconds and still chopped off half of Gaia and Tylana's SP bars.
...Oh, wait. Codex aren't something that we've deployed here at all yet. Carry on, fellow humans!
Will do, ma'am!
Hah! There. I took care of it.
You did, did you? Without missing anything?
Of course I didn't-
Manager, take a look at this!
And on Tenebrais and BICEPS Two people I can't exactly just delete.
I didn't expect you to crumble all at once, manager. That's why it was only check. Now, where were we..? Ah yes, the coffee.
Right. If the coffee's bad, you throw it out-but only a fool would toss the cup as well.
And you posit that this place is the cup? Preposterous. It is the coffee, and you are the beans ground into it.
Can you guys stop talking in metaphors? I had to deal with Binah earlier and my head still hurts
Oh. Um, basically we're just arguing about how salvageable this company is.
Can't you at least keep up with that?
Anyways, he basically thinks it's unsalvageable, and I think-
Oh, okay, I think I have it. Thanks, Twee. But, if this entire place is unsalvageable... even if your rebellion succeeds the employees who survive would be out a job. That shoves most of them to the Backstreets, doesn't it? Isn't that a bit heartless?
It is. Luckily, I don't care anymore.
Music: Battle - Urgent Encounter
Level 3 posted:
I wonder do I still have a conscience left inside me?
Chesed begins boosting two damage types at once at this level, but since neither one is Red the Green Dawn isn't actually a risk to us.
I said I don't care. All the things I've done, the people I've watched die time and again, I don't think I have the ability to care anymore.
...Boss Everyone loves working in Welfare, though!
That's just because I don't bother pushing them. They're dead anyway, so why bother? If you let your employees slack, of course they'll like you.
But no !
That's how it is. If you're asking who cares the most for employees in the Middle Layer, even that Gebura would place higher than me~
So just because you got beat down a few times, the whole company has to go up in smoke, huh?
I don't need to hear that from the likes of you, manager, who forgets even basic things like Parasite Tree.
Hey, I didn't forget about-
Okay, so I did forget. Doesn't matter.
Three out of five. Two more and the entire lot of them die.
Since most of our WAW/ALEPH Abnormalities deal White or Black damage, we return to playing super safe-and everyone in the facility (Mizu excluded) is positioned in my favorite elevator pending the Sweepers showing up.
Won't happen. Even if it does, I'll rewind and get it right the next time.
Ah yes, that luxury you have. The TT2 protocol. Must be nice.
Level 4 posted:
I envy you manager, you can conveniently forget your moments most filled with shame.
Would that we could all simply undo our mistakes-but we can't, can we?
It was a 50-50 chance that Black would be boosted, but it's still unfortunate to see it.
Also unfortunate, some Sweepers spawned in the hallway right next to my elevator deathball. We attack.
Deathballs, ya'll. We have them go through the rest of the facility, taking out Sweepers en masse.
You're looking quite satisfied with yourself. Did you forget that my meltdowns earlier have forced you to abandon Mizu to face the Sweepers alone?
Of course not. But I left Mizu to face the Sweepers alone.
BLOOD AND SLIME!!!
What what was that?
That was what happens when I finally read the personnel files.
The Black damage boost makes it much clearer here-whenever the Sweeper damages Mizu, it gets the green sparkles that mean it's healing, but its HP drops instead.
Mizu and Sweepers really don't get along. Even if she had to drag herself through a bed of hot coals, she'd be there and ready to pop it open. She may not be our best fighter-but if it's one of them she'll definitely get the job done.
You planned that far ahead?
Nah. She just also happens to really like that freaky slime.
So you're lucky.
There are several forms of philosophy that state luck is really more a function of karma amassed over the course of one's life. It might be karma from how he's been acting as manager, instead of luck or skill.
Oh, I like that. Hear that, Chesed? I did it because I'm nice now.
Because you can just delete your memories and start over again every time, A. Some of us can't do that. We have to bear the guilt and shame of failure. Of betrayal.
I do that too, I just try to learn from it. For instance, Parasite Tree.
What about it?
I noticed it prefers pulling agents from its department before any other one. Sorcrane here is the only one left unblessed, so if I put them in Control, then when it goes off
Instead of having only a few seconds, I have all the travel time from Control through the entire building. I won't be failing a fourth time.
Woah! That's actually really clever, manager!
You don't have to sound that surprised
Learning from your errors. Ah, if only I could do something like that.
Why can't you?
Why indeed Fear? Perhaps custom, at this point?
Level 5 posted:
Each time Angela shows up, I shall commit sin according to her orders And I see no fig leaf here to cover my shame.
Check once more, manager.
Y'know, there's an old saying: patzer sees check, patzer gives check.
Perhaps, but you're pinned this time. Central's clerks are all dead, so you only have 60 seconds instead of 70. As I recall you had only 8 seconds left when you last made it to the Mountain? We both can learn, after all~
Yeah. That's why I put Mizu into the hallway. I'll make up for the 10 seconds by just getting there much faster.
Well played Then what about the Naked Nest?
With Red damage boosted, the agent you send there will be at severe risk of infection should the result be Normal-and there's always a chance it happens.
Oh yeah. I'm not going to touch it.
What-you can't just do that!
Sure I can. It doesn't have a Qliphoth Counter to worry about, so all we lose is what, 20 energy? Oh no, I'll have Mizu put in an extra shift with the slime, I'm sure she'll hate that.
But the meltdown protocols-
See, that's the thing: I'm done following stupid rules that get people killed. I make the protocols, and when they're counterproductive I'm going to change them.
But then my rebellion. What point does it serve?
Iunno, you're the one rebelling. What do you want?
To crush your plans, because you were the sort of person who'd kill dozens of people if it produced a little extra energy.
Uhh Congratulations, then?
No, I haven't done anything. There's no hope for me, so I wanted to at least destroy this rotten company before passing on.
No hope? That's ridiculous! Of course there's hope for you!
Level 6 posted:
Its much too late for me to repent.
No and this is checkmate, I'm afraid.
The bad news is that at Meltdown Level 6, Chesed starts amplifying three types of damage at once-and he hit Red/White/Black, which covers every Abnormality we have aside Judgment Bird.
The good news is that since Dusks can spawn on either Meltdown level 7 or 8, there's a 50% chance of having to deal with one during Chesed's suppression. We got lucky-no 5x boosted damage Dusks today.
The amazing news is that Chesed starts freaking out.
Look at 'im go.
Mountain and Melting Love, with their damage boosted. Both of Disciplinary's White damage dealers, with their damages boosted. Naked Nest, though you'll ignore it, is boosted as well. You'll slip somewhere.
Tenebrais is able to handle La Luna, and we throw Mizu to work with Mountain and Melting Love.
Oooh, you're being feisty today!
Despite a 0.3x Black resist, Mizu is taking serious damage now. However, she'd still have to fail more than 50% of the time to die to either Abnormality-she's fine. In general, if an Agent has a 0.3 or better resistance they're safe to work with even ALEPH level threats.
As for Parasite Tree?
All it can do is hypnotize Sorcrane, so I just wait and snap them out of it.
I've been managing this place for over a month. Did you think I wouldn't pick up a few tricks?
So in the end I can't even accomplish anything. That's unexpected...
This isn't the end, sir!
You're not the coffee, you're the cup too!
...Are we really doing this again?
The cup is everyone that makes up the company. The building, you, me, the other employees, and all of that. That's what holds this place together.
Then the coffee is what?
The rules! I don't really get anything about freeing Abnormalities to get more energy from killing agents-actually, I'm pretty sure that's not how it works at all-but that rule was bad! So were the other rules that you said you had to follow. So if we throw those out, we can still refill the cup with a nice, fragrant, hot cup of coffee!
Yeah, what she said. If the rules are shitty, just don't listen. Why do things that just get people killed?
You make it sound so simple How can I just stand up against someone who can have me replaced at a moment's notice?
You do it 'cause it's the right thing to do, I think. Better to be a martyr than complicit in something you can't live with.
Level 7 posted:
My friends were all gone, and I waited alone for dawn to rise out of the darkness.
I didnt want to open my eyes again. I just yearned to fall into the infernal pit of hell, bearing my sins on my back.
I can't just do that
Yeah, it's the doing it that's the hard part.
This meltdown is exactly like the last one-so we handle it the exact same way.
Well then, how about we just fill the cup together?
Yeah. We'll talk about what's best to do, act with our agent's interests in mind, and produce the energy we always have. It's worked for over a month. Why not longer?
Hmph. I'm starting to see her in you for the first time.
But we're not alike at all?
He's talking about someone else and thank you, I think-but I won't break, if that's what you're saying.
Then neither will I. I'll simply say clearly that I won't follow those distasteful demands.
Hell yeah. Let's go cure all of humanity, eh?
Yes, I think we'll get right back to work on that~
Speaking of getting back to work, manager, the information on the new tool's all ready.
Behavior Adjustment, huh? Seems useful.
What a fitting name. I shall have to do some behavior adjustment of my own. I was always waiting for someone else to act saying it couldn't be helped. I prudently built my own world where I simply did as I was told, and abandoned my sense of justice. Why didn't I ever realize?
Is my world finally crumbling?
Hey, we did it!
Yeah, thanks to your extensive knowledge of coffee-based metaphors.
Well, metaphors come up a lot in all kinds of occult lore. It's natural that I'd be quick on the draw with them.
Good work just the same. Just get out of here before Angela shows up.
Are you sure I can't wait around? There's a number of questions I'd like to pose to an AI like her that I simply can't-
Just go, Twee.
Ahh, maaan. Yes, sir
Congratulations once again, A. I see that you were successful once again.
Yeah, I'm getting pretty good at this now. Tomorrow'll probably be just as simple.
I certainly hope so, A. Are you prepared to see the Abnormality choices?
Yeah, bring it on.
Music: never frozen bottom flows
O-01-45: I shall heal you, curing you of all disease and injury you possess.
T-01-31: "From break and ruin, the most beautiful performance begins."
O-03-89: "If a flaw in the system disables the censors covering the Abnormality, we will once again have to sincerely consider how to dispose of the manager."
So like I said before, I have full control over the Abnormalities I can pick now thanks to being able to Re-Extract infinitely. Good thing, too-the one I tried hunting down took about 3 minutes of solid rerolls to show up. ZAYINs are rare this late in the game, only appearing roughly 10% of the time, and I wanted -45 specifically. It's an Abnormality which has a cool E.G.O gift, but no equipment to speak of. It makes up for this by being very easy to handle, and it has a couple of special abilities that make it fairly useful in endgame so I would like to add it to the facility sooner rather than later-definitely before our next Memory Repository on day 41.
I hope none of you blame me too much for laming out on this pick-this facility is already pretty hard to handle.
Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Chesed and Angela have a conversation again.
VIDEO: Chesed Core Suppression