Part 94: Day 42 - GameplayDay 42: Gameplay
Music: neutral 1
Now that you understand the way of this place, I have increased the strength limiters on our agents. They can be more powerful than before.
Why didn't you just do that from the start?
This place is a clock. The hands proceed as they need to-no sooner and no later.
If they should happen to fall, then there is also a chance of their E.G.O being salvaged.
Huh, really? Alright. We shouldn't need it, but it's good to have.
Okay, team. Our only real goal today is to get all the information about that new Abnormality. Business as usual, but let's not get careless.
I shall have someone put to work on the task immediately.
Excellent. Upper Layer, stay ready. I don't forsee any issues but if anything happens I want everyone ready to roll.
Middle Layer, same thing. Anything goes wrong, it'll probably be you guys dealing with it.
Binah, keep an eye on that... thing. I don't trust it.
I shall observe all that happens here without fail.
Huh. That went better than I thought. Alright then, Angela?
Let's do this.
Work. Sleep. Work. The cycle continues, unbroken.
Records team, you have a mission today. Extract all E.G.O from the new Abnormality, as quickly as possible. That is all.
...Are all his orders like that?
Pretty much. It's why I've been running everything around here.
So what're we doing?
Waiting for Mizu to show up, so that she doesn't get cranky at us for stealing her thunder.
Business as usual. Got it.
Oh hey, Omni-new E.G.O?
Yeah. I'm using Gold Rush. I thought it'd go great with your Sword Sharpened by Tears.
That's perfect. It's like the two magical girls are reuniting in spirit to carry the company forward, right?
That's what I was thinking. Poetic, huh?
Orders from the top, everyone! I have a message for Bishop, and outside of that we're just staying ready for Ordeals or emergencies.
I have a message?
Yep! And I've delivered it perfectly!
...huh. No sender. Guys I'll be back in a minute.
Sounds exciting. Enjoy your mystery, boss!
...I'm not sure what to make of what I'm seeing.
That's the new Abnormality, A. It's actually a CENSORED.
That was unsettling.
Any information regarding the Abnormality's true nature is automatically filtered so that you cannot see it. There have been... issues in the past.
Ah. I'll try not to let it get to me. There's something behind the censor bars, though?
Yes. This is a thing so uniquely corroding to the psyche that it cannot even be accurately shown through a cognition filter.
Now you've got me worried about how Mizu's going to react to it.
Our new friend here is another one which has a unique work type. Repression is replaced with Sacrifice. When we click on it
A spinner with the names of our Agents shows up. We can click the circle to start spinning, or the X to back out.
...Let's maybe not do this.
We wait for Mizu to arrive for the obligatory first work.
I am a grand lover of all things cutie, but this is possibly too much cutie! Where do I even start?! What do I even do?! Would you prefer mood music or a deep room cleaning?
It immediately inflicts the Hopeless fear level on any level 5 agent walking into its room-this immediately deals them 60% of whatever their maximum SP is. On agents level 4 or less it's even worse-it immediately inflicts Overwhelmed, which panics them instantly.
It also deals Black damage-and enough to deal 3 damage despite Mizu's 0.3x resistance. This means that most Agents will panic over the course of a work with it, particularly in earlygame when our gear isn't as powerful as it is now.
It also can't get Good results from normal works-the most we'll ever see is a Normal result like this.
So how was the new Abnormality?
Oh, MAN. It's basically CENSORED, and in order to satisfy it I had to CENSORED while it was CENSORED. If I didn't, it probably would have CENSORED with its CENSORED. And all the while you have to be sure not to look at its CENSORED because I think it's shy about CENSORED??
That sounds like a handful and a half.
Yeah, for sure. Oh well, have funsies!
...Ugh Talow, we heard half of that from over here and I nearly threw up.
Robin was not so lucky.
Can one of you clerks get on that?
Huh. I have no idea what any of that was about, but it doesn't sound great.
It may be necessary to call in a specialist, Manager. That particular Abnormality is quite the handful.
A specialist? But it's an Abnormality that instantly drives people mad. Mizu was fine, but we need her to watch Extraction today...
I have an idea, boss.
HAHAHAHAHAHA! Good to see you all! My, is that fresh horf I smell?
What the fresh hell are you doing here?
Oh don't worry, I'm not going to scold you or anything! You see it all the time back in Safety when people get sick! HAHAHA!
Not an answer to the question, Mr.Black.
Netzach passed along a memo saying you needed someone to help deal with a bad little Abnormality. Something about CENSORED and CENSORED? It's right up my alley, it turns out!
You sure you can handle this?
Worry not, my dear boy! I've got this, or my name isn't Mr.Black! HAHAHA!
Boss, he mentioned it again, can I..?
Take a minute, but you're going to have to get used to it eventually.
There are a few ways to deal with the huge amount of SP damage that it pumps out. The first would be to use Portrait of Another World, and then use Black shield bullets on the Agent who the damage is being passed to to mitigate the damage. The second would be to use a suit like Blue Star in order to recover the SP being lost during the work, to balance things out. The third involves a tool Abnormality we haven't seen yet. We don't need to do any of that in this facility, though.
HAHAHAHA, is that all? Alright, let's get you smiling like everyone else!
Mr.Black's work is enough to get us a name. Our new Abnormality is named CENSORED, appropriately enough. It deals 5-10 Black damage, which after Mr.Black's defenses becomes 1-2 Black Damage. Mr.Black has 127 SP, which after a 60% cut becomes 50.8. On average, he would have to miss 33.67 boxes in order to lose that many SP. CENSORED has only 32 PE Boxes. Our facility as it stands now is able to just power through its gimmick without a care in the world.
In the end, all our Agents really need is a Smile.
Since we don't have to respect it, I have the option to send Mr.Black at it until we get the 550 total PE Boxes I'll need to get all of its information and the two copies of its E.G.O weapon. So we do that. This is a very boring day gameplaywise, as most of the work is entirely focused on CENSORED. Time for a highlight reel!
So how was it?
HAHAHAHA! Smiling like a good CENSORED, of course! It brought me back to the old days, outside.
Yes! Back when I'd do some harvesting work on the side for my job! You'd see things that most people would shy away from-but so long as you can smile? HAHAHA! It's nothing, nothing at all! It's truly the best medicine!
Every time he talks, I just get more disturbed.
Hey, he can do the job. That's plenty, right?
Yeah. I guess I can let it slide, given that.
We got a tree case over here, Manager.
Hold on, I'll wake them up.
I still don't understand why you refuse to simply dispose of them. You know the truth now. They do not matter, A.
Yeah, that thing you did? It... Felt Not great. I'm trying not to delete anyone unless circumstances absolutely require it.
...Very well, A.
Hey, Manager? That last result was bad-CENSORED may escape if it happens again. You should clear out the clerks.
I just said-
If it gets out, it'll be infinitely worse with them here than without. Call it a hunch.
That -30% overload penalty is the largest we can get on an ALEPH Abnormality. If we're willing to continue working with CENSORED we can, but we're risking more middling results like this.
Well, your hunches are pretty good... Okay, fine.
I am perfectly willing to risk middling results. Just to be safe, I shuffle the Agents around a bit-if CENSORED escapes, we want it to run into high-defense targets like Talow and Mr.Black. Morgan's weak to Black so she'd be a sitting duck.
Oh hey guys! Welcome to Welfare.
Hokma's pawning you off on us, huh~
Nothing like that, there's just a possible Abnormality breach incoming. It's a safety precaution.
Huh. Since when were you proactive, manager?
It's been over a month. I had to get decent at this job sometime.
While you're up here, would you like to give us a hand? We're doing some maintenance on the E.G.O gear in storage.
I don't see any reason why not.
Great. Your job is to distract Evil Kit. Morgan, grab a brush.
Oh come on! I'm not going to spill jam on the tools again! ...On purpose, anyway!
There we are! Another perfectly good work session. Remember to smile 'til I get back!
Risky though it is, this work is enough to finish unlocking CENSORED's information. That weapon there is a strong contender for the best defensive E.G.O in the game, and we will want two copies of it. They're currently 205 boxes each with Extraction's discount so we have a long grind ahead of us.
Despite my willingness to shove my hand into fires, working CENSORED at -30% isn't that dangerous. Since our overall success rate never hits 95%, the -30% from the penalty winds up almost entirely negated by the combination of Mr.Black's 119 Work Success (+23%) and the Observation bonus of +6%, giving us a total modifier of -1%. With a base Insight success rate of 50%, this gives us a total success rate of 49%-and since we're set up to intercept a breach we're not particularly worried about Bad results.
While we're here: CENSORED responds better to lower work levels-its level 2 Prudence rate is base 80%, and level 1 is base 90%. Getting a level 5 Agent with low Prudence to work CENSORED and get mostly successes is another frequently-used strategy for dealing with it. We'll talk more about the numbers in its Abnormality Roundup, but for now all we need to know is that CENSORED, despite being an ALEPH, is safe for any facility thinking about endgame.
...You know, it's nice to get back to basics like this. Just one Abnormality to mess with, instead of two. Only one Meltdown. Nobody needing Core Suppression. It's a nice, tranquil day.
Punishing Bird? On it.
Oh, um no. QC's holding steady at one, sir. It's about a rumor circulating among the clerks
Huh? What happened?
Well, sir, um they saw Bishop reading a letter...
No no way. This is on top of everything else, you mean for all this time? We could have been but we've been This can't be right
Um, sir? Are you alright?
What? Oh, uh, it's nothing. I have to go call Talow and set up a meeting.
...And then, apparently he supposedly ran off with his face a vibrant red? It's the hottest topic among clerks right now-some kind of weird love affair between Captains.
That's ridiculous! Bishop only has eyes for Malkuth.
I heard my name, Manager! How can I help?
Er-my mistake. Everything's fine. Sorry.
Setting that aside, this seemed like I should bring it to your attention
Who even cares about that stuff?!
Um I just thought that this could cause our employees to lose focus, so
Frankly speaking, all the whispering is getting annoying.
Right, well, just flatly deny anything's going on. I know what this is about, and it's not that.
Then what is it about, sir?
I'm not familiar with that section of the company.
Yes. Because it's Nonya' Business.
...I don't think you would have made that joke before.
It's peaceful around here with Mr.Black out.
Does that mean you'll be doing any work today?
No orders... I'm going to have a quick nap. Wake me up if anything happens.
In that case, I might as well go for a walk. Sephiroth, you've got the Dawn Ordeal, right?
I shall show them the true power of the One Winged Angel.
Anyways, I heard that his tear-streaked face glistened in the pale Control room light as he-
Oh hey, this one's blessed, let's nip this right in the bud.
...I miss something?
Because I'm saving up PE boxes for weapons, I want to keep the Extraction Team's clerks alive-they're reducing the cost from 222 to 205 each, saving me ~2 works overall. For the first time, Clerks do count.
Whoo-ee, thanks man. That was crazy!
It wasn't any trouble.
Still, you obliterated them all in seconds! It was amazing.
I have seen many worms in this place. I've simply learned the fastest ways to crush them under my heel. Now I shall rest once again.
We're past due, actually-it's been a pretty lucky day so far.
Right, well it'll get taken care of.
Ow. Ow. Ow!
I don't care how much happens, watching this will always make it worthwhile.
Hey, Manager! Credentia went wandering off somewhere. Quit playing around and find her.
Oh, sure, give me a sec...
Well that's unusual.
Thy family recieveth this blessing, and thus thou shouldst be bestowed it as well.
I don't think that's right? Tenebrais doesn't have that weird halo thing.
All the same, she and I are as linked as mother and child. Come accept thy blessing.
Do I get an option to say no?
You do not.
Huh. That was shorter than I thought it'd be.
Hence we shall go together 'ere the time of reunion.
Binah, you dredge these things up. What do you think?
With few exceptions Abnormalities are drawn from Extraction however, I have not observed this child before. Only the one who birthed it could truly answer what it wants.
Isn't that you?
I am simply the steward of the Bucket. They were birthed elsewhere, deep within the Ri-
Not this again. I'm just going to assume you don't know anything.
A thing you do quite often, Manager.
Huh. You got the blessing like those other guys?
I guess so. It was the weirdest thing. He told me you were blessed while I was in there.
I'd think I could remember that.
You could always ask him directly?
Nah. Every instinct I have is telling me not to go anywhere near that one.
There's nothing to worry about. It's a ZAYIN-and a surprisingly gentle one at that. He healed that chronic pain I was having in a flash.
Definitely don't trust it.
It's about here that we manage to finish off our first CENSWORD. Some may want to correct me by pointing out that it is shaped like a claw and is more of an unknowable entity than a sword, but to them I present the following counterpoint:
CENSWORD is really fun to say.
Uh, Mr.Black, we can't see your face
There's a CENSORED on it.
Oh, really? I'd forgotten about it! You all seem fine with it, though.
Eh, maybe if it was CENSORED, but since it's just CENSORED I don't really care.
I kinda want to scrape some off and see if I can grow it in a petri dish!
HAHAHAHAHA!! That would be highly illegal.
2% drop rate~
Ah, here we go-this is one of the problems of Plague Doctor being in the facility. When he's in an area that can have meltdowns, sometimes they hit him. When that happens we can either pray for a normal, send someone to advance the clock, or wait for it to run down and let him pick someone at random.
It doesn't really matter, but I remember being very stressed out my first time through the game trying to avoid advancing the clock. I'm much less worried this time around.
...I was just out for a walk
The alarm sounded. A call was made. Thou has answered.
No, seriously, how the hell did you do that?
Thou thinkest thine companions boors.
Have you met them?
They are damaged, broken by the world outside. Diseased, by that which I shall cure. I ask for they devotion. Aid me, that I may let this disease pass from this world.
Uh-huh, got it. What's in it for me?
I shall protect you. Heal you from the wounds you carry, and prevent you from succumbing to this disease.
...eh, I'll bite.
Hey, hey, hey. I go by Mr.Blond for a reason.
Hence we shall go together 'ere the time of reunion.
It's possible for the changes to Plague Doctor over time to be missed pretty easily up until now, but the one at six is blindingly obvious.
That can't be Actually, I don't know what that can't be. Angela?
It appears to be having an Enkephalin reaction based upon the position of the clock.
So it's literally a ticking time bomb.
There is a possibility that this is the case, Manager.
Great. Continue to monitor it, I guess. We're stuck with it anyways.
Speaking of, the task you have entrusted to me is now complete. Both of the CENSORED have been extracted from CENSORED.
We are still roughly 250 PE boxes away from our goal. The Noon Ordeal would be the best way to finish gathering energy from here.
Nice. Let's cool it on working CENSORED for now, then.
As you like.
Cease production. That is all.
Yeah... Good talk.
I suppose that means my work here is done for the day! HAHAHA! It's been a pleasure!
Wait, didn't you have a... thing... on your face? What happened to it?
Oh, that? I simply willed it to disappear and the CENSORED happened to CENSORED into my face!
Oh oh god. Nope. NOPE nope nope. I'm out.
I've never heard of that before. Any drawbacks?
Just one: It was INCONCEIVABLY PAINFUL! HAHAHAHA!
...Ahh I feel better now. You you don't make me want to drill a hole in my head and pour bleach in it to erase any memories. You're just a bunch of corpses which respond to stimuli the same way any other thing around here should. Nothing unusual about that. I've decided I like you, Mountain.
Hey buddy, have you heard about what went down in Control earlier? I heard-
...Huh. Wonder what that was all about.
I'd prefer you found a better way to deal with rumors, Manager.
Fine, fine, we'll try positive reinforcement.
"Nothing happened in Control today, and everyone is blowing it out of proportion. I don't believe in silly rumors."
N-n-nothing happened in Control today, and it's blown out of proportion!! I don't believe rumors, sir!!!
Eh, close enough. You can have a Red shield.
Come on, I'm doing my best here!
Have a good walk?
Good. Your sword-arm has been faltering of late. There's no room for sentiment on the battlefield.
Please. Don't go getting cocky just because they let you have the ALEPH E.G.Os to play with, or you're going to wind up needing a save from yours truly.
So long as the lifeblood of this planet flows, it shall not be me who needs to be saved.
Come to think of it, why do you have that sword, anyways?
Medea said she found a weapon which suited her better.
Don't you dare try getting anywhere NEAR my cute little Ppodae!!
Despite coming from a WAW, Gold Rush is a strong contender for second-best damage in the game simply because of how fast its attacks come out.
End the day. We've got no other reason to hang around.
Of course. I shall begin preparations immediately.
The end of day bell..? Hey, what was I doing here?
Iunno, you looked like you were heading for the cutie cell thingies.
Just like Credentia and Mr.Blond earlier. You turned back around once the Deterrence got turned back up.
Huh. I don't Well, it's whatever. See you guys later!
Yes best to leave now. The real work begins soon.
Mr.Black, why are you still here?
I so rarely get to come down this deep, and in this place my laughs reverberate so splendiforously! HAHAHAHAHA!!
The acoustics really are something else.
Oh, yell something else next! Like-
Talow, you've got a message on hold from Control. Apparently it's been there all day?
And I've got a headache. Whatever Bishop's bent out of shape over can wait for the morning. Let's just get out of here ASAP.
What the hell is taking so long? He's had all day-he should have replied by now..!
Hey, boss. Don't worry about it. It's alright-you've got our full support.
I've watched over 300 different romcoms, and I'm sure that either he's lost the memo, been distracted by a rival, or is in the hospital with a chronic illness. I'm sure it'll work out!
...what are you two talking about?
The reply to that confession letter you received. What else would we be talking about?
That wasn't a confession letter, was it?
Hey Malkuth, Omni and Chinely just offered to do all the cleanup for us today!
You said you wanted to support me, right? Then do that and we'll call it even.
...Uh sure. I guess it couldn't hurt.
Great! C'mon, Malkuth. I'll buy the lemonade.
You always buy! It's my duty as the boss to treat sometimes.
Omni, don't just let him force the work on us!
Ugh, it's too late now. Let's get this done and get home, there's a new season of I was Transformed into a Slime but it's Okay because Everything is Tasty coming out.
That was today?!
Today went perfectly!
Doesn't that mean I win the bet?
Wait That Darn it, why did I say anything?!
Note the time taken. Days where you're farming one ALEPH Abnormality for all of its gear take much longer than normal since each work takes ~a minute or so to complete.
Music: never frozen bottom flows
T-09-78: The final chapter ends with the phrase: "Born again."
T-09-80: "The tree simply reaped from what it sowed."
T-09-85: Now everything will be just fine.
It's a tool pick, and we get to choose between "Only kills us if we handle it wrong," "Roll the dice to not die," or "Definitely die."
Tool Abnormalities, everybody!
Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Hokma waxes poetic about desecrating corpses.
Requirements: Level 5, Fortitude 5
*Not affected by Attack Speed
CENSORED (Part 1)
CENSORED (Part 2)