Part 10: Duck Season
Last time we probably doomed everyone to an agonizing death by turning on the black hole machine.
But the winners write the history books so I'm sure it'll be regarded as a necessary sacrifice.
"A small price to pay for salvation."
Look at him go! I love you, Mr. Hertz.
: YAY! *BEEP BEEP* THE HUMANS ARE DANCING SO FESTIVELY! I'VE GOTTA DANCE JUST AS HARD! *WHOOOOOSH!*
Holy SHIT. Hertzes are SO bad. You think they would call for help...? They help manage the simulator, yes? DO SOMETHING.
That aside, the SpaceSim road is pretty simple, with only two main branches. We'll be continuing straight ahead and taking the eastern path first.
I wasn't kidding when I said it was simple, either. No new enemies, and no tiny branches at all. Just this weird brain navi thing.
: What are those rings, I wonder? ...
: Disgusting. What is all this rubbish that interrupts my thoughts? ... !
: Could it be that this dust... is a clue to the composition of those rings? ... ...
: How absolutely disgusting.
We all know some asshole like this. Just shut up already you pontificating nerd.
He's like those people who make their social media pages their god damn diary.
HeatBall2 is an 'upgrade' if anyone is still using HeatBall1 in their folder, which... why?
Agreed. Your focus should be on virus s-ranking unless you're going for bosses. However, HeatBall2 is slow, so unless you're super short on Heat Chips for your proverbial Wood boss...don't bother.
Down the other path, we can take a break and watch the tour lady do some spins. Good form.
At the very end, there's this? I'm not really sure if it's actually relevent.
And now, we'll never know what Yeti actually got. Loser.
Halfway between the split in the paths and the other end, we have access to the wave hole. So let's head on in.
We've made it to dungeon two. Congrats(?)
Quiet. It's a neat background.
: It's because of that Tom guy. I bet he's watching everyone growing weaker by the minute with a sissy look on that face of his.
: Alright. Let's go!
As much as I love the writing of the game, it was released back in 2007 and some of the word choices is, how you say, unfortunate.
Please. ArmNavi calls it how it is.
First and foremost, the only new enemy type here. Crowcar are what drop JetAttack1 cards, and do the exact same thing as their attack. Just hit them before they charge and you'll probably get the counter hit.
Oh, look, it's not-Fishy.
We can't, unfortunately, go straight through the area. Saturn (that's a planet, no matter what the text says) is in our way.
Might as well take a walk on the grid.
Heeeeere we go.
: Up where?
How do you not see them, Geo?
: *quaaaaaaaack!!* Who goes there!?
: It spoke!!
: *quaaaaaaaack!!* We are the Quacky Lackies! We are loyal servants of Lord Cygnus!
: I've heard of you guys. Something about a bunch of noisy ducks...
: Ducks!? Did you just say DUCKS!? *quaaaaaaaack!!* Insolent fool!!
: But you're not even remotely white!
You are weird creepy ducklings. But that's still no excuse, Geo. (Do actual cygnets even have white feathers? I thought they were like, a muddy brown because of the down.)
What do you know!? Mind your own business!! Take this! Dance of the Stars!!
Oh, great, a TV show pun. Harr harr.
: That was close.
: *quaaaaaaaack!!* How was that!?
: Not bad, duckies.
: Y-You said it again!! *quaaaaaaaack!* Unforgivable!! A duck's wrath is to be feared! You'll see!!
Oh okay good they're idiots.
: You just called yourself a duck there...
: Just a bunch of quackers in denial, huh?
That being said it's hilarious that Mega has no time for these idiots and just roasts them mercilessly.
Can I just get 30 hours of ArmNavi roasting bitches left and right? Please.
I almost regret not using this as the title of the thread.
: *quaaaaaaaack!* We will shower you in star shards!! Everyone, man your positions!!
: ...birdies out of the sky. If we take them all out, this area should go back to normal.
So that's the gimmick of this dungeon. When we walk on the grid marks, two-by-two parts light up. A few seconds later, a star falls down and crashes to the ground.
Getting hit by one pops you in the air for a bit and takes 5 HP away. It's the time loss, not the HP, that irritates me.
You'll notice my HP dropping through this dungeon. That's because I don't care enough to get the timing for these right and will pretty often just run through and tank the hits.
Is this how you bust viruses? No wonder you never S-rank.
: Think you can hit me? Go ahead and try then!
: Touch and slide the rocket up to fry some duck!
Anyway across the first star field is the rocket. The stupid duck is just wiggling back and forth; all we have to do is launch the missile so that it hits them.
: What were you aiming at? Are your eyes OK? *quaaaaaaaak!!*
: Argh! Alright, one more time!
If you fail (and you will because the timing is weird to slide these things up and a 50-50 chance it'll launch period) the duck just laughs at you and then it resets. There's no punishment aside from the duck laughing at you and the wasted time.
This dungeon really likes wasting your time.
...Yeah, they really can't put you on a timer for the whole dungeon, so the only cost is a few seconds. Unless you're an adult (who this game is not marketed towards), I generally don't consider time expenditure a cost.
: I-I've been BBQ'd!! L-Lord Cygnus!!
: Heh, you got what you deserved!
Once you hit the little bastard, he blows up. And then we can move on? Very little fanfare.
Moving right along, we cross through another field. That leads here? If it's important, I don't remember why. But I'll keep it in mind for later, just in case.
Alternate spawns for data, it seems like.
Honestly the only part of this dungeon that matters is the ability to recognize the patterns the stars fall in to avoid getting hit. I'm pretty sure they're kind enough to not make you fight random encounters while on the minefield, at least.
There's a few rewards for exploring, though this is on the main path.
Honestly, I'm just not a big fan of the whole Cygnus scenario entirely. The intro aside, the trigger for Tom to turn evil is a whole misunderstanding that could be wrapped up by people, y'know, talking like adults for five seconds. Plus, the dungeon is pretty bland and boring.
I can see that. I suppose we could posit a more harsh cost and something to do with the SpaceSim? Right now, random ducks just attack you in space, and those concepts don't really mesh.
It doesn't help that the main gimmick has a lot of text to it, and all of it's identical.
Once you blow up the duck, they spout off about Lord Cygnus and then explode.
At the very least, it's pretty short. Only two ducklings here before the star goes away.
We don't get too far into the stage before we run into the next star, so let's get to work.
The upper row starts at the close bit and falls towards the far part, while the lower row starts at the far part and approaches. It's shaped like a T, but I'm just going to run across the top for now.
This one's split into two parts, with a goodie tucked away. Just wait until the stars won't hit your path and book it.
This one's more useful now that we have some extra water element attacks. I'm still not going to use it, since I have more fire attacks in my folder.
What Yeti means is that if you use a water attack on an ice panel, that enemy will get frozen -- a new status added way back in Battle Network 6. It functions like paralysis in that they won't be able to move for a bit, but if you follow up with a breaking attack, that enemy takes double damage. Gonna plug a CX gif just to convey it.
Blow up the duck at the end and then we're back at that first star field again.
I don't understand why you exist.
Say it with me now.
Duck up here (heh) to hit another missile.
There's so many little nooks. I guess they're for hiding from the stars to reset the pattern? But it's not that hard, so just dodge them.
1000 zenny is a nice bonus though.
One last duck at the end of the star fields.
As an aside, once you've blown up every duck in the area, the star fields stop being dangerous and start being random virus zones again.
Let's just move on, at least.
This place is set up pretty simply; one long stretch down the middle with areas to the left and right. Once we're clear, we're into the final stretch.
A lot of Battle Network second dungeons had 4 areas. This must be changed so that the LPer can suffer.
This field starts in the center and stretches out along the plus shape, then goes back to the center. Run into the center after the star falls there, then just go wherever.
Except the right. Don't go there, that's a dead end.
I went down the left hand branch first; this field the stars fall too fast for you to outrun, so just duck into the little squares that are off the path for safety until they pass you.
Eh. Not that interesting, but at the very least we get another one of these chips.
Just gonna blow up that duck quick and head up the other side of the first field. What is this random GMW doing here? It wasn't a virus or anything, it was just... there.
...Game. Why did you misplace that.
After this, we're done with the entire northern section.
This may look annoying, but I can assure you, it's incredibly annoying. Though really they just fall in alternating checkerboard pattern. Stand where the stars fell last time and you'll be fine.
So it's stupidly simple. Getting hit by these is entirely your fault.
Fuckin' hate these ducks.
Another Gatling1 is nice, though. I always love seeing multi-hit cards.
I don't see a c
Once we're done with this path though, all of the ducks are gone. Nothing can save you now, you shitty swan man.
GOD FUCKING -
So after nothing happened let's save the day.
: I've got you now!
Who's ready for a cutscene that's going to last the rest of the update?
Down with the LPer for this travesty.
: A human? Here? Who are you?
: Hey, Cygnus.
: I-Impossible! Omega-Xis? Heh heh heh. I'm surprised to run into you here. And what is with that form? It looks like you fused with a tiny child.
Duck's got a point, Mega.
: Aren't you using a weakling of a man? Before you fused with him, he could never have brought himself to do something like this. What did you do to him?
: Heh heh heh. I didn't do anything to him. This is what he wanted. Isn't that so?
: The FlapPack is MY invention! Aaron... He...!
: The person on that monitor... Is that MegaMan? That incident... wasn't a dream?
: I was betrayed. The FlapPack is MY invention! Aaron... He...! He claimed it was his own!!
: Th-That's not true!
Here we're really getting into my big problems with the scenario. Mainly, that the conflict has nothing to do with Geo other than he got caught there accidentally. It just doesn't feel personal.
: Hmm? You can hear us, Aaron? Hmph, those were some ugly lies you just spewed.
: But it's the truth! I absolutely, positively never claimed that! I would never steal anyone's invention!
Compare this to the first scenario, where Geo was directly involved with the start (even if it wasn't his fault but Mega's). Here, Tom just overheard Boreal talking to Zack and then decided to kill everyone.
: ...because you are the one who made me realize that
: betrayal is the essence of society!!
I broke that up deliberately, you'll see why in a little while.
: So now what?
: We use brute force, what else! We have to. It's all up to us!
: Omega-Xis. The Andromeda Key is with you, yes? In that case, I'll be taking it back. Heh heh heh... Here I come!
Mega, why would you carry the alien MacGuffin around on you? That seems like it's asking for trouble.
He didn't watch enough movies, okay? He's an alien.
Jokes aside, the Andromeda Key is probably safest with him.
: If you want betrayal... If you want to feel the pain of betrayal... Then I will be the one to deal it in spades!
: Here he comes! Rock his world!
Finally! They shut up and let me fight!
CygnusWing is the second boss, with 600 health and no element. He's not that tough as long as you keep calm and don't flail around. Stick in the center, and you won't have that many problems. He moves faster than TaurusFire does, but has a similar pattern; move three times, then attack with one of two moves, Cygnus Feather or Dancing Swan. After three of those attacks, the next one is guaranteed to be Migratory Birds. Then, rinse and repeat.
Pictured: Cygnus Feather. Cygnus will land in your column, flap his wings, and then launch feathers at your panel. You can dodge by moving left or right, or block the attack. If you get hit, it's only 10 damage. The counter timing is right before the feathers get launched.
Pictured: Dancing Swan. Cygnus stops on the left or right column, waits a second while two rows flash, and then spins down them. This is a breaking move so you have to dodge out of the way to avoid getting hit. It does 20 damage if you don't walk out of the way. To counter this, just hit him while he's approaching you in the spin. At first he always starts at the furthest row from Geo, but as his HP lowers he'll start the move from closer in.
Pictured: Migratory Birds. Cygnus parks himself at the back and then launches three ducklings at you. The black ones are invulnerable, but the white ones have about 10 HP before getting launched away. You have to shoot it, since it'll go straight through your shield and you can't dodge it. It only does 20 damage, and the counter is pretty tricky; you have to hit Cygnus after he summons the ducklings but before he sends them off, so use a bomb like PowerBomb1.
Oh, boy, you showed off frozen status. Good for you. You showed basic game competency.
One S-rank later and we're done. Back to cutscene hell.
: Can you hear me? Tom... Please stop! Please listen to me!
: A-Aaron... I-I see you've stopped dancing.
Like with Taurus, beating the boss has freed everyone from the wizard magic spell and they're probably not going to die.
: I would never steal anyone's invention.
: P-Please don't lie. I heard you... You were bragging to the kids about the FlapPack.
: No, you've got it all wrong!!
In this case, they're telling the truth, but Tom is too deep in paranoia/Cygnus's manipulations to believe them. After all, why would he? Boreal probably made them swear to keep quiet or something like that.
: ...in an effort to defeat me...
: ...What... What do I have to do to make you believe me?
: I know. How about this? Aaron, I want you to show me some proof. Show me how one person trusts another!
: What do you want me to do?
: I want you...
I'm just going to say, this is such an awful way to 'prove your trust' for someone else. Trust should never be like that; if you have to prove you have it, then you don't. It's pretty simple.
: His helmet? But there is no oxygen in here!!
: What if I were to say, "I filled this space with oxygen earlier"? Would you believe my words!?
This is the other reason I don't really like the scenario. They're twisting 'trust' to be something it's not.
I see Tom took some manipulation notes from DickBird over here.
: But that's impossible! How?
: What if I said I did it last night?
Pictured: The woman realizing that he didn't actually answer her at all.
Yeah, that... isn't an answer.
: You can't trust me, can you? You have no reason to trust me either. I may be lying, and maybe so are you. You see!? That is how it is! We can't even trust our so-called friends! To say nothing of other people!
Tom you could literally solve the problem by registering a trademark. Tom you just tried to kill seven people and also Zack. Why the fuck would they want to trust you after you had a psychotic break? I can trust someone, but if they try to murder me then maybe I might rethink that policy!
Nonsense, Yeti. I murder you everyday with presence and you still trust me.
: Yes. One simple task. But you can't, can you? You won't!
: I trust you, Tom...
: M-Mr. Boreal!? You're not serious...?
: (There's no way he's going to!)
Of course he fucking did, that's just how this game rolls.
Anyway Boreal's head explodes messily as sudden decompression makes his body pressure try to equalize itself with a vacuum, very quickly.
: There really is oxygen in here. But it's a bit thin... and not the best either.
: No way... There really is oxygen?
There was a small clue earlier, what with how Tom was kinda just standing up there on the SpaceSim with no space suit. On the other hand, wizard magic was in play, so you can be forgiven for not thinking of that.
: What if I was lying? What then?
: I'd have dealt with it then, if I had to. But like I already told you, I trust you.
: You risked your life based on that?
: The Tom I know would never, ever put anyone in danger.
Again, he literally just tried to make you dance until you died, Aaron.
Getting put into mortal danger in the Battle Network timeline? It's Tuesday.
: I'll say it as many times as I need to. I trust you. So please trust in me!
A little bit of light-hearted levity to ease the mood bit. It doesn't land.
: Don't listen to him. He's trying to trick you again.
: Tom, I want to ask you one thing. Do you know why BrotherBands exist?
: What kind of question is that...? They're useful. Isn't that the only reason?
Well, also so that they could justify selling three versions of the same game, that too.
: The reason we need BrotherBands is because
: relationships are the essence of society.
Haha, get it? It's the same thing Tom was saying about betrayal except it lines up with the moral of the story.
: I know what happened to you in your past. So I understand why you lost your faith in society. But please don't think that the only thing in this world is betrayal.
: Don't listen to him! Betrayal is all there is!
: Look around you! Look hard! If you do, I'm sure you will see!! You'll see things other than betrayal! You'll see the good things in this world!
I look around, and I see... Giver. Never mind, world is shit, burn it all to the ground.
Did you hear that, readers? He called you all Givers.
: ...this world isn't such a bad place after all. So please listen to believe in what I'm saying! Tom!!
: He changed back?
Oh hey, Tom's here. Neat. There wasn't even an explosion, he probably just collapsed.
: Tom! Are you OK!? TOM!?
: Mr. Dubius!!
: Let's get moving before things get messy. This guy's fine, and he'll wake up soon enough.
Again, don't worry about the fact that he's in a comp space, wizard magic means he'll just get kicked back into the real world in a bit.
His memory of what happened was spotty, and he was a little confused. But he clearly remembred what Mr. Boreal said.
"Relationships are the essence of society."
: I didn't mean to put you guys in danger.
: That was great!
: "I mean, it was awesome not being the giant monster this time!"
: Yes, of course! Good-bye!
Exeunt Dork Squad.
: Oh, tell your mom I said hi!
There is really no way to say that and not sound creepy, Aaron.
: I heard that... from my mentor when I worked at NAZA. It was your dad.
: My dad...? He said that...?
: How about it? Think you can let those words into your heart?
Good timing, Blinky. Good to see one of my commentary partners is able to pull their own weight here.
You mistake me as a partner. I am more of a malevolent force that takes time out of its day to fuck with you.
: (Dad, I...)
: Ack! Wait up!!
Geo runs off, fade to black.
: I've done it! It's finished!
This is the biggest lie of the series, that a product in testing could actually be finished in a few days.
: It's just like you said, Aaron. Make the wings bigger and they will stay balanced much better in the air.
: Let's go out and celebrate tonight!
: S-Sure... But if you eat too much, you'll get even bigger.
: Why you...! I can't believe you said that!
: Because... I'm your Brother.
: Ha ha hah. You got me there. OK, let's go! And for your information, I'm going to eat and party to my heart's content!
Apparently you have to be someone's Brother to make fun of them.
Either way, we're done with the scenario, and the scene fades to black after focusing on the FlapPack. Finally! (That was roughly 230 images of basically one long cutscene briefly interrupted by a fight.)
Yeti's Astronomy Corner
So, the guy we just fought is Cygnus. Like Taurus he's based off of a constellation in the night sky, the same one as his name - Cygnus, the Swan. It's also known as the Northern Cross, and probably one of the most recognizable constellations in the summer and autumn.
In mythology, Cygnus has been a few things; most importantly, though, Orpheus (a bard and most famous for the story where he tried to go into the Underworld to rescue his wife, then turned back right at the end and lost her forever) was turned into a swan after being murdered by Thracian women under the influence of Dionysus's wine. He was placed in the sky right next to his lyre to play forever. I'm pretty sure this is the reference they're using, because in the background of the SpaceSim comp it flashes between a few different constellations: a DS (because of course), a swan, and a lyre.
The Cygnus constellation is right next to Lyra and Cepheus, and its brightest star (Deneb) makes up the summer trio with Vega and Altair.