Part 17: THAT Part
Who's ready for a fun-filled day with excitement! Drama! Fighting!
Oh! Oh! Me! Me! Give me S-ranks!
I hope nobody was, because we're starting things off with another dream sequence.
: "For our class play, of course."
: (I can't sleep.)
Geo, why are you dreaming about Pat, you met him for like maybe five minutes. He said hello. Are you seriously that starved for positive reinforcement that someone saying "Hey you look cool" is enough for you to think about.
Yeah, that's rushed.
After tossing and turning for a while, he finally sits up.
I refuse believe that there's any instance of a child in any media that actually can't sleep because they're thinking about school.
: "Let's both work hard at it!"
: A new me...
One that isn't a depressed sadsack?
: I finally get it, Sonia... I can't go on like this. I have to change. ...Dad. I've decided I... I want to move forward with my life. I'm going... I'm going to try going to school.
As much as I get exasperated by this game sometimes, this is a really good thing. After finding the courage to open up in one way, Geo is using that to move forward in a different way. You can also read it into maybe Geo is starting to get over his father's death, a little? Remember, the reason he won't go to school is because he doesn't want to make friends and lose someone else he cares about thanks to his father disappearing.
Now, with Sonia as his Brother, there's not really much else he can lose at this point. He's already opened up to someone.
Of course, it's not as simple as "I'm gonna show up now" so it takes a few days. Good thing Geo's late-night decision wasn't something he regretted in the morning!
: ...Geo, are you really ready?
: I'm OK, mom. You don't need to worry. Alright, I'm off.
And with that, we have control!
Both in character for Geo and the player!
His mom is worried about him. It's adorable.
Crap, how did she hear about this?!
: That's good. Attendance will be important. Now, welcome back to school, Geo! You'd better appreciate my kindness. Now before you go to our classroom, you should say good morning to our teacher. He is always in front of the teacher's room.
And now, we've finally made it to school! The place that every other Battle Network game starts us in. ...Progress? But forget that, we have a bunch of new NPCs to talk to, and more flavor text.
: I'm just checking, so you know... You haven't been doing anything bad, right?
Time to leave.
: How about trying today's special?
: Please don't interrupt me.
: ...Wave World?
I've already complained about it once, but I'll complain about it as many times as I want. This game tried separating the MegaMan and the Geo segments in ways that don't quite work the way they want it to, and it often winds up like this - where I can't Pulse In because it would skip a bunch of event flags and things like that. It just reminds me of how Battle Network hid a bunch of local comps so you could still jack in without finding the internet proper.
I'm forced to agree. Respect the almighty flags. Would it be better if the blocks more natural? Maybe have kids blocking the way to the gym/pulse in point? Fixing what you want would need a whole rework of the entire game to various degrees.
And, we can't go this way yet. We haven't talk to Shepar (who I passed along the way here).
: Your mother told us you were coming back. I had really hoped you would! So I hope you'll find school fun! Well, class is going to start soon. Your class is 5-A on the 2nd floor.
Teacher greeted. Now, we can progress!
The 1F Hallway. New ground, at last. Which means a thousand things to poke and prod at, so let's see some of the interesting ones.
How environmentally conscious of the game.
Good old Japan. Being environmentally friendly.
Bathrooms too, finally answering the question of "Where does Lan pee" that nobody asked.
And also, a not-great picture but you should have guessed anyway from the anomalous tile: A Wave hole in front of the boy's bathroom. We still can't go up there yet.
Then again, that may not be the best idea...
I doubt anyone in the world has walked by a fire alarm and not felt the immediate and inexplicable urge to pull it.
: Do you go to this school?
Officially, yes. In reality, this is more one of those trial period sort of things.
Along the first floor, 1-A is the room closer to the bathrooms. It's very generic; nine desks, a blackboard and lecture podium, and stuff along the walls.
Oh look, it's Battle Network.
: Now eat up, everyone!
...monitor look almost like the real thing.
Few people know that there's a powerful sensor in there.
They call it that, but no one uses chalk...
I appreciate the callback to the Battle Network series of jokes about the chalkboard.
Can we pulse in?
Not this one. I don't remember if any of the others are hiding a comp space.
It looks like an ordinary podium. But it has a secret that only the homeroom teacher knows.
Behold, the homeroom teacher's secret.
: And I am the homeroom teacher. Don't you think I make a wonderful teacher?
Stop hoarding my powerups, I need those.
Those first grader take your shit and get saliva all over them.
Just about every school has these.
Every desk is identical. There's nothing different about any of them.
Now, on to 1-B.
: ...math and English and... ...and what were the other ones?
The only difference in the classrooms is the color scheme and a few incidental pieces of flavor text that probably won't be important.
And that's it for the first floor. School's not so bad after all.
The second floor is going to be much the same. It is worth noting that 5-A is the one closer to the elevator, so it's directly above 1-B.
Can we start an architectural fuckup tally.
Essays instead of pictures. Wonder what the writing subject was, if their work is being displayed?
: What am I gonna do? My teacher's gonna get mad...
: Sorry, but which class do you belong to?
Geo is so vain. Though wearing those glasses every day, it might be a valid point.
Shoot. Can't get in here yet.
: I'm gonna make sure there's no litter anywhere!
We take a short detour into 5-B before we head back.
And here it is, the moment you've all been waiting for:
: I really hope they aren't all like the Prez... ......I'm so nervous.
: I'd like you all to meet your new classmate. Come on in!
Remember Battle Network 6? Time to do something similar!
: This is Geo Stelar. He's coming back to school starting today. I hope you all will make him feel welcome. Well, Geo, why don't you say hi?
: Hi, I'm Geo Stelar. Uh, um... Nice to meet everyone.
He might not be the best at this, but he's trying.
: Nice to meet ya!
: Mr. Shepaaaar!
Everyone is nice and welcoming, and then there's Luna.
Oh cool, Zack is being nice and welcoming!
: I have some news for everyone too. Geo is going to play a part in our play for the school event! Yes, that part!
: *whisper* *whisper*
: "That" part...
: You really think...?
: (Is the part I'm playing really that important?)
Maybe it was a good idea we agreed to do the play, huh? If everyone is whispering about it...
: ...about the play during afternoon practice. Right now, we've gotta find Geo a seat...
Shepar, according to Pat, calls out Geo's name every morning. So he's supposed to be in the class, so there should be an empty seat?
Okay, so it's pretty obvious, they just wanted to show us everyone's seat.
Will this come into play later?
No seriously, will it? I forgot.
: Why don't you go sit at that empty desk?
: Yes, sir.
: Oh, hey Pat.
: I'm glad to see you again.
: Y-Yeah, same here!
Pat, if this goes wrong, it's entirely your fault. 100%.
: Mr. Shepar! Please tell us an interesting story first!
: Bud, Bud. Didn't I just spend a whole day telling you kids stories yesterday? Scary ones at that! But Geo's here today... So I guess I can make an exception! Alright, close your books, everyone.
: Mr. Shepar's classes are different. We hardly ever use our books, and instead, he tells us interesting stories.
: Mr. Shepar likes to say it's not good for kids to grow up only knowing how to study.
Yeah, that's true. People who only know how to memorize facts and regurgitate them at the test might do well in school, but they're not exactly useful in the real world. We've all had that coworker who brags about their 4.0 GPA but is utterly useless unless someone's telling them what to do...
Oh! Oh! Pick me! This sounds a lot like....
Zack? Nah, he's cool.
: You all know what a BrotherBand is, right?
Of course, only telling stories isn't exactly going to help. You've still gotta learn things at school. Shepar isn't totally wrong, but he's not exactly right either. And that's something rare in the Battle Network series, which tends to have scenarios with where one person is clearly wrong, one person is clearly right, and Lan/Geo needs to punch the wrong person until they give up.
This is probably my... third favorite scenario, after Sonia's in first place and the one right after this in second. The game takes a while to get rolling, but I think the middle and end of the game is great all the way through.
: ...forget the importance of relationships. And that's the hope the BrotherBand represents.
: Ah, good timing. Well, that's the end of my story. Now go have some fun on your break!
Case in point: Shepar took the entire period (of undetermined time) to talk about this story. That meant the kids didn't learn anything at all, except for the moral of the story.
Can I join this class?
: (...stuff... If I'd known it was this much fun, I'd have dragged you here earlier.)
: (I never thought YOU'D find it interesting. Oh yeah... Guess I should say hi to all my classmates.)
Alright, Geo has seven classmates we'll need to talk to. Before that, this room has a little bit of extra stuff to poke at, so let's take care of that first.
Another Wave Hole. But...
BAH! Let me have fun, game! I don't want to talk to children, I want to pulse in and actually fight.
This is a cruel world where Omega-Xis wants you to speak and not go buck-wild on anything.
: I'm registered with Pegasus. What about you, Geo?
I'm registered with 'mind your own fucking business'
: I hope we can be friends!
: I play dodgeball every recess.
Can you dodge my punches? Or are you shit at that, too?
: ...school is going to get more interesting... Let's be good friends, OK Geo?
Go jump on a cactus.
: ...going through a transformation! A reformation! We just have to follow the principal! Um... What's a "reformation"?
It's what your face is about to go through.
: ...they're really popular among the students.
: This is a great gift to the school! From me, the President of this class!
Gifts to the school aside, she also has a gift for us.
And you- K, I'll stop.
Let's take a quick look at our new folder.
Hey, nice! A new editable folder. XtraFldr isn't something we can touch. (I usually don't bother with the LunaFolder unless I'm grinding for bosses in specific areas, because I usually just edit the GeoFldr with whatever new cards I get.)
That aside, talking to Luna means we've talked to everyone in the class. None of them were interesting to talk to, but it's probably better than Geo was fearing.
: So everyone, hurry up and get ready, and meet up in the Gym!
Good old one-class days. Time to go to the Gym.
Maybe now we can pulse in?
: ...Wave World?
Game, please. Let me play the other half of your gameplay loop.
Whatever. Let's just fast forward to this part.
: We're going to rehearse without costumes today. Here we go!
Ooh, who's playing MegaMan? It's gotta be Geo, right?
Or, it could be Pat.
I bet it'll be Zack.
: So that's who's playing who.
: I will appear! I am MegaMan! The Blue Bomber!
: (That sounds nothing like the real me!!!)
: (Ha ha ha, your face is bright red, Geo.)
Hearing that? I'm surprised nobody else is embarrassed by proxy.
Ignorance is bliss, I guess. And the parents will eat it up. But afterwards, they need to beat these children for their shite performances.
: You've got to be more monster-like!!
: B-But I'm a person...
I'm surprised Bud isn't just nailing this role. It was practically written for him, hurr hurr hurr.
: And... Zack, up in the lighting area!
: Isn't MegaMan a little too cool...?
: Do you have a problem with my glorious script?
Oh no, she's the worst type of director.
Well, we knew she was a primadonna.
: I mean... "Whenever people cry for help, I will appear!"? I don't think even MegaMan has that much free time...
: No, he will always appear. I just know it!
: (Ha ha ha ha ha. She sure has a lot of faith in you, Geo.)
: Oh, yeah. Speaking of your script, what am I doing?
: That's right, I almost forgot! Your part is...
Is...? Maybe we're a Mr. Hertz! Or playing that piano. I always knew Geo had some artistic talent.
What the fuck is this shit.
This is the most important role. You fail to understand the value of background dropping.
(I swear I didn't time this, honest. It's just serendipity.)
: (THIS is the important role? The one they NEEDED me to do? I-I've been TRICKED!!)
Fire my agent! This is unacceptable! Awful! This sucks.
Duped! Bamboozled! Our face needs more camera time!
: OK, that's a wrap. We have practice again tomorrow, so be prepared.
Sigh. Time to practice being a tree. Think tree thoughts.
Let's do research on popular character arcs for trees.
I've heard one of the more popular tree story arcs had something to do with all the evils in the world. And also a turtle for some reason?
Let's make like a tree and get the hell out of this gym, though. We have a Wave World to explore.
Make like a tree and LEAF.