Part 11: The Mood FilterIn the last update, Kent somehow convinced Paul Nystalux that he was indeed the Norm he had disguised himself as, and found busting Saul out from prison relatively easy when he was asked to guard the Prison Evacuation Centre.
In fact, most people who played Normality probably never saw that scene. Since the fountain puzzle is so retarded, most players would generally have solved the other puzzles before fixing the fountain, which actually changes the course of the game. Yes, in a little known quirk of Normality, the Ordinary Outpost has two possible scenes that can follow it - one in which Kent 2782 is put on Corridor Duty, and one in which Kent is recognised as the pile of walking waste that he is.
Naturally, we've saved the best for last.
Remember this room? There is a bunch of evidence here that sews up the case against Kent.
Tighter than a duck's butt!!
Will you shut up, man? Anyway, Heather recommends that we dispose of this evidence, but we don't really need to. You don't even need to get rid of the fingerprints on the fire extinguisher. Basically, from the moment you are asked to get a new prisoner sent down the tube, you can rush straight to the Processing Room and get captured by Paul.
However, what would happen if, for argument's sake, we did decide to dispose of the evidence pointing towards Kent? The waste grinder would be a good way to do it, but it was still missing a cog.
We originally found the first cog here, outside the Plush-Rest factory, and it apparently fit the waste grinder perfectly. It stands to reason then that the cog fell off a similar engine to that one used in the grinder - such as the engine on top of this container.
And if that's the case, we should be able to get a second cog from this little baby.
It's definitely an engine. There's some little cogs loose inside.
Bingo. I like the way Kent surveys it before concluding that, yep, it's definitely an engine!!
There... I managed to extract that little cog.
Will this do the trick?
This baby fits straight in there.
Excellent. So now we can start disposing of the evidence. Of course we could just have taken the stuff earlier and dumped it in The Den, but by this point it seems almost too easy for me to be complaining about game mechanics.
In goes the paint...
Now they will never know the secret of the special Mood Magnet Blocking Formula.
I don't really get this. It was mentioned earlier that the paint had "dampening properties" and now Kent is talking about a Mood Magnet. I can only assume that this refers to a puzzle or something that was cut out of the final game.
There goes the doggy. Don't try this at home, kids!
Last time you said that you were scooping up a pile of faeces, Kent. Maybe you should just shut up for a while.
There goes the glider. You took your last flight, pal!
I said SHUT UP, asshole! Okay, so we've just disposed of the evidence, and took care of the fingerprints earlier. So now what?
You would assume that getting rid of the evidence pointing at Kent's guilt would help the guy, but in fact, the opposite is true.
We find our way up to the Processing Floor after that stupid fucking bullshit fountain puzzle, and once again end up face to face with Paul Nystalux. This time, however, he has a little more to say.
I'm on guard here.
You have screwed up in the most comprehensive manner, Norm. Not only have you allowed a dangerous subversive freak to taint one of my most prized shopping locations, you have also lost the evidence which we had gathered to convict this mad felon. What have you got to say for yourself?
I like how it's Norm 2782's fault that Forensics lost the evidence. Perhaps they should have had more than one scientist working on the floor, or at least a guard or something? Kent decides to put on a stern face.
Nothing. Do with me as you see fit.
As you seem incapable of functioning in any capacity in this city, I have no choice but to strip you of all tokens of office and send you to the Pens to reflect on your mistakes, pending a rather... unlikely change in my mood.
Hahaha, yes. You're fucking Pen-bound Kent!! He tries to protest.
Please, one more chance?! I won't screw up again, I promise!
Ah, things begin to make sense. Do you know the penalty for masquerading as a Norm Trooper, boy? It is a lifetime sentence in the Mood Filter. From now on this room will be your second home, but you will see it from Saul's point of view, from inside the tubes.
Oh man, hahahahaha. This just gets better and better!
You see, people like you are far too valuable to kill. You provide an indisposable service sifting the ideas sent in by the furniture transmitters. Ideas that the population of this city contribute on a daily basis. It is ironic in a way. He is now part of his own invention, an invention made to keep criminals off our streets, to let them provide a valuable contribution to our city's well-being. I thought it too good an idea to waste on criminals, so I secretly gave it to ALL our people. The idyllic city you live in is the result.
So we now finally know what the gizmos do. They suck out ideas and creative thought from people while they sit down watching TV, and transmit it to this Ordinary Outpost where it somehow gets filtered by the allegedly creative minds trapped there. Somehow.
Mind you, sticking Kent inside this Mood Filter for his creativity is like choosing a slug for it's speed. This place will probably explode the instant it comes into contact with Kent's mud-like mind.
Now GUARDS! Take him away. Put him in the cubicle next to Saul. I shall enjoy watching his slow decay in my trophy cabinet.
"Place him next to Saul in order to maximise the likelihood that both will escape simultaneously!"
Satisfyingly, Kent gets smacked around a bit by the guards as they're escorting him...
...and then unceremoniously tossed into one of the Blue Pen cells. It's less than he deserves but I'll relish it all the same. I like how they didn't even bother to take his Norm 2782 outfit off him.
And so now Kent is in this shithole of a cell. In fact, he thinks that hole in the middle of the room is a shithole. Seriously, he thinks it's a toilet. Yes, even the one on the roof. Oh, Kent. I should be getting angry at your idiocy, but at this point I just can't stop smiling!
A Norm stands guard outside our cell. If only they'd been so vigilant outside of Forensics, we wouldn't be in this mess. Also notice
Another Norm Trooper on guard. If he's as gullible as Norm 2782, I might be able to sneak out of here.
You've got no "JailBreak" book this time though Kent so you can't use it to break the jail. Kent figures he'll try honesty for a change.
How do I escape this hellhole?
No one ever has. I hope that's improved your day, weirdo. Shoulda stayed in your apartment like a good boy!
MAYBE IF YOU GUYS HAD GIVEN KENT SOME FOOD, HE MIGHT HAVE. Kent keeps up with this approach.
Please let me out?! I have someone to rescue.
Is that some kind of joke?! Shut up Knutson, otherwise your life could get real hard!
The Norm then makes a real dick move and blocks off our view even more, haha. Why would they build this feature into a cell door? Being a dick is the only reason I can think of, haha. I'm enjoying this so much more than I really should
Kent checks out the food dispenser.
Stainless steel tray, a dispensing nozzle, and cutlery on unbreakable plastic cords. They're just a little too short to make eating a pleasure.
Hahaha, I like the way these guys think.
Not so much a window, more a slightly transparent piece of wall.
How on earth do they make transparent wall?
Suddenly some energy starts crackling through that orifice in the middle of the room.
Capsule (0:13) - A capsule suddenly whirs into the room, sucks Kent inside, and shoots off down to the Mood Filter. Turns out Kent isn't in the tube next to Saul after all. Oh well.
Oh geez, this room is pretty whacked out. You can't tell from this screenshot but the whole room is kind of throbbing up and down, in and out.
Saul's in the cell over there...
It's Saul! He's holding up a sign!
How polite. I assume the Mood Transmitters are those gizmo things. Where are we going to find three of them in our spartan cell?
After a while, the capsule moves on...
...and deposits Kent back in the cell. In fact, it's not obvious, but this is a different cell to the one from before. Kent's capsules cycle between three different cells, which you visit in order. Since you can't click on anything to force the capsule to come, that means you if you want to be in a particular cell, you have to basically just sit around and wait, which is a huge pain in the ass. If you were doing a Normality speed-run, you'd definitely shoot for the Corridor Duty route instead.
There's some fabric down here. I had assumed it was ripped off Kent's outfit by the capsule, but Kent doesn't even seem to recognise it. Mind you, he didn't recognise his own wanted poster earlier, either.
Here's a small scrap of denim. This must be what Saul uses to send messages on. It sure beats toilet paper.
How the hell are you going to write on denim? That's just stupid. Kent decides to pick it up.
The iris valve must have ripped it off. Luckily there's no blood on it!
Well, let's see how it works.
I can't think of much to write about. Also I don't have any ink substitute.
Oh yeah, I forgot. This Food-Mat is empty, and more importantly, so is Kent's head. Kent decides to just take a seat instead.
Bench (0:16) - Kent decides to bounce around on the cell bench like a fucking chimpanzee, and of course, he breaks it. He then turns around and inspects it, like a dog sniffing its own freshly-laid shitpile.
Of course, since gizmos are in every piece of furniture, there's a gizmo in here too. Unfortunately, it's stuck in the wreckage and Kent, of course, is a huge fucking wimp and won't move the debris to get to it.
He is perfectly happy to pick up this plank of wood, however.
Before too long, the sparkles start up again, and it's time for another trip to the Mood Filter!
Kent just shrinks back into his capsule and weathers the storm for a while. Good to see the guy's spirit is finally beginning to break a bit.
The third cell is a bit messier than the others. Kent decides to break the bench here too, looking for a gizmo.
Bench #2 (0:31) - Try as he might, Kent can't get the bench to break by feebly jumping on it, so he takes desperate measures and smashes the shit out of the bench with the plank, completely destroying the gizmo hidden inside.
Damn it! Too much strength! It's out, but in pieces, silent pieces!
Way to go, you destructive little moron, Kent. Now what are we supposed to fucking do?
Kent decides to ask Saul what to do, since he's proven utterly incompetent at his task so far.
Gravy Note (0:26) - Kent slumps to the floor and fingerpaints with the Goddamn gravy. Seriously look at him, he's like a two year old.
Look, we all saw the video Kent. We know the message didn't look this damn neat, you can stop trying to pretend to be a respectable human being.
Next trip to the Mood Filter, Kent holds up his denim note. Saul somehow is able to immediately respond to Kent's question.
With a nicely drawn toilet and everything! Not sure why Saul would think there is a gizmo in the toilet, or why he hasn't gone and gotten one himself if there is, but oh well. We'll go with it.
Back in the first cell again. Perhaps there's a gizmo in this bench too?
Kent barely even touches this one and it just collapses immediately. Kent is the bicarbonate soda to furniture's vinegar, he just has to get near some furniture and it goes haywire.
Annoyingly, at this point, my game bugged the fuck out. This gizmo is supposed to be sitting out in the open where I can take it, but instead it acts as though this is the gizmo from the second cell. Somehow this means that the gizmo in the second cell completely vanishes, fucking me over completely, and forcing me to replay this entire segment! Hooray!!
Fuck you, Normality.
Okay, so what's meant to happen is after you get the gizmo, you get this bracket off the wall.
I just seem to be collecting junk around here.
Like that's any different to normal, you idiot. Just stick it next to your filthy pile of dirt.
Then, in the second cell, you use the bracket to lever up the gizmo, after the usual Kent whinge.
Hmmmmph! Got it!
There is a splint here too, which does literally nothing. Seriously, has there ever been another adventure game where there are so many items that do absolutely nothing at any point in the game?
Okay, so for now let's just pretend that we only have one of the gizmos. Kent is sucked into the Mood Filter...
...where things have begun to get a little creepy.
The brain damage effect is slightly less... less pronounced now. But it seems like there's more electrical activity out there.
I don't know what Kent means by "slightly less". It's clearly worse, and the room pulsates all over the place. I didn't bother to notate it earlier, but if you get Kent to look around the room when he has no gizmos, he talks about how the room looks worse because of the gizmos, which leads me to believe that they got his lines completely out of sequence. Really, this whole scene was very poorly playtested.
Saul has a sign for us:
Two more now! Brave lad.
Boy is he in for a disappointment.
Here's another way to completely fuck yourself over. Normally, you can hit the 'M' key to go to the map, but in some areas where you're not supposed to be able to leave, this is disabled. Except right here, in the Mood Filter. You can freely hit the 'M' key, access your map, and just go wherever you like, as though you weren't even imprisoned in the first place. Nice job, Gremlin!
Of course, if you do, you can't progress the story. The game doesn't treat you as though you've escaped, nor does it treat you as though you never got captured to begin with. So you're fucked! The end!
Okay, let's stop poking holes in this stupidly buggy game, and get the second gizmo instead.
Jesus Christ. Getting the second gizmo fucks things up pretty badly. I think this is where that earlier comment about the gizmos making things weird was supposed to go, but it was replaced with Kent whining instead. This time I can hardly blame him. That Norm is freaky as fuck up there.
Saul doesn't seem too put out, though. He just tells us to get another one.
Now, you can ask the guard Norm to let you go to the toilet, since Saul thinks there will be a gizmo there. However, the Norm says you only get two toilet breaks per day, once in the morning, and once at night. Obviously waiting a few hours is unacceptable, so Kent decides to speed the process along by sabotaging his cell.
Tap (0:33) - Kent uses the bracket to remove the Food-Mat tap, and *FOOD* sprays out, flooding the room. Kent wails about it like he can't decide whether he's concerned, or trying to emulate a bad game-show host. The Norm guard takes him to the bathroom to hose him off, drawing a stroppy whinge from Kent.
Gee, he's getting a little familiar! Can't a guy go to the John without being watched?
Kent would like a bit of privacy, please!
Excuse me, could I just...
Just get on with what you came to do, Boy! Disgusting though it may be!
Actually, we just came here to get hosed off. I can see how you might have forgotten since it was at least seven seconds ago.
I was just wondering if...
HURRY, will ya? I have to go stand in the corridor some more.
I know I was complimentary of them having a guard earlier, but honestly, this is your highest-security prison. For the worst criminals in the city. Why is there only one guard? Saul has probably broken out by now.
Well, why don't you go right ahead and stand...
Nice try, Citizen! I may be stupid, but I'm not smart!
One day we'll find someone in this awful city that isn't a complete idiot.
You can ask Kent to use the urinal.
OK, but only if you promise to look away!
Kent then inexplicably starts to drink from the urinal. What the motherfuck is wrong with you, Kent?! Fucking hell, man. The Norm guy is right there and everything too. Jesus.
God, let's just get this stupid gizmo and get out of here. This is why the toilet wasn't working in the alternate reality where Kent performed Corridor Duty instead of DRINKING OUT OF THE FUCKING URINAL LIKE A GODDAMN GRUB.
OK, I have it. I'll just hide it about my person.
Suddenly, the Norm guard kicks the door in and tells Kent to move it. Seeing Kent standing on the bowl, hovering over the cistern after just having watched him lap up the urinal water must make this Norm guy ask a bunch of questions. Questions like "why isn't the death penalty still allowed in Neutropolis?" and "I wonder where I left my truncheon?"
With three gizmos in our possession, there's nothing left but to wait for another trip to the Mood Filter.
Saul's Escape (0:17) - Upon entering the Mood Filter with the three gizmos, the whole place backfires and explodes, shattering the capsules. Even after having spent decades in the Mood Filter, Saul's first words to Kent are for him to go away and leave Saul alone. Fair enough too.
Following this video is the same roof-escape video from the previous update.
Sure enough, no matter how things turn out, Kent still abandons his friend to die slowly of a gunshot wound. You're a real hero, Kent.
So what now? Will Saul be able to help the little rebel group that can't help itself? How long before the Norm guard even realises we're gone? Next update tomorrow!