The Let's Play Archive


by cmndstab

Part 12: The Den + TV Shop

Fresh from having liberated Saul, and having doomed Dai, Kent returns to The Den where it turns out there is a whole laboratory and a back entrance that we somehow never knew about until now.

Let's not go overboard, Heather. Kent decides to play it up.

All in a day's work for a hard-core adventurer like myself. I'm just sorry you couldn't be there.
I see.

She's not buying it. Kent decides to go the alternative route.

I don't think you realise just how difficult that was. I almost got stuck in that misery factory.
I see.

Haha, suck on that Kent, she doesn't give a shit.

Where's Dai? I thought he was coming back with you?

Uh oh!

He kind of met with an accident. I didn't see exactly what happened. He told us to go on without him.
No matter. He is our cause's first martyr. We must turn to Saul for our guidance now, while Brian composes our anthem of triumph and loss.

Man, she just doesn't give a damn about her fellow rebels, does she? "You got tortured in prison? I see. Dai got shot to death? No matter!" Kent, however, is more concerned about Brian's anthem.

Is that what it is? I thought he was washing some pans in a washing machine!
No matter. I must continue my work on the gadget you brought me.

Gadget? You mean those gizmo things? Because we totally know what they do now. Of course we could have discovered their purpose nearly 10 updates ago, but anyway. Saul decides to just put us out of our misery.

They are part of the Mood Magnet, a terrible machine that I am solely responsible for.

The Mood Magnet? That's what our yellow paint apparently nullified. My guess is that originally the M.I.N.T. Mall waffle statue was a disguised Mood Magnet relay device or something. A good alternative guess is that the script writers at Gremlin were all on crack.

In what way are you responsible, Saul?
I created a terrible machine, a machine which sucks out people's ideas and free will and stores it for later inspection. From what Kent has told me, I would guess there is one of these gizmos in every piece of furniture in the city. People are drained as they sit at work or in front of the TV.

This pretty much confirms what we had already figured out. I guess that's why the Norm at the beginning of the game was so insistent that we watch TV 24 hours a day.

The data then goes through one of the Mood Filters, like the one we were in Kent. Then it is sent on to the Mood Magnet proper, a machine too complicated to recreate.
If Paul can't make another, where is the original?

"The Mood Magnet, a device far too integral to this game's plot to be recreated!"

It is at my secret labs.
But your labs have been fragged. The Saul Nystalux Memorial Stadium was built on the still-smoking crater years ago.

How the hell does Kent know about this? Ten updates ago he didn't even know who Saul Nystalux was.

Just before the Great Shake Up.
Shake Up?
When everything in the city changed. Dai knows all about it, bless his soul.

Or at least HE DID, until you guys left him to bleed to death.

Then Paul must have built a bigger and better one. I believe it could be this new stadium you speak about.

Waaait a minute. Not thirty seconds ago you just said it was too complicated to be recreated, now you reckon he built a bigger and better one? I think Saul is just blindly guessing. No wonder Heather likes him.

If Paul has ripped off and built ths amazing mind suction device, how come we aren't as dull as the other folks?
Luckily there is one flaw in the Magnet's design. A small piece of metal in the body is enough to earth and protect an individual. That is the sole reason we are different.
Ah! So that's why Norm 2782 has had such a sudden change in his life! The shrapnel lodged in his brain! It's cured him! Like the drill bit that snapped and lodged in my leg during one of my first experiments.

I have an alternative theory - if you have absolutely nothing worthwhile going on in your head, the Mood Magnet is happy to just leave your fevered brain alone. Go ahead, find me a counterexample, even one. I dare you.

That would certainly do the trick. Crude but very effective. I have an old fashioned hip replacement. And you, Kent?
I have a ball bearing stuck in my ear. Been there since I was able to walk under chairs without banging my head.
Kinda makes warped Kent-sense!

Stop encouraging the guy, Heather. So now we understand what's going on, what are we going to do about it? Besides composing our "anthem of triumph and loss", I mean.

So what is our next step? How do we free everyone from your machine?
If we break the data link at one of the booster stations it should weaken the magnet's grip on the populace long enough for them to realise what is going on. Damn my evil twin! It was only to be used in jails!

"We were only supposed to be sucking the mind and souls out of criminals!!"

Where do I find a booster station? Give me a clue and I'll knock it out. I'm feeling kinda frisky.
There should be a strange noise when you are near one. It sounds a little like this...

Saul then makes a kind of whoooooo noise. Very scientific, S-Man.

I'm on it.

We find ourselves immediately sent straight back out to the streets, but to be honest, I'd rather investigate The Den further first.

We come back to find Heather, Brian and Dai all gone, but Saul is here and Norm 2782 is off to the side somewhere.

Unfortunately, only moments after sounding completely sane, we now find that Saul has gone off the deep end a bit.

Er, Hiya Saul.
Hello, Kent.
Where have the others gone, Saul?
They went out searching for nuts and berries son. We have a long winter to get through. The elders of the tribe are beginning to worry about the wear on the head gasket. Who can blame them? Do you have a saddle for my lizard?

Oh great. We traded away Dai's life for this idiot? Dai didn't say much but at least it usually made some sense when he did.

Sorry, Saul, you'll have to be a little less cryptic!
My mind is... paisley shorts, paisley shorts... beginning to wither, son. I'm sorry, it must have been all that time I bought in the Meringue Magnet.

Well at least he stayed sane long enough to inform us that the Booster Stations make a kind of whooooo noise.

So, where are they?
They went to destroy a couple more of those substations, son. Complete the edges then fill in the middle. That's my mum's jigsaw formula. Sorry, I'm slipping away again. My mind isn't as keen as it used to be.
I'll leave you in peace then Saul.
Or pieces...

Brian will be pleased, I guess. He's no longer this group's most useless member.

Heather has been conducting a little bit of chemistry up here.

This is either a magical potion that will give me endless wishes, or it's humble fruit juice!

Or it's some kind of caustic chemical. Either way, I'm happy for Kent to tip it down the hatch!

RAARG! YURG! ROAR!..... WOW! What was that stuff? That is potent blackcurrant juice!

I wish this was a Sierra game, so Kent could suddenly die in thirty minute's time from drinking that.

There's a nifty piece of electronics here. What on earth is it? It looks like a microwave with some kind of completely superfluous wireless generator to power it or something.

Oh for fuck's sake, Kent Just even being near the damn machine is enough for Kent to completely wreck it. Good thing it's not important at all.

Hahaha, I like how even Kent can tell that all the shit lying around here is junk. Norm 2782 is still sitting around in his underwear. I'm not sure that shrapnel to the brain cured him at all, more likely it just gave him fucking brain damage.

Norm 2782 no longer has his raspy voice. Instead he's got an excitable high-pitched childlike voice, adding further credence to my theory that he has been brain damaged beyond repair.

Norm! How's the gourd? Feelin' yourself yet?

Apparently "gourd" is slang for mind, specifically a mind that has gone crazy. Learn something new everyday.

Not really, but I've just had this tremendous idea for some slippers with headlights on the front. No more stubbing your toes in the dark! It could seriously improve countless people's Q-O-L.
What's Q-O-L?
Quality Of Life. None of this seemed very important to me before. Strange that.

Not really that strange. It's because you weren't a gibbering, brain-damaged retard before now.

Welcome to Earth, Norm!

I like how Kent doesn't even bother to ask his name. He's just "Norm" from now on. Hope he enjoys being constantly reminded of his life of servitude in Paul's evil army!

I guess this is where Brian was composing his anthem of triumph and loss earlier. Apparently it was an all-drum solo.

What's through this door?

Apparently that river from behind Plush-Rest leads to here. There's a bollard here. Kent checks underneath it...

I can just manage to lift it. Aha, there's a blue box under here!

Just manage? That thing looks like it weighs about as much as a small child. You're such a fucking wimp, Kent.

The blue box is all locked up, so Kent heads back into the lab to grab this hammer...

...and smashes up the box.

Well, look here, a little key! That's bound to be useful!

Haha, you don't really think I'm going to fall for that, do you Normality? Keys have proven to be uniformly useless in this game so far.

There's another door here. Where does this one lead?

A long, dark hallway...

...oh. Back out here, where we usually meet the rebel crew.

There is a locked safe or something here on the wall, and that key from the box opens it! Perhaps it will do something useful after all?

Nope. It opens up a fucking fridge. So they lock their fridge, with a padlock mind you, then they lock the key to that padlock inside a box, and hide the box under a fucking post? I hate these guys so damn much. It's not even like there's anything good in here.

Why does every fridge have to have the obligatory shrivelled lettuce? Why are there so many cliches in this game? Why am I even asking?
Well this WAS milk! Now I think it's got a heartbeat!
Aha! A Walnut Cone! This tasty morsel belongs to comeone else.
These are well out of date. Phew! Who would leave a few smelly sardines in a locked fridge?

Finally Kent and I see eye to eye on something. Sadly enough, this isn't even the most disgusting fridge we've witnessed so far this game. Yes Kent, I'm talking about your fridge.

Okay, you know what, I shouldn't have even bothered going back to The Den. There is literally nothing there. Just a couple of morons and test tubes full of fucking fruit juice.

Instead, we head back out to the street, where we find that our rebel group apparently has gained some notoriety! No idea who Chad is, though.

Haha, that's a great picture of Kent.

Brian is wanted as well. Not sure why they got such an unusual picture of him when they could have simply just cut his face out of the video we broadcast on prime time TV.

Okay, so this time there is actually something to do on these streets. The TV shop is finally open.

I've seen sad old men standing here watching these for hours.

Apparently this dude is called "Mr. News". I don't know if that's some kind of British reference I don't get, or just the name they gave him here in Normality, but he appears on basically every TV in the game.

Whenever Mr. News is not on TV, monster truck shows are. Amazingly, this place doesn't even make the finals in the prestigious "worst wallpaper in Neutropolis" award.

'Monster Trucks' again. Isn't there anything else to watch?

It's that or Mr. News, Kent. Take your pick.

There's a hatch in the room. Why would Kent think there is a reason to go here?

Remember this grille from all the way back in the third update? There is a funny noise coming from it. Not the noise that Saul described, mind you, but that could be put down to Saul having several screws loose.

Anyway, this grille is out the back of the TV shop. So perhaps this hatch will let us go there.

That's a mighty small TV. I don't really need one, but it seems like a good bargain.

There isn't even a price on it, Kent, and you don't watch TV. Why would you want this piece of junk?

This grumpy salesman mans the store. Kent decides to have a chat.

Hello. Nice day.
It's a terrible day!
Oh. Just trying to be friendly.
Well go and be friendly somewhere else.

I love how Kent has received this same reaction from almost every person in Neutropolis. Kent decides to get down to business.

Can I buy one of your TV's please?
If you must.
You don't seem very motivated, considering it's your job.

Big words from Mr. Employee of the Year here. How's your furniture testing job going lately, Kent?

What's that got to do with it?
A pleasant sales manner makes a happy customer.
Why do I care about happy customers?
So they'll come into your dumb shop again.
No one ever buys a second TV.

Haha, that's a pretty good point actually.

Suit yourself. Are you going to sell me one or not?
Only if you show me your cash.

"Actually I don't have any cash, because it was taken by Paul Nystalux when I was arrested and encaged in his torturous Mood Filter. Do you take credit?"

Kent decides to try a different approach.

I need to inspect your premises.
What for? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

Hahaha. Funny thing is it's one of the more sensible things to erupt from Kent's mouth so far.

You might have, er... Wire Rats.
Say what?
Wire Rats. They're deadly you know. They chew cables. If one of them took a liking to your shop, before you knew it all these TV's could be useless.

That was a stretch even by Kent's standards. This isn't going to work.

They're pretty useless now. Go away and let me watch TV.
I may be back later. Don't hold your breath.

It's so satisfying to see Kent's bullshitting technique finally fail dismally on him.

Kent looks again at the Micro-TV. There aren't any buttons on it. He decides to ask the salesman about it.

Do you have a remote for this TV, so I can try it out?
Why? It works. Can't you see that?
But I want to try the other channels.
What for? Oh, never mind, wait here, I'll go and find it...

Remote (0:19) - The TV salesman heads off to find the remote. For no apparent reason he shakes and bobs around like he's having a Gran Mal seizure. Also, the sound is completely out of sync with the video, and you hear the door creaking open and then slamming into the wall before the salesman even starts to open it. A quality effort all round from Gremlin!

Behind the counter, Kent spies a key. Of course, since this is Normality, the key is useless. Technically you can use it to lock a door you've already entered, which I suppose makes it actually the most useful key we've found so far.

There is also a cardboard box here.

I can reach that hatch now!

Kent doesn't even whinge about how heavy the cardboard box is. It's a pretty sad indication for him that this pleasantly surprises me.

Kent still doesn't reach the roof, but since we've already seen him stretch his arms out like one of those long pretzel things, this shouldn't stop him from getting up there anyway.

Really, we shouldn't have needed the box at all. Kent should have just shot his arm out, pushed the hatch open, jammed his hand in something up here like a grappling hook and just wound himself up.

Kent finds himself in an attic.

Hey! I think this is the TV Shop a long time ago.

"This place was once a respectable shop. And then came Kent."

Man, that's an old-looking TV set.

I think this is a really ancient TV set. Wow! Weren't they primitive in those days?

Big words coming from the inventor of the Sharkpoon.

I wonder what this is? I don't have any idea.

Oh, Kent. You really are the worst hippie ever.

There's some pastel blue thing sticking out from behind a crate here. I don't know what it is but I do know that nothing occurs in nature in that freaky-ass colour.

Apparently it's a mallet. A powder-blue mallet. Neutropolis can't even blame this one on Paul Nystalux since this attic seems to be filled with junk from a previous era.

It's a sturdy carpenter's mallet. Ideal for flattening stuff.

Now that Kent has his hands on a mallet, he starts looking out for structural weaknesses!

The plaster has fallen away here. It seems to be a way into the attic above the power station.

The power station is what we could see through that broken grille, where we heard the not-quite-Saul-whooooo noise. This is as good a place as any to check out, I guess!

See, that's a normal fucking colour for a mallet. Why the fuck was it that lameass blue before? There's no excuse for that shit, Gremlin.

Oh Kent, I remember the days you were able to destroy property all by yourself, without the need for chameleonic hammers. It seems like only hours ago.

Kent finds himself in another part of the attic. There are loose slats there in the ground that will collapse the instant we step on them, so we'll avoid them for now.

Kent sees flashing lights and goes into his full on rant mode again.

Weird! What is it? Has a UFO landed in my street? Are aliens hiding up here?! What on Earth could I do with this thing? It's exciting though. I wish I could take it home and play with it.

Calm the fuck down, Kent. I swear, you smash down one damn wall and your adrenaline jumps through the fucking roof.

Okay, there isn't actually anything to do here other than collapse through the floor tiles like a fucking retard. Kent does his best impression of panel three in comic #2 from this classic thread.

Kent lands hard in some kind of darkened power room.

It actually doesn't look that dark in-game. There's the other side of that grille. Also, why the fuck is it spelled grille instead of grill? I know this game is British but surely they spell it grill over there too, right?

There's a bit of wire here. Kent pockets it.

This must be some kind of turbine or generator.

I'll take your word for it, Kent. To me it looks more like that giant fucking waffle back at the M.I.N.T. Mall. Perhaps it's meant to, since I think that sculpture was meant to be related to the Mood Magnet originally.

What the fuck? Someone has strung up a Goddamn teddy bear back here for no good reason whatsoever.

Ah, the poor little thing. Someone's strung him up and left him to die!

This is like the worst practical joke of all time. "You shoulda seen it Reg, I hung Paul's bear today in Power Room 6! He's gonna freak when he finds it!" Kent can let the poor thing down.

Ah! I'll let him down. Anyway, this wire may come in handy later.

Of course, manages to destroy the bear even worse than it already was simply by touching it. Seriously Kent, you should just have stayed at Plush-Rest and destroyed things, you would be the damn manager by now.

I pity him. I think I should take him along and give him a good home.

You had better not be talking about your shithole of an apartment, Kent. The best thing you could do for the bear would be to leave it the fuck alone.

I love the way there's a giant LCD "PRESS" sign above the button.

Hmmm... It doesn't seem to have done anything!

You mean the LCD sign lied to us?! Impossible!

This looks like an important control panel.

Okay, let's start to actually solve the puzzle in this room. So there's a control box here which can be opened.

This is where the Mood Magnet circuits are fed from the turbine. My work begins here.

Kent somehow knows exactly how this thing works. So this power room is being used to fuel the Mood Magnet. We'll need to put a stop to that.

First step is to short the circuit board out with this little wire.

Short circuiting that was easy!

Yes, yes, we're all very impressed Kent.

Next we attach the coil of wire to the board...

...and the other end of the wire trails down here. It's that blue line wrapped around the staircase. Kent unscrews this lightbulb...

...and completes the feedback loop. Or something. I don't know, I'm not a fucking electrician. When my power goes out I wait for someone else from my apartment block to switch it back on.

We push the button, and again nothing seems to happen. What the hell are we supposed to do then?

Oh right, we need to turn the power on. I don't get this, though. If the power wasn't on before, how was the Mood Magnet even working? I don't fucking know.

Okay, so we need to turn this turbine on, and apparently it's coin-operated, as turbines often are when your city is designed by complete morons.

Now, I suppose if you broke Kent's couch earlier but never picked up the money, and then went back to your apartment after escaping the Mood Filter but before coming here, you could actually get those coins and use them here. But since nobody is going to waste their time doing that, Kent just feeds in Teddy's eyes instead.

One quick button push later and the juice begins to flow! However, before Kent can even think about pushing the "PRESS" button, shit starts to hit the fan.

Explosion (0:34) - Kent goes back to the button, but before his feeble brain can figure out what to do with it, an alarm goes off, signalling an imminent explosion. Kent attempts to jump to safety, but it is in vain as the room, and indeed, the entire TV shop is destroyed in a massive explosion. Somehow, despite copping an explosion powerful enough to level a building directly in the face, Kent emerges entirely unscathed from the wreckage, and then has the audacity to whinge about how his day is going.

Kent apparently decided to just stand around the flaming wreckage long enough to require a "time has passed" screen.

Couches, washing machines, coffee machines, sculptures, shirts, cameras, benches, microwaves, roofs, and now entire buildings. Not to mention Dai, and the TV salesman guy who is almost certainly dead as dirt. You are one consistently destructive son of a bitch, Kent.

With the Mood Magnet destroyed, will things finally start to turn for the better for the remaining citizens of Neutropolis who haven't been horribly killed by Kent? Only a few more updates to go!