Part 1: Zone 0 - Tutorial Level
Music: Fourteen Residents
Welcome to OFF. Let's create a new game.
(This is a very good point. I included this image as an additional reminder to please click sound links when they are available.)
> Welcome Panzer.
Okay cool thanks.
>The Batter has an important mission. Be sure that it's accomplished.
>We will let you out in zone 0. Good luck.
>For more information, find the one called "The Judge".
: To interact with the environment, use the space bar or the enter key.
With that, we gain control of the Batter and head north, the only way available.
Music: Empty Warehouse
We're immediately greeted by a creepy smiling cat.
Whenever a character other than the Batter talks, a sound clip plays. If you click on their character portrait, you'll hear the corresponding sound.
: Nevertheless, I will introduce myself. I am the Judge, and I am aching to know your name, dear elusory interlocutor.
: I'm the Batter. I've been assigned to a sacred mission.
: It is a pleasure. However, it is not the puppet I was addressing, but the puppeteer controlling it. What is your name, dear puppeteer?
: Her name is Panzer. She can't talk to us. However, she can hear and see everything.
: Even though you too are but an inexistent apparition in my eyes, let it be said that I am delighted to meet you as well, dear Panzer.
: I believe we're in need of your services.
I like the Judge a lot, though I wish he was just a liiiittle bit less verbose.
: We rub ourselves against their legs and purr in the most insistent manner. They adore that.
: I'm not talking about that kind of help.
: I see... but what sort of service could I offer to an ectoplasmic entity?
: I have a sacred mission to fulfill. I must purify the world.
: There is no objective more laudable than yours. I accept to serve you as a guide through this area, if it is of any help to you.
With that, the Judge strolls off up that ladder and leaves us to our own devices.
Let's check what's in this little room! I bet it's candy! Or treasure!
Oh. Okay. When playing OFF, make sure you have a notebook handy for puzzle solutions you might stumble across. I take the time to scribble this down now, just in case.
I think I saw some treasure outside though, so let's go get that.
We found a Luck ticket! This is a health potion.
We can't reach the chest on the right side for now. Examining the little block in front of the door elicits this reaction:
: It's impossible to get around this obstacle.
Forget it anyway, I see the Judge waiting for us up above. Let's head up that ladder and talk to him again.
: Might you in fact be a creature of flesh and blood?
: I think so, yes.
: So I have been mistaken from the beginning. You did not even interrupt me in my deluded phantasms... This is relatively bizarre, I must say, for you are the first living being I was given a chance to encounter in this lieu. I had in fact concluded that zone 0 was an empty land. Obviously I was misled.
: However, there exist other zones. And in those territories, the risk of hostile individuals attacking you in the most violent manner is quite high. Your sacred mission will likely lead you into these lands. Would you like me to teach you the art of violent confrontation?
We'll be skipping this for the sake of brevity. OFF has pretty standard active turn-based RPG combat - think like Chrono Trigger. We'll be seeing a lot of it later.
: So are you pretending to be able to handle the bat with virtuosity without even needing my wise pieces of advice? I hope for you that what you state is more than hot air meant to impress me, because that would be taking a high risk.
The Judge is pretty pissed we didn't take the tutorial.
: But I will assume that this is not the case and that you are the fighter of value you claim to be. Be it as it may, your training has not reached its end yet. Let me ask you to follow me, if you still want me as your guide.
He scoots up the next ladder and we follow.
We find a flight of stairs down into this room full of weird floating blocks.
: I believe those floating blocks correspond to the symbols you can see on the wall in some way or another.
This is the main sort of puzzle in OFF, and it's as easy as it looks. Press the blocks in the order listed on the wall. Pressing the correct block causes it to turn transparent, completing the sequence removes the blocks around the next stairway down.
Down to the next floor!
: Is there a problem, my dear pictorial heroes? I am not your genitor. I cannot do everything for you. Nonetheless, may I dare to suggest you wage activating certain ones of these strange floating blocks more than one time, if required? So come, solve this intrigueing puzzle for me, and quickly, if you please. I wish to rejoin the ground floor as soon as possible.
Easy as can be. The numbers on the wall refer to the blocks as if they're numbered 1 through 8 from left to right, top to bottom.
The next floor down opens and the Judge heads down ahead of us.
Oh. Hungry kitty.
Well, blocks but no numbers, I seem to remember we found some numbers earlier in an empty room that I wrote down on my super sick tropical themed notebook:
Maybe I'll find candy later.
But this puzzle is the same as the last! The buttons basically form a keypad, and we enter the code 4-4-8-2-8-7. C indicates we press the lone button at the bottom.
Yessss. The door at the back is open. Let's head out the front real quick first though.
This chest is accessible now! Silver flesh is an ether, restoring a bit of our special move mana (CP). Let's head back inside and go out that back door.
Out back we find a big red button. When we approach it, the Judge heads out to let us know what's up.
: It is a cube, hovering in midair, as you have likely noticed. Nevertheless, you will be able to differentiate it from similar ones by the contrast of bad taste it imposes on your view of its clashing color, defying any sensible course of plastic arts. However do not judge it too quickly, because despite its criticisable appearance, this red cube is of undeniable use.
: Aside from rendering you the entirety of your health and competence points, it is capable of saving your progress and sending you to the nothingness. The nothingness is a lieu of transition outside of space itself, where you can travel from one point to another at the speed of light.
: I now invite you to try it out, in order to discover locations more populous than this deserted land. Open your wings, my dear companion, and hurry away towards the following zones without hesitation! Your only enemy is the fear that will grab you.
The world map. The Judge is telling us the cube takes us to the world map. Jesus CHRIST you are a wordy lil kitty cat.
: Ah! By the by, take this. This object of a curious name wil be the key that permits you to enter zone 1. Have I clarified that you can at any time consult your inventory and characteristics by pressing the Esc key?
Well, let's head to the next world then. Things get a little less wordy from here (a little).
We disappear with a woosh!
Next time we'll be heading to the smoke mines of zone 1! I hope you'll join me.