Part 16: Dirty, romantic AND royal!Music: Theme of Madril
On the lower floor of Madril, we head over to the building beside the entrance to the sewer. Back when we were in Madril for the first time, there was a note posted to the door that identified the building as Mr. Big Inc.
Man in Black: Well, of course, you are! That's great! So, please, step inside.
The MIB moves out of our way and we head inside.
Music: Wirepuller Building
There's a door and a couple of whispering workers.
(Note: these NPCs have the same name and there's no visual cue for who's speaking. I've split their dialog in places I'm reasonably certain the speaker changes.)
Whispering Worker: And so conscious of people's titles in other companies, too.
Whispering Worker: Yes, I know. Like high-level public servants and professors. But when they become high managers, they no longer kowtow to those people.
Whispering Worker: By the way, did you know? Our claims manager apparently has a crush on a hostess at some bar.
Whispering Worker: Yeah, I heard. Heard it's a human gal, too. The hostess supposedly lives on the second level of this town.
Whispering Worker: I see. Then the bar is on the second level, too. It must be an expensive bar. I guess that means no middle managers can go. Humph!
The text above the desk says "MASTER MIND"
Now that we're done eavesdropping, we head through the door. The door to the right of the desk is shut tight.
The game won't let us head downstairs, so we talk to the man in front of the other staircase.
Man, the localization team worked really hard to fit this guy's title into that box.
Mr. Big, Inc. Custmr. Care Sub Sec.Chief: Are you here on a particular business? I can't let you in here without a proper referral. A referral by an acclaimed politician, a famous scientist, someone like that... Oh? Isn't that you, Prof. Kisling?
Ha ha ha ha ha. Yes, you've got that right. Gutten Kisling, 45, a wandering genius of a scientist and vessel of the century's most intelligent brain! How do you do?
Mr. Big, Inc. Custmr. Care Sub Sec.Chief: Oh, I bed your pardon. But I'm sorry... I cannot let you in even if you are Prof. Kisling himself. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but please leave us.
Some famous person you are, oh, mighty great Prof. Kisling.
Hm, let's see what the others think about this situation.
Typical of a corporation and yet... I think the people blocking us are just doing their daily jobs, while the man in black at the door is under different orders. So then, who gave the order to the man in black to let us in? I've got to find this out. I've really got to find out!
I like that plan, Marlene.
Unfortunately, we cannot murder this dude, so instead we have to find another way...
It's time to show our connections. I knew this name card collection would come in handy!
Mr. Big, Inc. Custmr. Care Sub Sec.Chief: Oh, please forgive us. You've been referred by the town manager. Someone from the second floor will be right with you. Please come up this way, through the stairs.
The Customer Care Subsection Chier finally moves, and we head up to the second floor.
Another man is blocking the third floor, so let's explore the second floor.
It's just a bunch of desks, and a group of whispering workers who repeat the exact same dialog from the first floor. Let's head back into the stairwell.
I never noticed this guy and the guy on the first floor have the same title. Does that mean the guy from the first floor went upstairs, and then continued to block our way? What an ass.
I'd like to go upstairs.
Doesn't matter to me.
Mr. Big, Inc. Custmr. Care Sub Sec.Chief: The upstairs. Hmm. I'm sorry, but... No, it's not that I don't believe you. Well, I must say we'd feel safer if you had a referral from one other person...but...ha ha ha ha. What do you say? Do you have a referral letter or a name card from someone else? If you don't, I'm terribly sorry, but we would like you to leave for today.
Mr. Big, Inc. Custmr. Care Sub Sec.Chief: Oh, please, do forgive us. You've been referred to us by the head of the research center. Someone from the third floor will be right with you. Please come up this way, through the stairs.
Unless they attack us, we can't beat them no matter how much they get in our way.
They smell of things I've grown familiar with... But still... (mumble, mumble)...
We continue upwards.
The third floor is a copy-paste of the second floor, so we don't even bother to go inside, we just talk to the next guy.
I'd like to go upstairs.
I could care less.
Mr. Big, Inc. Claim Dept. Manager: Well, that may be difficult, unless you have a referral from a special person. Could you please leave for now? I'm sorry.
If you recall the conversation we heard on the first floor, the claims manager has a crush on a hostess from a bar on the upper level.
Mr. Big, Inc. Claim Dept. Manager: What? Whose name card? Sorry, but we can't let you come upstairs without a proper referral... Whaaaat?! This name card belongs to the hostess at the "Mirage"! It even has her cell phone number!? Oh, please, I beg you! May I have this name card? Oh, please. May I keep this name card? I'll take you upstairs. Yes, I will personally take you upstairs! So, please?
Sure, I'll give it to you.
Let me think about it.
Mr. Big, Inc. Claim Dept. Manager: Hooray! Oh, thank you! I can't believe this! Come! Come this way, please. Go ahead and come upstairs. Now I can use this name card to hit on the hostess! Hip, hip, hooray!
We continue upwards to the fourth floor, and...
I'd like to go upstairs.
This is getting old.
Mr. Big, Inc. Run-Around Exe Director: Upstairs? Well, you know, I can't let you do that. Or maybe, I just don't feel like it. I don't know who referred you to us, but you should realize by now that you're just getting the run-around. I'm telling you to go home just to make it easier on you, OK? So, see you later, alligator!
This is the only name card we have left. Come through for me, dad!
Mr. Big, Inc. Run-Around Exe Director: Huh? Whose name card is this? Sorry, but we can't take you upstairs just because someone referred you.
Mr. Big, Inc. Run-Around Exe Director: This can't be!
Mr. Big, Inc. Run-Around Exe Director: This is just someone's name card from the Tenel Village Hall. This won't do at all. Well, so long. Go on home. See you later, alligator!
Grrr...Some attitude he has! He has enough attitude to work retail!
Yes, my studies have shown that useless people need lots of red-tape to make them feel more important.
What should we do? Do you have any ideas, Ari?
Let's look for another name card.
Another name card? But whose name card would be effective? Who would have that much authority in this town?
What about using my authority?
Some authority! You got rejected on the 1st floor.
What about with my charm and my magical power?
Oh, the so-called "Tempura Rice Bowl"... A highly advanced comic technique...
What are you doing your research on?!
I have no idea what's going on anymore.
That's it! Your Highness, could you please give one to that man there with the attitude problem?
This is my name card. Be grateful.
Mr. Big, Inc. Run-Around Exe Director: What? Be grateful? Yeah, right. What are you, a flower patch?
Mr. Big, Inc. Run-Around Exe Director: Agh. Oh, my! Oh, please forgive my rudeness! Princess Marlene! Please go forgive me for my recent lack of courtesy!
That is all right. You were discourteous on a number of occasions, but I grant you my forgiveness.
Mr. Big, Inc. Run-Around Exe Director: Oh, Your Highness!
So, what do you think? Ari, do you finally have some respect for me now? Are you happy that I saved you?
I see. It pleases me that you are happy. Let's move along, then.
I'm not at all happy. No, not at all.
We continue up to the fifth floor.
There's no one blocking the next staircase, but we cannot continue upwards. Instead, we enter the door.
I'm the chairman of Mr. Big, Inc.! How do you do? Gwa ha ha! You know, Princess. If you had only introduced yourself from the beginning, we would have been nice to you!
It's too late! You must be the guy who's been spreading stupid rumors about a cozy relationship between the heroes and ghosts!
Hmm? What are you talking about? Gwa ha ha! Anyway, Your Highness, I have a business proposal for you! I mean, I would like Your Highness to be our Honorary Advisor! Of course, you wouldn't turn us down, will you?
Hmm. I see you are a strong-willed young lady. But this proposal will bring profit to the both of us. It would be very useful for an information business like ours to have the royal seal of approval.
That is to your benefit alone. Why should I care?
That's right! I'm sure you're thinking of making unethical money using the Princess' name! I'm more interested in you explaining the rude behavior of your underlings!
Could you be quiet, woman? You talk so much. Is your heroism all talk, too? Gwa ha ha. Oops, was I being rude? Now, Princess... Please think about this for a moment. You've witnessed the power of our information operation, given the rumor about the heroes and ghosts. That wasn't very nice of us, was it? How would you like it if a rumor spread around the world...
You wouldn't like it, would you? Gwa ha ha! So you understand now, don't you? My proposal is also beneficial to Your Highness in that you wouldn't have to make me your enemy. Wha ha ha ha!
Well, you know that the townsfolk have seen that kid and Your Highness walking together! Gwa ha ha ha! It'll be all over the streets: "Princess Kisses Push-Over Kid". Dirty, romantic AND royal! Juicy! Well of course, the actual rumor would be more graphic and cruel but I'm a man of class so...Gwa ha ha ha!
Grrr... Darn, how perfectly evil!
Brilliant! Using the threat of social stigma! A subtle but potent attack. Stan never would have thought of it.
Hey! What did you say?
Oh, shut up. Keep quiet.......
Oh? It appears Your Highness doesn't fully grasp the mechanics of gossip. A kiss never stays a kiss. By morning, they'll be saying that the Princess is in love with her servant. How cruel! Gwa ha ha ha!
Shut up! It does not bother me! That is because Ari and I... Ari and I are...
(Silly! The Princess is trying to trick him! You've got to play along better!)
Tsk, tsk, Your Highness... Don't get too serious, I'm only kidding. Gwa ha ha ha! But, it just goes to show, children are just no fun at all. You can't even threaten them properly. (Sigh)... I didn't want to resort to using force, but I must insist on your cooperation, Princess!
There's a bright flash, and...!
An evolved evil for a civilized age! The Age of Disinformation!
Despite the fancy smoke, he doesn't look much different, does he? Is he really an Evil King, Stan?
You may be a professor but you're pretty green with the real thing. Can't you tell that his magical power is now increased enough to incinerate the building?
That's not good.
Whatever. Come on, everyone, let's get him all at once!
Gwa ha ha! Oh, wait a second. Let me show you how smart I am.
(Sigh) Guys like this just love to brag. And their tales are so repetitive!
Some manners, for a Princess! Listen! I'm much smarter than those other so-called Evil Kings!
We have made the public turn their backs on them. But public opinion is still not law. An official denouncement by the Princess and the people will feel free to act and punish the heroes. The shame and persecution will drive the heroes into hiding. Then we will reveal the location of the Evil Kings. With no heroes left, the Evil Kings will have to fight among themselves. Then they'll all die, leaving me as the only one!
After listening to the whole story... It's a rather pushy plan, isn't it?
Right. He is not as smart as he says he is. No matter. Evil King of Chairmen, are you ready to fight my subordinates now?!
Oh no, I'm the Chairman. Until my world conquest is emminent, I'll remain a dignified figurehead. I make it a rule to leave these trivial matters to middle-management. Come out, managers, section chiefs, sub-section chiefs and staff leaders!
Whoa! What's this?
Negotiate, I mean, fight with them! Everyone dies, except for the Princess. Gwa ha ha!
We're thrust into battle with a Walken Scarecrow and two Plodding Hippos.
These are just normal enemies you can fight on the Rumille Plain, so the battle ends quickly.
How about joining my company, doing meaningful work? I'll offer you top salary and an office with a view.
Evil and chaos! Fear and darkness! One who could rule them all! That's moi, Evil King Stan, the...
Shush! Get serious! In the name of all Heroes, the vanguards of justice and peace!
Hey, you ox! You messed up my line!
For the happiness of all people! The sword of light ends evil! You will fall! I am the Hero Rosa...
Step back, you Evil King of Chairmen! You, who aspire to be a sophisicated villain with your housewife lies!
But Your Highness... I was just about to...
As long as I am the Princess, I will not tolerate the existence of such tacky evil! Go, my servants!
Gwa ha ha ha! You're not exactly together now, are you? You need to work as a team! But never mind my lectures. As of now, I have resigned from the post of Chairman. I have no liabilities whatsoever.
I must hurry to the "Escapeless Abyss" in the Rumille Plains! Sorry, gotta run! Gwa ha ha!
I don't believe it... He got away!
Blast! Slave, follow him! He's getting away with my magical power! "Escapeless Abyss"? We'll find him with the "Map o'Evil Kings"
Right. My adventure will miss its climax if I let him get away. Ari, let us follow him.
Social damage control. The rumors won't die until he does. We may have different motives but the same general idea: Let's get him!
Well, I really don't care one way or another. But no one's listening...
Then, off we go, servants!
Alright, let's find him with the Map o'Evil Kings!
It is a desirous being looking up from the abyss. Past resigned, he conspires to rise again.
Alright! Join us next time, when we chase the Chairman Evil King into the Escapeless Abyss!
Concept art of Princess Marlene.