Part 43: Episode 42: Old Spice
Last time, we saved Pierce's life and he repaid us by giving me PTSD. Actually, the Ofuda Charm is actually a very handy item, despite what our past experiences with good luck charms may tell us. You can use it like a regular item to a free level of Earth Magic, like a chump, or you can attach it to your armor for a hefty 20% bonus to all spell damage! So, thank you, Pierce, you may continue to live.
We're not quite done here in Dryfield yet, however.
First of all, there's those shiny new Hot Zones to clear out. The enemy variety in Dryfield is the same as it ever was, since the Shelter monsters are still trapped down there. Aside from the occasional Chaser, nothing here is even remotely threatening anymore.
Back at the Gas Station, we find Pierce's car. Remember he gave us his keys? Maybe there's something useful stashed in here...
Yeah, I JUST said that, Aya. C'mon.
Inside, we find these two items. The Tactical Vest is a straight upgrade to our current armor, with the always handy HP Recovery, so I put that right on. The Lipstick is slightly less impressive, but can still be useful. I have a habit of blundering into Blobs and getting Silenced, so I go ahead an Attach it for now.
Just doing a bit of mopping up before going to visit Mr. Douglas.
Apobiosis: Still The Best
Soon enough, we find Mr. Douglas chillin' in his trailer, not stressin' a thing.
: Jesus, did one of those creatures crawl outta the septic tank an' die out there, or sumthin'? Smells like a garbage dump poured over a butcher shop out there!
: Yeah, no, that's...that's me.
: Oh. My condolences.
: Some real beauties here, eh?
Doug proves himself to once again be the best supporting character, and provides us with a bevy of new fire power. In addition to this MP5 that we got to play with way back in Akropolis Tower...
He also has a shiny new Pike Attachment for our rifle,
A bulky new piece of armor that I completely ignore,
Several new buyable types of ammo, and last but not least...
The AS12 MurderMachine, aka "The Best Gun". Now, I could explain to you why a rapid-firing shotgun with a drum mag capacity is so very very very wonderful, OR I could just let Terry Crews explain it in this completely normal clip from his everyday life.
The AS12 is worth every penny, and is easily my favorite gun in the game. Sure, there may be more powerful or more practical weapons you can get, but none of those can quite match the the appeal of lugging around a 'roided out Tommy Gun that belches out death and fire like a dragon that just chugged a 2-liter of off-brand Cola.
Farewell, Gary Douglas. I must go now, and bring your gift of destruction to the unwashed mutants.
So, now we're back in the Shelter. No more side trips, we are here until we get to the bottom of this thing. Hot Zones have reappeared, and we see a new enemy standing right in front of us! Well, not really new, the Mossback is just a recolored Brute with higher stats.
LET'S BURN IT!
The Pike Flamethrower does exactly what you'd expect it to, and it is pretty fun. It's not super practical, but you can stunlock enemies with a stream of burning napalm, so fuck practicality!
The Flamethrower runs off the same nebulous "Batteries" as the flashlight on the P229 handgun, which can be recharged for NO COST at any BP store or vending machine. So, even though it eats up fuel like nobody's business, I'm not too worried about conserving it.
NOW WHO'S LAUGHING, YA PRICK?!
Ahem. Now we can fiddle with this elevator to escape the bowels of the Shelter.
So, someone rode the elevator down to this level and pulled the emergency stop, preventing anyone on the higher levels from calling it. Well, the only other person around is Kyle, but why would he do that? And if he didn't, how did he get down here in the first place?
Riding it up to B1, we find ourselves back in the Lobby. Handy shortcut, particularly if you need to run back to Doug's for some reason.
We also find there are plenty of monsters repopulating the area so we can tool around with our new guns. Isn't that nice of them?
Oh, hey, the Zebra Stalkers found they're way down here. They're the same we fought back in Dryfield with no stat boosts, so we can now completely steamroll the little bastards.
The AS12 doesn't look to special in screen shots, because its difficult to convey just how much faster it is than the other shotguns. It's no machine gun, but it's almost twice as fast as the SP12 was, but it's barrel magazine means you'll pretty much never have to reload mid-fight outside of Bosses.
Not to mention that wonderful THUMP THUMP THUMP sound
Here we find the Wall Turrets doing their job. This Brute waddled his way in here, and right into the sights of the automated defenses.
When Aya's either out of range or simply slightly farther away than a monster, the turrets will lock on to the enemies and attack them just the same as they would us. Presumably, this is why these things were built in the first place: put down any NMCs that broke loose without shooting the lab's staff. The fact that they attack Aya could either indicate some sort of malfunction, or that they're locking onto her weird mitochondria.
Either way, Aya don't take no shit from nobody.
At this point, I kind of forgot exactly what I was supposed to be doing, so I was just heading back to the save phone. Until I remembered it was on the other side of this decontamination room. Y'know, the one that tried to kill us?
: It should be safe... I think.
Well, that's encouraging.
Oh, I guess it is safe now. Neat!
This phone conversation is kind of interesting.
: It it's Pierce you're asking after, he went home early. Stomachache.
Here's the interesting part.
We actually get to interact with this one! I'm not sure whether they put this in because they couldn't think of a way to give you this extra info about the Shelter, or an attempt to make the MIST crew seem remotely useful.
: Someone's looked into that. Turns out the original owner was a religious group. The shelter was going to be much larger. But the project was abandoned with the end of the Cold War. Then our info gets sketchy. Ownership changed a few times, but other than that...
Well, that's kind of interesting. Not exactly helpful, but okay.
I swear this has got to be an intentional joke at this point.
: Backup? Nobody's back from the cleanup at the hotel yet. NMCs were hiding among the hotel guests. I'd send backup if we had the personnel.
Yeah, sure, whatever chief. No options left, so we'll pick "Nothing".
Thanks, boss. Y'know, now that I think about it, we should probably get around to tracking down that Bowman character...