Part 48: Episode 47: Walk Like An EgyptianBefore we begin, I just want to throw up the tour guide's monster blurbs from the previous episode sans Rattigan, for completion's sake.
"Welcome to the Rainforest Zone. This zone is home to the ANMCs we call 'Strangers.' These are some of the first ever make, the original ANMCs! Vestigial hands and powerful legs give all Stranger breeds an ostrich like silhouette. Strangers also possess the ability to mimic their original human form via 'apoptosis' -- cell suicide. However, the physical strain of the transformation limits it to a few minutes at best. Those test subject who dislike the traditional ANMC form often choose this breed."
"Everyone, take a good look! Something not quite right? That shift in space isn't a mirage! What you are not quite seeing is a 'Stalker', a camouflaged ANMC! Making the forest their home, Stalkers take a lesson from monkeys. Their feet are fully prehensile, like those of the tree monkey. Additionally, its control of skin pigmentation is far superior to even that of the chameleon. Its enhanced pigmentary cells can alter color and pattern to instantly match any background. This combination of traits makes the Stalker "king of the jungle."
"Welcome to the Savannah Zone. One resident of this zone is the ANMC known as the 'Suckler'. Sucklers are mature in a neotenized state, looking much like infants. Imagine always being held in your mother's arms, always being loved! If this sounds like a good deal to you, you might want to join the Sucklers. Sucklers are different from other ANMCs in both shape and ecology. If their DNA weren't so similar, we'd think they were different species! What are the special features of the Suckler? In the development stage known as the Bonesuckler, they crawl in packs, searching for prey. When prey is found, a Suckler will rapidly divert blood to its head, causing a cranial explosion. The resulting shower of bone shards pulverized prey for the rest of the pack to feed upon. After pupating, the Suckler leaves its larval stage and becomes a winged adult 'Mindsuckler.' From the air, the Mindsuckler finds prey and uses its ovipositor to fire larva into the prey's head region. The larva parasitizes the host's cranium, leading the host to the larval Bonesuckler nest. After the host is consumed, the larva exits the safety of the cranium, now a fully grown Bonesuckler. This kind of metamorphosis and altruistic behavior is seen in higher insects, such as ants. The group society that the Sucklers epitomize might be one possible future for human evolution. Due to their delicate skin, Sucklers only move by night. We apologize for any inconvenience."
"Welcome to the world of ANMC... Keep your eyes open for bouncing ANMCs with big ears -- these are 'Scavengers'. They may be small, but they have big appetites and can eat carrion -- the garbagemen of the forest! While they form packs to hunt weaker prey, they are not very effecting fighters. Since they are largely nocturnal, you won't often see them during the day."
"Welcome to the Savannah Zone. This zone is home to the ANMCs known as 'Chasers.' After leaving the forests, humanity's ancestors lived in the savannah. What if our ancestors stayed in the savannah, discarding their tools and walked on all fours? The Chaser is the answer to this question. Chasers have hooflike feet for fast movement across the plains. Their mentality is geared to support an organized herd social structure. Their unequalled success as hunters is largely due to refined teamwork."
Any and all typos are present in the game itself. Or maybe they aren't typos at all and Firefox's spell check is just being a butt, I dunno.
So, last time we discovered that the Neo Ark is some sort of bizarre Jurassic Park where customers would presumable come in to look at the ANMCs and decide which breed of twisted hellbeast they wanted to be turned into. Kind of like the worst clothing store you can possibly imagine.
We also learned that Chasers look so goofy when they sleep
Oh well, time to get back to work.
Hey, it looks like the Neo Ark turned out just like Jurassic Park, too.
: The glass is broken here. Amazing... It's bulletproof glass! Those horselike ANMCs that attack in packs might have lived here.
Apparently, building a cage stronger enough to hold your bloodthirsty mutants is secondary to making the bloodthirsty mutants in the first place. Truly the greatest monster of all is poor planning.
Oh, they built a fun little mock Egyptian tomb. Y'know, for when you bring your kids to the subterranean monster zoo. That's nice.
No, really, that's what this place is for.
: Giant carvings... They look like Egyptian deities...
They even have a little game here to keep kids occupied.
A sliding block puzzle! Seriously, this whole joint is waaaaay weirder to me than the corpse-filled monster lab upstairs. I can deal with monster labs, I'm used to that shit by now. A family friendly resort where you pick which man-faced genetic beast you want to turn into? That's whole different ballpark, right there.
Anyway, the gimmick here is that we need to solve this puzzle to open a door to our destination.
You can probably figure it out on your own, but the answer is in the next room, so let's just go take a look at that.
There's this box along the way that's too heavy to move or open at the moment. Maybe we'll find a way to get the wonderful prize inside!
note: prize may not be wonderful or at all worthwhile
I have to say, despite the complete insanity of the whole idea, the Neo Ark is a pretty cool environment, and fairly unique in a genre loaded with darkened cities and haunted mansions.
Here we find two things: the locked door we need to pass through, and a placard covered in symbols.
: A shrine engraved with hieroglyphs. They are each surrounded with different colored frames. I wonder what they means...
Well, I hate to break it to you, Aya, but they're the answers to the block puzzle from like two seconds ago.
So, here's the gimmick: there's three solutions and each does a different thing. The puzzle resets itself when you leave the room, so getting all three isn't a big deal. Basically, you line up the properly colored blocks with the colored sticks on the edge. The only catch is that you need that bottom right square empty for the solution to count.
I'm very bad at sliding block puzzles, so I'll spare you the 15+ minutes of incompetence it took me to get this right, and just show you the solution for Red. Red unlocks the door we need to get through, so I tend to do it first. The other two solutions get you very little worth mentioning, but I'll show them off on the way back through.
For now, let's just see what's being this 'Employee's Only' door.
is that a hand
: It's alive! A-Another ANMC!?
well, now I just wanna see that thing try to wobble up some stairs, like a giant hairless Corgi
: I can sense an incredible number of neo-mitochondria inside.
So, this is one of two mitochondria power generators that we came down here to shut off. This guy is kind of odd. You see, it's technically a boss, it has it's own boss theme, and gives an EXP/BP reward befitting a boss but...
Well, it doesn't have any attacks. No method of hurting you or defending itself.
It has a gimmick where it's defense is super high and it regenerates constantly, so you can't just shoot it to death. But that's easily solved with a little looking around the room.
And he does have a wall full of turrets, but we turned those off back up in the control room with Pierce. The poor reactor's only method of offense is hoping you don't press a button two floors up.
And then there's this.
: This is a life support system... This provides nutrients to the ANMC next to it.
This is the source of the Reactor's regen and high defense.
And we just blasted it.
Now, it has nothing. It can't even slow us down anymore. All the Reactor can do is sit and watch as we shoot it to death in its mechanical prison. A sedentary and miserable life, but the only life its ever known, stolen away by a being that possess all the freedom and mobility it never had.
Everyone remembers the Burner and the Glutton. No one remembers the boss that can't fight back, can't even try to hide from a merciless assault. I remember the Reactor. I remember the creature born without even the means to beg for its life. I remember, because he's not a boss. The Reactor is a victim.
I didn't beat the Mitochondria Reactor. I murdered a helpless infant. And I remember.
But, hey, FREE SWAG!
: This organic generator is dead.
There's two Reactors down here, both in this same building. We can't reach the other side from here, though, so we have to loop around through the whole park.
Yeah, that's what I just
YES WE KNOW. Let's bounce.
On our way out through the "Shrine", let's finish up that children's game, shall we?
Yellow is a bit trickier than Red was, but I eventually figure it out.
A TRAP?! Beetles drop from the roof like this is fucking Zelda or something, and we much do battle with them! Here is a clip of the tense conflict!
Anyway, now we solve Blue. For some reason, this one gave me the most trouble.
This opens that mystery box!
: There's something shiny in the corner...
Oh, hey, thanks. That's super useful. I glad I spent all that time to get another MP Boost to throw in a box and forget about. WONDERFUL
More Beetles? This is probably a good time to talk about their gimmick: high defense.
Unless, of course, you hit them with Plasma. This knocks them over on their backs, where their soft underbellies are exposed and they can't move or attack. No sympathy for these little fucks, though, because they can dish out a lot of damage really fast if you try to fight fair.
Y'know, the door to the Northern Wing of the Ark was locked. I wonder how we can get past that...
Hey, that'll work.
: Please follow staff directions and evacuate in an orderly manner. The automatic precipitation system will control the fire.
We'll go check that out next time, but for now, there's something we haven't done in a while.
Yup. There's no phones in the Ark, so I had to go back up to the Lab Room.
Oh, holy shit, it's Rupert! I completely forgot about him! How you been, Rup?
: We went on alert when NMCs showed up at the hotel, but... My arm started swelling and I've just been sleeping.
Damn, it's rough working at MIST. "A nutcase cut your arm nearly off with a machete? No, you can't go home, work the phones, ya crybaby!"
: If I'd known things were going to get this big...
: Eh, not really. Pierce is here, though.