The Let's Play Archive


by slowbeef

Part 32: Land

Apologies for the delay, please enjoy this long update where shit is happening!

Here's a video that starts Act 5 if you prefer.

The Moon. Our first act that doesn't start with a title placard. Instead, it just has that image of the moon. THEN there's a title placard. Hooray for variety!

which declares that any Lunar resources belong to all mankind....

Here at the Tokugawa Moon Plant, we mine and process Lunar minerals for shipment to Earth and space colonies I'm sure you're aware how your investment in Tokugawa is a true investment in the future of mankind. Lucian of Samosata dreamt of Lunar travel in "True History", and now man has....

We pan down to two astronauts in the back of the crowd. My God, WHO?!

That wasn't too hard. Leave it to you to find a shareholders' tour.

In order to let the slower players know about the subterfuge, our dynamic buddy-cop duo foolishly make their faceplates clear, which is apparently something you can do in spacesuits of the future.

One thing which isn't quite clear yet, is that it is the fifth Policenaut, Salvatore Toscanini, giving the tour.

We just better not tip off our host.
We'll be fine in these things.
It's been years since I've worn one of these.
Better keep our faceplates dark. Turn on your voice scrambler too.

At this point, Jonathan's voice gets all scrambly - he sounds like Ishida did over the phone and in the suit.

Yeah. Ishida had the right idea.
I can't believe you still have that stick in your mouth.
I need it. I'm all jittery without it.
I know you DON'T need it.
Look, Ed -
Whatever. Let's listen in. We need to find out where this No. 7 Factory is somehow.

We pan back up to Sal, who's concluding his part of the tour and opening things up for questions. But since this is a Kojima game, "concluding" is a pretty open-ended verb.

I wish I could show you guys 'round in somethin' more relaxed, but this place ain't exactly one of those space hotels. The plant's internal pressure is set at 1 bar, but as a precaution please remain in your suits at all times. Anyway, why don't I shut my trap and open the floor to any questions? We have a view of much of the plant from here. Your visor eye-point sensors are linked to my suit, so all you gotta do is look. Fire away, guys.

*** Video covered up to here.

Control is returned back to the player. Like the spaceplane scene, I'm not entirely sure what you have to do advance, save for look at everything multiple times. I'd think asking too many questions would raise Salvatore's suspicion (especially with the voice modulator), but he never catches on, so...

What's with those hex things in the window, that the cursor's already on?

Look; Mirrors

Those are solar parabolic mirrors for generatin' electricity. They provide a good chunk of the energy we use here. The Moon takes about 27 day to orbit the Earth, so they operate for the 14 or so days of sunlight here, changin their angles accordin' to the position of the Sun.

What about the small building above them?

Look; Small Building

That's the staff quarters. The buildin's here are constructed out of concrete made from Lunar regolith. Concrete's an excellent material - it offers protection from cosmic rays, it insulates, and it's durable. Concrete made from Lunar regolith is twice as strong as any concrete made on Earth.

There's a slightly larger building to the right of that.

Look; Larger Building

We're presently not usin' taht factory for manufacturin' purposes.

Hmmm. A factory that's not being used. ...Well, that seems a bit suspicious, so...

Look; Larger Building (again)

It's bein' used solely as a makeshift warehouse at the moment. There's nothin' of interest there.

Alright. There's also a tank, slightly below and to the right of the mirrors.

Look; Tank

That tank is used for storin' substances such as liquid hydrogen and liquid nitrogen.

Look; Giant Ramp

That's the mass driver, a giant catapult driven by a linear motor. To put it simply, it launches payloads toward L2 at speeds of over 2.4 kilometers per second. That object that looks like a track is an acceleration rail that launches linear motor cars, also called buckets. The rail is almost 7 kilometers long.

Look; Earth

The synchronization of the Moon's sidereal rotation and revolution periods means that Earth is always visible from here. Bein' able to see Earth or "Home" as it's often called, is a comfort for those who work on the Moon.

Look; Earth (again)

It's about 3.7 times bigger than the size of the Moon appears from Earth. If you were lookin' at it from nearer one of the polar regions, it would appear stationary all year. I'm happy to take any questions on areas besides the plant's facilities too.
No one's asking any questions.
They're probably all daydreaming.
Should we try asking something?

...Well, considering you're supposed to be incognito, Jon, no, probably not.

I feel like the game threw in that last bit to sort of guide us along insofar as what we should be asking Sal about. So fine, we'll risk our cover for not much benefit.

Look; Salvatore

That's Salvatore. We can't let him catch us. Let's stay towards the back.

Talk; Salvatore

Excuse me! Can I ask a question?
Yes, you back there.

Sal's topics have subtopics, an infrequent occurrence in Policenauts.

Ask About; The plant; Location

The Tokugawa Moon Plant is located on the near side of the Moon in the Plato Crater which is itself situated on the northern shore of Mare Imbrium, the Moon's second largest mare. Mare Imbrium means "Sea of Rains". The Plato Crater is approximately 100 kilometers in diameter, with its smooth floor widely known as one of the darkest places on the Moon.

Ask About; The plant; Location (again)

It's a considerable distance to the nearest base, so you could say we're pretty isolated here. The only way to get here is by LSM from a Lunar-orbitin' space station.

Ask About; The plant; Energy

The plant is powered by solar energy as well as helium-3 nuclear fusion. We gather solar energy through the parabolic mirrors you were lookin' at. Helium-3 is almost nonexistent on Earth, but is found in relatively large quantities here on the Moon. We're able to obtain 1 ton of helium-3 from every 100 million tons of Lunar regolith.

Ask About; The plant; Energy (again)

Oh come on Jonathan, you're not retaining any of this.

Helium-3 nuclear fusion, unlike conventional nuclear fission, is a virtually clean process that doesn't give off any secondary radiation.

Ask About; The plant; Operations

There are numerous minerals found in abundance on the Moon, such as ilmenite, for example. We mine and process these, and what we don't use here is exported to Earth and space colonies such as Beyond. Nearly all the materials used to construct the plant have come from Lunar resources. After processin', the minerals are exported via the mass driver you asked about.

Ask About; The plant; Operations (again)

The Moon, with its low gravity, ultra-low temperature and high-vaccuum, sterile environment, allows us to manufacture Made on the Moon drugs and other products with very high purity.

Ask About; The plant; Staff

The employees we have workin' here include computer engineers, geologists, astronomers, physicists, biologists, chemists, space medical scientists, doctors, architects, and security officers such as myself. We're all employees of the Tokugawa Group.

(So why is security giving a tour?)

Ask About; The plant; Staff (again)

We have a li'l under sixty employees total. We're inspected by the UN twice a year, but apart from that, it's just us here. There are no intervenin' government organizations.

Ask About; The plant; Factories

We have a total of seven factories in the Moon Plant, numbered 1 through 7. Each factory manufactures a variety of Moon-related products 'round the clock.

Asking about factories unlocks a new option, but before that, let's just exhaust what we can.

Ask About; The plant; Factories (again)

The insides of the factories all contain sensitive business information, so I'm afraid I'm unable to show you inside of any of them. For instance, I'm sure you are aware that the very effective helium-3 purification process in use here is a patent of the Tokugawa Group.

Now the important question:

Ask About; The plant; No. 7 Factory

It isn't mentioned in the brochure.
The No. 7 Factory? You mean the factory you were lookin' at a moment ago. We used to use it for storin' minerals.
All the minerals in that area have dried up, haven't they? Including the helium-3.
You're very well-informed. But that was before. We use it solely for storin' radioactive materials now. Only Factories 1 through 6 are currently active. By the way, I noticed your voice output's a li'l off. You should get someone to look at it.

Well, that made Salvatore suspicious (and Ed will stop us from asking again), so we have to find a way to the No. 7 Factory somehow. And the best way to do that is by asking factual questions about the Moon.

Ask About; The Moon; Data

The Moon's radius is 1,738 kilometers, or one-fourth of Earth's. Its average distance from Earth is 385,000 kilometers, and it proceeds around its orbit at a speed of just over 1 kilometer per second. Its gravity is one-sixth of Earth's and its mass one eighty-first.

Ask About; The Moon; Data (again)

A day on the Moon is equal to 27 days and 7 hours on Earth, takin' nearly 1 month to complete a full rotation.

Ask About; The Moon; Surroundings

To the far southeast you will find Mare Tranquillitatis, or "Sea of Tranquility," where Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin landed near the equator with Apollo 11. The footprints they left behind have been preserved, and are now a famous tourist destination.

Ask About; The Moon; Surroundings (again)

To the west of here, you can see the beautiful Sinus Iridum, which translates to "Rainbow Bay".

Ask About; The Moon; Development

It's been about 70 years since the first Apollo landin', and over 30 years since man returned to the Moon and completed the first manned Moon base, located in Oceanus Procellarum, or "Ocean of Storms". Goin' by the five-stage plan for Lunar development proposed by German space engineer Dr. Krafft Ehricke, we have finally arrived at the fourth stage, as we attempt to expand manufacturin' capabilities and improve the livin' environment on the Moon.

Ask About; The Moon; Development (again)

If a Lunar city can be successfully completed we'll be witnessin' the birth of a new paradigm. However, development on the far side of the Moon is a different story. At present, it's only used for such purposes as housin' radio telescopes. You're very interested in the Moon, aren't you?

I am.

Ask About; The Moon; Origin

There are several theories in regard to the origin of the Moon. The giant impact theory states that the Moon is the result of a collision between celestial bodies. Then there's the fission theory, which says that the Moon was once a part of Earth. There's also the coformation theory, which states that the Moon was formed out of the same gas as Earth. Another theory, the capture theory, says that the Moon was captured by Earth's gravitational pull. As of now, no theory has been proven correct.

We're almost done.

Ask About; Spacesuits

The spacesuits you're all wearin' are semi-hard extravehicular mobility units, or EMUs, made from materials such as aluminum alloy and stainless metal. That composition allows the suit's internal pressure to be set at 0.7 bar, thus reducin' the depressurization time on spaceships and space bases.

Ask About; Spacesuits (again)

You may find them somewhat difficult to move in, but various parts like the arms, legs, and boots are made out of materials such as polyester and urethane resin, which I think keeps any real discomfort to a minimum. Also, the soles of your boots and the carpetin' inside the plant are both layered with Velcro, makin' it easier to walk.

Ask About; Important Points

In the interest of safety, please do not go near any of the restricted areas. The No. 7 Factory is particular dangerous due to the contanimated materials stored inside.

So this is gonna go until we do a few more things (it doesn't actually matter what, the game keeps a count once you've done the important stuff - mainly the No. 7 Factory info), but finally, the tour ends.

Unfortunately, that's about all the time we have. We'll need to be moving on now. Well, that concludes our tour of the Tokugawa Moon Plant. It's close to departure time. The next LSM won't be for another month, so make sure you don't miss it. Have a safe and pleasant trip.

The camera pans down to show that Jonathan and Ed have snuck off- wait, did he say a month? Are we stuck here?

We'll have to find another way back. I doubt we can make it to Archimedes Crater on foot. This is gonna be fun.
They won't do a passenger check until the LSM reaches the station. That buys us some time.
There's something about that No. 7 Factory.
Salvatore acted funny when we brought it up too. That's where Hojo's body was supposedly sent.
Alright, let's get to it.

We're back at the Information Center. I don't see anyone else.

Look; Table

It's a paper table.

We can look at things all we want, but Sal gave us the tour so...

Go to No. 7 Factory

Could be APs around too.
These look like they've been modified for Lunar use.
Boy oh boy. A corporation using EMPS for security on the Moon? For just some old warehouse? Nice try, Sal.

These EMPS are called "Oberths". They're empty, and Jonathan thinks that's weird, but if you question it, Ed chides you. Like so:

Look; Oberth (second time)

This one's empty too. Not like Tokugawa to let all the guards in an area leave their posts at the same time.
This is the Moon, Jonathan. They don't need to worry about things like that here.

We'll discover it's the same lock system as we saw at Tokugawa Pharmaceuticals... so...

Open Door

We could try opening the door with this.
Gates confiscated Hojo's ID.
Yeah, well, I went and got it back.

Good man, Ed.

It opened.

The music goes silent. Konami's preparing us for something.

Go Inside

Alright, let's head inside.

There's a tone.

I'll open the inner hatch.
Wait! It's still depressurizing.

It goes silent.

Okay, all clear. Who knows what's inside. Better leave our helmets on.
Yeah. Keeps our faces covered too.
Here we go.

The sign here is animated like a stock ticker.

What the f....
These look like biomorts.

The camera pans down.

Ed, we need to get all this on the suits' VREs. We can give them to BBC when we get back.
What in god's name are they doing here, Ed?
First thing we do is find Hojo. Let's see them explain that away.

Look; Second Cylinder from Right

Jonathan! It's Dave!

There's the scars around his kidneys. This matches what we saw at BCCH.
They've hooked him up to artificial kidneys.
How long can the body survive like this?
Usually a person will undergo cardiac arrest after several days, but you can delay that by giving them vasopressors and diuretics.

Look; Dave's Cylinder (again)

Look; Rightmost Cylinder

Now to find Hojo. This isn't Hojo.
These people are brain-dead. They call them "biomorts" or sometimes "neomorts". The brain's stopped functioning, but they keep the body alive with artificial respirators and other equipment.

Look; Behind Cylinders on the Right

Are these life-support machines?
Yeah. These machines keep the bodies alive as biomorts. Artificial respirators, hearts, lungs, kidneys.... Each body is connected to a life-support system matching its specific needs, and it's all controlled by computer.
If we cut these off... these people would finally be free. How come yoiu know so much about all this?
It's not a hobby or anything. When Catherine got sick I acquired it all naturally.
That's right, I forgot. Sorry.

Look; Leftmost Cylinder

This isn't him either.
These people were all young. They must be using the biomorts for preserving organs.
So what would they use Victor's body for? He's past the age limit for donation.
No idea. Let's check out the other bodies. You think Hojo's is really here?

Looking at other cylinders, Ed remarks that he has a bad feeling.

Look; Fourth Cylinder from the Left

Hey! Here we go, Jonathan! It's Hojo!

They've stitched up his bullet wounds.
Look! They made sure they didn't hit any organs. Victor was right on the money. They used Hojo's body to frame you.
Did a good job too. After the fix was in, they brought it right back here.
We were looking in the wrong place. This is where he's been the whole time.
Can we prove it?
With just the VREs... I don't know.
It's easy enough to fabricate a VRE nowadays. You can usually tell the fakes from the real thing with stuff like this.
True. Plus it does record various sensor data too. It gives us something at the least.
We can't let Karen see this.

Look; Cylinders Far in the Back

I was right about that feeling.
I think I'm gonna be sick. They've even got kids here.
Good god....
What's this screen for? It's like something from a stock exchange.

Jonathan says this last line once you've learned about everything relevant.

Now I get it. It's black market organ trading. They bring biomorts to the Moon, then sell their organs around the world.
They use the biomorts as containers for preserving the bodies' tissues.

Bastards wanted them for this. That's also why BCP didn't do Hojo's or Ishida's autopsy.

This is where Victor's gonna end up.

This is what he was talking about. We weren't seeing the bigger picture.
It wasn't so much about Narc. This is what they really wanted to stay hidden.

Who's there?!

Jonathan, Ed... This is the last place I expected to run into you.