Part 10: 9. "Ah, It's that logo... I get it."
9. "Ah, It's that logo... I get it."
Hey SD Snatcher fans! We're back in Center Plaza! Man, we are gonna have some fun!
No we're not, because Konami pulls their "boss is now a regular enemy" trick early.
Fortunately, he's a shadow of his former self. He doesn't hit as hard, so Army Bear is not as much of a problem...
This make me want to smack the game in the face.
The Bio-Weapon does nothing but makes you unable to use Junker's Rush - that is, heal. You need "Newtralizer" to undo this inconvenience.
That's kinda what I don't like about SD Snatcher. The challenges end up being inconveniences - shit that makes you just not want to play the game. And this is nowhere near the worst part of it.
Minor complaints aside, Army Bear is gone and we're all happy for that.
Let's explore the northwest part of Center Plaza, shall we?
If someone can explain the double wave to me, please do, because I'm out of the loop on this one. It comes up in the game, and I can't figure out what in the name of God it's referring to. And I know original Snatcher inside and out.
Gilian: Well, that's a weird logo. It looks strangely familiar.
In case anyone missed it, the Plato's Cavern/Joy Division shop logo is the Konami logo, with the diagonal "dumbbell-swashes" turned on their sides.
And when you go in, fucking Jawas own the place.
We're going to see a lot more of Joy Division shops. Hence, "Part 1".
Gilian: I'll... uh... I'll try. Metal, what's the double wave?
Metal: I have no idea.
Welcome to a new gameplay element! Joy Division!
This is pretty much "mini-Junker-HQ" - you can do everything but buy new weapons here. If you're low on HP-restoring "Junkers" you can buy them to restore your health. If you're low on HP, you can pay them to treat you! (Cost is commensurate with damage taken.)
Wait, though! Joy Division, besides selling you drugs (healing items) will also sell things in this "et cetera" category.
L. Disk, Goggles, and Tickets.
Remember that ticket you bought at the cinema? Well, they're sold out, so you have to buy these $70 scalped tickets from Joy Division to enter the theater. This is annoying as hell because I forgot to do it in my playthrough and ended up having to backtrack to Joy Division.
Gilian: Yeesh, these are expensive goggles.
Metal: I fail to see the relevance of the movie to our investigation.
Gilian: Er, you'll see, Metal. It's important detective work to examine everything. Also, Godzilla. Wait, I can just buy a bootleg Laserdisk!
Metal Gear, for the record, is inconsistent with how much you can goof off in Snatcher. If you want to buy Neo Kobe Pizza, he's all for it. If you want to buy ramen, he wants you to hurry up. But then again, that could be because Gilian- er, Gillian- slurps his ramen.
Also, I always have a lot of trouble typing in LP Snatcher threads, apparently. The original was right after I finished Darkseed 2, where I kept typing "Mike", the main character's name. I'd been so ingrained typing M-I-K-E, that almost 100% of the time when I went to type "Mika", I'd have to correct it, because I'd type Mike. Here I can't keep it straight: Gilian has one L in his name for SD Snatcher, and two for the original. Sorry.
And just to make things look like we're not goofing off, let's buy some ammo, so it's like Gillian's actually working.
I talked to a fellow LPer on IM (he may not wish to reveal himself) and he asked me why there was a parking lot in a society with hovercars. I answered that it was possible turbocycles/tricycles weren't invented or mass produced at the time of Neo Kobe's construction, which would explain why there were roads and parking lots. Then I realized I was discussing the feasibility of a fictional video game environment and that my life had really hit the skids.
I don't have the world's best translation skills, but I SWEAR that's "Ko Ji Ra" I don't see the dakuten (two little tick marks in the upper right corner of a character - you can see it in the second character) that change a phonetic character's pronunciation - in this case, "ko" into "go". Gojira sounds like it'd be a way to sound out Godzilla, although I'd have gone with "Ga-Do-Ji-Ra" If you say it fast enough, "Gojira" (go-jee-rah) does sound more like Godzilla, though.
edit: And GuavaMoment lets me know that "Gojira" is actually the Japanese name of Godzilla. Heh. Learn something new every day.
The very first thing I ever translated was a Japanese candy flavor. I stared at it for awhile going "Meh-row-nn. Meron. Meron... Oh! Melon!"
And my kanji skills are practically non-existent. I have no idea what this is supposed to be.
Gilian: That's it? That movie's a lot shorter than I expected. Especially for $70.
Metal: Let's get going, Gilian.
This time let's explore the east of Center Plaza. This leads us to Zone 1.
Gilian: Alright, video games! I wish there was an arcade version of Castlevania...
Metal: Actually, there is a little known one. Its English title was "Haunted Castle."
Gilian: No kidding! Think they'll have it here?
Metal: In 2042? I doubt it.
Hey, if Snatcher is a rip-off Blade Runner, then I'm going to rip-off this guy and be as informative as possible. Unfortunately, my knowledge base is centered squarely on old Konami games.
Gilian: Hmmm. I'd better check these arcades for Snatchers.
Metal: Oh, Gilian. Really now?
All the kids on the left say this. The kids on the right say...
You are more than welcome to attempt to try and figure out what "ROT OP" was supposed to be.
edit: Actually, it turns out this is an in-joke from OASIS, the translator. "Rot op" is Dutch for "Get lost."
Gilian: Snatcher Headhunter? I'm sure to be good at this game!
Metal: Wait a minute, Gilian! You can win a translation disk! With that inserted, I can translate Mr. Cielo's speech!
Gilian: Told you this was important to the investigation. Lemme at it!
Wow, the game finally broke the fourth wall! Shit, bitch, NOW it's a Kojima game.
This is actually a goof on the original Snatcher. The Snatcher Headhunter game is a 3x3 grid system, like the original game's combat system. It's making fun of its origins, saying the combat was - basically - whack-a-mole.
It's not a bad point, but what was great about Snatcher's combat system was how abrupt combat jumped in. Ivan Rodriguez opens a door and BAM! you're suddenly in an action scene without expecting it. Interestingly, Playstation Snatcher fucks this up royally. You have to wait a few seconds from when combat is supposed to start as the life bar "slides" into view.
I'll grant that the problem with original Snatcher is that there's usually a textual and audio cue: Metal will say "Watch out!" and you'll hear a metallic "Surprise!" sound effect, but for the most part, your reaction is "Oh shit, I'm in combat?!" Whereas in PSX Snatcher, it's "Oh shit, I'll be in combat in like a minute."
Now, just trust me on something. You'll see an explanation for it in this update. Hideo's trying to trick you right now. Your object is to beat 1000 points (you get 100 points per Snatcher whacked, and lose 100 points for every human.) When you hit 1100, stop. I played this on a laptop, so I didn't have a Numpad. I had to use 7-8-9, U-I-O, and J-K-L with the function key, so I actually had trouble with the mini-game. So... uh... I legitimately got 1100. Hmmph. But like I said, this is what you want to do.
Gilian: I did it!
Metal: You only got 100 points over the high score. You're not very good at this Junker game.
Gilian: Well, it's so unrealistic anyway. This is nothing like being a real junker.
Metal: Well, considering that you're investigating Snatchers by watching movies and playing video games, you're not very good at the real thing, either.
Gilian: Hey Metal, you're pretty small. Why don't you stand on the whack-a-mole game for a second...
I have a feeling if I make fun of Hideo Kojima, I'll incur some fanboy wrath... but fuck it.
If there's one thing the guy's not very good at, it's prognostication. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake was finished in 1990. Kojima predicted that with the end of the Cold War, countries would agree to dismantle their nuclear weapons almost immediately. With things like like the START treaties he wasn't completely wrong, but he wasn't completely right, either.
And he's really bad with disk technology.
Jean-Jack Gibson leaves you a clue in original Snatcher that says "SEARCH THE HOUSE" with the read, write, and index holes of a 5 1/4" disk. I have a feeling there's some readers here who might not remember that particular model of disk, but it was prevalent when I was a kid.
The Lingu-Disk is a 3.5 inch disk. I'd like to note the laptop I'm using - a Hewlett Packard I bought in December 2007 - has no magnetic disk drives whatsoever. Jean-Jack may be a fan of older technology, but there's no way 3.5 inch disks are still being used in 2042.
To be fair, though, it's also pretty unlikely the new popular holographic arcade game in 2042 is fucking Whack-A-Mole, so again, I'm just being really picky.
And predictably, you're going to be using the Lingu-Disk to talk to Mr. Cielo.
Gilian: Metal, he can't possibly be saying that.
Gilian: You're telling me this guy just said: "Hey, you speak Spanish? Great. Give me a Mars Coupon and I'll get you into Outer Heaven." I mean, how did he even know I wanted to go there?
Metal: Presumably, other people ask Mr. Cielo for membership IDs to Outer Heaven.
Gilian: This is what I hate about Lingu disks. It's just a strict transliteration. C'mon! It doesn't require much creativity or intelligence to make something in a different language at least sound a little more natural to the one you're translating it to!
Metal: Gilian, you have to understand translation and transliteration are complicated processes. Even languages with a lot of cognitive similarity like Spanish and English are going to have concepts that are hard to translate without explanations of context and cultural differences. Imagine if this were a completely foreign language with no association to English at all, like Japanese! Why, you'd have completely alien concepts that take a lot of time and effort to figure out how to write in a different language.
Gilian: Your point being?
Metal: My point being is that Lingu disks aren't always the best translators, but their functionality is in doing the actual translation. It's up to you to use your imagination and figure out what they're originally trying to say. Professional translation is a long and arduous process and sometimes the original meaning gets lost entirely.
Gilian: Come to think of it, it is kinda strange that everyone in Neo Kobe speaks English.
Metal: That's not so strange. The 47th President of the United States, Michael Wilson, was instrumental in making English the standard language of the world.
Cielo: ¿Usted está escuchando?
Gilian: Oh, uh, sorry. Mars Coupon?
Fun translation fact: There's a Japanese phrase called "Sho ga nai" which sounds like "Shogun eye". It literally means "It cannot be helped."
And the best way to transliterate it to an English speaker is actually with the foreign idiom "Que sera sera."
Metal: Yes, Gilian. He wants to take a vacation to Mars.
Gilian: Well, where are we gonna get one of those?!
By exploring Center Plaza some more!
And now, I'd like to reintroduce an annoying game feature. Remember before, when Army Bear uses a bio-weapon that keeps Gilian from using Junker's Rush?
That stays active even after the battle.
And this is what Newtriz does. Basically, we have an RPG with a status ailment that keeps you from using one specific item - and in this case, the item is the only way to heal yourself on the go. And we have a specific item that cures you of the status condition that keeps from using the other item. I've never been a Dungeon Master or anything, but this just seems like a poor design decision. I dunno.
Hobo? Or Freeman? You decide!
But it turns out that to get the Mars Coupon...
You'll need to play the Snatcher Headhunter and beat the high score for $50.
Now here's the trick. YOU set the high score earlier. So if you sit there and keep playing the game, or do really good, you fucked yourself over. In a really clever nod to original Snatcher's combat system, this part is as hard as you make it.
Original Snatcher had a difficulty system called "Junker's Eye" - it made combat faster and harder in subsequent scenes based on earlier ones. So if you did really good with the training machine in the beginning of the game, you'd have a much tougher time with things like the Super Insectors. It was a neat idea, but it means you could break the game by purposefully failing early scenes that didn't matter...
...Which is why I recommended only getting 1100 points. Now it's a lot easier to win the Mars Coupon.
Overall, I don't like SD Snatcher as a game, but there's more than a couple things in here like this that are kinda neat... to Snatcher fans.
Ladies and gentlemen, proof positive that I am just no good at video games.
Metal: Oh Gilian...
Gilian: This game is such a ripoff! Well, at least we got the coupon. Let's go back to Cielo.
Let's get into Outer Heaven and meet Isabella Velvet! (The scantily-clad dancer.)
- Cielo is a completely new puzzle.
- Snatcher Headhunter is a completely new game.
- The arcade is a completely new scene.
- Spanish people are completely new to Neo Kobe.
Relevant Snatcher Media
Outside Plato's Cavern (Joy Division)
Inside Plato's Cavern (Joy Division)