Part 65: Episode LXV: The Emigre ManuscriptEpisode LXV: The Emigre Manuscript
Music: Atmosphere - Blow Up
We won't be returning to Nemeton Monastery until we've completed the bulk of the optional endgame proceedings. Calios Mental Hospital is strangely devoid of any additional content, so we'll never be going back there for any reason. But London...
London has some junk to do. We're going to be skipping Old Castle Street for a while since the side quest there is Sharon the orphan having established a full underground human vs. demon deathmatch arena while we've been gone and that shit is... actually kinda difficult. Today's session is instead going to take us back to Jack's Orphanage.
Music: Vitamin Metropolis
Hey remember the Émigré Document? The one that set off the events of Koudelka and its subsequent hundreds of human sacrifices and then again with Dr. Jack and the hundreds of sacrificed orphans? That thing is still kinda unaccounted for and frankly, I feel like we could do without a third mass slaughtering of the downtrodden by a rich old creeper white guy that cannot let shit go.
So there are actual orphans hanging out in the orphanage nowadays. No, we didn't miss a broom closet full of kidnapped children during our first visit -- all the kids under Jack's administration of the facility are extremely dead. No, it seems like they shipped in a resupply of orphans and the place is now under new, hopefully, less sacrifice inclined, management. Let's see what is going on with these youngsters.
Gonna go out on a limb and say she thinks you're unreliable. That's a really unfortunate name your parents gave you, after all. But I suppose we could ask her ourselves.
As I look closer, you're also nice looking. I'm exhausted from playing with a kid.
Nope nope nope! Abort!
I-It's hard for me to talk to people for the first time...
...Didn't I just talk to you out in the hall?
At least they've deleted all the flavor text about how this was a hell orphanage. Didn't clean up the place or make it an iota more inviting. But baby-steps...
Ronny's father was sucked into a jet turbine back when the lad was only three years old. It was a shock to everyone considering it was 1908 and there really shouldn't be jet engines just sitting around for bumbling mechanics to be sucked into...
We need to return to Jack's laboratory, which is still fully intact and almost certainly containing a few dead orphan organs soaking in formaldehyde, to attend to the side quest present in the orphanage.
The new caretaker of the orphanage is one of the unremarkable patrons of the bar near the London Rats' hideout. Well... I guess a drunk is a step-up from a mass murderer who wanted to bone his mother. For some reason I had it in my head Koudelka wandered over here and started running the orphanage. I guess I was wrong and Koudelka actually has absolutely zero left to do in the game. She got the demotion in roles after becoming a mother.
Anyway, the side quest of the orphanage involves Insolent Jean here and a game of hide-and-seek with the orphans we met. Sure, why not? I think this is like the third game this year I've played with a hide-and-seek quest with specifically orphans. I'm not sure why RPGs love doing that so much. Anyway, we'll take this little shit up on his offer.
We've got sixty seconds to find all four of the kids AND return to Insolent Jean. The time is constantly ticking down, even during load transitions which seems a little bullshit to me. The location of the children are randomized to an extent but... I mean, there are only five rooms in this area. It's not THAT difficult to check every room in time.
The screen quickly fades to black and the children shuffle to their hiding spots. Hey, there's one in this very room now and I'm not talking about Jean. Can YOU spot 'em?!
You're literally standing right in front of me, kid. Now I'm never gonna speak to you again because I don't wanna go to jail...
OK. That's one down. The next is... err... kiddo, you're not even trying up there, are ya?
You're standing right out in the open near a railing in a bright red dress... You kids are BAD at this...
Next up, there's a kid somewhere in this room on the second floor. Can you spot the palette swap of the only generic male child model they bothered to render for Europe?
C'mon, man... Like there's a perfectly decent bed RIGHT THERE you could hide under.
My parents are dead.
That's no excuse.
The final child is somewhere in this room and the only one I nearly missed. Can you spot the bugger?
You're standing between multiple beds you could be hiding under! This is just absurd!
When I grow up I wanna be a blitzball.
I dunno what that even means.
Remember, we've also got to run back in the allotted time. Insolent Jean has a psychic connection with the children and knows when they've been discovered, you see.
Hey, you're really good for a grown-up. All right then. I'll let you through, mister.
Is that why you I did this...?
Mister, I couldn't say why you barged into an orphanage late at night to play games with us. It's worrying behavior, really.
It does have me worried about the competence of our caretaker...
Ehh... just be glad you weren't here for the last guy.
We can now go to the back of the laboratory and check out the cauldron where Jack made his orphan slurry and undercooked mom stew. This time around we find...
...Are you mad!?
You're mad calling me mad.
<clenches fist> Little brat...
No, now. Don't get so exasperated over a mere child.
Do you even know what was in that thing?
Sacrificed orphan bio-mass.
Sacrificed orphoh... err... yeah. You sure you wanna be screwing around in there, kiddo?
It's not the pot's fault it was used for that kinda thing. I love it just the same.
Here, you can have this. I found it in this lab. It's gross, so you can have it.
Oh... well... There we go. That was... shockingly easy... Just play a game of hide-and-seek with some eight-year-olds to obtain the stolen forbidden text from the Vatican's archives that ruined hundreds of lives.
We've never actually seen the Emigre Manuscript/Document/Text in person. It was a big background detail in Koudelka and naturally Jack's whole Koudelka-lite orphanage business. A general reminder: this is not the original Emigre Manuscript. The original text was falling apart after getting shuffled around so many times over the centuries and Roger Bacon was tasked with transcribing the entire book, wherein he stole the secret for immortality (forgot the part about stopping aging though) and got on the Pope's shitlist. So Roger Bacon specifically decided the text needed to be preserved in a hardcover skull shaped format.
Anyway, we now are in possession of this evil ass book. But we're not quite done with the orphanage. If we speak to Pot-Loving Macken again...
<becomes Lottery Member No. 03> Want to?
Yeah, yeah... Just spin the wheel...
So this lottery's gimmick is the Hit Areas are completely invisible. That's not very fair, now is it? But... This is a Judgment Wheel and an invisible wheel IS technically a Ring Abnormality. So if we slip an item that negates Ring Abnormalities, like the Pocket Watch or Crucifix, then...
This is suddenly one of the easier Lottery Wheels in the game. We already picked up a Crucifix, but it's one of the best accessories in the game and we optimally want one for all of our active party. So another one is more than welcome.
Only two Lottery Members remain and then we can meet the mysterious chairman of the Lottery Guild. We'll get to that in due time.
For now, our adventures in London are concluded. Indeed, we'll never need to return to the Orphanage. That location is 100% done. Before we wrap-up, let's return to the world map. Something might have changed...
Music: Atmosphere - Blow Up
Now that the party is in possession of the Codex of Lurie, the Book of Rituals and the Émigré Manuscript a new location has been unlocked -- Cave Temple. It seems to be vaguely near where Stonehenge is located though it has nothing to do with the stone circle.
Additionally, another bonus dungeon has been unlocked in err... I think that's around Laibach, Austria-Hungary which is current day Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Don't worry about any of that. Or those bonus dungeons right now, for that matter. Those are for another day. Tune in next time as we revisit the quaint hamlet of Rouen, France and discover what the hell ever became of Kato and Kawashima back in China. Remember those two who were fairly important characters and then dropped off the face of the earth in the second half of the game? Turns out they didn't get vaporized when Shanghai exploded despite also being in ground zero for Seraphic Radiance reenacting the opening of Akira. Stay tuned to find out more!