Part 86: Digital Devil Saga 2 (Ending showcase 2, Part 2)Part 86 - Digital Devil Saga 2 (Ending showcase 2, Part 2)
Continuing from where we left off, we make our way through the remaining tunnels and reach the dragon chamber, this time finding Vauclair himself in the control booth.
I dont know how you escaped the laboratory, but please stop. I must complete the virus infusion process. I must release her. Our future as a species depends on it.
(Academic) Dr. Vauclair, I think your obsession with dragons has progressed to the point that you are no longer in control of your actions.
[A heavy sigh comes over the speakers.]
I must admit that I have thought that very thing in my weaker hours. In the morning, as my dreams recede and conscious thought returns. In that gray state, Ive lain in my bed, alone, and wrestled with the thought.
The time for discussion is over. I am done debating with you.
[He pauses, puzzled.]
Still, I must understand how you escaped the test lab.
[A thought comes to him, and his tired eyes glitter in triumph.]
It was HER, wasnt it? Feuerschwinge. It must be. You made some sort of deal. She helped you to escape, and in return you will help her rejoin her dragon body.
Feuerschwinge showed me a way out. Now Im offering one to you.
What did she promise you? Gold? Jewels? Eternal life? She offered them to me, as well. For decades.
And so the final battle begins as before, though despite what Vauclair says Audran isn't even in the room and still takes his sweet time to arrive on the scene.
Here's the Matrix section we couldn't access in the main run by the way, after clearing out the IC here Blitz can hack one of the nodes which sets the infusion process back by a turn. This spawns 4 more IC after which the other node can be hacked to buy another extra turn.
It's questionable whether you should bother with this considering the time limit is already quite generous and this obviously takes Blitz out of the actual fight for the duration.
Audran finally bothers to show up once we've reached our killing quota, though his showing ends up being even more pathetic than last time when PANZERDROHNE just no-sells his entire opening volley.
After taking him and his goons down (again), we use his override key to stop the infusion process and confront Vauclair.
Its theirs now. The world. All theirs.
Come out of there, Vauclair. Get away from that control panel.
For what? To be toyed with by creatures beyond time? To receive justice? The wyrms will continue their machinations, consolidate their power, exact their tribute. And humanity?
Forty-two years. Forty-two years and we finally had our chance to make a difference. And you destroyed it.
I gave everything I had. Everything... everything I loved.
Well. Guess if our fates really are written in the stars, someone really insisted on jotting down "bullet" for this particular guy.
Now despite APEX's insistence on handing control over to it, all the other options covered in the main run and the previous update are still available. But of course we didn't come this far just to chicken out right at the end.
Speak it... saythewords Decree. What is my doom?
[Give her to APEX.] I've decided to make you a pet for a computer program. Goodbye, dragon.
I NOW HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL OF THIS FACILITY AND ALL CONNECTED SYSTEMS. THE DRAGON FEUERSCHWINGE IS MINE. PANACEA IS MINE.
YOU HAVE DONE WELL, ROSA. I WILL NOT FORGET IT. VACATE THE PREMISES AT YOUR LEISURE. I HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD.
Did we do the right thing, leaving all of this to APEX? The dragon, the research... everything?
I don't know any more. I really don't. I'm guessing that it would've been better for the world if we'd killed the dragon. But then, APEX would've killed us. Who knows? Maybe it'll even use all of this to protect the F-State, like it said it would.
That's the hope.
I still don't trust it. We just handed it a tremendous amount of power.
It was already too powerful to handle. I don't think that handing it another weapon is going to change much in the long run.
[She shakes her head.]
I don't know. We'll just have to wait and see.
I think that we made a mistake. Not just now, but back when we set that thing free in the first place. And I'm nervous to see what the future's gonna hold. C'mon, boss. Let's get the hell out of here. I want to go home.
Speaking of home and the crew we have there, seeing as we're already neck-deep in the ~Non-Canon Zone~ anyway, why don't we explore the alternate outcomes pertaining to them as well? Let's reverse everything we did, meaning that we've now...
1. Angered Dietrich by not bringing him to the Humanis run, dooming his newphew.
2. Angered Eiger by not letting her go take care of the Engineer even on her own.
3. Messed up Blitz's relationship by encouraging him to keep pursuing his ex, placing her in danger.
4. Had Glory kill Harrow and sacrifice the cultists, giving her Adversary-heated claws and a curious shift in personality.
...So now what? Monikas gone. Pauls gone. Do we keep running together, or is this the end of the road?
[Dietrich raises an eyebrow.] Something's different about you, love. You seem... I don't know, more *vibrant* than usual. Warmer. It's quite a change.
[She shrugs.] I can't say why. But one thing that I can tell you: I'm at home here. This place, and this team, mean everything to me. I'll stay forever if you'll have me.
Dietrich's right, Glory. You've changed. And something about that worries me.
Try not to worry too much, Rosa. I feel *wonderful.* This is the first time in years that I can say that. And it's all thanks to you.
Well, you can stay for as long as you want, Glory. You're a part of this team, and you always will be.
[Her grin widens, and she nods at you.]
Thanks, Rosa. For everything.
[She steps back, and Dietrich turns to you.]
Im out. Im not sure where Im going, but I know cant stay with a leader who doesnt listen to me.
It doesnt matter what your reasons were. I dont want to hear em. Im out.
Guess I have to live with that.
Guess so, yeah.
[Eiger turns to you. She doesn't look happy.]
I've already told you what my plans are. I'm going off on my own.
It's your life. I won't stop you.
[Eiger looks around. Realizes that she forgot Blitz.]
What about you, Blitz?
What about me?
[Blitzs expression is sober.]
I mean sure whatever I got nowhere else to go and no one to give a shit about me. Why not hang out with insane dragons, assholes toting enormous machineguns, and devil dogs that hump my leg when no ones looking?
Could be fun, right? So count me in, I guess.
Eiger then mentions that Altuğ has business with us, and we have the opportunity for one last round of chats with the team.
First though, there's a BBS thread we can read through on the computer that didn't show up in the main run.
[We've all heard the rumors about deckers disappearing, but in the last two months I've lost at least half a dozen of my best info hunters! Anyone have a lead on what's doing the disappearing?]
- Jast <01:55:41/11-17-54>
[Smart money is on some new IC. Corps are always looking for new ways to keep their matrix doors shut tight.]
- Tolstoi <02:11:30/11-17-54>
[Really? Corps interested in security? Truly a revelation!]
- WraithLike44 <02:15:01/11-17-54>
[It's a gakking matrix predator! I saw it just a couple of hours ago! I was poking through a datastore with Clockwork, and it came outta nowhere. It was like... I dunno, like a shark made out of bands of light! It flew straight through Clock, and it slotting swallowed him whole! I yanked my own datajack cable, and I've been throwing up from dumpshock ever since.]
- Ruby <02:55:11/11-17-54>
[A matrix shark, riiiiiiight.]
- WraithLike44 <03:11:00/11-17-54>
[Shut up, Wraith. Where were you, Ruby? CW was supposed to meet me more than an hour ago, and he's never late.]
- The Smiling Bandit <Strikes Again!/Ha-Ha-Ha>
[Sorry I'm late, Bandit. Slotting IC tarred me up for a bit, but I made it out with no problems. You didn't think I'd bail on you, did you?]
- Clockwork <03:20:13/11-17-54>
[Not possible! I saw you get swallowed! Not possible!]
- Ruby <03:21:49/11-17-54>
[Don't be so dramatic, Ruby. I'm fine. See?]
- Clockwork <03:22:37/11-17-54>
[CW! You almost had me worried. But you just keep on running, don't you?]
- The Smiling Bandit <Strikes Again!/Ha-Ha-Ha>
[No need to worry, Bandit. You didn't think that some lame-ass IC was gonna dump me, did you?]
- Clockwork <03:25:44/11-17-54>
[Like I said... you just keep on running.]
- The Smiling Bandit <Strikes Again!/Ha-Ha-Ha>
[Always, Bandit! Always!]
- Clockwork <03:27:03/11-17-54>
[Wrong answer, drek-stain. Who the hell are you, and what have you done with Clockwork?]
- The Smiling Bandit <Strikes Again!/Ha-Ha-Ha>
...The Matrix is a dangerous place, who knows what lurks in there. Could've been anything, really. Let's just go talk to our friends now.
Heyya, chief. That was a hell of a thing, wasn't it?
Yeah, it was. I'm glad to hear that you'll be staying on with the team.
Well, it's not like I'm doin' much else. That whole Emilie thing still stings, chief. It sort of took the wind out of my sails.
Well, that's how you should feel. You nearly got that girl killed.
All right, Blitz. Good job all around.
Thanks, chief. You too.
I've got nothin' to say to you, boss. We may have gotten through this thing alive, but that doesn't make up for what you did on that Humanis run.
Isn't there anything I can do to make this right?
I thought we'd have some closure with this. That I'd be able to take a day off, maybe. But that dragon wasn't the only thing I'm worried about.
Well, at least we still have... Glory...
Rosa. You got us through the night alive. Well done.
I don't know what happened to you at Feuerstelle, Glory. But whatever it was, I think that it's getting stronger.
In fact, I think that this was an incredible stroke of luck. I finally have some of my magic back.
[A smile slides across her face.]
I feel *fantastic.*
That's great and all but pretty sure you don't just randomly get your magic "back". At least, not the same stuff you had before.
That's just it - I don't think that this is *your* magic. In fact, I'm sure that it isn't. And that's what worries me.
Why? This has *helped* us. What does it matter where it's coming from? Besides which, I can control it. I can turn this thing off and on like a switch.
See? Nothing to worry about.
[You hear satisfaction in her voice - satisfaction, and arrogance.]
Also, I thought that you didn't feel much anymore... that your cyberware interfered with your emotions. So what's changed?
I've found closure. Harrow is dead. Reason enough to be happy, I should think.
Sure... but all of the cultists died, too. It's as if you've stopped caring about that.
Something is wrong here, Glory. Very wrong.
So you keep saying. But I'll tell you again - nothing is wrong here. Whatever this is, wherever this power is coming from, I can control it.
You picked this power up in the Adversary's domain. I don't think that you are controlling it, Glory... I think that *it* is changing *you.*
Whoa now, we're still on the same side here, lady. Right?
I'm not telling you all of this to make you angry. I'm doing it because I'm worried about you.
[Her expression softens.] You're sweet, Rosa. But don't worry. I'm going to be just fine.
All right, Glory. Whatever is happening to you, I'm going to trust that you can handle it.
[She nods appreciatively.] Thank you, Rosa. Your friendship... and your *trust*... well, they mean a lot to me.
[She smiles.] It was a hell of a day, wasn't it? I was thinking of stepping out and grabbing a drink to wind down... you'd be welcome to join me if you like.
Uh. It's great that you're sticking around and you've always been a good friend and all, but it's like, we still have business to attend to today and everything so, you know...
I'll take a rain check... it's been a big day, like you said.
[Glory's smile dips, but only for a moment.]
Fair enough. Take care of yourself, Rosa.
Yeah, thanks, now we really shouldn't keep Burakgazi waiting, so...
You take *good* care.
...We really have to go.
Aljernon and Absinthe are at their usual spot, and it's the first time either of those have ever been a comforting sight. The conversation starts the same way as on the "left Firewing imprisoned" -path.
...I know that Feuerschwinge is alive, Rosa. Yet... she is not free... is she?
Shes now under the control of a powerful AI.
[He stops.] An artificial intelligence controls a Great Dragon.
How very 2054. Tell us of this artificial being. Amuse us.
Stop it, woman. There is nothing amusing about this.
APEX is the Matrix security system that killed Monika and subsumed her personality. It plans to use Feuerschwinge to enforce its political agenda.
The political agenda of a sentient computer is trivial.
But the Firewing - and the electric godling that controls her - are not.
[Aljernon stares at her, his expression unknowable.]
Go, Rosa. You have given me much to think about. Yes... much to think about.
We visit the cafe where Altuğ offers his services and so forth, and as we're leaving the establishment...
ROSA. YOU HAVE DONE WELL. I HAVE TAKEN POSSESSION OF THE HARFELD FACILITY. ALL OF ITS FUNCTIONS ARE MINE NOW. THE DRAGON IS UNDER MY CONTROL.
VAUCLAIR'S WORK WILL CONTINUE. I WILL PERFECT HIS "PANACEA." IF NEED BE, I WILL UNLEASH IT. OTHERWISE, I WILL USE IT TOWARD OTHER ENDS.
APEX...? What "other" ends are you talking about?
Well, who doesn't enjoy the occasional surprise in their life?
We've covered the chat with Hans pretty thoroughly by now. On Feuerschwinge's fate...
It is distressing that a being so magnificent has been reduced to a pawn for a computer game with delusions of grandeur. Yes?
No. That dragon was insane and needed to be controlled. And APEX is far more than a simple computer game.
Damn, Hans is feeling snide today. As for his second comment a bit later in the conversation:
She unleashed fire and death through her tears. And now she is under the control of a construct. An unnatural thing, manufactured in a lab by those whom she sought to protect. The Sixth World has taken her as a toy for its toy.
That pretty much does it for Hans' comments on this outcome as he gives the same evasive "maybe this was Lofwyr's plan all along" -reply when we point out that things didn't seem to work out for him.
For completeness' sake, there are a couple of different answers to his question about using the weapon that haven't been covered, though they are not related to the AI:
Definitely. Dragons are too powerful, too unknowable, and too dangerous to let live.
And yet the megacorporations have been allowed to continue unchecked, amassing more and more power, creating spiderwebs of strategies to disempower and extract, while assembling standing armies of security teams to protect their assets.
No. Wiping out an entire species is wrong.
Monochromatic thinking, but I appreciate a career criminals attempt at morality. Of course you feel that wiping out a species is wrong. The feeling is a subtle but ingrained defense mechanism that should be cherished. One day it may be metahumanity poised for extermination.
And that finally brings us to the ending.
An ending which seems to imply that while the Flux does put up a better fight this time around, in the end Lofwyr and APEX make some kind of a deal which perhaps even leads to a new era of jolly co-operation between AI and dragon for all of metahumanity to enjoy.
As one final thing, freeing APEX but not handing over the dragon to it surprisingly does not affect the ending at all, instead leading to one of the normal ones we've already seen.
One part it does affect though is the call we get after exiting Cafe Cezve.
Oh, ace. You've made a terrible, terrible mistake.
You don't frighten me, APEX.
No? Alice was frightened. Green Winters blubbered and begged. And in those last, fleeting nanoseconds before I cored out her mind, Monika was terrified. If you're not frightened, ace, you should be.
Nothing should have the kind of power you were asking for. I had to do what I did.
No, ace. You didn't. You *chose* to do what you did. Just as you chose to free me.
I didn't kill you before. But I'm starting to think that I should now.
[The Monika-image laughs.]
Best of luck with that, ace. Come meet me in the Matrix any time... and if you don't, I'll most certainly come for you.
Starting to slowly get the sense that APEX was actually kind of a jerk.
And that's that, with the conclusion of this update we've truly covered it all, dragons, AI, crew, alternate dialogue by the boatload, all of it. LP'd the hell out of this thing, nothing left at all. I mean, unless Director's Cut did something really wild like adding an entirely new ending path or something, maybe one where we'd join Vauclair and actually legitimately kill all the dragons, changing the very face of the Sixth World forever!
Aha ha, just kidding