Part 10: Twilight Jokes Are Forbidden.
: "Is it wierd that I'm a little excited about this?"
: "For anyone else, sure. I'd be worried if you WEREN'T excited."
: "Seriously though, this is way better than ghoul hunting."
: "Or shitty hitman hunting."
: "There's such a thing as too much of a good thing. You're planning to head to the Jagged Nails like I suggested, right?"
: "Not yet, I need a nap."
I figured I'd show it, but I've been raising Jake's stats every once in a while when I sneak in heals between screenshots. Jake's gotten pretty tanky by now, which is always a good thing. For the most part, magic isn't quite as important. I tend to use Jake as a mid-battle healer if a runner is dangerously close to dying. Otherwise they can wait for the carnage to die down so Kitsune can do her thing. Jake also gets some cooler spells later, but we can slack on the magic level for now.
I want to know if this guy had to roll over all the mook corpses to make enough room for him to duck under the bushes. He probably should have taken the hint.
: "Last time I was in here, there were as many customers as there were bartenders."
: "Heh heh."
: "What, are you just going to hang out here with Glutman?"
: "I was kind of supposed to be on stage all night, I don't imagine Darrin and Cecil will have anything nice to say about me jumping ship mid-performance."
: "You know, I didn't actually think about that. Hopefully they don't recognize me as the guy who stole their show."
: "Just pop in, see what they know about Dark Blade, and come back out."
: "Alright, back in a few."
: "...So uh, you like Legend of Zelda?"
I just wanted to throw this in, I never tried asking him about Kitsune before. It seems he might not be as excited about Kitsune's singing as everyone else .
If you didn't have Kitsune to talk to, you can get the Vampires key word by asking him about Dark Blade. But you also still need to get the Dark Blade keyword from Kitsune, so what the hell are you even doing?
Our other bartender friend has some better information, apparently some vampire got all shit off because of some blinking lights. You'd think if you were sensitive to blinking lights, a dance club would be the last place you'd hang out at.
: "We just got a new lighting rig. Makes the place look much nicer. The old ones are around here somewhere."
Back over to the other bar.
Now we've got the strobes! We can use these to piss off any vampires we find.
: "OK but bring it back when you're finished."
: "I'll be honest, you're never seeing these again."
: "How about the Wastelands? You don't work there after all."
: "Yeah, no thanks. Last time I was there, this wierdo wouldn't leave me alone. Went by... Jack boy or something."
: "Was that the one with the sunglasses? Or the one I shot?"
: "I'm assuming, and hoping, the latter."
New runner time! Wastelands actually has the most runners per club, while all the others have two (Jagged Nails has three if you count Kitsune), Wastelands has four. We already met Anders and Jetboy, so let's see who else is around.
: "You're instantly hired."
Norbert is just plain great. He packs an Uzi, has 60 health and a mesh jacket, and hangs around for a ridiculous amount of time. If you keep him healed up, he can stick around long enough for you to forget that runners leave the party.
As a result, he's a bit pricey, although still a fairly good price for end-game runners. Also this line is why Norbert is one of my favourites.
We can even manage to negotiate Norbet's price down a bit. 1500 bills are more than enough to roll in.
: "And then he says 'I guess this is a WHERE-house'"
: "I don't get it."
: "Like, instead of 'Ware', it's 'Where'."
: "Like as in Werewolf?"
: "What? No, that's fucking stupid. That's not even a joke. Who would laugh at that?"
: "I'm so using that with Kitsune when we go back to the docks."
The next new runner is this fellow, who's... staring at a wall?
Interestingly, he has a Troll's portrait, but an Orc's sprite. I guess having a troll runner would probably break things.
Didn't Hamfist say something like this too? Why is everyone so defensive about their intelligence?
While Hamfist had some skills in computer, Frogtongue here is just a straight up bruiser. Maybe he's just upset about living the orcs = dumb muscle stereotype.
Frogtongue has 70 health and an assault rifle, as well as a bulletproof vest. With Kitsune as a mage and Jake as cyber-magic-shotgun-Jesus, this rounds out Team Pain pretty well.
Frogtongue is a bit cheaper than Norbert, but not as versatile. Or jovial
: "Alright, so just to get you up to speed, I died and woke up in a morgue, got stuffed in the caryards by my old boss, killed literally everyone in there including the king, activated a bomb in my head, destroyed a street gang, DEACTIVATED a bomb in my head, met and hired a woman with a tail, killed an octopus disguised as my abusive ex-girlfriend, shot up a magic dude in the sewers and unleashed a jester spirit on the world. Now I'm on a mission to interrogate a bunch of vampires using disco lights to find out the name of the spirit."
: "Har! Sounds like an awesome night!"
: "I know, right?"
: "Sorry, I zoned out around when you got the bomb in your head. Is that still an issue?"
: "Cool. Let's roll."
So NOW what? This is sort of an infamous sticking point. If you're lucky enough to have Kitsune in the party, she points you towards the Dark Blade, if not, you have to specifically seek her out. Dog might say a bit, but I don't think he mentions the Dark Blade at all. Even if he does, he sure as fuck won't direct you to the Jagged Nails. Even WITH Kitsune's direction, we have the strobes, but where can we go now? If we try to assail the Dark Blade right now, we're stymied by a locked gate anyway, and no amount of shotguns, uzis, or assault rifles can get through that. We need to find someone who would know about evil, magical creatures...
: "I feel like I'm forgetting something."
By the way, there's some dummied out dialogue that implies that Norbert and the owner of the nearby gun store (Who's name is Vivyan apparently) are buddies. The dialogue is still in the game, but the keyword Norbert isn't actually obtainable.
: "Hello again child. You kind of bought out my entire stock last time, I don't have anything to sell."
: "That's cool, actually I was wondering if you knew anything about the Dark Blade."
: "How are your magical learnings coming along?"
: "The doggie told me to kill a dude in the sewer."
: "The spirits work in mysterious ways."
She sadly doesn't know anything about our friend Jester Spirit. Still, she was able to point us in the right direction to find the Dark Blade. She's the only one who will give us this phone number.
One problem, there's no phones in Old Town. Some of the clever among you may have noticed that we could have avoided this entire side trip due to some stuff I did earlier specifically to avoid this side trip.
This is what the Dark Blade manor looks like from outside, there's nothing specifically indicating that this is the DB house, but the gargoyles make it a bit obvious.
And here's that one screen where you see the 'graveyard' There's nothing ON this screen, and you'll only ever see it before now if you take a wrong turn.
By the way, ever since we got that password from the Rust Stilettos, we can totally siege Drake tower. The enemies in there are leveled for way later though, it can be dangerous, but profitable. For the sake of the narrative I'm probably going to keep out until we're supposed to be there.
So here's the deal, we need a phone so we can call up the Dark Blade. We have a phone in our apartment, sure, but that's all the way back on Tenth street. Where is a closer phone?
: "I just want to use the phone"
: "And I just want to get out of Seattle. Pay up."
Oops! We totally could have just called the Talisman shop instead of taking the subway! With an added bonus, we could have also hung up and immediately called the Dark Blade. Either way, we accomplished the same thing, we just took longer.
I want to imagine Jake is thinking of the phrase "DBlade" in the same tone as "Dbag"
: "Damn, I should have saved that 'Why so blue' comment."
: "What can I help you with?"
So here's another sticking point. If we ask Johan here about the Jester Spirit, he tells us we have the wrong number. He also says this about any topic he doesn't care about, so it might be that he straight up doesn't know about it. Johan's just a bit player, we want someone with some clout. But how do we get them to come out?
: "Jake pulls out his Magic Fetish"
Now THAT got his attention!
: "Jake feels a strange pulling sensation."
: "--lways a point where everyone gets so mad that everyone else gets mad and starts killing each other. Then goblins show up."
: "You'd be surprised how far a good dining room can take you. The new version even let's you see the gruesome stuff they carve on the wall! Yar har!"
: "I still prefer the ascii graphics, honestly, even after the Matrix enabling update."
: "Hey, I agreed to give a potentially evil artefact to a being of immense power in exchange for the Jester Spirit's name."
: "Isn't it Laughlyn?"
: "Yeah, but no one's said it in bold yet."
: "Also Laughlyn is NOT a better name than Kitsune."
: "You're more in a position to smack me in the face with magic, so I agree."
Johan opened the gates, so we can go right in.
I think you're contractually obligated to have dead spooky trees in your yard when you're a vampire. Vampires have a tough union.
: "Damn, this place is HUGE."
: "Man, I'm in the wrong profession."
: "Oh hey, we just talked over the phone."
: "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask you to leave the premises."
: "I hear that line every time I'm in a fancy place like this."
: "Dude, we talked on a video phone like two minutes ago, about the Magic Fetish, remember?"
: "Yeah suddenly now you remember what's up."
: "A vampire named Vladimir. How stereotypical do you think we're going to get?"
: "Oh god it's like a Saturday morning cartoon!"
: "Ha ha! You could say this place sucks!"
: "Your puns are driving me batty!"
: "That joke bites."
: "I'mma torch this place to the ground! Har!"
: "Batty, oh man I liked that one."
: "You're a terrible influence."
: "You come here on business? I'd be happy to have you for dinner!"
: "Hee hee. As much as I'm loving this shit, I came here about this Magic Fetish."
: "An amulet inscribed with a bat? You have my interest. What do you ask for such a prize?"
: "I need to know the name of the Jester Spirit."
: "Alright cool, let me ju--"
: "Ooh a computer, I'll give you the fetish in a sec."
: "Hey, get away fro--"
: "Pff, you guys are using the same cheap-shit Control System Glutman was using? I think he only used it because it was free."
Welcome to Vlad's computer network! He might have tons of money, but he didn't invest a cent into network security. I'm legitimately embarrassed for the dude.
Fucking look at this, one single IC was in the way, and it went down in a single attack. All the other IC was away from the network nodes.
Same thing up here, what the hell is this shit Vlad?! Pay your fucking network admin! I feel disgusted for having spent time in this garbage network. I'm tempted to kick his ass solely for his lack of giving a shit about his network. I raided three nodes and only saw two IC. That's two thirds of an IC per node.
We got a single data file. The other two nodes were full of trash data that we immediately discarded. I'm going to punch this guy square in the bat-balls.
Sensing the impending crotch carnage, Vlad makes a break for it.
: "Oh god oh god oh god"
: "What?! Is that a thing that vampires can DO?"
: "I feel like it's bullshit, but I don't know enough about vampires to argue."
: "Hyar! I can go through walls!"
: "You can?"
: "Aye! Give me twenty minutes and an axe!"
: "Maybe we should just go the long way."
: "Give me twenty seconds and some explosives!"
Apparently Johan got the message that Vlad's no longer our friend, so he decides to attack us.
He's not a clever man.
In this room we start seeing new enemies. Cruel Man and Street Samurai. Cruel Man is just a beefed up mage, and Street Samurai is a cheap knock off of Anders. If you haven't been keeping up with your levels, the street samurai can ruin your day.
When I was recording this, I missed the HUGE OBVIOUS GIANT KEY ON THE BOOKSHELF somehow. I'm probably the least qualified person to actually be doing this LP.
: "Hey that guy dropped something extra with his money."
Free mesh jacket! We can actually sell the jacket we're wearing, but the shop keeper tells you to piss off if you try to sell him this one, saying it's evil or some shit. Stat-wise they're identical.
I also gave Kitsune the leather jacket we had lying around, since she doesn't have the strength to wear a mesh one. The only magic users with strength above one is Jangadance and Dances with Clams.
The room we were in before magically filled with mooks. Nothing special.
: "Who DESIGNED this place?!"
: "Now this was the kind of dining room I was talking about, lass."
: "I think I see what you mean."
Inside the kitchen, a cruel man and a samurai are just kind of hanging out. Raiding the fridge for snacks will not be tolerated. You probably don't want a vampire's snacks anyway.
Yeah you probably don't want any snacks from a kitchen with a crypt gate in it.
So here's the deal. The ghouls down here are BAD-ASS. They have a ton of health, do a ton of damage, and your runners will insist on fighting every single one like idiots. The best thing to do is to just bolt.
: "Blarhar! Bones and dust! Bones and dust!"
: "Come ON Norbert, we've got shit to do."
In this room, there are four 'boss' ghouls. They can throw their head at you and kill your runners really fast. Once again, run right past them. The pittance of karma you get isn't worth paying a runner again.
Yeah, Vlad, I'm not so sure you're a good guy.
Vlad is effectively invincible, since vampires are badasses. What do we do?
: "Let's get this party started, Motherfucker!"
: "Any way you want it, that's the way you need it!"
That 1 is from Vlad socking me in the jaw, not from the strobes. The ghouls did more damage than he does.
Vampire! We blinded him, but NOW what?
: "You know, if Vlad is THAT stereotypical of a vampire..."
: "...You just happened to be carrying a stake?"
: "Hey, the way my night's been going, I NEED to stay prepared."
Let's make with the stabbin'!
: "I'll tell you anything! Anything! Just keep that stake away from me!"
: "I need that name!"
: "That's it?! I was going to tell you the name if you gave me the amulet!"
: "Then you shouldn't have ran! Tell me the name of the Jester Spirit!"
: "There! How hard was that! You shouldn't have ran, then I would have given you the amulet."
: "You shouldn't have jacked into my computer without my permission!"
: "Hey that's right, I never did read that e-mail."
: "Er, wait, hold on"
: "Vlad you're seriously pissing me off."
One apparently wasn't enough, so let's try again. Stabby stabby!
: "This room is full of skeletons! Cut the bullshit and tell me the name of the Jester Spirit!"
: "There, finally. Christ."
: "I told you what you wanted, now go away!"
: "Alright fine. We'll get out of your hair."
: "Wait, really?"
: "Haha nope!"
The third stab kills him. There's a fail safe here where as long as you don't know the right keywords, Vlad won't die properly, so you can't accidentally kill him without getting the Laughlyn keyword. This game has lots of ways to keep you from fucking yourself.
Also if you're wondering, you CAN give Vlad the magic fetish. It doesn't effect you in any way, but he gives you the name Nirwanda, meaning you'll get all the way to Bremerton only to say Nirwanda, and Jester Spirit will kick sand in your face and laugh. You HAVE to shank him with the stake, so you might as well keep your crap. Plus it's funnier to watch him run away in terror after looking up his browser history. Decking, apparently, counts as a hostile action.
And here's our stats to cap this update off. Next time, we're off to Bremerton! Apparently!