The Let's Play Archive

Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones

by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 6: It's not Unoriginality, it's CANON!

Last time on Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones, we got a quest to shamelessly rip off The Whisperer in Darkness because this game is an endless fount of creativity. Today it's gonna take us to some really, really stupid places!

Last time a random dude ran up to us and gave us a note. These are the contents: go to Henry Akeley Stanley Fredkin's house and there's gonna be an escape. Now we all know this is gonna end badly but there's XP and maybe some ANGST on the line!

: Knock on the door.

It never ceases to amaze me that the people who write these "story-rich" games are completely unable to let the dialogue convey information about the speaker. The dialogue is blunt and ungrammatical, we do not need the description of a blunt and uneducated voice!

: Mr. Fredkin is expecting me.

: You hear the clicking of the lock and the door creaks to let you in.

The game immediately takes control so this guy can walk us to the drawing room and tell us Stanley is waiting there.

Oh no he's all ominous and shit!

: Welcome, madam! Thanks for coming on such short notice. Forgive my threadbare appearance, my studies have left me completely exhausted. Honestly, I ought to rest and recover.

: I can examine you if you're concerned about your health. (Medicine)

: It seems you've solved the situation with the rustic looking man.

Now, if you'll remember, last update Stanley said the rustic man worked for his employer. Unfortunately because this game was written by the Stygian developers, we don't get the opportunity to call him out on it.

: Why wouldn't you discuss this with me before?

: So now you know how to leave this place?

: Precisely. It is past time I leave this filthy nest of apes behind me forever, but as you can see my ill health won't allow me to complete my work.

: What are all these machines? I thought your interest was in folklore.

: But you need my help first, right?

This attempt at flattery is just embarrassing.

: How are you planning to get out of here?

: Who are these connections?

It's the Whisperer in Darkness. It's space aliens. Really. There was all that foreshadowing about the Winged Ones for a reason.

: Tell me what I need to do.

: Right to the point. I like that. A few essential parts are needed to complete my research: a longwave radio transmitter, an electrical conductor, and some formaldehyde.

I am pretty sure this is the brain in a jar shit from Whisperer

: Where can I find them?

Ah yes, the well known drug store "Drug Store".

: Don't die before we finish the job, Stanley.

: You worry about the task at hand. My illness dictates that I rest now. We'll talk more later, my friend.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: How do you do, fellow human? Pay no attention to my much more ominous character portrait.

: You look pretty sick, I know medicine, need any help?

: It's cool, so long as I'm not insane we'll be fine.

: What about the rustic man?

: He is a faithful servant of mine.

: That's not what he said last, I better not question it. Why didn't you bring up any of this stuff earlier?

: My fellow human contacts wouldn't let me do it! Now we can escape this primitive world of apes once you go do a fetch quest for me! I need a radio transmitter, some formaldehyde, and an electrical conductor and then we can go to space or something!

: Eh, why not? Where can I find this stuff?

: Go ask Richter at the Drug Store.

On our way to the drug store we are accosted by...a random cutscene in the street!

Specifically, a red light flashes in the window of this ruined house! I've been waiting for this since the game started, actually, but we're not going to deal with that right now, we're going to the drug store!

Because this is Stygian Richter is an evil drug dealer and not just your friendly neighborhood pharmacist - and make no mistake, Richter is evil.

: I'm here for some formaldehyde.

: Can't you produce it in your lab?

: Let's see... The main component of formaldehyde turns out to be methyl alcohol. Hmm, there should be a pretty high methyl alcohol outpost at the Distillery because of that charlatan Wheat's crude distilling methods.

: Where is this distillery?

: Who is this Wheat you mentioned?

: Another thing...

: Do you know where I can find a radio transmitter?

: A transmitter? It won't be easy to find such a delicate machine part in Arkham... (He continues after a short pause) I would try the French Hill streets though. I've heard a man called Dumitrescu resides there.

: Another thing...

: What kind of medicine do you sell here?

: What about real medicine?

: I have a bit of this and a bit of that, but what do you stand to gain by living a few more years or preserving your health? This is not the old world, my friend. I know it may be difficult because of your age.

: That's also how I look at things. We've got to pursue whatever eases our pain.

: (He smiles) I think you'll have many opportunities for that in this town if you meet the right people.

: Let me see your stock.

: Of course. Everyone in this town wants to peruse Uncle Richter's stock. Why should you be an exception?

I sell off a lot of crap here, we're going to be needing Cigs very soon.

TheGreatEvilKing summarizes this shit posted:

: A ha ha, yes, a new customer!

: Got any formaldehyde?

: No, but if you bring me some methyl alcohol from the Mob distillery I can make some.

: Sounds good. Know where I can find a radio transmitter?

: Yes, there's a scientist who lives in French Hill. He should be able to help you.

: So, what else you got?

: Wanna get hiiiiiigh?

: Hell yeah gimme them sanity points.

We need those cigs to get Bertha some real magic so we can actually be a powerful sex wizard.

A shirtless dude and a demon? Holy shit Bertha is down for this!

Really? We're a trained sorcerer in a secret society centered around debauchery, and you're telling me we eat a sanity penalty for seeing a shirtless dude in a candle circle summon a shadow demon? What the fuck, game?

: (Soon after, you come to realize this man must have been condemned to some kind of torture that ultimately crippled both his flesh and soul)

Look, I get that heathen is the language Lovecraft used. It also made no fucking sense when he used it because he wrote a story parodying Christ's crucifixion.

: You dare to summon a daemon? Have you never been warned about the consequences? (Occult)

The sad thing is that having a demon buddy who can tear shit up is probably the smartest thing you could be doing right now. Unfortunately the demonologist archetype was struck from the game because it started with an actually useful attack spell.

: Never mind my guest. You know what I'll do after I'm done with you? I'll send your charred corpse as a parting gift to your masters! So they can learn to leave Krogh alone!

You should join our party instead.

: I just saw the light of the ritual from the street.

: Hey! I'm Bertha. No eating my eyes, all right?

: For a few minutes?

: Aaaaaah!

: (Ignoring you, Krogh concentrates on breathing deeply for a while, before he could whisper again) I cannot let you go.

: Can't we find a solution where both of us live?

:: I...I think I saw something when I entered the room.

: I'm sure it involves doing blasphemous things.

Keep your pants on Bertha, jeez.

That sure is convenient!

: How reassuring.

I'm getting real Fire Emblem Fates vibes from this conversation.

: Come on! We can find another solution...

This is some teenage fanfiction tier shit right here.

This is actually pretty great because he has some magic to sell us. I would say extremely powerful magic, but the developers literally ripped their spell upgrade system out of the game because it broke all their code. There's still some stuff worth casting, but Bertha and that crowbar are going to become very good friends.

Fair enough.

: We'll see. I am curious about some things, however...

Did I mention the developers cited Vampire: The Masquerade as an inspiration for this game?

: Do you have any idea what this statuette represents? (Show him the clay figurine)

I legitimately do not know why us not knowing about Cthulhu is a plot point. It's a Lovecraft game. This is like people in Jack Chick tracts not knowing who Jesus is.

: The Sheiks of the Cult have been telling us they could feel its presence nearby. I even heard that a band of cultists actually saw his majesty in full glory, rising on the horizon.

: Would you like to barter?

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: You must die, cult dog!

: Is that a demon? Are you fucking nuts?

: What does it matter? I am very tormented! Now you must die you crazy cultist, the cult will not find me!

: Actually I just saw your ritual light from across the street.

: Well, I would like to be friends, but you must die soon.

: Can you ID this statue?

: This is a Lovecraft game, it's Cthulhu. Actually, the demon possessing me taught me a magic curse that will kill you if you say my name.

: Wa-

: Cursus Maximus! We can be BFFs now! Want to buy some magic?

: Dope.

Ok, some of this shit rules.

We absolutely want this. It costs 612 Cigs, but it's a paralysis spell.

200 some Cigs of scavenging and reselling later, I go back to Krogh and get the spell.

Incidentally, we can take the Cthulu statue to Isidore and he is not happy and tells us to take it out of his shop. We can also talk him into accepting cigarettes to buy artifacts instead of random keys. Score!

We have one more person to talk to before we wander off to the distillery to do stupid shit.

: How can I refuse such a beauty?

Now, you might ask why I'm taking the flirty option. This is Lovecraft's IRL wife he married for like 2 years before their marriage broke down because he was an awkward dork. Are the Stygian devs gonna let me cuckold Lovecraft?

She punishes us with awful writing.

Randolph Carter is Lovecraft's exact self-insert for when he goes on Dreamlands adventures ripping off Lord Dunsany.

: I don't know if I've seen him but the name does not ring a bell.

: How did you get separated?

: I'm sorry but I should be looking for him. Good bye.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Can you help me?

: Damn sure girl you hot.

: I'm looking for my husband, have you seen him?

: Uh, no.

: Ok, bye!

As Richter said, we have to leave the city to go to the Mafia bootleg distillery.

Oh boy she wants to talk about Jesus I guess.

: And I'll say to them, yes I'll say it! (She seems to be rehearsing a speech prepared for her yet unseen adversaries) You brutes! You will stop this at once! How can you condemn innocent people to such a fate?

: Excuse me, but this doesn't look like a good place to wander alone.

: Well, for one you've got your life to lose.

: How did he die?

: I'm sorry, madam.

: You mentioned that something was troubling Harold.

: My husband was the mayor's assistant. He... He had a disturbing experience at work, some while before the Black Day.

: What exactly happened to him?

: A man in black? Do you know anything else about him?

It is a recurring theme in this game that we need to do no actual investigation as the next plot point will be spoon-fed to us without fail in some kind of unskippable cutscene.

: (She seems uncomfortable) Oh, I don't want to think about it anymore. I don't know what to make of Harold's account, it's all too hard to digest. But my Harold never recovered from that incident.

: Do you mind if I take a look at that journal?

: I can pay for that diary.

: Look, they'll kill you right away. Let me handle this.

: I'll be back.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: I'm gonna tell them that they're mean poopy heads! That'll show them! Yea!

: Uh, this is not a good idea.

: Why not? They should fear Jesus, like me! They killed my husband!

: What happened?

: He...there was a man in black, when he worked for the mayor and he never recovered. It was VERY SPOOKY! I have his diary here.

: Can I read it? I have money.

: No! I must stop the distillery!

: I know a plot hook when I see one, I'll deal with it.

: Praise Jesus!

Remember the outsider's conversation request? It comes down to this line.

Notice how she's not even there?

: You are an interesting creature.

Incidentally, because we're playing a woman, we might be able to romance the Outsider. If this comes up I'll have a vote.

Supposedly you can use the Medicine skill to cure this guy's syphilis. Every time I've interacted with him it has started a fight. It's not very interesting, but there are a few things worth noting here.

Whenever you cast a spell against generic human enemies like these mobsters here, all the enemies who witness it take sanity damage. It's kind of awesome actually.

This is blood circle. It's not very hygenic.

Once cast, it creates a circle on the ground that absorbs a surprisingly high amount of HP but if you leave it breaks. As it costs HP to cast, you generally cast it in a choke point to not die, as everything in the game rushes you in melee anyway.

See that mobster in front? We drove him insane by invoking the dark powers repeatedly until he couldn't take anymore.

Anyway all the mobsters get beaten to death by crowbar and we get some loot, XP, and ANGST!


Earlier in the game posted:

: Here you go. (Pay Eduardo 20 Cigs).

We want Eduardo around because he has good fighting skills and also arbitrarily doesn't count against our party limit.

: (Smile Back) Let's go.

Next time: Distilleries! Smashing! Child abuse! Making Grown Men Cry!