The Let's Play Archive

The 3rd Birthday

by The Dark Id

Part 19: I Am Russo

New Music: Uncontrol

Well… This is happening now. Aya Brea is on top of a speeding subway train presumably hijacked by the Twisted. Or a rogue ghost, perhaps? Who knows! We’ll be given no explanation as to how or why this sequence is occurring. Also, this subway car is moving about 40+ MPH on a straight path for a solid three minutes. I’m fairly certain there isn’t that much straight tunnel in any part of mid-town Manhattan. But details…

[What now? She can't just jump off!]
[Don't worry - she doesn't have to.]

Yeah, don’t be such a drama queen, Blank. Everyone knows the NYC metro tunnels have a clearing height high enough for three grown adults to stand atop one another’s shoulders and still have several feet of clearance. And Giuliani had invisible wall safety nets installed atop all subway trains following 9/11. It’s perfectly safe for Aya to combat a horde of Blue Slacker and momentum ignoring Wad Twisted on this speeding train car.

And not to worry, help arrives in the form of another train car slamming into the back of our runaway train. Firmin Hannawald has some real ass comrades, I’ll tell you what.

Erskine Becker and Manuel Zhu take no prisoners as they lay into the swarm of Twisted trying to reenact the end of Speed. Just an aside here as we cruise down the abandoned subway. This mission takes place a good 11 months before the events of the intro depicting the seemingly untouched Manhattan. Grand Central Terminal and the entire metro system of Manhattan has been a nest of pan-dimensional aliens for at least a year’s time, with nobody saying boo or being worried. Just for some perspective on how poorly put together this series’ timeline of events is orchestrated.

As for actually combatting the Twisted in these close quarters. And let’s be real here: this is just effectively a tight hallway with a fancy skybox. There are zero effects of being on a speeding train. Aya and her enemies possess the exact same movement speed, there are no obstacles to be avoided, and there is no time limit to conclude the battle. You could transport this fight to a sterile gray corridor and achieve the same gameplay.

As for the actual combat here, the Twisted mostly spawn in on the far end of the train cars from Aya and will shamble towards her. If we just wait until they reach Aya and roll past as they fruitlessly attempt to strike her i-frames, the Slackers will all bunch together. Those boys don’t exactly turn on a dime and cannot phase through one another.

And the best way to deal with grouped enemies is, of course, lobbing a grenade in their general direction. No worries. The invisible wall works on loose grenades rolling about.

Once that’s sorted out, Aya only needs to deal with the stragglers and probably a stray Wad or two, whose AI has absolutely no idea what to do in a tight corridor setting.

Once the last of the Twisted are dealt with, Aya’s out of control ride crashes headlong into a mass of Babel roots and…

…I cannot believe Aya Brea is fucking dead! I mean, I’d be surprised if they somehow had her miraculously survive a train derailing at full speed in a collapsed tunnel while she was standing unsecured on the top of the thing. But he—

Music: Pain of Assault

Oh wait. Never mind. She just stands right up a few seconds later after being flung headlong into the pavement. False alarm. Had those other two soldiers survived the fight, they would have both died on impact and vanished between scenes. Glad we went with durable tough man Erskine Becker.

Following the crash, Aya has managed to find herself smack dab in the last Snatcher nest in the tunnels and in the middle of a massive clusterfuck of about a dozen of the creatures. A small detachment of Delta Force operatives rush in to see what the hell was going on with a train crashing, much less running in the first place, in these derelict tunnels.

Having at least 5-6 Snatchers moving in from all directions makes for a quite hairy battle. Poor Aya’s outfit was not able to stand against the onslaught of four mine orbs firing off camera and into her rear end all at once. And then the Stalker warping into a fight directly above her to immediately snag her for processing into the human meat grinder dimension.

But, I wasn’t entirely correct about there being no way to free Aya if she’s snagged by a Snatcher. She will become released should she enter Liberation mode as soon as she is ensnared by a Twisted. And since we’re in Liberation Mode…

Erskine Becker, it’s time to die for your country in a blaze of glory as a time traveling magic woman detonates every cell in your body for an easy instant-win. Your comrades will honor your sacrifice.

And hey. Technically nobody was taken away by a Snatcher. Job well done, Aya. You did some fine work here today. You’re getting a big fat paycheck bonus for that that skillful use of converting unsuspecting soldiers into tactical nukes.

[She doesn't need me anymore.]
[Come on, Chief. Don't say that. We have trust in you!]
[Trust can sometimes be a dangerous thing.]
[Yeah, that’s not ominous or anything.]
[Just thinking aloud.]

Music: Dive Into Cause

That concludes Chapter 3-2. But we are not quite done with the mission yet. Following the Snatcher nest, Aya finds herself in another makeshift Delta Force outpost. Let’s see what the troops are up to in their downtime.

All my friends are dying... Something's not right. What's going on?
Look how close we've gotten to the interior!

You know they're going to cover this up.
Heart rate 98... That's approaching sinus tachycardia. I guess even I can get wound up.
Chester, stay calm. At this point, it's all we have.
Heart rate, respiration, body temp, blood pressure, pupillary response, waste output... If I neglect any of these, I can't do my best work.
You’re just afraid you’re going to shit your pants just like Fearon did.
We’re in a subway tunnel. Not a sewer. We can all smell it, Darnel.
That’s not going to happen to me. That’s not happening. I’m at my peak. My peak.

Before we proceed to the conclusion of this episode, let’s sort out a bit of inventory in the future. The AS-20 Sniper Rifle has unlocked since our last log-in. Maybe I’ll buy one sometime. But this is not that day.

Indeed, the only thing we’re going to do here is give Aya’s mental avatar a bit of dignity and repair her shredded clothes. Part of me was disappointed they didn’t bother to put in any of Aya’s costumes from Parasite Eve 1 or 2 as bonus outfits. But then I realized they’d be subject to the same creepy injured fan service mechanics and ehh… I’m good.

Before we move on out of the safe zone and into the final area, Hyde phones up one last time…

[There are no records of you having a younger sister named Eve. But we'll keep looking. I don't think you're lying about having a sister. The records could have been deleted by someone. I'll let you know if I find anything.]

Aya Brea, do not tell me you got lazy and just fudged the paperwork when adopting your clone. That is incredibly irresponsible. Now you’ve got amnesia and you look like a damn fool caught with your pants down with no documentation. Sheesh. No wonder you’re such a mess.

Heading out from the safe zone, we find ourselves at the bottom of a massive sinkhole overlooking several abandoned cars and some wrecked buildings. Again, this is supposed to be January 2012. The intro movie with the Babels emerging and wrecking Manhattan was December 2012. There has been no timeline fuckery. This mission was already mentioned way back in the initial timeline prior to any Overdive plot shenanigans.

Hey, Deok. Yeah you. Deok Lamprecht. What the hell are you pointing at there? I know it’s an impressive display of ruin. But have some trigger discipline. There is supposed to be civilians up there, ya kn—

Music: Time of Insanity

WHOOPS! Never mind! Open fire!

For the final battle in this big open pit, we’ve got an absolute mess of (just a starter) a pair Rollers, a Rover, a handful of Wads, and a Bean up high.

This is also an introduction to the upgraded Beans. They look and operate exactly like the original recipe. Only now they can teleport to different positions on the map. Mostly, those that are obnoxiously out of the way from normal interception.

Though this new variety of Bean does have a fatal flaw in the form of… Well… I mean let’s be honest here. Beans already looked like a pair of legged butts in their closed forms. That’s just an asshole we’re looking at through this sniper scope…

Sure enough, sticking some hot lead up its bung-hole is enough to both highly damage the bean and cancel its regeneration/defended cycle, leaving it stunned and ready for an Overdive Kill and whatever other punishment it needs to finish the fight.

Once Aya has chewed through a significant chunk of the Twisted in the area, a second wave warps into the battleground. This time it begins with a pair of Rovers, a Roller, and another squadron of Wads. Buuuuuut… that isn’t too much to worry about.

For you see, as soon as we either knock out a couple of the lesser baddies or survive for about thirty seconds, Blank calls in and informs… well Hyde for some reason… but regardless, there is another satellite cannon targeting system in play!

Radd Ichikawa is here to bring fury from the heavens. Hell yeah! Most appropriate random name yet.

The remainder of this battle is just hanging out in almost complete cover and rain death upon the battlefield. Upgraded Beans, Rovers, and Rollers all stand zero chance against a single shot from the orbital cannon.

Hey, Sheik. You gonna get Ottkeway or what? That Rover isn’t playing around, buddy. No? No, you’re just going to stand there taking pot shots. Welp… I gave you a fair warning, guy.

Pictured: Our game’s heroine, Aya Brea, literally vaporizing a comrade.

Also again, before we conclude this battle, I’d like to again remind you that a satellite weapon is raining death down on central Manhattan 11 months before things supposedly went to shit. I’ll have to look back to see if the Twisted were supposed to be some covered up myth still at this point.

Music: Girl in the Dream

As is usual par for the course, the rest of the soldiers present on the battlefield just moments earlier have instantly cleared out so Radd Ichikawa can have what outwardly appears to be a psychotic episode.

Aya attempts to contact the elusive Captain Russo, but her communications are met only with static. I’m not sure how we were getting crystal clear radio reception earlier in the tunnels. But there are many details off here.

Aya coughs on a bit of the vaporized Twisted particles, asbestos, and whatever other nasty particles would be floating around a sinkhole in the middle of Manhattan before noticing something that catches her eye…

Well, it’s a good thing none of the Delta Force operators, whose mission was to destroy the Big Orb in the subway system, actually took the time to fire on the Big Orb in the subway system. They must have known Aya Brea was coming to have an anime bullshit session and aborted the operation. It was very kind of them.

[A ghost?]
[No way!]
[Who would we even call?!]

Blank, please don’t read ahead in The 3rd Birthday’s script. You’re going to ruin it for everyone else.

Aya is... seeing the possibility of Eve's existence!
She's seeing the “possibility”?
I… Could you clarify what that means?
*breathes deeply* No.
I see…

I don't know.

Aya, let’s think about this. Even if you could reach the unstuck from time theoretical wave existence that is your clone little sister… how are you going to get her back to the future? Did you even think about that, Aya Brea? Did you?

New Music: Monodrama

Aya, are you prepared for some Monodrama?

The soldier throws off his helmet…

…I beg your pardon? Is this supposed to be some sort of plot twist. I mean the dramatic reveal and music would suggest so but uhh… Little help here, control?

Now I’m going to assume the mugshot Blank is pulling up is the actual Captain Danny Russo. I’m really not sure if that was supposed to be Cray impersonating Russo the entire time ala Miller/Liquid Snake in Metal Gear Solid. Especially, since neither of them have a particularly distinct voice even before a radio filter is applied. And even then… it’s not like Russo did anything besides reporting in a few times telling Aya to hurry the hell up.

You know what? Don’t worry about it!

Hyde hits a button presumably connected to CTI’s PA system…

He has compromised a mission from January 2012. He must be stopped at all costs!

Computer nerd Blank hops out of his chair and peels out of the Overdive room. Yeah, no need to monitor Aya and yank her out incase things go sideways. You go track down Cray or take a shit or whatever it is you gotta do, guy.

Cray circles around Aya toward the Big Orb. I’m sure this all has a reasonable explanation. This would have been a really weird revelation if we hadn’t bothered going back in time to prevent Cray from getting killed a few days earlier in that last timeline.


My… only daughter.

Ehh… Guy, your daughter looks an awfully lot like a young Aya. But hey, you’re clearly loving this shit. I won’t spoil your fun with pesky details.

I did it. I killed everyone.
…Umm. I’m not certain about that. The Twisted did get a lot of them. And there was the couple… unfortunate Overdive… accidents… And some collateral damage with the satellite weapon…
No. This is all just as I planned. I got them all. Even the ones that just ran out after that fight.

Does that mean you were Russo, or… I’m just trying to follow this, Cray.
What? No… I’m not Russo. I just got mixed up. I was excited… I’ve waited for this moment…

I'll protect her.


Cray! Eve!

So if you're really confused right now! Good. Congrats! Ditto! I have no idea what all of this is supposed to be or where it came from! I strongly feel like the script was eaten by a dog on Toriyama's writing staff right around here. Especially considering what happens following this episode's conclusion. Why did Cray covertly murder his own team off-camera? How does he know Aya is here (remember she looks like some nobody Delta Force guy!) Why does she think (the quantum theory of) Eve that is hanging out in the Babel Orb is his daughter? You got me!

Tune in next time for the confusing and likely suffering cut content exciting conclusion of Episode 3 of The 3rd Birthday!

Video: Part 19 Highlight Reel
(Hey, someone’s actually acting animated for once.)

Cray Portrait Concepts – Yep… That sure is a nondescript black guy.