The Let's Play Archive

The 3rd Birthday

by The Dark Id

Part 24: The Revisionist

Stay safe, Jessan Wang. Aya Brea and Dennis Murray are out!

Music: Desperation

Out to a destination that does not at all line up with the debris filled corridor in that previous room. But attention to details never stopped The 3rd Birthday from soldiering onward…

Chapter 4-2, the final chapter of this episode, comes with a new set of Feats for Aya to consider. I don’t think you could have vaguer wording for these mission parameters if you tried. The second two Feats are a section near the end of the mission. “Reinforcements survived” actually means that no more than five soldiers are allowed to die in this chapter.

Aya Brea does not earn that first Feat.

Maeda states the obvious here. The first couple of rooms just involve clearing out hordes of Snatchers and Rollers hanging out in the area. Coalition Forces member Jacob Hepsos is armed with a high end (single shot) sniper rifle on the far end of the arena and can one-shot any Snatcher and 2-3 shot Rollers. So that’s helpful. I mean other than all rifles being some single bullet bolt action affair for lord knows what reason.

The old C4 gimmick is still in play for the area. This time with C4 placed on four random corners of the room. A new wave of Rollers and a Snatcher duo shows up with each bomb armed. So the last few screenshots actually summarized about an eight minute slog of a battle.

Once that’s sorted out, Aya is free to continue her trek up toward the North Shallow Towers roof. Stanley Hayes, your name is far too normal for this operation. I’ve got my eye on you…

W-wh-what should we do, Aya?!
I can handle it. Though, Maeda. I’m curious. How… are you keeping track of what is happening in battle?
Oh… Umm… W-well… I am… That is… H.. Hacking! I’m hacking! Into the… the soldiers’ radio chatter! Yeah.
Okay. I wasn’t aware you were a hacker. But I’ll accept that answer. So… how are you keeping track of where *I* am?
I don’t follow.
I mean I am rapidly Overdiving into different bodies. Some several floors apart from one another. There’s fighting happening on every floor of this tower. How do you know which soldiers to follow? I haven’t had the time to report back at all.
W-w-well… You see… The thing is… Aya! More Worms are warping in! Watch out! You need to focus!

[This is Bravo Four-Three. We've spotted a Worm! Request for backup! I repeat, this is Bravo Four-Three...]
[Make that two… no THREE Worms. We are in some deep shit. It’s just me, Isasi, and Hespos. And I think Hespos has lost it. He’s babbling to himself.]

So now Aya must contend with three Worms out in zero cover. I have no idea how you’d get the two soldiers with Aya to survive. They were completely wrecked in a mountain of flames almost immediately. Thankfully, the Worm trio doesn’t seem to use the inhale attack if Aya is the only person left in this battle. It’s about impossible to put up much of a fight here, so Aya must just roll around like a lunatic surviving for a minute until…

[Don't worry - you're safe now!]

New Music: Ray of Hope

…The cavalry arrive. Literally. The attack chopper’s name is Cavalry 141. The 3rd Birthday’s understanding of subtlety was lost in the cracks between time.

Though despite our unnamed attack helicopter pilot’s boisterous claims, he’s actually just garbage back-up if left to his own devices. Jacob Hespos is doing pretty rough. So it’s time for Aya to assume direct controls and do this right. What? You didn’t know Aya Brea could pilot an attack helicopter? Don’t be simple. Of course she can! There’s nothing saying she didn’t learn piloting skills in the last two months.

The helicopter operates quite similarly to the tank, except Aya can actually strafe around the area with it (she cannot actually move the chopper past the screen it’s locked onto though. What you see here is the limit of its movement radius.) Cavalry 141 comes equipped two homing missiles which will refill in about two seconds after they’re both fired and a machinegun that auto-targets enemies. The MG lasts roughly as long as the tank’s did and has just as awful a cooldown period if Aya depletes all of its ammo. But, that’s not really a huge problem when there’s a regular supply of rockets raining death on the Twisted.

3-4 rockets and perhaps a bit of supplementary gunfire is more than enough to make quick work of a single Worm. Jacob Hespos may have also eaten a rocket to the face in the process, meaning Cavalry 141 actually rescued absolutely no-one. But hey… it was a decent dramatic entrance.

Music: Desperation

Sadly, we cannot just fly the helicopter straight to the roof to confront Madigan because we still need to complete the UN force’s bomb armament further ahead. Absolutely nobody is capable of this task aside from Aya.

[You're a… in pretty f-far. Set up the C4 here and you're done. Hehe. The Babel will be no mooore! Heheheehe.]

With the suspicious lunatic giggling Maeda does when mentioning Aya is approaching her goal, you’d think for sure that he’s fixing to betray us or something. Spoilers: Nope. He’s just a massive creepy weirdo and remains mostly harmless.

For this next segment, Aya is given access to a minigun mounted APC to tackle waves of Wads and Beans regularly flooding into the area. Don’t ask me how the UN Forces got an APC up to the 30th story of this office building. Just roll with it.

After all the Twisted in the area are neutralized, Aya will be given just enough time to Overdive out of the turret and activate one of the SIX C4 blocks on the far side of the room. No, guys. Don’t use any teamwork to cover one another as you both arm the bombs and battle the Twisted. It’s one or the other. I’m sure we have plenty of time before the nuke drops.

The turret absolutely chews through all the Twisted within seconds and unlike the tank and helicopter turrets, it can fire for a good 15 seconds before overheating. Wads go down in about 3 seconds and Beans might last a whole 6-7 seconds of concentrated fire. This is just a bunch of busy work. So let’s cut to the chase!

Six armed bombs and about 30 dead Twisted later…

Music: Fright Night

[This is Zero Alpha. All units, evacuate the tower. The C4 will be detonated shortly. I repeat: All units must evacuate immediately!]
*activates C4 timers*
[You have to leave. Find an escape route!]
So should I just Overdive out of the tower or…?

[Dammit! It's gonna blow!]
[Headquarters! You copy? Please respond!]
[M-my calculations were wrong. The building's going to… blow. There's no escape…]
That’s a shame for these men. So I should probably Overdive out of here, right?
[Cheer up. At least we'll die heroes.]
[I just want to tell my son that I love him.]

Welp. I guess we’re just going to wait for death’s cold embrace now that the one hallway in this crumbling tower is blocked and the C4 charges are set while men are still evacuating from the 30+ floors up. I feel like this daring plan by the UN might have been flawed. But…

[I've lost control of the aircraft! Dammit, some reinforcement! Aaaaaaaaah!!]


[You need to escape. He was a very brave soul. He saved you twice.]

I know!
*Overdives to helicopter*

New Music: Triumph of Wing

Well fuck those guys trapped back there. Aya’s got shit to do! Like commandeering this attack chopper for… ugh… a rail shooter segment. I don't think this is the time for a rail shooter! We have pressing matters here. But, hey... It's a finished segment even if it doesn't fit in. Hell with it! It's content! Here we go!

Aya has no control over Bahamut 524’s movement direction. She can merely make her chopper pivot left, right, up & down to avoid glowing red orbs shot from a new type of Twisted: the Spitters. Spitters only appear in this rail shooter segment and never again. They are a sort of organic immobile anti-air emplacement. Their only ability is opening their err… let’s call it a “face”… to reveal a bulbous fleshy sack which will spit out an energy orb. Hence the unoriginal, but I suppose appropriate for a change, creature name.

Unloading on the Spitter’s sack (gross) with a volley from the MG turret or a single missile is enough to destroy a Spitter. Destroying at least 20 Spitters during this segment will accomplish the Air Superiority Feat. I want to say there’s like 25 total since I’m pretty sure I missed a couple and still unlocked the Feat.

Likewise, a bit into the shooter segment, Aya will come upon a group of soldiers retreating from a very irritated Worm. Should Aya manage to defeat the creature in time (she only has about ten seconds before the chopper zooms off) we’ll unlock the Assist with Retreat Feat.

New Music: Cityscapes

We are given a lovely overview of the ruined Manhattan skyline as we zoom along the Babel’s exterior. Well… as lovely as the PSP could produce.

A very easy and overly long bit of rail shooting later…

[Roger that. Prepare for babel destruction. Start the countdown.]

You know it’s only been about three minutes since Aya saved those guys from that Worm and they were still at least 20 stories up. But sure, if you say so. Building is clear. Let’s do this thing!

Hell yeah! Take that, Twisted! Don’t fuck with Ameri—

…Oh. We just kind of jostled the tower a bit and it’s still standing relatively un-phased. Glad the game made Aya personally arm those two dozen explosive devices during this episode. Good stuff, The 3rd Birthday! Keep it up!

[Kyle Madigan is on the top tier of the tower. Some brave troops are on the observation deck. It's time, Aya.]
I'm almost there, Eve.

So much for the tower being clear and ready for demolition, huh? Remind me never to work with a UN Coalition war effort if there’s an alien invasion.

Music: Fright Night

Christmas might have been ruined, but there’s still the gift of premature scene loading T-poses for everyone!

So despite having a helicopter and absolutely no obstacles preventing her from Overdiving into someone straight on the roof the same bloody helicopter is still flying around the roof later on, Aya has seen it fit to jump back into some random scrub busy fighting another Worm.

[The explosion was a success, but the Babel wasn't completely destroyed. The final phase is going to commence. They're the only ones left in the tower. There's no more backup. The future depends on all of you. The n-nuclear missiles have been armed. They're going to be launched! If worst comes to worst, use Overdive to escape.]

It’s a wee bit shitty to have put a battle with a stronger than usual Worm between a 10 minute rail shooting segment and the safe room. But that’s The 3rd Birthday. It is worth mentioning that apparently Aya has gotten a bit more confident about her abilities since the time skip. Now, when performing an Overdive Kill, Aya will yell “Who’s next?!” instead of just moaning in exhaustion.

Once the final Worm of the area is dealt with, Aya can continue onward to the final safe house of the episode. Maeda has a bit to say as soon as we enter…

[…is the Babel. The Twisted feed on time and space. I don't think they would create a Babel merely as a nest. I believe it to have a different use, unknown to all of us.]

Well, there’s the Queen thing inside the Babel that seems to be devouring people and apparently time as well…? Not that Aya has mentioned that encounter to anyone and the Datalogs exist in some nebulous realm outside established space or the finalized script.

But musings about the nature of the Twisted aside, let’s see what’s happening with the troops just chilling out and awaiting their deaths in nuclear hellfire at the top of the hour.

When I close my eyes, all I see is this teacher I had in high school. Boy, was she a hot number.
I can't believe we're going to bomb our own country...
Now Japan's not the only nuclear victim.
Hiroshima was uranium. Nagasaki was plutonium... This time it's probably a neutron bomb - totally different stuff.
So we'll survive it?
Not likely. Neutron bombs rip cellular DNA to shreds. They're specifically made to destroy life. Horrifying.
Should've kept my big mouth shut.
Its radioactivity has a fairly short half-life. Still, all living things will be wiped out for a mile around.

Well, sucks to be these guys! I don’t have any meaningful upgrades to give Aya or her arsenal. So let’s just head on out.

[Even if I try to stop you, it won't do any good. I know that Kyle Madigan is close.]
You never did tell me how you managed to determine that sort of stuff…
You should h-hurry, Aya.

Music: Unforgettable Man

Alright, Kyle. We’ve only got a little over 17 minutes until the bombs drop. We probably ought to hurry this sudden confrontation up. Also, it's REAL nice of the guys below to let Oswald Wise Aya Brea have some quiet time with Kyle Madigan. Otherwise, there would be some serious questions with this scene.

Why did you choose betrayal? Where's Eve? What did you do with her?
You're better off not knowing.

Or confuse you. Or no longer be true before you even realize it. You do not want to go down that road, Aya. It only brings headache and annoyance.
Stay back!

Madigan has gained a nice creeper grin since we’ve last seen him. Maeda is a bad influence on all men in this plot.

I know you, Aya.

Madigan begins circling Aya…

I know all about you. Your hair… your back…

That flat rear…

And your lips, too...

Sorry, Aya’s not interested. Not with that sad excuse for facial hair, buster.

Boy, it sure feels like there was meant to have been another encounter or two between Aya and Kyle between that post Cray death scene and now. If this all seems out of whack, that’s because they cut an entire act out in that time skip period. There’s still concept art of Aya Brea’s apartment, which was supposed to be the second between mission safe house after CTI was sacked but before things went tits up and we ended up in Maeda’s murder bunker.

There’s no details of the actual gameplay missions cut, since that was axed early on. Hyde was supposed to stick around for that second act and hang out as Aya’s overseer instead of vanishing post-CTI. And indeed, in the earliest design drafts of the game, Hyde and Aya were meant to be boning instead of him just being Aya’s weird Dad-Boss. There was going to be a love triangle between Hyde/Amnesia Aya/Ghost Ex-Fiancé Madigan. Madigan was also meant to be the primary villain and would show up way back in Club Sacrifice being a dick, instead of suddenly a creeper here.

So if all of this feels like it’s coming from a completely different plot… Yeah, almost definitely is and they didn’t have time to rewrite it to be more in line with everything else.

Hehehe. Hahahaha!

So just make your own fanfiction scenes up in your head where Madigan was suddenly being an emotionally manipulative dick to the point Aya almost immediately unloads into him. Man… In retrospect, I was way too harsh on the Bevelle section of Final Fantasy X.

Tune in next time when Kyle Madigan transforms into whatever finished boss assets they had on hand as The 3rd Birthday scrambles to haphazardly ship a product by the end of this fiscal quarter!

Video: Part 24 Highlight Reel

>>>>> Skip to Creeper Madigan’s Scene (You should at least watch that.)

Spitter Concept – Look, it was a Friday afternoon and Nomura wanted to go home.