The Let's Play Archive

The 3rd Birthday

by The Dark Id

Part 30: Aya Brea On Ice

Following our No Sell battle against Hyde and subsequent revelation tomfoolery, we are unceremoniously dumped back to the mission overview menu. Sorry, no in-between mission filler this time around. We are locked into the end game of The 3rd Birthday. We’ll just have to disregard the knowledge that Kunihiko Maeda has cut off all communication while Aya is still physically passed out on his couch during all this…

ANYWAY! I don’t have any further upgrades for Aya’s gene splicing nor her weapon load out. So let’s jump right in…

The military has not opted to give a 70s rock concept album name to this final operation. We are simply going to “Time Zero”. Which is located in Time Zero, midtown Manhattan. Where the current time is always when there is no time.

My total playtime for this game was a little over ten hours. Yet it definitely felt like…

We begin The Last Episode with a… rather baffling design decision. Hey, you know how we are on pace to wrap this up? Yeah, about that…

Music: Queen

What if we just put a big speed bump on pacing and threw in the Twisted Queen boss fight again? We didn’t actually destroy the Queen of Spanish Harlem earlier. The fight just kind of ended and Aya was conveniently tossed into a body right next to the injured Cray. So uhh… I guess we’re sorting out that plot thread before we go back to this new High Ones business?

So umm… There it is! It is literally the exact same boss fight just copy and pasted with some different Overdive candidate names tossed in for flavor. The Queen has not been upgraded in any way since our first encounter. Meanwhile, Aya has gained 15 levels and upgraded her entire arsenal. As such, this fight lasts all of about just shy of two minutes.

Music ends…

And upon the Twisted Queen’s HP depletion… the screen just slam cuts to black. Nope. No elaborate death animation for our final defeat of the Twisted Queen. That’s it. The Twisted are now a non-factor for the remainder of The 3rd Birthday. We did it!

Continuing right along, Aya Brea’s soul and Jarrick Kindlmann’s body suddenly find themselves here. It’s the frozen blood sea where the Mutated Twisted Bosses High Ones’ ghosts gave a pep talk to Aya before their souls were time fragged and vanished into the ether. Previously, this place only existed in the realm of pre-rendered cutscenes. But here we are physically in this surreal hellscape! So what’s in store for our heroine now that she’s in the High Ones’ realm or… whatever the heck this place is meant to represent?

Absolutely nothing! We just have to run through the portal on the far end of the room. No boss fight. Not even any enemies. It’s just an empty, neat looking room that we run across and then never see again. If I had to guess, the Twisted Queen probably was meant to have a second form we’d have fought here just so the Twisted weren’t entirely rendered a complete non-entity in the final episode. But welp! That didn’t happen! A repeated boss fight from five hours ago will just have to suffice.

Music: King of Closing Time

Stay out of my way!

By the way, we’re at The Rink at Rockefeller Center now for this final battle. You might ask why. And that’s a very good question! Why indeed?

Yeah, I’ve got nothing! Someone on the map modeling team just painstakingly rendered a map of the Rockefeller Center ice rink and DAMMIT they were going to use it for a set piece. Maybe this was a significant place for Hyde mention in that whole cut second act of the game? Perhaps in that early draft of the script where Hyde and Aya were dating, they went here. Don’t ask me!

Also remember that at one point Hyde was intended to be tapping that flat ass and this would have been the weirdest break-up ever. Well, other than Aya’s earlier break up where her fiancé turned into an alien dragon and she shot him to death before getting nuked.

I want to surpass time and make my way to the Mother. That's all I really want - I swear to you.
And what will you do when you get there?
Oh… You know. Surpassing time and… It is complicated.

*raises gun*

Who will witness Time Zero?

Is it one of us?
Though I do suppose it’s just *me* now.

Or… perhaps…?


Alright! Let’s do this thing! It’s time for the final battle of The 3rd Birthday! Hyde Bohr vs. Aya Brea.

New Music: Immortality of Time

So this is actually a repeat boss battle as well. We’re once more battling against Hyde Bohr’s Slenderman form. Only this time…

He can Overdive too! Which… isn’t spectacularly impressive when you consider he could already teleport. And Overdiving has already been established as just the consciousness/soul of the original Overdive user possessing someone else. Not a full body assimilation. But, details… The 3rd Birthday doesn’t care about them!

So the Rockefeller Center rink is now host to an endless array of ice skaters frozen in time. They seem to be out of phase with reality, since if Aya approaches any of ‘em they’ll just zap out of existence. I mean… it’s a cool set piece. It would have been nice if there were any reason for it to exist. But congrats on actually using a second Manhattan landmark in your game set entirely in Manhattan.

With his newfound Overdive powers, Hyde can instantly appear anywhere in the sea of frozen souls to attack Aya. Given this game’s camera isn’t tremendously responsive and Aya’s auto-aim will lock onto any of the scores of frozen humans filling the area, instead of Hyde… it’s kind of hard to avoid attacks.

Conversely, Aya’s attacks against Hyde are entirely useless, since if he takes enough damage, his Overdive host just keels over dead and shatters, while Hyde jumps to a new host body.

Eventually, given enough time Hyde will overpower Aya through sheer attrition.

There’s also the part where Aya is unable to Overdive into bizarre ghost ice skaters unstuck in time. That isn’t exactly leveling the playing field, Hyde…

In any case, Aya Brea is FUCKING DEAD!

So now the High Ones’ ghosts are here to mock Aya’s sorry crumpled body as she bleeds out. Or maybe they’re here to give her strength through the power of friendship...? Look, I’m not sure what the High Ones deal is supposed to be. So let’s just watch…

Use anything: dive into anyone. I'll allow it. Stay alive, Aya!
Sorry about pulling a gun on you. And killing all my own men. And for thinking your sister was my long dead daughter. And turning into a three headed scorpion-lizard. That was weird of me! I apologize. Let me make it up to you!

Show me a new world, Aya!
I am INCREDIBLY confused as to what is happening is this world. The last thing I remember was changing my e-mail password after HR gave me some shit for “lax security”. Pfft. Like they know anything. And then I saw… Saw…
*looks at Madigan* …
Hey, this prick over there! Hey! Hey, you in the douche-jacket! Hey, you fucking shot me, asshole!

I’d just like to stop for a moment and just call to attention that Blank is here now. As this is Aya gaining strength from her friends and sort of anime crap. But, to the point: Blank is explicitly NOT a High One. He wasn’t at Aya Brea’s wedding. He didn’t get ill-defined super powers from Eve awakening or whatever went down there. He was just some computer tech dude that Hyde hired. And then Madigan killed him. While you could hand wave the rest of these dead characters being here now as their residual High Ones bullshit allowing their souls to manifest or whatever mumbo-jumbo. That’s not the case for Blank. Blank is just straight up a ghost boy.

While we’re at it, Emily Jefferson is AWOL for this session. I guess she’s just not a High Ones team player. Or maybe she supported Hyde? Or she’s pissed Eve dragged her to her sister’s wedding and then turned her into a Time Lord caught in a stupid anime bullshit limbo. I mean, I’d be pretty pissed if one of my friends did that to me.

Also, I’ve been out of the loop… Did the Boss get taken care of? Considering you made it this far after he tried to kill you, I guess so. That’s good. What a dick. Anyway, get it together, Aya!

Fight for you and no one else.
…Except Eve. I suppose your entire motivation is saving her. So, forget my previous statement. Hmph… I’m not good at this…

…So is Aya like having a seizure and evacuating her bowels on Maeda’s couch while all of this is happening?

Aya may not be able to dive into strange spectral ice skaters. But the ghosts of her dead friends hovering in limbo? That’s another matter entirely!

We once more find ourselves facing Inflatable Tube Man Bohr and he can still Overdive into (a far less dense because they had to fit in these slightly higher resolution main character models) frozen ice skaters to teleport/recover from harm. This time around, Thelonious Cray, Gabrielle Monsigny, Blank, and Kyle Madigan are all hovering around the four directions surrounding Hyde.

Remember how in the earlier fight in Chapter 5 I mentioned Slender Bohr had difficulty disengaging once he committed to an attack animation?

So it turns out that is intentional and makes for the primary gimmick of this battle. Hyde is fast as hell and hits quite hard, but he has zero ability to change direction or cancel his attack animations. So this fight is all about exploiting that fact and Overdiving behind Hyde and into one of our hovering friends to unload on Hyde’s back as he fruitlessly shoots at their former position.

Hyde is unable to target any of the High Ones or Ghost Blank. He can only hurt them when Aya is Overdived into their bodies. So as long as we immediately Overdive to a fresh ally when under attack, there’s not a lot Hyde can do to combat his species traitor former employees’ interference.

I still love Hyde’s ridiculous proportions. I think it’s the fact he’s still wearing pants, a belt, and tie that makes it funniest. Regardless, the early half of the battle is exactly the same as the end of Episode 5’s brawl with Bohr. Just with a lot more teleporting on his part.

As Hyde’s HP drops and his Overdive alternatives dwindle, Hyde does bust out a few new moves. One involves collecting all the frozen skaters and spinning them around Aya incredibly fast to produce a tornado which temporarily blocks Aya from Overdiving into her allies.

The tornado will eventually slow enough for Aya to target the skaters and systematically murder them all until the host body of Hyde is revealed and the twister can be halted by sufficiently damaging him.

You know, you probably could have done something cool with an enemy Overdive user. Like put Aya in a crowd of actual people at some point in the past, before things went to shit. Having Hyde use Overdive like it’s supposed to function and just have random civilians suddenly pulling out an assault rifle to open fire on Aya like one of the Agents from The Matrix. All the while everyone is panicking because Aya too is physically just a series of random people pulling out guns and firing indiscriminately at people. It’d be kind of fucked up! Just like a lot of parts of this game if you sit down and think about what we’re doing.

But that seems like a lot of work, so let’s just make it fancy teleporting and call it a day.

Oh yes, in the second half of the fight Hyde can also use his back tentacles to just straight up one-shot Aya by raining a series of stabs on her current host. Any of our allies slain in this battle are gone for the duration of the fight. Kyle Madigan is now triple dead. That guy just cannot catch a break.

Oh well! We still have Cray, Blank, and Gabby left to finish the job. Hyde Bohr completely No Sold our previous battle with him. Maybe this time killing him will stick, eh?

…Yeah. Fat chance. Tune in next time for Hyde Bohr: Form 2. Of course there was a second form. Have you not seen a Square-Enix game before…?

Video: Part 30 Highlight Reel
(I mean it’s the *kinda* final boss and he’s still ridiculous. You should probably watch it.)

Boss Hyde Concept – I am still intensely disappointed the other bosses weren’t like this goofy son of a bitch.