The Let's Play Archive

The 3rd Birthday

by The Dark Id

Part 37: Episode 1 Datalogs: Just the Facts, Ma’am

Music: Out of Phase (Parasite Eve)

Now that Episode 1 is completed, we may as well sift through the rest of the datalogs before The 3rd Birthday shovels another bucket load on us this following chapter. I’ve cordoned off the infodump updates to their own gulag in the OP. I won’t blame you too much for skipping past rich supplementary lore of The 3rd Birthday.

First, let’s take a look at…

This is Aya and the members of her support staff. These files get updated each chapter to reflect changes Aya has caused in history.

----- Aya Brea -----

Half Japanese, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Her unique genetic makeup has given her the physique of a woman in her 20s.

One Christmas Eve 2010, she was found outside St. Thomas Cathedral in Manhattan, suffering from amnesia. Judging from her bloodstained wedding gown, she had been found just before or just after her own wedding ceremony, although that hasn't been confirmed. She remembers nothing of herself apart from her own name.

Soon after entering CTI custody, she exhibited a mysterious ability. After much analysis, this ability was dubbed ''Overdive.'' The Overdive device made Aya the only person capable of diving into a human's past consciousness. Her chief mission was to move back into time and alter the reality that had already happened, but if she were to go beyond the limits of her abilities, her consciousness would be lost in time, never to return. In short, death during an Overdive operation had a direct effect on the physical body left behind.

At present, she has completed military training C9-a (about 1/3 of the total program) under the instruction of Thelonious Cray.

----- Hyde Bohr -----

Born in Denmark. His father was also a physicist, and he grew up surrounded by famous names in the field.

He immigrated to America after graduation and devoted himself to research in the field of quantum mechanics. In 1999, he was invited to become a project manager for Defense Sciences Office at DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), a unit of the US Department of Defense that was researching and developing new technologies for the nation's military.

In 2005, he entered the FBI's research center, where he led his own forensics team before becoming the Director of Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence.

On Christmas Eve 2010, he found Aya Brea unconscious in the snow outside Manhattan's St. Thomas Cathedral and took her in. Around the same time, he became the head of the newly formed Counter-proliferation Strategy Support Division, of the CTD forerunner to the CTI.

As the chief researcher of the CTI, his duties included revamping it, leading the development team as its senior engineer, and heading up the Overdive Investigation Unit.

----- Blank -----

Real name unknown. Born in Jangseong, South Korea. Blank is the chief engineer of the CTI's Overdive Unit; he provides investigative support to CTI as associate researcher.

He was arrested for stealing classified NSA data using Brash Marionette, Trojan horse software he had developed at the age of 14. Once received in e-mail, it forcibly installed itself and transmitted data to a host computer via a reverse connection.

Six months later, his sentence was reduced with a plea bargain. He began cooperating with the CIA investigations: destroying terror-cell networks and contributing to the downfall of the terror organizations themselves. When he began to get death threats from a sister cell, he survived by wiping his personal history and creating a new ''legend'' in its place.

Since then, Blank has been assigned to the investigative support offices of various agencies across America. He has especially close ties with the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, and has worked with Chief Hyde Bohr for years. He joined the CTI at Hyde's request, to assist in the development of an Overdive device.

----- Thelonious Cray -----

Born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His parents divorced when he was five; he was sent to his mother's house, where he was forced to live in extreme poverty.

Before coming to work at the CTI, he had been part of the elite Delta Force unit of the US Army, specializing in counterterrorism. He was enlisted in Captain Russo's squad, one that took on only the trickiest and most dangerous missions. Though he's ably equipped for counterterrorism missions, he's distinguished by his skill in close quarters combat, which is truly second to none.

Cray ran a hostage rescue mission in the Grand Pacific Airlines hijacking, taking command of the Red Squad as they subdued the hostages, bring the event to its conclusion with no casualties. It was this feat that got him assigned to Russo's squad.

As they racked up more and more victories, Russo's squad became known far and wide as the pride of the Delta Force and the terrorists' biggest threat. All that came to an end with the failure of Operation Red Fog in 2012. Delta Force was annihilated, and all squad members were killed in action. Cray was all that remained of Russo's squad. He hadn't been part of the fatal mission, instead assuming his new post at the CTI.

In the spring of 2002, he married Sandra Smith, an exchange student nurse he had met while in the hospital. Their daughter Isabella was born the following year.

----- Gabrielle Monsigny -----

Born in Baltimore, Maryland. Her grandfather had emigrated from Belgium; her father was a police officer, and her mother died when Gabrielle was an infant. She was a special agent in the CTI's Overdive Investigation Unit. With beautiful features, balanced proportions, and large, discerning eyes that speak to her profound insight, one glance from her would stop you dead in your tracks.

Gabrielle truly worked her way to the top, starting with the LAPD before being selected for the SWAT team. She acquired outstanding sharpshooter skills while part of a sniper team with a hostage rescue unit. She was also one of the few chosen by the FBI's Counterterrorism Division to join a special emergency squadron as part of the SWAT team.

She first worked with Hyde on a CTD mission; she transferred to the CTI on his enthusiastic recommendation. Her sharpshooter techniques and HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) parachute skills were among the very best. Aya says that Gabrielle taught long-range combat to short-range fighter Cray.

Gabrielle died in 2013 defending Aya from a Twisted onslaught at the Leavenworth CTI/Army joint exercise and training grounds.

----- Hunter “Boss” Owen

Born in Joliet, Illinois, he joined the FBI after graduating from Vale. He was "discovered" by the director, distinguished himself as an agent, and was promoted to deputy director in 2008. In the same month that the CTI was created as a counter-Twisted investigatory agency, the President appointed him its chief.

He died in the December 2013 attack on FBI headquarters.

----- Augustus Vassel -----

A male gunsmith from Rhode Island. As a medical officer in the US Air Force, he participate in the Gulf War's Operation Desert Storm, but was badly wounded and sent home. His attention then turned to designing firearms. Vassel went on to produce enhanced versions of many existing gun models, earning him the title of ''the genius gunsmith.''

Since joining the CTI's equipment unit as the leader of its weapon design lab, he has been making firearms to suit the unique abilities of each special agent. In the summer of 2013, however, he was abducted by a Twisted and turned into a Slacker. The CTI captured him and, in accordance with his wishes, used Vassel as a test subject in various experiments and in the battle simulator. Louise Brier extracted from his body a particular gene belonging to an unknown Twisted - one that gave him the power to come back to life.

Weapon parts designed by Vassel are engraved with the initial ''V.''

TDI Note: So this is why there is an immortal Twisted hanging in that Battle Simulator in the CTI HQ that we’ll never use. I somehow doubt Augustus would have been quite as cool being set up as a practice range target for eternity when he donated his body to science. Also, apparently Twisted can kidnap people and turn them into other Twisted…

----- Keith Burrows-----

35-year-old male, born in Southern California. Entered the Army right out of high school. Enjoys spending his leisure time working out and pushing himself to his limits in various sports. An adrenaline junkie. The Army assigned him to the post of prison guard in the CTI's Security Division when the organization was first established.

----- Edgar Nelson -----

37-year-old male, born into Oregon's working class. His unmatched physical prowess, along with his poised and daring demeanor, served him well in the Navy SEALs. He left the SEALs when his wife was killed in an accident and was making a living as a long-haul truck driver when the CTI was established. His acquaintance Hyde Bohr persuaded him to join the CTI's Security Division as the armory clerk.

----- Jamie Denton -----

42-year-old male, born in Indiana. Programmer and linguist. After getting his undergraduate degree at Harvard, he went to MIT for doctorate and devoted himself to constructing a linguistic optimality theory. Known for developing the ''citrin'' programming language. Volunteered his services to the CTI after the Twisted appeared. Now works as a leading member of the data analysis unit.

----- Valerio Neglia -----

An Italian male who worked at the weapon design lab in the CTI's equipment unit.

The weapons he designs bear an engraved initial ''N.''

----- Tatiana Ilizarov -----

A Russian woman who worked at the weapon design lab in the CTI's equipment unit.

Weapons whose model numbers begin with T are called the ''Tania series'' after Tatiana's nickname.

TDI Note: Glad we now the names of several NPCs that have zero lines and just stare at Aya motionlessly. Let’s move on to the next category…

These are files giving even stupider nicknames to the assorted Twisted that Aya will encounter. These entries expand with more detailed rundowns of the enemies’ tactics and weaknesses. In case you put down The 3rd Birthday for a while and were foolish enough to return and needed a refresher.

---- Slacker -----

“Bloodthirsty Simpleton”

An incomplete Twisted. Robbed of its consciousness, its body somehow blighted during metamorphosis, it was unable to complete its transformation. Its attacks are simple and consist only of charging forward. However, they often appear in swarms, and it's dangerous to underestimate the power they hold in numbers.

Usually found prowling around or dangling from above, searching for enemies. When it finds one, it immediately rushes forward, swinging its scythe. Indeed, this scythe is its chief method of attack, so if you find yourself engaging this Twisted, keep a safe distance from its slashing blade

---- Wad -----

“Two-faced Death Dancer”

A Twisted that expands and contracts as it attacks, its physical changes indicating its battle stance. While contracted, it becomes sharp as a blade and fast as a whip. While expanded, it floats along like a balloon, firing projectiles.

In its contracted state, it uses its extreme agility to easily dodge incoming fire. There's also a rare Wad variant that robs intruding foes of their energy, which is uses to repair its own damage.

---- Reaper -----

“Blade-wielding Assassin”

Possesses a rigid shell that nullifies any and all attacks. Its offensive power, agility, and endurance are all sky-high, making it a far tougher foe than any other Twisted. It quickly dives into close-range battles, slashing at intruders with its razor-sharp blade. This is one murderous, uncontrollable monster.

---- Helix -----

“Divinity of Doom”

A Twisted of terrifying stature and tremendous power that lies in wait at Club Sacrifice. It uses many different kinds of ballistic attacks to destroy its target. Its sturdy head can easily take out any obstacle, conveniently trapping its prey right within firing range. This is the true identity of the mysterious Twisted at Club Sacrifice. Each portion of its body has its own separate life force - along with the maddening ability to regenerate.

Not only can it fire projectiles, but it can stretch its neck at will to bash its head through distant obstacles, destroying them. If you find yourself on the business end of a Helix headbutt, you're almost certain to die. Because of its fierce and fatal one-shot attack, you must remain constantly on
the move, evading its shots and looking for any available opportunity to get in some of your own.

The Helix's weakness is the pattern of lacerations of its back. However, it's difficult to hit its back from the ground. Head for the rooftops and wait for an opening, then attack from above.

---- Emily Jefferson -----


A special case: a human turned Twisted with her consciousness intact.

When it shows signs of transforming and enters its darkness phase, it emits a deep scarlet shadow to reduce its foes' visibility to zero. It's impervious to damage in this state.

The Emily's Fang that appears out of the darkness rotates at frighteningly high speeds as it comes after Aya, thirsty for blood.

Overdive Kills are effective for breaking the Twisted out of the darkness phase. Avoid its descent kills - true to the name, they're fatal.

TDI Note: Not particularly informative here. Maybe the datalogs will shed more useful light on that ill-explained Proper Noun…

Weird stuff related to The Twisted, but not active enemies that engage Aya and unfortunate soldiers in the area, get sorted off here. Not sure why this isn’t filed in with general notes. But I didn’t write this information dump.

---- Babel 1 -----

Life forms that appeared out of nowhere throughout fractures in the earth and shooting toward the sky, they grow and develop at the expense of any artificial structures in their way. Twisted can be observed swarming around the Babel. We have no definitive proof at present that would allow us to determine whether it's a living thing or simply an inorganic substance of some sort.

---- Babel 2 -----

Thought to be the Twisted's den - their colony. The Twisted we've been seeing had been dwelling deep underground, acting on instinct to nurture the Babel. First a rhizome appears. This grows over time, the immature Babel pulsating away underground for just over two years before it bursts up and out like some bizarre tower.

On dark nights, the Babels appear to be sprinkled with twinkling red lights, making them resemble nothing less than massive Christmas trees.

---- Orbs -----

Believed to be nodes of the energy circulatory system, orbs are found creeping around the Babel's interior. They serve a vital purpose: carrying nutrients throughout the Babel. When an orb is destroyed, surrounding organs give up some of their cells to rebuild it. This brings down the Babel walls serving as partitions between areas, allowing forward passage.

---- Big Orb -----

Thought to exist within the Babel's core. All orbs bring sustenance to the Big Orb, which in turn pulsates the energy needed to grow throughout the Babel's interior. Since it's involved in both metabolism and respiration, destroying this most vital of organs would surely bring about the downfall of the Babel itself.

Okay, technically this category doesn’t show up until the start of Episode 2. But everyone filed away in it was only relevant during Episode 1. So we may as well get to the useless trivia on dead characters while it’s already fresh in our minds.

---- Emily Jefferson -----

Born in London, England, Emily's family moved to New York City when she was two.

She became a Twisted right before Aya's eyes during the Sacrifice Incident and was killed after suffering a vicious onslaught. Emily exhibited unique behavior in that the Twisted didn't simply take over the physical body, but instead hatched out of it.

An investigation by the CTI's data analysis unit found that she had been the daughter of British banking tycoon Christopher Jefferson. Emily attended the State University of New York for two years starting at
age 14 as part of an advanced placement college study program.

---- Ginger -----

Born in Munich, Germany. Her real name was Kristina Ruskin, daughter of violinist Erhard Ruskin.

She formed the rock band Time for Truth at the age of 13 to rebel against her strict father, the director of the German Symphony Orchestra. The band caught the attention of a major British record label, leading to her professional debut at fifteen. Her first album ''Killing Hour'' sold over two million copies, an unprecedented performance for a debut album.

She moved her base of operations to the States, but disbanded Time for Truth at the age of twenty to take a break. Though followed closely by the media and her fans, she and her former bandmates played secret concerts whenever the mood hit.

She's thought to have died in the Sacrifice Incident on Christmas Eve 2012. After her death, her handwritten will was discovered in her room. It indicated that all of her financial assets were to be given to disadvantaged children.

Finally, we just have Notes which is a plain text dump of assorted terms. A few are purely gameplay tips, so I’ll omit those. Here’s the relevant lore vomit:

---- Overdive -----

This is the ability to dive into another's psyche and temporarily take control of his or her body.

Individuals with this ability can use the Overdive device to remove the portion of the consciousness related to past events, thereby making it possible to warp into the past. To the best of our knowledge, Aya Brea is the only person capable of this feat. It got its name from her vital signs during the process, which resembled a deep-sea dive.

---- Overdive Device -----

A device for releasing, expanding, and controlling Aya' abilities. Developed by the Overdive tactical research team under chief researcher Hyde Bohr, the Overdive device (codenamed ''Aya'') was completed in the winter of 2012.

Dr. Blank took the lead in developing the unit's Real-Time Kinematics system, ensuring the accurate acquisition of an Overdive target.

---- Aya and The Twisted -----

The completion of the Overdive device and the unveiling of the time-traveling Aya Brea deeply affected the few physicists who knew about it. Once it was determined that Overdiving employed a mechanism similar to that of the Twisted's parasitic behavior toward humans, however, the government turned its attention from the time-warp aspect and squarely on Aya Brea herself.

The FBI, CIA, and all manner of institutions around the world obtained samples of Aya's cells and got down to analyzing them.

---- Overdive Kill -----

Normally, humans are the only potential Overdive targets. Diving into a different life form would scramble and possibly even destroy Aya's consciousness, killing her in the process. Overdive Kill is a special attack whereby Aya dives into a Twisted and destroys it from within. It's effective, yet extremely risky for the diver.

---- Liberation -----

Loosening the constraints on Aya's abilities allows her to unleash an explosive burst of power. The force released in this no-holds-barred condition might also be considered runaway energy. Entering this state for even a few moments takes a significant toll on Aya's body and spirit.

---- Crossfire -----

A technique that involves stationing multiple human allies at barricades and other obstacles, then, when the opportunity presents itself, catching the enemy in one big coordinated shootout. The crossfire gauge must be full before attempting this tactic.

The participating soldiers find their psyches temporarily united with Aya's thanks to her Over Energy. This effect is what allows her to control them during a crossfire.

---- Over Energy -----

Aya's unique abilities are collectively known as Over Energy (OE).

By Overdiving into other humans or Twisted, Aya can obtain Over Energy chips with the power to alter her abilities. Setting these chips into a DNA board can bring out all kinds of latent skills.

---- Over Energy Chips -----

These are DNA fragments Aya Brea obtains when she Overdives into another person or Twisted. They're often made up of multiple OEs. As Aya's abilities develop, her instincts should lead her to select the genetic information necessary for her own evolution.

Aya can carry up to 30 OE chips.

---- Mission Simulator -----

Case files of previous incidents stored on terminals belonging to CTI's Overdive Investigation Unit.

A wide range of records, analyzed and sorted, are used with the CTI's training system to realistically reenact past battles. This allows Aya to immerse herself in previous battles for training experience second only to the real thing.

TDI Note: Jesus, stop trying to make in-universe excuses for this being a video game. You can replay missions! It’s fine! It’s fine to just be a video game! Knock it off, it’s dumb justifying it.

---- Battle Simulator -----

A battle simulation program developed according to the last wishes of the late CTI gunsmith Augustus Vassel.

The program aims to boost battle prowess with fights against simulated foes or the Slacker version of Vassel. Having received genes granting the Twisted's ability to come back to life, Vassel can be defeated many times over without actually dying. Given that it features what is essentially an undead employee who's a Twisted to boot, the simulator's very existence is kept under tight wraps. Even within the CTI, only a select few are permitted to use the program.

TDI Note: “This is UNETHICAL AS HELL! Keep it quiet guys.” – Our protagonists.

And that is all the datalogs dumped in our lap by the time the first mission of The 3rd Birthday is concluded. I’d like to use the Overdive machine to find whoever pioneered sticking tons of information in a bunch of text files tucked in the game’s menus as a valid method of conveying background information and get them pasted by monsters.