The Let's Play Archive

The Chzo Mythos

by Quovak

Part 6: Five Days, Part 6: Yahtzee Doesn't Understand Cause and Effect.

Sorry for the lack of an update yesterday. To make up for it, let's have an extra long one to finish off this first game.

Five Days, Part 6: Yahtzee Doesn't Understand Cause and Effect.

He's awake, he's fine. Doesn't remember anything, just like I didn't.
Look, I only sort of half-believe this possession thing right now. But in the absence of a better suggestion, I guess I'm going along with it.

Day 5 starts out in familiar territory with people questioning things they've seen firsthand evidence of. Well, maybe three people decided to try killing the others in identical styles in a way that just happened to matched Trilby's accounts. And maybe the house trapping everyone inside was just coincidence (though I think everyone has forgotten about that aspect by this point).

Have you been going over those books I was carrying?
Yeah, and some texts on the occult. Apparently, if we want to destroy this thing, we have to get the spirit back to its old body. That'll make it quasi-mortal. It'd still be dangerous, but not unkillable.

I don't really believe in the supernatural, hence why I read a dozen books on the subject and committed them to memory. We have to be pragmatic.

We have to find the body, first. And to do that, we have to know who the ghost is.
I've been thinking about this, and I have a fairly workable theory. The ghost is something to do with the disappearances of Roderick and Matthew Defoe, right? The deaths and disappearances all started after that. So, what do you think?
I think Sir Roderick had more than one son.
Exactly. He makes references to some monster he helped create, and he doesn't mean Matthew. And Matthew talks about another boy in the house, a boy behind the kitchen door. Those manacles indicate that someone was kept imprisoned in the basement.

Some of you might have thought I was exaggerating when I said that Simone just flat out tells you everything about this game in a large text dump. Maybe you thought she just implied it heavily and I was being overly critical. Yeah, no.

Oh yeah, and this pretends to be a puzzle but isn't. Trilby gets to guess at what's going on, and there is absolutely no reward for being accurate. If you're wrong, Simone corrects you and tells you the plot of the game. If you're correct, Simone agrees with you and tells you the plot of the game. Subtlety!

I think Belinda DeFoe gave birth to twins.
I found Belinda's death certificate. She died about twenty minutes after Matthew was already out. I think it was the second son that did her in. Sir Roderick went practically insane with grief. Blamed the poor kid for her death, kept him locked in the basement, refused to even acknowledge his existence. Can you imagine what that must have been like for the boy? Growing up in a filthy grotto like some kind of animal, given no education, no love.

You have to give Simone credit. While she was guarding one supposed killer and evading another, she was able to do more than everybody else in the last four days combined.

The boy would be completely retarded and insane. He probably couldn't tell the difference between one person and another. That's why he kills absolutely everyone who enters the house. He thinks they're all Sir Roderick come to torment him some more. But what happened on that day fifteen years later, when Sir Roderick and Matthew disappeared?
You found their corpses in the basement, so they were obviously murdered. Question is, how and why?

I agree he was the one who probably killed Roderick and Matthew, but how could he have escaped from that basement? I think someone let him out. Remember, in Sir Roderick's diary, the last entry? He talks about destroying the monster. He must have gotten really drunk, and it being the anniversary of Belinda's death didn't help. He went down to the basement, and beat the poor kid to death.

This is what happens if you guess wrong. Notice the almost complete lack of a difference. Trilby's Notes breaks radical ground by not having these scenes only having a few of these scenes, allowing you to at least pretend you're connecting the dots yourself.

Half to death. Matthew found the body afterwards and tried to bandage him up. Matthew wasn't the sharpest tool in the box. His brother lived on for a bit longer, long enough to get a mask and machete, and to kill both his father and Matthew. Then he must have just died of his wounds.

Keep this timeline (beaten half to death -> murders family -> almost immediately dies) in mind over the rest of the update, because that will put you at least a few steps ahead of the person who actually designed the next part.

Jesus. And we're trying to destroy his ghost? None of anything that happened to him is his own fault.
What little mind he had is no more. All he has now is hate. If we don't kill him, he'll kill us all. There's no reasoning with him.
I suppose you're right. It's very sad, really.

Remember the "Father, why?" foreshadowing earlier? The obvious explanation for this whole game is that Roderick killed his kid(s), and the game pretty much slaps us across the face with that before revealing that it's only partially true. This is why 5 Days is actually liked; for a few brief moments Yahtzee tried to do something and actually pulled it off quite well.

I'm going to find his body. Then I'm going to figure out how to get his soul back into it, and destroy him.

But maybe later... For now I'll make some idle small talk with Jim.

Transcriber's Note: I've been very inconsistent about keeping the game's spelling as British spelling or changing it to American spelling. This is because Word autocorrects some words but not others. I could change that very quickly and painlessly, but I don't care to. The end.

I still have the... mask and the apron and the knife from last night. Could you take them and throw them away for me? I really don't like having them around.
Sure. What happened last night, exactly?
Well, me and Miss Taylor were in the living room. Then this big man entered in a mask and tried to kill us with a big knife. We were able to get away, but then heard Mr. Harty screaming. Miss Taylor told me to wait here. She went off to keep guard, or something. Then I went into the trophy room, and saw this wooden doll thing on the floor. Next thing I remember, I was in the bathroom, and my head really hurt. I don't like this place anymore, Mr. Trilby.
You and me both.

What does he mean "anymore"? He was forced into the mansion by cruel teenagers after all he knew of it was that it was probably haunted and evil. Then he got locked inside, then he ran out of food, then he saw other people get murdered... he probably had to sleep on the floor after a while. What sort of cognitive dissonance does this kid have? (Oh wait, the murderer he saw try to murder him might be innocent. That kind.)

Sick of seeing the same five rooms over and over yet?


Murderous wraiths are nigh-indestructible when they can hop from body to body, but tying them down to their old bodies returns them to partial mortality, a state in which they can be destroyed. Simply enough, place the spirit's original body in a place of fire and death. Return it its old clothes. Then read aloud the following passage, omitting nothing: [Words that Trilby skips over]. Warning: The summoming of a wraith will often bring forth other unquiet spirits, who will haunt those who hold their possessions.

News: I'm not exactly sure what the official position is. I have heard references to a hiker hearing suspicious noises coming from the mansion over the last couple of nights. Since I arrived here there have been three attempts to break down the front door, all unsuccessful. I understand the authorities are still waiting to hear word from Michael Cheasham's office about getting hold of the key. DeFoe Manor is of course reported to be the last known location of missing newsreader Simone Taylor.

Okay, the police know for a fact that at least two people are (or were) in this house, suspicious noises have been reported, and the event is worrying enough to have gotten sizable news coverage for almost a week. Forget the obvious "Cause minor destruction" plan; this is when they should get a helicopter. Or use a fire truck ladder to get over the nonexistent ravine. Or something besides passively standing there going "Yep, sure is a house" for a couple hours.

Hey, remember that salty bear puzzle? Want to do the exact same puzzle again but in a more arbitrary way?

Step one: Go into this room and ignore Simone, since she just reminds you of things you've been told twenty-thousand times. Instead, grab these hard-to-spot scissors that magically appeared. You might think that carrying around a machete would negate the need for these, but you're not operating under adventure game logic.

Step 2: Use the scissors to cut off a strip of the apron, use the strip to tie the mask to the machete, and dip the mask/machete/apron strip into some salt.

Step 3: Realize the prophetic nature of an Old Man Murray article and loudly wonder why you're still playing this game.

Step 4: Travel to the two parts of the house that are as far away from each other as possible. In the commentary, Yahtzee actually praises himself for this decision because he says it makes the puzzle tougher, indicating that Yahtzee didn't know what the word "puzzle" meant until 2006 or so.

Whoa, these bones are oddly shaped. I think this kid must have been born deformed. You're coming with me.

Step 5: Pry up tiles with your machete, because Yahtzee has long since given up pretending that he's doing anything except forcing keyring puzzles where they almost pretend to fit.

Step 6: Actually remember what happened in that huge info dump earlier. Apparently, Lil' DeFoe Junior killed people in the basement, buried them despite bleeding to death and being insane, and then, rather than try to escape the house by going outside, opted to walk upstairs and down the hall while still bleeding to death and being insane. He then decided to pry out the tiles with his murder weapon of choice, build a tile fort, run back downstairs to put the knife, apron, and mask away, ran back upstairs, and put the whole thing back in pristine order while he died, having been careful the entire time not to leave any blood or anything else that would alert someone to a double-murder having taken place.

The bathroom was never retiled in 200 years.

Somehow, I don't think I've improved his looks.

Now, I could summon him back to life now, but Trilby is unarmed and would die, that being a mild inconvenience.

In order to avoid this, we need to backtrack, a slightly less minor inconvenience that isn't getting old at all.

Is this part of the plan, or do you just get a kick out of seeing women with big guns?

We give Jim a teddy bear and Simone a gun. While Yahtzee doesn't make a sprite for it, picturing Jim hugging a bear during the next scene makes it much more entertaining

Here goes nothing. In this hall of death, and by the light of Prometheus' gift, I call thee. I bring thee gifts that may tempt thee back. I bring thee thy armor, that thy would be clothed. I bring thee thy sword, that thy would be armed. Come. Come.

Uh... YOU! I knew you were evil from the moment you came into this world, demon child. May God forgive me for having a part in your creation!
Why did you kill me, brother? I helped you when you were injured. I bandaged you when father made his mistake.
No mistake, young one. Now do you see why I tried to keep you away from this creature? It has no understanding of human ways.
You're wrong, father. If you'd even given him a chance to be normal...
Cease your prattling, Matthew! It's time to put an end to the horror I unleashed.

Simone decides to use the loaded gun to shoot through a skeleton standing directly in front of the person who she believes is the son she actually likes. Logic doesn't really work from this point on. Also, the house catches fire because bones are incredibly flammable.

I think now would be a good time to take our leave.

No, I didn't cut out anything that explains what happened. Some bones fall into the fire, the entire house bursts into flames, and the doors burst open because they feel like it. Also, it's suddenly night even though five minutes ago the backyard had the same mid-afternoon brightness as it always did. I preferred the alternate ending where they all realize that they should have been actually trying to escape the house instead of building dowsing rods and burn to death as a result.

Thankfully, our heroes meet the single police officer who was trying to stare the house into submission. The TV reports of a legion trying to break in were greatly exaggerated

What the hell's been going on in there? We've been trying to get in there for hours, then suddenly the place catches fire, the doors burst open and you two...
Us two?
Where's Trilby?
a second, Trilby the cat burglar?
Yes. Get someone in there, he could be in trouble!
Maybe the ghost got him.
I think we'd better get you two down to the station.

For a fun thought experiment, compare the previous lines of dialogue with how any real police officer would ever respond to anything like this ever.

But... Trilby.
The fire brigade will find him, if he's there. In the meantime, if you'd like to step this way?

Standard procedure for emergency workers is to ignore life-threatening situations when convenient and treat victims as potential suspects for absolutely no reason.

Quoth the commentary, the house has been taken over by "space jelly"

It came to Sir Roderick DeFoe and his youngest son in the shape of each other. Was destroying the ghost the right thing to do? It was like any other dumb animal. Oh, well. I guess he and his family will have plenty of time to discuss it, wherever they are. As for me, well, I have no complaints. I've lived a life many would consider out of the ordinary, and I have only one regret...

That was hardly gentlemanly conduct for a gentleman thief, but I'm sure they'd understand that rushing out into a field full of police officers wouldn't have been a good idea. It's going to be a long walk home. And I have some important matters to attend to. I have to track down my fence, for one thing.

Well, it's been something that I guess vaguely resembles fun. Hopefully you've enjoyed everything so far, and I'm eagerly anticipating Yahtzee's retrospective additions.

Creator Commentary
That last Trilby monologue is probably my least favourite one now. I still like the fake death idea but he sounds like such a bellend. It does make him sound a lot more like the jerk Trilby from Art of Theft, but it's counter to the retroactive theme of a lone wolf gradually learning to rely on others (which was kind of the whole point of the final puzzle). That's why I retconned his attitude at the start of Notes.

The exposition conversation: I think what it is is that I have very little faith in my fellow man. Which you might find understandable from a cursory glance of my email inbox. For some reason I was extremely paranoid that players wouldn't understand the full extent of the plot, which to me was a far worse possibility than players being annoyed by backtracking or dodgy puzzle logic. I think there are two similar conversations in 6 Days, where the plot has gone even more bananas.

The bathroom problem was somewhat explained in Trilby's Notes.  John DeFoe was in fact killed by the beating he received, but the essence of the Tall Man was able to immediately bring him back as the wraith.  Rather than killing his family before dying of his injuries, he killed his family, buried their bodies in the basement, then went into some kind of dormant form. None of which of course explains why the body would then move from under the house to the second floor bathroom.

I remember when I was talking to those guys about the 5 Days Source project [editor's note: A proposed fan remake that fell apart due to poor leadership] there was a lot of talk of fixes. The manor grounds were going to be greatly expanded, providing more of an exploration element. And one thing I really wanted to bring across in the last day was a sense of the manor 'closing in' - increased scare tactics culminating in the house's fiery destruction. By the last day the three survivors take to sleeping in the same room for mutual protection, for example.

Since I came up with an alternative for the salty bear puzzle sequence I'll come up with one for the salty mask. Bringing the backstory forward to the 1950's would bring up a possibility - perhaps a part of the mansion was being modernised at the time and there was some building work underway. The wraith's body would be hidden in a bit of wall or floorspace somewhere where it wouldn't be found by future renovators. Possibly for protection, since it could be (and is) used to destroy him, although that sounds strangely rational for the ghost of a murderous 'tard. Perhaps this is the work of  the Tall Man or the cult,  but we're assuming I'm making this with no prior knowledge of future sequels. Could be the body was furtively hidden away by Cheasham the lawyer who wanted to avoid the complication and possible legal proceedings. Any of these explanations could be solidified with a few documents and diaries around the place.

So the puzzle then is to deduce that the body would be hidden in some building work (possibly from a confession on Cheasham's corpse), and then to solve some puzzles to figure out which is the most recently developed part of the house. Then it's just a matter of getting into the crawlspace. A plot hole's just occurred to me: if the wraith can prevent you from smashing the windows, why can't it stop you smashing down the kitchen wall? I'd need to think on this longer.

As for the burning scene - in the 3D remake they were going to have a playable sequence where the fire spreads quickly (because of magic) and you attempt to escape the house with Jim and Simone, but falling debris cuts you off from them. They assume you didn't get out, but you are able to escape out the back with the grappling hook umbrella.

Writing all this down sort of makes me want to do this remake thing. Bad Yahtzee, you've got three other game projects on the go, for fuck's sake. I've never agreed with remakes on principle anyway.

PantsBandit posted:

Wait, I feel like this must have been asked because it happened so long ago but...who the hell killed AJ? Presumably the idol had been untouched until the bell jar broke so why would anyone have been possessed?

I will now transcribe my thought process the first time someone asked me this:

 Shit, that's a good point. Who did kill AJ? I guess Phil's the biggest asshole, and he gets all twitchy and defensive when AJ's body is found. So he must have been possessed, killed AJ, then snapped out of it and hid the corpse. And put the figurine back in the jar so no-one would know he touched it even though they couldn't possibly know that touching it caused the possession.

So yeah. Phil did it. Probably. Unless it was the Tall Man.