The Let's Play Archive

The Chzo Mythos

by Quovak

Part 12: 7 Days, Part 3: I Sperg so Yahtzee Doesn't Have To

^e: Interestingly enough, I address that in the update I posted right before reading it.

7 Days, Part 3: I Sperg so Yahtzee Doesn't Have To

Note, there are some other things you can do at this point, but I'm trying to streamline this game and only insult your intelligence a little. Showing Angela and Serena the knife results in neither of them thinking it's a big deal, including the headache-inducing line "Hold onto it for now, and we'll see if it becomes relevant later". Asking them about why the power is supposedly out (all evidence to the contrary) leads to them passing the buck and suggesting you talk to Adam again. Going to the medical room results in Will talking about how he didn't even notice the power was out since he's a workaholic who likes staring at empty beds all night, etc. None of that matters.

What does matter is that we get to backtrack already. Good to see this game isn't straying too far from the successful 5 Days formula.

Well, if it's not because of the power outage, then it'll be a foreign object lodged in the communication pilons, on top of the ship.
Can you repair it?
Well, this is all speculation, of course. Why don't you go outside and take a look at it for me? I'll give you the airlock pass.
Why don't you come too?
Well, if it turns out to be nothing, then we'll have wasted both our times.

Hey, person who's specifically in charge of fixing the ship, why don't you fix the ship?
Eh, you're a psychiatrist. You can handle it.

Note also the casual use of the term "go outside", as if Adam is asking John to see if the lawn needs watering rather than go out into the cold vacuum of space and potentially die.

Here we see some complete lack of horror. Let's see, there's a blood-stained machete, a plaque connecting Trilby and John DeFoe, a racial minority who's gone missing, and the existence of a sequel that hates originality. This isn't exactly a Sherlock Holmes mystery. It's more like the adventure game equivalent of Blue's Clues.

This is another example of blatant padding. In this room there are two switches and a closet that contains exactly one of these suits. Since I've been complaining about Yahtzee's lack or originality I'll do the exact same thing and re-use presentation techniques from when I was playing 5 Days. You have to..

1. Use the left switch to close the door behind you.
2. Open the door and change suits
3. Use the right switch to open the door to the outside.

4. Use a latch to hook onto this railing, walk across, then unlatch yourself.
5. Relatch yourself to the other railing (each step requiring some awkward inventory management)
6. Refer to Space Lessons, now located in Appendix A at the bottom of this update, or just pick out the numerous problems with this scene on your own.

If you try to move around without having tethered yourself down, you die. This gets very, very annoying very quickly.

Actually, this is John, Serena.
Dr. Somerset? You can't go on EVA, you're the counselor.
Relax, I took standard EVA training with everyone else.
Well... where's Lieutenant Gilkenny?
Something seems to have spooked him. I'm just going to check out the radio masts and come right back, OK?

The exact manner of communication isn't explained, but I'm going to assume it's through a radio in the EVA suit, since the alternative of a PA system that can send sound through space is dumb even by this game's standards. Either way, she is communicating with you. The entire point of all this is that communication is down, so you're checking the part of the ship that makes communication possible.

Serena is communicating with someone about how best to fix the problem of not being able to communicate with anyone.

Yahtzee, be honest, did you even try?

Can you see what's clogging the radio masts? Dr. Somerset? Dr. Somerset, respond please.

This shot is like one of those "What's wrong with this picture" parodies where every single possible thing is horrendously out-of-place and impossible. This is your Space Physics 101 test. Answers will provided in the Space Lessons appendix. In space.

Someone stabbed him with this machete. He went outside to try to escape from his attacker, but the killer was very determined.

Going into space to evade a killer is basically just doing his work for him

This isn't happening. It could have been anyone. Angela was the last person to see him.
I walked with him to the elevator after we examined the locker. The last I saw of him, he was heading for his quarters.
Oh yeah? We've only got your word for that.
Please, we mustn't stoop to baseless accusations. I know that none of us are capable of this sort of evil. None of us had any reason to kill Barry.
But there's no-one else on board. It had to have been one of us.

A recurring theme throughout this whole game is that you could basically just copy/paste the text from 5 Days and match it with 7 Days screenshots and nobody would be able to tell the difference. Also, look at that incredibly varied character design.

There's another thing. The locker is open.
How is that relevant?
You think the killer was hiding in there? Oh please, doctor.
I know this is going to sound stupid, but I have a horrible feeling that something was in that box. Something that got out.
That does sound stupid.
Your argument is unscientific. But for now, if only for morale, I suggest that we proceed on the assumption that we are all innocent.

See why I cut out some of that "character establishing" text earlier? I think Lil' Defoe is probably a more dynamic character than anyone (else) on this ship.

Of course, maybe it's all symbolic. Maybe the Mephistopheles, with its implied technology, steals the souls from its inhabitants and reduces them to boring archetypes, showing how our own technology-fueled lives are reducing our abilities to communicate and connect with each other on a mature and meaningful level.

I'll have to see what people on Youtube think about that.

What? There could be a murderer among us right now, and we're supposed to ignore that?
Until we can get back in touch with High Command and start a thorough investigation.
Oh, I've heard enough. I'm going to my quarters, and I don't want to be disturbed.

[More pointless infighting goes here]

Someone will have to move... him off the radio masts. And it sure as hell isn't going to be me.
It's okay, I'll do it.

The 7 Days page on Yahtzee's website claims that "Adam has been warned twice in the past for behaviour regarded as 'insolent' and 'unprofessional', but his skills as an engineer are highly attuned, and he knows it." Make of that what you will as we once again do his job for him.

So we get to travel all the way back to the cargo bay and do all of this again. God dammit, Yahtzee.

Do you require any assistance with removing the blockage?
Er, it seems not. Could you withdraw the masts for a second?

It must have gotten jarred off, or something.
When the ship's at a standstill? Anyway, we'll worry about it later. Send the distress signal.

Once again, wait for Space Lessons.

It'll take a few minutes for... *clonk*
Serena? Hell.


Alright, let's get to the real meat of this update:

(Thanks to My Name Is Kaz for the graphic, though I'll also find a use for the Sagan one)

If astrophysics is Nagasaki, then Yahtzee is an awkward and forced metaphor I'm using to make an already-obvious point. First off, let's look at how John maneuvers around the ship's exterior.

Gravity, for reasons not yet fully understood, is an incredibly weak force. Even a mass as large as the Earth, almost 6 X 10^24 kilograms, exerts such a small gravitational pull that it can be overcome with a magnet the size of your thumb. While having to use a cable is an annoying step in the right direction, there's no reason that moving in space should be even remotely similar to moving on Earth. For some reason, however, the metal ship apparently produces enough gravity for John to have a definitive "down" direction and enough traction to allow for walking with few problems.

(Incidentally, during these EVA scenes you can hear heavy breathing, a reference to Kubrick's version of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I'm not sure why Yahtzee wanted to call attention to a much better researched portrayal of space, but there you go)

Once on the top of the ship (though, again, relative directions like that have basically no meaning in space), the use of a cable becomes irrelevant, and it's possible to walk around as though there were a definitive, solid floor. That John is walking with no difficulties and exactly like he would on Earth suggests that this ship is basically, well, the mass of the entire Earth. And that being in a vacuum causes no difficulties with motion.

There are two other clues that this is basically just a boat or an office building in front of a matte painting. For one thing, Barry has been impaled, which would be nearly impossible to do in space. According to Newton's third law of motion, every action results in an equal and opposite reaction, meaning that pushing down with a certain amount of force would result in the same amount of force pushing you upward. Since human muscle is fairly thick, a very strong force would have to be used to puncture it, and thus the assailant would be pushed upwards, out into the vacuum of space. Think about kicking a wall when you're underwater to be propelled in the opposite direction of your kick, but to a much greater extent, since there's basically no resistance in space.

Finally, there's a blood splatter. Even if you were able to impale somebody, his blood would basically float right around where it came out since the force of gravity coming from the ship is far too small to attract it and there would be little momentum for blood leaving a wound. Fluid dynamics in a vacuum are far from being common sense, and if I go much further I'm almost positive I'll get my explanation wrong, but suffice it to say blood shouldn't act like that.

The reason Barry's body couldn't have been jarred off is supposedly because of the ship being at a standstill. For one thing, there's no reason he would have been jarred off anyway, since he was impaled to a fairly great depth and it's not as though wind, bumps, or turbulence could do that in space. More importantly, however, there is no reason for the ship to be at a standstill. As I mentioned in an earlier Space Lesson, the only reason space travel is feasible is that you don't have to expend energy to keep going, only to start and stop. Stopping this ship would have exerted a tremendous amount of energy for absolutely no purpose, and the failure of the engine wouldn't have caused anything of the sort.

End of overly long Space Lessons

Creator Commentary
The thought occurs that there's probably no reason Dr. Somerset couldn't have been the ship's engineer rather than the counsellor. You never really do any counselling-like things except in conversations that could just as easily be a casual discussion between friends. There is that one bit where you have to  talk to a mad doctor while strapped to a surgical chair , but you solve that with violence anyway (missed opportunity, perhaps). I guess I didn't care enough to not just go with whatever I came up with first.