The Let's Play Archive

The Way

by Fleshwit

Part 78: Episode 6: Part 19: The Phantom Menace (Low Hanging Fruit Title)

Episode 6: Part 19: The Phantom Menace (Low Hanging Fruit Title)

Today let's finally go and visit Celestria's Boutique. This is actually one of the updates I've been looking forward to doing, besides the next one about the plunges and the end sequence(s).

Of course this guy's here.

(It looks like the same suit he has on to me...)

(Takes one to know one.)


I saw some really suave shirts and pants that you would look great in!


With my fashion sense you could be the grandest, most elaborately styled Grand Champion ever!

Elaborately styled?

Imagine the intimidation factor!
Your killer outfit and accessories would have them begging for mercy!

Heheheh, that sounds great...

Well, I best get back to the clothes. Don't stray too far off now!

Thanks. It looks... great...

In honor of your ascent to Grand Champion I have prepared a special suit, just for you!


Just let me know when you're ready to have a look at it and I'll take you back to see it.
One more person to talk to before we do that... In a side room is apparently where they sell underwear/lingerie.

Hey. What are you doing in here?

Looking at clothes, what else?
Rhue looks around the room at all the womens underwear.


Yes, what's not to like?

Yes, what indeed?
And now we have both a new Sorya and a Lexus point, let's move on.

Celestria begins spinning in place over there.

So that's how she does it...
The other side of the shelf also has:

"Repeating Patterns"
"Symbology in Fashion"
"Timeless Attire"

Anyway, let's talk to Celestria.

What's wrong?

The suit!! It's GONE!!! Someone has taken my suit!!!
It was so perfect! So pristine! Why would someone do this to me?!

(Don't ask me.)

After all that work... My fabulous suit!

Well, you were just going to give it to me anyway. It's all right. Obviously someone else really wanted it.

But it's still sooooo depressing!
I don't think I'll be making another suit for a long time.
This incident... it's just...

Left a bad taste in your mouth?

Yes. You put it perfectly. I'm going home now.
She leaves and we can investigate.

He then wonders what it could possibly open. We also leave.

"They looked weird!"
The little girl that's been running in circles here since the Episode opened finally comes in handy. We head inside from the front entrance of the Concert Hall. I think from the backstage, the front part is completely inaccessible. I know I looked for a while.

We make our way up to the balcony. The door on the right leads to a dead end with a locked door. What you're meant to do is walk down in the centre, where that roof is, and because THANKS LUN you have to press use as well.

The long ladder down leads us to Celestria's, so this is the right place... I guess.

We wind up going down a long way to find ourselves in a familiar place.

I jump my way to the south end of the map. If you get caught on the spikes, despite having an actual healthbar, you pretty much are fucked. Sometimes you might survive but it seems randomish?

We wind up in ANOTHER familiar room. The other door's still locked though, so I head back out to do more spike trap jumping.

After a number of attempts I just barely make it and pull the lever that lets us skip it from now on unless we want to go to the alcohol room.

The spikes here move a lot slower which is a blessing AND a curse. You get stuck on them and will 100% die if you dont jump to the next island, and they move too slowly to spare you. Also there's arrows, but don't worry about those. They do next to nothing compared to the spikes.

After a few tries, I make it and then... fall through the floor here.

So the Concert Hall -is- haunted!


"Lower them and I can toss you some arrows!
To fire them, just stand on top of them and press the ACTION key. They will shoot in the direction you are facing.
One last thing, the switches have to be triggered in a certain order. You'll have to figure it out."

Then this robed guy appears and starts running around pulling switches that make arrows shoot at you AND ALSO make you have to dodge spike traps. We have to time our arrows to hit him as he runs around the perimetre which is tricky to get the hang of while dodging arrows, spikes and pressing switches so Gallagher can throw more arrows for us.

It's very hectic, and even kind of fun in a maddening way.

The more you hit him, the trickier the spike patterns get but I think that's the only change.

And he turns into a puff of smoke on the seventh arrow.

Gallagher also disappears.

Rhue automatically walks up to and enters this door, which locks behind him, forever keeping us from coming back here and seeing what that book and those papers, where Gallagher was, are.

The chests just have some loot.

That painting there is the same one The Girl has in her house.

The writer rambles on from there.

Why bother writing something that down?
I want to point out that Lun sort of has some notes like that in the code too. Though they're more him questioning himself about the worth of making a game. You've seen one already, but there's another.
Anyway, the north door is locked and the door directly south of it just leads out of here so whats the deal?

Let's try "the child's knee" key.
This whole map looks like a curled up child, is the thing.

"There's a note attached to it that reads... "Concert Hall, Right Tower"
We'll be going there shortly, but not yet.

All the drawings in this room plus the paintings are apparently complete rubbish, that Rhue says a child could do better. Though one drawing does get a strange reaction out of him "Looks like it could be... nah, it couldn't be." or something to that effect.

This must be the suit that was stolen from Celestria's shop!
Yeah you have to walk behind the left counter to find it with no indication that its here? Just another instance of THANKS LUN.

For some reason picking up the chair opens the door.

I thought I killed you for sure.

Maybe you did.


Oh, I see. No, you didn't kill me. You can't.
I'm not really here.


That is to say, I amount to nothing more than a shadow in this existence.
Does he mean to say like how aura's are mere shadows of the soul...?

I think you're insane.

Those two? They're awful. A five year old could do better!

I can't even tell what the one on the right is supposed to be.

You mean to say that it transcends natural form?

No, I mean to say that it looks like a big blotch of nothing.

Surely? Nothing? If only I could actually capture that...

(That's stupid...)

You are searching for someone, are you not?

What do you know about it?

There is only one person in this entire city that you ever really knew.
But... even they are fake.
Then again, I suppose it depends on who you are. There is more than one answer to that question.

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

And just what do you mean by "fake"?

Shadows. They are like shadows. If you could follow the shadows you could find them, but you cannot.

Who are you?

I told you. A shadow.


You really know how to pick them...

You don't like it?

It's got a big chunk torn out of the middle!

You think that's a bad thing?

Of course! It's ruined! What happened to the middle?

We're getting into author tracts here, but I think it's clear the Phantom is meant to be Lun (or have a similar mindset to him anyway) and is his way of expressing to his fanbase why he didn't make Episode 7 and finish The Way properly. Whatever he was going through (depression? losing someone? just getting sick of the work?) made him unable to and... he left a big chunk missing, and I think he genuinely wound up liking The Way more for it.

Lands, you really are stupid...

I just liked it better this way.
There's something to be said for filling in a gap yourself, I suppose. Anything could go.

What did you do with the part you ripped out?

I put it inside a person's heart.
Note: His own heart, but also another's.


I think it's beautiful.

The exit takes us back here. I backtrack all the way to The Girl's house.

I got it! It's the rest of that weird phantom's painting!
Note: A picture is worth a thousand words.

There's also a note for The Girl's house in general.

Note: She plays violin for shows at the concert hall.
She practices daily between her shifts, preparing for her big solo at the next show.
Who will notice and remember?

And back to the Phantom we go.

You found it...?
Well... if you want to see what it looks like that badly, I guess I'll put it in.
My poor masterpiece...

I think it looks much better.

You would be wise to take a closer look at the other two paintings.

Hey, could I ask you a small favor?

Go ahead. Ask.

I need a painting.

One of mine? For that new house your friend had you buy?

Yea, if that's possible.

You like my work?

Yea, I do.

Are you willing to pay for it?

What would you like?

Ten heart stones worth of life force. I will absorb it directly from your body.
That alone will earn you one of my masterpieces.

Why do you want that?

If you aren't willing to make any real sacrifices for this woman, what future do you really have?
The choice is simple. Will you better yourself or will you sacrifice for her?

Very well.

The painting I'm giving you is of a place called the Black Shoals.
Oh, here we go.

A very important event took place there...
I hope you enjoy it.
We'll eventually see the Black Shoals for ourselves but them and their important event have haunted me for decade and a half at this point. Just a constant niggling question in the back of my head.

Anyway, both the other two paintings are teleporters now.

The right one leads to a treasure hoard.

The left leads to this house with this shelf. Three the Hard Way is one of the all time classic games of the western RPGMaker community, and its author is the same guy who started the Misao Awards, naming them after his favourite Ruroni Kenshin character I believe? For no real reason other than he could.

It's just a random house by Alan's manor. We go back to the Concert Hall to unlock the right tower door.

This is the M 2 0 map. I don't know why it has that name but... This man here is interesting enough to have been dubbed M 2 0 Man by the fans.

MAN: I'm tired...


MAN: I saw the show. It could have been better.

Heheh. Well yes, it was kind of just thrown together.

MAN: I guess...
People liked the show, right?
You'll remember Lun refers to The Way as 'the show' in some of the notes. I think this is a a much more personal author avatar than the Phantom is.

I think so...

MAN: Do you think they'll remember it?

I don't know. Everybody is so busy these days.

MAN: Well, even if every single wanderer liked it, what would it matter?
What's the use of being liked?

Are you kidding? Plenty... Besides, it's better than being disliked.

MAN: Disliked...

MAN: I saw the mists.
The Rolling Mists...?

You mean...

MAN: Right before they crash down they get real red like blood.
They reach for the sky, but they can't escape.
Have you ever seen the ocean?

Yea, I think so.

MAN: Every river flows into the ocean. They bring sediment from far away lands and the riptides carry it out to sea.
Everyday the ocean's waves beat against the shore, eroding the land. And everyday the rivers carry off more sediment.
The rivers widen and the shorelines diminish. Maybe everything will one day be engulfed by the waters...
This kind of reminds me of Kavax talking about the power of water?

MAN: Maybe that is the will of the Purpose.


MAN: It's pretty, huh?

In a way.

MAN: I don't look out any of them anymore.
I used to look and what I saw made me very happy.
But the longer I looked the more my happiness faded.
As time went on, looking made me sadder and sadder.
I began to wish more and more that I had never looked at all.
So one day I turned away.
My stomach clenched up and my mouth went dry. All of the water went to my eyes.

"Sometimes, when my eyes were full, I saw visions...
I felt very sick for a long time."

Sounds like some sort of drug.

MAN: I wish it were that simple.
If you look out each window long enough, you might see what I eventually saw, but if I were you I wouldn't do it.
It's a great burden once you know.
And that's the end of the conversation unless you speak to him a second time.

"You have to keep filling it up otherwise it becomes empty."

You can see that kids asleep and Rhue says as much, but about once a minute he opens his eyes briefly. If you talk to him when his eyes are open...

"Take it easy, I'm going back to sleep. I was having a nice dream..."

When you use the other side of the bed there's a bright flash and this happens. Woo.

An event's meant to occur if you have Rhue stare out the windows long enough but I couldn't get it to trigger. I tried all three windows for atleast ten minutes each. I don't remember the exact mechanics for it. Luckily, Jeramyu has the script for what happens on his site.

RHUE: Wait a second... I do see

RHUE: It's...

RHUE: Just some little kid... smiling?

RHUE: What a waste of time that was.

And that's it for now. We'll check out our completed house next update and do the two highest powered plunges, and get a pretty massive hint next update. Then we can resume the main plot.

Random notes from Lun.

There's a bunch of notes from Lun I haven't posted yet due to not really having good timing or they don't fit into an update anywhere.

This one is in the Val Parra Cafe, where we could take Lexus or Sorya on a date. I suspect it's about Lexus from Texas:

Note: It was a hot day, but we were inside when we met.
A complex. A dome dedicated to the memory of
brave soldiers.
Note: It was a random selection process. How we ended
up walking together I have no idea.
Note: She told me she liked my shirt.
Note: We got along. I liked her.
Note: She was a happy girl.
Note: But the last time I saw her she
was in tears.
Note: I could have helped her.
Note: But I didn't.
Note: Seeing her cry like that, I couldn't think straight.
Note: The panacea could have been in my hands in a moment.
Note: I'm still upset at myself.
Note: Stupid.

There's a few notes that indicate Lun was working on scenes out of order. And I don't mean, working on Episode 6 scenes out of order, I mean across the -entire- series out of order.

For the dinner date with The Girl at Icabods:
Note: Scenario completed December 5, 2002.
Basic testing complete.
Note: And man does my freaking
wrist hurt.

For the courtroom:
Note: This event was completed on
December 6, 2002. Lun.

For an area we haven't seen yet:
Note: It's a late night, but I'm almost finished. Watched some movies tonight with the neighbor
girls. Man, I've got to add enemies to the Forest area after this. I think I'll easily finish
before the end of February. Might do some special stuff for Lexus quest.
Note: Episode 3 got released just a little while back, been getting about 2 or 3 letters a day.
Trying to help everyone who is asking me questions as best I can.
Note: I'm still feeling lots of pressure to do something that "matters". Games are considered to
be silly and childish by a lot of people around me. Or maybe it's just me.
Note: They don't see it the way I do. That's all right.
Note: Lun

February 9, 2003

The note from the end of the play event I didn't want to post back then due to spoilers:
Note: =======
The creation of this part in the game occurred after I had completed the end, the forest,
and the barrucha bridge maze. This whole experience was a blur.
Note: Halfway through I realized that this part was grand, but really wasn't
that much fun. Though I had planned to do a lot of fun things with the Concert hall
I'm not so sure I will be able to accomplish them.
Note: I plan to complete the Lexus sidequest and have it reach it's climax here. This was a
miserable experience to make, and now I'm moving on to the arena. after I fill in the
crowd which will be mostly lifeless due to my burned out mind.
Note: I've been telling people I will take a break after Episode 3, but I don't know if I will or not.
Note: I've decided to change my plans for the
Lexus part. It will not take place here as
I originally planned.

the end