Part 45: Awkward Tentacle ActionAwkward Tentacle Action
Last time, we made it down to the Bloom's second level. What new perils await us?
Fuck! Don't worry, this isn't as bad as it looks. What we need to go is to get to the Heart of the Bloom and rescue Ishen so the Memovira will tell us where the First Castoff so we can stop the Changing God from killing all the castoffs somehow?
The optimal way to do this is to just go through the two doors and pass some skill checks, or, in our case, whip the Transdimensional Scalpel out again. You can go and mess with the Bloom-tongues on the side to open various doors, but you really don't want to do that.
This goblin dude was in the sac we burst open to start the transdimensional scalpel quest. He's a bro and will attack the Black Demon Seed monsters for us. Leave him alone. Yea, he's a transdimensional ghost and thus more Numenera bullshit, but he's ultimately making us "play" fewer rounds of Numenera combat. Pour one out for our boy.
We do have to go a few rounds with the tentacle monsters teleporting in, but our whole party can kill them with focus fire and thus like much of the game's combat it's just a big waste of time.
Not only does Tides Dog tear the sac apart, he does it with only one text screen!
Yes yes, the Bloom is very mad.
Matkina busts the other sac open with the scalpel.
They literally used the same sentence for cutting each door. Whatever. It's not like this is an inspired encounter or anything. Wait till you see the final boss fight!
The last part of this encounter is opening this door. Here Callistege is going to use her not-wizardy muscles to pry the butthole open.
It works. We need one more skill check.
Alternatively we can just use the Transdimensional Scalpel to tell the game we're sick of its shit.
The Transdimensional Scalpel is the only weapon that works for this, by the way. The Impossible Blade TLC is using as her main weapon, despite doing some kind of time fuckery attack, can't be used.
These guys get teleported in and starting whining about how the we're tormenting our god. Ha ha. I enjoy how despite the text being labeled "Inkpot" the narration has to tell us that yes, that's Inkpot's voice. Whatever. At this point you can go make a sandwich while the NPCs take their usual 15 minutes to slowly walk toward you like you have their Social Security checks, and then click on the asshole you just carved to end the fight and get 100 XP.
This is the Heart of the Bloom, the ending of our quest through...the stomach...and the intestines of the Bloom. I'm expecting a pack of Zerglings to unborrow any minute now.
Here you have to convince all your companions to follow you into the Hentai Zone up there because the Bloom is very dangerous. Keep in mind our interactions with the Bloom have been easily mind controlling it with our Tide powers and just cutting our way past the Trolley Doors because my god, we have seen enough of that.
: Do you have any insight, Callistege?
: Any advice, Matkina?
: Oom, what's wrong?
: I'll need your help in there, Callistege.
: [Persuasion] Think of what you can learn. How many people have touched the very Heart of the Bloom?
100% Persuasion chance, punks!
: Matkina, let's go in together.
: [Persuasion]: I can't do this alone. We'll be okay.
: Come with me, Oom.
Tides Dog will always have our back!
: All right. Let's do this.
Seriously, they're two words off from the meme. Did no one proofread this?
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: You guys have any advice?
: Oh shit! Oh fuck!
: I need you guys to come with me, and I have a 100% persuasion chance.
: LEEROYYYYYYY JENKINNNNNNNS!!!!!
A mass of tubes and tendrils, huh? You don't say.
I kinda fuck up here.
: [Light Weapons][Raises Red Tide] Stab the Heart with the Transdimensional Scalpel.
I wanted to see if we could actually kill the Bloom.
You can back out of skill checks. I, on the other hand, was dully clicking through dialog at this point.
Also, 85% chance! Good odds, right?
I hate this game's skill system, I hate this game's writing, and I hate this game's combat.
My failure to kill the Bloom has unleashed the demons of exposition. I also have no idea how memories flash too quickly to think about, and can only conclude the authors are once again thinking like this is a movie and not a pile of writing.
So that memory way back at the beginning where the lady laughed at us for being bad with robots? That lady was the First Castoff, Maralel.
The masked lich looking person? That's the First Castoff. I don't think she's had as much of an impact on our journey as Callistege, Matkina, and I think that's supposed to be Aligern, but what do I know?
Stop with the attribution and trust your dialogue.
: [Raises Blue Tide] Show me the rest of the memory.
Yea, fuck no, we're not doing that.
: [Tidal Surge] Try to feed false memories to the Bloom, to keep it from plundering the real ones.
So I did the sidequest to max that skill out, do I get a roll, or...
Oh, yea, no. Suddenly the psychic powers we were using to command the Bloom arbitrarily don't work anymore.
Also that's kind of a personal relationship, are we to assume that it was a father-daughter thing or did it get weird?
OH FUCK YOU! You can avoid this, but I didn't think to check a guide. We have plenty of Intellect and the game is almost over. I'm not replaying this segment again.
: Disengage from the Bloom-Tongues.
I avoid the Gold Tide ending because I want to get us to Blue and Silver for endgame for...reasons. I probably won't succeed, I think sending Rhin home makes you unable to get out of Gold.
This feels like it should be a big "wow" twist, but we knew the First was alive and the Memovira knew where she was. This isn't a big deal.
Oh, yes, the First Castoff's armies were responsible for Matkina's...erm...Terry Goodkind moment.
Never one to trust the reader to understand this deep, philosophical game, the writers spend another screen spelling it out, in case you didn't put together magic disguise mask + First Castoff = Memovira.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: OoOoOoOoO! You are caught in the tentacle zone! Time for psychic bullshit exposition hour!
: I stab the Bloom with the Transdimensional Scalpel, because i've had enough of this game's bullshit. Look, eighty-five percent chance.
: It looks like the dice aren't in your favor, player! It's time for exposition! See, when the First Castoff and the Changing God used to hang out, the First Castoff rotted and grew really ugly! The Changing God gave her a mask, and she was really, really mad! Then the Changing God made her put it on because it was an ancient science mask, or something! Oh, yes, pausing now.
: What are you waiting for?
: You must make a choice! Which of your companion's minds will be run over by a trolley? The Bloom demands...memories!
: Ok, look, I did the sidequest to upgrade Tidal Surge to the max level, I'm a master liar, I'm taking the Tidal Surge option that involves lying to the player!
: You think you can avoid the trolley? You fool! The trolley runs your ass over and you lose an intellect point permanently.
: I don't even get a roll? What the fu-
: Quiet, I have to finish my exposition now. A transdimensional (that's my favorite word, can't you tell) portal opens, and a man falls out. It's Mazzof! Dun dun DUNNN! But before you can do anything, you are back in the flashback zone! It turns out the magic mask lets the First Castoff change her face! As the Changing God watches her, she turns into...the Memovira!
: Goddammit I could have shanked that bitch.
: Ok, can I get out of the tentacle zone now?
: In case you didn't get it, the Memovira is the First Castoff! That's for all you smart players we think highly of out there! Also the Bloom wants to eat her. Make of that what you will.
Ugh. We're still not done, we have to talk to Mazzof. If you don't remember who he is, the Changing God had him build the resonance chamber and then we played a necromancer Choose Your Own Adventure game where he told us that the resonance chamber was actually a trolley set to run over all the castoffs.
This character description feels...not out of place. They could have animated him vomiting, but I guess that would have cut into the rapey sidequest budget and the ignoring kickstarter stretch goals budget.
: I thought I was rescuing someone named Ishen. But here you are instead.
Just so we're clear, firing the resonance chamber kills all the castoffs. Or something.
: Hold on. How did you end up a prisoner to begin with?
: I don't know, actually. I thought I was working for the Memovira until just a few minutes ago.
Memovira is a title. If we'd had Matkina with us earlier she'd have spent a lot of time bitching about how she used to work with the old Memovira and he was just the coolest man ever but the new Memovira took over and she sucks.
: But a headache is uncoiling through your head now as well. Alarm spreads over Mazzof's face, and he reaches out to catch you as you topple forward.
Uncoiling headaches. Really.
That's just more bad writing. "The chamber certainly has the power" seems to indicate that yes it does have the firepower to kill the Sorrow.
: Mazzof, what is the First's plan with the Chamber?
Oh goddamn it. I had one of those things lying around, and I know where to get a second. We're going to do the last Merecasters next update.
TheGreatEvilKing summarizes this crap posted:
: Aw, crap! This hurts, I got beaten by the bloom. You're the girl from the Choose Your Own Adventure! What are you doing here?
: I thought I was looking for some dude named Ishen, but here we are.
: Oh, it's a derivative of a dumb Numenera Proper Noun no one knows about. Except...shit, the First Castoff sent you, didn't she? Did you skip those two text screens about her being the Memovira? She's working on the resonance chamber.
: Oh no I think I'm gonna go to the flashback zone.
: The Bloom really sucks! Any idea how we get out?
: How did you get stuck here?
: The Bloom took me to get closer to the First Castoff, even though I have intrinsic value as a man who understands machines better than the Changing God himself.
: I thought I was working for the Memovira, I have no idea how to get out of here.
: Oh man! Don't tell me you didn't know! She's gonna be so pissed at me -
: A headache uncoils inside you! You go to the flashback zone! You are the Changing God, and one of your castoffs thinks your plan to use the resonance chamber is shit, but so is the First Castoff's plan because it will kill all the castoffs! You tell him the machine can be used to kill the Sorrow, even though you're not sure it has the power to fully kill it! He is mad and tries to kill you, but you escape to another body! Now you can resume playing!
: Are you alright?
: What is the First Castoff planning to do with the resonance chamber?
: She's going to sev - uh, I can't tell you, you should ask her. I just trust her to free us from the Sorrow, because she's a trustworthy person and the Changing God is going to suck everyone back into someone's mind or something. She needs my help, bye! Have a CYOA time machine!
We take the portal and are back at the Bloom entrance.
Next Time: We finish up the Merecaster Choose Your Own Adventure segments before finally ending our long Numenera nightmare.