Part 43: Episode 7-6: Master Vakhushti
This is it. I was going to say that this was the "endgame" but there was already an episode that was actually called "Endgame."
Episode 7-6: Master Vakhushti
By the way, if you weren't sure, it's pronounced vah-koosh-tee.
The region is apparently poverty-stricken, but the college can afford a stained glass window for its library. At least, I assume it's the library.
Holy shit, it's the original model for White Jesus.
Vakhushti: I see you are different from those ill-mannered police. You are welcome, then. How did you learn of this place?
Valerie: Do you remember me, Ray? It's Valerie Blaylock, Cynthia's friend. She told us where to find you. And yes, we removed your device from her!
Vakhushti: I see… you are Cynthia's friend. That's all the more reason to welcome you.
Markus: Do you remember Professor Wilkins, Vakhushti!? I'm Markus Vaughn, his associate! Does that name ring a bell?
Vakhushti: So you're Dr. Vaughn! Welcome, father of Stigma! It is an honor to finally meet you. Even if it was by mere chance, your discovery is of great significance.
Markus: I'm not it's father. I came here to eradicate it.
Vakhushti: What an ignorant decision. Your sense of duty has blinded you to the possibility of life. What this world, which long ago reached maturity and began to rot away, is Stigma: the power to create new life! Rejoice that you were chosen to take part in this momentous occasion.
If you were hoping for something less anime than this… I don't know what to tell you.
Markus: You've completely lost it.
Valerie: What happened to you, Ray!? You were a good doctor before.
Vakhushti: Have you not tired of the meaningless praise you receive for saving people's lives? Open your eyes! The true nature of life is endless conflict! This is the path that mankind must walk!
Funny thing is, if he were a character in any given action game, he'd basically be right.
Valerie: It's over now. Your Parnassus is gone.
Vakhushti: My power remains undiminished, because my body itself is the Ark. I am the vessel that holds the new form of life.
Markus: You're infected with Stigma?
Vakhushti: No, we are in symbiosis. Together with Stigma, I will survive through the end of an age, as did my ancestors.
Markus: Elena, get the anesthetic.
Valerie: Don't tell me you plan to operate on him!
Markus: I see edema on his body. The infection must be in the advanced stages. We can't allow this strain of Stigma to leave here.
Edema (oedema in the proper Queen's English) is blood pooling abnormally in body cavities or beneath the skin.
Elena: I've contacted Caduceus. We've sent them the research data we found, as well.
Over the next bit, the other Caduceus employees are speaking over the radio. You can tell this from the sound the of VA, but it doesn't come through in text. You'll hear it in the video, though.
Cromwell: I've taken a look through the data. This is one troublesome Stigma. He's named it "Cardia." It means "heart." Could it be because that's where it attaches itself? Since there are Stigma that can cause secondary infections, we can't ignore any type. We can only predict what may be triggered by the death of its host, but we should be prepared for the worst.
Markus: I won't let that happen.
Valerie: We have to remove all traces of Cardia from the heart.
It's a little hard to parse what they're talking about, but I think they're worried about Stigma spreading into the outside after it kills Ray. Of course, we're here to prevent that. I honestly would have preferred if we were saving him just because that's what they do/because he should stand trial or something, but I can imagine a chorus of nerds saying "But he's the bad guy he must DIE DIE DIE."
Irene: Can you al hear me? Caduceus will do everything in its power to eliminate Cardia, and all Stigma everywhere. I'm sending staff to prevent casualties through secondary infections to you immediately.
Leslie: Hi, Elena! We have lots of skilled nurses ready to go, too.
Everett: You don't have enough equipment, right? We'll prepare some for you, too. All you need to do is concentrate on the operation, just like any other procedure.
Tsuji: Stop chit-chatting with them and prepare the equipment for transport!
Markus: How encouraging.
Elena: We're not the only ones here fighting. I'll do my best as well. Let's put an end to Stigma!
I made some horrible mistakes this time around, and I think they made the video more exciting as a result!
Stigma strain 7: Cardia
The final strain of Stigma. This one is similar to Savato in its general appearance, heart theme, and ability to reduce maximum vitals. Cardia is essentially this game's multi-tiered final boss. While not especially difficult, it has pretty powerful attacks.
The first phase is to eliminate the "membrane" of squares, which Cardia is moving around on. It's only attack right now is to physically get in your way while you try to do this, but if it touches a red panel, the patient's max vitals go down by about 20. This persists for the entire operation, so it may be best to start over in that case. Either way, be sure to get rid of the red ones first.
You can remove the membrane by gelling it to make it "vulnerable" for a short time, during which you slice out and remove it. Any panels that are touching will be removed together. You can't remove any piece that Cardia is touching, or you'll get a miss. Of course, now you're wondering how you remove the last one. Well, Cardia will occasionally teleport to a different location. There's enough of a delay between its disappearance and reappearance that you can finish up the membrane.
By the way, if Cardia tries to teleport onto a square you are currently holding in your forceps, you'll get a miss and the section will magically teleport back onto the heart.
You actually have to remove three membranes, each one a little more complicated, and featuring more red panels. In addition, new red panels will sometimes form.
You'll have to use the zoom to shift your view around during the two larger membranes, but this part is very easy, overall.
After you've removed three membranes, the real fight starts. This form has a simple pattern: it dashes around for awhile, making some cuts(more depending on how much damage you've done) and then it uses the "ripple attack." You need to chase it with the laser, but while it's dashing around you should prioritize dealing with the wounds.
Oh, and just like Savato, you'll be screwing yourself if you use your Healing Touch too early. You'll know when it's needed.
When you see it start dropping these things, immediately start pulling them out with the forceps. It's about to use the "ripple attack."
As my incredibly clever name suggests, Cardia shoots some purple ripples over the screen. If they touch one of the tumors, it does a load of damage. You actually don't have much time to restore vitals during this fight, so removing the tumors is… well, it's vital.
The ripples are actually your chance to deal damage, since Cardia stays still for a long time while using them. You should be able to get damage confirmation during or shortly after the attack.
You only need to hurt Cardia three times to start the final phase of the battle, but after two hits, it'll be making five or six cuts at once. You really need to have high vitals going in, and beat it quickly, because you can't really keep them up without a second player.
This is Cardia's last stand once you deal enough damage. Needless to say, this is the time to use Healing Touch. If you're using Markus', you have the time to remove all these tumors for points. Otherwise, blast away.
Cardia animexplodes, like all good final bosses.
Surprisingly, there's no bonus for avoiding the red panels. The ones I missed are the standard chain/miss bonuses.
Markus: Consider it your atonement.
Vakhushti: I don't know if I'll ever be able to atone for what I've done.
Valerie: He seems different from before.
Vakhushti: Stigma is an antagonist for malignant diencephalic sclerosis. It has protected my brain until now. I won't survive for long without it.
Sclerosis is the hardening of a structure in the body, and the diencephalon is the posterior part of the forebrain. Amusingly, if you want to google for more information, you'll have to search those terms separately. Otherwise, you'll get Trauma Center results before anything useful.
Markus: You used Stigma to treat a diencephalic disorder!?
Valerie: Then, could the change in his behavior be induced? Was he suffering from delirium as a side effect?
Vakhushti: It's getting hard to breathe. I let my anger take control of me… I was weak, and I lost myself. My regret… is too much to bear.
Markus: I'm sure you've saved countless lives over the years, but that doesn't give you the right to take away even a single life.
Vakhushti: Thank you… I was able to repent… before my death…
And on the 722,700th day he fell again.
Valerie: He's gone…
Markus: It's finally over.
The threat of Stigma, which brought fear to the entire world, was eliminated with the dismantling of the criminal organization, Parnassus. Caduceus's international network was integral to the operation, providing treatment and taking preventative measures in a number of countries. Because of their efforts, the disease was successfully contained, and the crisis caused by man's divisiveness was put to an end through cooperation.
I think it was actually caused by the worst life-extending care ever conceived.
Mendez: He wants to recognize you all for your efforts fighting Stigma.
And at the thought of praising a government body praising a government-funded medical organization, the fourth-wave tea-party goes into full swing.
Irene: I tried to persuade them, but the answer was still "no." I'll prepare an official statement if you like.
Mendez: I just don't understand. It's such an honor.
Irene: They've been through some painful experiences. An occasion like this would only reopen old wounds. What they need right now is to be with the patients they've treated, and see their smiling faces.
Cromwell: I have to admit, I'm not looking forward to it, but it's of tremendous importance to pathology and pharmacology.
Tsuji: It's hard not to think about Cynthia at a time like this.
Everett: I'd like to think that while she was here, she focused on helping people.
Cromwell: Well, our purpose at Caduceus IS to save lives. I'm sure that's where her heart was while she was with us.
Tsuji: Dr. Everett, why don't we call it a day and get some dinner? You too, Robert, if you have the time.
Everett: Woah, this is a rare occasion. Sure, why not?
Elena: Bye, Leslie. Looks like that's it for today.
Valerie: The Director assigned us so many patients, we haven't had time for a break. Ready to head out, Markus?
Markus: Not yet. I have to finish this up first. By the way, I'll be out the day after tomorrow. I'm going to see Professor Wilkins.
Valerie: Is it about restoring his memory? Mind if I tag along?
Markus: Not at all.
Elena: Then I'll inform the Director. You weren't planning on leaving me behind, were you? I AM a member of the Special Disease Counteraction Team.
Markus: All right, you two. Let's get some fresh air.
Elena: …It almost seems like nothing ever happened.
Markus: Do you have any regrets, Elena? If you hadn't followed me to Alaska, you wouldn't have had to go through the whole ordeal.
Elena: I don't have a single regret, Dr. Vaughn.
Markus: Stigma is gone, but who knows what's in store for us, next?
Valerie: I'll never quit being a Doctor, Markus, no matter what happens. For the sake of the patients only I can help.
Markus: I feel the same way. I'll be counting on you.
Valerie: And I'll be counting on you.
And here are the credits which you can't skip. After, you can save your clear data.
Next time: Additional features: The ultimate operation, and more.