The Let's Play Archive

WILL: A Wonderful World

by Mix

Part 12: In The Alley

content warning: child abuse (verbal, physical), spousal abuse (verbal, physical), domestic violence, hand mutilation (unrelated to the previous)
(no, seriously heed that content warning; one of the new letters is rough :smith:)

And with this one, we have a different puzzle mechanic introduced- though, like Will said last update, it's pretty straightforward. It's mostly just for details that can't be together because of logical impossibilities- in this case, for example, it's impossible for something to be moving at two different speeds simultaneously. Therefore, one primary facet of this puzzle is what speed is best for which ball. :eng101:

That said, there's not a lot of different options here, its mostly just a matter of shuffling some stuff around and messing with the speeds. Ironically, the rest of the endings are non-Bad ones, so that's nice for a change!

Let's start with this order.

[BGM: Sad Clown]

Before I realized it, the ball had hit me right in my forehead.
It was so fast that it would be sure to cause serious damage if it hit someone!
And it would be worse if it hit someone in the head!

In any case, I don't remember anything afterwards... (:◎) ≡

They told me that someone else practicing at the court had called an ambulance for me.
There are good people in this world, I suppose...

Or, it must be because I had been such a great person every day.
That must be what they call good karma. (= ̄ω ̄=)

[BGM: Lethal Affair]

The ball was blown off its path by the wind and fell softly to the ground.

Mr. Wen noticed me.
So did the two robbers...

The tank top guy took one step towards me.
I began to picture how they would force me into the corner, pull out a chainsaw from behind them...
and cut me to pieces...
Oh no... I couldn't stay there any longer...

“Mr. Wen, you can fight them!”

I screamed silently in my head and ran away with my hands covering my face, leaving Mr. Wen there by himself.

The next day Mr. Wen came back to school. He didn't seem hurt, either.
Although I couldn't imagine how he had gotten away, I was really happy that everything was okay.

However, I didn't have the courage to go back to the art class any more...

Well, we gave Jimmy a concussion, and Li Wen still ended up running away, so obviously these aren't great outcomes, but it's definitely a marked improvement! This also makes it pretty obvious (if it wasn't already) that the wind is a problem for Li Wen no matter what speed the ball's going at- we're going to have to move it over to Jimmy's side and hopefully prevent him from being injured altogether.

The main question then becomes: which speed is the right one for which ball?

[BGM: Sad Clown]

I shuddered a little.
Before I realized it the ball was already right in front of me!

I was so startled that I had to awkwardly block the ball with the racket.
And I happened to hit the ball.

The ball was too quick, and it bounced off high up in the air.
It was a perfect parabola. ( ̄. ̄)+

And then it hit an old man who was practicing nearby...

He ran over to me angrily and started yelling.
I kept bowing and apologizing; I was nodding like a pecking hen.

(Aaaah... people in the real world are so scary... (ಥ_ಥ) )

[BGM: Lethal Affair]

The ball hit the forehead of the tank top guy exactly as I wanted. But it bounced off and fell softly to the ground.
The guy tumbled and fell to the ground.

Before the second man realized what had happened I sprinted towards his back as fast as I could.
I smashed his head with my racket with all of my strength.
Then, I grabbed Mr. Wen's hand and ran towards the end of the alley.

But I didn't see that the first guy had already stood back up.
It felt like Mr. Wen had let go of my hand and thrown his entire body onto my back.
And then I felt him slowly collapsing to the ground...

I turned around, and Mr. Wen was lying on the ground unconscious.
There was a pool of blood, and it was getting larger and larger...

Mr. Wen had to be hospitalized afterwards.
Since he couldn't teach for a long time he lost his job, as well...

:raise: Not sure how 'he got stabbed and had to be hospitalized' is a higher ranked ending than just her running away (but leaving him unharmed after the fact), but okay. In any case, with this ending, we now know why the speeds have to be reversed... :eng101:

(dervival guessed the right answer, for the record.)

[BGM: Life is Good]

I shuddered a little.
Before I realized it the ball was already right in front of me!

I was so startled that I had to awkwardly block the ball with the racket.
And I accidentally hit the sweet spot! It actually felt really great! ( ̄. ̄)+

Wait... had I just hit it?

Yes, I had!
I had just hit an underspin shot!

Oh wow! I had learnt how to hit an underspin shot!
Banzai! Banzai!

I jumped up and down with excitement. People nearby were shooting me admiring (strange) looks.

What does “Banzai” mean? Was he hurt?

No. “Banzai” is a Japanese phrase. It means “Hooray”.

Although based on my observations lots of people outside of Japan use this word as well. They are from many different countries, and most of them are men. Oh, and they share another common characteristic.

What is that?

They are all single.

Single? What's wrong with being single?

Everything. Being single “hurts”...

Ha! In the end, “Banzai” still means hurt, right?

See, 'Banzai” means being single, and being single means it hurts. This is very straightforward.

(I think I'm single too... Banzai...)

[BGM: Green Fog]

The ball hit the forehead of the tank top guy, exactly as I planned. He fell down to the ground with a thud like a brick.

Before the second man realized what had happened I sprinted towards his back as fast as I could.
I smashed his head with my racket with all of my strength.
Then, I grabbed Mr. Wen's hand and ran towards the end of the alley.

10 minutes later.
I was panting heavily, and realized I had already run all the way back to my apartment building. Oh, and I was still holding Mr. Wen's hand...

“Mr. Wen, e-excuse me. Th-this is where I live...”
I quickly let go of his hand.

“Well, I might as well do a home visit then. Shall we?”

Home visit?
For a senior?
By an art teacher?

“Mr. Wen, actually... There is no one else home.”
I walked in front of him and explained.

“Do your parents always work late?”
Mr. Wen looked up at me while climbing up the stairs. The sunlight coming through the windows in the hallway was making him squint.

“No... I... I live alone.”
I stopped in front of room 413.
But Mr. Wen didn't follow me.

He stopped in front of Room 414. He pointed to the door next to him with his thumb, and smiled.

I suddenly remembered.
The first day after I had moved in, the manager Uncle Sun had told me that a very famous artist from abroad had been living in the apartment next door.

So that was him.
We had actually met each other before.

[BGM: New Life]

[BGM: Blood Ties]

A Piece of Rope

My name is Park Sang-Gun. I'm 12 years old.
I live in Korea.

My home was on a hill.
There were a lot of similar old houses on that hill.
And the one that was the highest was my home.

There were good and bad things about living there.
The good thing was, since our house was so high up we got to be farther away from the other houses, and so we had a big yard.
However, I had to climb the stairs for over half an hour every day, just to go and buy my Dad a bottle of vodka at the convenience store at the bottom of the hill.

If I didn't go, my Dad would get angry.
He would beat me with his belt.
It wasn't just me either. He would also hit my Mom, too.
I never understood why he would do that.
I just wished that if we could figure it out, maybe Mom wouldn't have to be beaten anymore.

Dad was a road construction and maintenance worker. He used to come back home with mud all over his clothes.
But for the past two months he always came home clean.
Sometimes he would bring back some money and give it to Mom.
Other times, though, he would take some money out of the pot, where we kept our food money.

Mom always worked very hard. She had to wash a lot of clothes and sheets during the day for other people.
She said she was getting paid for washing them.
I really wanted to help Mom. But I was too short. I couldn't even reach the pole where she hung the clothes and sheets to dry.

Alex came by today.
He lived on the hill too.

Alex was Russian, just like Mom.
They both had blond hair and blue eyes.
Just like me.

The other kids who lived nearby didn't like me at all. They always said that I looked weird.
Only Su-Mi from the bakery would play with me.
She had once told me that she wanted to open a cake shop together with me.
But I didn't like cakes.

There was an ant nest in our yard. I was watching the ants carrying things into their nest.
I bet they must have a very big home.

Suddenly, it started raining.
A large raindrop almost blocked the entrance to the nest.
I went back inside to get an umbrella, then I came back and covered the nest.
Mom and Alex were taking the sheets back inside.

Then Dad came home.
He was Korean. He had black hair and brown eyes.

He was back earlier than usual today.
He saw Alex there and kicked the umbrella away.

Alex left.
Mom went into the house with Dad.
I followed them inside as well.

[BGM: Getting Serious]

”You slutty bitch!
Dad slapped Mom on the face and pushed her to the floor.
He took a rope out from the cabinet.
The rope was wrapped around her neck and choked her.

Five minutes later.

I grabbed onto Dad's arm with my whole body.
But I couldn't stop him. He was too strong for me.
Dad kicked me in the stomach and shoved me off of him. I fell and crashed into the corner of the room.


Dad called me that word a lot. I used to ask Mom what it meant.
She told me that it just meant “bad child”.

Dad finally let go.
Mom collapsed onto the floor, but she didn't get back up; it was as if she had fallen asleep.
I tried to shake her awake. I tried as hard as I could, and shouted as loud as I could. She would not wake up.

I heard the door open behind me. I turned around. Dad had run out. I didn't know where he was going.

I held onto Mom's arm and cried.
Why? I had always been a good child.

God... please let Mom wake up.
I promise I will be an even better child.
I promise I will never be a bastard ever again.

Park Sang-Gun

[BGM: Friend of Mine]

The Lives in Group Loyalty

I had been a member of the Black Dragon Gang for two months, but I was still yet to officially meet Mr. Lin.

Mr. Lin was the second-in-command of the Black Dragon Gang.
We met once on the day of the fire at Pitt Street 99.
He was also the one who had me inducted into the gang.
I thought I would be able to get some information about my sister once I joined the gang.
But soon I had found out that everyone in my group, including our leader Mr. Kuan, knew nothing about her.
As for Mr. Lin himself, he rarely ever came to No. 99 in person.

Still, there were some upsides from joining the gang.
At least I didn't have to worry about room and board anymore.
My Cantonese was also improving a lot.
Besides, not everyone in the gang was as scary as one would expect of a gang member. Ren was one of the nice guys.

I belonged to the “Group Loyalty” team. The group oversaw the loan business, so we were essentially the loan sharks in the gang.
Now that I had become a member I couldn't just coast along without doing anything. But I also didn't want to do “wrong” things.
I had told Ren about my predicament during one of our conversations. Ren then told Mr. Kuan that he wanted to bring me along when he went debt collecting.

Every time he went, Ren would whisk the kids of the families away first.
Then, I would tear apart their old clothes, spill some chicken blood on them and mail the clothing to the debtors.

Once we were sure that the debtors had received the bloody clothes, Ren would then make a phone call.
“Hey, you've got the package, right? I'm giving you three days. If you still don't have our money, you will be getting more than just clothes next time!”

He sounded like Uncle Wang, the big butcher at the street corner with a violent attitude.
The Afro on his head would bounce three times with a rhythm every time he yelled at his customers.
As soon as he put down the phone, he would immediately turn into a preschool teacher and go play with our “hostages”, who were wearing the new clothes we had just bought them.

Ren would get scholded by Mr. Kuan every once in a while.
He said Hong Kong was too small of a place. If everyone learned how Group Loyalty handled the business, it would become more and more difficult to collect the money.
But Ren never took it seriously.

Ren knew that I had come to Hong Kong to find my sister. Even though he couldn't help much, he would always allow me to go out and look for her whenever there weren't any assignments.
Every time Mr. Kuan asked about me, he would also cover for me.

Just like today, I had been out asking around the whole morning, but I still got nothing.
When I got back to No. 99, everyone in the group seemed to have a strange smirk on their faces.
Ren said they were going to go and get a massage, and they had been waiting for me to come back so that they could put me on watch duty.

I laughed knowingly.

[BGM: Silence]

“Help yourself to the beer on the table. I paid for those. We're off!”
“Oh, and I almost forgot. There is someone in the room who Mr. Kuan had told us to keep an eye on. Don't let her get away.”
Then they left.

A girl was tied to a chair in the corner of the room.
Although there was a cloth stuffed into her mouth, she still seemed very pretty.

[BGM: Getting Serious]
She looked Asian, but she had dark skin like mine.
Her eyes were thin and curly like a pair of new moons.
Her shining black hair draped down from her head like a dark waterfall.
And she was wearing a purple short skirt...
Hmm? It looked that the skirt had been torn on its side.

Well, if Mr. Kuan wanted her watched, then I should just watch her. No need to think too much about it.
I slapped my cheeks to keep myself alert.

I raised the bottle.
Then, a rope snapped.

I was reading the labels on Ren's beers when I heard the sound of a rope snapping.
Before I could turn around I felt a hand strike the back of my neck.
I blacked out...

I didn't know how long had passed.
A bucket of cold water was thrown in my face.
I woke up with a shudder and opened my eyes. I saw Mr. Kuan standing right in front of me.

Everybody was back in the room. They all had a terrible look on their faces.
I looked to the corner again. The chair was still there, and there were two halves of a rope on the floor.
The girl was gone.

Oh crap, I had made a terrible mistake...

Ren tossed a knife over to me and looked away.
I had not been in the group for long, but I knew the rules.
If I wanted to stay, I had to do this.

I bit my lip hard and cut off my left pinky finger.
Half of the bloody finger dropped to the floor. Blood was still gushing out.
It hurt like hell. But I was a man. I didn't make a sound.

Who on earth was that girl?
If only I had been more alert...


Why did he cut off his own pinky finger?

It's a ritual in the mafia and some gangs. If you make a mistake you must cut off your own pinky finger.

Some gangs might even make their new members cut it off before officially joining.

Whaaa! That's so scary!


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