The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 96: Episode XCIII: The Point of No Return

Episode XCIII: The Point of No Return

Welp. This is it, folks. The Point of No Return for Disc 1. And indeed, the final time we’ll have a chance to hit the world map again until oh...the end of Disc 2. And even then, the world may be a very different place by that point. Which is a Foreshadology way of saying “if you want to visit anywhere then now is the time to do it because most places are inaccessible later on”.

There are a couple things I haven’t shown off yet. We could go back to Nortune and do some Battling, since the war is over and Fei is no longer wanted for murdering half of Kislev’s military and stealing the giant airship they sunk billions of taxpayer gold on. There’s even new Gears to use and points to earn for some pretty spiffy prizes. Heck, there is even a two player mode!

Of course, that would require returning to Kislev and doing the godawful Battling mini-game. And I’d much prefer sticking my dick in a vise than doing that.  Battling also survives into Disc 2, since obviously SOMEONE blew way too much time and money on it to have it cut from the second disc due to disc space. 

So off to Solaris we go!

"We are depending on you, Maria. Please transport us to Solaris on the Seibzehn."
"Yes! Seibzehn is ready to go any time!"
”Wait. We’re getting to Solaris how again...?”
“Everyone will ride aboard Seibzehn. It is the only Gear capable of breaking through the Gate barrier.”
“...Did Seibzehn get a place for people to sit when I wasn’t looking?”
“How high up is Solaris, again?”
“Approximately 15 kilometers.”

Music: Flight

”Everybody ready down there?”
“Uhh... I gue—“


“Seibzehn and I shall be the dark wings which carry you all to your deaths!!"

"A grav field is opening! The space distortion correction is starting!"

So it seems that emergency gravity gun on Seibzehn is only useful for blowing up Maria’s father and making it through the barrier to Solaris. Rather specific functionality.

A short flight later...

Alright. Everyone jump...up? What...?

”One team of three, consisting of two native Solarians and Fei. And another team of seven or eight will be much more difficult to detect.”

"You just like to watch others' misery!! You'll just get in the way."
"Forgive me...!! Sorry!!"
”What the hell? Hammer is still around? And he’s going with us to Solaris?! I thought we were being discreet here. How are two demi-humans and a mascot character discreet?!”
“May I switch teams?”
“No. The teams are already decided, I am afraid.”

"Yes, what is it?"
"The disorder Seibzehn caused when breaking the gate has almost cleared up. You and everyone else must leave before the enemy detection system activates again. We will take care of the rest."
"Okay, be careful."

Seibzehn takes off with Team Decoy...

”So umm...the hell is up with that?”
"Solaris' gravity is the opposite that of the land. We don't have time to explain, you'll get used to it. It's uncomfortable for us on the surface at first."
”Alright. WHY do people on Solaris live upside-down?”
“Solaris is so high up that we wouldn’t be able to see the clouds otherwise.”
“...That’s really your reason?”
“Hey, I didn’t design the city.”

"Hey, what's this place?"
"It looks like some kind of storage or distribution center. I'm not sure's probably used to ship off extra supplies, materials and fuel gathered from the surface. These are the technology and products you land dwellers receive from the 'Ethos'..."
"For now, shall we gather some information..."

Music: Invasion (Ugh...)

So, we get to wander around upside-down for a little while. Not disorienting or anything. So what happens if you jump off the edge of Solaris? Do you fall up or does normal gravity immediately kick in?

"Well... I'm not sure. But I think I've seen this before..."
*climbs into the tube like a moron* "Shall we...... take a look?"
"What are you saying? We don't have time for that. We have to get out of here quickly."
"Didn't you say we had to gather information? We could probably sneak in using this thing."


The tube holding Fei slides down the Solaris mail chute to points unknown.

Fei spends a bit of time floating around the cold, dark emptiness outside the map borders.

On the plus side, he manages to get used to Solaris’ reversed gravity in the time spent swirling around the void. At least that will be a touch less disorienting.

Fei exits the tube...

Well. I think we found Solaris. Let’s just hope we’re not stuck in the prison block for six hours again. That would be...unfortunate.

Fei jumps off the platform to the lower level...

We are immediately greeted with some civil disruption by one of the residents of Honeycomb Town.

“You have no will! This isn't living!! This is... is... Stop it! Let go!”

One of the security drone picks up the rowdy worker and lifts him to the middle of the area...

And drops him off the edge of Solaris. I...wonder how that even works. I mean, assuming that isn’t just a really deep pit where they drop people and it is indeed a hole to the outside. We’re currently all upside-down. What happens when he exits Solaris? Does he have enough momentum to get launched clear into space? Do they maybe have some kind of hatch that closes after he launches out. So he’ll get enough air to be a decent distance up before Solaris’ reverse gravity catches him and he splatters on the newly closed hatch? Or maybe people are just stuck perpetually flinging out of Solaris, getting caught in its gravity and falling back “down” and repeating this process again and again until they expire. Something to think about...

Anyhow, chatting with a few people around town reveals we’re in a Level 3 Citizens’ quarter of the city. Which is seemingly a conscripted land dweller slave labor’s living area. Seems people brought in from the surface get brainwashed and fed fake backgrounds so they don’t get uppity that they basically got kidnapped to work in the salt mines by secret Sky Nazis. Lovely.

We can ride other platforms in the area, like the one Fei initially used, in order to enter other tubes in the area. Most of them just have people bitching about how life sucks and how that jerk that got booted off the edge of the planet is a prick since everyone in his living block will get brainwashed and shuffled around now. But, there are a couple of units with some interesting folks in ‘em.

“Unfortunately I'm not Timothy. The name's Samson. But hey, I know you!”
"H, how do you know me? Who are you...?"
”Lemme guess. Timothy’s twin brother out for revenge? It’s always the twin brothers you gotta watch out for, I swear.”
*laughs* "From the Tournament... Unfortunately, I lost in the 1st round. I passed out on the way home..."
"When I came to, I found myself here. Everyone else got what they call 'rearranged'. It's a cross between brainwashing and amnesia. But they messed up on me and I can still remember."
"Then what about that last person...?"
*nods* "Yep, him too. Died in vain...... One of my few friends, too. I'm not goin' out like that. Ya know that guard tower near us? I'm gonna go through it past the 2nd Class block, sneak into the naval port and kiss Solaris goodbye."
"Can you do that?"
"Yeah, 'cause I got a pass. They got me working at the naval port. I'm only supposed to leave when it's my shift, but I 'solved' that little snag. Hey, why don't you come along? With your power, we'd be set!"
”Yeah, sure. Solaris is no match for the Dragon Slaying Slacker!”
"Right, that's the spirit! But, be careful! A female Gebler just came by for some reason..."
"Did she, have auburn hair?"
”Like a LOT of auburn hair. Like more hair than girl.”
"Yeeaah, that's her!! What, you're friends? Come to think of it, she was looking for someone... She still oughta be around here somewhere. You oughta look for her."
”Spiffy. Alright, I’ll be back in a bit mysterious clone of my dead former best friend.”
“Okie dokie, fight tournament champion with a Gebler officer for a girlfriend.”

So, now if we head to the farthest living quarters in the area, we just might find our wayward Miss Van Houten.

*folds arms* "Fei, you're so careless. If you're trying to infiltrate the base, you have to be subtle."
”Hey, it worked. I guess!”
“Sure. If you consider the fact we now need to work our way out of the worst part of the city to make any progress as what you’d classify as ‘having worked’.”
“Good thing I totally do.”

"Sorry... Well, where are we?"
"We're in the 'Solaris 3rd Class F Block'. There's around 20 blocks each with land dwellers living in them. We Solarians are privy to all personal info... Everyone's DNA structure is inscribed on a molecular level. And even their class... You know what these citizens are called?"
*shakes head* “No...”
"'Worker Bees'. It came from the shape of their housing blocks. These people provide the manual labor vital to the support of Solaris' core. I took a field trip here once long ago. I remember thinking that their lives had nothing to do with me. I never thought I would end up here like this..."
"Which means, you should know your way around here, Elly."
”By ‘field trip’ I mean ‘field trip in the third grade’ sort of outing.”
“Which means you’re more qualified for being the line-leader. Good to know.”

"Vaguely. We need to escape first..."
"Oh yeah, where's doc?"
"He took a different pod looking for you... He may have ended up in a different block."
"Damn... We're all spread out."
"I wouldn't worry about Citan. He knows this city better than I do."
"I wonder if Bart and them made it OK?"
"Jessie's with them, so they should be fine."
"I hope so..."
”Drunken barroom brawls happen a lot in Solaris, right...?”
"Anyway, let's move on."

Alright. Well, we’re reunited with Elly. And hey, that extremely out of place Gebler uniform she’s been wearing the entire game finally has a use. So that’s nice. Anyway, back to Not-Timothy.

”Made a new friend already, Fei?”
“Yeah. This is Samson. He’s a palette swap of my old best buddy, Timothy, from Lahan...before it...ya know...exploded.”
“Yeah, I dunno either.”
“Here. Take it.”

“...What is it?”
"A 2nd Class citizen work permit, just like mine. With that, you can move about more freely without arousing suspicion. Well, if she's with you, there shouldn't be any problems. Well, I'll be at the tower entrance."

Alright. So we’ve now got a work permit to leave D-Block F Block. Why couldn’t Nortune have been this painless...?

Samson decides to cosplay as a Stormtrooper for a single scene outside the guard tower. If you ask me, he looks a bit short for the role.

The three enter the security tower...

*watches Samson walk off* "Yeah, you too..."
"Are we really going to be okay?"
*shrug* “Probably. Not so sure on that guy’s chances, though...”

So Fei and Elly wander off further into the complex and take an elevator up to the next area. No random battles or anything here. This isn’t another dungeon. Though, it is something about on par with a terrible dungeon grind...

Forced stealth section! Security cubes, like the one that offed Samson’s friend, are patrolling the area. Elly and Fei must evade them in order to progress to the next area. Unlike Genome Soldiers, Solaris Security Cubes have a 360 degree field of view. So we basically have to have a wall between us and them as they pass.

Should the duo get caught, they just get tossed back to the start of the segment. It would be a bit anti-climactic if the male and female lead of the game got tossed off the edge of the villains’ capital city by a security drone.

A crappy, but mercifully short segment and an elevator ride later...

"Wait! You're not a Gazel! What're you going to do?"
*laughs* "Not a problem. I used underground tech to re-write my ID."
”You do know that security scanners are coded to a person’s genetic code. That is a bit more complicated to re-write than an ID ca—“

Samson runs into the scanner...


And so poor Samson gets vaporized. Well, I guess the mystery of the Timothy doppelganger will have to go unexplored. Shame.

*punches the terminal and gets knocked back* “Waah!!”
*shakes head* "It's useless to do that. You won't be able to get through without either a 1st Class citizen ID or a military ID..."
"Then what're we going to do...?"
"Well, we can't just stand here... I guess it's going to have to be all or nothing."
"If it doesn't work out, we'll worry about it later... is what you're saying? Isn't that kinda sounding like Bart?"
"How rude. It's not like I always go in without a plan."
”I just mostly follow the lead of people that either have no plan or no idea what they’re doing.”
“Alright. Here goes nothing...”

Elly runs into the scanner...

"We can get through!"
"? What's wrong?"
"Huh? Uh well... I've done so much, I'm surprised they haven't labeled me as a traitor yet..."
”Well. You only helped foil a few dozen Gebler operations, attacked your commander a couple times, beaten up a bunch of your co-workers, and assisted a plot to kill the government or whatever our end goal is here.”
“Thanks for the refresher, Fei.”

"You think it's because they haven't reported it? To the Gebler, it would be like admitting failure and all."
"I hope so..."
”Though, given Gebler’s usual level of competence...I’m guess the paperwork just got misfiled somewhere along the line.”
"Anyway, let's go!!"
"Okay. Oh, stay very close to me. That way, it shouldn't pick up your presence."

So having the wrong clearance in a security checkpoint will get you instantly vaporized. But having someone with the proper papers piggyback ride on you as you walk through will utterly fool the system. I think that says a lot about Solaris in general right there.

Oh well. Tune in next time, in which we infiltrate the dark depths of the heart of the Solaris Empire. Buckle up...

General Fei Rough Sketches – I like Fei in the bottom left.