Part 126: Escape: Treatment Center
It's not entirely true to say we don't want to be here, but all the same, it's time to escape the Treatment Center.
Sigma (6BP, Magenta Pair) is joined by Clover (6BP, Magenta Pair) and Quark (6BP, Magenta Solo)... for differing definitions of the word "join". Even though there's a perfectly serviceable sofa in the room, Quark has been stashed near the door instead. I'unno.
VLR OST: [Treatment]
This track is almost pleasant. I think it might actually be pleasant. I think I even heard a harmonic chord in there.
Strictly speaking, this is another quite uncomplicated room... but less strictly speaking, most of the room is divided by this wall, leaving us stuck in our little L-shaped area away from the pods.
(There are numbers on the end of each one.
Reading from the left, they're 1, 2, and 3.)
Pretty self-explanatory. Let's go counterclockwise.
Well, no stone unturned I guess.
Look at these lush green leaves! This sturdy, thick shaft! It looks like it's full of energy and stamina!
How does a plant have stamina...?
Did you notice there's something stuck in the trunk?
It looks like a piece of green plastic...
Let me see if I can get it out...
Huh... Looks like it's really in there.
I think it's stuck on something.
I guess we'll just have to take the whole thing, then.
Well, that plastic thing could be important.
Oh. Yeah, I guess you're right...
Push it then.
Looks like there's something on it...
It says "START" in the corner there... Maybe it's a board game?
An image of the board gets added to our archive, even though we can check this screen whenever we want.
Continuing around, we have the door we came in by, and some fine art.
That's a pretty realistic painting.
♪ It's a really, really, really real liiiiiiiion!
Don't sing in a whisper like that! It's creepy...
It looks kinda like he's coughing up a hairball...
I think he's trying to eat something, not cough it up.
He's trying to eat a hairball?
Uh, probably something else.
I...don't know. There's just a hole there.
So we need to put something into the hole?
Yeah, I think so.
Pretty sure they're just jellyfish...
There are three jellyfish. Two yellow ones, and a purple one.
What's that inside the purple one? Is it digesting human flesh?
Wh-Why would you even think something like that?
I don't think it's meat anyway.
Look at it... It's too solid. I think it's a tile of some sort...
I wonder if we can get it out...
We can try the lid, but...
Nope. Looks like it's locked.
Well, it's got a keyhole...
Then I guess we need to unlock it if we want to open it.
Another deferred lead.
Continuing our sweep... more vegetation.
This one's all withered...
It has a piece of plastic stuck in it too.
Hm... Guess this doesn't come out either.
Guess I might as well take this one too, pot and all...
Finally we reach the wall directly opposite the door leading inside the pod room. There's a bunch of stuff over here, including...
It's a sofa!
And there's stuff on it. Besides the safe, we've got...
Looks like there's a piece of paper in it.
It says "How to open the pod room door."
Seems worth checking out.
Against everything we have ever suspected about this game, the security system turns out to be based on a logic puzzle!
There's also this other thing...
There's a message on it...
"Four pieces for the first password. One piece for the second password."
What the hell is that supposed to mean?
(If I touch it, the screen changes.)
Worth a shot.
Um... Do you think maybe "pieces" could mean, like, the pieces in the board game?
Don't you remember what it said on the tablet before the password screen popped up?
Like... "Four pieces for the first password. One piece for the second password."
Uh...okay, but what board game are you talking about?
You already forgot?!
Well, no, but we're going to need a bit more to go on than that. Something about H and M.
What?! Are you serious!? Are we even looking at the same clock!? Everything about it is abnormal!
Really? Totally looks like a regular clock to me.
Oh my gosh...
Oh yeah, I guess it doesn't have any...
What do you mean, you guess! How could you miss that?!
Anyway. Abnormality number two! There's some weird green glowy thing.
Oh, yeah, there is... What is that?
I guess there's no way to know without taking it out...
But there's a cover, right? You can't get to it.
Yeah, and it won't open. Shoot.
Well duh. There's no way it's gonna be that easy.
So if we want this...green...thing, we have to figure out a way to get that cover open.
Huh... I wonder what it is.
I think it's probably a keyhole.
Oh ho! Then that means
Wait! We can think later. I've got two more points of abnormality.
Number four! Turn your attention to the other side of the clock! Specifically the bottom right corner.
Well, they're two slots, painted red and green...
Do you think they're for memory cards?
They sure look like they are.
And I've saved the best for last.
Abnormality number five is about number four.
That "NO.4" is the fifth abnormality.
Ah yes. I see. It is rather odd.
Does that mean this is the fourth clock?
Anyway, those are the five weird things about this clock.
Where were you looking, anyway?
Uh...at the clock?
That was a lot of stuff from just one clock.
The last thing of interest we haven't looked at yet...
...is the pod room door. And since we don't have any leads that don't require literal keys we don't have, it's our only real avenue of investigation right now.
There's a control panel in the middle of it.
Yeah. I think this is how you unlock it.
Despite the existence of the binder laying out the rules of this puzzle, the game itself will walk you through those same rules whenever you try and do it yourself.
I'm not quite sure how it's supposed to work, but I guess I can mess with it a bit...
This puzzle is a bit notable because of the fact that it has no set answer that Clover can angrily shout at you when you fail a bunch. There is no way past this point without actually applying some logical thought... or getting lucky - which is entirely possible.
Also when you fail the tenth try the game tells you what the code was just before booting you out.
Also also there is no zero. I don't know why there is no zero.
The actual hint dialog here isn't particularly great and mostly involves on a hypothetical actual answer, since Clover can't know the actual one. The very short version is "use logic". A slightly longer version might be "make small changes in your submission and pay attention".
Here, let's take it from the top.
1234 is as good a starting point as any, and already we've got lucky; 3 of these numbers are correct, and one is even in the right place!
And now we know that one number from this group is the last number.
At this point we can make an additional inference: the digit 5 is absolutely not part of the code. So let's try swapping 5 in with numbers from the first group and see what happens.
Swapping out the 4 doesn't change the H/B total. Looks like we got lucky! That means that 1, 2 and 3 are the correct numbers from the first group.
Our luck continues - the first number we try swapping in brings our H/B up to four, meaning we've found all the digits and just need to shuffle them around a bit.
I was really hoping to flail around a bit more for educational purposes, but whatever, I guess we guessed it right again.
Having a randomly determined solution makes it really difficult to pretend to be bad at puzzles.
Phew... That was lucky...
Anyway, it seems to have unlocked.
Now we can poke around the treatment pods.
From the left they're pod 1, pod 2, and pod 3.
There are numbers on them, you just can't really see them from here...
I don't think this flashback was necessary.
Also they've got...um...handles.
Maybe they're for opening the pods up?
Let's open one up.
Yeah. It's empty.
No clues or
There's something written on the inside of the cover.
11 hours and...1 minute?
Something's not quite right about this... we'll have to revisit it later.
We can also check the screens attached to each pod...
("Currently undergoing internal maintenance. Please stand by.")
I guess we can't use this one.
Guess we'd better check the other two then.
So it does, Sigma.
It is a key, isn't it?
Have you seen any keyholes that look like they might fit it?
Does this kinda smell like seawater?
What are you, a dog...?
This pod has some interesting graffiti too.
Did you think it was a nipple with two hairs growing out of it?
Of course not!
The hands are pointing to 6:20.
Clover is strange.
The monitor here has the same maintenance message as the last pod, so let's just move on...
It's pretty thick, too.
This pod actually doesn't have anything drawn inside the lid.
Instead it's on the outside.
Are you sure you're reading it right?
Yeah. See the "12"? That's the top.
There's one other thing unique to this pod...
What does it mean about an "activation chip"?
Well, I'd guess it's a chip we insert to activate the pod.
Why are you being like that?!
This is important! We
Okay, okay, I get it.
We need to get Quark into one of these, right?
Our work here is done for now, and we've got some new leads.
Like the fishtank.
Now I should be able to open this thing...
Yeah, but it's got a hole in the middle.
If you stick your hand in there, maybe you can grab that one with the meat in it.
It's not meat!
...Whatever. Let's give it a shot.
Shit, this water's really hot!
Then these bubbles...
Yeah. It's boiling.
No way... No jellyfish could survive in boiling water!
They are aliens!
Yeah... We should try and get the purple one to rise up to the top somehow...
If we can get it right under the hole in the lid, I think I can grab it.
Puzzle time! This is a variation on what has become this game's classic tilting puzzle.
Glad to see somebody's taking this seriously.
The twist is that you now have currents and gravity to contend with. It's not really much of a twist, although it does add something of an action element to what used to be a strictly turn-based endeavour.
Believe it or not, this is the extent of the help you're going to get, even on Easy mode. I guess they just couldn't be arsed to try and phrase around the timing gimmicks...
On top of that, I find the bottom-left to be a much easier time.
What the heck?
"Jellyfish" and "fast"... 'Cause the water is hot...
Don't give it a name!
Here. Here, take it.
H-Hey! Stop it!
What if it grabs onto my face and lay eggs in me or something!
Ha! Come on, it just wants to give you a hug.
Besides, it's not even alive.
It's a thing. Man-made. Like a toy or something.
But it's digesting a chunk of meat!
That's not meat!
Then what is it?
Hold on. I'll pull it out now.
No it's not! It's a ceramic tile!
Oh, well, yeah I guess it is only red on one side.
It may not be meat, but it is still food... of a sort.
On further consideration, the lion isn't really eating it as much as it is just framed to look like it is. Gotta love trick perspectives.
Yeah. I don't think it did anything th
It's pointing over the number 3 treatment pod.
There's nothing where the beam is pointing.
The laser's added stuff to the time!
Yeah... Looks like it's 0:15 now.
Well then. We now have three times noted down... but there remains the small matter of No. 4.
We are now equipped to deal with at least one of the clock's abnormalities.
Hm... Well, I guess I'll grab this thing first.
I wonder what this thing is...
What do you think "ZO" is supposed to mean?
That's actually "NO," not "ZO." It probably stands for "number."
Oh, so it means "number 1"?
Yeah, I think so.
Then we just have to use it on the first of something.
Helpfully, the game has informed us that this is a "chip" and not a "card", as is the norm with objects of this form.
Combined with Clover's suggestion, there can only be one use for this...
The color changed.
I think it says something too...
"Before use, this system must be initialized. Please perform the following tests:
1: Treat (vegetation)
2: Freeze (vegetation)
Until tests are complete, pod will not function with human occupant."
What the heck is this?
We can't put a person in there until it runs its tests. Seems pretty clear to me.
Then what about Quark?!
Don't worry. We just need to run the tests.
Something about...treating and freezing a plant?
Treating makes sense, these being treatment pods and all, but...
Well, we don't really have a choice, do we? We gotta follow the instructions.
Come on, we don't have time to just sit around! We gotta do these tests so we can get Quark into one of these pods!
Y-Yeah, right. Got it.
Looks it's finally time to break out the pot plants.
Let's try closing the pod.
Right. Here goes...
That plant was practicaly dead a minute ago...
No way... No way! That's impossible.
It's like magic.
Well, we won't need this plant anymore.
He's done a good job.
Thank you for your service, sir...
It must be the thing that was stuck in the trunk.
Whatever the treatment was much have pushed it out.
A memory card, maybe? It's got those metal pin things on it...
I wonder if it'll work...
Who knows. Let's just close it up.
Freeze test complete. Pod opening.
Probably because of your lame joke!
D-Did I say something...?
Look, the leaves are all crunchy!
Crunch crunch crunch... Crunch crunch crunch...
Oh man... What'd you do, Clover? It's all broken now...
Whatever. Just help me clean it up.
It's that plastic thing that was stuck in the trunk!
It must have fallen out when the plant shattered...
All right, I think that should complete both of the tests.
So hurry up and put Quark in!
I know, I know. Hang on.
He's sure sleeping pretty hard, huh? You'd never think he's sick...
I guess that Soporil stuff is pretty strong.
So... What do we do now?
How about closing the cover like we did before?
That should start the automatic diagnosis...
Is he going to be...okay?
Maybe we should check the screen.
Body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, respiration frequency... They all look normal.
What a relief...
There's something else down at the bottom...
"Radical-6 virus detected in subject.
System is not equipped to treat Radical-6.
Current program will alleviate symptoms, but cannot cure viral infection."
What the heck!?
Then what was the point of putting him in here?!
Well, I don't think there was no point...
After all, it says it can alleviate the symptoms...
Hold on. Let's keep looking.
It says more...
"This system is capable of inducing a cold sleep state.
Cold sleep state freezes subject with CAS, preserving cellular structure.
During cold sleep state, body functions are suspended, preventing viral spread.
Activate sleep function? YES/NO"
C-Cold sleep? What the heck is that?!
I have no idea...
But...remember the freezing test...?
Whatever. We need to get out of here and tell everyone else about this!
What should we tell it to do?
Do we put him in cold sleep?
"Activate sleep function? YES/NO"
What if he got smashed like the plant?!
"NO" it is!
Well that's that I guess.
...Oh, right, we still have puzzles to solve. That stuff with the pot plants did get us a new lead...
It's pointing to 5 past...
This is definitely a very strange clock.
In any case, I guess we have four times now.
This final puzzle is another slightly weird one in that it's pretty disjointed compared with how this game typically handles password puzzles. Besides the fact that the input device is an item in your inventory, there's also no hint dialogue on the actual puzzle - all the guidance comes from poking at the TV screen that displays the board game (which some players might not think to do, because the board game is also copied to an item in the Archive that you can look at anywhere. I mean, sure, it all connects logically but it just seems... sloppily done from a game design perspective.
Also the hint dialogue isn't really worth noting so let's just work through this thing.
Here's the board. As we can see, given an input time, we turn minutes into moves clockwise and hours into moves counterclockwise, meaning each time translates into a move of some steps in either direction.
The hint the tablet gives us says "four pieces for the first password, one piece for the second". So, to get the first password, we'll use each of the four times and start from the square labeled "start" each time. This gives us...
Hey, my guess was only off by one letter!
You logged in!
Yeah, but look at the screen...
It's a password for the safe!
And there's our first password.
The second half of this puzzle is, in the grand tradition, a slightly less-obvious implementation of the first solution in which we use only one piece (hence the hint) instead of four, and instead of tracking our steps around the board from the start square each time, have a single piece make the four moves in sequence. This gives us...
Nice work, Sigma!
Yeah, I guess.
Oh, wait... Look...
All the symbols are in different spots...
Well, what are we waiting for?
Yeah. Just like the ones in the AB Room and infirmary.
It should open when we plug in the right password. Assuming it works like the others, of course...
Whoa...that thing looks dangerous.
You mean this gun thing?
I wouldn't worry about it.
Are you sure? I think that kinda depends on what's in that vial there.
The label says "Neostigmine."
Huh? What did you just say?
"Neostigmine"? Why, does that mean something?
L-Let me see it!
I feel like I've...heard that somewhere before...
...No good. I can't remember.
I don't think it's bad, though.
Do you have any proof?
Of course not.
Are you sure it's not dangerous?
What would you do if it was?
All right. I trust you.
You don't seem like a bad person.
He he he! Thanks. Then how about I let you take me on a date sometime?
If we get out of here in one piece.
We've still got a bunch of stuff in here.
Yeah, but it's all flat stuff.
Uh...yes it is. First we've got...
The map I found in the infirmary said "Floor A."
I guess that means floor A is the top floor?
I mean, we took the elevator down to get here, right?
Yeah, that sounds right.
Up next... Some grey cards.
These must be the moon keys the announcer was talking about.
There are two of them, just like with the sun keys.
One for you and me...
And the other one's for Quark.
Well, there's not much point in giving it to him. I'll hang onto it for now.
Okay... What's next?
A piece of paper with something written on it...
"Not voting is not an hoption.
If both parties refuse to vote,
then everybunny gets penalized!"
In other words, one person out of every color group of three has to vote."
In other words, all three of us can't not vote.
One of us has to.
So either you or me, you mean.
Oh well. There's no reason not to pick ally in the next round anyway.
Of course, first we've gotta get out of this room...
And that'll be easy!
Just look at the last thing in the safe...
The key to the exit!
Of course, we've got one last thing to grab...
Now let's get outta here.
Yeah. I'm ready.
Okay, let's do this!
Before the traditional secret file browsing, some bonus content; an interesting thing happened while I was replaying to get the Gold file (and by replaying I of course mean instantly going for the safe and then the exit without solving any puzzles):
Hey! What're you doing?!
Aren't you forgetting something important?!
I didn't forget about him...
I just...thought I should make sure the key works first...
Oh don't give me that! We need to help him!
Y-Yeah, you're right.
And then the game replays, verbatim, the dialog of putting Quark in the pod and not freezing him, and just assumes you did the tests with the plants first. Then it teleports you right back to the exit and continues with leaving the room.
At least it was something a bit more plot-relevant than explaining lunar eclipses to us.
Alright, secret files. I only had to excise one for spoilers this time.
The past two Nonary Games: