Part 205: Escape: Q
Welcome to, uh, Q, I guess.
This is th-
What're we supposed to do here? The room's empty.
Wait...Do you hear something?
Well, how much you wanna bet it has something to do with that?
Guess we should go, uh, have a look...
Right. Where was I?
Welcome to the final escape of the game; Q! Sigma (4BP, Red Solo) is joined by Phi (9BP, Cyan Pair) and Tenmyouji (3BP, Cyan Pair) for... whatever exactly it is that this is.
VLR OST: [Q]
If you've been nursing a suspicion that Shinji Hosoe has been holding out on us, then it's time to claim your prize. This track fucking rules. Every second of it screams mystery, intrigue, tension and high goddamn technology. It's exactly the right amount of climactic, and it somehow both stands out from the other escape tracks and fits in perfectly with VLR. All that, and it's not even a little bit unpleasant to have in your ears for half an hour.
I have some... mixed... feelings about the actual videogame part of this room, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, save to say that some of you - even the ones reading blind - probably already have a pretty good idea of what we're about to see.
I could do the customary opening pan around the room, but, uh, there's not really a lot to see, so let's just poke this thing.
How the hell's it doing that?
Who knows. Can't tell just by looking at it.
Why don't you touch it and see if anything happens?
We are immediately invited to do exactly that.
To say that something happens when we touch it would be... pretty much an exactly correct statement.
That's right, folks; our first hurdle is Minesweeper, Sort Of. Like a couple of other interfaces we could name, this is kinda a pain on the Vita version. On the 3DS, you can drag the stylus around and the squares will just light up and turn off in realtime as you drag, so you can scan around real fast. On the Vita though, you can only tap, and the resulting lighting-up will stick for juuuuust long enough to really start fucking irritating you before the game will let you tap somewhere else. You can see me trying it in the gif there. It sucks!
Anyway, this is fascinating but it seems like we're missing a few instructions still.
Have another look at it.
The cube. Look at it again.
The game then proceeds to spit out seven fucking textboxes.
This is the main way in which this thing isn't Literally Minesweeper - the mines and the sweeping happen on different interfaces. Fundamentally it's the same spatial logic puzzle underneath, though.
Thank you, game.
The supplementary way in which this thing isn't Literally Minesweeper is that squares include themselves in their displayed tallies, but don't consider diagonal squares to be adjacent.
This is about the point where tapping Confirm starts becoming a mite tedious.
Oh my god no one cares.
This sounds important but nobody would have complained if it wasn't in the game.
And this is an outright fabrication. We can tap the floor to view this almost entirely purposeless cascade of text as many times as we want, which in our case is never a-fucking-gain. Do you know when else we can view it all again? Literally every fucking time we interact with the fucking cube. Someone dropped the ball on this one, folks.
Anyway you all know how Minesweeper works so I'm going to do all of us a favour and skip over the bits where I spend time clicking on this screen.
First up, these four.
Whoa! What the hell!?
Hmm, interesting. So that's how this one works...
It looks like there's more of them.
We should keep looking.
We turn our attention counterclockwise.
Honestly, you shouldn't even need the cube for this one.
And by now I think we all know where this climactic puzzle experience is going.
Pressing on, we have...
This is another one that you can probably guess given the previous.
And sure enough.
Next up we have...
...the safe! And some other things.
I messed up a little here and included an extra square on this, the first panel in the last remaining wall.
Whatever this is, it definitely did not need to be this big.
...an almost entirely empty bookshelf.
Oh yes. Of all the goddamn puzzles to get a remix, it just had to be the dice, didn't it?
Wh-What the hell was that?
It probably means that all the things in the walls have been activated.
That means you probably don't need to mess with the cube or the wall panels any more.
Interacting with the cube any further will mercifully no longer spit out mountains of textboxes but politely inform you that you're done with it.
We can, however, still examine the floor...
The floor. I can touch it, kick it, jump on it, lick it, or rub my cheek on it, but nothing happens.
S-Sigma... What the hell are you doing...?
Nothing? Are you serious...?
Let's start with the at least notionally unfamiliar stuff.
There's nothing on it.
And it doesn't do anything when I touch it.
How do we turn it on?
Hell if I know.
I don't see a button or a card slot or anything...
Not a lot we can do if we can't turn it on.
Mm-hm. Might as well leave it alone for now.
I...I think I've seen something like this before.
Oh, you mean one of those exercise machines where you twist your hips around?
No, no I don't think so. This doesn't look like a fitness machine to me.
Kinda ruins it when you take it so seriously...
This is... Is... Uh...
Damnit. I can't remember.
Of course, the place we've seen this before is the Director's Office; it's the machine that projected the hologram of Zero Sr that lectured us about termites.
This thing also doesn't look like a puzzle we've encountered before.
There's a screen down here. It looks like this is the only part you can actually interact with...
But it's dark. There's nothing on it.
There are some card slots underneath the screen.
They look just like the ones on the polling machines in the AB Rooms.
So that means...
We need to put some memory cards in here, right?
In summary, we need to put three memory cards in the machine, and we've found three familiar puzzles in the walls. Hrm, yes, I do believe I've cracked this case.
Anyway. Let's tackle these puzzles counterclockwise from the Huge Thing, a.k.a. the order we unlocked them in, a.k.a. by total coincidence the order we did them the first time round in the path we've taken through the game in this LP. Full circle, baby!
So there is.
This room is not a font of characteristic, memorable dialogue.
Anyway, let's revisit the hexagons. As you probably guessed, these aren't straight up repeats, but remixes, with added quirks. Here, for example, we've got a new and fascinating starting pattern and an extra move to solve it with.
Ah well. Doesn't really matter, I guess.
Anyway these are actually difficult! In the grand tradition, there is sometimes notable dialogue hidden in the help speeches...
Do you even know what color we're supposed to make these?
Yeah. They're supposed to look like the cabinet on the other side, right?
Yeah. We've done this one before.
Right. In the security room.
Hey... What're you guys talking about?
We'll tell you later.
Right now, I need to figure out this puzzle.
Nobody could do this in five moves!
Haven't you said something like that before?
Do you want me to tell you how to solve it?
Oh, thanks. So you know how to solve it, huh?
I could do this puzzle with my eyes closed.
Wait... I feel like I've heard that before...
I think I'll let you keep trying for a bit. If you get totally hopeless I'll step in.
As you can see, the game relishes the opportunity to provide canonical meta-commentary without leaning on the fourth wall.
The rest of this is indeed just Phi straight telling us the answer. Instead of that, let's tap somewhere else on this screen...
There's something behind this cover that looks like a motherboard.
It must be a computer.
If this really is a computer, it's way too big for any kind of practical home use.
So you could say it's an impersonal computer?
In any case, the solution here is one of those ones that can actually be quite difficult to reason out on your own and yet somehow seems blindingly obvious in retrospect.
Yeah, that must be the answer.
Well done. That was some good work, Sigma.
We claim our prize, and more inspired dialogue with it.
Let's have a look...
There's only a single piece of paper in here.
It says "Q Chamber Special AB Game."
Well, let's just forget this and continue on our tour.
By the way, you can keep lighting up the walls if you want. It will do nothing except possibly entertain you for a hot second.
Next stop; the Darts strike back.
Look over here...
We can't get it out, though. That glass is covering it.
Okay. I'll grab a couple.
These aren't missles!
As the single and solitary item of any character at all in this room, the darts of course have a bit of extra dialogue.
You could probably snap one of them easily, but all three of them...
Uh, I don't think I can break even one of them very easily, actually...
Okay, using your feet has got to be cheating...
This worksmanship is amazing. You could say it's a real objet dart. When my clothes are covered in
Okay, okay! We get it...
He he he...
I...I remember seeing this before.
Come on, who hasn't seen a dartboard before?
No, that's not what I mean. I feel like I've seen it somewhere in this building before.
It's just...this board is...different from a normal dartboard, you know?
Let's try it out.
What do you mean try it out?
Isn't that obvious? There's only two ways to use a dartboard.
Either you use it to hold pizza, or you throw darts at it.
You've got some darts, don't you Sigma?
Maybe you could try throwing 'em.
And here's our twist.
This still isn't really much of a puzzle. There's still a very finite number of values for three numbers to have, it's just that they're obfuscated a bit by some of them being doubled or tripled.
I could have sworn I've seen these darts before somewhere...
Whatever. Time for some darts!
There's no particularly good dialogue here, and Tenmyouji ramps straight from zero to solution if you let him, so...
Yes, I saw it quite clearly. It was very nice.
Do you really think you had to stand the whole 2 meters and 37 centimeters away from the dartboard, though?
I'm a fair man.
My high school voted me "Most Likely to be a Judge," you know.
That's great and all, but look...
See the display case?
Great. Now we can get that green memory card.
You sound like you're in a heist movie.
Should I have worn a catsuit?
Ugh... I think I just threw up a little.
Besides, everybody in a heist movie wears a sweet suit...
Alright. Let's get this over with.
Let's go through each one of them.
I mean all the pages are blank.
Are the other books the same?
Let's have a look.
No, the pages are all blank. It's just...
Well, there are...some pictures put in between the pages back here.
Three of them, it looks like.
I think we all know where this is going.
This is about the point where the dread starts setting in for most players.
There's a tiny bit more dialogue here;
The back of the bookshelf is full of electronic centipedes!
That's...just the design...
What the hell is an electronic centipede...?
Once more into the breach...
I think there's a blue memory card in there.
I think we all know what extra layer of bullshit they've slathered on top of this one.
One mercy we're granted is that there's no trickery regarding the orientation of those photos; it matches the orientation we see here. You'd be forgiven for being extremely suspicious, though.
As with the first time around, the game's first assumption regarding your confusion is that you don't know what result you're trying to achieve. That is, of course, ludicrous. Keep pushing, however, and...
1: Arrange the colored dice so that they are on the target tiles, with the correct side facing up.
2: If a die ends up with the its sides 90 degrees to the left or right of where they should be, that's the wrong die for that spot.
That means you'll need to use another die of that color to fill that spot.
3: If a die ends up with its sides 180 degrees to the left or right of where they should be, then it's in the right spot.
You just need to rotate it 180 degrees and you're good.
What, you don't get 1 and 3?
I can explain those some other time.
How about you just give it another shot?
This actually kinda resembles a hint progression! That second point there is a hell of a help, and will save a lot of people a lot of time once so informed.
And as before, if you nevertheless persist, Phi will cut right to the chase;
Guess I don't have much choice, then.
Let's go over 1 first...
Hope this helps...
Wow! They tried to summarise the two big hints from the last go-round in one concise panel, and failed miserably! This is just reminding us how to transpose a die without changing its shown face, in case we forgot - which, if we hadn't done the Archives as literally the previous escape, we might well have.
Oh and good luck reading this one on the 3DS version, where line-wrapping completely breaks their little diagram there.
That only leaves most players' last remaining question...
Right. Pay attention...
Hope this helps...
And that's our One Weird Trick to rotate a die in-place. Zero hates this! And so do I!
Anyway, that's the hints. There just remains the small matter of implementing this while cross-checking three seperate archive photos. This is a mild pain on the 3DS and hell on the Vita.
But GUESS WHAT! There's still one last mine to tread on here; it's not always possible to cleanly rotate those dice in place once you start crowding them all together, so it's likely you're going to end up having to get very confused and end up having to backwards-plan a lot of awkward gambits for moving them somewhere else, rotating them there, and moving them back in their correct orientation.
If you keep bugging Phi she will eventually provide a step by step solution but even that's a complete pain to try and remember. I'd say trying to do that from memory is probably more of a challenge than just struggling through this "correctly". Anyway...
I had a feeling you could do it. Good job.
Have a look at this...
Hey, it opened.
Never in my life have I felt this close to a table.
Time to finish this.
No, you already did that one.
A smattering of worthless dialogue lines punctuate the various insertions of the cards so let's just skip that.
Looks like you turned it on.
There are some tooltips for this puzzle but I don't think they're really neccessary - I think this is pretty self-explanatory.
Anyway, yes, Q's big final twist is that it's remixed the entire AB Game and turned it into a puzzle!
It's technically possible but very unlikely that you can reach this point without picking up the Rules sheet - you'd have to deliberately only pick up the memory card after solving the hex puzzle.
There'll be three rounds. As the rules say, we've got one pair that always allies, one pair that always betrays, one solo that always allies, one solo that always betrays, and one solo that somehow always chooses whatever his opponent chooses. He probably uses quantum bullshit powers like Alice did that one time. So our first task here is to figure out who's who.
This isn't very difficult.
After lining everybody up we get to vote. There's probably some symbolism to US being the only entrant with free will.
Let's be nice.
And the results. This... pretty much gives away the entire game. A must be the betraying pair and B the allying pair, because the only two pairs besides us are always ally and always betray. Meanwhile, C is the only solo that didn't pick the opposite choice to their partner, so C must be the mirror man. That means D must be always ally and E always betray.
The hint dialogue straight up consists of Phi saying "hey I figured out who's who" followed by Tenmyouji just dropping the first solution. They don't even make any dumb jokes! So let's just do this on our own.
The first solution demands that we get six people to nine points. That's laughably easy.
We just have us and the B team face off against the ally solo and the mirror man three times.
Way to go!
Hey, look, the screen changed color...
So...would this be...?
Could this be...?
Should this be...?
That looks like a password to the safe!
We did it! This should get us into that safe!
And, of course, there is the second solution.
This one is a tad thinkier. Now we need to make ourselves the only player to get to nine points. This will require actively managing other people's scores and making use of the mirror man's bullshit.
First we knife D in the back to get ahead of B and C while A and E block eachother.
Then, we stall C. Note that D goes down to -1 here but gets to keep voting somehow. The important detail is that only A and E are at six points here.
So we stick A and E together and clown on D some more. This gives us and nobody else the nine.
I think there are other ways to do this. On my 3DS playthrough I am certain nobody ended up on negative points.
Looks like that was the answer.
There are different symbols now, in different places.
Very astute, Tenmyouji.
Anyway, that's the ballgame, folks!
I guess this thing turned out not to be important.
Huh, deja vu again.
That means we probably open it the same way too.
We just need to plug in the password, right?
Yeah. Why don't you give it a shot?
Y'know, I'd expect Tenmyouji to still be acting like this was only his third time encountering a safe, but Phi should know better.
Okay, then... Let's see what's in here.
We can use these to play the AB Game as many times as we want.
Hold on. Those keys are important but...
The Radical-6 cure!
Oh... Oh thank goodness...
I...I don't know what to say...
Quark is going to be okay...
We need to get this stuff to Quark and Alice!
Yeah, you're right.
This key should do the trick...
Let's get moving!
I agree wholeheartedly, but let's just get this one last thing...
Hmm. Well done.
This trophy certifies that we've gathered all of the Gold Files in the game. Go us!
You guys ready?
All set here.
Go for it.
Three... Two... One!
Jeez... One more time...
Three... Two... One!
We have officially completed every escape room in the game!
We have also completed the said every escape room in the game on hard difficulty, so that's another trophy!
...Wait. We're supposed to get another trophy at this point too, for unlocking all the Archive files. Come to think of it, we should've got it as soon as we got the Axelavir doses. What the-
For real, I have no idea how this happened. This shouldn't be possible.
I already collected this. I got it on video, for chrissakes! This actually wasn't even the only Archive I was missing; I also somehow lost three from the Infirmary. In order for that to have happened, I must have reloaded a save from before I did the playthrough shown in the LP, in which we provably picked up all the things, and beat the room again without picking them up (this is not the same as jumping back and replaying a room; your Archives remain in place when you do that). That's the only way this could have happened, but why the hell would I have done that?!
Anyway that's the story of how I fucked up getting the shot of this one trophy in the right place.
Here's another cool story; If you "cheat" at Q and leave the room without opening all of the wall panels, you will be treated to a cutscene of the entire room unlocking itself as you leave. Phi is all "Sigma, something's happening!", then all the puzzles pop out, and then everyone just walks out without commenting.
But wait! I have a THIRD fun fact to relate! Here it is: The hidden files in this room are dull af. Most of them are just flat retellings of things we're about to discover properly in the plot, and two are substantive but hinge on something we don't know yet. These are the remainder:
This actually is the very last file in the list. You're very welcome, presumably Mr Uchikoshi!