The Let's Play Archive

Zero Time Dilemma


Part 42: Ambidex (1 of 2)

Part 42: Ambidex (1 of 2)

Sure, new fragment, let's jump right in.

Three outcomes here. What's that they're looking at, I wonder? Whatever, let's start.

Ambidex, huh? The game in VLR was called the Ambidex Game...

Music: Initiation (Preamble)

The reactor...

This nuclear reactor automatically supplies electricity for years without any extra input.

Missing Lip Animations: 32

Carlos walks across the room.

No easy exit this time.

Agh! It's the new year!

Back at 00:00 again. Which timeline, I wonder?

I kind of thought his sister was more of a little kid. She's 22?

Never thought there'd be a time when I couldn't wish her happy new year...

This is the worst year ever!

Music: Nostalgic Scenery

She fell ill ten years ago, and was admitted to the hospital. I figured she'd be lonely in there, so I always stopped by after work...

Ten years? Holy crap man. So she would've been 12 when that started. No wonder he still thinks of her like a little kid.

Ah, uh, that's...

Eloquent as ever, Junpei.

And now...

But I couldn't...

You're her boyfriend, right?


She's just a childhood friend!

Whoops, sorry if that made things awkward. I just wanted to learn how you guys were connected.

It's all right, they were doing a fine enough job of being awkward on their own, anyway.

Ah yes, those firefighters, always being so...teamwork-y?

Well, we'll leave it at that for now.

Okay, we can't hang around here like this forever. Let's find a way out.

Music: Power Room

Okay, let's do this. First, a quick look around the room.

This one's big. And there'

Might as well start with the elephant in the room.

So that's a nuclear reactor...

It's waaay high-tech. What's that circular thing in the middle?

It's at the center of the reactor... The core, maybe?

Anyone else feeling a

I don't know. But maybe they'll turn on once we get the power on.

Guess we better look around then.

Nothing on the control panel does anything yet.

Moving on...

Fancy windows, but nothing to do here.

The big lever below, however...

This is a keyhole, right? Do we have anything that would fit...?

We have literally nothing, Carlos. We just started here.

I see a keyhole down here. We probably need a key before we can pull it.

To no one's surprise, the lever won't move without the key.

Next up, some weird big machine.

There's nothing inside.

No clues as to what it's for.

There's a door on the bottom that opens up, but nothing's in there. Yet.

Nothing's in here.

But it looks like we can put two rectangular objects inside.

It's got a red light. Maybe it's locked?

If that's true, then how do we open it?

But there's no fire. Maybe the gas isn't connected.

These are really great to have during the winter.

A heater seems useful with all this ice around...

Continuing around the room...

Let's play with this thing.

The valve is shut right now.

Then how about we open it.

Et voila, the valve is open and the light is lit up.

Hmm... This locker isn't opening.

Maybe it'll unlock if we direct the power to here.

I proceed to forget all about this locker for most of the room.

We can see a rectangular metal object through the glass door.

We might be able to use it, but question is: How do we open this locker?

There are actually two lockers here. I think we just saw a spot to put a rectangular object.

There are two lights, one to the left and the other at the bottom. Neither is on.

No power here yet.

A sink?

Yeah, but who designs a sink with a drain on the side?

Once it fills, it's going to leeeeeak over the edge!

I'm sure that'll be important later.

Maybe the valve is closed.'s just broken.

Something on the floor here...

It's in the way lying on the floor like that, so let's put it where it belongs.

And the drain cover's back in place. Good thing it was right there, I guess.

I feel the same way. Now we're safe from alien attacks.

It's no help if they're the kind that come busting out of your stomach.

It's hard to trace the pipes in screenshots, but this one leads to the sink. Probably the water valve?

Ugh. Damn, this is hard. It's frozen shut!

It IS very cold in here... Maybe if we warm the room up it will turn?

Looks like our first goal here is to get the heater running.

Another weird-looking machine here.

But it doesn't seem like the power's on.

It looks like there's a slider on it... Maybe we should push it?

Eh, we'll get back to that.

I think so... Moving the lever should change where the power is directed.

The arrows are a little weird but really you just click once to move the lever to the other position.

Looks like the power's on.

Now that the power's on, the needle is fluctuating.

I don't think the power source for this is very stable.

It could go out any second. I'm worried.

It looks like it's a guide for using this panel.

[Monitor Text:] Door cannot be opened due to insufficient power. If the power for the facility drops below the operational minimum, air circulation will be halted. Do not enter a room where air is not circulating as suffocation may result.

So the door won't open because there's no power.

I think we're okay on air for now, but we should be careful of what we touch here.

Since the power's on now, we don't need to touch it again.

I wanted to fiddle with the slider some more though...

It isn't a toy. Anyway, let's see what changed.

Switching the lever should redirect the power.

So right now, the power's going off to the right. The switch can move it up out the top instead, but I'm going to leave it where it is for now.

It's shut right now. Let's open it.

Nearby is another valve. Guess we'll open this one, too.

I'm not sure we're ready to have it open yet, maybe we should close it.

It's a good idea to close the valve again after you open it.

We always learned in school that we should never forget to turn them off.

Well, school's out. What the teachers don't know...

Guess we're leaving it open then.

Right above the valve is what looks like a thermostat. Maybe we can just turn the heat up here?

This thermometer is sitting at -10 degrees Celsius!

Christ! No wonder it's so damn cold in here!

I remember there was a theme park once with a -30 degree attraction. Too cold for me...

Never mind, just a thermometer.

I think this pipe is the gas one? Not that it matters that much, I just click on everything. Like this door...

Looks like it leads to a small, round room. But it's locked.

Maybe something inside can open the door to the Power Room.

Another generic box to click on up here.

It's too dangerous, Carlos! We'd get shocked!

It's not leaking out anywhere, but it's too risky to chance. Let's turn it off.

Uhh, okay...

We should be all right so long as there isn't a current going through.

"Never pull the plug while the machine's in use!" I heard that all the time as a kid.

I guess the switch powers these exposed wires.

Looks like another drain cover over here.

Uugghh. It's no use. It won't open.

I couldn't even get it to budge. Force won't open it.

There's a bunch of machines in here. Maybe one of them opens the door.

Still more stuff. Another sink, a couple more lockers, and another gas valve.

Filling the sink will cause the water to flow out from there.

The sink is pretty much the same as the other one.

There are two possible reasons. Either the main valve is shut, or it doesn't work...

No water here, either.

The light is lit on this set of lockers. Because back at the power distribution panel, I left the switch so that the power was going to the right. To this machine.

It's an extinguisher. The label says "freezing fire extinguisher".

Kind of weird, but okay.

It'll freeze things lickety-split.

Uh, what? Why are you pointing that at me, Junpei?

Ah, no reason... Just curious.

You just wanted to see how she'd react, didn't you...

The power must've rerouted with the moving of the switch.

Flick the switch, and we can open the other locker.

The melting point of tin is low, so it's an easy material to process.

It's often used for tableware and other dailiy necessities.

Another rectangular object...

Let's open it then! La lala la!

Yeah. You don't need to close it, Akane.

Opening and closing these things is kind of fun.

It sure is.

Looks like there's another heater on the other side of the room. Does it seem like there's a lazy copy of everything in here to anyone else? Two heaters, two drain covers, two sinks, two sets of lockers...

We just gotta light it. Let's hurry.

I don't see a "Light Me" button anywhere, though.

Gas. Yup. It's connected all right.

Then we only need to start a fire here and the heater will...

Last object to examine is here.

No idea. No way to tell either since it's off.

Let's come back after the power is on.

Fine, fine.

I missed these earlier. More exposed wires?

They're extended into the drains.

It'll be pretty dangerous if any water gets close.

I think I can see how part two of this puzzle room will shake out, but I still haven't figured out part one. How do we get those heaters started up?

I knew these were here on the floor somewhere and I still spent a couple minutes searching for them. Do you see them? They're a lot easier to see in a still screenshot than when I'm dragging the screen around.

Fortunately there's this helpful sparkle that only really helps if you can keep the object on the screen for more than a couple seconds.

It's a box of matches.

Sounds like just what we need to get those heaters started.

This room is so cold. Let's light one and think about warm food.

Like "The Little Match Girl"? Well, it's not like I don't agree with the sentiment.

Let's get these over to the heater.

This thing's been leaking gas for several minutes, let's just open the door and toss in a match.

Ah... That went well, I think.

All the ice on this half of the room is instantly gone. Because that's how thermodynamics works.

Finally. It was really cold in here. This feels good.

I forgot to look at the thermostat but you can just make out the red needle pointing straight up instead of in the blue. There's also still ice in the other half of the room, because the air circulation is poor or something.

First, we have to send the power up to the other side of the room.

I finally remembered to check on this locker from 60 images ago.

You're right. It really would make a cute castella.

I'm pretty sure it's not for baking cakes... Where could we use this?

Guess we know how we're getting a key for that lever way back at the beginning.

Is this...a puzzle?

Move the switch to send the power down to the second locker, and we can open it.

It's another rotating tile puzzle. This one was a nightmare for my poor color-blind self. Those colored circles... Here was me stumbling through it at 4x speed:

All right, Carlos!

There's something inside. Let's take a look.

"We put it in the sink," then?

It's too big to shove up your nose at least. I can't think of anywhere else to use it.

Plug up the sink and we could make it overflow through the weird side drain I guess. Assuming we get the water running sometime.

There were actually two sink plugs inside the puzzle. Because there are two sinks, and having two puzzles would take more effort. Same dialogue, though.

The other heater can't be lit yet because the door is locked.

Oh good... It would get warmer in here if we lit it.

I know, I'm trying.

Oh right, the rectangular objects. Let's dump those in here.

Or I can get distracted by going to put the plugs into the sinks.

Ah, I guess this plug was meant to be used here.

It fit perfectly.

It may look the same, but this is the second plug for the second sink.

I think the plug can fit in here.

Oh, look look look! It fits super well, yay!

This cutesy thing is kind of creeping me out, Akane...

Maybe one heater was enough to turn the water valve?


Junpei, you'll hurt your hands if you try turning it like that.

The valve is frozen solid. We need to figure out how to melt the ice.

All right, back to the second heater. Let's see if the steel mold can go in here.

This steel mold... It fits in the hole here.

It's just the right size.

We'll just leave it there then.

That seemed to work. Now for the block of tin.

It fits perfectly.

No reason to take it out. May as well leave it.

Wonder what happens if we close this.

The drawer closes, and a light comes on below the door.

The light over here was red but now it's green.

Maybe that means the furnace door on top is unlocked.

Oh... Looks, and feels, like the fire's lit.

Let's take a look.

Ice is gone, but more importantly there's something in the compartment at the bottom.

It's probably used somewhere in this room.

Well, guess we need to find a hole that'll fit it.

This key... I think it'll fit in this keyhole.

Oh, it fits perfectly. Maybe we can pull the lever.

Why do you look so happy about this, Junpei?

Too much anime? That does look like a lever that'd control a giant robot.

Whoa, that's an old reference! You like to watch those too, Carlos?

I like machines. My sister's not a fan, but she enjoys watching almost anything on TV.

You truly love your sister, don't you.

And now we're off-topic. I'm pulling it!

The lever is pulled.

Looks like the shields came down.

Not sure what that accomplished, but with the ice gone we've got one more thing we can do in here.

But first let's look through the window again.

The shields just suddenly dropped down when we pulled that lever.

I thought we did something wrong. It kind of scared me.

Right, the water valve.

The ice around it is melting. Now, if we just put some back into it...

Aha... The valve is open. And now we have water.

The drainage ditch is right below it though. Don't slip and fall now.

Do I really seem that clumsy to you, Junpei?

You CAN be absentminded. No one's 100% perfect, right?


Hmm... Maybe we should turn the water off.

The water is pouring out of the faucet. This feels a little wasteful.

You think? It's pretty fun to me. Never-ending water without worrying about money.

You're right. You only have to worry about the water bill when you're at home.

You can see the water flowing through one of the drainage ditches now. Let's go turn on the other sink, too.

Now that we've filled the room with water, let's run some electricity through these exposed wires and kill ourselves.

This is a dangerous situation even with no power. We should keep it off.

Uhh, it didn't work. What'd I miss?

The other end is also in the water. If we turn on the power right now...

The control panel will turn on... Could this really work?

Well, yes, that's what I was trying to do...

The control panel's power cord is also submerged in the water.

So, if we ran a current through this, the control panel might turn on...?

The other set of wires has the same hint.

Not sure why I'm looking at this thing again.

We could turn the main valve after we warmed up the room.

It would've been pointless while it was cold in here anyway. We'd be stuck with ice.

We turned the heaters on for warmth, but it had a useful side effect.

Sure, let's look at the thermometer again, too.

No more chattering teeth! Thank God.

We need to get back to searching now that it's warmer.

It took me longer than I'm willing to admit to realize I needed to send the power back to the right side of the room for our trick to work. Though you can probably tell from the meandering searching going on.

Let's try this again...

Hey look! The monitors over there turned on!

The drains are acting like power cords? I would've never believed this would work...

Yeah. But we've no clue how long it'll last. Let's get to examining while we have power.

Well, we've got power. What's that on the screen now?

Oh! Look at the monitor.

Well, these shapes are weird. Maybe it's a puzzle?

I'm guessing we need to solve this next. Let's take a look.

Another one of these puzzles. No helpful corners to help us. Plenty of edges but multiple pieces can go into each spot. Guess we'll just have to try it out. Here it is at double speed:

I kind of stumbled into most of the solution and then fumbled around a bit at the end. Anyway, what did that get us?

Hey, I think we did it.


The monitor to the side turned on too. Let's see what it says.

We will, but first let's look at the reactor again.

The core is emitting light and spinning.

It reminds me of the lights on a fire truck. Awesome.

You two... Fascinated by machines and shiny objects...

Sure enough, this thing is lit up now.

I don't know... But we should be able to use this at least.

Let's get started then.

I actually like this puzzle. You drag the sets of mirrors up and down to reflect the lasers around. The goal is to not only get the lasers to the center, but have them enter the center square from the right direction. The middle column can't move, so we know where the top and bottom lasers need to go at the end. Here's my solution at 4x speed:

That was a little hard to follow, so I'll break it down.

It's easier to start with the right side. Get the blue laser set up, and make sure there's nothing in the way of the green laser shooting straight across. The red laser also isn't hard to get into the center, but it's hard to keep it that way while working on the yellow laser.

For the yellow laser, it's actually easier to work backwards. The laser is going to have to curve around the bottom to reach the center, so moving the second column down one spot will take care of it.

From there, I pretty much lucked into getting in the red laser, and the puzzle completed automatically before I even realized what had happened. Notice how the red and yellow lasers actually use opposite sides of the same mirror at one point.

Does this mean the reactor core will be hit with radiation as well?

Apparently so.

Suddenly, the lights turn red and an alarm sounds.

We're thrown back into the puzzle room. What's going on here?

The core's still spinning...

Wait, didn't the implosion work? Why is the alarm going off?!

No idea. But we better shut down the control panel.

Good idea. Maybe there's a switch over here or something.

The monitor's saying "Evacuate or shut down the power"!

Gah, the alarm's going off! This is bad! We gotta do something...

We can't exactly evacuate right now, but maybe we can shut off the power?

Good idea, let's go turn the switch back off.

Zero might be doing it... We need to find another way!

Can we use this monitor somehow?

...Maybe seomthing over here can stop the alarm.

This just adjusts the lasers. I don't think anything here will help.

What else can we do?! We need to shut off the control panel now!

Maybe this lever?

Just how exactly are we going to shut down the control panel?!

We better start looking. Maybe we can find something to stop the electricity!

Remember the freezing fire extinguisher we picked up about 90 images ago?

If we freeze the drainage ditches with this extinguisher...!

Well there's a block of ice but the water's still flowing...

I guess it worked anyway?

The exit doesn't unlock, but the little circular room is now open.

Oh hey, the door over there opened. Should we check it out?

The screen shakes and there's a thump.


The screen flashes white twice, and there's a zapping sound.


The top layer of the ice melted?!

She stepped in the water?! Akane... Akane! Come on, wake up.


Uh, I guess? Did that scene take place in puzzle room mode so it wouldn't have to be animated/voiced?

Part two coming up!