The Let's Play Archive

Zero Time Dilemma


Part 53: Outbreak (1 of 2)

Part 53: Outbreak (1 of 2)

It's been a long time since we've seen D-Team. Let's see what they're up to in Manufacturing.

We'll have to get to some of the replays eventually, but let's check out another of the new fragments first.

Looks like a simple decision here. And maybe a lock or an extra scene on one branch?

I'm looking forward to this one, I legitimately missed D-Team. It's been 16 straight updates of C-Team and Q-Team!

That word has multiple meanings, I'm sure it's fine.

Music: Initiation (Preamble)


Are these things...robots?


Are they real?

I doubt they're model toys.

A pause as the robot...doesn't respond.

Well, he's not very friendly.

It's probably just out of power.

Looking around, I'd say they were being made here.

It does say this room is "Manufacturing" on the map.

Ah, um, Sigma? Why did you get all quiet all of a sudden?

Oh. No reason...

He's just sad that he went through all that work inventing robots for VLR only to find out someone already did it here.

We stare at the ceiling while hearing footsteps.

Time for the usual "check the door" routine.

Guess we're trapped in here.


That's not a duplicate line. Diana's questioning why Phi thinks we've been trapped in here before.

It's 18:10.

Based on what we've seen so far, D-Team should only remember the Execution vote.

Okay. Let's go.

Not much prelude to this one, let's just dive right in.

Music: Manufacturing Room (Gaulem 2nd Mix)

Three robots and a bunch of other stuff. Okay then.

Before looking at the robots themselves, let's see what their little cubbies are.

What are these things exactly?

I bet they're charging stations for the robots. They just have to be inside.

Hm... I see. A wireless power transmission device...

Maybe it's just for display.

No, I think it'll move with power. We just need to figure it out.

Thanks, Sigma.

The framework for all of them looks the same.

You're right. Maybe they were all made by the same person.

Hmm... Probably prototypes. I can see a bit of trial and error going on in the designs.

So the ones made later are better than the early ones?

Hm. This says it's a hi-volt contactor.

So then it's for activating something?

Maybe for the robots behind it? They're all connected by cords.

Seems so. If we can get some electricity to power this up...

Weird machine in the background here.

What's this for?

Hmm, I don't know...

Let's not touch it. Who knows what would happen. ...Or it might just be decoration.

All the wall-texture machines are just decoration, as Phi said.

Hello, there.

Oh? There's something written on it.

"Contact between the red and blue balls will result in an immediate, powerful explosion. Set the timer with the buttons above." I think this is a warning message.

Oh, I see... Wait, this is a bomb?!

It explodes just from the red and blue balls touching... We better keep our distance.

It's talking about those balls in there? They're small, but definitely pack a punch...

These must be the timer buttons.

There's a button to set the time, a start button, and a stop button.

Lot's of talking there. Let's click on the buttons themselves, too.

It says "Start". What would this button activate?

Must be the button to start the bomb timer. Make sure you don't touch this one.

That just makes you want to push it more... No one's that dumb if it's a bomb, I hope.

Red button next:

It looks like a stop button.

Likely stops the timer on the bomb.

Then we better remember that. Just in case, you know.

Just in case. Ahem, next button.

This button sets the time.

Hm, that means we can set the time for this bomb.

But we don't need to do that right now.

There's a faint time display on the top of the bomb, that says 300 right now.

This is a time display. I guess you can set a time for this bomb.

A time bomb... Why is something like this here...

No clue. I don't think this comes standard in a nuclear shelter. Zero must've prepared it.

Just what is going on in his head...

There's dialogue for the bomb casing itself, too:

The red and blue balls are inside. But it doesn't look that dangerous...

Something's stopping them from moving, but who knows what could knock this over...

I've seen toys like this. But we don't have enough lives to play around with this one.

A couple of papers just lying on the floor, here.

Uhh, ok...

Something's on the floor.

Alex = White, Betty = Red, Charley = Blue?

Sure, let's try the door again.

The door doesn't open...

Let's search this room for clues so we can get out of here.

...We don't have much time. Let's get to it.

Hey, I spot a sparkle over here.

Oh, there's something here...

Yeah, but it's difficult to use it like it is now...

It doesn't have a handle...

That's actually it for that machine.

My customary examination of the ceiling reveals...a steel beam.

It looks like the rail the crane has to move along.


Oh, crane. Looks like one of those claw games in an arcade.

But I don't see anything we'd need to lift.

We'll come back to this when we need it.

Eh, we could try and get that giant bomb out of here, maybe.

A console and something behind glass?

The bomb... They'll explode when they collide together...

It's dangerous to mess with this now, so let's leave it alone.

More red and blue balls...

Another machine, with another object on it.

I don't think this machine is working.

Huh? This is...?

They might break if we attempt to cut something too big.

Lots of stuff on this table.

This looks like some kind of tool...

Hm, I think it's the grip of a screwdriver...

Well, we can't use it at the moment unless we have something to go with it.

Well, that was fast. Both pieces of the screwdriver acquired; let's put them together.

Now we have a full screwdriver!

We can definitely use it now.

Next item--

Oh, it's a stun gun.

Huh? Why would that be here?

Yeah, but we can't tell how much power it has.

...Maybe we should try it out?

A-AH! Stop! Don't point that thing at me!

Charely = blue, remember.

Keep this drawing in mind for later.

I'm not sure why the words are all fuzzy, it looked like that when I played it live, too. It doesn't end up mattering, though.

Oh? What does it say?

"From the far left -> 4 right -> 1 left -> 2 left -> 4 right -> 3 left -> Boot up!" What in the...

Betty = red...

That's what the warning message says, yes.

They'll explode when they collide. We'll have to be careful when we examine it.

One more of these strange consoles.

I see four of them in this.

Keep your distance! It'll be the end of us if you accidentally bump it!

Oh, I wish I could say that won't happen, but let's be extra careful anyway...

Yes, let's...

Strange spot on the floor, here.

Below the floor storage? But I don't see a handle...

...It's bugging me too, but we should search other places right now.

That's actually the whole room. And it's a straight shot from here to the end, too. Kind of a weird puzzle room design with everything out in front of you and then a straight line of puzzles to the end.

We'll start by using the stun gun to power up this contactor thing.

How about using the stun gun?

What? I never thought of that... Who knows if it'll work, but let's give it a shot.

What did that note say? Start from the far left, go four right, bunch of other steps?

Huh. That didn't work.

It's reacting to the stun gun so we know that's right. We just need to know the order.

The correct order... Oh, didn't we find a note with lefts and rights? Maybe it's about this?

Yeah, yeah, I tried the note. But I ended up with one left over at the end. Turns out "From the far left" means to light up the one on the left first. Here's the real solution, also double speed.

Yes! I think this will work!

Yeah... Huh? Hey look, the robots are powering up!

Th-They're in strange poses.

Well, I just hope they won't try to hurt us...

Well, let's talk to these robots.

Okay, it started up fine.

[Alex:] Pleasure to. Meet you... I. Am. Alex...

What's wrong with it? Is it broken?

Maybe it's simply an older model?

Got any more to say, Alex?

[Alex:] I. Am. Alex... It. Is my utmost pleasure...

Okay then. Who's next?

Wh-What is up with this one... It's strangely super hyper...

[Betty:] No! No! No! Anger! Put Down, Set Timer to 0 Seconds Please!

I-I think it's angry...?

Set the timer to 0 seconds...? What does it mean?

Yeah, no thanks. Got any more advice?

Betty's head flashes on and off while she's talking.

Charley lights up, too.

I-It's more fluent than I expected... It's so...human...

His tone of voice could use some work...

Charley doesn't actually say anything else. I think he meant he's only saying his name once. What else do you have for us, Charley?

[Charley:] What's with the staring? Could you be any ruder, human...?

We have a distinct lack of options here, so I guess we have no choice but to listen to Betty.

The button that sets the time... Betty said "set timer to 0 seconds!"

Eh, why not?

Wait, are we actually doing what it said? Zero could be controlling it.

But we don't have any other clues.

...Yeah, but we don't know what will happen.

True. Only God knows... I'm going to set it to 0 seconds.

And so it was done.

Oh, hello there.

[Charley:] The ignition signal will transmit in five minutes...

Thanks, Charley. Wait, detonation box?

Five minutes?!

Dammit! I knew it! We should've never listened to that robot...!

[Charley:] It can be disarmed if you choose. You only have to cut the correct wires inside. Don't pick the wrong one. The hints to the right wires should be left by the designer.

So we only have to cut the correct wires in the detonation box?!

Does that mean there's a blueprint around here?

Relax, we already got them. Also, that five minutes bit is a total lie, as usual with puzzle room narrative timers.

Let's hurry! There's no time!

Easy, pretty sure I've seen this on TV one or a thousand times.

Yeah. We've got to cut the wire and then take the cover off...

There's a red wire and a blue one. I'm guessing we shouldn't cut one of them.

Ah, no...! Then, which one do we cut...?!

Hmm... Red you're dead, bluey you're kablooey.

Sure, that seems right, I think.

All right, I'm counting on you...!


Shit...! It wasn't blue!

What?! Not good! If the balls collide they'll explode! We need to make sure they don't!

Screwing up on the detonation box gives us a chance to win-minigame-to-not-die. Goal is to get the robots carrying the red and blue balls to their respective squares. They move along the path slowly automatically, and turn when they hit an arrow or a dead end. Our job is to rotate the arrow to redirect the robots where they need to go.

I'm no good at this game.

The screen fades to white as we blow up.

I'm not kidding. You can fail this puzzle room.

Well, kind of. We're still morphogenetic shifting experts, after all.

What's wrong?

Nothing. I just... I thought it had exploded.

Huh? What are you saying? It hasn't done that.

It couldn't be...could it...

Right, back to the wires. It was the blue one, right?

Oh, right, the blue one is the one we did last time. Which was wrong.

No sweat, I've got this game figured out this time. Watch me at double speed:


O-Oh good... We avoided the collision. Somehow.

Somehow? That was grade A puzzle solving right there.

I'll admit I was worried. So this thing starts moving if we fail to disarm the box.

Seems like it. We need to be more cautious...

These things have some more dialogue now that we've seen one in action.

I got anxious when this started moving...

Yeah, it was so sudden. But we managed to avoid the worse outcome...

This is not the time to be relieved! We have to get back to the detonation box!

Oh right, the timer. Eh, it probably doesn't matter. Let's go look at the other consoles again.

How would we solve this one here...?

With grace and style, of course!

Hey! We don't have the time! We need to disarm the detonation box!

Phi you're such a buzzkill. Just because you blew up last time...

Huh? How do we even pass this...

We won't have to worry about it if we don't screw up. Let's get to the detonation box!

I suppose she's right. Hey, remember this blueprint that looks a lot like the wires we were facing? It says "Cut Betty". And from our other notes, "Betty = Red". So let's try and cut the red wire this time.

There are only two wires, so we really only get one chance to fail here.

The blue wire is already cut so just need to cut the red one. We could've avoided that whole mess by just reading the notes in the first place, but where would be the fun in that?

Yeah, that robot did say "cut the right wire". That means we won't be done with this until the right one is cut.

I see... I'm cutting it!

...Hm, nothing's happening, like we thought.

Oh good. I was a little worried!

...Now we only have to take off the screws.

If you pick the red wire the first time, the dialogue is slightly different:

I'm...going to cut the red wire! Is that okay?!

No objections here. Do it!

...Nothing's happening?

Does this mean we got it right?

The robot did say "cut the right wire". If nothing happens, that'd mean we got the right one, wouldn't it?

Th-Thank goodness... Oh, let's take off the screws now!

You can even click on the blue wire again after cutting the red one:

I don't think we have to cut this blue wire, am I right?

Yeah, leave it alone. The red one was right.

We have no idea what would happen if we cut the blue wire...

They might not have any idea, but thanks to LP magic, we do.

Anyway, the screws.

Click each screw to make them magically disappear.

Now we just need to remove the screws from the corners.

Four more screws later...

We did it!

But there's still something inside the detonation box.

We managed to stop the explosion this time... Are we continuing with getting clues?

What, you didn't think we were done, did you? If you got the wire right the first time, they say instead:

So the blueprints and notes were clues to disarming this.

Ah, look! There's still something inside the detonation box.

All right, we better keep disarming quickly!

Either way, we get interrupted by a robot!

It is an OLD model. Maybe he feels an affinity.

[Alex:] Please. Take. This...

Alex holds out his hand to us. Just pretend there's something in there.

What does he have in his hand? Is that a note?

Uhh, thanks, Alex, but you're a little late.

I don't have anything to cut Betty with, but maybe I can zap her.

Dammit! Stop the timer right now!

[Betty:] Aha? Ahahaha! Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey!

It's no use talking to this one...

Anyway, back into the box.

It's not a fuse this time. It's hammers...and a pendulum?

This puzzle is literally set up for you to fail it at least once. The unstated goal is to get all the screws out, without letting the hammers touch the pendulum in the center. The circular arcs show each hammer's falling path to help you out, but it's actually a bit tricky to work out the logic.

Uhh, like so.

No! A hammer hit the pendulum!

Dammit, causing vibrations along the pendulum is definitely not good!

Guess we're going to use up our second second chance.

This is bad! If the balls collide, they'll explode! We need to make sure they don't!

Um, this one's a little more complicated. I think I can handle it, though.

...I did it again, didn't I?

You know damn well I want to restart the mini game.

Wh-What's wrong?, it's nothing. Must be my imagination.

I'm not kiling D-Team over and over again, I'm just giving them some much-needed SHIFTer training.

Look, I just really wanted to try that minigame again, all right? Here's one of no doubt countless ways to do it, at double speed as usual:

I'm getting a little sick of all the "somehow"s being tossed around here.

I was frightened... I couldn't keep up with it...

Okay, let's concentrate harder on the next one.

After failing once, the game explains the goal a little more.

If the pendulum touches the ring up top, the fuse is triggered.

Then we need to be more careful next time.

Ah, shit.

Yeah, you get as many tries as you need, in reality. You have go to through the same minigame each time, but even winning it isn't mandatory. You can just blow up and start over anyway. It does add to the tension if you don't know about that fact, though. Doing the whole puzzle room over would be a real pain.

We need to consider how the hammer will move when we remove the screws.

That's all the unique dialogue for this puzzle, so let's solve it for real this time.

For some reason this puzzle took me several tries when I first played this game.

Okay, we've removed all of the front screws.

Oh, I was so nervous...

Now for the corner screws...

Oh good, another layer. More wires this time.

H-Hey! Look at the box! There's still something in there!

What?! Damn, we don't even get a break! How much time do we have left...?!


What in the world is wrong with this thing? When did it move there?

We don't have time for this right now. We have to disarm this box first.


Well, Betty sure is talkative but doesn't make a lot of sense.

Back to the detonation box.

Well, it seems like we haven't completely disarmed it yet.

What?! Another red or blue choice...!

A-Again?! What should we do...?!

The note said "Cut Betty!", and "Betty = Red", right?

Do it...!


It's the same line whether we failed the other puzzles multiple times or not.

It wasn't the red wire?! Dammit!

N-Not good! When the balls collide, they'll explode! We need to make sure they don't!

This one is...complicated.

I may have been joking around before, but I legitimately failed this one several times.

I could've gone back and just cut the right wire, but I'm way too stubborn for that.

What is it?

O-Oh, nothing. It's just... A strange feeling? I felt very hot and was being hit by, um...

I don't know what you're talking about, but stay strong... We're going to survive this!

Let's look at the second console again, now that we've cleared it.

I-I thought it was all over for us...

We're running out of time, so we have to get back to disarming!

Phi has more thoughts on the second click:

We have to play this if we screw up? Why the hell did it have to be so complicated, Zero?

Back to the box...

Like I said, I wanted to beat that minigame. So I cut the wrong wire again.

The second time I lost because the blue balls collided and one of them turned around right into the red ball.

The third time I thought I could both red balls on the same square and the second one just turned around and ran straight into the blue ball. Look, I was tired when I recorded this, okay?

The fourth time I made the same stupid mistake as the second time. I have no defense for this. Fortunately the fifth time worked; here it is at 4x speed:

That...was not very clean. The two blue balls ran into each other twice and the second time it was almost a disaster.


Yes. Yes! We cleared it! Th-Thank God, we're saved...

No, we still have to finish disarming the detonation box! Hurry! There's no time!

Yeah, it seems that the right one is blue. Do it.

I got it. I'm cutting it!

...Hm, nothing's happening, like we thought.

I'm so glad!

...Now we only have to take off the screws.

The hint was the second blueprint, which resembled this setup and said "Cut Charley", which combined with the other notes (Charley = Blue), means to cut the blue wire for this one. If you got that right away, here's your alternate dialogue:

I'm going to cut the blue wire, okay?

Do it...!

...Nothing's happening?

Looks like that was the correct choice...

...Now we only have to take off the screws.

Right, the screws.

Yes! We disarmed the fuse!

Now we only have to remove the screws.

He's talking about the other set of screws at the top.

Yeah, there's a third wire-cutting puzzle. We had three blueprints, remember?

...You know, aren't the blueprints and notes clues to disarming this?

Little late for the backseat driving, Phi.

Damn, so that's what they meant! If only we'd noticed sooner...!

Look at this! There's still something inside! Let's hurry!

If you get it right the first time, the game is a little nicer:

Yes, it's off!

...And of course there's still something back there.

Our instincts were right, but are we really going to keep going without any clues...

Sorry, that's the dialogue for my alternate run where I sped through the room and didn't pick up any of the papers. Here's the dialogue for solving it the first time the right way:

Yes, it's off!

The blueprints and notes were the clues to disarm this.

Huh? Hold on...there's still something in the back of this box!

We're not out of this yet, huh... Gah! Let's hurry, we don't have much time!

Back to the present, Betty's on the move again--

Uh, h-hey...! That thing moved again.

Um... Doesn't it look like that robot's going to do something...?

We have to focus! We have more to disarm!

Did we leave the timer set to zero seconds? Ah, shit, we did, didn't we.

[Charley:] The one with the oldest memory has the answer to which wire to cut.

The one with the oldest memory?

That would be the most primitive robot in the bunch, Alex. He gave us a note, remember? All it said was "Cut Betty". If that's for the this puzzle, it means to cut the red wire again.

Wh-What should we do? Which wire do we cut...?!

Hey, stop hesitating! We don't have the time!

Wh-What? What's he saying so suddenly...

[Charley:] Cut the timer wire... The one with the oldest memory has the answer to which one it is.

Oh, I get it! That's a hint!

The one with the oldest memory... Does that mean the oldest one...?!

The text on the blueprint for this setup was all blurry and hard to read, but we already know what to do. And we get a reminder from Charley.

The oldest one was Alex, and Alex = White, so let's cut the white wire!

Yes! If I'm right, then the white wire should...! H-Here I go!

I'm shocked, shocked I say.

No second chances on this one.

The blue and red balls fall together, and we explode again.

Let's continue one more time...

Wh-What's going on?!

Ha... What's this feeling... Somehow I feel like I was just blown up...

It hasn't exploded yet! We WILL make it! We'll definitely make it! Don't give up now!

No new dialogue so we go straight to cutting the right wire. Alex said to cut Betty, which is red, so cut the red wire.

The thing on the upper left is actually a timer and letting it run out has the same effect as cutting the wrong wire. It gives you about 15 seconds and pauses during the dialogue and on the menu. So, plenty of time.

Cutting the Betty wire seems to cut the robot's strings as well. And the bomb comes loose...and the door opens!

Let's get out of here!