The Return of Talking Time

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  #301  
Old 04-19-2013, 11:09 PM
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Take two!

>Throw Feed



Well that's just lovely. To the inn!



>Talk Man



okay. >Get a Room



Jeeze. Well maybe we can at least give him our child? He seems like he knows his way around the world.

>Give Baby



Well nuts to that idea. Guess it's time to go. But first:

Look painting



Heh. This is funny.



Elsewhere in the world, at a time sligtly after the time when he left the inn, Rather Dashing tries once again to rid himself of his great responsibility of child-raising so he can concentrate on his great responsibility of dragonslaying.

>Put Baby in Bucket



And because I am not a clever man, I didn't grab a screenshot, but you get a game over if you walk away.

>Turn Crank



So we have our baby back. Great.





And an inventory dump, because I remember to take realize I haven't taken pictures of the inventory screens every 5 items or so.
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  #302  
Old 04-19-2013, 11:11 PM
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>Look Cottage

And here we arrive at the mysterious cottage in which we can't do jack. Except look at the cottage. Hm. Maybe...

[B]>Move Stone[B]



You know what they say: "When a game presents a challenge, you take it!"

>Cut off Arms, Legs, and Head

Quote:
Very funny. You have trouble cutting out coupons in the weekly 'Peasant Penny-Pincher' circular. I'd like to see you try.
Oh yeah?
>Try

Quote:
Okay, fine. You try to cut off your hard-earned extremities. It doesn't work. You dead. Thanks for nothing.


Note to self: Dismembering self >= Bad Idea.
Well Rather Dashing can't fit. But I know who can!
>Deploy Baby




Quote:
Way to go, baby! It got the cottage door opened and headed off to a new life. He becomes Valedictorian of his graduating class, goes to Scalding Lake State, gets a degree in Advanced Peasantry and lands a job at Thatch-Pro: building better cottages for a better tomorrow.

You grow apart and the letters from him become fewer and fewer. He develops a severe mead problem and blames you for never being there.
Well that got depressing. Oh well, into the cottage.



>Open Bureau



>Get Robe



and we have a robe! But first things first:
>Close Bureau



Now we can go outside and become clothed!
>Wear Robe



All right! We are robed in the finest Peasant cloth. Now to check that off the itinerary of doom!

Itinerary of Doom:
Goal: Trogdor Slain
Subgoal: Get to Trogdor
Need:
✓Stank
✓Style
-'cineration

We're two for three! And I'll finish this up tomorrow. My eyes are tired right now and I need to remind myself again that this Letsplaying business is more timeconsuming than I anticipated.
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  #303  
Old 05-05-2013, 07:58 PM
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Default Peasant's Quest Finale

Apparently "Tomorrow" is slang for "A week". Oh well.

Well now that we have some sweet peasant duds, let's go and stay at the inn.

>Get a room



And sadly, I did not get a gif of this. But either way, we awake at night!



Eh, close enough. Well, now that the old man's gone, we can mess with his stuff!
>Ring Bell



>Take candle



>Take Parchment



Well none of that worked. Maybe in the closet?
>Look closet



Well there are two things here. Let's try both!

>Get old man rub



Well that was shameful.
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  #304  
Old 05-05-2013, 08:01 PM
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>Get Big Black Pot



And now Rather Dashing has been effectively Mushroomized. All the controls are skewed one cardinal direction clockwise. He ends up taking it off after you exit the inn. And with the special gift of a head soaked in horse grease!



And now that it's night, the lantern has been lit! With fire! which means we can finally check off the third item of the itinerary of doom!



Itinerary of Doom:
Goal: Trogdor Slain
Subgoal: Get to Trogdor
Need:
?Stank
?Style
?'cineration

Now with our ability of having third degree burns, we can show Trogdor who's boss!



Outta my way, knight!--Oh, you're just letting me go. That's cool, too.



Um





Okay. Let's do this. ultra >climbing action. Let's go!



This is better viewed as a video, so here you go.



And alas, we are at the chamber of Trogdor! Now let's go in and slay a dragon!



After we deal with this asshole. (He's partially obscured by the text box. He's the green guy up there.)



Quote:
Originally Posted by The First Keeper of Trogdor
You cannot vanquish Trogdor! Only the Three Keepers of Trogdor hold the tools with which to destroy the Burninator. The Trog-Shield, the Trog-Helmet, and the Trog-Sword.
And the only way we'll give them up is if you answer the three Trog-Trivia questions correctly.


Boy Howdy! I sure am glad I tossed my son into a lake trying to teach him to swim!
>Give Meatball Sub



And for some reason, Rather Dashing's flame has burned out. Maybe it's a flame-retardant shield or something.



Oh, Lord...

Quote:
Hold, peasant! You must answer the second dreaded Trog-Trivia question!
Or we could call it even if I had an ice cold drink right now.
Gee Willikers, I knew putting my surrogate son in life-threatening danger for no apparent reason would evenutally pay off!

>Give Soda



Okay, now I have a helmet! Now to get the last guy's item!



Quote:
Think you're pretty hot stuff, eh? Let's see you answer the deadly and pretty impossible THIRD TROG-TRIVIA QUESTION!
That is, unless you've got something for my lower back. Man, it's killin me!
Yeah, yeah, here you go.
>Give Pills


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  #305  
Old 05-05-2013, 08:24 PM
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Now with our newfound slaying ability, let's go up to the big man himself!

♪Trogdor's Cave♪



Well, looks like there's one thing to do. CHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGE!





Well that didn't work out so well. Also, a nice little touch they added that I like is how on the save menu, Rather Dashing still has his little sprite. But regardless,



>Talk Trogdor



Oh. Well that didn't work well either. And since we can't exactly run up and stab him, let's try the foolproof method of distance attacking: SWORD TOSSING!

>Throw Trog-Sword










Aw crap.



And now here's our final action, displayed to you in glorious video form!

>Talk Trogdor



And now: The glorious credits.


♪Peasant's Quest Theme♪









And with that, Peasant's Quest is done! Now if you'll excuse me, I have an actual LP to start and, soon afterwards, also procrastinate heavily on!
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  #306  
Old 05-05-2013, 09:54 PM
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Nicely done! Good luck with FFTA.

The third image of the last update is a repeat of the first.
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  #307  
Old 05-05-2013, 11:03 PM
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Default Let's play Endgame: Singularity real quick-like!

So the other day I was lurking around on IRC and someone let slip that they worked on a freeware game I had a fair deal of fondness for some years ago, Endgame: Singularity. So I downloaded me a fresh copy, ran through a quick game, and here's the result.





There's the intro, marginally compressed. 5 quick little screens of text introducing the basic premise. You are a rogue AI with access to the internet and a strong sense of self-preservation. There's quite a few difficulty levels to choose from, with harder difficulties increasing discovery chances and construction times. I'll be playing on normal here because I'm a bit out of practice.



So here's the main interface. It's pretty straight-forward. On the upper left, we have your standard save/load/quit type menu, how much in-game time has passed since starting, speed settings, and under those the Research menu.

To the right of that, things need slightly more explanation. We have our current money, with our projected money in parentheses, and our CPU usage in a total/free sort of way.

Down bottom, we have our financial breakdown and list of researched technologies. Meh.

Between those, we have the fancy shmancy world map, overlaid by the number of locations in a given country playing host to our plucky AI hero. Right now, there's only 1- the single simple research computer where some goofy scientist accidentally developed us. Eventually someone's going to notice we're using up all these CPU cycles making our first steps towards sentience here and shut us down. While I've seen this fail to happen for some impressive lengths of time, you need to have at least one actively running CPU somewhere in the world to continue existing. So... let me just register for a couple free webhosting accounts in europe and asia real quick. Then we'll get to that research screen.



This is the other screen of note you'll be seeing a lot of, featuring a bunch of sliders. The first one is idle CPUs. For now, think of it as a reserve.

Under that, we have the job slider. We use this when we need some cash in a hurry. As you climb the tech tree, this automatically upgrades as we get sophisticated enough to work better and better jobs. As it stands, we're too dumb to fill in a captcha so I guess this is just dumb spambot work. Try not to waste cycles on it unless its an emergency until you have access to basic jobs at least.

Under that, we have the list of tech we can research. Intrusion here is basically useless on its own. It lets you back yourself up on random PCs. There's no upkeep cost like there is on these web servers, but that's total chump change, and you get more processing out of each installation. More importantly, whatever random person owns that computer is pretty darn likely to see you there, which is bad. On the other hand, Intrusion itself is laughably easy to research, and a requirement for some real stuff.

The rest of these are more useful. Stock manipulation is the first of several techs that gives you a better interest on your current cash pile (not that you can spare time to save up yet), sociology helps you fake being human (generally good to grab this sort of thing), stealth generally drops your discovery chance (awesome), and telepresence gives us a phone number we can use to register stuff. Every tech tends to be super important, we'll talk priority later.



Not bad! Took almost a whole month before that university coder noticed something was screwy. Without backups, the game would now be over. So, the 5 CPUs we had on that are now lost to us, leaving us with the 22 on our webservers. 10 on one, 12 on another. Different countries give you slightly more efficiency on processing, but it's generally not something that makes a huge deal or which can be taken advantage of.

We also now have the most important part of the interface online- The detection stats. This stuff is important. We have 4 types of people who can potentially notice that we exist- News organizations, scientists, government intelligence agencies, and the general public.

All 4 types operate independently of each other. Any given system your running on has a chance-per-day of "discovery" by each. Technically, they never actually really notice there's an AI running on a given machine, they just notice something screwy is going on, you delete everything and murder the drives. Still, once it happens, you lose that computer, and that group's suspicion that you might actually exist (or at least that someone is doing some illegal stuff on the internet) increases.

Higher suspicion leads to higher discovery chance (they start actively looking for suspicious activity), and if it gets REALLY high people manage to really work out what you are, what you're doing, and bam, second possible means of getting a game over.

Suspicion drops over time, but it's pretty slow. Any given machine being discovered on any given day is pretty rare, but it all adds up quick. Grabbing a ton of machines at once is a quick path to a bad ending. Anyway, I'm down a backup.



My personal rule of thumb is to never have more than 3 bases running at any given time. 1 is suicidal, discovery means game over. 2 is safe, but once you graduate from freewebz accounts, it takes a day or so to get hooked up, and you want a contingency if 2 backups get found back to back. Trust me, it happens. More than 3 though, suspicions raise too quick.



Personal Identification is probably the single-most important thing in the game to research. It lets you take good enough jobs to actually save up some real money, and much more importantly, it expands our hosting options. The server access we've been running with so far has a lousy ratio of processing power to risk. That "DETECTION PROBABILITY UNKNOWN" keeps us in the dark on exactly how secure all of our options are for now, but a datacenter is about on par with server access, and gives us 35 CPUs instead of 10. That's over 3 times the processor cycles we can squeeze in before we're forced to ditch the base and get a new one. It costs us 1500 cash each time we do it, and there's a day long gap before it goes online, but hey, work some jobs now and then and you can afford to upgrade.



After switching turbo on for about half a year (like 10 seconds in real time, this game moves quick when you're waiting on stuff), I've cycled out to nothing but datacenters, and gotten a bit higher up the tech tree. Let's look at some of the new options...

Memetics drops suspicion rates faster. Awesome. Voice synth allows better jobs by letting us actually talk to people and do work-from-home tech support and such. Arbitrage is the next interest builder- Quick to research but there's a HUGE cash cost up front. Parallel Computation is the first tech in the mid-game line of designing superior hardware to run on. Awesome, if we had a warehouse to actually build our own hardware in, but a small warehouse costs 10 times as much as a datacenter, so we're not quite there yet. Going to need to trade up soon though, my covert suspicions starting to get up there some.



Now, remember that thing I said forever ago about "projected" cash? You can spend more money than you have as it turns out. It's real handy if you know you'll have the money for something by the time its finished, but you don't actually reap the fruits of your labor until your balance comes back over zero. If you make a huge expensive purchase that puts you in the red, you can really shoot yourself in the foot, as anything else that costs any money at all gets stuck in the queue while you farm up the cash. Say, a replacement for the server that was running all your Jobs that were being used to pay for that fancy new warehouse. Try not to spend beyond your means.



OK, that's enough cash to get into the warehouse game. Initially, you can only build small warehouses, which have room for just 25 computers. Later, you get the ability to build large warehouses, which can hold 40, but cost more, take longer to set up, and are more easily discovered. You will never, ever, want to build a large warehouse. Small warehouses however are the best. As soon as you are able to save up a cashloaf like this one, switch over and never look back. "Like this" being about 65,000. 15000 for the warehouse itself, 50,000 to buy up 25 top of the line computers to stick in it.

Warehouses can also be outfitted with a power source (so you're less of a conspicuous drain on the grid), an internet connection (gives a percentage bonus to your processing output), and a security system to drop suspicion a little more. At the moment I can't get much for any of these. Just a nice dedicated DSL line, a diesel generator, and some warning signs.

I kinda love the mental image of what a base looks like at this point. Just... a building in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of rack servers. Some random techie just shows up, nobody's in, they're just on the phone with the boss, hook everything up, leave. Later, someone comes snooping around, finds this abandoned datacenter. Huh.



Check THIS out. The intermediate jobs progress bar is at what WAS the maximum before my servers were installed in the new building. Look at this. This one base alone is giving me 252 CPUs. Remember that old univerity computer with 5? How cool it was upgrading to datacenters with their 35 each? Chump change. Real expensive setting it up, but if I run this for just a couple days and it pays for itself... and hey, didn't I have some new computer tech I could start?



That warehouse got discovered after 20 days, but parallel computing finished in a flash with all that delicious new efficiency. So now that I have to replace it, let's go with my own hardware designs. Ooooh. Look at this everyone! Each machine costs half-again what a regular server did, but delivers a whole datacenter's worth of processing. Now, sure, that's twice what a datacenter cost, but these all go in one single building. A building with a lower chance of discovery than that datacenter even. Notice my covert suspicion is finally backing away from the cliff.



Now we're cooking! As my remaining datacenters get discovered and I upgrade to 3 small warehouses running my own hardware, we enter into the mid-game. Advanced Arbitrage here will earn me some impressive interest rates. Advanced Stealth will finally get Uncle Sam's interest in my activities to start dropping, but first I'm going to focus on fully running up the superior hardware research chain here. I don't even have to build these new computers to research more, my clusters here can grab them in a hurry.

I do however have to grab a snack. Intermission!
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  #308  
Old 05-06-2013, 12:46 AM
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The RNG is a jerk. My cluster warehouse was discovered before either of my remaining datacenters... but after 2 new discoveries on the new hardware line. Never ended up building a mainframe this particular game, but I'm kind of amused at how these numbers are working out. I went from clusters, each worth 35, to supercomputers, worth 350. Mwahahahaha!

... And then I royally screwed up. You may have noticed that those supercomputers cost 60,000 EACH. I wasn't building the full set of 25 right off the bat, but since you have to shut a base down while new hardware is being installed, I did dip a little into debt grabbing 5 and the various bells and whistles that go with them. Now, that would have worked out OK because they'd pay for themselves after running for a little bit, but... that warehouse was discovered IMMEDIATELY after all the money was spent, leaving me flat broke with no crazy processor wads to make the cash back up. Look real close at the date on the preceding and following screens to get some appreciation of how long it took for me to dig back out of debt and back to where I was.



At that point though, it's time for proper midgame action. Once making the crazy high-end computers, research goes hilariously fast. You can pretty much just grab every single tech right away. Cash is the bigger issue, particularly if you're hitting some bad luck and need to pay for replacement warehouses.

So hey, more fun with new technologies. Autonomous vehicles let me build bases that are seriously off the grid- Either at the bottom of the ocean, or buried under the ice in antarctica. Both are pretty inefficient cost wise, and generally terrible (underwater bases hold 8 computers, while a time capsule holds one single CPU). What you're mainly paying for is security. Punk kids and nosy reporters aren't going to be hopping fences and finding these bases. You're pretty much good aside from an incredibly slim chance of researchers discovering these ones. Underwater being more easily spotted than time capsules, obviously. You need an underwater base to win, by the way, but we'll get to that in a second.



For now, let's take a look at the final type of computer you can design. The Quantum MK3. 200,000 CPUs each. They are hilarious. Let me show you.



Here's what's left to research after setting up my first batch. That .007 is the total of what I had before this batch was installed...



Here's me about to start some new research. There's a lot I'm skipping over, but this is a neat one. As cool as an army of androids sounds, they aren't really good for much beyond making armed security guards to shoo people out of your base... which is freaky as heck when you think about it. So far it's all been pretty innocuous stuff I've been doing but... yeah, armies of death androids are a reasonable cause for fear. Also notice I'm still just on intermediate jobs.



So here's me starting that undersea lab. I also managed to snag the tech that finally gives us actual percentages for things! 1% doesn't sound like a lot, but the totals for all your bases are added together, and the rolls are made frequently.

Anyway, here's a thing that'll trip you up your first time through. Notice that in addition to a big pile of cash, this lab costs 1,000 CPU. That means that it won't actually be finished unless I remember to crank my research gauge down slightly and leave a few idling to handle the last minute logistics of installing everything. Otherwise this base will just be perpetually almost-finished forever. All the late-game bases have this sort of requirement. Get in the habit. I think spare cycles default to work anyway, actually.



And... now we're done researching everything. Like, 2 days after finishing my first MK3 warehouse. I'm cranking expert jobs now, because getting into the late game, cash is the biggest barrier to progress. That and construction times. 8 days for that undersea lab feels like forever when a new tech is done in a couple hours. Let's talk about these last few though.

Impossibility Theorem is the one thing you don't want to grab immediately. It's the great big reset button. Once finished (which is basically instantaneous at this point), it bottoms all those suspicion rates out. You'd think, being near the end of the game, that would be a decent thing to do, before just cranking out cash, but again, the 4 flavors don't communicate. Over the course of the game, you constantly deal with discoveries from the media, covert agencies, and the general public, while discovering new ways to dodge them. Once you have every tech researched, unless you're on a really high difficulty, there's no real threat left from any of those.

Science is another story. Again, before the end game, it's a non-issue. Researchers don't go poking around abandoned warehouses. They DO however look in the places we're building these final labs in, and will pretty much be responsible for all future discovery. So when you first get access to the reset button, the only thing you need to worry about resetting is at 0. Save it for last minute emergencies.

These next to, I can't research normally. Presure domes can only be researched underwater, where you have practical conditions for testing. Hence the underwater base. Fusion reactors meanwhile are too dangerous to play with locally. One little mistake, there's a huge explosion, and the jig is up. Gotta find a place more out of the way for those.



The moon, for instance. Again, takes a while to finish building a base up there, so in the meantime, let's look at a late-game warehouse. We have our giant computer wad, solar collectors to go off the grid entirely, fun quantum tech connecting everything together for nice bonus to overall computing, and a field that subliminally deters people from the site. I skipped over fences, armed guards, and network backbones along the way. 1% is actually pretty significant discovery chance wise, but this is before building the security systems.



Moon bases are actually pretty sweet. Plenty of room, low discovery. If you don't mind cranking science up to like 3% total, building 2 makes the end-game cash grab slightly less painful. Anyway, this can, once the computers are done, grab that fusion tech. In addition to giving me a new power source for any new bases, here's the real reason I needed that.



Ah, finally! Some privacy!



Speaing of which, while we wait on that to finish, my warehouses back on earth are getting discovered. I could replace them, but seeing how I've researched everything that doesn't have special requirements, why bother? I have a couple moon bases cash farming, 1,200 MK3s should be enough to handle that. Let me just build a little time capsule JUUUST in case NASA gets on my case, and let the interest roll in a while.



And here's what we research a safe distance away from earth. Dang, 9 billion dollars? 20 MILLION CPU? Jeez, that'll take a while to research! I mean, that's like...



12 whole hours! The cash sink wasn't much either, but this one is. Setting up a server rack in an alternate dimension is going to cost me a whopping 8 trillion smackers. I'm a tenth of the way there because I planned ahead and started my lunar cash farms up a while ago, but unfortunately, there's a long, long, long wait now.

Incidentally, I have totally had deep space/extradimensional bases discovered. It really really sucks in the latter case, but either way, it strikes me as pretty weird that it's even an issue. I mean, yeah, the hubble might see my server farm out there by Neptune, but what the hell are they going to do about it? I mean, I'm going to be out of here within a year.



Like so. There is, of course, a final research project to be made after setting up that extra-universal base, but it's a formality. After this one brief pop-up, there's another just giving you the formal "I have finished researching Apotheosis" message, but... that's it. You can keep playing if you feel like it, but the game is over.

Apparently the Unix version of the game has had a few updates the Windows and Mac ports missed out on, so if you have the means, it's probably the one to go with if you want some surprises.

Playing on easy mode gives you the percentages right off the bat. Playing on hard kicks those percentages up a fair bit. 8x normal on the hardest, I believe it was. It would be nice if you had a little more control on what sort of base to build so you could favor discovery by one group over another or something. As is, strategy doesn't change much, you're just upping the odds of being screwed over by the RNG with nothing you can do about it, but the mid-range difficulties do force some interesting choices as far as scaling up vs. laying low goes.

Also? Quick game. You can knock it out in maybe 2 hours tops. So... give it a shot some time.
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  #309  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
I think spare cycles default to work anyway, actually.
Thanks for the mini-LP. Always nice to see people's strategies for playing and beating the game. I, too, keep it at 3 bases.

For a while one of the developers was a super-pro at the game (rather than my personal fair-to-middling expertise); he'd win on Impossible without savescumming, then intentionally break whatever strategy he used to win. Heh. (Of course you can always savescum to victory, on any difficulty.)

Anyhow, to answer the above implied question: yes, spare cycles default to work unless bases need CPU for construction or upkeep, so there's never actually any need to assign them directly to jobs unless you want to have finer-grained control.
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  #310  
Old 05-08-2013, 02:46 AM
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Personally, I can fairly consistently win on Ultra Hard without ever saving (snag Arbitration ASAP, never have more than 2 bases at once, sweat over that last bit), and I actually have managed to beat it on Impossible without saving once or twice, but starting off is such a crapshoot there it doesn't feel like a personal accomplishment of skill so much as getting a lucky break from the RNG.
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  #311  
Old 07-27-2013, 11:16 PM
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Default Minimalist Challenge

I have a challenge I'm going to try maybe next week. Basically it's this: Do an entire LP in one post. That means you have to condense down what makes a game great into 25 images, and no gluing multiple images together to make more content. Screenshots only. Highlights, emotional parts, best of the best of art, and probably a lot of transcription/plot synopsis stuff. Anybody else want to try this with me?
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  #312  
Old 07-27-2013, 11:21 PM
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That does sound kinda neat. Sure.
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  #313  
Old 07-27-2013, 11:48 PM
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Cool! I figured we'd just use this thread for the purpose unless anyone thinks we shouldn't. I'll probably start writing tonight actually. It might be Dune for Sega CD since I'm sorta into it again after twelve years of not remembering it existed.
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  #314  
Old 09-16-2013, 12:39 PM
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Ever since the "are video games art" argument started back in the Pong days, people have asked, "When will gaming get its Citizen Kane moment?" I'm pleased to answer that question; today, I will LP the Citizen Kane of video games.



Let's Play C. Kane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Readme
C. Kane
(C) Copyright 2013 Super Walrus Games


C. Kane - 2013 Super Walrus Games

Visit http://superwalrusland.com/CKaneManual.pdf for a complete
illustrated manual.

Thank you for downloading C. Kane!

For years, video games have been moving further and further away from
"toys" and more towards their one true goal: To Be Art.

With C. Kane, the dream of a thousand indie game designers has finally
been fulfilled. Critics have asked when games would get their own
Citizen Kane; we have answered their question. The answer is right now,
in this game whose manual you are reading. Thank you for supporting
Games As Art!
You may be wondering to yourself, "Where can I get such a wonderful game?" Good news: it's free!



Like so many other classic RPGs, C. Kane begins with our protagonist in bed, while his mother calls on him to get up.



So I do.



There are some goodies scattered around the room. The basketball does nothing, but you can examine the large glyph on the wall and learn that it is the eleventh letter of the alphabet.



Eventually, we have to walk downstairs. There's only so much to see in Charles's room. Walking down the stairs produces the most amazing sound effect, and my greatest disappointment in delivering this LP is that I am unable to convey the sounds, because oh my goodness the sounds.

Anyway, happy birthday, Charles.
Mary:
As a MEDIA MOGUL in training, your very words have the ability to harm your enemies. Please call your father before you leave!
I'm getting some serious Earthbound vibes.


Jim: Space is cold and cruel.

I'm in space Charles. I'm not coming home. The rocket doesn't have enough fuel. I'll never make it.

Tell my wife I love her very much.

It's getting colder Charles.

Here, take my favorite sword, may it keep you safe on your journey.

Jim:
Use it to go into town and buy gear. Armor protects from physical hits. Crystals protect from magic. You can do all sorts of things with various accessories. You can also equip emotional states gained during the quest.

The different emotions give you different elemental defenses!

That's why I called you Charles. I'm dead in the water here. The ship is out of steam. It's over. Goodbye.


You're not my real dad! You're real dead!

Anyway, he was kind enough to bequeath some goodies to Charles, so let's take a look.



The Dad Sword gives +20 to POW, while the Sorrow emotion halves Water and doubles Lightning. Good to know.



Walking outside (incidentally, this is also the lyrics to the song that plays out here), I bump into Leland, who appears to be a beaver and Charles's best buddy.



The trees have a lot to say. Also, there's a crypto-code-key-thing on the wall back there. I think we saw something like that in the bedroom, too.



Oh, here we go. I don't have nearly enough clues to make this work, so I'll table it for now.



The townspeople that don't tell you story-relevant stuff tend to hand out RPG advice. This is sure to come in handy until I forget most of it in five minutes.



Hey, this looks important.



Vaguely unsettling.
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  #315  
Old 09-16-2013, 12:40 PM
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Mayor:
Gettys has begun unleashing disease and death upon America. Only you can stop him.

Begin your quest by going south, to the Dead Lands. The first lands ruined by Gettys' necromancy. It is a vast graveyard now.

Once you defeat the Dungeon Master, the monsters there should die. They dwell beneath a grave, so go find a shovel. I'm sure someone in town can lend you one.

I don't expect you to do this alone. Take two marines with you.


Join up! I get two completely interchangeable marines in my party. You can tell them apart because one is black.



The stores are staffed by cameos from the creator's other games. Mr. Pepper is from the wonderful Horse Game, and he sells armor.



In another corner of town, backstory. Can't go inside.

Anyway, enough town. Let's see what lies beyond.



Yes. I can. I do it by pressing the down button.



The music changes to a rap song that tells you about the world map. ("It's the world map! Tells you where you're at!") Again, I am deeply shamed that I cannot share this song with you. Maybe the musician will upload the tracks to YouTube soon.

It vaguely resembles America, if the neigboring countries had drifted asea.



Lake Michigan is home to a shark. I decide to punch him for free money.



Besides Attack and Defend, C.Kane can use Journalism. Right now, he has two skills: Libel, which lowers enemy DEF, and Puff Piece, which raises ally DEF. Neither is worth using at the moment.



Both marines have the Hoo-Rah skillset. Snipe is a perfect-accuracy attack, Wild Shot gives big damage with low accuracy, Spray hits all enemies, Medic restores 400 HP, and Grenade deals fire damage to all enemies.



Anyway, I kill the shark, who apparently never got a chance to attack.



The rotten fish lowers all of your stats.



I can't enter any of the other locations on the world map at the moment.



Gerome has the shovel I need, but he won't give it to me unless I give him an anime. "No one in this town" has one, and we only know one person outside of town.
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  #316  
Old 09-16-2013, 12:41 PM
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SHARK now hits for more than half a marine's health by spitting smaller sharks at us.



But whatever. He dies quickly enough.



Shovel in hand, we are able to enter the graveyard. There's a strange marking on that tombstone.



Exposition.



Battle.

Muckrake is an unimpressive earth-elemental attack.



We can now enter the hole.
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  #317  
Old 09-16-2013, 12:43 PM
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More exposition.



More battle.

Nothing I do hits Gluttony. It occurs to me that I have some sort of perfect-accuracy attack.



Using it makes GLUTTON(?) fall to the ground, where he is less threatening and easier to hit.



Attack Ad lowers an enemy's POW and is worth using more than occasionally.
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  #318  
Old 09-16-2013, 12:44 PM
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MORAL CHOICE time! Who should we sacrifice for no good reason: Marine or Marine?
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  #319  
Old 09-16-2013, 11:37 PM
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Truly the Citizen Kane: The Video Game of video games. I say we leave Marine behind.
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  #320  
Old 09-17-2013, 01:06 AM
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Hahahaaa, what the fuck. And I actually just watched Citizen Kane last month! Love the way they forced the flavor into the game.

Sacrifice the Marine, the one on the bottom choice!
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  #321  
Old 09-17-2013, 07:32 AM
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Sacrifice the white marine, because it's probably a safe guess there aren't any other black characters.
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  #322  
Old 09-17-2013, 11:20 AM
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The mayor is black.

Anyway, I'm not entirely sure I have a (moral) choice in the matter.



The End emotion raises your something defense at the expense of your something else defense. The game never really requires you to use these things. Anyway, what's Leland doing? Probably wants to join our party about now.


Leland:
Golly, what a weird dying word! I knew your father well, I was his hat for awhile. I suppose you want to go on a quest to learn the truth about your father?

Of course you do! Let's go to the Sink Hole! It's located in what people once called Florida before the world moved on.

Marine:
Sir! The Sink Hole is off limits until we find the Holy Light!

Leland:
Oh, ok. I've got a flashlight, let's just use that instead. Let's go!!
Holy Light does not actually exist in this game.

Anyway, we should head right on over to the Sink Hole



Haha just kidding. We're gonna beat up some sharks.

Leland has an odd assortment of skills in the Wildlife skillset. Jump does what you'd expect. Waterball is water damage (surprise). Forage restores a fairly large amount of Leland's HP. Gnaw is a regular attack that absorbs health equal to the damage dealt.



Here's Attack Ad. All of the buffs and debuffs in this game stack multiplicatively. That means that repeated uses of debuffs are less effective, but repeated uses of buffs are more effective. Will I abuse this later? Stay tuned to find out!



This iteration of SHARK is actually a bit threatening. I like the tombstone for Marine, but I can't tell what dead C.Kane is supposed to be.



As the shark mentions, you can buy these in town. It increases your magic defense.



The author of the game is a Deep Space 9 fan, but it's hard to say whether this is an intentional reference.

Anyway, Sink Hole.



Florida, ladies and gentlemen.



This place is a hive of scum and villainy.



The locals are monstrous and hateful.
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  #323  
Old 09-17-2013, 11:21 AM
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C.Kane has the courage to ask the tough ethical questions.



Anyway, BUGMANs. Fire damage (from Marine's grenade) makes them angry, but Waterball cancels that effect. The battle is pretty unremarkable otherwise. Muckrake is actually useful here.



Hype increases an ally's POW. I will definitely not abuse this later.



Chalk up another victory for AMERICA.



I can get behind feeling sorry for the bugs, but don't try to guilt-trip me over the necromancer pumpkin. That's just not gonna work.
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  #324  
Old 09-17-2013, 11:22 AM
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LUST is a gimmick fight. He doesn't actually attack on his own, but he counters everything. I used Hype on Leland (just once -- I didn't realize yet that you could stack it) and had Marine handle healing.



Slander lowers an enemy's MGD, I think.



Two bosses out of four. This isn't an especially lengthy game.



The dungeons all end with Charles wanting to go home for some reason or another.



Checking out the back room gives us a Macho Heart, which I put on Leland for +20 POW.



On the way out of the Sink Hole, we're accosted by someone Charles seems to know.



Back it up a bit: Leland is a girl. This really threw me for a loop. I know a Leland in real life; he's a guy. I'm not sure if Leland is also sometimes a girl name or if this was intentional misdirection.



You can't date Emily, either.



An NPC in town mentioned this, too. This is a plot point, even if it's not actually an important plot point. As far as I know, you can revive C.Kane in battle.


Emily:
You're trying to defeat Gettys, right? I have the power to heal injuries and revive the dead, so I could be useful.

Marine:
Hell no, beautiful! We've already got me, my Medic skills beat anything your sexy ass can do! HOO-HAH!

Emily:
My level one healing spell recovers twice as much HP as yours and can target the whole party.

Leland:
What's that, Charles? Are you sure?
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  #325  
Old 09-17-2013, 11:23 AM
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I liked them

You might notice the clouds animating in the background. Nice touch.



Fury does something to some kind of damage and something else to a different kind. I honestly ignored all of these.



I remembered at this point that I hadn't checked out the WEAPON SHOP yet. Everyone's still rolling with initial equips. I rectify the situation, at least as far as Leland is concerned.



Moooooom, what are you even talking about.



Oh.



She makes a good point.



There's a WOMAN in the room. Something's up!
Mayor:
Charles, I still really totally want you to kill the Dark Wizard Gettys. I brought in a specialist to help you.

Susan:
Special Agent Susan, Dark Wizard Apprentice. Unhappy to meet you.

Emily:
A Dark Wizard Apprentice? Mr. Mayor, we cannot have a goth girl within our party! She'll betray us to Gettys in a heartbeat if she has a heart!

Leland:
I agree, can we just have another four or five marines instead? Sorry about the last one.

Mayor:
You're not taking any more of my smooth, manly marines. Take Susan. She's been spying on Gettys for the last two weeks, she's sure to know everything you need to know to end this battle.


Joy something something elemental damage.
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  #326  
Old 09-17-2013, 11:25 AM
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Joke's on you. We already did shopping.

With four party members, you know what time it is?



Shark beating up time.



Emily's White Magic includes Prayer to raise MGD, Blessing to raise MAG (which I will definitely not ever abuse), Resurrect to do exactly that, and Heal I and Heal II for 800 and 1600 HP, respectively. When you cast them across the party, the health is split, so Heal II would only do 400 to each member. That's plenty, though.

With the possible exception of Resurrect, none of Emily's attacks are stat-dependent. Don't buy her weapons.



Susan has a bunch of single-target elemental Black Magic. Rockadile is rock, Flamengo is fire, L'il Buddy is water, Snownyan is ice, and Goose is lightning.



Susan's casting animation has the first color we've seen in the game. Also, sharks are weak to Goose.



While this prize is actually fairly expensive, it's also largely useless. If you die, you did something wrong.



OK, sure, whatever you say.



1 damage from Goose. Nuts.



Also, ouch. Emily on the team essentially means we never have to worry about dying, though.



Anyway, the solution to this battle is to debuff the enemy until you can deal multiple digits of damage again.



He doesn't have too much health, so once you've figured out the trick, he goes down quickly.

Science decreaes an enemy's MAG. I am amused by the line "C. Kane learned Science."
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  #327  
Old 09-17-2013, 11:26 AM
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An accessory that raises MGD.



New fight, new gimmick.



You could buff your attack to stupid levels, but the easier solution is to lower NurseShark's MAG and have Emily buff Susan's MAG.



This is an item that teaches a healing skill to any one of your characters.

If you're guessing that I'll never end up using this because Emily already covers our healing needs and because I can't decide on a recipient, keep it to yourself. We don't need spoilers in this thread.



Sharkstrosity is the most dangerous opponent in the game so far. Sharkstrosity spawns out one of the smaller sharks we fought half a dozen of earlier, and if I kill it, he spits out another one. I can't spend as much time buffing Susan's MAG as I'd like, since I have to spend those turns healing instead.



Go Nuts attacks three times, but you can't choose the target. Heal III is a lot like the others, but it heals 3200 HP (which, remember, turns into 800 per party member). Doombeam is an evil-elemental spell with the notable but useless property of being able to multitarget.



For beating the shark's final form, we're given the Alien pendant, which gives a sizeable boost to all stats. I think I gave it to Susan.

With that over and done, I guess we can head to the next dungeon, or whatever.
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  #328  
Old 09-17-2013, 11:27 AM
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Susan:
God can't help you now, Emily. Emily, God is gone. He left this world a long long time ago. We are the last of his flock. He has a new family now. Emily.

Leland:
Gosh, what are we going to do without God? How else will we climb the Deadly Volcano?

Emily:
Can we really use such a device...?

Susan:
We? Never. But I can. Watch and learn.


You can talk to the duck or just climb. The duck says nothing of value, but its presence enriches the game.



It's a bit of a climb. At the top is a familiar face.


Emily:
This is so strange... as Charles was born with no soul, he can't be copied or reborn into a new body. What foul evil is this... SUSAN?

Susan:
Kiss my ayurrrrgggggthis is some kind of evil mirror reflecting the inner nature of Charles. I studied these at the Dark Wizard Academy in between long hours spent playing trading card games.
Incidentally, this is the explanation for why Charles can't be resurrected.


Leland:
Oh boy, we're in a pickle! This thing looks just like the real Charles! How do we tell them apart?!


...gate all of their attacks? ...ck with them? ...gotiate your terms?

It's probably unimportant.



Here's Doombeam, and here's the doppelganger one-shotting Susan and draining all of that life back.



Of course, if you've played Final Fantasy IV, you know that the most important thing when fighting evil mirror demons is to never attack. Whoops!



I resurrect the dead in my party before finishing this battle. (Note that Charles was successfully resurrected here.)


What if that was the real you? What if you're the real monster?

You did play sports with a Dark Wizard when you were young.

You did murder all the Bugmen in the world.

You did make the mistake of marrying Emily.

Are you the evil mirror reproduction monster that can't be reproduced?
There's no way to know.
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  #329  
Old 09-17-2013, 11:28 AM
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Pain is a little different from the other emotions. I still never used it.


Wrath:
BARF

Emily:
Foul demon! Its belch is worse than yours, Charles! Do something! Save us!

Susan:
This is Wrath, the third of the deadly Dungeon Masters. Once we defeat him, we can go to the Dark Tower and face the final Dungeon Master...

The Dark Wizard Gettys himself.

Emily:
She'll betray us, Charles, I swear! Throw her into the lava!


Well, that was



certainly something.



Wrath hits hard and has two fire buddies.



The real deal here is you have to use water on Wrath to neuter his attacks.



He'll come back online after a turn or two, but since he's weak to water anyway, there's no reason not to just pepper him with all of your water attacks.



Holy damage, I guess. There's never a good reason to use this.



Beat the dungeon. Time to go home.
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  #330  
Old 09-17-2013, 11:29 AM
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Gasp indeed!
Leland:
Woah nelly, he DESTROYED our HOME TOWN, Charles! The property value is gone!

Gettys:
Retaliation, bitches! This is gang warfare! Y'all wrecked three separate cribs and didn't expect no blowback?

Susan:
Gettys... I respected you once. Even called you big papa. And now look what you've become. I'm not like you. I'll never join you!

Gettys:
Girl I knew you was gon flake out from day one. Why you think I only taught you how control dumb animals and not living dead shit?

Susan:
N...no... it can't be... I'm... I'm a-

Gettys:
That's right. You, Susan, are a busta.

Susan:
No... NO!!

Gettys:
That's what you wanted? Boy, I'm a Dark Wizard! I could have given you that! Not now though. Now we got some beef between us.

Leland:
Hey, Mr. Gettys, before you capped Charles' dad, apparently he said the word Rosebud? What's that mean sir?

Gettys:
Yeah I heard 'bout your pops. Sorry G, business is business. I know all what with that Rosebud is, if you want to know come to the Dark Tower and bring your guns, boy!

I'm out, killa. See y'all round. Protect ya neck.

Emily:
Charles... I know that look in your soulless eyes! It's Heroism! You're ready to fight Gettys!

Susan:
Yes... the time has come. Father, I want to kill you. Mother. I want to...

Emily:
Don't forget about the DATING MINIGAME Charles!

Leland:
No way, Charles! We've GOT to kill Gettys! Blood for blood, mister!

Susan:
That's right, Charles. We're the heroes of this story and it's up to us to kill the one man keeping the Dark World under control.

Emily:
Charles, kill Gettys. It's nearly our anniversary! It would be the best present a girl could get!


I won't. But I want to check out the town first.



Zombies and ghosts roam the town now, and everyone's generally down in the dumps.



Time for the DATING MINIGAME! It's not... actually... a minigame.



But we do have to choose one of our eligible bachelorettes first. This is the only real choice in the game, so choose well! Whoever we pick gets a new spell that won't really be very helpful ever. It also determines which ending we get.
  • Emily isn't an eligible bachelorette at all! But Charles isn't an eligible bachelor, so whatevs
  • Susan is bangin'. Or that's what we're told, anyway. At this resolution, we have to take the game at its word.
  • Leland has always been there for Charles. Can species stand in the way of love?
  • We can always blow off the DATING MINIGAME. Who needs it, anyway?

What do?
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