Mento's forum posts

#1 Edited by Mento (2698 posts) -

@bobafettjm: Man, you're a lifesaver. Also, we're not done explaining things quite yet...

Part 10: I Swear This Thing Will Stop Talking Eventually

Oh what is this.
So now we have a little thought puzzle. These are jiffies, little dudes that must've taken entire art teams to conceive. They aren't particularly good conversationalists.
However, we can jump forwards and backwards in time in one second intervals to help them find a portal home.
If you talk to the jiffies in 00:08, you'll discover that they missed their portal. But because we can go back, we can tell the jiffies at 00:01 to get ready for it.
The 00:08 jiffies miss it again, but give us more specific directions.
So now all I have to do is head back to 00:01 one last time to give them the skinny.
Aw, don't worry about it little guy! (For as simple as this was, it's actually the last puzzle in the game.)
Anyway, because apparently the blue ball got tired of explaining things to a stupid human, they set up this little thought experiment to demonstrate the importance of communicating back through time. In the most condescending way possible. I'm super glad I'll be unmaking these supercilious things with my time travel manipulations.
Yeah, there were never any aliens. Sorry. Just your average, everyday alternative time line super AIs.
I've been getting dicked around by sarcastic AIs since this whole thing started. I think Mass Effect had a point about these things.
For as annoying as these guys are, they do have at least have peaceful intentions. Like the electronic lifeforms in the Matrix (or the apes in that new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie), they were kind of forced to murder/enslave us all and at least feel kind of crappy about it.
It occurs to me that this isn't the first game I've played with an AI at the end that overexplains everything.
I'm starting to suspect that sour grapes is a systemic thing for the UN.
It doesn't matter though, since the gate was opened at some point in time. I skipped a bit here, but I was listed as KIA. They figured I got incinerated along with the Persephone installation.
Of course, the AIs only know most of this because they brain-probed me. Don't think I forgot.
Turns out wormholes that can travel through space and time aren't as simple as we thought. They can only send back information, rather than matter, so I'm going to get my consciousness sent back instead because why the heck not.
Of course, I still have to kill myself. But hey, at least no-one else has to die.
Well, that's a big if.
Don't worry about it, I'll probably be dead in the original timeline before ever finding the Persephone portal.
I just think I'm being a big baby about all this death and annihilation of the human race stuff.
I'm sure they'll be very receptive to me waking up and telling them how they'll all die if they don't give me all the top secret brain chemicals I'm not supposed to know about.
So here's another branch for some alternate endings. Do I go back in time and try to save the Lexington's crew and, by extension, the human race? Or do I decide to spend what little time I have left before going insane and dying talking to an uncharmingly garrulous blue ball who thinks I'm an idiot while surrounded by creepy skeletons? I hate it when the game gives me difficult decisions like this...

Part Final: Crazy Yelling Future Guy and The Dharma Initiative

Fuuuuuuck youuuuuuu, Bluuuuuuuey
Oh hey, Tran's alive! And... pointing a gun at us?
Her dialogue is all voiced rather than subtitled, but she's clearly agitated by something we did.
Oh right, it's because I woke up yelling about the aliens on Persephone, the Hype/Telecon, the UNS Dharma and a dozen other things I'm probably not supposed to know about. Well, way to play things subtle with your night terrors, Unnamed Supply Officer.
So way, way, way back when I popped into the medbay during my initial explorations, I found a "panic button" code for the autodoc that stuns anyone standing next to it. As far as I know, there's zero reason to ever visit the medbay in this playthrough. It's insane luck that I remembered this.
Unfortunately, Tran's about to find out why 911 is a joke on this starship.
Hit with a fine mist of sedatives, she drops like a brick and lets us run amok for a while.
I repeat much of the first half of the game, grabbing the multitool so I can recover the Hype/Telecon system from Dahl's safe, via Poole's little binocular eyepiece gizmo.
Of course, the Captain understandably wants to know what the hell we're doing as soon as we run onto the bridge with a top secret device under one arm.
Naturally reluctant to believe our tall story (good thing he doesn't know about the unconscious Lieutenant Commander just yet), we persuade him to send Drone Foxtrot (aka Drone Deadmeat) over to the opposite side of Persephone to where the UNS Dharma is hiding.
He's not buying most of what we're selling, but that poor little probe getting atomized is enough to persuade him to let us at the drone controls.
Oh great, another one of these.
The Dharma's a tough fight, especially as I start with a drone down, but I have three factors working in my favor: my combat experience, which allows me to plan a winning strategy; my quick wits, which allow me to think on my feet and react to surprises; and my sheer apathy, which forces me to turn the difficulty down to almost nothing so I can just waltz right through this because enough already.
In both timelines the Dharma gets blown up, so don't feel too bad for it. Besides, the UN are dicks.
To cut a long epilogue short (or shorter, anyway), we make it back down to the surface of Persephone, this time with a science team and an actual pilot for the lander. When no-one's looking, I hop through the time travel portal as soon as the spider bots get it working. The above is the future I encounter, with the memories of the desolated remains transforming before my eyes.
Until it becomes this pleasant little lakeside enclosure. Rather than the grim future of the original timeline, this is one where the Alliance won the war, created intelligent electronic lifeforms and decided to peacefully co-exist with them.
As a gift, the AIs build us a Dyson Sphere to live on, or rather live inside. Dyson Spheres are kind of neat, go look them up on Wikipedia. Importantly, this gives the human race about three trillion times more geography to colonize. Might as well throw those contraceptives away. The AIs, meanwhile, live on the outside of the sphere and evolve to be so complex and sophisticated that we've long since lost any ability to meaningfully communicate with them. That's... a little foreboding.
But we don't have to worry about that. It's the end credits! Thanks for checking out this LP!
The "Player" is right. We played all those crewmembers and AIs for chumps. And now look at us, relaxing in a boat next to a pointy future building in a Utopian future. Seems like we got the final laugh. Ha ha! Man, does our head hurt...

And that's Mission Critical. Hope you enjoyed it. I might've found more entertaining screenshots from Callahan's Crosstime Saloon or Superhero League of Hoboken, but because they're the better games I should probably leave them for you all to discover instead. I mean, once Atari gets its finger out and puts the whole Legend library on GOG, at least.

I'll be back with more weirdness next time. Probably not another Brief Jaunt for a while though (not that this was particularly brief...).

#3 Posted by Mento (2698 posts) -

You know me. SNES stuff. The usual. Turns out the last four months of 1993 saw as many game releases as the first eight months, so even though I'm near the end of September there's still well over a hundred pages left to work on.

We really need to get this broken notification business sorted. I'm still waiting for this LP blog of mine to get a single comment so I can get around the double post barrier and continue it. (It might not be entirely fair to blame the site issues for that predicament though...)

#4 Edited by Mento (2698 posts) -

It's time we finally get some answers. Well, eventually. More stuff to blow up first.

Part 8: Where I Begin to Lose the Plot

Obviously our guy didn't watch a whole lot of the Twilight Zone. I dunno why he can't believe it, it certainly looks like LA out there.
The game's gotten pretty damn serious all of a sudden, so it's probably as good a time as any to take a ride on a cyberfrisbee.
Unnamed Supply Officer, you bojo! Cyberfrisbees don't work unless you have power! Oh yeah, we just turned it on. To the Black Omen!
Turns out a cyberfrisbee moving hundreds of miles per hour doesn't make for the most relaxing ride. They could've at least installed a hand rail or something. I'm just saying, if the humans of the future put a little more effort into OSHA compliance maybe they wouldn't all be charred skeletons.
Somehow I doubt my flame torch is going to work here. What I need is something a little bigger.
Nope, just broken tanks and giant spider robots this way. Wait, giant spider robots?
This is more like it! This mostly intact "Super Tank" looks like it could do the job. I just need to pop in here and shoot its cannon.
Oh jeez, it suddenly became a Pearl Jam music video. "Mostly intact", he says.
I think they lost a bit of weight, but no matter. I found the big red switch easily enough. Let's see what this thing can do.
Turns out a giant green laser is what this thing can do. When one door closes, a big plasma hole is opened...
A giant gooey hole. I'll let you guys add your own joke, I'm on the clock here.
So essentially the Black Fortress of Doom is full of these identical corridors with... that's the same robot we made back on Persephone. I didn't get a close-up shot of it, but that's definitely the same little Meccano wonder.
Every corridor either leads to an identical looking room, or a dead end. There's no map, so we essentially have an labyrinth on our hands.
Though it took a little "following the left wall" nonsense before I figured it out, the true path is wherever the little robots are going. If you keep following the path they take, you eventually get to...
This room. I just picked the left one. I don't know what happens if you pick the right.
More space portals. It's possible I'm dreaming all this and that my body is still convulsing on Persephone somewhere, out of my wits from Hype.
Nope. I can't be dreaming, because I'm standing in front of a wooden door in outer space. Something very Zork about all this...
I... what? Bluh?

Part 9: Someone Finally Explains What's Going On. For Like an Hour.

So, fair warning: We're going to be talking to this wibbly blue thing a while. It's going to fill us in on what's happened, where this is and why we're going crazy. It's an exposition dump, in other words. We're in the home stretch, at least.
Oh yeah, remember that foreshadowy AI discussion? Yeah.
Think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts.
Right, a Fargate. Goes far, got it. Different from that movie or that syndicated series based on the movie.
Sure, I got nothing better to do.
So, so tempted to hit that second option. A big blue thing is telling me about his grand plan for saving the universe in some forest somewhere, while I die of crazy brain chemicals. My mental state can't be all that great right now. But nah, let's hear out this floating ball of cybergas.
Oh cool, so we won then?
They did to us what Germany did to Brazil, then. (Timely!)
Yeah, I think I met a few of them on my way in here. Skinny fellows, if I recall.
They were nice enough to rebuild our colonies, at least.
If you recall from the story recap, the war began because the UN was opposed to technological progress. Mostly they were worried that we'd create a race of AI so powerful they'd destroy the human race and all our weapons of war with their spider robots. Haha, those paranoid idi... oh.
Damn humans, always learning.
Nah, the real Life Force is some shoot 'em up. It's a lot of fun. This is fun too, except when it's mostly reading. Like now.
You maniacs! You- No wait, I already used that line once today. I love that I had to ask whether or not someone invented sentient AI when I'm talking to one of them. What do you think, Unnamed Supply Officer?
Is he referring to this war or that whole episode back on Persephone with the weird blocks?
Obviously, the UN attacked them with DWARFS (Deadly Weapons Attacking Rogue File Systems).
He could've just said "ever seen the Animatrix? It's like that"
"Or the beginning of Terminator. That was a pretty good movie. We were cheering for Skynet though, obviously"
"A.I.: Aritifical Intelligence though, that movie had nothing in common with this, despite its name. If I was Haley Joel Osment, I think I would've just killed my human family instead."
Here comes the inevitable dick move by the humans.
So our plan was to destroy all the Mass Rela... sorry, "Tel-Sato jump points" in all the known systems. We can be sore losers at times.
Good thing we'll be long dead of our brain poison before that happens. Silver lining and all that.
You know, for a superior race they really rub it in. We can ask more things, but I think we've had enough talking for now. It's time to try out this plan of theirs.

Next time: Man, these guys like to talk.

#6 Edited by Mento (2698 posts) -

So now we head down to a planet we know nothing about, because of alien shit or something. Also we're dying. We're playing a fun space adventure game, guys!

Part 6: Fun With Shapes and Colors

Ominously, we're asked to switch to the heretofore unused Disc 3. This planet clearly means business. Disky business.
Bye Lexington. Bye sassy computer. Call me if more UN vessels show up, and see if I give a shit.
But because this game is Star Trek in all but name only, we immediately encounter "atmospheric interference" and our systems "malfunction due to tachyon whatevers" and we "plummet to our death while screaming".
Actually, I guess we're fine. Good thing I remembered to put the suit on, it seems there's a draft.
There's nothing on the planet except for ice made of fart gas and the marker we're looking for. We can't reach it with this giant glacier in the way though.
Attacking it with what little fuel I have left in the industrial flame cutter gets us this far. I know what you're all thinking, and yes: I'm definitely going to stick it in there.
Which is, of course, to say that explosive I've been carrying around. Protip for those playing along at home: 3 minutes ain't nowhere near enough. Try ten at least.
The way is opened with an Earth shattering kaboom and we're... is that more corridors I see?
Flashbacks of Halo's Archive level here. Thankfully, this place is a little easier to navigate. Or would be, if someone had bothered to build a bridge across to it.
Remembering the probe launcher, we tie the wire cable to it and launch it across to the walkway. The text boxes that pop up while making our way across the cable makes it very clear that the protagonist hates doing this and is terrified of falling. We'll be doing it a lot more, don't worry.
Each of the four caverns that split from that central platform you saw earlier leads to identical rooms with indentations in the floor.
It took me a while to figure out how to reach the east/west rooms, actually. The central platform only has north/south stairs, so you have to walk around the platform to get east/west instead of over it. Seems entirely minor, but it actually had me confused for a few minutes. I never claimed I was intelligent.
But this puzzle I can figure out, at least. I found a blue and yellow rod in one room, and indentations next to blue and yellow objects in other rooms. Whoever these aliens are, they were a condescending bunch.
While fitting shapes into pegs, we're momentarily distracted by this brief impediment. Because the torch is one of the few items I bothered to hold onto, I've been trying to burn everything since I got down here. This time it finally worked.
We end up with a whole basin full of Nickelodeon Gak. I'm not touching that stuff. I might try to burn it though.
We don't have to wait long, because something just activated elsewhere in this structure. Might it be that one item I couldn't pick up earlier?
At this point I'm also scanning everything, because I don't trust it. We have no idea what this is, but it seems to be... alive?
This ochre block is now freed from its superconductive constraints. I'm not sure what's even happening any more. I feel like I've stumbled into Myst or something.
The green slime seems to enjoy ochre blocks though. It eats it right up.
Well, isn't this foreboding. Hey little guy!

Next: Nanomachines?

Part 7: Remember When I Said This Game Was Fairly Grounded For Sci-Fi? Well Now There's Space Portals

I managed to get the little guys hopping by throwing in detritus from our lander's failed landing (it had one job!). I really hope we know what we're doing. I seem to recall this going very badly in one arc of Stargate: SG1.
The little insect bot decided to dig straight down. We use up what little is left of our air to keep an eye on it. I'm starting to suspect, what with the crashed lander, the lack of oxygen and all those deadly chemicals in my brain, that I might not make it out of this one alive.
Fortunately, our spiderbot friend comes back with lots of spiderbot babies.
The busy little guys rebuild the entire facility, creating new bridges and unearthing new rooms full of alien technology.
But we don't care about that. We're minutes away from meeting the Reaper. Instead, we're going to hope this thing they're building is a save point.
Actually, it's a portal to god-knows-where. Since we're dead anyway, might as well jump in. I should've just called this whole chapter "YOLO".
Yeah, funny how I brought up Stargate earlier. This purple swirly thing carries us halfway across the galaxy to...
Oh great, a garbage world full of dead people and broken buildings.
Let's hope this place has oxygen because the protagonist has seriously stopped giving a shit. I guess imminent death does that to you.
Hold onto your butts for a "Planet of the Apes" reveal, everyone.
Sure, but that's no reason to be pessimistic. At least we got to blow a lot of shit up.
Though it kind of seems like someone beat me to the whole "blowing shit up" here. It looks super Skynet out there.
Nah, I'm sure all these Earth-like buildings, Earth-like technology and Earth-like human skeletons are just a coincidence.
Queen Zeal! You blew it up! Damn you, God damn you and Lavos to hell!
So let's go explore! We finally find the one arbitrary piece of twisted wreckage we're allowed to saw off, and jimmy our way into the only building still standing.
But... what's this twisted piece of brightly colored metal we found on the ground once we got in there? Could it be? I guess you finally made a monkey out of meeeeeeeeee

Still to come: Death! We are surrounded by it!

#7 Edited by Mento (2698 posts) -

We might have to make this one of our "island" pages, divorced from all others, like the many concepts we have that are so ubiquitous (such as "boss fight" or "Earth" or "grass") that there's no point attaching them to almost every game page in our database. Grinding's a common enough video game term that it has its place on the wiki, but you're right that attaching it to any one game can be highly subjective. I'm sure with the right combination of player skill, RNG and/or exploitable glitches, any game can be beaten without needing to grind.

Of course, I have no idea if this island page feature is included in the upcoming wiki update. The necessity for them has come up enough times in instances like this, though.

#8 Posted by Mento (2698 posts) -

I just reviewed it. Perfect timing. In short, it's a really good PS1-era RPG, which can have good or bad connotations depending on the person. I loved it.

Honestly, this is probably the best time to play the thing. The second one's supposed to be out any day now. Considering how much text these games seem to have, I wouldn't be surprised if proofreading added a few extra weeks to the development time.

#9 Edited by Mento (2698 posts) -

Dammit, did I get summoned to an Eva thread out of nowhere?

The original series is so of its time, like many things in the 90s. I'll always have a lot of affection for those halcyon animes. They felt so grown-up compared to all the animated features I'd seen prior, despite having decidely ungrown-up shit like a 15' mech attacking a 200' daddy-long-legs, or giant rock ninjas, or cyborg lady cops, or a sniper who can somehow shoot thorough like three skyscrapers at once.

Thanks for reminding me of End of Evangelion and Komm Süsser Tod, btw. Radiohead's got nothing on that incongruously cheerful dirge.

#10 Posted by Mento (2698 posts) -

Sorry, forum rules prohibit both Youtube spam and advertising one's own off-site content. Going to have to lock this down.