A Jazztronomical Score: Part Five

What up, cat accomplices? It's an odd week, so that means two Jazztronauts updates for the price of one! Yeah! We're still here at the Bar Samsara, sipping gin & tonics while reviewing the contents of our enormous sacks with dollar signs on them. However, you don't have to have an enormous sack to try out this game for yourself: just have a copy of Garry's Mod and download the free Jazztronauts mod. And if my endorsement isn't enough, it's Jeff Gerstmann approved (sorta)!

Anydangway, we're still on the hunt for the following: rainbow shards, evil red cubes, toy dolls, watermelons, headcrabs, and the bald guy from Half-Life. Despite my explicitly-stated intent last time to only focus on Half-Life maps, I fell victim once again to the game's map-selection randomizer and my own poor impulse control. I blame Cellist; he's a bad influence.

I mean, just look at this asshole. How'd he get up there? Maybe he got so lit up he thinks he's a halogen.
I mean, just look at this asshole. How'd he get up there? Maybe he got so lit up he thinks he's a halogen.

Before we begin - are we on genius.com because I've got a rap sheet full of flagrant errors just over here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Heist the Eighteenth

No Caption Provided
  • Map Name: "lowlife_apartments"
  • Purpose for Visiting: Still looking for dolls and watermelons, the former more likely to appear in bedrooms and the latter in kitchens/pantries. Best case scenario for both are homes and apartments. Even lowlife ones.
  • Shards Available: 0.
  • Shards Acquired: 0.
  • Red Cube: Nonexistent.
  • Desired Props: Nope.
  • Haul: $25,336.
  • Post-Heist Report: I've noticed something about the "end-game" of NG+. You activate enough of those red cubes and it ties you into the bad ending - sort of required for reasons I won't go into - and by that point the rainbow shards stop appearing. The single "shard" the map tells you about is the red cube itself: it wants you to reach the ten required to complete the game from then on. However, they don't always appear, especially on a tiny map like this with nothing but garbage. At least small maps are lucrative.

Heist the Nineteenth

Imagine spending hours building this perfectly recreated sign and not seeing the typo.
Imagine spending hours building this perfectly recreated sign and not seeing the typo.
  • Map Name: "RE2_RPD_Station"
  • Purpose for Visiting: Ah, this must be the Resident Evil 2 remake I've heard so much about. Maybe the map maker got creative with the zombies and put headcrabs in there too...?
  • Shards Available: 0.
  • Shards Acquired: 0.
  • Red Cube: Not activated.
  • Desired Props: Nope.
  • Haul: $6,029.
  • Post-Heist Report: The creator evidently wanted this map to feel true to the original, including the music and some of the triggers. It also meant it was a giant maze full of weird barriers that I couldn't overcome without finding talismans shaped like donuts to insert into a fresco of cops beating up minorities, or whatever would be apropos for a police station designed by a madman. I bailed tout de suite once I realized there were no shards or enemies involved. No more silly pop culture gimmick maps for a while.

Heist the Twentieth (Century Fox)

No Caption Provided
  • Map Name: "the_simpsons_map"
  • Purpose for Visiting: "Homer, you don't have to load up a low-poly Simpsons map just because it came up on the randomizer." "You know, Marge, in some ways you and I are very different people."
  • Shards Available: 0.
  • Shards Acquired: 0.
  • Red Cube: Activated. Like this place isn't threatened by nuclear annihilation every other week.
  • Desired Props: Nope.
  • Haul: $30,000.
  • Post-Heist Report: D'oh. Though I did make one interesting discovery: the allocated total (on NG+ at least) for a map's static props is exactly $30k. I know this because I stole the only prop on the map: a statue of a horse where Jebediah Springfield should be. Sometimes you learn a few things while walking around an empty, flat recreation of the hometown of America's favorite family. (Commendable work with those textures though.)

Heist the Twenty-First

No Caption Provided
  • Map Name: ph_toth_forgotten
  • Purpose for Visiting: Prop Hunt maps have given me the best returns in the past, and this one looked like another rundown shopping galleria.
  • Shards Available: 0.
  • Shards Acquired: 0.
  • Red Cube: Activated.
  • Desired Props: Nope.
  • Haul: $4,035.
  • Post-Heist Report: This place was just too annoying to navigate, and I was starting to get bummed out by the lack of shards to find. At this point, I was looking for the remaining red cubes just so I could hurry to the finale...

Interlude: ?ͣ͋?̦̟̫͇̅ͥ̃̽ͬ͜?̾̓̌?̶̪̲̩̠̞̉͋̽ͭ̄?̇̓̈̐?̢͇̣̠͔̏ͭ̋?̫͇̳̹͒̆ͥ͌?͐̾ͥ͐ͥ

After ten cubes, this button appeared at Bar Samsara. I'm sure it'll be fine if I press it. Buttons are usually chill.
After ten cubes, this button appeared at Bar Samsara. I'm sure it'll be fine if I press it. Buttons are usually chill.
I've destroyed the bar! Again! Dammit, why do all my actions have to have consequences!
I've destroyed the bar! Again! Dammit, why do all my actions have to have consequences!

.

.....

........

...................... NG++ anyone? (Turns out that in order to earn the "best ending", I have to complete all the side-quests first. So be it. It's not like I have anything better to do (I really don't).)

Heist the Twenty-Second

No Caption Provided
  • Map Name: "ph_bunker2"
  • Purpose for Visiting: My theory that Prop Hunt maps are the best source for a varied amount of props is about to pay off. This tiny underground bunker map proved especially fruitful, so to speak.
  • Shards Available: 3.
  • Shards Acquired: 3.
  • Red Cube: N/A.
  • Desired Props: Yes! Two more dolls and five more watermelons.
  • Haul: $28,637.
  • Post-Heist Report: I'm in NG++ now, which puts me at 300% earnings. While I do have to buy everything again, it won't take long at all with the skrill I'm making. In the absence of any Half-Life maps, Prop Hunt (or "ph_") maps seem to remain my best bet if I actually want to make any headway in these side-quests, rather than picking the stupidest or most picturesque options that pop up. A few more maps like this and I'll be done with Singer's and Bartender's quests faster than a cat lapping chain lightning, which is apparently a thing people say out loud sometimes.

Heist the Twenty-Third

No Caption Provided
  • Map Name: "ph_mansion_draw2"
  • Purpose for Visiting: See above. Sometimes I want to steal stuff and play Jazztronauts how it was meant to be played, rather than follow my morbid curiosity and be left trying to work out why someone spent fifty hours in Gmod lovingly recreating the inside of Shrek's ass.
  • Shards Available: 2.
  • Shards Acquired: 3.
  • Red Cube: N/A.
  • Desired Props: Yes! The remaining watermelons.
  • Haul: $41,920.
  • Post-Heist Report: I'm raking in the cash hand over fist at this juncture, and this eerie place proved very generous with the watermelons. I'm so glad I didn't have to visit any Gallagher-themed maps to fill out the rest of my quota.

Interlude: Bartender 2

Bartender takes her cocktails very seriously. I was advised to take a step back during this process.
Bartender takes her cocktails very seriously. I was advised to take a step back during this process.
Now that she's well-stocked for bulging gourds, we all sit down for movie night. Good to know my avatar is a proponent of the classics.
Now that she's well-stocked for bulging gourds, we all sit down for movie night. Good to know my avatar is a proponent of the classics.
You and me, Cellist. We're in this together. As long as you stop hiding in high-up places where I can't reach you.
You and me, Cellist. We're in this together. As long as you stop hiding in high-up places where I can't reach you.
Dammit Cellist I retract everything. Propane tanks are damn near everywhere, but I suspect they might suddenly dry up now that I need them. Well, I found a Simpsons map this time, so maybe I can luck out with King of the Hill next week?
Dammit Cellist I retract everything. Propane tanks are damn near everywhere, but I suspect they might suddenly dry up now that I need them. Well, I found a Simpsons map this time, so maybe I can luck out with King of the Hill next week?

Now that I understand how NG+ works and not to press everything connected to ominous floating red cubes, I suspect I might make a lot more progress (not to mention more money) on subsequent outings. Who knew this game had so many layers? I thought I was just stealing shit by waving a baton at it. Shows what I know.

Tune in next Monday same cat time, same cat channel. (P.S. watch Lifeforce.)

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