A Jazztronomical Score: Part Six

Welcome back, fellow corsairs covered in cats' hairs, to another episode of A Jazztronomical Score. We're still venerating the hard work and creativity of Garry's Mod level creators in the most respectful way possible: by purrloining them of their valuables and leaving nothing behind but destruction, desolation, and precious memories.

Our present and only goal at this vaunted NG++ stage of Jazztronauts is to complete the rest of the personal requests that our cat companions have made: the bubbly Singer wants a set of toy dolls, the self-medicated Cellist wants to meet Half-Life's Dr. Kleiner for esoteric pharmaceutical advice, the irascible Pianist wants us to recover ten living headcrabs for her own amusement, and the gregarious Bartender is looking for as many propane tanks as we can carry for the Bar Samsara's gas stove. We won't be able to see the "true" ending until all these requests, and future ones, have been met. Rather than being a nuisance, however, it's made me ever more discerning about my destination choices, give or take a few extremely dumb maps that look like a hoot.

As always, be sure to check out my earlier adventures for more examples of my terrible decision-making in action: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Part 5.

Heist the Twenty-Fourth

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  • Map Name: "gm_1950s_mansion"
  • Purpose for Visiting: Presently, my request list is split between domestic goods (toys/propane) and Half-Life specific items (Kleiner/headcrabs). A 1950s mansion seems like a good place for the former. Plus, I think house maps just have the most detail, and I love any game that lets me take a well-ordered household and turn it upside down (see also: Elebits).
  • Shards Available: 4.
  • Shards Acquired: 4.
  • Desired Props: Nope.
  • Haul: $40,793.
  • Post-Heist Report: Another bust, but I appreciate the level of craft that went into this place. A lot of the furniture was bespoke, which is to say made from user-created textures and the like rather than props taken from the in-game asset pool and plopped down wherever. The map also had like 40 rifles and 200 bottles of booze, so its take on traditional 1950s Americana was terrifyingly on-point. The one time the Cellist doesn't ask for several gallons of hooch...

Heist the Twenty-Fifth

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  • Map Name: "cs_east_borough"
  • Purpose for Visiting: For a change of pace. I've only been visiting maps that are faithful recreations of various external media, role-play servers, or prop hunt maps. A good multiplayer map (such as one made for Counter-Strike, hence the "cs_") has a certain interconnected openness to it that makes it easier to explore.
  • Shards Available: 5.
  • Shards Acquired: 5.
  • Desired Props: Nope.
  • Haul: $36,762.
  • Post-Heist Report: There was an auto-repair store on the map, but no propane tanks alas. It was kind of a typical multiplayer map, really: there were interior locations but they were pretty limited and really only served as shortcuts through the center of the map. The exterior, meanwhile, surrounded the entire map. I learned one thing: multiplayer maps don't have a lot of time for frivolous things like dolls, and they're certainly not going to include additional NPC opponents like headcrabs. Maybe I'll steer clear for now until my priorities change.

Heist the Twenty-Sixth

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  • Map Name: "d3_citadel_01"
  • Purpose for Visiting: It's a Half-Life 2 map! I have no idea if this was lifted directly from the file directory of HL2 or someone bothered to recreate it piece-by-piece in Gmod, but I've been looking for anything Half-Life for a while now.
  • Shards Available: 5.
  • Shards Acquired: 3.
  • Desired Props: Exactly one headcrab.
  • Haul: $15,234.
  • Post-Heist Report: I probably should've paid more attention to exactly where this map was. If you recall Half-Life 2 well enough, it's the part near the end of the game where you sneak into City 17's monolithic Citadel by first going underground and then making your way up the Citadel's innards via those full-body cocoon things on rails. This was just one of several maps in that sequence, and with the exception of a single headcrab encounter early on it had barely anything in the way of Half-Life assets. Worse, a lot of the shards had been placed above those cocoon rails, making them nigh impossible to reach. Still! I'm encouraged that Gmod still has some old HL maps in its repository somewhere.

Heist the Twenty-Seventh

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  • Map Name: "gm_red_keep"
  • Purpose for Visiting: What's an update of A Jazztronomical Score without some map based on a TV show that is almost guaranteed to have nothing I need, but looked too cool on the ol' dimension-hopper monitor to pass by? You going to tell me you wouldn't steal Game of Thrones's big pointy chair if the opportunity came along?
  • Shards Available: 4.
  • Shards Acquired: 4.
  • Desired Props: Nope.
  • Haul: $13,087.
  • Post-Heist Report: As could be reasonably predicted by anyone, there's not a whole lot of propane tanks in the quasi-medieval setting of Game of Thrones (and vials of alchemical wildfire don't count) nor did the Lannisters ever have to contend with headcrabs roaming around their property. Just a lot of candelabras, for the most part. Then again, what fun is Jazztronauts if you can't indulge in the occasional raid on the Red Keep of Westeros?

Heist the Twenty-Eighth

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  • Map Name: "rp_ravenholm"
  • Purpose for Visiting: When I saw the name "Ravenholm" pop up I knew I hit the damn paydirt when it came to finding headcrabs. Ravenholm's main export is headcrabs, distantly followed by bitter craft beers and gravestones.
  • Shards Available: 7.
  • Shards Acquired: 4.
  • Desired Props: Headcrabs! All the headcrabs I could want!
  • Haul: $26,490.
  • Post-Heist Report: Despite being an RP (role-play) server, which are usually meant to be empty besides online singles looking to mingle by pretending to be wizards or foxes or both, rp_ravenholm proved to be infested with headcrab zombies which, fortunately for me, counted towards the headcrab quota. There was an even an area out back that respawned the things endlessly. One curious thing was that half the map's shards were simply not there - I imagine there was some transition to another area that I somehow missed. Maybe that's where all the mutant cadaver sexytimes happen and I didn't have the right password to get in? Not that I'm too broken up about missing Zomb-eyes Wide Shut.

Interlude: Pianist

The Pianist, true to her character, unleashed the headcrabs on the various NPCs stored in Singer's
The Pianist, true to her character, unleashed the headcrabs on the various NPCs stored in Singer's "Mewseum" - a place where the quiet one keeps all the props I've found so far, though there's no in-game library to peruse or anything - and now she's trying to hide from Singer's wrath. Is this sarcasm? It feels like sarcasm.
Instead, Pianist made Singer cry and now she feels terrible. The dire repercussions of trying to cure one's boredom. To make it up to them, Pianist wants me to find them a lot of
Instead, Pianist made Singer cry and now she feels terrible. The dire repercussions of trying to cure one's boredom. To make it up to them, Pianist wants me to find them a lot of "delicious food". I've no idea if she just means the cartons of General Tso's I keep finding or if it includes fruits and vegetables also. I suspect not.

Heist the Twenty-Ninth

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  • Map Name: "dm_runoff"
  • Purpose for Visiting: Last one for today. Riding high off last map's spoils and mindful of our new quest item, I thought I'd check out one more multiplayer map (the "dm_" stands for Deathmatch; figuring out these Gmod map prefixes is beginning to feel like learning country internet domains or airport codes) set in a disused waterworks filled with trash. Old Chinese takeout and propane tanks seem like trash to me, though I suspect I won't be finding a near-feral Dr. Kleiner clawing through a dumpster. Anything's possible though.
  • Shards Available: 6.
  • Shards Acquired: 6.
  • Desired Props: Two propane tanks.
  • Haul: $28,778.
  • Post-Heist Report: A little bit of luck but not nearly enough to get me to the next target. From this point on, I need such large amounts of everything (besides Kleiners) that I'll probably stick to the bigger maps. When you summon the trolley for a new world, you get some data on it: the name, the date it was published, some user comments, etc. Most important are the number of static props: what I can steal, essentially. For next week, I'm going to stick to those maps with over 200 props and hope the creators are lazy types who add a lot of the same item because it's easier. Until next time, my moggie muggers.

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