A Jazztronomical Score: Part Three

Greetings, fellow kleptomcats, to another episode of A Jazztronomical Score. If you're just joining us on our merry interdimensional crime spree soirée, this is a semi-regular feature of mine in which I detail my various heists in the Garry's Mod "prop hunter" game mode Jazztronauts. I have the first and second parts lying somewhere around here, so just click anything that looks like a link.

To get you caught up from the end of the last update: I beat the game! That is, I found the milestone requirement of rainbow shards accumulated across all my travels, which triggered the "end of game state". I didn't want to show off the ending for obvious spoiler reasons - I recommend seeing it for yourself if you have a copy of Garry's Mod handy, as the Jazztronauts mod itself is free - but suffice it to say we're now in New Game Plus mode and things are... taking a turn for the sinister. More so, I suppose.

All that said, we're still on the hunt for some cat-specific fetch quest goals - namely some dolls, cars, headcrabs and paintcans - so let's see what the map generator computer can barf up.

Heist the Ninth: "zs_lv426 (Zombie Survival Map)"

The
The "zs_" prefix indicates a zombie survival map, which would normally make this parenthetical redundant. However, its presence makes the title too long for this olde-timey cathode ray to display, which pushed out the "zs_" part and made the parenthetical useful again. An incredible display of two wrongs making a right.

My theory as to why zombie survival maps are usually empty regards the way these maps are structured to run on timers. Jazztronauts loads the map in their prime state and freezes any flags and such that might trigger (or triggers that might flag? Been a while since I've dabbled in Source), so the zombie waves never arrive. That's fine with me, because I imagine they draw from Left 4 Dead's colorful cadavers rather than the alien headcrab zombies Half-Life trucked with. If that's the case, they'll all be big ol' shambling "error"s because I never bought either of those games. Still, that just means more props left unattended for the stealing.

While the map itself ended up being nothing worth writing home about, I did make a few startling discoveries:

Each stage now has a spinning red cube in addition to the shards, and it produces a different - and far more ominous - sound that gets louder as you get closer to it. Activating the cube pretty much destroys every brush and prop in the level, so after this experience I've learned to only hit it once I'm ready to leave.
Each stage now has a spinning red cube in addition to the shards, and it produces a different - and far more ominous - sound that gets louder as you get closer to it. Activating the cube pretty much destroys every brush and prop in the level, so after this experience I've learned to only hit it once I'm ready to leave.
Jazztronaut's NG+ also has frequent trips to the
Jazztronaut's NG+ also has frequent trips to the "Jazz Apartments": a run-down place with this malevolent, shadowy cat. I suspect these interludes are where we're going to get the true story of Jazztronauts, so I won't be including any more for now.

Heist the Tenth: "gm_battleground"

I can only assume from the title/image discrepancy that the maker started with one battleground before adding more.
I can only assume from the title/image discrepancy that the maker started with one battleground before adding more.

Well, how could I resist? If this really is a Battlegrounds map there should be cars aplenty, unless The FOO Show's Will Smith already came by and drove them all off cliffs and into trees.

As before, the map didn't have anything I needed, but plenty of props that I USED to need. Like these explosive barrels: they're everywhere in this map. I think I got like forty of them. I will say that PUBG could probably use more explosive barrels, except I'd have no idea what would happen to the server latency if too many of them exploded at once.
As before, the map didn't have anything I needed, but plenty of props that I USED to need. Like these explosive barrels: they're everywhere in this map. I think I got like forty of them. I will say that PUBG could probably use more explosive barrels, except I'd have no idea what would happen to the server latency if too many of them exploded at once.
I managed to snap a shot of the red cube in its dormant state. Just hovering there, all baleful and such. It has a switch podium next to it with my name on it: I have no way to confirm this, but I think this to assure that the decision to blow everything up is a unanimous one while in multiplayer. After all, Jazztronauts is a game about love and thievery, not griefing.
I managed to snap a shot of the red cube in its dormant state. Just hovering there, all baleful and such. It has a switch podium next to it with my name on it: I have no way to confirm this, but I think this to assure that the decision to blow everything up is a unanimous one while in multiplayer. After all, Jazztronauts is a game about love and thievery, not griefing.
There's also a new gravestone in Bar Samsara. The barely visible indicator suggests I need to nuke ten maps before I get my next story trigger, so it looks like I need to keep on doing that for now. After I find all the shards, of course.
There's also a new gravestone in Bar Samsara. The barely visible indicator suggests I need to nuke ten maps before I get my next story trigger, so it looks like I need to keep on doing that for now. After I find all the shards, of course.

To expand a little more on the NG+ cubes system: Hitting the cube will effectively destroy the map, removing all the brushes and props from the vicinity with the area of effect slowly expanding to cover the entire map in due time. This makes the map almost impossible to navigate in the long run, as the world becomes nothing but an endless ruby-tinted expanse where hard barriers aren't apparent.

To reiterate: everything is being destroyed, not added to the haul, so the cube is best left until the end when you're certain you've had your fill of the place. Fortunately, you don't seem to suffer any ill-effects from being inside the blast radius, but I still tend to set it off and run to a safe distance before bugging out with my ol' friend the mystical cross-dimensional jazz trolley.

Heist the Eleventh: "zs_abandoned_mall"

What kind of mall would this place be without a paint shop, a doll shop, or a parking garage? Headcrabs might be too much to ask for, though, unless the food court has a
What kind of mall would this place be without a paint shop, a doll shop, or a parking garage? Headcrabs might be too much to ask for, though, unless the food court has a "Joe's Headcrab Shack".

It might be poor form to follow one zombie survival map with another so soon, but who wouldn't want to go on a burglary rampage across a mall? I can only hope this place is stacked to the rafters with 100% off bargains if you catch my drift. I could certainly use the cash to buy back all the useful tools and upgrades I lost when we went to NG+ (though the NG+ mode was kind enough to give me a permanent income doubler as recompense).

Dang, all my favorite brands are in this mall. I appreciate the verisimilitude, but that makes this map fraught with licensing issues.
Dang, all my favorite brands are in this mall. I appreciate the verisimilitude, but that makes this map fraught with licensing issues.
Putting boards over the Gap. Obvious, in retrospect. Hey Liv, don't mind me.
Putting boards over the Gap. Obvious, in retrospect. Hey Liv, don't mind me.
Man, how prophetic. They should rename this store
Man, how prophetic. They should rename this store "Dick's Portent Goods".
While I didn't find a huge amount of what I needed, at least I'm covered for paintcans.
While I didn't find a huge amount of what I needed, at least I'm covered for paintcans.
$28k+ of ill-gotten gains is nothing to sneeze at either. I've got both my Stan (pass through walls) and Run (jump real high) powers back now, and upgraded a decent amount to boot.
$28k+ of ill-gotten gains is nothing to sneeze at either. I've got both my Stan (pass through walls) and Run (jump real high) powers back now, and upgraded a decent amount to boot.

Collecting those paintcans means it's time to hang out with our addled friend the Cellist again. This guy has all the best lines, so I can totally understand why his fetch quests appear to be easier than everyone else's. Either that, or I'm just being lucky with the maps I'm choosing.

Turns out he wanted to huff the paint. Well color me surprised.
Turns out he wanted to huff the paint. Well color me surprised.
The paint fumes gets the Cellist back on his favorite subject: art history. In particular, artists with crazy mixed-up lives. Only thing I know about Caravaggio is that Sean Bean was in a biopic of his (where his character dies, naturally).
The paint fumes gets the Cellist back on his favorite subject: art history. In particular, artists with crazy mixed-up lives. Only thing I know about Caravaggio is that Sean Bean was in a biopic of his (where his character dies, naturally).
Our next objective for the Cellist is to bring back a medical professional, presumably to prescribe him anything he wants. Specifically, I am to find Dr. Kleiner somewhere. Maybe I can get him and Lamarr in the same sweep, and work on killing two birds with one stone?
Our next objective for the Cellist is to bring back a medical professional, presumably to prescribe him anything he wants. Specifically, I am to find Dr. Kleiner somewhere. Maybe I can get him and Lamarr in the same sweep, and work on killing two birds with one stone?

For as much fun as it would be to troll the Gmod library for some decent Half-Life maps to fulfill the Cellist's latest request, I should probably focus on the other cats and their demands. The cars one seems the most attainable, so next week I'm going to attempt to wring some entertaining and elucidating content out of exploring parking garages. Wish me luck!

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