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mycelia
Apr 28, 2013

just a big doofus fightin pokemons





Dolls don't bleed (see: Ranger), so the question is "have we seen Sara bleed on-screen", the answer to which ... I'm not actually sure. She's died a lot in bad ends, but I'm too lazy to go look and see if she bleeds in them.

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HydroSphere
Feb 11, 2014







Talk to Kanna.



"This book is... really something..."

“What're you reading?”

"The "Shin Tsukimi AI Test Data” we found earlier."

"If we learn Komaeda and Sou's relationship... we might learn something about the past, I thought."

"Found anything of interest?"

“U... Um..."



"Hang on! That's like the title of a poem...!"

"T-That's exactly right...! It's test data in the form of a poem!"

"It'll... take some time to decipher like this..."

(She's right, that book really is something...)



Music stops.

"Kanna. Can we talk about your lost memories...?"

"My... memories?"

"Yeah. Work with me to find the truth we need to stand against Komaeda."

"I guess we do need to do that..."

"But... looking back at your memories might be a difficult task..."

"You mean... my sister, right?"

"But it's all right. Kanna's gotten at least a little stronger than before."

"And you're here with her, Sara."

"Thanks, Kanna... All right then."

"Okay...! Go ahead!"





"Her sister often went there on the way home... so she took Kanna there for the first time. But... something's strange. She can't be sure of what really happened then..."

(Well then... Let's give it a try!)



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"I don't think there's anything unusual there... They just looked like fancy decorations."

“Apparently bitter coffee goes well with sweets... But Kanna can't drink it, so she isn't sure."

"But coffee jelly is delicious! And sweet!"

(That's not much of a clue...)



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"I thought it was a cute uniform!"

"Kanna wants to wear those clothes and make delicious ice cream and cakes, too!"

"I'm sure they'd suit you."

"Eheheh!"

(Nothing out of the ordinary here...)



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"Oh? Are you curious about the shop's lineup?"

"From shortcakes, mont blancs, tiramisu... to roll cakes and Yule logs..."

"From the standard to the fancy, they have it all!"




(Wait... Why in the world am I getting fired up?!)



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"I don't think there's anything unusual there... It was just a register."

"Kanna wants to try using a register sometime..."

"You want a part-time job?"



(Is that why...)



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"I don't think there's anything unusual there... There were just some sweets lined up."

"I've never bought any of these... But I'm sure they must be delicious!"

"You trust that shop, huh?"

"Yes! It's the Sara of the sweets world!"

(Guess I'll take that as a compliment...)



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"...No matter what, all I can remember is delicious ice cream that makes me hungry. Vanilla, chocolate, rum raisin, caramel...!"

"Oh yeah... I used to dislike chocolate mint, but it's tasty to me now."



"That toothpaste-y stuff?"

"Please, don't say the same thing as Sou!"

(Well... No mystery here, it seems.)



"Kanna... Could you remember yourself a little more?"

"I was just ecstatic! I mean, there was a mountain of cakes before me!"

"If not for things like the law... I'd have reached out and started feasting."

(Nothing out of the ordinary here...)



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"I don't think there's anything unusual there... It just looked like a fancy decoration."

"There was a space to eat in the shop. So they had plates, too. Kanna only ever ate on the spot... err, bought things to take home, though..."

(What's wrong with eating right away...?)



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"I don't think there's anything unusual there... It was just an electric light."

"But the ice cream seemed to glitter under its glow!"

"Maybe... it gives off a light that makes things look more tasty..."

(The terrifying nature of marketing...)

  • Actual differences.



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"Y-Yes! It's my sister, after all...!"

"Mmmm... Ahh!"

"I remember! That day... Kanna got so excited about picking out a cake... She had her sister carry her bag!"

"I see...! I know that feeling!"

"That night's happiness depended on that choice! She absolutely couldn't choose wrong!"

"Kanna's sister watched her and waited patiently."



".........."

"...Um, do you think this could be a clue?"

"O-Of course it is. Well done, Kanna!"

"Eheheh... Okay!"



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"Okay! Leave it to me!"

"I think it had a nice, mature level of sweetness... and it filled your mouth with a green tea flavor..."

"Ah!! I remember!! Kanna's sister ate too much of it, so they ran out of the green tea ice cream! She was really fond of it...! She had it all the time!"

"Kanna was more drawn to the sweet vanilla and chocolate flavors..."

"But that day in particular, her big sister watched as Kanna acted all mature to pick something out."

"Because they didn't have her favorite flavor...!"

"Guess we've solved at least one of the discrepancies."

"Right! Let's keep following these memories!"



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"Y-Yes... Give me a moment..."

"Ah! I've remembered! That was... a big glowing ice cream!"

"Isn't that really cute?! Kanna wants to have one at her house!"

(I do think it's fancy, but to have it in a room...?)

"Kanna always figured this was an ice cream shop... Probably because she saw the light from outside."

"In reality, it was the shop of her dreams, filled with so many more kinds of sweets!"

"She knew her sister often went there, too. When she met up with me on the way home... she'd wait there with ice cream in both hands."

"We would eat our ice cream while chatting... And then..."

"Kanna..."

"...It's all right. "I'm the one who decided I'd face up to it."



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"Okay! Um... Let's see..."

"Huh? Actually, I feel like..."

Music stops.

"There was... a lot of writing... That's right..."





"Wishes...?"

"I think... customers at the shop would write them."

"Things like "I hope I won't put on weight, or "I hope I won't get cavities"..."

(Such greed...)

"I feel like I got curious about it," and talked with the clerk..."

"Hrmm... but I don't remember what he said."

(I'm feeling kind of uneasy...)





"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"Right... Outside the window..."

"Actually... I got it a little wrong. We visited that shop in the evening. The ice cream we ate while walking home from school was so tasty..."

"And it was earlier than usual, so sister decided to go to a different shop!"

"To think they had cakes, too... She must have been keeping quiet about it, I'm sure."

(Do you eat that much, Kanna...?)

"Come to think of it, I wonder if us eating as we walked home is why sunsets make my tummy rumble..."

"What's that called, again... Pavlov's Dog?"

"Oh! Right, the doggy that ends up drooling just from ringing his meal bell!"

"…"

"That's so mean, Sara!!"



"Could you remember this part a little more?"

"U-Understood..."

"You know, I feel like something was on that wall..."

Music stops.

"Ah...!!"

"Why...? But that's..."

"What's wrong, Kanna?!"

"That's strange..."





"What's that mean...?!"

"Kanna saw that form there...!!"

"And she feels like she asked the clerk... about what it was..."

"And then after that... umm, uhh..."

Music stops.

"I can't... remember..."

(What in the world is this...?)





"Could you remember this person a little more?"

"R-Right... Umm..."

"Huh...?! Come to think of it, that clerk...!!"

Music stops.



"What does that mean?! Why was that man there...?!"

"Has Kanna... met him before...?!"

".........."

"And also... sister..."

"How long had sister been going to that shop...?"

(Maybe they really have been preparing for this for much longer than we thought...?)

"*pant*... *pant*..."

"Calm down, Kanna... You want to rest a little?"

"No, I'm fine...! Let me continue!"







"I went to the sweets shop with my sister... and there were many written wishes on the wall."

"Kanna was looking through them, wondering if her sister put one up too."

"And among them... was that form."

"Kanna asked the clerk, who her sister was familiar with..."

Music stops.












"Guessing you wrote "I wish to stop wetting the bed”?”

"Waaah?! I-I already have!! Don't say strange things out in public!”

"Ahaha, sorry! So?"

"Kanna... couldn't think of anything, but... The clerk gave her an idea! He said to grant your wish instead!"

"Ehh?"

"Why do you look upset?!"

"Haha, sorry. Let's see... My wish, eh..."



"...Huh?"

"...Hrmm. That's right, your fated partner! Don't you wanna meet your fated partner, Kanna?"

"I-I'm fine! You worry about that first, sister!"

Well, look who's talking! You sure? Once I get married, we'll have to separate, y'know?"

F-Fine by me!"

Music stops.




"I feel like he was Komaeda..."

(This was Kanna's erased memory...)

"Kanna just wanted her sister to be happy..."

"After all... she brought her lots of happiness..."



(Kanna and her sister were so thoughtful of each other, and yet... It's truly just... awful.)






Talk to Hayasaka.



"Hayasaka... You aren't with Gin?"

"Ah... y-yeah. He's a capable kid. Me being around is just..."

"Oh... but never mind that, look at this. I found the power cord for this computer."

"If you use that ID card you have, you should be able to see what's on it..."




Music stops.

"Oh...! Something came up!"














(This document...! These two... There's no doubt about it.)

Music stops.



(What do they mean by “extraction”...?)





"Hayasaka, please look at this lantern."

"Haha... Can we do that later? There's a lot I want to check on..."

"...Understood."




Investigate red screen.

Music stops.



(Huh...? Shin?)



“Shin...?! What's the matter?!”








(Was he... killed? As punishment for giving us too many hints...)

Music stops.

(I've...)

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


quote:



This game needs to stop being adorable right before it sucker punches me! :argh:

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



So Kanna's probably adopted. I wonder if that will become relevant. It may end up tying her to Asunaro somehow, like Sara.

Chef Boyardeez Nuts
Sep 9, 2011

The more you kick against the pricks, the more you suffer.


I like that Sara's taken aback expression looks like she breaks out a flop sweat a minimum of six times a conversation.

Tax Evasion
May 27, 2020


mycelia posted:

Dolls don't bleed (see: Ranger), so the question is "have we seen Sara bleed on-screen", the answer to which ... I'm not actually sure. She's died a lot in bad ends, but I'm too lazy to go look and see if she bleeds in them.

If you fail the First Trial, the game over screen shows Sara bleeding.
I'm not a huge fan of the "dolls can bleed" theory, it just seems like lovely storytelling to establish this rule as a clue and then break it later on.

mycelia
Apr 28, 2013

just a big doofus fightin pokemons





Tax Evasion posted:

If you fail the First Trial, the game over screen shows Sara bleeding.
I'm not a huge fan of the "dolls can bleed" theory, it just seems like lovely storytelling to establish this rule as a clue and then break it later on.

Ah, okay. Yeah, same -- I felt really clever noticing that Safalin was human (she cuts her hand to show off the healing goo or whatever it was on the second floor), so I hope they don't go back on it. I find that kind of clue really fun to look out for.

...Unless Sara got swapped out for a doll at some point after the first trial, which I hadn't considered until literally right now. That would also be kind of lovely, but there's precedent with Reko. I don't think they'd do that, though. Probably.

Randalor
Sep 4, 2011






If we've been shown that Sara can bleed, then... yeah, okay, she's probably human.

HydroSphere
Feb 11, 2014



Incidentally, this is the game over for failing to take the ID card from Maple.

McGavin
Sep 18, 2012

av paid for by the firensd of lowtax spine foundation

, you flithy pig


That's just raspberry syrup.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



mycelia posted:

...Unless Sara got swapped out for a doll at some point after the first trial, which I hadn't considered until literally right now. That would also be kind of lovely, but there's precedent with Reko. I don't think they'd do that, though. Probably.

There's a big difference between swapping a major supporting character and a character the player is controlling without letting the player know.

Chef Boyardeez Nuts
Sep 9, 2011

The more you kick against the pricks, the more you suffer.


You want a bleeding robot? I can get you a bleeding robot, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me. Hell, I can get you a bleeding robot by 3 o'clock this afternoon... with nail polish.

Randalor
Sep 4, 2011






McGavin posted:

That's just raspberry syrup.

... honestly, I wouldn't put it past Maple to have raspberry syrup on her somewhere.

And, is it just me, or does it read like Kugie was setting Kana up to be suckered in to the game?

mycelia
Apr 28, 2013

just a big doofus fightin pokemons





Robindaybird posted:

There's a big difference between swapping a major supporting character and a character the player is controlling without letting the player know.

I added the "probably" because I don't want to look too stupid if I'm wrong, but I agree with you; I trust the writer enough not to do that. And the screenshot (thank you, Hydrosphere) confirms it pretty much. One human, painfully mortal Sara. :toot:

HerpicleOmnicron5
May 31, 2013

How did this smug dummkopf ever make general?




ok but what if sara is a doll and its the humans that don't bleed

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


HerpicleOmnicron5 posted:

ok but what if sara is a doll and its the humans that don't bleed
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012

"Hi Everybody!"


This is a minor thing, but the translation feels a bit weaker with this chapter to me. There's stuff like "Emiri" that's probably a direct translation of the Japanese characters instead of what should almost certainly be "Emily", and Kanna's dialogue is a little off the grammar. It's not bad by any means, but it really feels like it needs a second pass to clean it up a bit, if that makes sense?



Blaze Dragon posted:

So Kanna's probably adopted. I wonder if that will become relevant. It may end up tying her to Asunaro somehow, like Sara.

Come to think of it, her hair colour's the same as Komaeda's...:tinfoil:

Arbitrary Number
Nov 10, 2012



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emiri

Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012

"Hi Everybody!"



Fair enough!

Arbitrary Number
Nov 10, 2012



There's a manga with a character called Emiri and I thought the same thing

Tax Evasion
May 27, 2020


Have we ever seen Kanna bleed?
Of all the characters that can possibly die by this point, hers was the only death that didn’t show blood.

HydroSphere
Feb 11, 2014



This is the gameover for the Fly Swatter attraction in 2-1 if you pair with Kanna:

HydroSphere
Feb 11, 2014







Talk to Ranmaru.

Music stops.



"I was here checking out the broadcast equipment..."

"But the Shin AI that was on this monitor...!"

"...Yeah. He was probably killed by Komaeda..."



"So you knew...?

"I want to get revenge, but..."

"I know... Let's do what we can..."

"I'm gonna look at these machines some more. Come here if you need me, Sara."

Talk to Ranmaru again.

"And so... this switch here... uhh...”



“Searching enthusiastically, eh, Ranmaru?”

“Yeah, sure...”

(That was a weak response...)



“Ranmaru, look at this lantern for me.”



  • The dolls really don't seem to like the lantern.

(So blunt...)




Use the lantern...



Investigate consent form.





(No good... I could read this if only there were some way to remove it...)

Investigate arrow.




Music stops.

(The ceiling...? I don't really see anything...)



"Gyah?!"

(A hand fell down?! Whose is this...?!)



(Looks like a note fell with it...)



(Upgrade Part... Don't tell me, this can be attached?)








Talk to Ranmaru.



"Hey, Ranmaru, about Upgrade Parts...”

"Waugh!! You... you found that?!"

"Yeah... I'm guessing any of the Dummies would be able to swap their hand out for this."

".........."

"Alright, fine... Pass it to me."

"You sure?"

"Well, you came specifically to show me, right?"




"Are you still able to feel it...?"

"I-I can, geez! You don't gotta touch it!"

"It said Steam Spray Hand, so I'm sure it can do something along those lines..."

"Steam spray...?"

"You'd probably need moisture for that, y'know?"

(Moisture...)

"Sigh, alright... I'll come with. Let's find a way to use this."

"Oh, and maybe this too..."

"Hm? A finger...?"

"I found it in the police box. Might be another part you can use."



"You're not just foisting junk on me, right...?"




Investigate charging machine.




"Ranmaru, drink some water."

"Wait, wha... What's this about now?!"

"I mean... If we use this, it'll use up battery from the charger..."

"...Fine by me. You got an idea, don't ya?"

"Kurumada..."

".........."

"Well, I'll have a ginger ale..."

"Only sweet drinks for you, eh..."



"Dang, more acidic than I expected..."

"...So now what?"

"Now... maybe you can use the steam spray."

"Ah, got it...! Let's try it out!"

(But it's not like we should just casually use it... If a good use comes along... we'll try it then.)

Investigate closed door.




(The consent form... Is there any way to know what that painted-over part says...?)

Use Lantern and investigate consent form.



"Ranmaru... The steam spray!"

"Wha...?! Gotcha!"






"What's this mean?! "Devote myself to Asunaro"...?!"



"Asunaro... that's a type of cypress, right? So like, devoting yourself to the environment...?"

"Don't be stupid! You know what they mean by Asunaro!"

"Basically... it means giving yourself to the organization, right...?"





"This... invitation to the Death Game...!!"

(Then... what about me? Komaeda pressured me to sign this. Saying mine would be the last one... Then... Why... am I here?)

".........."

Music stops.

"Ah... What if..."



"H-Hwah...?"

"Would it all end... at the cost of my life?"

"D-Don't think any stupid ideas...!"

"There'd be no point! I wouldn't want that!!"

(..........)

It's just an idea, really. But, if that were possible...

It felt like a cold wind blew through a crack in my heart.



And yet... the opposite feeling tugs at my heart...




(No...! No, I can't feel this way! It's no different from giving in!)

"Let's go, Ranmaru...!"

".........."

(I have to get away from this place...!)

Try to move, and...

"Hey... Sara."

"What is it...? Hurry...!"

".........."

"I... don't want you to die, Sara..."

"...Ranmaru."

"S... So... um..."

".........."



"Huh...?"

(What's he saying all of a sudden?)

"Maple told us, right...?"

Winning... What does he mean? Betraying everyone, and...?

"Don't get such strange ideas, Ranmaru! I want us all to escape together...!"

"…"

"...Y-Yeah, of course..."

"We'll all... escape, together."



"Ranmaru...!!"

"Look, I...! When I'm with you, Sara, I feel more and more like I wanna live!"

"The more serious I get... the more afraid I am to die!"

"Seeing Kurumada... I realized..."

"I don't wanna die now...!!"

"That's the same for all of us...!"

".........."

"...Which is why you have to win, right?"

"...!!"

"If I wanna get out of this alive... All I have to do is take you out, Sara."

"But... I can't do something like that."

"On the other hand..."



“...?!”

"Listen, Sara..."



“Ranmaru...!!!”



"We're all allies! We've overcome hardship together!! When Q-taro and Alice were shaken, they still never tried to abandon us! When Gin and Kanna were taken by suspicion, they still believed in us and gave us courage! So never say something like that again...!!"

"....."

"Sorry..."



"I had no right to be your friend..."

"..."

"S... sniff... urgh..."








Music stops.



(We'll all return together... I don't intend to abandon anyone. Ranmaru... that includes you.)

Try to move again...







"But alas... you're still the dependable leader."

(Komaeda...! He saw all that?!)

"Boy, the chaos one little piece of paper can cause... Ahaha!"

"...What's so funny?"




"Though for the record, I'd be fine granting a wish that gave you an advantage!"



Music stops.

“...Komaeda. Why am I here? I never signed that consent form, and yet..."

".........."

"The fact that you're here..."



"...?!"

"Well... Never mind that."

"I really think it's a shame, Miss Sara."

"I so wanted you to wake up..."



"...What's that supposed to mean?"

"Hah... So you don't even know..."

".........."




"I was opposed from the beginning, you know."

"To this silly balancing business..."

"I... can't see where you're going with this."

"Miss Sara, what do you think those victory percentages you've been carrying around are for?"



"Gin's a dark horse! 100,000 yen! ...Like that."



"What did you prepare such a thing for?!"




"In other words..."



"Equal..."

"Exactly!"

"In short, you were assigned handicaps."



"...!!"







"You'll pay for this...!! You made us kill each other for your selfish project! And based on nonsense "winning percentages", you brought in completely unrelated people...?! Why?! Why...?!"



"Haha, that's why it's curious..."

"You see, Miss Sara..."



"Wha...?!"

"Hahaha... I remember it."










"Haha... Hahaha..."

"If I could've met you like that... Ahah..."

"Ahahahaha... Hahaha..."

"But, have to obey the will of the organization! I'm an adult, after all!"

"…"



".........."

Music stops.

"It can't... be... Are you saying... Joe... Was killed... for a reason like that...?!"







"You're not getting away with this...!!"

"This isn't the kind of method I want from you..."

"Give them back!! Joe...! Everyone...!!"

"By everyone, you mean...?"

"Nao...! And Kai...!! The people whose names aren't on the list... They had no connection to anything, right?!”



"We were all just living regular lives!! Giving our all... to live normally...!"

"Sigh... Oh, dear... You really have gotten too kind...”



"...!!"





"...!!"



"Huh...? You were still here?"

"Say, did you really intend to kill me just now?"

"Why, that's strange... If you did that, you'd die, remember?"




"...Hmmph."

Music stops.

"Are you going to drag down Miss Sara, too...?"



"It's the tag finale! Gotta touch someone, or you're gonna die!"

"I'll have you disappear too, Ranmaru... for Miss Sara's sake."

"And... give me a good show, won't you, Miss Sara?"




“...”






Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



I kind of want to see the simulation with the completely heartless Sara, not gonna lie. If only to see the sheer contrast with our heroine here.

Tax Evasion
May 27, 2020


A couple questions this reveal prompts;
1. Why was Kai included? I doubt that him being there contributes to the “balance”, as he helps Sara but she has no emotional connection to him which might make her less ruthless. If he was just added as punishment for betraying Asunaro, that doesn’t quite mesh well with the game’s stated intent of being balanced.
2. Why were only two of the bottom 5 given assistance? Mishima was given Nao (which was far from a boost to him, as he ended up sacrificing himself for her sake), Kanna was given Kugie, but what about Gin, Hinako, and Shin? While giving Shin the victory rates (and thus shifting him to more ruthless behavior) might have been his handicap, there are no signs that Gin or Hinako received any similar benefits.

Mystic Mongol
Jan 5, 2007

Your life's been thrown in disarray already--I wouldn't want you to feel pressured.



College Slice

Blaze Dragon posted:

I kind of want to see the simulation with the completely heartless Sara, not gonna lie. If only to see the sheer contrast with our heroine here.

You see this a lot in real world simulations of human behavior, too. Especially economic ones... the researchers can't see how their own biases creep into their work, and wind up saying that the models are correct, but the people failing to match those models are behaving irrationally.

OneWingedDevil
Aug 26, 2012


Mystic Mongol posted:

You see this a lot in real world simulations of human behavior, too. Especially economic ones... the researchers can't see how their own biases creep into their work, and wind up saying that the models are correct, but the people failing to match those models are behaving irrationally.
I'm always amused when I hear about "rational actors" in economics. It reminds of all those "frictionless surface" problems you work in physics. Are they useful for teaching you things that apply in the real world? Yes! Would taking them as the whole truth cause you to model scenarios incorrectly, much less when you tried to extrapolate other systems from them? Absolutely!

Randalor
Sep 4, 2011






Can I point out the suspiciously specific wording that Komaeda uses when he says that Sara must be there because someone must have wished it. And then proceeds to go on, and on, and on, AND ON about how he wanted to see the "true" Sara. We get it, your wish was either to force her to participate jn the death game or the corporation went ahead and kidnapped her because obviously they wanted her to be there. Why else would you run simulations endlessly involving her?

And either Kai was feeding them bad information, or Komaeda was intentionally projecting what he wanted to project onto the Sara simulation.

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


'Holy event'? God, don't tell me after all this time that the reason behind the whole thing is gonna be "because cult". That hasn't been a compelling reason since Danganronpa and even then, it was more about the execution.

Tax Evasion
May 27, 2020


I would also point out that the personalities for the AIs are all around two years out of date, which might account for some of the changes from expected behavior.

King of Bleh
Mar 2, 2007

A kingdom of rats.


I'm not sure that anything we've seen thus far really backs up the premise that Sara is only one best friend away from being a complete sociopath. It seems like the AI simulations must either have been flawed in some significant way, or else Komaeda is lying because they're trying to manipulate her into assuming that persona.

Also, I'm liking how briskly the plot is moving this chapter, but there's a weird lack of stakes or urgency. There's nominal threats, but it mostly feels like it's been an extended intermission for housing all the exposition we need to have happen before the final act.

King of Bleh fucked around with this message at 02:02 on Aug 15, 2021

Sailor Dave
Sep 19, 2013


King of Bleh posted:

I'm not sure that anything we've seen thus far really backs up the premise that Sara is only one best friend away from being a complete sociopath. It seems like the AI simulations must either have been flawed in some significant way, or else Komaeda is lying because they're trying to manipulate her into assuming that persona.

Also, I'm liking how briskly the plot is moving this chapter, but there's a weird lack of stakes or urgency. There's nominal threats, but it mostly feels like it's been an extended intermission for housing all the exposition we need to have happen before the final act.

I guess that depends on how literally you take the bad endings. Could any alternate choices we've made so far have been the potential actions of a simulated Sara? If it's possible for the real Sara to act so differently in some of the endings we've had, it isn't unreasonable to assume that at least some of the AI Saras would behave very differently too without someone like her best friend Joe to ground her, especially given it took a benevolent AI Joe to shake her out of one of her funks already.

HydroSphere
Feb 11, 2014








Talk to Alice.

"Hey...! Ranmaru Kageyama just went into that room wearing a grim expression..."

(The charging room...!)



Talk to Ranmaru.

Music stops.




"So you were here...!"

"U... Urghhh..."

".........."

"Hah... Your collar's glowin'."

".........."

"This tag poo poo again, huh...?"



"You can't give up...! There's no one here but Kurumada...!"

".........."

(Ranmaru...?)

"..."



"...!!"

"What're you saying...?!"

".........."



"You wanna live, right...?"

"...I..."

"...Our futures..."

"I can't see one for me..."



"…"



"Urgh..."

".........."

"..."

"What am I even doin'...?"

".........."

"I know... this is wrong..."



".........."

"...Then what're you gonna do? If you beat Komaeda, you'll just die..."

"I dunno... What should I..."

Music stops.



"Hinako...?"





Talk to Kurumada.

"The hell's... goin' on..."




Investigate the machine.

A strange device stretches throughout the room.

"W-What is this...?"



"Wha...?!"



“A reset...? For the bomb?!"

"And how the hell do you know that, Hinako?!"



"You don't have to believe me... but do you have any other way?"

"Urk..."

"No objections? All right..."

"Sara-senpai, call everyone here."

"Everyone...?"



"...So this is a machine for resetting collars?"

"Mwahaha... What terrifying service... This is quite the tremendous privilege."

"If we can all deactivate them, we won't have to be afraid anymore, meow!!"




"Oh, meow..."

"To do that... everyone'll put themselves at risk."

"At risk...?"

Music stops.

"This device forces a reset by sending electric current."



"Please, don't casually say such scary things!!"

"Relax. It won't be enough to kill you..."

"But if somebody passes out midway... we fail. Ranmaru's gonna die."

".........."

"Well then... Let's get on with it, shall we?"



"Wha...?!"

"Right! We can handle that much...!"

"We aren't going to let Komaeda have his way with us...!"

"Guys..."

Ranmaru's collar starts bleeping.



"Hurry! Stand in the center!"



Talk to Ranmaru.

"Guys... I'm counting on you...!"



(Let's do it!)

Music stops.

Making a noise, the device started up.





"Grab the electrodes, everyone! I'm turning it on...!"

"Okay... so here's how it works..."





"Meooow?! Seaweed head!!"

"Whoa there, you'll fail if you let go! Just stay riiight where you are."




"So do your best sending that current toward Ranmaru!"



"Now, take a look at the monitor on the ceiling."



"What happens when the shocks come in...?"



"That's... stronger than I expected."

"Ahaha, isn't it?"

"That's the first shock! You get more electrified each time you're zapped!"

"Let's try it once more..."



"That was the second shock... And if you get more and more electrified..."



"Three shocks... this is the limit."

"If you take a fourth shock... You'll pass out!"

"You mean...!"

"If just one person faints, you fail this game. And you know what that means..."

(We can't save Ranmaru...!)

"But there is just one way of resetting your charge back to zero!"



"Tadaaa! Wires connecting your collars to one another!"

"Hey, Miss Sara? Press that switch next to you."




"Ahaha! Electricity flows to the person who pressed the switch!"

"In exchange... well, just take a look! The other people on your circuit got reset, see?"

"Absorb charge onto yourself to protect others... That's what the game is!"

"What about me?!"

"Didn't I say that already? Unlike everyone else, Ranmaru has to gather electricity."

"Plenty of it... enough to make him faint."

"Seriously...?"

"So basically, give charge to Ranmaru, and keep it off the others. That's it!"

"Well then, it's about time to get started."



  • If you tell Komaeda to remove Sara's charge, he'll give everyone a single charge instead.

Music stops.

“Alright... Let's start now...!”

“Ahaha, nice and obedient! Well, good luck!"







"Oww...!!"






"Oww...!!"





“Oh dear! Sorry! Seems it's built a little too sturdy.”

“Y-You gotta be kiddin'! Then what do we...?!”

“Gather charge again! Maybe it'll work next time!”

  • There isn't really too much to show off for this minigame; the wiring connections changes every round, as does the number of people shocked. You can only see how many people will be hit, not which people will receive the charge. You just need to keep sending the charge to Ranmaru, unless someone reaches the red stage (three charges), in which case you need to select the character with the lowest charge level on the same wiring circuit (unless Ranmaru is also on the same circuit, in which case you just select him as per normal) to reset the "charge metre" for the person in danger of fainting. You have to send a total of 12 charges to Ranmaru to win.

    Second time collecting four charges:

"Alright! I've collected enough...!"



"Ah, how unfortunate... That's real sturdy stuff!"

"Gimme a break!!"

"Good luck! Surely third time's the charm!"



  • Third time.

"Alright! I've collected enough...!"

Music stops.



"That means we were able to reset it, right...!?"

".........."

"Aww, so boring..."

"Alright, I'll accept a loss this time."

"I'll have to prepare a more fun trap next time..."

Komaeda leaves.

"Guys..."

"I'm real sorry... I..."

"Ahem... Is that what you should be saying...?"

"Urk..."

"U-Um..."



"Hmph... Good for you..."

"Ranmaru..."

"...!"

"U... Uh, so, Sara..."

"If it were... for your sake, Sara... um..."

"Yaaah! What's this?! Whatcha talkin' about?!"

"Uhh... Nah, forget I said anything..."

"Right... At any rate, let's get out of here!"

"The elevator just started back up...!"



"We can go to the lower floor?!"

"Right. We need to get there before Komaeda!"

"It'll be bad news if it gets blocked again...!"

"Y-You're right!"



(Please, let them all be safe...!)



"Please, stay behind here."

"What're you... saying now, brat...?"

"...You can't try to hide it."

"Those shocks put you in a bad way again..."

".........."

"If you stay here, you can charge at any time...!"

"...Fine."

"Eh...?"



"Right...!"

(That's right... We have the transceivers.)

"Kurumada, please hold onto one of these."

"Hm...?"

Gave Kurumada one of the Transceivers.

"Aha... So I can keep in contact with this."

"Drop us a line if anything happens... We're counting on you, haha..."

"What am I, a fisherman...? ...Whatever, just get goin'."



Talk to Kurumada.

"Anything happens, I'll call on the transceiver..."




Talk to Komaeda.

Music stops.



"Has he lost his mind?! Us getting on together...?!"



"...We're just moving together! It'll be fine...!"

"...Guh...!"



Going down just one floor feels unbearably long. Because next to us... is the enemy we need to kill.



Even when he's this close, I can't do anything.

"Heeheehee... Ahaha..."



"...I'll just take my sweet time."





(In fact, this shutter...)



"Maple inflicted this damage..."

(Such strength... To do this much to a bulky, sturdy shutter...)

"Seems a whole lot stronger than Komaeda..."

"...However, it appears it hasn't been breached."



"Keijiii!! Are you okaaay?!"

"U-Um...! What if Maple notices us?!"

(Glad to see you're cautious, Kanna...)

(I'll look to see if there's anything around here.)

Investigate shutter.

The shutter has deep gashes in it.

Investigate the wall.

There's what looks like a card reader on the wall.



(If we open it with the ID card...!)



(He must be waiting up ahead...)





"Mm... Is it not rather hot...?"

(Keiji...?)




(Come to think of it...)

"Maybe... after Keiji got out, he closed them and left..."

"U-Um... I wonder if..."



"...? Don't be... ridiculous... We opened them from the control room... I'm sure of it...It said... all the coffins were opened..."

"B-But...”



That... That doesn't matter!! What's wrong, everyone...?! Why are you suddenly getting timid?!"



"B-Big sis Sara..."

(They're wrong...! The coffin... I'll inspect the coffin...!!)

"Do you hear a weird noise...?"



"H-Hold on a moment. That sound couldn't be...!!"

"P-Please, calm down!!"



I put my hand on the coffin.

"Waugh...!!"

"What's the matter?! Sara!!"



The coffin has a considerable heat to it.

"I feel like I just heard a voice from inside..."

"Stop it... No... this isn't..."

Why isn't Keiji here? The shutter was still closed. What's happening in the coffin now?Answers I don't want to consider surface in my mind.







I grabbed the lid to open the coffin. The heat doesn't matter. I use all my strength to pull the lid. But as hard as I try, the lid won't come off.

"drat it!! We'll pry it open! Whatever it takes...!!"

"Urrrgh!! It's not even budging, meow!!"

"It's no use! It's getting hotter and hotter!! Your hands are gonna...!"

"But!! Keiji...! Keiji...!! He's inside!! He needs our help...!!"

"Get away, Sara!!"

"No...! I need to help Keiji...!!"

Music stops.




Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



I was about to say that it was surprisingly nice of the game to let Ranmaru go without any more pain inflicted.

Of course, it was only the calm before the storm. Of course.

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


Wow, that puzzle was stupidly contrived.

Also, oh poo poo, Keiji no :ohdear:

Zyxyz
Mar 30, 2010


Buglord

girl dick energy posted:

Wow, that puzzle was stupidly contrived.

And for all that contrivance, it's still possible for the RNG to align so that you can win it by just selecting Ranmaru literally every round (which happened on my own playthrough) :v:

HydroSphere
Feb 11, 2014





There's nothing I can do.



"Aaaahhhh..."





"...Komaeda..."



"A... Ahh..."

"I'm fine either way, personally..."

"Can you... save... him...?"



There's no time to question. There's only one option.






"I did it!! I did it...!!"

"You finally signed for me, Sara!!"

“Now hurry and open the coffin...!! Keiji's... going to die!!"



".........."

Music stops.



"..........Huh...?"

, "The heat's melted the lid, fusing it to the coffin..."

, "It's physically impossible... Too bad."

"That can't..."



"Y... You lied!! That it could be opened...!"

"Why, I didn't tell a single lie!"




I've been tricked...? I don't... care about that. Right in front of me, Keiji is... Keiji is...

"...Ah...Ah... hh...Aaa... aa..."

Music stops.



"This ain't right..."

"...?"

"Hey! Was Keiji really in here?!"

"I mean... the coffin's closed, meow... And even the hourglass is on top..."

"That's what's so strange!"







"Did he lack even that strength...?"

"...Nah, that ain't it."



"Are you serious...?!"

"But the shutter was closed! He must be in here..."

"That part... I dunno about..."

"But there was Q-taro... and Mai, who could use the fingerprint scanner!"

"I'm sure somethin' happened! So he's just not here, that's all..."

"..."

"We should look for him...! This ain't the time to get down in the dumps, Sara!!"



"...I'll believe. In Keiji..."

"Keiji... he... He has to be somewhere...! We need to meet up!"

"...Right."

"Can you stand, Sara...?"

"..."

"Thank you... Ranmaru..."



Talk to Komaeda.

"...Sheesh. Getting all excited..."




Investigate Maple.

Music stops.

(That's... Maple?!)

"S-Stay away, Sara...!"

(She doesn't seem to have noticed us...)

"Is she... sitting and resting?"

"No... She isn't moving at all..."

(She's completely stopped...)

"...Did she run out of battery, meow?"

"Or in other words..."



(She went on a rampage... and exhausted her energy.)

".........."

"...We could never return the ID card to her."

(Maple... Is this... our fault, too...?)

(I'm sorry...)





Music stops.








"Where's Q-taro...? You aren't with him?"

"Oh, we're together!"

"I'm just having him hide, since he's injured!"

"Really, woof?! I'm so glad, meowww!"

"Hmph... It seems we've avoided the worst..."

"But, tell me... How's Kurumada...?"

"Kurumada's safe, too. He's charging up in the charging room."

Music stops.





"...I see! That's great!"

(...?)

"Hey, everyone... I found out something huge...!"

Music stops.



"Wha...?!"

"Is that true?!"

"No waaay!! That's amazing, Mai!!"

"Err... so you see..."

"We need the ID card for it."



  • Something doesn't feel quite right.

"...Oh, I don't have it."

"Big sis Sara! You shouldn't lie, meow!"

, "Oh, good! Hand it over, pretty please!"

"I'll go give it to Q-taro!"

"Huh? You won't let us meet him...?"

, "You can't! He's concentrating really hard!"

".........."

"...I say give it to her."

"We intended to return it to Maple at any rate..."

(I guess so...)

"Understood."




U-Um...! At any rate, please look after Q-taro for us!"

Mai leaves.

"...We can believe her, right...?"

"…"

(Maybe... we should try following her...)






(I don't see her anywhere... Something's strange... Is there any way I can inspect this place more?)

Turn on lantern.



(Something's showing up!)

"Is this a picture of a school...?"

(This picture feels somehow familiar...)




Investigate picture above door.



(There seemed to be a picture of a school in the locker room, too...)

"Too high up to check... What do we do?"



"A human pyramid! Can we treat it like a group gymnastics exercise?"

"H-How many of us are you planning on roping in?!"

"Hrm... No dice, huh..."

"If Keiji were here, I could probably reach by piggybacking off him..."

"..."

"I-I'll put my hands on the wall... Get on my shoulders."



Investigate Ranmaru.

Ranmaru's hands are on the wall.

"Squat down for me, then I'll get on."



"W-What...?!"




"...It's my shoes that're heavy. And my uniform..."

"Sara! The painting, please...?!"

(Okay...)





  • Sara deserves some revenge against Ranmaru for that weight jab.

"What's the matter, Sara?!"



"You hesitating?! Wanna get down for now?!"



"You can always just give up, y'know!"



"I can't see up there, so I dunno, but... Is this gonna take long?!"

"Nwooooohhh...!!"



"I can't take it! My arms're trembling... like, seriously...!"



"Sara! Hurry...!"



Pressed the switch.



"Is it for a different room...?"




Investigate doorway.



Music stops.



"Someone's coming out from there!"

"Hm...? What brings you here?"

"Komaeda...! What were you doing in there?!"

"Ahaha, who can say?"

"What kind of room is in there...?"

"You just find that out for yourselves."

Komaeda leaves.

"Hmph... What now? Do we go inside?"



"Let's go in...!!"



Investigate lights.

The lamp gives off a glaring light.

(Shouldn't look directly into it...)

Investigate bed.

A bed illuminated by lights.

(It's like an operating table...)

Investigate switch.

There's some kind of switch.




Investigate box.

There's a big box labeled "Repaired".

(There's nothing inside...)

Investigate shelves.

A wide variety of tools.

(It's like a repair shop...)

Investigate door.

There's a machine with a keyhole by the door.

(Huh? Unlike everything else... a keyhole?)

"Mai must be in here, right...?"

"Hold on a second... Then why did Komaeda come out of here?"

(..........)

"No good! Knocking's not getting a response..."

(What could this mean, I wonder...)

Investigate drinks machine.

A drink machine.

(Drinks again...?)

"Hey, these are all hot drinks!"

"What's gotten you so excited...?"

"It doesn't seem to have charging capabilities..."

"Which means... it's no trouble if we drink from here!"

"Kanna's fine with cocoa! How about Sara?"



"I'll have cocoa...! I'll need the sugar when I'm using my head."

"If you wanna drink, you can just be honest..."

Relaxed just a little bit with the drink machine.

"Hey, there's probably no point in looking around here any more, is there?"

"But... Mai might be in here."

"I think I'll go inspect the cemetery some more."

"Wait. Even with Obstructor Maple in such a state... Surely it's dangerous to be on your own?"

".........."

"Then, Ranmaru. You come with me."

"Huh? Why me...?"

"Here, you hold my cocoa."

"You're drinking way too much..."

Hinako and Ranmaru leave.

"What should we do, meow...?"



"Not to say I distrust Mai, of course..."





Music stops.



"B-Big sis Sara! Watch out!!"

"T... That was close, meow..."



(I wonder if it's because of Maple's rampage...)

Investigate debris.

Debris has fallen onto the ring.

(That was a close call...)

"It has this weird smell like ink, meow..."

Use lantern.



Investigate debris.



Music stops.

(It's a handwritten message. It's pretty worn, but I can read it...)










Music stops.

"Shinobu Gokujo...?"

"That's the name from that wanted poster, meow...!!"

"What does all that mean?! You've got some explaining to do!!"

I explained the Hades Incident.

"A mutual slaughter to decide the don of the sinister organizations..."



"Yes. And this being written on the wall here..."

"You mean to say this is where it happened...?!"

"That's outrageous news! If it's all true..."





"...!!"

"It's an absurdly small hope... It could well have been sealed off long ago."

"Even if it does remain, who can say if we'd be able to find it..."

"...But there's a non-zero possibility."

"There's hope of us getting home...!"

"Exactly right! Mwahaha...!!"

(Hope...)



Music stops.

(Now... I feel like I've seen the tiniest, thinnest sliver of light.)

"And also, if what Mai says is true..."

"Even we can escape with you...!"

(I want... to believe it.)






Talk to Hinako.



Talk to Ranmaru.

"Hey, Sara."

"Has Kurumada contacted you at all...?"



I spoke into the transceiver, but there was no reply.

"Wondering if he's movin' around..."

"No way..."

"Let me have the transceiver for a bit."

"I'll go check on him... and look for him if he's not there."

"Eh...?"

"I'm tired of all this cocoa, too."

(Hmm..)

"Can I... leave you to that?"

"Of course."

Handed Ranmaru the Transceiver.

“...You be careful, now."

"Right...!"

(.........)

Talk to Hinako.




Music stops.



"Wha...?! It can't be... Did she start up again?!"

(No way! Recovering from that state...?!)



"This is bad, meow! The ID card's still with baker lady, woof!!"

(If we meet her now... it'll be bad...!)



Music stops.



“Komaeda...!!”

"Hey, if you've got time on your hands could you help me carry this?"

"Meoooow?!"





"Yep, Maple. Poor thing..."

"W-Where are you going to take her...?!"

"Why, the operating room, of course."



"Such absurdity! As if we would let you...!"

"Huh? You don't want Maple to be brought back...? Oh, this poor girl..."

"Incorrect...! I'm asking if you intend to make her suffer again!!"

"...If you wanna stop me, kill me."

"Not that I expect anyone but Maple would be able to do that..."

"..."

"Okaaay, stand aside! I'm on my way to the operating room!"

"Guh...! What now?! He carried her off...!"

(Urgh...!)





"Gah...! What should we do?!"

"Is there nothing we can do...?! drat it!!"

"..."

(Something terrible's happening before us... Yet I can't do anything! At this rate, Maple's just going to come right after us again!!)



Music stops.



"Eh...?"



"What... is this...?"






Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



I can't help but feel everyone but Sara comes across as incredibly stupid trusting the incredibly untrustworthy Mai. I get it from Gin, being a child and all, but the rest...

At least Keiji is alive! Uh, apparently. Looking kind of sus there too.

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


The question at this point isn't if this is a trick or a trap any more, it's how many traps there are.

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Insertnamehere31
Jan 22, 2012

This could be the most one-sided fight since 1973 when Ali faced an eighty-foot tall mechanical Joe Frazier. My memory isn't what it used to be, but I think the entire Earth was destroyed.



Blaze Dragon posted:

I can't help but feel everyone but Sara comes across as incredibly stupid trusting the incredibly untrustworthy Mai. I get it from Gin, being a child and all, but the rest...

At least Keiji is alive! Uh, apparently. Looking kind of sus there too.

It seems that at least Alice also realized how suspicious Mai was, but figured that either way they were gonna ditch the ID card anyway so no harm no foul. Except now they do need it.

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