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Jan 24, 2021

Huh? What?

If they're deadly sins.... then they should all die.
I'm more merciful than that. Three of you will live.
Your goal in the game is to kill ME...

Six hours. One school. Six deaths. You are Pandora, the mastermind behind a game where everyone puts their life on the line. Your goal is simple: you must figure out who the traitor is and kill them, and then end the game before someone figures out you are the one behind their abduction and kills you. Will you manage to manipulate everyone's trust to fulfill your plans? Or will you fail and be erased? Even the mastermind behind a death game does not always know how the events will go...


Birth ME Code is a 2020 visual novel by a creator by the name of Miracle Moon. It is the second game in the 'Abime' series, the third of which is currently in development at the time of this post. It is, for the most part, a one-man operation (excluding the art and music), and the series as a whole takes heavy inspiration from Zero Escape. Most people consider this one to be an improvement over the first game in the series, and what little we've heard about the third game definitely seems like it has the potential to be the best in the series... or, you know, will end up crashing and burning spectacularly :v:

:siren: If you have not played the original, I've done an LP of the first game, Head AS Code, found here. You absolutely should read this because while this is not a direct sequel, there are still connections and this thread will assume you know the events of the first game. :siren:

I'm LPing this (and LP'd the prequel) because I really legitimately think these VNs have a lot of heart to them, even if it's definitely lower-budget (and more flawed) by comparison. Similar to both Zero Escape and the prequel, this game makes use of a flowchart system; that said, unlike the prequel, this game has a significantly tighter flowchart that is exceptionally finicky (to the game's detriment, as a lot of reviews can attest) so unlike the first game, there won't really be any choices for the thread to vote on this time, to avoid stalling out- the reason for this is explained after we reach the first ending in this LP.

If you have played this VN already, please do not spoil anything. Obviously, speculation is fine (though if you feel it might be something you've figured out way earlier than a reveal, you might want to spoiler it anyway just to be safe). That said, anything involving characters or events from the first game is fair game because, again, I've already LP'd that one, this thread will be operating under the assumption that you've either played the first game or read the LP of it.

I do request you not mention/post anything about the third game just yet, though; after this LP is done, I'll probably make a separate post showing everything we know so far, and once the third game releases (whenever that is) I'll definitely do an LP of it at that point.

Mix. fucked around with this message at 20:25 on Nov 5, 2023


Jan 24, 2021

Huh? What?

Ancora: Our protagonist. Independent, intelligent, and invested, she is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the success of her death game- for she is the mastermind. Putting on a front of being more cautious and worried to obfuscate her role in the game, but also willing to nudge things along if the other participants get stuck or distracted. Her helmet resembles a bear. Is given the nickname 'Cora' by the group.

Invidia: A young man wearing a strange looking bodysuit of some kind. Equal parts sarcastic and earnest, he backs up his sharp tongue with a surprising amount of trust, being willing to believe anyone until given sufficient reason to feel otherwise. His helmet resembles a wolf. Goes by the nickname 'Vidi'.

Superbia: A young cheerleader with a vocabulary and temper as colorful as her outfit. Comes from a rich family, and has the superiority complex to match. Seems to cover up any insecurities with a confidence that sometimes comes across as a little too forced. Her helmet resembles a rabbit. Goes by the nickname 'Bia'.

Ira: A young man whose broad, imposing figure does little to hide his true self: an anxious, weak-willed mess. Has difficulty speaking without stumbling over his words, and has a hard time vocalizing things, which makes it easy for the stronger willed participants to walk over him. His helmet resembles a lion. Does not have a nickname- his name's already short enough!

Tristitia: A young man who refuses to let others' negative comments bring him down. He can often be seen lost in thought, and often speaks his mind regardless of whether his bluntness comes off as abrasive. Despite first impressions, he's got a better read on things than the others seem to realize... His helmet resembles a horse. Goes by the nickname 'Trist'.

Avaritia: A woman who appears to be the only adult present. A teacher at the school where the death game is seemingly being held, she is the most negative of the group, often acting cold and standoffish whenever approached. Can sometimes be seen staring off into nowhere, as if she is questioning how she ended up in this game. Her helmet resembles a pig. Goes by the nickname 'Ava'.

Luxuria: This youth is the smallest of the entire group- though they would probably prefer to word it as 'the most cute'. Overly dramatic and, in turn, overly immature, their small stature and naivety lends the rest of the group to letting them get away with things more often than they probably should. Their helmet resembles a snake. Goes by the nickname 'Lux'.

Gula: A young woman whose manner of speaking is somewhat offputting due to the overabundance of large, flowery prose. One gets the impression she believes herself to be the most intelligent of the group, and she either ignores or is oblivious to the ways her behavior affects the others whenever she's around. Her helmet resembles a cow. Goes by the nickname 'Ula'.

The Ninth Participant: Identity and personality unknown, as she never gave her name before her untimely death. Died at the start of the initial exploration from giving the wrong answer to attempt to leave. Had a helmet similar to Ancora's, but meant to resemble a panda.

ME: An avatar that Ancora has pre-emptively set up to explain the rules to the group, as to avoid giving away any clues to the identity of the mastermind. Switches emotions on a dime from polite and helpful to cold and sadistic.

Mix. fucked around with this message at 22:18 on Aug 19, 2021

Jan 24, 2021

Huh? What?

BGM: Meditor
…Where am I?

Floating in a sea of nothing... Before, everything was dark. Now, I know that you're here. The thought is comforting. Please, don't go... not yet. I need you here. Right now.

...but it's useless, isn't it? I already know you'll kill me.

BGM: Silence

BGM: Medius

This is messed up, but it has to be done.

The seat the girl was sitting on was uncomfortable. It was the least of her worries, however. Hunched over, with her eyes closed, it was the perfect moment for introspection.

Pandora. That's my name. At least, that's my nickname. It's made of Pan and Doron. It's Greek; it means “all” and “gifted”, so “the all-gifted” or “the all-giving”... That's a really poor name, because I have nothing to give- just things to take.

She remained immobile, as if she was afraid of what was soon to come. Afraid of the unknown, afraid of failure, afraid of being afraid... every possible thing to be afraid of, all at once. In the room, two other people were alongside her, immobile. They already had their masks on, unlike the other girl. One vaguely resembled a rabbit, and the other, a wolf. The one next to the girl was similar to a bear in theme.

I think it's about time to put on the helmet. It won't be long before they wake up, and if I'm not ready by then... I'd rather not think about it.

The vision will be fixed once I connect to it. I can't see anything, because the cameras lining the exterior aren't linked yet. I can hack any helmet thanks to that, which lets me spy on others. I couldn't make this kind of thing myself- a guy programmed it all for me.

There's a lot of internal dialogue this time around, hence the second portrait- these are things not said aloud.

I'm Pandora, after all. I've been “Pandora” for years. ...Well, I better get to it. Time to activate this piece of junk.

BGM: Memini Meminisse

I don't think he really understood what these helmets were for. In a way, I'm glad that's the case. ...but it also means I'm gonna have to solve this kind of thing every time I want to spy on someone, huh? All I apparently have to do is to follow the instructions on the upper part of the interface... which is simple enough.

Enough flubbing around. I'll just take the hints if I need them, so I can finish this ASAP.

BGM: Mens Metis

One of the primary additions to this game that the original (and remake) did not have are puzzles such as this, which we will occasionally have to solve in order to progress. They're all functionally the same in that you have to arrange characters to form a solution, but the specifics are different for each one. (You can also toggle the option to auto-solve it after you've done so the first time, which is a nice addition as well).

For this LP, I will be posting the solution images (and the explanation for the answer) behind spoiler text, so that you can take a crack at it yourself first if you so desire. For the first puzzle, the solution is as follows:

This one is kind of self-explanatory- the solution is to literally make the word answer after the dot (with the leftover letters being in any order). It's basically the tutorial puzzle, you can't really expect it to be that tough :v:

BGM: Silence
...At least that was easy.

The text here slowly appears, scrolling up the screen with each line break.

BGM: Meridianus

One of the teens wore a helmet that loosely looked like a rabbit's head. It was a sharp contrast to the cheerleader outfit she was otherwise adorned with. Colorful and bright in aesthetics, one could only expect the girl wearing it to be just as cheerful and happy. Judging by what she was screaming, she was anything but cheerful or happy.

The other student wore a canine helmet. His clothing was strange, as if he was wearing one of those skin-tight suits from animated series.

You don't get to pick how and when you get kidnapped, so that's what he was wearing...

Their bickering continued, uninterrupted.

I'm not buying that. You two were sitting there, calm and peaceful like you owned the place, while I was going apeshit over here!

You're still going apeshit right now. Calm down, I was asleep, and I bet she still is. We must've been drugged.

Calm down? Do you even know who I am? You don't order around a girl like me.

Then we should introduce ourselves, miss Superiority Complex.

Unlike the more agitated rabbit girl, the wolf boy was still calm, studying his current surroundings without blowing anywhere the same fuss that she was.

Okay, then don't ask me if I know who you are.

The wolf boy thought about it, and came up with an alternative.

Bunny?! What are you talking about?

The mask you have, it kind of looks like a rabbit. It has two ears, see, here and there...

Yours looks like a wolf's head, I guess? That's it! You think you can just threaten me with that thing on, don't you?

The boy's tone made it extremely clear he was really getting tired of her lack of manners, which ultimately made her give up her stance on the matter.

...Whatever, fine- Superbia, that's my nickname. Is it fair enough?

Doesn't seem like there's anything super about that girl. Yikes!

The wolf boy thought about it for a moment. As the seconds passed, the girl grew increasingly agitated again.

Hey, you... you tricked me! Now you think you've got a leg up on me, don't you? Since you got my “name”, and I don't have yours, you think you know more than I do?!

No, shut up, I'm think-

Hey, no, but really, shut the gently caress up!

Not expecting him to double down like that, the bunny girl froze in surprise. Apparently, he'd managed to shut her up for a time.

I'm trying to say that I'm thinking about it. You're not even hearing yourself, are you? I'm a lovely wolf? Look who's talking! Can you hit pause on bitchmode for a moment so I can even say my name? You know that we're in the same boat, right?

After that small outburst, he remained true to his earlier word, and shared his own information.

Yeah, well, gently caress you too. As for Invidia... okay, that works I guess. Now what?

Now... I'm not sure.

Maybe it's time to say hi.

As their tones settled down, the girl wearing the bear-themed helmet reached forward onto the desk, as if trying to stand up.

BGM: Silence (The music cuts out abruptly here, as if it's been cut off)

BGM: ME Mori

That's ME. It's a fake representation of me, I guess. You could say it's my “avatar”.

From the moment that avatar spoke, time seemed to stand still.

Hello everyone, and welcome to your unfortunate but warranted prison. My name is ME, and meeting you at last is entirely my pleasure, I assure you. Please remain silent, as no one can hear you and this is a very important recording you will only hear once. It is shared to all nine of you, to keep the playing field fair.

As that honeyed voice flowed forth, the pose on the screen changed, as if to indicate a different emotion. However, the tonality was unchanging, clashing with what was shown.

The helmet you wear is very special. If you attempt to remove it, you will be surrending your right to live. So I would please urge you not to do that!

BGM: Silence

BGM: ME Mori
The avatar's tone grew colder with those words, but it was back to normal as quickly as it had first changed.

I understand it is very uncomfortable, but if you wish to get rid of it, you'll have to follow my instructions later. For the time being, you are stuck with it. Now, very important fact: I am merely an image that represents someone in your group. Your goal in this game... is to kill me. To that effect, the game we will play is called, you guessed it, “Kill ME”.

Unfortunately, your time is not infinite... you have a total of six hours to bring about my death. Should the allotted time expire, you will all surrender your right to live. The thought is so very unbearable... Ah, speaking of time limits... when you are in a room like this one, your time limit is shortened to 39 minutes.

In these first rooms, all three groups will have to figure out what links all of you together. Don't worry; I made it a little easy, because the time will have been ticking down to 30 minutes while I spoke.

See, I am fair... as long as you obey the rules.

The chilling stare made its appearance once more, only to be replaced with her normal, kinder eyes afterwards.

Don't worry! As soon as you figure out the answer, simply say: “Let ME out!” followed by the answer, and the door will automatically come unlocked. Unfortunately, if your answer is wrong, the one who said it will surrender their right to live. I trust you understand this means that if you senselessly scream for me to let you out, you will merely die, so please do not do it!

Or do it if you want. If you animals value your lives so little, then be my guest.

Make absolutely sure to collect the keycards and any weird keys you find here. To disable cheating, you are not allowed to take any item out with you that isn't in one of the final containers of these Deduction Rooms. I'll see you later.

BGM: Membrana
Following that crazy recording, the screen was replaced with the normal view of the classroom.

Everything is going more or less as planned. Phew.

Finally, one of them spoke up again, even though they weren't in any state of mind to fully register what the artificial lunatic had told them.

Yeah! What is even going on here? I don't get any of it, and that girl is some creepy poo poo...

I have to admit this wake-up call is a little... unexpected. Anyway, there's no time for screwing around. ME said there was only half an hour before we die in this room, and I honestly don't want to test that claim. We have to leave, pronto.

ME? Right, that girl's name. Fine, whatever... like hell I'm dying here... But what about you, little girl? Would you mind finally giving us a nickname to call you by, too?

Bunny girl?! gently caress off with that already!

Look, you're wearing that, and it's not going to change any time soon.

The two of them patiently awaited an answer.

Being locked in here with these two would be stressful and terrifying, if I didn't know better.

Actually, now that I think about it... funny, I can't remember my name. I'm too young to have Alzheimer's yet, but what about you, grumpyface?

And you, we're running out of time here! Spit out your name already, holy poo poo!

Apparently, playing the part of the fearful girl seems to be kinda working; neither of them is suspecting anything. Though... it's making that idiot sandwich even more annoyed, which is either bad, or really great.

A small sound came from the smaller girl, but the two others only stared at each other in confusion. Superbia eventually threw her hands in the air and decided to leave the two of them alone for a while. Despite the timer going down, things calmed a little after her departure.

BGM: Medius

He leaned towards her, as if waiting for her to answer. Another tiny sound came from the girl's helmet, which naturally distorted their voices thanks to the sound modulator inside each of them.

Ancora; that's what I heard.

That... that's right. It's Ancora, Ancora's my nickname.

Another made-up nickname to hide behind. It's necessary, just like how I have to make sure nobody can find out I'm behind this. However... things could get dicey later.

Following that introduction...

I mentioned it in the OP, but I'll re-cover it here; unlike the first game, the flowchart is a lot more tricky in the second game, to the point it's very easy to accidentally get yourself onto an ending you've already seen repeatedly if you don't know what you're doing. (After we get our first ending, I'll show it off and explain more about what the parameters are for the branches). As such, I'm not going to be taking votes this time around, unfortunately, to ensure we can get every ending without any delays or wasted time.

For this first choice, since we've just introdced ourselves to Invidia, we should probably go check on Superbia and introduce ourselves. :v:

Invidia stepped aside, understanding she wanted to introduce herself to their rabid companion.

Hey, I told Invidia my name. It's Ancora.

Ancora, huh? Weird name. Anyway, stay out of my way, I'm gonna open the door.

Doing good on her word, Superbia reached for the handle, and...

Ah, fuckwad! The door's actually locked!

Despite the lack of facial features, it was easy to see she was getting worked up again. Unable to resist, Invidia chimed in from the sidelines.

Stupid, stupid! We can't even leave for real. If anybody told me I would be stuck in some dumb classroom with a bunch of idiots to play a stupid game...

Superbia tried to twist the handle in vain. It wasn't going to work.

gently caress! I was so sure it was just a dumb loving joke!

All the more reason to hurry, then. We don't have any time- three minutes already went by. We can sort all other information later. When you're both done trying to open the door, join me.

Ancora agreed with Invidia.

Yeah... I don't know what this is all about, but our first priority is to leave, so... we should start looking around.

Invidia set off to explore the room and see what he could find. Before Superbia could join him, Ancora stopped her for a moment.

What do you want?

I can't recall my name, and I think Invidia can't, either, so I was wondering if you...

If I was a loser, too?

Making fun of Ancora, Superbia acted as if she was telling her to talk to the hand.

Right, well, I guess not, then...

Not bothering to wait for an answer, Superbia left Ancora alone. The timer in their helmets read 27 minutes remaining.

It's more than enough time. Obviously, I already know what's going on, and what links all of us here, but I can't skip any steps. If I thought about it too much, it would jeopardize the operation, and I'd be found out. It's best to just focus on the search in the room.

It's also possible to check the cubicles in the back, to see everything that's been found. A bit like an inventory of sorts.

BGM: Mendosus

So yeah, it's basically the same as the Active Search system that was implemented in the remake of the first game, but with the rooms actually being designed from the ground up with this kind of exploration in mind this time. There's no map in this game, however, but instead we have an actual inventory now, so I think that's a fair trade. :v: Additionally, rooms actually have multiple angles now, sometimes! The upsides just keep coming!

For this investigation, I'm going to start by looking at the door on the right.

Strange, the handle doesn't turn. I mean, I already knew it was locked.

There's a slot for a key under it. Do you think what ME said was a lie?

What else could it be for?

Beats me. One thing's for sure: we can't leave yet. There's even a large metal plate covering the entire window in the door.

A lot of things in this game let you examine them twice, so I'll be including that whenever the second examination is worth mentioning. For example, if we examine the door a second time...

This door is still locked. Wait, there's something here...

What did you find?

A coin? That's so random...

Yeah, I wonder...

The coin was added to their inventory at the back of the room.

You can check the inventory at any point during one of these exploration segments, and there's even the ability to combine objects together. Each item has its own description, mostly to remind you of where you found it. I'll only show or mention any descriptions that have something new or interesting attached, such as the other object already in our inventory, which is described as follows:

Neato. :v: Anyway, next thing to examine is the lamp.

This lamp seemed strange from the very moment I looked at it. It's not the lamp that's strange, though... it's the light.

There's something in there... Fine, I'll grab it for you. Shortie.

The shorter one crossed her arms in slight annoyance, while Superbia grabbed the object to fish it out of the lamp, standing on her tiptoes to reach it.

Oof, oof, oof! That's hella hot!

Due to the scalding temperature of the object from being so close to the light bulb, Superbia dropped it to the ground. Ancora reached for it before deciding against it.

I don't know, but at least we found it. I'll take it to the shelves in the back.

Superbia competitively stepped onto the object.

No way, that's my cylinder now, whatever it's used for.

Didn't you say it was too hot to touch yet, anyway?

Yep, a trait it shares with yours truly, so please vacate my new property.

Well, whatever, just make sure to bring it with the rest, so we can have a look at all the things we found. Huh, look, there's a slot on one end too, like something's made to be inserted in there.

Another trait it shares with Superbia.

The rabbit-themed girl walked off the object to go yell some obscenities at Invidia. In the meantime, Ancora grabbed the cylinder and took it over to the shelves in the back.

The cabinet next to the lamp is completely empty, even upon a second viewing. The trash can next to that, however...

Suit yourself, but we have to look everywhere.

No, we don't have to look in there.

Are you this afraid of trash?

Clearly not, since I'm talking to you. Look again, genius! The bin is empty, there's just no point.

And what about underneath the bin?

There's nothing there, either! Who would be so stupid as to hide something under a garbage bin?

:v: Well, there was this one time we had a gun...

Yes, I did check! What's up with these twenty questions?

So you did put your hands in there, in the end.

I'll put the back of my hand on your face if you don't shut up.

How? This mask is in the way.

Stop, I'm out! I'm walking away from this bin right now!

Ancora watched from the sidelines.

That's a lot of animosity over essentially nothing.

Similar to the cabinet, the chalkboard is a complete dead-end; not even any kind of interesting conversation. The bookshelf, however...

There's nothing in there.

How do you know? What about all those books?

Watch and learn.

The rabbit-themed girl reached for one of the books. Then she pulled and... the entire row came out with her grip.

Wow, what the heck?

Not surprising, but, well, gotta play the part I guess?

They're fakes. Not a single book in there is real.

Exactly. Take that, book nerds.

If we re-examine the bookshelf, Ancora has some thoughts:

Some of these have pretty funny titles, even if they're fakes. “How to Raise your Eye-Q by Kidnapping Gifted Children”... “No-One Has to Fly”... “Celsius 233”... “Complete Study on Noematics”... Okay, that last one's not that funny, but what's a “noematic”?

How about the projector?

Classrooms use these things to show movies and whatever else.

I like watching movies in class.

Unfortunately, we can't reach it- even Superbia is not tall enough. We'd need a stepladder.

Or a ladder.

That's what I said.

Not at all! Ladders and stepladders are...

Look, we really have no time for this, at all.

:v: References to other games aside, all that's left to look at here is the larger cabinet.

Forget it, I already tried. None of them open- all locked.

Well... in that case, did you try looking behind or under?

You know, you're smarter than you look- I hadn't thought of that yet.

Invidia crouched, peeking under the lockers and spying an empty area. Reaching into it, he eventually pulled out an item.

Let's try it somewhere else then, Einstein.

That's a good guess coming from you, but I don't think my name has anything to do with Einstein.

It's a figure of speech, whatever.

Invidia made sure the key was kept safe on the box shelves in the back of the room.

Before we check out the other side of the room, let's talk to our companions first, starting with Superbia.

What is it?

The mid-investigation conversations have been cleaned up a bit this time, in that you actually get to pick the topic of conversation sometimes!

-About ME...

About the girl in the helmet...

What about her? She's called ME, and she spoke at me earlier. At, because it wasn't really a convo, right? All she did was tell me to die.

Well, that's a little unfair.

I wouldn't really put it that way...

Should I tell her I graciously accept, and that I'll be there on time? When she says to jump, you ask “how high”, don't you?

Well... no... but she didn't tell us to die. In fact, there was a weird concern over us, I think.

Does it matter? The point is: she's been telling me what to do.

That fact did make Superbia look slightly upset, for all that Ancora could see of her.

Do you know what happened to the last guy who tried to tell me what to do?

What... happened to him?

BGM: Silence

Time stood still as she admitted it. Ancora wasn't sure what she should feel about it.

BGM: Mendosus
I'm kidding, you dunce. Man, it's so hard to know if you're taking it as a joke or not with that helmet covering your face. Look, our timer's ticking, we really don't have time for any of this.

Okay, I understand.

Any other wastes of time?

Asking if they have any ideas is essentially for if you're stuck on a room and need a hint to continue, but there's usually nothing noteworthy included when you ask- just a 'hey what should I do' 'have you looked at X?' type back and forth. Therefore...

Uhh, never mind.

Sure, whatever.

Next, Invidia.

Be quick, our time's short.

-About ME...

About the girl in the helmet...

Like what?

I don't really want to say... It's kind of personal. Maybe I'll tell you later, if this whole thing isn't a farce, and we're still alive by then. What about you- can you remember stuff yet?

It's not like it's been forgotten for real.

No... I'm trying to think about it, but it's like there's a wall.

You and I both, then. I wonder if Superbia is doing any better.

You and me both, you mean.


Oh, nothing. I guess we should go back to searching...

Anything else you wanna talk about?

Uhh, never mind.

Alright, let's check out the other view of the room now.

Some of the stuff, like the cabinet or the bookshelf, are the same regardless of which angle you examine them from. That strange crate on the ground, however, is new...

Look at this box... Doesn't it feel grossly out of place?

What kind of classroom has random metal boxes lying around?

Yeah, that's... exactly the point I just made, Superbia. Very attentive, I see.

What do you think is in there?

I don't know, but it looks really heavy.

Invidia reached around it, grabbing onto the sides to attempt to lift it. He gave up after a few seconds, already panting from the effort.

That's not fair, you know! People don't all have the same weight.

Let's just go with averages, then. The point of the matter is... it's not doable by any of us, for sure.

Are you sure you're not just masking your incapability to lift?

Invidia shrugged, not wanting to get into a fight over it or anything.

There's a keypad on one of the sides, but I can't think of what we could enter there.

Maybe it's for later, then.

Next up, the painting.

Are you sure it's a painting? It looks stuck against the wall; no matter how much I try pulling it off, feels like its hiding something underneath.

Yeah, but the cover itself is a painting, anyway. See, it's painted, and it even has some 3D elements...

Superbia dragged her hand along the surface of the painting before removing it just as quickly when a circular piece broke into her fingers.

...that's your only worry here?

Invidia sighed in disbelief.

Either way, look at the corners, there are several differently-shaped holes in the frame.

Great, putting things in holes. I outgrew that when I was like two years old.

Might be worth keeping all this in mind after we figure out what to do with it. Mind bringing the circle over to the shelves?

Superbia shrugged with disgust, flinging the circle over to the shelves. It landed in one of them, thankfully on one of its flat ends.

The student's desk in the middle has nothing of note, but the teacher's desk, on the other hand...

Think we'll find anything in them?

Nuts, the first one opens, but it's empty, and the second one's locked. Let's see if the key we found fits here... Bingo, here we go! What's in here, then?

Looks more like a triangular prism to me, since it's a 3D shape.

Oh, shut up, you know what I meant!

Either way, we should bring all this over to our shelves, so we don't lose them. Look, there's a weird slot on the end of this prism.

I guess something goes in there, then.

Invidia held onto the objects. Ancora didn't care to grab the key back, but Invidia took it anyway.

It's been used already, no point in taking it back.

There's also a cabinet underneath the drawers.

That one's not locked, so let's have a look inside...

I don't recall anything like that, myself. If it's here, though, then it has a link to us, doesn't it?

Let's keep it in mind and look around some more.

Invidia brought the newspaper clipping with the rest of their stuff in the back of the room.

We can investigate the desk one more time, but...

These drawers are now as empty as my pockets on the day they serve us pizza in the cafeteria.

I love pizza... but this isn't the time for that, anyway.

There's no working phone here, and stop making me feel hungry!

:v: Anyway, we have a new key, and we've already examined everything in the room, so we already know what to use it on: the metal cabinet against the wall.

Maybe a key we found will help with this, now.

She inserted the key in the locker to open the first compartment... but it was empty.

Ah, nuts! Nothing in here at all.

Try the others, too. Maybe it'll work on more than one lock.

Ancora went ahead and attempted to unlock the other drawers, which found a moderate amount of success. In one of them, she found a rectangular prism. All the others were empty.

Another one of those prisms. When I shake it, I can feel there's something inside.

Small things come in big packages, huh.

Hey, I just noticed the prism has a weird slot on one of its ends, too, like the others. What's that all about? At any rate, let's leave it in the back.

And with that, we have everything we can find in this room! Time to solve the puzzle.

First things first, we “combine” the circle from the painting with the round prism.

By making clever use of the large circular object in the slot of the prism, the group slid its cap right off. Inside was a smaller cylinder... and a printed picture.

That's a website of some variety. The address reads “”. The title of the page says “My Emptiness” and there's a list of names- nine of them.

Pandora, Tristitia, Invidia, Ira, Superbia, Gula, Luxuria, Avaritia, and... Ancora.

...this kind of rings a bell.


The circle from the painting can also be used to open the triangular prism.

Inside was a smaller triangular prism... and a piece of paper.

It reads... huh, it's a text message. “7PM back of school left bin brown bag.” What does that mean?

Clearly, they're instructions. I know this, anyway- it's a pack of drugs, generally left in a hidden area so nobody but the recipient can find it.

And how would you know that?

I have a friend who's an addict.

Not very reputable, if you ask me.

Whatever, I'm not here to talk about my life. Anything about who sent this?

Hmm... I suppose we should keep that in mind.

The square and hexagonal prisms have a narrow slot, so the circle from the painting won't work- instead, we have to use the coin from the door. Starting with the square prism...

Using the small coin, the group managed to pry the rectangular prism open. Inside was a small cube... and a newspaper clipping.

This is an article about the principal of a school being arrested over charges of murder. According to what's written, he was delirious, and kept blaming delinquents or something.

Hearing all that gives me the chills. We might as well put it with the rest of the stuff we found.

The chills? That's some thin skin you got there. And whatever that guy did, good riddance. It's best for everyone if he stays locked up.

And lastly, the coin and the hexagonal prism.

Inside was a smaller hexagonal prism... and a piece of paper.

It's written “A FAKE WITH PIGTAILS”.

What the heck does that mean?! My pigtails aren't loving fake, you dead tree leftover!

It's got to be the least useful thing we found here, but... I don't know, I feel weird reading that.

Doesn't matter to me.

And with that, we have all four shapes opened! In turn, we also now can interact with the painting again...

The shapes we found all look like they could go in the corners of this painting.

Let's try them, then. First, the cylinder goes into the circle...

Oh, come on, matching shapes is so easy even your mom could do it. Let me do it.

The rabbit girl snatched all of the shapes out of Invidia's hands to push them in each indentation one by one. When all four were open, the painting opened slightly, revealing a largely empty compartment.

Hey, there's stuff inside! Let's see...

Hey, look, it's a Cool S. You know, they're all over the place; graffiti in the bathrooms, painted here and there... anywhere, really.

There was also a sheet of paper.

This paper is pretty straight. It says... “Welcome to My Emptiness”. Is it related to...

Yeah, probably. Does it say anything else?

Nope, but there's another thing in here, gimme a sec...

So... is that it? Didn't you say something about a lock on the door earlier, will this work?

I don't know... Let's give it a shot, but I'm doubtful.

Their attempts to unlock the door didn't work. The key did not actually fit in the lock at all. It was far too big.

We don't have a lot of time left. Feel free to look around the room some more, but when you're ready, let's gather back at the door.

There's now a nice, handy-dandy 'get the gently caress out of here' button when we return to the first view of the room, since we've found basically everything we need to escape- this is just in case you forgot to look at something and want to get the flavor text, I guess. In any case...

Either of you figured out what links us here yet?

Well... first of all, what are we?

We're clearly aliens.

No, not like that. Stop being stupid. I meant what we do in life; we're students, right? I clearly recall coming here before.

That makes sense to me.

What about you, Ancora? Got an idea about why we're here? What connects us?

:v: This is the tutorial room, so it makes sense that both of our companions' brains fell out at some point to let the player go through the motions in full, but come on now.

They're never gonna say it on their own, huh? I guess dying if you get it wrong isn't really appealing. There's no choice, then. Good ol' Ancora is gonna have to step in.

The girl stepped forward, towards the door, inhaling deeply as if preparing herself to speak it out. The two others stopped all talking and listened.

Let ME out! What links us is...

They let you re-examine the inventory if you need to remind yourself about something, which is a nice detail. :v: However, I don't need that this time, because the answer is...

….My Emptiness!

As soon as the words left her mouth, a click came from the door. The three of them looked at each other.

Oh... you didn't die, apparently.

Of course not; it was the answer! Were you really hoping for the opposite...?

And what about the metal box behind the desk? It didn't have any purpose!

Yeah, I'm curious too, but we have to go. We only have a few minutes left until we die.

Remembering what had been told to them, Invidia grabbed the old key, and walked out of the room after motioning towards the shelves at Ancora. Doing good at Invidia's motion, Ancora remained inside for only another moment in order to nab the strange keycards from the shelves.

There's nothing else important in it now, since it's just the bare minimum to make sure nobody gets sidetracked while exploring these rooms.

Since remaining here was useless and dangerous, the girl followed the others. As each of them left the room, their timers turned off, one by one.

Mix. fucked around with this message at 19:54 on Sep 26, 2021

Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.

Well this looks interesting. I don't think I've ever seen one where you're playing as the mastermind before.

Oct 4, 2015
Can't post for 11 days!
Yeah, that's a interesting angle for this.

Well, okay, you technically play as the mastermind in VLR, but you don't know it, and the MC doesn't know it until late in the game.

The names on that paper (and for at least 3 of the characters we've met) are all Latin (except Pandora, which is Greek). 7 of them are words for the 7 deadly sins: Tristitia = sloth, Invidia = envy, Ira = wrath, Superbia = pride, Gula = gluttony, Luxuria = lust, and Avaritia = avarice/greed.

Ancora just means "anchor".

Mar 31, 2012

Yeah this looks like it could be really good. Already the protagonist is way better than Simon.

The avatar looks a lot like E and Ancora/Pandora in the “Deduction” image looks a lot like the twins from the last game. Timeline wise, I don’t think it fits with any of the endings though.

Oct 6, 2014

Oh I like this setup.

Jun 29, 2013

This does feel more tightly plotted so far. Hopefully it sticks the landing.

Jun 14, 2015

slime time

I'll probably keep my commentary to a minimum because I have seen most of this game played, but I will say (like I said in the previous thread) that there were, to me, a lot of improvements - and a couple of really bad sticking points.

Mar 31, 2012

Playing as the mastermind is a neat concept to start. Also, it's too early to make any firm judgments on characterization, but I found the back and forth bickering between Superbia and Invidia kind of funny.

Jade Rider
May 11, 2007

All the pages have been censored except for "heck," and she misread that one.

Oh yeah, this is already way cooler than Head AS Code.

Oct 29, 2011

I'm as confused as you are.

Junpei posted:

The names on that paper (and for at least 3 of the characters we've met) are all Latin (except Pandora, which is Greek). 7 of them are words for the 7 deadly sins: Tristitia = sloth, Invidia = envy, Ira = wrath, Superbia = pride, Gula = gluttony, Luxuria = lust, and Avaritia = avarice/greed.

Ancora just means "anchor".

Apparently 'Ancora' can also mean "hope", which would fit with the Pandora myth. Given that this is the mastermind naming herself that, either the other characters were utterly horrible in ways we have yet to learn, or our mastermind is delusional in addition to homicidal.

Red John
Jul 12, 2018
Yeah playing as the mastermind seems cool, though I have a feeling that she's not REALLY the mastermind or something like that.

I am fully expecting some twist that shows the death game was hijacked. We'll see though!

Oct 4, 2015
Can't post for 11 days!
The true ending is the one where we die and everyone else gets to live. That's my prediction.

Jan 24, 2021

Huh? What?

BGM: Meridianus

There were three other people nearby, all of them watching the new arrivals. All of them wearing the same kind of high-tech helmet the first group had. Before Ancora could talk to them, Superbia interjected herself.

Nothing to do about this, it's completely blocked off. I guess we have to meet up with these losers now.

The “losers” are in hearing range. Well... maybe she doesn't care.

Hey, Ancora. Finally joined us, huh. You know... this place is kind of...familiar.

He remained pensive for a moment, until Superbia decided to leave them and head to the group of “losers”, as she'd called them.

He offered a shrug at Ancora, before vanishing off to join the group. After a brief moment of hesitation, Ancora joined them to promptly introduce herself, unwilling to fall behind.

There it is. This meeting will pretty much determine how things will go for the next five hours...

Now that Ancora was walking towards them, she could observe the group a little more closely: two boys and one girl, apparently. Though, that third one was more a “woman” than a “girl”.

This guy, on the left. He's Ira and fittingly, he has the lion helmet. Fairly built, decidedly someone you don't want to mess with on a physical level. In the middle there is Tristitia. He has the horse helmet, and he's also a little... round. Variety is the spice of life, as they say- not everyone keeps up in shape like Ira does.

The situation had come to a standstill between the two teams of three. All of them looked upon each other as if judging each other's potential threat level. The entire scenario was playing out similarly to a pack of predators sniffing out who would be the first to go, regardless if their given animal was a carnivor, herbivore, or omnivore.

This really can't last any longer. I can't blame anyone here for hesitating this much, because it's hard to tell who can be trusted... if anyone can even be trusted. The thing is, not even I know which one will be most useful... But there's no point in hesitating, then. It's a gamble, and that's all there is to it- so it doesn't matter.

As Ancora contemplated her options, Invidia and Superbia moved forward. Deciding to not fall behind, the girl did much of the same. Within the next moment...

Let's talk to Tristitia, the donkey-helmeted guy, for this first time.

Superbia had already been in the process of introducing herself to Tristitia, when Ancora joined the group.

Superbia, yes. And this is our resident smartiepants, Ancora.

Yeah, sure, we can talk about that later, I guess, like after the universe ends. I don't have any intention of staying here with this bunch of losers any more than necessary- you included in that, sorry not sorry.

Ira snickered a little from the side, yet none of this was flustering Tristitia.

Is that your best effort? I've heard plenty of it over the years. But back to the introductions... That snickering guy is-

:v: Just when you thought we were free from a character being randomly picked on by most of the rest of the cast for literally no loving reason, in comes Birth ME Code with the weird fat-shaming!!! Cool stuff guys, love it. If memory serves, it fades out pretty quickly, but its still kind of a :hmmno: kind of thing.

You heard the man, go talk to him I guess. There's not really a lot of stuff to say right now... and besides, I've got to think of better nicknames.

For me, how about... Queen? If you could start groveling right now, that would be great, thanks.

Tristitia slapped the back of his hand into the air, as if sending her away. Outraged, Superbia didn't need to be told twice to vacate his area.


Ah... that was my fault, then. I gave the answer, so...

Don't worry over it. Either way, I'm going to gather the others...

The lumbering boy went to fetch the others still talking together. Between Ira and Tristitia, it was a complete contrast. Not just physically but mentally, too.

Probably about time to share information now. But we're still lacking one team...

After everyone introduced themselves to each other, they all took a few moments to sort everything out.

Then there's Avaritia, wearing one that looks like a pig. Yeah, sorry, I don't think that particular mask means anything either, if that makes you feel any better.

It wasn't cleare if Avaritia even acknowledged what Tristitia had said. She remained silent out of concern, annoyance, anger, or simply because she was speechless at the fact he felt the need to add some kind of apology.

Just be ready for others to mind it more. Either way, there's Superbia too: she's the rabbit.

Excuse you, you mean a rabbit queen.

It didn't look like her confidence was radiating strongly enough to make Tristitia back off.

Where was I? Right, there's the lion too, Ira. Then we have Invidia, the wolf... and myself, Tristitia the horse. We're lacking three others.

Who cares? We're safe and it's all that matters. The others can eat poo poo and die.

Hmph. I wouldn't say safe just yet, and besides, that's not really nice either.

What do you want me to do about it? I know you're a teacher, so you totally have to act like you care, but you don't have to keep that up here. You know what ME said, right? You're as much as suspect as anyone else.

Avaritia took her distance to cool off before some kind of fight broke out. Maybe she simply couldn't stand the rabbit, but Ancora couldn't tell.

Where d-do you get that number, anyway? Three more o-of us?

Yeah, we're supposedly nine total. ME told us that much. Don't you guys ever listen when you're in class?

There's also the matter of the time ticking. We're not too far off hitting the first hour mark. ME said six hours was our limit, right?

I hope t-they hurry, then. Our room wasn't nearly t-this bad.

There was b-barely any of that needed...

BGM: Silence
As if fate had been waiting for the subject to be brought up, the final door opened, and out of the room bolted two figures.

BGM: Membrana

They left the room in a hurry, and as soon as they were out, Luxuria rolled up into a ball and Gula held the wall next to the closed door as support.

This was... completely absurd! Who could have engineered such deadly contraptions...?

We... we made it out just in time, but... but...!

BGM: Silence
As she spoke, a small click came from the door to signal the fact it locked again, and in the same moment, everyone's vision turned black.

BGM: ME Mori
Hello again to all of you, dear animals.

At the very least, congratulations are in order. Congratulations, you made it out! At least, I am hoping all nine made it out. As a prize for managing to get out, I'll be generous: the door in front of you will be rendered accessible... or at least, the panel next to it will be.

All of you are backstabbers of the highest order. Criminals, scum, animals; you let instincts drive over reason, you commit crimes like they're nothing.

In particular, you all have one special crime you hold dear to your heart. Don't let anyone find out, or maybe they'll distrust you!

Maybe they'll kill you!

But first, one thing at a time. By unlocking this door, you'll gain access to the Crossroads. That which originally was in the middle of your beloved school is now where you'll coldly murder each other. Don't be late, now! I'll see you later.

BGM: Meridianus

We already introduced ourselves to each other, so after you two go, we'll do the introductions back at you.

Avaritia stepped forward, pointing at the two girls who escaped last.

Wait a second! Both our teams had 3 people in them, what about yours?

Um... it's... the third one, she...

Deepest apologies, she is very reserved. If your strengths fail you, I am capable of uttering our companion's ultimate fate in your stead.

No, its fine, I'll tell them... Our room was hard, and she... she guessed wrong...

Interesting, so that's what happened with them. The third girl “guessed wrong”?

Luxuria pushed her back to a wall and slid down to the ground, holding her legs in a fetal position. An awkward silence lingered on the group, only interrupted by her sniffling a tad. At that moment, Gula cleared her throat.

I am assuming your wanton gazes are fixated on my being at the moment. I am unfortunately acutely aware my physique is unsuitably dressed for societal purposes.

:v: I'm just gonna be blunt- Gula always talks like this, and it's... really annoying! She's the teenager who read too much of the thesaurus and thinks using big words makes her sound mature and sophisticated, but it just comes across as really weird and tryhardy. So get prepared for her dialogue to be, uh, something!

I can assure you this... spotty article was not, in any way, my own doing. Whoever incarcerated us must be finding some sort of wicked enjoyment out of it.

Admittedly, I didn't touch their clothing at all, so that's false.

Also, as it is apparent, I can witness you are all adorned of a helmet much like hers and mine.

Naturally. Who would hold any desire to don their cranium with such an aberration? Not only is its appearance grotesque, but it's also completely unwieldy.

Following that, the introductions began anew. This time, it included the pair who had just come out. Ancora didn't feel like talking to either of them, since her mind was entirely on the puzzle they had to solve... or that she had to solve, really.

It's probably on a few of their minds, too. This puzzle is fairly important to get past, like my avatar said, but... It can wait a little bit.

The blond girl hesitated for a few seconds, but she ultimately decided to not bother with the puzzle for now. Meeting with the two newcomers would allow her to learn important information about them. Having made up her mind...

Anyway, let's get it over with and talk to Gula here. :v:

Gula was hanging out a bit further away from the others. Upon seeing the girl approach her, she faced Ancora, and began talking without hesitation.

Oh, I wasn't going to. I'm Ancora. At least, that's what we figured out.

Ancora? That is strange for a name as well. Upon further thinking, our third party also neglected to properly show an interest in elaborating upon her designation.

So... she didn't introduce herself.


You have a very flowery speech pattern...

I just didn't expect that from your looks.

Gula snickered off a laugh that had nothing fancy to it.

Judging one by their appearance ought to be a fatal mistake in this place.

Superbia happened to hear her, and she approached the duo while holding her hip in a condescending way.

Enough of that vanity. What about your earthly label?

My name? It's Superbia. Perhaps you all aren't aware of it, but it contains “superb”, which is my default.

Is that why you have to always act like such a bitch?

Superbia flipped the bird without hesitation.

You can't change who you are. I'm not a bitch, I just know I'm better than you lot. If there weren't people like me in this world, you'd all still be wallowing in mud.

The gently caress are you even saying?

I think she's saying if you aren't the next one to die, she's going to be very surprised.

We'll see who's dying next soon enough.

The group of three dispersed following those words, leaving Ancora alone to her thoughts.

I can't believe nobody is thinking about the puzzle. This is all well and good, but... it's there, you know? Are they going to keep talking while ignoring the main pressing matter?

I like the name Lux too! Maybe we could make up smaller, cuter nicknames?

Ancora was already no longer listening to them. Instead, she stood in front of the puzzle, having decided to solve that while they were talking about nicknames. There was a sense of urgency nobody else was acknowledging.

Maybe it's just their way of coping with it. They're distracting each other, trying to find the crack in their peer's armor.

BGM: Metis
Something feels wrong with all of this, too. This door wasn't supposed to be locked in this way. This feels like my friend is testing me... but they don't know about what's happening here. Was I duped? Or is someone else duping me, perhaps?

Is it Superbia? Invidia? Gula? Luxuria? Avaritia? Tristitia? Or maybe Ira? Of course, I already know who Pandora is. It's because I'm Pandora. But what if the traitor died already? Could I be so lucky? Until I find proof, I'll assume it's one of those still alive... and I'll make sure they pay, even if I have to kill six of them.

BGM: Mens Metis

Oh boy, another one of these! :v: The solution to this one is:

The solution is to spell the word 'ME' repeatedly around the border of the puzzle, imprisoning the rest of the letters within.

BGM: Meridianus
As the puzzle was solved, a small click was heard from the double doors.

Cora d-decided to go forward on her own, huh?

Sorry, but we don't have a lot of time, so I thought...

I believe the better idea constitutes proper thanks for opening the aperture leading to our destination.

No problem, Gula!

D-don't be ridiculous, nobody would oppose that k-kinda thing...

Vidi works for me, so I'm going with that.

And I'm Trist now, which is shorter and better.

Judging by your shape, it should have just been 'Tit'. Bia for me.

Right back at you, Biatch.

As was second nature to her, Superbia flipped the bird.

No nickname here. Ira's short enough already.

Yeah, short for Iralevant.

Ira's fist closed tighter. Superbia wasn't making any friends so far.

Um... I guess you guys picked Cora for me, then?

Any objections?

Not really... it's fine too.

My nickname will be Ava from now on.

With the doors unlocked, the group could enter the Crossroads.

There were two staircases going higher up into the middle of the Crossroads. From afar, the eight of them could see there was a large, black wall in place there, but not much else. Everything else was normal; benches were scattered around, the structure was normal... Except for the metal plates covering large parts of broken walls and ceilings, as well as the debris laying around, everything was normal.

A loud clank echoed from behind. Superbia fell down onto her rear end, screaming some profanities.

Are you okay?

Interesting that he'd be the one to ask, given how Superbia treated him just before. Either way, there can't be any harm checking up on them... maybe?

Looking around, Ancora noticed Luxuria wasn't staring at the happenings, but at her instead. Not too far off, Invidia had his arms crossed, deep in thought. Presented with those options...

And another option already. There's a lot of these in the initial section, and they're all really important, for reasons we'll go over once we've hit the first ending.

Since they're already looking at us, we're going to talk with Luxuria.

The others uneasily stared at the event, unwilling to lend a hand. Ancora was in much of the same boat, and so was Luxuria right next to her.

I guess she'll have to be careful, due to her height.

It's not a problem for us, huh? That makes me think, your helmet is strange...

Ah? In what way?

It's the same helmet that the girl who died had. Is there supposed to be two bear helmets?

Maybe it wasn't a bear. Plus, there are many types of bears.

She thought about it for a few moments. Ancora was also thinking about it; a panda helmet? They were all gray, so there was no way to differentiate them.

Remember that list of names, and how there was Pandora on it too? That was the ninth name...

So you're telling me Pandora is the one who died? Do you think so?

Maybe... I don't know now, but maybe.

By this point, Superbia had recovered and joined them all. Interrupted in their talk, Ancora and Luxuria moved alongside the group again. Once Superbia had rejoined the group, the helmets shut down. By now, everyone was getting used to this: it meant ME was going to talk to them again.

Oct 4, 2015
Can't post for 11 days!
Man, for a guy named after wrath and with a lion mask, Ira is shockingly shy and wimpy.

And Bia is really living up to the word 'pride'.

Apr 28, 2013


Junpei posted:

Man, for a guy named after wrath and with a lion mask, Ira is shockingly shy and wimpy.

And Bia is really living up to the word 'pride'.

Would you say he's....cowardly? :v:

I don't understand why Gula becomes Ula. It seems like one of those nicknames that makes more sense in Japanese and that got translated literally...but this was written in English.

Jun 14, 2015

slime time

Ugh, Gula, and ughhhhh people being weird about Gula's appearance

May 5, 2011

Not knowing Latin pronounciation. (As currently used) I read both Gula and Ula as a long u sound. Soo Goo-la, and Oo-la. But dialects are weird. Strange to change a one-syllable name, but for someone as in love with obscure words as Gula perhaps she knows the meaning and would rather avoid it.

Some of the animal/vice theming feels a little off but even odds it'll come up diagetically. Kind of surprised no-one went "Are you sure your names aren't the other way around?" to Gula and Lux.

Outfit attitudes and fat-shaming. Ugh. Not going to say it's not how lovely school kids would act, but also not adding anything to the story, pretty sure.

Oct 6, 2014

I can’t tell what Luxuria’s helmet is supposed to be.

All I’m saying is they better not be a surprise returning character…

Jul 11, 2016

I had the stray thought that Superbia might be the real Jasmine because of the pink hair.

Having the mastermind be the protagonist is novel, look forward to seeing how it works out.

Jan 24, 2021

Huh? What?

AweStriker posted:

I can’t tell what Luxuria’s helmet is supposed to be.

Lux's helmet is meant to be a snake.

May 5, 2011

Ah, I was going to say Koala, but the fangs nixed that. The toothwork on the masks feels kind of subtle, but maybe just because my eyes are old so only noticed things like the rabbit teeth on a third or so look.

Jun 30, 2017

Thank gooness we all get along so well!
I thought it was an elephant. It's got the big ears on either side and the fangs kinda look like tusks if you squint.

Jan 24, 2021

Huh? What?

BGM: ME Mori
This feels extremely slow, but it's all necessary information I have to communicate to them. Thankfully, I only have to do all of this once.

Remember Kill ME? The game we're playing in which you have to kill me? I've decided to leave you a way to decide who gets to die. You know, like a democracy! To vote, it's really easy. You just need one of those keycards- one per person. Be sure to keep the keycards after you vote, because you'll need them later.

To round out your amount to nine, you'll have to search around a little. For each subsequent round, you will need as many ME-cards as there are survivors. For example, if four of you died, you'll need five ME-cards.

You'll be allowed to leave once all thirty-nine ME-cards are discarded, provided you already killed me.

Let's recapitulate, shall we? One: Get those thirty-nine ME-cards. Two: Kill each other by voting, and discard the ME-cards in the middle. Three: You're free to go when you've done that, and if you've killed me.

Oh, one last thing. In the event that someone miraculously dies, a vote will be skipped. That's right; each death removes the need to have a vote for the hour, which is fantastic for the three among you who won't need to surrender their right to live. Otherwise, if no one died by the end of each hour slice, everyone surrenders their right to live. Did you all understand this? Instant kaboom for everyone! I'll see you later.

BGM: Metis

Some of us will die, and some of us will live. If we fail, there might be a bomb somewhere to blow this place skyhigh...

Are you sure we should just do what this ME person says? Like, gently caress 'em, right?

...We should just try and figure out who this mastermind is, as soon as possible.

Luxuria, Gula, Tristitia, Avaritia, Ira, Invidia, Superbia... these are all the old ways to refer to the seven deadly sins. I don't know what an Ancora is, though.

It doesn't really mean anything because... it could easily have just been because Pandora ran out of sins to name us after.

Tristitia paused as though he'd just interrupted himself saying something.

Your nickname... and mine too- all of these strange names are familiar. We're all part of My Emptiness, aren't we? That's what we had to figure out.

BGM: Memini Meminisse
The mood turned even colder as Invidia explained his thought.

According to the list of names we found in our room, which I heard others found too, My Emptiness is composed of nine members. It's a group that I recall vaguely... and all of you should, too, because all your “names” appear on that list. In short, we're not just part of it: we are My Emptiness.

Oh... yeah, I know about that... you're all part of that? Sounds very dangerous...

So what if we're part of it? Your name is on there too; don't try to sass us, little girl.

Boldly lied, Lux. The truth is that you're a part of it too, and denying it won't change that fact.

She's not wrong; to make it in, you have to be someone very... unscrupulous. As for the secret dreams business? That's a huge lie; it's just to lure people in, and then they do the ringleader's bidding. It's just tailored to their personal wants.

Anyway, from what I'm seeing here I wasn't the only one who didn't know who else was in it. Pandora always gave us tasks separately, huh?

Pandora is the leader's name, right? I remember that much. He or she purposefully left us all in the dark.

That's ironic, because without the goggles inside of the helmets, they would literally not see a thing.

I did know about all your nicknames, even if I didn't know what you looked like.

Hah? And why would she not be added to the list yet?

Because I... was the last one who came in. I've been in My Emptiness for a week, I think.

Interestingly enough, that means out of all of us, you're probably the only one without a crime, huh...? Unless you did something in that week...

Who knows? It's probably best not to dwell onto the crimes just yet. At least we've established where we all stand now, so all eight of us can go on...

Hold up, c-cowboy. Something doesn't add up. With C-Cora, the list of names is nine long.

Yes, we w-were nine. Who died?

Um... she never said her name...

All of them looked at each other in turns. The mood lifted a little.

So that's it, then? Pandora is already dead? I don't think it's nice to rejoice, but... if she's gone, then we won?

No, I don't think so. The one who died is definitely an innocent. Innocent of the crime of being Pandora, at least.

What makes you say that all of a sudden?

I think the most likely outcome is that Pandora is one of us, who assumed someone else's name. You can't remember much about yourselves, right? So that's it: Pandora is still among us.

Luxuria and Gula looked at each other. The mood fell again, a longer silence installing itself among them all. The primary reason was simple: they once again didn't know who they could trust.

So what, then? The one who died already might still be Pandora. Big deal, let's just spend the ME-cards and leave, we already won.

Invidia lifted a finger to call on silence again. However, Gula disregarded it and walked nearer to him. Her bust and attire were definitely intimidating him.

I am in complete agreement with the lagomorph. The third participant in our beginning position never ensured her designation was known, and remaining immobile serves us negatively.

Regardless of our conundrum, we cannot afford to remain still. However, I do agree Pandora's methods were unequivocally secretive on purpose. None has the knowledge of their appearance...

So, either Pandora died in the room, or someone among us is totally Pandora using someone else's name. Ever heard of Occam's Razor? It says that the most likely scenario is probably right.

Since that girl died, at least we've got another hour to figure that out before we need to take a vote.

Everyone seemed to be on board with that idea. Ancora felt a shiver run down her spine.

Things are getting dicey. Someone needs to be made suspicious, if at least for insurance. They want to get the mastermind, but... that can be used. They can be manipulated to vote for the traitor- my target.

BGM: Meridianus

:v: The maps are still here in spirit, if nothing else.

You're right. Normally, it shows the full school, but here it only shows about a quarter of it. Specifically, that's Wing A, the one with the classrooms.

Do you think that means this area is the only one that's accessible at all?

Let's split up and cover some ground. We have to see exactly what we can reach for now, makes sense to you?

Very well, I will take my leave with Lux.

I'd l-like to head with Bia. I mean, it's n-not like we have to group up, but...

Whatever, I'm fine with it. Peace out, losers.

The rabbit and the lion left together for another corner of the Crossroads. The horse and the pig left together as well. Ancora was about to leave, too, when Invidia grabbed her by the wrist.

Okay, but I'm really not Pandora, even if our names are similar. I don't know how much that's worth, but...

For some people, it's much easier to lie than for others.

After that, Invidia let go of Ancora, and the girl set off. She didn't go too far, still wondering about the possibilities presented to her, stopping to think about them.

This is just like when I first booted this helmet. I can hack into the other helmets, in order to obtain information when they split up like this. By hacking their models, I can see and hear exactly what the cameras lining on their helmets see and hear as well. That way, I can gather information to manipulate them. Based on what I learn, and who trusts what, it'll vary the options presented with each vote.

One of them... one of them is a traitor to My Emptiness, and they've joined it in order to sell me out. I have to figure out who it is, and kill them, while masquerading it as the mastermind's death. Another problem: hacking a helmet will probably present me with a puzzle I have to solve, just like earlier. This is all thanks to you, idiot programming friend.

After I hack, my vision will be replaced with the other person's, so I have to be careful about it.

Finding herself an empty and quiet corner, Ancora sat down to rest a little. She was nervous; given what she was going through, it was no wonder.

I don't have a lot of choices; they all left in groups of two, except for Invidia... and hacking someone who's alone isn't really that interesting. I'd hack just about anyone I want, but I can't. There's the frequency to think about, too: in order to avoid exterior interference, halmets randomly switch frequencies.

At the moment, matching frequencies include... Ira, Avaritia, and Luxuria's helmets. For now, I'll be hacking...

I'm interested in one of the two we haven't really had any interactions with yet, so I'm going to hack Ira here.

BGM: Mens Metis

The puzzle is different depending on who you choose to hack, so you only get this one when you decide to hack Ira here. As for the solution...

When it says 'eve', it means both spelling-wise and phonetic-wise. Never has 'eve' spelled out in it, and leave has 'eve' sounded out in it. :v:

We get the same code scroll here as we did at the very start of the game, to show we're connecting to a different headset.

BGM: Metis

Ira and Superbia were together, as expected. It was clear from the tone of the rabbit girl's voice that their current subject was meant to be a secret from the others.

Yeah... we already know n-none of us know each other. Do you think they w-would be more suspicious if they knew, though? Like, is it r-really that big of a deal?

Of course it is! None of those idiots know each other, so we have to act like we don't either. It's all so it stays in the illusion of a fair playing field.

Yeah, I guess it's as you s-say as always. So... who are you going to v-vote for? Not like we're there yet, but...

While Ira was talking, he was looking around, as if he was searching for something. On the other hand, Superbia didn't lift a single finger, content to give a minimum of effort.

Ira stopped what he was doing to look at her. She cackled slightly.

It's a joke, dumbass. What's important is that they don't vote for me. You know, the only girlfriend who'd totally ever care enough to be around your loser rear end?

...yeah... y-you're right on that one too. What's your plan for that? I d-don't think anybody trusts you either...

I'm not Pandora, so all I need to do is point the finger at someone else, and everyone else will instantly jump on it to preserve themselves, I can assure you. That little bitch Cora has it coming, I think. Out of all of them, she's the one most likely to be lying. Did you see how good she was at solving the puzzles?

I don't know... She seemed very g-genuine to me. Y-you sure you don't want my ME-card?

Superbia mimicked pinching her nose at that suggestion.

Ira shrugged and slid the ME-card in his pocket. The two of them kept looking for more in complete silence.

They don't have a really healthy relationship, huh. It makes me feel kind of bad for Ira. Just kind of, though.

After wandering around a while, the duo stopped in front of a bench.

Why did we stop, did you see one?

No, but I've been thinking... you wouldn't really vote for me, would you?

N-no, of course not, never thought of it e-even once!

Yeah... that would sound g-good to me.

Another silence came around, until Superbia broke it, stopping in her tracks near another bench.

Say, if we're all in My Emptiness, we all committed a crime, huh? I wonder what their crimes were. Maybe, just maybe, if we can learn that, we can blackmail some of those chumps.

Figuring that out will most likely be a decent mystery, but it doesn't have anything to do with the traitor I'm trying to weed out from the group. ...But maybe it can help me, so I'd better stay sharp.

A-ah, yeah, m-maybe.

No, it's l-like... I don't feel like anything has changed.

Okay, well, good then. Oh, right there- there's a ME-card.

Under one of the benches was a small keycard, much like the ones that came from their respective rooms. Superbia pocketed it.

Think we should go back to the others? There's nothing here but rubble.


Of course we should. Come on, Ira. It's a rhetorical question; what I say is law, remember.

Yeah... what you say is l-law, Bia.

She pointed at Invidia as he came out from within the girl's bathroom on the other side of the Crossroads. Ira shrugged at that.

I g-guess he's just being thorough.

My guess is that he's got no ME-card yet. I'd like to say it sucks for him, but we do have to find them, so... what a loving pain; if he doesn't find one, we'll have to look around even more.

We should j-join up with the others, anyway.

Yeah, it's his problem as far as I'm concerned. I don't give a gently caress about any of the chumps here.

She closed her hands in fists, though despite her stance it was clear to imagine that she felt more powerless than anything else.

Look, just... c-calm down, okay? At least let's go through the v-votes so that it's fair. If violence comes to it, though...

He punched in his other hand while they walked off.

Fair? Life isn't fair, and you know that better than anybody else. But, fine, I'll at least agree to go with the votes as long as I have the advantage.

B-by the way... do you not remember what happened before we were b-brought here? I'm having issues t-thinking about what I was doing this morning.

I guess there is a side effect to this generalized sedation after all.

I c-can remember some things, but not normal things you'd expect me to remember. I remember what I t-think my crime was, but I can't remember what I ate for b-breakfast.

So what d-did you have for breakfast?

I...I had... ...I don't want to remember, so I'm not saying.

Sounds awfully convenient to me; maybe you c-can't remember either. Just a-admit it...

Superbia changed the subject following his sting.

I didn't get you for your brain, but your brawn, so shut up and do what I say.

Ira is kind of like her bodyguard, then? That's interesting. As long as he's there, Ira will always act in Superbia's favor, it seems. However, she doesn't seem to be giving much of a care about him.

Why not get rid of Superbia instead? Because she's a dumbass, and she's easily manipulated by anything that works in her favor. Ira might always just agree with her, but if he's her yes-man, then she'll need another pillar when he's gone.

All of a sudden, frequencies switched, interrupting the feed which cut and restored to Ancora's helmet.

Mar 31, 2012

I wonder how our protagonist was planning to get away with calling herself Ancora to the rest of the group if the 9th person had lived, because she (the 9th person) wouldn’t be Pandora but the real Ancora, right? Unless this person would’ve had a name not on the list to be the token suspicious person or was given convenient super amnesia?

Aug 7, 2009
There is absolutely no way that these people were just casually wearing animal-themed clothing across the board, so if Ancona didn't mess with their clothes, that means someone else is messing with things too.

Ghost Car
Sep 14, 2009

Mecca-Benghazi posted:

I wonder how our protagonist was planning to get away with calling herself Ancora to the rest of the group if the 9th person had lived, because she (the 9th person) wouldn’t be Pandora but the real Ancora, right? Unless this person would’ve had a name not on the list to be the token suspicious person or was given convenient super amnesia?

The fact that the ninth person was wearing the same mask as Pandora supports the idea that that was the real Ancora whose identity Pandora is stealing, but the whole thing seems unnecessarily risky, and if Pandora had engineered it so the ninth person would die immediately, you'd think her reaction to hearing about it would be "haha, just as planned" instead of "oh, so that's what happened."

And why have identical masks in the first place - doesn't that just call attention to Pandora since there are no other duplicates? Someone definitely is interfering with the plan - presumably the traitor Pandora's been talking about? - but it doesn't seem like Pandora was surprised to hear about the ninth person also having a bear mask, whereas she's had a couple other moments of "wait, that wasn't part of the plan" already.

malkav11 posted:

There is absolutely no way that these people were just casually wearing animal-themed clothing across the board, so if Ancona didn't mess with their clothes, that means someone else is messing with things too.

Could just be a visual design decision that we're not supposed to think that hard about? But then, Gula insisting that this isn't something she'd wear does raise the possibility that someone dressed them up.

Oct 4, 2015
Can't post for 11 days!
Really putting the "Bia" in "biatch", isn't she.

Jan 24, 2021

Huh? What?

BGM: Metis
An hour and twenty minutes had passed since the beginning of the game.

Ancora climbed up the stairs. She felt a presence behind her; upon looking back, she saw Invidia following her.

Hey... do you know who you're voting for, yet?

No, not yet.

That's early. What does he want out of this, exactly?

That makes sense... but is this just a poorly-thought lure into a false sense of security?

Oh, okay, but I'm still not sure yet. I think we'll need to talk it over...

If you think that's a better way. Know that if we talk about it, things might turn bloody. In here, there's no way to restrain anyone, and whoever we're going to vote for won't let it happen so easily.

That makes sense, but we're still missing details. How will the vote be determined? What's inside of the cylinder, exactly?

We'll know the answers to those questions very soon.

No poo poo, Sherlock. Of course it doesn't belong here. What are you, an idiot?

All eight participants stood in a circle around the black cylinder, waiting for something to happen. When it was clear nothing would automatically trigger, they got impatient and searched the surface.

What's the big deal? We don't have a lot of time; I think close to an hour and a half already went by as of now. That's a fourth of our time! Open already, you dumb poo poo!

Will you cease your incessant auditory pollution pertaining to every single element belonging to any situation whatsoever? This three-dimensional curvilinear object has consoles with card slots around its perimeter, and one is labeled Cow.

Every time I type out Gula's dialogue my brain auto-fills it with :words:

I don't think you'll fit in there even if your body is also labeled Cow.

I presume you're having a plethora of exciting times at my expense.

Despite their faces not being visible at the moment, it was clear Gula and Superbia were glaring at each other, until both miraculously saw reason and dropped it.

Anyway, as I found out with Ava, the consoles surrounding this thing might help us if we insert our cards. I'm assuming we each have a specific spot. Didn't ME say she would give us further instructions anyway?

Yeah, she said she was going to come back when we were going to vote, didn't she?

It's technically not time to vote just yet. The cards need to be in, first.

Okay, let's insert our ME-cards, and we'll see then.

All of them agreed and mechanically, their hands all pushed their ME-card into the corresponding slot on each console. After a brief moment... nothing happened.

D-did we do something wrong?

No, I don't think so. ME said we needed nine ME-cards to open this at first, right?

Yeah, we w-were supposed to be nine here...

Fine, then. I guess you'll all need my help.

Superbia reached into her shirt and pulled out another ME-card from seemingly nowhere. All the others stared at her accusingly, despite the masks covering all of their faces. None of them said anything, prompting her to indignantly huff back at them.

Oh, what now, you're gonna tell me I'm a bad girl for concealing a ME-card? Bitch, please. As if you wouldn't have done the same to secure yourself your next votes.

She went to the leftover console which was labeled Panda to insert the ME-card into it. Once that was done, she waited a little, before walking back to the console named Rabbit.

All of a sudden, right when she took her spot back, ME reappeared to all of them.

BGM: ME Mori

You can't see it just yet, but the cylinder in the middle will be gone; you might currently be feeling it recede into the ground. In front of you, once your vision has come back, will be a shotgun.

It is a non-negotiable, 100% certain chance of death. The six hours timer will be paused for those ten minutes. That means you can indeed survive ten minutes longer than the timer allows, if you do it right on the hour! You will no longer need to unlock the cylinder, so you may put your next cards directly into the contraption in the middle if you wish to give away your right of vote, and kill at your indiscriminate leisure.

The ten minute time will start now. This is probably one of the final times I will be speaking to you like this. If anything important happens, I will still intercede, but otherwise, we'll be saying bye-bye! I will have one final announcement ready after your vote has ended. Unfortunately, one of you won't be there to see it, which is really sad. I'll see you later.

BGM: Membrana

If you think I'm going to do whatever you say, ME, you're a goddamn idiot! Who would put their face on the barrel of a shotgun?!

We have ten minutes, there's no time to think. Quick, put your face on the shotgun, or you're going to die!

As squeamish as I am to locate my visage in front of an instrument of death... there is no objection.

Almost simultaneously, all the students and the teacher pushed the front of their helmets against the symbol on the end of the shotguns, slotting them into the indentations and locking themselves in place.

BGM: Mercedis Mellitus

We still have to decide over who we're voting for, right?

I think we should talk about it quickly, then. We don't have a lot of time.

I think Cora is the mastermind. Let's vote for her.

I g-guess I'm in.

Loathe as I am to admit it, I hold no objections.

Wait, that's way too hasty. Where's that coming from? I don't think the mastermind is Cora.

It sounds a little too quick to me, too. Is it because her name doesn't fit with the sins?

S-Something like that, I guess.

I am none too bothered over my vote, unless your common opinion aims the proverbial firearm at my own self.

You guys really should care more, because the faster the real mastermind dies, the earlier we're out of here. Besides, none of this really makes her the mastermind, does it?

Yeah... but we're only two who think that way. What about the others? Ava, Lux?

We don't have any other choice. It's gotta be her, right...? Who else could it be among all of us?

They're all latching onto the first option that saves them personally. How despicably self-centered.

Ancora had to think fast. She hated stressful situations, but she had no choice now. So far, it looked like everyone except Invidia and Tristitia were going to vote for her. She needed to tip the balance, to convince at least two of the others to vote for someone else. Was there anything she could say in her defense while putting the blame onto someone else?

I guess this will all depend on what I've seen and learned so far.

Don't you guys think it's weird how Bia is taking the lead and trying to steer you?

Explain your reasoning.

I'm not Pandora, anyway. You can say whatever you want- need I remind you that you're the most suspicious one in here?

You already said your reasoning, but can you elaborate a bit?

I'm not an idiot, so I noticed your name was weird. It sounds like Pandora, for one, but it's also not a deadly sin. And also, you haven't been exploring with the others earlier. I saw you hanging around by the bathrooms. It's like you don't need to do it, because you know everything already.

Refuting those points quickly is mandatory. There's only so much time before the end, though.

The more Ancora wanted to argue and pin it onto someone else, the more she realized that she really didn't have much put together at all. As the minutes passed, everyone spoke out of turn, growing into a cacophony of arguments, until finally, Ancora just had to say something.

Everyone finally saw reason, and paused while Ancora quickly put her thoughts together. They wouldn't wait very long, given that the timer was running out shortly.

We can change our names, but we can't change our helmets. The rabbit helmet you wear is very suspicious, Bia. It makes you appear a lot more inoffensive than you really are, but that just means you're the most dangerous one.

:v: Wow, Ancora. Great argument. Really nailing it on that 'sell the fact you aren't the mastermind' plan you cooked up.

What is your problem? Do you want to die or something? Because I can send you there quick and easy if you really want.

Wait, don't start this, we don't have the time... The vote is almost here...

What I do or don't do isn't anything you need to worry over, little imbecile. I could buy out your entire family and turn them into my dad's slaves if I wanted.

Like that's gonna help you after you're dead!

Hey, stop, both of you!

I'm not going to stop! gently caress you!

You have the personality of a porcupine. Every time you talk, spines fly out, and everyone gets pricked so no one wants to get close to you!

A jab at my helmet? Why don't you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and realize how much of a bucktoothed fuckface you are before stepping outside?

I don't have buckteeth, that's the helmet that looks like that, you moron. Besides, you wouldn't even know the meaning of a mirror, so stop talking about them.

And that pink hair, is that natural? Like cotton candy hair? You're trying to look cute or something? Even with your appearance, its flabbergasting anyone talks to you at all!

It's called style, and I exude it. I take care of my hair so much that Pandora saw fit to give me a helmet worthy of my hair style! What do you have, huh? Two stupid little buns, that's what!

BGM: Mestitior

Well, that was a mess. I guess pointing the finger blindly isn't going to be helpful. There's no point in worrying over it now, since everyone's dead. Without a lead, I need to get someone's trust. Invidia seemed like the most promising person to help. Maybe, if I could try again, maybe things wouldn't go this badly...

BGM: Silence

Jan 24, 2021

Huh? What?

BGM: Menu (This is the main menu “music”)
:v: Whoops! It's a lot quicker to (potentially) get your first ending in the sequel. Now you may be wondering- hey, so, what just happened? Why'd it go off the rails so goddamn quick? Well, the answer to that requires me to actually explain the external mechanics of the game, now that we have an ending under our belt.

Before I go over what actually influences what ending you get, I'm first gonna go over the game's save file system, as it's somewhat unique as well:

Specifically, once you've gotten an ending- no matter which one you get- that save “file” is locked in permanently- you can go back and revisit any scenes you've already seen on that particular path, but you can't change any of your decisions at all. You have to either start a fresh file or delete the one you just finished to be able to start again and make different decisions.

And speaking of the flowchart, here's what the one we just did looks like:

Yeah. We didn't get very far. We can zoom out and get a better view of what the initial flowchart looks like...

...but it really doesn't tell us anything. You can also see there are more locks this time around, but they function a little differently this time. You'll see what I mean later. You can also click on specific nodes and look at the choices you made for that particular node, such as the following- here's the node for when we first “wake up” in the classroom with Invidia and Superbia:

We chose to talk to Superbia first, which locked out the choice to talk to Invidia. Like I said before, even if we were to hit 'GO' and revisit the scene, it'd automatically make that choice again for us. This node's locked in the moment you make the choice.

But you must be wondering, what exactly in our choices led us down a path where we all died immediately? Or, if you're particularly eagle-eyed, you may have already noticed the TRUST button on the UI and wondered 'huh, what's that?' TRUST is what led us to ruin here, because if we look at what our TRUST menu was showing at the end there, you'd see the following:

You see, the decisions in this game aren't as simple as 'picking X over Y', but rather, how your choices link to the other participants of the game- the obvious ones, like 'talking to this person leads to them thinking more positively of us', and the less obvious ones, like 'taking this course of action over another makes that person like us more, since they agree with us'. Who we hack (when we get the chance to) also contributes to TRUST! What pushes us onto different branches/paths is not a binary choice but rather, having met (or avoided) certain TRUST thresholds.

And that's where the problem is- because you, as a new player, are not going to be told at any point what these thresholds actually are. :v: Sure, understanding 'I talk to Invidia and Invidia's TRUST meter fills as well' is obvious, but knowing 'I have to have Luxuria's TRUST below/above X% to get moved onto Y branch' is...completely unstated until you've experimented enough.

The ending we just got is, essentially, because we weren't leaning in any direction at all- we were so spread thin that we really didn't leave any kind of impression on anyone (nor did we find enough evidence that we could capitalize on). In turn, nobody really gave a poo poo when Superbia decided to paint a target on us, causing the argument to essentially devolve into ad hominems when Ancora found herself without any real good means for defending herself- which, well, ran out the clock because nobody else could get a word in edge-wise. Sure, Invidia defended us, but that's moreso because he had no reason to doubt us, and therefore defended us moreso out of principle- same for Tristitia, who basically only defended us because there was no actual logic or clear reasoning for Superbia's accusations.

The specific thresholds for getting onto different branches are startlingly precise (especially when you have seven other people who could or could not be relevant), and thus it is very... very easy to get stuck in a loop where everyone keeps eating a shotgun blast because you didn't get the right TRUST threshold to shift what path you're headed down, and that in turn also means that this game would be annoyingly hard to do choice votes for, since a single choice can push someone's TRUST over a threshold and oops we're seeing the same ending a second time. :v: Sure, I could probably find a way to balance it, but honestly it's probably faster if I use my previous save file group as a reference cheat and just navigate us to each ending on my own. We'll still get to see everything in the game regardless.

That said, there are a lot of tools the flowchart DOES have that make it manageable. So with that, I'm moving us to the next save file in the list, and going back to the flowchart...

As you can see, even though we're on a new save file, the game's retained all of the scenes I've already been through, as well as the ending I just unlocked. You can reference endings and branch pathways you've already seen. Additionally, as you can see, some of the nodes have a red exclamation point over it. This means that there's a choice in that node that has not been made yet.

If we go back to the same node as earlier, we can see the choice is open here- but we can only choose Superbia because that's the only option we've seen so far. If we so desired, we could enter the segment and choose to keep speaking with Invidia. If we did that, we would accomplish several things: For starters, we would gain TRUST for Invidia for the rest of that save file/route. No takebacks. Make a new save file or delete this one if you want to reset it to zero. Furthermore, the exclamation mark would go away, because the choice would be locked in at that point for that save file/route.

However, there is one final difference, and this is an important one. The next time we came to this node on a new save file, both options would be open, and that means we no longer even have to go into the segment itself to make the choice. The creator coded the flowchart so that you can actually toggle choices FROM THE FLOWCHART, and therefore completely bypass any of the fuss or holding down skip or any of that jazz. You just have to have already seen the scene at some point while playing the VN normally. This also means that unlike Zero Escape, we won't be jumping around to different points on the flowchart- you always have to start from the beginning and lock in each choice along the path.

Because each ending requires you to meet certain TRUST thresholds (which means every single choice matters from start to finish) this is a godsend after you've gotten a few endings. It also shows you how the TRUST scores will change as you toggle choices, and you can set multiple choices up to balance the TRUST before you lock anything in- it only locks in when you've entered ANY segment on the flowchart. The flowchart will also automatically start blacking out any branches that would become inaccessible based on the TRUST values, so you can start to figure out what does/doesn't allow you to down certain paths once you've seen enough of the segments to do everything from the flowchart, but that's...still a lot of fiddly poo poo to put up with.

Understandably, a lot of people bounced off the flowchart when this game first launched, mostly because the tutorial didn't really explain poo poo, but also because people were expecting it to be the same as Head AS Code/Zero Escape's flowcharts. I think it's a really cool idea from a conceptual standpoint, and it definitely has enough baked in QoL stuff to make up for how obtuse it is, but it's soooo goddamn finicky that the creator had to clean its UI up and make the tutorial fleshed out because of how consistent the complaints were. :v:

After we've seen everything these first few decisions hold, I'll be skipping them and instead start out each new route stating which decisions we've made “offscreen” (there won't be many Extra segments this time, since most of the conversations are woven into the main choices/branches and we'll hit most of them just from the different TRUST balances we have to do. :v: )

Next time, we're gonna start over and see if we can get a better outcome for that first voting session!

Mix. fucked around with this message at 04:31 on Aug 24, 2021

Red John
Jul 12, 2018
I'm a bit sad that Pandora wasn't voted out immediately. There's something just hilarious about that to me-imagine designing this overcomplicated mess of a death game and doing all this preparation just to get yeeted in the first round.

Mar 31, 2012

Huh. The decision chart is an interesting idea, but yeah, I can see where that might be difficult to LP.

I'll note that the TRUST meter includes the ??? person who died almost instantaneously. It's possible it's just a red herring, but given that even mastermind Ancora seemed to be caught off-guard by the death, it seems likely there's a path where we do get to meet ???. Possibly because we can do something in the first room that changes the off-screen death or possibly because there's secretly some extra nodes before our initial start that haven't yet shown up which will allow us to swap who dies in that group.

Jan 24, 2021

Huh? What?

Okay, so that didn't go so well. We know what we did wrong, though- spread ourselves too thin, and not learn anything of note we can use to defend ourselves. We've got a fresh save though, and maybe if who and when we talk to people gets shaken up, things'll go better!

As every playthrough starts from the same entry point, we're gonna be skipping the stuff we've already seen and don't need to re-experience. Ancora “wakes up” in the classroom (after activating her helmet manually), and, after speaking to the others, is given the choice of who to talk to.This time, we're going to keep talking with Invidia instead...

BGM: Medius

That... that's right. It's Ancora, Ancora's my nickname.

Another made-up nickname to hide behind. It's necessary, just like how I have to make sure nobody can find out I'm behind this. However... things could get dicey later.

Following that introduction...

You know, I can't remember my actual name, either. When I was thinking about it, Ancora just... poppsed out, but it's not really a name, is it...?

Invidia crossed his arms pensively, trying to make sense of the situation a little.

Yeah... I'm in the same boat. I bet the bunny is too afraid to admit she's got amnesia too, she completely dodged it earlier.

While they spoke, Superbia had tried to open the door. Despite the lack of facial features, it was easy to see she was getting worked up again. The boy held his hands up, calmly shrugging.

No kidding, that's what ME said before.

Stupid, stupid! We can't even leave for real. If anybody told me I would be stuck in some dumb classroom with a bunch of idiots to play a stupid game...

Superbia tried to twist the handle in vain. It wasn't going to work.

gently caress! I was so sure it was just a dumb loving joke!

All the more a reason to hurry, then. We don't have any time- three minutes already went by. We can sort all other information later. When you're done trying to open the door, join me and Ancora.

Ancora agreed with Invidia.

Yeah... I don't know what this is all about, but our first priority is to leave, so... let's start looking around.

Let's see... leave anything you find in the cubicles in the back. That way, we can easily look at everything we find.

Both of them set off to explore the room, and see what they could find. Shortly after, Superbia joined them, having given up on the door. The timer in their helmets read 27 minutes remaining.

And then from here it just segues into exploring the classroom. This scene is pretty much identical to the one we got in the first save, but because we stayed to talk to Invidia instead of going to talk to Superbia his TRUST went up instead. Obviously there's not gonna be much variation here since this is the literal starting point, but later on the choices diverge a lot more.

After solving the classroom and leaving, they meet three other participants- Ira, Tristitia, and Avaritia. This time, we're going to talk to Avaritia...

BGM: Meridianus
The situation had come to a standstill between the two teams of three. All of them looked upon each other as if judging each other's potential threat level. The entire scenario was playing out similarly to a pack of predators sniffing out who would be the first to go, regardless if their given animal was a carnivor, herbivore, or omnivore.

This really can't last any longer. I can't blame anyone here for hesitating this much, because it's hard to tell who can be trusted... if anyone can even be trusted. The thing is, not even I know which one will be most useful... But there's no point in hesitating, then. It's a gamble, and that's all there is to it- so it doesn't matter.

As Ancora contemplated her options, Invidia and Superbia moved forward. Deciding to not fall behind, the girl did much of the same. Within the next moment...

She joined Invidia who was examining Avaritia, who reciprocated the stare. The air was a little tense, as though the older woman was utterly annoyed with him.

I just didn't expect... you're not a student, are you?

The woman stayed silent for a while, looking slightly ticked off. Ancora watched the exchange for a moment, comparing it to the others meeting Superbia not too far away- the rabbit was getting absurdly angry.

That's a contrast if I've ever seen one.

How astute- yes, I'm not a student. I'm a teacher in this school. Do I have to be examined by everyone here right now...? It's slightly annoying.

I'm assuming all the others already noted the fact it's clearly an older woman in the group, and that's what's ticking her off.

Invidia backed off, raising both of his hands defensively.

...I'm Avaritia, and obviously, it's not my real name. Do you know what it means? It's Latin for greed. I can't say I'm happy with it.

Good to meet you, at any rate. I promise I won't treat you any differently than anyone else.

Good to meet me...? In here? Don't think so, no.

Well, you're a teacher, a figure of authority, so that's reassuring...

Invidia looked like he'd received a gut punch from mere words alone. Dealing with this woman clearly wasn't going to be easy... Ancora couldn't see her face, but she definitely looked permanently annoyed.

Invidia walks away here without another word.

I'm Ancora. I was with Invidia and Superbia earlier.

Yeah, I could see that. Just, ugh...

She reached behind herself to mess with her hair a little, making it look even messier than before.

Um... thanks for your time.

I guess it wouldn't be a madhouse of criminals if someone wasn't extremely impolite.

From here, the six group up again and discuss their predicament, as well as wondering on the status of the last three participants- just for Gula and Luxuria to exit, alone. After another video message from ME, the two explain the third person with them died before they could get her name. The group begins introductions once more, and while Ancora thinks they should handle the puzzle first, she ultimately decides to talk to one of the new arrivals. This time, we're going to go talk to Luxuria and introduce ourselves.

Following that, the introductions began anew. This time, it included the pair who had just come out. Ancora didn't feel like talking to either of them, since her mind was entirely on the puzzle they had to solve... or that she had to solve, really.

It's probably on a few of their minds, too. This puzzle is fairly important to get past, like my avatar said, but... It can wait a little bit.

The blond girl hesitated for a few seconds, but she ultimately decided to not bother with the puzzle for now. Meeting with the two newcomers would allow her to learn important information about them. Having made up her mind...

Tristitia was already in the process of talking to Luxuria when Ancora waved, prompting her to join them instead.

And I'm Luxuria... or Lux. It's cuter, don't you think? Cute things are nice, I think. This helmet I have is really not cute, though...

I bet.

My name is Ancora, and it's good to meet you, Luxuria. At least... as good as things are here...

The smaller girl nodded, excited to meet Ancora.

She most likely smiled under her helmet there. If people could be likened to desserts, she'd sound like she's a cupcake.

Yeah, likewise too! It's just too bad for the third girl, though- she... she didn't make it out...

It's alright. There was nothing you could do, right?

Yeah... it was just a mistake in the end...

Invidia happened to come by at that moment.

Hey, I'm Invidia.

Hahaha, maybe so! You remind me of one of my six sisters.

Six sisters? That's a lot of siblings.

Yeah, I'm seventh in line. What are the chances of that happening, huh? I'm the youngest of the bunch, and days are pretty hellish.

Luxuria just kinda peaces out here without a word.

Oh, really? I guess that's true if your siblings are all the opposite gender... or if you have many of them.

It took them a few moments to realize Luxuria had slipped away during their little talk about siblings. She had joined others to introduce herself to them, too.

Oops, she's gone. Anyway, let's meet back up with the others.

Okay, sure.

He walked back to the group, leaving Ancora alone with her thoughts.

Afterwards, she solves the puzzle attached to the hallway exit, which allows the group to enter the Crossroads. In the process, Superbia hits her head and falls over, and we're given the option of whether to check on her or talk to someone standing nearby. This time, we're gonna talk to Invidia again, see how he's feeling :v:

A loud clank echoed from behind. Superbia fell down onto her rear end, screaming some profanities.

Are you okay?

Interesting that he'd be the one to ask, given how Superbia treated him just before. Either way, there can't be any harm checking up on them... maybe?

Looking around, Ancora noticed Luxuria wasn't staring at the happenings, but at her instead. Not too far off, Invidia had his arms crossed, deep in thought. Presented with those options...

He stopped her with a hand. Before she could even say a word, he spoke to her.

Everyone's watching, but almost nobody is doing anything. I don't feel like anyone here can be trusted.

He leaned against a nearby wall, shrugging while explaining his reasoning.

Then, there's me. You can choose to trust me or not, but I trust you.

Which means he's perfect to use for now.

Trist is the horse guy. I dunno, he feels a little sketchy; he's stable, and he doesn't come off too strong. He's probably one of the more reliable ones of the group. In here, this means he's the one you have to look out for the most.

Ira... Honestly, he comes across as a real dimwit. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up being someone else's pawn. He's not too loud, though. At least, if he's dumb, he's not pushing himself on others.

Finally, about Ula... I feel like she should be feeling a lot more shame than she does. She has a very eccentric look too; is it on purpose? I don't know... I'm having issues reading her, too.

I see... uh, thanks for the monologue, but the others are on the move already, so we'd better hurry.

Ancora couldn't even place a word the whole time. Giving up on having a discussion while the others were on the move again, the two of them went to catch up with them.

From here, ME returns with another message explaining that the group will need nine keycards to be able to initiate the first round of voting- and that if they don't, they all will die once the hour is up. The group splits up to look for a few remaining keycards, giving Ancora the chance to find a quiet corner and hack into someone's helmet. She can only hack helmets whose frequencies match her own (as they change frequencies semi-regularly); this time, we're going to be hacking Avaritia.

At the moment, matching frequencies include... Ira, Avaritia, and Luxuria's helmets. For now, I'll be hacking...

BGM: Mens Metis

:v: Since we're hacking a different person's frequency, we have a different puzzle to solve this time. Surprise, its not just letters and words! The solution for this puzzle is...

This puzzle has two steps- you first need to figure out how to sort the numbers into different groups (they share the second number), and then from there figure out how to sort the numbers within that group (numerically). Thus, the solution.

BGM: Medius

Avaritia and Tristitia were together, as expected. They were talking about the ME-cards their group had found. Tristitia got one of them; by deductive process, Ira had the other.

Yeah, I still got it. Wouldn't let go of it in a million years now that I know what it's used for.

Hmph... I hope so, otherwise we won't be able to vote. Maybe the other teams will have found extras, too.

I don't think we should count on the other groups. I'm not saying we can't trust them, but... I don't think they'll be too much use.

The two of them were near the middle of the area, next to a giant black cylinder from floor to ceiling. Tristitia and Avaritia examined the material closely, with the boy also pushing against it with his hands.

Whatever it is we have to do will be in there, I bet. Look around this wall; it's completely flat and entirely unremarkable, but there are consoles on the sides. Seems you can fit cards in there.

I guess this is where we'll put those keycards, then. I think the bomb is in here, but these nine slots are just to free it.

That's a very precise guess- you're sure you're not involved with any of this?

Avaritia averted her gaze, turning her head to the side as if she didn't want to answer this.

No, don't be stupid now. If I organized something like this, I wouldn't put myself in danger.

Tristitia smoothly deflected the topic to another one.

I guess.

I think we were in Wing A before. This is probably the school we all go to. Since you're so knowledgeable about it, you're most definitely a teacher here too.

Okay, okay, any other topic?

She still wasn't happy with the current one. Ever since her introduction, it was clear she didn't like being reminded of her more advanced age.

Tristitia is the one with the online list, so he most likely knows a lot about My Emptiness. Maybe he's the one I have to look for- the one that needs to be killed.

Did you use your position as teacher as leverage?

Are you asking because you want to know my crime?

The horse-themed guy brushed the back of his head with his hand, not knowing how to tackle the question.

You're sharp... or maybe it wasn't that thickly veiled anyway. But I had two reasons for that, so listen to me before thinking badly of me.

It means anchor, or hope I guess in a more figurative sense.

Hope, huh?

Yeah, that's exactly it. And the other reason is...

I honestly don't care. Could you turn around for a moment?

Tristitia stared at her in surprise due to the sharp change in topic.

You're not going to stab me in the back, are you?

No, I just want to see something I figured out earlier.

Interesting. I knew I noticed something when walking with the others before. I don't think anybody else pointed it out or noticed it yet.

What is it?

On the back of our helmets is a symbol; it's a weird S. I'm sure you've seen it before, haven't you? The one on the cards.

BGM: Memini Meminisse
Actually... it's not only in this school. It's in every school. For some reason, all over the world, this symbol started being drawn by kids that had nothing to do with each other.

What does it mean, you think?

Normally, she's more annoyed than this. Does she find this topic interesting?

So it's completely unexplained. I've never really paid any mind to it. I thought it was just a graffiti people were drawing everywhere.

There's gotta be a reason. Anyway, let's keep searching. We can talk about it with the others later... since it's clearly related to our helmets.

The two of them left the middle cylinder. Instead, Avaritia looked at the debris scattered around the middle area of the Crossroads.

A lot of destruction here, isn't there?

Do you know what happened here?

Yeah. Don't you?

A bomb went off and destroyed all of Wing B with the cafeteria not long ago. A second one collapsed Wing C- reminder, that's the wing with the gymnasium. So the school closed for a while, and that's how there's no one around here now... Still, whoever kidnapped us really went in hard; they repaired so many walls, and put in all these plates.

I don't think anyone ever had classes in Wing D. What even was there, anyway?

Honestly, I don't even know. I've never gone there. Ugh. This is starting to grate me now; someone blew up the school, and now we're stuck here, can we move on?

BGM: Medius
Their assessment is more or less correct. The only wing still standing is Wing A... and I guess the Crossroads is still standing, too.

Avaritia reached into a small hole in the debris to drag out a ME-card. She said something, but the signal grew weaker right at that moment. All of a sudden, frequencies switched, interrupting the feed which cut and restored to Ancora's helmet.

Oct 4, 2015
Can't post for 11 days!
Invidia seems pretty cool and nice, it would suck if he was the traitor we had to kill.

Red John
Jul 12, 2018

Junpei posted:

Invidia seems pretty cool and nice, it would suck if he was the traitor we had to kill.

He's probably hiding the worst crime of all, that's how these things play out.

Jan 24, 2021

Huh? What?

Last update, we laid the groundwork for a different outcome to the first Voting Process, let's see how it paid off! :v:

The lead-in is the same; everyone puts cards into all nine terminals, and while receiving another video of ME, the cylinder retracts into the floor to reveal a shotgun pointed at each participant's station. They all attach their helmets to their stations, and Bia proposes they vote Ancora, as she believes Ancora is the mastermind. (And, well, I mean. She is :v:).

BGM: Mercedis Mellitus
You already said your reasoning, but can you elaborate a bit?

I'm not an idiot, so I noticed your name was weird. It sounds like Pandora, for one, but it's also not a deadly sin. And also, you haven't been exploring with the others earlier. I saw you hanging around by the bathrooms. It's like you don't need to do it, because you know everything already.

Refuting those points quickly is mandatory. There's only so much time before the end, though.

Ancora took a deep breath. There wasn't much time to say everything she wanted to say, and any wrong step could spell her doom.


There was the paper in our room, and we clearly had the answer right to escape the room.

No way! The answer we had to yell wasn't our names- it was the link all of us shared. In other words, My Emptiness.

She's right. We knew these names because we all remembered them, not because we read them on paper.

I suppose it is misguided on Bia's part. However, my suspicions situate themselves on Cora regardless, given the other accusations.

Your name is still wack, and sounds like Pandora anyway. Remove the P, change the D into a C, and there you go: Ancora.

Be that as it may... it... well... perhaps.

Seems like we're making some kind of headway. Avaritia is giving them a little bit too much to think about, but hopefully nobody is going to notice the hint she just gave them all.

See? The name means nothing. Why would I pick the name that would make me look most suspicious? Let's say you're right, and the mastermind made sure that ninth person died to take their name...

Logically speaking, I think you'd pick the name conforming to the model to blend in, but that's if your goal is to not be found out. Then again, I don't know what kind of goal would have you want to be found...

And what is our goal here? Among us, we have to kill the real face of ME. It wouldn't be much of a game if it was so easy we'd find Pandora in the first vote without any kind of clue other than guesswork.

Don't tell me you're all buying this...

Reverse psychology might have a good chance in swaying their opinions.

Look, you've been a huge bitch to everyone, so I don't see why I should follow you more than Cora. It's true the name Ancora doesn't fit with the rest, but...

I am still not entirely convinced, though there is logic to what you are ascertaining.

W-we still need more information...

Until then, we don't have a choice...

Avaritia is remaining silent. I think she's considering what's been said so far. Maybe she's been swayed already, which means only one more needs to be convinced.

Ancora was gathering her thoughts. It was difficult to go over anything that could help her as the anxiety was getting to her. Seeing how she was panicking, others took the spotlight instead.

Huh? Yeah, what about it?

The game has a day-night cycle where normal villagers, which are the majority, try to vote and kill the one they suspect to be the werewolf who, during the night, can turn others into werewolves or outright eat them instead. It kinda feels like we're playing that right now, don't you think?

I guess that's how it feels, but what are you implying by singling me out?

What if that game truly is being played, real time, right now, and the girl in Lux and Ula's room died because you killed her before we woke up, and now we're in the next day cycle?

But I'm not here to kill anybody. In fact, I wasn't even in the classroom with Ula and Lux to begin with!

It doesn't work anyway because...well... the girl was alive when we woke up. She only died later...

This is going nowhere, and that's a stupid theory. Why would this be based on this Werewolf game you're talking about, anyway? My mind's still set on Cora. Are you all just blind?

Yeah... and besides, I have my own proof as to why Cora is suspicious.

Show it, then!

Does that mean there were two Coras? But our Ancora specifically introduced herself as Ancora before we found the list of names, same as Bia and I.

Bia and me.

Now's not the time for grammar, Cora.

Was it the list of three names, or the website page?

Um, what list of three names? We didn't have anything like that. Thinking about it, it must have been the website... Oh, I confused myself, sorry. There's just one Cora, then.

I-I'm voting for whoever you vote for.

There's no purpose going over who's voting for who right now, and our time is quickly dwindling. We need to come up with a conclusion.

You duplicitous lot may suit yourselves with this debate, but I desire to keep the equilibrium between my head and the rest of my body proper. For that purpose, and the additional purpose of your common survival, I propose we vote swiftly and promptly.

I guess there's no avoiding it, then. We still don't really know who to vote for, but...

Wait up. I want to vote, too, but we still have two minutes and I don't want to vote for someone innocent.

No one's innocent here, teach. We're all criminals.

I see... So, we're going into that outcome. Guess it sucks for me, but it will save all of them.

What are you talking about?

Too long to explain, and we're running out of time. We're all voting for someone different and we're stuck in a deadlock, that's all I need to know.

We need to come to a conclusion! I am not dying because the teacher put us all in a loving deadlock!

Specific instructions? He's lost it. At this point, I'm not even arguing. Just vote for the wolf.

Vote for the wolf, I see.

Sure, I guess...

I also don't understand what he's talking about, but with that kind of sacrifice, there's no way he's the traitor. I don't think it's possible to change their minds, though.

So go ahead, vote for me. I've done some bad stuff too, you know. At least, maybe with this, I'm going to atone for the crime I did, and to you, Bia.

Vote already! Don't you get that lives are on the line, here? Seven people are counting on this to happen!

You think I'm gonna vote just because you said that?! I need to know what you mean by this stuff, too! Like, you can't totally bail on me after saying some stupid thing like that!

Heh, I totally can. Eat poo poo and vote. And Cora? Remember what I told you earlier, and don't forget it.

About people not being able to trust, or something like that, was it? Why would he bring that up now?

Whatever, then! If you want to die a hero for your precious Cora, I don't care!

So, we vote for Vidi?

That's a complete waste of a vote. Maybe the next one will be more useful.

This time, our vote really doesn't matter. Invidia made sure of that. So I'm gonna vote for Superbia just because :v:

The screens above the voting consoles settled onto Invidia's symbol. It was clear what was to follow: it was his execution. Every shotgun but the victim's released their hold, leaving the participants to witness the macabre outcome.

BGM: Silence

Time slowed down. Eventually, everything froze.

Did something go wrong? It feels as though... something should have happened.

BGM: Mestitior

No one could say anything. Some of them, like Luxuria, had turned away in order to not witness the horrendous outcome for what it was, rather content in watching the consoles instead. Others like Tristitia stared, dumbfounded.

A large pool of red, reminiscent of spilled ink, was spreading from the empty abyss of that missing neck. Ancora watched the remains of perhaps her only real ally, laying limp to the bloodstained surface. The feelings coursing through Ancora were clear and indescribable. There was fear, horror, apprehension, but there was also... relief. It hadn't been her body lying on the ground. Everyone else most likely felt much of the same.

It... it happened, didn't it?

Yes. Vidi's dead.

He's not just dead! That's not death, that's desecration! That's like being... loving dead!

For a moment, it looked like Avaritia was going to say something, as her body language clearly indicated hesitation, but she merely walked off with her shoulders slumped. The silence settling on the group lasted for a while. The dust slowly dispersed, as everyone in the group took the outcome in stride. The dead body was a reminder that this fate could be one they all shared.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that. The goal is for only the traitor to die. Or the least amount of them, since that's not possible now.

BGM: Memini Meminisse
You know... the worst thing about death is... That dead body, it's not a person anymore. It used to be a person, and now... it's just an object. It's just a thing. You could shake it, but Vidi's not gonna answer. He was alive right before this, though. He was talking, and arguing with us.

It's just a lack of the ability to process information and answer accordingly. It's not really different than a machine. Except we can process it differently, because we can choose to not act accordingly.

Ancora paid little attention, looking around for the others. Ira and Superbia had been strangely quiet; it's because they'd both left already. Avaritia was still gone, and Luxuria wasn't near them.

After all, it is presumptuous to assume we have this “free will” when the choice, as you inferred, is made based on available information.

Tristitia finally stared back at Gula, shrugging.

Maybe, maybe not. I don't think anyone can tell. If I had to guess, though... you're probably correct.

Again, Tristitia shrugged.

Of course, with sufficient force, I guess you could make it go off the rails. When that happens, though, it's not a good outcome. You'll crash and kill dozens, if not hundreds. And as you can see before us, the consequence is real.

He pushed against Invidia's side with his foot. Gula grimly retained her silence. The only sound interrupting the moment came from Luxuria, whose tears were running wild.

Is that sobbing from fear? Disgust? Legitimate sorrow?

BGM: Medius
Either way... it doesn't look like we got the mastermind...

The others looked at her; it was a real worry. With the timer ticking down again, they had a job to fulfill.

Truth be told, the game will really only end the moment I find out the traitor. Anything to manipulate them into thinking they won.

I don't think anybody would hope for that.

Can we stop... talking about death?

The little girl spoke aloud amidst her tears, supporting herself against one of the consoles. Gula and Tristitia split from the others, deciding to take their conversation elsewhere. Ancora remained with Luxuria.

Um... we can go elsewhere too, if you want...

The other's from when that girl got the wrong guess, most likely.

As Ancora noticed when she wandered closer, Luxuria was extremely destabilized by the event, to the point where she was not only hugging herself in fear, but also on the verge of mental collapse.

Want to help me put in the cards into the slots in the middle? We have to do it at some point, so we may as well fill nine cards in.


The angle of her helmet showed she gave a glance towards the headless corpse, before she set off to work alongside Ancora. The two of them began collecting the deactivated cards from the consoles, careful not to wander in front of the shotguns. It would be too stupid if one of them fired by mistake.

It's obvious they can't fire unless a vote is cast, and that they don't shoot real bullets. This precaution is just for Luxuria's state, for sure.

Ancora asked the question, though she didn't expect any real answer out of the girl. To her surprise, she nodded while they were putting in the cards into the contraption.

Yeah... a little now. I don't know what's going on... but I don't want to be weak like this either... it's just... the body...

What about the body?

BGM: Silence
Ancora's vision faded right afterwards.

BGM: ME Mori

Greetings once more. I'm sure you'd rather not see ME again, not after the vote and your forced witness of a dead body. I would like to remind you that there will be 5 more in total today other than this one, so you should strap yourselves in.

The carnage isn't over yet. Far from it.

Fortunately for you, now you have an hour of respite. Please use your time well. We will be heading towards more of those education rooms now. If you'd remember the room you woke up in, they're a little like that. All the ME-cards are hidden further inside.

Hopefully you didn't kill off your best puzzle solver yet, or else you would regret it now.

The timer inside of Ancora's helmet read exactly four hours remaining.

Once you've made your way inside, you will have to split up into three groups. You may be one, two, or three in a group. The very moment four people enter the same classroom, they will surrender their right to live.

Don't you feel smarter by learning various subjects? Another smart thing to do: not opening the doors until you are ready to go in, otherwise it will lock you out for 39 minutes. Please remember that once you enter a room, you will also only have 39 minutes before you surrender your right to live! Time is of the essence, and I will stop taking it from you for now.

I'll see you later.

BGM: Medius
Then the image faded once more, and Ancora's vision was replaced with the real world. She looked at Luxuria, who looked back at her. The bear-themed girl decided to keep Luxuria company instead of helping the others solve the aforementioned puzzle.

They can probably take care of this one on their own, anyway.

I kind of want to look at this machine a bit more.

We only have so much time before the next voting round... if we're going to do that, we'll be leaving the teams to separate in strange groups.

What do you mean?

We're seven left now, so that means if we both stay here to look at the machine and try to figure out how it works, we're leaving them to split as teams of two, two, and one...

I... I guess. But in that case, I should go tell the group.

For a moment, Luxuria hesitated. Ancora could tell it was because this would leave her alone, and there was already a feeling of kinship developing between the two of them.

Already clinging onto another, huh...

Okay, but come back quickly, Cora...

After promising it to Luxuria, Ancora walked off to join the main group in order to tell their plan.

Oct 6, 2014

Pandora posted:

That dead body, it's not a person anymore. It used to be a person, and now... it's just an object. It's just a thing.

I see you’re paraphrasing one of my favorite lines of Virtue’s Last Reward, game…

May 29, 2010

This reasoning is possible for forums user idonotlikepeas!
in case there exists a human on God's Green Earth that does not know what the Cool S looks like, it's this:

It is genuinely a bit mysterious; it shows up in photographs of graffiti starting in the 70s, but nobody really knows where it came from or why people like to doodle it. (As to how it's transmitted, it seems to be mainly word of mouth.) It's everywhere, though; it's especially popular with children, so it tends to appear on school textbooks a lot.


Oct 4, 2015
Can't post for 11 days!
If it's not a spoiler, have we moved on the flowchart to the segment above our previous death, the one immediately below it, or the one at the very bottom with the lock?

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