25th Jun 2020, 11:31 PM
Retrieve that weird knife

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Retrieve that weird knife
You wait, for a little bit, catching your breath and watching water ("water") pour out of the ceiling. Breathing hurts, but not as much as you think it would if you really had a broken rib. ...You've never had a broken rib, you're just guessing. You might have a broken rib and a tendency to undervalue your own suffering.

You ponder the nature of the waterway you just traveled.

You ... do not believe that grabbing a barrel and surfing it was the intended way to navigate that maintenance tunnel. Thinking about it from a dumbass lost in a dungeon perspective, it made perfect sense. Thinking about it from a game design perspective, you were probably meant to flip a switch that drains the maintenance tunnel, or unlock some crazy movement power that lets you swim, or... something. Something else.

Even for your brain, riding a barrel was both out-of-the-box and goofy as fuck. You honestly don't know if you'd have had the chutzpah to go for it if Cici hadn't been here; like, it wasn't even the most tactically sound decision, she just confirmed how fun it sounded and she was right. Like, who gives a shit? You have over a week of dungeon time left, you've been taking this very seriously and making a lot of progress. Be a little ballsy. Surf a fucking barrel. You don't regret this decision.

...You do worry about Cici a little, though.

Was this the final goal of the waterway? Did it continue on past this point, or was this always the hole you were destined to fall through? Assuming you're right about how the waterway's supposed to work, then by design you'd only (normally) be able to take advantage of it later in the game ("game")... after you've likely cleared this part of the castle and are fucking sick of dealing with it, and after all the monsters here have long stopped being any sort of challenge. The waterways may act as a sort of shortcut for advanced players. Plenty of more open, complex games have both fast travel mechanics and a map that sort of wraps around on itself in different ways to facilitate better pacing.

You're betting a lot on both your semi-intelligent game design dungeon theory, AND on a series of total guesses about what the deal with the maintenance tunnel is. ...But fuck you, brain, it makes sense. The waterway likely continues on throughout the prison, passing by drainage locales all over the place, spiraling downward from the top floor. Cici can fly, so she probably made it farther than you did--which means if you continue downward yourself, you should be able to find her.

Not only are you very near to the stairs--

not only do you remember exactly where you left the taped knife--

you (most importantly) know where all the torches are.

You grab one from the wall, and head north--first checking the locked door you had to come through the last time you were in this zone, the one placed right in front of a giant hole in the floor. Even though you unlocked it a couple of nights ago, it is locked again. That confirms that locks re-lock when the dungeon resets.

You continue, into the corner room.

"OP strats!," you yell as you hurl your torch at a right-to-know, and miss. Noticing you, the creature turns and begins to wander your direction.

You duck back into the hall, grab another torch, burst back into the corner room and try a second time. "OP... strats!"

This time it's closer and you hit it dead on. The monster announces its catchphrase, then takes its leave through a crack in the ceiling. You grab another torch before taking the curve west, into the next hall.

As you make your way to the spot you remember fading at nights ago, another bony figure begins to emerge from one of the cells. "OP strats!," you again declare, as though it's the name of the attack--chucking a torch in a wide spiral toward the peeking entity. The flame skids across the monster's... uh, face, and it promptly ducks back into hiding. The phrase OP strats is beginning to lose all meaning.

You grab another torch, and walk into a familiar open cell.


There, upon the floor--precisely where you anticipated it would be--is a broken blade, wrapped in yellow police tape labelled DO NOT RESET.

You retrieve the taped knife.

This also confirms your theory that the knife--or more likely, whatever's wrapped in the tape at the time which is currently a knife--does not, in fact, reset. It stays wherever it was placed when the dungeon cycles. This can affect anything else the knife affects; when you first found it, it stayed embedded in a monster, keeping it pinned down even after reset.

In other words, locked doors don't have to re-lock; you could theoretically wedge the knife in a doorway, as an example, to prevent it from closing. You could maybe even open a door and tie the handle to something else with just the tape, forcing it to reset as completely open.

The tape has implications.


Slipping the knife into one of your belt loops, you head for the small office across the hall. It was locked the last time you were here, and you were out of keys--but now you have that key the mimic dropped.

You press it to the lock--


Ta-da. It opens, and the key fades. It works JUST like your house key.


You walk into the office. There's a desk, a full bookshelf...

and a treasure chest. Fuck. Come on.

You check the shelf first. The names of the books are strings of nonsensical symbols, but there does seem to be a pattern to them; some of the symbols are all round, some of them are all spikier, and some of them are more blocky.

You take down a round symboled book, and open it to a random page.


...huh.


They're... notes.

Hastily scrawled notes about the time you had to stay up late finishing your homework--not because you'd put it off (which was often the case), but because you were genuinely struggling to learn multiplication. For how good you were in most subjects, math was never really your forte; it's also a big part of why you make videos about games instead of making games. Programming sucks when you suck at math and remembering math-like things, like angles and distances and

on the next page, the notes continue... about how your difficulties drove your mom to take up smoking again, almost a decade after she'd originally quit. You know this, because you asked and she told you. You drove her to smoke again.

You turn to a different section of the book.

A description of the time your mom yelled at you about staying in all the time, never leaving the house because you're so obsessed with your computer... juxtaposed with the time she yelled at you for being gone too much and coming home too late (you'd been hanging out with Lora).

You close the book, and put it back on the shelf.

You take one of the spiky symboled books. Contained within are more furiously scrawled notes, this time about... your dad ranting about transgender people and bathrooms in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. You flip forward a handful of pages, and find an incredibly racist series of jokes you remember your dad telling his friends.

You close the book, and put it back on the shelf.

For completeness' sake, you try a square symboled book. ...Jokes your dad's friends told him. That one and only time the neighbors came over to check if you were okay (you had a black friend over at the time). That time a guy in his mid 30s asked you, when you were 16, if the carpets matched the drapes.

In the middle of a convenience store.

You close the book and put it back on the shelf.

Every note is vividly depicted in exactly the level of detail that you, personally, can recall. These are moments you lived, written exactly as you remember living them, as though transcribed while the moments passed.

Every time your mom, dad, or the town of Addersfield at large chipped away at you.

Every moment leading to your mental vision of the town looking like a medieval sewer from a game whose main marketing point was that it kills you, a hostile environment of the virtual transposed over the architecture of your real and most personal hostile environment growing up.


There's nothing on top of the desk.

You open one of the drawers; inside are loose pages, all full of notes themselves.

Ah. The stash.

That time you tried to date a guy, and your mom's response was "oh thank God"

and then she had an elaborate explanation for exactly why you and that guy broke up, which she would bring up frequently, for years, every single time getting the guy's name wrong but still swearing up and down to fuck that she understood your relationship with him better than you did

and her reasoning for the two of you breaking up was a bunch of stereotypical bad housewife bullshit, like how you don't cook and your hair is too messy and if you don't prove yourself you'll never land a husband, guys can just tell when a girl is wife material and you need to earn it

but the real reason you broke up with him was his spiritual connection to a particular camgirl, and while you honestly didn't care if he looked at porn (who doesn't look at porn?) the fact that he was having private voice conversations with and giving $80 a month to said camgirl sparked a series of arguments. You explained this to your mom at one point, in explicit and specific detail, but in failing to understand what a camgirl is she also somehow failed to remember the entire fucking conversation and continued to push the bad wife argument until the dAY YOU GOD DAMN LEFT TOWN.

Also in the desk: a bulleted list of the absolute most horrible epithets, slurs, and colloquialisms you learned from your dad and his tacky, shitty friends.

You shut the desk drawer, and check the one beneath. More notes, and your dimming torch is making it harder to read.

Does reading cost mana? That, too, is some bullshit.

This room sucks a fat one. Where are your good memories stored?

You kick the chest; it does not react. If it's a mimic, it's playing the long game.


Given the rest of the room, maybe that's exactly what's happening. Maybe this chest contains the worst memories of all, as the mimic hopes to hurt you emotionally. Maybe there's like, old school photographs and shit in there, arranged neatly in manila folders. A hilariously thorough and devious mimic. He'd have a speech prepared.

Alternatively, there's a chest in here to compensate you for having to experience Plaire's Sad Brain Museum. You double check; the chest is, in fact, locked. ...So it's not that, either.

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26th Jun 2020, 12:09 AM
Let's head to the barrel room next, then. Check for monsters-- including mimic barrels-- and then maybe pry some of them open. If they have the Mana Wine in them, maybe take a sip and see if that re-extends the time limit.
26th Jun 2020, 12:27 AM
+1. I don't thiiiink there were any hazards we couldn't handle, at this point, between here and there?

Oh, but do we still have the crowbar? We did lose the tool chest, after all.
26th Jun 2020, 12:31 AM
Snervalton
+1. Don't forget to check for traps as well as monsters! We could probably pry the barrels open with the taped knife if we need to. Then head downstairs in search of the triangle.

Edit: Just for clarity's sake, we should head over to the barrels to the west of the entrance to the office, in the northwest corner of this part of the dungeon.
26th Jun 2020, 1:49 AM
undeadDreamer
Not sure burns-your-nerves mana potion is such a good idea. We wanna find a check-point before we die, because it'd be a hassle to get back down here again.
26th Jun 2020, 11:38 AM
Frission
The cheesy golden nerve-burn elixir, bad for us? Come on, it's just Faygo. xD
26th Jun 2020, 2:19 PM
Find and consume a bit more mana juice, Plaire.
Just a sip.
26th Jun 2020, 1:49 AM
undeadDreamer
Not sure burns-your-nerves mana potion is such a good idea. We wanna find a check-point before we die, because it'd be a hassle to get back down here again.
26th Jun 2020, 6:01 AM
Snervalton
We can test out whether it has been enough time since our last dose of mana potion that another dose won't do us any harm. Maybe just try a small amount? The torches are fading and our dungeon-crawling may be over for the night soon anyway if we don't find a way to recharge.
26th Jun 2020, 12:18 AM
Xylas_Incarnum
Anyone else think Plair needs to get some off the books lockpicking lessons? No reason why Thief skills wouldn't be a thing in here right?

Alternately there's always breaking the damn thing open by removing the hinges or just going "keys are for pussies" and smashing in the lid.

.... have we tried brute forcing a locked chest yet? can't remember.
26th Jun 2020, 12:23 AM
+1 to looking up this universe's version of Deviant Ollam or the Lockpicking Lawyer when we wake up. Start grinding them thief skills!
26th Jun 2020, 12:27 AM
Snervalton
Not a bad idea but if we weren't allowed to cheat this limitation by bringing in junkyard keys then I doubt that we'll be able to cheat it with lock-picking skills.
26th Jun 2020, 12:30 AM
Eh, junkyard keys would be *way* too exploitable, and mechanically, keys from different dungeons don't often work. So the junkyard keys not working was kinda expected. If we train lockpicking as a skill, however, that might work with the game mechanics-- grinding a skill isn't as easy to exploit, and it takes an actual investment of time and effort, plus it's a way that you progress in actual games.
26th Jun 2020, 12:33 AM
Snervalton
Fair enough, it's worth a try. Would Kate be offended if we asked how well-versed she was in this particular skill?
26th Jun 2020, 8:52 AM
Limrix
I think Kate would be offended if we thought she couldn't pick a lock.

We'd also need lockpicking tools to start practicing with that, though hacking seems like a great skill to study up on. The most vulnerable point of any door is its hinges, and they're often easily removed. Just a hammer and a screwdriver can get you through most doors, provided they're showing you their hinges.
26th Jun 2020, 10:41 PM
unless lock-picking happens to consume a lot of Mana. And honestly, in any event I don't know that it's worth the time investment.

In video games where the mechanic exists, it's usually easier to just find a key. You have to level up the skill so much before it's useful that what you find by backtracking usually sucks
26th Jun 2020, 1:49 AM
I would agree that lockpicking skill would be invaluable for this dungeon, but only if Plaire had access to a game that had lockpicking mechanics. It's the difference between Legend of Zelda and Skyrim.
26th Jun 2020, 7:42 AM
pkrankow
We have our ID in the dream. Try jimmying the lock with it as it is a stiff plastic card...
26th Jun 2020, 11:35 AM
IWILLDERPYOU
I agree. Get a book from the library. We need to make another video as well.
26th Jun 2020, 6:54 PM
Tep
26th Jun 2020, 12:19 AM
I would say burn the memory books but that seems like a bad idea.
26th Jun 2020, 1:49 AM
Best not mess with things in our own head.
26th Jun 2020, 2:33 AM
One thing to note when we wake up is any significance the symbols have. Also the one thing I'm concerned about is why this room in particular is locked. The only thing of value dungeon-wise is an equally locked chest.
26th Jun 2020, 4:08 AM
+1. they might be clues to future bosses and level themes since they are linked to plaires traumas and hate.
26th Jun 2020, 12:44 PM
Snervalton
I was thinking the symbols might be used in some sort of puzzle elsewhere in the dungeon that requires a code to crack.
26th Jun 2020, 11:36 AM
26th Jun 2020, 4:10 AM
We should try the house key and then look for cici never leave your friend alone in a dungeon.
26th Jun 2020, 7:44 AM
pkrankow
How faded are we? This determines if we go for a barrel first or try to jimmy the locked chest with our ID

Sip the whiskey, do not chug.
26th Jun 2020, 12:49 PM
Snervalton
This entry says that the torch is "dimming" so that indicates that we are probably pretty close to fading out. But yes, given the physiological effects of the bamana potion, we should sip not chug it.
26th Jun 2020, 7:45 AM
BJBlack
As long as you've got a brief respite, Bust out the Drillga powers. This may require mana.

Anyway, Player speculated about explosion damage invincibility, though that's not easy to test, and dangerous if we do have a chance to test. The community extrapolated to rocket jumping from there, and that would be fun.

Another community idea was digging powers, like making the dungeon destructible. Which might mean we could tear down walls? That could save keys at the cost of mana. Using it for sequence breaking might be viable later, when we know where to use it (doing it haphazardly risks drilling out into the ocean).

Other notable game mechanics were the pickax, the bomb, and the drill. However, the pattern of game powers so far would indicate that this isn't it. Nevertheless, try to manifest these if the above don't pan out.
26th Jun 2020, 7:50 AM
I would suggest using the rest of the time we have to plunge into the unknown, and see what's down the stairs. If the mana? barrels are on the way, then that'd be an okay detour, but we should probably see how much of the sub-basement 3 we can clear before we fade.
26th Jun 2020, 7:53 AM
I wouldn't bet on the chest being full of good things : someone's suspiciously absent from the Addersfield-era memory books. Maybe expect more a mixed bag.
Unless she's in another brain library altogether, that is.

Either way, we really need more keys.
Testing random junkyard keys can't hurt, but I expect keys to The House are what we need. Is it expensive to have doubles made ?
...
Do we know anyone proficient it lockpicking ?
26th Jun 2020, 8:25 AM
Limrix
Put back the emotionally draining books, and check the barrels. If we don't want to die we're going to need some more mana soon. Mana does seem to be tied to our emotions though, so maybe the potion forcibly reinvigorates that. beauty, ksc pointed out in the discord that drinking this will help us learn both if this can extend our dungeon time and if there are any negative effects from repeated potion consumption. Drink it slowly though, and keep an eye out for monsters. If there are any books that aren't about us, they could prove very useful.

After that, or if something we can't handle shows up, head down the stairs and try to find a heart room or a candle to light, or if this is just another dungeon level, a way further down without dying.

We probably have at least a bruised rib, although if breathing doesn't hurt I'm not sure what's going on. Maybe take a second while we're sipping potion to examine ourself if we don't have to take the pads off to check.
26th Jun 2020, 10:21 AM
Hari_Seldon
+1 drink from he barrels then go downstairs

EDIT: if drinking from the barrels does not extend the time in the dungeon, then Plaire should wrap the Do Not Reset tape around herself.

Whenver Plaire is about to fade out she should wrap the Do Not Reset tape around herself.

I personally prefer the Heart Room, so my first choice is to drink from the barrel again and see if that gives Plaire enough time to find a Heart Room or the Triangle. But if that fails then we do not want to lose this progress (it was so hard to get this far who says we could do better next time?) and Plaire should use the tape despite the risks that her mana may not refill if she does.
26th Jun 2020, 11:34 AM
IWILLDERPYOU
Alright, let's think about this calmly. What happens when you drink a barrel? Seizures and pain and whatnot. What would happen if, say, a giant tube monster wanted to crawl into you during that time? You need a way to retrieve the potion first and take it to a safe room, or find Cici. We don't have much time, but don't squander it!
26th Jun 2020, 1:05 PM
Snervalton
+1. Make sure we're not in a vulnerable position when we drink the mana potion. I think the seizures and such are meant to ensure that we can't/shouldn't use them while we are immediately threatened.
26th Jun 2020, 11:43 AM
Frission
We aught to use the knife to carve a note for Cici in the door or a barrel or something in case she comes this way, to point her in the direction we're going.
26th Jun 2020, 12:46 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 but do it quick like an arrow and a P or salamander. And it could either be done with the knife or the red pen. Edit: I prefer the pen.
26th Jun 2020, 1:05 PM
26th Jun 2020, 2:29 PM
+1 as long as it doesn't take too long to carve. The pen is probably better.
26th Jun 2020, 4:25 PM
pkrankow
+1Note
+1 the salamander drawing
+1 using the pen
26th Jun 2020, 12:06 PM
26th Jun 2020, 12:48 PM
Mother was driven to smoking? A clear warning that she'll be a chained up fire demon boss, completely immune to our torches! Drat!
26th Jun 2020, 12:56 PM
Have we tried burning a chest yet? Might not be the best idea since it might destroy anything inside it, but if we're not planning to come back this way anyway it might be worth a shot.
26th Jun 2020, 1:07 PM
Snervalton
I wouldn't try that unless it's a chest whose contents we already know, like the one containing the whole-ass sword.
26th Jun 2020, 1:29 PM
Lunar Waffles
maybe in stead of drinking or sipping the mana poke a finger in and suck it off?
26th Jun 2020, 2:26 PM
Also, Plaire shouldn't fear any math-based challenge, her personal choir will assist her in any such endeavour.
She could even try learning things again, surrounded by friends this time instead of a poor excuse for a family. That will make a world of a difference.
26th Jun 2020, 11:19 PM
If it's not bolted down or too heavy, take the chest out of the room and stab the knife with tape in it so it stays in another room. That way if the lock does reset on that room there is a workaround for next time. Then, when done for the night empty mana pool and burn the room to cinders for some good old fashioned stress relief.