27th Jun 2020, 10:42 PM
Descend the stairs

 <<First     Latest>>   

Descend the stairs
Hmm.

There should be a way you can just... check what your mana is. Right? Everything else is so gamified, and there's clearly mechanics involved with... total mana and mana recovery and shit. The next time you find a safe room (like another heart room, maybe?) where you know you won't be ambushed by monsters, you may try meditating or... opening a status menu with your mind. Maybe that's a thing.

...Alternatively.

Your house key has special functionality in the dream. Your cell phone behaves differently, as well, though you're not yet sure if it does anything.

It wouldn't be insane to think your ID card has changed, as well. You haven't really examined it while inside the dungeon, and it may just... you don't know, give you your stats.


You take your ID card out of your pocket.


. . .


Though it possesses the same size, weight, and consistency that it does in the real world, your ID card has in fact been altered by the dream. It does not, however, provide you any meaningful stats except





That.


So there's that. You know that now.

You are the Fool. The Fool is you.

Cici is the Sun, Kate is the Devil,


you are the Fool.


With that little boost of confidence, you're ready to attack the next leg of your journey

You head down the stairs into basement level 2, or B2.


As you descend into the dark, you are greeted by almost chest high water and...


...pumps?





Chains pull up and down on enormous... mechanisms, pumping sludge out of the room and into God-knows-where.

You are already not particularly fond of this floor. Just a general vibe you're getting.

 <<First     Latest>>   

   

Rate this comic:

X X X X X
average rating: 5

27th Jun 2020, 10:45 PM
Morgenstern
I didn't post a page monday for lack of internet, so I figured I would post a saturday page
27th Jun 2020, 10:57 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
.... welp, those are either teeth or a port cullus up ahead..... and what are those things in the pipes? some kinda spiked fleshy potato?

.... yeah the more I look ahead the more that looks like something ready to bite into anything or anyone that walks below it packman style. Try seeing if you can just walk around that last arch before going through.

Edit: those spikes and/or teeth are drills, now that I'm giving them another look. Notice the slight spiral lines.
27th Jun 2020, 11:13 PM
Fishbulb
Looks like a mini-boss room where the door seals behind you.
28th Jun 2020, 7:06 AM
Snervalton
I think those potato-looking things in the pipes are some of those spiky-slugs we saw on B1 earlier. +1 to going around or otherwise trying to avoid those drill-spikes.
27th Jun 2020, 10:59 PM
Limrix
Well that doesn't look like a mouth at all. With waist high water we're going to have a hard time doing anything.

It looks like this place is pumping spike worms into the upper levels, kind of like the alien processing plant from Subnautica, but more awful. The things in the pipes are the parasite worms that inhabit the corpses in the dungeon.

I'm vaguely curious about what those chains are connected to, but if there are worms in the tube water, there are probably worms in the water we're standing in. We should probably head back until we can find a boat for this area, or drain the water somehow.
28th Jun 2020, 7:09 AM
Snervalton
+1 to finding a boat. Maybe pry the office door off its hinges?
28th Jun 2020, 12:36 PM
Lunar Waffles
+1 to flotation device x:
28th Jun 2020, 10:14 PM
LeRageFace5
+1, and keep an eye out for worms trying to climb the boat
28th Jun 2020, 11:04 PM
+1 to GTFO. The acid slugs can swim, but maybe not very well. Either the pipes are extracting water directly from the room, in which case the water is FULL OF ACID SLUGS, or they're being pumped up from a lower level, in which case getting into a boss fight near the almost certainly breakable pipes while standing in waist-deep water is a terrible, terrible idea. More worrying is that if the pumps are emptying the room Plaire is in, then the slugs are being replenished through the open-maw gate. Which means that if Plaire walks into the next room, she'll be walking straight into a flow of acid slugs and she ain't wearing armored pants. Can you say "fall over face-first"?

Plaire needs either a flotation device or Cici's shield projection ability before trying anything down here. Even if the mechanism to drain the water levels is past whatever's in the next room, it's not worth the risk.

And while the side door is worth investigating, the same principle applies. All it takes for Plaire to be drowned or infested is her stepping on one acid slug and falling over.
28th Jun 2020, 11:27 PM
And one more thing: Plaire's carrying the Do Not Reset knife again. If she dies and loses it down here, in the water, getting it back out of waist-high water would be even more of a nightmare than this time... and that's assuming that it doesn't get sucked into one of the pipes and dumped elsewhere in the complex. At the very least Plaire should find somewhere safe and unflooded to hide the thing.
29th Jun 2020, 6:14 PM
BJBlack
Holy shit, I just realized that those pipes are transparent! I thought those worms were crawling on the outside of opaque pipes (making your observation strange), but I think you're right.

I'm going to -1 the proposal to flee, though. The reason is meta: She waded in already without our orders, so we can assume that wasn't a mistake. The nature of this fiction is that we make the major decisions, and hence, the major mistakes. It would be extremely dickish of our good author to tell us we control Player, and then have her just derp into deadly peril without a chance for our input.

Basically, she waded in to demonstrate to us that the water is safe, and we don't need to waste a bunch of time sweating it.
27th Jun 2020, 11:08 PM
Hmm, is that a door to the East I see on the map? Maybe let's check that out. Also be *very* careful with our footing, falling and getting the torch extinguished would really suck.
28th Jun 2020, 1:08 AM
I noticed that too. Time to check the mysterious gap in the map!
28th Jun 2020, 1:32 AM
Lunar Waffles
+1 to Sherlocking the maybe door
28th Jun 2020, 3:49 AM
28th Jun 2020, 7:08 AM
Snervalton
+1 but after we've found a way to float around on the water down here.
28th Jun 2020, 8:37 AM
BJBlack
+1. Check that maybe-door.
28th Jun 2020, 11:18 PM
...+/-1. If we do this, make sure to stick to the walls as closely as possible. Hopefully, all of the parasite worms are being sucked into the tubes, since they don't look like they'd be very strong swimmers; if Plaire avoids walking straight across the flow, it might be okay.
27th Jun 2020, 11:40 PM
Well that's a boss room up ahead if I've ever seen one.

...We should probably leave this alone for now.

In the meanwhile the I.D. card, eh.
Yeah, The Fool sounds about right.
Both in terms of meaning and the dream dungeon providing on-brand petty snark.
28th Jun 2020, 10:46 PM
+1 to avoiding. This whole setup screams "Boss Room". We definitely don't want to get in a fight without having Cici along.
28th Jun 2020, 12:15 AM
Keep an eye out for Chain Monsters!
28th Jun 2020, 1:04 PM
I'm not only worried about the chain monsters. If there are fleshy spike potatoes being pumped up, they must also be in the water around us...

We should find a way to turn up the pumps, or drain the floor.
28th Jun 2020, 12:47 AM
Hmm. I wonder if there's a system to keep the party together.

Speaking of game systems, I don't think we tried to figure out if that arcade machine gave us anything interesting. If I remember correctly, it was some kind of mining game, so can we just pull a bomb out of somewhere?
28th Jun 2020, 1:09 AM
The arcade game more closely resembles Digdug.
28th Jun 2020, 1:34 AM
Lunar Waffles
The Discord mostly Thinks that its buffing the fireballs, and Plair thinks possiably giving her explosion immunity.
28th Jun 2020, 1:25 AM
Alright, this seems to be the entrance to some kind of water or sewer level. Considering the fact that there's probably some way to drain or traverse the water somewhere, I think there's two possibilities for how that relates to this area: that we're not meant to go in here until after we get that upgrade, or that this is where we find that upgrade, possibly early on so the rest of the level can utilize the mechanic.

With that in mind I propose we explore a little bit of this floor, heading through that small door on the map, and leaving immediately the moment we find something too dangerous or just don't find anything helpful within a few rooms. And definitely don't go through what is obviously either a trap or a boss door, of course.

Also, hello everyone! I've been here for a while but this is the first time I've posted anything.
28th Jun 2020, 6:48 AM
pkrankow
Boss room

What is that little side opening? Hopefully Cici is here and safe.
28th Jun 2020, 8:00 AM
BJBlack
Okay, everybody says boss room. That mouth-themed portcullis practically screams, "You're going to get locked in here until you win, or die."

But bosses aren't the only thing that fits that description. Recall that the very first one sounded like this:



You wake up to the sound of splashing on the floor.






You wake up in your bed




but not in your room.



Where a game starts with a puzzle death room, you can pretty much bet your ass that puzzle death rooms are a thing in that game.

So, Scour this room for clues. Boss or escape room, this entry exists for a reason, and that reason might be to give Player a hint, if she thinks ahead and searches for it. Unlike the first room (which obviously had to be self-contained), future puzzles may have hints elsewhere, especially in the immediate vicinity. The maybe-door visible on the map is an obvious place to check, but be thorough.

[EDIT: Our good author has corrected a mis-description. This portion is no longer relevant.]
For one thing, Player described this stuff as 'water,' and the pumps as pumping 'sludge' out of the water

wait a minute how did she perceive that particular detail exactly


For one thing, Player described this stuff as 'water' before calling it 'sludge' a bit later. Where does it fall, exactly?

So, Test the waters. The starting room was highly sludgy, the maintenance tunnel was moderately sludgy; this stuff may have its own consistency. Player just waded on in, so it looks like the current isn't like the maintenance tunnel, at least.
28th Jun 2020, 11:02 AM
Tep
28th Jun 2020, 2:23 PM
Limrix
Even if this isn't a puzzle room, it's still getting into the guts of the facility, and worth to check out. As usual, keep an eye out for traps and strange stuff.
29th Jun 2020, 3:12 PM
Morgenstern
"pumping sludge out of the water" should honestly read "pumping sludge out of the room," but sometimes brain words no good and I'm gonna fix it
28th Jun 2020, 8:45 AM
So, not really related to the immediate situation, but apparently people (in the dream at least) follow Persona rules.I wonder if there's a way to see people's associated arcana outside the dream.
28th Jun 2020, 9:11 AM
Hari_Seldon
I was really hoping for a Heart Room.

Explore to the left there is a hole in the sludge room there it might be a Heart Room. If that is not a Heart Room then maybe Plaire should keep searching, maybe go back upstairs?

EDIT: I'm pretty scared of Plaire dying here because if she does Nega-Plaire might have fireball powers
28th Jun 2020, 11:01 AM
Tep
While the fool can mean, well, foolishness, it also symbolizes the beginning of an adventure. It represents freedom and new beginnings, which is very fitting.
Just putting it out there, and keep in mind this was about three minutes of google - I'm no expert.
28th Jun 2020, 11:12 PM
Yeah, in the classic narrative of Tarot, the Fool represents the Hero of the tale, such that the Hero's Journey is also known as the Fool's Journey. Take Bilbo and Frodo Baggins as examples; the Fool starts out knowing very little about the wider world, but as he travels and meets new people (represented by the other Major Arcana) he becomes wiser and more knowledgeable, until at last he completes his journey and returns home, no longer a Fool. (This is usually represented by The World. Take that as you will.)

Or to put it in chess terms, the Fool is a Pawn that has the potential to make it to the far side of the board and become a Queen.
28th Jun 2020, 11:55 AM
IWILLDERPYOU
I just want to point out some details:
1, the pipes look like hair or snakes, so if there is a boss fight maybe medusa or a similar snake creature/creatures?
2, See those chains? Definitely related to the chain creatures. Be SUPER careful, and maybe that could be related to what is ahead.
3, be aware of sudden shifts in the level of water. Drowning or getting swarmed underwater would such. Also, now that we know what's here, it is probably safer to go back and continue exploring or wait for cici. If we explore a different area, rewrite message for cici.
4, I actually really want to try taking off the reset tape from the sword. What if the katana respawns if we do that? Besides, normal sword from the chest and makeshift polearm are way better options.
5, specifically for Morgenstern, thanks for the series, I'm loving it!
28th Jun 2020, 2:56 PM
Ugh. Getting nasty vibes of Valley of defilement, 5-2 there.
Don't stick around too long. I hope Cici's close by...
28th Jun 2020, 3:39 PM
28th Jun 2020, 2:57 PM
+1 to finding a flotation device, either a door, another barrel, possibly even that locked chest in the office.

Also +1 to looking around the room, including that maybe-opening on the map.
28th Jun 2020, 7:04 PM
The Fool? Well, at least we've been maintaining Social Links.
28th Jun 2020, 10:16 PM
if its anything like persona. then we have a lot of potential
28th Jun 2020, 10:42 PM
BJBlack
All right. On the topic of our inventory, Just examine it all.

The armor didn't fit right when you were awake; does it fit right now?

The polearm was taped together literal junk. But you pried open a barrel, killed a boss, impaled a barrel, and supported two fireball launches with it. That's a pretty good list of medium-to-heavy duty tasks for an jury-rigged weapon. It's a pity you can't examine how it's holding up.

You did open the toolbox and test a junk key from it, so let's assume that nothing much changed there? Again, it would be nice if it were here for examination.

The Dream Ring. Gotta imagine it's the same. But, can you take it off? Will that disable Kate Powers?

A little money. Who knows, maybe this translates into some kind of in-game currency certificates? Hell, it could be literal gold coins, this dream does The Weird sometimes.

The Brochure... Actually, you've examined this in the dream, but not in real life!

Finally, the one BrainSate pill. Does it look the same, too?

And, you took a dive in that maintenance tunnel, and now you're wading up to your chest. Are your items (money, brochure, pill, notepad, cell phone) trashed?
28th Jun 2020, 11:20 PM
+1. Back out of the water and take stock. While we're at it, is there anything on the backside of the ID, or is it the same on both sides?
29th Jun 2020, 2:27 PM
BJBlack
I'd like to think Player would flip the card without our explicit direction, like she waded into the mystery flooded room without it. But if she didn't, yes, definitely check the backside.
29th Jun 2020, 6:37 PM
Snervalton
+1 to checking all our stuff for dream differences.
28th Jun 2020, 11:23 PM
Check the water. Is it standing still, or flowing? If so, where is it flowing from? Is there more than one flow direction? Are the pumps extracting water from the room or elsewhere? (Do NOT go near the pumps to check.)

For that matter, is the water any different from the sludge-water in the upper levels, or is it just the same gross crud?
29th Jun 2020, 5:42 AM
For those who don't know.
The fool, sun devil are also names for cards in tarot.

Quick google search for their meanings give these.

The Fool: The Fool represents new beginnings, having faith in the future, being inexperienced, not knowing what to expect, having beginner's luck, improvisation and believing in the universe.

The Sun: The card portends good fortune, happiness, joy and harmony. It represents the universe coming together and agreeing with your path and aiding forward movement into something greater.

The Devil: It represents being seduced by the material world and physical pleasures. Also living in fear, domination and bondage, being caged by an overabundance of luxury, discretion should be used in personal and business matters.

This is just from a quick google search. The meanings can vary quite a bit depending region/culture and how they're drawn from a deck also matters.
29th Jun 2020, 6:15 AM
undeadDreamer
The fool isn't a bad thing, it basically just means you're the protagonist :P
29th Jun 2020, 6:15 AM
undeadDreamer
The fool isn't a bad thing, it basically just means you're the protagonist :P