29th Jun 2020, 10:19 PM
Make a door boat and check the east exit

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Make a door boat and check the east exit
The water is more viscous than it was in the maintenance tunnel, but still not as thick as it was in your starting room. It is a middle ground of sludginess.


You can't help but notice that the sludge pumps occasionally suck one of those acidic parasite worms up into the glass tubes, where it is vacuumed into the ceiling with the rest of the murky water.

...Implying that those worms are in the water.

The torso high water you're standing in.


You promptly turn around and head back up the stairs, inspecting your legs for worm action on the way. You also examine the items in your pockets--both to confirm that they haven't been ruined by sludge exposure, and to double check for changes caused by the dungeon.

Your money is moist, but still looks like normal paper money from The States.

Your ID card is a glossy The Fool card on the front, and totally blank on the back.

Your visitor's brochure from Temperance is still outdated, with a mention of Somniplan in the corner. It does occur to you that you haven't really looked at the brochure while awake yet, but you're not sure what kind of difference that might make. If it's not special in here, it really shouldn't be special in the real world. It is also pretty damp, but still functioning.

Wet paper feels... not quite right, both the brochure and the money. And your notebook. You can't put your finger on it, it just doesn't feel like it's supposed to feel. The good news is, it doesn't seem to have impacted the usability much. ...You can still write on the notepad, for instance, it's just a little harder.

Your cell phone is still, uh, snowy and weird. It doesn't seem to have short circuited from being in your wet pockets.

Your last Brainsate is--


Hm.


You're pretty sure you remember the pill being orange and white, but it looks a little more... yellow-ish. On closer inspection.

Like an orangey yellow and a very pale yellow.

It may just be the lighting in the dungeon. You could also misremember it pretty easily, it's not like you've really sat down and studied and internalized the appearance of a Brainsate.


You also discover that you can't remove your dream ring. Like, it physically will not budge. It's practically fused to your finger. A little upsetting, but not especially inconvenient--you can't think of a scenario where you'd desperately want to take it off anyway. Maybe if you channeled someone's powers and those powers were uncontrollable? Maybe?

It's a stretch.


You return to the small office and, using your taped knife and some elbow grease, you begin prying the door free from its hinges.


You discover that the door is a little heavy when not hinged, but you still manage to carry it most of the way down the stairs before getting fed up and basically sliding it the rest of the way into the murk.

You have to push your weight on one end of it a bit to keep water from rushing up through the barred window, but otherwise, it more or less works as a makeshift canoe. You steadily paddle your way through the pump room, getting about halfway toward the huge monster door on the other side when you notice another exit on the left wall.

You paddle your way over toward that, because fuck the big monster door.





Hilariously, if you had a screwdriver and perhaps someone that could fly, you could probably just take this big metal grate off. As it stands, you don't see any other way to open it, and you can't possibly fit between the bars. Past the metal bars is...

what appears to be another glass tube, similar to the tubes used in the pumps.

However, the tube is much larger, aligned horizontally (forming a path away from here), and beyond the glass you can't see anything. Not from this vantage point, and not with this limited lighting. Outside the tube just appears to be... darkness.



You also can't tell where the tube leads.

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29th Jun 2020, 10:33 PM
Hmmmm. I would posit that perhaps the tube is the *intended* endpoint for the Giant Sludge Slide we took.

Looks like we've gotta head for the big monster door, then! *Carefully* of course.
29th Jun 2020, 11:10 PM
29th Jun 2020, 11:33 PM
BJBlack
I can't see that as being the Sludge Rapids outflow. Because it's not flowing. At all.

But, +1 to entering the monster door. The Sludge Rapids outflow has got to be down here somewhere, it's our best bet to regroup with Cici, and we've taken enough time failing to regroup with her.

Plus, Player can't just stay dreaming forever. Fading isn't an issue if she can refresh mana, so one way or the other, she's gonna bite the dust. She killed a boss. She explored the mimic room, the Sludge Rapids via barrel surfing, and Bad Times Office. Now let's wager one life (again); we'll learn something, at the very least.
29th Jun 2020, 11:44 PM
Snervalton
I'm wondering if Plaire spends an inordinately long time in the dungeon at night, will she end up sleeping in the next day? Or will the dream tailor itself to fit into her usual amount of sleep time?
29th Jun 2020, 10:39 PM
Limrix
More yellow stuff? Brainsate is mana I guess. I vote we go back up and explore B1 further, there's a lot we haven't seen. We don't have a ton of supplies, but we have pretty good fighting ability now. We can come back here afterward if we have time.

Actually, now would be a good time to test if we can fly. Kate could fly, do we need to unfurl our wings or something? I'm ok with taking off the pads here if we need to.
30th Jun 2020, 5:22 PM
Should we be worried that mind altering substances are similar to the mana potion.
30th Jun 2020, 5:28 PM
Oh and think we would need to equip cici like we did kate and i think we would gain her arrow power
29th Jun 2020, 10:59 PM
It's a toss up. Maybe the effects of recharging our mana persist across dreams AND therefore, wasting mana is not good.

But maybe that's just paranoia and we can determine we've been here for long enough tonight while being cautious. Might be a good time to check out the monster door. But do bear in mind that it might just lead out; like an outlet for the sludge.

Inspect the pathway as much as we can before going. If it seems to lead somewhere else in the dungeon, check it out. If there's danger here, we can't prepare for it if we don't know what it is, anyway.
29th Jun 2020, 11:34 PM
'IF' we decide to delve deeper, Plaire should first backtrack and put the do-not-reset knife somewhere easier to recover.
29th Jun 2020, 11:45 PM
Snervalton
+1. I suggested using the tape to keep the office door open, but got down-voted earlier.
30th Jun 2020, 1:11 AM
Even if we don't do anything more than leave it on the ground, it is much better on the floor than leaving it in the sludge.
30th Jun 2020, 5:03 AM
+1. Finding something to permastab down here is an option, but without access to a teleport point or something, the risk of losing it is too great. Find an unlocked and unoccupied room in the upper hallway where we can leave it, so we can come back and get it later.
30th Jun 2020, 8:12 AM
BJBlack
Why not stick it in our door/raft? Sure, it won't be easy to recover, but this isn't exactly an Infinity +1 Sword. It's better than the torches, but the worst actual blade so far, isn't it?

Before dying, remember to take a heavy swing at one edge of the door. The blade cuts in and sticks. Then the door is still 'unlocked' next time (because DO NOT RESET makes it a raft elsewhere), and we get the use of the blade tonight.

Alternately, tie the DO NOT RESET tape to the door/raft's bars, and wield the blade naked.
30th Jun 2020, 10:05 AM
That raises an interesting question, actually. It does seem logical that the DO NOT RESET tape keeps the knife embedded in what it's stabbed into, rather than simply maintaining its position in dreamspace upon reset. After all, the leech zombie might have been found dead in the starting hallway's adjacent cell, but it probably wasn't stabbed there. Does that mean that the DO NOT RESET tape applies differently to different objects?
30th Jun 2020, 2:26 PM
BJBlack
You make a good point. By my logic there, the DO NOT RESET knife could impale a mech, which impales a bigger mech, ad Gurren Lagann, and none of them would reset.

Total game-breaker, if this setting had mecha of that kind of size. But lacking such gargantuan mobile objects (GYAHAHAHA THE WHOLE CASTLE IS ONE GIANT MECH), this logic is not particularly harmful to the setting.

That doesn't make the theory accurate, though. As you observed, the door itself could return with the blade embedded. Hell, the door could return without the blade, and the blade would sink.

On the other hand, a "lost" vital item can respawn in video games. Cuccoos in Ocarina of Time would respawn at their original locations if you threw them in water, for instance. In similar fashion, dropping the blade in here might cause it to appear back where we found it, or maybe at the top of the stairs down to here. That definitely depends on how forgiving this game is, though.

It's not a rogue-like (the most vile category of game, by the way). There is permanent progress, and we can presume that the game will, at the very least, preclude any unwinnable states (except squander-all-your-lives-game-over-hahaha). It may also preclude permanent regress, such as irretrievable placement of the DO NOT RESET tape.

We simply don't know; now that Player's gotten her hands on it for a second time, she really ought to test it out.

"But what if she does lose it forever?" you might ask. Well, then she'll understand the next one she finds better.
30th Jun 2020, 1:32 AM
Frission
Yeah, gettin' pretty stronk metroidvania vibes from the dungeon this time around.
30th Jun 2020, 2:10 AM
Eh, haven't tried meditation yet, but haven't ruled it out either. You've actually said you can see the map in your head, and you refer to this... minimap constantly. Before you set to your next decision, spend 5 seconds focusing on both your map and your ally (it really would help to know where she is, or even get an error for un-explored area data), and if nothing just happens to come to mind, keep focusing anyway but flip open your phone. IF->Get Map=Celebrate/ELSE->you've burned 10 seconds looking for your friend, no real loss.

Beats rushing another boss door without at least trying to do some prepwork.

[...and if you do double back, try other menus in the relative safety of the office. Not sure what kind of game this is exactly yet.]
30th Jun 2020, 5:00 AM
+1 for sensible, no-cost plan.
30th Jun 2020, 8:18 AM
BJBlack
I think the 'minimap' is not something that conveys information to Player, but a representation of what she knows at any given time. It therefore won't 'show her' anything she doesn't know.

I could be wrong, though. If I am, +1 to this.
30th Jun 2020, 5:14 AM
This is just spitballing, but what would happen if Plaire smashed the pump pipes? My theory at this point is that the inflow of sludge is from the lake surrounding the chapel/dungeons, and these pumps are keeping the dungeons drained. Shutting them down and/or destroying them would cause the dungeons to slowly fill up, creating a countdown level. Could that be the next challenge? Once the drill portcullis drops, will the dungeon start to flood, and Plaire suddenly has to either turn the pumps on again or drown in the darkness? Or will killing whatever lies beyond cause the pumps to stop, putting Plaire in an escape timer?

Obviously these aren’t the only options, but if she’s going through the gate, my advice to Plaire is: give up on paddling, turn around and go find a nice long pole to propel your door with, because my guess is that you’re gonna have to move fast.
30th Jun 2020, 6:18 AM
pkrankow
-1

Countdown timers are typically the last thing then a mad rush to exig the entire dungeon.
30th Jun 2020, 9:59 AM
Depends on the game, I think. Sure, countdown timers are the last thing if you have to escape the dungeon, but substages with a time limit can appear in mid-game.
30th Jun 2020, 8:05 AM
Go through the big scary door.
30th Jun 2020, 11:22 AM
Hari_Seldon
Whether or Not Plaire should wrap herself in the Do Not Reset tape depends on how dangerous the scary door is and I don't know that yet.

If Plaire decides not to wrap herself in the tape I can't decide how to save the tape for later. Does Plaire have to leave the tape upstairs or can she put it in her pocket?

If Plaire finds a Heart Room she could leave the knife there.
30th Jun 2020, 3:38 PM
IWILLDERPYOU
Thanks for the chapter!