22nd Jan 2020, 7:05 PM
Go home

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Go home
"I..."

It takes you a moment to wade through it.

No, you're not a bad person for not going to check on Maria's immediately.

No, you're not a failure just because you wanted to look into The Back Room sooner and now you're putting it off again.

No, you are not a bad friend for not running right now to go fill Cici in on what she missed.

The night's activities are very quickly catching up to you and you just

you need to be home.

For a minute.

At least.

"I need to go home," you tell the bus quietly.

"Okay. I'll take you home, then." There's no discernible difference between the way the bus says it and the way she normally speaks, but somehow it sounds... softer.

A little sadder.

You try not to feel bad that you may have made the bus feel bad.

She takes a slightly erratic route back to your house; it's not until you're almost there that you realize she may be intentionally avoiding other stops with this bus, so as not to force you to deal with other people.

"Thank you," you tell the bus as you pull up in front of your house.

"I'm just doing my job," the bus replies.

"Yeah." It's the most you can manage. She is definitely not just doing her job, though. "Thanks," you choke out again.



You exit the bus, heaving a sigh of relief as you finally reach your front door.

You check the mail.





You have gotten paid for your video about lesser known glitches in Magic Mustachio.

You are now back to having a little money, rather than your previous state of almost no money.

You've also received letters from:

• A company eager to help you pay off your college debt (you have never been to college)

• A dealership looking to purchase your car (you have never owned a car)

• A reminder to renew the warranty on your car (you still don't own a car)

They are all addressed to you, by name, which means they're just useless garbage and can't even give you a fucking hint about secret owners of the house or whatever. You briefly consider shoving the mail in your mouth and devouring it all like the god damn animal you are but instead

you head inside, to the kitchen, and throw all the mail that isn't money into the trash.

You microwave some cheap noodles because fuck it and you grab a cheap soda because also, fuck it



You do a quick internet search.

No, not child behavioral therapy...

Not physical therapy

Not marriage counseling

...

The nearest therapist that is not for your wife or your kids or your dog or your spinal injury is a two and a half hour drive away.

That cannot

CANNOT be fucking accurate.

You dig a little deeper.

. . .

Fuck

Of the local practices that have websites, at least half of them specify in big, bold letters that they don't deal with anxiety, depression, or... weight loss, for some reason.

You briefly press your face to your keyboard.

Okay.

This is not hopeless.

Kate had off-shelf anxiety pills from somewhere, and while the idea of self medicating for the condition you're still fighting yourself about actually having is less than ideal the pills did work. You've proven it's extremely possible to not

feel

like this.

Maybe there IS a therapist in Ninelives and they just... don't have a website.

Maybe Kate got her pills from an actual psychiatrist. Like a... black market psychiatrist.

Maybe you can stumble across a therapist in the fucking dungeon



...You did a video yesterday, asking for game recommendations.

You decide to check on that. That's something. That's a thing you can do.

You go to your video account page, and--

the first thing you discover is that the video has been delisted.

It's not removed, it's just... not going to show up on public searches anymore. Basically, no one can reach the video without a link, or without already knowing what the URL of the video is. It's not even demonetized, though it's going to be a lot harder for it to make money if no one can find it. No reason is given. Just a big ol' blank where an explanation should be.

...Which is fucking bizarre because you didn't put anything objectionable in the video. Like. No violence. No tiddies. The FUCK is it delisted for?

And it's just that one video, every other video you've ever done is fine.


You take a breath.

You cannot afford to break your keyboard right now, so just

breathe.


You check the comments.

It's mostly standard stuff--people hyping up big, flashy moves from various fighting games, or ten minute summon sequences from certain RPGs, or certain abilities that would be OP in real life but are fairly underutilized in the game they appear in (like slowing down time, or even just the basic act of respawning after death).

One of the comments, though

is different.

User The Thirst Guy said:
if this is what I think it is good job much subtle

pretty much any game made in the 80s had the best abilities

they really knew how to make games back then if you know what I mean

if your channel gets huge remember the thirst guy


There's also a string of replies to that initial comment:

User Theodore's Football League said:
There's plenty of *quality gameplay* from modern game devs, too

any fighting game by MASAMOON, all the games by Toward Software (Crush Souls, Ninjas Die in Shadows, and their mecha games are good but wtf why mecha), and Yamauchi Co still sneak Musashi's weird shit into their games (Mustachio is solid, Space Hunter takes some work to get good at but it's worth it, Legend lives up to its name)


User T-Eiffel said:
the dude that designs all the Toward games married a 7

solomon ring + dullahan waifu you will understand why mecha


User A Burst Lye said:
did you just


User Ten Flying Leaps said:
gonna git 🆃🆄🆁🅱🅾🆂🆆🅰🆃🆃🅴🅳



You eat your semi-plastic noodles and drink your off brand soda and you stare at your comments section.


What the fuck is going on

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22nd Jan 2020, 7:30 PM
Snervalton
Whoa, I guess this rabbit hole goes way deeper than Plaire ever suspected! Was it the same people that wiped the articles about the mayor that got her video delisted? At any rate, we now have some suggestions for video game titles to look for when we visit the Back Room.
22nd Jan 2020, 7:38 PM
Limrix
The Thirst Guy knows whats up. Profiles have message systems. We should send him a message. Thank you. Nothing that would flag the censors.

All the people replying to him?

Not people. Person. There's only two people in this thread, with poorly disguised alt accounts. Probably think they're being clever. Send the same thank you mail to The Thirst Guy and A Burst Lye. TFL is the all the other posts. That makes this so much more likely to be legit. They know things, and we need to find out what. Stealthily, this is deep.

Turboswatted is either what just happened to your video or a great move. Possibly both.

TFL mentioned someone "married a 7". Sevens are important. We're a steven. Are we important? The ring/waifu combo is probably rad but idek where we'd start for that. Note for later.

I'm guessing why UrstEye mentioned 80's games is they're FULL of glitches and nonsensical abilities, great for cheating a dungeon world full of monsters.

Edit: First thing once we get our head on straight, save the comments from UrstEye and TFL in an encrypted OpenOffice document, or barring that, just write it down IRL I guess. We don't want to lose this.
Edit edit: Skullrama's totally right. These guys are all connected to that phrase we found on the dream knife. Track them down, find when they made their accounts, see if they have any other activity, or better still, videos.
22nd Jan 2020, 10:39 PM
WOW, nice noticing that pattern, i didn't see that at all. I agree with sending a dm, that's a good call.
22nd Jan 2020, 11:21 PM
22nd Jan 2020, 11:04 PM
Ohhhh shit.

Remember the first lie.

This is legit.
22nd Jan 2020, 11:22 PM
Side note, the ring + waifu combo sounds like a crush souls thing. Date Dullahan, wear Solomon's ring. Some OP combo, perhaps.
23rd Jan 2020, 8:14 AM
Also check out who the guy that made all the Toward games married. That could help us understand what a "7" is and why people who are trying to help us with coded language decided to mention her.
23rd Jan 2020, 11:58 AM
Wow, nice catch! +1 on messaging the guy.
22nd Jan 2020, 7:40 PM
Akasha
...Well, ain't that sus as all fuck.

Also, whoever Thirst Guy is... I'd say to make sure you remember them, just in case they pipe up later on down the line. Seems like they're in the know. That aside, we should probably follow up on their suggestion, starting with more obviously noteworthy titles from that period, then moving on to cult classics and the like.

...Also, as morbidly curious as I am about what'd happen in our dungeon of the damned if we looked up obscure 80s kusoge, I think it'd be best not to go that route. Both for our the sake of not only our survivability, but our sanity.
22nd Jan 2020, 7:46 PM
Frission
We definitely need to play this world's Metroid / Super Metroid analogue. Alllll the super abilities! Super dash, super jump, double jump, scanning for secret passages, and weapon upgrades up the wazoo~!

The equivalent of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night would be great as well, or even its later sequels where you could absorb the powers of defeated monsters and use them for yourself. These games often had all the same types of abilities and powerups of the Metroid series to enhance the exploration (hence the common name 'Metroidvania' given to that genre)
23rd Jan 2020, 12:59 PM
@Frission: Plaire would first have to get a power suit (or be mentally strong enough to pull it out of thin air), so that's probably risky.

Maybe some other metroidvania/castleroid where you don't rely on something you don't have. Those where you're a vampire or the heir to the strongest vampire slayer clan don't sound useful either.
... Axiom Verge could be pretty interesting if we got our hands on a labcoat. How hard would that be ?
22nd Jan 2020, 7:41 PM
Limrix
After we finish our mad dash into internet sleuthing, we should clean up the trash by our computer. No reason to leave that all sitting around.

Bills are also coming up at the end of the month, that's not urgent, but I thought that video would leave us with more than "a little" money.
22nd Jan 2020, 7:48 PM
Oh... oh no. Did we stumble into an internet cesspool by accident? People seem to be talking in the kind of code that suffuses Internet cesspools of misogyny and toxicity. "married a 7," that sort of thing. I think the commenters-- and possibly the people responsible for delisting videos-- think that we were talking about uh, something else.

Well, shit. This could really complicate our usual wholesome smut channel with *unwholesomeness.* We need to figure out what kind of community we've attracted and nip this shit in the bud. Maybe make a nice positive video about feminist things?

On the plus side, if we *piss them off,* that might actually get us some hate-watches and maybe not get demonetized so we can recoup the losses they caused on this video?

But before we do any of that, we need to engage in self-care. Play a thing that makes us happy, or take a bath, or just take a nap. We must *absolutely* avoid pushing ourselves like, AT ALL because we need ALL our spoons for acquiring treatment *somehow.* Literally everything else can come later. Just don't even think about the video issue right now because it is not something we are going to prioritize handling right now.

The next priority is to get in touch with Kate and figure out where she gets those pills because we need us some of those. If using legitimate channels isn't going to help us, then we're gonna need to resort to illegitimate ones.

Another option is to see if this universe has something equivalent to this open-source med synthesizer that might be able to help us. It'll still be difficult to create and use, but it might at least be *possible.*

Edit: After discussion on the discord, it's looking like the video comments thing may actually be some sort of conspiracy thing-- possibly quite relevant to our current situation-- *disguised* as Internet toxicity. Either way, we can deal with it later.
22nd Jan 2020, 9:09 PM
To make it clear, my actual suggestion that was buried in the wall of words is this: self-care. Maybe bath, maybe nap, maybe a game that makes us happy, but it MUST be self-care.

As soon as we are calmed down, the ONLY thing we should be focusing on is getting ourselves healthy. Literally everything else can wait because everything else will be SO MUCH easier once we've got a clear brain. Focus on getting meds. #1 goal, don't even *bother* with other goals for now, don't even *think* about them, we can worry about all of them later.

If we even start to think of anything else, we'll be susceptible to overwhelm and it will be even *harder* to do things.

Options:
- at-home med synthesis (might be impossible; if it's possible, instructions might be very difficult to find due to suppression by the corporations)
- getting in touch with Kate and getting some from her/her dealer
- making a telehealth appointment and possibly using a company that ships medications
23rd Jan 2020, 3:11 PM
pkrankow
Telehealth of some type sounds like a possibility.

I might need to reread because I think I am missing several things regarding 7
23rd Jan 2020, 12:03 PM
22nd Jan 2020, 8:23 PM
Portal In Time
Limrix pointed this out already, all of the commenters on that thread are actually two distinct people, TFL and (who we'll just keep calling) The Thurst Guy.

It seems that TFL is recommending a good chunk of games here.
Games by Toward Software (From software)
- Crush Souls (Dark Souls)
- Ninjas Die in Shadows (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice)
Yamauchi Co (Nintendo)
- Mustacio (Mario)
- Space Hunter (Metroid)
- Legend (Zelda)
There's also Mecha but I'm not sure about that one's counterpart. Metal Gear, maybe?

They both know that this is sensitive information that they're giving out, by the "TURBOSWATTED" comment.

One final thing, that I really, really think we should do (even if it's not a popular vote) is take a look at Crush Souls' rings.

Is there one called Solomon Ring? Does it do something of note when you wear it and date a Dullahan? This is something that we could easily pull off for ourselves by the end of the night.
22nd Jan 2020, 10:26 PM
Akasha
The unmentioned "mecha" series is probably something based off of Armored Core, which is another FromSoft title, given it was mentioned while recommending other TowSoft games.

Either that or we're going in deep and getting the analogue to fuckin' Metal Wolf Chaos, which would be unexpected, but a lot funnier, if'n I'm gonna be honest with ya..
23rd Jan 2020, 8:30 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
Either that or a Mech Assault/Mechwarrior title. ... though the only thing we'd be able to use in that dungeon would be the powerarmor from Lone Wolf... then again I've only seen those titles in the OG XBox so they probably don't apply here.
23rd Jan 2020, 1:10 PM
Since TFL -> 'the first lie', all the comments are from people who know about the dream dungeon's first puzzle.
One chooses to hide the straight-up acronym, the other goes with rhymes... or it could be just someone using as many different ways to obfuscate it as possible.
This sounds like a potential ally. Follow the hints as best as possible.

The vid got delisted by something bigger. Tracking TFL down might attract the wrong kind of attention.
I vote for caution and extremely vague messages to thank 'both' posters and ask for a meetup.
23rd Jan 2020, 2:04 PM
37212513
Just looking at your translations kinda gives me a clue on TurboSwatted and why it's typed out in non text code. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!

Swatting is a practice started up by some spoiled ass kids playing FPSs where they would claim player X was making treats across chat and sick the cops on the player. Most common reason: he's better than me, fuck him! Most common results: player X dies before the cops really look into it properly because they heard gunfire from the game and someone was trigger happy. (They've gotten better about that, precincts that give a shit caught on, but lazy ass or corrupt cops still don't and get kids killed.)
23rd Jan 2020, 10:20 PM
Akasha
I think TFL is saying that they're gonna get 'turboswatted', but that may just be me.
22nd Jan 2020, 8:59 PM
pkrankow
Next up: Web search on phones vs our budget. We said we were going to look into this when we got paid next.

We should look up the listed games.

So lunch done
Appointment with a medical professional... not done
Btw 2 hour drive is not entirely stupid for rural specialists. Normally every 3 months for appointments.


The remainder of the list is
Back Room
Store

Shopping list
Small/medium pry bar
Phone (maybe, we got paid)

Durable bag, messenger or purse (inventory space for pry bar and more)

New insight from the sleepover: we envision our relationship and personal struggles like this dream.

So, after looking up a phone and where to get, do we make another video or do the rest of our planned errends?

Comparing volleyball to the regular Mustacio game, and that particular minigame that is probably in there might be entertaining.

Is there a bit of Soul Crush that resembles volleyball?
22nd Jan 2020, 9:39 PM
Snervalton
+1 to pricing a phone and various games online. We should visit the Back Room and make another video today, the order in which to do these things depends on the store's open hours.
22nd Jan 2020, 9:40 PM
Snervalton
Oh yes, just remembered my post from a while back that suggested getting pajamas with many pockets. That could help us bring multiple items into the dream dungeon.
22nd Jan 2020, 9:10 PM
Are we *sure* that we're awake? That this isn't some different level of dream caused by the residual influence of CurseHaus? Is there a way we can check?
23rd Jan 2020, 1:05 PM
We didn't go in the dungeon and are not getting attacked by random monstrosities.
If there's an Inception video game, let's never play it.
22nd Jan 2020, 9:35 PM
Leafia_Barrett
I don't... really know what to make of all this, other than that the Thirst Guy knows something, and we have enough other concerns that we can afford to put it to the side for now. The lack of therapists sucks, but Kate had to get those pills from somewhere - we should ask her where next time we see her, because our brain is (to use your words) a bag of cats without them.

For the immediate future, I really, really think we should invest in a way to get in touch with Cici and Kate via phone, sooner rather than later. After that, the Back Room.
22nd Jan 2020, 11:11 PM
Posting own comment instead of replying for, I dunno, visibility.

'Remember the Thirst Guy' and the other names are all TFL. This is all in reference to 'remember the first lie', from the dream. This... Is not a coincidence.

This person or persons have a legit connection to what is going on.
23rd Jan 2020, 12:09 AM
As disturbing and uncomfortable as this all is, this person or group seems to want to help. We can also guess, now, that The First Lie might be a keyword that is known in some dangerous circles in the waking world.
23rd Jan 2020, 2:49 AM
I've got nothing of substance to add to what's already been said. All I'll mention is that in order to get the games mentioned we need money; and in order to get money, we need to make more videos (or find a job, even if just temp or part-time work).

So we'll want to budget our time between the various destinations we can do today and getting paying work done.
23rd Jan 2020, 7:18 AM
Hari_Seldon
Order of importance:

1. Buy a cheap NOT MONDOL flip phone pay as you go (cheaper than a phone plan), because we have many people we need to keep in touch (see #4 and #5). Edit: We could also buy a cheap smartphone for free if we choose a phone plan, but that costs like $45 a month

2. Post another video to get money

3. Visit The Back Room (we don't need new games NOW get a phone first)

4. Ask Kate about where to get the anxiety pills

5. Ask Franklin about our spooky house

6. Ask everyone for their phone number. Check the library's phone book for everyone's phone numbers:
* Maria
* Cici
* Franklin (Maria might know Franklin's phone number)
* Kate (Cici might know Kate's phone number)
23rd Jan 2020, 7:47 AM
Fishbulb
If we're getting a phone, it needs to be a burner and/or a pay-as-you-go phone. If the Back Room doesn't have one, see if the bus can suggest somewhere to get one that isn't Mondol affiliated.
23rd Jan 2020, 7:54 AM
Hari_Seldon
+1 but I prefer pay as you go not burner, because I think you have to throw away burners
23rd Jan 2020, 12:08 PM
I don't have anything constructive to say except: I love the bus. Is there a way to hug a bus? Because I want to hug the bus.
23rd Jan 2020, 1:13 PM
It's probably as easy as asking where the bus would like to be hugged.
But Plaire doesn't strike me as a hugger as much as you-know-who.
23rd Feb 2020, 4:07 PM
D
Voldemort was a hugger?
23rd Jan 2020, 12:59 PM
One possibility is that whomever had the power to delist the video is using the 'coincidence' to get Plaire to look more closely at the comments.
23rd Jan 2020, 1:19 PM
Hmm, it makes sense. It prevented other people from posting, which would have drowned these replies in normal ones (and the usual troll stuff).
If it's TFL's doing, then every single info is important.
23rd Jan 2020, 1:30 PM
I'm shamefully blanking on what MASAMOON's supposed to refer to. Any pointers ?
23rd Feb 2020, 4:18 PM
D
TYPE-MOON, maybe? They are most know for Visual Novels and (recently) phone RPGs?(I think), but they also made a few fighting games. They said it was "recent", though.
23rd Jan 2020, 3:54 PM
Hari_Seldon
Install a chat app on our computer. I heard Google Voice and Google Hangouts can call phone numbers however it is NOT secure your data stays on the Google servers and can be given to the cops, etc. (https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/3187125?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en).

However if we want a secure text or phone call using our phone or PC Plaire could use something like Signal, however I think you need both caller and receiver to have that app.

https://www.avg.com/en/signal/secure-message-apps
https://signal.org/

I want us to get a flip phone because it is cheap, but if we get a smartphone then we could use Signal which might be more secure? I guess we should ask the phone store guy as long as they are not Mondol?
3rd Feb 2020, 8:53 PM
Open the letter from the car warranty and remove the postage paid return envelope. Tear up everything else and stuff the envelope. Put the envelop in the mail for delivery. You just helped the post office make money YAY!