Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/25276125/Archive:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Joker%20QuestEquipment FAQ:http://pastebin.com/CQfrwBnDPlayer List:http://pastebin.com/rRSM6LgWTwitter: https://twitter.com/JokerQuestOPRecap: You are ANON, the RED JOKER. In our last instalment, you survived the trials of the MANOR OF DUSK - And ultimately managed to escape, reuniting with the BLACK TRI-STARS. But you may have found more questions than answers...
>>25410243It's a perfect day. The sky is a clear, perfect blue, the sun casting a warm illumination through the wispy banks of cloud - A rarity, as the seasons change. It's cool, but not cold, the roof's tiles warm to the touch; The trees below bright with the vivid colors of autumn, as the gusting breeze sweeps the fallen leaves away. The only thing spoiling the tranquility is..."They came out of *nowhere*," Kouichi is saying - His lunchbox settled on his lap, punctuating his words with a jab at his omelette. "Dozens of them. Hundreds. Scuttling out from the shadows like, like..." Words, apparently, fail him; He makes do with a shudder, a slight narrowing of his eyes. "-Like rats from a fire." He shovels a forkful of sesame-speckled rice into his mouth. Chews, mechanically - Rinses it down with green tea. "...I nearly went over, you know? There were so *many* of the, the barbed *fiends* - If Regios hadn't hauled me up by the collar..."His voice trails off. A cheery topic for a conversation - But there's no-one else to hear. The rooftop square was - As always - nearly empty as you took your usual recess...Before Kouichi, wan and rather ruffled-looking, came upstairs to meet you. He looks like he didn't sleep much, last night...But when you think about it, you can't really blame him. You didn't get the chance to talk before, *then* - Bishamon and Volt Regios were clearly spooked, starting at every shadow, swords in hand, eager to get out of Noctus now, now, *now*...They were on edge, disturbed by the things they'd seen, by things they clearly didn't want to talk about - And it was a wonder they didn't just bolt as soon as the path was clear. As you hurried out, you could almost feel the thread of some silent, unseen communication between the two of them; But when you got to the exit, there was only the low blare of the movie ending, and the taste of stale popcorn in your mouth as the audience began to file out...(Continued)
...And that was your day. Your dreams were murky, confused things, half-cohered and foggy. Kouichi has paused, again - Another break in his tale. He eats mechanically, as if he isn't really tasting the food (Rice, omelette, and tiny strips of pulled pork) - in a way that reminds you of an engine shovelling down fuel."...But we killed them all," he finishes. "Back-to-back, we levelled them. The *smell* - And the sounds they made..." Kouichi swallows, his adam's apple a hard lump in his throat. It's clear that the encounter has disturbed him more than he lets on; There's the shadow of *something* in his eyes, and he seems uncomfortable even at rest.[ ] "...But that wasn't all, was it?"[ ] "Why didn't you run away?"[ ] "I thought you'd try to find me."[ ] "At least you're both all right."[ ] "-Did you find anything?"[ ] "So you *weren't* inside the Manor. Strange."[ ] Free.YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25410543>[ ] "-Did you find anything?"
>>25410543>>25410543> [X] Free."Sounds you had a rough time of it. Any idea what they were?"
>>25410543I need to you to be truthful with me, what did you see? From the moment I disappeared until I walked out of the manor. Because I -saw- things in there, things that shouldn't have been, enemies I've slain, memories that didn't belong to me....I need to know if I'm just going crazy.
>>25410543"Weird. I didn't see anything except ghosts. Nearly did for me despite already being dead, but nothing like what you and Regios fought. Maybe they were the second part of a trap?"
Rolled 60>>25410543"What exactly *happened* topside, man? The shit down below was not much... better. I think whatever.. that thing does, it's even worse than what you might think. My... relic revealed that it was an Illusion. So.. damn real. I wanted to believe it was real.. so very much. Facing off against.. *things* that should not be. They took the faces of people I killed, Ko. It took the face of someone I knew and cherished."
>>25410555"-We didn't have the chance. They were *all over us*; With their claws, and their...fucked-up lamprey mouths, like circles full of teeth..." Kouichi's voice trails off. He swigs directly from the thermos flask this time, as if to wash the bad taste from his mouth. >>25410618"...I don't know. And I'm not sure I *want* to know," he admits. "They - They weren't like any Corrector I've ever seen. When we killed them, the others just..." Kouichi tilts his palm upwards, as if flicking something unpleasant from his fingers. "-They were eating each other, Anon. I swear they were. I've never seen anything like it.">>25410689"Whatever they were...They nearly did for us, too. I don't, *ever*, want to see that again." His words are entirely heartfelt. >>25410643> I need to know if I'm just going crazy.He stares at you, for a long moment. When Kouichi chuckles, the sound is deeply uncomfortable. "Now you're scaring *me*," he admits - Trying to pass it off as a joke, and failing. "-There isn't much to tell. Not really. There was this mist, hanging in the air - I couldn't see anything, until I heard Regios calling out. I followed him, and then...Well, you know the rest.">>25410749For a long time, Kouichi doesn't answer. But then-"They were screaming...things...at us," he says, finally. "-The sounds they were making; I didn't know what it *was*, at first...But I think were trying to tell us something." Kouichi manages a weak laugh. "...The scary thing is: I could almost understand them. Almost." He taps a finger against the side of his skull, just above the ear. "And when we *cut* them...Sometimes, there were these images - Like static, you know? It felt like - Like someone was trying to put thoughts in my head." A grimace of disgust flits over his face. (Continued)
>>25410894Man, good thing Tyrian was not there. He's the tech guru. We're a bunch of old fashioned televisions with rabbit ears trying to tune into the signal. Fucking Tyrian would have lost his collective shit if he was bombarded with that.
There's a pause, as Kouichi glances aside - Clearly working up to something, now. "But, you know, the other place we were going t-" he's saying; When suddenly, the shrill electronic sound of your handphone breaks the silence - Making him start, the loud, buzzing vibration briefly but entirely obnoxious.It's a distraction, but a welcome one; Some of the gloom seems to lift, momentarily, as reality reasserts itself. This *is* real - Comforting, mundane. A text message, from that friend of Mio's - What was her name again? It just doesn't seem to stick in your mind.> An0n-kun ( ¬д¬。)> Did you do something bad to Eri-chan? 【><。】> If you make her sad, I'll never 4give u! ヽ(#`Д´)ﾉ...Oh, boy.>>25411018When you think about it - You probably dodged a bullet, there.Kouichi clears his throat; A polite *Ahem*, though he looks slightly abashed - And, you notice, definently interested. "...Something wrong?" he inquires - Doing his best to sound casual.[ ] "...Nope. Go on."[ ] "Nothing I can't handle."[ ] "Why? Are you curious?"[ ] "...I'll prefer to keep it private, actually."[ ] "-It's from a friend of Mio's."[ ] Free.YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25411309[X] "-It's from a friend of Mio's.""Not really a big deal right now. Nothing I can't handle."
>>25411309What IS that girl's name, anyway? I've never been able to keep it straight.
>>25411496>RenaOh shit incoming billhooks.
>>25411309>When you think about it - You probably dodged a bullet, there....oh boy.Mutter under our breath... "women.""Ah, nothing out of the ordinary. I seem to have ticked off yet another person." Give our best poker face.Respond to the text with "Explain further. What did I do this time? You're going to need to start keeping a list at some point,, Rena.">>25411496Holy crap I remembered!
>>25411331>>25411530That gets his attention. Kouichi sits up a little straighter, adjusting his collar; "Ah," he says, in a tone that rather betrays his interest. Master swordsman or not, he can really be quite transparent sometimes - Especially at times like this. > "Not really a big deal right now. Nothing I can't handle."> "Ah, nothing out of the ordinary. I seem to have ticked off yet another person." Give our best poker face.He looks at you, clearly hoping that you'd enlighten him...But it's a *very* good poker face. He just nods, his attention going back to his food - Or rather, pushing his food around with a plastic fork, as if to keep his hands occupied. > "Explain further. What did I do this time? You're going to need to start keeping a list at some point, Rena."There's a pause, as the message wings it's way across the ether: > Anon-kun is really dense. (;¬＿¬)> Whatever it is, she's all gloomy today (´Д｀)> She's broken two plates already. ヘ(°￢°)ノ> You should cheer her up, you know! ( ;｀ヘ´)> That's what a boyfriend is supposed And, of course, supposed is underlined. Twice.> to do. (~_~;)Great. Well, you can't be sure, but Mio's probably still a little shaken up over the other day...You guess. (Unless it's something else, of course. You never know.)How does Rena type *that* fast, anyway? You wait a heartbeat - But it seems like no more messages are forthcoming, which is probably a mercy.(Continued)
>>25411309"Mio had a scare yesterday. A Corrector called Megaera crashed a car right in front of her. Here's the crazy thing: I've fought that one before. It was targeting a Player with more than one connection to the Dead Heads. It was wearing a collar. And the car that it crashed into was seconds away from running me down."Remember what I started saying yesterday? About a theory I had? Those green experience points don't just make your armor stronger, they make you... lucky. It doesn't always manifest the same way either. A Player whose band was on the verge of hitting the big time targeted me to get the last push. The Black Cardinal started that crazy cult from six years ago, and Pazuzu's got his street gang now."You? You've got that kendo skill of yours. I'm not saying you're not good, because you're fantastic, but how else do you explain finding a way to train your body without your mind being present to feel the burn and to train your forms without getting tired of the repetition?"And me? I meet people. Sometimes when I'm looking for someone I find them exactly where I was going. Other times I run into someone before I realize I need them. And sometimes people go out of their way to find me--before I even imagine that a meeting could ever be beneficial to me. I was expecting an enemy when I walked into the clubroom that day."All right, I just found out that I have an errand four hours away. I'll be taking off early but I should be back to catch the end if OP runs as long as he usually does. By the way, glad to see you could make it OP, only 45min late this time Small request: No giving Kou nicknames, he doesn't take to it well as a former bullying victim. Luck, try not to get anyone we care about killed.
(No worries.)>>25411755"Wha-" Now, that's a lot for Kou to take in. He listens, though - And you can almost see the wheels of his mind turning, as he works it over. "...Hold on a moment," he says - "*That* was the Corrector you mentioned, yesterday?" His brow furrows - "No wonder you didn't mention it *then*. That's..." He shrugs. "...That's abnormal behaviour. Again, I've never heard of anything like that."> "I'm not saying you're not good, because you're fantastic, but how else do you explain finding a way to train your body without your mind being present to feel the burn and to train your forms without getting tired of the repetition?""That, I *do* know," Kouichi admits. He looks to the side, as if sheepish. "I've been...counting on that, actually. But to be in the right place, at the right time..." His voice trails off. "-It's something else entirely."Is that a note of envy in his voice? Or just surprise? > The Black Cardinal started that crazy cult from six years ago, and Pazuzu's got his street gang now."...Is that so?" There's a pensive look to him, now. "-We steer clear of them, mostly. I've seen one of two, in passing...But *that bastard*-" He means Kraken, you know. "...Is the first one I've seen up close."Kouichi rubs at his side, grimaces. "-Too close, in fact."He draws a shallow breath. "I just wanted to say; The other place we were going to investigate? It's gone. According to Tyrian, it vanished sometime last night - He's not sure *why*. Maybe Noctus was a wasted trip, but..." He shrugs. "-Well, who knows?"[ ] "What do you mean 'gone'?"[ ] "Are you *sure* it's gone?"[ ] "Damn. Next time, I'll listen to you."[ ] "...Maybe we were lucky to be clear of it."[ ] "It was probably just a fluke, after all."[ ] Free.YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25411956[X] "Are you *sure* it's gone?""Are you sure it's gone, not just moved, or hidden, or something like that?"
>>25411956[X] "Damn. Next time, I'll listen to you."
>>25411956I wonder...."Say. I had a thought. I was told by a good friend that the Other World has places that are *very* hard to get to if you don't know where to look. And that is from first hand experience considering how I acquired the Cobalt Booster...What I'm getting at is the three of you have a VERY detailed map of the Other World. I have a Relic that, apparently, dispells illusions. You think Tyrian might be able to track down the other place again if we used that map and the Nihl together?""It's a long shot, but it is a shot."
Rolled 34(Just checking something.)
>>25412022"I trust Tyrian," Kouichi says - As if that's answer enough. "If he says it's gone, it's gone." >>25412083He waves a hand, brushing it off. "-Don't worry about it. It may have been nothing, after all." You detect a note of doubt in his voice, all the same. Kouichi isn't certain...But, from the look of things, he might also be slightly relieved. >>25412097*That* gives him pause. He's clearly thinking it over - His eyebrows drawing together in a deep furrow - but, at length, shakes his head. "...It's not *exactly* a detailed map," Kouichi says; "Tyrian knows more about it than I do, but it has something to do with energy patterns..."That's as far as his knowledge goes, apparently. "-Whatever it is, we already have the energy signature. It's a good offer, but..."Kouichi stops. His eyes close, as he rakes his fingers through his hair. "To hell with it," he says, abruptly. "Anon, I'm going to be straight with you. We can't handle...What you're used to."He swallows. "*I* can't handle it."His mouth draws into a thin line. "The last two times we worked with you - Things got dangerous. *Absurdly* dangerous." Kouichi manages a rather wan smile. "-I couldn't sleep after last night, you know? We got out of there, and I'm *still* thinking about it."Kouichi holds up a hand, as if to ward off your response. "-I'm not saying that we're not grateful for your help. I'm just...I'm worried that we might be killed, Anon. We might *die*, forever."He looks away. "...Remember what I said? I'd rather be alive. We owe you - But I don't think we can survive another run-in like that. It feels like - Like our luck's wearing damned thin."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25412313Oh geez, keep forgetting how hardcore Joker is."Thank god, I was thinking the same thing. I'm in too deep to get out, but that doesn't mean I should bring anyone else in with me."We can still hang out at school though, right?"
>>25412313"I suppose you're right Kou, I'm in many ways utterly insane and fatalistic, it comes with being the Red Joker. I've, for better or for worse, gotten used to it. You deserve a better life than that, stay safe Kou, don't get into too much trouble."
>>25412313"Things are going to get worse, Ko. I can't tell you how worse, but they will. I.. I've been going it solo for I don't know how long. It was nice being able to not have to watch my back for a change. If you feel you're not up for this, then I'll respect you and your companions decisions.""As a fellow Player who aims to cut through this veil and get to the truth, would Tyrian be capable of finding the location again? You know him better than anyone. Do you think he could?"
>>25411751>How does Rena type *that* fast, anyway?I wonder if the Windows Phone on-screen keyboard is as good in Japanese as it is in western languages.That thing is basically prescient.
By the way, do correctors actually give us EXP/green light?iirc there was a comment along the lines of fighting correctors being just as good as fighting humans in an earlier part of the story.
>>25412613Yep, Correctors definently give us Xp. We've levelled up a few times from that.
>>25412629>definentlyOk, what the fuck is up with this word?OP is using it all the time, but no dictionary seems to know it.What the hell is wrong with you people?I guess you mean "definitely".
>>25412702I must be picking up plenty of bad habits from the Op. I've found myself using *...* a lot, nowadays.
>>25412702You seem upset.There is no need to be upset.>>25412738I still use that even to this day when someone says something so utterly dumbfounding.
>>25412761>There is no need to be upset.There's need to be upset if someone genuinely believes that this is a real word and is using it in half his posts while writing a story.
(My apologies, some trouble with the spam filter.)>>25412442>>25412386He heaves a sigh of relief - One he doesn't bother to hide. It's...almost a little depressing to see how relieved he is. "-Thanks," Kouichi says, looking like a great weight has lifted from his shoulders. "...I wasn't sure how you'd take it, but - I'm glad you understand." > "We can still hang out at school though, right?""Of course," he says, magnanimously - "Whenever you like. Though I'd rather not talk shop, unless we have to." You're not sure if he's joking.>>25412491"I...don't know," he says. "-I'll trust Tyrian to do his best, but..." And Kouichi grimaces, sounding pained but honest "...It wouldn't be much of a best." There's a pensive pause, his fingers drumming lightly against his knee; "I think," he says - Rather cautiously - "I think, but I can't be sure, that someone might have beaten us to it. We're not the only ones looking anomalies, after all - Others are taking an interest, too."Somewhere behind you, the school bell tolls - Recess is nearly over. You'd be released slightly earlier today; One of teachers has called in sick, as the word goes. Kouichi's hands are quick and deft as he folds up the remains of his lunch in a cloth. "We should be heading back," he says, by way of explanation - Glancing back over his shoulder."...So, what will you do?"Well, from what you know - Natsumi's busy today, too. Kazuya's probably left early, not that it's really a surprise. As for you, you'll...[ ] Visit the Papillon.[ ] Visit the Salvation Children's Home.[ ] Check in on the Hollow Sun.[ ] Meet Mr. Fumito.[ ] Meet Asuna at the Art Gallery. YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25412892[X] Meet Asuna at the Art Gallery.
>>25412892This feels like a reminder that everything's on a time limit. Hmmm: Personally, I kind of want to talk to Eri/Mio. we kind of left her hanging the other day.
Art Gallery. We have a lady to meet.And a lady to cheer up.Text Mio; "Sorry I can't drop by to cheer you up right now. Rena texted me earlier saying you're feeling down about what happened. I'll take you some place nice later or tomorrow if I'm not held up. Stay safe, Mio."
>>25412892Ooooh, I'm torn.[x] Visit the Papillon.Because we need to cheer up Mio.[x] Meet Mr. Fumito.Because we need to get goddamn Adjudicator back already.
>>25412973We can call and ask if the upgrade is ready and pick it up at a later date (next thread).
How does one reach the Red World, anyway?We had our card, at least at the beginning of the quest.Do other people have different items? Or was this aspect dropped?I finished reading the entire archive a week ago, so I have tons of questions that I would normally have asked during the normal progression of the quest.
>>25412992> We had our card, at least at the beginning of the quest.My apologies: That's a holdover from when I was still settling into the rhythm of things. Consider that retconned out - It didn't fit the feel of the setting.At present, you can access the Red World through a simple effort of will: The transition comes as soon as you mentally 'let go'. However, you tend to be pulled into it involuntarily.
>>25413033Also, I'll need a tiebreaker between the Papillon and the Museum.>>25412985>>25412965I'll keep these two in mind, though.
>>25413064I guess Museum.And then we plan a surprise for Mio to excuse the fact that we didn't contact her in the meantime.
>>25412912>>25412965>>25413137> [X] The Art Museum.That sounds right to you; The exhibition closes soon, and - Well, you've been putting it off long enough. It'd be a shame to miss the chance: It seems to mean a lot to Asuna, though you're not sure why. > We can call and ask if the upgrade is ready and pick it up at a later date (next thread).You call - But, oddly enough, the direct line you have (Or rather, the one you're supposed to have) to Mr. Fumito...He doesn't pick up. You don't even get his answering machine; The phone simply rings and rings and rings, to know avail. You try a second, then a third time, before you give up. There's nothing wrong with the line - He simply isn't answering. For some reason, that troubles you more than it should...But perhaps it's just a coincidence.>>25412965You get an answer almost immediately; > Rena told you *that*?> ...It's embarassing. ^_^;)> Stay safe> Anon-kun....Well, at least she sounds all right. Maybe Rena was overstating it a little...The way she usually does. (Continued)
>>25413303Can we use the Red World to travel mentally to different places, like in Accel World?That would be very useful to check on Fumito.Then again, I guess the time distortion is way too unpredictable. Even if we have the power of luck.
>>25413379(The issue with Red World travel is that your body has a tendency to travel 'with' you - And the geography of the red world is unpredictable at best. You're not so good at accessing places that you can't physically reach; The overlap is rather unpredictable, as is the nonlinear flow of time.)The blue skies have dimmed - Just a little - by the time you reach the Metropolitan Art Museum; Properly attired and showered, now, the seasonal cold just that little bit more intense. A cold breeze has come up; Enough to make you grateful for your heavy coat, as you draw it at little closer about you. It's late afternoon shading to the beginnings of an early evening: But then, night comes faster now, as autumn gives way to winter. From the outside, the Museum is a stately-looking building, if a little drab - A sign directing you to the exhibition hall, as you make your way down the path. From the fleeting glimpses you can make out through the windows; It's rather more appealing inside, ultramodern and well-lit. It's a modern art show - Mostly local talent, with a smattering of outside artists; Not something that's *too* highbrow, thankfully...Though you're a little surprised by why Asuna would want t-"A...Anon-kun."And there she is. (Continued)
Ten quid says the Smilers are hacking off Fumito's head right now.
>>25413457There's the soft *swish* of her red scarf, as Asuna clasps the catalogue against her chest - Her smile tentative, a little shy, but heartfelt. She's loosened her hair from it's tight braid; You're almost startled by how different she looks, almost as if-As if sensing your thoughts, she flushes, just a little - Adjusting her glasses, in a distinctly self-conscious gesture. "-I'm, I'm glad you could make it," she confides, her voice ever-so-slightly hushed; "I was beginning to worry, t-that...that I'd be troubling you."At this time - Several days into the exhibition - the would-be patrons have mostly thinned out, save for a handful...You'd have the place mostly to yourselves. Asuna cants her head in the direction of the doors; "Shall we go?" she says - There's a note of nervous anticipation to her voice, as if she's been really looking forward to this...[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25413548Offer her our arm."Of course, where at the exhibition did you want to go first?"
>>25413548"Sure thing. Let's get ourselves out of the cold. What's on display that has your fancy? I don't have much of an eye for art."Small talk. Let's get this ball rolling.
(Apologies for the delay. A bit of research was necessary.)>>25413611>>25413620> Offer her our arm."Ah..." Asuna hesitates, just for a moment - surprised, but pleasantly so. She slips her slender arm into your - Almost (But not *quite*) touching, as she draws a little closer. Roses of color bloom in her cheeks, at the contact; The slight pressure almost unnoticeable, as she steadies herself on you. "T-thank you," she says - Her voice just barely above a whisper. She seems a little tense, somehow - But it's a pleasant kind of discomfort, and she doesn't seem to be in a hurry to pull away...> "Sure thing. Let's get ourselves out of the cold." She nods, rather gratefully; While it isn't *that* cold, not yet, it's a relief to be inside the climate-controlled hall - Your footfalls muffled by the thick carpet underfoot, as the lamps shed a warm, luminous glow. > "Of course, where at the exhibition did you want to go first?"> "What's on display that has your fancy? I don't have much of an eye for art.""You'll see," Asuna says - A mysterious little smile on her lips. She makes a small gesture, to indicate a certain portrait: "-That one's a work from before the war: The delicate brushwork, the bold colours...It's made the artist really esteemed, overseas." She goes on, in a startlingly fluent explanation of the pieces that catch her eye; It's rather surprising to see Asuna so animated, given how quiet she can be - It's clear that this is a subject she's truly passionate about.(Continued)
>>25413813It's the scenic route. You don't really understand any of it, but Asuna's enthuiasm is contagious; "The theme of this exhibition is 'rebirth' - Most of the works here exhibit that t-theme..."She catches herself, biting her lips - "...O, or so they say, anyway." She has the little guidebook clasped to her chest; But Asuna's never referred to it, not that you can remember - Leading you around the place with an easy familiarity, with light, easy footsteps. "...There's works from art museums in Kurashiki - And some from private collections, too. It's a common theme...And, and an appropriate one, for this city..."-Come to think of it: She's right. Every one of these works has depictions of life or death - Mostly religious pieces, but you're seeing the theme. Green shoots rising from a battlefield; A new city growing out of the ruins of the old...It's still a uphill struggle to fully appreciate it, but..."And this-" And you feel Asuna tense besides you, oddly intent; Her slender arm clasping yours - "...And these are the works by..."-she hesitates, ducking her head. Then, more softly - Almost shyly:"B-by 'Anatole', a local artist..."You look up - And you're transfixed.(Continued)
>>25413896>-Come to think of it: She's right. Every one of these works has depictions of life or death - Mostly religious pieces, but you're seeing the theme. Green shoots rising from a battlefield; A new city growing out of the ruins of the old...It's still a uphill struggle to fully appreciate it, but...I don't know why, but I now totally expect us to get a black credit card and start burning money at the end of the quest.
>>25413896>that reactionWait, really? Neat.Reminds me of pic related if it is true. Except actually.. competent and non-retarded.
>>25413944Because [C] is one of the various things that this quest is inspired by, it shares a lot of themes and aesthetics with it.
>>25413896In the innermost part of the exhibition room - Which you've reached almost without noticing, given the meandering route you've taken around the hall - there's a series of paintings that are...-That are-...the very stuff of nightmares. The first one you see - 'Renewal', a landscape depicting a shining silver city rising up from red waters - It seems to pulse, to throb, pressing your eyeballs back into their sockets. A sense of vertigo grips you, nausea churning in the very core of your being, as you taste bile in the back of your throat.Somehow, somehow, the images depicted - They blend together into one huge, ghastly symbol of unity, one that makes you feel physically ill. Some of the symbols and decorations scratched into the canvas are simply disturbing of themselves - And worse, you *don't know why*. As you feel your gorge rise, Asuna's peering up at you - Her expression halfway between delight and anticipation...Only for the beginnings of worry to flicker in her eyes. "A...Anon-kun?" she says; "...Are you - You don't look so good."There are other patrons around - But they don't to be affected, milling around, conversing in quiet, hushed voices. It feels like there's an immense pressure inside your skull, whenever you look directly at the landscape; Your discomfort eases, but you can still see them writhing at the very edge of your vision...[ ] "...I'm all right."[ ] "What's - What's *wrong* with those...?"[ ] "-I'm not sure."[ ] "I'm just...A little dizzy."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25413987>Because [C] is one of the various things that this quest is inspired by, it shares a lot of themes and aesthetics with it....I was referring to the fact that that line evoked that feeling for me.I already know that this is basically C's setting with Accel World mechanics.
>>25413896Hmmm, that's clearly a psudeonym. Anatole is the name of a French mouse.
>>25413944>>25413987>there will never be a second seasonFeels bad man.>>25413991Look away. No point staring into the Sanity destroying painting. "I'm.. I'm fine. It's trippy. Like one of those.. black and white pictures you stare at a specific point for 30 seconds and suddenly it's perceived in color. I.. I can't explain it. It's.. an odd feeling."
>>25413991>[ X ] "What's - What's *wrong* with those...?"Memetic hazard detected.Where's the SCP foundation when we need it?
>>25414032The only person I can think of that would paint this is Library Girl. She had the funny dreams and stuff. Or considering Asuna reaction in a previous post, she painted this. It's a toss-up.
>>25414054Asuna is the library girl.>>25413991[X] "I'm just...A little dizzy.""Those paintings, they're odd, they remind me of something and I'm not sure what."
>>25414068Thought that was Kotori now that I think on it. It's been too long since we've had any interaction with her that I've forgotten her name. I think.
It's 7 AM. I'm exhausted. Don't get us screwed too horribly.
>>25414033"R-really...?" Asuna sounds - disappointed, somehow, her eyes downcast. She looks up at the painting again, uncomprehending; Even as you feel cold sweat gather inside your clothes. And that's not the worst of it - It's not that the technique is bad, even to your untrained eyes. It's that...-There's a madness to the art, a painted insanity to the works. You can't describe the pictures - You don't *want* to - but if you tried...You wouldn't have the right words.The art is...It's of reality distorted. Flesh and blood, but rendered as meat, as fluid, as smoke - Primordial, locked in writhing ecstasies or howling torment. But *at the same time*, they also seem to be places and people that you know - Like half-faded memories, through the filter of nightmare. Like pictures of this world - the world you know - seen from a world you do not. > "Those paintings, they're odd, they remind me of something and I'm not sure what."She seems to perk up, just a little - "...Yes! It's - It's quite striking, actually." Asuna's blush deepens. "I've always thought..."Then she looks up at you, and her eyes go wide.> [X] "I'm just...A little dizzy.""But...Y-you've gone all pale, and..." You think you may throw up. You can feel hot reflux churning in your gut, as you fight it down - It feels like your throat is constricting of it's own accord. With an effort of will, you turn away; The beginnings of a migraine pulsing dully in your skull. You don't think you could *bear* to look at it directly, again.>>25414049"I don't-" Asuna begins, her voice hesitant - Something of your distress must have informed itself upon her, her cool hand touching your brow...Only to gasp, when she pulls her hand away."Anon, y-you...You're burning up," she says - Her voice seems to echo hollowly in your ears. She fumbles for a handkerchief, her fingers trembling; "...How - How do you feel?"[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25414158"I feel a bit off, I'll be okay, just a bit ill.I think some fresh air would be good."
>>25414158Wow. That is some horrible art. I wonder who's the artist?
>>25414224Well lets not insult it in front of her, I have a feeling its Asuna.
>>25414158"I think this painting is not from this world"
>>25414276"W-what?"Confusion flits over Asuna's face - She doesn't understand. At least, not the way you do. She can't see it - And neither can the rest of them. You're draped in your heavy jacket, yet you feel cold; When you swallow, you taste copper and bile in your mouth, your legs threatening to buckle beneath you.>>25414180"Fresh air-" Asuna's not strong enough to manhandle you, but you feel the tug on your arm as she guides you towards one of the benches; Easing you into it, the solidity of the padded surface a blissful relief - You don't think you could stand up much longer. You must be closer to the door, now; Through a foggy haze, you can feel the biting cold of the air against your face, as the nausea begins to recede- There's a soft rustle, as Asuna's fingertips touch your face, lightly; Leaning towards you, you can make out her the clean scent of her hair - The slight edge of panic to her tone. "Anon-kun, s-stay right here, all right? I'll...I'll get you some water - O, or something."Her hand briefly clasps yours, as she closes your fingers around her handkerchief; Her footfalls scuffing against the carpet - Something must be wrong with your sense of perception, because it seems to take forever before your eyes open again. You feel...You feel - Off-balance, somehow. Distorted. And then, with perfect timing, your damn phone begins to ring again. For a moment, you think the sound is only in your head - But no, from the curious glances you're getting, the buzzing at your side - Someone's calling you.The screen says, once you fumble it out:PRIVATE NUMBER.[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25414408Pick up the phone, answer it. Don't say anything, let them talk first.
>>25414436I have a naggling suspicion that something from the red world is trapped inside that painting.We should enter the red world in combat mode - like how other people attack us, and draw us into an arena/stage.Or at least poke our head in and see what's there.
>>25414517That feels like jumping the gun a bit. But seriously, what the FUCK is up with the gallery?
>>25414436Click.On the other line, you could hear a doppling echo - The same, almost subliminal murmur that people make as background noise. Then:"Look up." There's something familiar about the voice - Male, seemingly on the very edge of sarcasm, though you can't quite place it. Upstairs - Above and across from you - there's a viewing gallery; Your gaze slides back and forth, and then settles on...Someone's watching you, the phone cradled against his head. An average build, just this side of slender - A face you'd never glance at twice - clothes that stand out just enough to blend in...And yet, with something like a cold shock, you recognize him immediately.It's Akira. It's the Thief.His level grey gaze is as faintly sardonic as ever, as his mouth shapes the words through the glass; Looking right at you, *through* you, directly."...How's life treating you, Anon?"[ ] "Akira? Is that you?"[ ] "What are you *doing* here?"[ ] "-I was wondering when you'd be turning up."[ ] "I didn't know you had an eye for art."[ ] "Well, this is unexpected..."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25414524>That feels like jumping the gun a bit. But seriously, what the FUCK is up with the gallery?Well, bleedovers into the real world usually mean there's a Corrector nearby.but we haven't been draw in ourselves yet, which suggests that its restrained somehow, just bleeding around over the sides....Look around. Does anyone else seem to be affected by it?
>>25414548"Long time, no see. Figured I was going to run into you again sometime soon. So, what brings you here? Is it the paintings by Anatole? You know anything about them?"
>>25414548Remind me - we need, what, one more part of the fatal abyss?
>>25414605also..... something from the last thread about talking to totenaz about hecate. Fuck. I need to logdive. Anyone remeber off the top of their head?
>>25414605If I recall, he said there were three pieces left. Was it? I think it was three.
>>25414617>If I recall, he said there were three pieces left. Was it? I think it was three.I thought we had two, and got one from the black tristars.In any case, we know he has a connection to hecate. While we have his attention, we definitely need to tell him to keep this # so we can get ahold of him when we finish his task.... and ..... it may be worth asking if he knows anything about that Freaky Ass Manor - we saw hecate there. Obviously those two are tight, and he's PROBABLY on board for an inevitable rescue operation.We STILL need that second eye and the ship tho.
Where's Watashiwa when we need him?All my shaghetti
>>25414548 In order!Remember, we're being observed by our date. As he's The Thief, no names. Play it cool!>[x ] "-I was wondering when you'd be turning up, again!">[x ] Free: Good to hear from you - Try to stay in touch this time, okay?>[x]Free: How have you been?>[ x] "What are you *doing*?
>>25414735(Whoops, I missed that. Let me update the post.)
>>25414742I'm bad at timing! Don't worry about it, i thought your update was fantastic!However, our inquiries are a natural segue to the next topic....
>>25414554You look around, reflexively, as the thought crosses your mind. There's a smattering of people, just circulating - Including a mismatched, terminally-bored trio of students, a few retirees, one or two elderly-looking retirees, a few couples sprinkled around the hall, and...-And a rather intense-looking young man, his eyes narrowed behind his glasses as he scribbles on a notepad, regarding one of the other displays - Not Anatole's alien 'art', though. On occasion, he checks his watch.That's...Something clicks. Suou, was it? Wasn't he at the Papillon last time? You met, briefly, and...There was something else, wasn't there?Most people just glance at Anatole's works - Some make admiring comments and linger (Apparently impressed) - but mostly simply move on."Try not to make it so obvious," Akira says, rather snidely, over the line. "You're googling like a fish, Anon.">>25414570"A long time," Akira agrees. He makes a sound that's halfway between a snort, and a laugh. "-Got it in one," he admits - With a note of grudging respect in his voice. "...I see the art isn't agreeing with you - It's a matter of perspective, after all."> [x] "-I was wondering when you'd be turning up, again!"> [x] "Good to hear from you - Try to stay in touch this time, okay?"> [x]Free: How have you been?(Continued)
>>25414795He hesitates - Seemingly rather taken aback by your greeting...Or just wrong-footed. "That depends," Akira says, at last. His brow furrows, slightly; "I've been...well," he admits, and there's a trace of his old warmth in his voice. > [x] "What are you *doing*?He grimaces, and gives his phone a little shake - Then jerks his head towards the viewing gallery, as his eyes flit to the side. "Come on up; We can catch up on old times face-to-face."A pause."-Besides, I think you have something for me."[ ] "-Why don't you come down, instead?"[ ] "I like this seat, actually."[ ] "I'm waiting for Asuna to get back, actually."[ ] "You're looking well, Akira."[ ] "Within arm's-reach? Of *you*? You must be kidding."[ ] "I'll be right up."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25414801Totally not a trap. At least we can rely on the thief to be totally mercenary. > [X] I'll be right up.
>>25414801Can we give Asuna a message or something?Other than that, let's meet him.
>>25414991You hesitate - You'd like to leave a message for Asuna, but..."-She'll never know that you've been gone, Anon," Akira says, dryly. "We'll be done before she gets back.">>25414857It's a short walk up the ascending steps, to the viewing gallery - A clear, glass-panelled box with a good view of the exhibits. Akira leans against the steel bar of the guiderail in a distinctly casual way - Tilting his head to the side as you approach, taking you in with his quick, alert gaze. It's honestly a little disturbing; You barely recognize him, like this. Not the quiet and obliging person he's always been, or the sarcastic demenour you've seen him affect on occasion - This, you suppose, is the Player that lives underneath those two; All steel and cold control.There's just the two of you, up here; The place was never really crowded at the best of times, but - It's entirely empty, now. "...And there you are," Akira says - Something like satisfaction in his voice. He seems a little taller than before, somehow - Perhaps it's just a trick of the light, or the way he holds himself. He looks away, down at the nausea-inducing exhibits - If he's affected, he doesn't show it. "You should take a second look," he says, abruptly. "-It's actually rather...enlightening."[ ] "I'd rather not."[ ] "Once was enough, thank you very much." [ ] "-I can't help but notice that you're not keeling over..."[ ] "Life on the run seems to suit you, Akira."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25415194>[ X ] "-I can't help but notice that you're not keeling over..."Better not to say "[ ] "Life on the run seems to suit you, Akira."". It will only insult him.
>>25415272(Gentlemen: I'd love to continue, but it's close to 11 PM, and I'm fading fast - I doubt I'd be able to do the rest of the chapter justice, in my current condition. However, you've been a great audience - And this session has reminded me of the importance of getting a 'Cast List' up, which I'll work on next time.Once again - Good night, and god bless. I hope to see you all again next time.)
Someone should do an archive, even if fuck-all happened.
>>25414031So I just watched C and Accel World. What's up with both shows? The protagonist of Accel World is a useless fat fuck, and the guy in [C] is totally apathetic and pointless. I though that the cool guy with the goatee was supposed to be the main character.The only thing good about [C] was the red demon girl in thigh-highs and a microkini. The main character shits up the screen with every scene he's in. Am I missing something here?
>>25415719You're missing the best girl.
>>25415719>Am I missing something here?a) Both are teenagers.Not to mention that both grow a spine over the course of their respective shows.b) Most anime are worse. Look at Sakura-Sou (The show about the literally autistic girl), for example.
>>25415719The main boy in [C] stops hurrdurring in short order, if memory serves. Of course, I watched it with a partner, sooo being patient was easy when you had someone next to you who could make fun of the anime.
>>25415786I watched it with /a/.The Speculah was awesome.And then I rewatched it with a friend. Lacked some of the impact due to marathoning the show.
>>25415719Nope. Japan cannot into protagonists, for some reason. The dude in C has the plot happen AROUND him instead of to him, which leads to stupid decisions like him deciding to fight and bankrupt a good guy for no reason. JQ is like both shows through the looking glass, with a hefty helping of Kamen Rider. The early chapters of the Quest were a LOT more like [C], but the similarities have mostly been phased out by this point.
>>25415769You're wrong, niko is best girl.
>>25415834>The dude in C has the plot happen AROUND him instead of to him, which leads to stupid decisions like him deciding to fight and bankrupt a good guy for no reason.Oh god, I raged so hard at that.
>>25413944I actually really want to know what the meta-story is. It feels like we're only getting bits and pieces of the actual plot, which is kind of tantalizing. I also think it was a really bad idea to ask the memory pool abbout Hecate. I now realize that we could have had any answer to anything.
>>25416004>I actually really want to know what the meta-story is. It feels like we're only getting bits and pieces of the actual plot, which is kind of tantalizing.>I also think it was a really bad idea to ask the memory pool abbout Hecate. I now realize that we could have had any answer to anything.Kind of agree.However. I'm hoping that if we heard her, then she heard us. Hope is a powerful thing. Who knows what it might wreak?
>>25416004>I also think it was a really bad idea to ask the memory pool abbout Hecate. I now realize that we could have had any answer to anything.It's in character, though.Us whoring around isn't, but w/e.
>>25416004Forgot to mention, though: If we get the red joker's memory, we may get insight into the previous generation of the game and how events unfolded.Another thing that occurs to me is... well, if the red joker's memory can be stolen, what if this isn't the first time that its happened?What if the thing that Akira has is where ALL the jokers memories go when they pass the armor along? The original source?
>>25416004The backstory, you mean? There's actually quite a lot of it. I'm probably wrong on multiple grounds, but this is what I've gathered so far.Six years prior to the beginning of the Quest, the last round of the Red World comes to a conclusion. The finalists are the Red Joker, the Chalice Queen, Phantom Edge, the Black Cardinal and Argent Prominence. The Black Joker is also somehow involved.Phantom Edge is a swordsman with a weapon called the fatal Abyss. The red Joker is generally considered to be a good guy, and is implied to have saved the world somehow. The Black cardinal is very likely to be a cult leader who vanished six years ago with a lot of stolen money. Argent Prominence aka Fumito Ebara spends most of his time exploring the Red World instead of fighting. He is also the only survivor of whatever happened at the end. All we know is that the five (six?) Players turned on each other. Phantom Edge and the Black Cardinal are implied to have killed each other. The Red Joker saves Argent Prominence, who barely manages to escape. (More>)
>>25416172Fumito suffers severe amnesia, due to literal brain damage. Still a very powerful player, he rallies a group of like-minded players to fight Correctors, which are monsters that spawn from nowhere. He makes a mistake in recruiting Bardiel aka Shindo, who eventually goes rogue with a powerful pair of Relic wings. Meanwhile, a boy falls into the corrector Hive 'underneath' the Red World. Time compression is apparently more severe there, because he spends one hundred years of subjective time trapped in an unimaginable hellscape. He encounters the (old) Red Joker, who dies/is killed and passes him the Red joker's unique armor. Somehow, the boy escapes the hive, suffering unspeakable terrors in the process. Despite the world's worst case of PTSD, he grows up to be us. Having a near-century of combat experience, he's (presumably) extremely deadly as the Red Joker, and mature beyond his actual age. Sometime in the interim, a player called Pazuzu declares himself the Black Cardinal/the Black Cardinal's heir. He's betrayed by an abnormal Player called 'Hecate', who steals one of the two Nihl spheres from him, with The Thief's help. This doesn't stop Pazuzu from amassing an army of Players, including the nearly-invincible Rust Kaiser, Bardiel, a sociopath with the power to control correctors called Kraken, Bell zephyr, the mad bomber Enfer, and a mysterious Sixth player. They're generally evil bastards. Meanwhile, Akira, also known as the 'Thief' and 'Totenaz', begins searching for all the pieces of Phantom edge's sword, presumably intending to inherit the title. He locates and identifies the new Red joker. The first chapter starts at this point. Hecate takes an interest in the new Red Joker, and considers approaching him. It's implied that there was a lull in the six year period, where nothing much happened. That should cover everything, but I didn't include current events.
>>25416217Wow, I must have missed all of that. No joke, it completely flew over my head.
>>25416217Do current events too!
>>25416217>The first chapter starts at this point. Hecate takes an interest in the new Red Joker, and considers approaching him.If we could go back in time, the one thing (well, recent) thing i wish we could do was throw an Exec_Harrow on the player/corrector who opened the portal, yanking on a leash. i forget who it was, but i think it was implied to be the chalice queen. Someone from pazuzu's realm, though.Would have told us exactly where they were.
>>25416316But it saved us from being hit by a car. Pazuzu wants us dead, or at least wants the nihl sphere back.
>>25416288I could, but it wouldn't be nearly as complimentary. We've made some really bone-headed decisions.
>>25416172>All we know is that the five (six?) Players turned on each other.If it's like Accel World, the endgame would consist of the highest ranking players killing each other until there's only one survivor.
>>25416341Do it anyway, it'll be fun.
>>25416172That begs the question. how would the story have played out if we'd picked different choices from the start? The very first options we got were Red/Black/White (Blue?) armor, and choosing between Sword/Gun and Fist.Obviously we took Red and Gun, because /tg/ always loves to be the agile, cunning type, despite all evidence to the contrary. But would this be BLACK JOKER QUEST if we'd chosen the others?There must be a parallel universe somewhere with the answers.
>>25416945OP mentioned that he was still nailing down setting details when the game started. The Joker being especially significant was probably established in the second thread. If we'd built a different character we'd have been significant in a different way. I wouldn't expect too many alternate Anons to exist in a universe where the Red Joker is as he is now.>>25416364I don't think that finalists are chosen for surviving to the end but by being the best at what they do: surviving, item creation, weapon use, that sort of thing. The finalists aren't supposed to fight it out, they're supposed to form a raiding party.
>>25418087That actually makes sense. If you think about the symbolism...a) Wands: Magic. b) Coins: Wealth, Relic Creation?c) Swords: Fighters. d) Cups: ???e) Joker: Wild card, changes from inheritor to inheritor.
So what are opinions on upgrade paths?I really wonder if there's an upper ceiling. Accel World had nine levels and a limit on the amount of gear you can carry, while we are constantly getting all kinds of ridiculously awesome upgrades.Our selections will likely be:[ ] Force (Weapon upgrade)[ ] Meter (Faster meter gain) [ ] Guard (Defensive upgrade)[ ] Survive (Vitality up)[ ] Evol (Ability unlock)[ ] Roullette (Random relic) [ ] Relic Attunment: Shroud[ ] Relic Attunment: Scrander[ ] Relic Attunment: Adjunctator (sp?)I guess we've got our Scrander upgraded enough.Getting a better shroud might be a good thing. For the last Relic we need to know its current state first.We've already upgraded Force twice, but I kind of want to see want higher levels grant us.I'm hopeful that either force or meter might grant us lower costs on our special weapons, meaning that we can fire at will.I personally consider Evol to be kind of boring, even though the drones have certainly been useful. I guess I would want them to have more special abilities (Wait, wasn't there something about using the drones to reflect one of our attacks to the opponent?) and maybe less meter drain.But what about Guard and Survive?I wonder how these two are different, anyway. And why there's no agility upgrade. Would Guard possibly be an upgrade to our evasion/mobility, while Survive makes us more sturdy?Also, why would we ever take Roullette? All the other choices have next to no chance at fucking us over (except, maybe, the fact that we can't change our Vulcans back into kinetic weaponry), while we know fuck-all about the Relic.We do have an awesome guy who can upgrade any Relic, but he might possibly die in the future.The question is also how usable an artifact would be at the beginning. The Scrander was borderline useless until we gained additional attunement.
>>25418588I think Rust Kaiser has several dozen levels in Survive and Guard. He's perhaps the literal embodiment of a walking tank. We've put almost all our points in Force, Meter and a handful into Evol. I think we need another level in EVOL for it to get good.
>>25418630The system seems heavily biased, however. How do you explain someone like Kraken? He was an utterly broken ability (viz. Absolute control of Correctors) AND has very solid-looking armour with an axe. In contrast, Pazzie is a straight-up squishy Wizard. And Hecate has absolutely nothing! She can't even defend herself in combat!
>>25418588At the moment, I think, we need to put our resources into PHYSICAL upgrades. Namely, acquiring new artifacts and abilities. I brought it up a few threads ago, but we REALLY REALLY need to revisit the hollow sun and see if it can't make some more artifacts now that its repaired - or consume/reconstruct other artifacts to make things in it's database. The radar system in particular benefits us greatly as a gunslinger.We seem to get the best utility out of upgrading relics and evolving abilities, anyway.Xp is nice and all, but we get levelups infrequently and could probably use them more effectively, hence planning like this is good.I think it was hinted there's a tier 5 weapon at one point. I recall there being an UNKNOWN list for it while catching up with the thread.Roulette seems like the kind of thing we pick if we can bias the odds. Maybe akira knows something about this.Maybe the hollow sun can upgrade us with bardiel-like wings. that would own.
>>25418714You know, I'm really glad we killed Bardiel early on. His wings clearly had something to do with the Hollow Sun. If he was still around at this point, we would be in deep shit. He even had a version of the Dominion flying tank. That was a genuinely tough fight.
>>25418684>In contrast, Pazzie is a straight-up squishy Wizard. And Hecate has absolutely nothing! She can't even defend herself in combat!Hecate didn't even have armor. She was fully abnormal.In Accel World, your avatar is based on your mental issues. Crazier people generally have stronger avatars.In this setting, the power of your avatar seems to be based on upgrades. Lots and lots of insane upgrades. The progression path might very well be limitless.By the way, I just remembered that the observer feature was likely also cut from fluff.>>25418714>we REALLY REALLY need to revisit the hollow sunThis reminds me of the retarded stuff that is constantly going on with our behaviour.We seem to have dick-induced ADD.We need to revisit the Hollow Sun and we should have recovered our shield days ago instead of just now thinking about it.Especially as the Red Joker started off as a pretty hardcore and killy dude and then fell in love and got that girl taken away.Then we tried revenge one time and now we are totally passive. I'm not saying that we should go out and try to murder everyone - We learned to control that, in-character, after all - But we should definitely be more proactive and focused, instead of trying to fuck all the girls around us.
>>25418744>He even had a version of the Dominion flying tank. That was a genuinely tough fight.When are we going to make that, by the way?I have a sneaking suspicion it may be the ship we need to cross the voids to hecate.
>>25418588Guard is damage resistance, Survive is health. Sort of like our weapon upgrades from Force, there are probably side benefits to improving either one, like health regeneration or stabilizers, depending on your original build.Could be that the reason there's no mobility upgrade is that we've already maxed it out. We DID spent 100 years fighting, but we were pretty low-spec when the quest started.Artifacts are of varying utility. There are some that are entirely useless, some that break the game, some that mesh perfectly with your natural abilities and some that are just meant for other players. That's why it's called Roulette. I suggest one more Meter upgrade, then Force until the end of the game. We run and gun, let's emphasize that. Plus it looks like there's another 100 percent weapon.>>25418780Building the tank will consume the Hollow Sun, and it won't last very long. That's an endgame move.
>>25418768> By the way, I just remembered that the observer feature was likely also cut from fluff.No, it's just that we haven't fought in a one-on-one duel for a while. But yeah, we've been thinking with our penis a lot. I do feel that we've been utterly terrible to Mio, however. We kissed her, and we never, ever followed up on it. No wonder the poor girl's confused and depressed.
>>25418768>This reminds me of the retarded stuff that is constantly going on with our behaviour.>We seem to have dick-induced ADD.>We need to revisit the Hollow Sun and we should have recovered our shield days ago instead of just now thinking about it.>Especially as the Red Joker started off as a pretty hardcore and killy dude and then fell in love and got that girl taken away.>Then we tried revenge one time and now we are totally passive. I'm not saying that we should go out and try to murder everyone - We learned to control that, in-character, after all - But we should definitely be more proactive and focused, instead of trying to fuck all the girls around us.100% agreement.I want to see us getting dick-induced tunnel vision, now. We're the motherfucking RED JOKER. Let's see some of that single minded determination to LIVE that kept us going through a few hundred years get aimed at something PRODUCTIVE.Shape up and get fit for an asskicking.We... may want to take our friends powerleveling, also. Find some tough correctors to beat on in a group, etc.
>>25418780>>25418801How about actually building defenses on the Hollow Sun?We fucking stopped the production of one kind of defense force in order to start regeneration. The enemy might be invading.It would be very awesome if we could use the Hollow Sun as some kind of base.
>>25418818>I do feel that we've been utterly terrible to Mio, however. We kissed her, and we never, ever followed up on it. No wonder the poor girl's confused and depressed.She clearly has issues with the red world, being a sort of connection to it- look at how she reacted to the corrector attack. She was blaming HERSELF.we.... we really need to ask her about that. Possibly even try to visit the red world with her nearby, see if she gets dragged in. Also on our list of SERIOUS BUSINESS, those purple crystals: Argent Prominence needs one. We should ask akira if he has some spare while he's around. He got them before to protect his home before. But since it allows Red World Crossovers... maybe letting mio have one might be worth investigating
>>25418818>I do feel that we've been utterly terrible to Mio, however. We kissed her, and we never, ever followed up on it. No wonder the poor girl's confused and depressed.Mio showed us her great secret. Lots of trust involved in that.How about telling her about the shit that we are involved it?Doesn't need to be detailled. Just a general idea - There's a parallel world and we to death in there. That's why we sometimes seem to zone out.>>25418819>We... may want to take our friends powerleveling, also. Find some tough correctors to beat on in a group, etc.I like that idea. We can even take the redshirt trio with us and show them some tricks and train team movement.
>>25418859I think the redshirt trio want out, for now. Bishamon wants to be alive more than he wants to be powerful, Tyrian is unreliable, and Regios doesn't like us very much. They're small fry.At this point, even Chrome Cypher is small fry. Enfer gave her a thorough ass-kicking.
>>25418827Ideally, we need to feed the Hollow Sun with REAL resources. ones that won't degrade with the the red world's energies.Maybe the nihl spere could be used to exec_rend things backward onto it that it can use to create.As much as I don't want to share the entire bloody secret with argent, as the premier Maker of Shite, we really kind of do need his expertise with that system.>>25418827>We fucking stopped the production of one kind of defense force in order to start regeneration. The enemy might be invading.Yet another reason we need to check in with it.
>>25418827Wouldn't do much, it's already invisible and inaccessible unless you're us. Note that Kraken with his fuckhuge army couldn't do jack about it.>>25418859>>25418854>How about telling her about the shit that we are involved it?Under no circumstances. She's been a bystander to Red World tragedies before, actually knowing more won't help.I agree about needing to be more proactive. Let's go exploring.
>>25418883Tyrian Edge is the biggest fucking pussy ever.
>>25418883>I think the redshirt trio want out, for now. Bishamon wants to be alive more than he wants to be powerful, Tyrian is unreliable, and Regios doesn't like us very much. They're small fry.>At this point, even Chrome Cypher is small fry. Enfer gave her a thorough ass-kicking.That's the thing:They are vulnerable. Fighting Correctors is a pretty tame pastime compared to all the other stuff we are in. Sooner or later, the group will be involved with the Red World anyway.If we fight Correctors with them, we'll give them an edge in terms of survival. This might pay back in various ways later on and we won't have to worry about them just as much.Hell, how about 1on1 training? There's no system that enforces 1on1 matchups to actually end, is there?
>>25418883>I think the redshirt trio want out, for now.Possible, but we need allies.Should we ask for the hollow sun relics we gave them back, then?
>>25418930>Should we ask for the hollow sun relics we gave them back, then?That would be assholish.It might make more sense to bet on the loyality that these upgrades grant us.
>>25418914I get the feeling that we're going to have to use the army against Kraken at some point. It'd be Corrector versus Angel, in the biggest battle ever.
>>25418914>She's been a bystander to Red World tragedies before, actually knowing more won't help.As I said:We don't talk in detail. Just the general gist of it - We are sometimes summoned into another world and meanwhile zone out in the real world.We kissed this girl and she's in love with us. We should show her *some* trust.And this might possibly come in handy.If she knows that we are sometimes not *there* with our minds, she might keep us safe or something.
>>25418958The problem is that it sounds insane.Like, if you even begin to describe it, it's basically the ravings of a schizophrenic. We told Kazuya about this, TO HIS FACE, and he didn't believe a single world.Natsumi has also repeatedly mentioned how the entire concept is impossible to describe to anyone else. She kept mum about it, to us, because she knew we wouldn't believe her.
>>25418929>There's no system that enforces 1on1 matchups to actually end, is there?No, but there is a point system of sorts. The person who took more damage gets hit by something bad.And anyway, these guys are afraid they're in over their heads. They're right. We shouldn't force them to get involved more than they have to. We should do what we can to keep them alive but we're not part of their team.>>25418930Sweet christ no.Look, one of the big patterns to this story is that the Red Joker doesn't do the team thing. From our loadout to our character's reputation and personal history, the Red Joker stands alone. Allies when they come are fantastic, but when they go they should be allowed to go.>>25418958Again, under no circumstances. Do you really want her wondering every second that she's not listening to us speak that we're fighting and spreading the killing that's marked her life? We stay mum on the issue of the Red World to everyone who's not involved directly.
>>25418930I think, but I can't be sure, that Bishamon gave us the heave-to in this episode because he didn't get anything. He didn't have enough modifiers to pass his loyalty check.
>>25418994You forget that Mio has her own crazy magic shit going on.She would be inclined to believe us.
>>25419020We saved his life.I thought this would even out that issue.Then again, we might ask Fumito to give this guy something nice. We know that he's trustworthy, after all.
>>25419033I doubt that she wants to, however. I don't think she wants any more drama in her life. If you're familiar with Eisenhorn, the worst thing you can do to a Pariah (That's a psychic blank) is to tell them that they're a Pariah, because they start blaming themselves. Mio, from my reading, wants a white knight who takes care of her and treats her well. You know, like a typical girl.
>>25419020What? No, he wanted out because he's nearly gotten killed three times by associating with us, and then got to run screaming from monsters as bad or worse than anything he's seen in his nightmares. He likes us, but he's a bullying victim. The Red World is his escape from that, and we turned it into a place worse than what he ran from.>>25419033She'd believe us because she adores us, and would spend every waking moment terrified for us and about the other world. Ignorance is innocence, do you want to break her?>>25419085>You know, like a typical girl.The only part of what you wrote that I have any trouble with. There's nothing atypical about not wanting a Prince, Mio's just a romantic.
>>25419085That sounds awfully shallow.
>>25419112Look at this way: You're a teenage girl with issues. And you KNOW you're abnormal, because you have actual magic powers. Then a guy comes into your life and treats you like a princess. As in, he literally sweeps you off your feet. You don't really know too much about him, but you're head-over-heels for this guy. Do you really want him to tell you that he hails from a hell beyond your comprehension, and that your worst nightmares are all real? Oh, and that he's in love with another girl he's struggling to get over. Because we can't forget that, either.
>>25419110>do you want to break her?No, but we got ourselves into this mess because we messed with her.Keeping quite about everything is just as assholish, after she's shown us the secret that she's been hiding from everyone.I just really hate how coldly we treat her after everything that happened. It's basically like we collected all flags and are now chasing the next girl.
>>25419167We've treated women pretty awfully, all things considered. We've gone out of our way to friendzone Natsumi, and she's only recently began to work her way back to being comfortable around us again. Then we've been kind of a dick to the girl who loves us. I can't see this ending well.
>>25419199I guess we could say that our behaviour to Mio is PTSD based on losing Hecate (Though why we wouldn't be the kind of person to find a way to revive her or something instead of fucking around is beyond me), but Natsumi is definitely retarded on our side.I really hope we can find a way to fix everything. But how?
>>25419256Hecate is alive, though. The answer we received from the memory pool strongly implies that.
>>25419289We didn't know it at the time.Now we know and our first clue is the hospital.So we instead went to the Museum with Asuna and did other unrelated stuff.Hooray for logic.I bet ten bucks that the person that Hecate visited was her physical body.
>>25419167You realize it's been all of two days, right? Given that Anon and Mio are second year high schoolers attending different schools in Japan it's amazing we've been able to meet at all. Normally they'd be buried in test prep and cram school.>>25419256Honestly? No clue.
>>25418929>Hell, how about 1on1 training? There's no system that enforces 1on1 matchups to actually end, is there?We don't know. In the enfer fight, he was actually trying to actively leave the engagement. We haven't tried to exploit the red world's system yet, but I'm not sure it actually has one - it seems rather freeformey/real life mimichey
>>25418994>Like, if you even begin to describe it, it's basically the ravings of a schizophrenic. We told Kazuya about this, TO HIS FACE, and he didn't believe a single world.This is why the purple crystal is amazing, btw. If it lets you transform into the real world, you can prove it. Assuming its controllable.Not that i'm saying you should mind you. Just that its nice to have as a way to validate the ravings of a madman
>>25419340>it seems rather freeformey/real life mimicheyIt seems like a very complex simulation.Maybe there's some actual exploits to use.How about trading luck for upgrades á la money press in [C] or something like the Incarnate System in Accel World?
>>25419033>You forget that Mio has her own crazy magic shit going on.>She would be inclined to believe us.Maybe. But from what we've seen, she thinks she's insane and blames herself the the accidents her powers cause.That's gonna take a LOT of trouble to break past that shell
>>25419357Thinking about it, we should really get one of these crystals to our artifact master.Having a bunch of them would be really fucking awesome during dangerous RL situations.It would also allow us to quick travel via jetpack.
>>25419110>What? No, he wanted out because he's nearly gotten killed three times by associating with us, and then got to run screaming from monsters as bad or worse than anything he's seen in his nightmares. He likes us, but he's a bullying victim. The Red World is his escape from that, and we turned it into a place worse than what he ran from.Then this should be our tact to talk to him about it.We're not going to FORCE him to help us. If he wants out we won't stop him - but we should stay in touch. That mapping things is AMAZING and we definitely need access to it more often.I can't help but get the feeling we missed out on that shadow area, thoughBut, we're neglecting the eye's ability to open doors and find ways to places. we SERIOUSLY need to get on exploring and finding things.
>>25419371>blames herself the the accidents her powers cause.I guess we least we could do is remove her self-blame.If we aren't letting the cat out of the beg, we need some other plan.But first we need...Well, first of all let's talk to Akira, get a crystal, etc.Not sure on the specifics, though we should give him the fragment.Then afterwards we finish the Asuna thing, then meet Mio to make sure that she doesn't feel abandoned and then we go to the hospital and look for the person that Hecate visited.Depending on what happens, we'll afterwards go to Fumito and/or Hollow Sun.
>>25419412>I can't help but get the feeling we missed out on that shadow area, thoughI'd personally say that it was absolutely in character.Even if it didn't give us much useful information, it at least showed that we are still thinking about Hecate.
>>25419378Oh shit no I don't trust Fumito. That guy has LAW written all over him, in the SMT sense. Remember that he's probably the one who made the original Player/Corrector hybrids.>>25419340It IS possible to do non-lethal combat, but the loser still gets a penalty in the real world.>>25419412Yeah, except he also doesn't really want to associate with us in the Red World. Agree on the map thing, but I think the Hollow Sun will be even better for that. Remember that we were using it to look for Pazuzu and were actually seeing other places in the Red World. The Tri-Stars have great homebrew equipment, but we've got the Batcave.I think we ought to use the Hollow Sun to track down other facilities. It's got data banks, so let's track down other Vitruvian Machines, armories, hidden armies...Oh, let's also put the Joker's mark on every last Hellion, just because we can.>>25419424Just spend time with her. She needs professional help for her self-blame, but just getting it off her chest should help more than finding out that the world is a much darker and more frightening place than even she knew.
>>25419518>I think we ought to use the Hollow Sun to track down other facilities. It's got data banks, so let's track down other Vitruvian Machines, armories, hidden armies...Fuck yeah.This sounds awesome.Personally I'd love to at least give one or two to Chrome Cypher, as she's actively taking part in campaigns in the Red World, but I guess most here would veto it.Knowing all the devices also means that we'd have a few bargain chips for trading with other people.
>>25419613>I guess most here would veto it.We gave two upgrades to what are for all intents and purposes two random dudes just out of a sense of honor because we didn't want to horde all the Hollow Sun loot.I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be much of an argument against helping an actual, long-term, in-the-flesh friend of ours stay alive through the inevitable upcoming shit hitting the fan.
>>25419746Ok, so let's keep in mind to map out vitruvian machines and armories and then go spelunking with our best friendzoned friend.
>>25419518Yeah, Tri-Stars are out, so Hollow Sun is now our HQ. And what a HQ it is.Proposal: Corrector hunter patrols around the city. Hellions are easy to replace, and while not particularly strong, should be a match for small groups of correctors in the numbers we can produce them in.Let people know that the Red Joker is done fucking around.
>>25419866I wonder:Would we gain EXP from that? Or would the Hollow Sun buffer it until we connect to it?Then again, that's the powergamer in me speaking.What's the purpose of the device, anyway? What if we are fucking everything over by using it? We also don't know anything about Correctors.
>>25419954Hollow Sun? It's got no purpose that we know of. It just sort of evolved, and it's only partly self aware.Now that it's merged with RJ, I say we abuse the advantage that it gives us.
>>25419746There's something about the Vitruvian Machines. Hecate want to use it herself, and both Regios and Tyrian took one look at the other one and NOPE'd. It could be that there's some kind of Player taboo about letting external devices modify your suit, or it could be related to what Hecate said about the things being a gamble. Could just be the how weird the Red Joker suit is.>>25419866I was about to veto this and then I realized this is basically identical to my favorite ending of Fallout New Vegas. Let's Wild Card this shit.
>>25420061>Hecate want*didn'tJesus Christ four years getting a degree for this shit and I still make dumbass mistakes.
>>25420074Then again, Hecate is non-standard.She's a fucking human while everyone else is robotic. You can't augment the flesh. At least not in a non-problematic manner.As for Regios and Tyrian, it might just have been fear.But yeah, we should ask Chrome Cypher on her stance on this.
>>25420338What was Hecate's deal anyway? Did we ever find out more about that?
>>25421003>What was Hecate's deal anyway? Did we ever find out more about that?No, and we need to.NEXT UP WE VISIT HER FRIEND IN THE HOSPITAL INSTEAD OF GOING ON DATESIn fact, can future datespame, we got shit to do
>>25419866That's not viable, actually. The problem is that the Hellions degrade very quickly once they're outside the Hollow Sun, according to the OP. So when we send them out, we're sure to lose them.I think we're going to need every one we can get at some point, for a certain reason. Then there were all the options for Hellion upgrades which we haven't explored yet.
>>25424220Yet, the appearance of bardiel's wings as a relic suggests that there is some way to make them ENDURE
>>25424282The Hollow Sun relics don't seem to degrade. Regios and Tyrian are running around with their new toys, and displaying them prominently. (Kind of wish we got to see Regios fight, actually. He's got a really cool design. Same for Bishamon.)
Holy shit, you guys. The thread was last night, and it's still up? You crazy.
>>25424348See now, this shit wouldn't have happened if we gave Spaghetti the Apex Blade.
>>25424405>Holy shit, you guys. The thread was last night, and it's still up?The guy runs it at like 1am-6am for the us people, so yeah, thats when they respond to it
>>25419357Those are pretty awesome, and I really like how the bad guys have been using them. They up the ante when it comes to fighting like there's no tomorrow. We're lucky we didn't lose an arm or a leg when fighting Bardiel, for instance. At the same time, Enfer used them to drop INVISIBLE BOMBS everywhere. How cool is that?
>go to sleep at 7 Am>work from 12 to 3 putting in ducting>run a Shadowrun game until nowHoly shit, this thread is still up? I missed all of the specula.
>>25427445Don't worry, I'm still here and we're under 200 posts, plenty of time and space for more.Anyone want to talk build plans? >>25418588 laid it out pretty well.
>>25427907>Anyone want to talk build plans?It seems like a good amount of followers of this quest isn't interested in anything besides simulated dating.Thankfully our OP is smarter than the one at MSQ.Anyway, while I think that we should get Evol/Meter/Force, with Force and Meter as focus, I'd also love to try Survive/Guard just to get an idea of what they do.They won't make us weaker, after all.
>>25431258It's how some people get their fun.The Red Joker armor is made for shooting lots of bullets really fast, so there might just be better to stick with what you're good at. Of course the opposite might be true--maybe a level in a stat you don't have many points in has a greater return than one you've ranked up several times.
>>25431747In the end, the question is how the limits are structured.Let's say we have nine levels in total and a max of five in each stat, with the highest level granting some additional bonus.That would mean that right now we've got three or so points left to spend, with Force at level three.In that case, it would make sense to go two force and one meter.But that limit seems awfully low, so I'd guess that we are either limitless in terms of total amounts of points (just taking longer to reach each level) or that the amount of points would be enough to get every base stat to level two or three, with additional points to amount for artifact affinity.
I wonder if OP will use this thread or if it will be a new one.
>>25433647It's going to autosage soon, anyway. I honestly think we're headed for disaster in upcoming chapters. (Though we're probably going to level up soon, so there's that.) At the same time, I want to do absolutely atrocious things to Mio.Like hold hands.
>>25434284>headed for disaster in upcoming chaptersI would be grateful for consequences after the dating sim crowd influenced the quest.Seriously, it would be retarded if we didn't have any problems after the shit we did.As for autosage, you should really activate the counter in the settings. We are more than one hundred posts away.
>>25434308You know, I don't actually mind the dating sim crowd. The girls we've met are genuinely lovely, and it's honestly enjoyable to spend time with them. I'm kind of uncomfortable at the way we've been treating people, however. We really shouldn't have kissed the secondary love interest if we weren't going to commit to her, but it'd be incredibly callous to just write it off as an accident. Kind of wish I got into this quest earlier. Mostly I just lurk in the threads.
>>25434373It's kind of weird how innocent the interactions have been, if you think about it. We had a literal demonic temptress as a girlfriend (I'm not convinced that Hecate wasn't a succubus) and we didn't even get to first base with her. I can't remember a Quest that hasn't progressed to out-and-out fucking at this point. Or maybe I'm just misremembering.
>>25434404Hecate was simply a girl with unusual circumstances.My bet is still that she's actually in a coma and we interacted with her avatar, which was somehow removed from her body.And I'm thankful that these interactions are so realistic. For once we don't have everyone being as horny as in a doujinshi.>>25434373>The girls we've met are genuinely lovely, and it's honestly enjoyable to spend time with them. The issue lies in the second part of your post:>We really shouldn't have kissed the secondary love interestThat's what I meant with "dating sim crowd". They will do anything for pussy, even breaking character and throwing away the fact that we just lost the girl that we love and should be interested in acting on her demise (Or, now that we know she's alive, following the clues).
>>25434404> It's kind of weird how innocent the interactions have been, if you think about it.Somehow, that makes it hotter.
I really wonder how the Shroud and the Scrander can be upgraded with further EXP. We already have freestyle aerial movement with the Scrander, for once.