Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/25410243/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, your visit to the METROPOLITAN ART MUSEUM brought you face-to-face with AKIRA, also known as THE THIEF.
The viewing gallery hovers above the exhibits - A clear, glass-panelled box, with only the horizontal bar of a guiderail to dispel the illusion of floating in air. Some trick of construction makes the ascending spiral of the steps flush with the floor - As if there's no way back down.Or that might just be the fever talking. You feel...unbalanced. There's a sickly heat beneath your skin, the memory of nausea churning in your gut - Made worse by the climate-controlled air, your clothes clammy with sweat. And then there's Akira; Relaxed in everything but his gaze, taking you in with his quick, alert eyes.> [X] "-I can't help but notice that you're not keeling over..."He chuckles, a dry sound. "-You're looking through the wrong pair of eyes, Anon." he says - He taps a finger against the side of his head, as if making a point. Unlike you, he's regarding Anatole's soul-blasting art with no sign of sickness...Or rather, he would be, if he wasn't keeping his eyes on you."Find a new perspective-" Something flickers in his flat gaze. "-And be enlightened."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25728521God damn, I hate it when people are all enigmatic like that. Is he asking us to transform?
>>25728521>find a new perspective"Lemme guess, the sanity destroying painting can be made sense of in the other world I take it?"Transform if that is the case.
>>25728273>AKIRA, also known as THE THIEFWho is still a dick. Sup OP, good to see tests didn't kill you.>>25728521"So she really does naturally bridge the gap between the worlds. For her sake I hope she never realizes what it means."Take a picture of it with our smartphone, whatever is effecting us shouldn't be transmitted through the camera. It'll be good to be able to talk to her about her art and not have to make shit up. After that, shift to the Red World.
>>25728574>>25728521Possibly, though that brings the question of how he's aware of both worlds simultaneously.
>>25728626Glasses? Contacts? A cerebellum implant? Body doubles?A cute asian girlfriend?
>>25728688Given that this is Akira, it's either relics or practice. Remember that our body is still here even when our consciousness is in the Red World, so it could just be a skill like lucid dreaming.
>>25728626Maybe it's the effects of one of the fatal abyss's shards? The one spaghetti-san had granted him a combat prowess knowledge bomb, sensory enhancement wouldn't be out of the question for a weapon this powerful.
>>25728740Wouldn't be that far fetched for Contact Relics then. Check in on your Meat from time to time to make sure it's not getting up to any trouble while your mind wonders.
>>25728758That reminds me, we need to get a good look at that new hand of his. I've got this odd suspicion that the sword actually rejected him not unlike how it rejects us and he's using Phantom Edge's hand as a gauntlet to get around that.
>>25728574>>25728596Akira doesn't *quite* nod, but his silence is all the answer you need. >>25728599The soft *click* of your handphone hangs in the air, the tiny mechanical whirr lingering for a heartbeat longer than it should. Your vision blurs at the edges, as you inhale, and close your eyes - Your fingers tighten on cold steel, and...-And as you exhale a breath you don't need, the world is limned in surreal shades of red. STAGE: ACROPOLISThe first thing that strikes you, is - How *easy* it is to make the transition, this time. The fog in your mind clears, as your hands become jointed gauntlets encased in crimson endosteel; Your mono-optic sensor whirring and cycling, the autoreactive pinions of your Tempest Scrander flexing at your back...You stand on a long walkway of segmented ivory tiles; One of many, criss-crossing the great space you're standing within. The steel of the guiderail has become gold-chased scarlet, the metal worked into the shape of eyeless faces and closed mouths - Repeated again and again on the white marble of the wall, bulging outwards from the surface as if growing from it. Frames float in the air - Ornate, empty, as they drift in seemingly random trajectories; Where they meet the walls, they ghost *into* it, like silent phantoms, lost to view - Holding only roiling shadows and shifting phantasms where images should be.That is, except for the ones right next to you. (Continued)
>>25728840Excellent. I am now monitoring this thread.Does anyone have a list of our updated goals from the last archive?
>>25728840Space is compressed and twisted in the Red World; What was *beneath* you is now right here. The painting frames hang in the air, vibrating at the edges - As if straining against the force that locks them in place. And you see...THE FUTURE OF MAN:Like the jigsaw puzzle of an insane god, a titan constructed of human bodies - Layered and pieced and interlaced like corpses in a mass grave - reaches up towards a moiling red sky. Silver gleams in his hollow eyes.MOSAIC:Light fractures through a stained-glass image depicting a knight at rest, his skeletal fingers folded over the pommel of a great sword. A crack marrs the image; His face shattered beyond recognition. On second glance, the extraordinary rendition is actually made of hundreds - Perhaps thousands - of fragments pieced together. Beneath the painstakingly detailed window, two figures - Red and black - face away from each other, dappled by prismatic. Each holds a shard of glass in his hand-"Welcome back, Joker."The Thief's words are delivered in the curt, clipped tone he favors - The smoldering embers of his eyes set in his skull-helm, floor-length coat pooling about him. His right arm is never far from the battered scabbard at his side - As always, he holds it slightly away from him, slightly stiffly, as if discomfited by it. > "So she really does naturally bridge the gap between the worlds. For her sake I hope she never realizes what it means."The Thief nods. "For her sake," he echoes - In mockery or in agreement, you don't now. He extends his left hand towards you: Palm up. "The Fatal Abyss. Where is it?"[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25729148(Apologies for the delay - I'm a little rusty, and still getting back into the swing of things.)
>>25729148"I dunno Mr. Sunshine, where's the memory?"
>>25729148"In my inventory, waiting for you to bring up the trading screen. My inheritance for yours, as agreed."
>>25729148Shit I figured that would happen."Woah woah woah, back that horse up right the hell now. Where the Hell did you hear I have a piece of the Sword you're after? That.. that exchange was *private*. Well, as private as it could have been... considering you know and whomever you received that information from... oh god you have my phone bugged don't you?"Now's the time we pull the piece of his PRECIOUS sword out and start casually tossing it up and down in our hand."Now, you can be a good sport and tell me where you got your info from so that I can kill them or remove whatever tracking device you've placed on my person and in exchange I may consider handing it over... after I have seen with my own digitized eyes that Joker's memory is intact. And the real deal. Give me a little sample. You know I have a piece of the sword. How can I trust *you*?"
>>25729148Okay, examine the arm. Does it appear like it was grown, like the Fatal Abyss is changing him, or grafted like he did it himself?
>>25729374Christ man, chill. We've known he's got something on us for a while now, no need to tip our hand. Dealing with bugs in JokerOS is first on the list of things to do when we get back to the Hollow Sun.There's a fine line between being a dashing hero like the Joker should be and being a smarmy little prick like the Thief, and this post has us acting like the prick.
>>25729466Shadowrun levels of paranoia considering we've only interacted with six other players. The Tri-Stars, Nat, Kraken, and the BTOOOOOM reject. Dude's a jackass. We have something he wants and he has something we may or may not get fucked in the head with. It's just making sure the thing is actually legit.
>>25729148"Hey, one off topic question real quick. You recall when you were in the hospital and I brought in Hecate in that white dress and introduced her to Kazuya and Natsumi as Tsukimi? Was she there visiting you that time, before Kaz and I showed up?"
>>25729529Oh Christ. He found out Spaghetti had the sword. Went after him to retrieve it. Spaghetti spilled the beans he traded it to us.We need to get ahold of Spaghetti-san pronto.
>>25729374>>25729466I know the thief hasn't been the most likable of characters so far, but I feel we should stop actively antagonizing him. The black tri-stars want nothing to do with us. Natsumi, while nice to have on our side isn't insanely capable. Most other players want to kill us. Nobody wants to put any further trust in argent... We need some friends if we're to have any hope of dealing with various threats we currently face. We can't just keep pushing everyone away. We may have the hollow sun, but that doesn't make us invincible. Especially when we haven't checked up on the thing in forever.
>>25729247>>25729283> "In my inventory, waiting for you to bring up the trading screen. My inheritance for yours, as agreed."It's impossible to tell exactly *what* is wrong with his right arm; But to your eye, you can tell that it isn't his. The proportions are wrong - And you flash back to the maimed figure you'd glimpsed before...-Yes. You're sure of it. >>25729374A dry, hacking sound issues from somewhere beneath his helmet - It sounds like he's choking, until, from the motion of his shoulders - it becomes clear that he's laughing. The Thief moves slowly, parting the folds of his black coat. You make out the stark, skeletal ribs of his armor, stark against his combat webbing...And beneath that, something that throbs, with a dull, lightless beat.For a moment, you're not sure what you're looking at - Until it clicks. The fragments of the Fatal Abyss...-They're *inside* him. Inside him - And responding to the shard you hold."A secret for a secret," he rasps. The Thief makes an underarm gesture - His *left* arm, you notice - It's an easy throw, soft-tossed; You catch...-A small, lacquered cube, with deep marks in the surface. A slight rotation of your wrist, and the thin seam becomes clear; It's a box. It opens, easily, to reveal a curious item - A mouthpiece, worked to resemble interlocking fingers, clenched in a snarl."-The Carnifex," Totenaz rasps, as if that explains everything. He looks up at the portrait that hovers before him. "...After this, there's only *one* left." You can hear the gnawing hunger in his words, even through his affectless voice.(Continued)
>>25729632The Tri-Stars are scared shitless of the shenanigans we get up to. They're not scared of us per-say.
>>25729632>thief>friendWe really should have looked into the relation ship between the original Joker and Phantom Edge. After all Totenaz takes the successor business far to seriously.
>>25729556He shakes his head, slowly - The hacking sound of his laughter wheezing forth again."She never knew," he says; "...She never cared about *that* world." A heartbeat passes, and he adds - Almost as an aside. "-Not before you."For a moment, he sounds almost accusatory - But then, he extends his left hand again, in the same machine-precise gesture: Somewhere distant, yet impossibly close, the obscene heartbeat of the Thief's core grows louder still - "Now."[ ] Free.YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25729761"Look, if you go crazy and try to murder me after getting the pieces together I will kill you in a exceptionally painful manner, just thought you should know.Oh, and you'll never be Phantom Edge, I honestly don't see why you try."Then toss him the shard.
>>25729688I was not implying it that way, I'm just saying they're less likely to help us against Pazuzu & pals. We aren't strong enough to take the smilers ourself no matter how you spin it. Gaining more allies is a necessity.
>>25729529There's a difference between being properly paranoid and being a jackass. In the first case you're prepared when the untrustworthy allies prove that you were right to not trust them. In the latter case you actively antagonize people inclined to help you.Example of the first:>Totenaz is rapidly becoming unstable and is willing to win at all costs. Best research ways to counter Relics, just in case.Examples of the second:>Hey Akira, you're a jerk. Hey Akira, Hecate liked us better than you. Hey Akira, you suck.Do you even play Shadowrun? Number one rule is never to antagonize people who want to help you.>>25729560Sweet Christ no. We already know he's a camera freak who obsessively gathers data on targets of interest. He's got an eye on us, so of course he knows that we received the shard.>>25729761"On three. 2... 1... catch."
>>25729671Spaghetti-san really is the true inheritor of that sword. Hell of an unnerving thought considering. We still need to figure out what the hell happened to him too. Something about being bullied by the other boys why he hates nicknames.As Totenaz is not the true inheritor.. he won't be as hard to kill if he goes truly postal on us.>>25729761Check the memory, we only need a peek to see if it's legit. If legit, toss the shard to him. If false. Give him some a new facial with plasma.
>>25729761"Okay, that's starting to bug me. Where the hell did you get Phantom edge's arm, and why did you graft it to yourself like that?"I don't think he's really Phantom Edge's successor. He's faking it. Or trying to steal it.
>>25729714Please, don't be like that. I know the reputation thief has already set for himself. I'm just saying that beneath all this shit, we still have a mutual goal of killing Pazuzu. If there is any way to salvage some semblance of cooperation from the dregs of our previous encounters, I'm going to advocate taking it.
>>25729822>number one rule of ShadowrunShit son, I thought that was never cut a deal with a dragon. And can you really say any player is driven to help others in this world? Shit, even the Tri-Stars were driven by greed. We know Argent has an ulterior motive. We know damn well what Totenaz goal is, considering he has them swimming in his intestines. Antagonism is a double edged sword. It can piss off the haughty jackass into revealing some much needed info on the mcguffin or it can do nothing but make him giggle like the true madman he his. As we just witnessed.
>"She never knew," he says; "...She never cared about *that* world."Hypothesis: Hecate's Real body suffered from some kind of debilitating illness, that's why she never left and preferred the Red. When she was at the hospital she was visiting herself, who people probably think is in a coma. Since it seems she retreated back to the Real to escape death it's possible she can't get back to the Red on her own or that her level is really low and she can't sustain herself long enough to travel without the aid of the Nihl.
>>25729804> "Oh, and you'll never be Phantom Edge, I honestly don't see why you try.""-If only."There's that dry, dreadful chuckle again. >>25729822>>25729860You toss it. It's an easy throw, but the trajectory as it leaves your hand isn't anything like what you intended. It's *drawn* to him, like iron filings to a magnet; For a moment, you swear that you actually see the fragment *curve*...-He doesn't catch it. It sinks *into* him, like a stone into a lake. For a moment, his form - *Ripples*. For an instant, your targeting cursor - Locked on him - flickers, as if uncertain exactly what you're looking at: Static fuzzes across your field of vision, and...And for a moment, you glimpse something - *Someone* - else standing where he should be. It's a sensor-ghost, a fleeting image: A half-silhouette armored entirely in bone, grey and proud and entirely lethal-Then moment passes. The Thief stands a little taller, a little straighter - He flexes the fingers of his right hand, and grunts in seeming approval. Then, suddenly, he says:"Well. I'm glad that's over."It's startling - Because he sounds exactly the way he used to, all of a sudden; The tension seems to drain from him, and - When he chuckles - his tone is almost casual. (Continued)
>>25729860>As Totenaz is not the true inheritor.. he won't be as hard to kill if he goes truly postal on us.How in god's name did you get that idea? We have no idea what the qualifications to use Fatal Abyss are. It could be "Musashi-like dedication to the way of the sword". Totenaz isn't primarily a sword user, but he's one of the most dangerous individuals in the game. Between fighting Bishamonten with the Fatal Abyss and Totenaz with it my money's on Totenaz being the worse for us.>>25730030>Shit son, I thought that was never cut a deal with a dragon.That's the most important rule.As to the second part of what you said, sure antagonism got us information, but the way we did it was bad if we want him helping us in the future. We could have asked politely or made a joke and he'd have done the same and been better disposed to us in the future.
>>25730153>how in god's name did you get that idea?Bish is the true inheritor of the sword from what we know and have gathered thus far. Thief's a fake. A very good fake considering he has the original wielders hand duct-taped to his arm. He'll suffer rank downs in his stats while wielding it. Do you even Emiya?>expecting the sword fetishist who's practically insane at this point to be an allyDude. No. I'd be fucking terrified. He's one fry short of a happy meal. Literally considering he has one piece left. We do not know what will fucking happen when he gets that last fry.
>>25729918He pauses, as if considering *exactly* how much to tell you; His bleached-bone helm is always smiling, but you have the feeling that he is, too. "*I* didn't," the Thief says - Watching you closely, as if judging for your reaction. "-Pazuzu did.">>25729860In your hands, the Carnifex shudders slightly, as if eager; When you bring it to your helm - Skeletal steel fingers lock in place, and there's a fierce, burning sensation; Your myomer muscles all spasming at once, until- ...Until there's a dry *snikt*, and the articulated fingers of the faceplate pull away, retracting. You can still *feel* it at the very edge of your perception, slaved to your armor's systems...Ready, waiting.RELIC ACQUIRED: THE CARNIFEX> A cunningly-designed half-mask, the Carnifex conceals an intricate network of micro-circuitry. When activated (At the cost of 25% HP) the Carnifex overrides the safety limiters on the host's armor - Greatly increasing his strength, speed and agility, for the duration of the combat. (Note that this does not stack exponentially with the COBALT BOOSTER'S bonus: The Cobalt Booster's bonus is applied *first*, then the Carnifex.)> Unlike most other Relics, the Carnifex can also be used in the real world - At the cost of crippling fatigue, and a significant risk of self-injury. The human body, like Player armor, is not designed to be pushed beyond it's limits. "-It's not the Joker's Memory," the Thief says - "...But it *was* his."He turns his head to the side. "Just one fragment left, Joker. Then the Memory's yours." [ ] "-What *are* you, really?"[ ] "Who has the last shard?"[ ] "Why are you here?"[ ] "What are you going to do?"[ ] "So what's next?"[ ] "You seem...different. What did it do to you?"[ ] Free.YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25730348(An illustration of the Carnifex.)
>>25730348"You're not your normal self of late, not that you even were that person. How much has this been changing you? Are you actually somebody? Are is everything you do an act?Any clues on where the last shard is or am I going to wander around, it'll probably run into me eventually."
>>25730348>great benefit>not terrible drawback as we would still be over 100+ HPThat's a hell of a Xanatos Gambit there."I'm the gopher again? Maybe this next one will be as easy to obtain as the last one."A beat."Hah. Who am I kidding. I fully expect that Mad God Murphy to interfere again.
>>25730273The sword is a force multiplier. Let's say a x3 bonus normally, with someone qualifying as the true inheritor getting x5.Kou is a mid-level player. How about 50? With the sword he's level 250.Totenaz is a high level player. Let's say level 200. With the sword he's level 600. And he has multiple pieces. Which do you think is the bigger threat?And you're right, he IS unstable. Which is why ANTAGONIZING HIM IS A TERRIBLE IDEA.Look, Totenaz reacts very positively to being treated as Akira. Relaxed, high school level dialogue between friends is the best way to deal with him.>>25730348"The offer still stands you know. If you need a place to crash I mean. Won't be as secure as being on top of a Corrector Hive but I think it'd be a bit more comfortable."He'll never accept, but talking like this makes him treat us less like the Joker and more like his friend Anon.
>>25730348[X] Free."And he did it wrong? I figured he had something to do with it. Is that why you invited me to the Spire? Was that the offense?"That reminds me, we need to look around. Is there really a corrector here connected to the paintings? Suou seemed interested in the paintings too, is there another Player here?
>>25730348Wait, why? You want to kill Pazuzu, right? Why would he give you the ability to wield the fatal abyss knowing full well you want to use it on -him-?Unless you've finally lost it and gone over to his side.
>>25730348>[ ] "You seem...different. What did it do to you?"
>>25730452>the sword is a force multiplierWe don't know that. We know Spaghetti-san cleaned house at the Joker Cave because had a piece in his possession and may or may not be the true inheritor. The shard's themselves are force multipliers. The actual sword itself could be a totally different beast all on it's own. We simply lack enough information, hence the wild conjectures.On another note, we need to ask Bish exactly where he obtained said piece of the sword.
>>25730452I'll concede on the last point that I was being That Guy on being a prick to Totenaz. The sword part I'm not budging on until we get more info.
>>25730554All non-consumable relics are force multipliers. They make the Players who own them better to one degree or another.He found it on Phantom Edge's corpse by the way.
>>25730617>they make the players who own them betterOf course there is negative relics too. Oh look. Guess what the Thief has in his possession? A negative relic! He can't play it as per normal so he had to McGuyver a hotfix in order to actively use it. You know what happens to McGuyver'd shit that is not slapped together by McGuyver? Fuck if I know. But we'll sure as hell find out when your theory or my theory pans out in the story.
(Apologies for the delay - Tell me if I missed anyone.)>>25730431"My 'self'." The Thief seems to find that funny, for some reason. He looks away, at the array of painting. "'Where am I coming from? Who am I?' That's what a 'self' really is, you know. The sum of our past experiences, and the desire for what we wnat next."The red glow in his eyes dim. "-I don't remember any of that. Skills, random facts...That's all I retain. That, and muscle memory. When I go near a phone, my hand - Not me, but my *hand* - enters it without hesitation, without thinking."He pauses. "...Memories. The memories of dead Players - That might be all I am."> "The offer still stands you know. If you need a place to crash I mean. Won't be as secure as being on top of a Corrector Hive but I think it'd be a bit more comfortable.""I..." He hesitates. And for a moment, there's a flicker of the old Akira there. "...I appreciate it. But there's no need." Again that hollow chuckle. "...I have plenty of places to stay.">>25730519"-With every piece, I remember more. I become *more* like my self."His right hand balls into a fist. "I *will* know who I was. One way or the other.">>25730486>>25730492The Thief shakes his head. "They *made* me, you know. From this-" he lifts his right arm - "...And this." The embers of his eyes flare a little brighter. "-That's what he needs.""An Argent Prominence - A Black Cardinal - A Chalice Queen - A Phantom Edge..."His lightless gaze goes back to you. "...And a Red Joker."He goes silent, and repeats - "*A* Phantom Edge," through his mouthpiece - In a tone of leaden, cold anger. >>25730451 "...I don't know." The admission is a grudging one - It seems to take something out of him. "I don't know where it is. But it *will* be found.">>25730451"Nothing," the Thief allows, "...is ever simple."(Continued)
>>25730486You look away, for a moment - There are a half-dozen portraits hanging around you, the only stationery points in a moving world. The Thief has fallen silent - Looking, but not seeing, staring at something only he can remember. You see - COMPTE A REBOURS:> An ebony statue - Feminine in form and face, a white veil fluttering in an invisible breeze - stands ringed by twelve figures, vines and ivy coiling across the pitch-black surface. Like the hands of a sundial, twin shadows slant across the figures - At a glance, it is almost midnight.Something catches your eye - Not into the shadowed gallery, but at a great distance. Just a flicker; A refraction of light, one that narrows into a needle-thin line...A needle-thin line that casts a tiny pinpoint, sweeping across the white tile underfoot - Jagging across the hovering frames, towards the two of you.[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25730858Hey, Akira. Heads up, something's coming toward us.
>>25730858"Enough daydreaming. Company."
>>25730765>He pauses. "...Memories. The memories of dead Players - That might be all I am.""Oh, I doubt that. I ran into one of those and there's too much smugness and not enough trying to kill everyone around for you to be an Amalgam. There are a lot of ways you can lose your past in this world. Sometimes it's better than the alternative."Speaking of dead player's memories, I managed to find Mimir's Well yesterday. I asked where Hecate is. I was right, Pazuzu's got her.>>25730858"We'll talk about that later though, for now SNIPER!"We need to close. Scrander dash out into the gallery, first in a wide arc and then in smaller ones.
>>25730882>>25730887>>25730907He turns. Things begin to happen very, *very* fast.An uncountable distance away, a finger closes on a trigger - A white-hot line of cohered plasma clawing across the distance, leaving an eye-searing slash across your vision...-As the Thief's sword leaves his battered scabbard, moving so fast his arm becomes a blur- -As your Tempest Scrander flares to life, cising sparks crackling as the turbines spin up- The hissing ray meets the black steel of the Fatal Abyss, and *splinters*. A dozen lines of crazed energy slash deep into the gallery underfoot, slashing deep, fractured lines into the white surface - Somewhere deep within, you actually *feel* the building judder around you...And the ground gives way. It happens suddenly, without warning - The placid, eyeless faces on the walls begin to *wail*, a disturbing monotone sound as the floor drops out from beneath you. It's a single-storey drop. The Thief lands hard, his legs folding beneath him - Your Tempest Scrander gouts blue flame and sparks, cushioning your descent on columns of supercharged air, as the wall begin to tremble. You're not *falling* - The level beneath is rising to meet you, a marble square ringed by floating frames- Floating frames from which arms and limbs are beginning to emerge.(continued)
>>25731066There's four of them, shimmering into existence: Sketching themselves into being, as the ornate edgings give way - Abruptly - to life-sized figures, the frames planting themselves onto the floor like doorways.There - MALACHITE ORB, fully two meters tall; Some kind of shield strapped to each forearm, elongated teardrops of a mirror-polished metal. Wide-curved ends extend around his massive fists, tapered to needle points a handspan behind spurred elbows - The edges of the shields blurring, a high evil whine resonating in your ears. Another - CARNELIAN BLADE, four arms in constant motion - Each one clasping a long, stabbing sword; Next to DARK TUSK, towering, wicked spikes extruding from the shoulders and spine of his rigid armor...-And HELIX GYGAS, floating a full foot off the floor, the writhing cables of his armor in constant motion...A motion only accentuated by the rotating rings of hiltless blades orbiting his violet form, like card sleighs.Every one of them bears a mark - Seared on pauldrons, or marked like a tattoo - on their armor, a mark you've grown familiar with; A smile turned into a snarl. Then:"Aw, fuck," Gygas says, his voice nasal - "...There's *two* of them."HP: 127.0%COBALT BOOSTER: 150%ASSAULT SHROUD: 146%METER: 12% (TIER ONE WEAPONRY UNLOCKED)YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25731209>"Aw, fuck," Gygas says, his voice nasal - "...There's *two* of them.""You're right, that's unfair. Totenaz, want to sit this one out? If I tie one hand behind my back it'll almost be a fair fight."Helix Gygas is going to be a pain with those tentacles and the levitation. EXEC_DISRUPT him and shoot him with the Nova Cannon.
>>25731209> "Shitballs indeed, son. You're in big trouble now."
>>25731209"Hey Thief. These fucks can count. Can you believe that? Most kills buys lunch, you down?"Drop EXEC_HARROW on Malachite Orb using our Assault Shroud. Take out the tank.Deploy 3 interceptors to orbit us.Tau Gun Helix Gygas right to the torso.
>>25731209They're all in front of us? Shock and Awe. Tyrant burst 4, 2 of them, we can actually afford that with the upgrade.
You folks wanna try our new toy? 'Cause, I kinda wanna try our new toy.
>>25731329I want to see if we can unlock that cobalt booster special, Malachite orb has shields that look like they could reflect our attacks... I wonder if we throw enough stuff at the guy we could overcharge the booster ourselves? If not, there's always the fifth member of the group above us with the plasma ray thing.
>>25731342Oh, I want to, but I don't know how long the buff lasts. If it lasts the entire fight then hell yeah activate the Blood Ritual now.
>>25731400>Greatly increasing his strength, speed and agility, for the duration of the combat.>for the duration of the combat.I believe that's a yes.
>>25731445Holy shit I can't read. Get on that shit, it's time for MAXIMUM JOKER.
>>25731481>VulvarapeGod why did I love watching that trainwreck. It was worse than the eugenics program in Guilty Crown.
>>25731287A dry, rattling laugh is your only answer - "*Almost* fair," the Thief echoes; You feel the bitter cold radiating from the Fatal Abyss, as the blade comes to life in his hands. The sword's straight edge bleeds aged metal into reality - Thorny spikes and spines erupt from its length, the blade curving outwards in a razor-edged sweep as the pommelstone begins to spark with violet light. >>25731291"Wait-" Helix has both his hands up, a frantic air to his hovering form as he glances over at Malachite Orb - "-It's the RED JOKER, we have to-""Helix, *don't be a pussy*-" Dark Tusk cuts in, with a warning growl- Then your Tyrant Burst system erupts into arching rays of ice-white light, and everyone moves at once. Malachite Orb propels himself into the way - Thrusters flaring to life at his jointed shoulders, at the back of his knees, with a sound like a grunt of pain. He's hunched over, like a linebacker, both shields already interposed; For such a massive figure, he moves faster than thought, the arching lines of energy flashing and riocheting and splintering outwards in wild, jagging lines- ...Even as Helix Gygas spasms in sudden distress, curling into a fetal position mid-air; With a sound like splintering glass, almost half of the rotating blades splinter at once, winking out of existence as the fragments rain down. He manages an appalled "Fuck!" as the schematics of your Nova Cannon sketches itself into existence..."-Killed my *best friend*, you son of a bitch-" Malachite snarls - And he surges forward, head down, aiming to run you over in a single rushing surge, as the smiling face of your personal emblem spirals from your fingers in deathmark of crackling light...>>25731342Everything.Slows.Down.(Continued)
>"Helix, *don't be a pussy*-Famous last words. God I love generic mook number 87.Cracks me up every damn time.
>>25731514>Everything.>Slows.>Down.Oh shit. Dis gon b good.
>>25731514The Carnifex deploys. There's a *snikt* as the crusher snaps into place, half your helmet now concealed behind a mask of clenched hands. With a cackling werewolf growl, your armor *gives*. Fragments of crimson plate splinters from your joints, the myomer fibres beneath seething with strength; The limiters give way, your mono-optic sensor retracting - The twin slits of your emerald lens winking to life, smoldering with killing fires.Malachite slices at you. He swings his teardrop shield in a short, vicious arc, angled flat as though to cut with the edge; Ultrachrome flame licks through the air. It seems oddly delicate, to your accelerated senses - He appears to be doing this in an oddly stylized way, like an over-emphatic stage punch that goes far, far wide from the mark, but looks good for the audience.You see it coming, even as he lets out a brazen roar - One that becomes strangely stilted as violet lightning crackles over his form, your deathmark smoking against his jade-green plate. You dodge. It's the easiest thing in the world. You hear his shout of triumph become a modulated growl of confusion, a 'how did I *miss*?' - Even as your Nova Cannon finishes materalizing. In one fluid motion, you swing the weapon up-And *fire*.You squeeze both triggers at once, and Malachite's torso explodes. You actually *see* it comes to pieces, as a fist-sized hole you could put your hand through abruptly appears in his side; Suddenly, he's reeling back, off his feet, both arms thrown up in an - To you - exaggerate pratfall...(Continued)
>>25731784Right before agony explodes against your spine. It's a white-hot detonation, one that kicks you forward and to the side; You stumble, throwing your arm out to catch yourself, vapor rising from the molten gash in your armor - You nearly fall, but catch yourself one knee, even as the *second* shot streaks over your head and scythes a wild, sizzling line across the splintering tiles. You have a clear line-of-sight on Gygas, now. He has his hands up, his remaining Helix Blades whirring towards you - In two configurations of five, spinning like propellors, their charged edges chopping the air. HP: 87% COBALT BOOSTER: 6%ASSAULT SHROUD: 111%METER: 29% YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25731326(Apologies, I didn't cover the Interceptors in my post. I'll mention it in the next post, as a response to Gygas.)
>>25731799>COBALT BOOSTER: 6%WTF!?! How the hell did that happen!?
>>25731799We're stronger now, right? Grab Malachite and use him as a human shield. If he manages to tank all ten blades before disappearing, or if Gygas pulls back, throw Malachite at him.
>>25731864(Well, you fired a Level 4 Cobalt Booster shot, then cast Harrow, and Disrupt. Harrow and Disrupt are around 125% from using both Codebursts at once.)
>>25731875This Time a human shield.
>>25731864EXEC_DISRUPT and enough Tyrant Burst to blind everyone in front of us I imagine. It should start cycling up as we avoid using it, and since we're not supercharging our attacks...
>>25731875I can get behind this. Or him in this case.
>>25731831When we get a chance, ask the Thief if he knows anything about Argent Prominence's memory.Phrase it by asking if its possible to take anyone ELSE's memory.and also if he knows how to get more of that purple crystal. If he's not forthcoming, mention we know someone who may pay handsomely for it.>>25730348>"-Pazuzu did."... also, he knows how to find and steal from Pazuzu.We NEED to mention that Hecate is alive - or we have a reallly, really good idea from accessing the red world's memory, and ask if he's still.... loyal to her. Her friend. It was mentioned he'd never betray her.
>>25731799We have a clear line of sight to Gygas, maybe, and Malachite should be reeling.But where's Dark Tusk and Carnelian Blade? Loosing track of enemies could result in pain.Lets go evasive and let the interceptors, all of them if possible, harrass the hell out of Helix Gygas while we find the other two. And if we can spare a shot at Malachite while he's down, all the better.
>>25731882But wasn't Harrow going to use the shroud for fuel?
>>25731966It can't actually do that. That's Swarm. The anon who made that suggestion was wrong.
>>25731799>You have a clear line-of-sight on Gygas, now. He has his hands up, his remaining Helix Blades whirring towards you - In two configurations of five, spinning like propellors, their charged edges chopping the air.Hmn.We get meter from dealing damage, and have an upgrade that gives us meter from using special weapons - which helps defray the cost but can be a net positive.Swap to Plasma Caster. Target the drones as we advance. Use the Carnifex boosted reflexes to catch one of the melee drones(by the non-pointy bits) as it closes in on us - and baseball pitch it into his face for style points.(i kind of want to see if we can steal one after the battle, so leave ONE alive. Either to upgrade our own, add a new relic, or bring to AP and see if he has any ideas.) Deploy rifle interceptors and search for Dark Tusk and carnelian blade. We don't need them to handle this guy - yet.
>>25732034>Deploy rifle interceptors and search for Dark Tusk and carnelian blade. We don't need them to handle this guy - yet.Supplementary Idea: Mobile Decoy the assault shroud as we deploy the Interceptors. Bundle them up in the arms so it LOOKS like the decoy has plasma casters out, and people who know us by reputation only are even more confused which is which.>>25731514>"-Killed my *best friend*, you son of a bitch-" Malachite snarlsDid we just figure out who has the other half of the inox fang? Some sort of teamwork relic would be really nice, and could potentially shore up our relation with the black tristars. Keep an eye out for it.
>>25731992Aw crap. I thought harrow was the nanotechnology swarm we pulled on the bardiel doppelganger in the memory sequence
>>25732068The other half of inox fang is alive and still wants to kill us. I believe malachite is referring to the massacre after they tried to take out argent. We killed a fuckton of smilers that day.
>>25731966(That's EXEC_SWARM, actually. HARROW is the Deathmark spell: Swarm is the one that uses the Shroud.)>>25731875>>25731889Malachite Orb is reeling, off balance - One, two, *three* Interceptors spiral outwards from you, spinning as they unleash their particle guns; The sound, a shrill *tsssewwwwwwww*, mingles with the shriek of Gygas's blades knifing through the air towards you. The streaking beams meet the slashing, seething track of the psychic blades; Tiny detonations flare, as they collide in a weaving, lightning-quick miniature dogfight, the swarm scattering like a flock of frightened birds. Your Interceptors split their fire - One of the whirling, chopping discs veers away as it scatters, gouging against the wall as it dips; The air is suddenly filled with frantic evasions and hissing rays of light, even as you get your hands on Gygas...-Your fingers *bite* into his armor, crimping the jade-green plate. He's *heavy* - startlingly so, as you *pull* with all your enhanced strength, the metal warping under your crushing touch...You put your back into it, and - With a burst of strength that sends adrenaline surging through your brain - *his arm comes free*. You pull it right off, like a drumstick from a chicken.Malachite's bellow of furious pain rings from the walls; Shorting sparks sizzling from the ruptured joint, a tangle of wires and fibres still linking it to his body as he completes his topple. His other arm, trapped beneath him, begins to eat into the ground - Even as he struggles to kick at you with his piston-powered legs, roaring in matched agony and fury."Oh, you evil fuck - No!" Gygas snarls - First one, then another, of your Interceptors explodes in mid-air; Now reconfigured into whirling shapes of three edges each, his Helix Blades come towards you again...(Continued)
>>25732099Use his own severed arm to homerun his fucking head straight at Gygas.
>>25732127I want to have words about the "best friend we apparently killed first. Seriously, we're NEVER the aggressor in these things. Even when we infiltrated the Sheol Star Arcade and the Spire we didn't get to be the aggressor, it was Amaglam and Rust Kaiser out of nowhere.
>>25732127That's fucked up. Hilarious, but fucked up.
>>25732161I second this actoomy
>>25732174Action man I fail at spelling
>>25732127(Apologies: That is indeed hilarious, but you haven't taken his head off yet.)Your Plasma Caster booms once. Twice. Both of them come apart in sprays of molten metal and plasma scatter. Gygas visibly blanches, levitating higher into the air - The linked cables of his form writhing in clear agitation, momentarily disarmed. The rapid scatter of your Caster's blasts haven't hit him - He's too far away - but your Tau Gun does..."JEZAIL, FIRE NOW! NOWNOWNOWWWW!" he gurgles; And *then* there's that howl of discharging energies again, the sizzling shot exploding between the two of you in a very hot, very hard *push*-You cross the ground on your back, skidding and tumbling. Sparks fly from your armor as you roll, finally managing to arrest your sprawling motion as you slam into something that curses as it nearly trips over you...>>25731950...As all four of Carnelian Blade's arms strike at the Thief at once, the electrodrivers humming with frantic motion. Enhanced by integrated combat algorithms, each of the twelve strikes a second come from a different angle with a different speed and intensity, an unpredictably broken rhythm of slashes, chops and stabs. The whirring blades bulge towards him, opening like a mouth to bite Akira in half...-slice-And one of Carnelian Blade's swords skitters away, along with the thumb and the first finger of the hand that's holding it. "Awwww, *shit*," Blade says, bleakly - But that's all you get to see, as Dark Tusk stomps on you. He's not in the best of shape; Napalm flames lick at his helmet - Probably from the Thief's Furstenburg carbine - and there are deep rents in his armor...But he's still game.(Continued)
Your chestplate cracks. If you still had ribs, they'd have cracked, too. Dark Tusk rears back, long, rusty spikes jagging from his wrists and lower arms - About to bring them both down in Satan's own axe-handle, in a blow meant to drive you right through the ground. HP: 75% COBALT BOOSTER: 11%ASSAULT SHROUD: 97%METER: 18% RIFLE BITS: 1 ACTIVEYOU HAVE CONTROL
I just started the thread.Haven't read anything yet.I pray that we haven't been thinking with our dicks.
>>25732228Grab his arm coming down on us like Norse God. kick his ankle out. As he is unbalanced or falling, plasma caster him center of mass. Need to detonate harrow soon too.
>>25732218Oh god, the thief really is a very good swordsman. I wonder if he's as good as bishamon? Or Kazuya?
>>25732229We've been killing folks, no dickthought here.>>25732228Hit him right point blank with a Cobalt Boosted Plasma Caster, aim for somewhere vulnerable.That ought to knock him off enough for us to roll away and hit him with the Tau Gun.
>>25732304Seeing as we gave him the abyss fragment that gave bishamonten his skills, he trumps both of them.
>>25732298Knocking him off balance and then blasting away works just fine, but I'm feeling like doing something a little showy.>>25732228Grab on to his leg and set off the Scrander horizontally across the floor. Let's get this guy off-balance in a big way and take him for a ride.Maybe into a wall.
>>25732350How about we imitate a merry go round and going him strait into Gygas?
>>25732350>>25732368We really should just shoot this bastard. We're outnumbered here, and we made some bad tactical choices at the start.
>>25732368> going> flingFucking autocorrect
>>25732228>Dark Tusk rears back, long, rusty spikes jagging from his wrists and lower arms - About to bring them both down in Satan's own axe-handle, in a blow meant to drive you right through the ground.Hit the tempest scrander. Get out of there while we have an opening. Scoot under his legs and plasma shotgun his nuts off, then again in the back while he turns around.Dump a mobile decoy as we do to to create confusion and draw the sniper fire - and stick the remaining rifle bit in the decoy so it looks convincing and have the whole mess seperate shooting.Let the Booster recharge, we're going to want more codebursts.Throw three missiles at the sniper. She's seriously hurting us and we need to mess up her game.
>>25732398We need to set the hollow sun to produce smoke bombs. We've been caught out in the open far too many times with no concealment bonus.
>>25732398>>25732350Your Tempest Scrander flares to furious life - But you're pinned, and the vents are forced at an awkward angle. Columns of force flare beneath you, cycling as the turbines spin up; You *very* nearly pull free, but...>>25732324>>25732298You lash out - Driving your spurred boot against his leg. There's a dull sound of impact, as your kick clangs against his greaves - The plate buckles beneath the blow, but as his fists come down in a mighty blow...-You fire the Plasma Caster up and into him. The recoil kicks you back against the ground, with jarring force. At this range, the high-velocity energy buckshot - It just goes through *everything*. The charged flechettes punch *through* his legs, through his lower torso, through his cuirass...Through EVERYTHING without slowing.They make small pinpricks coming in, and massive exit wounds coming out. Dark Tusk sways, utterly shot through; He goes over on his back, with a thundering crash like a tree yielding to a whirlwind - Your Tempest Scrander dragging you in a skidding arc across the ground, your Assault Shroud shedding a nanomaterial clone...The next shot - Angled down, from above - carves right through your ghost-image's core. That's some seriously good shooting: As your optic sensor zooms in on the source, you can make out the wiry silhouette of a figure hunched against the rising column of a distant building, momentarily limned by the energy-flare corona feedback of his overcharged rifle as it cycles for the next shot. As you stagger to your feet, you launch three missiles - The rockets spiralling away on wings of jetair and flame, winging their way towards the distant target. The sniper's weapon cracks again - You make out the blinding white flash of the heat-ray slashing across, slicing through two of your missiles at once...But the last one erupts in a rising blossom of fire.You don't think he's dead, but by God you've made him duck.(Continued)
>>25732438>We need to set the hollow sunwe need to check in on that place, PERIOD. There's lots of good ideas in previous threads, such as getting it to make us more artifacts, scrapping artifacts to fuel that process if it doesn't have the material for some reason.The argus radar system sounds amazing and we totally need to get one.Its slightly controversial, and possibly not a good idea, but I want to introduce AP to it.(in a safe monitored controlled fashion, yes, but I think he'd be VERY grateful to see the source of bardiel - his pet projects - wings)
>>25732455We can divert cobalt-boost power on the fly, right? Even remotely?Like turning on Boost Mode for rifle bits that area already launched?Is it possible to do that with a missile in-flight?
>>25732457If the Tri Stars hadn't bowed out I would have suggested having Tyrian go through the place and see if he can make sense of anything. Less risk than Giving AP access.
>>25732487You realize you can't input more suggestion on a post marked (Continued)?
>>25732457I've wanted to as well. Whatever ulterior motives argent may possess, is it really worth letting Pazuzu have his way?
>>25732487(My apologies: You can use the booster on the Interceptors, yes - But not on the missiles, since they don't have a continued 'link' to you. Most attacks have to be 'charged' right before they're fired.At present, unfortunately, you only have 1% Cobalt Booster energy - After firing the charged Plasma Caster blast. It's insufficient for a Boosted Missile.)
>>25732501Yus. However, reading it inspired me to ask.If so, its a neat trick we should keep up our sleeves. My next suggestion was going to be throw a single boosted missile towards the sniper's general area - set the whole damn area on fire so his head STAYS down.Being able to Boost missiles at the last moment though - when you know which ones aren't getting shot down - saves valuable booster energy, so its worth asking about.
>>25732525>But not on the missiles, since they don't have a continued 'link' to youYup, we need homing missiles now. Or at least missiles that can support an active telemetry link to us once we get a sensor system.
>>25732546I hope this fight gets us an upgrade.Force could grant us even better missiles.Meter could allow us to spam even more missiles.And Evol might make the interceptors more useful.And Guard might help with our new overcharge ability.And Evade might be *very* powerful with augmented reaction time...Fuck, there's valid reasons for all choices.And lately the vulcans haven't been as useful as they used to. We aren't really using them to soften up people anymore.
"You piece of shit-"Somehow, Malachite Orb is on his feet - Levering himself up, his voice hoarse, with his one remaining arm. You're not sure how his body is holding itself together...But that doesn't stop the shrill wail of his shield, the rising hum of the crackling distortion halo that surrounds his helmet; His visor is rising, slowly, as he swivels to bring his head to bear on you with a deliberate motion that could only come from targeting sensors...There is, you note, no sign of Helix Gygas. Your remaining Interceptor begins to orbit you like a pet bird, as...Abruptly, Carnelian Blade screams. It's a howl of absolute, unalloyed agony, high and appalling and utterly without shame.He screams like a man watching his children die. You look. So does Malachite Orb. The Thief has his right hand buried *inside* Carnelian's body - Sunk all the way to the wrist. It's as if he's punched right *through* the armor, and into the very core of his being; From the way Carnelian bucks and writhes, his form beginning to unravel in coiling lines of fractured code, it must hurt beyond belief. Something catastrophic is happening to Carnelian Blade; His form is twisting and *folding* up on itself, compressing somehow, being crushed into a shape it was never made to be in - Until everything that's left of him crumbles into ash as the Thief *wrenches*, hard...-And suddenly, the Thief is holding something in his hand; It looks like a twisted baton of dull red iron, eerily reminiscient of one of Carnelian's needle-pointed swords. "Here-" Totenaz rasps - He flings it to you, the fluted shape rotating end-over-end in a weighted tumble...HP: 68% COBALT BOOSTER: 1%ASSAULT SHROUD: 38%METER: 27% RIFLE BITS: 1 ACTIVEYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25732586Missile the sniper and Orb with 3 each, we just need to distract them as we grab the sword thing.
>>25732586Creeeeeeeepy. Turn on the after images on our shroud, I think Malachite is going to try something about now and dodging that would be nice.Unleash a swarm of 6 missiles at Malachite, aim for the side of him that doesn't have an arm or shield any more.Open up on him with our Vulcans and dodge out of the way towards the thrown sword grabbing it out of the air.
>>25732586We should take that baton. Nothing bad can happen at all.
>>25732586Holy shit.Welp, can't ignore the gift. Grab that shit and use it.
>>25732586Catch it.Can we make the interceptor sneaky to backstab the sniper?Is there a route where line of sight isn't available?
>>25732570>And lately the vulcans haven't been as useful as they used to. We aren't really using them to soften up people anymore.I was thinking that exact same thing earlier.Plasma's nice and all, but it DOES take meter. It seems to be our go-to weapon recently.I was also wondering if there was a 'handedness' list for weapons. Like, the vulcans are in both arms. The missiles were on ONE arm, but are now on the back.We sunk 3 levels into the vulcans, being able to leave one on while we use another gun would go a long ways towards making them useful again - or more accurately, making everyone realize they've always been useful.Jokers combat style used to be 'do tons of damage, build meter, and escalate into breaking out the big guns whenever possible'.Lately, it seems to have turned into an Aggressive Tank where we get in someone's face and rely on the assault shroud and jetpack to not take lots of damage, and use high-damage single shots to poke people to death.Seems like we would do well to combine the two.
>>25732586What the fuck is that thing? What did he just DO?Use the thing on our last remaining opponent?
>>25732631Well, part of the reason is that we've got basic advanced weaponry unlocked from the beginning and that all of our current enemies are either too agile or too tanky to take any vulcan damage.
>>25732586Catch. Akira is feeling -generous- today. This means there will be a catch later. Or he feels he doesn't need things with phantom blade's relics. I'd be really amused if he hit his inventory limit, though :p.... though he seems to be living up to his namesake, looting WHILE fighting. Gosh darn. We may want to follow his example: Enemies aren't just piles of XP, they're pinatas, if you punch them right stuff will fall out.Rip the sensor/helmet off his face.>You look. So does Malachite Orb. No need to look at him to shoot. Throw the bit at him, aim to sever that damn sensor - he's probably spotting for the sniper.
>>25732619>>25732620A staggered flight of three missiles kick to life, spinning twisting ropes of white rocket-smoke as they burn towards Malachite - He gets his shield up in time, hunching down behind it...But not enough to escape the expanding fireball fed by the first impact burst. He's burned, blasted, but the distortion halo flares brighter; The ground begins to shake, and there's an indrawn hiss like the universe holding it's breath...>>25732623>>25732629>>25732630And the Thief's gift slams into your hand, as you snatch it from the air.The moment your grip closes around it, you feel - You know - that something is wrong. There's an unpleasant feel to it that makes your fingers tingle; The dense steel inlaid with what looks like an impossibly intricate lattice of fine platinum wire...Most Relics are almost eager to be used - Their field-signatures lighting up on your sensors as clear as text. But *this* one; It makes scrapcode flicker across your field of vision, as you aim it - Summoning pure concentration, feeling for the trigger point in your mind...-A surge inside your arm. Not a tingle, not the electric sizzle of weapons firing - But an actual surge like a tide of hot oil pulsing from my spine to my fingertips...Malachite Orbs staggers. The fizzing hell-light around him flickers; He seems momentarily confused, his helm beginning to shake as it clicks with flawed signals, trying to vocalize something through his speaker: Smoke hisses from his armor joints, his epileptic quivers redoubling...His armor *bulges*. There are shapes moving beneath the surface, pushing against the jade plate; He takes a swaying step forward, shuddering, making incomprehensible sounds...(Continued)
>>25732747Then there's a sharp CRACK as his chestpiece splits - A vile, fibrous mass erupting from within. Liquidized organic filth - Like black oil - spills from the eyeslits in his visor, his limbs twisting in all the wrong directions, as the sickening growths push their way out of his convulsing form...-And all you can think, at this moment, is how much they look like tumours.His knees hit the tiles, and then his face; His body is dissolving, in a twitching ooze of obscene growths and black oil - Almost collapsing upon itself, as he makes those horrible, clotted noises of suffering...In your hand, the Relic crumbles - Grey stealing up and across it's length, falling to pieces even as you look. But then; There's a swirling rush of green motes, like tame fireflies, rising from the disintegrating forms of Dark Tusk and Malachite Orb...And you ignite with luminosity, as the power surges through you.> RED JOKER LEVEL UP> SELECT BONUS[ ] FORCE- [ ] WEAPON TIER UNLOCK (2.5)- [ ] PRIMARY WEAPON UNLOCK - RANGED- [ ] PRIMARY WEAPON UNLOCK - MELEE- [ ] CODEBURST UNLOCK- [ ] WEAPON UPGRADE - PLASMA VULCAN- [ ] WEAPON UPGRADE - NOVA CANNON[ ] METER (FASTER METER GAIN)- [ ] METER ACCELERATOR- [ ] METER BOOST[ ] GUARD (DEFENSIVE UPGRADE)- [ ] IMPACT REINFORCEMENT- [ ] ABILITY UNLOCK[ ] SURVIVE (VITALITY UP)[ ] EVOL- [ ] ABILITY UNLOCK- [ ] INTERCEPTOR SYSTEM UPGRADE[ ] ROULETTE (RANDOM RELIC)- [ ] WEAPON- [ ] DEF.- [ ] UTILITY[ ] LIMITER ATTUNEMENT[ ] RELIC UPGRADE - ASSAULT SHROUD[ ] RELIC UPGRADE - TEMPEST SCRANDER[ ] RELIC UPGRADE - CARNIFEXYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>25732747Wonderful, now we are upgrade by eating someone's soul.We absolutely need to use that kind of technique on the really evil fuckers. Whenever we get a chance to take certain individuals down, like anyone involved with Hecate's death, we need to contact the Thief for extra punishment.
>>25732797[X] METER (FASTER METER GAIN)- [X] METER ACCELERATORSo many awesome upgrades, and we only get one.
Oh my stars I don't know what to pick.
>>25732797(Gentlemen: I'm going to step out of game here for a moment, to explain this thoroughly. The Red Joker has reached the XP cap; By that, I mean that from this point onwards, all further upgrades require the same amount of XP - Unless reduced by LIMITER ATTUNEMENT. Also, the expanded list below has been unlocked according to previous choices - With more branches available from previous choices made. (Which is why there's a large number of choices in the FORCE upgrade.) To level up, pick a category, and an upgrade from the category. I'll give about thirty minutes to make a decision, and I'll collate the votes afterwards.)
>>25732797>[ ] FORCE>- [ ] WEAPON TIER UNLOCK (2.5)I have to know what's there.
>>25732837What exactly does Limiter Attunement do? Because I may very well be interested in that.It reduces the XP cost for level ups?
>>25732797Woah, fuck.This is glorious. Like a treasure chest.NO HASTY REACTIONS!Just now we talked about Vulcan upgrades.Survive is probably out. We'll be getting our shield.I am really eager to know what Guard does.What is limiter attunement?Upgrading Carnifex might lead to a flat bonus to everything at lower health cost.Ok, my thought:Don't get a primary weapon. Our primary weapon is the vulcans - Don't ignore these beautiful fuckers.So either that or Carnifex upgrade.By the way, do the upgrades still do flat overall upgrades or are the choices only affecting the single area that we choose?
>>25732847(Yes, it reduces the maximum XP cap. At present, you would need to gain the same amount of essence that you needed to gain this level: ATTUNEMENT reduces this by one step per upgrade. It's really more of a passive investment.)
I think I'll vote for Guard Ability unlock.Because it will probably be the most worthwhile change, due to affecting an overlooked aspect.Anyway, how much EXP do we now need for each level?
>>25732797[X] LIMITER ATTUNEMENTI mean, it's taken us how long to get this last level? I'm not looking forward to the wait for the next few if we don't have this.
>>25732872(The same amount you needed to reach your current level, from your last upgrade.)
>>25732867Changing from >>25732838 to Limiter Attunement, if we're ever going to grab it we should get it early.
>>25732890Yeah, I think the next few upgrades should be attunement and meter based so we can start affording all these other upgrades
>>25732849Oh man, ROULETTE comes with choices now! I really want to pick that to stack the deck. Now we have a limited option to pick what we want.
>>25732797Waaait on choosing.A thread or few ago, there was a hint at TIER FIVE weaponry. I believe it was there as ??????which power upgrade is relevant to that?
>>25732926Well judging from the fact that 2.5 is now a thing, I think we've got to climb up the .5 ladder to get there.
>>25732922>>25732890Yeah, let's go with attunement.IF we want to get it, we need to get it early.Otherwise it's a fucking waste.Oh and can someone count how many kills we had since our last upgrade?
>>25732926(Sorry, forgot my trip.None, at present. I'm afraid you don't meet the requirements yet.)
>>25732944I wish it wasn't so painful to postpone the worthwhile upgrades...
>>25732944... Shit, it's been so long. I think, outside of relic acquisitions from Hollow Sun/Argent Prominence, it's been somewhere around 20 threads since the last upgrade.
>>25732884>>25732890Eh, I don't know. Spending a level on getting another level? An actual upgrade would serve us well now.I'd put a vote towards either [X] METER ACCELERATOR or [X] INTERCEPTOR SYSTEM UPGRADE. Though I am curious about the NOVA upgrade and the 2.5 WEAPON TIER.
It's hard to judge the worth of the LIMITER ATTUNEMENT without knowing how much XP it shaves off the req...
>>25733013This. Having a number would be good.
>>25732972I'm curious about everything.Fuck, this upgrade system is delicious.But I tend towards either the Vulcans or the Carnifex. The former because it's our underused signature weapon, the latter because it might remove some of the drawbacks. Imagine a permanent Carnifex boost at no cost.
>>25733044I'm not far off! It's been 15 threads since the last upgrade.
>>25732972>] INTERCEPTOR SYSTEM UPGRADEDo we really need this, if we can get hollow sun to make us lucifer bits? (theoretically we could also snag an armor upgrade there too, but there's probably a price for it. salvaging the misericorde for a useful upgrade would be ace tho)My current trends are...Limiter Attunement: Because early/efficient is the way to get it.Carnifex, because that thing is a BEAST.Melee weapon, because we don't have one - but we're theoretically getting the adjucator, which functions as one.Guard/ability and tier 2.5, because curious.With this many options, I kind of wish we could pick two options or two lesser options
Ok, one thought:Are we sure to get the shield?It gave us melee capabilities, so we don't need a melee upgrade.Codeburst unlock could be basically anything, so it's not worth gambling.Scrander is already fully useful. Dunno about the Shroud.Meter Boost is likely more starting Meter, while Accelerator grants more meter. IF we choose meter, we should choose the accelerator, because it actually grants new capability in terms of allowing our special abilities a higher likelihood of paying themselves.Survive is also redundant due to shield.Nova cannon is already strong, so we can go without upgrading it right now.Roullette is another gamble. Not to mention that we already got a shitton of equipment.So that leaves us with:Force: T2.5, (Ranged Primary), PlasmaMeter: AcceleratorGuard: Impact Reinforcement, Ability unlockEvol: Ability unlock, Interceptor upgradeLimiter attunementRelic upgrade - CarnifexI hope this list of objective and doesn't clash with anyone's opinion.>>25733161...And how many kills?
>>25733206It takes time to read through 15 threads, boss.
>>25733221See >>25733216Should make your life a lot easier.It's always green light or green motes of light.
>>25733227It doesn't help all that much. Do correctors count for kills?
>>25733190>>25733206Connecting the lists:Limiter AttunementCarnifex UpgradeGuard/T2.5/Evol Ability for curiosityBut are we sure that we can get Lucifer Bits?I thought the upgrades were a one-time thing.
>>25733234Yup, we get XP from them. Not sure if it's the same less or more than a roughly equivalent player.
>>25733234>Do correctors count for kills?I think last thread had that exact same question.
>>25733263Checked:Another anon stated that they levelled due to corrector kills.
(ATTUNEMENT seems to have the majority vote.)The light dims, as quickly as it comes; Your feet touch the ground once more, your armour sealing itself - At last, the Carnifex releases, segmented panels sliding back into place...Your breath coming in quick, rasps pants, echoing hollowly in your ears.> LIMITER UPGRADED(You now require approximately 1/5 less Essence to reach your next level.)Odd, warped symbols flicker across your HUD - The system rebooting, reinitializing itself, as the world snaps back into focus. A new icon winks to life on your display...> TIER TWO WEAPON UNLOCKED> PHALANX CHAIN MINE (20%)This rocket-guided projectile is meant for use on a single designated target. Once within range, it scatters proximity-fused magnetic explosives over a wide area. In contrast to the Triskelion Launcher, the chain mines use anti-armour munitions - Reducing the blast radius, but greatly increasing the damage inflicted.(Continued)
>>25733268From a skim I've got the following:MegaeraHaurvatatEnferEnfer's pet corrector
>>25733297>This rocket-guided projectile is meant for use on a single designated target. Once within range, it scatters proximity-fused magnetic explosives over a wide area. In contrast to the Triskelion Launcher, the chain mines use anti-armour munitions - Reducing the blast radius, but greatly increasing the damage inflicted.I guess it's time to farm Correctors.
>>25733297>Reducing the blast radius, but greatly increasing the damage inflicted.Bitchin'. We should totally use assault shroud to disguise the Phalanx, especially against melee people.
>>25733297"...Time to go."The Thief's voice is casual, almost achingly familiar - A contrast to his forboding form, as he sheathes the Fatal Abyss; The oily black steel sliding back into the battered scabbard, with a rasping *hiss* like a protracted threat. He looks around himself, as if seeing the place for the first time: A dry laugh crackling over his helmet's speakers, the red flare in his eyes dying down to a dim glow. "-Strange," The Thief says - There's something almost wistful to his voice, as he inclines his head in a slow nod. "...This was the most fun I'd had in a while."Around you - The Acropolis groans softly as it recovers, the floating frames and panels settling in new and alien configurations. No sign of the sniper - Except for the jagged bite your rocket left, and the scorched scars in your crimson plate.In the constant light of the red world - As the moaning of the gargoyle faces dies down to nothing at last - his right arm looks almost normal. [ ] "...I'd hardly call it fun."[ ] "You're right, it was."[ ] "You're leaving now?"[ ] "-Where will you go?"[ ] "What's next for you?"[ ] "So soon? I still have questions."[ ] Free.YOU HAVE CONTROL
I'm bad at deciding dialogue options.I only know what we need to be doing afterwards:- Give the date with Mio some conclusion- Do the fucking things that we are supposed to doI'd say first collect the shield. Then we visit Hecate's body and then the Black Sun.
>>25733388[X] "You said Pazuzu needs us. What for, and is he looking for Hecate?"[X] "I know I can't convince you otherwise, but just remember we exist, alright? You don't have to go lone wolf all the damn time."
>>25733388>[x ] "So soon? I still have questions.""There are things you and I *need* to talk about. Don't leave so fast, hey?"
>>25733469Hollow sun. And we don't actually know where Hecate's body is, just that she's probably still alive.>>25733388[X] "What's next for you?">[ ] "So soon? I still have questions."I did still have questions, but I've been up way too late and I've forgotten what they were...
>>25730907>I was right, Pazuzu's got her.God damn it Wata that's not what we saw at all.
>>25733546>And we don't actually know where Hecate's body is,In the hospital.Our theory was that she visited herself.
>>25733469>>25733520>>25733529>>25733546>>25733560>>25733566(Gentlemen: I'd love to continue, but it's *really* late for me. My connection is getting spotty, and I'm utterly exhausted - I might not be able to do the next parts full justice.This looks like a natural stopping point - Right after the fight. It seems that I'm still shaking off the cobwebs, because some parts of this round were a little more awkward than I'd intended...But as always, you've been a wonderful audience.Good night, and god bless - I hope to see you again next time.)
>>25731940I said it earlier, but these are the things we need to ask akiraWhether in this world or the next1) Stealing memories - its possible he or someone else has AP's missing ones, since its possible to take the jokers, who says it wasn't done on others?2) Purple Crystals. AP wants one, we could probably use one for something, and he had one at his old fort - presumably knows where it comes from and how to get more3) we DO need to talk more in depth about hecate being alive.4) if he can steal from pazuzu(the arm) then we probably want his help and/or talk about how to find him
>>25733616Thank you, and welcome back! hope the finals weren't that bad!anyway, I'd request that we get a chance to talk to akira in the real world after we bravely run away
>>25733622>>25733630Yeah, it's time for plot progression.
>>25733622I have to say, I never expected that the Thief could steal from people like that. That's an utterly devastating ability.
>>25733695Well, this is partially based on Accel World.The second arc of that anime has a dick-ass guy who can steal abilities, but has limited slots for stealing.He loves to fuck with people by stealing the abilities they love most.So it's fully in line with the inspirational material.
>>25733695Speculation time? There seems to be a clear correlation between Akira's arm and his ability to rip people's souls out of their body.Here's my theory: That was Phantom Edge's power. He was a soul-devourer. Somehow, the thief is an attempt to recreate phantom edge's ability.
>>25733744Really? I thought it was more like Guilty Crown, Shining Wind, or Bantorra. He's not really stealing the ability, he's basically applying a finishing move that gives him an item.
>>25733745My initial inclination was that its a trap, and he's going to become the black joker.As i recall, he's the other one with soul-infusing crap, puppeteering people, and being able to directly affect people xp gain - his pistol/relic had his deathcursemark.
>>25733755Final Fantasy Tactics.Fucking thief class
>>25733616One thing we desperately need to talk about was what the HELL he did to Carnelian Blade and why that made Malachite Orb cough up his own disintegrating body.
>>25733783What is the black joker, anyway?We've only seen kotone, who is a fairly normal girl with a knack for turning up in all the wrong places. The one time we saw what she really looks like, we only got a brief glimpse at her face.
>>25733744It's interesting in that we have a 'true successor', and a false one. Bishamon is clearly the man destined to pick up where Phantom Edge left off, except he's not interested. Akira is some kind of hideous aberration, but he's really goddamn good with that sword.
>>25729148Those are some seriously ominous images.
I just realized that the Joker/AC baseline mechanics would make for a kickass free to play online game.The game would use a point currency in order to initiate play. Points can be won or bought in the ingame store and points never lose their value.So you can actually not play for a few months without any real drawbacks.Each gamer would get a randomized an procedurally generated avatar, meaning that there would be an endless variation of them and no player would be alike. There would be some overlap, but always with some important difference.The game would consist of two parts - Fighting game and semi-MMO.The fighting game is accessible to everyone and uses a matchmaking system. New players get a good chance at learning their avatars this way.Avatar upgrades affect your combat capabilities, obviously, but they are mostly based on utility. So a good lvl 1 player could defeat a shitty high-level player.There'd be different variations of the fighting game, like tag-team fighting and the like.A 3D perspective would make the most sense, because otherwise the controls would be different from the MMO part.The MMO part is based on free-roaming, with dungeons and monsters. The dungeons contain upgrade options similar to what we have in this quest, which are based on archetypes that are modified by your avatar - For example, Avatars could be color-coded and the color would determine which exact upgrade you would get.There's also free-roaming and fuckstrong monsters. Each monster is basically a full-scale bossfight of the likes expected from games like Metroid.That's why starting players are not allowed access to this part until they got used to their avatars.At this stage, there might also be warfare elements, with fights over parts of the overworld. It could be just as anarchic as EVE and the fact that points are needed to start up either part of the game means that the developers could make mad cash from the usual Goonswarm antics.
>>25734064So basically Accel World, then.It's an excellent idea, all the same, but yeah.
>>25734097>Accel World,Without the time distortion and memory wipes, that is. And not limited to parent/child systems.Though another nice addition might be actual gameplay differences between the avatars.Red manually aimed avatars would have first-person-view, while avatars with automatic target selection would have third-person-view.Then again, third-person might be an ability of avatars with better sensoric equipment, while second-person is the baseline for all melee and automatically aimed characters.There could be lots of fun to be had by utilizing the medium. We are at a point where technology would actually support it.
>>25734164>time distortionThis reminds me:I have the goal of creating a viable bullet time system for a multiplayer game.I want asynchronous timeflow in a realtime game. Without any cop-outs.
>>25733838Wonder when will she shw up next. She's the most ominous, mysterious female character after Hecate. I feel like forgetting about her for too long is gonna bite us on the ass one day. Our schedule is reallz packed.I'm still sad we didn´t pick her as the main love interest. So much damn potential for subtle romance, mystery, madness and story progression.
>>25733827It seems fairly straightforward. He got a Relic from Carnelian Blade, and it made Malachite Orb literally vomit out his soul.
>>25734511Well, when you put it that way...I still can't agree with that. Mio and Hecate are like polar opposites, and they're still difficult enough to choose between. You have Mio as the pure-hearted heroine, and Hecate as the seductive temptress: That's a tough pick, no matter how you look at it.
>>25734537>Hecate as the seductive temptressHecate was actually quite shy once we actually went for the romance.If the theory that her body is in a coma is correct, it might explain quite a lot about her.Imagine being caught in your Red World incarnation and then somehow finding love.
>>25734537It's more like the opposite, actually. Mio has a pretty dark side to her, while hecate is entirely carefree.Oh god, this is the most animu as fuck thing ever, isn't it?
>>25734592My personal theory is that Natsumi was supposed to be the main heroine. But one way or another, we kept avoiding her. Shy Librarian Girl was also the first one we met, but she's not really a serious contender in the running. The entire quest has been off the rails from the get go, to be honest. The OP has been mostly rolling with the punches.
>>25734641>My personal theory is that Natsumi was supposed to be the main heroine. But one way or another, we kept avoiding her.I'm thankful of that.Our bet friend reminds me a lot of the blue dude from Accel World. And that due always got shat on, while the MC collected a harem including the girl that was the best friend of both.
>>25734558That begs the question.Would we actually be able to do anything physical with Hecate? As in, is her form anatomically correct?
>>25734681I think Kazuma is special is some way, however. He's simply too good NOT to be special. He's even an excellent swordsman, and he knows how to fire two guns at once.
>>25734703We really need clarification on how people are able to join the Red World.It might be good to have him as an ally.On the other hand, we would put him into danger with that.Funny how the rules changed from "losing is possible without killing you" to "Losing means you die Final Destination style".
>>25734681Except Kazuya is literally the happiest guy in the entire story. Bishamon seems to have drawn the short straw, given how struck he was by Mio/Emi, but he clearly knows how to take care of himself. He even has his own rather successful team!
>>25734823Are you confusing Kazuya and Kouichi? Kaz is our childhood friend, Kou is Bishamon.>>25734703I'm going to do something just slightly on the dickish end and ask Akira to check up on Kaz for us. The way he's been acting since Nara Dreamland is starting to make me wonder if he's a Player.
>>25734867>I'm going to do something just slightly on the dickish end and ask Akira to check up on Kaz for us. The way he's been acting since Nara Dreamland is starting to make me wonder if he's a Player.I'm counting on you to be online when the next thread starts.We need your sanity.
>>25734867Just to add to the confusion, there's another boy called Kou. Just 'Kou'. The one who is Megumi's friend. Megumi is pretty cute in her own way, but she's a little trashy. Not that it isn't appealing, but still.
>>25734537Kotonefag here.All girls are good in one way or another or going either route would lead to interesting developments (aside from Natsumi, since that would be full-on NTR). This kinda makes JQ really frustrating, since every choice is tempting but will most certaintly end up ultimately fucking us over in the end.And if we're in for Mr. Bone's Wild Ride, we best make use of the situation, push full throttle and go out with a bang.
>>25734966Did the the Kou=Mr. Juggernaut theory go anywhere at this point?
>>25735015I'm ok with anyone besides Natsumi, but we already chose Hecate.Let's finalize this route before doing anything else.
>>25735040We only met him once.
So I'm trying to decide what the ideal number of Limiter Attunements to take is. This was our longest time to level up ever, should be a lot better going forward what with the lowering static cap.It's ~20% (or "multiply by 0.8") off the top for every limiter attunement so diminishing returns sets in immediately but perhaps not enough to make leveling it a bad idea. Here's the breakdown:1 level: 100*.8=80% experience to level2 levels: 80*.8=64% experience to level3 levels: 64*.8=51.2% experience to levelMost of the reason that we took so long to reach this level is that we didn't kill any Players for a while. We spared Inox, Enfer got away, and a lot of our time the last few threads been spent doing social stuff. If you count significant kills it really isn't so much different than our usual time to level.I'd say maybe one more Limiter level could yield real benefits, but I understand that it's been a long time since we've actually upgraded anything that makes awesome.
>>25736048Did you count how much we actually killed?It was 15 threads. I guess about 10 kills or so.But I guess two levels should be okay if we actively go out and grind Correctors.If we don't, I'm favor of keeping this one level.
>>25736141Actually, I have a very good question, one that I'm not sure is going to be answered any time soon.We've only reached the experience cap (aka MAXIMUM JOKER) now, right? All of these events have happened over the course of a few months at most. But what about the hundred years we spent in the Corrector hive? If you think about it, if we had a hundred (subjective) years to grind XP, we would have started out as max-level.
>>25737469>But what about the hundred years we spent in the Corrector hive? If you think about it, if we had a hundred (subjective) years to grind XP, we would have started out as max-level.We transformed into Joker.I think the implication is that it cost us all of our XP.
>>25737552Yeah, but we still had to fight our way out, I assume.
>>25737601Good point...What if we started off with just single-shot guns on our arms and a single wrist-mounted missile for 50% meter?Not to mention that the mag-locking that we did on the train might haven been an evade or evol upgrade.
>>25737778What I like is that each path has very different upgrades. When we saw the actual Red Joker, he had...a) Interceptors that could form a Fin Funnel barrel capable of stopping fusion annhilator shots.b) A high-powered vulcan cannon that punched right through our armor and assault shroud.c) A beam magnum.We didn't really fight him, but the beam magnum did hideous damage.
>>25737816I guess it's probable that at least some of that was unique to the person.It seemed like he had an entirely different style from us.And if primary weapon really does give us a magnum, I'm all for upgrading our Vulcans and the Tau gun.We already got two decent guns as primaries which also function more closely to our style (as in: They are integrated into our armor).I wish I knew what the primary melee weapon was. But then again, I'd reject it if it was hand-held. That's just not the style of our equipment.What I'd really love is the ability to use Vulcan and Tau gun alongside each other. One supresses, the other does aimed shots.
>>25737871I just had the weirdest idea:[ ] GUARD (DEFENSIVE UPGRADE)- [ ] IMPACT REINFORCEMENTWhat if that upgrade allowed us to negate knockback/recoil for higher accuracy?
>>25737469Someone in the last thread mentioned it was odd that there was no speed/mobility upgrade. I have to wonder if our Anon didn't spend every last upgrade he got boosting speed to get out of hell faster.>>25737885I'm pretty sure that's the armor bonus. The ability is more likely to be stabilizers of some kind.
>>25738079>I have to wonder if our Anon didn't spend every last upgrade he got boosting speed to get out of hell faster.Now that would be hilarious.I want Jokerguy to give us some information about that. Our character knows it, after all.>The ability is more likely to be stabilizers of some kind.Good point.Then again, the armor bonus is phrased in such a way that makes it seem like it's a multi-bonus like what we got before we reached the cap.
>>25738185Could be. Upgrading the primary weapon did give us plasma shots instead of slugs aaaaaaaall the way back in thread 1.Getting one level in basic everything could actually be really interesting...
>>25738448>Getting one level in basic everything could actually be really interesting...Yeah, I'm really curious.This system is just way too well-done.
When the next session starts up, we need to do our signature mark for victory. Also, I think we should respond with[X] "You're right, it was."[X] "You're leaving now?"[X] "So soon? I still have questions."[X] "Can I count on your help to save Hecate?"
Frankly, if anyone is even still here, I am up for clearing some dungeons. We have a temperamental/useful relic for finding them. We know Tyrian has The Map. We need to have 'em hook up the Nihl to his map and see what it reveals.
>>25742270Just use the Hollow Sun for that. We don't need a GPS when we've got the Batcave. I want to use its facilities anyway, we ought to start looking into the Red Joker armor itself. It'll be full of black boxes, but we might be able to find out something, or find a starting point.
>>25742270There's also the fact that the Tri-Stars don't want anything to do with us. We get involved and things turn into End of Days for those involved.