Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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In Progress The Swapper, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Ethics and Loved Cloning

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Yaar Podshipnik, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    The Swapper, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Ethics and Loved Cloning​

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    The Swapper is a side-scrolling puzzle game with arcade elements. There are no enemies in this game, no time limit, no "active" environmental hazards. And everything is made out of clay (like The Neverhood) and some post-processing effects, giving the game a very atmospheric feel.

    Surprisingly, the game has quite a nice story, told in a unobtrusive way. You may ignore it and just focus on the puzzles. The game isn't particularly hard, though there are one or two rooms that are quite annoying and take more time than the others.

    This game isn't the usual Codex fare, nevertheless, I think it deserves some attention from the monocled audience.

    I'll try to go with the flow of the game, while providing some explanations or comments when I feel like it. This LP could also be used as a walkthrough.

    You can find it on Steam for ~14EUR. The game is really nice to play and has multiple endings (all of them will be covered in this LP), but offers no real replyability.
    It also has awesome achievements, that most of the folks will never get during normal playthrough. I'll show them near the end of the LP.

    The first installement covers 5-7 minutes of actual gameplay.



    Official soundtrack, highly recommended!

    Part 01: Intro and Tutorial area

    Part 01 (open)

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    The Theseus is the main setting of the game. I couldn't get a better screenshot, but there are three solar panels on the station.

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    And here we have first glimpse of our protagonist, in something that looks like a Kerbal rocket. It is, in fact, made from a can, some nails, washers, and clay. I have no idea how the developers made such awesome lighting on it though.

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    So, apparantely we left the spacestation in something akin to a escape pod and crashed on the planet below. Might as well explore. We'll go to the right, since there is a big piece of rock to the left.

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    That about covers the controls. Pretty standard fare this days.

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    Ups, forgot one more button to interact with the environment. There are couple of kinds of devices we will be able to interact with. Anyway, proceeding onwards to the right.

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    Mhm, Site 24. So part of something bigger I guess.

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    We'll get quite a lot chatter like that. The spacesuit is patched into the space station and excavation comm networks, so we'll get broadcasts from it.

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    The map. I'll post our current location quite frequently. However, you can't really get lost in this game. The main function of the map is to show where some special stuff is, and give you the general feel of the shape of the location you are in. It is also useful in one or two puzzles further down the road.

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    Way to the right is blocked, so we'll go to the left instead.

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    And here we find the Swapper device. It is the only tool we'll have at our disposal to solve puzzles. More info on mechanics below.

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    When you hold RMB you get a red outline. When you release the button, a perfect copy of our protagonist will show up in the outlined space. It will also receive every single input we make, hence replying what the main body does. The camera is always focused on the main though. At any point you can have up to 4 alts. If you bump into any of your alts, it gets absorbed, and you can spawn a new one.

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    Now we can go back to the intersection, and open the gate blocking way to the right. The thing with five lights in the upper right corner is a switch. Put a clone on it and it will activate.

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    After the gate is open, we can proceed to the right.

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    The next room requires marginally more thinking. There are two switches, one on the "ground" floor, the second one above. The ground floor one opens the gate above. The way to solve it is to create a clone in front of the gate, and then move right and jump at one point, till the alt gets on the top switch to unlock the rightmost gate.

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    Once we leave a room, all your clones inside are destroyed, and we can create four more in the next one.
    This room requires all four clones to open four gates.

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    Important thing to remember is that those bright shafts of light cancel all our clones. It's basically Material Emancipation Grill from Portal.

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    Consoles are the second channel through which we get the story information (first being broadcasts). Don't worry if stuff read here doesn't make any sense now, it will once more is known.

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    Hmm, so apparantly we didn't left the station on our own volition. Would be nice to learn more about that UNIDENTIFIED VOICE.
    Can't do anything but take the elevator down.

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    We'll go right again.

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    We've found an upgrade for our swapper device. We can now "swap" into a clone. This means that our source body becomes an alt, and the destination a main, with all the camera refocusing etc. In the above case, our clone is left to rot inside the pit, while we happily trudge back left to the junction.

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    Another example of the same mechanic, just to make sure we really get it.

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    The next room introduces another important mechanic - the blue light. You can't create a clone inside of it, but you can swap into one.

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    Using a combination of clone creation and swapping (without movement), we place a clone on the top switch, which opens up the road to the left.

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    The next room introduces yet another mechanic - the red light. This one blocks swapper ray, so you can't swap into a clone in, or behind, such light, but you can create new clones.

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    Quite a lot of puzzles in this game can be distilled to this mechanic - push a switch to remove some light, create clone in the right place, swap to it, leave other to succumb to an unknown death.

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    The console mentiones security orbs - those are mcguffins we'll have to collect in order to progress. The flavor text seems to indicate that the station and the dig was manned, but we haven't met anyone yet.
    We'll continue to the left.

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    So it seems that UNIDENTIFIED VOICE isn't a member of the mining operation crew. It also seems that we just need to hold out for one day, and a rescue party will come. How hard could that be?

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    Going left, then down, we find an inactive teleport. The console says we need one security orb to activate it. Since this looks like the best way out of here (our pod kerbaled instead of landing), so we better try to find some. We go to the right.

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    Mhm, a message to Theseus Quarantine... I'm not sure whether this is correct or some translation issue. Could be the devs meant quatermaster.

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    Do what? Who's trying to make UNIDENTIFIED VOICE do things?

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    See that orb on the right? That's what we need to get. And to get it, we need to touch it with our main. We can't jump that high, and due to red light we can't just create a clone there and swap into it. There is a switch on the left though, so we can see what it does.

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    Getting an orb udpdates our map, and the orb counter in the top left corner of it. We can go back to the teleport and try to use it.

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    Wee, it worked! We are now on board Theseus station, ready to proceed to the right. You'll need to wait for another update to see what's beyond the door. Stay tuned!

     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
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  2. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Part 02: Alien aliens and the first puzzles

    The first chapter ended with our protagonist arriving at the Theseus station. Today we'll explore first couple of rooms close to the entry teleport.

    Part 02 (open)

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    The (!) on the map usually represents something important. In this case, the big chunk of rock on the right side. Also notice that on the rack behind us are a lot of space suits and helemets of the same kind as we wear.
    We'll continue to the right. When passing next to the rock:

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    Ok, WTF? Where did that came from? (ok, it's kinda obvious if you've read couple of sci-fi books, but bear with me).

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    This is one long corridor, but there's nothing to do in it now. The upper section will be made available later in game. For now, we'll ride the elevator down to Sector 1 - Public.

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    The rocks communicating with us, were apparently designated as "Watchers" by other humans. The watchers sound a bit pompous if you ask me.

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    What you see above is a really typical hub area for this game. You come through one door, there is another one on the opposite side that you have to go through but it's blocked. You also have a couple (usually three) other doors that lead to puzzle rooms, which contain security orbs that you need to gather to unlock the important door.
    The red number show how many total security orbs you need in order to unlock access.
    Anyway, let's continue.

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    We are introduced to moving boxes via a simple move-then-jump-on it puzzle. The station computer also goes asshole on us, and closes way forward and backward. So the only way is up, towards the three rooms. We'll do them one by one.

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    We need to get to the orb on the left. The colored ligths limit possible behaviors - you can't swap into a clone in red light, and you can't create a clone in blue light.

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    However, we can CREATE a clone in red light. So we do so (with one intermediary) and then move left. Our main will hit the wall, but the alt will move and fall off the ledge into the blue light.

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    After that, we just backstep till we can get LOS to our clone in blue light, and swap to it.

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    The orb is ours, the security console is unlocked. As we are good little explorers we'll read the log on the console, and then go to next room to plunder it too. We need ALL the orbs anyway to finish the game.

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    Oops, I forgot to take the room screenshot. Anyway, there is no puzzle here, just three rocks.

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    It seems that Watchers prefer to refer to themselves as Hearers. They also mention some Chain, and that they are really different from humans. It is nice of them to try to explain themselves.

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    Another simple puzzle room. The box (currently in the lower right corner) initially is in the middle of the room. The switches on the floor control the doors in the upper left corner. The orb is too high to jump to, even if we stand on the box, and the red light there prevents us from swapping. The button in the upper left corner controls the right red light.

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    I think it's pretty clear from the screenshots what is the sequence of actions to take, so I wont go into detail. If you disagree, and want me to be more verbose, post a comment.

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    We lift the quarantine with our new security orbs and proceed to the right. Some quite big rooms there.
    You'll have to wait for the next update to find out what's there, so stay tuned!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
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  3. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Also, ~100 views and not a single comment? Codex, I am disappoint.
     
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  4. dab Learned

    dab
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    Project: Eternity
    For some reason my first thought was that is a minesweeper LP 8]
     
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  5. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Ooo, I might do that at some point. Thanks for the idea @dab!
     
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  6. CappenVarra Phantasmist

    CappenVarra
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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Interesting. Yay for alien aliens! :) I have to admit I tend to zone out of platformer puzzles explanations (I can live without the "walkthrough" part, but I'm sure somebody else will find it interesting)... Anyways, moar.
     
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  7. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Most of the puzzles are easy to figure out, there's just one or two really devious ones.

    If I'd focus mostly on story, then this LP would be a short one. I also didn't find any good walkthrough for it (besides achievment guide) in picture form, just some videos. And I hate video LPs or walkthroughs. I think I'll spoiler tag the solution sections in the next updates and fix the already posted stuff later.
     
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  8. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    It looks good. Moar!
     
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  9. Jashiin Arcane

    Jashiin
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    Looks nice, I won't be following your LP anymore however, since I'm going play it myself.
     
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  10. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    @Jashiin, it is a wise decision! The game is pretty good, and looks stunning. It is not a typical Codex-approved game (like the one from my previous LP), so I think quite a lot of folks would enjoy the LP, while they wouldn't want to play it. Feel free to come back for puzzle solutions if you get stuck ;)

    And now, the update proper.

    Part 03: Gardens and Greenhouse

    No space station could survive for long without a means to grow their own food. Today we'll visit Theseus' parts devoted to that task.

    Part 03 (open)

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    We left our protagonist in a cargo-area, lit by a beautiful DX:HR-like piss-colored light. We need to jump down some crates.

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    Ooops, it seems we can't really fall down very far without getting ourselves killed. Fortunately, there is a solution to that. And it is, as with most problems in this game, cloning!
    When you press and hold the right mouse button (create clone) the time slows down, you still have the same momentum so this by itself won't stop you from dying. However, each newly created clone has zero speed. So by combining creation of new clones, and swapping right to them, your main can land safely from any hight.
    Similar tactic may be used for going up, however the height is limited then by the amount of clones you can create. You would think 4 screens or so, but it's more like 5, as the first alt will most likely hit the ground and die pretty fast. Anyway, this stuff at work:

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    We'll read the stuff on the console on the right and then use the elevator and explore to the left.

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    As we go down with the elevator, the camera zooms out, showing some kind of force field-based transit system. Surprisingly, there is someone who looks just like us in there!
    We can't really do anything else, but continue to the left.

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    Ah, so it seems the Watchers have difficulty understanding space. Taking into consideration that they seem to be immobile rocks, it kind of makes sense.

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    Going up that shaft will require using the newly learned trick. But first, let's see what's behind the leftmost door.

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    This room will use both the time-slowing and speed-breaking techniques. You should be able to figure it out just by looking at the above screenshot.

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    We go back to the Gardens Hub, and up the vertical shaft.

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    This room is a bit of a pain, as it uses time-slowing as the main mechanic. Standing on switch toggles the gates - the one far from us raises, and the one right next to us falls. The trick here is to stand on the switch, quickly clone and swap near the top and middle of the room. Then, as you fall, clone and swap back up, until the left door is raised enough to cloneswap there. After the orb is collected both doors raise, so it's easy to go back.

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    We'll go to the Greenhouse now.

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    This room introduces another kind of light - purple! Even though most of the Codex seems to be of the dick-having gender, and, therefore is most likely retarded in terms of colors, it should be obvious that this is a mix of blue and red lights. So no cloning or swapping into or through it.
    This puzzle is actually fairly easy - the switch on the far right controlls the blue light on top. So the idea is to stand near the white light, create a clone on the edge of the purple light, then move right. Once our main reaches the edge of the purple light, cloneswap next to the white light and repeat. Once the button is pressed, cloneswap to the upper level and collect the orb.

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    Using "clone train" is an essential skill in solving quite a lot of puzzles.
    Also notice, how obtaining a security orb in an area just kills all your alts. No mercy for the clones it seems.
    Back to the hub, and let's read that console we passed before.

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    Hmm... so "something" is happening on the station, and crew here didn't have an idea what was causing it. This doesn't sound good.
    Anyway, onwards to the final Greenhouse room.

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    You can probably guess that the buttons control some of the lights. To solve this, we stand on the switch, create a clone on the raised ledge and then move to the left so that it presses the other button.

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    We then create a clone on the first button and swap to it. That disables both red lights, so we can cloneswap to the raised platform ourselves. Then swap into already existing clone on the switch, and cloneswap up.

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    With that done, we have completed all the puzzles in Gardens and Greenhouse area. We have enough orbs to enable the security console in the cargo area.

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    Doing so turns on a transport system, just like the one we've already seen before. In the next update we'll go on a ride through it. Stay tuned!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
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  11. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    The Swapper is 50% for the next 48h on Steam. At 6.99EUR this game is a steal.
     
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  12. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Part 04: The Living Quarters

    The last update culminated with powering up of a force field-based transport systems. Today, we are going to ride it! And then solve the puzzles behind it of course.

    Part 04 (open)

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    That was a fun ride! Too bad you can't see the whoooosh of traveling on the screenshots.
    Let's see what awaits us in this room...

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    With that, OTHER PERSON disappears into the teleport. Maybe we'll be able to follow her at some point. Yes, her. The OTHER PERSON speaks in a female voice, similar to the UNIDENTIFIED VOICE, it may be an issue of me hearing badly or the radio chatter being scrambled a bit. It is trying to apologise for something - could it be the same person that launched us from the station at the beginning of our adventure?
    We'll just ponder those questions while exploring futher to the right.

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    A silly wall blocks our progress. Easily opened with clones!

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    Note, that even when we can't move our main, due to being pressed to a wall by a force field, our clones still continue to respond to movement commands. So getting stuck is sometimes a good idea :)
    We deactivate the console to our right to shut of that silly transport field, and continue our exploration.

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    Ah, another Watcher, this one marveling at the mysteries of another (probably human) mind.
    We continue our way to the right.

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    I've actually continued down the shafts and got deposited further down, but I wanted to solve the puzzles "in-order", so let's takie it from the top.

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    This room is already almost solved. Red lights mean we can't swap into our clones and a big door blocks access to the orb. Another annoyance is the transport moving constntly to the right.
    To solve this, we jump into the transport, create a clone on the top right button (which starts raising the door), then cloneswap to the beginning of the transport field. This allows for the door to rise, so that we can cloneswap from the transport right into the orb. Having obtained it, we head back.

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    Semms that the OTHER PERSON is quite frustrated.

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    That's quite a lot of bunkbeds. Onwards to the puzzle room!

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    I hate purple light! Anyway, the room works like this - the lower button shuts of the blue lights over the top left and top right button. So we start by standing on the lower button, and creating a clone on the top left button (which turns off one of the red lights).

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    Next, we create a clone in the gap between red and purple lights, and then we jump up into the transport.

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    Now here's the tricky part - as we ride the transport, we try to move to the left, thus moving the clone from the gap onto the lower button. That shuts down the blue lights again, allowing us to create a clone on that button too. After that, the transport system drops our main in the gap. From there it is obvious - just cloneswap right next to the orb.

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    Onwards to the next room!

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    This takes us into Waste Management, which we have skipped thanks to our prolonged ride. Interesting fact about this station design - the Living Quarters and Recreation areas are connected directly to waste management. Can you smell that smell?
    That security console looks inviting, and we have enough orbs, so I'll activate it.

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    So the OTHER PERSON thinks that the Watchers are mindless... Doesn't she hear them as we do?
    A door into the waste transport system is opened now, which means that we will have to ride it at some point. Not today though! We'll go back to the Living Quarters and solve the rest of the puzzles there.

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    Dude, go see a shrink.

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    To solve this room we need to use the transport tube. Let's stand on under the dropper tube, and create a clone on the button (shutting down one blue light).

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    Now we create another clone on the top floor. After that, we move to the right, and all clones with us. That means that the top floor one will move to the rightmost button, we move to the bottom button, and the clone that was standing there previously is sucked by the transport system and moved to our main's previous location. We've just swapped places without using the swapper!

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    The only thing that remains is to cloneswap next to the orb and take it. And with that, we have solved everything there is to solve in the Living Quarters. Onwards to Crew Recreation Area!

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    This update is long enough as it is, so I'll leave that area for the next time. Stay tuned!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
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  13. Cool name Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Cool name
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    The one with all the red lights in which you have to fall upwards and the one with the four doors and four pads, both towards the end of the game?

    Those two puzzles must have accounted for a fourth of my total game time. :oops:
     
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  14. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Yep, those are the most annoying. I must admit, I even consulted a walkthrough for the four doors/four pads one...
     
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  15. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I've spoilered the whole LP. It seems it still doesn't work the way it did before though... DU get to work!

    Anyway, I'll hold off with more updates till the situation improves.
     
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  16. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Part 05: The Recreation Area

    The last update explored the living areas of the station, today we'll see how the crew rested.

    Part 05 (open)

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    This room is one of those asshole rooms where you have to kill some clones to succeed.

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    So we start with creating a clone on the top button, and then we stand on the bottom right button.

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    After that we create to clones on the two buttons to the left, and swap into the closer one. Then we create a clone on the ledge close to the orb and swap to it. Unfortunately, this makes us all out of clones, so we can't cloneswap to it. But fear not! Remember the first clone, one standing on that high ledge on the right side? We can make it fall down if we move right, while our main safely hugs the wall.

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    Yep, that did the trick. Onto the next room.

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    The most important thing in this room is a create on the upper level, near the middle of the screen. We can't get our main there due to the red light, but we can create a clone there.

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    Using a combination of pushing and pulling, we drop the crate to the lower level. We also reclaim the clones.
    Now, what use is the create you ask? First, we need to use it to move a clone to the button in the blue light zone.

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    With that done, we move the crate under the ceiling-mounted switch. Why? Because the button in the blue light zone activates a pillar that raises under the ceiling-mounted switch. It's not long enough to reach it though, so we place a crate on it. Pushing that button shuts off the red light and we can cloneswap to the orb.

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    We can now see a bit more of the recreation area, and solve the final puzzle there.

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    That's some goiod looking rest area. Would be nice to watch the emptiness of space with a sexy girl next to you. Unfortunately, we don't have a sexy girl at hand (and for all we know, the protagonist might be one). We do have some puzzles to solve though!

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    This room is rather easy. Create a clone in the bottom part of the room, move to the right so that it stands on the button. Repeat twice. Create another one, move to the left so that it stands on the button. This opens the 3 doors in the purple light zone. Then create a clone on the top left button too.

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    Now we're out of clones. However, those clones below aren't needed now, as the doors might well stay shut. So we go down and reclaim them.

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    With that done, we have enough clones to cloneswap to the orb and collect it. That completes the Recreation Area!

    If you are wondering where the long, sloping corridor goes, wonder no more. It goes to the gardens. Since we're done with that area, there is no need for us to go there. So where can we go? Back to the Waste management of course, and ride the disposal transport.

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    Not in this update though! Stay tuned!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
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  17. CappenVarra Phantasmist

    CappenVarra
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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    All right, the part with the immobile Watcher wondering about how does one move through space was kinda funny. But I'm slightly disappointed that a game dealing primarily with cloning yourself and switching your mind around like an alien body snatcher doesn't explore more of the underlying philosophical questions of cloning - such as having sex with an exact replica of yourself and switching your consciousness back and forth rapidly until you achieve a kind of fugue state in which you are both the fucker and the fucked... right?
     
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  18. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Hmm... there is more about ethics and consequences of cloning in the future updates, so you might want to hold your judgement.

    If all goes well, the next update will be tomorrow.
     
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  19. sexbad? Arcane Patron

    sexbad?
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    I think the philosophical/ethical stuff is really campy and just there because Tom Jubert needed something to write, so it's not really worthy of our attention, but I am quite fond of the character(s) and the world building going on!!
     
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  20. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Part 06: Waste Management

    We left our protagonist ready to enter the waste transport. So off we go...

    Part 06 (open)

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    Good thing that cloning slows that time, otherwise it would be real difficult to exit the transport before being crushed in those scary gears above.

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    We reach the lift, and lower it, allowing us to cloneswap back and forth up and down. After that, we go up through that long shaft.

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    It seems that the ship the OTHER PERSON came isn't going to help us getting out. Let's continue exploring, and see if we can find something that will.

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    Seems The Chain doesn't like suicidal thoughts.

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    That red light is the emergency light, not the red security light. The stuff you can see in the background is a big hole in the station hull. There is something that looks like debirs right next to it too. I guess that's the ship already mentioned.

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    Just two life forms? 341 critical fails doesn't sound good...

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    As soon as we finish reading the log, all the emergency lights go out next to us. I guess they critically failed too. Then the camera pans down, to reveal what OTHER PERSON is doing:

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    It seems like OTHER PERSON might have some trouble with voices in her head. She also wants to try to kill herself. Seeing as it's just our protagonist and her on board, it means that the Watchers are complaining about her when they speak of a mind polluting their chain.
    The only thing we can do, is continue to explore to the left.

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    We can't reach the area where OTHER PERSON was standing. Not a biggie, we'll just continue onwards.

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    I would like to know myself, my rocky friend.

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    Ahh, so OTHER PERSON has a name - Chalmers. She also seems to be slipping in and out between personalities. We just lost her when she was in a helping one... Guess we can only count on ourselves then.

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    Oh look, that transit field deposited us into an area we have already seen right when we came to the station.

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    Too bad the teleport is damaged. The rock says an interesting thing - apparantly Chalmers is looking for the "head" of the chain, something that the Watcher finds a bit of a fool's errand.

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    Continuing to the right, we can see a lot of rocks, possibly Watchers, floating around the station.

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    Good, we re-established contact with Chalmers. She's still helpful.
    By following her advice, and giant signs, we end up in area called Laboratory Access. Fun thing is, it tilts the entire map a bit, and there seems to be no gravity in there, as we're floating above the floor. That means we'll have to do a zero-g trip through this room (and that names like floor and ceiling do not make sense). How are we going to propel ourselves? Find out in the next installment (hint: this is not KSP, so no SRBs)!
     
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  21. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    It may not be top-notch, but it's at least as good as his Penumbra stuff. You get a really nice vibe when playing the game, though it is mostly the result of superb graphics and lighting. The music helps too.
     
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  22. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
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  23. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Part 07: Laboratory Access and Planet Survey

    At the end of the previous update, our brave clone-maker was left floating in a zero-g chamber that leads to the labs. We'll explore that section of the station today.

    Show Spoiler

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    We discover that the swapper device has another function - the swap beam actually provides some thrust! Thus we can use it to navigate the zero-g environments (and there will be more than just this room).

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    It seems that the Watchers don't take well to being separated from the chain...

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    We would go to the High-Security Labs right away, but this big door on our right requires two more orbs to unlock. Let's get searching! The only way seems to be the door in the top left corner.

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    Seems like a typical hub setup - three doors, to three chambers. But wait, there's a teleport here too! We'll definitely explore it, once we're done with the puzzles here.

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    The planetary holo looks much more impressive in motion...
    We'll start exploring puzzle rooms from the lower left one.

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    There we go, we have a confirmation that other people broke the chain, screwing over the Watchers. I guess the first contact was made using high-powered drills.

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    This room is rather simple. We have the lights that hamper our cloning and swapping abilities, but there are no switches to turn them off.
    To solve this, we need to cloneswap up, create a clone next to the security orb (but we can't swap to it yet), then fall down and collect our old body.

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    After that, we move to the right, until the clone on the high ledge passes the purple light. We can now swap to it, but we'll need an intermediary clone first.

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    After that, it's just a matter of moving towards the orb.

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    Once again OTHER PERSON is in helpful mood. Notice how even though we know her name, Chalmers, the subtitles still refer to it differently...
    Anyway, off to the top left puzzle room. We'll use the cloneswap trick to move up.

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    We got two buttons that control two bottom red light emitters. Solving this room will require quite a lot of moving.

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    First, we create two clones above. The right one should be as close to the ledge as possible, the left one as far from it as possible.

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    Then, move to the right. The clone on the left ledge will fall down, but that's ok. Swap right back into it and continue to the right, till our previous body touches the white light and disintegrates. Then move left back, just so that you can create another clone as far to the top left as possible and repeat the whole process. After some repetitions you'll get to the situation below.

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    With both red lights off, it's just a matter of clone swapping onto the security orb. Notice that the orb now has two smaller ones orbiting it - when we capture it, we get three security orbs instead of one.
    Let's continue to the upper right room in the hub.

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    Interesting, so the planet Chori V not only hosts The Watchers, but also some worms. I wonder if they have any meaning to the story?

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    That room is actually really cool. It requires some reflexes though.
    First we create a clone on the ledge between two red lights (we can't swap into it).

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    Then we create a clone on the right, using the small opening in the wall. We swap into it, then create a clone on the switch, which turns off the first red light. Then we swap back to our original body, and then to the very first clone we've created. The situation should look like this (sorry for the lack of more pics, I've got carried away):

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    Then we move to the right, falling down and reclaiming one of our clones. If the clone that was on the switch moves too far to be useful, we can just move further and kill it in the blue light pit. Anyway, use the hole in the wall to cloneswap to the other side.

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    Now comes the reflex part (you can do it a bit differently though). We create the clone as shown, and swap right into it. Then we start creating another clone to slow down time, but just swap into the one on the left instead.

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    It is trivial then - cloneswap to the ledge on the right, then cloneswap right onto the orb.

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    Yay, we've got all the orbs from Planetary Survey! Let's see that teleport now.

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    It takes us to the area through which the OTHER PERSON teleported at some point. We can now use the security console there to open the door and create a shortcut. We don't need to backtract at this point, so back to the Planetary Survey, and the Laboratory Access. We have enough security orbs to open the giant doors.

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    Weee, we're going on a space walk! Not right away though, but still.

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    Some more thoughts from the Watchers. They seem to like phylosophy. I guess there's really nothing else to do, when all you can do is think.
    Passing the rocks give as access to the High Security Laboratories.

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    We'll explore those in the next update! Stay tuned!
     
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  24. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
    Joined:
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Part 08: Xeno Technology Research

    The last update left us in the middle of High Security Labs hub. Today we'll explore one of the labs there.

    Show Spoiler


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    On we go, towards the Xeno Research.

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    We might have an opportunity to learn more about the device we are using. It is kind of disturbing, isn't it?

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    Wait, Dr Chalmers? If she was a crew member, how she could be the OTHER PERSON, who claims to have arrived by a ship just recently? Strange...

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    This puzzle room is rather simple. The button on the floor moves the red light up or down a couple of degrees. In the current setting, it is low enough for a clone standing on the middle ledge to be able to swap up. On the other setting (button pushed) it is high enough for somebody from below to swap onto the ledge.
    There is also an elevator that takes us to a place from which we can create a clone on the orb, but can't swap into it.
    What we do is, we ride the elevator to create a clone on the orb, carefully backtract to the elavator and ride it down.

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    Then we stand on the button, wait for the light to move up and cloneswap onto the ledge.

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    We move to the right, taking the bottom clone from the button, and moving the top clone closer so that we can swap into it when the light lowers.

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    Another room solved! Onto the next one.

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    This room involves killing a lot of clones. Those annying floor-mounted red light emitters stop us from simply cloneswapping up and to the right. Fortunately there is a crate (just barely visible to the left) that we can use to block the emitters.

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    We push the crate onto the first emitter, then go back left and cloneswap to the upper level. We then cloneswap right away to the block in the middle of the room. Moving right will move all the clones, so the bottom one will push the crate towards the second emitter.

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    The issue of running out of room to move to the right is easily solved - we just cloneswap back to the left side and move right again! The poor clone that is on the right edge will fall to its death, but our protagonist seems not to care at all.

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    Another one solved! Just after we get the orb, a new transmission comes through:

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    Seems that this person is quite in awe of the Swapper capabilities. I like them too, they make a fun game. Onwards to the next room!

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    It seems that this Watcher could use a watch, hurr hurr.

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    This is another room we have to use a create to block an emitter. Just on top of the create there is a big slab that moves when the button is pressed. There is a smaller slab that covers the projector on the left.

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    We drag the create till it blocks the blue light projector, then we create a clone on the orb. Notice how the orb is placed on the edge - one step to the left and it falls down. That means that for the duration of this puzzle we can only move to the right.

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    We push back the crate towards the right wall, and the we cloneswap just next to the emitter. Ideally we'll have LOS to our top clone, even if we can't swap to it yet.

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    We create a clone right on the button. This lowers both slabs. The big one is stopped by the crate, so the top clone isn't fully bathed in red light. This means we can swap into it!

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    We go back to the Xeno Technology hub, and prepare to investigate the door on the right.

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    The crew experimented with swapper on each other, and it lead to casulties. Don't know what went wrong, works fine for us. When you think on it, this log is disturbing - there were no issues when swapping on clones. Could that mean that our protagonist is a clone?

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    What you see here is a clone trap. We can't proceed to the puzzle room until we place, and leave, one clone there. This means that we'll have to solve the puzzle with less than we usually have.

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    This room is really annoying, not only it traps one of our copies, but it throws all kinds of lights and a door on us...
    To solve this we'll need to use clone train again. First, cloneswap between the blue lights. Move right until we hit the button, then cloneswap to the same spot again. When the bottom clones come together, just create a new clone in the gap, without swapping to it. Then fall down to reclaim the old bodies.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Move the middle clone into button, create a clone on the top button, swap into the middle clone and then cloneswap onto the orb. Yay!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In our next update we'll continue to Sample Containment and Metaphysics Lab.

    [​IMG]

    Stay tuned!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
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  25. CappenVarra Phantasmist

    CappenVarra
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Parrots:
    2,010
    Location:
    dead but dreaming
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Swapping between individual crew members sounds fun - and Albert and Diana even conveniently experienced memory loss afterwards. Too bad about the whole "casualty" thing, but I guess you can't have everything.
     
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