GenCrawl Gaiden – 63
GenCrawl Gaiden – 63
The first floor could almost be called a cakewalk, thanks to team tactics; LanguidLiquid kicked the doors open, Merhousemaid blasted the enemies with her SANGUINE SONGS (even if they were just BAD PARODIES as of yet), and MechaEnt finished them off by throwing her SONIC SLIMES in their face.
MechaEnt: These little guys are gaining power every time you use a SONIC skill near them, by the way.
Merhousemaid: Huh. What kind?
MechaEnt: SONIC RESISTANCE and something like a 1/25 upgrade point gain. It’s slow but it’s definitely there. It’ll work when hostiles use SONIC too.
MechaEnt: Dr. Wutson’s guides talk about it. I mean, admittedly he doesn’t have one for GenGame 2 yet, but I figured, y’know. The principle can’t be wrong.
LanguidLiquid: Have to admit, I’m a little surprised to hear you using a guide.
Merhousemaid looked around the cleared first floor, scooping up THAUMIC TOMMY GUNS and checking out the UPGRADE SLOTS. This base had a weird mix of stuff that made her click her tongue thoughtfully. The PLOT upgrade slot was down here, but it was inactive – probably because they didn’t control the base yet. DEFENSE and TECH TREE upgrades were just thrown around willy-nilly with no respect for any kind of sanity. At least the defenses were all pointed where they might actually hurt people.
Merhousemaid: I can’t find the armory.
Princess Dandelion: Upstairs, brave warrior! Where the leader of the gang awaits!
LanguidLiquid: Stairs are right here, stack up.
Merhousemaid and MechaEnt got behind Languid, just before he kicked the door open and rushed up the flight of stairs. Bullets pinged off of his raised shield from a squad of THAUMA THUGS at the top of the stairs, only to cut off abruptly as the THUGS took a pile of oozes to their collective faces. LanguidLiquid hit them like a speeding train, blowing the fight into the next room.
The WALLOPING WARHAMMER came down and killed one of the THUGS. Merhousemaid opened her mouth to sing and –
SERA, STREET SORCERESS: Hey! Put’cher shit down.
LanguidLiquid looked up to see what he could only think of as a gangland princess sitting in an office chair, a little tiara holding back her red hair and a bouncing fireball in her left hand.
SERA, STREET SORCERESS: That pixie got’cha doin’ her dirty work? It’d be fuckin’ typical.
Princess Dandelion: Don’t listen to her! She’s trying to turn you to evil!
SERA, STREET SORCERESS: Look, I’ve got something important that needs doing.
SERA, STREET SORCERESS: And information on something important that you should be doing.
MechaEnt: What’s going on guys?
LanguidLiquid: RNJesus handed us an interesting opportunity. We can change our OBJECTIVE if we want to, but the cost is not knowing what it’ll be.
SERA, STREET SORCERESS: Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, let you use my boys. What’s it gonna be?
Merhousemaid: I say we go for it.
MechaEnt: No! How can you betray the princess?
Merhousemaid: Are you fucking kidding me Kristen?
LanguidLiquid: Calm your tits, okay? We’ll let the stream pick.
LanguidLiquid: Let me open the door.
The others stacked up behind LanguidLiquid, and he threw the door open with a mighty cry, raising his SHABBY SHIELD. Immediately gunshots rang out against it, getting SOAKED by his armor. The front room of the broadcast station had three men in absurd wizard’s outfits – long robes, starry hats, and gigantic beards – that were holding tommy guns of all things.
Between the three, tied to a chair, was a female pixie.
Princess Dandelion: Help, please!
Thauma Thug: You’ll never escape the GREAT GRAMMARIE GANG!
MechaEnt: Oh she’s so /pretty/!
Merhousemaid: Of course you have a crush on a videogame character now. Why am I not surprised?
MechaEnt: You know what -
MechaEnt stepped forward and waved her WEAK WAND. Her form rippled and then ejected three SLIMES all at once, which rocketed into the faces of the THAUMA THUGS. They started to scream as the SONIC SLIMES wrapped around their faces and MechaEnt hit one knee, fighting back a wave of exhaustion.
LanguidLiquid: Holy shit, your HEALTH!
MechaEnt: Looks like I spend that as my resource. Heal please.
LanguidLiquid applied a dose of HEALING HANDS to MechaEnt and watched his FAVOR meter decrease. He sighed as the screaming from the THAUMA THUGS stopped and the pixie freed herself. The tiny winged girl flitted to MechaEnt and put a kiss on the slimegirl’s lips.
Princess Dandelion: My heroine! You must be the CHOSEN CHAMPIONS, here to rid the world of evil!
Princess Dandelion: A great HORROR threatens our world! You must SPREAD THE WORD to lure it out, and then DESTROY it!
Princess Dandelion: The resources in this BATTERED BROADCAST STATION can help get you started, if you can clear out the gang!
MechaEnt: Split up?
LanguidLiquid: Nah, we’re stronger together. Let’s clear this floor and then move on up.
Merhousemaid: So we have to start a cult and then fight a boss. I hope the other guys got just as fucked on this as we did.
LanguidLiquid: With our luck?
MechaEnt: I believe in us!
Princess Dandelion: That’s the spirit!
Merhousemaid blinked against the sunlight; she and her team faded into view on a grassy hilltop, just in front of what looked like some kind of two-story broadcasting station. She’d gone for the classic blue-and-green sea colors for her character, who was dressed waifishly in an ORPHAN’S OUTFIT.
Merhousemaid: My equipment is so depressing. ORPHAN’S OUTFIT, MELANCHOLY MICROPHONE, HATEFUL HAT. Who cut their wrists all over this class?
LanguidLiquid: It’s a blood mage. They’re supposed to be depressing.
Merhousemaid: Just for that I’m gonna tech us up to be dressed like Santa’s elves.
MechaEnt: Fine by me!
Mer and Liquid turned their heads at the same time to look at MechaEnt and just stared. Mecha’s avatar was a tall, lithe girl made entirely out of translucent sky-blue gel, wearing clothing made of the same material and holding a WEAK WAND in her open hand. MechaEnt grinned at her teammates and sucked herself into a blob of gel that bounced towards the building in front of them before popping back up into a girl.
MechaEnt: SLIMEGIRL BIOMANCER. You know SLIMES get different skill options for most classes? It’s their racial special.
Merhousemaid: Kristen, why are you a hentai girl?
MechaEnt: You guys didn’t want a dryad, now you don’t have one.
MechaEnt: Quit’cher bitchin’.
LanguidLiquid shook his head and put his hand on Mer’s shoulder.
LanguidLiquid: She’s having fun, Bri. Leave her be. BIOMANCERS are pretty solid anyways. Why don’t we head into the building and find out why we don’t have a base?
Languid’s character was the classic tall-and-broad tank type, but the GENADIN class had added a Crawl-like art style to him; beneath his hood his face was simply a shadow defined by broad, glowing white eyes, and shadows outlined in light concealed his outfit, though not his WALLOPING WARHAMMER.
Merhousemaid: Yeah, sure.
Merhousemaid: Let’s go.
WhattheHex mulled over the information on the interface in front of him while his GHOSTLY GIRLFRIEND mopped up the last hostile behind him. He wasn’t sure who’d programmed his minion to be sadistic, but he’d been staring at the holographic world in front of him for three minutes and the priest had yet to stop screaming.
The map of the world showed several distinct regions floating around a central sun-like mass, with each region attached to two others by means of massive chains. And every inch of it glowed. It was high noon out there no matter where you went, except in a small area contained tightly around his team’s temple. The enemy team’s base was marked across the map with a generic X that revealed no details.
WhattheHex tapped the map with his gloves and added it to his NOTES section to reference later.
WhattheHex: Found some world info. Whatever they’re paying the worldbuilding guys, it’s not enough.
WhattheHex: This place has an inverse relationship with entropy. That is, energy just keeps getting added to the system. It’s constantly getting more ordered, producing more matter.
SonicSorrow: Which means what, in game terms?
WhattheHex: We’ve got our work cut out for us. Most of the materials on this world glow naturally. Chances are we’ve got to quest or exploit the game to change local physics on a fundamental level.
WhattheHex: Respawn rates are high, new kinds of enemies have an increasing chance over time to appear, and new geography sometimes appears.
WhattheHex: All of it glowing like a fucking neon sign.
Query: Of course. Why should our job be easy?
Query: No wonder these matches can take days.
Query: What the *fuck* do you mean *weeks*?
Query: Who has that kind of time?
GenCrawl Gaiden – 62
Query: Knife to meet you.
Query wasn’t sure if the hostile she was stabbing was groaning in virtual pain from having a knife put through its lungs or if it was groaning at the pun, but it slumped over and died all the same. The SPY’s SUAVE meter went up by one.
Query: Not sure if from stealth kill or pun.
Query: And I know it’s hard to see my tie in the darkness but honestly I’m not sure what color it is either.
Query: I think it’s made of smoke or something.
Query faded back into STEALTH and continued through the first floor. At the rate she was solo killing these mooks she’d hit level two any minute now. Query grinned to herself – solo XP was an advantage of sneaky classes, and one she loved to have. SPIES and their kin could absolutely terminate people if the enemy team didn’t find a way to stay together and disrupt their XP gain.
Query palmed a door open and slid through it. One of the light-priest spellcasters – a CELESTIAL CLERIC or something like that – was standing watch. Query grinned to herself and circled around before putting her knife to his throat. She faded into visibility with the priest in a firm grip.
Query: Tell me where your leader is or you’ll be glowing out a new hole.
[You have gained a point of MENACE!]
So, I wanted to talk a bit about the update speed on GenCrawl Gaiden. You may have noticed that Gaiden updates have been somewhat slow, especially in comparison to the blazing speed that Tourney’s been operating under. I do want to apologize, because some of that is my fault and is avoidable. But a lot of it isn’t.
Unfortunately, there are only specific windows of time in which both Domo and I are online and can collaborate, and my day job eats up a lot of those windows. I’m also going through some rough shit in my life and fighting back depression and insomnia, neither of which are particularly great for the creative process. When scripting does happen, it only takes about an hour – most of which is tangential information regarding mechanical consequences or resolutions – and is a joy to work with. It just…doesn’t happen as often as it should, or as I would like.
Gaiden is not going on hiatus and will still update as frequently as D and I can produce it, but I thought you – the faithful readers – deserved to know what’s up.
The game world faded into view around SonicSorrow, putting her in some kind of dimly lit central room. She blinked and looked at the metal rods set into wall scones. Were – those things were projecting darkness. What the hell?
The Shadow: WELCOME, ACOLYTES!
WhattheHex: The fuck is that?
SonicSorrow: It’s our NPC voice, only relevant for the early stages when it gives us our objectives and shit. If we tech up right, though, we can summon it to defend our base.
The Shadow: AS THE ACOLYTES OF DARKNESS, YOUR OBJECTIVE IS TO COVER THE LAND IN SHADOW.
The Shadow: OUR WORLD GLOWS FROM WITHIN. YOU WILL NEED THE RESOURCES IN THIS PLACE TO SNUFF OUT THE LIGHT!
Query: We’re the bad guys? Awesome!
The Shadow: RIGHT NOW THIS IS JUST A SHABBY SHRINE, BUT EVENTUALLY YOU MIGHT UPGRADE IT TO A TENEBROUS TEMPLE. BUT LOOK! PRIESTS OF LIGHT HAVE INVADED!
The map that appeared before Sonic was sketched in layers of shadow, with the markers upon it being points of absolute darkness that seemed to suck in at the pitiful light in the room. The building they were in had three floors, and the lower ones were absolutely infested with hostiles. Sonic grinned to herself.
SonicSorrow: Split up?
WhattheHex: I’ll take the guys on this floor. There’s less of ‘em and I wanna take a look at these UPGRADE SLOTS so we can start our tech tree. This seems different from the old MECHANOFORTRESS.
WhatheHex: Plus I need an ECTOPLASM GRINDER as soon as we can get it. This class steals souls.
Query: No fair Jack.
Query: Well you’re basically just playing yourself.
WhattheHex: Oh fuck *off*, Marie.
Merhousemaid: /set channel ‘team’
[Your default chat channel has been set to team chat!]
LanguidLiquid: So Kristen’s doing a dryad mechanist, what else we got?
MechaEnt: I am /not/!
LanguidLiquid: Sure you’re not.
Merhousemaid put a filter on her races search to only show aquatic races, then made a face and filtered out all the amphibians and animal-people. They were fun sometimes but not today – and, well, not toads ever. MERMAID? No, land speed was too slow without some kind of shape-changing or flight, and both of those took forever to come online.
Merhousemaid: Hey, AQUATIC ELF or NYMPH?
MechaEnt: And you were yelling at me for liking a theme?
Merhousemaid: Okay, so what’re you doing?
MechaEnt: It’s a surprise. And do the elf, I did some work on their art.
MechaEnt: Art department works on more than one game, you know. I got assigned to the Gaiden team because they wanted to update the art style. That stream’s been really crazy about it, though, flipping through a ton of my old files, half-finished new ones.
Merhousemaid: When Class 4 finds the joker running that thing they’re gonna be in for a helluva time.