Saga: Prologue Arc
Prerequisites: Previous missions in Arc
Summary: Synn guides Psi through the town from what he remembers of it, introducing most of the core concepts of travelling and important facilities you can expect to find in most major cities. Some of the places showcased include Metal Coat's shop (during which Psi accidentally offends him, causing him to be removed from the shop and jacking all of the prices for Psi alone up to unreasonable levels for most future visits), the infirmary (mostly because of the injuries sustained when MC removed them by force), and the local dojo (mostly because Psi doesn't know how to fight well, least of all with his new body - the player is taught the more advanced areas of combat here). After the player has seen all of his tasks through, they bump into Artemis, who speaks as if he knows them but claims ignorance when he realizes Psi doesn't recognise him.
[Following on from the previous mission, Courage and Psi finally arrive on the outskirts of South City. Presented before them is a busy metropolis populated by all manner of furries, and the central prison complex lit by the setting sun. Courage guides Psi to her flat, while Psi stares awestruck at the strange town and its citizens around him, only mildly paying attention to Courage's idle banter.]
Courage: ...hey. HEY!
Courage: Man, you're really not from around here, are you?
Psi: Well... um, yeah, I guess you could say that.
Courage: Ha. The newcomers are always like this. Sure, it looks beautiful at first, 'specially around this time o' day. But you'd probably come to hate it if you stayed around too long.
Psi: Why's that?
Synn: Because it's a crime-infested craphole.
Courage: ...yeah, pretty much that. Anyway, here's the place. Wish I could stick around, but there's places I've gotta be... like, really fast. Ciao!
[Courage abruptly parkours up to the rooftops and out of sight. The player is given a choice of two different dialogue options.]
>Psi: Wow. Wish I could do that.
Synn: Even I never could, but I don't exactly need to. We'll probably find time to cover that tomorrow.
>Psi: Funny, she didn't seem to be in any hurry until just now.
Synn: You noticed that too? At least you're not as dense as you are weak.
Synn: Anyway, let's head inside. It looks like we have a lot to discuss. [The game cuts to a scene of Psi lying down on the bed inside. Obviously, he's much too small for it. As Psi relaxes and closes his eyes, the world around him changes into the Mental Realm - a multicolured representation of Synn's own thoughts and dreams. Synn himself is actually seperate from Psi for a change, standing a short distance away with his back turned. The camera focuses exclusively on him.]
Psi: Woah! What just happened?
Synn: Oh, damn it. I was hoping you couldn't come here. Basically, you're in my mind, kid. It's kind of my own private space for practicing and meditating and whatnot. The good thing about it is that at least we'll be able to talk about sensitive stuff without anyone ever catching on this way. The better thing is that I'm represented exactly how I know I look - the same should apply to you... which means I can now see your true form!
[Synn turns to face Psi as he blurts the last exclamation, and the camera zooms out as he does so, catching Psi's now-human waist on the other side of the shot. Synn's confrontational expression quickly turns to confusion as he gazes apon what Psi used to be, and as he gradually looks upward towards Psi's face, the camera follows, gradually panning upwards until both Psi's head and Synn's body are both in frame. Psi takes a moment to look over his old body again, at least how he remembers it.]
Synn: And you're supposed to be... what, exactly?
Psi: Don't tell me you've never heard of an ordinary human being before?
Synn: The hell is a "human"?
Psi: Good god... am I even on the same planet anymore?
Synn: Hate to say it, but it's really starting to look that way. I'm not gonna lie, it's bad enough that you act like you've been living under some sort of rock, but frankly, you don't even look like anything I've ever seen before. At least it explains why you can't fight all that well - obviously you're used to a body much bigger and bulkier than mine.
[Psi falls to his knees as Synn talks on, fighting to hold back dumbstruck tears.]
Synn: Oh for the love of... look, if you start acting like that, then you're only going to hold us back later on. And considering we're stuck with each other in quite possibly the most literal sense of the word, holding each other back is the last thing you want to do. Now get a bloody grip and it might help us decide where to go next.
Synn: Now then. Where are you from?
Psi: I... can't remember specifically. From Earth?
Synn: Earth... hmm... nope. That doesn't ring a bell. Alright then... what's the last thing you remember doing before this all happened.
Psi: It's all really blurry to me. I just remember uncovering that same purple gem we have right now. I'm sure there's more to it than that, but... agh. I don't know where to start thinking.
Synn: Well, that's a start. At least now we know that whatever's happened, it's connected to this gem in some way. That could mean a lot of things, but I'd rather find out what exactly it does before jumping to conclusions.
[Cut to morning the next day as Psi wakes in Courage's flat. After the player leaves, Synn helps guide Psi around the city environment, showing off the most important facilities therein. The game displays a pathway towards the closest building of note, though they can be visited in any order the player chooses.]
Synn: Well before we continue investigating what happened to me-- er, us, we'd better get you familiar with your surroundings first. Once you know how to get by, things should start getting a lot smoother, if only because I don't have to drag your clueless ass around the place myself.
Psi: Are you always this condescending?
Synn: Probably. But you can't say I'm wrong now, can you? Unless you want to lead the way.
Synn: Thought so. Move along.
[Apon arriving at Metal Coat's shop]
Synn: This here is a general store. Most of them sell the same basic set of items all the time, like healing options or whatnot, but each one also specializes in a specific type of item nobody else has.
Psi: What does this one specialize in?
Synn: I can't remember. Let's go in and ask.
[Inside the shop is all manner of of gadgets and robotic clutter decorating the walls and various shelves. MC is virtually indistinguishable from the rest of them until the player approaches, at which point his eyes light up.]
Psi: What the... is that a working robot? That's so cool!
MC: I am not a robot. That would imply not having a free will of my own, or a functional organic brain for that matter. Of course, if you had any knowledge in the field--
Psi: Wow, this thing can talk! Can you do any other tricks, little guy?
Synn: Psi, that's the--
MC: ...did you come here to make a purchase, or to mock the size and functionality of my shell? Because I can assure you that you are in no position to talk that way about my height.
Psi: That's awesome! The shopkeeper has his own robot assistant to help out the customers! Boy, I wish I had one of these things.
Synn: Maybe you should--
MC: You are either absurdly dense, or incredibly stupid. Either way, you are no longer welcome here. Get out.
[Metal Coat actively attacks Psi, causing a brief fight scene that results in the player being violently ejected back out the front entrance. The door slams shut and locks behind them.]
Synn: What the hell, Psi? That was the shop owner, you idiot!
>Psi: Don't be ridiculous. Machines can't run shops.
Synn: I have half a mind just to punch myself right now if it means hurting you too.
>Psi: What? Why didn't you say so?
Synn: Do you think I wasn't trying!? It's not as if I can just cut you off - you know, only having one set of vocal chords and all.
Synn: In any case, you've gotten us a beating and kicked us out of quite possibly the only reliable shop in the city. Great going, genius. Now go get us patched up.
[Apon arriving at the Infirmary]
Synn: This here is basically a hospital. If you take a beating and you're too stingy to patch yourself up, you can take a trip here and let them do it for you, free of charge.
[If MC has already been visited]
Synn: Which is pretty convenient, considering you already got our asses kicked with that little stunt back there. I get the feeling we're going to be visiting this place a lot before this is all over.
Psi: Look, I'm sorry, all right? I've never seen a damn robot before.
Synn: Just go inside and get this over with. By the way, he's not a robot.
Psi: ...shut up.
Psi: "If I'm too stingy"? What's that supposed to mean?
Synn: Well, if you've got the rings, you can buy healing items to take with you wherever you go, so you won't have to find a city whenever you get hurt.
Psi: With... rings?
Synn: This is going to be a loooooooong day.
[Apon arriving at the Dojo]
Synn: Here's the Dojo. Here you can brush up on your fighting skills with others who do it professionally.
Psi: Professionally? Won't that mean they'll just beat me even worse than everyone else?
Synn: Relax, they'll go easier on you if they need to. Just need you to find your legs is all. Go ahead, go inside and have a bout or two. We've got time.
[Apon arriving at the Library]
Psi: Hey, is that... a library? Maybe we can find out what happened to us there!
Synn: Woah, slow down, hotshot. I think we should prioritize teaching you how to not die over learning about that for now. I don't like the idea of being stuck to you either, but as long as you're here you might as well make yourself useful.
[Psi sighes frustratedly and continues on.]
[Throughout the mission, Akumaryu loosely stalks the player throughout the city, hidden under a thick, cheap-looking jacket and hood. He retreats if approached, extremely quickly if the player actively pursues him, but should the player manage to corner him and engage in conversation...]
Synn: Nowhere to run now, big guy!
Aku: ...I don't want any trouble.
Psi: What were you doing back there? Why are you following me around?
Aku: You looked kinda funny. I...wanted to see if you weren't looking to cause trouble.
>Psi: Looked "funny"? Is that a crack about my height!?
Aku: What? No! You just seemed a bit suspicious is all.
>Synn: Cause trouble? A guy like me? What even gives you the trouble we're capable?
Aku: With all due respect, I'm not that stupid. Your size does not somehow negate the telekinesis you clearly used to get this far, and it's pretty obvious some kind of multiple personality disorder is making you a bit unstable. Hell, you just now referred to yourself as two people.
[Psi and Synn remain awkwardly silent for a few moments.]
Synn: ...get out of here. Don't let me catch you following us again, or trouble just might find you.
[Aku nods respectfully and walks away, out of sight.]
Psi: Why'd you let him go? He seemed a lot more suspicious than us if you ask me.
Synn: Maybe, but we don't have any dirt on him and he almost certaintly has some on us. We wouldn't be able to pin him for it unless we had something to show for it.
Psi: So if we find out what he's up to, we should find him and confront him about it?
Synn: Certaintly. But for now we should get back to what we were doing. [The game explains Topics and their uses as a persuasion mechanic. A topic on Akumaryu himself is added to the player's Topic list as a case in point, to be expanded on later.]
[After visiting all the mandatory locations]
Synn: Well, that's about everything.
Psi: That seemed like a lot to take in.
Synn: Don't sweat it, we'll have plenty of time to get used to it. Let's head back to the flat for now, and we can get going for real tomorrow.
[Artemis casually strolls past as the two are talking, then glances back in surprise as he recognises Synn. He butts in as soon as their dialogue finishes.]
Artemis: There you are! Where the hell have you been!? You haven't reported in for days!
Psi: What? Who the heck are you?
Artemis: I... oh. Ooooooh. My mistake. You happen to look almost exactly like a colleague of mine. You can't be him though. Your eyes are blue, and your voice is a lot different. I'll... just be on my way now.
[Artemis walks off, and the two exchange puzzled looks... at least as much as they can with only one body.]
Synn: That's not right. My eyes are supposed to be red.
[A Topic on Artemis is added, and the Topics themselves are explained if they haven't been already. The player is guided back to Courage's flat afterwards, though allowed to wander the areas of the city they haven't visited yet if they want to. Once they arrive, the two stare at themselves in the mirror, displaying their discovery that their eye colour changes depending on who's taking charge of the body at the time. After that, they get into bed as normal, ending the mission.]