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Saga: Nightmare arc

Prerequisites: Completion of previous missions in arc

Summary:

Psi and Aku explore the local ruins, and Psi quickly learns that the whole place is the crumbled, overgrown remnants of a city he knew back in his own timeline. The level itself is purely ambient exploration, and as such has almost no combat in it. Deeper into the ruins there is a delapidated but still functional blast door that requires a password to access - the password can be found by searching the ruins of nearby buildings for nearby computers that still work, and reading backstory journals from them for information. When the password for the door is entered, the door fails to open but the locks disengage, allowing Psi to lift it into open position telekinetically. Most of the complex inside is not recieving any power, making it dimly lit if not pitch black and leaving many of the doors locked - Aku can restart generators all over the place with his lightning abilities, not only restoring some of the lights but disengaging locks on nearby doors to allow Psi to lift them out of the way. This also activates various security measures in the process - most of which being turrets now functionally useless, but some that can afford to fire off a shot or two if given the chance to track the player. At the end of it all there is a control room which is, remarkably, still functional despite the sorry state of affairs. Apon using it, Psi dives into the computer's databases, only to learn that not only did he betray his own race by helping the now-omnipresent Denuons back in the day, but that he was actually shot by one short of completing the task he was given.

Script:

[For the opening areas of the level, Psi and Aku only speak as the situation requires, as the majority of the level is based around exploration and simple puzzle solving. This typically entails clues to Psi's past and progression deeper into the level, but the mandatory clues for progression come in the form of old computers scattered throughout the area, still functioning:]

Psi: Hey, this thing still works!

Aku: Really? That's strange, everything else here is all broken down. Maybe the humans just have really durable tech?

Psi: Ha! No way! Back in the day you'd be lucky if one of these things didn't RROD in the first few months!

Aku: RRO... what?

Synn: There's something suspicious about all this... but you're probably the only one who still knows how to use this stuff, Psi, so you might as well see if they still have any leads left on them.

[You can then interact with the computer to read a journal stored on it.]

Journal: Third week straight since this curfew started, and there's still no end in sight. What's going on? Nobody even seems to know why. There's rumours of a war going on right now, but with the embargo on our network in place I can't check online to know for sure. I bet the troops in that fancy-ass bunker of theirs have an idea, if not the whole picture.

[The second and third messages will display sequentially, regardless of which order you find the computers in.]

Journal: Everyone seems to think it's aliens now. Aliens! How ridiculous could you get? A few people go missing, a few explosions go off nearby, and nobody seems to think there's a rational explanation for it. Regardless, whatever trouble's happening out there, I don't think it's getting any further away, and it really bothers me that nobody's been allowed to evacuate yet.

Message: Honey, if you're reading this, you need to get out of there as soon as you can. The enemy's getting closer and we probably won't be able to hold the line today. Run straight to the bunker and lock yourself inside with as many people you can gather - if it's already locked, you can unlock it with the code 0451. Just stay safe, and we'll be able to wait it out until help arrives.

[Once the player reaches the bunker]

Synn: Hmm... it's locked. I don't think we'd be able to break it down either.

Psi: There's gotta be something important behind there. Hey, is that a keypad?

[If the player hasn't found the code yet]

Aku: That it is. But we don't know the combination for it.

Psi: Well, shoot. Looks like we'll have to go back into the ruins and hope we find something.

[Otherwise...]

Aku: Yup. What was that code we found earlier, again?

Psi: 0...4...5...1. There!

[The blast door starts opening, but breaks down and gets stuck in place partway through. Psi kicks it in frustration]

Psi: Agh, piece of crap! Open up!

Aku: Hey! Calm down. Look, we disengaged the locks, didn't we? Maybe you can just lift it the rest of the way yourself?

[The player can do so by way of Psi's telekinesis, and the door will lock in place again once lifted all the way open. The areas inside are mostly powered down bar the occasional emergency lighting which loosely guides the player through the complex, prompting the player to rely on Psi's telekinesis to light the area much like it did back in Afraid of the Dark?. Eventually the player will come across a broken down generator.]

Aku: What's this thing?

Psi: That's an old generator by the looks of things. Probably powers a lot of things if all the cords coming out of it is any indication.

Aku: Generator, huh? Sounds like it could use a spark. I can fix that.

[Aku can power up generators by repeatedly attacking them with electrical attacks until they retain their charge. The camera pans over to reveal a blast door that the power unlocked, and they cycle continues throughout the complex - searching for generators in powered-down sectors and progressing through the doors they unlock. Along the way, several turrets are powered back up, but most of them barely even function and will only fire a shot if you stand in their way for an extended period of time. The only exception is a lone turret guarding the final blast door, which can track remarkably well and fire rapidly. Once the player defeats it and proceeds through the door, Psi and Aku end up in a large computer room, almost perfectly preserved unlike the rest of the ruins.]

Aku: Woah... this is incredible. I've never seen such an old place in such good shape!

[Psi's gaze darts around frantically, before he spots a keyboard. He immediately runs over to it and hammers on the keys wildly.]

Psi: Whereisit whereisit whereisit c'monc'monc'monc'mon I know it's here somewhere

Synn: Where's what? What's "it"?

Psi: I don't know, okay!? But I know it's here somewhere!

Synn: What are you even talking about? That doesn't make sense!

Aku: Psi, look, you've been really agitated ever since we got in here. I think you need to calm down.

[Psi completely ignores Aku and continues typing.]

Aku: Psi--!

Psi: There!

[Psi presses one last key, and a report appears on the main screen. The face of Jean Eric appears as the highlight of the article.]

Synn: What... is that your face?

Psi: This thing says I was tracking those gems down, stealing them from the humans... and giving them to these people. Well, Artemis certaintly wasn't lying about that.

Aku: Is that what you were looking for, Psi?

Psi: No. I wanted to find out what happened after... after...!

[Psi gets frantic again and taps on the keys repeatedly, causing the screen to scroll downwards at a rapid pace. A subtle, almost mechanical echo slowly increases in the background, and the screen begins to adopt a mild red tint over time.]

Aku: Something's wrong with you, Psi. You should stop looking through this before--

Psi: LEAVE ME ALONE!

[The echo and red tint briefely reach a climax as Psi shouts out. They both fade, but not completely, and Aku starts to look increasingly nervous himself. Various fragments from the report are briefely captured and highlighted in extreme close-ups, including "traitor to humankind", "wiped out strike forces singlehanded", "stole critical war resources" and "in exchange for promises of ceasefire".]

Synn: He's right. You're going to find something you're not going to like, and in this state you might never be the same again!

Psi: I don't care! I don't care if the knowledge drives me to insanity! I don't care if it causes me to reject everything I once loved! I don't care if it damns me to a hell beyond any description! I HAVE TO --

[Psi freezes with a shocked look on his face. All sound is muted, with the exception of his final key presses echoing throughout the room. The camera again focuses on the computer screen, and slowly zooms out until the words "killed in action" are completely visible.]

Psi: ...oh god.

[The camera zooms out further and pans a little to the right, still slowly. The words "by enemy forces" are revealed immeditately afterwards. In the process, a transparent image is overlayed onto the screen depicting Jean being shot by a Denuon as he offers the purple Gem of Chaos. As the camera cuts back to Psi, and the echo returns with a renewed ferocity as he destroys the terminal with a TK Pulse in a fit of madness and rage. The red tint becomes so strong that it blacks the entire screen out, obscuring the resulting destruction and ending the stage abruptly.]

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