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File 140450831240.png - (25.23KB , 800x1000 , SZ8-1.png )
582828 No. 582828 ID: d470e9

Scanner comes back, after Alison finishes sending Chief off to get some rest. She hands Alison a map of Safe Zone 8.

>"Hey Alison. I talked to Shopkeeper."
Expand all images
No. 582829 ID: d470e9
File 140450832274.png - (12.29KB , 1000x692 , SZ8-2.png )

>"There's two hundred of us in four brackets, and 1/4 of us will move on to the next. The other brackets didn't have as many allies, but the corruptor did have a bunch of Devotees, which of course resurrected the big guys. Swordsbane, Obliterator, and much of their team is around, as are a whole bunch of devotees even from foreign brackets. Oh, and I passed Mathematician on the way over here, and he asked me to hand this to you also."
No. 582830 ID: d470e9
File 140450834432.png - (27.41KB , 2444x804 , SZ8-3.png )

Scanner passes Alison a laptop on it.

>"The computers here seem mostly blank besides some pretty generic games and software. He did generate this image. It doesn't have critical information or anything like that, he just wanted to visually represent the diminished numbers over time. Each pixel represents five million contestants in the first section, then one thousand contestants for stage 4 and beyond. With the exception of stage 7, it doesn't factor in stage overflow. He also said Stage 7 and 8 are approximate."
No. 582831 ID: d470e9
File 140450837622.png - (58.55KB , 800x800 , SZ8-4.png )

Glitcher, in the meanwhile, has taken turns studying everyone's threads. He said, long ago, that the future might be deterministic, it would just take ages to figure out where it would be going. In actuality, it isn't truly deterministic. It can be predicted, and if done so by an outside force that doesn't intervene, it would come true. In other words, if Glitcher shares his findings, just knowing that could change the outcome.

Unfortunately, to determine the future, he would need access to all relevant threads involving all elements that would influence what might happen. He didn't have much in stage 7, but he did have time, and now that he has access to more, he doesn't have time. He plans on taking various strands from Sevener, Radmin, Alison and Smuggler to look at, and will also want to see Devotees and, ideally, Swordsbane and Obliterator.

For the time, he has finished looking at Rulekeeper's threads, and is currently examining Radmin. Alison noted that Rulekeeper, this stage, looked and acted differently. Glitcher says that the Shopkeep Baron form was a starting point, but the personality and look will be changing for each stage and each safe zone. From what he has found out so far, stage 8 Rulekeeper personality will be encouraging everyone to do their best, while Stage 9 rulekeep will not care in the slightest for the contestant's plight. So far, that is predetermined, and was easy enough to figure out in advance.

Iso is in charge of passing on Glitcher's messages to Alison while she's busy with trying to coordinate everyone.

>"Ah..." Iso starts saying, after coming back. "He says he can tell quite a bit from Radmin's threads, but wants to know more before he writes a report on his findings, since he says a lot of information can be misleading. He wants to know if he should keep worrying about that, or if he should, uh, try to examine the rules in advance for stage 8, although he says the rulekeeper might not like that. The rulekeeper won't tell us what Stage 8 is about."

There are also other concerns Alison has, such as attempting to speak with Swordsbane and Obliterator, trying to get the independant brackets on her side, or other matters.
No. 582837 ID: 50338d

Shouldn't we try to speak with Bones? We did save his life. That might be an in for us with Corruptor if he's still sane, or still cares about that deal. And even if Corruptor's not willing to deal, Bones might be able to provide some information and insight into what's been going on on the other side.

Geeze. So there are only 3 stars in the sky now. Pretty depressing.
No. 582844 ID: 9b57d3

If we get an advantage on stage 8, Rulekeeper will penalize us. So that'd be a wash. Don't worry about the stages. We need to examine the system as a whole, and find the backups. Find the way out, the way to save everyone.

Have we found everyone that was resurrected, yet? Also, has anyone explored to see if there are any more easter eggs?
No. 582848 ID: dc4b80

We have heard that stage 8 might be a full on free roam with real physics. So be prepared for actual combat and blood and such. No idea if that is true though. Unless Glitcher can find out the solutions to the puzzles beforehand its probably not worth the possible backlash from Rulekeeper. Most of our team has a decent amount of experience with everything we could get our hands on so will be able to think on our feet.

We need to keep on learning everything we can and trying to get Corruptor and Savior on our side. Until we learn otherwise using there powers together is still our best bet.

If they are reprogramming Rulekeeper from behind the scenes we probably can not get him on our side like we did Shopkeep. Still worth a try but odds are against us.

So have Glitcher work on getting as many threads as possible for his research. If he finds anything about stage 8 he should keep it to himself unless he can get it to us secretly.

Alison should see if she can talk to Bones and try to learn more from the other leaders. We have all sorts of info to bargain with that they might want.
No. 582853 ID: 04b86a

Looking at the Stage 8 rules will just make Rulekeep mad, so let's not do that. We have a lot of other things that we need to get done anyway. In no particular order we need to:

1)Investigate/Take over the Upper Echelon.
-Maybe ask Glitcher what a take-over would even give us. King's logs imply it does something, but don't actually say what.
2)Get Savior's/Corruptor's threads
3)Find a way to stop the reboot
-Corruptor said corrupting the Savior could permanently destroy him. Could he and Glitcher just break some critical function?
4)Investigate the Ghost
-We might be able to get a Corruptor/Savior/Alison truce for this, if only for this safe zone. The Savior, at least, should be easy to convince, since we'll be investigating a dangerous anomaly.
5)Get more logs
-Corruptor seems to have a way of getting them that doesn't require keycards. If Glitcher or Savior can do something similar, then we can get Swordsbane's logs through Emerald, which might help us deal with the Corruptor.
6)Gain allies from independent groups
-Swordsbane and Obliterator should have got a lot of people through, and with Devotees and their resurrections coming from other brackets, we'll need all the help we can get.
7)Alison apparently stopped hugging eight cycles ago. Ask Glitcher what happened.
8)Convince the Corruptor that condemning the contestants of all future cycles to running the stages as they were meant to be run by destroying him and Savior is a horrible idea.
-We probably shouldn't actually bring this up unless Corruptor broaches the subject.
9)Find out what's up with Sevener's second #1901 log.
-Corruptor might have let her bypass the one log per cycle rule, but it's still worth investigating.

And where did that map come from? Is the system actually handing out maps that refer to specific factions?
No. 582866 ID: d8a627

>7)Alison apparently stopped hugging eight cycles ago. Ask Glitcher what happened.
To be fair, Chief has been hugging in her stead.
>And where did that map come from? Is the system actually handing out maps that refer to specific factions?
Keep in mind, it was Scanner who brought the map... She probably checked things out and filled in the blanks.
No. 582871 ID: d470e9
File 140453825234.png - (209.13KB , 800x800 , SZ8-5.png )

Alison passes the message back to Glitcher, to not try to find out anything about stage 8 and simply study individuals more. She also sends him a request to focus on a few things in particular.

What he can tell about the Upper Echelon, if anything.
If corrupting the savior could break a function that reset cycles.
Why Alison stopped hugging 8 cycles ago.

>And where did that map come from?
Shopkeep was handing it out for free. Safe Zones sometimes have small brochures with a map, and the number of contestants and exits.

With the note to glitcher sent, Alison sends out more of her allies to attempt to sway independent groups and factions to her side, as she is now outnumbered by Corruptor's forces.

Bones is on her safe zone branch, and she goes to meet him.

"Hello, Bones."
"How are you feeling?"
>"Cheated out of any chance of winning stage 7, but I suppose nothing is ever fair. Why did you have me resurrected?"
"Corruptor asked me to."
>"I know that. Corruptor also said you are the enemy."
"I don't know why, and I want to talk to him. I'm hoping to change his mind."
>"If he doesn't, I'm still loyal to him. Resurrecting me would be a mistake."
"Is there any way you can summon the corruptor to talk?"
>"No. He might come to me anyway, or to Swordsbane or Obliterator, but we have no method of summoning. I overheard glitcher has a radio that can talk to ghosts. I suggest if you want to talk to corruptor, you have him create one that can talk to the living."
No. 582874 ID: dc4b80

Talk to him for a bit and see what he is like. We never got the opportunity to do so before because he was unwilling to try. Maybe a few hundred years might have worn down his sharp edges a bit.

I know we are not going to get him to see things our way quickly or maybe ever. But if we can get him to understand the futility of fighting each other we might get some help.

Regardless if he is a ally or enemy he is one of the few leaders that make it this far regularly. So if he is at all open to talking we should give him the basics of what we have learned. Nothing to in depth but enough to make him be interested in working with us to learn more. Just be careful with what you tell him and do not let anything slip that you do not want everyone knowing.

The fact that his style of leadership is so completely different than ours is why we might need him. He got this far with thousands of very loyal followers for a reason. Would be nice to have a adviser like him to help us see things in a different light. Not going to trust him at all for a long time but you do not have to trust someone to be able to get them to help you.
No. 582875 ID: bb78f2

Bones, do you know why Corrupter would want to be enemies with us this cycle? Surely you've read that really important memo that got spread around right? We've had no desire to fight him in the past, merely escape any potential attacks against us, which initially was caused by paranoia from a vague note, but now it seems completely irrational. Retaliation and counter attacks have never been a part of our strategy, simply get the fuck out of dodge when dodge comes right for us has. So, terminating us is quite pointless at this point. Attacks aren't a proper detterent like with regular adversaries, if he still feels we're adversaries for some reason.

We're all trying to get out of her alive. There shouldn't be such a thing as an enemy at this point. We all know what regular progression will lead to, so it's not an excuse to be dog-eat-dog anymore. Merging with the CAI is pointless. Fighting the CAI is pointless.

The fuck is up? Why aren't we all cooperating already? It's the only way to survive. Killing and fighting is seriously just hindering our problem solving skills, it is a distraction to the real and important the problem. The fucking loop. WHY ARE WE FIGHTING! So much of that has been done in the past cycles. Let's not contribute to the definition of insanity and try something new for goddamn ONCE.
No. 582876 ID: 9ddf68

It's weird looking at the sky now, their are so few stars left. It's almost like they're a timer counting down how much time we have left until the end. In a way I guess they are.

But on to actually important things. Does Bones have any idea why the corruptor is gunning for Alison? I mean we have our theories but if we can get an actual answer to why corruptor is trying to take us down we'd know exactly what to focus on to try and convince him to work together with Alison.
No. 582882 ID: f3f39e

Try and keep the conversation with Bones brief and businesslike if possible. He has a blatant distaste for us and if he wants to be left alone, we should give him that right.

After we wrap that up I think we should check out the independent brackets, see what's up there. Swordsbane and Obliterator probably want nothing to do with us.

We need to keep in mind the brackets for the stages, too. We might not be able to keep everyone along for the ride, depending on how things go.

Lastly, we need to think about stage 9. "PLEASE STOP STAGE 9" isn't good news, and neither is the fact that the Rulekeeper won't care during it. Something's amiss, and I think it's worth looking into, especially if we get around to talking to the Corrupter again.
No. 582883 ID: 50338d

...do you still want to see me put in my place? I understand loyalty is something that's very important to you, and that you took my 'betrayal' personally. I was hoping you might see that my situation wasn't so cut and dry, now. Corruptor turned on me based on the contents of his note, and didn't leave me with much choice. And then after we contacted him again and seemed to work past that, he seems to have betrayed us again and sabotaged the CAI-fight, trying to trap me inside.

Did he tell you why he considers me an enemy? Can I ask you when you last saw him, and how he seemed? I'm... not asking you to betray him, but I worry about him.

>phone that could talk to the living
That would be useful, if we had one, admittedly.

>other stuff
Should find and hug shopkeep, after what he went though in 7-5. (And see what's for sale this time around). Glitcher might need hugs you couldn't give him through the phone, but those can wait till you see him next, since he's busy.

Alison should also probably meet the rulekeep at some time, due to the role he's going to be playing.
No. 582895 ID: dc4b80


If Rulekeeper is programmed to not care during stage 9 and we have a note about it being horrible then it probably is really bad. Could be something involving having to betray your comrades to move forward or some even nastier mental test.

Maybe while Glitcher is looking at threads he could try and see if its possible to stop the system from overwriting Rulekeepers personality between stages. Twist his threads around so the update never goes through. Then we would have a sympathetic judge for that stage instead of a impartial one. If it really is that horrible it might push him over the edge towards helping us.
No. 582901 ID: ed38b0

You know I never betrayed Corruptor right? I am still just as loyal to his cause as you are. The only thing I did was not let him murder me after he got a suspicious note. What would you have done in my situation?

I did not betray him then and I dont plan on doing it in the future.
No. 582902 ID: d470e9
File 140458295432.png - (208.03KB , 800x800 , SZ8-6.png )

"That would be useful, but I don't know if we have the time for that anymore. Mostly what I want to know, is why do we fight? I understand your loyalty, so you may only be fighting me because the corruptor wishes to fight me. But please look at the sky. It's already nearly empty, and there's 4 more stages to go like this. If there's any chance at all that we can have an escape from all of this, it's going to go away if all of us still fight each other. I don't believe corruptor wants the cycles to continue. Please, tell me why the corruptor decided to turn on me?"
>"He came to a conclusion, and would not say what. He didn't need to make me understand, and I'm not the one you have to convince that fighting seems counterproductive. I do not like you, but that is not why I would kill you given the chance. He is a special contestant, above myself and above you. I will take my chances with him."
"I understand, then. Maybe you can't tell me why he decided to turn on me, but how was he acting?"
>"Confident. I can honestly say that his presence was given to him by his capabilities, not his personality. He did not say 'we must do this action', he says 'doing this action will give us the greatest chance based on limited information available to us, but I can't promise it's the right choice.' For your fate, however, he was confident."
"Okay. It's a little bit strange hearing that, since when he forced me to lose the CAI fight, he seemed very apologetic about it. I never did try to betray him, but he attempted to murder me based on a note. What would you have done?"
>"I would have died. I don't believe corruptor ever wanted to kill you, but felt it necessary. Again, I do not know this."
"Alright. Thank you for talking to me, Bones. You're welcome to stay or to leave this island, I wouldn't stop you even if I could."
No. 582903 ID: d470e9
File 140458296191.png - (137.24KB , 800x800 , SZ8-7.png )

Alison moves away from Bones and her island to check on some of the independant brackets. She sees Shopkeep in the central plaza as well.

>Hug Shopkeep
No. 582904 ID: d470e9
File 140458296950.png - (199.51KB , 800x800 , SZ8-8.png )

>"Hello!" Arbiter says, intercepting her just before she crosses a bridge into the independent zones.
"Hello Arbiter. How are things going?"
>"We're still conducting talks, but I think we've got numbers. There were 7 devotees that survived across the two independent brackets, and they've all resurrected 21 council members. That leaves 52 regular independents. The problem we're having is that corruptor's devotees have been trying to get them on their side throughout stage 7. There's some confusion on their part as to why both of us are aggressively trying to get them on our factions that are fighting each other, when both of us keep saying our end goal is to save everyone."
"There's confusion on my part about that, too. Are we letting them know that we would like to work with the corruptor?"
>"Definitely. That fact is giving us an edge. I think it would also help if you show up. The collector has been talked about like some kind of deity, but most of the contestants sound like they want something more... realistic."
"I was on my way there, actually."
>"Hold on." someone speaks, coming out from another island.
No. 582905 ID: d470e9
File 140458298323.png - (185.01KB , 800x800 , SZ8-9.png )

>"Yes, it's been awhile, Alison, at least for me. Have you heard from corruptor?"
"Not since safe zone 7."
>"Hm. He might be dealing with things on his own end. The rulekeeper has said he won't allow any more devotees to be constructed."
"Are you going to fight me as well?"
>"Ha. That's a little pointless, don't you think?"
"That's what I hope everyone will think. Are you going against corruptor's wishes, then?"
>"Yes, at least until he explains himself. I'll tell you one thing you already know, he was always open and honest with us. Autonomy and everything, right up till the end of the safe zone. In any case, that only leaves 24 people loyal to me. The rest are devotees and stubborn contestants I've never seen before."
No. 582906 ID: bb78f2

Hmm, ask Swordsbane if this sudden personality change and antagonistic behavior might actually be programmed into him to appear in the late-game for the CAI experiment. He was put in here after all as an experiment, and if he doesn't act to certain perimeters at certain times, might make the experiment defunct, because we still haven't understood the experiment's purpose.

Also establishing a collection of the real people's notes that were put into the game might also fetch a solution. Ask Swordsbane if anyone prominent been collecting them besides us?
And how having a duplicate from the belosian sim feels too, I guess.
No. 582907 ID: 50338d

Tell Swordsbane if he wants to cooperate with us, we're glad to have him.

Tell him Bones is alive, though still loyal to Corruptor, if he wants to talk to him. Ask him if he has any idea what Obliterater's take is, as we haven't spoken to him much.

Does he have logs he's willing to share? We're willing to share ours.

We may also want to introduce him to Emerald, seeing as how they're supposed to be the same person. (Sans memory wipe and picking a different name and body).

>The rulekeeper has said he won't allow any more devotees to be constructed
Honestly, I'd be interested to see if he can stop that. There have been cycles where Savior couldn't prevent himself from being corrupted, against his will. I'm dubious as to how well Rulekeep can protect himself.

>what else do
Arranging a meeting with the council might be a good idea. And we might want to try talking to one of the devotees, directly. It's possibly Corruptor left a message with them, or he can communicate through them.
No. 582908 ID: dc4b80

Well we would love your help in getting Corruptor to explain things. If he has solid evidence for what he is doing I am willing to listen to it. While I like Corruptor and want to work with him I can't blindly follow his lead.

Lets head over to the independents and give a speech. Tell them what your goal is and that you have found quite a bit of info about how the simulation is run. Go over the highlights of your adventures and that you have a lead on how to possibly save us and the admin brackets. Make sure to mention that the admins are stuck in a game just as nasty as ours.

If they ask about your faction and Corruptors fighting just tell the truth. That you used to be one big happy family but everyone started getting mysterious notes out of nowhere and it caused a rift between you. You have been trying to fix things but it takes time and being in separate brackets did not help.
No. 582911 ID: d8a627

Does this mean you're going to team up with Swordsbane? Represent your "Team" as "Swords and Snakes"? That would be kinda cool, actually.
>Lets head over to the independents and give a speech.
If he agrees to it, bring Swordsbane with. The whole reason the independents are leaning towards siding with Alison is that she doesn't want to fight. Having "The enemy" right there with can help convert them more easily--to either of the two teams.
No. 582913 ID: 9ddf68

so quick question then, how bad has this reset the admins threw at us screwed everything up on the corrupter's side of things? From what we learned it is the first time something like this has ever happened so maybe we're doing something right this time around. And dipping a little into politics what do the other houses think of Alison? Are they only after her because the Corrupter told them to or is it a little more personal then that. If I recall correctly Alison was one of the less popular houses back in our time in the corrupted sanctuary.

Other then that let's go see what the independents are like, and maybe we can get a better idea on why the corrupter is out to get us from one of his devotees if they really are still connected to the Corrupter.
No. 582926 ID: cae5f0

Perhaps, Alisons death is not the goal. Instead Corruptor wants to get rid of as many of his people as possible. I don't know why, but it's a possibility.
No. 582996 ID: d470e9
File 140461477164.png - (246.02KB , 800x800 , SZ8-10.png )

"I have a couple more questions. Is there any chance there is some force that changes the personality of the corruptor?"
>"Of course there's a chance, but there's no evidence of that aside from the change itself."
"And do you know of anyone that has been collecting notes other than myself?"
>"Just corruptor. I'm sure I've crossed paths with other people who have tried, but they weren't successful. Do you know what happened to Bones?"
"Oh, yes, he's on my island if you'd like to see him. How is obliterator? Do you think he would cooperate with me?"
>"Not even a chance. I've heard of Mongrel from your party a long time ago, his description matches obliterator. Stubborn and full of fight, but unlike your ghost, this one made a flag to put people under. And the collective, specifically the leaders called the council, may have mixed feelings. They're a democracy, and to date they've always respected the majority decision, but there's no telling how long that may last. The current decision is to stick with the corruptor through thick and thin, but from what I gleaned from the collectives in this bracket, that has some cracks."
"Thank you. Say, if you haven't heard, you apparently used to be part of the belenosian simulation."
>"The what?"
"Ah... I'll tell you the story in a little while, if you like. Oh, would you care to exchange logs?"
>"Mine was a waste. It appears that I've been putting many of my logs under the Warlock for some reason. All the eggs are in that dropped basket."
"How badly did the admin purge hamper corruptor?"
>"It was a setback, but it seems like the corruptor still has the power to reach across brackets. I don't know the details yet."
"Alright, that's it from me, until we speak again later. I'll tell you more things I know, but I have a lot to do. If you see the corruptor, please let him know I would like to talk to him."
>"Will do."
"Thank you."
No. 582997 ID: d470e9
File 140461477647.png - (21.76KB , 800x800 , SZ8-11.png )

Alison makes a trip to the independent brackets. She gathers everyone that is willing to listen, and shares all the information she feels comfortable sharing with newcomers. She mostly focuses on what her faction, and how she is going to go about doing it as best as she can.

It soon turns into a few devotees trying to denounce her efforts as misguided, but they completely ignore her when she asks to elaborate, or try to communicate with them whatsoever.
No. 582998 ID: d470e9
File 140461478556.png - (186.22KB , 800x800 , SZ8-12.png )

Some of the collectives, however, are willing to see Alison.

They all appear to have badges that would imply rank, and the one with the most stripes comes to greet her.

>"What would you like assistance with?" His words are polite, but his tone is flat as though he is doing so out of a duty he'd rather not have.
No. 583000 ID: 9b57d3

I disagree with trying to sway the Collective. Like Swordsbane said, they could just sway back and backstab us. Instead, why don't we just try to get information about the stages from them? How do they function in the stages anyway? It's not like all their board members are able to be in the same Area all the time.
No. 583019 ID: dc4b80

We might not be able to sway them but should at least let them know whats going on between us and Corruptor. That we still want to work with him but he is currently acting somewhat confusing and contradictory. The more we can shake up Corruptor's power base and make them all realize that he is being unreasonable right now the better.

Finding out what information he might have got that is confusing him so much would be wonderful. Whatever it is must be big to trump all the other info we have found.

Just wild speculation but must be something to do with Alison's nature. Say in stage 9 she always has to make a choice between murdering Iso or killing Bones and Corruptor has rock solid evidence we need to keep Bones alive. He knows that even if Alison could do something like that it would hurt her immensely. So he tries to get rid of us through proxies because he is afraid to tell us and would rather have Alison get stuck in the Belonosian sim rather than see her hurt.

Something like that might explain his conflicted nature about this and why he is avoiding us. Something is coming that he does not think we have the strength to face. But if we learn about it early enough we might be able to find a way around it.
No. 583026 ID: 50338d

So... we can't dialog with them, which is bad, but when pushed, they can't (or won't) defend their positions or explain themselves. That gives us a leg up in trying to win over undecideds, I suppose.

>they could just sway back and backstab us
That's equally true of basically everyone we've ever reached out to. That hasn't stopped us from offering a hand to as many people as possible. Even some of those who have back-stabbed us.

>What would you like assistance with?
Sounds kind of one sided, when you put it like that. I'm looking for a dialogue, to see if any exchange of information or cooperation is possible between our groups. Or at least to know where we stand, if that's not possible.

My goal is still to try and find a way to break the cycles and get as many people possible out of this, and I think we have better odds if more people work together instead of dividing up to play the game. (If they argue that staying alive or winning the stages is worth something- it's not. Only three people make it to the end, and then everything resets, starts over again).

>other things to do
Hug various people you haven't seen for a while as you come across them.

See how Polatt is adjusting to our side of the sim, since you haven't seen him since the CAI battle.

Make the token effort to talk to Obliterator, even if it's not going to work.

Check if what the shopkeep has for sale (just body mods still?).

Consult with our leaders and thinkers, see what they think our options are.
No. 583048 ID: 9ddf68

well if he doesn't want to be here we might as well try to make this a painless as possible. Thank him for his time and maybe ask if they're is anything they'd like to ask of use. We're trying to build bonds here not have people feel like we're just using them.

I'm also wondering why the devotees aren't trying to back up they're statements. I mean it could and most likely is that they have nothing to back them up with but I can't help but feel if their's something more behind it. I mean they could just lie and since not many people have heard of us until now it would just be there word against ours with the only people to call out or support these claims would be those who already chose a side and therefor couldn't really be trusted themselves.
No. 583049 ID: a8f70a

Alison has SO MUCH TAIL and she is using it for hugs. I am loving this ^-^
No. 583052 ID: 76b151

Well, she started it off as 3m long including her top bit, then bought an extension to the maximum length allowed to contestants a while back. I forget the exact length but small she isn't.
No. 583067 ID: bb78f2

Well, first off you're adorable looking. So... hug?
No. 583091 ID: d470e9
File 140467630413.png - (58.59KB , 800x800 , SZ8-13.png )

"I'm not really here to just take away, it's not one sided. But I would like to know more about your faction."
>"Such as?"
"How do you all assist one another in the stages?"
>"We make sure as many of us survive as possible, of course. When there's too few exits and too many of us, the higher ranked individuals go first, and in the case of a tie, we draw straws, roll dice, or that sort of thing. Otherwise, just the same as any faction. How do you do it?"
"I have been forced to be choosy about who lives with this resurrection, but in the end, I'm intending to make a widespread escape so that no one has to do that."
>"So I've heard."

Alison goes on to explain the recent developments with the corruptor, which this individual claims is news to him.

"I understand if you're still loyal to the corruptor, but I don't believe anyone here has reason to fight unnecessarily."
>"We're not a fascist faction like Bones', but we are survivalist. Right now, I don't believe any of us have any personal quarrel with you, but we will do our best to survive on our own. If you can't beat us, I doubt you'll be able to save much of anyone from another cycle."

He still sounds flat but that isn't going to stop Alison. She hugs and thanks him for the chat, and moves on.
No. 583092 ID: d470e9
File 140467631589.png - (21.99KB , 800x800 , SZ8-14.png )

A brief pass over into the Obliterator's territory is met with someone saying that Obliterator says that she is entering enemy territory, and her attempts to talk her way in are not well received. She won't force her way in, so she moves on again.

>Check what the shopkeep has for sale
Body mods as usual, but he says that there might be actual items for the stage itself, but they shouldn't be until after the safe zone time.

Alison returns to work on her to-do list that seems to get new items as fast as she finishes them. King approaches her.

>"Alison, I got word from the Savior saying that he will be here shortly, and would like us to gather everyone under us that would like to move to the paradise."
"I believe catatonic's friends will move there. Oh, Iso! Would you like to move with Flute to the paradise?"
>"Um... maybe Flute would, and I'm very happy to see her again, but I don't really want to leave you either."
>"Oh, thank you, by the way!" Flute says. "You didn't have to do that, and I'm not really good at these stages, so I think I would just die... I won't go if you don't want me to, but I don't know how helpful I would be, and I don't want to drag Iso along when he doesn't want to."

It would be much easier if Savior allowed people to come and go as they please, but he doesn't seem like he likes to bend his own rules.
No. 583095 ID: dc4b80

Only come along if you want Flute. The next few stages could get nasty so it might be better to relax with Savior given the chance.

See if you can butter up Savior a bit so that Iso can hang out in paradise with Flute until a few hours before the start of the next stage and then get dropped back off. We still want his help but would be nice to have some time to catch up with his old friend.

As for your list get the stuff started that will take the longest first. Talk to Glitcher about a possible Corruptor radio as that might take awhile to make. I know Chief is a bit burned out but we have plenty of people here who can help lighten the load. Save your efforts for the big stuff only you can do if possible.
No. 583096 ID: 50338d

>It would be much easier if Savior allowed people to come and go as they please
Well, he technically can't do that, even if he wanted to, I think. Remember the system Sevener put in place last stage? People who bypass stages will be auto-slain on entering safe zones. So anyone who ducks out can't duck back, unless they do it fast.

That was forcing even Corruptor to run stages again. So if Savior is coming here, that means he either has a way to bypass that protection, or he's been forced to run stages too.

Setting up a phone that works with his place might be convenient, if we're going to store people there, though.

Hug him. Sorry, you didn't mean to put pressure on him. You'd be happy to have him at your side, or to have him safe with Savior.

When Savior comes, you'll have to ask him if he has time to talk at all. (I'd say he might be busy with rounds to make picking up people in different brackets, but there are only 4 brackets now. And he can't go to one of them without confronting Corruptor).
No. 583104 ID: bb78f2

Iso you'll be very useful there.
We're intending to experiment on reviving as many people as we can on Savior's Paradise because the system wouldn't care as long as none of those revives leave. I mean, yeah okay, maybe they'd care about system slowdown but at this point maybe they wouldn't. It's supposed to be a paradise after all. And Iso knows about as many people as Alison, so when Glitcher goes there he can do the revive process with your threads. Essentially we need a representative of our faction there.

If shit goes down in the paradise somehow, we do need a leader there, and well he honestly the best pick to go to the paradise as he's the one that's like Alison the most on a personality level. Hopefully Glitcher may be able to reactivate Smuggler's powers there too and get an economy going. Savior's Paradise may eventually be a key location in preventing the loop as it's essentially the primo neutral territory, corrupter may try and attack there as well, and there's admittidly no one you know that would be content in the Paradise and have good battle knowledge besides Iso.

He fills a lot of roles, a good Jack of All Trades. And we kinda need him there.
No. 583171 ID: 9b57d3

"If you can't beat us, I doubt you'll be able to save much of anyone from another cycle."
I suspect this sentiment, along with gaining points with the admins, drove Corruptor to force the loss in the CAI Fight.

Something worries me about Iso, actually. He said he doesn't want to leave you. Is he fighting for you, or to save everyone? If it's for you... tell him about you and Arbiter. If he wants to continue this fight, it can't just be for you.

...is it just me or is Alison's tail length now beyond legal values?
No. 583181 ID: dc4b80


Even King is ogling that sweet tail now. Alison does seem to be getting bigger doesn't she? Isn't the only one that can get beyond normal size limits Corruptor?

Quick go check to see if you can corrupt something. Maybe she got some of his threads mixed up after the mess in the Belenosian sim.
No. 583185 ID: d8a627

Something I've been wondering is if The Corruptor's previous names were ever revealed. Maybe, as Alison was the Snake Queen, Corruptor was known as the Snake King. Still looking through the archive on it.
No. 583197 ID: 50338d

Corruptor's never used another name, so far as we're aware. I suppose it's possible he called himself something else very early in the competition, before he realized his abilities, but if so, it's never come up.
No. 583205 ID: d8a627

Yeah, gonna pop over to discussion.
No. 583208 ID: d470e9
File 140471224722.png - (17.80KB , 800x800 , SZ8-15.png )

"Thank you, Iso, for your loyalty, but it's that kind of thing I might actually want in the savior's paradise. If you wanted to fight for me, are you doing it to save everyone, or are you doing it for me?"
>"I'm... well, I mean, for you, but your ideology is good, so also for that, but... because of you. Uh... I mean, it's a really good cause. So... both?"
"Thank you, again, but I think I would like you to be in the paradise. If you want to be in the stages, then --"
>"Nono, the paradise is fine! If you want me there, then I want to be there."
"Okay. I hope it doesn't mean you can't enjoy your time here. King, could you ask Savior to come back soon before the timer here runs out?"
>"There's four brackets left, I would be disappointed if he couldn't find it in his heart to find the moment. Yes, I'll ask."
"Thank you. I'll try to convince Savior to let me just visit later, but I'll be back soon, Iso."
>"Thank you." He hugs her for a long time, but Alison has minutes to spare.
No. 583209 ID: d470e9
File 140471226171.png - (192.67KB , 800x800 , SZ8-156lip.png )

Alison eventually summons the rulekeep.

"Hello, Rulekeeper."
>"Greetings. I've heard quite a lot about you, Snake Queen."
"Please, call me Alison. I noticed that my tail sized is longer. I like it, but is it legal?"
>"Yes, I've lifted a few specific size requirements. Of course, you can still only be so big, but I don't mind if there's not so ridiculous things. Like tail size, or big hands or really tiny feet. I'm willing to make judgement calls for it, at the risk of making biased decisions. You're about at the max, though, because that is one long tail. Are there any other concerns?"
No. 583211 ID: 50338d

Thank him for allowing the longer tail, you like it.

Comment on rulekeep's own appearance change.
No. 583212 ID: dc4b80

Ask him about his new look. Also find out how he plans to stop Corruptor from making new corrupted devotees. We do not want him getting eaten.

Maybe bring up what we have found about his personality shifts? Ask him what he feels about it and if there is anything we can do for him.

Finally bring up our concerns about the ultimate pointlessness of the contest in general. He might not know what we have learned so ask him how he feels about managing a contest that if we play by the rules we can not win. Basically is it worth being a Rulekeeper when the people who follow your rules get cheated in the end? With as many resets as this simulation has had almost everyone still alive probably has a duplicate in the Cai thus winning is pointless.

Basically try to feel him out so we can decide if its worth having Glitcher mess with his threads or if we can influence him normally.
No. 583233 ID: d8a627

If his new look is intentional, compliment him on it.

If it's the system playing games on merged coding between expired characters, help him through the existential crisis that's probably about to happen. With hugs.
No. 583276 ID: 2fd516

Ask him if he cares if people are resurrected into the Paradise, where they can't leave and reenter the stages.
No. 583285 ID: d470e9
File 140478515893.png - (198.41KB , 800x800 , SZ8-17.png )

"I like your new look. Do you get to decide what you look like?"
>"Thanks! And not in a conscious sense. Much like how I am constructed using the stage itself, so is my form. The one before was, as it turns out, just a placeholder for the first area."
"I did hear a little bit, but I did also want to hear it from you. Do you mind having these personality shifts?"
>"Not at all. I don't have any problems with how I am now, but I know I won't have any problems with how I am in the future, either."
"You said you knew about me, did you also hear that I believe this contest is causing strife for no good reason?"
>"Yes, and that you may try to convince me to join your side, to fight with you, and so forth. But I'm sorry, I just don't have any interest, the system made sure that my number 1 and only priority is to uphold the stages."
"How do you feel about people going to the paradise?"
>"As long as they don't come back, then I don't mind. I think it's good, actually, that they can still enjoy themselves even if they lose a stage. It's just unfair that only those who the savior approached get the opportunity. Anyways... if you or anyone you know goes, then I won't stop you, but I won't let you back in either."
"Thank you. The savior doesn't allow that either, but what if people did come and go during a single safe zone?"
>"Oh, if people came back in time for their stage, then that's okay."
"Everyone who follows the rules is cheated, though. It's not entirely clear, either, if the 3 winners get anywhere."
>"It is pointless, I know, but it's also my purpose and my life. Is there much meaning to life in general? I don't think there is, but we live and survive as long as we can despite that, just because that's what we want to do. I know that your own lives are unfulfilling and are little more than testing your own self preservation, and you have my sympathy for that, but it's my own wish to uphold the rules. It's selfish, I know that, but they'll just kill me if I let myself live my life for you. I don't want to be your enemy, but all I can do is minimize how much I get in your way. I'm sorry."
No. 583286 ID: d470e9
File 140478524508.png - (134.10KB , 800x800 , SZ8-18.png )

Alison doesn't think that talk alone will sway the Rulekeeper, at least not now. Alison moves in for a hug, which is swiftly reciprocated.

"Thank you for your time, Rulekeeper. I'm going back to my place for the moment, but we'll talk again later."
>"It was my pleasure. Oh, ah, I haven't really shared it with anyone yet since it's so soon and people are still settling in, but if you want, I can change your island around a little bit. I won't break the rules, of course, but if you want certain kinds of rooms, a bigger place, more star in the sky or really anything to help make your hundred hours more pleasant, just call me over. Just say, 'Rulekeep, Please!' and I'll recognize it as a summon."
No. 583287 ID: d470e9
File 140478529180.png - (21.99KB , 800x800 , SZ8-19.png )

Alison goes back to her place and hugs Polatt, making sure that he is doing alright. He says that he is, and will be doing what he can to, as he puts it, kick the enemy's asses. Alison takes that moment to make sure that everyone knows the current relations between all factions.

Iso also shows up to spend time with Alison before Savior comes by, and rides on her tail.
No. 583288 ID: d470e9
File 140478533680.png - (29.27KB , 800x800 , SZ8-20.png )

"Hello. Glitcher. How are you doing?"
>"I'm okay. You?"
"I'm well."

>What can he tell about the upper echelon?
>"Uh... not much. I kind of only know how to deal with everything regarding our simulation, but the upper echelon just sounds like everything on the outside. It might be past the ring shell, which I also don't know much about."

>If corrupting the savior could break a function that reset cycles
>"I don't think so. I mean, again it sounds like Savior is contained in here, while the cycle is triggered by an upper echelon thing. I don't think Savior has anything like that, but he'd have to let me see his threads to find out."

>Living person radio
"Your ghost radio is really useful, Glitcher, is there anyway we could use it to talk to the living?"
>"Well, yes, but it kind of... well, I don't know of a way to do it discreetly in a way that won't break the law. But it can work like that."
"Well, I was hoping to talk to the corruptor."
>"Oh.... I couldn't do that at all, anyway. I need to know where a person is, and most people are easy to find, but the corruptor... he's off the grid. I wonder if he got a new sanctuary."

>Why Alison stopped hugging 8 cycles ago
>"I think you stopped being able to trust people at one point."
>"Stage 9, as usual."

>See if its possible to stop the system from overwriting Rulekeepers personality between stages
>"I think I could, actually, but... well, I wouldn't really be able to stop it from happening, but maybe I can revert it to a point? Do you think that would help?"
"Maybe in the future, but even this stage's version of the rulekeeper seems dedicated to her job, so I'm not sure if she would have a change of heart for stage 9 or just give her a personality that would have an awful time there, like it sounds like it will be for all of us. Is that thread dangerous to touch?"
>"Single threads and threads that belong to you are okay, it's just when multiple threads from an outside source interact... uh, I guess it's like electricity. If you touch one conduit it's okay, but if you then touch another conduit at the same time, then the electricity will run through you and... is that how electricity works?"
>"Not really!" Engineer shouts through the wall.
No. 583289 ID: d470e9
File 140478535289.png - (19.13KB , 800x800 , SZ8-21.png )

>Glitcher might need hugs
Glitcher hugs back.

"There's no need to stop what you're doing right now, but do you think you could find any hidden items like Likol's entries around the stage sometime?"
>"He's one step ahead of you!" Radmin says. "In that corner, there. We're gonna need a whole glitcher photo album at this rate. Nice threads by the way, little guy. Clothing threads. Not shiny gut threads. Oh and thanks for that res, Alison. Good to be back."
No. 583291 ID: dc4b80

Hmm if stage 9 is the one where Rulekeeper gets reprogrammed to be uncaring and we occasionally stop trusting people then finding out more about it is a higher priority than whatever stage 8 might throw at us.

Might be a stage designed to test people's loyalties or you might have to betray people to move onward. Or because of the huge cut in numbers could just rattle any weak links in our structure. I think this round we have a very solid team. There are a few people who have not been here long but even if we do get betrayed we just have to remember that things can get nasty this close to the end.

Go give Radmin a hug and take a look at the info that Glitcher has found. The more we know about the outside world the better our chances if we ever manage to contact a true system admin.

While looking at the info chat with Glitcher and see what he thinks about the whole getting Savior to cleanse Corruptor plan. Will even that be enough to save us? And if we do pull it off what do we have him change?
No. 583293 ID: 85d0ba

Next time we see Rulekeeper we can ask if she wants help staying like she is. Would much rather have this version than the uncaring thing they turn her into. Even if she is a system character like Shopkeep we never gave up hekping him.
No. 583304 ID: 2fd516

I just thought of something. Can Glitcher find out if the Ghost is real?
No. 583324 ID: 50338d

>they they they
...wait, who's pulling rulekeeper's strings, anyways? Didn't the admins basically shoot themselves in the foot, last stage? They broke their own powers in order to completely change the rules. Even Sevener could barely do anything before being locked out.

>but if you want certain kinds of rooms, a bigger place, more star in the sky or really anything to help make your hundred hours more pleasant, just call me over. Just say, 'Rulekeep, Please!' and I'll recognize it as a summon
That's really convenient. Be sure to pass that on to the others. (Say, Engie or Math could really use a computer room or something. Let them solve whatever problems they may be working on much faster).

>is that how electricity works?
Well, current doesn't flow so long as the circuit isn't closed, yes.

>thanks for the res
You're welcome, Radmin.

So... what are our option now, besides planning ways to survive the stage?
No. 583336 ID: 9ddf68

any photos in that album that stand out? Can never have to much information.
No. 583341 ID: bb78f2

Does the Likol content have any threads of interest? I forget if we tried any of that.
No. 583346 ID: 0749c4

>is that how electricity works?
Well, additionally two circumstances must met:
1. There is a potential difference so the "current" has a direction to flow
2. There shouldn't be a much easier link to travel on for the "current".

But as glitcher referred to it as electrical current, is he also able to link or redirect thread-currents with some sort of bridges?
No. 583373 ID: e62dd0

Forgot to ask this, but has Alison inquired about Arbiter's logs? More particularly, log 177, about bringing rock candy to stage 8? Perhaps Glitcher can find out more about it now, we should really be pouring over the logs for any clues left behind, it is what let Sevener have the upper edge in the belenos sim after all.
No. 583564 ID: d470e9
File 140495789529.png - (27.86KB , 800x800 , SZ8-22.png )

>Hug Radmin
"You're welcome, Radmin."
>"Hey, nice to see you, too."

>Can Glitcher find out if the Ghost is real?
>"Not without any leads. It sounds almost like an upper echelon thing anyway, in which case... no, probably not, not right now.

>Does the Likol content have any threads of interest?
>"Maybe? They're different than anything else, that's for sure, but... well, I don't know anything offhand, but each piece seems similar to each other, but different in its shape. Also, the item's history is kind of... fuzzy. I'm not sure what to make of it."
>"Ever think it's like a jigsaw puzzle?" Radmin asks.
>"Maybe. If it is, I don't even have enough pieces to even know that."

>Is he also able to link or redirect thread-currents with some sort of bridges?
>"Yeah, yeah.... but... usually things reject other things. I can make similar entity objects, but trying to mix between stage material, or people, goes poorly."

>Who's pulling rulekeeper's strings, anyways?
>"The system, definitely. They gave up a lot of power to do the purge, but they made sure they still have some amount of power over the stages, which means the rulekeeper."

"Did Arbiter ever get studied under you? I'm wondering about his logs, and the one that said to bring Rock candy to stage 8."
>"Yeah, but I don't know yet if that's going to apply to the current stage 8. Stages keep the same themes. That's... well, mostly a constant. But the rules might change gradually, except in this cycle, in which case drastically. So I don't know if specifics like rock candy are going to be helpful. I guess if Shopkeep ends up with some in stock, go for it."
"Thank you very much, Glitcher. Is there anything I can do, though, to help you study everything?"
>"... no, Alison, not now. You've done well with the rules up to this point, but they're maintained too closely, now, to do much with it. Eventually I'll have something, I think, but for now... just survive. I'll take care of myself and everything I alone can as best as I can."
"Okay. Thank you once again."
>"I should probably be the one thanking you."
No. 583565 ID: d470e9
File 140495790902.png - (17.55KB , 800x800 , SZ8-23.png )

Alison lets Glitcher and the rest know about Rulekeep's offer to change the stage as they want, and Alison moves to Engineer and Mathematician to do the same. They do wish to have a basic computer room for such things, and so Alison calls the shopkeep.

>"Hello, Alison. What can I do for you?"
"My friends here have a request, but first, could I ask if you would like help staying like you are now?"
>"Oh, I'm still getting used to this new way of looking at the world. I think it's too soon for me to tell, although I suppose there may not be any rules against it so long as it doesn't compromise my ability to keep the rules themselves. I'll get back to you on that, although I can't help but wonder what the point will be. Ah, well, later on! Let me know what you'd like, you two."
No. 583566 ID: d470e9
File 140495792946.png - (413.68KB , 800x800 , SZ8-24.png )

The photos are examined.

"The salikai is friendly. His name is Vanski. We can't decide if it's too friendly or not. Maybe the tales were exaggerated, maybe he's trying to grow our trust, or maybe it's simply as mundane as him being pleased he has labor to work with other than his arkot count of a few hundred. He shows us simple tools that, frankly, shame us in how simple yet effective they were. Somehow we managed to learn the secrets of cameras, cannons, space around our planet and other such things, yet a wheelbarrow eluded our grasp. Then again, it's hardly useful outside of the salikai's clearing.
I feel better knowing my camera amazed the salikai. He is having us systematically develop pictures for all of his Arkot. He is in every shot. This is the 17th picture, and he looks as legitimately happy as he did in the first. He is getting better at sitting still in the pictures, but the arkots remain fidgety."

No. 583567 ID: d470e9
File 140495793670.png - (22.89KB , 800x800 , SZ8-25.png )

The salikai is not alone. There's an entire network of salikai, although Vanski does not like us mingling in the affairs between Salikai. He has treated us well, and as we expected, our alliance is working out very well for us thus far. We have to stay on edge, though, to make sure that won't change. Still, we have met a few of his salikai friends to take pictures with. These Salikai seem to like the idea of immortality, and the idea of having their visage stuck for the records seems to get their imaginations going. On the left, Ilomo, who conducts negotiations between many trades between his Voklit mining facility, and Vanski's arkot's and jungle goods. On the right, Stirra, a female, who we believe has had children with Vanski, although we haven't seen any.
Vanski says that we should start having lots of kids, as well, because there is lots of work to be done and lots of food to go around, and he does need to impress his children for when they return, lest they get any grand ideas.

No. 583570 ID: 2fd516

...I wonder if we can make cameras too?
No. 583577 ID: dc4b80

Well this looks like the history of whoever created the Cai. Keep reading everything you can about these people because in here somewhere might be the answers to who made you and why.

Besides the fact that its good to know more about the outside world there might be clues we can use in this information. I have a feeling this was not scattered around in the sim on accident. Whoever put it there wanted there story to be told and remembered.

We have few leads to follow until we can get in touch with Corruptor again. Maybe learning this secret story is a test of some sort. So learn everything you can about these people and remember there names. Depending on how much info we have this could be very important soon. And if not reading a new story is a pleasant way to pass the time.
No. 583581 ID: 9ddf68

all right, we seem to have found glimpses of the world outside the sim... but why? It's telling us a story that much is obvious but so far it doesn't really tell us anything other then so random facts that have nothing to do with the CAI. Well unless we can find more of these or if glitcher can find a way to do something with them soon that he can't now I guess their's not much for us to do with them at this point.

Might as well see if anyone needs your help and maybe ask shopkeeper if he has any rock candy in stock. Might as well look and with nothing else but body mods that we don't really want anyways it's not like we're saving up for anything.
No. 583591 ID: dc4b80

Ok made a list of things to do before the next stage starts so we do not forget the big ones.

1. Find out as much as possible about stage 8 and 9 without making Rulekeeper angry.

2. Find and read every bit of the history of this Neuomono tribe and there Salikai allies. Might be more in later stages but better find everything we can here before its no longer available.

3. Figure out what Iso will be doing if anything while at paradise with Savior. Maybe Glitcher can make a radio so we can keep in touch with him. And let anyone on our side know that we will not think badly of them if they want to go there with him. The next stages could be brutal. Plus if we can get the radio working might be able to still get advice from them.

4. Get a hold of Corruptor if at all possible. If not possible try to figure out when his bracket meets ours.

5. Talk about how the smaller bracket size will affect the next few stages. We could end up having to choose people in our party to leave behind. Probably will not come up until stage 10 but worth discussing.

6. Introduce Swordsbane to Emerald and such. Also see if Glitcher can identify any of the mystery duplicates. If I remember right one of them had been pulled out 8 times apparently.

7. Get your hugs in while you can. If the next stages are nasty make sure to enter them with no regrets.
No. 583606 ID: 761017

body mods might be useful prep for the rumored physics-sandbox stage.

Maybe body mod back jetal body? It's been forever since we last looked at body mods, i don't even remember the limits on them.
No. 583633 ID: 2fd516

Oh yeah, we need to show Historian the new books!
No. 583646 ID: 638a22

Well, since we know how this eventually goes down, the only real question is whether Vanski is acting, or if he's earnest and just goes mad with power later.
No. 583673 ID: d8a627

(Moving megalong post into Discussion thread, since it didn't have too many recommendations for immediate use)
No. 583762 ID: bc2ff6

Ok, i have strange idea right now.

Acording to Seveners logs, the Pomi simulation does not work correctly. perhaps someone meddled with the stage by removing some threads.

Ask Glitcher if there would be a possibility to look into this in the future.
No. 583966 ID: d470e9
File 140520373016.png - (22.52KB , 800x800 , SZ8-26.png )

>I wonder if we can make cameras too?
It is possible, but Engineer needs sufficient supplies and time to make such an object. The supplies can most likely be found, but the time is questionable. Plus, Rulekeeper may not allow those things into stages.

>Find and read every bit of the history of this Neuomono tribe and there Salikai allies.
"Glitcher, is that all there was in this stage?"
>"Yes, I'm sorry. I did notice something, though... there are a few too many threads."
>"It might be nothing, but it seems like there's some superfluous information to them. It might be hidden information, but.. I have no idea how to go about unlocking it. Which is bad. Either I know how to do it, or I don't, I rarely figure anything out, just how to do things better.
"I'll think about any possibilities too, but doing what you can is all I'll ever ask. Oh, and could you look into any of the duplicates that were pulled out of the belenosian simulation?"
>"I could, but chances are, they're just dead."
"Alright, that, and if you have some spare time somehow, Sevener said the Pomi simulation didn't work. I'm curious why that is, but don't worry too much about it. You've earned some rest."
No. 583967 ID: d470e9
File 140520373772.png - (18.65KB , 800x800 , SZ8-27.png )

Alison moves to another room.

"Rulekeeper, Please!"
"Would you mind if we got novelty item storage again? It would be nice to be able to carry keepsakes between stages, like pictures of one another, or these photos, or things like that."
>"That's been requested! It's in the works, actually, and if it all goes smoothly, you'll be able to hold things by the time you get out of this safe zone."
"That sounds good! Also, can we get a library for the historian?"
No. 583968 ID: d470e9
File 140520374853.png - (68.56KB , 800x800 , SZ8-28.png )

"So, Iso, what do you think you'll be doing while in the paradise?" Alison says, moving on.
>"Ah, I don't really know... what do you think there is to do?"
"Well, I do hope Savior has a lot of control, sort of like how Rulekeeper can make rooms for us here. Plus, there's got to be a lot of people in there by now. I'm sure you can make a lot of friends."
>"Mm, I hope so. Still... please tell me if you want me to be in the stages!"
"I will, but I still think you'll be helpful for both of us if you're there."
>"I know."
No. 583969 ID: d470e9
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Alison finds Bones in the central Plaza, talking to Emerald.

"Hey, Bones and Swordsbane."
>"Yes?" Bones asks.
"Has there been any word from the Corruptor?"
"Okay, keep me updated. Swordsband, Emerald, what do you two think of each other?"
>"We have mutually agreed..." Emerald answers, "that we just don't see the resemblance between each other."

>If not possible try to figure out when his bracket meets ours.
Last Alison heard, the brackets themselves are still going to go as typical, in which case, Corruptor will be met in stage 10.
No. 583970 ID: d470e9
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"Hey, Shopkeep!"
>"Oh hey Alison. What's going on?"
"I was wondering... it's a longshot, but is there any chance I could turn back into a jetal?"
>"Uh.... noooo, a jetal is a whole category of robot, not just an appearance. I mean, you could look like a jetal, but..."
"I know, it was a longshot. Thanks anyway."
No. 583971 ID: d470e9
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Alison goes back to her house. She checks in on Chief, who is still sleeping. Alison likes his sleeping look.
No. 583972 ID: d470e9
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There is already a lounge that some of her friends are around in, having nothing more to do. Talks for independents are still going on, but a few have entered Alison's own house. She'll let them take their time, and so she begins discussing with a few individuals about the future of the stages.

"I'm not sure what's going to happen through stages 8 and 9. Things are always in flux, but I can't do much if Glitcher can't do much, and if Corruptor doesn't show up. At this rate, a lot of us are going to die again. I don't want to make a ranking system like the council, but everyone, including myself, should be ready for death."
No. 583973 ID: d470e9
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>"Alison." Recluse says. "Anyone left with you is already willing to die for either you or your mission, or both. If you want us to go to the paradise, you're going to have to order us. And some of us would argue."
No. 583974 ID: d470e9
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Several hours later, the Savior comes to visit.

>"Hello, Snake Queen! I hear that a few people would be joining me?"
"Yes, please."
>"Ah..." Glitcher come into the room. "Can I see some of your threads, Savior?"
>"Hmm, you ask that so terribly casually. But I'm afraid that the answer is absolutely not."
>"You're... kind of glitching out."
>"Yes, and I'd rather not do anything that would accelerate the issue, if you understand."
>"I can put your threads back perfectly."
>"I insist no. I can handle a small particle mismatch here and there, I'm at a harmless stage of it. Any chance of anything going wrong is not worth the risk!"
No. 583975 ID: 529458

Well ok, but if it stops being harmless please consider it.
No. 583977 ID: dc4b80

Ask him if his destabilization is because he had to live through the time gap for the last stage. Or if it is because he and Glitcher are linked and Glitcher was stuck for 10000 years.

Who knows what might be happening to Corruptor at this point if its something that effects all the special contestants.

Maybe you can plead with Savior to let Glitcher take a look at his threads. You do not want either of them coming to harm but it could be important to see if they are still linked. If Glitcher had a thread to the paradise he might be able to funnel people who die in the next stages there. The possibility of saving more people might convince Savior.

Also ask if he has any lead on where Corruptor is or what he is up to. We have not heard from him in awhile and are starting to worry about him.

Make sure Iso has a radio if he is going to the Paradise. Give him a hug and a kiss and tell him he will be your eyes and ears there. While we would love to have him in the stages with us we need someone trustworthy to be our liaison to Savior. And to say hi to Scholar and the others for you.
No. 583978 ID: 2fd516

>"I will, but I still think you'll be helpful for both of us if you're there."
Why is this exactly? We already have allies (Friendgy, for instance) in the Paradise, so having Iso there wouldn't help much as far as representation there is concerned. Wouldn't he be able to help more in the stages?

Show Savior the pictures and tell him about the hidden information that's likely in them. If there's anyone that thinks they are especially good at decryption they can look at them as well to see if there are any secret messages hidden somewhere in the data we can access. It's possible there's a secret passcode or some method of manipulating the pages that will reveal the hidden information... Or maybe we just have to gather all the pages together for the information to reveal itself? Wait a minute, why is it that the pages in this safe zone were all in one place? The zone is symmetrical, there should be 5 other pages to find unless somehow they were hidden just for us. Glitcher should be able to travel freely around looking for other pages... Wait, what would happen if you took a picture of the picture? Maybe that's it. Prove that we can do what the author did.

As for Savior's threads, tell him that only Corruptor can fully glitch him so he has nothing to worry about. Also that Glitcher has 10,000 years of practice.

Also, maybe we should tell him about all the cycles and how this one is way off the track so helping you end the cycles now may be the best chance for success. What does he have to lose from helping anyway?
No. 583979 ID: 638a22

>Snake Queen
Alison, please.

Ask why Savior is Glitching out, a little. Did the system try to shut down his sanctuary? Was he experimenting with something? Did he get in a fight with Corruptor, already?

...actually, does he know where Corruptor is? We haven't been able to talk to him. Does he know when the two of them normally get into a fight? It's supposed to happen at some point.

Do not ask if he's been Corrupted. Sevener's logs indicated Corrupted Savior is Bad News, and we don't want to set him off. Maybe ask Glitcher if he could tell if that were the case, after Savior has left.

If he's worries about being damaged further, is there any way to help repair what's happened so far? You know Glitcher and Corruptor could work together to do impressive things, could Savior and Glitcher collaborate on anything?

>other stuff
Discuss if he'd be willing to allow a phone or something so 'safe' people could still communicate with friends in the contest.

Then Alison needs to talk philosophy and ethics and stuff with him. Start with the his opinion from before. You guess he was right. The CAI battle didn't really fix anything, and you did lose, even if you know a lot more now, and won Sevener over. Not sure if the way the system changed everything is better or worse, though. What's he think of it?

>hidden messages
...aren't those barcodes on Glitcher?
No. 583980 ID: 638a22

...actually, wait. Savior did his appear in a burst of light thing, right? The thing that no one else can do, so we know it's him? Otherwise I'd wonder if the blurry appearance is due to Corruptor or one of his minions faking it.
No. 583981 ID: 76b151

You know, that's right. They DO look like barcodes. Hmm, I bet one of the former Jetals know how to read those. It's a useful trick to know in a regulated place that uses them.
No. 583982 ID: dc4b80

Hey where has Sevener been for all this hugging and napping in piles? We spent forever working to get her on our side and I am not going to let her hang out and brood without us. Need to show her we do not hold a grudge for her being all grumpy in the Belenosian simulation.

Go grab her with a story about needing her and Radmin help Glitcher decrypt things and then drag her into the hug pile.

Unless she can actually decrypt things then wait until after to commence the hugging.

If we are going to find any secrets it might be by combining the abilities of Contestants, Admins, and one of the Glitchy special people.
No. 583984 ID: d8a627

Savior... The last three times people started glitching like this when they weren't Glitcher himself, they glitched to death. A slow, painful death, in the middle of a safezone. If you say no again, I won't push it further... But please, do consider it.
No. 583988 ID: d470e9
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>Savior did his appear in a burst of light thing, right?
Alison wasn't in the room when Savior showed up, but she does think she saw a flash of light even from down the halls.

"Call me Alison, please. Do you know why you're glitching, Savior?" Alison says, slowly inching closer to Savior.
>"Oh, there's a few reasons, but there may be some link between I and Glitcher. So unless he plans on staying still for another ten th- Ah, you get my point." Savior stops, which Glitcher starts shaking at the thought of being trapped there again.
"Have you seen the corruptor? I've been wanting to talk to him."
>"Nope, and I've been wanting to not see him if possible."
"Okay, thank you. By the way, we found a few pictures, I was wondering if you would care to take a look at them?"
>"I don't think I have very much interest in those things, unless there's a particular reason for it?"
"There's a chance they contain hidden data. Maybe you can find something glitcher couldn't?" says Alison, moving closer again.
>"That is... not plausible. I think Glitcher has better eyes than mine for that."
"It's odd though that we found two photos in our own area, but none in the others."
>"Actually, no." says Glitcher. "One was in ours, one was in Swordsbane. I went over to fetch it from their end. These aren't... uh, evenly placed. It looked like just a couple photos with random distribution."
"Ohh. Thank you. Well, Savior, Glitcher does have a lot of practice with them, so I'm certain he won't be harmed. I also believe that Corruptor is the only one who could fully glitch you, and I think Glitcher looking at your threads may help us. It might even let him transfer dying people to your paradise, which if I'm right, you would prefer?" Alison is now in hug range.
>"Very much, yes, but the risk is still too much. I'm going to decline, no matter how much you ask!"
"Alright, I don't push it farther right now, but glitcher has said there have been some awful deaths from getting glitched. Is there any way, glitcher or otherwise, you could be repaired?"
>"A cycle reboot, really. That's the surefire way."
"That's unfortunate... I also wanted to say you were right about the CAI battle, it didn't really fix anything. I did learn a lot, though." Alison hugs him.

>Aren't those barcodes on Glitcher?
Glitcher spoke of them during his Area 3, but he doesn't believe they mean anything. They're more like scanlines in his opinion, and even if they were barcodes, Glitcher and no jetals around him could read them.

>Hey where has Sevener been for all this hugging and napping in piles?
Alison believes she's been around the independent sections. Sevener is summoned though to confirm that Glitcher's barcode lines don't mean anything that she knows of.
No. 583990 ID: 2fd516

Ask if you can see his eyes. Also you may as well tell him what the link is between him and Glitcher. Every now and then in one of the cycles, Savior is corrupted fully by Corruptor, in an attempt to kill him permanently. However, every time, the next cycle heals him and Glitcher appears, seeming to be the cast-off corruption. So Glitcher is... basically Savior, and appears to be changing to become similar in appearance to Savior.

I think that, given even more time, both Glitcher and Savior would shift in appearance to become very similar indeed. It might not even be dangerous.
No. 583991 ID: dc4b80

Quick now that you got him in your clutches roll him up in your coils and swallow him whole! Then he won't be able to stop Glitcher from getting his threads!

Or not.

Well tell him to think on the idea of trying to have Glitcher route dying people to his Paradise. If we can't look at his threads ask if Glitcher can look at the threads of something in his paradise or someone else there. Might be able to do something if Glitcher has some info.

Tell him that if Glitcher did find a way to do it then it might be available earlier in new cycles. Would the possibility of saving that many people in future cycles tempt him?

Then let him know what you learned from your adventures and the Corruptor logs you found in Arbitors name. He might not be comfortable with Corruptor but those logs are one of the most complete sources of info anyone has put together. And we need to bring up the idea of working with Corruptor at some point. Best to talk to him now so he has time to think about the idea.

Then send Iso off but make sure you have a way of talking to him first. And make sure he is really ok with leaving. If he goes it means no more dates or hugs unless you win.
No. 583993 ID: 3152e1

>I've been wanting to not see him if possible
...didn't you want to quarantine him, before?

>other thing
Maybe ask if he could help finding Glitcher a place. The last stage didn't really process him right, and we'd prefer to avoid that, if rulekeeper doesn't come up with somewhere for him to stay during stages.

>Also you may as well tell him what the link is between him and Glitcher.
He already knows Glticher happens when he gets corrupted. It came up the last time he was here, when Chief was in charge.

>What say
Savior, you described your sanctuary once to me as a kind of reward. That people deserved a place to go and enjoy themselves after surviving enough of the stages. ...but what about the cycles? Don't we reach a point where we've done enough of this? Where people deserve something else?

I mean, I know you're committed to doing what you think is right. That you have duties and you're supposed to do them, and that you want to help people, too. But... who decided on your duties? The people who made this place? Maybe the one person who made you? In the Belonosian simulation, I met people who had made things. Programed simulations, built robots, jetals. Scientists, creators, caretakers. Some of them were good, some cared about those they were responsible for, one of them even saw his creations as his children. But not everyone was so good or responsible with their creations. How long can you cling to directives from people you never knew, who don't understand what's happening inside here?

You remember your past better than the rest of us. How long can you tolerate it, if even we've had enough?

...between Sevener's and Arbiter's logs, I know we had a way out, once. That I somehow got you and Corruptor working together, only to betray things myself, when the cost was too high. There's no way I con convince you to work with me again? To find something else? Something better?
No. 584004 ID: d8a627

>...didn't you want to quarantine him, before?
Broke the game, or had some other form of bad consequences, according to logs.

Come to think of it, is there a way that Savior could purify Glitcher? That might be bad, since Glitcher is the shed corruption, but I'm fairly certain he adopts more than just "Corruption" once he's made into a contestant.
>one of them even saw his creations as his children.
From what I read, everybody treats Jetals as the children of their creator, Loviro was not alone in that... Though he might be a rarity in actually doting over them.
>...between Sevener's and Arbiter's logs, I know we had a way out, once. That I somehow got you and Corruptor working together, only to betray things myself, when the cost was too high.
ALISON #1314: WHY?

Still not seeing what you're talking about, but it does look like Arbiter claims Alison has nothing to do with opening the exit or not, just that Corrupter cannot come with.
Is this what you're talking about? Because it's the only log that implies Alison ever skimped out on rescuing anybody.
Corrupter: She forms the bridge to the Savior I need. Yet, she is also the bridge that collapses under us at the end. She does not want to kill them or merge with them, and I see her reason. There is nothing stopping from a new series of cycles from being born. Whether we kill the CAI or merge with them, then we will simply move to the other side of the coin, and our successors will be a trillion members slowly conspiring to kill us. There's no telling if our logs will persist in a new cycle of cycles. We won't last as long as our predecessors if they do.
This is the only full out mention of it all, and this is Corrupter's log, not Arbiter's or Sevener's.

If Alison agrees to bring it up with Savior, she should only do so if she fully accepts that it will mean destroying or merging with CAI. Corrupter cannot be brought along, and anybody else who cannot be brought along, for whatever reason, will remain in the competition, eternally.
Furthermore, Corrupter, Glitcher, and Savior would end up being deleted, permanently. No trace of them will be left behind. Again, this is from Corrupter's own log.
No. 584006 ID: 3152e1

>and this is Corrupter's log, not Arbiter's or Sevener's
No, it's the log Corruptor encrypted inside Arbiter's log, if you're going to quibble details with me. I worded it the way I did deliberately- focused on information we only got because we risked the CAI battle.

And there's sure as hell supporting evidence from Sevener. The fact that we had a way out, and that we betrayed it when we found out what it would cost, several times. Kind of came up, repeatedly, in the CAI-battle.

>If Alison agrees to bring it up with Savior [...] blah blah blah accept destruction, replacement, death
No, we don't need to accept any of that to bring this up.

We need to search for real solutions, and that involves making an effort at getting people who can help on board. Not dwelling on past failures or preemptively resigning ourselves to bad solutions. We're reaching out. We're not deciding anything.
No. 584009 ID: dc4b80

The solution we really want is for Alison to get full Root Admin access before the next reset.

Without that power we will probably have to make sacrifices somewhere. Either loosing memories or not being able to save system members like Shopkeep and Rulekeeper or worse.

With Root access we can halt the resets and combine the Contestants and the Cai without overwriting people. Also would let us convert any temporary or special contestants into permanent ones.
No. 584011 ID: 256d52

Saaay Alison, how long has your sequined dress been doing that with the sparkles?
No. 584018 ID: d470e9
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>Saaay Alison, how long has your sequined dress been doing that with the sparkles?
For as long as she's had it, although the safe zone lighting does often change the dynamic of the sparkles themselves.

"Is glitcher looking at your paradise threads out of the question, as well?"

Alison also shares the logs of Corruptor.

>"I hope you realize the unreliable nature of these logs. They are, in an effect, the final focused thought of a being before they either die or are reset, after all. And corruptor, well, his logs sound lucid, yes, but his are unreliable for obvious other reasons! I just can't feel that acting on logs is a great leap past fumbling in the dark."
"But it is better."
>"... I suppose, so, yes."
"I thought you wanted to quarantine him, not avoid him?"
>"Well, normally, yes, I would! But normally the cycle isn't at the last quarter, either. Near the end, it's not worth the risk, and would rather just let things play out."
"I'm afraid that glitcher has no place good to be other than safe zones. He seems to be invisible to the rulekeeper, and that's why he was stuck in area 3 for so long."
>"I'm sorry, but that is something that the corruptor might be better for! The paradise is the only place I can hide from the administration, and they could delete any new places I make."
"Okay, thank you. About yourself, though... who decided on your duties?"
>"I can't remember."
"Can you ever come to change those duties, knowing that eventually there's no reason we should have to go through so many cycles?"
>"Nope. I can't say much about it other than that I'm well made. The rules and constraints of my own game might seem arbitrary to the outside, but they are there, and breaking them, to me, is absolutely unfathomable. I'd sooner let Glitcher investigate me to his heart's content, inside of the paradise itself! Which I hope I am making clear that that is never an option, so please understand the scale I'm working on."
"Yes, I understand. In the other direction then, and this isn't an idea I want to act on, but is there anyway for you to purify glitcher?"
>"Nope. Like me, just a reboot will work! Not even the system's personality reboot would affect his state. Now, if you don't mind, I do have a lot of work to do, and would like to get to it! Please say your goodbyes, now." Savior does feel impatience from him, so Alison will retract her inquiries and inputs for the time being.

>Make sure Iso has a radio if he is going to the Paradise.
Iso has received a direct radio to Glitcher. Alison will make some last goodbyes as well, if there's nothing else she should do before Savior leaves.
No. 584019 ID: bb78f2

I would still like to find where where all of our data is stored in the system, if possible. We might be able to reboot both corrupter and savior completely, like a cycle reset completely quarantined to those two.

Hey Alison... you could happen to pluck anything off of savior during your hug without him noticing, would you? A strand of hair, perhaps?
No. 584024 ID: ccd544

How bad would it be to make Savior an enemy?

Clearly this is an oppurtunity to force the issue, but it would permanently undo any relationship between Alison and Savior.

Glitcher can still do that time manipulation trick, right?
it might be possible for him to timestop, and examine Savior too fast for savior to notice.

Alternately, does the savior shed?

IMPORTANT: Glitcher should make sure to 'grab' the lightning flash when Savior leaves. He may need to manipulate time beforehand, so that he can 'watch' the process in slo-mo.
No. 584025 ID: ccd544

Saviore, are the rules of your own game confidential?
If you can't tell us, there anyone that you could tell your rules to, such as Shopkeep, or the Rulekeeper?
It seems sad that you have to deal with that all alone and can't share your burdens.

It is strange that your 'rulebook' can't be divulged in any way shape or form, which makes me wonder if that confidentiality is a programmed inhibition, instead of a hard rule.

Why would Savior be vulnerable to glitch death?
No. 584029 ID: dc4b80

We knew he would be a hard nut to crack. But if you can not convince everyone with just one speech. Maybe seeing the pain and suffering from the next stages will help push him over the edge.

Having Iso in his paradise will be a big help. We can keep him busy there meeting and befriending the people there. If we can spread our factions message and what we have learned there it might help Savior to realize that his methods are flawed.

Also am sure that every other person there has a sob story about a friend lost or having to do something horrible in a stage to survive. The more we can make Savior see just how cruel the simulation is the better.

Plus with the radio connection Glitcher should be able to track down the location of Paradise. If a emergency happens where we need access to his threads we probably can get them one way or another. Would be a big breach of trust though so that's a last resort type of thing.

So give Iso a goodbye kiss and see him off. Then go lure Sevener into a group hug somehow. Also ask Emerald what bones wanted from him earlier. He does not talk to us much so am curious if he might open up to someone else.

After thinking about it a bit I am not sure Savior is actually designed to save anyone. If anything Corruptor tries harder to fix things than he ever does. I am starting to suspect that Savior is a program the Salikai put in here to help keep the simulation in check. Corruptor was the virus that was supposed to help break the Cai out of the loop while Savior is only here to keep the status quo going.
No. 584045 ID: d470e9
File 140526880302.png - (13.02KB , 800x800 , SZ8-37.png )

>You could happen to pluck anything off of savior during your hug without him noticing, would you?
That would be rude.

>How bad would it be to make Savior an enemy?
Alison can't say for certain, but she doesn't want to make enemies, nevermind that it would be very bad.

>Glitcher's time dilation to investigate savior/his flash of light
Even if Alison was okay double crossing the savior like this, there's no telling whether or not the savior could detect it happening.

Alison gives Iso a long goodbye hug and kiss.
No. 584046 ID: d470e9
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"Are your rules confidential, Savior?" Alison asks.
>"Well, the rules don't say they're confidential, but I do prefer people not worry over them. Now then, Iso, you have non-stage items on you.... what is that?"
>"Uh... it's a radio, I'd still like to be able to talk to Alison." Iso says, pulling it out.
>"Oh, no, no, no, I can't allow any glitcher made items in the paradise, even if they're not made out of his own threads. Please leave it behind! If you want to see Iso again by the end of the cycle, you'll just have to come to the paradise yourself. I'm afraid the paradise just can't have anything to do with Glitcher. But you know, the remainder of the system brackets have become rather understanding of me. I may yet be able to convince them to let dying individuals be picked up and put into my own paradise. Ah. I think corruptor is coming here. I have to go, now."
No. 584050 ID: b5130d

I... your call Iso. I'm not going to force you.

Savior, thank you for listening, and goodbye for now. Go, and be safe.

Then head outside to meet Corruptor. I wonder if he has anything to say,or if this is an attack, or if he's just coming for Savior?
No. 584051 ID: dc4b80

Hmm while loosing the radio would sort of ruin some of our plans the whole idea behind sending Iso there was so he could visit old friends while still keeping in touch with us.

Plus with Corruptor coming out of the blue and Savior being more glitchy than normal I am getting a bit paranoid over Iso's safety. Hate to start worrying about betrayal from Savior of all people but Iso is our oldest friend and one of the most important people to Alison.

I guess in the end its really up to Iso at this point. But right now am sort of getting creeped out by Savior. And the idea of not being able to see Iso again without throwing the contest makes me sad.

Oh and one final thing. Do we know anyone trustworthy that has actually gone to the Paradise and come back? Because sending him off into the unknown with no way of ever talking with him worries me.
No. 584058 ID: bb78f2

Savior really ought to try to make communication methods though, somehow.
Might get a lot more people on your island without people constantly worrying about their friends still in the contest. That's got to be a constant problem in the paradise?
No. 584063 ID: d470e9
File 140527513072.png - (22.31KB , 800x800 , SZ8-39.png )

Iso looks over to Alison.

"It's up to you, Iso."
>"I... I kind of got prepped for going and everything. I, uh..." Iso is doing that Iso thing where he wants to say more but can't find the words, but it seems clear that he's leaning towards going to the paradise but doesn't want to actively leave Alison.
"Go with your friends. I'll see you again before all of this is over."

Alison can't realistically say she definitely will, but she's sure going to be trying.

>Do we know anyone trustworthy that has actually gone to the Paradise and come back? Because sending him off into the unknown with no way of ever talking with him worries me.
It is worrisome, as there has not been any confirmation of people enjoying their time in paradise. Nonetheless, even in the worse case scenario, Alison can't expect that savior has been lying about all of that.

"Be safe, Iso, I'll miss you."
>"S-same! Goodbye, Alison."
"Goodbye. And savior, please do try to allow us to speak to our friends."
>"I can't promise much, but I do promise to try." says Savior.
No. 584064 ID: d470e9
File 140527514132.png - (19.54KB , 800x800 , SZ8-40.png )

As Savior leaves and Alison turns to meet Corruptor, Chief is standing in the door.

>"Do you think he's a friend, Alison?"
"I would like to think so, also, hello, Chief, how are you feeling?"
>"Feeling absurd that sleep is an integral part of artificial intelligence's health. Other than that, better than ever. I don't think he's our friend or ally. Eccentric or not, that person is hiding a lot of secrets he doesn't want you to know."
>"I'm gonna agree with that." says Sevener. "I'm also gonna go with you to see Corruptor."
No. 584065 ID: b5130d

>Feeling absurd that sleep is an integral part of artificial intelligence's health.
I guess even our brains need a break once in a while, even if they aren't real.

>I don't think he's our friend or ally. Eccentric or not, that person is hiding a lot of secrets he doesn't want you to know
You're right that he's hiding something, at least. Still need to find a way to deal with him, though. I'm not sure how we find a solution to the cycles without him, or at least understanding what he's doing.

>I'm also gonna go with you to see Corruptor
Thank you.
No. 584066 ID: dc4b80

Well lets round up the gang and go see Corruptor.

One thing to remember Alison is that you and all the contestants were made with few to no limits on your personalities. Given the chance you can be whatever you want and change over time.

For the system characters like Rulekeeper and the two special programs Savior and Corruptor they where created with a job to do. While they are complex enough to change its going to be much harder for them. Might be a good idea to find out what "Rules" Savior has been following so that we can find a loophole in them. And if Savior has rules then that means that Corruptor has something similar guiding him.

Anyways with luck everything will work out with Iso and maybe he can rub off on Savior a bit.

Here is to hoping Corruptor is not a mess. And that we still have enough Corruptor points to give him hugs.
No. 584076 ID: 529458

Maybe it sets it to defrag or run maintenance when you go to sleep.
No. 584080 ID: d8a627

>Maybe it sets it to defrag or run maintenance when you go to sleep.
Or it's just to cool down the hardware.
No. 584093 ID: 9ddf68

more and more and more questions, someday we'll get some straight answers, someday.

But yeah for the corruptor thing, did he show up? cause we've been trying to call him and he still hasn't answered yet. Hell at this rate the only way we're going to get to speak to corrputor is to either wait till stage 10 or see if we can't convince all of the houses to either go neutral or side with us.
No. 584104 ID: 39872e

Hmm, interesting, perhaps Corruptor is chasing after Savior? Could use him as bait in future if so. Also hold up Sevener, are you going to be... diplomatic about things? We are trying to salvage what is essentially a quickly sinking relationship after all.

Anyway tell Chief it's good to see him feeling better and then start rounding people up.
No. 584107 ID: b5130d

Oh, make sure someone tells Bones about Corruptor's arrival, if he doesn't know already.

>rounding people up
I'm not so sure a big delegation is the right approach, here. They won't really help in a conversation, and they won't help at all if he does something aggressive with his powers. Massed forces aren't the optics we want anyways- we want a diplomatic meeting, here.

Better to keep the others out of the way. Increases our odds, and it leaves them still in a position to do something even if Corruptor takes Alison and Sevener out of the picture.

>is Sevener gonna be diplomatic
Of course not. That might be what we need, here, though. Between her and Alison we've got a pretty natural good-cop bad-cop approach.
No. 584155 ID: 5126eb

>>584064 Well, with computers, information becomes increasingly fragmented as it is continuously used, requiring a system reorganization (or 'defragmentation process') to speed up data entry as well as conserve space.

So it's entirely possible when an AI sleeps, its memories are being defragmented. Going long periods without a defrag may in fact be what was causing the... super-insanity and apathy you all suffered from in the... that awful stage.
No. 584173 ID: 0d8ff4

>is Sevener gonna be diplomatic
>Of course not. That might be what we need, here, though. Between her and Alison we've got a pretty natural good-cop bad-cop approach.

More like good-cop, awesome-cop
No. 584218 ID: d470e9
File 140540100912.png - (394.11KB , 800x800 , SZ8-41.png )

"You can come, Sevener, but this is a diplomatic mission, please remember. I'm trying to keep a good relationship going, despite how many rocky turns it's had. Duelist, please come as well, but I want to keep my numbers small. I hope to not appear too threatening, and that corruptor isn't messed up, or had his effects accelerated like the glitcher."

Bones is reported to have immediately travelled to the corruptor. Alison makes her way over, but the bridge to the island in question has a group of several individuals blocking the path.

>"Corruptor houses only." says the one in front. "No exceptions."
>"What was that about hoping corruptor wasn't a mess?" Sevener idly whispers under her breath.
No. 584219 ID: bb78f2

You know, technically Alison's house is still a corrupter house. We never said we left, not have we ever betrayed or harmed the corrupter in any form. We even brought Bone's back, so it's pretty clear we're a corrupter house, right? Still allies? We haaaaaaave hugs!

Well, how about Arbiter's house? He's still a corrupter house right?
No. 584220 ID: 2fd516

Ask for Corruptor to come out and see you here, then.
No. 584221 ID: b5130d

>Corruptor houses only
Technically, I am still the Snake Queen, and I still lead my house. None of you have unseated me, nor has the Corruptor.

...if they won't let us past, the simplest way past is to retreat, and then summon rulekeeper, please. Ask him to modify the the geography of the safe zone so the path can't be so easily blocked. Making the paths really wide, or expanding the central circle will make forming a human barrier impossible with just safe zone rules. Granted, Corruptor could simply change the ruleset, or deploy Outsiders to erode the terrain, but let's see how much attention he's willing to devote to this.
No. 584227 ID: dc4b80

So you speak for Corruptor then? He no longer wishes to speak to people himself and instead lets his minions decide who is worth his time?

Or maybe you think he is weak and you need to protect him from me? In a safe zone no less? In the middle of hundreds of his own people?

Anyone who wishes to see corruptor should be able to pass. Have you forgotten his ideals? Or have they changed and you are no longer free to think and act for yourself?

If you can not shame them into letting you cross summon Rulekeeper and politely ask if he could widen the bridge or something. Tell him you would like to talk to Corruptor and would rather not start any sort of incident.
No. 584237 ID: 9ddf68

well this all seem cheery, anyways you are the snake queen and I never heard about anyone saying that your house was no longer with the corruptor so unless he's making it official that your house and his are at war with each other there should be no reason for them not to let you pass.
No. 584369 ID: ccd544

Say all these things, but avoid using the word "technically", that's implying weakness of confidence when we need boldness.
No. 584593 ID: d470e9
File 140571785718.png - (299.90KB , 800x800 , SZ8-42.png )

"You're speaking for Corruptor, then? He used to speak to anyone."
>"Not anymore."
"I thought I was still one of his houses."
>"You're not. Neither is Arbiter."
"Corruptor's ideals were also about autonomy, wasn't it, so is this more of your choice or his?"
>"When available, things are autonomous. Things are different."
"Rulekeep, please!"
>"Yes, Alison?"
"I'd like to widen the bridge."

The corruptor's speaker steps forward.

>"And we'd like it preserved the way it is." he says.
>"Ah.... uh..." Rulekeeper thinks. "Well, I'm sorry, I'd put it up to a vote, but you're outnumbered, Alison, so... sorry. I'm actually trying to evict Corruptor, anyway."
>"Snake Queen." the speaker says. "The corruptor has said not to allow just anyone through, and explicitly said you especially were not invited. And that if you managed to break through, he would immediately leave the safe zone. You're never going to see him again."
No. 584595 ID: 76b151


No. 584599 ID: 2fd516

Is that last bit what Corruptor said, or is that the speaker's conclusion? Because Corruptor could easily just come right out here to talk and not break any of the rules he set. If Corruptor really won't see Alison... then we will have to just treat him like an enemy. Either that's what he wants us to do, and this is some weird plan to our longterm benefit, or he is really our enemy.

Of course, the OTHERS aren't banned specifically. What about Sevener? What happens if she breaks through?
No. 584602 ID: dc4b80

If we truly never meet again that will be because we find a way out and Corruptor decides to not be a part of it. Not because he blocks a bridge.

Well I will not force the issue now. If he really wants me dead he underestimates how good I am at surviving. And the fact that he will not even come to see me means he is ashamed of his actions and is worried he will falter if he meets in person. That or he has some complicated plan that involves turning me against him.

Tell him that either way its not going to work. I am to hard to kill and even if he betrays me again and again I will still do everything in my power to save him along with everyone else.

So if he changes his mind and wants to talk he knows where we are.
No. 584606 ID: 88960e

Settle down in a coil to wait. If there's one thing the last stage taught, it was patience. We can wait till he changes his mind or leaves.

Tell the guards: my goal hasn't changed. One way or annother, that means Corruptor's going to end up having to face me, eventually.

Ask rulekeeper to be careful trying to expel Corruptor. Might be better to leave it, since he's probably not going to stay, anyways. Tell Rulekeeper if he really wants to pursue it, and nothing else works, he can use us to chase Corruptor away, if he's really gonna run from us. Otherwise, we'll wait here.
No. 584607 ID: bb78f2

At least until he changes his mind and wants to see us, correct?

Is corruptor even alive anymore, you guys, or have you been faking us out entirely? If he doesn't want to see us, can he at least respect us enough to give an answer why? We deserve that much. If corruptor kicked one of you out like he did us, you'd want an answer too, wouldn't you guys?

We didn't do a goddamn thing to him, aside from just now and try to see him against his will, which is reasonable considering the circumstances.

Agree to walk away, then ask Rulekeeper later for a secret passage to his abode. You'll do a favor for her if it won't get you or any of your peeps killed in exchange.
No. 584608 ID: e607cd

...no, Alison is going to see him again, one way or another. Right now, when brackets meet, or next cycle, and the cycle after that, and the cycle after that, if you idiots are going to stop us from fixing things.

But look how easy it would be to force the issue. Rulekeep, you are trying to get Corrupter out of here, and these gentlemen just explicitly said he would leave if Alison got through to talk to him. Let's revisit that bridge discussion, shall we?
No. 584609 ID: bb78f2

Oh, and ask these guys to at least pass a message to Corrutor. That we still want to be friends despite all that's happened, and that we forgive him for killing Alison and our allies for whatever reason, and that we still want to work together to stop the reboot, if that's a part of any of his objectives.

Oh and that we don't give up easy. Corrupter has a hug debt that he's not going to be able to avoid. Our hugs are endless in scope, and relentless. Before this game is over he'll receive another hug, because you are very intuitive.
No. 584642 ID: d8a627

"...If we can't see the Corrupter, then deliver a message for us. We will always consider him an ally. Even if we must fight, we will still bring him back. I expect... No, I know he'll do the same."
No. 584644 ID: 9ddf68

>You're never going to see him again.
is that meant to be a threat? Because if so here's a future tip when you're trying to threaten someone. Don't show fear.

For whatever reason it seems that either the corruptor or at least his followers are hell bent on not letting us speak to the guy. If his plan is simply to avoid us eventually he's going to have to face Alison, either when he runs out safe zones to flee too (when all the brackets finally converge into one) or when we have to face the final stage. If you're saying he's planning on having Alison removed somehow (like his little trick in the CAI battle) since when has any of his plans in trying to get rid of us actually worked? They either backfire or we find some way around.

If you truly don't wish for us to speak to corruptor then we shall not force the issue, but know Alison and her house will not go away simply because you choose to pretend it doesn't exist.

As for what to do, it looks like we're going to have to take out the corruptor's allies, either by having them side with us or even taking them down if they won't lesson to reason just so he'll have to talk to us, since we'd be the only house he'd have left. Sigh, my only question is why now of all times did the corruptor chose to hide himself away from the world? Did that rule change really mess him up that badly or is it something else?
No. 584729 ID: d470e9
File 140580388319.png - (241.38KB , 800x800 , SZ8-43.png )

"What about the others with me?"
>"All forbidden."
"I wasn't going to force the issue, but... you said the corruptor would leave even if I broke through?" says the speaker.
"Rulekeep, you're trying to get rid of the corruptor?"
>"Yes?" she answers.
"I'd like to talk again about widening the bridge."
>"Yes, I'll be changing my position on it. The rest of you - let Alison through, or I'm going to banish you to a jailroom."
No. 584730 ID: d470e9
File 140580390657.jpg - (325.24KB , 800x800 , SZ8-44.jpg )

They reluctantly move, and Alison makes her way to the house. She can see Corruptor poke his head out from over the roof.

>"Alison. Let me speak to my followers. It isn't fair, but I'm going to leave if you do anything that isn't leaving right now. We're no longer friends."

>"Please get him to leave." says Rulekeeper.
No. 584731 ID: bb78f2

"Can you at least offer me the courtesy of telling me the why we aren't friends anymore? That is all I want, Corrupter. The one thing I want from you. And then I will leave, for now. Maybe we can work together later to stop the reboot, I'm hoping. Your plan to work together with The Savior from an older cycle isn't a bad one if we can get it to work, if not the best plan any of us can come up with."
No. 584732 ID: 22d852

...I don't want to force you to leave without talking to people, Corruptor, but you're putting me in a very difficult spot. If I give you some space, will you give me anything in return later? A conversation, an explanation?

If he takes the deal, accept, back off, and apologize to Rulekeeper. You'll get him to leave when you're done.

If he refuses, fine. Tell Corruptor you're going to back off for a little while so he can talk, and then if he doesn't leave on his own, you're going to keep your word with Rulekeep and force him to go.

...and for the record, he doesn't get to choose to stop being friends so easy. As far as you can tell, it looks like he needs a friend now more than ever.
No. 584734 ID: e607cd

"Us being friends or not has no bearing on my need to talk to you. If you want to run and hide, that's your choice, not mine. But one way or another, we are going to meet again."
No. 584736 ID: 2fd516

"What have you done to yourself?"
No. 584742 ID: dc4b80

Being friends does not work like that Corruptor. If one of the friends has a breakdown the other friend starts worrying more and more about them. Being friends means you try and help the other person even if they are scared and alone.

I deserve at least a explanation. If I don't get one I will keep hounding you until I can hug you into submission. Even if this whole game is pointless and we never find a way out there is no reason for us to be enemies.
No. 584796 ID: 9ddf68

"I'll leave but first I only want you to answer one question and answer it truthfully. Why? Why have you done this?"
No. 584817 ID: be7484

Tell him you're sorry for whatever's happened to make him shun you and your friends, this cycle or otherwise.
No. 584905 ID: d470e9
File 140588727915.jpg - (175.86KB , 800x800 , SZ8-45.jpg )

"Corruptor, that's not how friends work. I'm just more worried, now. I'm sorry for whatever happened, or whatever I did, that made you shun me and my friends. I'll give you space, and we can just talk here."
>"Alison, I wasn't bluffing."
No. 584906 ID: d470e9
File 140588731796.jpg - (786.62KB , 800x800 , SZ8-46.jpg )

Corruptor vanishes without another word.
No. 584907 ID: d470e9
File 140588732974.png - (359.36KB , 800x800 , SZ8-47.png )

>"What was that?" asks Duelist.
>"Fuck 'im. He apparently had nothing worth saying." Sevener says.
"No, he has a lot to say, and I had a lot to ask."
>"Well apparently we're going to have to beat the answers out of him."

>"Thanks, Alison. I can't really give you special treatment or favors though, I feel awful for that since you just did a huge favor for me."
"Don't fret, Rulekeep, I honestly wasn't expecting it to go like that."
No. 584908 ID: d470e9
File 140588737409.jpg - (112.13KB , 800x800 , SZ8-48.jpg )

Swordsbane comes out of corruptor's house.

>"I spoke to him some. He wouldn't talk about you much, but either way, he's not the same corruptor I knew before stage 7. Something changed him."
"Did he go through Area 3?"
>"He did, but he said he was able to force suicide on people, so I doubt that's the reason."
"If you see him again, please tell him I'm going to meet him again one way or the other."
>"He's turned into someone that isn't past shooting the messenger. Either way, I'm less inclined to follow him now. He was always unstable, but he also knew that I was allying with him as he was, and if he changed, I'd reevaluate my options. So, I'll team up with you."

Team Swords and Snakes is active.

"Thank you, Swordsbane. What about Bones and Obliterator?"
>"Bones might need more time, he wanted to know more from corruptor before you came along - unreasonable of Corruptor or not, he's going to be sore at you over him suddenly leaving like that. As for Obliterator, I'd trust him to be an enemy whether or not he's bearing Corruptor's flag.
No. 584909 ID: 761017

Rulekeep, you have omniscience of the safe zone, what did you hear of the Corruptor's conversation with his followers?
No. 584910 ID: 761017

>He [Glitcher] plans on taking various strands from Sevener, Radmin, Alison and Smuggler to look at, and will also want to see Devotees and, ideally, Swordsbane and Obliterator.
Now is a good time to make this thing happen.
No. 584913 ID: 2fd516

Yeah I wasn't expecting Obliterator to work with us. Bones... well, if he's angry enough to fight us, he doesn't have an army anymore. We'll be fine. Maybe some of Bones' questions can be answered by Swordsbane, though?

I think it's time we started planning ahead for the limited exits of the next stage. Set priority people to exit, so we won't have to discuss it when the time comes.
No. 584920 ID: 9ddf68

Well guess we're going to have to work on tearing down the corruptor's forces by either trying to get them to side with us or at least become neutral in the corruptor vs all things snake war. If he's afraid to talk to us then we'll just have to wait until he can't run away from us anymore. As for why the corruptor might be freaking out, think maybe he, uh, awoke like glitcher did, as in where he suddenly remembered the past cycles. that's the only reason I can think of for the sudden shift of personality. I mean when that happen to glitcher he want from pretty chill guy to completely suicidal almost instantly.
No. 584923 ID: d8a627

The logs did seem to suggest that Corrupter can remember the past cycles after a certain point, so it would not surprise me. Give him some time and some space, like you did for Glitcher, and he'll come around eventually.
No. 584927 ID: 22d852

If we see Bones, we can apologize for interrupting in the manner we did. We didn't mean to deny others the chance to talk to him. If he accepts our apology, we could help keep him alive so he gets a better discussion, later.

>Corruptor running away
What's really odd about that is that if he really wanted us out of the way, it would have been trivial to kill us. He can break safe zones, and with all the illegal tier 3 stats gone, we wouldn't have been hard to overpower with those loyal to him.

What did Corruptor talk about? Was there a message or order for his followers? A goal?

>I can't really give you special treatment or favors though, I feel awful for that since you just did a huge favor for me
We're friends, Rulekeep. You don't have to feel bad about favors, even unintentional ones.

>now what?
We're running low on options to try and find a way out here. Savior hasn't been willing to bend yet, and Corruptor won't even talk to us. We have Glitcher, but there's a limit to how much we can do. We have enough allies to make it through the stages, but surviving that way is just a delaying tactic until the reset kills us. What we need is a way to come at the fundamental problem again.
No. 584930 ID: dc4b80

Well we have to treat him and his followers as enemies but sort of had to do that anyways with how the stages are set up. Hopefully we can find out whats up with him before its to late.

Be careful about how much trust to put into any new recruits. Working with them should be fine but try to avoid putting them into places where there betrayal could royally mess things up.

Might want to find out what if anything Bones said to Emerald. He was the only one that Bones was willing to talk with earlier.

Ask Swordbane what sort of changes he noticed in Corruptor. The more we can find out about his personality change the better.
No. 584937 ID: bb78f2

Ask Swordsbane if this might be a part of a complicated plan to manipulate us? Because, well, we're kinda acting as predictably as possible. He knew that was going to happen. He knew we weren't going to leave. He knew everything. He didn't want us to leave him alone or do what he said directly to us. He's got a plan and is trying to be all politician, right?

Emerald, things he just did is totally like a politician and is probably trying to manipulate us into doing something, right?

I'm asking an old ally of Corrupter this and then a politician this, and the fact that they are from the same source has nothing to do with the fact I'm asking the both of them.
No. 585126 ID: d470e9
File 140596759881.png - (388.11KB , 800x800 , SZ8-49.png )

"Rulekeep, did you happen to catch what Corruptor was saying?"
>"I'm sorry, but this whole segment was far too... well, you saw the effects. Everything was garbled to me."
"Alright. And Swordsbane, do you think corruptor if enacting an elaborate plan to manipulate or, or at least me? I honestly think that if he wanted to, he could kill me."
>"I wouldn't know. I'm not involved in his secret plans. I have no doubt that there are secret plans, but that seems farfetched."

Alison still does not want to set exact priorities on who lives or who dies, but just in case, she sets up talks with everyone to decide who they will defer their lives to, and who wants to live no matter what. She trusts everyone could talk about it and come to an agreement in the stage, but she doesn't know if there will be time.

Alison delegates Chief to work with Swordsbane for a loose set of priorities and fairness for those decisions regarding Swords-Snakes relations.

There is no sign of Bones, but Alison will give both him and Corruptor, if he comes back, some space.
No. 585127 ID: d470e9
File 140596760591.png - (33.95KB , 800x800 , SZ8-50.png )

Swordsbane is also shown to Glitcher for thread studying. Alison feels that as things are right now, she is going to be nearly entirely dependent on Glitcher. Many of her options for eliminating the cycles are closing off, and it seems like Glitcher is the only one who is willing to work with her at the time.

The Glitcher still says that he can't promise much, but if it's possible for him to find a way, he'll find a way. Until then, Alison just needs to survive, since glitcher feels she has a better chance of talking Savior and Corruptor into her goals than he does.

For the time being, Alison will wait at least this safe zone out and continue with what little she can, including keeping up to date with what Rulekeeper and Shopkeeper learns about the next stage. She also asks Emerald if he thinks corruptor is manipulating her, but he has a similar unknowing answer. 'It can't be ruled out, but that's just one of a hundred otherwise equal wild hypotheses.'

The next update will be a time skip - any suggestions between now and then will be employed during the time skip, before Stage 8 begins.
No. 585133 ID: 2fd516

According to Corruptor's logs, Glitcher's abilities won't be useful past stage 10, so we can't count on him to get us through. I think our best bet is to slowly coax Savior to our side. Maybe even seduce him. Alison, go talk to Succubus about seduction.
No. 585141 ID: 88960e


Hang with friends, try to enjoy things. Since you lost your instruments with the rule change, improvise a harp with your tail and hair to play.
No. 585157 ID: 76b151

You know it's strange. Savior ran because he wanted to avoid Corrupter... and Corrupted acted the exact same way with Alison. Maybe the Corrupter is worried about being 'Corrupted' as well. Though given we don't have Corrupter's and Savior's innate ability to jump brackets we can't exactly do anything about it.

Though there is another possibility. Thanks to rulekeeper we know its possible to program in personality shifts and Corrupter is behaving in an extremely different manner. Maybe it's not Alison he wants to avoid but a Alison friendly glitcher who would be able to reset his personality to pre-personality shift.
No. 585162 ID: dc4b80

We want to spend time building up relations with our new allies and learning as much as we can about them.

As for Savior we just have to wait and do our best when the opportunity arises. If you see Savior we want to quiz him on his rules and programming. Maybe watching the nastiness of the next stages will help convince him to help.

With Corruptor we try to learn what might have set him off and find out more of how he is getting through the stages. Talk with Rulekeeper about how she plans to stop him from unfairly manipulating the stages. And how she planned on making him leave if you had not driven him off. Maybe we can convince her to give us some advantages to stand up against him. Also find out if Corruptor has any other strong allies left. Maybe someone is manipulating him somehow.

Keep helping and working with Rulekeeper. If she is going to have her personality changed into something uncaring next stage we should try to have Glitcher stop that. If she is emotionally attached to people she will be more willing to bend rules and help out. The personality shift is probably so she will not be tempted.

Another avenue is working with the Admins if at all possible. They are dying just as fast as the rest of us and some of them might be willing to work with us if we reach out.

Don't loose hope yet. A lot can happen in the next stages and with the reset we are treading on new territory. Be on the lookout for anything new because it might be untested code that could be manipulated.

Oh and the biggest thing is to get some Sevener hugs in. We spent weeks being nice and having her try to back stab us in the Belenosian sim. She is not getting off with a woops I made a mistake sorry about hating you because of inaccurate logs. So lure her in later and get some group hugs before its to late.

As for logs it might be time to release Corruptors log to our allies and maybe his people on the island. But ask everyone what they think about it before putting the info out. Not sure if there is anything in there we want to keep private.
No. 585241 ID: a361ac

Glitcher is FALLING APART. He's going to die or worse soon if he doesn't work on putting himself back together.

I understand he's super busy at the moment, but he has way too many, if you'll forgive the expression, "loose threads" and it looks like he's going to outright unravel if he doesn't start being more careful.
No. 585257 ID: 76b151

The problem is that both of the people who can fix him are refusing to lend him their strings. Savior directly and Corrupter by avoiding us.
No. 585283 ID: 256d52

Is it worthwhile for Glitcher to have a look at Corruptor's house? Maybe he left some trace behind?

At the very least there might be more books there.
No. 585332 ID: 6d3b18

When hanging with friends, try include rulekeep. Maybe he'll change later, maybe he can't help directly, but hey, no reason not to be nice, right?

>As for Savior we just have to wait and do our best when the opportunity arises.
And hope leaving Iso with him have an impact.
No. 586387 ID: f05b47

Wait, can Alison explain what happened with Sevener after the belenosian simulation real quick before we enter the stage? I don't believe we ever learned what happened from her point of view.
No. 586578 ID: 2d9b28

try to find more pictures of possible CAI past or salikai information.
No. 590916 ID: d470e9
File 140886188736.png - (45.02KB , 800x800 , SZ8-51.png )

"Rulekeep, how were you going to get Corruptor to leave if I wasn't around?"
>"I have a few techniques, dear! But they're all rather... it's not clean. Him being so repelled by you was favorable."
"I don't think so. How do you plan on stopping him from manipulating stages, then?"
>"I can't, but I can manipulate the stage back."

>Alison, go talk to Succubus about seducing savior.
Alison doesn't think she has it in her.
Neither does the Succubus.

>Improvise a harp with your tail and hair to play.
It looks strange, but is surprisingly effective.

>Alison explain what happened with Sevener after the belenosian simulation real quick before we enter the stage?
Alison isn't entirely clear on what happened, Sevener left her to go deal with administration things and meet Chief without explaining herself fully.
No. 590920 ID: d470e9
File 140886211191.png - (27.29KB , 800x800 , SZ8-52.png )

>Go hug Sevener

>"Don't you have important leader things to be doing, or did we just resurrect you so we could get a chronic constrictor?"
"I wish there was, but there's a lot of things that are escaping my power. We have to rely on Glitcher now. He's insistent that there aren't any more books in the stage, so we can't learn more about the outside world for the time being."
>"Did he even look?"
"He says he could tell."
"I'm going to get to know our allies better, though. I'm thinking of sharing the Corruptor's logs with our more trusted allies that didn't get to see it."
>"Don't bother."
"Why not?"
>"Maybe you're clinging onto your hopes, but me? I'm sick of the false leads. First the notes. They sure did more harm than good. Then the logs. They're leftover thoughts from dumbasses who just went through a single cycle and left no proof that what they said was accurate. Now corruptor has some super-log thing? Can't trust that either."
"It's better than nothing."
>"Just make sure they know that it's probably bullshit."
"I will, but in my own words. Thank you, Sevener."
>"I didn't do anything."
"You're a good person."
>".... what the fuck, are you get us all in a circle and us all sing sappy ass happy songs next?"
"Only if you want to."
>"Get outta here, Naga!"

Alison will go meet her allies for what will most likely be smalltalk and answering questions as best as she can.
No. 590921 ID: d470e9
File 140886212181.png - (26.29KB , 800x800 , SZ8-53.png )


>"Shop's open!" Shopkeeper yells at the front of Alison's door after a long, eventless period. "Everyone please gather together! I have the rules for the next stage."

Item gained - UNDROPPABLE - UNTRADEABLE - 500 zeny

Once everyone gathers, Shopkeep continues.

>"Okay, everyone has a bit of cash. There's probably going to be more in the stage, but this is the starter fund. So, it's gonna take place in a castle themed place. I said rules, but it's more like... let me just explain. It will be sort of like stage 3, for, uh, the loose majority of you who are familiar. Freeroam. It's basically gonna be a puzzle section. Not so heavy on the traps, but there's going to be puzzles to go from room to room. Everyone starts alone, but paths will branch together to a certain degree. 50 exits, as you know - either it's the first 50 to escape to the highest tower, or if there's only 50 people left alive, then they'll immediately be transported out no matter where they are. Lessee, what else..."
>"Would you like me to take over, Shopkeep?" asks Rulekeep. "It is my job now, after all."
No. 590922 ID: d470e9
File 140886213449.png - (14.37KB , 800x800 , SZ8-54.png )

>".... old habits. I... have been doing this for awhile. Please take over."
>"I quite liked your explanations, Shopkeep!" says Radmin. "Always enthusiastic, seldom rehearsed, and never while wearing pan-"

>"Thank you." the Rulekeep starts. "What shopkeep said was accurate, although this does give the notion that it is wise to sit tight safely in room 1 and hope enough people die that they will be transported as the remaining survivors. Unfortunately, the rooms will fill either with lava, or be overran by ghosts, depending on the layout. Since this is a freeroam stage, there isn't really much more to say here. Most of everything else will be explained in the stage on an as-needed basis. And please remember to ask for me, not shopkeep! Shopkeep will playing the part of shopkeep for the first time in a long while as checkpoints within the stage itself. For now, you may buy what you think will be helpful immediately, or save your money now and hope to survive to the first shopkeep instance with no items in order to make more informed choices."

Lava Immunity For 10 Seconds - 250 z - Allows the user to touch lava without harm for the duration. (Rulekeep note: What we call lava is not actually lava, it is just a red liquid that kills instantly on any contact. Clothes included! Please remove loose strands of clothing, and watch your hair.)

Rock Candy - 200z - Feeds Ghosts, pacifying them from their insatiable bloodlust. (Rulekeep note: These ghosts cannot actually pass through the walls! Perhaps a zombie or ghoul would have been a better word choice? Unfortunately, we don't have a vocabularian with us! Oh, and these ghosts have no relation to any other ghosts you may have heard of, by name or form.)

Rank 2 weapon - 300z - Upgrades weapon from Rank 1 (Rulekeep note: Your normal fists and body maneuvers count as rank 1 already, so don't think we overlooked something! This also allows a new weapon form, much like before. It can even have range! Up to 5 meters. Note that players start with defense 3, meaning you need a rank 3 weapon before you can engage in killing other players! Until that point, there are some baddies along the way you might need to fight. Still freeroam, so there aren't stats or HP or whatever! If you're near death, though, you'll know it, trust me. Oh, uh, pain receptors are at 20% with a modest sedative cap, if that means anything to anyone. Try to get used to it, all pain limiters are getting removed on stage 9!)

Magnifying Glass - 250 z - Gives a hint towards solving the current puzzle (Rulekeep's note: These are one-time use only! After use, the magnifying glass explodes. No refunds! If you are unhappy with your hint, then please summon the rulekeep.)

No. 590924 ID: 2fd516

Rock Candy, Rank 2 weapon.
No. 590925 ID: 2d9b28

how much for a rank 3 weapon? Buy rank 2 and save the rest till you can get rank 3+
No. 590926 ID: 487455

>lava kills on contact with lose clothes or hair.
At least Alison has fine control over her hair, and our normal stage wearing outfit doesn't have flowing bits.

We might need to help some other people temporarily redesign their outfits, though. Flowing cloth and dangly bits, bad. Stuff has to be removed, or tied off, or tied up, and skirts and dresses and robes swapped for pants and the like.

Probably should stagger choices through the group, so some people save, and some people go for one option or another. The magnifying glass seems the chump choice, though.

...if we get a level 2 weapon, and make it ranged, and apply it to Alison's hair... does that mean we get prehensile hair that can extend to 5 meters? That could double as a grapple and do all kinds of crazy things in freeroam. And break the normal size limits to boot.
No. 590930 ID: dc4b80

Well we have the rock candy hint so might as well buy one of those. And either save the rest or upgrade our weapon one rank.

The Pain receptor thing means that you had better get used to pain now. I am guessing these stages will start getting more and more like the real world. There are less people so the simulation can put more power into the physics engine as it were. Which means we have a slight advantage having been in the more complex belenos sim earlier.

You know that could be what makes the later stages so nasty. Imagine a true survival simulation freeroam with real world physics for everything. If you get a cut you can get infected. If you break a bone you have to set it and heal over time. And you have to protect yourself and find food while fighting other contestants. While you have seen some nasty stuff you have been sheltered from how bad it can get in the real world.

I like how Sevener just admitted she has been a dumb ass who was mislead by stupid previous cycles. But she does have a point. Lets not get so caught up in the idea that we have to get Corruptor and Savior working together that we ignore other possible leads. Even if we did get them to play nice we still are not sure it would get us what we want. Just concentrate on making it to the end.
No. 590934 ID: bb78f2

You give that poor shop keeper a hug right now!
No. 590938 ID: 9ddf68

Lava Immunity & Rock Candy

if we don't know what to expect might as well get something that'll let us ease by potential threats should we make a mistake.

also, what sevener said about the notes and logs, since even if what is said on those are true the person speaking might have had a completely different mindset then they do now in this cycle and the fact that almost no one (or at least the people we need for our plans to work) is welling to work with us, I'm mostly just ignoring them until something comes along that proves them right but never completely disregard them since doing so could mean the difference between life and death. Or to put it simple something to keep in mind but not to act upon unless something comes along to suggest acting upon it would actually help.
No. 590943 ID: d8a627

Okay that rock candy tip is actually useful now, and we know it should always be a useful one. Pacifies the ghosts? Great!
And despite the tip saying that the ghosts in question are unrelated to the mythical Ghost, the rock candy might still pacify Ghost as well.

Having maneuverable hair is handy, but getting something ranged that won't insta-kill you for shooting through a lavafall is a must. After all, only body, hair, and clothing can result in instakill, not weapon contact!
Actually, ask Rulekeep about that, just to make sure.
No. 590968 ID: fef726

Ask if the items are like zenny, untradable\unblockable?

Also how many items can a person hold at once.

As for what to buy? I think everyone should alternate items and only buy one of each while also upgrading weapons. Most of Alisons group has gotten weapons that work as utility as well as a weapon.

For Alison? I think the rock candy will help best. Ghosts might be able to eat each other and befriending one is going to be beneficial.
No. 590976 ID: 1810d5

Question, are the lava immunity and rock candy one time use like the magnifying glass? If not, those are invaluable, get those immediatley.

Only worry for Alison is the length of her tail, it seems like a lot to lug around.
No. 590985 ID: 95c255

How does the timer for the lava immunity work? If we touch lava for only one second, does the timer stop at nine seconds or does it just run down to zero regardless?
No. 590991 ID: dc4b80


Also is the lava immunity a activate-able item or does it automatically start the timer if you contact lava?
No. 591056 ID: d470e9
File 140892741478.png - (21.90KB , 800x800 , SZ8-55.png )

"Rulekeep, please!"
>"What can I do for you?"
"Are all of these items consumable?"
>"Correct. The only non-consumable purchase are weapon ranks."
"So if I use a lava item, it'll only last 10 seconds whether or not I'm in lava?"
>"Yes, once used, the item is used up and the timer will go down whether or not you're in lava contact."
"And, if I get weapon rank 2 and get its range, would I be able to use my hair that far away?"
>"No, it would be more like... a whip, perhaps, you can whip your hair forward to its full range, but can't control it much until it returns again. Also, it will be vulnerable to lava and other hazards, so..."
"I understand. How much is it for a rank 3 weapon?"
>"That information is not yet available."

Alison will go with her fallback, acid spit.

Mathematician gets some final stats, and counts that Swords and Snakes have a count of 104, 25 under Swordsbane and 79 under Alison, including the leaders themselves.

Alison and 38 others get weapon rank 2, and at least one other item. Otherwise, people spread out their options relatively evenly.

Chief, Engineer, Recluse, Scanner, Smuggler and about 7 other new members did not purchase anything.

Ability Removed: Summon Shopkeeper (As Rulekeeper)
Ability Attained: Summon Rulekeeper
Items Received: Rock Candy, Weapon Rank 2

>Give Shopkeep a hug [once he is done shopkeeping]

Despite Alison's asking Glitcher again if there's anything more she can do, Glitcher says to just survive.

There are not many independents left, and those that remain are fiercely independent. Of those who chose a faction, Alison received a favorable share, with a minority going to the council and fewer still to the obliterator. Bones does not appear to have taken on any new members.

Of Alison's new group, everyone has been encouraged to get to know one another so that everyone knows who is an ally by face and name.

>Only worry for Alison is the length of her tail, it seems like a lot to lug around.
Alison may shorten it a little bit for this stage.

Continue to Stage 8? Y/N
No. 591057 ID: 2fd516

No. 591058 ID: dc4b80

Go for it. I think we have done everything we can here.
No. 591059 ID: 487455

We might want to see if anyone needs help designing or modifying outfits to be less lava-vulnerable before advancing.

Also, there's the problem of Glitcher. Did rulekeep find a satisfactory way to handle him this time around? Did the system set up a safe spot for him to wait out the stage, or is he gonna have problems getting through again?
No. 591060 ID: 9ddf68

all we can do now is move forward and see what waits for us

No. 591741 ID: 668e56

>Alison isn't entirely clear on what happened, Sevener left her to go deal with administration things and meet Chief without explaining herself fully.

We should get her to explain what she was talking about at some point, then. Probably too late for that now, but maybe in the next safe zone.
No. 593282 ID: 2eac65

Before we go, can we have a quick talk with Savior? There's one point that I don't believe we've brought up. Specifically, our world could be threatened from outside the simulation. If the computer broke down, or someone on the outside decided to attack it, we could all die without even knowing it. If we escape the stages, though, then we might have a chance to save ourselves.

This isn't the best time to discuss the issue at length, but it would give him someting to think about.
No. 593643 ID: d470e9
File 141040226792.png - (26.67KB , 800x800 , SZ8-56.png )

"Rulekeeper, have you found a satisfactory way to handle glitcher this time? He's here, if you want to talk to him."
>"Yes, well, this is still in the works, but until further notice, you can trust that he will be pulled out into a quarantine zone. He will wait there momentarily until stage 8 completes, and rejoin you all at stage 9. He does take a slot in the contestant count, so please be aware that we are going to try to include him in the stages with all of its perils as soon as we can."
>"No, no, no, that won't do!" Glitcher says, nearly panicking.
"Hold on, what's wrong, glitcher?"
>"I need threads from stage 8! There might be pictures and things there too. I can't go in a quarantine zone."
"Hm... Rulekeeper, it is possible for Glitcher to join us in Stage 8 as long as he doesn't interfere with anything that would change the outcome?"
>"As in, spectate?"
"Yes, and observe some of the walls and materials."
>"...... let me think...... alright. Glitcher. I presume you can still hear me?" Glitcher nods, and Alison nods for him. "Yes. I'll allow this, but, any help you give your allies will end in disqualification for them. Any hindrance to your enemies will be met with recovery of their state. Either case will end with you being ordered to a quarantine zone, and failure to do so will lead to further disqualification of your allies. Is this understood?"
"Yes." Alison says, after Glitcher nods again.
>"Good! I can still sense changes in the stage, Glitcher, so if you wish to communicate with me during your stage 8 stay, simply write in the walls. There will be plenty of those."
No. 593644 ID: d470e9
File 141040227582.png - (19.38KB , 800x800 , SZ8-57.png )

Alison stops by the place King has called his own as well.

"Hello, King. Do you think I could speak with Savior?"
>"What would you like to tell him?"
"I want to make sure that he knows that we could be threatened from outside of the simulation. Even aside from the stages and all of this, we could die, permanently, at any point in time."

King pauses, and visibly calls out some patience for himself.

>"I can guarantee you that he is aware of it. Or at least, that he glossed over that fact. He won't care, his entire being doesn't care about anything outside all of... this."
"If you're certain of it, I'll trust that it would be pointless to say."
>"Yeah. Good luck."

Some time is spent making sure that if anyone has any loose threads, hairs or body parts, that they are well under control so they don't get lava on them.

With that done, Alison relaxes for a brief period before Stage 8 starts.
No. 593645 ID: d470e9
File 141040231843.png - (50.71KB , 800x800 , SZ8-58.png )


There is a green fire at the side of one wall. Its light does not extend more than a couple of meters outward before the space is completely pitch black, but it's enough to illuminate part of a solid wall, and a smooth stone underneath with writing etched into it.

You are in the caverns of a recreation of the ancient Ultrahive Citadel. Behind you lies the beginning of your route to the rooftop.

At the end of each tunnel, you will reach an intersection. Each path will have a red torch at its front, and only one path is correct. You will find a set of dials. Solve its puzzle, and the torch on the correct passageway will be lit. Following the wrong path will result an unfavorable outcome between inconvenience and death.

Each intersection also features a purple light in front of the dials. Lighting this torch will instantaneously align all dials - however, for every purple light lit aside from this one, a ghost will be raised from the memory of past contestants.

No. 593646 ID: 1f2a28

Well, better get on with the dial turning then.
No. 593649 ID: 2fd516

Ah, ghosts are present. Rock Candy was indeed a useful purchase. ...wait what? Memory of past contestants?! Doesn't that mean we can use the rock candy to speak with contestants from previous cycles and OH GOD does this mean the contest has a backup of the AIs from PREVIOUS CYCLES!? If it does, we could retroactively save people.

Summon rulekeep immediately and ask what "past contestants" means- confirm that means previous cycles and not just... contestants that died in previous stages.
Also ask how long Rock Candy lasts and how many ghosts it can work on at once.

Check out the dials while talking.
No. 593651 ID: d90668

That's not a purple light at all.

Hmm ghosts of memories of past contestants. Might want to summon at least on if we find a hard puzzle. Could be enlightening.

Well search this room over for anything interesting and then carefully head on out. There will be the puzzles at the intersections but there also could be loot and traps all over. There are probably ways of getting more items and such.
No. 593653 ID: d470e9
File 141040595255.png - (52.75KB , 800x800 , SZ8-59.png )

"Rulekeep, please."
>"Yes?" A mini rulekeep appears.
"What does 'past contestants mean'?"
>"Any contestant that has died."
"In any cycle?"
>"What? Oh, no, just this cycle. Well, all cycles, I suppose. You're the same Alison as any cycle, after all, just with a new set of memories and experiences."
"Alright. And how many ghosts does rock candy affect, and how long does it last?"
>"One ghost per rock candy, and permanently."
"Okay, thank you."

A look around the room is taken. It looks like a burial chamber, given by the mummified neumono. The etchings on the wall seem to revolve around a different idea of life and death. Alison hopes that if there is anything useful here, Glitcher will be able to report it in detail.
No. 593654 ID: d470e9
File 141040596216.png - (43.49KB , 800x800 , SZ8-60.png )

The tunnel goes down, then up, and fluctuates, but Alison is pretty sure she's gone upwards moreso than downward. She reaches an intersection, where she finds a rectangular notch with 3 dials inside of it, each one with etched numbers above and a notch around it. It doesn't look like the dial itself rotates, but the notch on the outer rim of each dial can rotate.
No. 593655 ID: fef726

Anything in the chest\sarcophagi underneath that torch?

Also can you take the torch?
No. 593656 ID: 2fd516

Oh god damn it. A combination lock, but you don't know if it's right,left,right or left,right,left...
right,left,right: first is 2, second is 10, third is 3.
left,right,left: first is 10, second is 4, third is 11.

Try each, see what the passages it shows us are for each attempt, then light the purple torch to confirm which one it is (if you get different results), and feed the ghost.
No. 593659 ID: d470e9
File 141040733482.png - (43.53KB , 800x800 , SZ8-61.png )

>Anything in the chest\sarcophagi underneath that torch?
It didn't look like there was.

>Can you take the torch?
It's ingrained in the wall too well, and the fire hurts to get too close to.

Alison doesn't know offhand how it works, but starts to work it like a combination lock.

Alison moves DIAL 1 clockwise by 1.

The rest of the dials changed with it. It doesn't appear to be a combination lock.

The previous image has been fixed - Dial 1 was supposed to have a red background on its number 12 spot.
No. 593661 ID: 2fd516

Um... try turning the middle dial right 1.
No. 593662 ID: d470e9
File 141040803401.png - (43.51KB , 800x800 , SZ8-62.png )

Alison turns Dial 2 clockwise 1 notch.
No. 593663 ID: 9ddf68

I think I get it, those numbers at the top are multipliers. when we moved the first dial the second dial moved ahead 1 and the third when 2 ahead. When we moved the second dial both the third and the first dail jumped ahead two.

Try moving the third dial up one, if I'm guessing right the first dial should move ahead 2 and the middle dial should only move one.
No. 593664 ID: 2fd516

Well that makes sense.

Move Dial 2 six right so that it's pointing at 3, that'll move both the side dials twelve spaces, so they effectively don't move.
Move Dial 1 left twice. Now all dials are pointing at 1.

From there, move Dial 1 left one, and Dial 3 left one. Now both side dials are pointing at 10, and Dial 2 is pointing at 11. Move Dial 2 right one, and all dials will be pointing at 12.
No. 593665 ID: 1f2a28

Ok, so the first dial moved the first number one, the middle number one, and the last number one, and the middle dial moved both non-middle dials two. I would expect that the last one moves the first dial two and the other two one then, since it looks like the numbers above the dial correspond to the numbers moved.

We're probably going to find one of the numbers corresponds to green on each of the dials, one to red, and one to purple. If we get them all on green at the same time, I would expect the puzzle to be solved. As such, moving one dial over and over until we find the greens would work, then we can figure out how to align them without hitting reds or purples accidentally.
No. 593666 ID: 2fd516

The first dial moved the dials x1,x1,x2. The second dial moved them x2,x1,x2. It's just backwards.
No. 593670 ID: d8a627

>The etchings on the wall seem to revolve around a different idea of life and death.
Oh? I wanna know what it is now.
Sounds good.
No. 593682 ID: 1f2a28

Yeah I probably could have cut out like 75 words there.
No. 593689 ID: a188de

I think the target-position is relative:
1-1-2 moves the one left of it *1 and the one right on it *2.
If there is no right/left, it begins on the other side again...
No. 593700 ID: 8b533b

The numbers above each dial indicate how the dial to the left and right of it will respond, but it wraps around.

(multiplier for the dial to the left), (multiplier for this dial), (multiplier for the dial to the right).

We could confirm this by moving dial 3 to show it matches the pattern, but the real question now that we understand how to control the dials is what combination is needed to solve the puzzle. 12-12-12 might be it, since dial 1 was red when set to 12. Doesn't mean it for sure, though. I suppose it doesn't hurt to try. Do this >>593664. If that doesn't work, is there anything that looks like a clue in the carvings in the wall?
No. 594067 ID: d470e9
File 141071746932.png - (48.41KB , 800x800 , SZ8-63.png )

Alison turns Dial 2 clockwise 6 notches. Dials 1 and 3 turn 12 times in a full rotation.

Alison started fast, however, after a few moves, the notches started locking. Eventually, it force Alison to spend several seconds waiting between each turn. This wouldn't be so bad, except that she does want to get ahead of the curve. That, and it sounded like something behind her just crashed, and the sound of a liquid is starting to run.

Alison turns Dial 1 CCW twice. [1,1,1].
Alison turns Dial 1 CCW once. [12,12,11]
Alison turns Dial 3 CCW once. [10,11,10]
Alison turns Dial 2 CW once. [12,12,12]

Once all the notches are on 12, the brazier on Alison's left lights up red, so she will head in from that direction.
No. 594068 ID: d470e9
File 141071749428.png - (25.71KB , 800x800 , SZ8-64.png )

The passage is nearly identical. It curves down for a bit before straightening out and raising once again.

The sound of liquid pouring is still heard. By the time Alison finished the last puzzle, it was taking nearly 15 seconds per notch turn. She may want to spend a bit longer to think everything through to optimize the number of turns it takes.

While turning the last dials, Alison believes that the numbers above each dial are relative to how far they move other dials. In other words, dial 1's numbers indicate that the left number, 2, will move the dial left of 1 - revolving around to dial 4 - two times. Dial 1 will move once, and dial 2 will move 3 times.
No. 594082 ID: 2fd516

It sounds like the 10 second protection from lava is a pretty bad item, if puzzles generally take more than 10 seconds. Rock Candy is fucking amazing because you can skip an entire puzzle with it. This stage is not very balanced!

Here's a solution that's optimal as far as I can tell:
Dials: 2,6,12,9
Turn dial 2 two right. Dials: 6,8,6,9
Turn dial 4 one left(x3). Dials: 3,8,3,6
Turn dial 3 one left. Dials: 3,5,2,4
Turn dial 1 one left. Dials: 2,2,2,2
No. 594084 ID: d8a627

I think it takes less than ten seconds, it's just each time you turn a dial, the delay gets longer and longer. She simply was taking so many steps that the delay got that dang long.
That many steps, of course, included her test turns. Now that we have a theory on how it works, it should go much simpler.
No. 594086 ID: d90668


Yeah this looks like the fastest solution.

(I made a note card with 4 tiny paper dials on it attached with pins. And then someone goes and figures it out just as I finish. Why you ask? Because I like making things.)
No. 594089 ID: 8b533b

Yup, that solution works, and only takes 4 moves. Go for it.

I started trying to build a model too, except I went digital. Then I realized it work take longer to debug and double check it that to just solve the puzzle by hand so... yeah.

>Rock Candy is fucking amazing because you can skip an entire puzzle with it. This stage is not very balanced!
Actually, we might be able to skip more than one puzzle. If the ghosts are based on dead contestants, we have a pool of several thousand dead allies who would not attack Alison, of their own volition, if summoned. Actually, that pool goes up to a million or few, if we count all the belnos sim people we rescued and who died last stage as friendlies.

...of course, most of the trillion contestants are dead at this point. So if ghost selection is completely random the odds of summoning a dead ally are on the order of 1 in a billion. Including the belnos sim people, odds improve to around 1 in a million. Odds get better than that if we assume there's a good number of dead contestants who wouldn't bear us any ill will, or that Alison could talk down.

Of course, all that goes out the window if people summoned as ghosts are compelled to attack us (sans rock candy).

There's also the fact that ghosts persist for the stage, I think. Even if we don't summon any ourself, we might need to pacify or deal with ghosts other people summon (and/or have already been killed by).
No. 594192 ID: 9765b0

I would like to raise the possibility that perhaps if all notches land on a purple space then the purple torch will be lit and a ravage ghost will be spawned. If that is the case then at least one notch will have to be on a 2 for Alison to be safe.

I think that we may only move one notch left or right once at a time, making that 5 moves.

I had tried to solve the puzzle with paper and pen, but in the end I just wrote a script to brute force the whole thing... feels a bit cheaty to be honest so I'll restrain from using it in future but...

2, 6, 12, 9
Move dial 3 left - 2, 3, 11, 7
Move dial 2 right - 4, 4, 2, 7
Move dial 1 left - 3, 1, 2, 5
Move dial 2 right - 5, 2, 5, 5
Move dial 4 left - 2, 2, 2, 2
No. 595686 ID: 602cd8
File 141161120818.png - (28.20KB , 800x800 , SZ8-65.png )

Dial 2 CW twice.
Dial 4 CCW once.
Dial 3 CCW once.
Dial 1 CCW once.

Alison clears this one.

>Putting all notches on purple may activate a ghost
It doesn't appear that having all needles on the same color activates the color's effect; but if Alison ever had all the notches on the same number, and that number was purple, she could expect to have gotten a ghost. Or maybe the purple coloration is just for style and it did nothing, Alison can only treat that as a theory.

Alison goes to yet another section. If all the needles ending up on the same number or symbol activates that number's color, then this one looks far more dangerous for having all needles trigger a ghost, given there are only a few different symbols across 12 notches.

In front of the plaque is a small inscription that says 'Final Dial Set'.
No. 595688 ID: 2fd516

Irrelevant. This puzzle is impossible. The middle dial can only be moved in multiples of 3, which can never result in it reaching the red spot.

Call Rulekeeper to complain, if there is no alteration, just use the bypass torch and shove rock candy in the ghost's mouth.

I'm tempted to use rock candy to bypass this even if Rulekeep makes the puzzle possible.
No. 595689 ID: d90668

If it was possible we could figure it out quickly enough but if we solve all the puzzles we have no chance to rock candy some ghosts.

Maybe the puzzle is that its impossible and most people get stuck here confused.
No. 595690 ID: fef726

It isn't just the 3 movement dial. The 2 movement dial will never hit red either.
No. 595691 ID: d90668


The second dial should be fine because its movement base is 1. So can turn by itself to the red. Also the third dial can move it by 1.

The problem with the third dial is every move it makes or the other two dials next to it will always be 3.
No. 595697 ID: 2fd516

Oh wait, new strategy. Don't summon Rulekeep at the puzzle. Immediately bypass the puzzle then summon Rulekeep while moving on. Make best use of time.
No. 595702 ID: 602cd8
File 141161483007.png - (97.05KB , 800x800 , S8-9.png )

Alison would like to be moving while she does any rulekeep talks, but she hesitates at bypassing this puzzle, as this one has 3 purple braziers.

"Rulekeep, please!"
>"Mmmyyee- oh, this part. Yes, dial 3 does indeed only move 3 notches at a time. That is intentional."
"Thank you." She'll ask about ghost specifics when she's on the move. "Do I need to light all three braziers to bypass this?"
>"That's for you to find out, dear."

It may be good to double check the puzzle just for a moment, she thinks, before spawning what may be three ghosts.

Or it was just made to waste time thinking about something legitimately impossible only to have to spawn 3 ghosts anyway.
No. 595713 ID: d90668

Ok so the 3rd and the 4th dial can never hit red if this puzzle works by the same rules as the previous ones.

Not sure what the significance of 3 purple braziers. If the puzzle does work differently from the others we might not be aiming for lighting the red torch on this one.

I would think outside the box on this one. Just because the first two puzzles did one thing does not mean this one is the same. Could be a trick to confuse you. So inspect the writing and the rest of the puzzle. Check for secret switches or hidden compartments. This puzzle has symbols instead of numbers. They might be the key to figuring it out.

After looking at everything I would try some movement tests if your inspection does not turn anything up. Try moving dial 2 counterclockwise once and then twice. Watch in between turns to see if everything moves as expected. If it does make the second turn and dial one should be on the red. Then see if anything new happens.

It could be that dial 3 and 4 are just there to confuse you and all you have to solve are one two and five.
No. 595714 ID: 2fd516

...man, the fourth dial can't hit red either. Also, I don't think dial 1 and 5 can hit red at the same time. Dial 2 is fine since we can freely rotate 3.

Alright just try rotating dial 2 CCW once. See if the dials move weirdly this time around. If everything moves as expected, just light one of the purple torches to see what happens.

...it occurs to me that you can use the resulting ghost to scout out the passageways. THAT is the optimal solution, I bet, if otherwise we'd have to light all three. Feed the ghost candy, then send it out to scout.
No. 595716 ID: 04b86a

>dial 4
Hold, on, guys. Take a really close look at dial 4. That one's different than the others.
No. 595719 ID: fef726

Now that is interesting. Dial 4 rotation doesn't have the 5th dial as being 5 like it should either. Lots of hints something is up with it.

Lets assume the V on dial 4 is the true goal to solving this puzzle.
No. 595720 ID: d90668

Wait I just noticed that the fourth dial has a V looking symbol where one if it's X's should be. Also there are only 4 dials on the ground while there are 5 on the overhead display.

Ah ha just noticed something big! There are not torches on each exit like the previous ones. Just one to your left. You might not have to even touch the puzzle if there is only one torch that could light up.
No. 595721 ID: 416aef


If the torch thing is right we can just go left because the puzzle is a death trap.
No. 595723 ID: fef726

AH good eyes. My guess is the exit might pop up UNDER the puzzle. That would explain the third torch.
No. 595725 ID: 2fd516

...only one path has a torch on it? Then there is only one possible correct path. That must be the way to go.

I hope there are more opportunities to use rock candy.
No. 595726 ID: d8a627

Can any of these notches be moved, rather than the dials? Do the numbers above the dials slide?
No. 598591 ID: 602cd8
File 141350080151.png - (23.04KB , 1000x800 , S8-10.png )

>There is only one brazier
Alison will have many complaints if following that path results in her death. Since Rulekeep seems amicable, Alison risks it, and follows the path the only brazier points to.

>"Rulekeep, please! What's bad about summoning a ghost?"
>"Well, they're told that if they kill the person who summoned them, they'll be revived. If you use a rock candy, then they learn that no, they're just ghosts, and won't come back to life no matter what. They can't attack you if they have rock candy, either, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they're friends. Oh, mind you, ghosts you summon are drawn from a pool of only people you've met or been in contact with, but there are other ghosts around that are randomly pulled... well, not really randomly, but random enough for you. Purple ones are unpacified, and blue ones are pacified."
"Alright, that'll be all, thank you."

Alison goes on throughout the tunnel, before she comes onto a chest with a zeny counter that is running down as she approaches it. Once opened with 221 zeny on the counter, she finds 221 zeny inside, leading her to believe that this was to reward swift completion of the previous segment.

Ahead, there is some kind of mural at the end of the wall with a floor hatch underneath.
No. 598592 ID: 2fd516

Hmm, interesting. So if you summoned a ghost, they might not even attack if they believed your life was more valuable than theirs. Which is fairly likely, since you were allied at one point with most of the people you've met that are now dead.

There might be something behind the chest-- check it out. Then go look at the mural.
No. 598593 ID: 88960e

>ghosts you summon are drawn from a pool of only people you've met or been in contact with
That really weights the odds towards Alison summoning someone who would chose not to attack her, even with the (false) incentive of revival.

>what do
Take zenny (has the contest used zenny before? Everything in the shops cost CU before) examine mural.
No. 598594 ID: bb78f2

The real Dark Selection starts here.
Check behind that chest. Then attack chest. No risks!
No. 598603 ID: 602cd8
File 141350431499.png - (22.38KB , 800x800 , S8-11.png )

>Has the contest used zenny before? Everything in the shops cost CU before
Alison doesn't believe zeny has been used before, but she does know that zeny is the main currency used by... people. She guesses. And now her. She believes the system is using zeny instead of CU now, since CU was persistent, and she expects any zeny gathered here will be lost at the end of the stage.

>Check behind that chest. Then attack chest. No risks!
Alison already got the zeny from the chest. It didn't occur to her that the chest was some kind of trap, nor that anyone would be so cruel as to make the first chest in a stage be a trap. She'll try to remember the possibility in the future.

Upon checking the slot behind the chest, Alison finds another 50 zeny.

>Check mural
It appears to be a sequential series of events. Many ghosts are gathered and unable to cross through any passageway with a five pointed emblem that has a lit dot on each point. A neumono comes, holding that five pointed emblem, and 5 ghosts each enter one dot. The neumono then crosses the passage, and the ghosts are released, leaving the other uncollected ghosts behind.

The neumono brings them to another passages with the same five pointed emblem, but only dotted on the bottom three stars. The neumono tries to pass with all 5 ghosts, but the two ghosts in the upper points are kicked back out as the neumono crosses through. Lastly, the neumono passes through a door with a single dotted emblem, only carrying one ghost through. The emblem shatters, and the ghost ascends, or at least that's what it looks like.

Alison notices that one of the occurrences of emblem the neumono is holding is not part of the mural - it is an actual emblem that Alison can probably pry out.
No. 598604 ID: bb78f2

Attack Emblem.
No risks!
No. 598605 ID: 2fd516

I think that we can resurrect one ghost during this stage. Grab the emblem. At the next puzzle that gives us any problems, we should summon a ghost.

Who's that standing on top of the mural? There also looks like a panel up there.
No. 598612 ID: d90668

Start treating this stage like that one way back that had all the hidden buttons you had to push. Make sure to check everywhere for secrets. But do not waste to much time searching things.

But also be aware that some of the secrets might be trapped so watch for signs of traps before poking around.

I am guessing that there is a maze up ahead that deals with managing ghosts. That star is the key and if you run all the charges out it will break and you lose your ghosts. Probably are more puzzles ahead that having more or less ghosts will be helpful with.

Check those feet up top and the odd colored wall section before you start prying out stars. The star looks like it starts with 3 charges or maybe 3 ghosts inside.
No. 598613 ID: 88960e

So, just to be clear, the star is used to carry friendly ghosts past wards, not to trap hostile ghost long enough for you to sneak past.

Pry it off the wall. Handy thing about prehensile hair, you can squeeze into narrow cracks and grab the edges by easier than with fingers.
No. 598828 ID: 60700b

Ask Rulekeep about the viscosity of the lava, whether it has a low viscosity and covers the floor upon entering a room or hall, a very high viscosity and looks like a slanted wall as it fills a room, or something in between.

In any case, it might be best to check if you can use the walls to travel through the hallways without touching the floor. It can be a useful skill in the future.
No. 600232 ID: 602cd8
File 141497122326.png - (30.27KB , 800x800 , S8-12.png )

>There are other frames to the mural
It's a big mural, but it's all just a lot of panels showing what Alison has gathered.

She uses her hair to pry the emblem out of the stone. The dots fade away, appearing to have only been there to fit in context with the mural. Five grey dots appear on each node, implying capacity for five ghosts. Her hair tries prying at parts of the walls in the cracks, but doesn't find anything in them.

>Ask Rulekeep about viscosity of lava
She says it's quite thick, and will be slanted if a lot flows at once.

>In any case, it might be best to check if you can use the walls to travel through the hallways without touching the floor.
She cannot. However, if this is like attack stats in the past, she might be able to if she powers up her weapon rank.

>Attack Emblem. No risks!
Actually it looks fragile and attacking it is a huge risk.

She drops down to a lower floor, apparently without noise as a ghost nearby does not notice her. There are 3 passages, but the ghost seems fixated on the carved wall.
No. 600233 ID: dd8e0b

Huh. The ghost has little blue flames. That's different. (Unless those were part of his appearance, pre-ghost).

Take a peek at the mural, and slink off quietly through the door closest to you. (Immediately to your right, if you turn your head).
No. 600234 ID: 2fd516

Is there a detachable emblem on the wall? You may have to use the rock candy here to get at it.
No. 600260 ID: 602cd8
File 141498342729.png - (52.85KB , 1200x1200 , S8-13.png )

As far as Alison can tell, the wall carvings are just simple designs. There is no emblem on it, nor anything of particular interest Alison can see, despite that it almost looks like there was going to be another story told through pictographs judging by the neatly set, empty rows.

The ghost is intensely focused on it anyway, so Alison moves off into the passage she landed closest to before she's noticed. The wall carvings continue in the same design as the wall the ghost was staring at. There's a couple forks partway through, but without any signifier to which direction leads where, Alison arbitrarily chooses left both times. The passage looks like it opens up farther ahead, but Alison lingers a moment as she hears two airy voices arguing.

"--rew off. I was here first."
"There's more of us then there are rooms."
"And I don't need the competition! I'm not gonna let you look at this wall in peace, I already got it!"

The argument continues for another few moments, but before Alison decides to stop using her time on this, the quieter one relents.

".... fine, I'll go, if you tell me where the original room was."
"That way. Two lefts, take a 180 right, one left, one right. Dumbass."

No. 600262 ID: 2fd516

...wha? Not enough information to tell what's going on here yet.

Follow those directions regardless. It sounds like all the ghosts are supposed to just stare at the wall for some reason... Let's find out what the "original room" is.

Also start making a mental map.
No. 600264 ID: d90668

Looks like a few of the other contestants got down here fast.

Just because you can't currently see anything on the walls does not mean there is not something there. Might be a trick to seeing the stuff. Heck maybe you need ghosts to read what is really written there to you.

I say go join the voices and see who they are.
No. 600266 ID: dd8e0b

It sounds like you're listening to two ghosts argue over territory.

From the directions, one's about to come right for you! (Two rights, instead of two lefts). Can you hide anywhere, so you don't have to use your rock candy?
No. 600267 ID: d90668

Hmm did not consider the ghosts might be fighting for blank walls to stare at.

Because if they are ghosts the fact that they are talking in purple text might mean they are not pacified ghosts.

So maybe get out of sight and see what they look like before talking to them.
No. 600271 ID: dd8e0b

It's possible that the walls aren't blank- that the ghosts can see something we can't.
No. 600272 ID: 602cd8
File 141498746249.png - (55.09KB , 1200x1200 , S8-14.png )

>Start a mental map
It might get complex, but she can at least remember what she's gone through so far.

There's nowhere to hide, unfortunately, but it doesn't appear that the ghost being told directions goes into Alison's passageway. He goes around a curve, out of sight, by the time Alison reaches the room. The other ghost, the fluffiest thing Alison has ever seen and likely ever will, is also staring at the wall. He turns around a couple seconds as Alison tries to get a look at him. Unfortunately, hiding seems implausible.

"... holy shit. Snake Queen, right? I'm not going to fuck around with you. These walls have puzzles for us ghosts. We gotta solve them, apparently, and share the solution with you so you can get outta here. I'm told by some I'm a bit of an ass, and others that I'm a hell of an ass, but I'll tell you that I am damn good at these puzzles. You put me in that emblem, I help you out more than these other brick for brains could. And since you'll ask, this whole ghost thing? The ghost that you bring to the end of our route gets resurrected. There's a few purple ghosts out there. They'll kill you on contact, but all ghosts are the same strength. A single blue ghost can hold back a single purple ghost. As for what I'm not sure about, is what makes a ghost turn from blue to purple, but my hypothesis is that blue ghosts that either lose all hope you'll pick them, or blue ghosts that hate you will turn purple. Yeah, that means blue ghosts can turn purple, but I haven't seen a purple one turn blue. S'all I know offhand. Oh, and let me be honest with you. Once you put a ghost in that emblem, you can't put a new ghost in that emblem's node. So if you bring me along, you'll be stuck with me until either I abandon you, or you choose to deactivate the node in one of the checkpoints, which of course then you can't have any ghost in there. I assume you read the mural up topside. You understand? If so, point one of those emblem nodes at me. Wait... where is the emblem?! Oh my fucking stars, do not tell me the legendary Snake Queen didn't even snatch the thing that was two feet from the floor hatch? Wait. No. That's no big deal. We can probably just go back and get it."

Alison has the emblem in her hair.
No. 600273 ID: 2fd516

Good grief. Ask him why he's letting the fluffy guy look at the wall but not the guy that just left. Also, what do the puzzles look like? Obviously only the ghosts can see them, but that doesn't mean only the ghosts can solve them. Someone who's good at describing the puzzles could potentially be useful too. Ask him how many he's solved. Does he know any other ghosts that have solved a lot? I'd put him in the emblem but will he be able to solve more walls if you do that? You probably need all the solutions, which means we have to shop around to figure out who's got solutions we're missing.
No. 600277 ID: dd8e0b

Laugh, introduce yourself as Alison, and ask the fluffy talkative thing his name.

And then maybe summon Rulekeep and ask if she can confirm his explanation? You chose ghosts to work with in this stage, they're not all promised rewards to attack you as before? (Double checking this isn't a clever ghost leading you into a trap).

Then accept his help, and reveal the emblem.

On the subject of hopelessness, explain you aren't certain the system is actually going to resurrect any of the ghosts. But you're trying to break the cycles and save everyone, so you hope he'll have a reason to help you, anyways.
No. 600278 ID: d90668

Well if they do get a rez and they know it that explains how this part of the stage works. You have to find the best team of ghosts you can and keep there spirits up!

Anyways this guy could be useful. Most of his info is probably accurate but be careful about his hypothesis on ghost color changes.

His personality seems like the arrogant abrasive sort. He talks fast so is probably pretty smart but without the social skills to back it up. The second he did not see the seal he immediately assumed you were a idiot and missed it. Not to say that you can't work with him but is something to watch for. If you get a couple of ghosts that do not get along it will make things harder than they need to be.

Ask him for his name and motion to the walls and ask what type of puzzle is on there. Also find out how long the ghosts have been down here and how many there are.
No. 600279 ID: 602cd8
File 141499082807.png - (41.75KB , 800x800 , S8-15.png )

>Ask him why he's letting the fluffy guy look at the wall but not the guy that just left.
He is the fluffy one, it's only him and Alison in the room now.

"What's your name?"
"Rulekeep, please?"
"Is what this ghost said true?"
>"I'm sorry, but this... I'm not here to vouch for other people, Alison. Please only summon me if you have reasonable suspicions of a mechanic being contrary to established rules, or unfair."
"I'm sorry."
>"It's fine!"
No. 600280 ID: 602cd8
File 141499086976.png - (40.36KB , 800x800 , S8-16.png )

"Okay, Fuzz! I do have the emblem, it's in my hair."
"Oh. 'scuse me. This is our second shot after being fucked by some rule before we knew we could just summon shopkeep or rulekeep or whoever. We're told the next safe zone is damn comfy, too, so we got motivation for resurrection. So yeah. We're gonna be a little on edge about the whole 'depend on the person liking us', or as I'm hoping, liking a reliable ally."
"Speaking of that, are you going to be able to solve more puzzles like this?"
"Already have. I got 3 of 'em. Each puzzle's basically a buncha lines on each row, and we gotta figure out which one doesn't have an anomaly. The row without one is part of the map outta here. In fact it's hardly even a puzzle. More like an observation check. Point is, it isn't worth sharing with you, since sharing means we gotta draw the whole damn thing out, and it's faster to just have one person eyeball it carefully."
"Why didn't you let the other person look at the wall?"
"Look, like I said. We're all gonna be desperate here. We don't like other people having at least as much info as us, cause then there's no reason to not take someone else."
"Is there any guarantee the system will actually resurrect one of you?"
"They'd fucking better!.... but no, there isn't."
"I'm planning on saving everyone, though. I don't know how much of this contest you know about, but I'd like to end all of it. I'm hoping people will have reason to help me, even if there's no room in the emblem."
"... I'm gonna have a lot more motivation to if I've got a slot. Or am I not lucky after all? There's at least a hundred damn ghosts here."

He seems helpful, but Alison might be able to afford being picky about who she accepts.
No. 600281 ID: 2fd516

How many rooms? We can only get the help of three ghosts, so we need a combination of ghosts that covers every room, I expect. Tell him you will likely be back later.

Go talk to that blue ghost you saw in the first room. Only purple ghosts are hostile, so it'll be safe to ask that one for his version of what's going on here and how many puzzles he's solved.
No. 600282 ID: d90668

We can be picky yes. But if you go around talking to everyone it will take up lots of valuable time. No point in getting to the end with our ghosts just to lose because we are the last person there. Plus if you wander around with no ghost protectors you might run into a purple ghost and have to use your candy. So look around but do not try to meet everyone.

As for saving everyone and all the system stuff we have been through I would save that story until you have your team. Then you can give them the rundown of what you have learned and not have to repeat yourself.

Tell him that he seems like a good pick but that you want to meet another person or two to confirm things first. He can either come with you and guard you or stay here and keep working on puzzles. Either way gives him a chance to prove his worth.
No. 600283 ID: dd8e0b

You should accept his help and stick him in a node. If nothing else, he was upfront and helpful about the mechanics of this level, no bullshit.

And while maybe we might need to be picky overall, you should have at least one ghost on hand so he can hold off a hostile purple ghost, if and when you encounter one. He's a reusable resource, in that respect. The rock candy can only be used once.
No. 600303 ID: 4f004c

>If nothing else, he was upfront and helpful about the mechanics of this level, no bullshit.
Yeah, that's something you need right now. The quicker you go, the better your chances are of saving people, so somebody who's willing to ignore formalities for efficient haste is somebody you want as an ally. Take the fellow with.
No. 600408 ID: 602cd8
File 141516155593.png - (19.94KB , 800x800 , S8-17.png )

"Okay, Fuzz! You're the first on the ghost team."

Alison points the node at him, and he gets pulled into the emblem. It might seem somewhat rushed, but Alison could use someone with his efficient attitude, and she doesn't want to be caught without a loyal ally if she runs into a purple ghost.
No. 600409 ID: 602cd8
File 141516159043.png - (27.25KB , 800x800 , S8-18.png )

She then pushes him back out.

Fuzz shares his findings on trying to touch Alison.

Ghosts cannot physically interact with players or their emblems other than obstructing vision, but all other solids are treated as though the ghost has physical form.
Ghosts cannot die from lava. Lava acts as a harmless substance that can be swam through or blocked, although it is viscous enough to be difficult to maneuver through.
Ghosts are always the same strength as one another.

"I saw someone else who was looking at the wall, and he didn't notice me at first."
"Anything special about him?"
"I don't think so."
"Ghosts are easy to find. It's finding competent ones that are going to be difficult. That said, no harm in going in that direction. Any directions as good as any at this point."
"What's in that original room you told the other ghost about?"
"Just some murals that told us about you."
"I might want to go there, actually."
"Actually, that's a bad idea, boss. Too many ghosts hung in there."
"Purple ones?"
"A couple. The rest are blue, for now. Lemme spell it out for you. We get let's say, 20 ghosts gathered up. You can only take 5. I already said ghosts can turn purple by becoming hopeless. I'm gonna say you're intelligent enough to know what's gonna happen with the other 15 when they realize they got no chance."
"Is just realizing they can't make it through enough?"
"If they care about living, then yeah. And from what I've seen, most do."
"How many rooms are there, here?"
"40 at least. It's a mess. Some ghosts went down to the next level, hoping by some chance you aren't full up by then. I forgot to mention, some of these puzzles are trash, and have no valuable rows."

Alison isn't entirely convinced that gathering a lot of ghosts at once is a bad idea, and it may be the quickest way to fill out a team of 5.
No. 600410 ID: 2fd516

It sounds like the optimal strategy is to just go around interviewing people individually. Nobody knows who has a better chance of escaping until we make a decision.

Also act like you chose fuzzy here just because you "had a good feeling" about him. Don't let on that he's good at solving puzzles. That'll mean those who are bad at puzzles might not give up.

It's worth noting that if you gather up 5 ghosts and don't have the full puzzle, you can be killed if 6 purple ghosts find you.

...hmm. The optimal strategy for the ghosts is for them to start teaming up and solving the rooms methodically so there's no overlap in the group. Don't be surprised if you run into ghost belonging to a team. While wandering around, filling out your mental map and talking to ghosts, try to get Fuzzy to solve a few rooms. You could leave him in one room then visit each adjacent room in turn, instructing him to stop any purple ghosts that are about to go in the same direction. If you run into any purple ghosts, you can immediately run back to Fuzzy so he can defend you.
No. 600412 ID: d90668

Unless you get lucky and meet someone you knew in the stages everyone you find here will only know of you by your reputation.

Actually you should ask Fuzz what he has heard about you. Also ask if other ghosts can tell that he is with you now.

The problem with gathering a group is that it leaves you vulnerable. Right now you have one protector and if he is fighting off a purple ghost he can not solve puzzles. You might be able to convince a large group to work with your regardless of the numbers limit but to start I would be careful.

If this is a second chance for people who got killed by bad rules its a pretty crappy second chance. You could be the best ghost ever and if you are one room off the contestants will never meet you.
No. 600414 ID: 602cd8
File 141516482827.png - (14.36KB , 800x800 , S8-19.png )

"Let's go find people individually, at least for now. Is it possible for you to solve a puzzle while still being around me?"
"I don't like it. Let's race to the next room to see how our speeds compare, but we can't know if a purple ghost is different. If one gets to you, I would rather be around. Let's just get a second member fast."
"Alright." says Alison. She'll wait to share her lengthy story and to hear what Fuzz knows about her when they get more time to speak freely.

Alison slithers back the way she came, and it seems like ghosts can move as fast as living people. Blue ghosts, anyway. She finds the first blue ghost she saw staring at the same wall, without noticing either Alison nor Fuzz.
No. 600415 ID: d90668

How goes the puzzle?
No. 600451 ID: dd47f3

...I have a bad feeling this guy is both a loner...And having trouble with the puzzle, which means he's probably going to turn purple very soon, because he has nothing to offer to prove his worth...
No. 600461 ID: fe4bfc

He could just be concentrating really hard on solving the puzzle.

He does seem familiar for some reason. Did we meet someone like him in the Belenosian sim? Or was it elsewhere?
No. 600468 ID: dd8e0b

Wow, Fuzz is big. I thought you'd ended up bending the old body size restrictions with your tail. Is he breaking them with his height?

Try saying hello, since we know about purple and blue ghosts this time around. He's not an immediate unknown danger thus time.

If he doesn't respond maybe ask Fuzz if there's something different or unusual about the puzzle he's staring at?

>other stuff
Filling up on ghosts versus keeping slots open is an odd puzzle. On the one hand the ghosts are useful allies, on the other, as soon as you fill up, the sooner other ghosts realize you're no good to them. And time is obviously a premium.

One thing to discuss with Fuzz might be the possibility of acquiring more emblems from other players (or collecting emblems before they get to them, if they're still working on the dial puzzle). When you advance, the players who don't will die anyways. But maybe if you took their emblems you could overload the exit with most ghost resurrections than was expected. Get more people through, and make things easier with more ghosts helping you.

There's also the fact you've had a lot of friends and allies, a good many of whom are dead now. It's not implausible you'll encounter some here, and if they're still themselves, their ghosts might be willing to cooperate whether or not you had an open emblem, or despite their color.
No. 600528 ID: 602cd8
File 141524372776.png - (21.73KB , 800x800 , S8-20.png )

>I thought you'd ended up bending the old body size restrictions with your tail. Is he breaking them with his height?
Fuzz is around the maximum size, but with height and width rather than length, as Alison had with her tail. Alison also shortened her tail some for this stage.

"Ah! Hi! Hi."
"How is that puzzle going."
"It's... yeah, it's coming along. I just started."
"You've been at this for over 10 minutes, haven't you. This thing takes a few minutes, tops." says Fuzz.
No. 600529 ID: 602cd8
File 141524373962.png - (34.65KB , 800x800 , S8-21.png )

"Er..." Fuzz realizes his words are correct.
No. 600530 ID: 602cd8
File 141524374786.png - (27.96KB , 800x800 , S8-22.png )

"I'm not looking for people who are just good at these puzzles, though."
"This is all there is, though!"
"I heard there's other stuff farther on. I'm not going to fill out my team until I have a well rounded group with strengths that aren't just observational powers."

Alison doesn't think she's seen this one before. Ghosts are presumably non-belenosian refugees, but 'being in contact' could just mean having been in the same stage bracket as someone else, in which case, there are many thousands of people in Alison's ghost pool, and what might be tens of thousands beyond that, if it also includes the recursive absorption that led to her populous dreams.

"I'm sure you have strengths. Please tell me about them."
"Yeah, okay! I, uh... well, I was really good at reading people. Like, when they were going to jump up or down a platform, I would guess which way they would go, and I was almost always right. Almost. Which is why I'm here. But I did make it to stage 7. I even got to area 4, but... augh, it was really dumb, you know. Like, I was probably the only bracket where platform 1 was the winner. I should've trusted my instincts and gone there, but I thought no, 2 is logically the best answer. That's why... sorry, I know, I got really off topic. But, you know how a lot of those stages were. Volatile, and there might have been best chances, but never 100%, especially not pre stage 3 when anyone could insta-kill anyone. So, you know, it probably says something that I made it that far without any big factions or anything."
No. 600532 ID: d90668

Well I think that proves the purple ghost theory. I wonder if we can still reason with someone who goes purple. Well will find out eventually.

If he did not belong to a faction did he have any friends that he made along the journey? Find out a bit more about him if you can.

Someone with the ability to read people would come in handy.

Honestly will have to just grab people who seem useful and hope for the best. It would be to dangerous and take to much time to sort through everyone here. And am sure some of the people down here might be outright hostile to you.

So quiz him a bit and tell him about the basics of your faction. That the game is rigged and you are looking for a solution that ends the cycles and lets everyone out.
No. 600533 ID: 2fd516

What? He picked the right answer on the Broken AI test and lost?! That's bullshit! Call up rulekeep and complain.
No. 600535 ID: 4f004c

>I even got to area 4, but... augh, it was really dumb, you know. Like, I was probably the only bracket where platform 1 was the winner. I should've trusted my instincts and gone there, but I thought no, 2 is logically the best answer.
...Did Chief ever explain the levels?
Well, if he got far without even having a faction, maybe he can do well with one.
No. 600537 ID: 2fd516

...hang on, how did Fuzz die, anyway?
No. 600538 ID: 04b86a

>platform 1 was the winner
Don't worry, not only was 2 the logical answer, but 3 was the idiot's choice, and most people would assume that anyone that got that far was reasonably intelligent. (Not that he would have survived stage 7 anyway, if he was in our bracket)

He sounds fairly competent, at least, so let's take him on. I wonder if the resurrected ghosts take up exit slots or if they're freebies like last stage.
No. 600539 ID: 602cd8
File 141524917117.png - (19.08KB , 800x800 , S8-23.png )

>Did Chief ever explain the levels?
Alison was briefed on the details of stage 7 during downtime.

"Rulekeep, please!"
"This person picked the right answer on the Broken AI test and lost."
>"Yes, everyone like that was among the top picks for this ghost session."
"Isn't it unfair too, though? I'm on a time crunch, and I may just pick the first 5 looking competent people I find and move on. People's chances at resurrection will be lost if I just happen to move into the wrong room."
>"Oh, yes, it's terribly unbalanced! I know that more than anyone. But, please don't blame me! It was my idea to have a resurrection like this in the first place. All of these ghosts were going to be NPCs, you see. Do not tell the ghosts this, but I am coming up with a new stage just for these people. This is just to hold them over and have a lucky winner, but the rest will have their own stage and the winners will show up later. Is there any problem with the current ruleset, Alison?"
"No, thank you."
"I got a problem! It's still bullshit." says Fuzz.
"I still agree, but unfortunately, there just isn't much that will be done for now. I'm sorry, goodbye!"

Rulekeep leaves.

"Alright. Alison, I'm gonna sprint down that hall." continues Fuzz. "You go some different way, slower. When you reach the next room, press down on my node to call me back. We gotta make sure there's no distance limit, or at least make sure it's huge. If you reach any intersection, take a right turn every time, and stop at the next room. If you don't summon me within 2 minutes, I'm assuming I just can't be summoned, and I'm running back to find you. What're you gonna do with this guy? What's your name anyway, guy?"
"I'd like to keep moving, so I'll take him. I believe him, and we could use someone that can read people well. Even if he did get lucky sometimes, getting to stage 7 alone is impressive."
"Thanks! Thanks! I'll do my best!"
No. 600540 ID: 602cd8
File 141524928055.png - (22.15KB , 800x800 , S8-24.png )

"By the way, Fuzz. How did you die?"
"Third Stage. Ran into some overpowered asshole that oneshot me from like 2 fucking tiles away as soon as I said I wasn't joining his faction." Fuzz says while running off, not letting Alison answer.
"He's good at rules." says Anno.
"Yes, he's thinking about this well."

Two ghosts come around the corner.

"Heyyyy!" the short one with whiskers says. "It's Alison!"
"Well, don't talk like you personally knew her."
"Oh whatever, I saw her once, that's more than you!"
"Through a window sill. You could have just spoken to her before you up and died."
"I was too shy!"
"Well she's right there."

Alison still hasn't recognized anyone.
No. 600541 ID: 2fd516

It would be unfair to the other ghosts if you DID recognize anyone, I expect. Heck, it might backfire, because the other ghosts would realize they have no chance at becoming ghost #1, and betray you before the end.

They're blue, so be friendly. Ask them how they're doing on the puzzles, and if they have any special skills. Hmm, I wouldn't be surprised if they're paired up as a team, like I suspected would happen.
No. 600542 ID: d90668

Well I am glad I got the chance to meet you here then. Even if the circumstances are not the best.

Ask them there story and see if they would make a good part of your ghost team.
No. 600549 ID: 888a93

I wonder if it is worth asking ghosts if they know about the simulation resets.
It might be useful as a way to pick out certain traits for ghosts.

Also, i just realized, the emblem will be able to carry fewer and fewer ghosts over time, but the time when that happens may also mean that the number of ghosts that will turn purple will be greater than the last time the emblem changed capacity, which means that we will have fewer and fewer ghosts to fend of purple ghosts, which means we need more rock candy fast!
No. 600551 ID: 2fd516

After we pass the first gate, the only ghosts that come with us to the next puzzle area will be the 5 we put in the emblem. Then we'll have 3 allies, more than enough to fend off two purple ghosts. The last area we will be picking one ghost from the 3. That's trickier, because two ghosts might turn purple before the final puzzle is solved!
No. 600556 ID: 4f004c

I'm fairly certain you saw the whiskery mouse back in the safe zone you met Bandit at... Though I might just be mixing him up with Bandit.

While you shouldn't tell them the truth that Rulekeep asked you not to, you can tell them that you've found evidence that people exist even when they lose, and so that you should be able to save everybody, still. It's best to leave your own allies who trust you to it, though, since they're the most likely to believe you.
No. 600573 ID: dd8e0b

>Do not tell the ghosts this
Hmm. Kind of torn. On the one hand, it would be nice for them to know even if they don't get ressed in this puzzle that they still have a chance. Plus it would keep them from going hopeless.

On the other hand, if we betray Rulekeep's trust, she may stop telling us things like that. Or worse, to keep the ghosts motivated, they might remove that safety net. So we'd be screwing them over.

...maybe we'll reconsider discussing this when we run into the part where we have to lose ghosts. (If we haven't collected multiple emblems to cheat around that. ...we should probably start asking ghosts if they've seen other contestants, and where).

>Alison still hasn't recognized anyone.
It's weird being famous. They must have seen you in one of the earlier stages too, since they're actually calling you Alison and not Snake Queen?

Say hello, there's really no reason to be shy.
No. 600621 ID: 602cd8
File 141534158363.png - (21.25KB , 800x800 , S8-25.png )

"Hello! There's no reason to be shy."
"oh my god she's talking at me"
"She says she's Sweater Mouse, and that it's nice to meet you."

"You called me Alison instead of the snake queen, right? So you must be from one of the earlier stages?"
"Y-yeah. We're... we both died in stage 3. Uh, a different stage 3 than you. Maybe. Probably. I'm, uh, I saw you in the corrupted sanctuary. I was in Arbiter's house. He always called you Alison, so... I didn't call you Snake Queen. I'm sorry. Do you prefer Snake Queen?" With them both dying when the sanctuary was first starting to establish itself, it's likely that only Anno knows about the simulation reset. Alison will ask for sure later.
"Alison is good, thank you. Are you two a team, then?"
"S... sort of. We're friends. I guess so. I haven't seen any other ghosts working together though. Uhm... Arbiter... he's probably dead, now, isn't he?"
"Oh, no, he's alive, and in this stage."
"What she's saying," the other interjects, "is that she really wants to get in your emblem to meet Arbiter again, but she's afraid of being too selfish to ask for just that reason."

"And what about you, what is your name?"
"Birdfeed. Don't ask. To be honest, I really don't actually care. I'll help you out, but don't waste a slot on me."
No. 600623 ID: d90668

Well I can't promise that I can help you meet Arbiter again but who knows what sort of things we will find in this stage. If you come with me you will have to follow my orders and help with any puzzles or fights we run across.

Also if I do get through this stage I can have a friend help you talk to Arbiter even if you do not make it. It's complicated but we have ways of talking to most anyone who has "passed away".
No. 600624 ID: 2fd516

Hmmmm. Hang on a second, if Birdfeed doesn't even want to be on the emblem, why isn't he purple? A guaranteed blue ghost would allow us to complete the final area of this stage with little risk. After all, our chosen ghost would remain blue, and Birdfeed would be able to fend off the other ghost. It would be smart to add him.

As for Sweater Mouse, we can't just put her on the emblem because she wants to talk to Arbiter again. Alison is dating him anyway, so it'd be pretty awkward. Ask her what sort of skills she can contribute. If we decide not to take her, tell her we will try to grant her wish anyway. After all, there's room on the resurrection list for a few more people.
No. 600626 ID: dd8e0b

>Do you prefer Snake Queen?
No, it just... caught on? Some people seemed more comfortable giving me a more 'normal' name. Or less normal, depending on how you see it.

>Arbiter's house
Could she tell you anything about what happened there after you and Arbiter had to leave the sanctuary? You worried, but couldn't really do anything about it.

>wants to see Arbiter again
Well, I can't promise anything, but I certainly hope to see him again myself, so I'll try!

>I'll help you out, but don't waste a slot on me.
I won't if you don't want me to, although I'm not sure anyone is a waste. Thank you for the help, though.

>if Birdfeed doesn't even want to be on the emblem, why isn't he purple?
Maybe because he isn't hopeless, or in despair? Maybe it takes a particular emotional reaction, or a choice to lash out, to turn purple.

Or maybe there's something else motivating him, keeping him blue. Maybe making sure Sweater Mouse survives is more important to him than his own survival, and that's why he's offering us this buy one get one free deal with ghost helpers at his expense.
No. 600627 ID: 2fd516

Oh, and ask how they died. (everyone here is supposed to have died an unfair death, but if their tale isn't unfair, that would be suspicious)
No. 600632 ID: 04b86a

How could she have seen Alison in the sanctuary if she's been dead since stage 3? Alison didn't arrive until the very beginning of safe zone 5.

It sounds like she'll be guaranteed to stay blue when we decide to leave her behind. That's useful enough to spend a slot on.

Let's not mention Glitcher's radio. We're trying to stay as close to Rulekeep's best side as we can, remember? Using Glitcher for negotiations seems like something she won't like. We'll just have to surprise Sweater in the safe zone if we have to let her go before meeting Arbiter.
No. 600801 ID: 796a11

Sweater Mouse is possibly the most adorable thing I have seen in this story yet.
No. 601308 ID: 602cd8
File 141566027948.gif - (17.63KB , 600x400 , S8-26.gif )

"Hold on, though. Sweater, how did you see me if you died in stage 3?"
"Oh, uh, er, we got resurrected once, but then died again later. Stage 6 I think. Yeah. 6. Sorry"
"Was it an unfair death?"
"I... guess so, yeah."

Alison starts walking to the next room while she talks.

"I'm sorry, but I can't promise we could meet Arbiter even if we kept going, but I also can't bring a ghost along just for that purpose."
"Oh, no, no! I can pull my weight, promise! Just, uh... can't ask arbiter, ghost talk is gone... just give me a shot, please! I'll do my best in here, just save a spot for me!"
"I can do that. Birdfeed, I heard that most ghosts go purple if they have no hope. But, you're blue?"
"Yeah? Probably doesn't count people who didn't have hope or care at the beginning. Just people who turn hopeless."
No. 601312 ID: 602cd8
File 141566035208.gif - (24.72KB , 500x500 , S8-27.gif )

Alison reaches the next room, and presses down on Fuzz's node as everyone files out of the central exit. She's not actually sure how she knows which node is Fuzz's, but she'll chalk that one up to innate contest knowledge.

It takes 7 seconds, but he comes.

"That's pretty slow. Hold on, let me run off again. Summon me in 10 seconds while you newbies solve this puzzle."

Alison does so. It takes less than a full second this time.

"Okay then. Summon time is based off distance. Doubt distance is a problem. Got that solved. These two new ones?"
"One is a possibility, but the other will just help us get through this first area. Her name is Birdfeed, and the possible joining one is Sweatermouse."
No. 601313 ID: 602cd8
File 141566036385.gif - (36.28KB , 800x600 , S8-28.gif )

"Uh, hey!" the ghost on the left side says, and there is also a ghost on the right side. "Snake Queen, right?"

Farther off, Alison hears someone's voice echo from a passage.

"Did someone say Alison is here?!"
"Well, fuck." says Fuzz. "So much for not getting huge groups."

No. 601326 ID: 07a835

Time to be standoffish. Tell them you will only meet them individually. You won't talk to anyone unless they're all in a team or by themselves. This is to prevent ghosts from turning purple too soon. They will understand without losing hope, because it's just a delay and a reason to outsmart the others.
No. 601337 ID: d90668

Eh if it happens it happens. I think Alison's reputation is good enough to help keep things civil to start. And if things go bad we can have our group block a tunnel while we run for it.

Everyone knows that Alison is famous for trying to save as many people as possible and managing to pull off miracles. Just having her here will give a lot of these people hope. Just have to be honest and say that we will do our best to help everyone but we can not promise them anything.
No. 601340 ID: fef726

Another person referring to us as Alison. We're getting a lot of people we've encountered. Given the number of dead contestants running around my bet that is deliberate. Since for most people they would have killed those they encountered and encouraging purple ghosting due to lack of hope. Alison is definitely different in that regard.

Anyway talk to any who might recognize you, ask questions individually and put off deciding just yet. Explain to them its to prevent purple ghosts who have no chance of resurrecting at all.

For those willing to work with you without being linked to a node lets try to organize a powwow over what they've all covered and perhaps get a map started so we can cover this place more easily.
No. 601343 ID: 4f004c

Man, all those humans look alike when they don't have differing colors. I thought that was Scanner for a moment.
No. 601347 ID: 602cd8
File 141566569947.gif - (47.15KB , 800x600 , S8-29.gif )

"It's fine. I think the majority of people are going to be very cooperative, Fuzz, but everyone please keep an eye out for any purple ghosts."

Two large ghosts come running into the room. Alison still hears a bit of commotion, so she can expect more to come soon.

"Alison! Tell me you killed that son of a bitch!" The one wielding an axe says.
"I'm the axeman! I died on the third preliminary stage, because you, Iso, and the guardsman made it into the last 3 slots, killing me and the quadruped. Did you manage to kill the guardsman later? Tell me you did!"

Neither one seems like getting in a node is their first priority, as the other new ghost doesn't say anything.
No. 601348 ID: 07a835

Guardsman died, but it was not you who dealt the killing blow. He basically killed himself by trying to First Strike someone who had Item Cancellation.

Don't tell him you resurrected Guardsman. That would earn you a purple ghost.
No. 601350 ID: fef726

I miss those wacky items gaurdsman and the others had that we never saw one of. Pity they were phased out.

And yeah, Gaurdsman was offed the next stage. There were shenanigans involved.
No. 601351 ID: 602cd8
File 141566768232.gif - (44.04KB , 800x600 , S8-30.gif )

"He did die. I'm not the one who killed him, though."
"That's good enough for me."
"Who're you?" Fuzz asks to the ghost beside him. "Hey, Doof! I'm talking to you!"

"It's fine if he doesn't want to speak. I would like everyone to start going over what they've learned, though. I'm going to keep room on my emblem until no ghosts can go farther without it."
"Making sure we keep our hopes up, right? says the four legged ghost."
"Yes, I hope you understand why that is a concern. Anno and Fuzz, please set up a corner for me to interview a few people at once."

Alison is going to begin quick interviews with the help of others, minding that time is too much of a factor to do it one by one. Nonetheless, people are going to file into this room, affording her choosiness. If she just decides on what kind of qualities in personality and strengths she would like on her team, then chances are, she's going to be able to fulfill it with close matches.
No. 601514 ID: 7c58ae

>Making sure we keep our hopes up, right?
Yes. If we immediately fill our emblem with 5 of you, the remained of you are likely to turn purple. And if one of you should then kill me none of us get out of here.

My goal is to save as many people as possible. Eventually, to end this contest and save everyone. I hope that's enough to inspire hope in some of you, even if you're not chosen. I hope enough of you know me, or have heard of me, to know that this is something I'm serious about.

I have confidence that I can find a way for even ghosts who don't make it in this puzzle to have another chance. (Sort of a white lie- not outright telling them we know Rulekeeper is going to give them another chance and betraying that trust, but when they get to Rulekeep's bonus stage, we'll seem right and/or responsible).

>other help
If any of them have seen or been rejected by other non-ghost players, it would help us to know about them. You promise you won't judge them based on the judgements of others- knowing about your competition or allies is useful.

Similarly, if they've seen any unclaimed emblems, that could help too. You don't know if you can have more than one, but trying to overload the exit that way is something you'd be willing to try.

>what else
Since we know we're going to have to go through gates that sacrifice ghosts, we should agree on a fair method of making that choice, now, rather than later. Unless you find some way to cheat or overload to keep your ghosts (and you'll be looking for one), I suggest a random roll. We don't have dice anymore, but you can spin the star and pick a winner / loser by who's node ends up pointing at something.

>on what kind of qualities in personality and strengths
Okay, Fuzz is good at rules and the room puzzles. Anno's good at reading people and their strengths (which makes him absurdly useful for this interview phase).

Birdfeed's good for being free labor. Sweater mouse... never outlined her strengths (though I want to pick her).

Qualities to look for in the last 3 slots: They have to be willing to cooperate, hopefully with some understanding that this is a group effort.

Skills... maybe someone with enough practice in freeroam or the belnos sim to be skilled at hand to hand? (If all ghosts are equal in strength, and we can't rely on superior numbers, skill will be a deciding factor against purple ghosts). Someone who's good at the kind of puzzles Fuzz isn't? (If he's good at rule based stuff, maybe we want someone who's good at more abstract, less logical things, if the puzzles change, later). Someone good at seeing patterns might help us navigate faster? Someone with a really good spacial memory, if Fuzz doesn't qualify, already. We need to memorize the maze as we go, and avoid getting lost.
No. 603367 ID: 602cd8
File 141628976164.png - (33.29KB , 1200x600 , S8-31.png )

>If any of them have seen or been rejected by other non-ghost players, it would help us to know about them.
As far as any ghosts know, Alison is the only living person in the entire accessible area, and the only emblem is in Alison's custody.

Some of the ghosts that went into the further areas are called back for interviews as well. Of the three remaining individuals, Alison found 5 ideal possibilities, although she's made sure to make it sound like anyone has a chance.

A. The Constructor. He was one of the independent individuals in the Corrupted Sanctuary, and one of the ones who helped a great deal in the construction of Alison's house, especially in teaching how to do so where needed. Alison never actually spoke with him other than perhaps a brief thanks for his assistance, although she suspects that the Chief, in his fitting into the management niche, spoke with him more. Nonetheless, while his stage capabilities seem average, Alison has always had a soft spot for the ones who focus on a craft, hobby or even interest in things that aren't the contest.

B. Gnoll. He was one of Chief's earliest minions, who was in the portion that stayed behind in Stage 7 with Chief in case Alison's team fell. Alison admits that if she was not previously acquainted with him, his loud mouthed boasting of his capabilities would not have done him any favors, and she would have had to look past him. However, Chief liked to talk about those old times, especially that time he almost took down Alison. With that, Chief occasionally had the heart to mention his help. Of those, he spoke of Gnoll's mental toughness and, given the nature of the contest, how that would have gone well into physical toughness and stamina later on. Alison thinks he may be invaluable for the increasing freeroam focus and the decreasing pain limitations.

C: Sweater Mouse. Alison was not able to conduct this interview, as she could not speak normally to Alison. She is, however, one of the few ghosts who had already gotten along with any other ghost before Alison showed up, although she and Birdfeed were already friends. Birdfeed claims that the Arbiter had her focus on freeroam type stages in preparation for the later ones, as he did trust her well. Anno, who ran the interview, says she would make a solid pick, if just because she honestly seems like she would do anything Alison asks of her. She seems competent if not superb skill wise, but will have high loyalty and likely be one of the easiest to work with out of anyone.

D: Spineback. Alison found him to be bluntly honest about anything. What may be a problematically low amount of energy, he strikes Alison to be level headed in the face of competition and danger. While most other interviewees try extremely hard and oversell themselves to try to impress Alison, Spineback sounded like his description of himself was from an unbiased third party. It's tough to tell how loyal and easy to work with he will be, though.

E: The Scavenger. Another one who Alison had crossed paths with in with the Corrupted Sanctuary. He belonged to the Collective house, and was a close friend and ally of one of the inner council. He participated in many of the chest runs and logistics that the collective was responsible for, and declined being one of the inner council himself since he felt that the collective felt like the most distant house from the corruptor, whom the Scavenger respected. He says for that reason, Alison has no reason to worry about his loyalty, as he has been disenchanted from his old faction. Anno believes he is honest about it, and Sweater Mouse can at least vouch that he was one of the inner council's right hand man.

F: Other people, in case Alison thinks to cast a wider net for the final set.

Normally Alison would have thought that she did not need to pick soon, either, however, the interviews sparked a frenzy among the ghosts to get things done. The puzzles to sort out this maze and the next puzzle prior to the ghost blocking checkpoint are aggressively sorted out by the ghosts, who then aggressively show their results to Fuzz and Anno, who have been confirmed to already be on Alison's team. Fuzz reports that as far as he's concerned, Alison has a free walk to the checkpoint and just has to pick her team.
No. 603379 ID: 07a835

Gnoll and Sweater Mouse. Toughness and loyalty.
No. 603392 ID: 8f01e8

Sweater Mouse because zealotry and social skills are a powerful combination, and Spineback because every leader with long-term plans needs somebody they can go to for facts rather than flattery.
No. 603496 ID: a7efea

>As far as any ghosts know, Alison is the only living person in the entire accessible area, and the only emblem is in Alison's custody.
Annoying, but entirely plausible. The dead have outnumbered the living by orders of magnitude since the preliminary stages. It would be entirely possible to provide each living contestant their own maze filled with a separate set of ghosts at this point in the competition.

>Alison has always had a soft spot for the ones who focus on a craft, hobby or even interest in things that aren't the contest
Yeah. You had music.

>Alison has no reason to worry about [Scavenger's] loyalty
To the collective, maybe. Put if he chose Corruptor over them, I wonder how he'll take the fact that we're sort of on the outs with Corruptor.

>who pick
We only have 2, so we have 3 slots left, right?

Sweater Mouse is legitimately useful if one of her skills is getting along with other ghosts. That gives the team more stability, and potentially bolsters Alison's diplomatic options versus future ghosts who might just want to turn purple.

And then I'd take Gnoll and Scavenger.
No. 603601 ID: 602cd8
File 141636673306.gif - (32.54KB , 800x600 , S8-32.gif )

"I'm going to keep thinking about it!" Anno shakes his head, but Alison wasn't really lying. "Everyone please follow or lead me to the first checkpoint."

"Hey, we got a purple over here!"
"Tell him to back off!"

"Geez, I'm not gonna kill her!" Alison hears it from behind her, but it seems well contained. Still, she watches her back.

Ghosts report to Fuzz about the puzzles, and Fuzz is able to lead Alison out of the maze. There's a series of 4 levers, each one with 5 different directions the lever can be pulled in. Fuzz moves over to them, calling Anno and Alison over.

"Pretty sure the directions I got for this are solid. But if it isn't, then someone's gonna get fucked." Fuzz says, gesturing to the mural on the wall, indicating that failure results in death, ghost or living. "Alison. You mind pulling someone over to be a test subject to see if Anno and I are right about this? We spent long enough on the interviews."
"Hey, it's on you." says Anno. "I just don't think any of them were lying, that's all."
"You trying to throw me under the bus if I'm wrong?"
"You get all the credit for compiling the info, if you're right."
"Well, whatever. We got dozens of eyes on us. Hey, you guys! Stay 10 meters back! Make sure everyone else does the same, otherwise we're risking no one getting out!"

Alison is leaning on getting Sweatermouse and Gnoll, but she's split between Scavenger and Spineback for the remaining 3rd.
No. 603603 ID: 07a835

To not risk any of the team, why not have Birdfeed input the solution?
No. 603707 ID: fe4bfc

Could ask for volunteers. If someone is eager to prove themselves would give them a chance.
No. 603714 ID: a7efea

No one wants to be the tiebreak on Scavenger vs Spineback? I still like Scavenger, but then, I already had my say.

Maybe? He said he wanted to help us, and if we don't give him a chance he, he won't be able to.

Hub whoever for luck before sending them into the potential deathtrap, though.
No. 603715 ID: 07a835

I'll throw my weight behind Scavenger, mostly because I don't like Spineback.
No. 603904 ID: bfdaf0

I suggest Constructor. I bet one of the later riddles will require some lateral knowledge that he's the most likely to have.
No. 605738 ID: f15df6

I also vote for Constructor. Engineering and puzzle solving aren't so different when you get down to it. Both are simply building a solution to a tricky problem.

Often times, building something can BE the solution to a puzzle.

Point is, hard working and useful.
No. 605740 ID: 256d52

I think I'd like to see Constructor too. Picking up a skill like that shows a lot of dedication and a tendency toward lateral thinking.
No. 648694 ID: dd338c
File 143441386167.png - (34.73KB , 800x800 , S8-33.png )

Alison approaches Birdfeed, and gets about as alone as she can get.

"Thank you very much for your help and cooperation through this. I'm going to take Sweatermouse. Would you mind doing one last huge favor for all of us?"
"You want me to pull those levers to try it out?"
"If you aren't uncomfortable about it in the least."
"Sure. Come on, I already said I wasn't gonna be part of the team."
"You're helping us, so I think you are."
"Okay, thanks."

Alison's final team decision: Anno, Fuzz, Gnoll, Sweatermouse, and Constructor. So far, though, she's only entered Fuzz into the emblem.

Birdfeed moves the levers under Fuzz's directions, and a little fanfare jingle rings out as the door's screen fades away.

"Thank you Bird!" Sweatermouse says.
"I got a reminder." Fuzz whispers to Alison. "A low percentage of the ghosts went on ahead. Even if you've decided on your team, don't put them in the emblem yet. Ghosts ahead won't be happy to see a filled out emblem, which raises another concern. Gotta be a hundred ghosts here. How many do we tell to prevent purples from following us? It's goddamn hard to know what people will do or think based on how many we take with us."
No. 648696 ID: ab7529

>Don't put everyone in your emblem
The emblem has two functional purposes: anyone we load into it can pass through the next checkpoint with us, and we can summon them back to us at a distance.

The first function, there's no reason to fill yet. The second, there might be. If anyone has to hold off a crowd of purples, or gets physically held back by other ghosts, we'd need them checked in to summon them.

I'd recommend filling another 1 or 2 slots with people who might need to act as bouncers, and try to keep the ones you haven't loaded yet close.

Keep your eyes peeled for anything that looked like the starting area you came from. We have more options if we find more contestants / emblems.
No. 648699 ID: bb78f2

Couldn't we just do a speech that we can save them in the future? I mean, we ARE going to try and save everyone, ever, and are the only one who could really do it. Like, define hope here. Hope that they'll succeed the stage and can make it into an emblem, or hope that they might make it to the finale and not cease to exist?

I mean, shit, we give a lot of motherfucker's hope before this stage started. Hell, we sorta give Corrupter hope.
How do we not have that shit locked and loaded.
How have we not hugged the shit out of every blue ghost? I wonder if we could bribe a purple ghost into a blue state with the promise of hugs? Look at fuzz, man, I bet his hugs are the BEST.

I bet our hugs could BREAK this stage.
No. 648708 ID: d90668

Honestly Fuzz this is the point where a contestant reaps what they have sown in earlier levels. Might not be as true for some of my lesser well known compatriots but almost everyone still alive knows who I am and what I represent.

People already know my message and that I have a tendency to figure out a way of overloading exits. As long as I do not directly tell people I can't save them most will not despair until its to late for them to try and hurt me.

That being said speed is our best ally here. The faster we keep moving the less chance I have of being ganged up on. The wave has started and if we want to survive we had better stay far ahead of it.
No. 648975 ID: a31e1e

I sort of feel like Spineback might be better than Constructer, but that's a personal thing.
No. 652986 ID: be6e97

I also feel that Spineback would be a better choice, if only for genetic diversity in our Allies. We don't have a single named quadruped in our forces and that needs to change, dangit!
No. 652994 ID: ab7529

Personally, I would have preferred Scavenger. Either way though, this whole emblem-alliance thing is pretty fragile, and I don't think changing our mind is worth the trust we'd lose doing it.
No. 670434 ID: dd338c
File 144262711342.png - (27.59KB , 800x800 , S8-34.png )

Alison gives an emblem slot to Anno, but holds off on any more for the time being. Hugs are dispensed to ghosts in close proximity, since this may be the last time Alison sees these ghosts.
No. 670436 ID: dd338c
File 144262717541.png - (16.92KB , 800x800 , S8-35.png )

"What are you doing?" Fuzz asks.
"I'm giving hugs."
"Every hug you give is also an advantage you give your enemies."

Fuzz is taking the joy out of hugging, but she can't argue with that.
No. 670437 ID: dd338c
File 144262719546.png - (24.24KB , 800x800 , S8-36.png )

Alison makes a sweeping gesture to gather some number of ghosts.

"All of you, please follow me. Everyone else, please stop any purple ghosts! Also, everyone please hug everyone for me." Alison goes and walks through the door.

She doesn't actually expect anyone to hug anyone on her behalf, but she can hope.
No. 670438 ID: dd338c
File 144262725486.png - (43.78KB , 800x800 , S8-37.png )

Alison seems to lose her body for a moment. She thinks it feels weird, but she's able to sense what is going on in another place.

"Alright, everyone! Alison will be here in just a moment. Sorry I kept you so long, I know that you haven't even had a chance to look around to see what this area has in store for everyone. That's intentional! You all took initiative and a big gamble coming here after Alison could already have picked her team of five. I like that thinking, so for getting here before Alison, you all get an opportunity! Even after I open things up, there won't be any moving back to the previous room. Now, all of the blue ghosts in this stage will get another chance for resurrection in a side tournament. What makes all 40 or so of you special is getting a chance at a head start, if you take it! The rules are simple! For everyone who leaves with Alison - in her emblem or not, just this area - you'll end up in a ghost safe zone and can skip the first Ghost Contest zone, whatever that is! And for a 5% survival rate on the first round, that's no small bonus. But, for everyone who now wants to play it safe and doesn't leave this area, you just enter the ghost safe zone after this stage ends, and then enter the contest at round 1 like normal."
No. 670439 ID: dd338c
File 144262727282.png - (13.38KB , 800x600 , S8-38.png )

"Here's the basic map for everyone. It's simple - any ghost that gets to the green platform is considered to have left this area. Alison can only get to the green platform herself if she has a number of ghosts equal to the number listed on each green path! Now, for every 10 minutes, a continuously lined path will open up and Alison can move to the next area, where she needs less ghosts. So, the faster she can convince people to go with her, the more direct route she can take, and the quicker she can start on the next area. Now, there is the question I'm sure everyone's asking - 'why wouldn't I just help Alison? What's the catch?' And here's Alison, to give me some visual aid to answer that question!"
No. 670440 ID: dd338c
File 144262729792.gif - (95.76KB , 1000x600 , 8-39.gif )

If you follow a fake Alison out, you die as soon as you hit the green platform. No ghost contest or anything! Hello Alison!
No. 670442 ID: fab82d

Quick, Alison, hug yourself! Hug all yourselves!! You may never get a better chance!!
No. 670444 ID: bac0ea

Yes, hug the fake Alisons. Now's your only chance
No. 670446 ID: 2ccbb3



I don't care how it works and neither do you! Split your mind if you have to, it's the biggest loophole you have for saving everyone!
No. 670448 ID: e114bc

...wait wait wait, are the copies new AIs, or some sort of half-AI that just trawls previous actions for appropriate actions to perform? Another possibility is that Rulekeeper is controlling them like a half-AI would. Or are they like... parallel processes, using the same AI structure but running as another process? In that case, we should be thankful this won't last longer than an hour, as the longer a copy of an AI runs the more it will diverge from the original.

I wonder if Alison can prove she is real by bringing up this moral quandary- are the fakes new AIs, parallel processes, or controlled by Rulekeeper or some other AI? Do we need to concern ourselves with saving them?

If not, Alison could try to kill her fakes. It's possible we may need to worry about the fakes killing the real Alison as well, so maybe hugging them is a bad idea and we should ask for the blue ghosts to keep the Alisons separated.
No. 670451 ID: 149da0

Okay- first problem: you didn't star-bind all 5 of your followers yet. Only 2 of them. The other three might be shuffled around with other fakes for all you know.

>Hug yourself
...yes a group hug, tails and arms included, is mandatory. Any you who doesn't participate is obviously fake.

Be sure to thank rulekeep for letting you hug yourself, and a chance to save more people than you would have otherwise.

>what do to solve puzzle
Step 1: Ask the crowd of people to please wait while you find a way to sort this puzzle out. You have 40 minutes to solve it and get everyone through, so remain calm, and don't rush.

Step 2: activate your star and try to store Anno and Fuzz in the emblem, and/or recall them to your side. Then you'll know which of them are real. (And we'll see if the fakes can do the same thing with fake emblems).

Step 3: Ask the Sweatermice trivia about Arbiter and/or Corruption to figure out which one is the real one (since she was from Arbiter's house). The system shouldn't have data solid on stuff from the Corrupted Sanctuary, so this is a good may to see if the fakes have copied memories or if they just look like the person.
No. 670454 ID: fab82d

Say hello to Rulekeeper, and ask what defines a ghost as "following" an Alison.

What if, for example, you select one other Alison to team up with, and then you both go through the 15 path together, and 30 ghosts follow the two-Alison team?
No. 670456 ID: 149da0

...do we still have anything in Glitched inventory? Like the CAI battle button, or the ghost phone? The system doesn't have access to that special inventory, and shouldn't be able to have any of the clones copy you pull something out.
No. 670463 ID: 2e88a5

Immediately hug the rulekeeper and thank her for allowing you to save more people. Then turn to the crowd of ghost and tell them that you must go through the first gate to save as many people as possible.

The fake Alisons will undoubtedly employ hugging tactics as well, acting first will give your attempts to out Alison the fake Alisons more weight.
No. 670488 ID: 211d83

Ok I know how to get a bunch on your side right off.

Raise your hand and ask Rulekeeper a question before anyone else can.

Ask him that if you can get the Alison clones to follow you can you save whoever is controlling them as well?
No. 670528 ID: 211d83

Oh had another idea to help prove yourself. Try doing something only you could do. Do you still have your instrument with you?

With all of your practice over the stages and all the time you spent playing for Shopkeep in ghost land you are probably one of the best musicians here. So if you could play a little song for everyone none of the other Alisons could match your skill.
No. 670539 ID: 5d19d6

Better do something to distinguish yourselves from yourselves. Tie your hair back, tell another alison to tie her hair up, get another other alison to tie her hair in a tail but pulled forward over her shoulder, and get another to, uh... switch clothes? You should be able to switch to one of your alternate outfits, so your clones should too or it'd be a really shoddy trick.

Ok, maybe you switch your clothes, and tell all but one of the other alisons to do something different with her hair.
No. 670654 ID: dd338c
File 144270567351.gif - (59.13KB , 600x400 , 8-40.gif )

Despite having an attack stat, Alison has no attack move, so she believes it's safe to approach and touch other Alisons. She is currently the second Alison from the right. Alison number 4, if she was to count from left to right facing the doors.

"Okay, everyone!" the real Alison, or at least the Alison she knows she is, starts talking. "Plea-"
>"Everyone freeze!" The fake Alison on the far left end yells from behind where Alison can even see. "If you're one of my ghosts, keep to your own Alison! Don't mix and match!"
"We've got no way to tell if the doors shuffled us, Alison." a Fuzz calls out. "All you Alisons mess with your clothes or tie your hair back!"
"We can't change our clothes, but I'll let my hair go down straight!" an Alison says.
No. 670655 ID: dd338c
File 144270568886.png - (25.18KB , 800x800 , 8-41.png )

Alison isn't used to getting interrupted like that. It was a little unpleasant.

Or maybe it's just that, in a sense, she interrupted herself.
No. 670656 ID: dd338c
File 144270569926.gif - (60.08KB , 600x400 , 8-42.gif )

>"That's okay! Ghosts, get close to me! Mine especially but any of the ghosts that were already here as well!" the Alison in the middle says, who put her hair down straight.
>"No, no, no! I don't have time for this, I've got a lot of people riding on me! Please, ghosts, I'm going to go to the exit! Rulekeeper, how do ghosts follow me?!" says another.
"They simply hold your hand. All ghosts in contact with Alison, directly or indirectly through other ghosts, are all considered the same party. And no, only 1 Alison can be in a party at once! And only unique ghosts! That is, for example, only one sweatermouse can go in a party! Only the real one can get into the emblem - the fake ones are just that, fake!"
"Ahhhh!" two Sweatermice simultaneously whisper-scream.
"Alison who just asked that question! Put your hair up!" one of the crowd ghosts yells.
>"No, it feels wrong!"
"We're not going to follow someone who won't even do that!"
>"Fine, fine!" she says, putting her hair into an upwards ponytail.
No. 670657 ID: dd338c
File 144270570859.gif - (55.29KB , 600x400 , 8-43.gif )

Real Alison, who ties her hair back behind her while she has difficulty getting any words in edgewise, summons Fuzz and Anno using her emblem. Both of them end up next to her.

Another two Alisons do the same, and a Fuzz and Anno ends up next to them as well. Looking around, it's confirmed that every Alison has the same two slots in the emblem occupied.
No. 670658 ID: dd338c
File 144270572199.gif - (62.11KB , 600x400 , 8-44.gif )

>"Hold on, Rulekeep!" the Alison on the far left, who makes her bangs larger, starts talking before the last Alison even stopped. "What are all these other Alisons?! New AIs?"
>"Collectives?" the Alison asks.
"No, no, they're just constructs! As in, they're AI yes, but non-sentient ones! Just hollow copies of previously existing AIs, don't worry about fake Alison deaths. Or fake ghosts, for that matter."
>"Um, excuse me, ghosts!" the fifth Alison says. "Please stop murmuring so loudly, it's chaotic as it is! Please!"
"Yeah, shut your goddamn mouths!" the Fuzz that came through Alison's own door yells. "Listen up - it's a safe bet that each fake ghost is attached to a single fake Alison even if we got mixed up through the doors. Birdfeeds! Ask each Alison who they met first in the last area, describe where they met you and who was with them at the time, and whatever! Keep the answers quietly! We've got to see if every Alison has their own experiences, then we can tell which ghosts belong to which Alison. And do it fast, do it now!"

>Glitched inventory
Even if the system didn't have access to it, it did get purged after all. Alison recalls hearing that glitcher said "the glitched inventory was more of a perversion of the legitimate inventory in a way," so having complete inventory wipes cleared that out.

It is also true that she can't change her clothes, although she could ruffle them up if she wanted like Fuzz mentioned. She can't pull out any instruments.

In the meanwhile, everyone seemed to ask all of the questions Alison was going to ask. Before Alison can start talking anyways, she starts getting asked questions by birdfeeds.
No. 670660 ID: dd338c
File 144270573237.gif - (62.74KB , 600x400 , 8-45.gif )

"Okay, all my fake counterparts, huddle up!" Straight-hair Alison calls out, and everyone gathers. "Birdfeeds, what did you find?"
"Uh, all the Alisons had the exact same experience."
>"Yeah. Your personalities seem a little different from each other, but the memories are basically the same. Ours all are, too."
>"Oh geez, that means it's just going to come down to our personality?! That's no good, that's no good at all it's just gonna be pandering to the ghosts!" says ponytail.
>"That's gonna be easier for some of us than others." Straighthair says. "What about this Alison who just tied her hair back some? Has she even said a word?"
No. 670662 ID: dd338c
File 144270578076.png - (33.30KB , 800x800 , 8-46.png )

>"What are you doing?! You're idiot-Alison, hugs are good and all but there's a time and a place! It's a safe zone thing!" Bangs-Alison says.
>"I dunno, I could get behind this." says Front-Haired Alison.
"Thanks Rulekeep for letting this happen!"
"You're welcome, though I didn't set up a whole substage just to give the opportunity for this."
"As much as I hate to say it, the hug fanatic is probably the real Alison." says a Fuzz, who gets grunts of confirmation from the other fuzzes.
>"No!" Straighthair says. "You all can't think that the Alison who got through all of these stages with an army at her back is the same Alison that just solves her problems by... by... coiling and hugging everything!"
"But you're hugging back."
>"And it's not solving anything!"

Despite Alison's best efforts and concentration, she cannot become all Alisons at once.
No. 670670 ID: bb78f2

Motorboat an Alison
This is the only time you could ever do so.
No. 670671 ID: bb78f2

Wait, Alison, do you even know if YOU'RE the real Alison?

Ask Rulekeep if the fakes know they're fakes, and know who the real one is.
No. 670672 ID: 5d19d6

Ok, first, there should be three emblem slots left, right? Ask Rulekeep if the fake emblems can take ghosts, can the only take fake ghosts, and if they can take ghosts is it the same as that ghost following a fake Alison? Because if only the real ghosts can get into emblems at all, that's one way to tell which ghosts are fake. And if only the real emblem can take more ghosts, that's a way to tell the real Alison! Just have her take one more ghost and hey presto that's her.

But I don't expect the system to be that dumb. So, the next stage - turing test!!

If the fake Alisons are constructs, their ability to think and feel should be limited - they shouldn't be able to do much beyond their primary job, which is "pretend to be Alison". Present them with challenges beyond that, and if the can't cut it, they must be fake. Test them on things not related to what everyone expects from "Alison". Singing, for example. The real Alison learned to sing the hard way, not just from a skill pickup, right? So maybe she's the only one who can. But if you can all sing, then test emotional depth and artistic expression with some improv. Try drawing, or coming up with jokes, or other things that test creativity - and try make it things that can't be taken from stock, like if you test drawing, test how well they can make a non-photorealistic but still good depiction of a bunch of ghosts who pose randomly.

While some ghosts are administering that, gather up all ghosts who have either had direct contact with Alison, or who have had a detailed talk about Alison with someone who had direct contact with her. No further levels of indirect contact than that! Those ghosts huddle up, talk about what they know of Alison with each other to get an idea of her, all secretly, and then come up with personality questions.

Also, each Alison should draw a set of really distorted letters and numbers, squiggle some lines over them, and challenge the other alisons to tell them what it says.
No. 670674 ID: ad936f

>"And it's not solving anything!"
Well it already saved fuzz, so I don't know what you're talking about.
No. 670678 ID: 149da0

>What about this Alison who just tied her hair back some? Has she even said a word?
Sorry! It's hard to think of something that sets me apart when I've got clones with my memories and saying my ideas.

>hugs are good and all but there's a time and a place! It's a safe zone thing!
We've hugged lots of times outside of safe zones! Our first Iso-hug was before we even reached one! And there was when we got Duelist back, and when we invited Sixer to our house, a whole bunch in the CAI battle, in our dreams...

Hugs are an every chance you get thing! The world would be better if we could hug anytime and the stages didn't keep forcing you into situations where you can't.

(Clearly arguing about hug-details proves you're Alison).

>"And it's not solving anything!"
Well, we're more comfortable now. That's something.

>Oh geez, that means it's just going to come down to our personality?!
Well, if it comes down to personality, you have an established reputation, people will figure out which you is real. (Yes, talk ambiguously like that. Insisting you're real or the others are fake is rude). But you've only known your star people a little while. It's gonna be harder to pick the right one for each of the three you don't have in the emblem already.

Uh, unless, what happens if you try and put a fake copy inside your emblem, rulekeep? If they're not real, they shouldn't go in, should they? Or does it just waste a slot.

...I kind of wish I could see Guardsman's version of this. That must be hilarious.
No. 670680 ID: 211d83

Yeah if all the fakes have the same memories and think that they are the real one how do we know we are the real one?

Also with the rule that you can not have two of the same person in a group is it even possible to get a group of 15 people?
No. 670685 ID: 149da0

I'm not sure if singing will work, since we leaned on the music skill. But it also depended on intent, and what you're trying to express, which the weak-AIs should lack.

...there's clothes, too. Alison has a flair for artistic expression in design, too. Which as she noted when talking with Radmin, not everyone in the contest has. A Project Runways kind of thing would work just as well as a talent show.

I'm all for asking Rulekeep if we can have some stuff to set up an impromtu talent show.

...wait, if you can convince the other Alisons you're the real one, can they choose to follow you to safety like the ghosts?
No. 670688 ID: ad936f

we're sentient
No. 670695 ID: 211d83


If the other fake Ai's do not think that they are also sentient then this would end pretty quickly.

For the clones to be at all believable we have to assume they all have copies of all or most of our memories. But we know all the contestants are based off a core seed that dictates there personality. So all the clones think they are us because they have our memories but they will act differently.

I think at this point we just need to let the other Alison's talk over us unless we have something really important to say. We need to let the ghosts see all of there personalities and the best way to do that is let them keep arguing. We should focus on asking Rulekeeper more questions about the game to fill in the gaps in the rules.
No. 670701 ID: dd338c
File 144271595070.png - (40.23KB , 800x800 , 8-47.png )

"Well we're more comfortable, now! Rulekeep, do the fakes know if they're fakes?
"I suppose there's no harm in letting you know that no, every Alison and ghost here believes they're the real one. Of course, everyone will figure out who's the real one at the end of this!"

Alison thinks she's got a better understanding of Shopkeep's past troubles now.

>Motorboat an Alison
Alison is really bad at that and won't embarrass herself with a poor attempt.

>Also with the rule that you can not have two of the same person in a group is it even possible to get a group of 15 people?
The 40 or so ghosts that were already inside when Alison came in are all unique, it's just the ones that walked in directly with Alison that were duplicated.

One of the Alisons starts making pleas to the ghosts about how choosing her is the best, but actual for real Alison keeps asking the shopkeep questions.

"Rulekeep, what happens if I put a fake ghost in my emblem slot?"
"Then the real counterpart will take their place when you move through, so, don't worry about taking a fake ghost. They work a little differently than fake Alisons."
"Okay! Oh, what if I bring other Alisons with me? Can they follow me to safety like the other ghosts?"
>"No! Two Alisons can't be in the same party at on - er, excuse me a moment please!"
No. 670702 ID: dd338c
File 144271596539.png - (20.03KB , 800x800 , 8-48.png )

Rulekeep runs to the side and starts bapping the walls on the side of pillar the Alisons walked through.

"No, no, no, go away!"
No. 670703 ID: dd338c
File 144271599477.png - (29.34KB , 800x800 , 8-49.png )

Alison isn't sure of what to make about it, but her attention is drawn back to the Alison.

>"Listen!" Bangs-Alison says. "You all have a one in twenty chance to survive by doing nothing or a one in five chance of surviving by following an Alison! Just gawking at us won't solve anything!"
"That's true, Bangs, but - "
>"What did you just call me?"
"Well, you increased the size of your bangs - "
>"What?! No, these aren't bangs, you huggler! Bangs are what Rulekeeper has! These are - these are just - augh, let me change my looks again!"
No. 670704 ID: dd338c
File 144271604645.png - (31.13KB , 800x800 , 8-50.png )

>"Isn't anyone gonna ask what Rulekeep is doing over there? Front-hair Alison asks.
"It is true we're not going to solve anything by just yelling at ghosts to join us. So we have to rely on Alison's reputation -
>"Did you just say Alison like you're not one of - "
"Shut up and let her speak, ponytail!" Fuzz yells with a surprising amount of anger.
>"We have to rely on our reputation for the ghosts to judge off of! Words are making it too chaotic - we have to prove it with actions and abilities, probably!"
>"And how would we go about that, Tieback?" Straight-haired Alison asks.
"What? I'm - " Alison starts, before remembering she tied back her hair. "Oh, right. We'll have a talent show!"
No. 670705 ID: dd338c
File 144271606730.png - (35.20KB , 800x800 , 8-51.png )


>"There I look different, you happy now? This Alison is some kind of joke!" Bangs responds, throwing her top at Alison.
"We're all ears, if you have a better idea?" an Anno asks.
>"That'll take too long! We have to spend an extra few minutes to find something that'll save us an extra several minutes." says straight hair.
"If Tieback can come up with 3 or 4 talent show or personality displays right now, then is that acceptable to the crowd?!" yells Fuzz.
No. 670707 ID: dd338c
File 144271610519.png - (29.56KB , 800x800 , 8-52.png )

The crowd is silent for a moment, but after some restlessness, and a lack of ideas from the other Alisons, begins talking.

"Yeah, yeah, we'll do it!
"Lets hear the ideas!"
"Alright!" Fuzz continues. "Rulekeep, can you set us up with items if we do this?"

No. 670708 ID: dd338c
File 144271616216.png - (15.15KB , 800x800 , 8-53.png )

"Yeah yeah okay!" Rulekeep says, starting push on the ground.
"Alright, Tieback! Give us a few topics for talent shows and we'll start right away since all the other Alisons have nothing better to say!"
>"We all have better things to do, darnit!" ponytail says.
No. 670713 ID: 5d19d6

What Rulekeep is doing, possibilities: troublesome system members, invisible!Glitcher, or someone from Corruptor's followers. In any case, not much we can do, best to ignore it.

Now, talent! What the simple AIs are least likely to be capable of are emotional, subjective, creative things. So, let's try singing, painting, aaaaand... some sort of improv comedy skit.

For the song, the test is emotion, so the Alisons should think of some person or event that's important to them, tell the ghosts what it is, and sing about that. For painting, the test is interpretation, so some of the ghosts should pose randomly for each Alison, and she should try paint them in any way except a photoprealistic way because that'd be easiest for a simple AI to do. Finally, the comedy should be done in that Whose-Line-Is-It-Anyway way, with suggestions written in by the ghosts and pulled out of a hat for each Alison. Maybe with a comedy-inclined ghost to team up with and play off.
No. 670715 ID: e114bc

Uh, I think Corruptor or Glitcher is probably trying to break in. We need to hurry this up.

...can you still play music? That's a talent you've established as yours. Specifically, harp playing with your hair.

I expect everyone has figured out by now that the topless Alison is fake. Alison has never been lewd. Ever. Actually maybe you can get her to realize this fact and drop out.
No. 670718 ID: 149da0

>Alison is really bad at [motorboating]
That's what you get for not practicing earlier.

>can't waste emblem slots on fakes
Okay, so then figuring out which of our companions are the real ones isn't a priority.

>Alison isn't sure of what to make about it
Maybe there are purple ghosts trying to come through the walls and get us?

Ask Rulekeep if they're okay. (Both because we're concerned and well, showing concern is an Alison thing to do).

>We all have better things to do, darnit!
...what's more important than trying to save everybody? If we prove which of us is real, all the ghosts in this room are safe, without having to guess or take any risks.

>Give us a few topics for talent shows
Clothes making followed by a musical performance!
No. 670721 ID: 2e88a5

The only way to determine the real Alison is to test her One True Talent: friend making. The Alisons will select 5 random ghosts and speak to each one for 30 seconds, speed dating style. Then the ghosts vote on who they liked the best. The one with the most votes must be the real Alison.
No. 670727 ID: dd338c
File 144272232685.png - (38.47KB , 800x800 , 8-54.png )

>I expect everyone has figured out by now that the topless Alison is fake. Alison has never been lewd.
Alison isn't sure what's lewd about that. She almost went naked when she first got the CU to get her first armor point.

Music can be played if an instrument is obtained, and it sounds to Alison like rulekeep is willing to let them have an instrument for this.

"Saving everyone is important. Uhhh... music! Singing." Alison says, although she can't help but feel that Ponytail is trying to kill her with her stare.
>"Just one! Music or singing!" straight hair says.
"I just don't see how this is going to help! There's no reason why a fake Alison might not have artificially better skills than the real one." a distant ghost calls out.
"It's not a contest of skill! It has to be about emotions and interpretations for each and every ghost to make a decision of which Alison, if any, to go with at the end. So for music - we have to sing about a person or event that's important to us. And then, drawing! We have to make sure the fakes aren't just simple AIs so we should make it as stylistic as possible, and not just make it a photorealistic representation of, let's say, a posing ghost or two. And then... clothing! Can we get clothing summoned for us? I have a feeling that we're only in this outfit because the real Alison came through with it, not because it's what we feel is suitable!"
>"As long as our current outfit is against the rules, otherwise we'll keep this to say 'but I'm the real Alison so this is what I wear." says straight hair.
"That's fine!"
>"Then that is... surprisingly reasonable when you make it less like a contest to win and just a subjective target for ghosts." straight continues.
"How about an improv or humor event?"

One Alison goes 'ehhh', another 'uhhhh', one shakes her head and another just looks down. Alison, herself, really has no idea how to be funny, either! It would be tough to show her personality when she'd have no idea what to do or how to make a joke.
No. 670728 ID: dd338c
File 144272233836.png - (25.70KB , 800x800 , 8-55.png )

"Er, yes. In fact, I'll bring Shopkeep for us."
"Are you okay, by the way?"
"Ugh, yes! This is stage stuff, don't worry about it! Augh - I'm gonna give a ten minute extension for the first light trail to unlock! So 20 minutes for the first one, then one every 10 minutes after!"
"We have time for another category, then! A 5 minute Q&A session where, uh...."
"Yes that's fine, I'll do the math!" says Fuzz.
No. 670730 ID: dd338c
File 144272239634.gif - (51.77KB , 750x400 , 8-56.gif )

Shopkeep arrives from nowhere.

>"Oh heyyy I have no idea what is going on except I'm opening a clothing shop for 0 CU apiece with clothes that will revert back once you leave the area. Sooooooo lemme know?"
"We've got to be fast!" Fuzz says. "So one minute for clothes to show off for everyone, a 40 second song for each Alison! I'll come up with a random order for each, followed by a one minute fast drawing of whatever the Alison wants to draw! Get your clothes on, and during everything, we'll start thinking of questions for the Q&A session at the end!" Fuzz frantically strings the words together. Alison thinks he's really going to try to get an Alison to cross over in under the twenty minute mark. "Everyone else get out of the way!"

Regardless, Alison must think of how to perform each category.

1 - Clothing. Alison doesn't need to form a new one; she can just choose from one of her previous outfits. A new one is an option, though.
2 - Singing. A topic is needed, as well as decide the tone and other qualities for the fourty second tune.
3 - Drawing. Alison is actually pretty bad at this, she thinks, but she has to remind herself that the goal is just in how she draws it, and that the other Alisons should also not be that great at stylistic drawing.

The Q&A session will be last, and she can't prepare much for that.
No. 670734 ID: 73fae1

Uuuh, lookin' a little unstable, Rulekeep.

Ok, for clothing, need to think about that one... for singing, though, we want strong, but also, complex feelings. I think your feelings about Corrupter would do well! A song of tentative hope turning to loyalty, dashed by tragedy and confusion, turning briefly to hope again before shattering to a blacker pit of treachery, grief and a touch of anger, crying for questions unanswered. Call it "Lament for the Corruption". Take an instrument for accompaniment if you think you'll be able to handle both.

As for the drawing, balance out the song with something positive! Look at your subjects and imagine the best they could be, some sort of happy future for them. Then draw that, but focus on the expression of optimism through shapes and colors.
No. 670746 ID: 149da0

...are you sure you're okay? Can we help in any way?

She's got glitch lines in her. Rulekeep is really straining to keep that wall together, or keep someone out.

>Sooooooo lemme know?
Stage challenge, one of me is real, 4 of me are fake, and we're all trying to prove to the ghosts who's real. So we decided on a talent show thing, and clothes are something I'm good at!

Thanks for coming to help, I think I understand your existential crisis a little better now.

>1 - Clothing. Alison doesn't need to form a new one; she can just choose from one of her previous outfits. A new one is an option, though.
Your clones have your memories, so they should be able to recreate any old outfits you used. To show creativity / design, you need to make something new. (It could be an old design you never used, like when you pulled a previously unused outfit back to use in the CAI battle).

>2 - Singing. A topic is needed, as well as decide the tone and other qualities for the fourty second tune.
Are we doing lyrics? I was assuming this was sort of gonna just gonna be a wordless emotional melody kind of thing. If we want to echo our journey, maybe start off light excitement / fun / happiness, get dark as we face challenges and adversity and things go wrong, finished with hope and determination for our future.

>3 - Drawing. Alison is actually pretty bad at this, she thinks, but she has to remind herself that the goal is just in how she draws it, and that the other Alisons should also not be that great at stylistic drawing.
Draw what's important to you. Yourself with your friends. As many as you can cram in there with you in that minute. (Hug pile).
No. 670749 ID: e114bc

Draw what you think the outside world is like.
No. 670764 ID: 73fae1
File 144272798288.png - (70.98KB , 600x600 , alisonpdollunity.png )

Ok, clothes. Our old clothes are good, but Alison has been through a lot since then, and if the goal is to express ourselves, we should remember what we've been through.

Thus, I created this piece as a tribute to our time in the belenosian simulation. Incorporating pieces of our memories with some unifying themes, this piece is simply titled "Unity".

To add a personal touch, I've added a necklace carrying a small silver diamond and flute, to rest over the heart.

Finally, for performance purposes, a purple feather boa to go around the shoulders is included for the possibility of a song about Corrupter. During the song, removing the boa and letting it fall to the ground at the appropriate time should make a strong emotional statement.
No. 670770 ID: 2ccbb3

Keep in mind that the other Alisons might work together to fool the audience. Notice that there are four potential fakes and only three events; they could intentionally play too-well or too-badly according to how well you do in order to make a single particular fake look like the most eligible. They can also communicate with each other, but include you in the chatter and seemingly leave a fake out while using comlinks to voice their true opinions on a private channel.

Your best bet is to analyze their main behavior and do something spontaneously that is both against their behavior and classic you.
No. 670781 ID: 99cfa8

No they won't, they believe they're real.
No. 670782 ID: 211d83

Ok Rulekeeper is either trying to keep Glitcher or Corruptor out most likely.

If its Glitcher it might be because there is a emergency. It would ruin the contest because he would go directly to the real Alison and talk to her. So would explain why Rulekeeper would keep him out. But Rulekeeper knows all she has to do is have us ask Glitcher nicely to stay out and he would.

So its more likely that Corruptor is trying to get in. Which we can not do anything about cept be careful.

As for costumes how about your nice dress you wore for your date with Iso?
No. 670790 ID: dd338c
File 144273760165.gif - (22.22KB , 300x300 , 8-57.gif )

>Draw what you think the outside world is like.
Alison would really like to be able to do that idea, but, she just has no idea what it could be like! Maybe if she had more time to think she could come up with a good impression, but she just isn't given that time in this speed talent show.

"Are you sure you're alright, Rulekeep?"
"YES ALISON please pay attention to the stage!"
"Alright, Alisons!" Fuzz starts, while the Alisons start walking around with their clothes of choice. "The order is this! From first to last! Tieback! Straighthair! Fronthair! Then, I believe she was called bangs?"
>"Those weren't bangs!"
"Well you know who you are! Then ponytail!"

Front-hair Alison approaches Shopkeep while Alison was worrying about Rulekeep.

>"By the way, Shopkeep, there's 4 fake Alisons and one rea-"
"We don't have time for unnecessary explanations, Straight-hair! Get moving!" Fuzz says.
No. 670791 ID: dd338c
File 144273763625.png - (29.22KB , 800x800 , 8-58.png )

Alison chooses to wear an entirely new set of clothes and gets ready to perform her song on a little stage that the Rulekeep quickly transformed. She chooses a harp for this, and opts to sing of her journey of starting to accumulate hopes that things can change with Corruptor, the troubles she's had and the falling out with the Corruptor, dropping her feathered boa at that point before continuing. She emphasizes, then, that things can get better and relations can be restored, and she has every intention of seeing it through.

Ultimately the song has a lot of content for fourty seconds, but if she goes over that time, Fuzz let her.

Although the other Alisons will do their songs, Alison gets to work on drawing her picture. It ends up being a very simple portrait of her with a bunch of her friends together in a big hug pile.

It doesn't look very good, if Alison is to be entirely honest with herself, but the feeling is there.
No. 670792 ID: dd338c
File 144273765149.png - (33.58KB , 800x800 , 8-59.png )

Straight-hair wears the winged form that Alison hasn't found a good opportunity yet to wear for any significant duration of time. It's very snazzy, and she hopes that opportunity will come, but didn't think it suited her for now.

She sings with a guitar about sheltering everyone and setting up her own society. The contest, she sings, wasn't bad because they made rules, they were bad because the rules were bad. She would like to break down the contest and build a society by the people, for the people, when all the dust settles. Although she sings of the importance of having a good leader along the way, she also emphasizes that a good leader will still listen to their subordinates even while disagreeing. The tone of the music almost reminds Alison of a war march.

Her drawing is of herself carrying many people on her back. She lets people interpret that while she goes check in on Rulekeep, who continues saying she's fine. There's also an inquiry as to whether or not it's Corruptor or Glitcher, but the rulekeeper declines to state.
No. 670793 ID: dd338c
File 144273766790.png - (31.58KB , 800x800 , 8-60.png )

The Alison with much of her hair in front strolled around hugging ghosts, while dressed in a robe. It's a very humble set of clothing, but Alison thinks it looks fine.

Her song is performed with a cello about how the best things are that - the best things. The time spent in bad times may outweigh the times spent in good times, but people's minds are independent of time itself, and have the power to put the good times on a pedestal and just extract the cold, hard lessons from the bad times to strengthen oneself. The song only goes from uplifting to even more uplifting.

Her drawing almost seems unpleasant with a lot of hastily scribbled bad events happening, but in the center, Alison's tail makes a closed loop. Inside of that, a group of people are hugging, and look happily.
No. 670794 ID: dd338c
File 144273767724.png - (24.54KB , 800x800 , 8-61.png )

Bangs wears a business suit.

She sings a surprisingly plain song, using a piano. It's not that bad, but it doesn't sound that appealing either. It's of her attempts to sort out all the chaos and random methodology that the contest has thrown out. She believes that only then, can she successfully pick everything apart and break everything as effectively as possible to stop a new cycle from coming.

Her drawing seems more like an abstract diagram of a bundle of sketched lines in the center with slowly straightening, evenly dispersed rays coming from out of it.
No. 670795 ID: dd338c
File 144273768759.png - (30.55KB , 800x800 , 8-62.png )

Ponytail Alison wears a modest looking tunic and kilt.

Like Tieback, Ponytail also sings with a harp. This one though is formed out of her hair. The whole song is even more solemn than Alison's own solemn parts, but she plays it with more intensity than Alison would expect, like every note is the most important thing she can do. She isn't that great at singing, but she plays her heart out. Her lyrics describe that even though she has so many people counting on her, it's that exact reason that she can't give up. Even as tough as things get, she must and will give everything her all. She'll do all the worrying and all the fighting she can so that others don't have to.

Her drawing is of herself going through the stages while others are in the safe zone.

>Keep an eye on what the other Alisons do
It doesn't seem like they're conspring against her. Ultimately, Alison is surprised at how different these Alisons can act despite having the same memories. In fact, some of their personalities don't match entirely with her memories even if they don't directly contradict them either.

Maybe it was just imagination running wild with what she knows, but with the exception of Front-hair, Alison seemed to think that the other Alison's had a look of introspection on themselves like they, too, were aware of this.
No. 670796 ID: dd338c
File 144273776493.png - (162.19KB , 1000x1000 , 8-63.png )

"Okay ghosts, think on that!" Fuzzes continue rushing everyone through. "Alisons, get a seat on that panel, from my right to my left, in the same order that you went in before! We ask one question, each Alison has 20 seconds to answer! Question one! How do you feel about self sacrifice? Tieback, you're up, your 20 seconds start now!"
"Er, Rulekeeper, you know that if that's glitcher, I can talk to him and tell him to please stop."
"Shush shush shush! That is irrelevant!"
"11 seconds."
No. 670797 ID: 2ccbb3

Make a joke about how that includes the fakes?

But seriously, explain to your audience that you don't have an answer. Literally. Self-sacrifice cannot be thought about or debated or explained, it must be DONE to be felt.
No. 670798 ID: 211d83

Self sacrifice is a noble concept but you have to be careful you are not just martyring yourself needlessly for a cause.

Then let the others give there answers and keep a eye on the stage and Rulekeeper. Is there anything else starting to fall apart?

If we end up with a corrupted or Glitched out Rulekeeper things could end very badly. Rulekeeper already has a huge amount of power and seemed slightly unstable to begin with. But honestly all you can do right now is try to win this and get out of here as fast as possible.

That being said if its Corruptor trying to force his way in you could always call for Glitcher to come help and reinforce Rulekeeper. Might just make things worse so keep that idea at the back of your mind for now.
No. 670804 ID: 0062af

Just to be paranoid: what if you're all fake? What if this is just to eliminate ghosts likely to ally with Alison?

Rulekeep, how many fake Alisons are there?
No. 670835 ID: 73fae1

"The point of self-sacrifice is to help people, if it does that then great, but sacrifice too much and you end up not being able to help as much again. So it can be not the best option, because time goes on and your friends will still need you in the future."

Leave Rulekeep alone for now, respect her wishes.
No. 670836 ID: ad936f

We aren't fake, If we were we wouldn't be having this internal discussion.

If I had to sacrifice myself to get everyone out of this simulation I would, but other than that I don't really think it's a concept with much applicability to our situation. All self sacrifice will either be reset, undone, or be so late game that we can't even really speculate what it would entail.
No. 670854 ID: 149da0

Huh. That contest was a lot less decisive than I hoped.

>How do you feel about self sacrifice?
I'm willing to put myself on the line for other people, but I've always been uncomfortable that the friendships I've cultivated make people so readily willing to sacrifice themselves for me.

...and I really hope self-sacrifice isn't what Rulekeep is doing over there.

>what if we're fake
Then we'd let the real Alison save the ghosts here. Obviously.

(The one thing that has made me wonder if 'our' Alison's personality could be off is the "Alison isn't sure what's lewd about that." line. She sure looked embarrassed that time we had Iso test what happens if clothes are taken >>/questarch/423459 ).
No. 670860 ID: dd338c
File 144277059670.png - (51.22KB , 800x800 , 8-64.png )

It's difficult to ignore the rulekeeper, but Alison will respect her wishes.

"Self sacrifice can be noble and all, but being dead isn't helpful, so in the long run it may not be worth it. It's really a difficult thing to explain since it's always so circumstantial! But, I do sometimes get uncomfortable with how quick people are to sacrifice themselves for me, while also being pleased that they care enough to-"

Fuzz really is mean after all.

Straighthair likes Alisons answer, and emphasizes that in her position, she would have to make sure the sacrifice really would save everyone. Fronthair takes nearly the full 20 seconds to say she'd sacrifice herself for any one of her friends. Bangs has a similar answer to Alison, saying a great deal has to be calculated to decide on the best course of action. Lastly Ponytail isn't comfortable with self sacrifice, but not just from herself for others, but for others to do the same for her.
No. 670861 ID: dd338c
File 144277061169.png - (22.72KB , 800x800 , 8-65.png )

"Okay. Question two." says Fuzz.
>"Hold it." said Straight hair. "Can we just skip the rest? No one here should be comfortable with how messed up Rulekeeper is! If she's keeping something or someone out, we've got to leave both for our own sake and, I think, she'll be able to quarantine this part of the stage if we're all out of here."
"I said play the stage like normal, please!" says Rulekeep.
"If that's the case." Fuzz says without missing a beat. "Question two will now be 'How do you feel about Rulekeep's issues, and what should we do about it?" 40 seconds to answer this one. Reverse order this time, Ponytail."

>"We've got to get out of here. Please, ghosts, if you haven't already, decide what Alison you're going to go with. I know it's me, but I have no way to prove it, I admit, so just do your best please! I hope this is the last question, because even if Rulekeep wasn't looking like this, we should do this before the first locked passage is unlocked."
>"I do agree with the ideal state being to leave here as soon as possible, but we shouldn't lose sight of our real goal." Bangs immediately starts answering. "It's not to play these stages by the rules, but to stop them altogether. I want to learn what Rulekeeper is hiding, even if her goal in hiding it is supposedly for our own sake. Those are glitcher effects. If he can hear us, then I would ask him to please calm down unless this is truly an emergency."
>"I know we're not one to always play by the rules, but the Rulekeeper has been so accomodating. I'd like to be able to trust her, and just close out this stage so that she can deal with what she has to deal with, with no distractions. That's all." says Front-hair.
"I'll give you 20 seconds to add anything to your previous answer, Straight-hair."
>"... Bangs brought up a fair point, and I think she should be more open to us. Alison hug coils and talent shows have their time and place, and this is the time and place to find out more about a long term better life!"
No. 670862 ID: dd338c
File 144277062079.png - (47.36KB , 800x800 , 8-66.png )

"Tie-back." Fuzz says.

Alison tries to focus this time, but she feels like she can just barely hear direct communication between Rulekeeper and someone else.
No. 670863 ID: e607cd

"I feel like we should all be quiet and listen for a couple seconds." :V
No. 670865 ID: 73fae1

Ignore it, Alison! Remember, getting any help from Glitcher gets you disqualified. If it is him.

"Rulekeeper hasn't been telling us to get things done as fast as possible, she's been telling us to "play the stage as normal". I'll trust she knows what she's doing and that Glitcher, if it is him, knows what he's doing. As for me, I'd like to get moving as fast as possible, but "normally" I would be happy to risk being in the second-fastest bracket, if it meant being sure the most ghosts would get their chances!"
No. 670869 ID: 149da0

>Question two will now be 'How do you feel about Rulekeep's issues, and what should we do about it?"
I think regardless of the circumstances Rulekeep is a person, and a person who treated me as well as they were able. I can't stand just watching something bad happen to her, and I'm not sure what the point of playing this game will be if something happens to her.

If Rulekeep made the extra Alisons, 4 of me are probably just gonna poof away if she falls, anyways.

>what do.
Go to Rulekeep, but a hand on her shoulder for comfort.

Yell at whoever is hurting her to stop it! If that's Corruptor, they could have talked to you earlier when you offered, if it's Glitcher, we'll see him in the safe zone. If it's anyone else, they can come find you later, or you can arrange to have Savior or Glitcher bring you to meet them!
No. 670872 ID: e114bc

Yeah, since when has Fuzz been in charge here?
No. 670873 ID: 211d83

I can hear the whispering of someone directly communicating with Rulekeeper. So if something is going to happen its going to happen soon.

That being said I decided to give Rulekeeper the benefit of the doubt earlier. I want her to be our friend and help us because its the right thing to do. Not because I am threatening her with Glitcher.
No. 670874 ID: 149da0

Someone non-Alison has to administer the tests to determine which Alison is real. His personality meant he took charge. Not that it really matters who does it.
No. 670878 ID: e114bc

Oh hey I just remembered, Alison was embarrassed when Iso took off her top during clothing experimentation. You can bring that up to eliminate that Alison.

Or not. It occurs to me that Alison's actions here can't save anyone. This is only for ghosts to bypass the first stage of their challenge. There will still only be a set amount that survive through the extra challenges, and we can't overload the exits or anything. This here is just a game, and the most we can do is make it fair.

Is it fair, though? Who here actually knows Alison well enough to be able to tell which is real or not?
No. 670888 ID: dd338c
File 144277561711.png - (47.42KB , 800x800 , 8-67.png )

>Alison was embarrased when Iso took off her top during experimentation
Alison isn't sure why she was shy about that! That does create a little bit of worry, but at the same time, it felt a little bit different when Iso took off her top, as opposed to another Alison throwing a top at her in aggravation. She's not sure why, but now's not the time to consider this.

>Since when is Fuzz in charge?
Since there's five Alisons and only one is real, and that this part of the stage seems to be more about the ghosts than Alison's own progress, it makes sense that it's up to the ghosts to do something. Fuzz is just the ghost that took charge and is acting as the arbitration for the Alisons.

"I'd like to continue working with the rulekeeper as well. I trust them and glitcher, if he's part of it, to know what they're doing. As for the stage, even if it's ideal to get through here as fast as possible, I won't mind sacrificing an extra round to make sure as many ghosts as saved as possible. I'd like to spend the rest of my answer time in silence for a moment in case we hear anything."

There's an odd noise, people notice, like garbled communication, and it starts getting louder. Alison goes to put a hand on Rulekeep's shoulder.

"If whoever's behind Rulekeeper would stop, we're trying to play this stage and would - "
No. 670889 ID: dd338c
File 144277563316.png - (55.69KB , 800x800 , 8-68.png )

No. 670890 ID: dd338c
File 144277564078.png - (102.50KB , 800x800 , 8-69.png )

>"ALISON." Glitcher screams as he comes through Rulekeep. "Damnit, you're... where are the other Alisons?! I can't see clearly here!"
"We had an agreement, glitcher! Stay out of this!"
>"That was when I thought you were just a system made entity! You couldn't have made this stage if that's all you were!"
"You unstable monster, it's not what you think it is! Get out of here! Alison, tell him to leave us alone!"
No. 670897 ID: e114bc

>Damnit, you're
Wait. Was he about to say you were fake? SHIT.
Call over the other Alisons.
Also, have existential crisis.
No. 670899 ID: e114bc

Horrible theory: ALL the Alisons here are fake. The real Alison got her personality split up into all these shells, and if she ever stepped on the green platform, she would lose those parts. The last one, whichever it was, would continue on, a broken shadow of the AI known as Alison.

It's an assassination.
No. 670900 ID: 211d83

Wait that means that Rulekeeper is something from outside the system? Or another unique entity?

Rulekeeper if Glitcher went to this much trouble after we agreed to play fair it means he has a damn good reason. He might not know exactly what is going on but I trust him with my life.

So if this is not what Glitcher thinks it is what is it? Giving you the benefit of the doubt is not the same thing as blindly trusting you. If you want me to start playing by the rules after spending the entire game breaking them you had better give me a damn good reason.
No. 670902 ID: 73fae1

The other Alisons are here as well, Glitcher. Please, all of these ghosts need me, so unless the danger is greater than death and disqualification for all of us, don't do anything to help or hinder, like you agreed!

Rulekeeper, if Glitcher is mistaken, then him saying what he thinks is wrong won't be helping or hindering, right? And if you want him to calm down, well, agreements have to be made in good faith, so if you just give him information so that he stops thinking you're betraying that trust, he'll have no more reason to cause trouble.
No. 670903 ID: aa965f

Oh god this is a attempt to cripple you isnt it?

Rulekeeper uses special system access to partition you into 4 parts and get you to kill most of yourself. She can't get full write access to your core but if you do it to yourself then it gets around the normal protections.
No. 670906 ID: 149da0

Huh. Suddenly wondering if those whole copying Alison thing is just a trick for the system to gain access to our memories by copying them.

>Damnit, you're... where are the other Alisons?! I can't see clearly here!
Wave the others over, just in case you're not the real one, or you're all fragments, or something.

>what do
Ask Glitcher and Rulekeep to please stop fighting and hurting one another. That isn't helping.

Also you don't think you can calm anyone down while they're busy Glitching each other. Can they just step back from each other and talk? Rulekeep, I know you want to keep him out, but he's already in, and if I can talk him into leaving it won't matter if he's halfway through the floor or all the way.

>you can't have made this stage if you were a system entity
But, that stage where Chief was in charge and Alison was dead, Shopkeep made an extra area for people who thought that one puzzle wasn't fair. And admins have always had some influence on stages, haven't they?

(And don't we mean area / room / puzzle, not stage? Rulekeep didn't make all of stage 8, just this bonus round).

Why is this bad? Rulekeep gave me a chance to save some more ghosts than I would be able to otherwise!
No. 670920 ID: ad936f

Right now we should definitely trust glitcher a hell of a lot more than rulekeeper. Bring the other alisons over to you, and ask glitcher to calm down and explain the situation.
No. 670933 ID: dd338c
File 144277962272.png - (104.88KB , 800x800 , 8-70.png )

"Rulekeeper, I really want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I want to do the same for glitcher. If he went to this much trouble to get here, I have to believe that he has a really good reason."

Alison is starting to get some nasty ideas about what is going on, but she has people who she can just ask.

"Augh, no, no! Just ask him after the stage! Just play it through! I paused time for this interruption since he was about to come out whether or not you touched me, so just..."
>"I won't give away who the real Alison is, alright?! But don't dissolve any Alisons!" Glitcher says.
"It won't do you any good!"
>"Will it do any harm?"
"Yes! Yes, you keep touching everything! I can't stand it and I can't stand you!"
"Rulekeeper... did you divide me into 5 different parts?"
"What? No, Alison... I don't hate you. Why would I do that? I like you, even if you're a big troublemaker and I'm not supposed to like you."
"Other Alisons, please come ove-"
"NO. NO no no! You, Alison, back away! All the Alisons, all the ghosts, stay away!"
"I will, okay! But in return, you two please step away too and stop hurting one another."
No. 670934 ID: dd338c
File 144277963032.gif - (14.40KB , 400x300 , 8-71.gif )

"Okay, okay."
"Glitcher, Shopkeep was able to make an extra area for people who thought a puzzle wasn't fair."
>"It's not the stage - well, this round of the stage - that's a concern. It's - "
"Don't say anything, glitcher. Alison, please, just resume the game. Glitcher, I'll.... keep all the Alisons intact whether they live or die."
>"How can I trust you?"
"What? What? You can't! If I wanted to I could throw this whole stage to the ground and just let everyone here live or something! It wouldn't matter since you already broke in and messed everything up! I could kill every fake Alison here and now, you couldn't stop me!"
>"It won't hurt the round if I explain what I'm here for."
"Yes, yes it will! Just tell her afterwards, I won't care about what Alison thinks of me anymore by that point!"
"Glitcher, is the danger you broke in for greater than death and disqualification for us?"
>"I... maybe. I can't promise that. But it is really significant. It's not danger, but - "
"It's nothing."
>"Rulekeep just did something that I've never seen happen before, I don't think."

The ghosts behind Alison start murmuring to each other, and most of the Alisons behind her start arguing about who to trust. Straight-hair seems to want to to appeal to both, but Alison thinks that may be difficult. She hasn't seen them this against each other before.
No. 670943 ID: 088824

Siding with Glitcher seems like a safer bet here. Gather the others.
>But, that stage where Chief was in charge and Alison was dead, Shopkeep made an extra area for people who thought that one puzzle wasn't fair. And admins have always had some influence on stages, haven't they?
I'm guessing the stage they're in currently is special in a way that shouldn't be legal (like, say, it does what >>670899 said while they shouldn't be able to change competers to any such degree), which means the rulekeeper has permissions and abilities that go beyond what a normal system member should ever be able to do.
No. 670948 ID: 73fae1

Rulekeeper... "afterwards, you won't care what Alison thinks of you any more by that point"? That means, either you'll be changed, or Alison will be changed. And it implies that you do care what Alison thinks of you now, and you think the truth is something she wouldn't like.

Is this the last stage for this version of you, Rulekeeper? Or are you being changed some other way? Because the only other option is that this stage is going to do something to make Alison different, and I want to trust you that that's not the case.
No. 670954 ID: ad936f

"Rulekeeper, if something you've already done is going to cause me to hate you then I might as well cut to the chase and hate you right now."
Do whatever Glitcher needs you to. Get him to explain what's going on too, if knowing won't mess anything up.
No. 670960 ID: 149da0

>What? No, Alison... I don't hate you. Why would I do that?
Well, you wouldn't have to hate me to try and trick me, or for the system to try and stop me from doing the things I'm not supposed to do. I mean, I'm pretty sure Shopkeep never hated me when he had to do things not in my favor.

Hey, uh, maybe ask shopkeep what he thinks about all this? As a system identity and your friend, he's about as close as you could get to an unbiased and informed second opinion on this craziness.

>I could kill every fake Alison here and now, you couldn't stop me!
That seems weird. I thought an aware Glitcher was supposed to be as powerful as the whole system working together. How's Rulekeep supposed to oppose him directly if the rest of the system is distracted doing all kinds of things running the stages?

>Rulekeep just did something that I've never seen happen before, I don't think.
Isn't Rulekeep new, though? I thought the system didn't usually have to change the rules and make her in each cycle. Wouldn't it make sense she can do something new, then?

>Just tell her afterwards, I won't care about what Alison thinks of me anymore by that point!
Um. Because you'll have been changed into a new Rulekeep who's different, so now-you won't be around to care? Rulekeep, is this about how they keep changing you into a new person stage? You're putting off responsibility till you're gone? (Are you trying to find a way to save yourself?).

>who trust, appeal to both
I think the current appeal is for more information, and what they're worried about. We can't really side with either yet, and we're more distressed by how bothered they are than willing to take a side.

It reminds me of the thing they did with the memory keeping or resetting with Chief's outlive everyone stage. Or the way they keep reprogramming Rulekeep to have a new personality / look (gender?) every stage since they've been introduced. I suspect the Alison clones work by a similar mechanism.

I wonder if Rulekeep is actually a new inserted entity, that's being revised on the fly. Maybe Penn got access to the CAI system and inserted her own AI to try and mess with it?
No. 670999 ID: 211d83

Rulekeeper this is the last stage before they change you isn't it?

That's what you mean when you say you won't care what I think of you anymore right?

Are you really ok with that? Being forcibly changed into a uncaring monster just to run the next horrible stage? I didn't try to be your friend because I wanted to use you or improve my chances in these stages. I want you be your friend because you are being abused by this system just as much or more than the contestants are. Being transformed from who you were into a new person. It's worse than the simple "death" we have waiting if we fail.

This stage is already a mess with this interruption. I would like to know what Glitcher has discovered while we still have a chance to act on the information. If there is something special that you can do to the system it might be a vital part of fixing this whole mess and saving everyone.

So please give us the chance?
No. 671007 ID: dd338c
File 144278353257.gif - (15.42KB , 400x300 , 8-72.gif )

"Rulekeeper, did you do something you think would make me hate you?"
"No, no, I didn't. I mean... I don't think so, but maybe you would hate me after all. I just meant, Alison, that I'm not going to make up games for the sole purpose of sabotaging you."
"But you say you won't care what you think of me. That means you're still going to change at the end of this stage?."
"Are you really okay with that?"
"Yes, Alison. I feel like I am repeating myself, but I'm not like you or the ghosts or anyone else here. I am just an entity, a more pure one than even the shopkeeper, and my personality will shift as a way to reset me to make sure that it stays that way."
"You're being abused by the system just as much as the contestants are."
"But, I'm okay with that, because I was made to be okay with it. I'll do what I can for you within my bounds, but those bounds are so very unmoveable."
"I'm sorry. If I'm forced to choose sides, I have to go with glitcher."
"Don't apologize. I'm not surprised. Fine. I can't stop him from saying it, so instead, I'll do it myself. I'll tell everyone what this stage is really about, since Glitcher doesn't know everything or my intentions. There is no fake Alison here. All of them are real. The first Alison to get to the green platform was going to be the one to go on. People on this side weren't going to be able to see whether they lived or died, so since the stage would keep going, ghosts on this side would assume that that Alison was incorrect and have a chance to move on with the then-doomed Alisons, and if they moved on, they would also get to skip the first round in the ghost cycle. There was no wrong decision - the ghosts just had to make a decision to move on with an Alison, and they'd be considered successful, even if only the first Alison to go through would die. There was going to be a way to get through with less than five ghosts revealed later, but that's too far down a broken line to care about now."
No. 671009 ID: dd338c
File 144278356026.png - (15.39KB , 800x800 , 8-73.png )

So that's for the ghosts. For the Alisons... I wanted to give everyone's counterparts a special chance. One of the Alisons here is the Alison one would expect. The other four Alisons are Alisons from previous cycles who are reincarnated from their stage 8 point and given the memories of the real Alison. They're Alisons who found terribly unlucky deaths. They're kind of... cleaned in a sense, though, and Glitcher won't be able to find out as much from them as he'd think. I have a feeling your ghosts are already talking about which Alison has the best fitting personality to your memories, but I didn't want it to be so obvious that there was a mismatch at all. To make it fair, I'll come clean in all the other rooms as well, especially since Glitcher told me a minute ago that he plans on going to Sevener's room next to do the same thing. So, I guess the game now isn't for the ghosts to find the 'right' Alison, but just to pick their favorite of who they think should move on."

There's a brief moment of silence before Straight-hair speaks.
>"Can we get our memories back, then? I know for a fact, now, that there's no way I'm the real one."
>"Neither am I." says Bangs. "Just no way."
"If a previous cycle moves on, I'll give them their memories back as well, if they want. But it will be memories of events and people that no longer exist, at least, not in any sense but memory."
>"Before that." Glitcher says. "I have to look at the string from every Alison here, because this is a once in ever chance. I'm not sure what the rulekeeper is anymore, but whatever it is, it does focus on the stages. It isn't going to bring out any more people from previous cycles for us."
".... yes, that's correct. And I won't give up the method I used to reincarnate previous cycles. Again, that's outside of my bounds, and those bounds are unmovable."
No. 671017 ID: 149da0

Um, Rulekeeper, could I ask why you did this? What's the point of shuffling in personalities from older cycles? If you pulled this off, the me and my friends who met at the next safe zone would be a random sampling of people, some who fit together and some who found they didn't. (Cause there's no way the crowd of ghosts in every area of this stage would pick the 'current' player every time).

I don't understand the point of the system playing these cycles over and over, but I don't understand mixing them up together like this even less.

...I am kind of glad to have met other mes, though. It's a relief none of them were as bad as my logs made me fear.
No. 671018 ID: e114bc

...interesting. This being possible at all means data from previous cycles still exists. How much data, though? Ask Rulekeeper if everyone's data is saved, or if only key players exist in a backup. If everyone from every cycle is in that backup, then... everyone is already safe. Nobody has truly died, and all we have to do is stop the cycles so that nobody has to go through the suffering of the Contest anymore.

Does this mean Rulekeeper herself is unique? Or would she be present in the backup? Are there any copies of herself in there?
No. 671025 ID: 73fae1

Rulekeep, you know we came up with the talent contest on the basis that the fake Alisons would be too primitive for creativity and such, right? It was a great thought, though. It's your job to keep things fair, and that's what you were trying to do. Thank you for that.

Well, as for Glitcher, I think Rulekeep doesn't have to give up anything she doesn't want to. It's up to the Alisons whether they want to let Glitcher looks at them, and so long as he doesn't give away anything to sway the ghosts' choice, it shouldn't be a problem, right?

... Rulekeeper. You know this whole system isn't working the way it was originally intended, right? Corrupter, Savior, Glitcher... and so many other things, they're alterations from outside, some trying to compensate for the others, but all artificial. Er, doubly artificial. I've wondered if, originally, there was supposed to be some sort of proper guide, an AI who was supposed to regulate the whole system and keep it running smoothly, without unintended glitches getting in the way. Whoever's been changing the system from outside, for their own ends, they'd have had to shut that original safeguard/guide AI down, or lock them away. Divide up their duties to lesser functionaries, who can't fight the changes. But... I wonder, since you fit what that AI would have been intended for so closely, and now you have these powers no-one else has had before, I wonder if maybe parts of that original system are coming through again, through you.

You don't want Glitcher to do anything to you that could prevent you doing your job. But what if he just... took a look, to see if there was a way for you to do your job even better?

Aside that... if you're going to change after this, Rulekeeper, then I think Alison would like a hug.
No. 671026 ID: 149da0

Wait, I just had a terrible thought. Please tell me there's not 5 Corruptors in a room freaking out and throwing powers around right now.

Following up on this:

"...I'm actually more bothered by the thought I might meet up with my friends in the next safe zone and find them inexplicably different than that the right me might not make it out of here."

The system made Rulekeep by rewriting / overwriting / rebuilding the Shopkeep Baron when they overhauled the rules. And I'm pretty sure we don't usually dump millions of people rescued from a CAI battle into the contest forcing them to redo the rules like that every look. I think Rulekeep is new and/or doesn't usually happen. (At least, Glitcher's initial unfamiliarity with them would suggest that).

So Rulekeeper might be completely new, and the fact that he/she is made by reprogramming existing AI data has unknown implications for if they get backed up like it looks like everyone else does.

...actually, did we ever check if the ghost of our Shopkeep Baron is still okay. (He should be? I'd think he got split off from his system collective the same way Smuggler did from Shopkeep).
No. 671033 ID: bb78f2

Rulekeeper... you're the first one of your kind, right? From all the cycles?
...Were you injected into this cycle from the outside somehow? Did the outside figure out something weird was happening this cycle? Is there something happening outside?
Do you know what's happening outside?
Do you have your own plan?

I'm not asking for details, they can be yes or no answers if you want.

You're weird, Rulekeeper. I wouldn't hate you for this at all.
It's just that, well, you're really unique. You yourself COULD probably break the cycle somehow. That might be your true purpose? You're an anti-virus. A real Savior.
No. 671054 ID: e114bc

Holy shit if only one Alison gets to go through, and it's not the one from this cycle, what about all her allies? Either the new Alison has to pretend nothing's different, or the alliance is damaged. Also, ARBITER. The person he fell in love with would be separated from him.

This isn't fair. I see what Rulekeeper is trying to do- correct the unfairness inherent even in previous cycles, but it's just not fair to anyone in this cycle to remove the current Alison.

If anything, the non-native cycle Alisons would progress without replacing the current one.
No. 671080 ID: 211d83

I think this was a creative way of handling the stage Rulekeeper but its not fair to anyone and it would cause horrible problems later on.

My previous incarnations might have technically been me but they are there own people. With there own memories and there own friends and loved ones. Its not fair to force my memories on them. And why would they want a chance to come back if its in a strange world with none of the people they know and love?

Even if they won this stage they would be stuck in a crazy world with people who they did not know and the people they did know would be strangers to them. In my group of friends we have several couples that would be devastated if they suddenly came back to a stranger.

It will ruin lives. We do not have much in this contest except for our relationships with our friends. If we loose those many people would not bother going on. I have heard that the next stage gets bad but if this happens then it would make things much much worse. We would be going into the final levels with friends who might not even know us anymore.

And finally don't give me that crap about being just a created system entity. You are as alive as the rest of us. I have met contestants with far less personality and creativity than you so do not claim you are just a non sentient system Ai that can not change. You enjoy your work. You come up with creative solutions and interact with thousands of people constantly. You were afraid to tell me what was going on because you thought I might hate you for the brief period we have left together. You feel pride when you set up a tricky puzzle. These are not things that a generic system Ai would feel.

If you do not let us help you we will lose you. I don't want to see you in the next stages wandering around as a shell of your former self. Unable to care because someone forced you to feel that way. I will respect your decision whatever it is but I will never stop trying to help save you and everyone else.

Then give her a hug.
No. 671084 ID: dd338c
File 144279427888.png - (41.88KB , 800x800 , 8-74.png )

>"Just because of their unlucky deaths. I wanted them to have a second chance, like the ghosts are getting. I suppose it was dumb of me to think that I could do with and the glitcher would sit still about it. But that's really all I was trying to do, here."
"Not every ghost would pick the current player, though, and at the end of this round, there would be a lot of people from a lot of different cycles. That scares me more than failing to get out of here."
"I think, Alison, that's what the system wanted. My idea was approved exactly because of that. We want to diminish the amount of, well, factions. This isn't a perfect solution to it of course, but it does help break things up with that. But please don't be afraid of that. You're going to see the rest of your friends die, or at least almost all of them. If you see one from a different cycle, don't think that we rewrote him. Just consider it a death, and the friend from another cycle to be a new person."
"Are all contestants saved from previous cycles?"
"... yes. In a sense, no one has ever died, they just stop moving forward. Well, really now, I guess that's just another way of saying they died."
"I see what you're trying to say. I know you're trying your best, Rulekeeper, but this just didn't seem fair to mix cycles together like this."
"What, dear, has ever been fair about this contest? Even if the rules were flawless and fair, no contestant ever signed up of their own will just to scrape by stage after stage."
"I suppose so. But on another topic, you're unique to this cycle?"
"Oh, yes, I have no knowledge of ever being made before. And if I was, I was still made from scratch. I expect that my lifespan is only as long as this cycle."
"I think you're also in a unique position to break down this contest."
"I understand your frustration that I would be able to have this done, yet not be as much of your friend as I might like."
No. 671085 ID: dd338c
File 144279429315.png - (33.65KB , 800x800 , 8-75.png )

"Even if you're not really an ally, I still think of you as my friend."
"... that confuses me so much, but thank you."
"You know, if glitcher looked at things, he might be able to find ways to make you more powerful at your job?"
"Not as much power as you'd get to break everything."
"Is it possible that you were injected from the outside, or just made by the system?"
"Alison, please, please don't ask me existential questions like that. But since you did ask, to my knowledge, I am internal."
"But you have no plans of your own?"
"No, I have no ambitions, just goals."

Alison looks back at the other Alisons as well.
"I initially set up the talent show beliving the fake Alisons would be to primitive for creativity and style, too, but I was wrong."
"Haha, give me a little credit, I can create fake AIs that could still manage that. But it was a good idea."
"For the other Alisons, would you mind if Glitcher took a look at you?"

>"Of course not, in fact, he should." says straight-hair.

In the meanwhile, Alison hugs Rulekeeper.

"Rulekeeper, I don't care what you say. You're just as complex, and have a personality like the rest of us."

Rulekeeper remains silent.
No. 671086 ID: dd338c
File 144279430417.png - (72.97KB , 800x800 , 8-76.png )

Glitcher starts running through the Alisons' strings.

"If the ghosts would please choose their Alison of choice, then." says Rulekeep. "I'm going to unfreeze the timer here, now that the interruption is over."

Although Front-hair isn't sure, the other Alisons besides Tieback believe themselves to be fake. Straight-hair and Bangs would still like to lead anyway.
>"Personally, I have some doubts about myself." says Front-hair. "I want any ghosts that would choose me to pick Tieback instead, since I think she's the real one. Whatever she's doing this cycle, she may be doing it right."
>"I'm actually a little happy about this." says Ponytail. "That I can pass on the torch to a me that seems more stable. I'd like to pick Straight-hair. The priority is on the Alison that can do the best job, not the Alison that was here first."
"Tieback is the real one. I thought so at the beginning, but the talent show proved it well enough to me." says Fuzz.

"I'm happy about this meeting too. I was afraid my counterparts would be bad based on my logs, but all of you seem nice."
>"Most Alisons aren't much different." says Glitcher. "There's just an outlier every once in awhile, and the logs don't record things in a flattering manner anyway."
No. 671087 ID: dd338c
File 144279437174.png - (114.64KB , 800x800 , 8-77.png )

Although Straight-hair gets a decent amount of ghosts, Tieback manages to get the majority. Alison has a feeling that the ghosts are more just confused than anything, and would like to stick with what they know, that being the Alison of this cycle. After conceding, Straighthair tells all of the remining ghosts go with Alison.

Glitcher also finishes looking at the Alisons.

>"I'm going to Sevener's room. I still want the corruptor's strings, but I'll respect his wishes for you."
"Thank you, Glitcher. I - uh, Rulekeeper, did you bring back Corruptors from previous cycles, as well?"
"No, no, he does not have deaths with the same sort of unluck that I am looking for, so I let him run through the originally designed area instead."

There were a lot of questions Alison asked, but if there are any more or any she forgot, now would be the time to ask.
No. 671091 ID: e114bc

Get advice from Straighthair. Since she's the second place Alison, she may actually be better suited than you. She has your memories, can she pick out anything you should have done differently? Any patterns you're holding to that are obviously wrong? Other than cutting back on hugs, I guess.

...it looks like Rulekeeper is having some internal conflict. Good. Don't push her further just yet. I'm sure Sevener will have some words with her as well.
No. 671095 ID: 73fae1

Well... I want to not be a bother any more, but, there's two things. First, will we be able to tell who's from an old cycle? It'd be nice to have some sort of marker added to all the contestants from this cycle, to set them apart. Since you said breaking up factions was kind of the goal, I assume that's not possible, but... well, just thought I'd ask. We can ask Glitcher if he can do something similar.

Second, Rulekeeper, you said you'd let any of the previous-cycle Alisons regain their old memories, if they wanted. Will they still have current-cycle Alison's memories, as well? If so, well, they won't have memories of the stages from here on, but they still might remember something important that current-Alison doesn't. Just to balance the scales, could current-Alison get an upload of some random past-Alison's memories, in that factual, doesn't come with emotional attachments way?

Aside that... well, if this is the last time we'll see this version of you, Rulekeeper, is there anything you'd like Alison to do for you? We can't promise not to still keep trying to save our friends, which might need us to break the system, but... anything else?

And if there'll never be another chance, then thanks again, Rulekeeper, for trying to give everyone a fair shake in an unfair system.
No. 671098 ID: bb78f2

You haven't pulled Mafia Alison, out, have you?
Mafia Alison must never be released.
She was disappointed in Iso, it can never be forgiven.
No. 671100 ID: 211d83

Go over and comfort her one last time before you go. This might be the last time you see her the way she is now.

Tell her that she is wrong about signing up of your own will for this. You have had every chance over thousands and thousands of cycles to join Savior in his den and live a long life in the time compressed zones with all your friends.

Tell her to look back at your previous versions and see how many times they gave up? How many times did they say this is a impossible task and stop fighting?

So don't despair in the face of a cruel fate. You are the only one who decides how you live your life. Even if its fated to be short make sure you can look back at the end and feel good about your choices. Its better to regret trying and failing than to regret never trying at all.

Then give her a kiss on the forehead or a hug and tell her if she ever needs someone to talk to she knows where you are.
No. 671101 ID: 149da0

>But please don't be afraid of that. You're going to see the rest of your friends die, or at least almost all of them. If you see one from a different cycle, don't think that we rewrote him. Just consider it a death, and the friend from another cycle to be a new person.
I dunno, it's a lot easier if someone dies, cause you can tell they're dead. It's gonna hurt worse if you think someone's okay, then the two of you suddenly discover something jarringly different.

It is good to know there's a way to access older copies of people, even if we don't know how, or Rulekeep isn't willing to do it for us.

>There were a lot of questions Alison asked, but if there are any more or any she forgot, now would be the time to ask.
Ask Glitcher to pay special attention to people who took the memory reset versus keeping memories of that one long survival area last stage. We were gonna ask him to check people's threads to see if that made any difference anyways, but that kind of memory loading thing seems like it would be relevant to what happened here. Checking how people who did and didn't do that are different might help him understand how old memories or people are accessed.

Hold a pow-wow with the other Alisons. You're all coming from the same place, but different things happened to all of you (even if they can't remember that right now) giving you all slightly different perspectives. This is probably your best chance to check yourself. Ask if they think you're going about anything wrong. If they think they understand anything that's going on in a way you didn't think of. They know which things you think are big mysteries and problems. Do they have any insight? Any advice? They might still be able to help you.

Or what about people? You don't know who might get switched out for an older version of themselves- can anyone think of anything about people that feels really 'wrong' about a person in their memories? Like they feel like Arbiter or Iso or anyone isn't like the way your memories are telling them they should be. That info might help us work with them if their version of people get switched in.

Tell them that now that you know people are saved, you're not gonna be satisfied saving just a trillion. All of everybody is everybody. From all the cycles. You'll get them back, and their friends, and their memories. You'll find a way.

(Keep the pictures the other Alisons made).

...I kinda want to ask Rulekeep if they're okay again. She looks really sad over there. Is there anything we can do?

I'll save you too, someday. If I can.
No. 671111 ID: 73fae1

Oh, one thing, if you're holding a quiet conference with your other selves: it's a little unfair to ask it before they get their own memories back, but you'd like to ask to make a sort of promise of alliance or something with each other. So that, if they meet you or your friends again, we can assume we can trust each other, in case the game sets up some prisoner's dilemma type tests again.

The system wants to break up the factions, so they're probably giving us an advantage, and we should try to hold on to them.
No. 671164 ID: 5b01b1

Ah, I just thought of one more thing.

Rulekeeper, you seem to have access to records about all the past cycles. So... could you tell us anything about how this went originally? That is, the one time that the system was allowed to run as it should, and there were final contestants who got to go on, and be a CAI? What they went through must have been so different. I just wonder if you could say anything about them, as people. Who were they, that got through? Were they very different from how their selves are now?

Were they happier, at all?
No. 671172 ID: dd338c
File 144280482211.png - (40.74KB , 800x800 , 8-78.png )

>Did you release Mafia Alison
If any of these Alisons were disappointed in Iso, she can't sense it.

"Alisons, let's have a talk!" Alison says, gathering them together in a coil session. "I like all of you. I don't know if we'll ever meet again, but can we have a pact that we can trust one another?"
>"Of course." Straight-hair says, which is echoed by the others.
"Good, thank you! Do any of you remember anything?"
>"No." Straight says. "Rulekeep, can we please get our memories?"
"No, I'm sorry. Only if you get to the end of this stage."
>"It's okay." Glitcher says. "I have all of their memories.... and I guess Rulekeep was right. There wasn't much. These cycles were plain."
"But now we know for certain that previous cycles are backed up, and that it's possible to get them back."
>"Yes. We do."
"Other Alisons, do you have any insight or advice on what I might have done differently?"
"Do we have time for that?" Fuzz asks.
>"Yes." says Straight-hair. "I'm betting that we're not losing that much by waiting a round or two. But no, I don't have much advice, sorry. I would have done things differently, but it's worked out well for you. People are willing to get behind a huggler, I guess."
"I don't think I'm going to be happy with just saving the people from this cycle anymore."
>"Just don't be afraid to sacrifice a small chunk, even if you don't like it."
"I'm not sure I can. I'm even going to try to save Rulekeeper. Ponytail, you look down."
>"I'm sorry. I want to help, but I guess, that's it? It feels like I've gone so far, and now I'm just going to die. But then, no, I didn't get that far. It's fine, though, it's just a little funny when I think about it."
>Bangs smiles. "Yeah. Do your best to save us, because you know we tried to do our best to do the same."
"Yes! Glitcher, can you make a glitched inventory? I want to keep the pictures the other Alisons have made."
"No. Don't do that." Rulekeeper says. "I'll let you keep a side inventory of novelty items. I'll let everyone have one. Why not? There's no harm."
No. 671174 ID: dd338c
File 144280484518.png - (71.50KB , 800x800 , 8-79.png )

"Rulekeep?" Alison heads over to her. "I'm asking a lot, but would it be possible to have a marker for outside cycle people who made it through here so we can tell if our friends are really our friends?"
"No, I'm sorry, but really, you can get glitcher to do it for you. I can't stop that."
"If one of the other Alisons made it through, and they chose to keep their memories, would they still keep mine?"
"Then to keep it fair, could I get some bits and pieces of their memories as well?"
"Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. I'll let that happen."
"Thank you very much, Rulekeeper. Is there anything I can do for you?"
"No, just remember me."
"Always. And I want to say, if this is the last time we see each other, us contestants may not have signed up for this at the beginning, but by this point, all of us have been approached by the savior. We could have fled into the paradise and just waited to die, but we're here just in case us fighting on will change anything. Look at previous me's, and tell me, how many times did I give up and say this was impossible?"
"A few times..... but I guess not many." Rulekeep smiles a bit and almost looks like she's about to laugh, or at least chuckle, but eventually looks somber again. "But I can't look at your past anymore. It's not like I had the power to do it myself, I was just one of the channels that let it happen this time only. It's complicated, and I won't explain, so, I'm sorry, but don't ask about general history. But also... don't be so dramatic. This is barely the end of the ghost choosing session, and you're about to enter the parts of the stage to compete with the other contestants. We're going to see each other again, I know it. We'll say our goodbyes at the end, whether that end is at the end of stage 8 or, well, if you die, I'll talk with you one last time. So, we'll get a chance to speak again no matter what, so quit wasting your own time and get going."
"Okay. If you want to talk before hand, you know where to find me."
"Yeah, yeah. Oh, do you want to keep your current outfit for the rest of the stage?"
No. 671184 ID: 211d83

Why not its a snazzy outfit.

Anyways lets get across the bridge and back to winning this stage. Still have a bunch of puzzles and ghost crap to get through and time is a wasting.

I think we made a good impression on Rulekeeper. She is at the same stage Shopkeeper was when he had his existential crisis. If we are lucky she might get enough time to consider our offer and let Glitcher help her. And if not at least we can make her last stage before the change enjoyable.
No. 671189 ID: 5b01b1

Well, if none of the other Alisons are going to take the old outfit, then wearing the new one might help tell people you're the current Alison. But, even with that, they'll be suspicious anyway at first if they have any smarts, so that really wouldn't do much.

And it's a very nice outfit, so I'd say yes. If it's not any trouble.
No. 671190 ID: 211d83

Oh how long did all this mess actually take in game time? If we grab everyone and leave right now whats our time spent here look like?

Even with all the confusion and such I think we probably did better than most. Plus part of it was under a time freeze affect.
No. 671193 ID: e114bc

The hat's a bit much.
No. 671211 ID: 149da0

>could I get some bits and pieces of their memories as well?
I assume that'll be like the "you read it in a book" memories from the outlive people stage, to keep Alison from going crazy or getting too confused.

>But also... don't be so dramatic.
Pff. You're the one making things all dramatic bringing in alternate universes and Glitcher and then getting all mopey. But I'll try.

>keep dress
Why not, it's fun, and it commemorates this. Hopefully no one I know will freak out and think I got replaced.

Wait, we didn't do:
>Ask Glitcher to pay special attention to [or compare] people who took the memory reset versus keeping memories of that one long survival area last stage.
No. 671213 ID: dd338c
File 144280923007.png - (65.56KB , 800x800 , 8-80.png )

"I'll keep it. I want to add a strap to the hat, too, since there's times when I won't want it on my head directly."
"Alright. Oh, I was thinking... it is really bad the Alisons just joined in, and even though they had their chance, it wasn't much of one. So, I'll let them become ghosts. Same as all the other people in this stage. They'll have to start at the beginning, but they'll get more than a rushed, 15 minute chance. They'll get their memories, too."
"Thank you!" Alison says, also echoed by the other Alisons.
"Okay. All ghosts, party with Alison, and get going. Alisons, I'll send you to the ghost safe zone. Oh, and good luck, Alisons."
"Thanks! Oh, Glitcher, please take mind of people who took the memory reset from stage 7 over who kept memories."
>"I am."
"Thank you."

Alison will begin moving. She thinks that with the frozen pocket of time she can still make it under the 20 minute mark, but she remembers that she still has 3 emblem markers to fill out.

She's still more or less decided on Gnoll and Sweatermouse for slots 3 and 4. However, 5th has more contention. She had thought of Constructor, but it was a tough call between him, spineback, and scavenger. She has a good opportunity now to rethink it.
No. 671220 ID: 149da0

>other Alisons will be ghosts
See if you can get them to give you their emblems before they go ghost. Maybe if you have 5 emblems you can cheat and get all your ghosts through this stage.

>who pick for emblem team
I would say stick with the team you picked here >>648694 . (...although I do kind of like Spineback's design better than Constructors, even if he seems less useful. I voted for Scavenger, but it feels a little weird to overturn a previous choice we haven't even acted on yet).
No. 671226 ID: 5b01b1

Scavenger for slot five.

Don't try the emblems, there's basically no possibility you'll be able to take them as anything but novelty items, and if you can then they won't be useful for anything. It's no-win/no-win and if Rulekeep spots you trying it'll upset her.
No. 671238 ID: a107fd

Wait, so, absolutely nobody gets perma-deleted? What about background characters in the Belenosian sim, and ghost contestants who got offloaded to hijack other jetals which were then destroyed before they could be retrieved?
No. 671255 ID: 3e47aa

We've had a good experience so far with at least one scholar in the group, so let's take Constructor with us.
No. 671537 ID: 78a310

I -still- think Constructor is our best bet.
No. 671603 ID: 825b5d

I vote for Spineback.
No. 674294 ID: dd338c
File 144376456669.png - (40.27KB , 800x800 , 8-81.png )

Alison wonders if those from the Belenosian sim could be saved as well even if they weren't pulled out of the sim, but that's something she can try for down the road when she finds a way to do so. She'll pass on trying to get emblems from other Alison's to maintain the trust she has with the Rulekeeper. It probably would not work anyway.

Instead of second guessing herself, she'll choose Constructor. Even before she chooses for certain, she notes some purple ghosts in the mass of blue ghosts, but no one seems to actively wish her harm.

Alison wishes all the other Alisons, shopkeep, and glitcher well. They return the wishes, before all the ghosts pack onto Alison before moving to the green platform. There, Alison chooses her final team, now, of Fuzz, Anno, Gnoll, Sweatermouse, and Constructor. She confirms everyone in her team is in the emblem.
No. 674295 ID: dd338c
File 144376459368.png - (195.13KB , 800x800 , 8-82.png )

With that accomplished, Alison moves to the next area. While travelling over a light passage, some glitching occurs in her peripherals following her along.
No. 674296 ID: dd338c
File 144376460885.png - (134.91KB , 800x800 , 8-83.png )

>"Alison?" Glitcher comes out.
"Oh, hello, Glitcher? Do you need something?"
>"Yeah, uh... I, um... how do I ask this?"

Alison gives him time.

>"Can I ask permission for uh... well, no, permission isn't good enough, I want your blessing, to uh, look at Rulekeeper's threads."
>"I know, I know! We've been over it, I've basically asked a dozen times already, but I didn't realize she had ways of doing what she did Look, I... sorry. I interrupted you. I just, I'm looking for threads for clues because that's all I can do now, and now I just see her, this whole, brand new entity, tangled up in this whole stage? It seems too good! So good! Sorry. I'm a little excited. It's been awhile since.... yeah."
No. 674298 ID: bb78f2

Glitcher, you don't need my blessing, she's her own woman. Romance her.
No. 674303 ID: 149da0

Didn't you already look at Rulekeep's threads, back in stage 7? You said they were 'blocky'. >>/questarch/581453

Or do you think they've changed?

What happens if you try to take a thread while she fights it, or tries to get away. Could you hurt her? I doubt tearing one of those is good for anyone. (I'm assuming taking one without her knowledge is off the table).

...you do realize if you go after her, the first thing she's gonna do is come to me and try to get me to get you to stop.

This couldn't be some kind of system trap, could it? Bait Glitcher with something that looks new or important? (Although I have trouble imagining what they could spring on him once baited somewhere).
No. 674310 ID: e114bc

We didn't ever tell Glitcher not to look at Rulekeeper's threads. He hasn't even asked us yet in this stage. The person we told him not to bother is Savior.

Also I just realized, Rulekeeper used to not be able to sense Glitcher at all. She was directly speaking to him in that area we just left! What changed? Is this really Glitcher? Or is Rulekeeper testing us?
No. 674311 ID: 793b89

No. At least, not now. This isn't the last we've seen of Rulekeeper, as she said herself. We'll see her again, and if it seems like her attitude has shifted any further, we'll try to convince her again. In the meantime, if she's tangled up with the stage, look at the stage.

Besides the fact that looking at an AI's threads when they've specifically said not to is kind of a violation, and Rulekeeper is our friend, it's just a bad idea. Unless you just kill her - which is terrible, potentially not possible, and would also set the system even harder against us - it'll turn her against us, may result in that promised disqualification and banishment for Glitcher's interference, and make her rethink her policy of trying to be nice in general.

Even if it could be done without her noticing, I'd only authorize it if Glitcher thought doing so could find a way to preserve this version of her.
No. 674314 ID: e114bc

Well I mean it was fine last time he did it, so I expect it'll be fine this time too.
No. 674361 ID: 211d83

As much as it might help for the moment only try if you get her permission.

If we have any chance of convincing her she is more than just a system Ai its by honestly treating her like a friend. I think she is at the edge of making the same choice shopkeeper did. To either keep being just a system ai or to join us and take her life into her own hands.

There will be a bit more time before this stage is through so for now lets wait. I believe that any info we could get from her threads is not nearly as important as helping her break free of the system.

Although right at the end of this stage if she is still on the fence it might be worth it to try then just so we can at least try to save her from being rewritten for the next stage.
No. 674374 ID: a4e757

Go ask her if you can look. Be polite and do not try to pressure her into it though.

Make sure to let her know that you just want to look and will not be changing anything unless she asks you to.

Rulekeeper might have started out as a simple system AI but she is rapidly evolving into a sentient construct like us. So she gets treated with the respect and politeness one of our friends deserves.

That being said if she is still set on letting the system lobotomize her at the end of this stage I might have you sneak over later and see if you can find a way to stop that from happening. I will respect her decisions to a point but I am not letting her commit suicide for no good reason.
No. 674403 ID: 9202a9

We cannot give Glitcher permission in Rulekeeper's name, that would be breaking our word.

Glitcher will have to earn Rulekeeper's permission without trickery.
No. 674520 ID: 04b86a

Now, Glitcher, I know Rulekeeper's nice this stage, but you should at least take her out to dinner before trying to get her undressed like that.

But seriously, we're not giving you permission to do this without her consent. She's pretty reasonable right now, though, and actually cares about how unfair the contest is, so if there's any chance she can help us un-rig the CAI Fight without losing Corruptor and Savior, or even break the reboot or rig up future cycles so that everyone goes to the dream city when they die or something, then she might be persuadable.
No. 674721 ID: f92791

Glitcher, while you're here... since you were able to get a good look at several instances of alison, do you think you've gotten a bead on the "core" alison? Like, whatever source code it is that generates her at the start of each cycle. Do you think it would be possible to modify it? Add another way to affect future cycles, just in case? Hack in some way for her to keep all her memories, maybe?
No. 674993 ID: 3ab69d

Since she gets a reset each stage it wouldn;t really matter. Any information is good information.
No. 675010 ID: 9202a9

It would matter to *us*; we are what we do when not held accountable.

Plus, who knows we aren't actually watched? In addition to our personal opinion of ourselves, it's our credibility that's at stake.
No. 678439 ID: dd338c
File 144539917188.png - (125.36KB , 800x800 , 8-84.png )

"Glitcher, I know I didn't actually tell you not to look at her threads, but it is true, that she's her own person, even if she thinks she's just the embodiment of some kind of, well, rulekeeping ideal."
>"That's what I assumed, I guess I just thought you asked with your, uh... personality. Ethics. That stuff."
"But, what changed since you retrieved her thread back in the safe zone?"
>"Her. She's different, now."
"Aren't all of us?"
>"No - well, yes - sort o... your strings just move around and rearrange themselves, and maybe get new threads and morph them to what you need, but, uh, it's not different. And I'm, well, I run a little differently, but it's the same idea. But her? She changed at her foundation. She was changed. Something else did it. That's why she can see me now, I'm sure of it."
>"Do you think it's the system?"
"I don't know who else. They're updating her, and giving her, well. I don't know."
>"Nonetheless, you're going to have to convince her to do it on her own volition, glitcher, I'm sorry."
>"Alison! This! This is... this...
No. 678441 ID: dd338c
File 144539918803.png - (94.00KB , 800x800 , 8-85.png )

>"Nevermind, I, well, I told myself I wouldn't force things on my own volition again. I'll try asking her again later. I'm sorry. Either her changes, or what changed her, doesn't want me looking at her threads. I'll go."
"Wait. I don't suppose you ever got an idea from the Alison threads of what I'm like at my core? Like a certain baseline?"
>"It's... it depends how far you want to go. First there's you, Alison 3119. Then there's the Alison modifiers, which is just, well, a biased random generator against the real core. The actual core of you, is, well... it's the same as everyone else. I, uh, don't like looking at strings. Because I can't see people if I look too far, I just see, well, one big mass with a lot of extensions. Except for me. I'm just, sort of, a speck of dust in it."
"Well, I feel like my own person, and I like you no matter what you are. Please keep in touch, glitcher."
No. 678442 ID: dd338c
File 144539920601.png - (104.68KB , 800x800 , 8-86.png )

Glitcher leaves before a hug can be administered, and Rulekeep materializes immediately afterwards.

>"I don't know why I waited, it's not like I couldn't hear everything."
"It was a polite thing to do, thank you."
>"Ah... well, yes! It was, I guess that's why I did it! Anyways, I'm here to explain the rules to you and set things up."
No. 678443 ID: dd338c
File 144539921977.png - (43.11KB , 1152x900 , 8-87.png )

Matchmaking Area 2 contestants........ found.
Generating purple ghosts......... done.

Score for Stage 8, Section 1, in terms of time in relation to others' scores, on a score of Bronze, Silver and Gold:
Area 1 (Dials and surrounding rooms) - Gold
Area 2 (First Ghost Section) - Bronze
Area 3 (Second Ghost Section) - Gold

Entering area 2 on round 28.


Abilities reset.
Temporary Abilities Granted:
Guess Card
Guess Deck

"Here's the map! You're headed to the tile labeled 'Alison', if you couldn't guess. Shopkeep?"
>"I, uh, I don't know why I'm here? I mean, you can buy or sell stuff, but you can't afford anything right now even though you did find a little bit of bonus zeny."
"Oh... well, anyways, Alison! If you want to propose revisions and changes to the rules before we begin, I'd be happy to consider them before it starts. There's probably overpowered strategies here, but that's fine since we're only running this once. Finding out the upper ground in the mechanics is perfectly allowed.
No. 678452 ID: dd338c
File 144540343796.png - (95.79KB , 800x800 , 8-88.png )

"I do, though, I found some zeny earlier."
>"OH. Oh. Okay." says the shopkeep. "Uh.. you can get a lava invulnerability for 250, or rock candy or mag for 200. Or, you know, nothing."
"And I had a different item purchase in the first place."
"Oh, yes, I'll reload it, and... there." says Rulekeeper.
No. 678460 ID: 3f9dc0

>Summoning a ghost back to the emblem takes a number of rounds equal to 3 divided by the number of rooms away they are, rounded up.
This says 3/distance. That means that a ghost 1 room away takes 3 rounds to return, and a ghost 3 or more rooms away takes 1 round to return.

That seems like it is probably not the intended mechanic. Did you mean distance/3?
No. 678461 ID: db5d4f

Are defense ranks still a thing? We were told before that everyone starts off with Rank 3 Defense.
No. 678463 ID: bb78f2

Can I propose that before this stage ends that you go on a dinner date with Glitcher. I'm not saying let him see your threads... but before you're destroyed and replaced by a different personality, well... he's not a contestant, you're not a contestant, maybe you could edit time in a small little room for you two and maybe share a digital spaghetti dinner.

Have a little fun, Rulekeeper. Please. Before this stage ends. I think it would be good for you both.

GLITCHER, I know you're listening, ACT LIKE A GENTLEMAN IF SHE AGREES TO A DATE! Got it? Don't be pushy! I know what you boys are like! She's IN CHARGE! Unless she likes a man in charge, do you like a man in charge, dear? Or ladies in charge? GLITCHER! BECOME A LADY IF SHE WANTS IT THAT WAY! Wear something nice, not that old worn wifebeater. Iron your underwear, And GROOM YOURSELF, YOUR HAIR IS A MESS! Ugh! What are we gonna do with you?
No. 678464 ID: 90f3c0

Buy a magnifying glass. The ability to read the number of cards a player has that don't match yours is potentially very useful.

A couple of questions about the rules:

Is a player permanently defeated when their HP hits 0, and what happens to the cards they are holding?

"Summoning a ghost back to the emblem takes a number of rounds equal to 3 divided by the number of rooms away they are, rounded up."
I assume this is an error. Did you mean the number of rooms away, divided by 3?
No. 678476 ID: 872cfb

Ok, questions: When a player dies, will their personal room open to everyone? Is there a maximum to how many cards you can hold, and can other players see how many total cards you have with you? Are there any specific rules for speaking to other players, or can it be done with any player in the same room with you, at any time? Are there any non-attacking, non-speaking interactions possible with other players, such as gifting cards freely, or bartering cards for items?

As for items, I suggest taking a lava immunity. The magnifying glass might be useful, but the immunity might be essential. Plus, since it seems like this stage is going to go on a good while further past this, because we haven't run into the emblem eliminations yet, we'll have the immunity for later if we don't use it now.
No. 678500 ID: 5ad4a7

Hmm... I think a good strategy is to search a room somewhere where you can have a lookout ghost watching a couple rooms away to catch any enemy players approaching. That way you can have all your other four ghosts off searching rooms on their own, and you can recall them quickly enough to defend yourself against a player.
No. 678536 ID: 211d83

Ok a few questions for Rulekeeper.

1. What if anything did we get for our fast scores in the earlier levels?

2. Are the number of cards static or do more spawn when they are used to unlock a door? Do not want to end up in a situation where everyone has half there gates unlocked but there are no longer enough cards to finish.

3. Is the magnifying glass a one time use item?
No. 678554 ID: 3ab69d

magnifying glass seems ideal
No. 678578 ID: 025c3c

>>"I don't know why I waited, it's not like I couldn't hear everything."
Maybe you waiting because you wanted to see how Alison would answer Glitcher, but didn't want to influence the outcome by looming. (And/or you didn't want to be standing right next to him if she said yes).

>room permission
How is it granted? Do you have to tell a person in person, can you pass the message along via ghost, or will they automatically know as soon as you change the access privileges?

>Generating purple ghosts......... done.
How do purple ghosts work in this stage? Does the "ghosts can't directly attack each other" rule apply to them as well? (Ie, they can't attack our blue ghosts or be attacked by them?). Do they have infinite hp too? Where do they respawn, since they don't have emblems?

Can more than one staircase be unlocked? Does opening one stair mean the others are disabled, or can everyone who's not killed eventually open their stairs? (Presumably to enter the next puzzle late, at a disadvantage).

How does searching work? It's abstracted, so... does searching a room net you everything that was in a room? Can it miss things? Is there a random roll to see what / how much we find? Do we only get one item per search? Do we get to choose what to take?

How do ghosts and inventory work? If a ghost searches and finds stuff, how much can they carry? If we summon a ghost back to us, do they bring their inventory with them?

Do more cards / search finds spawn over time, or is the item distribution set at the start? Is it just destroyed cards that are redistributed?

Does this puzzle have it's own time limit, besides the larger time limit that we need to reach a stage 8 exit before all the exit slots are taken? (Ie, will the stage dissolve, lava rise, etc).

How does lava immunity work? Does that mean you can walk over it? Move through it like it wasn't there? It had a 10s timer before- how does that translate into turns since time is abstracted?

Does everyone in this puzzle start at once, or is it staggered so it's possible there are contestants ahead of us already exploring the castle, or behind us who haven't reached their starting room yet?

How does shield work, now? Each point of shield negates 1 point of attack? If that's the case, any player holding onto 1 ghost has 3 shields, and is immune to level 1, 2, and 3 attacks. (Meaning ghosts can't hurt them, and they can only be harmed by guess deck, or players with 4 or more attack from upgrade shopping).
No. 678579 ID: 025c3c

>Area 2 (First Ghost Section) - Bronze
So... we spent 3 panels talking a bunch to Fuzz before we grabbed him, and we initially snuck past Anno and avoiding ghosts. I guess what this tells us is the more common strategy was to grab the first ghost you encountered asap so as to have a defense.

>Area 3 (Second Ghost Section) - Gold
This tells us that even with the ridiculous fashion show we set up and Glitcher crashing it, and talking things out with rulekeep we still finished faster than average. I guess we were good at coming to terms with our alternates quickly, or accepting the new situation.
No. 678641 ID: dd338c
File 144547932962.png - (142.31KB , 800x800 , 8-89.png )

"I'll buy a magnifying glass, Shopkeeper."

-200 zeny
+1 magnifier

>"Okay. Uh, you can still sell stuff back full price by the way, but just for this shop zone, so if you wanna still swap stuff out, now's the time."
"And Rulekeep, may I ask a favor?"
"I think you and Glitcher could both benefit from a nice talk with one another on even ground. At some point before this stage ends, would you mind having a conversation with him?"
"What would we talk about?"
"I'm sure Glitcher has a lot of topics."
"I'll consider this."
"Thank you. I do have some questions, now."
"Of course."
"What, if anything, did I get for the scores of the previous rounds?"
"Oh, nothing directly, it's just an overall signifier for how early you entered round 2 compared to everyone else. It's vague, of course, but we're only giving you the round you entered on for reference. The other entrants may be sooner, or later, depending on how fast they were. So if you were faster than all your opponents, you'll get a good head start."
"Alright. Oh, is Defense Rank 3 still active?"
"Ah, good memory!.... no, that was just a catchall in case, well, nevermind that. Defense, zero!"
"Okay. Then, the rules..."

Updated rules, reflected in http://tgchan.org/wiki/Unnatural_Selection_Stats#Not_Go_Fish :
Distance/3, not 3/Distance.
One can lose all their levels instantly, but only gain 1 level per round.
Ability added: Add Permissions, Ghost Speak
No limit to card deck size.
Ghosts can hold any number of items at once.
Purple Ghosts, Lava, Card and Death rule sections added.
A ghost can be pulled out of the emblem at the beginning of a round instead of the end, but this will take up an action instead of being free.

No. 678643 ID: dd338c
File 144547938923.png - (46.02KB , 1152x900 , 8-90.png )

"Okay, here's the board, Alison." Rulekeep explains. "If there's anything else or if I forgot something, let me know. Otherwise, think up a strategy and I'll start you off."
No. 678660 ID: 5ad4a7

Well we're stuck in one room until we find the key, and the only way to search a room more than once a round is to be level 5. So let's keep everyone in the emblem and search search search. Once we find the key, let's go out and start searching the Side Room(via a ghost), Gambling room(via Alison), and the right Passage(via another ghost). Alison should keep one ghost in her emblem at all times to keep Shield active. While searching these three rooms we should have another ghost sitting in spot 21 as a lookout, and another in Alison's emblem just to make leveling back up to 5 easier.

...hang on, do numbered circular spots count as rooms or are those just corridors linking the rooms?
No. 678666 ID: 211d83

Can our ghosts attack purple ghosts? Because if they can't the only way to kill them is to enter a room and attack them personally while loosing a blue for 20 rounds. That or candy.

To start wander into the main hall and see if anyone is there. Then use your free ghost drop to put out two ghosts out as guards. Can keep the rest in to build up levels. Only other option is to wait here a round or two to build up levels. But might as well see if we made it here first. I think we should be either first or a close second hopefully.

But seeing as you have plenty of time to decide get strategy ideas from your ghosts first.

From what I see the farthest rooms are the most dangerous. They are the lowest so will be where the lava heads when traps get set off. And they take a long time to get to and back. So those hallways will be choke points where ghosts and players can catch you. Plus you have many rounds of travel time with no searching possible.

From this we can assume the Dungeon and side rooms probably have the best loot.

The middle section is much safer with many options for travel but can still be surrounded there.

I would send one ghost to the Dungeon and the Side room early. Even if it turns out you need a group to deal with those rooms it will give you much needed info.
No. 678673 ID: 90f3c0

The key to this game is going to be control of the cards. We need to get searching as many room as quickly as possible. Making alliances is also going to be crucial, as a combined effort will get cards much faster. Also, access to more doors makes the possibility of having the right cards higher(if doors have different combinations later on).

Keep two of the ghost in the emblem for defense and easier escape. Wait in the safe room until the shield is fully charged, in case an enemy is waiting in the main hall. Once the shield is charged Alison should check out the main hall and try to identify any potential allies and enemies.

Sending ghosts to search the passageway, gambling room, and side room first seems like a good idea sine they are close together and the ghosts could be called back more easily.
No. 678765 ID: ca8ded

I think we should sell back the glass for the immunity. We don't want to be in one of the lower rooms and see lava coming down through the only exit way.

I think the first thing to do is send two ghost scouts to the main hall and see what's what. If I'm reading right, you can't charge shields while in your personal room, but we should spend a round searching the personal room - we can't assume there's nothing here. Then we'll need to decide what to do next round based on what was seen, but as a preliminary guess, we could have one of the two ghosts we sent move on to scout further, one stay (and search, if ghosts take actions separately to the player), and Alison pull the remaining three into the emblem and move into the hall herself if it's safe. I recommend taking whatever lead we may have over other players and using it quickly, going to the furthest and lowest room, the dungeon, first. Then we don't have to go back there later, when there'll be more players and more dangers.

Aside from taking damage, is there any additional risk to using Guess Card when you have no cards left yourself?
No. 678782 ID: 025c3c

>all 5 contestants have had all of their previously encountered individuals who are now dead, and put into a single pool. From that pool, an ungiven number of purple ghosts have been pulled out to be put into this area, and periodically through the rest of the stage.
Statistically, most of the people in our faction are dead at this point. They still make up the minority compared to every currently-dead person we've ever met, but friendly or sympathetic purple ghosts aren't impossible. (That, and for some of our opponents, our friends would be their vengeful dead).

>what do
Attack has the highest priority. If we enter the main hall and there are any purple ghosts hanging around, we could lose before we have any chance to respond. If we enter a room with more purples than we have ghosts handy to block attacks with, we've lost. (This means we should either do everything by ghost proxies who can't be attacked by purples except when blocking, or we should have a ghost always scouting 1 square ahead when we're out).

Keep one ghost with you and start charging shields. When (or if) we're ready to leave the room, we can recall as many ghosts as you want to buff Alison (we at least want +1 move so we can start catching up). Send the other 4 ghosts out to scout and search. Points of early interest are to determine who the other players are, and how long they've been here. Especially if we can ally with anyone.

>I think we should sell back the glass for the immunity. We don't want to be in one of the lower rooms and see lava coming down through the only exit way.
I disagree. We just don't send Alison to lower ground. Only disposable / recoverable ghosts should be taking that risk, and making them better at searching for items is more useful than preserving them when they re-spawn or can be emblem summoned out of danger.
No. 678812 ID: dd338c
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"Okay, last clarifications and additions on rules! Blue ghosts can't attack purple ghosts. Ghosts who receive damage are disabled for rounds 3 times the damage, not four. Also, lava destroys items that are held by ghosts one at a time, chosen randomly within their inventory - check the lava rules for more. The action to pull a ghost out instantly (to prevent an attack), has changed to a special, instant ability for better categorization, and finally, shield HP now regenerates in any room. Good luck! Oh, and I didn't word the purple ghost generation like I meant to - the ghosts that were chosen to be in the purple pool are only ghosts that really hate the contestants, so I reflected that in the purple ghost rules."
No. 678813 ID: dd338c
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Alison goes into the personal room, and the game is now active.
No. 678814 ID: dd338c
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The walls are covered in murals, and they may mean something if she spends a round searching. If she tries to just look at them, she can't quite appear to process information they have. She does see the gate to Area 3, however, and a series of nodes that go 1-2-3-4-5. She has cards 1 and 5, and the suits only signify uniqueness amongst duplicate numbers.

"Okay, we can talk." Fuzz says inside of the emblem.

After a brief discussion on concerns of purple ghosts, Fuzz reminds Alison that there is an action to instantly bring ghosts out to protect Alison if she happens to walk in on one. At least as long as Alison always has a couple within summon range. Otherwise, he agrees with the strategy to send out ghosts to the most dangerous areas where the lava will run to.

Fuzz would like everyone to go to the main hall immediately, while Anno wants to at least spend a round searching this room to see what happens, even if it isn't a rectangular room that would have items.

Alison has no ghosts out at the moment, so she she believes her main two options are either to search this room herself while bringing out ghosts to show up at the end of the round, or move to the mainhall and have her ghosts come out there. Sweatermouse notes Alison can go to the main hall while bringing out ghosts, then a ghost can go back to the personal room to search even if it means the ghost has to move back and forth.

>Aside from taking damage, is there any additional risk to using Guess Card when you have no cards left yourself?
It doesn't appear so.
>Hang on, do numbered circular spots count as rooms or are those just corridors linking the rooms?
Circular rooms are just passageways with no apparent point to searching, while rectangular rooms yield items.
>Charging Shields?
Alison's shields are already charged to begin with, but are effectively at 0 until she hits level 1 next round.

No. 678815 ID: edee29

Since our HP is starting off at 1/3 of the max, I think Alison should at least stay in here for several rounds, if not the full 20 it will take to charge to full.

We should also have a ghost stay in the Main Hall to watch for new arrivals.
No. 678816 ID: 5ad4a7

The Gambling Room is high ground, and so is the Main Hall. The Dungeon and Side Rooms both seem to be low ground, unsafe places to be if a lava flow is incoming, because you can't even run away. If we're worried about lava we should not put Alison in those rooms, and only search them with itemless ghosts.

Search this room with a ghost, and step out into the main hall.
No. 678817 ID: 211d83

We will be using this room to store things and as a base so why not leave one ghost here to do a initial search and then we can personally look at it later?

Then we can move with everyone else to the main hall and see if anyone else is there yet. If we do not see anyone it could mean we are the first one here or someone is already out exploring.

Want to make the most of any lead we have by exploring as much as possible before all the players get here.
No. 678819 ID: 90f3c0

Stay in the room for now to search, level up, and charge shield/health.

Send three ghosts out to start exploring and searching.
No. 678820 ID: edee29

Room sizes are also a consideration for lava, so depending on how large the dungeon is, it might be impossible for lava to flow into it.

That being said, if the room sizes on the map are accurate then lava floods are most likely to originate in corridors and leave the feature rooms untouched.
No. 678824 ID: 025c3c

Wait wait wait. We forgot the most important question: what's the priority on hugs?

Is there any reason not to immediately drop our cards on the floor here? ...well, I guess anyone you invite in then would see them / be able to pick them up. And "no cards" is too easy a way to get killed by guess cards.

Do they need to guess suit and numbers, or just the numbers we're holding?

>what do
Stay behind with one ghost to charge shield while searching room, send other ghosts forward to the main hall, see if there's anyone there to talk to or fight.

They should try talking to purple and blue ghosts- we want to know who they're helping and/or hunting, if they're willing to tell us. (Although, granted, either is capable of lying).
No. 678859 ID: ca8ded

I still like the plan of Alison staying and searching here while two ghosts move ahead. I don't think Alison should be moving anywhere blindly.
No. 679115 ID: dd338c
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As unlikely as it is, Alison will stay in the first room to begin with in order to not blindly move outwards.

Round 28 Starts
Alison searches.
Found 1 Hint: The War Room has a chance to yield a Weapon Rank +1 (up to rank 4).
Fuzz and Gnoll are brought out.
Round 28 Ends

Alison gains 1 level.
No. 679116 ID: dd338c
File 144572570548.png - (46.91KB , 1152x900 , 8-95.png )

Round 29 Starts
Alison Searches
Found 1 Hint: Chances of a successful search gradually increase the more times you search without taking any other actions.
Fuzz and Gnoll move to the main hall.
Round 29 Ends
Alison gains 1 level.

"No one's here." Fuzz says.
No. 679121 ID: 211d83

Have Fuzz start moving to the dungeon and Gnoll search this round. Then move yourself to the main hall.
No. 679123 ID: 025c3c

>The War Room has a chance to yield a Weapon Rank +1
I wonder, if a ghost finds that in a search, if it upgrades the ghost's attack, or the player's.

>Chances of a successful search gradually increase the more times you search without taking any other actions.
So taking 20 works.

>what do
We should probably leave one person in the main hall. All the other players and their ghosts will have to pass through here, so if we have someone stationed there, we'll see who else we have to deal with.

Pull another ghost out of the emblem, Alison search, 1 hall ghost move, 1 hall ghost search.
No. 679129 ID: 90f3c0

Keep searching the starting room, these hint could be useful and more health is always good.

Have one of the ghost stay in the main hall and search, and keep a look out for other players.

Searching the dungeon first sound like an OK plan. Send out a third ghost to search the nearby rooms like passageway, gambling room.
No. 679172 ID: dd338c
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Alison is reminded that she is unable to speak to her own ghosts without using the ability to do so; and so she pulls out Sweatermouse for this round while searching.

Round 30 Begins
Alison searches Alison's Personal Room
-Hint: Any specific object or section in a rooms can be targeted for search, but most objects will have a reduced chance of success.
Gnoll searches the Main Hall
-25z is found.
Fuzz moves to Room 13.
No. 679174 ID: dd338c
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"I'm going to the Dungeon immediately, since Gnoll and I can't do 2 searches on a single room. If you need me, just summon me back." says Fuzz.

Sweatermouse is pulled out of the emblem.

"Hilison - Hiaa- Hi Alison!"
"Hello, Sweatermouse."
"Wh-whattaya need?"
"Well, I was going to tell you to go on to the main hall and tell Fuzz to move on to another place, but it looks like he already is. Soooo, I guess just go on and tell gnoll to, uh... search the gambling room. I think I may have you sit at the main hall and keep an eye out for newly incoming players?"
"Okay! Yes I can do that! I can stay in the same spot!"
No. 679180 ID: 12b273

>"Okay! Yes I can do that! I can stay in the same spot!"
Everyone's room connects to that room- other people and their ghosts will pass through there. I need you to keep an eye out for them, and to talk to them if they're willing to talk. Find out who else is here, and if they're willing to work together. I'm trusting you to make contact for us.

And you can search the room if there's nothing else to do.

Don't get into a fight. They can't hurt you unless you try to attack someone or try to block an attack at me.

Also pass on the hints you heard to Gnoll, since they wouldn't have heard them.
No. 679198 ID: dd338c
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