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TerroirNoir's "Cable Channel of AE!" Reviews. Part 2.


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On 11/23/2022 at 11:21 AM, TerroirNoir2 said:

What is it with you lot and wanting everything to be miserable?  I mean what?  Will that make you weirdly happy or something?

 

You can kind of picture them singing an old Smiths song... 🙂

 

This is the coastal town
That they forgot to close down
Armageddon, come Armageddon
Come, Armageddon, come

 

 

Edited by Ankylosaur
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Try my AE Arcs: Search for @Ankylosaur for the below and more...

  • Dev's Choice:   Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54  Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  | The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | All That Glows 4.1: Nictus Evictus - 40-54 
  • Post-Praetoria Campaign:  Explores the effects on Prime Earth of The Fall of Praetoria. Intro 1-20, Others fork off it in the 20's-ish to 54

All That Glitters: Intro (3 Arcs) 

Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

All That Gleams: Finale (1 Arc)

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On 11/24/2022 at 1:56 PM, TerroirNoir2 said:

(@cranebump, is there a clue missing at the end clickie?)

I honestly don't know, sorry.:-/

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Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following under "cranebump."

LONG FORM: Ordinary People [3 parts] Investigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it? Leviathan [5 parts] The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. Among their targets? You. Mobius [5 Parts]:  Visions of past, present, and possibility collide, as you and the Autumn Wards unravel the mystery of the 7-year time gap. The Cage Series [3 parts]: The Iron Widow is back! Or...is she? Your vigilante philosophy is put to the test in this tale of shifting loyalties and outright deceit.  The Bleed [3 parts]: Your investigation of arcane fissures in IP leads you to uncover a 100-year old secret shrouded in magic, blood, and betrayal. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's; The Lost Girls; Injustice Systems; Wednesday’s Wyverns; Of ‘Dine and Men; Dark Legacy; Shadow and Silver

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Arc 13 from our third author on "TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE" Reviews is @Darmian's The House of Gaunt Saints.

 

(Caveat. I have played these before but never reviewed them.  Although it has been a while, considering the number of other AEs and stuff I've been getting through!)

The House of Gaunt Saints is subtitled "(Imperial Power, Ch. 8" which means it is meant to follow on directly from @Darmian's "The Cassini Division (Imperial Power, Ch. 7)" and that follows on from "Bridge of Forever (Imperial Power, Ch. 6)" and the in game "Project Phoenix (Imperial Power, Ch. 5".

 

So with all that out of the way, it's time to report in to Praetor Sinclair for a new mission!

 

Mission 1: Truth, Lies & Memory Keys. Praetor Sinclair starts the meeting by giving me a lecture on all the enemies that Praetoria currently faces, from the Syndicate to the Destroyers, even the Resistance, but he saves he personal hatred for Mr. G. It seems, and the last few missions I performed for him bear this out, that he holds Mr. G responsible for the attempted subjugation of all of Praetoria, through cloning and alien intervention.  Having thwarted him in other areas Chimera believes Mr. G has turned to the Resistance to aid him in his plans. But Mr. G still holds influence and Chimera cannot yet act openly against him, so I'm off to meet a contact in Nova Praetoria. The Deputy Assistant at the Ministry of Information.

 

Ok then.  Let's go see this guy.

A boring office in Nova Praetoria's South Aetna area.  And no sign of the contact, but plenty of Clockwork there.  And my contact appears to be on the mezzanine.  I'll be up in a moment!

 

screenshot_221126-18-52-39.jpg.518a4b3c5a4a7a26cb38889ad36e3d9f.jpg

 

On set of hacked Clockwork later I can get to see the Deputy.  With these bots here it looks like someone knew he was paying a visit.  So he was watched.

 

screenshot_221126-18-53-01.jpg.10d21d4d8c4595fe299c67693e851944.jpg

 

Well that's an awkward spot.  But they haven't seen me yet, so I'm going to be a little bit smarter and tackle them from the other side rather than getting shot in the face by electric blasts while climbing those stairs.  Plan?  Plan.

 

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That's better.  I pull back to one side and snipe his captors one by one before moving in to free him from his bonds.

 

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Ok, gotcha.  And you'll show me where you hid the files you had.  Excellent.  An Interrogator?  Well, that's the trouble with Praetorian bureaucracy and secretiveness, everyone is hidng things from everyone else, in case someone else is a spy/Resistance member/who knows what.

 

screenshot_221126-18-57-48.thumb.jpg.d197b85592c17edd07d4fee7df8869b4.jpg

 

What did I just say?  Seems the PPD are here too, and they're looking for criminals posing as Powers Division members. So how do they recognize someone like me, a genuine Powers Division member?  Well, we'll have to see.

 

screenshot_221126-19-00-03.jpg.3bac0cee708e34dc8cc4bb9d4b437ce4.jpg

 

Ok.  That was both odd and cool at the same time.  I thought I'd have to fight my way through more hacked Clockwork but the PPD just took them down and now they're going back on patrol.  Glad to see some things working here.

 

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Even when you avoid it in one spot, you end up having to do it in another.  And by "it" I mean fighting up a set of stairs and being shot in the face with electricity.  The Deputy is a civilian so he's staying a little back.  Which is good because he hasn't given me the files yet.

 

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Ok, Clockwork are scrapped.  Now, what the hell is this thing?  And there's another in that little office next to us.

If the label is to be believed then it's some sort of hallucinogen.  Gas I suppose.  Well, obviously.

 

screenshot_221126-19-02-14.jpg.a6709bd13150491e4fe856be3010c1dd.jpg

 

So I move into the main staired area and the Deputy leads me to where he left the files.  He slips me a keycard as he goes. 

Officer Welks?  I remember her.  Good with a beam rifle.  Was investigating the missing members of PD herself.

 

screenshot_221126-19-07-28.jpg.849b9459364f293320dd6e1647319467.jpg

 

Well, looks like someone inside the Ministry of Information made sure that Welks's investigation went nowhere, since she was prevented from having these.  Power spikes?  I'd lay money those are connected to a dimension crossing to Primal Earth.

 

screenshot_221126-19-07-49.jpg.ae06b5cd5af628bb5ea72b5f7588a8c7.jpg

 

And the Deputy also told me to check out the wall safe.  And just gave me a keycard.  Ok, let's do that then.

So what do we have in here?  3 memory keys, all marked "Resistance" but 2 are also marked as "Copy".  Looks like the Deputy does things in triplicate.  All that bureaucratic training no doubt.

screenshot_221126-19-09-04.jpg.f6fc9c543e445285ced97ac3996a26c3.jpg

 

However now I have another problem.  The Interrogator that the Deputy said was following him has instead found me.  And I'm one of "Karnivore's little worshippers"?  What the hell are you talking about?  Ok, I don't have time for niceties and frankly I have direct sanction from a Praetor to do whatever the hell I want on my mission, so brace yourself, Obdurant, you're gonna need that mediporter on your belt in a minute!

 

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Obdurant calls for back up and gets a weird response from his Control. No, I didn't do it, so that means there's someone else on site, probably your Karnivore friend.  However, I did pass several canisters of hallucinogenic gas on the way here so I have a notion as to what is going on.  Sucks to be you today, Interrogator.

 

screenshot_221126-19-10-36.jpg.06e640edd27003c8ceaa7f99fcd0006d.jpg

 

I put the Interrogator and his subordinate to sleep and then find myself facing Karnivore (I knew it!) shortly afterwards.  Seems the Deputy has a lot of people interested in him.  Looks like he makes a terrible spy if he's that obvious.

 

screenshot_221126-19-11-59.thumb.jpg.15a15e555e66ddf27ca17ae882daf024.jpg

 

He jumps over the rails and attacks, and I Kinetics push him down onto the main floor before dealing with his minion. Jumping down after him I see that the PPD are busy beating the blue blazes out of each other, so yeah.  Gas in effect I think.  

 

screenshot_221126-19-13-07.jpg.4b1215ca403d6f5ff783e5e565505199.jpg

 

And turning I finish off Karnivore.  And typical zealot, there's always one thing left for the cause.  A bomb. So it's a race to find that before the whole place goes up.

 

screenshot_221126-19-13-17.jpg.340975fd22f5efe77cb89573c398b152.jpg

 

And I race along and find it and carefully defuse the thing.  Of course AFTER  I just SAVED EVERYONE (sigh) this happens.  Sorry, boys.  I'm outta here.  And I dash out the exit and back to report in to Praetor Sinclair.

 

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Praetor Sinclair starts immediately dissecting my report.  The memory keys go to Parson to analyze. The intel on power spikes matches use of portal tech.  Keyes isn't doing it apprently, and Mr. G doesn't personally have the know-how, but he could get it from the Resistance. Much to decipher.  He will summon me for the next job.

 

[Mission 1 = Quite a lot going on in what starts off as a "meet the guy/get the thing" sort of a mission.  As usual dense with intel but not wordy.  Great start.]

 

Edit: Forgot to change my uniform!  I'll do it next mission!

 

Mission 2: Stygia. Sinclair is always plotting. Interrogator Obdurant was unlucky enough to be caught up in the shadow war between the Praetor and Mr. G. A commendation on his record and a wreath sent to his family is in order, apparently. The memory keys are a treasure trove of data, while the energy spikes mentioned in the files have been narrowed down to 2 sites. The first is cleverly sited near Keyes's reactors and timed to match the pulses there.  Shielding it from obvious notice.  The second is deep within the Underground. And now I have to meet Officer Welks and help her further on her missing persons case.  I'm meeting her in the Underground.

 

As soon as I entire the place I get a message on the comms from Welks.  She and her junior partner, Martins, have been attacked by Ghouls and could do with some assistance.  On my way!  

 

Several Ghouls and Resistance members later.

 

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Welks informs me that the intel the Praetor sent over has been very useful but someone tipped off the people here and they were waiting for her and Martins.  Plus there's a big spike of energy below us and someone named Karver in charge.  Karver. Karnivore.  What is it with these people and their "cool names"?

 

Ok, there's Martins.  And he's pleased to see us.  He's recovered a map from one of the Resistance members too, good work!

 

screenshot_221126-21-35-25.jpg.a03a8099d2365eeee30c38142a00a70e.jpg

 

We make our way further underground, down the long winding staircases and across the water slick floors, picking off Ghouls as they attempt to swarm us and Resistance Members who try to shoot us, until we see the edge of the hidden dock, and Karver.

 

screenshot_221126-21-40-44.jpg.94ede0286e66b2d955d9b2845103828a.jpg

 

Nothing for it but to tackle him I suppose, so I lead the charge!

And Karver is UP THERE on the Fanatically Zealous scale.  Hitting an 11/10 I think.

 

screenshot_221126-21-40-58.jpg.653d4d22451900fe8acb60acf42bc1bb.jpg

 

What or who is Naetorp?  (Hang on, NAETORP =PROTEAN? Nah, that's a red herring surely!) 

 

screenshot_221126-21-41-08.jpg.0d48443d712494bec7e5d1692015ffa4.jpg

 

Oh, that's hella interesting.  A War across the worlds and more allies for the Resistance.  I'm sure Chimera has factored that into his plotting.  (On a @TerroirNoir2 level, I love that line)

 

screenshot_221126-21-41-16.jpg.16be71a9737598bb9f87aab0f27af78f.jpg

 

Well, Martins, and the rest of us, are confused.  The thing on the map isn't on the map!  

(I initially thought this was a glitch, @Darmian, but Martins's speech sort of makes clear it isn't.  Cool.)

 

screenshot_221126-21-41-42.jpg.ba0971981a9e6d4c58c8fed62a3bb79c.jpg

 

And now to find Naetorp.  Well, that was fast, they've just arrived and she's looking for Karver.  And it's nice to know you're important enough to be worth replacing with a doppelganger.  I THINK.  Have to mull that one over for a bit.

 

screenshot_221126-21-43-51.thumb.jpg.d7bda78bf1f8c54d3955687aac07870d.jpg

 

So for once I get to see what it looks like when I get thrown through the air, but from the outside perspective I mean.  Gas?  There was gas?  More of those canisters I'm thinking.  Also, the generator for their mini portal thing.

 

screenshot_221126-21-43-59.thumb.jpg.fcd0d63020d9d9c146e3ae48365d5aa6.jpg

 

One of Naetorp's minions makes a run for it but doesn't get very far.  Martins may be a rookie but he's on the job!  A commendation for you!

 

screenshot_221126-21-44-20.jpg.a48e0f97358bf16a82d8f45073974d25.jpg

 

And I turn to find the generator to discover Officer Welks is dealing with that issue already.  Ok, I already liked Welks but I'm liking her more now, and her new assistant.

 

screenshot_221126-21-44-26.jpg.ac89d586eb65bc3fee541efb96c1bee3.jpg

 

After that we shut down a Pulse Register Console and a Pulse Register Recorder and take the data.  All packed up for Parson to go over once I report back to Chimera.

 

Sinclair is impressed (I think he is anyway) with the results, and will commend Welks to the Emperor personally. Mr. G's earlier alliance with Arachnos is visible from the types of tech being used. And then he finshes with this.

 

screenshot_221126-21-46-30.jpg.7b8bc3cdb49d808bb545376e73fa015d.jpg

 

Ok then.  

 

[Mission 2 = Action packed Undergound mission.  Loved it.  Good interaction between the supporting NPCs (Dunno how you managed that, or maybe I'm just projecting?) Plot moves forward dynamically too.  Excellent.}

 

Mission 3: Wisteria Drive. We get off to a good start(!) when I show up for work at the right place.  Anyway, Parson has examined the body of my double, definitely the work of Mr. G's cloning facility (Chimera never mentioned the name, so maybe he doesn't like obvious jokes the way Mr. G appears to) along with the gas in the canisters and the pulses from the portal tech.  What bothers Sinclair is that Mr. G is most definitely not a fanatic, so what he's doing with the zealots of the Resistance is curious. But apart from all that he has a job for me now. Eliminating Mr. G's last known cloning facility in the rich district of Four Gables in Imperial City. Get in, raid the place, shut it all down.

 

Ok, I'm in and I need to access the security console.  Done.  Stealth is so very useful.

 

screenshot_221126-21-48-09.jpg.fcc4cb97c4c1e762b3d16935b7df48d8.jpg

 

And there's a hell of a lot of clones around. White coats, pants, hat.  Armed.  And seriously dangerous.

There's a lot of things I've learned to hate in my adventures, but one of them, technically a small thing, is damn annoying.  Caltrops.  Gawdamn caltrops.

 

screenshot_221126-21-48-52.jpg.c0622a1ddc6c95fe3566936c45de003f.jpg

 

I shut off a chained secondary console, see mention of Tami Baker in there (3 of her was enough back on Primal Earth, but looks like there's more!) and I have to get to a mainframe to download whatever is on it for Parson.

 

I get the mainframe data done, and as it scrolls by I see mention of Transmuter!  He's been captured and is currently a prisoner in this place.  Time to do a little rescuing then.

Ok, found him.  Having left a trail of dead clones behind me. Time to leave some here too I think.

 

screenshot_221126-21-52-33.jpg.a1fa2d7df3118a6f10b693344ede7dbe.jpg

 

You do not look well, Transmuter.  Then again, if memory serves me well, you always looked kinda grey skinned, I think.  And the Clone Prime?  Would that be the Clone Prime over there?  Slightly glowing?

 

screenshot_221126-21-53-10.jpg.4b120557dcdb25e78b1520d61a8c71cc.jpg

 

And Transmuter's capture?  Well, this is HIS version of it.

 

screenshot_221126-22-02-43.jpg.c649466184909c8c025ab29dad7de50b.jpg

 

That glowing guy IS the Clone Prime.  Or it IS Clone Prime.  I don't know whether that's a name or a title, and frankly by now I don't care since the Praetor ordered me to raze this place to the ground.  So, let's get to it then.

I will die now, will I?

 

screenshot_221126-21-53-45.jpg.541823961d396e1136785d4ccf91bb7e.jpg

 

Oh, well there's my ego seriously bruised, along with all the rest of me.  Looks like Clone Prime is serious when making statements.  Not threats, just statements. He sounds a bit like his maker, Mr. G, but maybe a touch more...mechanical? All will be equal?  As in all will be clones of him?  I'm not sure how this works.  He can't be meaning that everyone is a clone, more likely all government is run by him and his clones probably.  In the meantime, OW.  And I mediport out.

 

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I give Buddy a call on the way back in, after curiously seeing some clones destroy a BCU, wherever that came from!

 

screenshot_221126-21-55-38.jpg.95e5113187b20ae1c44fd0c32d477480.jpg

 

However, things do not go well for Buddy and me, and I only hope he doesn't hold it against me in the future.  Take samples and vaporize the rest?  OMG these clones are insane.  And tough. Insanely tough.

 

screenshot_221126-21-57-46.jpg.b1e618cb4764a55a8c0d9a629649f869.jpg

 

Let's try that again.  I mediport back in and take my time, clearing any extraneous clone I meet along the way. I couldn't take Clone Prime on my own, so I definitely DO need help.  But Buddy and me couldn't take him together, so it's reaching into the utility belt/tray, finding the old summoning amulet for spirit Marcus, (I think a petition needs to be made that the Signature Summons needs to be tailored for Praetoria as well as just Red/Blue). And some envenomed daggers, and the old Plasmatic Taser to knock him off his feet. 

So Marcus is summoned, and I snipe Clone Prime into coming to us and letting his minions trail after, rather than rushing them and me dying fast!

A sample of my tissue?  Did you not get that already?  Well, if you have any I'm taking it back!  And Marcus has just crushed some clone's head in.  Sheesh.

 

screenshot_221126-22-00-16.jpg.aa07ffcc765e414b5265e12ba6e7154a.jpg

 

And we have him!  YES!  And he initiates self vaporization?  Well that's hard core.  And I can hear Provost Marchand?  What?

 

screenshot_221126-22-00-29.jpg.6a9de2ab9f32288dbfb62c0698083e3c.jpg

 

Ok. Ok. I don't know what to say to that only, "yes, sir, I will do that."  Come on, Marcus.  Let's get out of here.

 

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Reporting back to Sinclair.  (HA, love this!)

 

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And he tells me to wait for his next summons.  The work at Wisteria Drive is done.

 

[Mission 3 = Ok, I really know that the war against Mr. G is ramping up.  That was tough!  Great, loads of lore and detail everywhere as usual, but very tough.  And we're only half way through the arc! Nice.]

 

Mission 4: Faces.  According to Sinclair time is running out.  He doesn't say why.  But since I've met countless foes who claim that the Emperor is invading Primal Earth, I have an idea that we're up against a deadline to get this done before that happens.  Parson has isolated the energy signature given off by Mr. G when he uses his powers and traced that to the Underground.  So I'm to head in and find him.  Simple as that.  I hope!  He's damn tough.  I needed that mystery guy to help me take him down the last time I fought him.

 

Anyway, off I go. 

 

First things first, I need to access the static booster in the Underground to get Parson's thingy working.

There we go.

 

screenshot_221126-22-04-41.jpg.9b5db49a9a3e42986bd0db6b140cc567.jpg

 

Oh holy!  That guy came out of nowhere!  Wait, what?  He wishes to end the conflict and will surrender himself?  Ok, I dunno what the hell is going on here but let's be cautious about all this.

 

screenshot_221126-22-04-52.jpg.ab3e40c9ec0479b0be31497d29d1ad89.jpg

 

Ah. So Chimera was right.  Mr. G is having some difficulty with the fanaticism of the Resistance.  Ok then.  Lead on, Mr. Clone. Lead on.

 

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Engineria and the Clone prove adept at clearing the Ghouls and stray Resistance members they encounter out of their way.  This clone with his battle droids is quite useful.  I'm just waiting for him to turn on me!

 

screenshot_221126-22-07-51.jpg.1301d970b97ab8f03a015f3b5431e2b4.jpg

 

But he doesn't!  He leads me right to Mr. G, and then stays to guard our retreat from the arriving Resistance members.  And we have to deal with their leader, a Viktor.  He'll be attempting to stop us it seems.

 

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Engineria and Mr. G head back up to the surface. There's little activity following myself and Clone D's cleansing of the place, but just before we get to the exit, there's Viktor.  He's intent on taking Mr. G from me.  I'm afraid I can't go along with that plan, Viktor. Nope.

 

screenshot_221126-22-13-14.jpg.add0cfcd10d3ee9eeb9a6951cac1506b.jpg

 

No, you're going to be disappointed, Viktor.  Chimera gave me very simple orders. Do whatever it takes, no matter who gets in my way. Mere pain?  No, I'm going to kill you.  And done.

 

screenshot_221126-22-13-21.jpg.b9672196d40ee2e97c00d5dbedb41f9b.jpg

 

Then Engineria and Mr. G exit to the surface. Time to see the Praetor.

 

Praetor Sinclair finds the fact that Mr. G turned himself over very odd.  He'll have him examined and taken for questioning, but he's very suspicious about this turn of events.  Can't say I blame him.

 

[Mission 4 = Short and simple mission but plenty of action.  At a higher team level it gets very intense!  Great stuff]

 

Mission 5: Rubicon. Sinclair summons Engineria and informs her that the man they have in custody is not Mr. G, despite passing all tests that would confirm his identity.  The Praetor's suspicious nature is too strong to believe the man in genuine.  And it looks like he was right.  He ordered Parson to test again for Mr. G's energy signal (I assume excluding the guy in custody) and it shows up again in Four Gables. My next job is to kill Mr. G outright and raze the building to the ground. Parson is supplying me with enough explosive to do that.  This is the end of the line.

 

Ok, so no pressure AT ALL.  Especially since Sinclair just told me that even if I am unable to leave then the mission must be completed.  Sheesh.

 

Ok, straight in and shut off security to prevent reinforcements arriving.  So far so good.

 

screenshot_221126-22-16-55.jpg.038b13520c5c55d309bca9a5c20050e3.jpg

 

And then Tami Baker and some clones arrive to see what's going on.  Well, one of the many Tami Bakers! I am insufferable, am I?  Well it's nice to be acknowledged!

 

screenshot_221126-22-17-27.jpg.4e8a1d76027e24d9727134f04096755d.jpg

 

And she's as tough as she was the last time I fought her, except that time I had Recall hitting her with psi attacks at the same time.  Oh, this mission is going to HURT.  I can just feel it.  In all the ways.

 

screenshot_221126-22-18-05.jpg.53b62f100a828ac607b681a4339f749f.jpg

 

I bundle back in the door after staggering out of the mediporter, bringing Buddy with me this time and we dance around her and her clone friends. screenshot_221126-22-21-07.jpg.9efebdb56c25988d5e02e6335cd3e7cd.jpg

 

She's tough alright, but between the two of us we wear her down.  Plasmatic Taser to knock her over a lot, and Buddy just blasts her while I fling anything else I can find!

Clone D, huh?  Yeah.  I saw him in the Underground last mission.  Except he was on the same side as me then.  He's tough.  And with the bots I'll need to hit him hard and fast to have a chance.

 

screenshot_221126-22-21-26.jpg.37601aeff1c08df58d9314a883878914.jpg

 

And there you are, friend D.  And you're a little surprised because you haven't called your bots up so I hit you as hard as I can first!

 

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He gets his bots up finally but I drop him just as they arrive.  So Clone D is down, and that's a relief.  What isn't a relief is the MASS OF CLONE REINFORCEMENTS that swarm up the stairs and riddle me with bullets!

 

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OW OW OW OW! Nice floor.  Soft. Just lie here for a minute, yeah?

 

screenshot_221126-22-35-19.jpg.abf82fee8ba4a59eefb2b31b8c6a86c8.jpg

 

I swear to god my mediporter is going to overheat shortly.  Anyway, I port to the hospital, presumably get rapid healed, injected with vast amounts of adrenaline to keep me up and going and back in I go, and they're waiting for me.  But the thing is I knew they would be, so this time I'm ready and fight my way clear.

 

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And then I get to the elevator.  Only two things left.  Kill Mr. G and plant the bombs.  Any minute now.  Temporarily crashing here.

 

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Ok! On I go. Mr. G and some surviving clone minions are in the end plaza room. Peering around the corner I can see where he is, so rather than get insta-killed I pull out the backup radio AND the summoning amulet and team up with Buddy and Marcus.

Let's get this done once and for all.

 

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We attack.  That's pretty much the entire plan there.  There's no room for strategy left, especially considering the space we're in. Mr. G starts a monolog at me but I don't have time for it, I'm just trying to stay alive here.  Buddy and Marcus are clearing around us and soon Mr. G will be isolated.

 

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Then the 3 of us converge on Mr. G and he makes a run for it.  Didn't want a war?  Well, maybe don't piss off Chimera the way you did?  And you were the only one who could stop it?  Whatever.  

 

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And Mr. G dies. His final words about a bluff of some kind.  Another clone?  Is that Mr. G a clone too?  I suppose he could be. It didn't sound like one though.  Clone D's last words were also about a bluff.

 

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Now we plant the bombs and leave. Job done! Whew!

 

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Reporting back to Praetor Sinclair. He says that we have won. Mr. G's corruption has been stamped out. But apparently what is coming is still coming.  Sinclair is puzzled by Mr. G's last words, but there's nothing to be done about it.  I'm to be commended to the Emperor.

I am to report to Provost General Marchand for new duties.  Viva Praetoria!

 

[Mission 5 = Very intense and tough mission.  Great finale to the arc.]

 

Verdict. Well, the entire Loyalist trilogy ends here. Loved it.  It feels like this just fits perfectly into the Praetorian story cycle in game. And for my money could just be slotted in easily.  Kudos @Darmian!

 

 

Next up from @Darmian is The Spark of the Blind.

Next up on TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE Reviews is @Ankylosaur's All That Glimmers 2.2: Drowning In The Vigilant Isles.

Edited by TerroirNoir2
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On 11/24/2022 at 6:56 PM, TerroirNoir2 said:

We manage to survive the bombs (mainly by me spamming Kinetics Healing which heals Me AND the others, so that's useful) but Utath is currently sideways down ruining her nice Arachnos uniform by lying in sewer water.  Rather her than me though I've done it often enough.  

Bocor's dark magic stuff helped out too, seems he's capable in a fight after all.

 

I examine the array of weird urns around this place, spaced out as they are between the spectral tears.  All but one is filled with a black substance, and that one is doing it's own thing.

 

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Me and Aurora drag Bocor to the exit so we can rendezvous with the sub.  I'm assuming the Longbow guys can make their own way out.  Time is still counting down for us to get outta here. Yeah, I reckon you'll get a chance to speak to Cheng, but we need to speak to YOU first, Mr. Bocor.  Now scoot!

Good to see how this was supposed to end.  I was running the arc at x4 on a blaster with no heals or group buffs.  That made the surprise need to keep Bocor alive...problematic.   We got as far as Utath and her minions.  I took care of Utath.  She took care of Bocor.

 

I expected an escort mission; for some reason I didn't expect Bocor to be an ally with a death wish!

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4 hours ago, TerroirNoir2 said:

(I initially thought this was a glitch, @Darmian, but Martins's speech sort of makes clear it isn't.  Cool.)

 

screenshot_221126-21-41-42.jpg.ba0971981a9e6d4c58c8fed62a3bb79c.jpg

That came about as a result of me experimenting with where items spawn, and the timing of them.  So it allowed me to have a little more "human interaction" rather than combat, or just click a thing.

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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Two. (Arc id 26952) | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Three. (Arc id 27233) Darker Deeds: Part One (Arc id 28374) | Darker Deeds: Part Two. (Arc id 28536) | Darker Deeds: Part Three. (Arc id 29252) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part One (Arc id 29891) |

Darkest Before Dawn: Part Two (Arc id 30210) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part Three (Arc id 30560) |

 Bridge of Forever ( Arc id 36642) | The Cassini Division (Arc id 37104) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

I Sing of Arms and the Man (Arc id 42617) | Three Sisters (Arc id 43013)

(Pre War Praetorian Loyalist.  Pre War Praetorian Resistance..  Pre ITF Cimerora.  Post ITF Cimerora. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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15 hours ago, Zhym said:

Good to see how this was supposed to end.  I was running the arc at x4 on a blaster with no heals or group buffs.  That made the surprise need to keep Bocor alive...problematic.   We got as far as Utath and her minions.  I took care of Utath.  She took care of Bocor.

 

I expected an escort mission; for some reason I didn't expect Bocor to be an ally with a death wish!

Does that one require getting Bocor out, or just to the urn room?

Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following under "cranebump."

LONG FORM: Ordinary People [3 parts] Investigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it? Leviathan [5 parts] The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. Among their targets? You. Mobius [5 Parts]:  Visions of past, present, and possibility collide, as you and the Autumn Wards unravel the mystery of the 7-year time gap. The Cage Series [3 parts]: The Iron Widow is back! Or...is she? Your vigilante philosophy is put to the test in this tale of shifting loyalties and outright deceit.  The Bleed [3 parts]: Your investigation of arcane fissures in IP leads you to uncover a 100-year old secret shrouded in magic, blood, and betrayal. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's; The Lost Girls; Injustice Systems; Wednesday’s Wyverns; Of ‘Dine and Men; Dark Legacy; Shadow and Silver

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1 hour ago, cranebump said:

Does that one require getting Bocor out, or just to the urn room?

Out (or more accurately, both, but also out).  When I re-ran it just now, Bocor was in the room with the urns (thankfully).  The mission text says I have "45 minutes to find Bocor and get him out," so the escort part's not a surprise, at least.  Of course, the warning about having only 45 minutes would have been more useful before accepting the mission. :)  Not that 45 minutes is short—at 0/x1 I was able to run the mission, type this reply, and edit it, all within 10 minutes (but note that I'm not suggesting you shorten the timer!).

 

BTW, my strategy on the replay, even at 0/x1, was that after I rescued Bocor I stealthed away as fast as I could to drop him and take on Utath by myself.  Then I went back to escort him to the exit.  Sometimes the NPCs are a lot safer if they aren't with me.

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1 minute ago, TerroirNoir2 said:

@Darmian, I'm curious about Mr. G's final words.  What bluff was he referring to there?

Well, it's two things really. One, a bluff that he survives, and we know he does because he makes it out to Primal Earth after the war; and two, a reference to his actual FINAL lab, which you find on Tiberian Bluff 🙂

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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Two. (Arc id 26952) | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Three. (Arc id 27233) Darker Deeds: Part One (Arc id 28374) | Darker Deeds: Part Two. (Arc id 28536) | Darker Deeds: Part Three. (Arc id 29252) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part One (Arc id 29891) |

Darkest Before Dawn: Part Two (Arc id 30210) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part Three (Arc id 30560) |

 Bridge of Forever ( Arc id 36642) | The Cassini Division (Arc id 37104) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

I Sing of Arms and the Man (Arc id 42617) | Three Sisters (Arc id 43013)

(Pre War Praetorian Loyalist.  Pre War Praetorian Resistance..  Pre ITF Cimerora.  Post ITF Cimerora. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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  • 2 weeks later

Arc 14 from our first author on "TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE" Reviews is @Ankylosaur's All That Glimmers 2.2: Drowning in The Vigilant Isles. 

 

Mission 1: The Temple of the Waters. Time to talk to that enigmatic oddball, Candlestick.  He's a strange one. Anyway, with one DOOMSDAY contest thwarted we still have another two to deal with and Old Candlestick thinks the best lead is the Coralax, or Coral Men as he calls them. Noble Savage is investigating something but keeping his cards to his chest, so at least the Forlorn are on side.  And there's been contact of a sort with the Legacy Chain. Candlestick hands me his phone to show me what Faerun of the Legacy Chain said. Well, there's a map of their temple there, and that's useful, however most of the intel is what we know.  Coralax aren't pure anymore, they're people who have become infected by the coral. Hmm.  Candlestick's big issue is the Harbingers of Drowning want to summon Primal Merulina to do what Praetorian Merulina already did. Drown Sharkhead.  That's a lot of sacrifices. 

He hands me an amulet to protect against infection.  Thanks, Candlestick.

 

Now to go and get my feet wet.  The things I get myself into.  

And we're off already.  Coralax people.

 

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Well, after a few minutes I'm picking shards of coral out of my knuckles and wandering through this dank and salt smelling cavern.  It's a bit ugh.  But I have company!  Hiya Barracuda.  Whatcha doin'?  The calling?  Ah, sure.  That's exactly what I'm doing.  Investigating the calling.  Yep yep.

 

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The Coralax have captives, 3 in fact.  So we need to release them and find out what's actually going on here.  Apart from the DOOMSDAY thing that is.  Well, here's hoping!  Come on, Barracuda, let's go exploring.

 

And we find a Coralax captive and free her.  She runs off, also talking about "the Calling".  Not as strong willed as Barracuda I suppose.  1 down, 2 to go. And there's another one rescued.

 

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This place is HUGE.  You could get seriously lost in here.  You know, seriously.  Not like "I turned a corner and got turned around" but ...anyway.

And there's the final captive freed.

 

Oh, well that's encouraging.  Look at all of these guys.  Virtea and coral shards, and some mad Doctor over there.  Ok, let's get stuck in, Barracuda!

 

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Dr. Wilbiby?  Touch of the Wilbur Whatelys about THAT name I think!  End our kind?  I suggest you have a word with my friend here about that. 

 

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Barracuda and Engineria put paid to the doctor before destroying the tall shards or spikes or whatever they are, surrounded as they are by floating thingies.

And what's this?  Wilbiby's notes.  He's looking for a way to make the red coral grow above water, and even sort of spore in the air.  Ugh.  Grim.

 

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Ok, Barracuda, I'll leave you to finish kicking yout relatives' teeth in, I have a Candlestick to report back to.  Yeah, it does sound a bit "Beauty and the Beast" but you know the weird lives us supers lead. Oh, she's just gone.  Not even a word of thanks.

 

So Candlestick says these Virtea, or fish men(!) were/are slaves of the Coralax. But it now looks like they are in charge in that temple. And the rest of the intel is very troubling, you know, the air borne thing and all.  Sheesh.

Candlestick is gonna contact Faerun and fill him in on all this, get the Primal knowledge to back up his own Praetorian knowhow.

 

[Mission 1 = Fun run through that terrible temple of the waters map!  It is what it is though, thematically perfect.  And the attacks from the Virtea are NASTY.  Good start to this arc.  Let's see where we go!]

 

Mission 2: Interview With A Coralax. Candlestick has the intel!  He's been talking to Noble Savage, and the man lives up to his name. Trouble is not everyone does, and he was afraid that the Forlorn, or some of them at least, had joined the Harbingers of Drowning.  And he was right.  Tsk.  Not even that, it seems the Hargingers are entirely composed of ex-Forlorn.  Suffice it to say, NS ain't happy.  Ok, he never seems what I'd call happy, but now he's definitely NOT happy.

 

Faerun of the Legacy Chain has quite the email correspondence going with Candlestick too by the way.  I reckon he's using Candlestick for info.  Not that Candlestick ain't canny, he is.  But he's not used to tech wielding wizards of the Legacy Chain persuasion maybe?  I dunno.

 

Faerun knows a guy.  Well, "knows" is strong, is aware of a guy who is...a bit like Barracuda.  And the plan is we go talk to him.  Faerun setting himself up as the bait and me as the hook.  Fittingly we're meeting in The Chum Bucket! 

 

Off to The Chum Bucket then.  Oh, this place is ..ugh.  I'd nearly prefer the sewers.

Oh nice one, Faerun.  Just get me into a fight from the get go, why don'tcha?

 

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Seriously?  What happened to all that noble wizard crap you lot always go on about?  Is the greater good me pounding some poor schmo in the face?  Is it?

 

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Faerun!  Oh, he does not waste time.  We've worked together before but I may need to have words with him!

A call to Astoria?  Is Sl4g H0rN hearing the same thing Barracuda did?  Heh, sounds like it!

 

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So we get into it with Sl4g H0rN and his friends, and the blows are traded back and forth and then!

See, this is what we could have done at the beginning, Faerun!  Well, while he's all compliant now, let's see what the man has to tell us.  Stop kicking him!

 

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Yep, old Sl4g H0rN here has definitely heard the call, same as Barracuda and the Coralax we freed.  He's an ornery sort so has been able to resist going to the sewers of Astoria (still not used to calling it that) but it's still in his head.

Faerun seems content with that and hands me a dossier to read before heading off.

Looks like I'm reporting in to Candlestick then.

 

Candlestick says it adds up. This calling is emanating from the sewers in Astoria (again, weird!) and the Forlorn/Harbingers are down in the sewers.  Time to get in touch with Noble Savage.

 

[Mission 2 = Short intel grabbing mission.  Narratively good.  No fat on it.  And on we go.]

 

Mission 3: The Sewers of Drowning. Bad news first I fear.  So, the thing with the Astoria sewers, Noble Savage went investigating himself and has not returned.  He was tracking an Arachnos squad, most likely connected with Barracuda, and ...no sign of him now. Desdemona/Vanessa has told Candlestick himself to stay out of it, so it's on me to go find him, and anything else I can find.

 

On it.  You know I said I'd prefer the sewers to The Chum Bucket?  Yeah, not so much really.

 

Well, you didn't get far, NS, didja?  Come on down out of that then.  I'll just deal with your Harbinger acolyte friends here.

 

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Why?  It's surprising what people latch on to when they're in pain, NS. There doesn't need to be any real logic to it, as long as they see the "reasoning" for it.  Come on, let's get you up and we'll continue on. Hang on, did you say the Forlorn are immune to the calling? How does that work?

 

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Nevermind the explanations for now, meet Andre!  Wizard of Frost and so on.  Oh, you see this a lot.  People with grievances giving themselves weird titles.  Compensating is what it is.

We get to it with Andre and his minions, yeah, we're here to stop the call, Andre.

Hang on, what?  Bring Praetorian Merulina here?  Oh, so Primal Merulina is dead (for a given value of dead, according to Faerun in his chat about gods and so on), so you're...well that doesn't sound good at all.  Ok, none of it sounds good, but now it sounds worse!

Whatever.  We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.  For now the calling is kaput.

 

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Up ahead we see a lone Arachnos trooper surrounded by Coralax and we head towards them.  The Coralax attack us and NS does his thing, his impressive thing, which mainly involves, well it might be termed "clobberin' time" in a different world!

The Arachnos Agent makes a run for it! Ok. Looks like it's grimmer down here than even we had thought, if an entire Arachnos squad was nearly wiped out like that.

 

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Right then, NS.  Let's see what caused this mayhem.  Well, their mayhem, you sorta do your own mayhem as you go along.

Well  bingo bongo voila, NS.  Tell me that doesn't look ominous.

 

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Immediately in the corner there's another shardy spikey thing that I've taken an instant dislike to, that and the airborne whatzits that are floating around it.  I hope that Candlestick's amulet works!

 

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So, let's lay waste to this lab!  Wait, NS!  I need to look for intel before we do that.  Oh, we're going to be busy before that too, Dr. Corral of Pain, is it?  Ah, it's actually Dr. Korral. Well, you've gone off the deep end, into the sewer. He's ranting about the Red Corral and how everything will be different.  Ah, no.  NS, get him!

 

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Engineria goes through his notes and then we finish up the lab and the remaining coral tower.  Time to go and see Candlestick then. Ah, I missed a whiteboard.  What's on this?  Oh.  Well, we'd kinda figured this out but even so.

 

screenshot_221203-19-00-08.jpg.c89d36a9ada2b495a8dc3e9b4d365aeb.jpg

 

Right, here I come, Candlestick.

 

Candlestick goes over the notes.  He's grim.  He needs to talk to someone.

 

[Mission 3 = Great sewer run. Further development of the plot.  Looking forward to seeing more.]

 

Mission 4: Destroy the Red Coral Farm. Candlestick seems a bit rattled to me.  Mainly because Desdemona isn't back.  I may be reading too much into that, we will see.  Anyway, Noble Savage is organizing this next operation instead. And hoo boy, is it a doozy.  So, we're going to the drowned version of Sharkhead on Praetoria.  Yeah, exactly.  A doozy. And the Legacy Chain are crashing the party.  And apparently Arachnos is doing something major on Praetoria too. And....I am not invited.  Ok?

I mean it actually is ok, but why?

Ah, to quote NS, their world, their responsibility.  Gotcha.  So what else is there for me to do?

Ah, I'm to scoot over to Primeva and take out the final infestation of Red Coral Spires.  Ok, off to Nerva I go!

 

Hmm, these guys have an advantage over me in the water.

 

screenshot_221203-19-01-26.jpg.1c5761fe44069b2ea6c47a0b45ac4bfb.jpg

 

So let's even the odds a bit!  Alley Oop!  And into the air I soar.  Laser eyes for the win!

Take that, Blibibluub!

 

screenshot_221203-19-01-51.jpg.c61320b2b3d419cbe70c9df276043439.jpg

 

It seems the oceans will have their revenge on me.  Well, it's more revenge than you're gonna get, Mr. Blib!

 

With Blibsy down I just have to destroy the remaining Red Coral spires and probably not get infected by the airborne things.

Ah, there we go.

 

screenshot_221203-19-04-43.jpg.02cb67064e3323cb0b2aa343af39ae36.jpg

 

And a further and final pair and we are done.

Time to get back to Candlestick and see how the others have been getting on.  That wasn't so bad after all. Normally Nerva is a hellhole.

 

Candlestick hasn't heard back but he'll chat to Nadia and see what's going on.  They should have either returned or at least reported in by now.

 

[Mission 4 = Expanding the plot further.  Good narrative, no time wasting on this.  Nice.]

 

Mission 5: Stop The Drowning. Turns out the team in Praetorian Sharkhead are up against it.  The Harbingers of Drowning have rallied their forces and a battle is raging.  However, I've fulfilled the thing I was asked to do, and Candlestick is almost winking at me here, or has a very kinetic facial twitch(!) and says I'm free to do what I like now, and no on is preventing me from going to the party.  Oh, Engineria, you SHALL go to the Undersea Ball!

 

So he opens up a portal for me and off I go.  

Right out of the gate there's battles to be seen all across the place. Arachnos are here in some strength too.

 

screenshot_221203-19-07-18.jpg.d322f3ab6d2cf3bb58248657eaa51b78.jpg

 

Now I know there's 5 powerful allies I need to find.  And since we have to stop Merulina herself manifesting here, I reckon I'm a gonna NEED them.  So I take to the air and go a hunting!  And there's Ryan the Smouldering.  I remember him from the demon infestation on Cap.  Let's see what's his deal today. Hiya, Ryan.  Let's gather the troops!

 

screenshot_221203-19-12-56.jpg.87ee355445ae19860d57f745d3914024.jpg

 

Oh!  Well, I wasn't expecting one of those allies to be Barracuda, but never look a gift fish in the mouth I say.  Come on, Ms. B, join me and Ryan here and let's find the others.  What happened your Arachnos guys by the way?

 

screenshot_221203-19-19-03.jpg.e3b084173caaafe06fb526c577255ff0.jpg

 

In short succession (And frankly on this map I simply got lucky!) we find Noble Savage, Faerlun and Simon the Brilliant.  Soo, that leaves us having to take on a Coralax Shaper Priest-wizard and a goddess.  A goddess?!  Why the hell do I even get up in the morning anymore?

 

Well, gang, there's a Shaper.  He seems a tad irritated by our presence.  Shall we?

 

screenshot_221203-19-32-40.jpg.3a6f355ae649958d58d1f1885b80f89d.jpg

 

Oh, he's summoning Merulina!  Not good!  Nope! Not good.  And we have to deal with a witch too as well!

We take him down though and he falls pretty hard. Almost dissolving into.. I dunno what that is.  The Red Coral throughout him?

 

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Oh lookee there!  It's a Wicked Witch!  Ah, keep it together team, we need all of us for Merulina when we find her, so no wild nonsense when we take this one down.  Well, obviously I spoke too soon. They've got caught up in a fight nearby.  Ok, I call in Buddy and he and I tackle the Witch of Frost. Is that "Let it Go" I can hear on your armor's sound system, Buddy? Apt I suppose.  Take her down, my friend! 

 

screenshot_221203-19-31-02.jpg.fcf14f4d531a7720a0eb860dd4674ccc.jpg

 

Ok, the others have caught up to us just as we finish off Elsa.  Just Merulina herself left now.  And I think I know where she is.  

Call you forth?  Oh, wasn't me, ma'am. But you're gonna have to go back.  Your time here is over and you are not taking your dead doppelganger's place on Primal Earth, we intend to see about that!

 

screenshot_221203-19-26-44.jpg.d5f7667c20b338e8f890f9b60664c85e.jpg

 

And at this point, the plan is simply hit her.  So we hit her.  Here's hoping!

Flattering?  Sure. go with that.  Frankly it's terrifying from our point of view.

 

screenshot_221203-19-27-14.jpg.f328ebe0fe903bfc2304fe367500164a.jpg

 

And...wait, what?  Ah, thanks I think.  Finally, a vastly powerful foe who isn't actually insane but thinks things through.  Better remember this one, those are rare.  Also, those Harbingers are gonna be soooo disappointed.  I mean hard core disappointed.

Thanks Merulina.  Let's hope we never meet again, no offence.

 

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We've done it!  And the team split up and go their separate ways.  I assume Barracuda has her own methods of getting back to Primal Earth, as for me and Buddy, it's back to see Candlestick.

 

He's well pleased with the result. That's two of the three Doomsday plots thwarted.  Third time's the charm they say, but for who?

 

[Mission 5 = Excellent gather the team mission.  Like I say, I got lucky in finding my allies, but @Ankylosaur gives a warning about this on the mission send off screen, so it's not like you won't know.  Good stuff.]

 

Verdict.  Excellent mid point of the Doomsday Plots trilogy, as I'm thinking off it at the moment.  Great team work and plenty of lore to dig into.  Plenty I didn't share. I don't want to spoil everything for people.

 

Next up from @Ankylosaur is All That Glimmers 2.3: Destruction in the Shadow Shard. 

Next up on TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE Reviews is @cranebump's The Bleed 2: De Pulvis Rediit (From the Dust Returned) 

Edited by TerroirNoir2
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Mission 1 = Fun run through that terrible temple of the waters map!  It is what it is though, thematically perfect.  And the attacks from the Virtea are NASTY. 

 

Exactly - hard to want to use that map, and hard to not use that map. There's another in here which is similar - thematically perfect, but HUGE...

 

That is part of why M2 is so short. Initially, I was going to do a whole freak show mission - but it was all to fight one of the freak show tanks that is part Corlax. So to balance how ambling M1 is - M2 was whittled down to just the Chum Bucket with its two mobs, since that is squarely in Sharkshead.

 

And - trivia - the Virtea are named in the lore, though they never make an appearance in-game.

 

Edited by Ankylosaur
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  • Dev's Choice:   Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54  Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  | The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | All That Glows 4.1: Nictus Evictus - 40-54 
  • Post-Praetoria Campaign:  Explores the effects on Prime Earth of The Fall of Praetoria. Intro 1-20, Others fork off it in the 20's-ish to 54

All That Glitters: Intro (3 Arcs) 

Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

All That Gleams: Finale (1 Arc)

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On 12/10/2022 at 8:20 PM, TerroirNoir2 said:

Mine is mostly gathered through game play and so on.

 

Me too - except when writing. When I decide to do a Coralax story, then I spend some time reading up on the Coralax and Merulina stuff - trying to make sense of it all and discover the Virtea - would not expect anyone to know that they are there - but gives me something to add and helps me justify it in my head.

 

The AMA Lore stuff is interesting as it talks about stuff that they were thinking of as story lines - and some of that is fun to ponder.

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  • Dev's Choice:   Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54  Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  | The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | All That Glows 4.1: Nictus Evictus - 40-54 
  • Post-Praetoria Campaign:  Explores the effects on Prime Earth of The Fall of Praetoria. Intro 1-20, Others fork off it in the 20's-ish to 54

All That Glitters: Intro (3 Arcs) 

Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

All That Gleams: Finale (1 Arc)

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Oh and you know, the whole "coral spawn on the same one night of the year" thing is true. How crazy and amazing is that?

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral-spawning.html

 

Wish I could recolor the coral spires to red - but at least the red coral spawn play their role perfectly. 🙂

Edited by Ankylosaur
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  • Dev's Choice:   Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54  Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  | The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | All That Glows 4.1: Nictus Evictus - 40-54 
  • Post-Praetoria Campaign:  Explores the effects on Prime Earth of The Fall of Praetoria. Intro 1-20, Others fork off it in the 20's-ish to 54

All That Glitters: Intro (3 Arcs) 

Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

All That Gleams: Finale (1 Arc)

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Arc 14 from our first author on "TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE" Reviews is @cranebump's The Bleed 2: De Pulvis Rediit (From the Dust Returned)All That Glimmers 2.2: Drowning in The Vigilant Isles. 

 

Mission 1: Dust Shaken from Broken-Winged Angels. Well, here I am with Aurora Borealis.  She's impressive actually.  (Alternate self notes distinct Praetor Tilman likeness!)  So, we're following up on the events of Croatoa. The Croatoan Bleed they've named it.  Like it needs that. And Cheng and Bocor think it's something bigger than the (ahem) normal attempts of the Redcaps to pull Croatoa into a spirit realm.  Normal.  Gotcha. Aurora tells me Bocor made some deal with a spirit called Kaifu, which is why he was in the Rogue Isles.  Ah, didn't that guy ever have fairy tales told to him as a kid?  Never make a deal with a magic creature. Or eat the food. Or drink. Or...just no, ok?

In the meantime Cheng has asked that the first warehouse be reinvestigated, but this time he's giving us a device to help with that. I have to run interference for him because he's not 100 percent.  

 

Ok, back we go!

 

And it takes him an hour or more to set his kit up. While waiting I ponder what AEs are playing in the AE Building for the holidays.  

Ah, he's ready.  Now where the hell has he got to?

So he's met me half way and we have to go back to his equipment.  Honestly, I wonder about these people some times.

 

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And Cheng tells me that when he summons the spirits using his device they may appear as shadows drawn from our memories.  Oh, well that might be odd!  I have a LOT of memories to deal with.

 

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You know Cheng, YOUR definition of "device" is a bit more old fashioned than mine.  This is a pot. An actual pot.  I know at one point this was cutting edge tech, but that was a while ago.

screenshot_221214-15-33-44.jpg.b918ed3d375e021de912339b48c5e726.jpg

 

And now I have to speak with "The First Spirit".  First implies there will be further spirits.  Lovely.  Nothing like getting hit with toxic ectoplasm to ruin a girl's day.  Right, here spirit spirit spirit.  Where ARE you?

 

Ah, there is is.  And Cheng was right.  It has a familiar shape.  Bound in spirit energy and with captors.  Better get rid of those then. Fuzzanglong?  Nope.  Nope.  Not understanding a word of that. Let's hope Cheng can translate all this malarkey later.  He's till muttering incantations back around the corner.

 

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Ok, as foretold, I now have to speak to the Second Spirit.  And there it is.  She is.  Looks a bit like Fusionette actually.  Hard to tell with the washed out complexion.

 

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Once I'm done liberating the Second Spirit from her captors and her bonds she too is pretty cryptic.  

Oh you do, do you?  Well that's clear as mud.  Old Cheng will need a talking to later.  Or I'll ask Aurora to poke around in his head maybe.

 

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So off to find the Third Spirit.  Now I find her and she seems more lucid.  I mean I still don't know what's she's talking about but that's just because I don't know her story, rather than she sounds all mystically vague.

Of course liberating her has caused 4 of those reality tears to open up in the warehouse.  So I'll have to deal with those before things start coming through.

 

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First one done.  Then two more and lastly...there we go!  

Although getting Taunted by a hole in reality is definitely strange!

 

screenshot_221214-15-49-31.jpg.b1b1bded8f38416ec40fb6c7fcbdca7a.jpg

 

Right, we're done here and Cheng is all shook up.  We wait for a Team Transport and then I report in to Aurora.

Aurora puts it together from what I saw and Cheng's explanations.  Components for a spell are being sought for a "dark, dangerous ritual".  Well that's made my day. Neither Cheng nor Bocor will explain further but they're very worried about something.  And Bocor is insisting on performing his own rituals. 

Not much I can do to help there, Aurora.  Ah, you know that.  So we're investigating the shipping company next.  Gotcha.

 

[Mission 1 = Good atmospheric intro to this.  Nice bit of scene setting.  Looking forward to the next bit.]

 

Mission 2: Shadows on a Ruined Wall. There's a conspiracy afoot according to Aurora.  Fancy that!  A conspiracy in this city.  Next thing you know there'll be weird tiny robots building a big robot in Kings Row for some reason.  Amazing.  Anyway, the Coldwell records went from the PPD to the Coldwells to the Midnighters to their special vault.  Probably covered in mystic daubs or what have you. So rather than stare bleakly at the mound of red tape that going through that involves, Aurora has recruited Miriam Bloechi to do some psychometry on the old warehouse for Blackstone Shipping.   

 

Sewer time it seems.

 

So Engineria and Aurora head into the sewers and we run into Nemesis.  Which leads to a change of plan on the fly.

 

screenshot_221214-15-53-16.jpg.36d266108ea45ccb2fa3f9cbc70cb74d.jpg

 

So I'm off to find Miriam on my own and then guard her back while she does her hoodo whatsit.  I really should take a course in all this from MAGI.  Do they still offer those or were they permanently shut down after Azuria was reputed to have gone on a date with Duke Mordrogar?

 

Hiya Miriam.  Yeah, don't blame you. Ok, let's get to it.

 

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Ah, is there a reason, well one that I would understand, for you standing in that pool of sewer water?  Yes? No?  Well, just holler if you need me.

 

screenshot_221214-15-56-04.jpg.a9ec2b5cd675c55a585e6bfa4328acb8.jpg

 

Something behind me!  Those are 5th Column!  Except they look...wrong.  Uniforms are off.  Oh god, 5th Column cosplaying at being the Council, and now what is this, a 6th Column?  And they're ranting about destroying the fleet.  What fleet?  Sutter is retired now, surely?

Still dangerous though!

 

screenshot_221214-15-56-16.jpg.7c1cb28d247527057bf04c0f3c56995a.jpg

 

So I deal with those guys and find several caches of arms around the place.  And when finding those I come across these guys again, with rather large piles of explosives! Let's see how your explosives like having a grenade added to it!

Oh yeah! BOOM!

 

screenshot_221214-15-59-32.jpg.a364050d0da5d5bdbe9f960af148422f.jpg

 

So Miriam and I contact Aurora, and the PPD are sent to collect the weapons and bodies.  Except when the PPD arrive those weapons and bodies are simply gone, like they were never there.

Spooky.

 

Aurora explains it to me.  Those were shades or echoes of the original 5th Column from 1941.  Well, shades or echoes they still hit hard!  I've got bruises on bruises here. Maybe Miriam's psychometry called them forth or something.  Nor do we know why they'd be connected to Blackstone Shipping. Yet.

As for Nemesis? She's contacted the FP to deal with that particular thing.

 

[Mission 2 = Total mystery X-Files vibe to this one and it feels great.  Lovely lore work.  Good stuff]

 

Mission 3: The Names of a Shape. Well now, turns out Miriam's readings are confusing. Hell, I thought here getting them was confusing with that whole hanging around in sewer water thing she was doing.  But anyway, Aurora says that back in 1929 the Blackstone building burned and took the business with it. And according to the records Harold and Dolores Blackstone died in that fire.  Except Miriam's readings showed Harold but not Dolores.  So, item one.  A missing spook.  Or it would be, except somehow she WAS there, just not ...dead.   Her and someone called Madeleine.  This Madeleine was around in 1941, same time as the OG 5th C. And she's not dead either.

 

Well kudos for not being dead I suppose.  Plenty of good folks didn't manage that.  However, what does all that mean, Aurora?

But that all goes by the wayside when Aurora gets a call saying Cheng and Bocor are on the lam. Bocor said "Somnia" to Cheng and then, poof! TP'd outta there.

Now what?

 

Thanks to Aurora's Independence Port colleague, Penny Yin, we have a lead.  So it's off to Wave Landing to round up the wandering flock.

Ah Kerrapp.  More sewers.

Possessed Tsoo.  So it's gonna be one of those days then.

 

screenshot_221214-16-04-16.thumb.jpg.8f99eeb727eadfd99c4b6fdad0595ac1.jpg

 

And this guy is DEFINITELY under some malign influence.  He just stood there and never tried to shoot me or anything.  I'll leave him alone then.  Sometimes you gotta watch for karma along the way.

 

screenshot_221214-16-05-05.jpg.fa300867af05423c91295b0d6dc06457.jpg

 

Oh, there's Cheng.  Now my friend, what the hell have you got yourself into?  That looks like some sort of energy cage.  You'll probably say it's magical though and give me a lecture on the essential nature of salts or something.  

 

screenshot_221214-16-05-17.thumb.jpg.866fb270dd8c4b5ff746feb5eb3ee2d6.jpg

 

So Cheng explains that Samuel (That's Bocor to you and me) is trying to contact this Kaifu person-spirit-whatever.  Now, I thought that was a bad thing?  No?  Oh it IS a bad thing.  So why is...?  You'll explain on the way, we have to rescue Bocor.  

If you two knuckleheads had TOLD someone what was going on EARLIER, then maybe two mighty powerful psychics like, I dunno, Aurora Borealis and Penny Yin, could have helped you. Instead you're stuck with me and I have the psychic ability of horse glue. I mean if you want radiation then I'm your gal, if you can't find Positron say, but ...lead on then.

There's Sammy Bocor.  All trussed up in one of those green smoke magic cage things.  So we get him out and he's all chatty for once.  Sounds a bit scared actually.  And that's not like him.

 

screenshot_221214-16-11-14.jpg.7dd0cfbf54ef47ff6b25bc01ee1c9ff5.jpg

 

So Bocor has been linked to Kaifu for a Looooong time.  But now things are changing.  And the things changing seem a lot worse than the olden days, according to these two.  We've got to render the objects inert, whatever that means.  I usually just break stuff.  Or fry it with radiation.  I mean perhaps there's some cockroaches left behind after I go through a place but it's not like I check on these things. Plus there's an altar to mess up too.

 

screenshot_221214-16-11-45.thumb.jpg.257df6fbe532bb4728f9e2d9d58d44e1.jpg

 

And it has flitting spectral company ALL around it.  And some of the Possessed Council.  And some Tsoo.

Yep, definitely one of those days after all.

 

So we break the altar and render the objects inert.  There's several clay pot urn things that seem to glow, and now they don't.  Thing is, that actually brings Kaifu here.  Sort of in person.  I say sort of, because he/she/it shows up wearing the body of a Vahzilok reject.  I suppose it's an off the peg look.  Pret a Porter for Spooks?

 

OH HELL I AM BLIND!  What was I hit with?  I mean what?!  I know that Cheng and Bocor are still here but I can barely see anything.  

 

screenshot_221214-16-16-46.thumb.jpg.fb012e1186a80ff95af00e2d80a99f4f.jpg

 

Cheng is doing some holding hoodoo so Bocor and I hit Kaifu with all we have.  From further up the tunnels we can hear help on the way, help that Penny Yin promised us would come.  Of course that help has to get through the legions of Possessed to get to us, so for now it's still just Engineria + Cheng + Bocor trying not to die.

Kaifu says he serves another. A she.  And she serves him too.  Sounds like a partnership deal.

 

screenshot_221214-16-17-01.jpg.3d1f5e7030c982736477774c82335cc1.jpg

 

But we lay him out in the sewer in the end.  Well, we destroy his rotting Vahzilok host body is technically what we did but let's not quibble.  (That sort of thing is best left to Super-Unknown's nemesis, The Quibbler!)

 

So we ALL go back to see Aurora. She's miffed. Peeved.  Not at all in fine fettle.

She puts the knuckleheads in lockdown and then vows to get the actual records from the Midnighters. 

So, time to get along to the Mysterious Midnighters.

 

[Mission 3 = I mean, this is fun stuff.  Wonderfully atmospheric and mysterious and I'm as confused as hell. I have lots of theories but am waiting to see what happens, plus I don't want to spoiler anything! 🙂 ]

 

Mission 4: Skulls Beneath Nailed-Shut Lids. And you know, sometimes you get lucky.  Or sometimes being intimidated by one of the most powerful psychics on the planet helps that luck along.  No, not me.  No, Bocor and Cheng.  They fessed up what they were at, so we didn't need to get the intel from the Midnighters after all.

 

Seems back in the day (so 1920s for those of us who aren't immortal and weren't there) Bocor and Cheng, along with Darkvine and a few others, like this Somnia they mentioned, were all part of the Night Brigade.  From the sound of it they were, well if not rivals of the Midnighters at least fellow travelers. And they defeated a great evil and then it fell apart due to affairs and I bet there was embezzling.  And of course the Wall Street Crash happened in 1929 too, so a hell of a time to be around that lot. But mainly it was infidelity. Darkvine had an affair with Madeline (Ah, I remember that name from Miriam's jiggery pokery) and old Dolores AKA Somnia - look, I'm picking this up as I go along, ok?  I'm just happy it's being explained to me in a clean place rather than knee deep in who knees what - where was I?  So ya, Somnia loses it and summons a great power out of the void and it took the rest of them to take her out.  And THAT is why the building burned down.  I knew I'd get there. 

 

And it's come back to bite us in the ass.  Because of course it has.  All the magic hoojie is sailing over my head, so I'm getting sent to see Ashwin Lannister, because he's an expert on the Council.  See what intel he has on the 1941 version I suppose.

 

Ok then.  Deep breath, crosses fingers.  Please don't be a sewer please don't be a sewer please don't be a sewer.

 

IT'S NOT A SEWER!  

 

screenshot_221214-16-19-47.thumb.jpg.54406b29dec6329053894145dbef2dc9.jpg

 

Ok, Ashwin.  You have a shift to do?  What exactly do you...never mind.  I don't really want to know. Ok, where's those files?

Upstairs.  Gotcha.

Hey! ESWAT!  Hiya.  If you see Briggs-Hughes tell her Engineria says hello.

 

screenshot_221214-16-21-03.jpg.773c1dc436c84b99f2290bcf9315a4f2.jpg

 

Ah hell.  I was expecting things to be, you know, filed.  In a filing cabinet.  Filed.  Not cosplaying my way through an episode of Storage Wars.  I mean really?  Oh well, rifling through the stuff in these boxes. 

 

screenshot_221214-16-21-19.jpg.2abaab297699a16968c4b603e9bdc5e8.jpg

AHA!

 

screenshot_221214-16-21-31.jpg.9d39efb4398718597cfbb77cbf991235.jpg

 

And there's an entry that says an equivalent of some RKO Pathé News is here somewhere, a film reel.  Now if I was a film reel where would I be?

It's in a box beside the copier.  Because of course it is.  These guys need interns. I wonder does Hero Corps have an intern program?  Never mind.

 

screenshot_221214-16-22-07.jpg.a058fb7480f73bf43a21d26d6dc95182.jpg

 

Transferred to CDROM.  Well, I suppose that's old school now.  Kinda.  Or wait, this is not a CDROM but some sort of proprietary Council tech. Ah, I passed a thing earlier!

 

Ok, let's see what we can see.

 

screenshot_221214-16-22-42.thumb.jpg.f1b7738213868a3e99c8dfb3cba6e8c6.jpg

 

JEEZ.  The narrator says the dead soldiers' skins looked like funeral shrouds.  Grim. Very much so.

 

And that all links to...a PPD record detailing the "Shroud" murders in the 40s and 50s.  And an old photo with "looks like Madeline Jules" written on the back.  Ok, I'll just stuff some of this lot in my pockets. (Note to self: Get a backpack for this sort of thing) and head back to see Aurora.

 

Aurora is puzzled.  Well, that's two of us.  So dead but not dead. Trapped but not trapped.  Time to question Cheng and Bocor again, see what they left out of their spiel.

 

[Mission 4 = Great little non combat investigative mission.  Good use of props and clues.  Loved it.]

 

Mission 5: Finale. Kin to Autumn Rains. So after Aurora and her team go through the documents I brought back she sums things up. Back in the day it wasn't only the 5th Column who ran into this Shroud person. A gang called the Horde did too.  Most of them died but one of their affiliates, A Calamity Jane (there's a name with history!) shot Shroud with some sort of magical bullet.  Presumed mortally wounded she vanished, and the killings stopped.

At least in Paragon.  In the Rogue Isles though.  A Family hit left a body with identical features.  And that was TWO YEARS AGO.  And once things were looked at the pattern was there.  Plenty of hits with similar MOs, only stopping about a month ago.

 

So, if this Shroud IS Jules, she may know about the Conjuror...I'm going to the Rogue Isles to get my skin shriveled, aren't I?

Oy.

 

So, time to find Mikey the Ear.  He's a general contact for lots of things. 

A dead drop you say?

 

screenshot_221214-16-24-06.jpg.a4868b0a9dea5ca52be7a933cefdbcfc.jpg

 

Well, let's have a poke around in here then.

 

screenshot_221214-16-25-12.jpg.c531fa8e39e2ee789d299f46472b2db0.jpg

 

AHA!

Hmm.  Ok, time to go exploring.

 

screenshot_221214-16-25-25.jpg.ca151e6f06e019ce9ffb494d97c01985.jpg

 

A stack of old journals dating back to 1947.  So 6 years after the 5th Column got turned into drapes.

 

screenshot_221214-16-25-40.jpg.bf0f519a54b46ba25fac5aafa69e9cc3.jpg

 

Creepy.  Very much so.  But how does that explain the long gap in years from then to recently?  Hibernation?  Or just a very careful serial killer?

 

Spoiler

screenshot_221214-16-25-50.jpg.24c85baf78896c7eb27ced24590e5422.jpg

 

And more of the same, expanding upon it all until one day a voudoun priest comes on the scene and the snake eats its tail.  Or something.  Life isn't simple like people want it to be.

 

Wait!  I just saw a thingy.  Yep  a definite thingy.  Not good.

 

screenshot_221214-16-28-33.thumb.jpg.0c2dcb6f33c809f22b8a531692b400a6.jpg

 

So with a thingy around that usually means there's some possessed folks about too.  Or the Conjuror herself.  Well that might simplify things I suppose.  Conjuror or Shroud?  

 

Well that answers that question at least.  Now to see what she's up to.  And hopefully walk away from it!

 

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OW. OW OW OW.  And furthermore, OW.  I had temporarily forgot I hadn't actually fought her before, just met her.  So there's a definite OW moment going on right nOW.

 

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But I drop her.  I've gotten stronger after going through all my recent adventures, that's for sure.  Still a mid level super with imposter syndrome but I do ok if I'm careful.  And apparently her master's vengeance is at hand.  Does that mean she set up vengeance for him, or he'll be along presently to make me eat my words about being stronger?  No time for that!  Get lost, Fearful Spirit!  Laser eyes go!

 

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Then I finally find Mikey, who to be fair had been very sensibly hiding from things.  Cannot blame the man for that.

 

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And then Shroud appears.  

Wait ...I thought Pretes was someone else entirely.  Ok, this got even more intriguing.

 

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And time to get back to Aurora.

 

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[Mission 5 = More wonderful atmospherics.  Great stuff.  A1]

 

Verdict. This entire arc is simply great. I haven't done it justice because I really don't want to spoiler things for people. Just go play it.  And remember to read all the clues and text.

 

Next up from @cranebump is The Bleed 3: Wave, Landing.

Next up on TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE Reviews is @Darmian's The Spark of the Blind.

Edited by TerroirNoir2
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On 12/17/2022 at 9:15 PM, TerroirNoir2 said:

[Mission 5 = More wonderful atmospherics.  Great stuff.  A1]

 

Verdict. This entire arc is simply great. I haven't done it justice because I really don't want to spoiler things for people. Just go play it.  And remember to read all the clues and text.

Yeah, @cranebump does pretty fine atmospherics!

 

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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Two. (Arc id 26952) | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Three. (Arc id 27233) Darker Deeds: Part One (Arc id 28374) | Darker Deeds: Part Two. (Arc id 28536) | Darker Deeds: Part Three. (Arc id 29252) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part One (Arc id 29891) |

Darkest Before Dawn: Part Two (Arc id 30210) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part Three (Arc id 30560) |

 Bridge of Forever ( Arc id 36642) | The Cassini Division (Arc id 37104) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

I Sing of Arms and the Man (Arc id 42617) | Three Sisters (Arc id 43013)

(Pre War Praetorian Loyalist.  Pre War Praetorian Resistance..  Pre ITF Cimerora.  Post ITF Cimerora. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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  • 2 weeks later

Happy New Year!

(Oh, the anticipation! 🙂 )

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Try my AE Arcs: Search for @Ankylosaur for the below and more...

  • Dev's Choice:   Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54  Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  | The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | All That Glows 4.1: Nictus Evictus - 40-54 
  • Post-Praetoria Campaign:  Explores the effects on Prime Earth of The Fall of Praetoria. Intro 1-20, Others fork off it in the 20's-ish to 54

All That Glitters: Intro (3 Arcs) 

Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

All That Gleams: Finale (1 Arc)

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Happy New Year all!

 

Arc 14 from our third author on "TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE" Reviews is @Darmian's The Spark of the Blind. 

 

(Caveat. I have played these before but never reviewed them.  Although it has been a while, considering the number of other AEs and stuff I've been getting through!)

The Spark of the Blind is subtitled "(Neutropolis Warden, Ch, 5)" which means it is meant to follow on directly from the in game "To Our Health (Neutropolis Warden, Ch. 4)".

 

(I've adjusted Alternate Engineria's costume to reflect her changed allegiance)

 

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Mission 1: Codename Zenith. Here I am reporting in to Belladonna Vetrano, the Resistance's (in)famous assassin/strategist. She has a job for me so hopefully I don't get on her wrong side. 

 

BV (I'm going to call her BV, not Bella like a certain Mr. Flores!) informs me that while the Resistance is still a valid threat to Cole's Praetoria, they're losing.  There's not enough of them and they're not strong enough.  I suppose that makes sense.  Apart from BV herself there's few who could challenge Sinclair, never mind the other Praetors, and as for Cole himself?  Jeez Louise!  That guy.  

 

But a lifeline was given to the Resistance when an alternate Earth, named Primal Earth by Cole's side, was discovered. And this Primal Earth was classed as an enemy.  So, with the old "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" ringing in their ears, the Resistance saw an opportunity. One of the organizations of that place is called Vanguard, and the Resistance has been working with one of their operatives here for a bit.  It's time for him to go back and report but he's missing.  Guess who has to find him?  Uh huh, ok then.

 

Last known location is an office building.  Time to find Zenith.

 

Straight out of the gate and things are...odd.

 

1819054999_screenshot_221216-04-41-25-Copy.jpg.d91a8d7689770ac49e2aacece24fb50b.jpg

 

screenshot_221216-04-41-25.jpg.35ba789b6bd96820dd274fe04c566121.jpg

 

(Ok, I've never seen Gwendolyn Lee in an arc but let's go with that.)

 

A weather girl? Here?  Ok, let's move on!

 

Ok, I find a computer and access the CCTV logs.  Hmm. Well, I know T.E.S.T. are on site, and the CCTV definitely proves that.  Moving on!

 

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And there's one of Zenith's team.  Cally.  I do believe a rescue is in order.  Oh yes.

 

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And one rescue effected Engineria and Cally catch up...or chat.  I don't think you can catch up if you haven't met before.  Can you?  Never mind. So Cally was here with Zenith because Jennifer Flores had intel that Cole plans a surgical strike on Primal Earth, but she's sent someone in her place because she thinks she's being watched.  So..the weather girl?

 

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So Cally and I move further through the building and have to rescue Gwendolyn Lee, and she seems quite happy to be rescued. So TPN's weather girl is connected to the Resistance!  Interesting. She had intel but has hidden it because Zenith was captured before she could get it to him. All she knows about that is a place called Schaeublin Avenue was mentioned. Let's get that intel then. No time for autographs?  AWW.

 

screenshot_221216-04-49-01.jpg.a3cc5872c1f805bd3d51a02919fd8576.jpg

 

She hid a data strip behind the frame of a painting.  Well, ok then.  And then we have company!  A Commander Hecklin.  It seems he thinks that WE have kidnapped Ms. Lee! That's good though, because her cover is maintained.  But for us?  Ah, we have to deal with him.

 

screenshot_221216-04-49-49.jpg.b4c62c3713c2e65ee432564b65c83e10.jpg

 

So we take out Hecklin and Cally and Engineria make their escape.  Time to get back to BV with that data strip.  Zenith still missing.

 

BV muses for a moment at the mention of Schaeublin Avenue before remembering that there WAS such a place in First Ward.  First Ward.  Oh that's just great. Guess where I'm going to now?

 

[Mission 1 = Good and tight little intro.  Typical @Darmian mass of information packed into so little space, a bit like a Matryoshka doll, just things inside things. I mean I've played a bit of Goldside, and a tiny clue just references a major plot thing from there with Interrogator Kang.  If you know you know.  Good stuff.]

 

Mission 2: Schaeublin Avenue. This place is not far from the D.U.S.T. facility in First Ward it seems.  So near the old CTA building then I assume. So Zenith was brought there.  First Ward is a dangerous place indeed so BV has arranged for me to have back up, and that's a guy called Vagabond from the Imperial City branch of the Resistance.  Ok then.  Back up is back up I suppose. And watch out for Seers.  And if the Seers are involved then Mother may be involved too.  Well  my day just gets better and better, doesn't it?

 

Kiddo?  Big Cheese?  Well, he's got character at least.  We just need to see what Vagabond is like in a fight.

 

screenshot_221216-04-53-05.jpg.fa4a65b4ddee0a99029f20a2e089356c.jpg

 

Well, good start I suppose.  He's ALREADY in combat when I get to him.  And winning.  Not bad for a grizzled old veteran by the looks of it, considering he's fighting psychics through a ruined building.

 

screenshot_221216-04-53-54.jpg.3e07c6fcbd04c9bf2ca4842fca44d769.jpg

 

We find a set of prisoner logs as we move through the facility. Seer Warder Thetis is who we're looking for.  She should know where Zenith is.  All official Seers are female or present as such. The only male psychics I've seen are the burnouts or whatever they're called.  No idea if that's something to do with misandry on Mother Mayhem's part or if it's more complex than that.  Never mind.  On we go.

 

And there she is.  And Seers always seem to come in 3s, so I'm expecting 2 assistants with her. At least. I can see 1 of them.

 

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Hell, they have a lot of range on their psychic powers!  OW!  However, so do I with my radiation.  So boom back atcha, Seer Gal. And the Awakened are here?  Yeah, me and Vagabond already know that, we downed a few.  Say, how do you NOT know that, being Seers and all?

 

screenshot_221216-05-01-16.jpg.d9a0ace55e3e5d6e6117a33089a73145.jpg

 

We still drop her and wrench some intel from her.  Zenith is being prepped for transfer to the Mother of Mercy Hospital.  Oh that's not good.  Along with another prisoner, designated 779.  All of this under the orders of someone called Lourdin. But Zenith hasn't been moved YET!  Still time to rescue him.

 

And there he is.  Ok Vagabond, let's save our Primal Earth friend then.

 

screenshot_221216-05-02-47.jpg.cb044ea0d6117a7f2027560cc4886cab.jpg

 

Ah, dang it.  He's not amenable to being rescued.  The Seers have done a number on him and he seems hella confused.

 

screenshot_221216-05-02-54.jpg.12609f29dd08998e52e6bb985644947b.jpg

 

So Engineria and Vagabond go for it and ... he's a TOUGH SUNOVABEACH!  Oh hell is he tough. He just dodged a point blank shot from Vagabond!  What?!

 

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We pull around and across the room, Vagabond gets sideswiped by Seers and turns to face them, leaving me to hit Zenith on my own, so that's not the funnest thing I've done today, but the old Rad/Kinetics/Plasmatic Taser/Grenades/Pray really hard combo pays off in the end.  I look around to see a redlining but still upright Vagabond standing over the bodies of several Seers.  Way to go, old timer! Zenith is unconscious so time to get him back to BV.

 

screenshot_221216-05-03-31.jpg.11e0e815d9bb8a329daef8e3047d25f8.jpg

 

So we somehow get him out and across First Ward and into the Imperial tunnels and then to Belladonna Vetrano.  She's pleased about this. Zenith gets put in Vanessa DeVore's care to sort his mind control issues out.  Good. 

Next issue.  There's always something else, isn't there?  Next issue is the data strip we got from the weather girl still hasn't been cracked.  There's some sort of psychic hoojie on it, and it looks like it was placed there by Jean-Pierre Lourdin according to BV. Same guy as mentioned prisoner 779?  Looks like.  And this Lourdin is better known as Malaise.  Oh.  THAT GUY.  

The psychic thing on the datastrip needed a talisman of some kind to place it there, and DeVore has sourced that talisman thing to, wait for it, the Mother of Mercy Hospital.

Guess here I'm going next. Sigh.

 

[Mission 2 = Fun and lore filled extraction mission.  And really nice to see who Zenith actually is!  And mention of his old partner too in passing.  Good stuff.]

 

Mission 3: Mother of Mercy. While Apex (yes, it's APEX!) recovers BV goes over things with Engineria and details what she knows. We need that talisman from Mother of Mercy Hospital, and no we can't just send him back and let his side decipher it because it's linked to Praetoria's Malaise somehow, so it is side specific. Plus BV is puzzled by this.  The main plan is a large strike against Primal Earth but this bit doesn't feel like that at all. Anyway, time to visit the hospital, and I've been given a special bag to put the talisman in.  Well what do I know about magic?

 

This place is a ruin.  Or at least the part I am in is a ruin.  And lookee, Awakened.  Time for some fun with mad psychics then.

 

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Wouldn't you know it?  they're not as much fun as you'd expect.  In fact they're positively grumpy.  I'd even say they were angry about something.

 

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I search some drawers and desks and find a key.  Not sure what it is for but you never know.  And a series of gas canisters marked Preventative Psi Vapor F08, whatever the hell that is.  No inhaling and doing helium voices I think.  Though it couldn't make fighting crazed psychics any weirder I suppose.

 

And looks like I've found Patient 779, the one who was being transferred here with Apex.  Let's free him and see what his story is.

 

screenshot_221216-05-13-44.jpg.6894165f96542d688d71aa28a5dfc0b9.jpg

 

Ok, "Darrin".  You're sticking with me then.

 

screenshot_221216-05-14-59.jpg.bbfde9f665474050d844309c7b3d2b5e.jpg

 

Darrin has a peculiar tale to tell.  Can't make sense of it.  Reckon that's a job for BV and Vanessa when I get out of this place.

 

screenshot_221216-05-15-10.jpg.d8912bea7325db0147b6ca177cdd2adf.jpg

 

Although Darrin does prove himself useful in a fight at least and I'll take any help I can get against psychics.

 

screenshot_221216-05-16-04.jpg.129785a6b9d5a2129297fceb8fdad11a.jpg

 

Moving on through the building we find patient files.  Interesting.

 

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Shortly after that I find the talisman!  Carefully putting it in the bag or pouch given to my by BV, we prepare to leave but of course there's a problem.  There always is in this line of work.

 

We run into a detachment of D.U.S.T. troopers led by Commander Jarvis.  And now I see what those canisters of gas were for!  They're to eliminate any of the roaming wild psychics in the place.  I have no objection to that in principle but Engineria and 779 appear to be caught between the two factions! Surrender and prepare to be destroyed?  Oh no, I don't think so!

 

screenshot_221216-05-24-12.jpg.6b2e783cbe4b7c75be805fc9bd9be9fd.jpg

 

You know, despite being on Cole's side, Commander Jarvis here seems relatively sane.  He's going to try to kill us because of course he is but he's not here to do that and seems to pity us.  It's all irrelevant anyway since we have to take him down in order to make our escape.  Hit him, Darrin!

 

screenshot_221216-05-24-22.thumb.jpg.b7455cb2346a7b50584004e8c20668c0.jpg

 

We drop Jarvis and his henchmen and search them and find a file.  And this is very interesting!  BV will definitely want to see this.  It seems her hunch that this entire thing felt a bit off was correct.

 

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Engineria drags Darrin 779 out and we make our escape from First Ward.

 

Reporting back to BV, Darrin is taken to Vanessa DeVore to have his mind soothed and so on.  BV herself is happy the talisman has been recovered and people will get to work on unwinding its powers so the datastrip can be properly decoded before Apex goes back to Primal Earth.  As for the other files?  Well that got an odd response or at least I thought so.

 

screenshot_221216-05-25-27.jpg.a155ebd057dc2c5f74c7745dd32a6eb5.jpg

 

When the datastrip and Apex are ready I will be escorting him to his crossover point.  So time for some well earned rest.

 

[Mission 3 = A simple mission but riddled as usual with @Darmian's by now almost signature lore snippets, all building into a bigger background patchwork.  Good stuff!]

 

Mission 4: War Initiative Facility Beta. BV informs me that the initial plan to just escort Apex to his transdimensional portal, or whatever way he gets back to Primal Earth, has been postponed. It turns out the datastrip contains details of two sites important to Cole's attack on Primal Earth, designated Alpha and Beta.  And we need to check them out before Apex goes home.  They're in Neutropolis and I'll be going to Beta with Apex while BV leads her team to Alpha. So that has to be done.  In other news Wade 779 is settling in but seems frankly very disturbed.  Not my problem!  Off to Site Beta.

 

Stepping in I get greeted by Apex who is already here.  And he apologizes for his behavior earlier.  So that's good.  And this place is a replica of the Faultline power station.  It stands to reason then that site Alpha is a replica of another place on Primal Earth and both are training facilities for the upcoming attack. 

 

(I'm thinking that if Praetoria had an AE facility then they wouldn't need to do this, just run a set of simulations through the AE!)

 

screenshot_221216-05-26-20.jpg.1f023ab387622078f3a10b441d9bde3e.jpg

 

Yep, figured that out, Apex.  Let's go find it then.

 

screenshot_221216-05-26-45.jpg.33670592836d62daeafc6999245b60f3.jpg

 

Holy heck but Apex moves fast!  He's into the fight before I can unlimber my rad blast.  Well, here we go!

 

screenshot_221216-05-27-08.thumb.jpg.3c6b79a7791458f1b8121cfb300d2783.jpg

 

And he keeps speeding ahead, he must have really high perception.  Hmm, am I supposed to keep him alive to get him back...I am, aren't I?  I better follow in then and support him!

 

screenshot_221216-05-28-18.jpg.4d808f360bb1c1cc018b492dd1b251eb.jpg

 

So I catch up and we (I say we, I'm just blasting from behind) clear our way to the tactical computer.  And on it we find what we suspected.

Yeah, what the hell is an Incarnate Prism?

 

screenshot_221216-05-29-53.jpg.f9635f2c67c2310911277e52f8829dca.jpg

 

Ah,  that is.  Ok, let's break it!  I can only assume that BV and her gang are finding similar things at Alpha/Terra Volta.

 

screenshot_221216-05-30-46.thumb.jpg.fd736649d4f163a3c065f42439bbf36d.jpg

 

So Apex and Engineria set about destroying the prism, and it's tougher than you'd think for an inanimate object.  And of course there's going to be a response team on the way when we destroy it.  That's how security works.

 

screenshot_221216-05-31-10.thumb.jpg.e97d66b72f8c4dbdfce9a59cb4bd3c1e.jpg

 

And there's the Commander!  Yep, get us now.  (In case anyone is wondering where Apex is here, he's already beating the tar out of Allack's troopers!)

 

screenshot_221216-05-32-18.jpg.e6bf6cf3472d599904b761281935374a.jpg

 

Before joining Engineria in fighting Commander Allack himself.  Have to hand it to Apex, he's tough.

 

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So, we finish off Allack and make our way out of the facility and back to Vetrano.  Mission accomplished.

 

BV spends the first part of the debrief just agreeing with me.  Yep, they found the Terra Volta site replica, and an Incarnate Prism, and so on.  And no, she doesn't know what that is either.  But Wade 779 seems to have heard of it, or at least what Incarnate means.  And then had to be sedated or something when he started ranting about his dreams and Greek islands.  

 

Finally, I'll be seeing Apex to his exit point because by now the datastrip had been decoded.

 

[Mission 4:  This was a fun little mission, and seeing Apex in actual ally mode was great.  He just rocks through things.  On a higher difficulty he's going to be a vital ally, especially soloing.  Nicely done.]

 

Mission 5: Homeward Bound: Now it's time for Engineria to escort Apex to his destination. Vetrano gives me the directions and I head there.  Apex is waiting for me to arrive and send him home to Primal Earth.

 

Apex calls to me when I enter the small building containing the transference device.  (No, I'm just making this up, BV never told me what it was called!) He's been in a terrible war before?  Interesting.

 

screenshot_221216-05-34-16.jpg.539abcf5f8c57b4c24992513e16ae85b.jpg

 

Ah, there's Apex.  So this isn't the way you came?  Dunno what to say to that really.

 

screenshot_221216-05-34-26.jpg.a8365eb38fbab9e1be60d9be476cbfa8.jpg

 

So we continue on to the activation computer, where I have to do the deed.

 

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Well, the power up is slow.  I suppose sending someone across a dimension does take a lot of power.  Again, just supposition on my part there.

 

screenshot_221216-05-34-50.jpg.fc8562255fc86e1917d0fda42ccaed4d.jpg

 

And then there's an intruder! It's Darrin Wade!  He seems rather agitated about something. Oh, he wants to go to Primal Earth.  Why the hell would Darrin Wade want to go to Primal Earth? And he's going to destroy me he says.

 

screenshot_221216-05-35-40.jpg.9c0471cf29facd5cb7b44ccec872b527.jpg

 

Of course I still have Apex here with me, so I draw Wade back into the final chamber and we tackle him together.

 

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With Apex tanking him I blast Wade with radiation until he drops.  We're done!  Apex can go home now.

 

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I leave and Apex goes to Primal Earth.

 

Time to report in to BV.  And her "debrief" of Engineria?  Well, I can't do it justice myself so I'll just paste this in here.  Jeez Louise but that woman is ruthlessly cold. 

 

Spoiler

screenshot_221216-05-37-28.jpg.2f14ce5ae21e659fed1364e615cf3c39.jpg

 

[Mission 5 = A tiny timed mission, only 5 minutes, but OMG is there so much packed into this. References to Malaise and Rularuu, Darrin Wade references his Primal Earth self, or at least that's my read of it when he talks about being shown his "own" face. And BV's ruthlessness is, I don't know, somehow admirable?  Necessary perhaps. Great little ender.]

 

Verdict. This entire arc is deceptively complex. Everything that @Darmian did in the Dark Deeds long form and the Loyalist trilogy seem reinforced and even more layered than before. I recommend playing it. Looking forward to the next one.

 

Next up from @Darmian is Damnatio Memoriae.

Next up on TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE Reviews is @Ankylosaur's All That Glimmers 2.3: Destruction in the Shadow Shard.

Edited by TerroirNoir2
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Welcome back @TerroirNoir2!  

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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Two. (Arc id 26952) | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Three. (Arc id 27233) Darker Deeds: Part One (Arc id 28374) | Darker Deeds: Part Two. (Arc id 28536) | Darker Deeds: Part Three. (Arc id 29252) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part One (Arc id 29891) |

Darkest Before Dawn: Part Two (Arc id 30210) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part Three (Arc id 30560) |

 Bridge of Forever ( Arc id 36642) | The Cassini Division (Arc id 37104) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

I Sing of Arms and the Man (Arc id 42617) | Three Sisters (Arc id 43013)

(Pre War Praetorian Loyalist.  Pre War Praetorian Resistance..  Pre ITF Cimerora.  Post ITF Cimerora. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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So good to be able to tune back in! Welcome back!

  • Thanks 1

Try my AE Arcs: Search for @Ankylosaur for the below and more...

  • Dev's Choice:   Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54  Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  | The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | All That Glows 4.1: Nictus Evictus - 40-54 
  • Post-Praetoria Campaign:  Explores the effects on Prime Earth of The Fall of Praetoria. Intro 1-20, Others fork off it in the 20's-ish to 54

All That Glitters: Intro (3 Arcs) 

Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

All That Gleams: Finale (1 Arc)

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2 hours ago, TerroirNoir2 said:

Apologies on the delays but work is very busy right now!  

Work??  Get your priorities straight!  We need our TerroirNoir TV fix!  The heck with work! 

 

;)

 

  • Haha 2
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