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[Game Journal] gimmegaming - 2022

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gimmegaming 22

It's a new year, and time for a new gaming journal. I considered continuing the previous one, but it feels more fitting to keep them compartmentalised since they correspond to each year's longform challenges. You can find last year's journal here.

As with before, I'll be posting gradual updates for each session of playtime for most games, especially longer ones. Sometimes though, mostly with shorter games, I'll just post a single summary.

Goal: Complete Fifteen Games
Completed: 15/15
Currently playing: Genshin Impact, Pokemon Legends: Arceus (post-game), I Am Setsuna

Gaming Log

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond

Summary

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen
Part Fourteen
Part Fifteen
Part Sixteen
Part Seventeen
Part Eighteen
Part Nineteen
Part Twenty
Part Twenty-One
Party Twenty-Two
Part Twenty-Three
Part Twenty-Four
Part Twenty-Five
Part Twenty-Six
Part Twenty-Seven
Part Twenty-Eight
Part Twenty-Nine

Tartarus

Summary

Deponia

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

Final Fantasy III

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Summary

Night in the Woods

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

Final Fantasy VII

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen
Part Fourteen
Part Fifteen

Catherine

Summary

Angels of Death

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

Aragami

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six

Saints Row IV

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight

Pokemon Scarlet

Summary


I Am Setsuna

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine

 
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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond - Summary
I want to log every game I do, but I'm going to keep this one really brief since the Pokemon games have their own section. Suffice to say though, I really enjoyed this game. It was both a faithful recreation of the original Pokemon Diamond but also an improvement on it. The story, characters and great worldbuilding remained unchanged, some thing were altered. Everything that was altered though still kept the feeling of the DS game and mostly took the form of quality of life improvements.

The graphics for BDSP have been very divisive, but I really liked them. They managed to be very evocative of playing Pokemon Diamond as a kid while still bringing the game into the 3D era with clean visuals. The music also sounded great.

As far as the gameplay itself goes, there was little to dislike. The revamped underground is both a homage to its forbearer but also an improvement and it's a lot of fun. It also helps mitigate the lack of fire types at least a little. The removal of HMs is something I'm very happy with. They were always one of the most irritating elements of the older Pokemon games. The new version of contests is a lot of fun and actually a little challenging even at the higher ranks. Most importantly, the battling felt good. The AI has been improved upon over the originals and also over recent entries into the franchise like SwSh. Opponents would keep type advantages in mind (usually), make switches and make use of held items like Leftovers or damage-reduction berries as well as bag items like potions and full restores. The league was the most challenging it's been for me in years. Cynthia especially has held true to her reputation and legitimately made me work for my victory.

The one thing that irked me a little bit was that the experience Share wasn't a toggle. While I much prefer the way it affects the whole team rather than just a single Pokemon, I would have liked the option to turn it on and off. This is mostly because there were a few patches where I ended up overlevelled for the opponents I was facing. Things always balanced out again, especially by the end, but it's my one real gripe.

I look forward to exploring the post game and any locations I haven't really gone through. I'm even contemplating completing the regional dex.

Story: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10
Soundtrack: 7/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Total Score: 31/40
 
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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Part One
So, this game has been recommended to me a lot over the last few years. Which is odd, because I've not been shy about how much I disliked the other games in this franchise I played. But, it was on sale over the holidays. So I figured why not?

The game opens up with a cute little chat room scene where I and a bunch of others were discussing hackers. Right on queue, a weird hacker's avatar appeared in the room and promised gifts if we met him in EDEN - basically virtual reality. Myself and two others agreed to go, because we're idiots. This lead to us ending up in a shady EDEN district where we were promptly split up.

Along the way, I met this guy named Yuuga, a hacker who gave me the run down of how things work. He also gave me my choice of starter po - I mean partner digimon. My choice was between Terriormon, Palmon and UglyMcGearFace. It was tough between the former two, who I am familiar with and like. In the end though, I went with Terriormon. Terriormon and Yuuga's fucking MachineDramon kicked the shit out of an enemy for a bit and then I left to meet up with Nokia (I shouldn't laugh, I know I shouldn't) who made some friends of her own. We then headed back into shady hacker town to meet up with the third member of our little group, Arata (who is totally not some sort of super hacker already). We were attacked by some weird eldritch horror thing as we tried to leave, barely making it out... sort of. They got out fine, I ended up half-digitised and laying in the middle of a road somewhere.

I was saved from impending arrest thanks to the timely arrival of this lady called Kyoko. To my surprise, she turned out to be a detective and not a stripped like her attire implied. She's also acting as something of a tutor character so far, but looks like she'll be giving the missions from here on. Back at her agency, I jumped back to EDEN through her TV so I could start collecting avatar pieces to reconstruct my physical appearance. Kyoko seems quite keen on making me a test subject and I'm not really in a position to refuse.

So I went back to shady town, EDEN. There I proceeded to brutalise my way through a bunch of other Digimon with my partner to collect all my pieces again. Along the way, I collected enough data to add a Koromon, Pabumon, Poyomon and Tsunomon to my roster. I was in the process of doing some light grinding to get the newcomers to a point of not being cannon fodder when the game glitched the fuck out and I decided that was enough for tonight. No idea how much progress I lost, but hopefully not much since I've been saving fairly frequently. So, not exactly a high note to end on.

My thoughts so far? It's early days, but it's definitely better than the previous titles I tried. The gameplay, while clunky when not using a controller for sure, is much nicer than the other games and the story and world are at least intriguing. The characters... eh. There's plenty of time for them to grow on me. But... what the fuck are the female characters in this game wearing?! Jesus Fucking Christ. Their designs are stripperific and horrendous. If you're going to make your designs blatant fan-service, can you at least make them somewhat pleasing aesthetically?

I remain cautiously optimistic, but so far the experience has been middling.
 
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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Part Two
Good news, I only had to pick up from just before I grabbed Tsunomon so there wasn't to much replaying to do after last time. I was also pleased to discover that while I'm not a huge fan of the battle controls still, the game does indeed play much better on a controller than on keyboard and mouse - especially moving around in the overworld.


Now that I had a physical appearance, it was time to head back to Kyoko. With her again, I met an old detective guy and learned of something called EDEN Syndrome, an illness that causes EDEN users to mysteriously fall unconscious. My bet is that the weird monster from before has something to do with it since it seems to eat data and in EDEN your consciousness is basically just that. We went to the hospital to investigate where I came across my actual physical body, that caught me by surprise a bit but it probably shouldn't have. It seems t0o lend further credence to my theory since the monster before is what properly stopped me from escaping. I also met a girl could Yuuko and (sort of met her guardian). It seems she has some sort of connection to the company that runs EDEN and wants to preserve their image and prove their innocence. It also seems like she has a relative suffering from the syndrome. Props to her for being the first female character in the game that I actually like.

After escaping further detection at the hospital, I got my first detective job from Kyoko... sort of. I had to go meet all the people in the complex her ofice is in and pick her up some coffee beans. So I did that, running into Nokia along the way. She seemed glad I'm okay but is kind of freaked out by the shit that went down and is worried about her Agumon and Gabumon partners. After that, I was tasked with venturing into Shinjuku to see if there's any rumours floating around about me. I ran into Arata there and he's pretty irate about things because the EDEN company is stonewalling him on info about what happened. I decided to leave things there for now.

So far, the story does hold my interest! I really want to figure out what's going on. Like the game's title implies, it really is a proper mystery. The game play itself is a bit convoluted with how levelling work and the sheer number of menus the game has, but the combat is pretty fun and I do like the ability to move Digimon back and forth through their evolutionary branches. The combat is pretty fun too although I do still prefer Pokemon's more simplistic gameplay. I did some evolutions today! Koromon is now Dracomon (because Agumon and Guilmon are too mainstream I guess lol) while Pabumon is now a Yokomon and Poyomon is now a Bukamon. Not sure what I'm going to do with Pabumon long-term, but I'm going to evolve Bukamon into Gomamon as soon as I can cause I love that little guy.

No glitches today. I thought using a controller instead (like I usually do lol) might help with that and it seems to be holding true.
 
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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Part Three
My investigation of Shinjuku went by quickly and it didn't take long to learn that... mostly nobody was that bothered by my freak appearance in the middle of a busy street. They have shit to do, you know? I did have an amusing run-in with some old school buddies though.

After that, I headed back to Kyoko's where we had a meeting with our client, none other than Yuuko. She claimed her father had disappeared, but his accou7nt was still active on EDEN. With account raiding suspected, I was sent in to investigate. First things first, I had to do some asking around for information. Eventually, this got me into the Zaxon hacker groups forum. In turn, this lead me back to Shady Hacker Town, but now with access to the second floor. I breezed through there with my brilliant new disguise (a Zaxon mask they gave me for free in their forum) and eventually made my way to a guy named Mephisto who was somehow under the control of his Growlmon partner and collecting EDEN account data. He seemed to be responsible for the account activity, so I beat the crap out of him.

After than, Kyoko found out the missing man's daughter went by a different name. So we went to his house and... met him. Interesting. We also met his real daughter. They got pretty evasive when we started asking about EDEN though. Seems like Yuuko was trying to find out something about this man by posing as his daughter. The plot thickens and I am curious to find out what exactly is going on.

None of that matters though, because my Butamon EVOLVED INTO MY BOI GOMAMON. WOO. Game complete. The real objective has been met.

Okay fine. I'll keep playing. But this was the highlight.
 
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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Part Four
I didn't make a lot of major progress today, but I've now properly unlocked the whiteboard so I can pick and choose my missions more freely now. That's a nice feature. I've unlocked the farm now too so I can have digimon who aren't on my team find me hacker locations and do some training and stuff. That's another nice feature.

As it stands, aside from driving a weirdly bulky Poyomon out of a mobile game, I spent most of today's play session beating up hackers in Kowloon for Mirei until they changed their ways. Which did lead me to discovering a new gripe. Sometimes, objectives do not show on the mini map, so if they're tucked away in a corner you can walk past them several times. This happened to me when I was looking for a hacker and it was kind of annoying. Now I know to be really thorough when searching for people.

Still enjoying the game though! Will probably make a lot more story headway tomorrow. I've accepted my next story case. The aircon in Nakano is going wild and every time I get near a source of ventilation I start receiving transmissions from a girl I don't know, but her audio is just white noise. Obviously that's because she's somehow tied to the air-conditioning issue. Should be fun to see how that plays out. It actually seems like it could be related to the other story case on the board perhaps - or even to my own situation and EDEN syndrome. Guess I'll find out soon enough.
 
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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Part Five
I completed another chapter of the game today! 18 to go.

To start things off, I continued my investigation as to the aircon situation and the weird transmissions. I tracked down the source to an old computer system in the shopping centre that used to run centralised airconditioning and used my connect jump to get inside. There I met a time capsule that had taken the form of a digimon. It was being attacked by a Frigimon, which was causing the situation with the cold. As it turns out, it was just using the avatar of an 80s pop idol to communicate with the outside for help. I defeated the Frigimon and saved the time capsule, fixing the dilemma. It's weird though, there's still unanswered questions as to why the time capsule was there in the first place. Still, seems like my original guess was way off. But hey, I got a Kerramon which is hype!

So was my thoughts on the other pending major case. That task took me to Kowloon and then Shinjuku in search of a hacker who was targeting the police. In the end, this lead me to Shinjuku and then Eden where I found a guy being possessed by a Veggiemon (second Digimon possession now, this is becoming a proper plot point). I freed him, but as it turns out, the hacker was a different guy that our detective friend caught on his own anyway. A bit of an anti-climax, but I'll take it.

After that, Chapter Three commenced with a job coming from none other than our terribly-dressed friend from the beginning, Nokia. She wants me to track down the pair of Digimon that helped her out back in the first chapter. I'll be tackling that tomorrow. I hope it leads to more main story stuff too.
 
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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Part Six
Alright, with my mission in front of me, I set off back to Kowloon with Nokia to search for the missing Agumon ad Gabumon. I was a bit worried that I'd have to wander all around Kowloon floors one and two again, but blessedly after getting to floor two, I was finally able to access the door to floor three and move up to a more challenging level of the area. I made the way through the area, weirdly having to give some hacker guy girl advice to progress and then eventually got to the end of the floor. There, we found the missing Digimon getting accosted by two hackers. I challenged the hackers on Nokia's behalf and beat the living shit out of them... only to be interrupted by their boss - none other than weird Kiss expy Jimiken (who has been very unsubtly hinted to be a significant character up to this point). This is where things got... messy.

Jimiken represented a very abrupt increase in difficulty. He had a team of three champions than my quartet of rookies were not at all ready to deal with. Suffice to say, he demolished me. So it was back to the drawing board... and by that I mean I evolved Terriormon and Gomamon into Gagomon and Ikakumon respectively. Jimiken was still a little bit of effort after that, but was much easier to defeat. After this, Jimiken threatened to up the ante with an even nastier mon, but Yuugo showed up and ran him off. We were also told to scram, so we did.

Afterwards, Agumon and Gabumon joined Nokia's team officially and dropped the reveal that Digimon are not actually created by humans, but are creatures from a different world that intersects with the human one via the internet. They also revealed that they had a task to complete, but that something had caused them to forget it. Unfortunately, there wasn't much time to discuss this revelation because Kyoko called and told me weird shit was happening in Shinjuku that I needed to investigate. I decided I should prepare for harder difficulty from here on, so I evolved Dracomon to Coredramon. I also evolved Biyomon to Aquilamon and added it and Kerramon to my team. This gives me a good mix of attributes and elements now.

With my reformed team in tow, I headed in to the city where I saw that the subway entrance had become all weird and half-digital. I ran into Arata there, who was curious about the goings on, but were were accosted by a suspicious cop before we could really talk much more. We ran the only direction we could to escape, into the half-digital subway and Chapter Four of the story. It's really fucky-looking in there, so this should be fun.
 
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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Part Seven
Arata and I made our way through the digitised subway station, clearing out the enemies we came across along the way (ft some help from his Keramon). Along the way, we ran into a creepy-looking scientist from the company responsible for EDEN who was also investigating the phenomenon. He filled us in on what he knew - that the corruption was likely caused by an Eater, he implied this had happened before. As it turns out, Eaters are what the eldritch snail mess from the beginning are called and they're called that because they consume whatever data they can get their hands on. Science guy told us that most think the data can't be restored after an Eater gets it, but he disagrees - hence his research.

We were more than happy to oblige his request, so we set out to find the Eater in the area. It didn't take long - and neither did the fight. Unlike before, it was the Eater who was outclassed and this time we took it out with ease. After the Eater was destroyed, the digital incursion vanished instantly and we found ourselves back outside the subway with our new scientist acquaintance nowhere to be found... and that cop still after us. Naturally, we ran again.

From there, I filled Kyoko in on everything that had gone down sine I went to Kowloon with Nokia and spent the rest of the play session checking off missions from the quest board: finding lost property mostly but at least the three star mission was something resembling a challenge. That one was pretty fun. It was also the first time I'd mostly encountered Champion level Digimon in battle in a dungeon.

So yeah, I have a few others in my farm but right now my party is: Gagomon, Coredramon (green), Ikakumon, Aquilamon and Kurisarimon/Chrysalimon. It's a pretty nice mix of elements and attributes but I do need to get my hands on a data digimon that I like to patch up the last major hole in my team comp.
 
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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Part Eight
The tail end of Chapter Four was all about ghost stories. My first job was to visit the new area I have access to, Shibuya where I had a weird encounter with an apparition. After that, I ended up hired to help an occult club try to finish this weird ritual in the area that's meant to bring back the dead. We finished the ritual and triggered another paranormal encounter with the apparition, the ghost of a girl who seemingly killed herself three months prior. She then tried to uh... kill us by getting us run over by a truck.

The good news is that this led to one of the club members hiring me for an actual detective job. Someone was hacking her memory info on EDEN (that's fucking disturbing to think about) and sharing her thoughts and feelings in chats. With some help from Pete, the time capsule we dealt with earlier, we eventually tracked down the kid responsible and also dealt with the rogue program he was using to do it. Situation dealt with.

After that I had a chance encounter with Yuuko again and later found her back at Kyoko's office. She has officially hired us to investigate the apparent death of her real father, the former CEO of the company than created and runs EDEN. She suspects that the guy she had us look into before might be involved somehow. Thus, Chapter Five begins.
 
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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Part Nine
I went to talk to the guy from before, but he was acting weird so I had to leave and talk to his daughter instead. From her, I learned that his attitude had changed dramatically recently and that he used to work at a company called Nile - who were bought out (illicitly rumours say) by Kamishiro (the EDEN company). With some help from Yuuko, I was able to sneak into their company's databank and retrieve some old casefiles about the buyout... and also Yuuga, Jimiken and some other random Zaxon goons were there for no apparent reason. I kicked the shit out of Jimiken's new team and fled with the case files to pass on to Matayoshi (our cop buddy).

After that, the weird cop who chased me and Arata before showed up to hire us for a job. Now I have to look into a bunch of mysterious disappearances she believes are related. Which begins chapter six. Woo!
 
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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Part Ten
I headed to Akihabara to investigate the disappearances, which translated to I having to get this stalker guy to leave a girl alone and bullying some intel out of him. This information led me to a forum for manga creators and fans which turned out to be what linked all the people who went missing. I met Arata there too and picked him up as an assistant. One of the denizens there also suggested we should look into the creator of a deleted manga as the culprit since many of the missing people were critics of it. We took her advice and, after a brief trip to Kowloon got a hold of its data and tracked it to a book store.

Near the bookstore, another digital shift (as Seudo the science guy who also mysteriously appeared again informed us they are called now) occurred. We followed it to the centre where the manga creator - the stalked girl from before - was and she had her roided-up Wisemon attack us in a deranged frenzy. Defeating it wasn't enough though because an eater showed up, consumed her mental data and attacked us... so we beat the crap out of it too. There was no saving Nishino, the manga creator (who Arata knows as it turns out) though. She succumbed to EDEN syndrome and is now in a coma.

Case closed... sort of!
 
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Tartarus - Summary
So.... this game is legitimately terrible and I haven't even gotten to the puzzles yet. The voice acting is horrendous and I think both characters so far might even be played by the same guy. The music is starting to grate on my nerves. And the main reason I'm writing part one despite having only played 15 minutes of a six hour game? It's trapped me in a place I cannot move out from and I can't progress from this location. So either I'm going to have to go through the intro sequence all over again or pray for a miracle the next I open it.

Probably going to go and look for a different game to play for the month instead.

Edit: I have, in fact, decided to play a different game. I just have no motivation to try this game again when it glitched that badly that early and had some other pretty big problems beside. Pretty hard to give it a score considering.
 
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Deponia - Part One
Deponia is a point-and-click adventure game about a loser named Rufus who wants to escape his planet to the spaceship city of Elysium above. It's pretty heavily based in comedy and has been much more enjoyable than Tartarus was going to be already.

The story opened with Rufus needing to navigate the comically disgusting mess he's made of his ex's house to find and pack his belongings for his latest in a long series of escape attempts. The weirdly sentient toothbrush running away was a bit of an issue but as it turns out mousetraps are multi-purpose... once you rip open a wooden cupboard with a plunger to find one. After that, our buddy Rufus was ready to go launch himself into orbit with a rocket and a cobbled-together pod. Sort... of. He had to make some room for his shit and calibrate the harpoon launching him first.

Both of these parts of the plan worked... the launch not so much. The pod broke apart, dragging Rufus across a bunch of jagged junk heaps before getting him stuck on a weird junk barge. There, he saw an Elysian being pursued by some bad guys and tried to save her for completely unselfih reasons. Sadly, our boy Rufus is a moron so his actions promptly got both her and himself jettisoned off the barge.

I'm having fun so far and I'm eager to see where this goes.
 
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Deponia - Part Two
Gametime today has consisted entirely of procuring ingredients to make coffee to wake up the unconscious Goal (the Elysian from before) before she gets... claimed I guess? By other residents of Kuvaq. Coffee is a bit of a stretch though seeing as it contains booze and battery acid and involved flooding a guy's house to obtain ingredients. Not that I've actually mixed all the ingredients together yet.

You see, while I very much enjoy the quirkiness of the game, the humour of the writing and the fact that every character in the game so far is an asshole - including Rufus - I don't like tedium and I'm not good at puzzles, especially abstract ones. Sadly, Deponia is a point-and-click game built entirely around puzzles with wacky solutions (getting taurine from a mechanical bull being one of the less weird examples somehow) and it tends to draqg on these segments far too long. So while Deponia isn't a bad game at all and I'm still enjoying it, I feel like the quirkiness that makes it so likeable sometimes works to its detriment and that it drags things on longer than it needs to.
 
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Deponia - Part Three
After jumping through a few more hoops, I was able to finish the war crime we're calling an espresso and feed it to goal. She woke up and immediately gave Rufus a well-deserved uppercut, resulting in both of them getting moved to Gizmo's medbay. Despite her damaged brain implant and newfound tendency towards gibberish, Rufus was able to get a little bit of information out of Goal from there. Specifically, that he should (to his reluctance) contact her fiancee, Cletus.

This was easier said than done and involved a lot of theft and self-incrimination. But eventually, Rufus got a hold of Cletus and set up a deal. He would take Goal to Cletus and, in return, they would bring him to Elysium. Before Rufus could make good on this though, he was captured by Gizmo for his crimes and Goal moved to Wenzel's place. Rufus escaped easily enough, but not before the Exchequer and the other Organons showed up. Rufus raced to Wenzel's house, discovering that he was trying to shack up with his ex and that he'd dumped Goal in the basement.

Rufus found goal downstairs just as the Organons arrived and just barely made it out, arriving at a tip.

I enjoyed this play session a lot more than the last. It felt like the game was finally going somewhere once the coffee bullshit was out of the way. At the least, the humour was solid and the narrative seems to finally be moving again. I'm a little worried by the increasingly zany puzzle solutions, but we'll see how things go from here on. Progress!
 

Lycanthropy

[cd=font-family:Special Elite;font-size:16px;color
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Deponia is a rather obscure title that is among my favorite games. It's great to see you've been (mostly) enjoying it as well so far!

The zanyness (both in regards to the puzzles and the story) is very much the nature of the series, haha (and a big part of why I love it!) and I can promise you that'll definitely stay. The zaniest puzzle solution I remember is one involving a secret knock and a busy marketplace, about halfway into the second game. So yes, it can get worse in that regard, hehe. ;]
(And tbh I didn't entirely complete the game without help from a guide myself, some solutions are really out there...)


Hmm... I am kinda tempted to give Deponia a replay now...
 
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Deponia - Part Four
Well, with Goal and Rufus on the run, it was time to deal with the next problem... how to move the unconscious Goal through an Everest-sized junk heap. Doing so involved fixing a minecart... which involved fixing a crane, navigating tracks, breaking some other stuff, meditation and a lot more booze than you'd expect. It also involved meeting my favourite NPC as of yet, Doc. He's a handyman and a brain surgeon, two jobs that are way more similar than you'd think he assures me. Maybe it's just because he's the only person on Deponia who is actually nice to anyone else. But Doc is great. More Doc.

This was a shorter segment of the game as, after running over some Organons, Rufus and Goal are now at Lower Ascension Station. I like the shortness and the more continuous feeling this bit had, but it does feel weird to me that this part of the game was so much shorter than the opening chapter which dragged on way too long for what it was. This part would usually be the meat of the plot and therefore the longest segment.
 
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