Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Free D.C.! - Do Not Forsake Me Oh my Darling

By Ilmari

Avery Zedd Journal # 3: No matter how strange it might sound, I’ve managed to get a new friend in this horrid Zoo. Of course, Harry is not a real human, but a subhuman, but sure is a lot more humane than most of humanity right now. My search for Detectron parts has also been positive and I’ve got only few more things to tick on my Pending Escape -list. Here’s for the eventual freedom!

Everyone loves Dan Quayle

Last time I had just managed to find my first Detectron part, but no other avenue of progress appeared to be left. This all changed when I noticed an important thing about the movement in Zoo. You see, finding exits isn’t really simple in the game - often it seems just a matter of trial and error, or so I thought initially. But then I noticed that in case of southbound movement the game helpfully draws a blue line to indicate a potential exit. Often this line takes up whole of the lower limit of the viewscreen, but sometimes only parts of it - thus, there were many potential exits I had missed, simply because I hadn’t paid enough attention to visual clues and had tried in the wrong part of the screen.

This discovery was important, since I realised that the seemingly impassable jungle was actually quite passable and there were actually several routes going through it. I thus had access to few new buildings. At first I checked what appeared to be just a random ruin.


The place didn’t seem like it would lead anywhere, but I still tried to ram the already fallen edifice - and found myself somewhere else. I had apparently dropped beyond surface and was now stuck in debris. Then a rather odd looking fellow appeared.

Yoda are we trying to imitate?

The whole scene would be more convincing if Avery just looked like he is stuck in the dirt.

The tiny manlike creature pondered whether he should release me, but when I chose to move, he dug me out. Apparently this was too much for the robots and I had to watch a new cutscene.

What? Avery has been programmed?

The evil robots were concerned that I had found my way to the Underground - probably the literal Underground or subway. They decided to send a Red Knight to take care of me. Well, it marched straight past me, without noticing anything. Back in Underground, the little guy, whom Wattson recognised as Harry the Subhuman, had gone. Without anything else to do. I started to follow the tunnel. At the easternmost end of the Underground I found myself back in the natural museum with the screaming Cones. Going to the other end led me to Lincoln memorial. So, nothing much new had happened - I wonder what all the fuss was about.

I then started to head back to investigate all the other buildings south of the great jungle - if nothing else, this game is full of going back and forth. During the trip, I decided to go see people I had already visited. Binkley had nothing new to say, but the crazy lady in the National Gallery was a different matter. Turns out, she was Memo, who had cloned Cy, the little girl in National Archives. I then fulfilled my promise to Cy and asked Memo to leave Cy alone, which she agreed to do, on the condition that I would use Detectron to blast all the robots - which I am going to do anyway.

But both are preferred to certain Jar Jar

I proceeded through the jungle and tried for a while to find an entrance to Flying Machine Repository or National Air and Space Museum. Manual calls it a parking garage for a dilapidated collection of primitive flight devices, but I couldn’t even get in, so I had to just move forward.

I guess it would have been too short a game, if I could have just flown over the fence

Next in line was Cylinder Full of Pretty Stuff or Hirshhorn Museum. At first I thought the museum contained nothing more important than a plasma gun and randomly moving robots to avoid, but then I found another human being - if you could call him a human being. He was a computer game addict, hooked into a life support unit and very critical of “meaties”. Then again, he liked Wattson. Through the clever ploy of presenting myself as the slave of Wattson I had the opportunity to question the gamer. Turns out he was an expert on robots. Apparently all of them have different weaknesses, so that I should use different weapons for different types of robots.

One of the less advertised consequences of regular gaming

The final building I still had to search was the Place for Exhibiting Trash or Smithsonian Institute. Manual told me that robots were impressed that so many apparently worthless items were discarded with such extreme order. And indeed, inside it looked about same as the rest of the buildings I’ve been through - empty corridors with occasional “trash” I cannot interact with and wondering robots. Within this otherwise empty building lived yet another human being, this time a young woman. Her robot, Bruno, apprehended me, and then the lady started to question who I was. After a short discussion leading particularly nowhere, I told her I was a policeman and not a suitor sent by the robots and she asked Bruno to lead me out.

You can always keep hoping, Avery, all you need is...

At that point I was a bit loss at what to do and just wandered speaking with the characters I’d already met. Then I began to wonder if the bluelined exits going south from a northernly screen might lead me within some buildings I couldn’t access from a screen south of the building. There were two potential targets I had found no way to get in. National Air and Space Museum proved to have no backdoor, but the eastern part of National Gallery or the Bizarre Graphics Asylum did have.

The Eastern Building of National Gallery was as empty and uninteresting as the rest of the buildings. In fact, it resembled a lot the Western Building, as both of them had a room with lot of computers and a woman controlling them - in fact, they appeared to be the same woman. Talking with the woman in the Eastern Building revealed that she must be one of the clones of Memo, the woman from the Western Building, who keeps cloning herself and transferring her consciousness to new body, just to keep herself fresh and young. The woman in the Eastern Building was then probably Candy, whom Memo had been afraid of. If anything, Candy was even more paranoid than Memo and sent me quickly away by threatening to call robots.

My my, aren’t we mature…

With nothing else to do, I decided to meet doctor Valerion again. Since I had no Detectron parts for him, he was willing to discuss some of the denizens of the Zoo. I learned that the woman in the Smithsonian Institute was called Johnnie, who had been thawed by robots as a breeding stock. Johnnie had apparently rejected all her would-be suitors, and it was clear that Valerion thought she preferred the more intellectual type (gee Doc, I wonder who that might be).

 I thought it was closed

Valerion also revealed some background of Harry the Subhuman, who apparently belonged to a race of Plotniks, created centuries ago by the Zoo’s earlier mad scientist, Sandoval Plotnik. Most of the Plotniks lived in deep caverns, but Harry occasionally ventured to deal with humans. Valerion also suggested I might learn something from Harry, so I went to Underground.

Why can’t anyone around here just straight away tell me what they know?

Yes, Harry knew definitely something about the Cones in the Museum of Natural History. Harry told me that these silicone based life forms were hard to kill (they sure are!), but I might be able to gain their friendship. He also informed me that Cy, the little child clone, was a special friend of the Cones. I went to see Cy, then, but her words didn’t really suggest any particular companionship with Cones.

Wasn’t I supposed to get friendly with the Cones?

Apparently not

With my newly found slime gun I managed to do something I had failed to do previously - I could really kill things! Apparently it is just a matter of finding the right weapon for each creature. With Cones out of the way, searching the Natural History Museum was a piece of cake.

Finally some progress

After returning the Detectron brain to Valerion, I returned to chat with Harry, since I knew he still had some information about the fence around the Zoo. But before I could ask him about it, I found I had triggered a new scene.

An obvious innuendo is raising its head

Apparently some monster lurking in the Underground, called Bubbles, had the Detectron headpiece, and all Harry had to do was to call it and I had discovered yet another Detectron part.

Wattson has said something like this about all the parts of the Detectron.
 I wonder if it will be an important plot point later

This seems like a good place to stop. I still have two Detectron parts to discover, the gun and the servo. The gun I especially dread, since the denizens of the zoo seem to be of the consensus that it is located somewhere within the jungle area - I guess I should begin lawn mowing then.

Could it be this?

No, just another ridiculous gun

Session time: 4 hours
Total time: 6 hours

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There’s a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!


  1. Only republican presidents (and failed presidential candidates) are aliens eh? Where do the democrats get theirs from? Although I bet GW Bush is only called "Gamma Gamma Bong" in private.

    1. Gamma Gamma Bong sounds like something a high-powered "future presidents" fraternity would pass around at a private party.

    2. In the game, they actually refer to president Quayle. I guess he still might accomplish that feat some day - after all, the future will be better tomorrow.

    3. Maybe when he's president he can force schools to update the spelling of "potatoe"...

  2. I really don't know what to make of this game! It's either brilliant and leading up to something fantastic or completely moronic, and I literally can't tell which.

    1. I think the next post will reveal exactly where the whole thing is heading to.

    2. "Brilliant" looks like long odds...