Wednesday 20 January 2016

Free D.C.! - Living in Harmony

By Ilmari

Avery Zedd Journal, #2: D.C. is sure a looney place, now, with everything empty and crumbling down! I’ve interacted with the locals, who sure are not very helpful - I guess they just don’t recognise real charm when they face it. Luckily I shot a little kid - long story, I’ll tell you later - and obtained my first part of Detectron. I am sure I’ll break free out of this facility in no time!

Time to start this hilarious show again

Last time I had just met the man I was thawed to apprehend, doctor Valerion, but instead of capturing him, I decided to join his rebellion against the evil robots keeping the human race under their iron thumb. My first task was to gather parts of a big gun called Detectron.

With no clear directions, I just went east from the Tidal Basin and started roaming the row of facilities there. First in line was The Old Human Junk Center, better known as Museum of American History. The front door inside the building was closed, but I could discuss with its current owner, Edsel Binkley, through an enormous video wall. Binkley was a rather secretive and close-minded person, but was also after more information.

Now there’s a decent sized video phone

I told Binkley about the Great Freeze, and for that he told me that the weapon part of Detectron looked like a titanium designer arm and was hidden somewhere in a jungle. He also mentioned something called underground. Well, he didn’t reveal all of this immediately, but I had to go see him couple of times. It seems that the game doesn’t usually allow you to go and speak with a person you’ve just chatted with, but you must first go and do something else and only afterwards come back and have a new talk.

Next to Binkley’s museum there was Bones and Skins Building, also known as Museum of Natural History. Manual speculates that the building was used to store the inedible remains of of the animals that the blood thirsty humans devoured (not a far cry from the truth, I assume). I also remembered Valerion mentioning that the museum might hold one of the Detectron parts, but it was guarded by something called Cones. I naturally went in to have a look.

Cones were apparently some type of human devouring plants, shooting me with some sort of webbing. I tried to use my guns, but once again, I failed to do any damage. I even tried to rely on the speed of Wattson, but Cones are far better shots than Red Knights. After a few miserable attempts I gave up. Either I am missing something or this is a puzzle I cannot yet solve.

Another failed attempt to investigate the museum

Next in line was a small pool, and after that, I came to the Pigment Facilities Shed or the west building of National gallery. The gallery was ransacked, except for few paintings and statues left to rot in the empty corridors. I did find something called a disruptor gun, and I also ran into Red Knights and Death Poodles, which appear to travel in these abandoned buildings randomly.

I am glad I didn’t have to pay for the entrance

Gallery also had a room with computer screens showing pictures of the other buildings in Zoo. Tending these machines was a highly aggressive woman, who was quite suspicious I was sent by someone called Candy. She kept throwing me out, but I managed to find out from her that robots had told they froze all of humanity because of a pending meteor strike. Quite a good reason for keeping them frozen for thousand years.

You don’t like goo talk?

I’ve forgot to mention that there really isn’t that much of voiced dialogue. Characters might have one or two introductory lines read out loud, but then it’s just back to text. I wonder if the producers ran out of money.

Continuing my journey, the next building would have been Bizarre Graphics Asylum or the eastern building of National Gallery. The manual thought that the building was a proof that humans and technology was a dangerous combination, since it was speculated that humans had tried to make computer generated images, but their lack of logic had driven computers into a circuit failure, and these poor machines were then forced to spend their whole life generating the tortured images in the gallery. It would have been nice to see what the place looks inside, but the front door was locked.

Shouldn’t there be a passage in somewhere?

To the south of this row of buildings there was an impassable forest, which I then tried to circle around by moving along the eastern side of the fence. Well, I couldn’t even reach the eastern borders of the Zoo. At first I run into couple of Funnelheads, sanitation units which disassemble and recycle all trash and which also are highly territorial. They also were quite a bit better shots than Red Knights, and my health bar (the red guy in the right side of the pictures) was deteriorating rapidly. I got through them with the speed of Wattson, but then I met couple of Atomic Guards, which Wattson had warned me about. It was one shot and it was over.

I decided to leave the exploration of that area later and moved instead to The President’s Residence or White House, which manual suggested was once a habitation of a very important human with a neurotic desire for total privacy. I was quite disappointed, when White House proved to be just a completely empty corridor. When returning to the outside, I happened to push TALK at the very entrance. Now, usually this button has done nothing else, but let me ask the same questions from Wattson - all the other conversations in the game have begun automatically, just when I have walked into the right screen, and I’ve then just had to choose the topic of conservation or the attitude of Avery (I have a feeling these decisions have almost no effect on anything). This time I had just by chance managed to start a conversation with a broken tourbot, which had just seemed a mere decoration. Quite lucky, I’d say!

Surprising turn in the history of USA

The tourbot led us through the empty corridor, totally oblivious to the fact that nothing it talked about was in the White House anymore. The closer and closer we came to the end of the corridor, more and more sounds of malfunction were creeping to its voice. Finally, it shut down… almost. Then the tourbot found some energy and I could interrogate it for a while. Turns out, the tourbot had downloaded the brain of a roaming Red Knight and had some hints about the whereabouts of the Detectron parts.

I still had few places to visit this side of jungle. Or so I assumed - turns out, Economic Parasite Bureaucracy Palace (Internal Revenue Service) and the Monument of Unknown Bureaucrat (Interstate Commerce Commission Building) were both just facades nowadays. I could walk straight through them, but that’s about it.

Manual tells that the IRS building was full of documents
written in peculiarly unintelligible form of English,
which made 22 robots self-destruct after trying to process
this useless language. I just wished something happened here.

Well, there was then only the Crumbling Paper Warehouse to go, or as you might better know it, the National Archives. The manual describes it as a final storage place for every non-essential document ever generated by human species and speculates that reverence for ancient paper goods might have been the basis of faith for a major religious sect. At the time of the game, the displays in the Warehouse contain nothing but paper dust.

Don’t worry! A copy of the constitution will be found on another planet in couple of hundred years

While Avery was busy being horrified of the vast amount of historically important documents being destroyed. Wattson noted a headless war robot that moved. I was asked whether Avery should fight or flee, and I chose to shoot the robot, which frankly didn’t seem at all intimidating. And indeed, the body of the robot just fell, and Avery could read on its side that it was the body of the Detectron. I had found one part of the war machine I was looking for, just by walking in one building.

The reason why the headless robot had moved was soon revealed - a small child named Cy was hidden in it. Cy told me she was a clone of someone named Memo, who was hunting Cy somewhere. I told Cy I would take care of this Memo person and then I just took the Detectron part and left.

I took my first Detectron part to doctor Valerion, who congratulated me and told me to go find more parts. And that’s where I am now. I am bit loss what to do next, since all the buildings I haven’t visited yet lie beyond that jungle I seem to be unable to go around. Oh well, I guess I still have some time to think about it! Be seeing you.

Session time: 1.5 hours
Total time: 2 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. I wonder if the producers ran out of money.

    In 1991, ran out of floppy disk space is far more likely.

    1. You are probably right. I was thinking that we've already have games with far more speech in them, but I forgot they were actually later CD-releases and the originals had no speech.

  2. Outta curiosity - how does the time limit come into play? Have you experimented with that at all yet?

    1. If you look at my first post carefully, you'll see that the deadly implant in Avery was neutralized, when he met doctor Valerion - so much for time limit, then. I could start a new game and let it run for twelve hours doing nothing, just to see if the time limit does play a role, but I think it would be unnecessary bother with this game.

    2. My bad there! I'd definitely not recommend it. I just have time limits on the brain post Beamish!

  3. You know, I recently started a job in D.C. I think after this huge winter storm everybody is freaking out about (mainly because NO ONE DOWN HERE KNOWS HOW TO DRIVE IN WINTER and the city did NOTHING TO PREPARE FOR IT!), the District is going to look kind of like this game! But with lamer jokes.

    1. Hah, maybe the Great Freeze they keep talking about in the game just meant D.C. getting buried under snow!

      I'd actually like to know, if the pictures resemble the real D.C. at all, since I've never been to the place myself. I can see that buildings in the game resemble the originals and that they are lined pretty much as they are in real maps - I just don't get the feeling I am riding around in a real city.