original cycle : c2 lavender tower

retroactive slug reaction


kulupu wi wawa unu

Right. this cycle is probably the most important in all of psatcwot. you could say it's because of its themes, or the writing style or whatever, which is somewhat true.

the actual reason is that this, this cycle, is the starting point. all of psatcwot comes from this cycle. and it is a slightly interesting story and you're here so wth buckle down its story time.

like 2 years ago (a few more actually. it's no longer important to precise which year.), i was in highschool, at a table in the entrance hall of my highschool, for a clothes collecting event. i was with a few of my friends. we were talking and then it hit me.

a few weeks ago, in a discord server, we (me and internet friends) had planned to make an online ttrpg campaign for the heck of it. i said i'd be ok with being the dm, so we made a gc and i started sharting out a system and a story outline.

the outline was simple. it encompassed everything the campaign would be, from its themes to its location and tone : infinite mall. the players would be characters in a city that had been deserted after a mall opened, and they would go down that infinite mall to rescue the townfolks.

however, due to various reasons, the online friends i had planned this with pulled out one after the other. so we're back at my highschool, and i pitch the thing to my irl friends. some of them agree, and we're 6 people total.

then the first session arrives. it's a few weeks later, and we agreed for the first session to be online. and from the 5 people, onely 3 show up. i felt terrible about it, because... i mean at this point i had been working on that campaign for a few months, and this was how i was treated. i didn't hear anything from some of these people until one or two years later too.

but, with the two i'm closest to (and the two who agreed), i decide to restart the campaign, this time with only 2 players. yeah, a two player campaign.

so anyway, let's delve into this place.

2.01 survivors

huh. i think i should have described the town a little bit more. i had started writing this cycle just after i finished c1, so especially at the start theres some... overlap in the writing style.

at the same time, already it's different. we have actual characters now ! they do things !

also : about team A. team A was the team i made when i playtested the campaign. i only playtested the beginning, but when i did i overlooked a big mechanic. first of all : they were five, when i had 2 players. second of all, i would later give my players the opportunity to speak to enemies, which would give them spells and maybe new party members, or even let the enemy go without killing them.

the problem about resolving conflict like that was that uh. since the enemy wasn't beaten they didn't level up. level ups were simple : +1 level for regular enemies, +2 for bosses.

so team A killed everything in its path and kept leveling up, and team B was two dudes who actually engaged with the mechanics of the game, but had a weaker level. and also the monsters team B recruited couldn't level up.

2.02 start of the descent.

fun fact : so in the shin megami tensei series, there'sa guy called stephen. he made the devil summoning program and becomes a pandimensional being that can travel through dimensions at will. he made an appearance here during the campaign !! he gave the players a portable computer with which they could summon and store the monsters they recruited.

stephen is non canon. the computer too. since, in the canon, team B doens't recruit anyone.

also jhin having forgotten his gun is such a bad excuse for why he doens't start the campaign with his fucking firearm.

2.03 ground floor

the feeling melissa feels here is her psychic powers unlocking. i should explain the system of the original campaign a bit more.

there were 6 stats. ST, for physical attacks, DX, for physical accuracy, PY, for psychic attacks and PP, LU, for psychic accuracy, SP, for turn order, and DF for defense and HP.

melissa had a psychic build, and jhin had a physical build. there were 5 (6) elements, being physical, rust, greed, void, and I.T. at first i chose these elements randomly but they fit well together. there was a hidden element, jawbrkr, which was basically non elemental damage.

to help with jhin's physical build, there were a few spells that he equiped. of course there were the usual buffs and debuffs (they were very strong), and there was a charge spell that made his next phys damage 2.5 times stronger. but more about that later.

melissa would eventually unlock the same spell but for psychic damage. another thing about this system, is that esp was broken. more elements meant less likely to get resisted, and magic had an inherent *1.2 multiplier. jhin still managed to do more dpt at the end of the campaign bc of more efficient minmaxing

2.04 food aisle

nows a good time to talk about the structure of each floor. each floor, and i mean every floor until the last 2, was a 4 by 4 grid. on that grid they had to "find" the button to the elevator then the elevator. after a few floors i just told them the location of the button and of the elevator. yeah.

the only different thing was the enemies (there were always 3 per floor), the music, and the description at the start. yeah. and every 3 floor there was a boss. imagine that for 15 floors straight.

so for each floor im going to tell you the enemies and the music if i remember them.

for this floor : i think the music was windows licking from the OFF soundtrack. there were lots of tracks from OFF. the enemies were : stack of cans, a pyramidal arrangement of cans, strawberry jelly, a generic pink slime, and rotten pile, which appears in the page.

2.05 book aisle

this floor is interesting bc it's the first were it begins to become surreal. the architecture no longer makes sense, and it all starts to take a dream like tone.

the music : no idea. enemies : poltergeist, don't remember what it was supposed to look like. magazine amalgalm : multiple magazine covers taped together to form a human body from the illustration, and good ol book, which appears here.

the book was the first monster they recruited. i chose not to have them recruit monsters in this rewriting, to make it more simple. instead, the book teaches melissa a construct. i also didn't want to have melissa learn every construct at once, and to have them spread out over the cycle. in the campaign, melissa learned the construct pretty fast.

this page is also where we can see the first signs that jhin and melissa have a personality. melissa is more kind, and for her, simply exploring would have been reason enough to go down. jhin is greedy, and doesn't want to be here, so he's going to botch this job and get it down as fast as possible (haha. )

2.06 arts and crafts

There isn't much to this page excpet 2 or 3 things ill expedite before talking about the combat.

1st of all, the slime they meet, the glue slime. this slime is special in that it was a recruit they made, and that they kept for a long time. like, nearly up to the end of the game. im not kidding. it wasn't even particularly good. it also became a mascot for the campaign and an inside joke, which i think is due to its design. this is btw the only design i have left from floor 1-3.

2nd, the enemies. there was, of course, the glue slime. its thing was that it was super slow and that it nulled physical damage. then there was the googly abomination, which was a mass of googly eyes. and finally, the paper plate pup, which was a puppy made of paper plates.

3td, more about the structure of the campaign. every 3 floor, there was a boss. this isn't something i kept here, because i didn't want to write combat. more on that later btw. the boss for this floor was a kid's drawing.

okay and now about the combat. so. the combat was quite literally the press turn system from smt 3 nocturne : do a crit or hit an enemy weakness to gain a turn, miss or hit a null/drain/reflect and lose turns. it was basically unchanged.

however there was one, major difference. something extremely important. when it was their turn, additionally to attacking, using a spell, or skipping, characters had another option.


this ounds fine on paper. it's not. it was terrible. charge could stack up to TEN TIMES. TEN. 10. it was a multiplier that increased. it increased exponentially. the formula was e(x)/2, where x is the number of turns where you charge.

this sounds... annoying but still fine. right ? wrong. enemies could do it too, because i was (i still am) a sucker for symmetric battle systems. so in the end enemies would charge a bunch, and players would charge a bunch. this resulted in rivetting battles of my players telling me "i charge." "i charge too." and then me "ok the enemy charges."

the other thing is the multiplier. since it was exponential, this meant that players would basically deal either 3 damage by not charging, or like 10 000. im not exaggerating. the first boss, the child's drawing, had FIVE TIMES TEN TO THE POWER OF TWENTY FIVE HP. THAT'S A FIVE WITH TWENTY FIVE ZEROES BEHIND IT.

if you don't see a problem with this what the hell.

after the first boss i reworked the formulas and removed charging as a whole, except for spells that only did a set, non stackable 2.5 multiplier.

i still kept the damage formulas high though, because i like big numbers. and to be honest, i kinda do like these formulas. the formula is : ((ATTACKER's STAT) * 243) / ((TARGET'S DF) * 0.06) * RESISTANCE

the attacking stat was either PY or ST. let's do a test of that formula. if an entity with, say 12 ST attacks one with, for exemple, 6 DF. this does 8100 damage.

let's simulate an attack from the end of the campaign now. towards the end of the campaign, jhin had a base 55 ST, with +14 from his equipment, which made it a clean 69 (nice). with 4 buffs, the maximum, this was a 168.5. with a charge, this is a 421. yeah.

we're not done. jhin had a spell called phys pierce which would lower the enemy's resistance to phys damage. for the sake of this experiment, we'll make it make the enemy weak to phys, so thatll be an additional *2 mult. and then finally, jhin also had a spell which would make his next phys attack be a crit, just like critical eye in smt. this is a *2 mult to the affinity, so a *4.

AND THEN the DF of the enemy can be reduced with 4 layers of debuff !!!! let's say the enemy had.... 48 DF. this becomes a 28 with the debuffs. we're done.

the formula becomes ((421) * 243) / ((28) * 0.06) * 4 = 243 578.

243 578. in a single hit. yeah ! also these stats are outdated, i just noticed i lost the excel sheet as of the last session, so i don't have the actual stats. but uh. just know that i remember jhin doing as much as 0.8 million damage in a sinlge hit.

2.7 safe haven

at this point it's fair to mention that after everyboss, there was a convenience store, where the players were told lore by the cashier, and where they could buy equipment and such.

so this page huh. this is the first apparition of the cashier. i don't really have much to say.

oh yeah : when the cashier says not anymore in regards to finding the xit : this is because the mall has entered a new stage at that point. the angels knew people would come in to try and save the day, and so made people unable to enter. after all, if someone arrives to the very end, theyll get killed by the angels. right ?

at this point it's also fair to clarify that : i don't remember if the cashier knew wether the boss was real or not. like obviously at this point i knew the boss wasn't real, this was a given. but, i genuinely don't remember if the cashier is misdirecting jhin and melissa or if they themselves don't know.

i mean, the misdirection, while it doesn't make sense for them to do it, would make sense in an rpg sense. and also the cashier does hide some pretty important stuff, and refuses to lore dump all at once.

2.8 construction materials

theres like. a month long break since the last time i did that. so excuse me if its not in the same tyles as the previous stuff. (haha. as i put this into html its been about a year.)

anyway ! enemies this floor : Tile monster, which is seen in this page; concrete jelly, a slime made of concrete; materialistic fence, trump loving fence (it didn't mention trump but if trump existed in that universe it would suck his dick so hard)

don't remember the floor music lol

let's talk a bit about what the floors were like on a play level

each floor was a grid of 4 rooms by 4 rooms. the players had to find the elevator to progress, as well as the button to call the elevator, which was hidden in the floor.

well. i say hidden. at the start of each floor, to not make the game drag on for too long, i would tell them where the button and the elevator were. which ! was really stupid

and also this was everyfloor up to the last block of floor. there was no gimmick. no difference. except for where the button and elevator were.

god this campaign really was badly made

lets talk about the page itself now

haven't read a c2 page since at least a month

ok ok so. i like the description at the start

this is also where im starting to write combat scenes. writing combat scenes was always a big problem for me, and its only toward the end of c3 that i got the hang of it. ive eventually developped a methodology to write them

just imagine an anime fight in your head. imagine the most anime fight possible, with crazy effects and camera changes and such. then write it down, with the right balance of details. if you take too long to describe something, it may detract from the flow of combat, though it may be beneficial in some cases. if you describe stuff too fast, it may also break the flow by simply being too fast, and by not letting the reader the time to imagine what is going on

this battle scene is... meh. they use an interesting strategy, but it's explained too quickly and the fight is too short. however, i feel like this adds to the effect that they're getting used to it. i also like how the battle is used to show what they did during the short ellipsis

which brings us to the last point i want to talk about : the ellipsis

the original campaign was 12 floors in length, if i remember correctly. i wanted to have the actual mall feel longer than that, and i thought that not showing some of the floors was a good solution.

in retrospect i should have added a LOT more floors, like going up to maybe 30. of course, only the same amount would have been shown. every floor that was in the campaign itself was shown, and only these.

also, jhin didn't have defib plates as a weapon. the weapons were underwhelming. jhin mostly used frying pans

2.9 verdoyant greenhouse

right right. enemies : frog pot : a flower pot with a frog motif and legs. it has a bamboo growing in the pot. mushroom feller : mushroom with arms and legs who uses a spear. emerald gust : a gust of wind with leaves in it, thats somehow sentient.

they don't see anyone on this floor. this is i think the first floor like that ? its just a description. just jhin and melissa, in the moment, enjoying the floor

i like that description too. in the original campaign it was one of the calmest floors as well.

not much else to say

2.10 mirror alley

BOSS FLOOR BOSS FLOOR !! enemies : actuall first. this floor is very different than it was in the campaign. in the campaign it was a confusing place, were the path ahead was uncertain. it was calm, silent, and full of deceit; aka very different from the current iteration of club but with 10000 mirrors

with that said : enemies (who do not fit the current floor) : corner of eye shadow : this one was very speedy. it was just a dark shadow with eyes. deceitful observer : a big big eyeball with smaller eyeballs on its side. photonic disaster : a burst of light (similar to the electric enemy in mother 3 thunder tower)

and the boss ! crystal monolith, which repels every element except physical. it had the strongest version of every elemental spell, and a very high DF stat.

here, we see also the first big fight scene. and... it sucks ! its terrible ! theres no tension or interesting strategy. at least i already knew that to make a fight interesting, it couldn't be just the characters hitting the enemy very hard, and that it had to have a strategy to be at least slighly interesting.

2.11 history of the land

ooh, here we see something kind of important that was very present in the original campaign and not at all here : jhin, melissa, and humans in general, have no idea that the other tribes exist. in the campaign this was explained simply : i never told the players that this world was different. they assumed it was the same as our own world, which made the reveal of the tribes and the angels and stuff that much more interesting

ykw im changing the psatcwot explanation page and adding that c2 should be read befroe c1 (in the meantime i've removed all suggestions of an order. read psatcwot however you want.)

it just makes sense ! thats how they were written, and c1 is just the lore of c2. in fact, most of what is said in c1 is also said in c2. c1 does have its moments, but it def should be read after c2.

2.12 candle center

now were truly getting into the weird shit. these 3 floors, the candle center, clockwork alleyway, and the museum, are all part of a set. they all contain attempts to recreate a real human, made by the chisel and paintbrush from the museum.

in this floor, they tried to make bodies of wax and inscribe them with life using circles. it did not particularly succeed, and although some could move and even speak, they would eventually melt, which would disrupt the circle and make them lifeless.

this particular wax body, the one that teaches greed to melissa, hid in the darkness in the hope that someone would come.

enemies : magma wraith : a ghost like figure made of magma, or at least of very, very hot wax that is very, very on fire. wax protoplasm : a blob of wax. melting effigy : the figure we see in the page itself. these enemies aren't very creative, i know. probably couldve made something with a buncha skulls and candles yk ?

2.13 clockwork alleyway

if i start im not going to stop so : enemies : hour hand : a set of clock hands. gear construct : a humanoid figure made of gears, it was incomplete. mechanical samsara : this one is so, so important. its main gimmick is that it has a very low dx and st, but hits from 1 to 60 times. the players recruited this one, and it stayed until the very end of the campaign. it was that strong.

first of all, this has got to be my favourite page in all of c2, probably even all of psatcwot. i was so proud of the ticking and tocking thing when i came up with it. i also had initially planned to have the samsara make a cameo, maybe fight, because of how important it was to the campaign, but i elected against it bc of how less lonely it wouldve made all this feel.

this page is all about how lonely and small jhin and melissa are. they are directly confronted with the passing of time in a way that cannot be ignored, but their drive to go through the mall is what convinces them to continue and not get lost.

on this floor, the chisel and paintbrush tried to create mechanical humans. these are the bodies talked about, as well as the gear constructs of the original. the machines are not complete, because it would have required too much precision and work to make even one, and so it wasn't viable.

more about the mechanical samsara. it's st stat was 1. later in the campaign i added a mechanic where they could sacrifice a monster they had recruited to raise the stat of another one. uh oh ! yeah they gave the samsara like 30St and decimated everything in their path. they basically went killmode, as long as the enemy didn't resist phys.

2.14 museum

enemies : covered statue : a statue covered in a red cloth. it was a strong physical attacker, so strong that it damaged the glue slime with physical attacks (the glue slime nullified phys element). wooden figure : a human size version of those... wood figures... that artists use to pose (reminder to self to get one). colorful blob : a blob made of many paints.

boss : boss : creator paintbrush and imaginative chisel. they were a duo boss. the paintbrush would buff and debuff, as well as set up phys pierce, and occasionally attack with greed. the chisel would charge and use the crit spell then unleash strong attacks.

the museum itself was where they ended up. all of the sculptures and paintings were made by them, in attempts to create a human from it by putting a soul into it. the soul would be put in using a circle. this is also the page where i came up with the concept of circles.

the music for the museum was confusing melody from chrono trigger.

the angel that appears was somewhat scripted in the original. whenever the players moved from room to room, they would roll a dice to determine if they got an encounter. if they rolled the same number 3 times in a row, an angel would attack. thankfully, it only happened once (in this campaign. more on that in c4)

the angel was a very, very strong enemy. i don't think they couldve beaten it even with their late game build. this is also to show the power of the cashier. fun fact ! the angel has a theme, called angel room. i forgot to put it in SHITFUCKER BITCHHEAD, but ill put it in my next album (if it fits).

2.15 Ambition

i don't... have much ? to say. hatsune miku is canon in psatcwot world btw

OH YEAH actually. when i started to theorize all of this, years ago when i was in highschool before even thinking about making a ttrpg, i had a sort of story about a world where humanity just stopped forever, bc a chaotic and formless being had destroyed it and stuff

which, hmm, looks at c4. so i kinda merged it with the infinite mall, and eventually psatcwot. i was really into alterhumanity and stuff at the time, stuff like otherkin and therians, and i wanted to make a story where they were somwhat represented

which manifested into this ! at the start of the campaign, during character creation, i had my players pick out an animal or a character, mythological figure, etc, that would represent their character, and then gave them attributes based on that. for exemple, melissa had picked hatsune miku, so at the start, melissa was innately resistant to IT and weak to greed.

2.16 cold chamber

enemies : plain ol ice cube : an ice cube. its shading looks like an amogus. snow bucket : a bucket full of snow ? i dont... remember much about this... eternal snowman : not really a snowman and more of a snowblob

this floor has a more industrial feel to it. usually ice areas in games and stuff are like. castles and stuff with delicate architecture. this floor is in contrast to that : it's artificial and industrial, always in movement

its also here that i realize that. huh. if i just continue like that this is going to be boring. i have to make jhin and melissa into actual characters, you know ? so i try. it succeeds somewhat. but...

im not sure. this character development isn't that interesting. and it's not done so well. its kind of shoved in there. because it is. kind of shoved in there.

2.17 rocks

enemies : mossy stone : a stone covered in moss. shiny rock : a... shiny rock... revolutionary. charcoal sootling : small guy made of charcoal with bright yellow eyes for that ff black mage swag

this is where things start to get fucked up. oh yeah btw, this floor and the previous one and the next one introduced gimmicks to the exploration. revolutionary ! i don't remember what the cold chamber gimmick was, but this one was that the river would flow in a certain direction, which pointed them to the button. the following floor's gimmick was that the button would move and they had to track it down.

i started imagining the concept of an infinite mall during i think... my first year of highschool ? i was at the mall with a friend, and it was the first time we were truly at the mall by oursselves. we went into a store, to pick something up for her bf. the store was i think sostrene grene, probably not written like that, but it was arranged as a single, long, twisted corridor, through which you had to go all the way to exit.

while going through it i joked about this corridor going on forever and ever, and being a twisted labyrinth of forgotten soul. we made it though eventually, and as it was a pretty big mall we decided to. wander through it. and i got the idea for real there.

i remember that for the rest of that year i would think of ideas for floor in the mall, with the deeper floors being more and more chaotic and less and less mall-like or mall-appropriate. i think this floor was one of them.

2.18 emptiness

enemies : menacingly vacant spot : a.. vacant spot... that was menacing... hanging lightbulb : a black lightbulb hanging from a wire. nothing to see here : yeah

boss : lost soul : a shadowy figure. jhin's player said it looked like a dog, which is why it has a dog like behaviour here. this is also the conclusion of melissa's arc, which started... 2 pages ago.

yahoo for good writing !!

this floor is last "normal" floor. its the culmination of the mall : if at this point you didn't find a floor that interested you, nothing would. so, the final floor is more like a trap. you can't go further, you can't go back, you're stuck here until you stop thinking.

2.19 before the fall


ahem. this is a short page. the last section of the campaign was made of 3 floors, but only one is shown in psatcwot c2.

the first was, of course, the 4 tribes. this is the one thats in c2. after freeing the tribe leades, they would fight team A. to be noted : each of the tribe leader was in its own micro dungeon, and they were all minibosses.

the second floor was about freeing the leaders of the void dwellers and the dream dwellers. originally, they were the creators of the NULL and ALL elements respectively. however, they were scrapped out of the game because i made that decision too late. NULL and ALL would have acted as instant death spells, like hama and mudo in megaten. they wouldn't have fought the leaders of these tribes, but instead would have fought an archangel and... a power or a principality. at the end of that floor, they had to fight the humanity inhibitor. that fight is present in c2.

the third and last floor was the one that led to the boss. it was made of two side dungeons : a library occupied by seraphs, and a watery maze inhabited by thrones. in each of these side areas they had to flip a switch to deactivate a barrier. then, before going through to the boss, they had to fight a cherub. finally, they were at the boss.

2.20 four tribes

looongest page in this cycle, maybe in all of psatcwot (ha), so lets go in order. structure of the floor : 4 small subdungeons with the leader as a boss at the end. the reason why they fought the players was that the angels had made an oath to release the tribe that could kill or restrain jhin and melissa (or team a). of course none managed to do it.

another thing i want to say bc i don't think i said it earlier, but melissa is starting to hate the cashier just because she needs something to do. if she didn't nothing else would happen except jhin and melissa going through the floors, and that'd just be boring. to be clear, this hatred was added at the last minute, and by itself doesn't add much, but at least it's something. to be noted that during the campaign, melissa was ambivalent to the cashier.

the names of the tribe leaders are all runes that all have a meaning. i do believe we see some of those names in the page of c5 with circles.

in the campaign, the void sub-area was described as a dark corridor where you could feel as if many people watched from the sidelines. nigil says hes been replaced bc the raninanis won't stay without a leader for centuries waiting for the old one to uncapture himself. if he came back to his tribe, hed probably just live a peaceful life on the sidelines.

nows a good time to speak of the in-universe meaning of the constructs. rust represents death and decay, as well as the natural order of things (that is, a chaos that sorts itself into a system, albeit a chaotic and loosely defined one). I.T represents man-made order and logic, mathematics, but also all things regular and ordered with precision, like stars and orbits. Greed represents the desire for more, the wish to have things. void represents the link to emptiness one can develop, and how they manifest that link. this is a bit weird to say, but void does not represent nothingness.

void does not represent the void between dimensions, as that is represented by the NULL element. the NULL element is acute nothingness. the void element is an attempt made to recreate that nothingness, at most a gate to it, but it is not nothingness itself.

the elements are also sorted into pairs. it and rust, greed and void.

jawbrkr acted as an almighty element, like the megido spells in smt : spells that no entity in the game resisted or were weak to, always dealing damage with a *1 multiplier. lorewise, it's an element that was developed and created by the argillacreantis, who were thus the only tribe besides humans who could wield it.

btw, if you're wondering. NULL was associated with the tribe of the umbradesertus/void-dwellers, and ALL with the lunatesserae/dream-dwellers. the angels had no element outright associated with them, though i always imagined them as associated with the physical element. if i could make a game about c1-4 psatcwot, i would make it so that physical skill have angelic attributes, like making the user unexplainedly grow wings just for the hit. unfortunately i can't make games. sorry ! not that i didn't try. (no longer true. but if i do end up making such a game... it's definitely not now.)

oh also, now that we're at the greed section. just as void and NULL as associated, ALL and greed also are. ALL represents everything. it represents the concentration of information all in one. whereas NULL would instantly kill something by sending its soul in the void, ALL would do so by making that soul percieve everythin at once, just like the dreams where dream dwellers dwell. greed is similar to ALL in that greed tends to lead to the accumulation of many many things into one space.

ah, rust. rust was always my favourite element. this tribe was lead by two leaders in the campaign, which led to a double boss battle. the name of the bosses were something like sovereignty and control, or something like that. at the time i wanted to have the pestincolis all be named after concepts of control and power. of course, none ever got named after the leader, and they sadly became the least relevant tribe. ill have a bit more to say about them in c4- if i remember to say it, that is. (hi it's later. i will forget so i'll say it now, skip to next paragraph if you don't want to know. the rust tribe is linked to the plague being. they lived where the plague being was originally, and were badly treated by humans living in that area. because of their presence, the plague being appeared there, as the idea of plague and illness was much stronger in the area with the plague and illness tribe. eventually the rust tribe got... overtaken ? assimilated ? by the plague being. or not. i don't actually remember.)

now this one is interesting. as you know, or don't know, the renegades become the most important tribe in all of psatcwot. of the starting 8, they are the ones who stay around the longest. in the campaign, this sub-area was a virtual reality, all techno-ish and futuristic. that wouldn't really fit the vibe, plus i really liked the idea of having jhin and melissa just communicate via a terminal. also, when infinite mall was being played and up until its end, i had no idea the renegades would end up being so important. at the time they were just another tribe. its only when planning and filling the 200 year gap between c2 and c4, and thus the outlining of c3 that the renegades became as important as they are.

self destruct command...

2-21 team a

before starting, team a has sort of a reason for existing. at the start of the campaign, they were a team i would make go through the dungeon to check the balance. However, team a was made up of five members (the intended number of players) instead of two, and so they were very much over powered and overleveled, as they didn't have to recruit or talk to some enemies, and thus did not loose any experience point or level.

so team a had five members. First of all there was power, a physical user. Ex military with white hair. Their kin type was heracles. then there was makajam, who was a healer/ buff applier. Their kin type was a kyrkogrim (they actually transform in this fight). Next was astra, a debuff applier + magic damager. Their kin type was a moon rabbit. After that was burroughs, whose kin type was burroughs from smt4. She was a magic damage dealer, as well as applied elemental buffs or debuffs. And finally was alga, who filled a similar role, and whose kin type was a faery.

In the campaign, it was a simple idea to have a boss like this. i'm always a big fan of symmetrical game design, and this campaign was proof of that (as was the second campaign). so having a boss that was just another team of party members made sense. i also wanted it to have a last ditch effort sort of thing, and so the last member they killed would resurrect and attack them in the true form of their kin type.

in a way, they way team a acts is true to how they were in the campaign. when i play-tested the campaign (which i only did for the first 4 or 5 floors), i truly did not try to talk to anything, instead just killing every enemy.

On this page, jhin shows a surprisingly moral side of him. this feels slightly out of character.

love how this page, which is one of the biggest fight scene in the cycle, doesn't feature any cycle. the transformation is pretty cool, and it shows my philosophy of how i currently write fight scenes, but other than that this kind of sucks. which, i don't think i've explained my philosophy for writing fight scenes, so here it is.

basically just imagine the most anime fight scene ever in your mind. imagine like, giant lazers everywhere, punches that take down entire buildings, all of that. most over the top fight scene. imagine it in full in your head. and then, just write that shit down.

i have in fact explained this before. too bad. suffer.

in this page, jhin kills team a. in the campaign, when team a had been beaten, i gave my players the opportunity to finish them for good. they did. at least, jhin's player did, and melissa's was fine with it. this was a recurring joke througout the rest of the 1st and through the 2nd campaign, how jhin had just mercilessly killed someone.

but, thinking about the morality of this, im not sure if he's really in the wrong. or if hes in the right. which is good. morality isn't black and white.

2-22 destruction of the inhibitor

I don't really have anything to say about this page. It's written really dryly, which i think is fitting.

In the campaign, the inhibitor was the boss on the dream/void dweller dungeon area. It's fighting style was somewhat unusual : it was a big gimmick boss

its main gimmick was that it had a polarity. it would choose an element at random, and refler/resist every other element but be weak to that one. it could also do a multihit multitarget attack of the polarity it had chosen, or just attack with jawbrkr bullets

don't ask how it has jawbrkr bullets. its not canon. not anymore.

the campaign isn't canon. its in a limbo of half canon, half not canon. simply because its the base material, but this rewriting has some stuff added or removed. this is also true of the second campaign/cycle 4

i guess i should talk about the humanity inhibitors fetus thingie. i don't really have anything to say about it, it was all said in the page.

2-23 the boss

ok this page is funny. the lack of css is normal, but its using this page that i gauge who read this, at least in my close circle. everytime someone gets there the send me a message and ask me if its normal that there isnt css

this page is cool. i wanted to really amp up the tension, and also show how fucking nervous jhin and melissa are. theyre finally at the end of their journey.

an interesting point : the clock. time. up until now, there was no reference to time. this is the first time since they entered the mall that the time of day is clearly said. but even then its vague. is at morning or night ? how many days have passed since they entered ? who knows

i also like the fact that its... normal. Its just a waiting room. a normal one, with a secretary and everything.

in the campaign, the structure of this final floor was more complex. There were two side areas : a library where they fought a seraph, and a watery maze where they fought a throne. they had to do that to deactivate the barrier leading to the boss' office. after the barrier was down, they had to fight a cherub. the cherub was an interesting enemy : it cycled between its four masks, changing its stats, affinities, and skills. it was basically fighting four bosses at once.

the fight against the boss was in two phases : a first phase was just the guy in the office, and then after it was down (it was a short phase), the second would start

2-24 obedience

the second phase was complex but oh so easy. it was this huge smoke figure, whose name was the tetragrammaton in the campaign. however, i now know that the tetragrammaton can be a bit taboo, so to respect religions in which its the case i switched it to four squares. internally i call this guy lekolekolekoleko (leko being the tokipona word for square).

the phase was basically that when attacked with an element, ▓▓▓▓ would get more resistent to that element for this turn. then, when it was its turn, it would make an somewhat strong aoe attack of that element and reset its resistences.

the problem with that was that this is both too strong and too weak. its either too strong, because if you hit it with four elements, it would do four strong attacks at once, but its also too weak bc its resistences started at weak. you could very easily get 4 turns without much effort. the other thing that made this boss very easy was that you had complete control over what element it chose.

if you first attacked it with an element you know one of your party members reflect or absorbs, you know ▓▓▓▓ is going to waste its turn, as it would loose every turn after its first.

this boss was really easy. my players found out these structural weaknesses really really easily, and managed to utterly dominate it.

thankfully there was a third, secret phase ! one that was literally unbeatable. genuinely, it was impossible. of course that was planned, to have the descendant save their asses and segway nicely into the second campaign, aka c4.

a thing i want to say : this page came to me just before going to bed. its written somewhat weirdly, with lots of "ands" and such, which is a result of that. it came to me just before bed, and then i scrambled to write it down on my notebook because i wasnt even remotely at that point in my rewriting.

also, yes, the descendant uses circles on jhin and melissa.

2-25 descendant's last words

i'm obviously not going to reveal all my secrets, but there are still a few things to say.

the first is about psatcwot in general. here, the descendant talks of the cycle of violence, the one at the core of psatcwot's themes. in the end, while psatcwot is a bunch of cool characters doing cool shit, its also, you know, war. cycle 4 shows this the best, so ill talk more about it there if i remember, but yeah. the thing of note here, is that the descendant talks about the cycle like... like the cycle is a thing. they talk about it as if it was a conscious entity

in a way, maybe it is ! just like how water flows down, and how fire devours, the cycle rotates and does everything it can to keep turning and turning. however, this does betray how i think of the cycle. when i think about some characters, or theorize cycles or narrative moment, ill often find myself thinking "this character is still taken by the cycle", or "this character has been released by the cycle", once again showing that i think of the cycle as something separate to this world, as something that takes hold of it.

this couldn't be farther from the truth, and i know it. the cycle isn't 'something'. the cycle is us. we are the cycle, and the cycle is within all of us. all of us who hate and spite, and who hope and cry. it's not something that mysteriously leaves us when it's done with us. and i think that c4 shows that very well.

although jhin and melissa were just told to go do something else, to stop caring about peace... we all know that's not going to happen. and if you read c4 and were rooting for jhin and melissa at the end... reconsider.

if c2 isn't very developed in its characters, and in its plot, i think it serves as a wonderful first real rotation of the wheels, one that would set everything in motion.

hi its laterpwu. who's formatting this. the oney yeah. this whole thing about the cycle 'releasing' people and it not being a thing that happen ? this is just kill 6 billion demons. at the point i wrote this commentary i didn't even know what that was, so i really didn't know when i was writing the cycle. i read k6bd when i was writing... c7, i think. but yeah. you can't escape violence.

did i have more things to say ? yeah, but id on't remember them, so, whatever. with that said, see you next cycle !