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Author Topic: Technobabylon Mysteries *SPOILERS*  (Read 9736 times)

Offline crimsoncantata

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Technobabylon Mysteries *SPOILERS*
« on: May 24, 2015, 03:21:53 PM »
First, let me say I absolutely adored this game- the rich, layered world, the meaty story, and Ben Chandler's ever-more-gorgeous art rocketed to this into my top five before I was even halfway through. This is a fantastic piece of work on every level.

Of course, it's that very fantasticity that makes me want to keep thinking about it, and in doing so I came across a few interesting discrepancies. I  haven't gone through the commentary or even all the alternate endings so maybe these things are already  answered, but I had fun thinking about them, and maybe you will too.

Mysteries of the Mandala

   * Why was Galatea trying to blow up Latha? Without Latha to connect all the stolen minds to Central, all her plotting has been for nothing. (It doesn't seem possible that Kriesel, even ridden by Baxter, is acting on his own- he's talking about the plan with Galatea even as it happens).

   * For that matter (though this is more nitpicky than mysterious) Galatea seems pretty cavalier about handling Latha. If the mindjacker fails to capture, say, Baxter, presumably they can always find another science-mind to fill his place, but Latha is unique and irreplaceable. Yet they wait until the very last minute to secure her, and then take a most circuitous route, considering that Galatea has people inside CEL, eyes and ears everywhere,  and her own adaptive-camo Crisis Team for 'dynamic exfiltrations'.

   * I wonder why they abandoned Latha to city care in the first place? Even if Vargas didn't want her, Dr. Jeong seems to have continued research along the same lines, and would have been happy to have her as a resource.

Mysteries of Mind and Magnet

   *Regis rules out Stepford and his boys for the  restaurant bombing because the magnetic field in the kitchen shuts-down synths, and the waiter was killed in the kitchen. But surely it was the Bio-bomber who killed the waiter and took his clothes. Councilman Deane may have been a bit of a rotter, but I don't see him murdering a civilian face-to-face, stripping him naked, and tossing the body on a hook.
   
   *(Nitpicky) The timing of this is interesting. Presumably Deane has to open the vent after the restaurant is open, but how did the poorly-coordinated biobomber manage to kill and replace the only waiter in the joint without the chef noticing? If Deane got in before the restaurant opened, (knowing, perhaps, that the waiter comes in early to get everything ready for the chef), then he wouldn't need to open the vent, he could just let the biobomber in the same way.

   *(Musing) It's still odd the chef didn't notice his boy had been replaced. I wonder if the original waiter was actually another clone out of Texas, who managed to escape his overlords, throw off his conditioning, and start anew on the far side of the world, only to be slain by a virtual twin from the life he left behind. :'(

Mysteries of Murder Investigation

   *I was surprised that, after the leaving the scene, Regis has the murderbot, still dripping blood, just hanging out in his office. But this was nothing next to realizing that he'd dropped a bunch of crime scene evidence into his desk drawer, including Giels severed hand! I realize he's been hardened by years on the force, but yeesh. No wonder people think he's capable of murder. (By the by, can you use the hand for anything here? I tried to swap it out with biobomber corpse, but always ended up with the femur).

   *Not a nit, but the detectives are pretty clever to have worked out that Giels was dosed with a hallucinogen. After all, they can't see his memories, and Chanelle clearly doesn't understand what's happening.

   *Also not a nit but the conspiracy does get pretty lucky with Giels' murder. While the man himself would probably die of heart attack or aneurysm even without the synthoid disemboweling, its sheer luck that his husband, who also knew about the blackmail plot, is fatally wounded as well.

Mysteries of Mindjackery

   *It seems Galatea opted for the more murdery variation of mindjacking to keep her plans secret, but I wonder if she tried volunteers first. I bet there are a number of people who'd leap at the chance to upload their minds into an immortal city-god.

   *A shame Baxter didn't have more faith in himself. He kills Viksha because he thinks the failure of the project will make him unhirable, but even as a murderer with training that's two decades out of date, Vickerman goes to considerable trouble to acquire his services, and many people still consider him to be the very brightest mind in the field.

Mysteries of My Not Having Paid Close Enough Attention

   *My own fault here- I cussed out Jinsel for her betrayal when she appeared in the tower, and she disappeared forever, so I never found out what her deal was. Was her movement just a puppet of Jeong's conspiracy, or were they simply dupes, or independent actors?

   *I've heard internet rumors of a scene where Regis finds a girl trying to hang herself on Viksha's tree, and her portrait seems to show up in the concept art, but this scene didn't show up in my playthrough. Anyone know how to trigger it?


Anyway, that's what's has been on my mind for the past day. I'd love to hear what you think.

Offline RedRook

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Re: Technobabylon Mysteries *SPOILERS*
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2015, 10:49:12 PM »
Likewise! I loved the game (just finished it last night), and you've got some interesting points. I'll give my thoughts on the one's I think I have answers for.

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   * Why was Galatea trying to blow up Latha? Without Latha to connect all the stolen minds to Central, all her plotting has been for nothing. (It doesn't seem possible that Kriesel, even ridden by Baxter, is acting on his own- he's talking about the plan with Galatea even as it happens).

Hmm, I was very much under the impression that this was entirely Kriesel's plan, and that he was misleading Galatea on what was happening until afterwards.

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   * For that matter (though this is more nitpicky than mysterious) Galatea seems pretty cavalier about handling Latha. If the mindjacker fails to capture, say, Baxter, presumably they can always find another science-mind to fill his place, but Latha is unique and irreplaceable. Yet they wait until the very last minute to secure her, and then take a most circuitous route, considering that Galatea has people inside CEL, eyes and ears everywhere,  and her own adaptive-camo Crisis Team for 'dynamic exfiltrations'.

I think the plan was just to pick her up before the attack on the tower, but Kriesel screwed that up when he tried to kill her, which put her in the wind.

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   *Regis rules out Stepford and his boys for the  restaurant bombing because the magnetic field in the kitchen shuts-down synths, and the waiter was killed in the kitchen. But surely it was the Bio-bomber who killed the waiter and took his clothes. Councilman Deane may have been a bit of a rotter, but I don't see him murdering a civilian face-to-face, stripping him naked, and tossing the body on a hook.

Maybe, but on the other hand, the bio bombers are all suffering crippling bone conditions. The first one we meet can barely walk. I can't see them being able to overpower someone in close quarters. I also don't buy Deane's 'nice guy act'. He was willing to arrange for the murder of five people. And while four of them were pretty horrible people, Regis was present as well.

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   *My own fault here- I cussed out Jinsel for her betrayal when she appeared in the tower, and she disappeared forever, so I never found out what her deal was. Was her movement just a puppet of Jeong's conspiracy, or were they simply dupes, or independent actors?

The game heavily implies that it's Nina. They use the same colored text font, Lantha figures out that she's a scientist, and Jinsel also mentions that she's sitting down to dinner with some friends during their meeting in the Trance, which takes place around the same time that Nina was at the restaurant.

Offline Yuri

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Re: Technobabylon Mysteries *SPOILERS*
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2015, 12:41:48 AM »
   * Why was Galatea trying to blow up Latha? Without Latha to connect all the stolen minds to Central, all her plotting has been for nothing. (It doesn't seem possible that Kriesel, even ridden by Baxter, is acting on his own- he's talking about the plan with Galatea even as it happens).

RedRook is right - Galatea was actually mad at Kriesel because he wanted to murder Latha out of revenge and she wanted her alive for her own plans. He is talking about the plan with Galatea - but their plans as for Latha are quite different!

   *Regis rules out Stepford and his boys for the  restaurant bombing because the magnetic field in the kitchen shuts-down synths, and the waiter was killed in the kitchen. But surely it was the Bio-bomber who killed the waiter and took his clothes. Councilman Deane may have been a bit of a rotter, but I don't see him murdering a civilian face-to-face, stripping him naked, and tossing the body on a hook.
   
I don't think it was the Biobomber. They are poor youth who can sacrifice themselves for the greater goal, you know, but not murder other people. Deane was capable of planning to blow up several persons, wasn't he? And he decieved the biobomber with writing him that action would be a noble and holy deed. So, I think it was he who murdered the waiter.

   *A shame Baxter didn't have more faith in himself. He kills Viksha because he thinks the failure of the project will make him unhirable, but even as a murderer with training that's two decades out of date, Vickerman goes to considerable trouble to acquire his services, and many people still consider him to be the very brightest mind in the field.

You are right - I am sure that the whole idea of 'Baxter being mad at Regis'originates from the early version of the plot where it was Regis who had accidentally killed his wife - and framed Baxter for that, so Baxter wanted revenge. Later they decided Charles is not capable of such crime, but 'Baxter killing Viksha' and 'Baxter wanting to revenge Regis' are not very grounded motives either.

   *I've heard internet rumors of a scene where Regis finds a girl trying to hang herself on Viksha's tree, and her portrait seems to show up in the concept art, but this scene didn't show up in my playthrough. Anyone know how to trigger it?

This scene was in Alpha - I had seen it there, but it was cut for a reason, as that girl had nothing to do with the main story. You can see her only on the original freeware edition of 'Technobabylon' I think.

Offline crimsoncantata

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Re: Technobabylon Mysteries *SPOILERS*
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2015, 11:42:09 AM »
       Thanks for the help! I'm definitely going to keep a closer eye on Kreisel next time around. Though if he really did try to kill Latha against Galatea's orders, I'm surprised she doesn't just kill him. After all, Latha is integral to the plan, and Kriesel, once he drops off Baxter's mindstate, has outlived his usefulness. I wonder if their relationship goes deeper than just employer/contractor (maybe he was the first person she 'came out to' as an evil genius?).

       I also want to sort out the early game timeline- I remember there being some timeskipping, so I'm not quite sure whether Baxter or the HR guy* is the last mind to be captured. Also, Baxter's killing clearly seems set up as a trap for Regis, but of course Kreisel doesn't hate Regis until he's already killed Baxter. Does he just think fast, or had they already planned to remove Regis from the equation just to get CEL off their back? And how can Baxter have planned Latha's death 'for years' if he didn't know she existed until he was merged with Kriesel (I mean, obviously he's hated Regis for years and years, and is eager to get back at him, but that doesn't quite constitute a plan).


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I also don't buy Deane's 'nice guy act'. He was willing to arrange for the murder of five people. And while four of them were pretty horrible people, Regis was present as well.

Deane actually says afterwards that he never would have done it if he knew Regis would be there. But the more I think about it, the more I think you're right- I was initially hung up on the weirdness of Deane killing the guy, then just leaving his neatly folded uniform in the kitchen, but maybe the bag you find in the vent wasn't brought by the bomber, but left by Deane for the bomber. He could have easily just left the uniform there. Have to go back and read item descriptions...

*I'm actually really curious about this HR guy. Of all the people in the city, HR specialists & consultants, staff coordinators, CEOs and the like, Galatea picked him as having the genius-level people skills** to become part of Central 2.0. What was this guy like?

**I wonder if G considered Dr. Jeong as a candidate- genius level people skills and scientific brilliance, plus an intimate knowledge of Central itself. If Kreisel had taken her out a few weeks ago, this would have been a very different game...

Offline crimsoncantata

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Re: Technobabylon Mysteries *SPOILERS*
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2015, 03:03:38 AM »
Not exactly a mystery, but I like to think there was a deleted scene when Max first gets to Vargas' office-

VARGAS: ...and this is my daughter, Galatea.
MAX: Oh, she must have been grown as part of that project you worked on with Regis.
VARGAS: What!? Er, I mean, what makes you say that?
MAX: Name's a bit of a giveaway, don't you think? Galatea, the perfectly sculpted creation then brought to life? From the story of Pygmalion?
VARGAS: I, uh, don't think I know that one.
MAX: Are you sure? There's a painting of it right on the wall here.
VARGAS: ...
VARGAS: I have to go.

Offline Nathan Allen Pinar

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Re: Technobabylon Mysteries *SPOILERS*
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2015, 01:50:47 AM »
Quote
*I'm actually really curious about this HR guy. Of all the people in the city, HR specialists & consultants, staff coordinators, CEOs and the like, Galatea picked him as having the genius-level people skills** to become part of Central 2.0. What was this guy like?

Thralls seem to have better compatibility with the trance, so that may have been a factor.

Offline crimsoncantata

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Re: Technobabylon Mysteries *SPOILERS*
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2015, 11:18:23 AM »
Excellent point. I'd been thinking that his addiction and emergency trance breaks showed him up as a less than ideal employee, but of course it's the perfect quality for someone who's going to interface with a machine permanently.

Offline ne0nblack

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Re: Technobabylon Mysteries *SPOILERS*
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2015, 03:19:46 PM »
Hello folks,

maybe someone could help me out with a little story explanation.

Just finished the game (amazing! though a little too much dialogue options imho), but it took me too long (like 4 months) because I had to stop playing often for a longer period.

I got the Central plot and the mindjacking thing.

What I totally didnīt get is the Hacker/Terrorist/Jahiliyyah or whats his name thing.

Who is he / who are they? Why did they lure Latha to the airship?

Unfortunately, no time for another playthrough. ;P)


Offline Technocrat

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Re: Technobabylon Mysteries *SPOILERS*
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2015, 06:42:11 PM »
Well, it's tucked in amongst dialogue and background things here and there, so a lot of people won't have seen it the first time around!

Unsurprisingly, spoilers below.

Jinsil is in fact Nina Jeong, who (among her various connections) helps out the underground hacker/media group Jahiliyyah. She needed to get Latha out of CEL, so she made use of her Jahiliyyah role to facilitate this.

She also needed a connection into Galatea's secure systems on the airship, so by getting her to the Xanadu airfield, she was able to both convince Galatea that she was helping her, while also making the connection she needed through Latha's own systems.

Hope that helped!

Offline Madscientist

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Re: Technobabylon Mysteries *SPOILERS*
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2016, 10:52:29 AM »
Hi there
First I have to say that you made a great game and I really enjoyed playing it.
I played it once and than once again with comments on.

I got some questions:

about Latha and the attack on her:
- Why is she an unemployed thrall while Galatea (her clone) is the "daughter" of Dr. Vargas, the creator of central?
- If Galatea is the administrator of central and she has her own soldiers, why does she send the mindjacker (who tried to kill Latha) to get Latha?
- Why does the mindjacker use charlie to kill Latha? He has killed many people before and it should not be difficult to attack an unemployed trance addict who never leaves her home.

Giels death:
- If I understand the game correctly, he died because he put the storage module and the wine enhancer in the same fridge and the module influenced the wine enhancer. So this was an accident.
safety instruction for all labs: Never put food in the fridge for chemicals and vice versa!

about Nina:
- She send Latha to the airship (as Jinsil). By doing so she made Galateas plan possible (Galatea needs Latha alive and she failed to kidnap her because of the stupid mindjacker). I thought Nina wants to stop Galatea, not to help her. Why does she send her the only thing that is missing to finish the plan?

about the explosion at the party:
- Did he plan to use the biobomber to kill everybody involved in the conspiracy (including himself)? In the game, the plan failes (whatever the plan was) because Charlie sees that the waiter is a biobomber.

- This is a really strange group for a conspiracy. All of them want to remove central, but everybody for completely different reasons. I think that if you choose to help Nina, they will start to kill each other one second later.

bug/plot hole:
- On my first playthrough I won the tennis (gravball?) match without cheating. Since I did not get the drug it was strange that Latha managed to get past the guard. When I played again, it was also strange that the drug reduced the reaction speed of a fat boy who likes computer games, but it can knock out a soldier in seconds.

comments:
- For a cyberpunk game this is a really nice future.
- Before I played with comments on, I would have never guessed that Newton is in Somalia. Now Somalia is one of the most instable places in the world and much of it is controlled by terrorrists or warlords. I thought Newton is in north America. USA/canada are countries where most people are immigrants (not native indians) so it is normal that there are people who come from all areas of the world.
- I loved the comment where you discuss with Dr. Lao about the android/gynoid. I made an RPG with the RPGmaker2000, where the character often have discussions with the developer about stupid game design.
PS: A robot that looks like a human and the gender is not specified (like you talk about robots in general) would be a humanoid, right?
- Now I know why real cops are usually not a PhD in bioengeneering. The way how they deal with peaces of evidence is terrifying (kicking a body to see if its dead, fishing in a pool of blood, play with body parts, . . . )