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"Sarge breathes his last, and the Jade Dragon Shiny makes its way out of him to hover into the air for a brief moment before coming to rest into King Bohunk's outstretched hands. King Bohunk thanks the recently deceased, and Red Cloud says his final goodbye, screaming Sarge's name to the heavens. That's right Red Cloud. Praise him in death as you did in bed -- er, I mean life."
     -Kelly, Legend of Dragoon Part 9




Absoludicrous.net
Alterra



Link to VGR!


Metroid: Other M : Part 1
By Ryan
Posted 07.02.11
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7
After the Ghalmanians are taken out, the hatch unlocks itself, and Samus heads to the next room. This one is a little weird; there's a giant green stalk in the middle of the room, with a catwalk curling up around it. As Samus makes her way up the spiral catwalk, she is occasionally ambushed by the plants clinging to the side of the giant stalk. These Grippers ("Mobile Venus Flytraps") are invincible until they spring into action, so Samus has no choice but to just jump quickly past every suspicious-looking plant and then kill the ones that try to ensnare her. At the top of the spiral catwalk is another, arced catwalk leading toward another vine-encrusted hatch. Samus destroys the Geemers, Reos, and Fly Pods blocking her way, missiles the vines, and heads through to another navigation room.

In this navigation room, as before, Samus steps onto the central platform to save and update her map. A yellow indicator appears and shows Samus her next destination: another navigation room in the Biosphere. This isn't getting tedious or anything. Plunging ahead, Samus finds herself in a narrow corridor with a bunch of football-sized pods on the ground. As Samus passes, the pods spring into action, revealing themselves to be Wavers ("Flying Clams"). Wavers are super obnoxious in that they take several hits to kill and occasionally spin through the air toward Samus, and deflect her shots as they do so, but Samus eventually manages to kill the lot of them.

Rated E for everyone.
 

The next room is long and relatively wide, and completely camouflaged to fit the Biosphere's natural decor, with flytrap-looking plants on the walls and vines and foliage covering the floor. Samus dispatches two Grippers near the entrance, and then slides down a very long and steep dirt slope, eventually finding herself at the beginning of a dirt path lined on both sides by jungle flora. Geemers and Wavers fill this lower area, and as they are killed, more appear from the jungle environment, so Samus runs past them until she can see a clearing and a locked hatch in the distance. As Samus heads for the hatch, she hears a monstrous screech, and in first-person mode we see a large cannonball-esque object roll down from the right and into the clearing. The cannonball charges at Samus, who leaps over it and sprints to the clearing. The cannonball is hot on her heels, and when Samus sensemoves out of its way and shoots it, the cannonball uncurls and reveals itself to be a Griptian ("Armadillo On Steroids"). The Griptian's general attack pattern is to roll at Samus, unfurl itself to slash at her, or dig underground and try to ram Samus from below. Samus uses her sensemoves to dodge these attacks, and after she's hit the Griptian with a few charged shots, it assumes a wounded position. The tutorial window can barely keep itself from crying "FINISH HIM!" and pops up to remind Samus that she can deal a lethal strike to tuckered-out enemies by tackling them while charging her arm cannon. Flipping him onto his stomach, Samus holds the Griptian in place with her foot and blasts it in the back of the head. Yikes. Just to make sure the victory wasn't a fluke, the game makes Samus fight another two Griptians, who also get the Cosa Nostra treatment.

Killing the trio of Griptians doesn't unlock the hatch in the clearing, but it does open up a second hatch at the top of some dirt steps to the right of the clearing. Samus heads up the steps and into the next area, finding herself in a narrow, museum-type hallway with a terrarium running the length of the hall. The hatch at the far end of the hall is blocked by a Super Missile-level blast door, whereas Samus's missiles are just the normal kind (take a shot), so Samus has to look for another way through. Noticing a morph-ball-sized hole in the terrarium glass, Samus rolls through. The terrarium is populated by Wavers, which Samus promptly destroys, and after they're all gone, a blue dot appears on the mini-map. It turns out that the hidden dildo is located in a ventilation duct above the terrarium, which Samus can climb into from the main hallway, so Samus exits the terrarium, leaps up into the ventilation duct, rolls as a morph ball into the neon blue dildo, and then follows the duct until it deposits her on the floor in the next room. It's so helpful when the game can combine the dildo-hunting with the dungeon-crawling, to streamline the process a bit.

Continuing down a flight of stairs and into the next area, Samus finds herself in another narrow corridor. At the very end of the corridor is a hatch leading to the Biosphere's "Breeding Room." Samus lowers her weapon and slows to a cautious walk as she enters, which at this point I've learned is an indication that the game is going to try to scare me. Even though I already know I won't encounter any enemies, because Samus has lowered her weapon, so it's hard to imagine how scary the following scene could be. Samus skips the observation area part of the breeding room and heads straight for the habitat. In FMV mode, we see Samus slowly enter the habitat, and the game does its best to be scary, pulling up the same CSI-camera angles and sound effect tricks it's been using fruitlessly all along. It's so adorable. After a few steps, Samus stumbles upon another dead lab researcher. Joe Bloggs isn't covered in green slime like John Doe was, but his lab coat is perforated in the same way, so it's hard to tell if they were killed by the same monster or not.

Samus wanks, "The large, cagelike booth looked like something had been raised in it, and in one corner was the miserable form of a researcher's corpse." If I had known that Samus was going to step in and recap this entire scene for me, I wouldn't even have bothered describing it in the last paragraph. Assessing the body, Samus somehow divines that Joe Bloggs and John Doe were killed by two different creatures, and continues, "as I studied the violence this creature had wrought, I felt something in the air-- the presence of a dark intelligence." To which I can only say, the way things have been going, I don't think Samus would know intelligence if it snuck up behind her and attacked her during a cutscene.

 
I bet the designers called this 'Scary Mode' during production.

After this short scene, I'm given control of Samus again, and she turns around and slowly waddles out of the Breeding Room. As she exits, the hatch locks itself behind her. Ominous. Samus tries to head back to the terrarium room, but the door connecting it to her current location is still blocked by the Super Missile blast door (take a shot), and the ventilation duct she used to get over here is too high off the ground to reach via jumping (take another one for good measure), so she'll have to find another way back over the wall. Samus heads through the hatch to the north of the blast door, and finds a small laboratory with a large glass canister in the middle. A Geemer floats inside. The Geemer appears to be dead, and doesn't pose any risk to Samus, but she just loves blowing stuff up, so she targets the Geemer and fires a missile at it. The missile shatters the glass canister and destroys the Geemer, but also reveals a hidden, morph-ball-accessible tunnel running under the lab. Samus hops inside and rolls through until it dumps her back into the original ventilation duct she used to get over the wall in the first place. Just for the record, the layout of this interchange makes no sense; Samus ended up higher than she started, and yet never rolled uphill or anything. Maybe the lab belonged to M.C. Escher.

A wild Chocomog appeared!
 

Samus heads back through the terrarium hallway and into the jungly/dirt path room where she fought the Griptians. As Samus heads down the dirt stairs and toward the clearing, the camera watches her from a strange location, near the ground and to the right of the path. The hatch in the clearing is still locked, so Samus heads toward the camera to investigate, but she doesn't make it very far before a rustling noise hits the soundtrack. Samus skids to a stop, and, in first-person waggle mode, the game sends me on a scanning expedition, like at the beginning of the game, to find whatever it was that caught Samus's eye. Samus zeroes in on the previous location of the camera, near the ground on the side of the path, and as she zooms in, a hard-shelled fruit rolls out onto the path, followed by a tiny, chirping, fuzzy thing with sinister eyes. It looks like the demonic offspring of a Moogle and a Chocobo. Durr, could it be the dark intelligence Samus was just alluding to a moment ago? The one that killed Joe Bloggs in the Breeding Room?

Because she's a woman and women are powerless against cute animals doing adorable things, Samus watches vapidly as the Chocomog pushes the fruit around and tries to stand on it before tumbling to the ground. It even flips over backwards trying to stand back up. Its antics would be even cuter if it didn't have such an obviously evil look on its face. When it notices Samus watching, the Chocomog runs away. It's super effective.

The hatch behind Samus suddenly unlocks, drawing Samus's thoughts away from the Chocomog, and Adam crackles over her intercom: "Samus, proceed through the hatch I just unlocked." Hold the fucking phone; Adam has been able to communicate with Samus this entire time? I kind of assumed, when they weren't talking to each other, that the only feed Adam could get off of Samus's suit was the visual one, and that they couldn't communicate unless Samus was hooked up to a navigation booth. But if they can talk to each other whenever they want, why aren't they keeping the comm-lines open while Samus is out exploring? You know, catch each other up on their lives since Samus went out on her solo career. We're supposed to believe that they have all this history and that Samus is really close to Adam, right? This would be the perfect time for the storytellers to SHOW this relationship rather than just telling us about it. At the very least, Adam could at least tell Samus that the Chocomog is obviously the monster that killed the scientist back in the Breeding Room, for instance. Ugh! It's so fucking stupid, the way these things are implemented in this game!

Samus wordlessly heads for the newly-unlocked hatch, and when she's in the middle of the clearing, she stops again. The camera pans down to show the Chocomog looking at her from further down the path. Samus apparently can sense this, because she turns to look at the Chocomog. They stare each other down. Even though Samus has no problem killing everything that moves, and she can clearly tell something is up with this creepy little animal, she doesn't shoot it. Better safe than sorry, Sammy! The Chocomog wags its tail a little bit. Samus turns and walks through the hatch. I bash my head against the keyboard.

 
Hitting your head against a wall? I know the feeling.

On the other side of the hatch is another long, jungly path. Samus heads forward, destroying Reos and Fly Pods as she goes, until she unexpectedly reaches an invisible force-field of sorts that she can't get past. Backtracking a bit, and looking for another way around, Samus notices some glowing bugs crawling out of a log above the left side of the path. Samus grabs on to the edge of the log and morphs into a ball as she pulls herself into it. Rolling through the log, Samus finds herself in a small, elevated clearing with a large, camouflaged machine. The machine, which resembles a lighthouse, drops its camouflage as Samus approaches, and when Samus interacts with the machine, we learn that it's a holographic projector. Samus uses the machine to deactivate some of the holographs in the room, revealing a hatch where Samus had just been stuck moments ago, and a blue dildo hidden along the side of the path. Samus leaps back down to the path, grabs the dildo, and heads through the new hatch.

The next corridor is full of Geemers, but also has a switch that activates some sort of airlock system that kills all the Geemers instantly. I don't know why they even bothered to put that room there. Beyond that, though, is another large, outdoorsy area. While the last two large areas were jungle-themed, this one appears to be desert-themed; there's sparse vegetation, red rocks, and a small waterfall. A bunch of Reos swarm at Samus from behind the waterfall, so Samus takes that as a clue to destroy the Fly Pod hidden back there and goes in to investigate. There's a small hole in the back of the secret cave hidden underneath the waterfall that leads through the red rocks, and allows Samus to access the ledge that the waterfall is flowing from. Near the mouth of the waterfall, Samus finds another holographic projector, which she disables. Doing so reveals that there is a large building at the north end of the desert room, but also awakens a sleeping Dragotix ("Peacock Monster with a Second Face instead of a Tail") and summons three Sidehoppers. Samus takes them out and proceeds through the hatch at the north end of the desert room.

The next corridor, again, if full of Geemers and has a switch that kills all the Geemers. Again, I don't know why they even bothered to put this room here. Samus grabs a blue dildo hidden under the floorboards, and continues into the next room, which is full of Wavers and has another slippery slope for her to slide down. At the base of this slope is a navigation room. Samus saves and updates her map, and learns that her next destination is another navigation room further along. Someday, Samus hopes to reach a navigation room that tells her to go somewhere other than the next navigation room.

But that day is not today, apparently, because this is all the footage I have filmed for now. That's a pretty anti-climactic spot to stop, but if I don't stop here, I'm probably going to go crazy and start narrating everything in my life to myself as it's happening. And that's what my twitter feed (@vgr_ryan) is for! In the next installment, which will probably happen in 2015, Samus will continue her investigation of the Biosphere, and meet up with the Space Marines once again. Well, most of them, anyway. We also get to do a really long pseudo-survival-horror sequence, which will just be fantastic, if the ones in this recap were any indication. Don't fall off the edge of your seat from the suspense between now and then!

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