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Covid-19 Update for December 8: 1,727 new cases, 1,397 recoveries, 9 deaths + Announcement of additional mandatory measures
Data is taken from the Covid-19 portal and today's availability by Dr Deena Hinshaw, Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, and Minister of Jobs Doug Schweitzer. Dr Hinshaw's next availability is tomorrow. There are currently enhanced measures in effect for multiple regions of Alberta and have been enhanced as of today. This link provides a quick summary of which ones are in effect for different regions of Alberta. Top line numbers:
For values where "Current" and "Total" are the same, I have left results under Total
Cases with "Unknown source"
10,575 (83.9%) in last 7 days
+19,071 (~9.06% positive)
+45/+35 based on yesterday's post/portal data
+9 (4x 70-79, 5x 80+)
Spatial distribution of people tested, cases, and deaths (since yesterday):
All other values are compared with respect to yesterday
New People Tested
Spatial distribution of cases for select cities and regions (change since yesterday) (cities proper for Calgary and Edmonton):
High River county
I.D. No 9 (Banff)
Wood Buffalo municipality
Rest of Alberta
Other municipalities with 10+ active cases is given at this link Schools with outbreaks are listed online. Quick numbers (as of today):
108 schools are on Watch (+2)
141 schools have 2-4 cases (+10)
Spatial distribution of hospital usage (change based on yesterday's post):
Hospitalization zone are where the patient is receiving care, not zone of residence
Statements by Premier Kenney Opening Statements
Here to lay out additional health measures which are necessary to protect healthcare system and save lives
Alberta has faced most of the year with lower levels of spread, hospitalizations, and fatalities
Having said that, last few weeks are different
Incredible work is being done by healthcare workers in face of this
Delays in surgeries have occurred, which for some may result in a shorter lifespan
Not doing anything now will result in continued growth of hospitalizations and further strain on healthcare
On advice of chief medical officer, restrictions have occurred. Government realizes that this can impact businesses and cause adversities
Knows many feed policies are unjust and why provincial government has stressed education first instead of using policy
On the other hand, while space can be made, it will have further health impacts (e.g. running out of capacity in hospitals)
If stronger action isn't taken now, hundreds or thousands more Albertans will die
Data appears to suggest a stabilization (around a reproductive factor of around 1.2), but that isn't enough
As of today, all outdoor and indoor social gatherings are banned
The mask mandate will expand to all indoor places, with exception of rental homes and farm operations
As of December 13th, 12:01 AM:
(1) Retail, grocery stores, and shopping malls are restricted to 15% of capacity, down from 25%. Kiosks are open for takeaway service only. Malls cannot be used for socialization and shopping only
(2) Places are worship to 15% occupancy with previous restrictions applying. Online and drive-in services are still recommended
(3) Restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes are restricted to takeout and delivery services only. This will open up their access to provincial and federal supports
(4c) Indoor entertainment (e.g. libraries, science centres, water parks)
(4d) Trade centres
The restrictions do not apply to service visits, healthcare, or childcare .
(5) All Alberta employees must work from home unless employer requires physical presence for operational reasons (up from a recommendation)
No changes to schools beyond what was previously announced
These are all province wide and will be in effect for 4 weeks
Goal has been to be targeted. However, the whole province is seeing significant spread
Knows the holidays are important for many people
The hard truth is that the single source of spread is at-home gatherings
If we let people gather for Christmas, we'll see a spike in cases
We can't let that happen, so please follow the gathering restrictions previously noted (only in-household or with 2 close contacts if you live alone)
Increased Enterprise Support
This isn't the fault of anybody who followed the guidelines
Until the contact tracing system was overwhelmed, we didn't see it being the fault of business owners
But we are seeing spread so widespread, it doesn't matter how careful you were
These are decisions are a last resort
Knows this impact will be real. So financial support for small and medium size enterprise
4x growth in small and medium enterprise relaunch grant, while lowering eligibility from 40% of revenue lost to 30%. This will also be retroactive to March
Thanks Albertans for their work for most of the past 9 months
We are seeing the end with vaccination possibly beginning in weeks...the end is in sight
Why now, instead of two weeks ago?: Goal is to reduce contacts, assuming Albertans respond. This should be a very strong message and reduce transmissions. Measures have been increasingly harsh because each restriction creates harms, will hurt people who have sunk all their money in a business, and potentially increase self-harm. So this is a last resort
Why keep retail open instead of just curbside?: Encourages curbside, but some people may not be able to live without basic goods. Even most stringent policies around the world have kept retail open in some capacity. Feels the designation of essential and non-essential businesses in spring was a mistake
Why is cabinet being transparent about the reproductive value (R or Rt)?: Are preparing ways to publicly present this data, as well as healthcare capacity. Targeting next week
Do you think the softer measures before will cost lives/make economic recovery more difficult?: Shutting down early would have had significant impacts. Thinks it'd be a huge mistake to draw correlations between strictness of restrictions and outcomes and that there is a reasonable balance being stuck
Since you defined Covid representing "a tiny percent" of deaths, 300 deaths have occurred. There have been significant growths in hospitalization and cases. Do you take personal responsibility?: Rejects the premise of the question and calls it more of an "NDP speech". Feels the province has done more than other jurisdictions, especially early on. Also notes that BC, who has a government of opposite end of the political spectrum, has had a similar approach
Statements by Minister Shandro Additional Details on Health Measures
Goal is to limit in-person interaction
Retail restriction has a floor of 5 people
Ski hills can remain open, provided restrictions are followed
Realizes that this is a lot to take in, but person-to-person exposure is fuelling the spread
We need limit contacts and be aware of the situation around you (even outdoors or at the grocery store)
How does outdoor gathering ban even work?: Goal is to restrict social gatherings. So do not socially gather indoors or outdoors. If they gather in a park or on the sidewalk, that isn't allowed. Difficulty will certainly lie in enforcement and hopes it won't need to be used. It will be up to law enforcement to determine if they feel they need to use it
(Additional comment by Dr Hinshaw: Intention is to prevent group social activities. Not prohibited is fitness activities provided distancing occurs)
Statements by Minister Schweitzer Opening Statements
Wants to make people aware that there will be significant impacts. This is not lost on anyone in government
Knows many people are impacted because people have ignored public health orders.
Additional Details on Small Business Supports
40% may not be able to re-open after these closures without supports
Small businesses may now qualify for $20,000 support (up from $5,000) with a decrease in revenue lost to 30%
An additional 15,000 businesses should be able to qualify for this (totalling 500 million dollars)
How many people will be affected with these restrictions?: ~30,000 businesses will be affected. Will be seeing how many people
Statements by Dr Hinshaw Cases
426 schools have active cases (~18%) with total of 1,701 cases
108 schools on watch list (5+ active cases)
The Royal Alexandra Hospital has decided to place facility on "Watch" status as a precautionary measure
Hospitals are safe places to receive care, but be aware that staff are under extreme stress
Edmonton Zone will enact additional measures:
(1) Postponing up to 60% of non-urgent surgeries (up from 30%)
(2) Diagnostic imaging may be reduced by up to 40%
(3) Ambulatory visits and procedures may be reduced as needed
AHS will contact those who are impacted
This is why these measures are needed and a sign of how Covid may impact more than the ill
Scope of the Situation
If you gathered all the people who have tested positive, it would be the 5th largest city in Alberta
1/3 people have been tested
On October 8, positive rate was 1.34% with 184 cases in province
Today, positive rate is 9% and 7 day average is 1,785
Outbreaks in almost all group settings
People from 1 to 108 have been infected
Knows restrictions will impact many people
The fastest way to get there is to embrace these restrictions
Knows many people have embraced already, but everybody will need to do more
Why do we think these measures will work, after the last two rounds?: This is the most significant round of restrictions. Points to Israel as an example (who shrunk their cases faster than even their first wave). Target will be to bring the health system out of risk
If someone is coming in from out of province, is that allowed?: If it's someone from out of province, it isn't allowed
A follow up question noted an example of family members in Alberta were quarantining were 2 weeks before Christmas. Challenge is that enforcement of a "quarantine" will be difficult to control. Province is saying "gathering for Christmas" won't be allowed with people who don't live in the home. Knows it's a big imposition but any suggestions like in the question may cause a Thanksgiving-like increase in spread
Covid-19 Update for November 24: 1,115 new cases, 916 recoveries, 16 deaths + Announced Restrictions to Limit Covid-19 Spread
Data is taken from the Covid-19 portal and today's media availability by Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, and Dr Deena Hinshaw. Minister of Eduation Adriana LaGrange, Deputy Minister of Eduation Andrew Courbold, and AHS CEO Verna Yiu were also present, but did not speak. Dr Hinshaw will be available every day this week. There are currently enhanced measures in effect for multiple regions of Alberta. This link provides a quick summary of which ones are in effect for different regions of Alberta. Top line numbers:
For values where "Current" and "Total" are the same, I have left results under Total
Cases with "Unknown source"
7,538 (88.0%) in last 7 days
+13,617 (~8.19% positive)
+20/+15 based on yesterday's post/portal data
+4/+1 based on yesterday's post/portal data
+16 (3x 60-69, 70-79, 10x 80+)
Spatial distribution of people tested, cases, and deaths (since yesterday):
All other values are compared with respect to yesterday
New People Tested
Spatial distribution of cases for select cities and regions (change since yesterday) (cities proper for Calgary and Edmonton):
High River county
I.D. No 9 (Banff)
Wood Buffalo municipality
Rest of Alberta
Municipalities with 10+ active cases is given at this link Schools with outbreaks are listed online. Quick numbers (since yesterday):
65 schools are on Watch (+1)
117 schools have 2-4 cases (+3)
Spatial distribution of hospital usage (change based on yesterday's post):
Hospitalization zone are where the patient is receiving care, not zone of residence
Statements by Premier Kenney Opening Statements
Pandemic is "once in a century" event that has affected everyone
Has received lots of heartbreaking/heartfelt letters and read some out of them in the meeting last night
Letters include concerns about family impacts and economic impacts, as well as the loss of life
Has phoned front line healthcare workers over weekend and sought out their advice
Has noted the hesitation of further restrictions before and focus on targeted measures. The vast majority of Albertans have worked to the guidelines
Spread is speeding up and is significant at long term care. We need to do "everything we can" to protect them. That requires dedicated work from the community
Must also protect healthcare system. Healthcare system is at risk, and Edmonton Zone is an example of the trade offs that now must be made. Other services will have to be put on hold if the trend continues, even with the spending in it
Measures below were not taken lightly. These are the "minimum restrictions needed" right now to protect healthcare system and avoiding widespread damage to livelihoods
Declaring a State of Public Health Emergency in the province of Alberta
Series of mandatory measures also approved:
For social gatherings: No indoor social gatherings will be permitted in any setting and outdoor social gatherings will have a limit of 10 people
For funerals and weddings: 10 in-person limit and no receptions will be permitted
Social events have been one of the biggest driver of cases. Weddings and funerals are one of the biggest widespread drivers of transmission ("This is just a reality")
These social gathering restrictions are province-wide and can be subjected to fines
An emergency alert will be sent to all Alberta phones this week to make Albertans aware
Gatherings of worship services will be capped of 1/3 of Fire Code with mandatory masking if region is under enhanced status. This is now mandatory. This will be evaluated mid-December
Effective Friday, for regions under enhanced status, three temporary restrictions will be added at businesses and services:
(1) The following will be closed: banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, concert venues, community centres. All levels of sport too, but must apply and have an approved exemption
(2) Retail businesses and services will be limited to 25% of occupancy limit
(3) Hair salons, personal wellness services, hotels, and professional services will be limited by-appointment
In-person dining and bars can continue, but must abide by guideline. Each dining tables will be limited to 1 household
Asking all workers that can work from home to do so. Government of Alberta will do so
These will be reviewed in mid-December
On November 30th, Grades 7-12 will end in-person schooling for 2020 and Winter break will begin December 18. In-person learning will be delayed until January 11, 2021
Effective immediately, masks are mandatory in Edmonton and Calgary Zone
The measures are tough, but necessary to protect Albertans from a "crushing lockdown"
Knows this will be hard and encourages people to shop local
Will give a chance to review before Christmas
If the measures do not have meaningful impact, further restrictions will be made in December
Q&A - Announced Restrictions
Alberta has had some of the least stringent measures and highest cases rates. Is today's announcement that it failed? Why are we doing the "minimum"?: Thinks the response has been effective for a long stretch of time. Obviously an issue has cropped up in the past few weeks. Also notes a "chase after 0 [cases]" shutdown won't be the goal and that restrictions and interventions, in accordance with Charter of Rights, should be limited to minimizing infringement of rights to achieve a goal
How will you enforce gathering restrictions?: No "snitch line", but will be expanding enforcement officers (Level 1 and 2 peace officers) to enforce orders and writing the tickets (up to $1,000/person). Anticipates officers will see if obvious "large gathering signs" will be noticed
How is in-person dining not "indoor gatherings"? How do you feel about doctors recommending closing in-person dining?: Notes dining is one household and limited spread in dining centres and asks those with a secure paycheck ("particularly a government paycheck") to think about those who sink life savings in dining services
Why are stores being restricted if they are not a significant cause of spread?: Compares well to other provinces who have fully closed retail. Thinks it was a grave mistake to allow big box stores to remain open because they had grocery/pharmaceutical sections while small businesses must close. That said, restrictions must be made to limit social spread
Due to challenges with Albertan spread information, what data is being used to make the decisions?: Points to data from previous 8 months
Are you confident that these measures will control cases by December 15?: Yes. Notes the challenging balance between infringement of rights and controlling cases. Also hopes this will be a "wake up call" to those not following the guidelines
(Interjection - I felt this was important and it needs to be separated from the above question). Kenney recognizes he will get quite a few people "on [his] Facebook page" angry at the restrictions. Wants to emphasize this is not a lockdown. Nor is this an abstraction. If you know someone waiting for surgery, this is to protect them. It's not about politics, but for them. It's not something he wants to do and is upset about the situation. But it's not enough to complain. Challenges people to explain how to grapple with timely healthcare access if Covid continues to spread and more need care
Q&A - Future Restrictions
How bad will it have to be to announce a lockdown?: Would like to avoid it if possible. Key metric will be hospitalization (in particular, ICU), measured against capacity. (Interjection - The wording of the rest of the response was focused on more targeted measures if these restrictions do not limit spread within 3 weeks)
Are there specific thresholds for lift measures/add more measures?: On 15th of December, reproductive value (R) must be <1 to lift measures. Ideal target is 0.80. We are currently at 1.3 in Edmonton, 1.1 in Calgary
Q&A - Other
Where is Alberta when it comes to vaccine and rapid testing?: Alberta depends on the federal government. Notes disappointment in the slow roll out of rapid testing (though 577,000 tests have been delivered). Hopes to announce more roll out details in the week. For vaccine, Oxford trial has also headed to mass production (giving Canada 3 incoming vaccines). When it arrives, will likely begin with healthcare workers and vulnerable populations
Statements by Minister Shandro Further details on the above guideline
Indoor social contact should be limited to you household. If you live alone, you may have two non-household social contacts
Indoor social gathering gatherings doesn't apply to home based services
Funeral/wedding gathering limits can result in $1,000 fine, up to $100,000 through courts
Additional details for restaurants/bars/pubs/lounges: Must follow 4 points: (1) 6 person/table limit, all from one household, (2) same note as above for single person household (and limited to the same two people), (3) only seated eating/drinking allowed, (4) no other services are allowed (e.g. billiards/darts)
Encourages takeout/delivery/curbside pick up when possible
Enhanced screening of measures will begin
Retail services extends to bingo halls, fitness, pools, etc. No group fitness is allowed, nor team practice or games
Casinos can be open for slots only and follow the liquor laws of bars and casinos
Warning: massive amount of text ahead. I created a mostly functional race route around the world (all loactions like buildings, businesses, landmarks, etc. are REAL locations and could theoretically actually work in the race). I tried to have a good variety in locations and types of challenges, but it's really hard! I find it a lot harder to complain about challenge design after making this. Even though this could technically happen there are probably some safety concerns in going to South Africa and Lesotho and it's probably not possible for the American Amazing Race to film in Cuba, but I decided to do it anyway. If you have any questions or feedback please let me know! RACE #2 Leg 1 (USA - Japan) Leg 2 (Japan - South Korea) Leg 3 (South Korea - India) Leg 4 (India - Oman) Leg 5 (Oman) Leg 6 (Oman - South Africa) Leg 7 (South Africa - Lesotho) Leg 8 (Lesotho - Greece) Leg 9 (Greece) Leg 10 (Greece - North Macedonia) Leg 11 (North Macedonia - Cuba) Leg 12 (Cuba - USA) LEG 1 USA - Japan Start at Cloud Gate, Chicago, Illinois Run to clue at Millenium Monument Clue #1 Make your way to the Gunma region of Japan, and travel to Sarugakyu Onsen. However, to get your tickets to Japan, you must make your way on foot through the busy streets of Chicago to Navy Pier, where flights will be given out according to the order of your arrival. Flights go to Tokyo, and you must make your own travel arrangements from there. Flight 1 (5 teams): Chicago - Los Angeles - Tokyo, arrives 8:00 AM Flight 2 (4 teams): Chicago - Tokyo, arrives 9:30 AM Flight 3 (2 teams): Chicago - San Francisco - Tokyo, arrives 9:45 AM Clue #2 Both team members must go into the hot springs and search it for the partly submerged cluebox to get your next clue. Clue #3 Travel to Sarugakyo Bungy for your next clue. Clue #4 Roadblock: Who’s ready to take a jump? Bungy jump at the largest bungy jump in all of Japan at 62 meters, or over 200 feet! Once you’ve taken your leap of faith, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #5 Travel to Uenokunirokunomiya Haruna Shrine, Takasaki, for your next clue. Clue #6 Create one string of paper cranes in Senbazuru. Senbazuru is the crafting of 1000 paper cranes for good luck. Following the demonstration, learn how to craft paper cranes. Once you have created forty of them and strung them together, deliver them to a Shinto priest at Akiba Shrine. He will give you your next clue. Clue #7 Travel by train to Akihabara, Tokyo, and go to the top of the Tokyo Skytree to receive your next clue. Clue #8 Roadblock: Who can ‘go’ kart? The teammate who did the first roadblock cannot do this one. Travel to Akihabari Street Kart 1 and dress up in one of the many ridiculous costumes the company has to offer. Then, join a fifteen minute go-karting tour around the streets of this bustling region and look for three enormous signs in race colors with three different Japanese characters on them. If you can spot and write all three characters down correctly during the rush of Tokyo, you’ll receive your next clue. If you can’t get it right, you’ll have to join the next available tour. Clue #9 Travel to Horin Park on foot to find the first pit stop! The last team to check in here may be eliminated. Pit Stop, Leg 1 trip to Canada last: eliminated LEG 2 Japan - South Korea Clue #1 Fly to Busan, South Korea! Upon arrival, make your way to Beomeo-sa for your next clue. Fast Forward, Leg 2 Go to Songdo Beach and swim out into the ocean, locating the five whale statues in the water. At each statue, pick up marked letter tiles. Once you have all seven (two statues have two tiles), you can go back to the beach and unscramble the letters that spell out the name of a traditional South Korean delicacy that the other contestants eat at their first challenge. If you get the right word, you’ll be given a clue that takes you straight to the end of the leg. Clue #2 Master the art of Korean meditation. If you can master all of the moves correctly, then your instructor will give over your next clue. Clue #3 Head to Taejongdae for your next clue. Clue #4 Roadblock: Who’s desperate to eat? Take the marked path over one mile uphill to the marked food stand, and finish one serving of Soondae, a traditional South Korean delicacy that is made of pig intestines and pork blood. Once you have finished the food, you can run down to your partner and get your next clue. Clue #5 Take the Songdo Marine Cable Car from Songnim Park to Amnam Park to receive your next clue. Clue #6 Detour: Fish Identity or Fish Delivery Fish Identity: Go to Jagalchi Fish Market and search for the marked stall. Once there, sort an enormous box of fish and organize them. Once the stall owner approves, put them up for stock in the stall to receive your next clue. Fish Delivery: Go to Jacky’s Seafood and take three orders and three addresses that need to be delivered. Once you have delivered all the fish to all the correct addresses throughout the Gamcheon Culture Village, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Make your way to the pit-stop at Haedong Yonggungsa. The last team to arrive may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 2 -first: trip to Belize -last: non-elimination LEG 3 South Korea - India Clue #1 Fly to Hyderabad, India, and go to the Charminar for your first clue. Clue #2 Travel to Ramoji Film City Main Entrance to receive your next clue. Speed Bump, Leg 3 Make your way to Saha’s Adventure Park and zorb down a steep hill. Once you’ve made it, you can continue racing. Clue #3 Detour: Birdy Woods or Bollywood Birdy Woods: Dressing up in clumsy bird costumes, search through Asia’s largest aviary for a cutout of the bird your partner is dressing up as. Once you’ve found the two cutouts, head to the Bonsai Garden. If you match the right bird, you’ll receive your next clue. Bollywood: Head to Ramoji Movie Magic. Dressing up in traditional Indian outfits, memorize a short dance to the tune of some Bollywood music and perform it to the live audience and judges. If you meet their standards, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #4 Head to Nehru Zoological Park where your next clue will be waiting. Clue #5 Take an amazing elephant ride! With both teammates on the elephant’s back guide it through a short course. If you can reach the end in under two minutes, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #6 Make your way to Bidar Fort by public transport for your next clue. Clue #7 Roadblock: Who’s itching to get etching? One team member must help in the process of the creation of bidriware. First, you must chisel one section in the piece of bidriware very precisely. Any error and you must restart. If given the clear, then you must then make their way inside Bidar Fort and collect a total of three baskets of soil for the artisans to use later in the process. Finally, you must use some of the soil you collected and coat a piece of bidriware in it. If every part of the challenge was done to the satisfaction of the artisans, you will receive your next clue. Clue #8 Make your way to the Bahmani Tombs and the pit-stop! The last team to arrive will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 3 -first: trip to Japan -last: eliminated LEG 4 India - Oman Clue #1 Fly to Muscat, Oman! Once you have arrived, make your way to Al Alam Palace, where you will find marked cars waiting outside. Your clue will be waiting on the car. Clue #2 Drive all the way to the Nizwa Souq in Nizwa, Oman, where you will find nine different tags, each releasing teams at different times the next morning, when you will be given your next clue. Tag 1: departure at 7:00 AM Tag 2: departure at 7:05 AM Tag 3: departure at 7:10 AM Tag 4: departure at 7:15 AM Tag 5: departure at 7:20 AM Tag 6: departure at 7:25 AM Tags 7-9: departure at 7:30 AM Clue #3 Detour: Selling Goats or Weighing Dates Selling Goats: Navigate through the souq to the weekly goat market. You must select a seller and help them sell their goats. First, thoroughly clean five goats so they are ready for selling. Then, parade five goats around the “walking circle,” where potential buyers will inspect which goats to buy. You must finally buy a goat yourself, haggling for a price under 100 riyals, or 260 US dollars. Once you can purchase a goat, you will receive your next clue. Keep the goat for the next challenge. Weighing Dates: Find the marked stall in the souq that is selling dates. Your goal is to weigh out 200 grams of Ajwa Dates, 175 grams of Barhi Dates, and 125 grams of Hayani Dates. To do this, you must travel across the market to a scale at a different date stall. If you can get the perfect amount of dates, you will receive your next clue. Keep the dates for the next challenge. Clue #4 Travel on foot to the Contemporary Mosque with either your goat or dates and trade them with the man waiting out front for your next clue. Clue #5 Make your way back to the souq, and head to Omani Craftsman's House where you will find your next clue. Clue #6 Roadblock: Who can work and weave? The teammate participating in this roadblock must help create a small basketwork bowl. After watching the example, you must use the provided materials to finish off the bowl. If it meets the requirement of the shop owner, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Make your way to the pit-stop for this leg of the race, Nizwa Fort! The last team to arrive may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 4 -first: continue racing -last: continue racing LEG 5 Oman Clue #1 Drive yourself to Bimmah Sinkhole in Muscat, Oman! You will receive your next clue after having a cup of delicious locally-made coffee. Caution! Double U-Turn ahead! Clue #2 Detour: Script Write or Shipwright Script Write: Drive to Bait al Zubair and go into the Manuscript Room. Using a provided paper and translation guide, figure out what the marked manuscript says in English. If anything is wrong when submitting it, though, you must start completely over. Shipwright: Drive to Oman Maritime Boatyard and find the marked boat. Oman Maritime has been reviving the craft of making the traditional wooden boats of Oman’s past, and you must help with the process. First, you must hand-sand a small section of the marked vessel. Then, you and your partner must work together to stitch coconut palm fiber through twenty holes, or eighty total stitches. Once you’re done, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #3 Make your way to Mutrah Souk for your next clue and the U-Turn board! Clue #4 Search through the enormous market for one of three marked stalls. One you’ve found a stall, search through their wares for a trinket with a red/yellow flag on the bottom. Give the correct trinket to the shop owner, and they will hand you your next clue. Clue #5 Drive yourself to Qurum Beach, where you will receive your next clue. Clue #6 Roadblock: Who will pass the shells? For this challenge, one team member must watch the demonstration of two fishermen playing a traditional Omani game, Al Hawalees. You must first create a “board” in the sand and collect the required amount of shells to play. You must then challenge a local fisherman. If you can win while following all of the rules correctly, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Make your way to the pit-stop at Wadi Bani Khalid. The last team to check in will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 5 -first: trip to Tanzania -last: eliminated LEG 6 Oman - South Africa Clue #1 Fly out of Oman to Durban, South Africa, on one of two flights. Flight 1 (2 teams): Muscat - Durban, arrives 7:30 AM Flight 2 (6 teams): Muscat - Dar es Salaam - Durban, arrives 8:00 AM Upon touching down, make your way to Moses Mabhida Stadium, where you will find your next clue. Clue #2 Roadblock: Who will swing for the skies? One team member must strap in and complete the Big Rush Big Swing, the largest swing in the world! Dive 263 feet down. Once you have finished the swing, you will receive a section and seat number. You will search the stands for your next clue. Clue #3 Make your way to Umhlanga Lighthouse for your next clue. Clue #4 Shake it up! In this challenge, you must create Lighthouse Bar’s famous “Umhlanga Schling.” Use the provided recipe to create fifteen drinks to perfection, and you will receive your next clue. Clue #5 Head to Addington Beach and dig underneath one of the large sandcastles for your next clue. Clue #6 Detour: Tree or Sea Tree: For this detour, go to Durban Botanical Gardens. Use a provided golf cart to make your way to the famous Wood’s Cycad, a tree dating back to the age of dinosaurs. It has been cared for here since 1848. Once there, use one of the provided pieces to put together a large 3d puzzle of the tree. Once it has been approved, you will be handed your clue, and you can drive back to the front of the gardens and continue racing. Sea: Go to uShaka Marine World and help out with some chores! First, help the kitchen staff and prepare 5 pounds of specially made vegetables for some of the aquarium’s fish. Second, travel around the park and take water samples from each of the specified exhibits. Finally, record blood test results taken during routine health check-ups. If you’ve completed all of the steps correctly, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Head to the pit-stop at Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World! The last team to check in may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 6 -first: 5k each -last: eliminated LEG 7 South Africa - Lesotho Clue #1 Drive yourself through Qacha’s Nek and into Lesotho! Once in Lesotho, drive yourself to Maletsunyane Falls where you’ll find your next clue. Fast Forward, Leg 7 By completing this fast forward, you will skip an overnight rest point and will be able to head directly to the pit-stop. Head to Sehlabathebe National Park. Once there, using the provided map and compass, ride by horseback to the nomadic tribal people’s current village. At the village, help cook pap-pap, a type of porridge common in Lesotho. The first team to complete the challenge will be able to head directly to the pit-stop. Clue #2 Drive yourself to Seshoeshoe Decor and Fashion Designers in Maseru for your next clue. Clue #3 Who can cut up a pattern? One teammate will choose one of the complicated tribal Lesotho designs, and must find five pieces of fabric that match it perfectly. But be careful, the designs have miniscule differences between them. Once you’ve found all of your fabric, cut them at the directed places to receive your next clue. Clue #4 Make your way to the Subeng River Dinosaur Footprints, where you will find seven tags, each releasing you at a time in the morning when you will receive your next clue. Tags 1-2: departure at 7:00 AM Tag 3: departure at 7:20 AM Tag 4: departure at 7:40 AM Tags 5-7: departure at 8:00 AM Clue #5 Detour: Cave or Maze Cave: For this challenge, go to Liphofung Cave. You must memorize all of the rock paintings in a specified section (15 paintings), and then run approximately a quarter-mile away and select the correct paper cutouts and put them in the right order as they were shown in the cave. When you have everything selected and ordered correctly, you’ll receive your next clue. Maze: Make your way to the second largest dam in Africa, Katse Dam. Enter the first marked gallery and record the air temperature and the humidity. Use those observations to crack a complicated code, and enter the parallel gallery it directs you into. Be careful, it might be hard to find! If you enter the correct gallery, you will find a boat key, which you must give to the boatmaster. He will then give you a small ride around the reservoir and you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #6 Drive yourself to Sani Stone Lodge for your next clue. Clue #7 Help a local Basotho Shephard and their dogs move their sheep to a new grazing location. Don’t let the sheep get away! Once they’ve all been successfully moved, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #8 Make your way on foot to the pit-stop at Sani Top Chalet! The last team to check in may be eliminated! Pit-Stop, Leg 7 -first: trip to Egypt -last: non-elimination LEG 8 Lesotho - Greece Clue #1 Via Maseru International Airport, make your way to Athens, Greece, known to be the home of the first democracy! From there, make your way to the Theatre of Dionysus on The Acropolis, where you will take part in a U-Turn vote. The two teams with the most votes will be sentenced to an automatic U-Turn when they arrive at the detour. After the vote, teams will be given their next clue. Clue #2 Fly to Chania, Greece on the island of Crete! Upon touching down, use the provided cars to make your way to the Agora and search for the marked stall. Speed Bump, Leg 8 Together, team members must eat through a total of twelve Greek figs. Once all of the fruits have been stomached, that team can continue racing. Clue #3 Detour: Traverse or Immerse Traverse: Make your way to the Maritime Museum of Crete, and find the small yacht model outside the museum. Your goal is to remember as much as you can without writing it down, then make a half mile walk through the streets of Crete to the yacht harbor, where you must find a marked yacht and rearrange the items until it is just like it was in the model. Once the actual yacht matches the model, you’ll receive your next clue. Immerse: Travel to Minoan’s World 3D Museum, and get treated to a five minute long “9D movie” on Cretan History which engages all of your senses. If you can answer all five questions correctly, you’ll receive your next clue. However, only two teams can participate in the show at once. Clue #4 Drive to the Palace of Knossos for your next clue. Clue #5 Use the provided map to navigate through the ruins, collecting puzzle pieces at each of the marked rooms. Once you have all ten bundles of pieces, head outside and recreate the large painting using the pieces you collected. Once it has been finished, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #6 Drive to Cretan Olive Oil Farm for your next clue. Clue #7 Roadblock: Who is feeling oily? In this challenge, one teammate will help in the process of creating olive oil. First, set up special tree-shaking equipment and a net, used to efficiently get olives out of the tree without bruising them. You will then sort the olives between bruised and fair. Finally, crush both bruised and fair olives with a traditional granite olive press. Once they have been successfully grinded into a paste, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #8 Find the pit-stop along the coast of the small village of Loutro back on the west side of Crete. You will soon discover, however, that the village is completely blocked off from the mainland by mountains, so you will have to find alternate transportation. Hurry, because the last team to arrive will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 8 -first: trip to Austria -last: eliminated LEG 9 Greece Clue #1 Fly back to the mainland in Thessaloniki! When you’ve arrived, search Aristotelous Square for your next clue. Clue #2 Detour: Serve or Observe Serve: For this detour head on foot to Bougatsa Giannis, a renowned restaurant in the Ladadika area. You must take the orders of twelve total people and retrieve the correct dishes for them from the kitchen. Each person also has a dessert, which must be retrieved from nearby pastry shop Trigona Elinidi. You may take notes, but if you mess up someone’s order, you must start it over again. Observe: Go by taxi to the Thessaloniki Science Centre Technology Museum and make your way to the main planetarium. The night sky will be projected above, and will be moving around you at one hour of regular movement per second. Using the provided key, identify five Greek constellations first identified by Claudius Ptolemy- Orion, Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, Centaurus, and Perseus. Be careful, it might be dizzying! Once you’ve found all of the constellations, you’ll be rewarded with your next clue. Clue #3 Find the Arch of Galerius for your next clue. Clue #4 Use one of the marked cars to drive yourself for the rest of the leg. Go to the Thessaloniki Concert Hall for your next clue. Clue #5 Roadblock: Who can blow a note and hold a tune? Macedonian brass bands are extremely popular in the Macedonia region of Greece, so for this roadblock, learn how to play the trumpet, a popular instrument played in these bands. If you can play a few notes of the folk song with the band, you’ll get your next clue. Clue #6 Drive to Dalamara Winery. Once there, follow the guide to the directed area, where you must load two empty kegs onto a horse drawn cart. Direct the horse approximately half a mile through the vineyard and return back to the kegs. You will continue to load and deliver a total of eight kegs to receive your next clue. Clue #7 Drive to Ski Center Voras and take the lift to the top where Kajmakcalan, a chapel right on the border between Greece and North Macedonia is situated. The last team to arrive at this pit-stop may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 9 -first: trip to Colombia -last: eliminated LEG 10 Greece - North Macedonia Clue #1 Drive yourself across the border into North Macedonia to Popova Kula Winery! Once there, pull a tag that departs you at a certain time the next morning. Tag 1: departure at 8:00 AM Tag 2: departure at 8:10 AM Tag 3: departure at 8:20 AM Tags 4-5: departure at 8:30 AM Clue #2 Roadblock: Who is a master chef? The teammate doing this roadblock will use the provided recipe to cook the national dish of North Macedonia, Tavche Gravche, a special type of baked beans. If it is cooked to perfection, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #3 Drive yourself to the Millenium Cross in Skopje for your next clue. Clue #4 Detour: Art Block or Charity Walk Art Block: Drive to the Art Bridge, which is home to 29 statues of important Macedonian artists and musicians. Wandering on and around the bridge are 29 people dressed up as those artists and musicians. You must match nine total people to their statues. A maximum of three teams can complete this challenge. Charity Walk: Drive to the Mother Teresa Memorial House and load a trolley cart with a marked group of items that will almost completely fill the trolley. On foot, travel to the SOS Children’s Village National Office where you are to deliver the items. If you do not choose this option, your items will still be donated after the leg. Clue #5 Drive to the city of Struga, where the North Macedonian national anthem was created. Make your way to the Saint Archangel Michael Cave Church for your next clue. Clue #6 Teammates must work together to memorize four total stanzas of the Macedonian national anthem- in Macedonian. If you can perform it with the orchestra without forgetting the lyrics, you’ll receive your clue to the next pit-stop. Clue #7 Drive to the Monastery of St. Naum and the pit-stop! The last team to check in may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 10 -first: trip to Indonesia -last: eliminated LEG 11 North Macedonia - Cuba Clue #1 Make your way back to Skopje, then fly to Havana, Cuba, on two predetermined flights. Once there, go by taxi to Taller Calle 8, a car repair shop, where you will receive your next clue. Flight 1 (2 teams): Skopje - Paris - Havana, arrives 6:30 AM Flight 2 (2 teams): Skopje - London - Miami - Havana, arrives 7:10 AM Clue #2 Roadblock: Who can fix it up? The teammate doing this roadblock must follow the example to repair one of the classic Cuban cars. If it makes it past inspection, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #3 For the remainder of the leg, you’ll have to drive the car you just fixed. Head to Fusterlandia, where you’ll find your next clue. Clue #4 Find where the attached image is in person throughout the folk neighborhood of Fusterlandia. If you can find where the image actually is and show the judge, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #5 Sell the Box or Find the Band Sell the Box: Drive to Santa Maria del Mar Beach and sell the provided boxes of boxed rum, the “juice box for bug kids.” While never selling any box for under 25 Cuban Pesos, make 375 Cuban Pesos (around fifteen US dollars). Once you’ve made your sales, you’ll receive your next clue. Find the Band: For this detour, drive to the Cuban Art Factory and observe the large, marked piece of sheet music in the first room. Going from room to room in the factory, try to find the band who is playing the music that was in the first room. You must make your guesses ten minutes apart, so be confident in your answers! Once you have chosen the right band, you’ll be rewarded with your next clue. Clue #6 Drive to Vinales Valley Tobacco Field and search the marked area for your next clue. Clue #7 Perfectly roll ten Cuban cigars, five per contestant. Watch the example closely, as any small mistake in rolling the tobacco leaf will cause the cigar to fail. Once all of the cigars have been perfectly rolled, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #8 Take a long drive to the eastern side of Cuba and the pit-stop at Ignacio Agramonte Park in Camaguey! The last team to check into the pit-stop will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 11 -first: trip to Botswana -last: eliminated LEG 12 Cuba - USA Clue #1 For the first part of this leg, you’ll be staying in Cuba! Drive yourself using the car you used in the last leg down Neptuno street in Havana, where you will find a guarapo stall with a flag. Clue #2 Using the hand-press to crush sugarcane, make forty glasses of guarapo. Once all of the glasses have been successfully made, you’ll be handed your next clue. Clue #3 Drive to the Tropicana Night Club for your next clue. Clue #4 Roadblock: Who can make it and shake it? For this challenge, one team member must follow the instructions of the costume designer to create a costume for one of the showgirls. If the costume is made correctly and given a pass, teams will be given their next clue. Clue #5 Teams must drive to Aeropuerto de La Habana Ciudad Libertad, where you will embark on a charter flight to Key West, Florida, back in the United States. Once in Key West, teams must go to the southernmost point in the continental United States for their next clue. Clue #6 Make your way to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where you’ll find your next clue. Clue #7 Roadblock: Who is a reader, a writer, and a decipherer? Ernest Hemingway, known for books like The Old Man and the Sea, had a notoriously bad handwriting, with little regards to punctuation or accuracy. One team member must copy one of Hemingway’s notes perfectly, letter for letter, on the provided typewriter. If it was typed perfectly, you will be handed a decoder key which you can use to find the hidden message, which will reveal the location of your final challenge. Answer: Smathers Beach Clue #8 Now that you’ve made it to Smathers Beach, you’ll partake in a final challenge. Out in between the marked buoys are bundles of letter tiles. You must dive down to retrieve them and bring them back up to shore. Figure out what you’re supposed to spell out with them, and once you think you have the answer, hang the tiles in order on your clothesline. If you have the correct answer, you’ll be given the final clue. Answer: United States, Japan, South Korea, India, Oman, South Africa, Lesotho, Greece, North Macedonia, Cuba, United States (teams must figure out that they have to spell out all of the countries they visited in order on the race) Clue #9 Congratulations! Make your way to the final pit-stop at Fort Zachary Cruise Pier! Go, go, go, the first team to reach the pit-stop will win 1 MILLION dollars! Pit-Stop, Leg 12 10 countries 4 continents over 27,000 miles first: 1 million dollars
After the unfortunate death of Grace, we move on to the next episode, three, titled “Alex”. Now, I obviously know who Alex is, but at the time he just kinda came out of nowhere, so let’s see what this new character has to offer. Last time they did this it was Sketch, which was a fucking shambles. Let’s go. The camera pans across to an alarm as we see a map and some sailing paraphernalia as some dodgy music starts playing (perfect opportunity to use Fisherman’s Blues but whatever). Some bloke (Alex) then counts down the seconds before his alarm goes off and then hops up and gets dressed. He picks up a list with 6 numbers and some writing written on it and he also picks up a die. Alex then takes some breakfast to a woman who I assume is his grandmother and then gets a call from his dad who asks him if he’s ready to move house the next week. Alex’s grandmother makes a rather disrespectful gesture at the sound of Alex’s dad’s voice, who mentions that she’s being put in a home soon. She then calls him a “silly old twat” when he hangs up (wow, how she gonna do her own son like that?) and asks if he even wished Alex any luck. She tells him he doesn’t need it anyway and Alex is next seen messing about with his die and list at a bus stop. Alex is next seen being shown around Roundview by Doug, who tells him that his father changed some of his subjects around (what a silly old twat). Alex is introduced to his class, which Liv, Mini, Alo and Nick are also in and we find out that Doug is now the head teacher (finally, the real MVP is leading the line). Alex messes about with his die again as he and Liv share a glance. He sits in the canteen and notices Grace’s memorial, while also looking at Liv as she pours some vodka into her drink (just casually in the middle of a school I might add). He catches her eye and they smirk at each other (fuck me, first Rider, then Matty and now Alex. Liv does love a proper impromptu relationship). Alex takes out his list of six options (which I’m not gonna type out, but they’re all a bit odd) and rolls his die. He lands a two, which is “punch the next person to walk in”, who just happens to be young Alo Creevey. He’s arguing with Nick, who’s complaining that he’s partners with Rich for some project, but he’s obviously not in for the foreseeable future. Alex then gets up and fucking sparks Alo out of it in front of everyone before helping him up, apologising and telling him it’s “only numbers” as he walks off. Liv seems impressed (didn’t realise she liked some good old assault). We then see Liv at her locker, who approaches Mini and confronts her about avoiding her lately because she doesn’t want to talk about Grace, which Mini denies. Mini gets upset and storms off, the lurking Alex in the background viewing the whole thing. Liv notices him and asks him what his deal is and why he socked poor Alo. He then gives this whole “numbers” thing (which I get is supposed to be a quirk of some sort, but it’s really cringeworthy to me). He then demonstrates, rolling a three and then kissing Liv. She reciprocates...by slapping him. She then sort of smiles and they introduce themselves to each other. And then she’s walking to his house (like I said, it doesn’t take much to convince old Liv to do anything). Alex then finds his Gran in a closet and introduces her to Liv. She tells Liv she “likes to colour” of her and they share a laugh. Alex then serves then beans on toast (good bit a food that) and Alex’s Gran does some reminiscing. However, things go south when she starts talking about being put in a home and about Alex’s dad. As he sees Liv out, she invites him to the pub, Alex telling her he might come. Alex then reads to his Gran and ignores a call from his dad. He arrives at the pub (despite not knowing what time they were going at) and sees the gang minus Rich (and Matty and Grace obviously) looking rather dejected. He goes over and asks if any of them want a shot (Alo getting confused and thinking Alex is offering him out). As Alex goes to get drinks, Alo complains about him and Mini tells Liv they don’t need any new friends (honestly, the way characters treat each other in this show, it’s hard to believe they’re friends at all). Nick comes up beside Alex at the bar and he asks Nick what Grace was like, Nick telling Alex he’s alright but just to “leave that alone” (yeah, why is Alex such a nosy twat?). Liv introduces them all to Alex, Mini quickly downing her shots before going for a dance with some prat. Alex notes Alo’s annoyance at Mini’s behaviour as he points out that they’re all “a little on edge” (I don’t really think Angie’s psychology class would be needed to spot that to be honest Alex). Alo then gets up to dance, nobody joining in, Nick telling him that’s gay (this show would be cancelled today just for that joke alone). Alex then gets a phone call and goes outside as Nick agrees to dance with Alo. Being the only two alone, Franky and Liv gaze at each other, not speaking. Alex has another angry phone call with his twat of a father and then goes to some shady casino with Liv. After an intense poker game with a load of Asians which ends in an Alex victory, one of the players goes mental and accuses Alex of being a “fucking cheat”. Alex then invites the man for a game of heads and tails for the money, daring the man to choose tails, which he does. He flips the coin to the man, which lands on heads. Liv collects the money and Alex shakes the man’s hand and they start to walk away. However, the man discovers that Alex used a double sided coin and he and Liv have to leg it. Alex then has to go back to his Gran and gives Liv some of the money. He kisses her cheek before she heads off. He then takes out his phone, goes on some gay dating app and hooks up with some man (well, that came out of nowhere). Alex gets offended when his fling offers him some money, Alex exclaiming that he’s “not a rent boy” before ripping up the money, kissing the man’s cheek and leaving. Alex does his countdown before alarm nonsense again before caring for his grandmother and ignoring his father. We then see him in school as Liv approaches and he rolls his die again. He lands a one so he and Liv break into someone’s house. The house they’re in is messy with porn magazines scattered around (Sid’s house maybe?). To mess with the guy, they clean up, leaving his room spotless. Liv starts making a move on Alex, who starts to explain something to her (likely that he’s gay) but they have to run when the man (who’s not Sid unfortunately) comes home. They head back to his but Alex finds his dad at home. They have an icy exchange, Alex wanting not wanting to put his grandmother in a home and offering to look after her. He leaves and tells Alex he’ll be back later. We then have a nice scene as Alex dances with his grandmother, Liv joining in. We then see Alex at college, introducing Nick to the concept of the die. Nick starts reading off his list which involves outcomes such as hanging himself and getting into heroin (that might’ve been the best tragic humour this show has done). Alex tells him to starts smaller and they start to make a new list until they’re interrupted by some bloke who’s making an announcement (he’s literally the biggest Percy Weasely I’ve ever seen). He announces they’re having a memorial service for Grace, his manner proving to be off putting for Liv, Nick, Alo and Mini who don’t want to go. However, things turn sour when Mini accuses Liv of trying to speak for all of them, causing Liv to get upset. Alex goes after her and finds her crying. He consoles her and Liv kisses him. However, just as Mini approaches to, Alex reveals to Liv that he’s gay (which shouldn’t be surprising considering each generation needs a gay character. This wouldn’t be Skins otherwise). She calls him a headfuck (I can’t stress enough how overused that word is in this generation) and accuses him of being spineless. She gets angry with him as Mini reveals herself and piles on, Alex leaving. Liv then tells Mini to do one. Alex sprints out of the school and back home. He calls his grandmother, finding her in bed, her eyes shut. He looks at her bedside locker, picking up the empty pill bottle that was lying on its side. Alex takes the picture of the boat that was in her hand, kissing her head as he starts to cry. We then see Liv at Grace’s memorial, stony faced among the tearful crowd. Percy Weasely whips out a keyboard and him and some other girl sing, to Liv’s disgust. Mini and Franky join her and they look on at the distasteful glorifying of Grace’s death. Franky marches up and pulls at Percy’s keyboard, insulting him (wait, there might be enough time for redemption for Franky...). Liv joins and smashes his keyboard and then flashes the crowd (...Liv. Why’d you do that?). She runs off crying and gets a phone call from Alex, who’s watching her from afar. He apologises and offers to help her. “With everything”. A blue van pulls up near the sea (or just some stretch of water at Bristol. My UK geographical knowledge isn’t amazing, but isn’t Bristol coastal? Like near Wales and that?). The gang (minus Rich of course) get out and we see a man loading stuff onto a boat. Alex stands aboard and they all sail out. They have a drug fuelled party out at sea. When Liv asks Alex if he stole the boat (yes Liv, I forgot how simple it is to steal a whole fucking boat) but he says he rented it because he thought they all needed it. When Liv questions his motives as he didn’t know Grace, he tells her he “needs a friend right now” and then motions at Mini, telling Liv that “so does she”. As Liv and Mini try and fail to reconcile, Mini sits down on something. She then becomes curious to what it is, freaking out when she finds Alex’s grandmother’s body resting inside. The gang then question Alex’s decision to bring a dead body to their boat party (which is understandable. Alex is alright but he could definitely be the type to murder them all and sink the boat). He goes on to explain that he wants them to help him bury his grandmother at sea. Before they dump her in the water, he reads from that sailor diary, the gang crying about Grace, before they throw her on the water, the casket floating for a few moments before Alex does some weird finger gun shit, counts to down from three, then shoots the casket, it sinking on his cue. Franky then rings Matty, going to voicemail, then telling him it’s her and “don’t ever come back”. Liv and Alex agree to be mates and Alex does another die roll, rolling a six, “Always run away”. So they both jump in. Liv throws the die and they both swim after it. Okay, new character introduced. And he’s actually pretty good. Obviously he’s a bit overly enigmatic and is definitely not a realistic teenager, but he’s got a pretty good story and just made the season more interesting and brought it back to life. I know this episode was a bit bleak, but Alex’s pretty ridiculous ongoings in this episode really shadowed the entertaining stories that we saw in Gen One and Two. He was a real breath of fresh air, as was this episode in general. Anyway, take note of: - Character of Alex - Fractured morale among the group - Gang somewhat coming to terms with Grace’s death - Franky’s voicemail to Matty - Alo and Mini’s romantic tension So yea, that was a refreshing episode. It might’ve been a bit over the top, but Alex was the kind of character needed to keep this generation interesting and to add something new. And the overall plot of this one was quite good for all the characters. Overall Rating: 8/10
Hello everyone, happy new year! With recent release of Cayo Perico but not much else I wanted to touch base with the community holding out for GTA Online in Liberty City or Vice City, and debrief from the Cayo Perico DLC. Even though Cayo Perico came out unexpectedly (to us), it is a small but welcome addition to the GTA Online world. I believe that we still have reason to cling onto hope that that Liberty City will sooner rather than later, and Cayo Perico is a stepping stone to that demonstrating the map expansions are possible. While I no longer think that we will see a remastered city come this generation of console, but we still have GTA V "Expanded and Enhanced" coming in 2021 which may have much more than just GTA V itself.
Reasons why I think that GTA V "Expanded and Enhanced" is more than just GTA V with updated graphics
GTA V XB1 & PS4 versions already work fine in XBSX/XBSS/PS5. It looks and runs great, similar to a PC level of detail/performance. Why would a significant update be needed if it will be much the same if they didn't have big plans on top of that?
Cayo Perico proves that Rockstar's idea of "Expanded" can mean land expansion
Cayo Perico sounds like it was more a like a side project during COVID-19 WFH than something in the works for a long time. It is not unreasonable to think that Rockstar, with all their global studios now merged together, haven't been working on something big since the bulk of RDR2 was finished.
Why are they being so vague about the details, even to go as far as using a PS3 trailer for it... are they doing this because they are hiding something? Even being so far to be anticlimactic to take off the pressure from fans, and surprise us later.
What Cyberpunk 2077 has taught the overall gaming community lately is what happens when you overpromise and underdeliver. However Rockstar already learnt this lesson back in 2015 when they promised Heists in GTA Online, which kept being reworked and delayed until near the end of the PS3/360 generation and copped a lot of criticism for it. Basically every social media comment was "Where are the Heists", fans were frustrated. From that time onwards they never released details until about 2 weeks out from launch for a DLC. RDR2 was a bit longer, but only because they had other partners to consider. For this they originally gave it 1 year from announcement to release date, but it was delayed to 2 years, with PC one more year after that (which also wasn't even announced until one month before that). Here is a quote about what went wrong with Heists:
We aren’t ready to give an official release date yet, but we are confident they will be ready early in 2015. As you may have read on IGN, Heists were a much bigger challenge to create than we had originally anticipated. Early versions were simply not good enough and had to be scrapped more than once as we honed in on how we thought they should work. We’re happy to say that the pack we are now finalizing is something we are excited by and eager to release as soon as it is ready. We, as a company, have always been about trying to make something that is good rather than hitting a date. We apologize when this gets frustrating but firmly believe that rushing out second-rate content does not do anyone any favors. Hopefully you agree that yesterday’s new Trailer is a sign that Heists are shaping up nicely, but we still need some time to fine tune them. Because we need a little time to get Heists right, we are going to give you a small Christmas gift to keep you entertained until we are done with them.
Reasons why I think something related to Liberty City is most likely to be the next major GTA Online expansion to come
GTA IV & EFLC is highly regarded as a masterpiece, it's fanbase is still strong - many still prefer it to GTA V for a variety reasons, so it is a good candidate for a remaster. They can always make the GTA IV car physics, ragdoll, etc. come back again, perhaps as a user configurable option. Having the map there is the gateway to bringing these highly valued games back to a new generation.
The availability of GTA IV is terrible. It is only a Backwards Compatibility title on Xbox One (non Enhanced), runs like rubbish on PC - performance wise (and multiplayer is now removed), and the PS4 & PS5 doesn't have it at all. Most other GTAs are available for purchase, at least on Mobile.
GTA V is now 7 years old and the GTA fanbase is now bigger than ever thanks to GTA V & Online. A lot of new fans haven't had the opportunity to experience GTA IV because of the above availability issue. The new fans are desperate for a new (to them) GTA game, especially since it doesn't look like GTA6 is coming any time soon. Or maybe I'm wrong and 6 is coming soon as well?
GTA Online is progressively getting new content referencing to Liberty City or content ported from Liberty City (i.e The Tugboat, QUB3D), so they are not above re-using GTA IV assets or dropping hints.
It is clear that they have been taking the "lazy" route as far as making new content for GTA Online DLCs by re-using existing assets. Don't get me wrong there is still a lot of work involved, but still it is less work than starting from scratch.
But it would make sense that they will continue their more recent M.O. to re-use existing assets rather than start from scratch to save time, effort and cost.
Porting the Liberty City map to GTA V engine can't be that difficult, given that even PC Modders have already been able to do it unofficially (FiveM/OpenIV), so just imagine what Rockstar can do when doing it properly.
There were only about 10 multiplayer modes in GTA IV Multiplayer, it wouldn't be hard to bring those back to GTA Online game modes to recreate that missing experience.
With high profile departures of the writers such as Leslie Benzies, Dan Houser & Lazlow there is no doubt going to be a brain drain. I'm sure they were working on stuff before their departures, and I'm sure that RockstaTake-Two with all their billions of dollars will be able to find other top talent to bring GTA into a new era, but this will take time, and they can get things out in the meantime. The story of GTA IV, Map & other assets are already made, so this gives them a head start to put out games while they rediscover their Mojo to make GTA6 using new talent.
GTA Online is a Big Money Maker, it will make the GTA IV & ELFC remaster worth it because the remastered map will be used for both GTA IV & Online: LC (maybe slight map differences according to time period).
Why did they put so much effort into issuing cease and desists to OpenIV team for OpenIV's LCinV project (even though it used original game files, no piracy) if they weren't planning on doing something in this space themselves.
Cayo Perico aside (which is still quite small), Los Santos as the primary setting of GTA Online is still a bit stale after 7 years. They can't use 2013 Los Santos forever, surely. Not to mention that a new GTA release is already well overdue.
GTA IV Music Licensing speculation/hints
A little while back, a lot of music track licenses expired and they were pulled from the PC version, most notably Vladivostok FM was most affected with most songs removed. They put in some new tracks to replace it, which wasn't quite as good but it seemed like that was as good as it's going to get. But then they went ahead and relicensed the original tracks anyway so all the music is now restored again (about 16 months after being originally cut). Why go though all that expense of relicensing all that music if they aren't planning to capitalise on it in a big way?
Cayo Perico speculation/hints
Not much here directly, but I have played with it a little bit. The way that it's programmed is interesting. As far as I can tell, travel to the island is sharing a session with Free Mode rather than being a different game mode, which you can tell by seeing the player list stay the same as whoever is in the Freemode session you were in. There is no loading of a different game mode, it is just a cut scene. On PC you can even chat to people who are still in Los Santos. When you look at the map, you are located South-East of LS (just past USS Luxington), and if you move the mouse you can get locations of LS show up, it's just the map itself which is hidden. There is a glitch you can do to "free roam" the whole Island, or just go to the Beach Party standalone, it is clear that you are in Free Mode of an existing Los Santos based lobby. When I was glitched, I was able to take a Dinghy back to LS, LS was visible. about halfway there, the whole Cayo Perico just de-spawned similar to how the USS Luxington does, and also the weathenight cycle changed instantly too. When I was glitched but still on the Island, a whole bunch of functions were disabled like spawning cars, calling contacts, etc. What this shows me is that perhaps they are experimenting with how integration with Future GTA Maps will look like. Instead of loading a whole different game, or loading a different game mode, it could be one big Free Mode made up of all locations, the locations can not be directly accessed without triggering a cut scene, and the properties of how a Free Mode works can change depending on what location on the broader map you are in. One challenge I anticipate is that they wouldn't want GTA$ earned in LS to be transferred to a totally new GTA Online area. It is well known that a lot of it glitched and they'd want us to start getting rich again. They have also been experimented with holding separate currencies such as Arena Points or Casino Chips. I could imagine that they come up with a storyline where all your GTA$ Cash gets deposited into Maze Bank but then can't be withdrawn to cash or moved to another bank, and in LC you are forced to use a competing bank like the Bank of Liberty. Basically LS = only get Maze Bank, LC = only get Bank of Liberty. Cars/Planes etc. Can be not widely transferable (i.e. You MKII or Babushka holding a car has engine failure mid flight and crashes, or maybe you need to go to the Airport marker on food), and maybe some planes (i.e. Luxor) can enter on a visiting basis via. Cutscene of that vehicle but can't be saved at the destination into a personal hangar.
I hope this gives some good for thought. Keep speculating! At least until we get some solid info Here's to 2021.
Ohio - A large island amusement park similar to Cedar Point, possibly during a Halloween event. Your target and several of his employees have rented out the park for the day. Some assassination opportunities include: making a rollercoaster derail when your target is taking a private ride, drop tower malfunction, poisoned margarita served at the restaurant next to the beach section, disguising as a haunted house attraction monster, Ferris wheel sniping, cutting the brakes to a go-kart, starting a carousel at full speed before the target gets on his horse, beating the target to death with a whack-a-mole hammer at the arcade, poisoned cotton candy, disguising as a clown and concealing a bomb inside of a balloon, etc. New Jersey - a large zoo. Kill opportunities include: well, it’s a zoo. You can imagine the possibilities. Bruges - the beautiful, scenic city of Bruges, Belgium. I imagine many opportunities related to the city’s canals and its archaic architecture. Possibly with some subtle references to the 2008 dark comedy “In Bruges”. Zurich - a luxury train in Switzerland. I dunno I just think the layout of a train could make for a very interesting and challenging map. South Pacific Islands - this mission takes place on a cruise ship which is hosting a hard rock & heavy metal music festival. One of the targets being a member of one of the bands performing. Possible kill opportunities: “pyrotechnics failure”, disguising as the band’s guitarist to get backstage and bludgeon the target to death with your “axe”, drowning the target while he’s in a hot tub waiting for his groupies to show up, causing a slot machine in the yacht’s casino to electrocute your target by messing with its wires, engaging in a rigged game of Russian Roulette in some shady secret room near the casino, making a lighting fixture crash down onto the target during his concert, etc. Utah - a ski resort up in the mountains. Your targets have rented the resort privately for a couple’s vacation leaving only them, their guards, and those who work on the grounds of the lodge. Make sure that it’s one vacation they won’t live to forget. Kill opportunities: making a cable car or ski lift plummet to the ground, burying a bomb in the snow and detonating once a target snowboards or skis into its vicinity, throwing a propane tank down into the fireplace of the lodge’s common room, disguising as a loggelumberjack and making a large tree land on the target, disguising as a logger to gain access to a chainsaw, feeding a target into a woodchipper (Fargo style lol), poisoning a milkshake the couple orders at the lodge’s diner so that their romantic mutual drinking kills two birds with one stone, sneaking into the targets’ room and rubbing bear bait into the husband’s hunting clothes before he goes on a hunting trip in the nearby woods, etc.
Hey all. Here’s another post with another person’s ideal additions to the game. And yes, I want bugs to be fixed, too. I just wanted to write up a list of things besides bugs, since we all know they exist. I’ve organized these by categories to an extent, but some of them certainly overlap. Gameplay: * Decisions that affect the game. I understand that can be difficult given the multiplayer nature, but it is not impossible, and very much needed. * Phasing. This builds on top of the former. Phasing would allow us to see different things in certain places depending on where we are in the story and what we’ve done. This was already sort of implemented with Wastelanders and interiors, but it could be expanded upon to really improve the game. If I make a decision that blows up another faction’s town, then the town should look destroyed to me, but intact for someone who did not destroy it. World of Warcraft does this very well. When you enter certain zones, you’re kind of just instantly phased into a zone that is tailored to you and your game. Your party members are still visible on your map, and if they’re at the same point in the story, they remain visible to you and you all see the same things. If they’re not, then they remain visible on your map, but invisible in the actual game and are phased into their own version of the zone. I know the fallout engine is old, but so is WoW’s, and they’ve had to work on it a lot over the years. Phasing was only implemented back in 2014, I believe. * Mail and banking systems. It drives me insane that I can’t send items to my alts, or even other people. It’s also maddening that I can’t access an account-wide stash. Some of my characters have exactly what the others need, but the only way I can transfer it over is by being a FO1st member and then hoping I can log in and out fast enough on a private server to pick up some stuff that I dropped on the other character. That’s not a great system. Plus, think about how fun it would be to RP as a mailman in Appalachia. Just leave some goodies in mailboxes and skip off. * Better Survival. I can appreciate trying to balance survival needs without crippling us if we forget to sleep or eat, but… survival adds so much to the game. We’re in a desolate wasteland, trying to rebuild society while also trying to find edible food, drinkable water, and not get destroyed by a giant mutated bat. I’ve always found RPGs so strange in that they rarely force you to actually take care of your character. You’re just this invincible adventurer that never has to eat or drink or sleep or even hit the john. We have to restore mana, but not our bellies? When Fallout started including survival elements, it made the game next-level for me. FNV was so much harder and exciting when I needed to find food without a cazador killing me every five seconds. FO4 was incredible with all the crafting and cooking and dying before I found a bed. FO76 has the advantage of not needing to save, so survival can really be implemented without making the game as difficult as previous entries have been. Recently, the food and water debuffs were nerfed, which is the opposite of what should have been done. With all of these amazing recipes in the game, there should be a need to eat them. We should need our water purifiers. We should need a bed. We should be weakened if we don’t take care of ourselves. Diseases should actually hurt us. Survival has been one of the unique, and brilliant traits in Fallout as an RPG, and it should be expanded upon, not shrunk down. * Fishing. I’ve seen a lot of people asking for this, with a small amount saying they wouldn’t like it. If you don’t want it, you don’t have to use the feature. Fishing could be so freaking fun. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Action button to cast, action button to reel in. However, with fishing tournaments, unique loot, new food recipes, new weapons, new enemy encounters, and more, fishing would quickly add a fantastic experience to the game. There’s gotta be mutated fish in those waters, and I wanna catch them. It’s always puzzled me that this wasn’t implemented in FO4, honestly. All of Far Harbor was fishy, and yet, there were no fish. We could also have fish nets/traps in our camps; something we can put in the water and use to catch fish over time. I loved the idea of trappers in FH, and this would also allow some great RP. * Mini-games. Holotapes of games that we can play on our pip-boys are cool! It’d be even cooler if we could place arcade machines in our camp like we could do in FO4. Maybe in a future settlement, there’s a casino. Let’s wager some caps and go for it. Got a deck of cards? Cool, let’s play some Caravan while we wait for an event to pop up. * Achievements. I love the challenges. I know not everyone does, and that’s fine. I like having to work toward weird little goals. An achievement system could add to the current season passes and challenges. I don’t know exactly what it would do, but I know that I would like seeing a banner pop up saying that I’ve achieved something, and then be able to show off my achievement somehow with a trophy or something. Obviously, Scoreboard does this in a way already, it would just be cool to have other types of achievements to display. * Better farming. If I can plant a wild blackberry at my camp, I should also be able to plant a pumpkin or cranberry or anything else. Maybe we have to complete a questline to plant certain things, that’s totally fine! I like the idea that certain ingredients and plants are more rare and difficult to attain. It only makes sense that we should be able to plant them in our camp, too, though. * More maps. This one is obviously something that should grow overtime. I know there's hints that we may be able to go to other states fairly soon, and I really hope that's true. It sounded like they will be places we've visited in past games, which is an awesome idea. I would love to see new areas, though! We've yet to visit really anywhere in the south, but there's a ton of potential for the Fallout down there, I think! Roleplay and Combat: * More clothes. I dunno about y’all, but I like to make characters based off a combination of name, outfits, “occupation,” and then their build. So, for instance, a mailman as mentioned above would be wearing a postman outfit (model exists in fo4 already) to fit his theme, and then maybe specialize in thrown weapons. I mean, that sucker should be able to just chuck stuff at their enemies (will expand more on throwables later). But, there’s no mailman outfit. For all the gunslinger fun, there’s really not a whole lot of cowboy-esque outfits. The “western” ones are decent, but the pants look pretty weird on the characters for whatever reason. Some more cowboy outfits would be great. More flannels, please, holy moly. We’re in Appalachia. There should be flannels everywhere. I want to run around as a lumberjack and just decimate people with an axe. There’s so many fun possibilities for characters, we just need more clothes to make more unique looking builds. * Display character names. Please, please, please. What is the point in naming a character and coming up with a story and theme and build if everyone just sees “biscuitlicker42069” in the game??? It makes no sense. There is absolutely no reason to not show character names. If we want to play with people again, we just add them. Still don’t need to know their account name. And, please allow us to rename characters. Other games simply charge a fee to rename your characters. I’d love if this were a free feature, but whatever, do what you must, just allow us to change their names. If we can change everything else on the spot, we should also be able to change their names, especially if their names are being displayed. * Special/perk resets. Let us go to an NPC and wipe everything so that we can easily rebuild characters. My first character was alllll over the place. Now I’m having to spend twice the amount of time I would by just starting a new character to be able to move his build around and make him actually viable. I don’t want to delete my first character. I just want to rebuild him (and maybe change his name). * Give us more than 5 character slots. Why???? Why are we limited to 5???? I make alts on alts in every single game. I’m an altoholic. It’s a problem. But usually a game at least lets me make like, 10 characters per server. Not 5 account-wide. There are so many different builds you could try in this game, yet you’re forced to choose 5. I want my throwables mailman. I want my bloodied chef. I want my junkie cowboy. I want my irradiated barbarian. I want my power armored energy heavy gunner that works in the mines and collects ore in his excavator set. I want a stealth archer. I want a sniper. I want a fisherman that stabs mirelurks with harpoons and a pole hook. I want a farmer that runs around with a flaming pitchfork. I want a hippie musician that pacifies animals but demolishes humans with a guitar sword. I want a character that worships cryptids and only uses primal weapons. I want a bartender that just launches molotovs. There’s SO many things that we could do with all the perks and all the very cool weapons out there. We should have more character slots to be able to try these things out. * Better throwables. As is, throwing knives are great until about level 20. Nothing makes them do more damage. Sheepsquatch quills have poison damage, but that’s it. Throwing weapons are really untapped right now. They could be so much fun. Meat cleavers are so savage, and taking my chef around with a rolling pin, or ripper, or flamer, or meat hook, and then also launching meat cleavers at enemies would be incredible. More perks that improve explosives and throwables in general are really needed to make them usable. * More Factions. I don’t particularly care for the BoS, or the Enclave. I still enjoyed running around doing errands for MODUS, and I’m sure I’ll still enjoy the BoS quests. I didn’t like Paige’s attitude upon first meeting him. I did like Meg, though. And I enjoyed completing the Wastelanders quest line with both of them. Getting to work with these four factions is great. I’m a huge fan of working with factions and even playing multiple sides in my Fallout playthroughs. With that said, it’d be awesome to see more factions. Community: * Hub cities. Crater and Foundation were steps in the right direction, but not many people hang out there. Hub cities would be great for trade and teaming up, and make the game feel more alive. * On the same note, perhaps an Auction House. I love vendors, don’t get me wrong. They bring people to your camps, and that’s awesome. But maybe we could have like themed weekly auctions. You can only auction certain types of items that fit the weekly themes. I dunno. Just a thought. * Chat so that we can talk in a trade channel in the city, or a zone’s general channel, or with our party, etc. * Dedicated servers. Now, I love being able to server hop. But the game desperately needs some sort of structure like this. Being able to hit up your friends and say, “Hey, I’m playing on Rob-Co tonight, let’s all head there,” would open up a lot of multiplayer options, including the auction house as mentioned above. It’d also definitely make clans/guilds more of a thing, which is a big plus. This would also!!!! Really!!!!! Help!!!!!! Server disconnection issues!!!!!!! Even if we still D/C, we can just log back into the server we were D/C’d from! No more losing loot or missing events because we got disconnected in the middle of a fight! Just log back in and continue! (That’s not to say that server stability improvements wouldn’t be welcomed, though…) * Allow more players in the servers. I don’t know if this was a design choice, or a necessity due to the engine, but I really want more players in the servers. Sometimes the maps are depressingly empty, so I server hop, and find a ton of people on a different one. Allowing us to pick dedicated servers and allowing more players on each server would really build an even stronger community. * This one is probably controversial, but, Level Caps. It’s so unbelievably weird to me that we’re allowed to level willy-nilly infinitely. What’s the point of that? Why are there players in the thousands? We never should’ve been allowed to level past 50. I think we should be reset down to 50, allowed to rebuild our characters for free (then pay caps to an npc to rebuild afterwards), and then steadily increase the cap over time. When “expansions” or DLC come out, then we get an increase, with fresh new (or old if you needed an old one) perks and special points that we can add, instead of having to take a point from somewhere else. This is how pretty much every other online game works, and it would make leveling a lot more exciting when the cap increases. * Instances/Dungeons. The game really needs more of these. A lot more. Give us more end-game content. Give us a reason to need certain builds. Give us a reason to need a power armored 2H melee build, a stealthy ranged build, a medic build, a commando build, etc. all working together. Currently, teams are just kind of there. They’re almost never necessary. No roles are filled. It’s not like we have a tank, 2 dps, and a healer. But we could, so easily, and it’d be so, so, so tight. The game has incredible potential. It really does. It is so unique. It has fascinating, deep lore that most of us have been invested in for years and years. The setting is breathtaking, and I can’t wait to see where else we go. However, it kind of scratches the surfaces of survival, RPG, and MMO, without really developing a solid foundation in any of them. I really feel adding some, if not all, of these things would help counter that. I’m looking forward to playing this game for years to come and seeing how it progresses. I played WoW for around 11 years (and will probably hop back into it soon to try out the new expansion), and I absolutely love being able to invest time into games like that and see my hard work go toward something. WoW felt like a second home. Many of us play video games for enjoyment, for an escape, for the feeling of success, for community. FO76 is a brilliant game capable of doing the same for a very, very long time. And that’s a good thing! We probably won’t see Fallout 5 for another decade. This game will be our wasteland home until then, and sometimes homes need some renovations and additions. I may add more bullets or points to this list if I think of more, and will be sure to add a note when/if I do. I would love to hear what you all think, and what additions you would like. I want to thank everyone that works on this game. I know it probably hasn’t been even remotely easy. I know that Covid has probably been affecting your lives, too. I know that at times, it probably seems like nothing you do will ever make the players happy. I know that your passion for games may be weakened at times because of the stress surrounding your jobs. Your work is greatly appreciated, though. You are bringing an experience like no other to us. You are providing these moments of joy. These escapes. The setting for our communities. Thank you for everything you’ve done, and everything you continue to do. You are appreciated.
JoJo's Bizarre OC Tournament #5 - Round 2 Match 10 - Bert and Emilie "Dread" Delacroix vs John "Jack" Aurel
The results are in for Match 8. Agnes and Arpeggi, in their shrunken states, continued to fight, surrounded by the rising flames of their lilliputian tower, fists flying and Stand blows being taken one after the other. “You… Callous mother fucker!” Arpeggi cursed, Agnes feeling the singe of a heat blast both from behind and from launched wood. “We’re not aiming for a massacre!” “You’re not,” Agnes spat out, then, pulling a tab on the table, a massive geyser erupting and launching his so-called ally away, “I don’t give a fuck about this place, and we’re in a Stand battle… And it’s all worthless, greedy scumbags watching! Let the fire spread! Let this place hit the ground so they see what someone with style can do!” “You heard it here, folks! Agnes talked you all down… C’mon, where’s your passion! Don’t run out and away, c’mon! And here I thought you cared y’had money ridin’ on this…” Conqueror Worm’s laughs reverberated as Glitch and William found themselves cooled by Ocean Eyes’ nectar, which found itself dissolving quickly but, for the moment, a functional barrier for the injured fighters, watching and listening to what happened. “Th… They’re fighting each other up there…” William remarked, physically looking as though he was straining to force Ocean Eyes not to hurry up there and tear them a new one. “Glitch, we don’t have time to keep the flames at bay and call up another KST, and if I let Ocean Eyes up there it’ll eviscerate them, and-” “What’s this? The kid is holdin’ back, afraid of his own Stand! Hey, kid, don’t hate this part of yourself! Ocean Eyes, it ain’t your enemy, that’s a part of you, what makes you special, so don’t be at odds with it! Embrace what it says, because it’s what YOU’RE sayin’!” William was speechless, there, but his companion was less inactive in that time. Tiger “Glitch” Ricky simply hissed, then, her and her Stand hopping up out of the flames in an effort to brutally, mercilessly pounce upon the self-styled villain and the ally he had come to blows with. If they moved fast, they could bite through that shitty little twink’s neck right now! Arpeggi grit his teeth, scrambling to find his footing as he witnessed the pouncing cat-stand, finding it hard to breathe among all the burning rubble, fading fast then. Is… Is this how it ends..? Crushed and mangled as some lowlife’s burnt-up game piece..? “And it looks like Glitch is about to take it! Shout-outs to Tigran, the only real one here, watchin’ through the fire and the flames!” “Heh… This is just a bit of a sweat,” Tigran Sins answered, stifling a cough, “I’ll see all seven of these bastards run through games until they’re all-” Arpeggi didn’t hear what was said next, only hearing his own defiant heartbeat. If he didn’t act fast, Agnes would die… Good riddance, right? But… Ugh, no, even scum like him, they don’t deserve… He clutched at NEXT LEVEL until his fingers bled, and Glitch and William, both looking at him past their Stands waiting to attack, made curious sounds as yet more crumbled away. “Mrr?!” And then, there was white. An overwhelming cascade of baking soda burst from NEXT LEVEL, smothering the flames rapidly as an obscured form zipped up the tower again, grabbing Agnes and hurrying away from the thrown-off Glitch. “You… Why did you…” Agnes rubbed baking soda out of his eyes, coughing and looking at the form of Arpeggi in this new Stand. “Motherfucker…” “I have responsibility over even a scumbag like you… You tailed me here, and I’m not gonna let you die and escape responsibility easy.” He turned, then, to William and Glitch, his new form revealed. “Now, actually help me, follow my lead, and I’ll kick your ass later. We need to survive this-” All four of the fighters, then, felt themselves grow rapidly, their combined weight so close together crushing the table they were on, much as a nearby tabletop wargame that had been setup found itself buckling under the weight of Metra, Oh No, the Black Angel, and their motorcycle. “Welp,” Worm said with a bemused laugh, holding up the slumped body of Tigran. “Your fire couldn’t hurt him, but smoke inhalation sure could! I guess that means…” “The winner is FIRE, with a score of 65!”
With no more reason to fight, it got really awkward and everyone just sort of ran out of Heartache Casino. William Eyelash, recalling his stand and lost in thoughts, was the last to leave, joining the others in leaping single-file out a window into a nearby alley. There, though everyone else seemed tensely uninvolved, the Black Angel’s motorcycle revved, and she stared down Worm as he safely stowed Tigran inside his Stand-body, leaning on his golden sword. “There’s still something I need, Jones… I’ll run you down to get it if it means saving the city.” Worm laughed, gesturing with his sword. “This thing? You’re huntin’ me down for this… Ah! I see! You’re tryin’ to do that.” Callously, he tossed it, so suddenly they fumbled with it in hand. “Here ya go, then! I don’t much want what Jack Aurel’s cookin’ up either!” The Angel, worn and exhausted, stammered. “I… You just… But…” “Lookin’ forward to killin’ me, huh? Get in line, kid… Or waste your time right now! See, nobody here is botherin’, they can all read that it’d be a waste when I’m in such good health! City’s countin’ on you, yeah, and you won’t get many opportunities for bein’ called a hero as an adult. Make it count!” Then, before anyone could say more, he darted through a nearby wall, waving William and the rest off with a, “Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming and be sure it will lead us aright!” … … “Asshole.” The Angel turned away, strapping the sword to their back and driving away. “Thank you, all of you. I’ll take this from here… Get yourselves help.” There was silence as they drove into the sky, scarf billowing before them, and then Agnes started cackling. “You’re all fucking morons… If I didn’t burn that place down, we wouldn’t have gotten away, and some wannabe with no style would be going down as Los Fortuna’s worst villain! Fucking bow and grovel, Jack Aurel’s grave is gonna say ‘spat on by Agnes!’” Nobody had the energy to dignify that with a response. An anticlimax is leading into a super-climax, and meanwhile, an ant-loving little boy and an aid worker are racing through their dreamscapes, with a day left to vote there. Narration: What is, as of the 1990s, ‘Capital Island,’ was the epicenter of Los Fortuna’s founding several hundred years ago, in the midst of a bloody Stand User conflict, many militias clashing for superiority, in the 1680s, starting with the death of the era’s own Andrew Tiffany, the missionary William Mandolin, and towards its end, knocking people into their senses through the awakening of exactly what he had tried to warn them of. A grand T-Rex by the name of Megalomania had survived, dormant, underneath the land through the might of its Stand, coated in a goldlike substance, and awoken in a deep rage by the conflict of the locals. Megalomania was met in battle by a man out of place named Aaron Bruno, ‘Sir Aurel’ to most, and Memory Management, and when slain, crumbled where it stood into a pile of bones, feet firm in the ground. Los Fortuna’s natural history museum was built around this monster’s remains, and Sir Aurel would turn its golden coat into a ceremonial weapon. The power these symbols were imbued with, even with their old purposes lost, were of great importance to the city’s stability. Scenario: Outside Los Fortuna’s Natural History Museum, Early Evening In the blink of an eye, the attention of everyone within Los Fortuna had been turned to the natural history museum. That made sense, of course - considering the looming dark clouds containing the ghosts of the dead within them, the scuffles of the stand users outside of the building, and the vague knowledge that a ritual with the purpose of destroying fate itself was currently being performed within it, it would be out of the ordinary for people to not be paying it any attention. Even those who weren’t stand users that were up to date with the situation were drawn to it by the unusual level of activity surrounding it, from emergency services and VALKYRIE forces alike. And then there was Bert. They were invested in the whole situation, of course - keeping up with the latest reality-breaking ancient rituals was the least that a wannabe god like them could do. Their status as an observer did raise a few eyebrows - they’d had to shake off both emergency service workers and VALKYRIE forces, who’d both taken the time to try and encourage Bert to leave the area for their own safety, clearly underestimating Bert’s own prowess. Within the chaos, one could be excused for not failing to notice the drones Bert had been sending around to overhear and oversee it all. First, they paid attention to the chief of security at VALKYRIE, Ugo McBasie, who seemed to be getting interviewed by someone from the Fortuna Hermod, an ODIN-owned news publication (not their usual guy at scenes like this… Wonder what happened to him). Bert had heard that the man was a violent and irresponsible meathead who’d caused plenty of trouble in the past, but he seemed to be keeping a thin veil of professionalism for now. However, Bert couldn’t help but notice a young man in a blue aviator cap standing a few meters behind the reporter and staring daggers at him, perhaps keeping him in check somehow, occasionally piping in for comment about how it was all they could do to surround the place and wait for an opening if they didn’t want a meat grinder on their hands. Meanwhile, Los Fortuna’s own city council chairman, Raymond Delwin Shimizu was discussing something of note with someone else, who seemed to have just finished an interview of his own. Bert didn’t recognize him, but the interviewer had called him “Chief Prosecutor Cavallo”, and she seemed as if she knew what she was talking about, so Bert opted to believe her. The interviewer, Jillian Something-or-other, had been running all over the scene, trying to get interviews alongside her oversized cameraman Bert recognized as having been that really huge cop who used to hang around Aurelio a lot of the time not successfully doing his job. Not worth Bert’s time. Cavallo scratched his head in frustration. “Chairman, please tell me that you’ve made progress of some kind here...” Ray shook his head. “Not much. That stand user that’s working alongside Jack Aurel, Akiko Mizushima, is making it impossible to get in - anyone we do send in is as good as gone. We haven’t even been able to get Admiral Pineapples out. Judging by your demeanor, I assume that the board hasn’t made much progress either.” “No, doesn’t seem like it.” Cavallo let out a long sigh. “Every day, it’s just more and more work… Now we’re stuck having to deal with this. If nothing’s done, the board’s thinking it might very well cause a disaster unmatched by… Well, anything but the earthquake from thirty years ago. Something like this, bending the rules of the city, and breaking free from it… Los Fortuna’s probably not going to let that slide easily.” He shook his head. “Where the hell is the mayor through all this? Watching anime at home or something, probably.” Ray remained silent for a bit, thinking to himself. “Well, we’ve got emergency services ready to act for now, and we’re working on evacuating any susceptible areas, but it only works so much.” Before Cavallo could respond, another reporter came up to Raymond, ready with a batch of questions for him. “Well, Cavallo, our work isn’t done yet, so let’s get to it. Saving as many people as possible here should be our utmost priority.” And with that, the two men parted ways for the time being. Having listened enough, Bert began thinking to themselves. This was a tricky situation - they clearly couldn’t get in as is, but they certainly wanted to. Learning more about the situation at hand would improve their knowledge of the mechanisms holding Los Fortuna together, and gaining control over the ritual somehow would certainly be a feat befitting of a god such as them. Bert stood in front of the museum entrance, taking another look at the chaos in front of them and continuing to think about the next step they’d take. So many different possibilities, so little time. They thought, and thought, and then one of their drones’ eyes glanced upon someone familiar - a blue haired, red eyed woman wearing a mask, trying to blend in and clearly resenting it, skulking around the perimeter of the area as though she, too, wished to enter. Yet despite her efforts, Bert recognized her. “Emilie ‘Dread’ Delacroix!” They declared it loudly, thoughtlessly so, approaching her with a hand raised. “Are you perhaps looking to find a crevasse through which to enter that place as well? It’s quite fortified, isn’t it?” “Hm?” She wasn’t bothered by the way Bert drew attention to her, still wearing her same very extra outfit under the also quite extra hooded dark robe she was using to blend in. “Ah, pardon me dearly for having failed to notice you… You are Bert, from that incident where we fought on equal terms, yes?” “I am that same Bert, Emilie ‘Dread’ Delacroix, yes. Though I doubt I could be much mistaken for others…” “We are both quite conspicuous individuals, yes,” Dread said, taking the conversation into a nearby alley before VALKYRIE goons on the scene could prove it was her, “but no, I’m not terribly nonplussed about my abilities to infiltrate that place… Simply, I am attempting to assess the probability by which my approach itself, through the barricades erected, might occur. If your intentions happen to be helping me sneak through, then it is simply not necessary on any fronts… I have formulated a plan now.” Dread, now appearing alone, walked through that alley curiously, looking around her and beginning to see her opportunity of approach - there appeared to be a side door there, at which a certain fish-themed hero was sitting outside, looking, Dread knew from their DMs, at funny images of her wife atop the T-Rex skull in the museum. Yes, certainly, this would be- “Whoa, hey, it’s you!” Damnable. Had she been spotted, or..? No, no, wait. The one speaking, a man also in this alleyway who smelled of cannabis, holding what looked like a GAP bag, was speaking to someone on the opposite side of it, disembarking from a sportbike and handing it to the rider, who was wearing a very ornate-looking golden sword which Dread had sworn she’d seen somewhere before. “Thanks,” the Black Angel told this young man, accepting the bag and producing its contents - a Roman helmet and black bird-looking tokusatsu cosplay? “Green couldn’t make it himself, huh?” “I made it,” the guy said, pointing proudly to himself, before blinking. “Oh, you mean like… Showing up. Yeah, no, there was a thing with a mammoth coming down from the mountains, he’s helping East deal with that. Feel like lighting up before you go in? It’ll take the edge off..!” The rider removed their helmet, coincidentally perfectly timed for the strawberry-blonde with pale blue eyes to stare him down incredulously. “About a million people live on this island, Weedboy. Now is not the time…” The Angel ducked into the nearby building to change, finishing, “shit, yeah, it looks just like the Flying Men do… uh. you should get out of here now.” “You kidding?” He asked. “I don’t wanna bow out right before it gets good! That’s, like, saying I think you can’t do it!” Well, these two appeared distracted, so Dread would continue along her way, walking right past them and towards the blockade, towards where Jo was sitting casually, only to be interrupted by- “Holy shit, it really is her! Stop right there, Dread!” Oh boy, here we go. This had been happening more lately, since a somewhat frustrating individual went and opened his big mouth about her dangers on Bifrost. Turned out that the head of VALKYRIE was literally in the server, so now she had a bounty on her head after a modicum of investigation into her after that public statement, and her casual admittance thereof! Two armored guards were pointing guns at her as she stood there, unfazed. “Don’t come any closer!” One of them, an older woman, said, turning to her younger partner and quickly telling him, “if she approaches, open fire. She’ll eat you alive if not!” “This again, are you being serious?” Dread was less than pleased. “I am evil, and a murderer, unrepentantly so, yes, but I do not eat people. This rumor is being so blown out of proportion that I find it quite tiresome.” “F-fuck off and die!” The younger moved to fire his weapon, only to realize there was a knife through him, catching the gun by the trigger after running from his shoulderblade to his fingertip. Dread didn’t need the help, but like a true friend, Kimijo Kaneko offered it anyway “Wh-what the-” The older woman cursed as her partner was cut open and dropped. “Fucking useless moron! HEY, EVERYONE, KANEKO BROKE RANK AND DREAD IS HERE TO! NOW’S OUR CHANCE TO-” The distraction, then, was all it took for Dread to take her first kill of the day. Of course it was fine. She read the news, she knew how these VALKYRIE people were literally at war with poor people. “Sh-shit, those people just died! More VALKYRIE corpses, and Jo again..!” The stoner declared in the background, and the Black Angel, now dressed exactly like the birdmen many had seen before, paused in her efforts to run past the opening created by Jo breaking formation. Nobody could hear it or see her lips move, but she apologized under her breath, clenching her fist, but the disguise had worked. 32 Footsteps, the primary guard which would warp away anyone who tried to enter, apparently had instructions to allow in anybody dressed like this, yet none of the intended recipients of this deliberate loophole made their way in. “Dread, hello, friend!” Jo exclaimed in high spirits, sheathing her knife, but still speaking quietly as she hurried back into place, “good to see you!” “Yes, it is most certainly fortuitous for us to encounter one another…” Dread agreed, walking and talking with her as the pair were watched in horror. “By any chance, may I come into this museum? I am absolutely curiously intrigued by what is going on within here…” “Sure!” A VALKYRIE sniper was taking aim at Dread, then, as she entered, muttering under her breath, “got a shot lined up… I can take her out, and Jo a second later! Two bastards out of the way, at least, and-” “Wait,” the youth in a blue aviator hat and goggles, speaking as VALKYRIE’s tactician, instructed, “hold your fire.” “Sir, she just made one of our senior officers fall into rotten pieces! She’s chatting it up with this fish-bitch like it’s nothing!” “I know, and I’m appalled too, but I think…” The Blue Kid paused, contemplatively. “No, I know it. Dread is here to defeat John Aurel, just like the Black Angel.” Spinning and pivoting through the air, “Lou” Reed, dressed like a dark, sixth Flying Man, landed atop the skull of the t-rex, which had apparently been adorned in a cute little pirate hat. It made for a fine vantage point, then, to look all over the halls of the Natural History museum, noting one, two, three, four spots, grotesque and morbid statues Remix had apparently erected of ghostly abominations. She was exhausted, injured from the three-way skirmish she, Metra, and Oh No had been forced to undergo and riding like hell to get here, but she had made it this far, and others had managed to get in too. She couldn’t choke now. Seven minutes… I’ll just have to destroy those, and be back here in seven minutes. Easy enough… I don’t think I’ve been- “Green, Orange, and Purple… I don’t believe a ‘Flying Man Black’ was ever mentioned, nor that any of the brothers were into swords.” Shit. That voice, too… Lou turned around, then, seeing someone standing behind her, a man with long dark hair, brandishing a hammer and looking up at her. John “Jack” Aurel. “Even if you are what you appear to be and not in disguise, you should realize that you aren’t welcome here. There’s nothing to be done in this museum worth dying for, and no way to accomplish any more foolish goal if I were to raise attention now. Care to waste some of the time you have left and explain?” Of course this would happen. Lou removed her faux-beak, helmet, and goggles, staring down at him as her hair billowed in the ceiling fans’ wind. “Jack… I’ve come here to put a stop to this.” “You’re that kid who’s always running around, huh?” Jack frowned, twirling his hammer. “I hear what you talk about through the grapevine… About how we’re all victims of fate, forced against each other by Gravity. That Stand Users are always going to be molded by this… You understand it too. You understand that people like us prey upon the weak, that it’s in our natures and our place in the world. I want to remove myself from that… Remove these people from that, and atone for what I’ve done.” “By killing even more people! There’s no way they’ll get everyone away from your blast radius, and you haven’t even given them the chance to!” Lou protested. “It doesn’t have to be this way… Don’t say this is how it has to be! We can save this place, free everyone from gravity, without barreling towards its destruction! I don’t want to kill you, Jack. I want you to stop this crazy, self-indulgent crap and help me do something real!” “You think everyone deserves this? That Stand Users will simply reform without this? The cycle has started, and it will push to the end even if the wave guiding it fades away completely… Bastards, the lot of us, and I don’t intend to run from what I’ve done. I’ll give you one chance to run away, kid… the worst I can call you is naive.” Lou drew the golden blade, seeing Jack wince as he clearly recognized its significance, all as her Stand appeared behind her. “We both know I can’t do that, even if I can barely keep my balance up here. And hey, maybe I will die here… Maybe I am fated not to see this through. But then, someone is gonna finish this for me! Your security is already compromised!” “Fascinating… And you are utterly convinced that, should it work, those he’s slain to commence this ritual to begin with will return outside the city?” “Remix is full of himself,” Jo said, nodding quietly, “but he and Jack, they researched a lot… Akiko and I, for helping this finish, we can finally go home! Be done with the bad city…” “She has made this place remarkably impregnable,” Dread agreed, thinking aloud, “anyone who waltzes in waltzes into her backrooms…” “Unless they have a ‘pass!’” A voice from within Dread’s cloak spoke, and as Jo raised her knife at it in defense, the pure-white, terribly contorted form of Bert tumbled onto the ground, stretching and reshaping into their typical humanlike shape. “Don’t worry, don’t worry, they are fine, with me!” Dread assured Jo, frankly thankful to have that weight literally off her back. Bert was very light, but even then it was hard to walk carrying someone, let alone not give it away. “We have… Some history, and so I thought I might as well indulge Bert’s request to see this place as well. I apologize for not mentioning earlier, but it was quite dire getting in here past guards attacking us.” Jo didn’t seem to mind, continuing to lead the pair around, even passing Akiko who was casually, distractedly reading some manga while in a bit of a pirate mood. They also passed by another scene, slightly more concerning, of an injured old man in a Hawaiian Shirt, close by the frontmost entrance of the place and clutching himself as his fleet of four Stand-starships remaining fired at Remix, who guarded against it with ghost-objects while a Flying Man Red tried to find an opening to strike. “You’ve been at this for hours, old man, die already! You have no place in the world I mean to birth from your bloodied, pulped remains!” Pineapples stood, then, leaning against the wall, trying not to show weakness. “I think that guy is going to lose, at this rate… It’s a shame, too,” Bert, the loudmouth again, remarked. “He might have been a worthwhile pawn in wrestling control away from this operation.” Dread, Jo, Remix, and Red all gave Bert simultaneous incredulous looks, all in completely unique ways. Jo drew her knife again, about to transform, only to dodge out of the way of the injured ‘Lou’ Reed, blacked out, helmetless, being knocked away and into the floor, the shock of which made her rise quickly, feeling around. “Where’s the- Shit!” As she sat up, then, feeling around for the saber no longer in her possession, she noticed that she was smack in the middle of something else here. Hurriedly, she rolled away, standing herself up and looking to the injured Admiral. “You… You’re one of those MFAs, right? How did you-?” Weakly, he gestured to Remix. “He brought me here in a damned urn! I’ve been fending them off to buy others in the museum time to escape… Everyone in this hall here and Jack, those are the only ones left in the building, minus masses and masses of ghosts. They’re harmless, though… Don’t worry about them attacking unless that guy takes them.” “I see…” Lou, then, smiled sadly, clutching her bloodied suit. She looked to Bert and Dread, then, moving to get between them and Jack’s incredulous accomplices. “You said you wanted to take him out, right? I overheard…” “Well, Bert has let yet another cat out of the bag,” Dread admitted, “indeed, I came here with the intent of dethroning Jack Aurel before he had a chance to complete his little ritual. Few others would even be able to get in here.” “So that’s my role, then…” Lou smiled, then, sighing, ducking out of the way of the Flying Man sending a kick her way, a gauntlet-clad arm emerging from her body, grabbing his ankle hard, and swinging him into the Jo who was shocked to hear Dread say that. “I can’t do anything about Jack… Too fucked up from that ED match…” She grinned, then, mouth bleeding as she stared Remix down. “But this old man and I can at least keep these assholes from interfering!” Dread, then, watched passively as the five erupted into battle, she and Bert curious about what was to come as, from each hand, the Stand which emerged seemed to fire odd projectiles at their foes. “The ‘I’ll hold them off…’ You’re styling yourself as some sort of exceptional hero, aren’t you?” She seemed amused by that, the irony of their cooperation. “I’m evil, you know… And Bert, at least, is morally ambiguous. But if you’ve settled on putting the city in our hands, have you any advice?” Over the sounds of laser fire, Lou quickly found time to answer, “yeah, there’s… I brought this golden ‘saber’ with me, and it must’ve fallen somewhere by the T-Rex… In, in a bit over six minutes from now, this ritual of theirs is gonna go through and rip this island open. Before that… They have these ‘failsafe’ statue things, and…” She took a breath, retracting and wincing from a blow her Stand had taken. “Look, I don’t have time to explain it, but you need to smash those up first! They’re there, made up of spirits fused together, to keep these guys safe from the consequences of their own actions… To ensure their safety, and at the same time act as a ‘failsafe’ for the ritual. Gives you the ‘power’ over it, too, in the way that right now Jack himself does… That’s important to stopping it. So you need to smash them first, and then, right as the time passes for the ritual, when the skull of the T-Rex in the center starts to split open and glow and its mouth starts gushing water… Embed the sword into the opening in its forehead, right as it starts to shape. That’s the only way to prevent this at this stage!” “The forehead particularly, hmm?” Bert asked, pacing curiously and avoiding a cross split attack from Red, who barreled into Lou and was barely blocked. “Why there, per se? Why nowhere else on the thing?” “Ngh..!” Lou grunted, saved from a follow-up by Pineapples. “I dunno, that’s just where you have to do it!” “Black Angel… That’s what you’re called, yes?” Dread smiled, turning away. “You will be thanked for this victory… Try to live long enough to witness it firsthand, won’t you?” “I’d… I’d love to,” Lou answered, smiling sadly, “for five years now, when I first learned there was anything worth a damn in this world, I’ve wanted to protect that… The dark pit of despair that was the first thirteen years of my life, and even so much since, I’d love nothing more than a world where no person is fated beyond impossible odds to suffer that.” She grew serious, then, raising her voice. “Go, now! Leave this to us!” Bert and Dread approached the T-Rex, impressed at the amazing height and Akiko’s snazzy pirate duds upon the thing, the lab-grown being whistling with impression. “A T-Rex lived ‘til three-hundred years ago… Preserved whole, in this city. It’s astonishing, isn’t it, Emilie ‘Dread’ Delacroix?” “A curious anomaly,” Dread agreed, examining it from afar, even noticing that alleged sword in the distance. “I wonder why it survived that long, so far after its brethren…” “It’s because it was a ‘Stand User.’” Jack approached from the same room in which Dread spotted glints of the golden saber, announcing his presence with that. “That was its ‘fate…’ A savage, cunning animal, ripped from where it belonged. to be a problem to solve and squabble over, to found this city on its literal bones.” “John ‘Jack’ Aurel… You’d best stand down.” Bert, helpfully, started. “You cannot beat us… Even if we only had seconds to overcome you, I would be too much for you to handle!” “No, he’s going to fight, I know it.” Dread, meanwhile, prepared Joywave, staring him down with a pointed, grinning lethality. “I suppose introductions are not necessary, with how Bert here loves to say my full name… I am not one to make things curt or brief, John, but consider yourself toppled, usurped, bloodied and dead.” “The lab accident with a God complex and by far the worst, most grisly of Jo’s friends…” With no real amusement, no happiness in his eyes, Jack chuckled, looking them over. “Of course, right at the end, my final test isn’t some hero… It’s exactly the worst kind of Stand User! The apex predators that I’ve preyed upon, that stand in the way of saving everyone who’s died to reach this point! Of course it would be someone like me to gain entry, wouldn’t it?” “You speak with such confidence you’ll raise the dead…” Bert was curious. “Even if it costs more lives, such a thing is… That is the realm of gods, John ‘Jack’ Aurel.” “Not today it’s not,” Jack answered, twirling his hammer in his hand. “Both of you… You’ve been driven here, standing in my way, as agents of ‘fate’ itself. Isn’t that the reason you were ‘lucky’ enough to pass through our defenses… Because you were meant to stand here, and you were meant to watch as every horrible, cruel thing you’ve done amounts to nothing in the face of these circumstances.” He looks the two intruders over with sympathy for a moment, before steeling himself and clenching his weapon, Stand appearing behind him just as stone-faced. “You may be the puppet of something beyond your control, but you must understand that I can’t let you ruin the plan I’ve bet my life on. I bear you no anger as people, but your role here is something I can’t ignore. I’ll waste our time no longer in arguing ethics, let there be no apologies or restraint until this is settled.” The other conspirators had been instructed not to intervene if it came to this point, even if it risked the collapse of everything they had worked for. Not if it threatened lives. An enemy to make it this far was deserving of being dealt with reasonably. As the critical moment drew near, Jack readied all the fury that months of waiting had stored within him, and accepted that this may very well be his final true fight. “Five minutes on the dot now, until ‘that time…’ If what the Black Angel said is true.” Dread looked to Bert. “What do you say we demonstrate incontrovertibly to John exactly how confused he truly is?” OPEN THE GAME! (Image credit to CaptainSpooky27!) Location: A part of the Los Fortuna’s Natural History Museum. The area here is 75 by 75 meters with each tile being 5 by 5 meters. The ceilings here are 8 meters tall. The yellow tiles are the hallways and the green and purple tiles form the different rooms. The white tiles have ritual shrines built on those areas. There are 7 shrines total and will be explained in further detail in the additional information. The players start at the south of the map and Jack starts at the top of the map as represented by their tokens. The walls are represented by thicker borders and the dotted lines are the doorways. At the top of the map, in the pink tile and yellow symbols, is the Golden Sword. It is currently pinned under 2 meters of rubble. Each wing of the museum houses an exhibit, in the center is the main attraction a large T-Rex in display as denoted by the large grey circle. The other exhibits are denoted by the letter on them:
G: The geologic exhibit, displaying and teaching about different rock formations and types
O: The two Oceanic exhibits, displaying the marine life and seabed of Los Fortuna.
C: The climatography exhibit, displaying the different temperature maps and features across Los Fortuna.
A: The Agricultural exhibit, displaying the various fruits and crops grown around Los Fortuna.
T: The two Taxidermy exhibits, displaying a wide range of animals in roped off and glass displays.
E:The Entomology exhibit, displaying photos and models of various bugs.
Goal: For the players, desecrate all the shrines and, when time runs out, have at least one of you, living and conscious, at the T-Rex with the golden sword in hand! For Jack, make sure the players don’t stop your ritual before it goes off! The match will last exactly five minutes, unless of course players are dead before then. It doesn’t end just because players reach the goal. Additional Information: The shrines are 2 meter tall marked wood and metal structures, each having an strange carve effigy sitting in the center of them. In order to properly desecrate a shrine the players can do one of a few things, destroy the shrine outright, deface all the carvings made into the shrine, or destroy the effigy hidden within the shrine. After destroying or defacing a shrine, the ghosts of the dead will begin harassing the players - three ghosts will move towards the player responsible for destroying the shrine (even in a situation where the stands are responsible: the ghosts will target Bert if a Perfect Hair minion destroys a shrine, and same for if anything affected by Joywave does so). These aren't strong, having flat 222 physicals and being partially see-through, but will increase in numbers as more and more shrines are destroyed. Strong enough hits can phase them out of existence, but they'll respawn ten seconds after at the spot that they previously were. They will go directly towards the players and can phase through any walls or objects that may be in their paths (but not out of any attacks), grabbing onto the players and trying to gang up on them once they're close enough to do so, dealing minor damage.
"Wow! It's a hand drawn original color illustration!" You’re a cultured woman, and this museum might very well end up being wiped off of the face of the earth quite soon, so you need to make the most of it while you still can! Make sure to visit and appreciate the various exhibits on display here! (Character Specific)
"What a terrible person. If I wrote about someone like you, none of my readers would like it." So this man is playing at god, trying to control life, death, and fate themselves? What foolishness! Clearly, only you can do such things, and you do them best! Over the course of the strategy, prove your superiority to this “Jack Aurel“ and take him down a notch! (Character Specific)
"Where the hell did you go?! Come out, you fucker!" It's now or never. This is the culmination of all of your plans, and failing is absolutely not an option here. During the fight, hold nothing back, and make sure to thoroughly defeat your opponents so that no one and nothing will ever stand in your way again!
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