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Super SmashRonpa Ultimate: Search for the Undying Lights

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??? (Robotic): [Voice] Systems activated. User logged in.

??? (Robotic): [Voice] What are your commands?

??? (Undistinguishable): [Voice] What is the current status of the project?

??? (Robotic): [Voice] Status of project. Please wait while information is retrieved.

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??? (Robotic): [Voice] Understood. Beginning project.


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My first memory is odd.

I understand, that may not be the best introduction to my story. But it's the only thing I can start off with. The only groundwork I have for who I am, if I'll be honest.

Back to the topic at hand...my first memory.

For the longest time, all I had known was an absolutely blinding light. A purely white expanse stretched out before me, encompassing everything. I don't even know if I had a body back then, or if I was just a consciousness dimly aware of its own existence. I can't remember thinking anything before then. That light was all I had known for such a long time.

And, just as soon as it felt like I finally registered that this was a memory, it went out. I was still alone, but in darkness this time. It was almost as if somebody had flicked a light switch; quick and almost startling.

I feel confident in saying that it was right around then that the story truly began. That everything truly started tumbling downhill from there.



SUPER SMASHRONPA ULTIMATE

SEARCH FOR THE UNDYING LIGHTS

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PROLOGUE

THE NEXT DESPAIR-RIDDEN CHALLENGE

BEGIN



My second memory came not too long after the light went out. Although, I suppose it's more accurate to call it the first sensation I had felt in who knows who long.

That feeling of having a body. Something solid connected to me. And something solid underneath me, however odd it felt.

It was then immediately followed by a dull, throbbing headache. The instant I felt it, I instinctively made a move to raise a hand to my temples, only to find my arm felt like it was made out of solid steel. I could hardly move.

Despite the lack of memories to tell me otherwise, I could instantly tell this wasn't normal.

I tried everything. I tried to move my other arm, I tried to kick my legs, I even tried to raise my head. Nothing. Nothing but an increase to that awful headache.

??? (Male): [Voice] ...nnnnnngh....

Ah, I had a voice. Although I guess, that was to be expected. Maybe--

??? (Female): [Voice] Ah, he's waking up!

It was a shock enough to hear my own voice, so imagine my surprise at hearing someone else. Someone highly unfamiliar. And so close to me too.

Before I knew what was happening, light returned to me. Mind you, it wasn't the same, blinding light I could first recall seeing. This one was weaker, yet capable of making my headache throb even more.

And then, my eyes finally adjusted to it. I could see...


{CG}

[A blank stretch of white ceiling is all that's visible, broken up only by a woman leaning over the camera. She certainly doesn't look like an average woman, given her more exaggerated, large eyes and features. She looks concerned, holding one hand to her chin in worry.]

??? (Female): Thank goodness, you've had us all worried.

??? (Female): Are you alright?

??? (Male): ....

It already felt like my eyes were going to slip close once again. She must of noticed it as well, as her expression only grew more worried.

??? (Female): Ah! Hold on, you must still be disoriented, right?

??? (Female): Here, let's get you off the floor. Just stay with me, alright?

It wasn't like I could refuse, really. I was still having trouble finding my voice. The help was...greatly appreciated.


{Entrance Hall 1F}

The woman helped me to my feet and to a nearby sofa.

...Er...more like she practically carried me to a sofa. My limbs still felt too heavy to move.

??? (Female): [Smiling Warmly] There we go. Feeling any better?

??? (Male): .....

??? (Female): .....

??? (Female): [Awkward; half-smile] ...Okay. All you need to do now is rest, okay? I'll go run and get you some water.

??? (Female): Just sit tight, I'll be right back.

For a moment, she hesitated. Maybe she was hoping for some kind of verbal response from me, a nod of the head, or something. But, she left not too long afterwards. Which left me to try and collect my thoughts.

Well, the best this headache could let me. It was hard to even keep my eyes open at this point. It could be for the better if I just closed them for a moment...


{Black Screen}

 

I let out a low breath and let my eyes close once more. 

Important questions first, I suppose. What could I remember?

Beyond that blinding light? Nothing much, unfortunately. I tried forcing any other memories to rise up, only to have my headache feel worse. It seemed there was no use traveling down that road, in that case.

A complete mystery of a past. Just add that onto the list of questions I have so far then.

Alright. If I can't remember my past, then what about general things about me? My name? My skills? Anything?

I felt my brow furrow a small bit as I poured all my focus into answering that question, letting a sigh escape me before....

??? (Male): [Voice] .....Al....

It was like pulling a pebble out of a deep pool of mud. Difficult, yet slowly becoming easier the closer to the surface I got. But, before long, a name finally came to me.

That's right. My name is Alvis.


ALVIS
ULTIMATE ???


At least that's something I can say whenever that woman comes back.

That reminds me, actually. Where are we?


{Entrance Hall 1F}

It was less of a struggle to open my eyes this time around. The woman from before still wasn't back. Was there something keeping her? Something I should be worried about too?

It was only now that I got a better look at my surroundings. This had to be an entrance hall for some sort of building or gate. One wall was taken up entirely by floor to ceiling windows, showcasing lush green fields and blue skies outside. Sunlight poured in and lit up the room naturally, rendering the lamps above useless. The other wall was, on the other hand, completely dominated by a large, torn up banner that seemed to depict ancient heroes and monsters fighting against black thorns.

Just underneath was a desk that took up the rest of the space there, although there wasn't anyone behind it. A few couches and tables were scattered about, leaving a perfect path from the front door and the reception desk. On either side were hallways, one of which the woman had run down earlier.

...I couldn't recognize this place at all. Nothing seemed to indicate a specific location either. Or at least, at a passing glance.

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Something's telling me that woman isn't coming back any time soon. I guess that means I'll be left to my own devices for a while, then. Let's see...

The small rest had at least done some good. I attempted to raise an arm and succeeded this time around, able to shakily move it to the sofa's armrest. My legs wobbled a bit underneath me, but I was at least steady enough to move around on my own.

Alright then, let's see what we can find.


Initiating Tutorial
Daily Life Investigation

During Daily Life, it is possible to investigate specific objects in certain rooms, such as the Entrance Hall. Unless the text for said item changes, it will not be investigated again. Sometimes, when investigating, you can even find coins!

Info on what coins can do will be explained during Chapter 1. For now, focus on investigating the Entrance Hall!

Tutorial End


{INVESTIGATION START}

 

[Sofa]

It's just a regular sofa. That woman from earlier helped me over to it when I had first woken up. I guess you're meant to sit and relax while waiting for service.

Actually, what is this building supposed to be for? Maybe it's an office? Or maybe an apartment complex?

 

[Coffee Table]

A glass table set in between a few couches. There are several magazines and newspapers scattered about, a few of them unreadable. But judging by the covers, it doesn't look like I was missing out on much.

 

[Windows]

These windows are giant! It's a single pane of glass that stretches from the floor to the ceiling. And they're so clean, to the point where it looks like they're invisible.

Outside was a large, open field bathed in bright sunlight, although the sun wasn't anywhere in view. It was so picturesque that it almost seemed fake. It certainly didn't help that there was seemingly nothing for miles around. Where in the world is this place even located?

 

[Front Door]

Set in the middle of the windows was a set of glass, double doors. There seemed to be a stone path leading to it from the outside, disappearing over the horizon. I took the handle in one hand and pulled.

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And pulled...

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And pulled...

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But no matter how much I pulled, nothing happened. They were sealed shut. I certainly wasn't leaving through the front door any time soon.

 

[Reception Desk]

It's a simple reception desk, like a larger version of the ones you'd see in an inn. To my disappointment, however, there wasn't anyone behind it. Just from peering over, I could see multiple computers (all without any wires to power them) and abandoned paperwork. The problem was that it was all written in a language I couldn't understand.

...Er....I think it was written in a language I couldn't understand. Every time I tried to get a better look at the writing, it sort of....started to blur together. The longer I looked at it, the more my head began to hurt. I gave up rather quickly, wishing to avoid passing out again.

 

[Torn Up Banner]

Hanging high above the reception desk is an ancient-looking banner. It seemed to depict various heroes and creatures fighting against an army of black vines and beasts with glowing red eyes. The fighting seemed to grow more intense towards the right end of the banner.

ALVIS: ...Huh..?

...What is this feeling? I feel....like I know this piece?

 

[Right Hallway]

On opposite ends of the reception desk were hallways that lead further into the building. That woman from earlier went down the other hallway though...I should probably go check on what's taking her so long...

 

[Left Hallway]

One of the hallways next to the reception desk. It's the same one the woman had walked down. I...should probably try to see where she went once I'm finished here. She has been taking quite a bit of time.

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{INVESTIGATION END}


Ah...it's just as I expected. I couldn't find a single answer, although I was able to find plenty of more questions. The only bright side to this that I can see is that I could feel my strength slowly returning. I wonder how long I had been unconscious then...

...No, I need to focus. I'll worry about that later. For now, I should go after that woman from earlier. Even after my quick check around, she still hasn't come back. At the very least, I should try to find out what happened. And who knows, maybe I'll find some answers along the way.

Taking in a deep breath, I began walking down the hallway I had seen her rush down earlier.

[Interact with: Left Hallway]


Moving Locations
...Now Loading...


{West Hallway 1F}

Before me stretched a simple hallway, decorated only with pictures of various heroes from the banner I had seen in the Entrance Hall. I could also spot a few doors as I walked, all labelled with appropriate signs.

It was helpful, yes, but it also made me again question just what exactly the purpose of this building was. Just a moment ago, I was in the lobby of what looked like an office, now it looks as if I'm in a high school.

Here's to hoping I find some kind of answer to this whole situation, I suppose.


{INVESTIGATION START}

[Painting]

There are several paintings like this scattered around. They each seem to depict a different group of heroes every time, although none of them I can recognize.

But...one is giving me an odd feeling. The same sense of familiarity that the banner had been giving me. Strange...

 

[Medical Bay Door]

The sign for this door states that this is the medical bay. Why would a place like this need a medical bay, though?

Maybe I should check it out. There could always be useful information in there.

 

[Interact with: Medical Bay Door]

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{INVESTIGATION PAUSED}


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{Medical Bay 1F}

 

The medical bay was a clean, sterile room with a large window in the back to let in light. There were two rows of beds, each divided by a curtain so as to give occupants privacy and a few cabinets of medicine and supplies. There was a desk right by the door as well, although it was unoccupied.

At first glance, there didn't seem to be anything of interest. I was about to turn around and leave when I heard...something rustling. Following quickly behind was movement behind one of the back curtains.

It seems I wasn't alone.

 

[Interact with: Back Curtain]

The back curtains were rustling, like someone was moving behind it. The closer I got, I could also hear voices talking in hushed tones. Was I...intruding on something?

??? (Male 1): [Voice] Kid, seriously, hold still. 

??? (Male 1): [Voice] Trust me. If I don't clean it out now, it'll hurt a hell of a lot more later on.

??? (Male 2): [Voice] If you're trying to clean it, then can't you use actual disinfectant instead of just water?

??? (Male 1): [Voice] Yeah, like I'm gonna use some bottle of who knows what. This water's gonna do fine enough, dammit!

...No, it just sounds like arguing. And between an older man and a child of all things.

But, my curiosity overtook me. I carefully pulled back the curtain a small bit, so as not to bring attention to myself. It didn't sound like they needed anyone barging in, after all.


{CG}

[Through a parted curtain, Alvis is seen watching what looks to be a fight between a muscular, dark-skinned man and a young, but rather fit teen. The older man is holding a damp cloth and barking orders at the teen, who is sitting on the bed with one hand covering a scratch stretching from his hairline to his jawline on the side of his head.]

??? (Male 2): I told you, it's hardly even noticeable! I've gotten far worse injuries while training alongside Master.

??? (Male 2): And if you really were this insistent on cleaning it, then you should've used the disinfectant. There's probably plenty in here!

??? (Male 1): I can't even read the labels on the bottle here, kid, how do we know they aren't poisons in disguise?

??? (Male 2): Because I can read kanji easily, Master made sure I could!

??? (Male 1): Well, did your "master" ever make sure you knew what to do when waking up in some strange place like this?!

??? (Male 2): Er....no....

??? (Male 2): But we were working up to that!

I suppose it isn't just myself and that woman stuck here. How many other people are trapped here anyhow?

They seemed busy. Maybe I should leave now and come back to ask questions later. I made to let go of the curtain, prepared to turn back and leave. But I was stopped dead in my tracks after hearing the teen gasp rather loudly.

??? (Male 2): Ah, wait a moment!

??? (Male 1): I swear to the Goddess of....What is it now?

??? (Male 2): I thought I heard something....

??? (Male 2): Miss Pauline, is that you?

Ah...


{Medical Bay 1F}

Rather sheepishly, I pushed back the curtain. The teen gave a surprised (if not a little exaggerated) gasp while the man seemed to glare of all things.

??? (Male 2): [Surprised; holding hands up] Ah! You're not Miss Pauline, my apologies!

ALVIS: .....

??? (Male 1): [Glaring; arms folded] You're the guy who was knocked out back in the entrance hall, right?

??? (Male 1): I thought that Pauline was gonna stay with you. What happened?

ALVIS: ....l...left...

I'm still having trouble speaking, I see. While I'm grateful I can move around just fine, it's just a little annoying that I still can't form a complete sentence.

I tried to clear my throat in the meantime, ignoring the stares from the other two as best as I could.

??? (Male 1): [Pumped up; fist clenched and raised] Left?

??? (Male 1): What, did she just leave you to fend for yourself the minute you got up?

ALVIS: ....

??? (Male 2): [Serious; hand on chin] Er...Mr. Magnus, sir? I think you're scaring him....

MAGNUS?: [Demanding; raised hand] What, so now I can't ask what happened?

ALVIS: ...

ALVIS: ...s...she left....me....

??? (Male 2): [Surprised; holding hands up] ....

MAGNUS?: [Shocked] ....

The two stared at me for a moment. Before the man gave a somewhat embarrassed harumph.

MAGNUS?: [Sheepish; rubbing back of head] ....Right.

??? (Male 2): [Serious; hand on chin] Well, I'm sure Miss Pauline had her reasons...

??? (Male 2): [Determined; kung fu pose] What's your name then, mister?

ALVIS: Huh....?

That was quite the sudden attitude change. And subject change for that matter.

??? (Male 2): You were still asleep when everyone did introductions.

??? (Male 2): [Proud; hands on hips] So what better time than now? Here, I can start if you're shy!

YOUNG CRICKET: [Determined; kung fu pose] My name is Young Cricket. I look forwards to cooperating and training alongside you!


YOUNG CRICKET
ULTIMATE KUNG FU MASTER


ALVIS: ....Young Cricket....

YOUNG CRICKET: [Proud; hands on hips] Yeah! There you go! Now you've got the spirit!

MAGNUS?: [Defeated; sighing] Geez....you're a loud kid, you know that?

YOUNG CRICKET: Master says that if you don't raise your voice, your strength will never be heard!

MAGNUS?: [Glaring; arms folded] Didn't your master also teach you to shut it once and awhile?

MAGNUS?: [Annoyed] Just my luck that I get stuck with another loud brat...

ALVIS: ...and you...?

MAGNUS?: Oh what, it's my turn for some kind of introduction now?

MAGNUS: [Glaring; arms folded] The name's Magnus.


MAGNUS
ULTIMATE MERCENARY


YOUNG CRICKET: [Serious; hand on chin] Alright, what's your name then?

ALVIS: ....

ALVIS: ...I am Alvis.

ALVIS: ...My apologies....for the sudden intrusion.

YOUNG CRICKET: [Surprised; holding hands up] Hey, hey! Don't worry!

YOUNG CRICKET: It wasn't like we were doing anything important anyhow. 

MAGNUS: [Glaring; arms folded] Oh, so now me trying to make sure that scratch of yours doesn't get infected is nothing, huh?

YOUNG CRICKET: [Determined; kung fu pose] It is when you're not cleaning it properly!

MAGNUS: [Annoyed] I've lived through more wars than you've ever heard of in your life, kid, I know how to clean a wound!

ALVIS: Did...something happen?

MAGNUS: [Demanding; hand raised] Eh? Well, the kid here got into a disagreement with someone else around here.

MAGNUS: [Annoyed] Let's just say he wasn't the agreeable type.

YOUNG CRICKET: [Defeated; shoulders slumped] ....

MAGNUS: Things got messy, but it got broken up before anyone could get hurt. Thankfully.

MAGNUS: [Glaring; arms folded] I volunteered to help clean him up. And the rest is history.

ALVIS: Ah....I see....

I'll have to watch my back then.


{INVESTIGATION START}

[Desk]

A simple desk, this one much less cluttered than the reception desk. I suppose that if there were people working here, this is where they would check people in. There was a computer there as well.

I tried turning it on, but to no avail. I guess I deserve credit for trying, right?

 

[Medicine Cabinet]

This is just one of many cabinets filled with medical supplies. I could only read a few of the labels, as the rest seemed to do the same as the paperwork from before. I could pick out a few...worrying names amongst the bunch.

There was certainly disinfectant here too. I wonder why Magnus keeps refusing to use it?

 

[Beds]

There were two rows of beds here, standard for a medical bay. While they don't look extremely comfortable, they certainly get the job done.

 

[Talk to: Magnus]

MAGNUS: [Annoyed] Can't believe kids nowadays....

MAGNUS: [Demanding; hand raised] Hell, I'd be lucky to have time to patch myself up, let alone have someone else help.

ALVIS: Have you tried searching in there?

MAGNUS: [Glaring; arms folded] The cabinets?

MAGNUS: I've tried searching. It all looks like dangerous stuff, if you ask me. I'd rather not risk the life of a kid.

YOUNG CRICKET: [Defensive; kung fu stance] But I told you it was safe, there's nothing too dangerous in there!

YOUNG CRICKET: ....depending on what shelf you look, at least.

ALVIS: Er...Magnus, can you...read the labels?

MAGNUS: [Shocked] Huh? Well...

MAGNUS: [Defeated; sighing] ...No. I can't at all. Not even a scrap of paper.

MAGNUS: [Thoughtful; rubbing chin] It's weird too. I don't need it often, but I'm a pretty good reader if I say so myself.

YOUNG CRICKET: [Serious; hand on chin] If you're as good at reading as you are stubborn, I don't doubt it.

MAGNUS: [Glaring; arms folded] Watch it, kid.

So I'm not the only one having trouble reading. Although, from what I can gather, Magnus can't read it at all.

Odd.

 

[Talk to: Young Cricket]

YOUNG CRICKET: [Determined; kung fuu pose] Did you need something, Mr. Alvis?

ALVIS: I was....curious.

ALVIS: How many other people are here?

YOUNG CRICKET: [Serious; hand on chin] How many? Hmm...

YOUNG CRICKET: I'd say about 16, including you, me, and Mr. Magnus, sir.

YOUNG CRICKET: [Thoughtful; hands behind head] And we all woke up all of a sudden in the Entrance Hall. Only a few people actually know each other.

16 other people?

ALVIS: And....where is this place?

YOUNG CRICKET: No clue. Miss Pauline and Miss Impa were trying to figure that out. Well...before we realized you hadn't woken up yet.

YOUNG CRICKET: [Surprised; holding hands up] A-Ah! That reminds me! Are you alright?!

ALVIS: ...I'm fine....

YOUNG CRICKET: [Neutral] Are you sure? You certainly worried a lot of us when you just wouldn't wake up...

That woman from earlier mentioned that too. Was I really out for a while?

ALVIS: I'll recover. You don't need to worry....

YOUNG CRICKET: [Proud; hands on hips] Well...if you say so. Just know that we're here to help!

Given your argument with Magnus, I think I'll manage without the help.

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{INVESTIGATION END}


Yet again, my search yields nothing.

Well, I guess finding out there are 16 other people here counts as something. Judging by what Young Cricket's said, it looks like I'll have to start introducing myself around the others.

....Maybe there's someone here knows who I am....

MAGNUS: [Neutral] Leaving already, kid?

ALVIS: Hm?

MAGNUS: [Sheepish; rubbing back of head] Didn't look like you found whatever you were looking for. So I'm guessin' you're moving out then.

MAGNUS: Or am I wrong?

ALVIS: I want to find answers.....that's all.

YOUNG CRICKET: [Determined; kung fu pose] Then allow us to assist you! Who knows what else lies in this place!

MAGNUS: [Glaring; arms folded] Oh no we aren't.

Magnus grabbed onto the back of Young Cricket's shirt, easily lifting him clear off his feet.

MAGNUS: You're staying here so I can clean you up.

MAGNUS: [Annoyed] I don't want to have to break up another fight either.

YOUNG CRICKET: [Defensive; kung fu stance] It's a small scratch! I'll be fine!

MAGNUS: [Demanding; hand raised] That's what they all say.

MAGNUS: [Glaring; arms folded] You should get going, kid. Something's telling me we're gonna be here for a bit.

YOUNG CRICKET: [Determined; kung fu pose] We'll catch up with you later though, Alvis!

I gave a silent nod as I turned to leave. At least it seemed like some of the people here were friendly.

...Granted, I should still stay on guard. Magnus did mention Young Cricket getting into a fight with someone...

 

[Interact with: Hallway Door]


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{West Hallway 1F}

{INVESTIGATION RESUME}

[Medical Bay Door]

As pleasant as it would be to see those two again, I don't think I'm quite ready for that again. If I had to describe them in some way...

Friendly, but incredibly loud. 

I should leave them to it for now.

 

[Windows]

Various windows lined the walls, flanked by deep lilac curtains. The view was the same as in the entrance hall, but I could catch a glimpse of a few distant trees if I craned my neck. I also thought I saw the edges of the building as well, curling around as the hallway turned.

I tried opening these ones. But they seemed to be locked. I suppose that should be expected, especially since the front doors were stuck fast.

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{INVESTIGATION PAUSE}


As soon as I rounded the bend, I found my path blocked by a small group of three (Two men, one...almost alien looking woman), all talking amongst themselves while waiting by a door. Oddly enough, this one was unlabelled.

??? (Male 1): [Uncomfortable; drawing cloak around self] This is highly unsafe.

??? (Male 2): [Confident; hands in pockets, leaning back] Oh come on, he's a demolitionist. He knows what he's doing, right?

??? (Male 1): And how are we to know that something won't go wrong? A building can be as stable as can be, but crumble the moment an explosion is set off.

??? (Female): [Holding hand over mouth] The structure is likely reinforced with steel. It'd take a lot more than a single bomb to destroy it.

??? (Male 2): [Curious; hand raised] You clearly have not been around many bombs, missy.

ALVIS: Er...is there something wrong?

Immediately, the three of them turned to me, the two men instantly on high alert. The alien-looking woman just sighed and shook her head.

??? (Female): [Polite; bowing] My sincerest apologies, we didn't mean to get in your way. We were just holding a small meeting.

??? (Male 2): [Frowning; hand behind head] Is that what we're calling it now?

Moving inhumanly fast, the other man elbowed him in the gut. Hard.

??? (Male 2): [Alert; hard glare] Hey!

??? (Male 1): [On-guard; reaching under cloak] May we help you with anything?

ALVIS: I've just been...trying to get information. And introduce myself to everyone, as well.

??? (Female): [Curious; head tilted] Introduce yourself? I thought we had all introduced ourselves an hour or so ago.

??? (Male 2): [Frowning; hand behind head] ....

??? (Male 2): Hey, hold on. He's the guy who was still zonked out while we were getting the introductions out of the way.

Don't tell me that's what my reputation has become.

??? (Male 1): [Pensive; eyes closed] Ah, is that the case?

??? (Male 1): [Sincere; hand over chest] Pardon my rude behavior then. This odd place has put me on edge ever since we've woken up.

??? (Male 2): [Disappointed; eyes closed, hands behind head] Tell that to the rest of us.

??? (Male 2): It's all so normal, but I don't think I've ever been in a place that feels this fucking off. Gives me the creeps.

??? (Female): [Hand over mouth] Indeed. It's all such a confusing ordeal.

I think that might be putting it mildly.

??? (Male 1): Confusion aside, I believe it would be prudent to introduce ourselves, as you had suggested earlier.

ALUCARD: [Commanding; hand thrown out] I am named Adrian Fahrenheit Ţepeş,  but I would prefer you refer to me as Alucard. I am pleased to meet you.


ARDIAN "ALUCARD" FAHRENHEIT ŢEPEŞ
ULTIMATE DHAMPIR


ALVIS: Likewise...

??? (Male 2): [Confident; hands in pockets, leaning back] Don't get too intimidated by him, kid. His bite might be bad, but his bark is worse.

ALUCARD: [On-guard; reaching under cloak] Must you continue with these horrid jests?

??? (Male 2): [Frowning; hand behind head] Y'know, you got me there. That one fucking sucked.

??? (Male 2): [Grinning; pulling down hat] 'Course, you'd know all 'bout that, right?

Alucard let out a groan, shaking his head.

??? (Female): [Stern; eyes narrowed] Luka. I thought I explained this earlier, but now would not be the time.

LUKA?: [Frowning; hand behind head] C'mon, I've never gotten a chance to make these jokes!

LUKA?: All the other freaky shit I could've made fun of enjoy tryin' to kill me more. Supernaturals these days, am I right?

ALVIS: If you're trying to be a comedian, I would suggest sticking to your day job.

LUKA?: [Disappointed; eyes closed; hands behind head] Damn, now I'm even gettin' chewed out by the kid. Today is just not my day.

ALUCARD: [Commanding; hand thrown out] May we continue with introductions? Time is of the essence.

LUKA?: [Frowning; hand behind head] Yeah, yeah, I'll get to it.

LUKA: [Cocky; grappling gun raised] The name's Luka Redgrave. And yes, the Luka Redgrave. Wouldn't be surprised if you heard of me.


LUKA REDGRAVE
ULTIMATE JOURNALIST


ALVIS: ....

LUKA: ....

LUKA: [Frowning; hand behind head] ....Yeah. Been gettin' that reaction lately.

LUKA: Do people not read the newspaper any more or somethin'?

ALUCARD: [Uncomfortable; drawing cloak around self] Forgive us for not indulging local literature in our current situation.

??? (Female): [Stern; eyes narrowed] Boys.

??? (Female): [Impatient; slamming fist into open palm] This is highly unprofessional. Especially in front of a guest.

ALUCARD: ....

LUKA: [Disappointed; eyes closed, hands behind head] ....

Someone's rather uptight, huh? It's impressive how much control she already has over the situation. Even when she turned to me with a pleasant look on her face once more, I could feel myself shrink slightly.

She wasn't someone to be trifled with, that much was certain.

??? (Female): [Polite; bowing] My apologies. I was previously searching with Alucard when we happened to meet up with Luka.

??? (Female): It seems their personalities don't exactly mesh well. But, I suppose without my instruments, there isn't much I can exactly do. Regrettable, but such is life.

SUSIE: [Neutral] I don't believe I've gotten a chance to introduce myself, have I? My name is Susanna Patrya Haltmann. But my coworkers refer to me as Susie. It has quite the charm to it, don't you think?


SUSANNA "SUSIE" PATRYA HALTMANN
ULTIMATE CORPORATE SPY


ALVIS: Susie....Luka....and Alucard....

ALVIS: I see. It's a pleasure meeting you all, although I do wish the circumstances weren't so...distressing. My name is Alvis.

ALUCARD: [Neutral] So, you had inquired as to what we three were doing?

ALVIS: Ah, yes. It seemed as if something was wrong. Is...everything alright?

SUSIE: [Hand over mouth] Oh, yes, quite. 

LUKA: [Frowning; hand behind head] See, I was lookin' around with this little guy called Bomberman. And we found this office with a locked safe.

LUKA: The important part? That little guy can blow it up. He's got bombs stashed all over the goddamn place. But he warned that these things got one hell of a range on 'em and told me to stand out here.

ALUCARD: [Sincere; hand over chest] Susanna and I happened across him not too long ago. We have made idle chatter since then, while we wait for these bombs to go off.

ALVIS: And...how long ago was this?

SUSIE: [Curious; head tilted] Give or take twenty minutes, I believe. Why do you ask?

ALVIS: Have you tried....peeking in? There might be trouble.

LUKA: [Confident; hands in pockets, leaning back] They kept sayin' that too. But I got faith in the little bastard.

LUKA: [Curious; hand raised] He's literally named Bomberman. He's gotta be one helluva demolitionist, right?

It was almost like the world had been waiting for him to say those words.

There was suddenly a loud rumble from the room, followed quickly by a rather big and loud explosion. Enough so that...


{CG}

[The four had stepped away from the door, all shielding themselves, as the door itself was blown clear off its hinges. Nothing much is seen of the room inside, as it is mostly a dusty, smoke-filled mess. The screen seems to shake a small bit before settling.]

BOOM!

The door was blown clear off of its hinges.

LUKA: OH SHIT!

ALUCARD: It seems we've found our answer then.

ALVIS: Is he still in there?!

LUKA: Hang on, kid, I'm comin'!


{West Hallway 1F}

Without warning, Luka instantly dove into the dust cloud.

ALVIS: S-Should we go after him?

SUSIE: [Holding hand over mouth] I believe that would be a wise choice.

ALUCARD: [On-guard; reaching under cloak] Then allow me to go first.

Alucard cautiously ventured in after Luka, followed quickly behind by Susie, who looked a little less concerned than the rest of us.

I should follow too. Just to make sure nothing's wrong.

 

[Interact: Office Doorway]


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{West Lower League Office 1F}

With the door gone, the smoke was beginning to clear out at a rapid rate. Not that it really did the room any favors. What should've been a cozy office now resembled a war zone. Scorch marks covered the walls, pieces of furniture and paintings had been scattered about, and chunks of the ceiling had even fallen out.

And sitting in the center of it all? A silver safe with hardly a dent in it. Hell, I don't even think a speck of dust was resting on it, even after all that.

I only had one foot in the door when Luka pulled out a young-looking man from under some of the bookshelves.

ALUCARD: [Uncomfortable; drawing cloak around body] He does not appear to be wounded. Just...

??? (Male): [Disoriented] Ow ow ow ow ow....

LUKA: [Disappointed; eyes closed, hands behind head] Jesus fucking Christ kid, do you have to give me a heart attack like that?

??? (Male): Ughhhh....I didn't think they'd be that strong....they didn't even work back in the entrance hall....

SUSIE: [Holding hand over mouth] Goodness, you're quite destructive, aren't you?

??? (Male): [Puzzled; holding hand to mask] Huh....? Oh, Susie and Alucard....I wasn't expecting you.

??? (Male): Hiya person I've never seen before, nice meeting ya.

LUKA: [Curious; hand raised] Guessin' you weren't able to get the damn thing open, huh?

??? (Male): [Neutral] Nope. It's weird too. I swore I used one of my strongest bombs too. It should've....

??? (Male): ....

LUKA: Uh...hello? Earth to Bomberman? You there, kid?

The young man's eyes widened quite considerably as his gaze locked onto me. I couldn't help but feel just a bit awkward, hesitantly holding up a hand in response. He scrambled up to his feet, still just...staring at me.

I don't think I looked that strange. Or did I? I still haven't gotten a good look at myself....

BOMBERMAN?: [Panicking; hands over head] ....Where'd the new guy come from?!

LUKA: [Disappointed; eyes closed, hands behind head] Kid, relax. Serious. This guy ain't a threat.

LUKA: Alucard woulda teared him apart if he was.

ALUCARD: [On-guard; reaching under cloak] I have made a vow to not harm a human if I can help. And I assure you, it still holds true here.

LUKA: [Frowning; hand behind head] Christ, calm down. It's called a joke, ever heard of it?

Now is hardly the time for more jokes.

ALVIS: Can we get back to the matter at hand?

BOMBERMAN?: [Puzzled; holding hand to mask] Yeah, I'm with the new guy right now. What the hell's going on?

Shouldn't we be asking you that?

SUSIE: [Holding hand over mouth] Oh, pardon. Our newest acquaintance was just introducing himself.

SUSIE: He was still unconscious even after the rest of us had woken up.

BOMBERMAN?: [Relieved; deep sigh] Ooooooooh....Okay, I think I get it.

BOMBERMAN?: [Panicking; hands over head] ....WAIT, NO I DON'T! WASN'T PAULINE SUPPOSED TO STAY WITH HIM?

ALUCARD: [On-guard; reaching under cloak] He brings up a valid argument....

ALVIS: I'm...afraid I only have a vague idea as to who she is.

ALVIS: She's the woman who was with me in the entrance hall when I woke up, correct?

LUKA: [Confident; hands in pockets, leaning back] 'Less it was anyone else, yeah, should be.

ALVIS: I see....She left before I could properly gather my bearings. When I realized she hadn't been back in a while, I became concerned and decided to follow after her.

SUSIE: [Curious; head tilt] Hmm...Alucard, didn't we see Pauline earlier?

ALUCARD: [Sincere; hand over chest] I do believe we did. Or at least, we passed by her on our way here.

ALVIS: Did you see where she was going?

ALUCARD: [Uncomfortable; drawing cloak around self] Yes. She was headed towards the and dining hall. And unless she travelled around the length of this building, she is likely still there.

BOMBERMAN?: [Puzzled; hand to mask] Geez...you guys are so confusing. 

BOMBERMAN?: Can't I get a name first before you decide to go running off?

ALVIS: A-Ah! My apologies. My name is Alvis. And...you are?

BOMBERMAN: [Excited; fist raised; eyes closed] I'm Bomberman! Here's to hoping we end up being good friends!


BOMBERMAN
ULTIMATE DEMOLITIONIST


BOMBERMAN: Alright then, time to start crackin' this thing again!

LUKA: [Curious; hand raised] You're seriously gonna try blowing it up again?

BOMBERMAN: [Puzzled; holding hand to mask] Why wouldn't I? There's gotta be something good in there if it's this protected, right?

ALUCARD: [Pensive; eyes closed] That much appears to be true. But surely there must be a better way of opening it.

SUSIE: [Impatient; slamming fist into open palm] Let me give it a try then. 

SUSIE: I've cracked hundreds of safes that looked harder than this!

That's....mildly alarming.

Regardless...I guess I should try to look around before I leave. Er...whatever was left in here at least.


{INVESTIGATION START}

[Desk]

What should've been a pristine desk was now covered in soot and pieces of wood. The computer that had been sitting on it was blown away clear to the other side of the room. And I probably wouldn't have been able to read the papers regardless.

 

[Ruined Paintings]

That's a shame, some of these paintings looked beautiful. Most of them are either covered in dust or torn into tatters. I can feel the artist's anguish just looking at this.

 

[Steel Safe]

ALVIS: This is the safe you were trying to open?

BOMBERMAN: [Starry-eyed; fists pumped] Yep! It's got one hell of an outer shell, especially if it can survive so many of my bombs.

BOMBERMAN: Just kinda a shame the same can't be said about the rest of the room.

How many bombs did you use?!

The safe in question seemed to be made out of stainless steel, locked electronically. It looks like it needs a 6 digit code in order to open. I didn't dare try to input anything, noticing on the screen a counter of 5. Maybe you get locked out if you get it wrong a certain number of times.

I hope Susie knows what she's doing.

 

[Bookshelves]

A few bookshelves lined the walls, filled with very old and possibly priceless books. A few of them had spilled over as a result of the explosion, hiding an indent in the wall in the perfect shape of Bomberman while scattering books everywhere.

I picked one of them up, only to frown as I realized it wasn't even in a language I could understand. The cover didn't give me any clues either.

 

[Holes in Ceiling]

LUKA: [Frowning; hand behind head] Christ, those things even blew holes in the ceiling. Should we be worried about it caving in?

BOMBERMAN: [Puzzled; holding hand to mask] I don't think so. If it was serious, we probably would've heard more creaking.

That doesn't exactly make it feel any less worrying.

 

[Holes in Wall]

That blast really did a number on this place. While most of the damage had been done to the ceiling, a good few chunks of the wall had been blown away, revealing support beams and pipelines.

 

[Talk To: Susie]

SUSIE: [Holding hand over mouth] ....

She's staring intensely at the lock's screen, as if she was just trying to figure it out by looking at it.

It's probably better if I just leave her to it then. It's not like I can offer any help.

 

[Talk to: Luka]

LUKA: [Frowning; hand behind head] Hm...

ALVIS: Something on your mind?

LUKA: A lot, if I'll be honest. But I guess I'll stick to the main thing.

LUKA: [Curious; hand raised] Remember the whole entrance hall fiasco, yeah?

Fiasco? What in the world happened?

ALVIS: Er...could you elaborate?

LUKA: [Disappointed; eyes closed, hands behind head] Shit, right, you were still out.

LUKA: [Frowning; hand behind head] Well, to keep it brief, Bomberman tried to blow up the front door in the entrance hall.

LUKA: Actually, a good number of us tried to break out immediately. You'd be surprised by how many people here have some kind of supernatural power.

LUKA: [Disappointed; eyes closed, hands behind head] Er...point being. No matter what they did, nothing worked. Bombs over there didn't even have his shit on him.

And I managed to sleep through all of that? I can only imagine the amount of chaos that had to have ensued.

ALVIS: Ah, wait. How come he was able to place down bombs here then?

LUKA: [Alert; hard glare] I dunno. And something tells me the answer ain't pretty.

 

[Talk to: Alucard]

ALUCARD: [Sincere; hand over chest] Did you need something?

ALVIS: ...Kind of?

ALVIS: You mentioned before that you and Susie were looking around here earlier. Were you able to figure out what this place is?

ALUCARD: [Uncomfortable; drawing cloak around self] Hm...I believe we've discerned that this is some kind of stadium, one specifically for holding fighting tournaments.

ALUCARD: [Pensive; eyes closed] However, stranger still, there seems to be living quarters as well, although that is in a separate building. From the glance we had taken, they seem to have prepared for our arrival.

Living quarters? Are those meant to be for us?

ALVIS: I see...Thank you.

ALVIS: Can I ask just one more thing?

ALUCARD: [Commanding; hand thrown out] Speak.

ALVIS: Where exactly is the dining hall you mentioned earlier?

ALUCARD: [Pensive; eyes closed] At the end of this hall is a room that connects this side of the building with the other. Take the door to your immediate right.

ALUCARD: The living quarters are in the same area as well, just a floor above actually.

ALVIS: Alright. Again, thank you.

 

[Talk to: Bomberman]

BOMBERMAN: [Starry-eyed; fists pumped] Hey, hey! Just let me know when I can try blowing it up again, Susie!

BOMBERMAN: My Mega Bomb'll get it open before you can say 'Explosion'!

I don't think she appreciates the offer. Judging by the look on her face at least.

.

.

.

{INVESTIGATION END}


Just like the medical bay and entrance hall, nothing. Although I guess that should've been expected. With the mess Bomberman caused, I don't think I could've found anything, much less anything of much use.

I said my goodbyes to the others for now, before heading back out to the hall.


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{West Hallway 1F}

{INVESTIGATION RESUME}

[Office Doorway]

I wasn't able to find anything in there. It'd probably be best if I continued on to the dining hall Alucard had mentioned.

 

[Office Door]

The door that had been blown up earlier was still here, resting against the opposite wall. It's covered in new cracks and scorch marks. Not to mention it was surprisingly heavy. I decided to leave it there just for now.

 

[Communications Room Door]

Farther down the hall was another door, this one labelled with a telephone sign.

ALVIS: This must be a communications or broadcasting room. Maybe...

I tried the doorknob, only to sigh as I realized it was locked.

ALVIS: Of course. I should've guessed.

 

[Elevator Hall Doorway]

It, surprisingly, didn't take long before I reached the hallway end. And, just as Alucard had said, there was another room at the end of it all. A small plaque above entryway read 'Elevators'.

This was the place...right?

Well, I guess I'll never know until I head in.

.

.

.

{INVESTIGATION END}


[Interact with: Elevator Hall Doorway}


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{Elevator Hall 1F}

This certainly looked like the place Alucard had mentioned.

The room was probably half the size of the entrance hall, decorated similarly to how the hallways were. There were two elevators on one end of the room, roped off with an overwhelming amount of yellow tape. I quickly noticed there was another hallway opposite of the one I had just walked out from. To my right was another door, this one labelled 'Cafeteria'.

I started to walk over, only to spot something - or rather, someone - out of the corner of my eye.

A small purple creature that stood facing one of the room's corners, lowly grumbling to itself.

ALVIS: ....Excuse me?

??? (Male): [Confused; blank expression] Uuuuuuuugh! What the hell is it this tim--

It turned around, at first mildly annoyed before that expression turned into confusion.

??? (Male): ....

??? (Male): [Grinning] Oh! Hiya! I didn't hear you come in, so you caught me a bit off guard.

??? (Male): What'cha need?

ALVIS: I was just....heading to the cafeteria. 

??? (Male): [Neutral] Oh.

Without skipping a beat, it turned around to face the wall once more.

....What?

ALVIS: Er...is that all?

??? (Male): [Neutral] What, you expected more?

??? (Male): [Mischievous; smirking, glancing away] Maybe if you make an effort, I'll be generous enough to introduce myself!

ALVIS: H-Huh?

??? (Male): [Grinning] What, you didn't think I noticed?

??? (Male): You were that guy who didn't feel the need to wake up with the rest of us, so you don't know anyone's names!

??? (Male): [Mischievous; smirking, glancing away] What's it gonna be tough guy? How will you entertain me?

ALVIS: I....uh....I'm....Alvis...?

I was practically left speechless. How else are you supposed to react when someone demands you make things interesting just so you can learn their name?

??? (Male): [Saddened; looking down] Awwwwh...Is that really all you've got?

??? (Male): Dear NOVA, you're just as boring as everyone else here.

Bold words coming from the beach ball who still hasn't come out of a corner.

??? (Male): [Grinning] Ehehehehe! But you seem like a fun one. So I guesssss I'll reveal my secret identity.

MARX: [Starry-eyed; bouncing on ball] Kneel before Popstar's greatest performer, Marx!


MARX
ULTIMATE JESTER


MARX: [Mischievous; smirking, glancing away] Now, shoo! I've got important things to do.

ALVIS: Like what, standing in a corner?

MARX: [Confused; blank expression] Uh, yeah? It's my....thinking corner!

MARX: [Grinning] I come here all the time just to think and work out my thoughts. I got so many of 'em bouncing around in this head of mine that it gets overwhelming!

MARX: And given the fact that we're trapped here with no escape, it's a pretty reasonable thing to do, riiiiiight~?

ALVIS: Er....I can't exactly deny that.

ALVIS: If you've been thinking about this all, then, have you been able to figure anything out?

MARX: Hmmm...

MARX: [Devilish; odd glint in eye] Nope! I'm not telling!

This is getting infuriating at this point. Not to mention mentally exhausting.


{INVESTIGATION BEGIN}

[Elevators]

Simple elevators you'd expect to see in a hotel, although they're completely blocked off by several lines of yellow and black tape. Actually, make that an absurd amount of tape. I think it's pretty safe to assume then they're currently out of order.

 

[East Hallway Doorway]

That seems to lead back to the entrance hall. I can't leave yet, I need to check the dining hall first.

 

[West Hallway Doorway]

That's the hallway I just came down. I don't see any need to go back down that way right now. There are other places I need to be right now.

 

[Talk to: Marx]

MARX: [Confused; blank expression] Huh? I already told you everything I know.

MARX: Now shoo. I got more important things to think about!

 

[Contestant Quarters Door]

A set of clear, double doors that lead to a glass tunnel. From what I can make out, there's what looks to be a dining area beyond another set of doors. But what's with the sign?

'Contestant Quarters'?

.

.

.

{INVESTIGATION END}


[Interact with: Contestant Quarters Door]


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{Connecting Hallway}

This hallway seems to connect the living quarters with the rest of the building. There's hardly anything of note here, other than the fact that practically everything other than the floor was made out of glass.

Not that it was to any relief. All it did was show off how much this place truly seemed to be in the middle of nowhere.


Moving Locations

...Now Loading...


{Cafeteria}

Beyond the doors was the cafeteria in question, lined with various tables and even spaces to just relax. One of the walls seemed to be dedicated to serving food, filled with currently empty trays and bowls. Opposite of the doors was a staircase that probably led upwards to living spaces.

Almost at once, I spotted a group of three people, one of them being the woman who had been there when I first woke up. She was listening intently to a rather muscular man, who seemed to be complaining about something, while a young girl in red stood nearby, watching with an empty expression.

??? (Male): [Disinterested; adjusting claw] These rooms are hardly anything special. At best, they seem to be basic hotel rooms.

??? (Male): To think whoever dared to trap me here expects me to live off of nothing!

??? (Female 1): [Awkward; half-smile] Er....from what I'm getting, it sounds like there's a lot more there than just 'nothing'.

??? (Male): [Clutching chest] With how drab and ugly those rooms are, there might as well be nothing.

??? (Female 1): [Concerned; head tilted] Well, why don't you look in the storage room then? Maybe you'll be able to find what you need.

??? (Male): [Dramatic; hand on forehead] No simple storage room will have the supplies I need to maintain such beauty, querido.

I started to approach them, only catching the attention of the young girl. She simply stared at me, before walking to the woman and pulling on her dress.

??? (Female 2): [Blank] ....

??? (Female 1): [Smiling warmly] Hm? Is there something wrong, Ashley?

ASHLEY?: [Blank; pointing] ...We have a visitor.

The three turned to me, causing me to pause.

ALVIS: ....Hello. I...wasn't interrupting anything, was I?

??? (Male): [Disinterested; adjusting claw] Hmph. What business do you have here?

??? (Female 1): [Shocked; hand over mouth] A-Ah! Wait! You were the one who was still unconscious in the entrance hall!

??? (Female 1): Oh goodness, I'd completely forgotten! I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to leave for so long!

ALVIS: It's fine... From what I've gathered, it sounds as if you've had quite a bit to worry about, lately.

And that's putting it mildly.

??? (Female 1): [Smiling warmly] Well...at least it's good to see you're up and about. I'm assuming you've been going around and introducing yourself?

ALVIS: Yes.

??? (Male): [Dramatic; hand on forehead] Say no more. Prepare yourself for a hermosa introducción.

VEGA: I....am Spain's greatest fighter. Vega! You'd do well to remember that name.


VEGA
ULTIMATE MATADOR


Someone certainly sounds rather full of himself. Still, I can't deny the fact that he looks like an intimidating fighter. Not to mention the fact that....Hold on.

ALVIS: Is that...blood on your claw?

VEGA: [Disinterested; adjusting claw] Hm? Oh, this...

VEGA: I haven't gotten the chance to clean it quite yet. Such an unsightly blemish on my perfection. However, it isn't mine.

ALVIS: Huh?

??? (Female 1): [Awkward; half-smile] There was a small fight before we all split up to search this place. Things got somewhat violent, but Magnus was able to break it up before anyone got too seriously injured.

VEGA: [Neutral] Someone had to teach that brat manners. Who better than I?

A fight Magnus had to break up....

Was this...?

ALVIS: ...You're the one who gave Young Cricket that scratch then.

??? (Female 1): [Shocked; hand over mouth] Oh! So you've already met up with him and Magnus, in that case?

ALVIS: They were the first two I met, actually. 

VEGA: [Disinterested; adjusting claw] A shame he was the first you had to meet. Despite such a youthful face, he lacks any true beauty and grace.

I suddenly don't blame him for trying to fight you.

??? (Female 1): [Awkward; half-smile] Er....Okay, how about we move on before anybody says something they might regret.

??? (Female 1): [Neutral] Ashley, would you like to go next?

ASHLEY?: [Blank] ....

ASHLEY: [Blank; glancing away] ...The name's Ashley. Don't get in my way.


ASHLEY
ULTIMATE SORCERESS


??? (Female 1): [Smiling Warmly] Hey, come on now...

??? (Female 1): [Awkward; half-smile] Both of you aren't the best at first impressions, are you?

ALVIS: First impressions don't always reveal everything about a person.

??? (Female 1): [Neutral] Aaaah....I suppose that's true.

??? (Female 1): [Cheeky; tipping hat] I guess you wouldn't have been wandering around trying to find me otherwise.

PAULINE: My name is Pauline, mayor of New Donk City. I've been trying to keep this ragtag group together while searching for a way out. It's a pleasure to meet you!


PAULINE
ULTIMATE SINGER


VEGA: [Dramatic; hand on forehead] And your name, my good sir?

ALVIS: I'm Alvis. Pleasure to meet you all.

PAULINE: [Smiling warmly] The same to you too.

PAULINE: Now...to business....

PAULINE: [Angry; hands on hips, learning forwards] Vega, I'd appreciate it if you just make due with what we have now.

PAULINE: If you're really upset about there not being enough in the rooms, just search the storage room. There's more important things to be worried about right now!

VEGA: [Clutching chest] .....

She has such an intense glare, enough to even silence someone like Vega. I suppose that should be a given, especially considering how she seems to have taken charge.

It's highly admirable, more so when looking at our situation.


{INVESTIGATION BEGIN}

[Serving Station]

Along a counter set into the wall were trays upon trays, with a few large bowls sprinkled throughout. All of them were empty and completely free of any trash. Plates and bowls were stacked separately, alongside silverware.

A small notice hung just above the trays.

"Breakfast is from 7 am to 10 am. Lunch is from 11 am to 1 pm. Dinner is from 5 pm to 8 pm. No food will be served from 10 pm to 6 am."

So there's a schedule it seems. And specific rules too.

 

[Stairway]

This has to lead upstairs to the rooms. I think I'll check up there later, it's not the most pressing issue right now.

 

[Talk to: Vega]

VEGA: [Disinterested; adjusting claw] Do you need something?

ALVIS: Er...No. I was just-

VEGA: Then be gone. I have no need of you.

As self-absorbed as he is, he doesn't seem like someone I should start picking fights with.

Not if I want to end up like Cricket.

 

[Talk to: Ashley]

ALVIS: Whoever was behind this even kidnapped a child?

ASHLEY: [Blank] ....I'm not surprised.

ALVIS: Huh?

ASHLEY: [Blank; glancing away] If I had my staff here, then I could show you. But something's stopping Red from coming.

ASHLEY: [Blank] There's probably a magical seal. Or something like that.

Luka mentioned before that some supernatural powers weren't working. But I thought it was only limited to the entrance hall?

 

[Talk to: Pauline]

PAULINE: [Awkward; half-smile] I really can't express how sorry I am for leaving you.

PAULINE: I was in here grabbing a cup of water, like I promised, but Vega stopped me before I can leave. I guess I was here longer than I thought.

ALVIS: You really don't need to apologize. I've found my way around just fine.

PAULINE: [Smiling warmly] I noticed. You look much more better than before too.

PAULINE: [Cheeky; tipping hat] You looked as pale as a sheet!

ALVIS: D-Did I? I think anyone would in this situation!

PAULINE: [Smiling warmly] Tee hee!

ALVIS: That all aside...

ALVIS: Magnus and Cricket told me you were looking into where we were. Any leads as of yet?

PAULINE: [Concerned; head tilted] Location-wise? No, I'm afraid not...

PAULINE: Impa had gone with a few of the others down the East Hallway looking for clues. They might've found something there.

PAULINE: [Awkward; half-smile] I'd gladly show you the way...But something tells me Vega won't let me leave that easily. Plus, I'd rather keep an eye on him for now.

PAULINE: I don't want him causing any more fights, y'know?

.

.

.

{INVESTIGATION END}

This room is strange, certainly. An entire area had basically been set aside for us to live, supposedly. Why, if I didn't know any better, I'd wager a guess and say that whoever was behind this expected us to stay for quite a while.

It was a thought that made me frown the moment it crossed my mind. But it also reinforced the idea that if we wanted to get out, it'd probably be a good idea to keep searching around. Maybe I could find the group checking out the East Hallway.

I bid a goodbye to the others before I headed out.


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{Elevator Hall 1F}

...Marx was still in the corner, muttering to himself. I ignored him and continued on towards the one hallway I hadn't explored yet.

[Interact with: East Hallway Doorway]


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{East Hallway 1F}

 

{INVESTIGATION BEGIN}

 

[Marble Busts]

Lined along the walls here or there were marble busts. From what I counted, I found about 8 in total, all depicting a wide variety of people and animals.

Looking at it seemed to strike a chord, although I couldn't put my finger on what. Unlike the tapestry and paintings, there wasn't that same sense of deep familiarity I had felt earlier.

They were well-crafted, though. I wonder if any of them are hiding a button underneath?

 

[Locker Room Door]

This room seems to be labelled 'Locker Room', which makes sense if this is a stadium. I tried the doorknob only to find it, too, was locked. 

The communications room, I can understand, but a locker room?

 

[Potted Plants]

Every so often, I'd come across a beautifully blooming flower in a pot, usually sitting on an small table in front of a window or painting. I gently tried feeling one of them, only to feel thin cloth in its place.

It seems these were plastic rather than alive.

 

[Unlabelled Door]

Another unlabelled door. Maybe it's another office? I should probably check just in case...

 

[Interact with: Unlabelled Door]

.

.

.

{INVESTIGATION PAUSED}


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{East Lower League Office 1F}

As expected, the office inside was practically an indentical copy of the other office. Well...minus the damage Bomberman had caused.

From what I could see, there was only one other person in there. A young man was standing by the bookshelf, carefully leafing through some of the books with an expressionless face. However, I could hear a distinct rustling from behind the desk, indicating another person was there, at least.

I closed the door quietly behind me, which instantly caused the man's gaze to dart up and bore into me.

??? (Male): [Folded arms; glaring] ....Can we help you?

??? (Female): [Voice] Wha--? Is there someone here?

The person by the desk must've crawled under it, as they accidentally hit their head while scrambling up.

??? (Female): [Enraged; pointing, fist clenched] Fucking--!

??? (Male): [Folded arms; glancing away] I told you before to watch yourself.

??? (Female): Don't start getting smart with me, metal boy!

??? (Male): [Pensive; holding elbow] Not one of your more creative nicknames, I see.

??? (Female): [Unimpressed; hand on hip] You try to coming up with a creative nickname when your head hurts like all hell.

??? (Female): But, more importantly....

??? (Female): [Rowdy; pumping fists] Who the hell are you?

I quickly realized she was talking about me. Well, it was a given considering I was the only stranger in the room.

ALVIS: My name is Alvis. I was still unconscious when everyone else made their introductions.

??? (Male): [Neutral] At ease, then, captain. He's hardly a threat.

??? (Female): [Unimpressed; hand on hip] Thanks for the info, Captain Obvious.

??? (Male): [Folded arms; glaring] However, my first question stands.

??? (Male): What's your business here? Did Pauline send for us?

ALVIS: No, no. I've just been looking around...

ALVIS: As well as trying to get introductions done. Although getting information on this place wouldn't hurt.

??? (Female): [Thoughtful; arms crossed, eye closed] That's what the rest of us have been tryin' to do. But we've found jack shit.

??? (Male): [Pensive; holding elbow] None of these books seem to hold any value either. I can't even read some of them.

??? (Male): They're written in these odd symbols that I can hardly even make out....

The reading problem persists, it seems.

ALVIS: Er....can I ask for your names?

??? (Female): [Unimpressed; hand on hip] Eh...I don't see why not.

TETRA: [Cocky; cracking knuckles with a smirk] My name's Tetra, but most folks call me captain. Try not to get in my way, and I won't get in your's!


TETRA
ULTIMATE PIRATE


ALVIS: Captain?

??? (Male): [Folded arms; glancing away] She means she's the leader of a group of pirates. A rather well-known band in her home.

??? (Male): At least, that's what she's told me. I've never heard of a group like her's before.

TETRA: [Rowdy; pumping fists] Not my fault you live on some weird, uncharted island.

TETRA: [Thoughtful; arms crossed, one eye closed] Although....if you could give me the coordinates, my crew would love to pay a visit. You've got some of the most advanced shit I've ever seen.

TETRA: Even more advanced than some of the Ancient shit in temples!

??? (Male): [Serious] I'd rather not.

ALVIS: Advanced tech....

ALVIS: I suppose that would tie into your armor then, correct?

He was the only person I've seen here who was completely covered from head to toe in polished steel armor that almost seemed molded to his skin. For a moment, it seemed as if he couldn't help but glance down at himself as well.

??? (Male): [Pensive; holding elbow] You'd be absolutely right. There really isn't any way of hiding it.

RAIDEN: [Serious] I'm not allowed to tell you my real name, but you can just call me Raiden. I'm a cyborg. I might as well get that out of the way before anything else.


"RAIDEN"
ULTIMATE CYBORG


TETRA: [Unimpressed; hand on hip] .....

TETRA: ....Yeah, that doesn't mean much to me. What about you, new guy?

ALVIS: It means you're part man, part machine.

ALVIS: Did you do this willingly?

RAIDEN: [Folded arms; glancing away] ....

RAIDEN: ...Let's just say....that too is highly classified. I'm not at liberty to divulge that information....

I don't think it's that it's classified, it just sounds like he doesn't want to talk about it.

And given how he looks, I don't think I should really push it.

ALVIS: Alright...Have you two found any clues then?

??? (Male): [Voice] Two? How rude, acting as if I don't exist.

ALVIS: H-Huh?

TETRA: [Rowdy; pumping fists] Knock it off, you jester freak! Some of us are trying to have a conversation here!

??? (Male): [Voice] Ahahahaha. Am I not allowed to partake in the festivities?

??? (Male): [Voice] It would be a terrible shame if our new friend only met 14 of us individuals, would it not?

RAIDEN: [Folded arms; glaring] If you want to introduce yourself, then come out of hiding.

RAIDEN: [Folded arms; glancing away] There doesn't seem to be anything of interest in those books anyways.

??? (Male): [Voice] Hmm....Ah, I don't see why not.

??? (Male): [Voice] Presto!

ALVIS: W-Wait, what's--

Before I could finish my sentence, a sudden, strong gust of wind tore through the room, rapidly flipping through the pages of the book Raiden had been holding.


{CG}

[A single page has torn itself out of the book, which appears to be a single image of a monochrome mask.]

It tore one of the pages out, carrying it high into the air while Raiden snapped the book shut. The page spun in the air, gaining speed rapidly until it was nothing more but a thin cone, folding in on itself.

Until...

[In a flash of light, the page has vanished. Instead, it is replaced with a bright jester wearing the same mask as seen on the page before.]

??? (Male): And so I arrive, like a sudden plot twist poorly telegraphed by an inexperienced writer.

The page turned into a person.


{East Lower League 1F}

ALVIS: D-Did that page just....

TETRA: [Cocky; cracking knuckles with a smirk] Jester boy here is a magician. So while we were lookin' around up here....

??? (Male): [Secretive; holding finger to mask] I decided to peer into the pages myself.

RAIDEN: [Pensive; holding elbow] He takes the phrase 'get into a good book' to a whole new level, I'll give him that.

RAIDEN: [Folded arms; glaring] Although I don't see the point. There can't be anything hidden inside a page that you can't see just by reading.

??? (Male): [Laughter; hands over head] Ahahaha. Such a small mind for such a powerful body. Your world view is so limited.

??? (Male): There is so much to be found, although not all of it is of use, to our misfortune.

ALVIS: I...take it then you three haven't found anything then, correct?

RAIDEN: [Folded arms; glancing away] Unfortunately.

TETRA: [Thoughtful; arms crossed, one eye closed] Nada.

??? (Male): [Secretive; holding finger to mask] I'm afraid so.

I should've guessed...There can't be many other places that are hiding something.

I guess I should--

??? (Male): [Mischievous; magic ball forming on finger] You already intend on leaving?

ALVIS: Hm?

??? (Male): [Neutral] Tell me you can't be considering leaving without looking around.

??? (Male): [Secretive; holding finger to mask] The game doesn't work like that, after all!

ALVIS: ....

...I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about. But he...makes a good point? Even if they weren't able to find anything in here, I should still search.

It wouldn't hurt, after all.


{INVESTIGATION BEGIN}

[Desk]

It's just a simple desk, although it was noticeably uncluttered. The only things I could find on top were a calendar and laptop. The laptop wouldn't turn on, no matter how many times I pressed the power button. The batteries were probably drained, but I couldn't see any chargers around.

As for the calendar...

ALVIS: All of the dates have been blacked out...

ALVIS: It's the same for all of the pages too...How odd....

I feel like I've been saying that quite a lot lately.

 

[File Cabinets]

I didn't see these in the other office. Or maybe they were in there, but I just couldn't see them thanks to the damage.

Regardless, they didn't have anything of use. Each drawer was completely empty of any and all files.

 

[Bookshelves]

It's the same story as the others. I can't read these books at all. When things weren't becoming blurry, they were in a completely unknown language.

 

[Talk to: ??? (Male)]

??? (Male): [Secretive; holding finger to mask] Oh, oh? It seems our little detective has come to me for info.

??? (Male): Although I doubt there is much else I can tell you as of now.

ALVIS: I'm not looking for that right now.

ALVIS: You still haven't told me your name. I'd prefer knowing that before continuing on.

??? (Male): [Laughing; hands over head] Ahahaha. I suppose we never did get to that part of the conversation. Allow me then...

DIMENTIO: [Mischievous; magic ball forming on finger] I am the master of dimensions, the pleaser of crowds. I am....Dimentio! Remember it well, my dear hero.


DIMENTIO
ULTIMATE MAGICIAN


ALVIS: Hero...?

ALVIS: A-Ah, wait, do you...?

DIMENTIO: [Secretive; holding finger to mouth] Know anything about you? Or, for that matter, know anything about anyone here?

DIMENTIO: I'm afraid not. My knowledge of the other captives here is rather limited, to my disappointment.

DIMENTIO: [Neutral] You merely look to be the hero of this tale. That is all.

That's....disappointing. For a minute there, I thought he knew something about me....

But...to call me the "hero" of this whole thing? That....I wasn't quite sure how to think of it. Was I supposed to be flattered? Or creeped out?

 

[Talk to: Raiden]

ALVIS: Are you still looking through the books?

RAIDEN: [Folded arms; glaring] Hm? 

RAIDEN: [Folded arms; glancing away] Yeah. This one is interesting in particular. I can hardly read it.

RAIDEN: But, when I showed it to Tetra, she said she could read it perfectly fine. As a test, I tried showing her another of the books that I could read. Only to find she couldn't read it at all.

RAIDEN: [Pensive; holding elbow] Two different languages, yet everyone's speaking perfect english. For the most part. It's weird, don't you think?

If you ask me, this entire stadium more than fits underneath that category. It might've even made it's own category of weird.

 

[Talk to: Tetra]

TETRA: [Thoughtful; arms crossed, one eye closed] So, what's your story, silver?

ALVIS: Pardon?

TETRA: [Cocky; cracking knuckles with a smirk] C'mon, no need to be so mysterious. You ain't like Mr. Metal or the jester freak like there.

TETRA: So what's up with you?

This would be a much easier question to answer if I still had my memories. But can I even just tell her I don't remember anything about myself?

In a situation like this....it could end up becoming an issue.

ALVIS: ...I wasn't anyone special. That's all.

TETRA: [Unimpressed; hand on hip] Aw man, really? You sure?

TETRA: [Thoughtful; arms crossed, one eye closed] Aw man...And here I was thinking you'd have some fun backstory.

TETRA: Oh well...

.

.

.

{INVESTIGATION END}


...Hm...Nothing yet again.

It never hurt to look. But...I was starting to think that whoever kidnapped all of us covered their tracks remarkably well.

There were at least 2 more people I had to meet. And one more room to check. At least introducing myself to the last people should be my top priority right now. That goal in mind, I bid goodbye to the three in here and headed out.


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{East Hallway 1F}

{INVESTIGATION RESUME}

[Storage Room Door]

This door is labelled 'Storage Room', this must be the one Pauline had mentioned before. It's the last door in the hallway too, so the last few people must be in there.

Well...No time like the present.

.

.

.

{INVESTIGATION END}


[Interact with: Storage Room Door]


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{Storage Room 1F}

This...this room is huge. Bigger than I expected! And it's lined with different shelves filled with various cardboard boxes and plastic buckets. Sure enough, I could also hear someone moving around somewhere in the maze, mumbling and shifting around in some of the boxes...somewhere.

I took a step forwards into the room, letting the door close behind me. But...

CLANG

Before I knew it, the world went pitch black.


~A Few Minutes Later~


I don't think I was out for long. One minute, I had just stepped into the storage room, the next? I was sitting with my back against the wall, my ears ringing and the back of my head stinging.

??? (Female): [Voice] ....coming 'round.

??? (Male): [Voice] Thank the Lord...I was worried I had struck him too hard.

??? (Female): [Voice] That wasn't needed, you know.

??? (Female): [Voice] And it wasn't needed the last three times you've done this. I'm impressed more people don't have concussions thanks to you.

??? (Male): [Voice] I-I....I am on edge, madam! For all we knew, he could've been the culprit!

ALVIS: Nnnngh....

I let loose a low groan, raising a hand to my head as my eyes slowly opened. I had to blink once or twice just to clear my vision, only to see the last two people I needed to meet standing over me.

A woman and man, the latter of which holding a shovel. I'm guessing he's the one who had attacked me then.

??? (Male): [Startled; helmet askew] Aha! He awakens!

ALVIS: W....What...?

??? (Female): [Stone-faced; hands on hips] You hit him too hard.

??? (Male): I didn't mean to! He startled me, that's all!

ALVIS: I...It's alright....I'm fine.

ALVIS: What...happened?

??? (Female): [Defensive; fist raised] Our hasty friend was just a little too trigger happy, is all.

??? (Female): But don't worry. You wouldn't be the first that he's knocked unconscious.

??? (Male): [Enraged; holding shovel two-handed] I apologized!

Not to my face you didn't.

The woman gave a sigh, shaking her head as she offered a hand to me.

??? (Female): [Stone-faced; hands on hips] It doesn't look like you're too hurt. So let's just put that matter behind us for now. You'll have all the time in the world to get angry at him later.

??? (Female): What is it we can help you with?

I simply took in a deep breath, making a conscious effort to ignore the stinging in the back of my head as I gratefully took her hand.

ALVIS: I've been simply trying to look around the area....I was told some people down this hallway could possibly have found something?

??? (Female): [Serious; looking at clenched fist] Let me guess, Pauline told you that?

??? (Female): Sigh...I don't know why she keeps telling everyone that. We haven't found a damn thing.

??? (Male): [Exhausted; leaning on shovel] One would think in a room as expansive as this, there must be something hidden here.

ALVIS: And yet....nothing?

??? (Male): I'm afraid so, my silver-haired companion. Nary a clue to be found.

??? (Female): [Neutral] Sorry to disappoint.

ALVIS: It's fine...it's fine....

ALVIS: Besides, while I'm here, I should introduce myself to you two.

As soon as the words left my mouth, the two looked at each other, clearly confused, until the man suddenly slammed the end of his shovel into the ground.

??? (Male): [Proud; shovel raised] You are the lad who was unconscious before, correct? That explains how unfamiliar you had seemed!

??? (Female): [Stone-faced; hands on hips] More importantly, it's good to see you're alright. You had some of us worried you were actually dead.

ALVIS: Ah....was I really that deeply asleep?

??? (Female): I guess that means you've been trying to get everyone's names then. I can't blame you.

IMPA: [Neutral] My name is Impa. If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to ask.


IMPA
ULTIMATE GUARDSWOMAN


ALVIS: You're the one Pauline talked highly of then, I assume?

IMPA: There's no other 'Impa's here to my knowledge, so yes. That would be me.

IMPA: [Defensive; fist raised] From the moment the rest of us have woken up, I've been attempting to find a way out of here. Pauline has been of great help in that front.

IMPA: Although she's taken to keeping the others under control in the meantime.

And she's been doing an excellent job so far. She's at least kept any more fights from breaking out...to my knowledge, at least.

??? (Male): [Proud; shovel raised] And I have been ensuring her safety while searching!

IMPA: [Stone-faced; hands on hips] I've told you before, even without my sword, I'm capable of defending myself.

??? (Male): [Neutral] And what would you do if someone ambushed you?

ALVIS: He has a point. Even if he is....rash, it's good to have someone watching your back.

??? (Male): [Celebratory; thumbs up] See? Our silver-haired companion agrees!

??? (Male): [Startled; helmet askew] Ah! It's slipped my mind for a moment, but I've yet to introduce myself, haven't I?

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Proud; shovel raised] Greetings, I am sir Shovel Knight, hero and aide to all that are good. Well met!


SHOVEL KNIGHT
ULTIMATE KNIGHT


He has quite the archaic way of speaking, doesn't he? But I guess that should be expected of a knight. Still...

He wields a shovel? Not a sword?

IMPA: And your name?

ALVIS: Hm? Oh, right.

ALVIS: My name is Alvis. It's a pleasure to meet you both.

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Celebratory; thumbs up] Indeed. Although I do wish it was during much happier times.

IMPA: [Defensive; fist raised] Well, we'll get to the bottom of this before long. I can't imagine someone trapping 16 unrelated people all in one place for no reason.

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Enraged; holding shovel two-handed] When I find the fiend responsible, no magic in this world or the next shall be able to save him!

My head gave a twinge as he said that. For a small moment there, I actually felt a pity for whoever had done this.

After meeting everyone, I wouldn't want to get on their bad sides. This is quite the powerful group indeed.


{INVESTIGATION BEGIN}

[Boxes]

There easily has to be hundreds of boxes in here. I can't possibly search them all. But just to satisfy my curiosity, I pulled one of them open.

Confusingly, it seemed to be filled with scissors. Not just any normal pairs of scissors either. These looked like shears, and dangerously sharp ones at that. Feeling an uneasy pit settle in my stomach, I carefully put the box back.

 

[Garden Supplies]

Leaning against one of the shelves were a collection of gardening supplies and tools. Things like sacks of mulch, fertilizer, watering cans, and hoes. But no matter how hard I looked, I couldn't find any shovels.

Although...looking back at Shovel Knight, it's easy to see that he had to have taken it. Despite what his knightly appearance might suggest, the shovel looked strikingly similar to the tools here.

Guess that explains how he found a shovel.

 

[Posters]

Across the back wall was a display of various posters. I was beginning to notice a running trend in regards to the artwork on display here. A few of these actually seemed to depict some of the people here.

A good number of them apparently had some connections to the heroes depicted. Maybe that's what connects all of us...?

 

[Talk to: Impa]

IMPA: [Stone-faced; hands on hips] Are you sure you're doing alright after all that?

IMPA: That knight there might be a bit impatient, but he's still highly skilled.

ALVIS: It's just a small headache, I'll be fine. It was much worse earlier.

ALVIS: That actually reminds me....Impa, did you or anyone else have a terrible headache upon waking up?

IMPA: Hmm...

IMPA: [Defensive; raised fist] While I cannot speak for everyone here, I certainly did.

IMPA: It has since faded, but I remember it being such a jarring pain that I actually woke up. I'm assuming you faced the same?

ALVIS: Bad enough that I couldn't even talk upon waking up....

IMPA: [Serious; looking at clenched fist] I see...It's quite a relief to see you've recovered so quickly.

ALVIS: Very much so...

 

[Talk to: Shovel Knight]

ALVIS: ...I was just curious, Sir.

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Proud; shovel raised] Hm? What is it?

ALVIS: Er...why do you wield a shovel and not a sword?

ALVIS: Wouldn't it be more effective?

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Enraged; holding shovel two-handed] Ah, but a sword does not allow me to fight as effectively as my Shovel Sword does.

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Proud; raised shovel] Besides, I have trained my whole life to wield it as a weapon. I cannot imagine using anything else!

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Exhausted; leaning on shovel] ....Unfortunately, it seems as if our captor was devious enough to strip me of all weaponry. I may not have my trusty Shovel Sword with me right now...

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Celebratory; thumbs up] But that shall hardly deter me! Even this regular shovel shall do!

If you're able to knock me out with just one hit from that thing, I shudder to think of what you can do with this Shovel Sword you keep mentioning.

.

.

.

{INVESTIGATION END}


This room is so large and so filled with boxes that searching it from top to bottom would be impossible. I should probably give up now before I spend the rest of the day in here.

Like always, I bid my goodbye to Impa and Shovel Knight, before stepping out into the hallway to collect my thoughts.


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{East Hallway 1F}

Alright...I think that's every room I can access right now. Not to mention I believe I've met everyone else who was trapped in here.

So where does that leave me?

I let out a sigh, leaning my back against the wall. I'm stuck in a strange building alongside 15 other people, without any memories or knowledge of who I even am. There doesn't seem to be any way of communicating with the outside world nor is there any clue as to how we even got there. There's even an entire section of this building roped off for our personal use, as if this place had been prepared for us beforehand.

So what did it all mean? What's going on here? Who's the mastermind that trapped us all here?

I pushed off the wall, intending to maybe take another walk around just to see if I could find something else.

??? (Unidentifiable): [Voice] Attention all contestants! Attention!

??? (Unidentifiable): [Voice] Hello? Geez, is this thing on? Testing, testing, 1-2-3!

But before I could even take a step, a voice started sounding all around me.


{CG}

[As viewed on an old monitor, the screen is filed with static, where the fuzzy outline of some kind of creature is just barely visible]

??? (Unidentifiable): Aw man...The camera isn't working. I've gotta get that fixed....

??? (Unidentifiable): Anyways!

??? (Unidentifiable): It seems like every contestant is finally awake and ready for the tournament's grand opening ceremony! You can feel the electrifying excitement pulsing in the air!

??? (Unidentifiable): As a result, we respectfully ask all contestants make their way to the entrance hall so we can begin! Better hurry over there, assholes!

??? (Unidentifiable): Chuchuchuchuchu~!

[With a snap, the screen turns off.]


{East Hallway 1F}

.

.

.

I stood there, absolutely stunned at the sudden announcement. That voice...it wasn't malicious by any means. In fact, I'd even say it was rather cute and highly energetic. And yet something about it...just filled me with absolute overwhelming dread.

Where did it say to go? The entrance hall? I'd better get over there quickly. It probably won't be pretty if I don't show up.

[Interact with: Hall Doorway]


Moving Locations

...Now loading...


{Entrance Hall 1F}

It looks like I was one of the first people to reach the entrance hall. More people slowly trickled in as time passed, until all 16 of us were gathered in one place.

The tension in the air was practically visible, thick enough to cut with a knife. I guess we all felt that same dread when that thing talked.

TETRA: [Cocky; cracking knuckles with a smirk] Alright, so the punk responsible for this has to be coming out now, right?

TETRA: Hope they're ready for a whole world of pain!

VEGA: [Threatening; claw raised] They will feel their mistake of trapping the mighty Vega like this!

LUKA: [Frowning; hand behind head] I just wanna know the bastard who thought this was all a good idea.

SUSIE: [Holding hand over mouth] It seems we might get our answers soon.

SUSIE: The thing that called us here seems to be the one in charge, correct? So they must be the ones behind it.

MARX: [Mischievous; smirking, glancing away] So we got some kinda pipsqueak behind this whole game, huh? Some nerve they got.

ALVIS: Given the number of us and the complexity of all this...I highly doubt it's a 'pipsqueak', as you said.

RAIDEN: [Pensive; holding elbow] "Beware the small ones", as they always say.

PAULINE: [Smiling warmly] Regardless of who called us here, I believe it's best if we hear them out. Maybe it's not as bad as we think!

MAGNUS: [Annoyed] We've already been kidnapped and stuck in some Gods-foresaken cage. Don't think it can get much more worse than this.

ALUCARD: [On-guard; reaching under cloak] Watch your words, or else you might curse us all with your foolishness.

MAGNUS: [Glaring; arms folded] Back down, pretty boy. I'm just stating the obvious here.

BOMBERMAN: [Excited; fists raised, eyes closed] Even if something bad happens, we can take care of it! Especially now that I have my bombs back!

Bomberman began digging in his pockets, only to have all the color drain from his face in an instant.

BOMBERMAN: [Panicking; hands over head] M-M-M-My....M-My....

DIMENTIO: [Secretive; holding finger to mask] Ah, so it is as I had theorized.

DIMENTIO: This entire building is under a magical seal, and this room seems to be it's center.

ASHLEY: [Blank] Oh. That explains why Red can't hear me.

BOMBERMAN: But I don't use magic! H-How come I'm affected?

YOUNG CRICKET: [Thoughtful; hands behind head] Well, you kinda pull bombs out of nowhere. Maybe that counts as magic?

LUKA: [Disappointed; hands behind head, eyes closed] I thought something fishy was goin' on when you had bombs but the rest of us didn't have our weapons.

VEGA: [Disinterested; adjusting claw] Ahem?

LUKA: Minus claw bitch over there, I guess.

VEGA: [Clutching chest] C-Claw bitch!

VEGA: [Threatening; raised claw] Do you wish to feel my might?!

??? (Unidentifiable): [Voice] Now, now, now! No need to fight. Not when we're not on the battlefield, at least!

VEGA: [Offended; mask falling off] Huh?

That was....the voice from the announcement. Hearing it so close...so close and not over a microphone, it sent a shiver down my spine.

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Enraged; holding shovel two handed] Show yourself, wicked sorcerer! And face justice!

ASHLEY: [Blank] I'm right here, you know.

??? (Unidentifiable): [Voice] Yeah! Sorcerers aren't that bad. 'Cept when they're communicating with unspeakable evils, I guess!

ALUCARD: [On guard; reaching under cloak] Enough of these games. Reveal yourself!

TETRA: [Enraged; pointing, fist clenched] Yeah! Get out here so we can beat your ass!

??? (Unidentifiable): [Voice] Pipi.....You're all so mean....

??? (Unidentifiable): [Voice] All you big, hot-shot fighters are the same. Thinking you can walk all over your host without a fight....sniffle....

PAULINE: [Shocked; hand over mouth] So you are the one behind this all?

YOUNG CRICKET: [Defensive; kung fu stance] You're the one who kidnapped us then! Let us go!

??? (Unidentifiable): [Voice] Boy, you sure are a rowdy bunch, aren't you? I can't believe I had to make an announcement to round you all together again.

YOUNG CRICKET: [Surprised; holding hands up] H-Hey! Don't ignore us!

??? (Unidentifiable): [Voice] Man...How do they do it? Everybody yelling and hurling insults at me. I think I might just cry! Chuchuchu~....

??? (Unidentifiable): [Voice] But I can't. 'Cause it's time to get this show on the road!

??? (Unidentifiable): [Voice] Presenting the host of the first ever Worlds' Despairingly Ultimate Melee Brawl Tournament....


{CG}

[The camera zooms in past several of the contestants gathered, landing on the reception desk before them. The instant it settles, something jumps out from behind the desk. It seems like it's some kind of yellow rodent with brightly glowing red eyes, beaming widely at the sight before it.]

??? (Unidentifiable): Chuchuchu~!

??? (Unidentifiable): Welcome to the opening ceremony, one and all!

??? (Unidentifiable): And espescially to our esteemed guests, the contestants, give a big hand to them!

??? (Unidentifiable): Without them....this whole thing wouldn't be possible!


{Entrance Hall 1F}

LUKA: [Alert; hard glare] What the fuck is that thing?!

IMPA: [Battle stance] Our captor, evidently.

??? (Unidentifiable): [Pouting; shoulders slumped] Aww....Is that any way to greet your host? Stop acting like you're gonna kill me!

??? (Unidentifiable): [Commanding; pointing, yelling] Back straight, hands at your side. And shout out "Good evening" real loud, from the bottom of your gut! That's how ya show proper respect!

YOUNG CRICKET: [Proud; hands on hips] Good evening, sir!

ASHLEY: [Blank; holding wand close] Are you seriously falling for this, Cricket?

YOUNG CRICKET: [Serious; hand on chin] Master taught me to show proper respect when needed. Even if this is our captor, I cannot abandon my master's teachings!

MARX: [Grinning] Geez, talk about hardass.

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Enraged; holding shovel two-handed] A vile creature such as this deserves no such respect.

ALUCARD: [On-guard; reaching under cloak] Indeed. Reveal thy name to us, foul creature, and begone!

??? (Unidentifiable): [Pouting; shoulders slumped] Pi....My contestants hate me, and I haven't even done anything.....

??? (Unidentifiable): I bet if I were a cute and cuddly stuffed bear, you'd love me right away!

RAIDEN: [Folded arms; glaring] No offense, but I'm pretty sure we'd hate you regardless.

??? (Unidentifiable): [Commanding; pointing, yelling] It doesn't sound like you don't mean any offense!

PAULINE: [Awkward; half-smile] Uh....pardon? Can I ask something, quickly?

??? (Unidentifiable): [Excited] Finally, someone who takes initiative! Go right ahead, missy!

PAULINE: [Concerned; head tilted] Who are you? And what's this Worlds' Despairingly Ultimate Spirit Brawl Tournament?

??? (Unidentifiable): Chuchuchuchu~! See, why can't the rest of you be like this? For shame....

PICHU: [Neutral] Well, no better time than the present. I am the host and referee for this tournament, drumroll please....PICHU!

PICHU: [Excited] And you all are my contestants!

ALVIS: That hardly explains this actual tournament....

ALVIS: I don't think all of us are fighters. How is this all supposed to play out?

PICHU: [Threatening; cheeks sparking] Hey, I was getting to that!

PICHU: [Commanding; pointing, yelling] You 16 contestants have all been chosen for your extraordinary skills in your respective fields, making you all Ultimates! So what if some of you aren't fighters? You've proved your worth and earned a place here.

PICHU: [Giggling; paws over mouth] Besides, this isn't even a fighting tournament!

MAGNUS: [Demanding; arm raised] That kinda defeats the purpose of a tournament when you nab a bunch of random people with no fighting ability.

PICHU: [Threatening; cheeks sparking] What is with you guys and not letting me speak? Just shut up and listen for five seconds, will ya?

PICHU: Ahem...

PICHU: [Neutral] As stated before, you all have been chosen because you're Ultimates in the top of your respective fields. And for that reason, you've been invited to participate in the Worlds' Despairingly Ultimate Melee Brawl Tournament, where the winner will be allowed to join an even bigger fighting tourney!

PICHU: [Excited] You'll also be able to leave the stadium for good!

VEGA: [Dramatic; hand on forehead] So, you have brought us together to prove our might! Very well, you might as well call off this tournament now, before I humiliate any other "Ultimate" here.

PICHU: [Goofy; winking, tongue stuck out] Not a chance, bub!

VEGA: [Clutching chest] What?!

PICHU: [Excited] You can't just beat up everyone and call it a win, that's for cavemen. There's only one way you can win this tournament....

PICHU: [Threatening; cheeks sparking] And that's to kill someone here!

.

.

.

A spell of shocked silence suddenly fell over the entire group.

In order to leave...we'd have to...

Kill someone?

I could feel myself slightly shaking, followed by my hands clenching up into fists as my gaze darted about from person to person. Nearly every face I saw displayed the same combination of confusion, nervousness, and, most importantly, fear.

Would anyone here even dare to try?

RAIDEN: [On-guard] By....kill, do you mean--

PICHU: [Goofy; winking, tongue stuck out] Yep, that's right! Stabbing, smashing, poisoning, burning, drowning, and etc.. Just as long as you can produce a body, then it's fine by me!

YOUNG CRICKET: [Determined; kung fuu pose] Y-You're lying....A-And you're crazy too!

LUKA: [Cocky; grappling gun raised] You've got some nerve thinkin' we're just going to take this lying down.

PICHU: [Questioning; head tilted innocently] Oh, do I? I don't see any of you schmucks doing anything about it.

MARX: [Saddened; looking down] Well, what can we do? You've already taken away all our powers.

MARX: I bet we can't even commit a murder like this. I mean, I don't even have hands, I'm so defenseless!

IMPA: [Serious; looking at clenched fists] You're not fooling anyone with those crocodile tears, knock it off.

MARX: [Neutral] Maaaan, you're no fun....

PICHU: [Excited] Actually, in regards to your lost powers, you've got nothing to fear! There are actually a few areas in this Stadium that don't suppress them!

DIMENTIO: [Secretive; holding finger to mask] So it seems my theory of this building being sealed was correct.

PICHU: [Neutral] Can't slip anything by you, now can I?

PICHU: [Commanding; pointing, yelling] Anyways. Yep! Instead of fighting in matches, you'll be killing each other in order to climb to the top!

PICHU: Only one person is allowed to ascend to the top. Chuchuchu~, I wonder who's it gonna be?

ALVIS: Y....You're insane....

PICHU: [Questioning; head tilted innocently] Huh?

I was clenching my fists so hard by now, they were shaking from the intensity of it. My glare was directed only at Pichu at this point, all my attention focused on this....thing before me.

ALVIS: You're insane! Do you truly believe anybody here would actually play along?

MARX: [Mischievous; smirking, glancing away] I mean, I dunno. Sounds like one hell of an offer.

VEGA: [Threatening; claw raised] To pass up on such an opportunity would assure only your own death, would it not?

VEGA: Besides, this still remains a competition. One I intend on winning.

PAULINE: [Angry; Hands on hips, leaning forwards] Listen to yourselves! You can't seriously be considering murder!

SUSIE: [Eyes narrowed] I agree. While normally, I wouldn't hesitate to protect myself by any means necessary.

SUSIE: [Impatient; slamming fist into open palm] However, these circumstances are different. It's impossible to survive unless we work together.

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Boisterous; leaning back, laughing] Such a simple threat shan't break our spirits. We will not give in!

LUKA: [Frowning; hand behind head] This whole thing's fucked up. And I sure as hell don't want anyone to die here.

LUKA: [Grinning; pulling down hat] I think the first thing I'm gonna do then is prove just how bullshit this is!

YOUNG CRICKET: [Determined; kung fuu pose] You cannot break our fighting spirits!

ALVIS: I refuse to play along with your game. And I'm sure many of us feel the same way. We'll find a way out, working together!

PICHU: [Intimidating; shadow over eyes] ....

PICHU: [Questioning; tilting head innocently] Eh~? You're already trying to rebel against me this soon? This isn't going to plan.

PICHU: And you said we'd work together on this, Alvis!

ALVIS: I-I...What?!

Suddenly, all 15 pairs of eyes turned to me. And all at once, all I could see was an intense, burning distrust.

ASHLEY: [Blank] ...So, you're working with it?

ALVIS: N-No, I'm....I-I never said anything--

TETRA: [Rowdy; pumping fists] And how do we know you aren't lying? You could just trying to be saving your ass!

ALVIS: But I--

MAGNUS: [Thoughtful; rubbing chin] Kid, listen, I'd personally love to believe you without a doubt.

MAGNUS: But can you offer any proof you aren't working with it?

ALVIS: I....

"I can't remember."

I found the words getting caught in my throat. Even if I did use that excuse, would they believe it? Or would they continue accusing me?

DIMENTIO: [Laughing; arms over head] Oho? Nothing to say, dear hero?

RAIDEN: [Pensive; holding elbow] Your silence only makes you more suspicious, you know.

ALVIS: ....

...Even if I did tell them the truth, I doubt they'd believe me. This...this had to had to be all a part of that thing's plans. It knew about my amnesia and used that to its advantage!

PICHU: [Intimidating; shadow over eyes, smirking] ....

Sure enough, when I looked back to the odd rodent, it was smiling. A wide smile that didn't reach its cold eyes.

PICHU: [Excited] ....Well! You all can accuse Alvis later. It's nighttime now, after all!

PICHU: Plus, I've left a little gift in all your rooms for you. You'd better check it out before someone decides to murder.

PICHU: Chuchuchuchu~!

With that final, bone-chilling laugh, Pichu jumped back behind the desk and disappeared from sight. Many of the others could only offer me distrustful, backwards glances as they began filing out. I remained rooted to the spot, struck speechless by the events that had just transpired.

By the time I had snapped out of it, not many people remained in the entrance hall.

ALUCARD: [Pensive; eyes closed] That was certainly a most....illuminating experience.

PAULINE: [Awkward; half-smile] I'm not sure illuminating would be the right word in this case...

BOMBERMAN: [Relaxed; hands behind head] Try absolutely panic-inducing-and-terrifying then. 

ALUCARD: [Uncomfortable; drawing cloak around body] A bit long-winded, wouldn't you think?

YOUNG CRICKET: [Serious; hand on chin] That's not what we should be worrying about! Shouldn't we be trying to plan our next move?

YOUNG CRICKET: Like how are we gonna get out of here?

PAULINE: [Concerned; head tilted] The doors are completely sealed shut....we can't break the windows....there's nothing in any of the rooms....

BOMBERMAN: [Puzzled; holding hand to mask] Did we overlook something?

ALUCARD: [Commanding; hand thrown out] Perhaps it would be wise to pool together our findings tomorrow and strategize from there. It is as Alvis said before.

ALUCARD: "We must all find a way out together".

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Startled; helmet askew] But is taking our companion's word as truth...wise?

I didn't even need to look to realize they had all turned to look at me again.

PAULINE: [Smiling warmly] I don't believe that thing for a second. Alvis doesn't seem like that kind of person to me.

YOUNG CRICKET: [Determined; kung fuu pose] Nobody would even want to work with that thing even if they could help it!

ALVIS: You....still trust me?

ALUCARD: [Sincere; hand over heart] You don't exactly seem like the kidnapping type.

SHOVEL KNIGHT: [Proud; shovel raised] As mysterious as you are, it merely adds to your charm. Just like us all, you are but a mere victim in this web of deceit.

BOMBERMAN: [Starry-eyed; fists pumped] Uh...yeah! What everyone else says!

Those words of reassurance helped to disentangle the knots in my stomach, if only a small bit. I couldn't help but allow myself a small smile despite everything. Even if the trust the others had in me had been shattered, it was nice to know at least some people still trusted me.

PAULINE: [Cheeky; tipping hat] Alright, how about this then? Tomorrow, at breakfast, we gather as many people as we can to pool our information together.

PAULINE: [Smiling warmly] And we can also decide on what to do next from there! Sound like a plan?

A quiet murmur of agreement ran through the group. A meeting together in the dining hall in the morning....

It...might give me enough time to come up with some kind of defense against the accusations. If we're to get out together....to survive...

Then there can't be any distrust. There can't be any malice held against one another. We need to be completely willing to work together, no matter what. And if people think that I'm working with Pichu, even if I'm not....

All I can do is try to change their minds. Lest we fall into ruin.



END OF PROLOGUE

 

SURVIVING CONTESTANTS

16