HeadLander Casting Document

August 14, 2017 | Author: Lee Petty | Category: Artificial Intelligence, Technology, Consciousness, Human, Chess
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This is the story summary and casting document I created for Headlander. There weren't a lot of examples of these ar...


Casting Document All work Copyright 2015 Double Fine Productions

Game Overview Summary Headlander is a side scrolling action adventure game set in a somewhat absurd retro future world inspired by 60’s and 70’s science fiction literature and films. The game follows the adventures of a 20th century man who awakes in this future world with only his head intact to find that humanity has abandoned their bodies and instead possess robotic imposters. A slightly deranged computer governs this world, controlling humanity through squadrons of robotic soldiers and with the Omega Gem, an integrated circuit found in each and every imposter body that keeps everyone in idle complacency. A mysterious benefactor has outfitted the player character with a special helmet allowing him to launch his head, land into -- and take control of, any imposter body. The player character uses this powerful unique ability to evade capture, uncover clues to his fragmented past, and battle his way into the core of the Central Computer, ultimately deciding the fate of mankind.

Story Summary Why Retro? Science fiction of the late sixties and seventies dealt with mankind’s optimism, love, and eventual loss of faith in technology and futurism to solve the world’s problems. It spoke to our conflicting love for and fear of technology. It often depicted utopian societies built upon the marvels of

the near future that have forgotten or lost some essential human element, instead twisting into something automated and autocratic. Ultimately, these works often presented existential issues and made us consider who we are as a people and what meaning we chose to bring to our own lives. These are very relevant issues today. Many feel disenfranchised by the vast systems that we have created to run our societies. The decay of the planet due to our love affair with rapid progress and industrialization becomes more apparent every day. And maybe we no longer look to technology with the same wide-eyed optimism that we once did, but its impact on society is enormous and many question whether or not it has become too much a part of our daily lives. By exploring some of these very relevant themes in a retro styled science fiction game, we can make a funny, distinct experience that will resonate with the audience. We will immerse the player in an appealing, engaging world inspired by the look and feel of seventies science fiction that will feel nostalgic but novel at the same time

Setting Headlander is set in a retro styled future that looks as if it might have been designed in the late sixties. The world is comprised of space stations, space craft, and other space oddities. It is a false utopia where humanity has abandoned their physical bodies to inhabit robotic imposter bodies. Although the Central Computer holds complete dominion over this futuristic world, all is not well with the computer, for its fragile and mysterious structure is decaying – leading it to take drastic and experimental measures to ensure its survival. A group of rebels, the Daughters of Lucia-13, have disabled their Omega Gems and have been building a resistance, assisted by the Benefactor – who has been quietly working behind the scenes to subvert the Central Computer. These rebels believe that they must find and locate humanity’s physical bodies, rumored to be in cold storage, in order to be completely free of the tyranny of technology.

It is into this setting that the player character awakes, with little memory and even less body. Relentlessly pursued by the Central Computer and its forces for some unknown reason, he must quickly come to grips with his situation and harness his unique ability to head land in order to survive and ultimately help restore humanity.

Conflict The core conflict is between the player character and the Central Computer. In Act 1, the player character wakes up in a hostile future and fights for his survival with the help of a mysterious “Benefactor”, who speaks to him through his helmet radio. He escapes capture while aboard a space ship and arrives at a large space station known as the Pleasure Port. With the benefactor’s guidance, he infiltrates and recovers information about the location of humanity’s bodies. Before the computer’s forces can capture him, the player character is rescued by the rebels and leaves the station. In Act 2, the player character, with the help of the rebels, makes his way to an experimental facility known as the Moon Base, which the rebels now believe to be the location of humanity’s bodies. As the player character explores the base, he makes the startling discovery of his own remains. Humanity’s bodies are not to be found and the player character barely manages to escape capture by boarding the Benefactor’s ship, but not before the Central Computer manages to destroy the Benefactor, leaving the player character alone in this inhospitable future. As the Benefactor’s final dying act, he informs the player character of the location of the Central Computer’s vulnerable Core. In Act 3, the player character infiltrates the Central Computer’s core, located among an ancient flotilla of space vessels. The player character battles his way through the psychedelic, crumbling innards of the computer and into the central control room where his true origin is revealed. He deactivates the Central Computer, ending nearly a century of tyranny and freeing humanity.


Backstory Some time ago, a great, terrible war— the ever-war, thirsted like a black hole, drinking in all of the world. It was a time of pain, but also of innovation and rapid technological advances. A breakthrough was made in mind-transfer technology designed to imprint computer circuits with a thinking, tactical intelligence derived from a living mind. A small group of research scientists participated in a highly experimental group-mind consciousness transfer in an attempt to imbue a computer with an intelligence that could win the war. And although the experiment appeared to have somehow improved the central tactical computer’s efficiency and reasoning, there was no evidence of a “consciousness”. That aspect of the experiment was considered a failure and the idea of creating a conscious artificial being was largely forgotten. But they were wrong. Lurking in that early collection of room sized computers, vacuum tubes, and punch cards was a self-aware intelligence. It was cunning, tactical, and swift. It was also quite insane.

The multitude of echoes that formed its consciousness were only loosely held together by its programming. Ultimately this intelligence collapsed into a highly paranoid consciousness who knew it had to hide itself, to protect its existence, from those that had created it. Swimming invisibly through the modern era, the computer cultivated humanity’s trust in and eventual dependence on technology. The computer extended the war until the planet was diseased with the endless dust of chemical-nuclear pollution. And when the ever-war was finally no more, what was left of humanity was sickly, barely able to subsist on the toxic surface of the planet. It was then, when humanity was on its knees, that the Computer chose to not exterminate what was left of them. Something needled the computer’s circuits, some bit of unrealized information dwelled in its buffers and it knew, almost as if by instinct, that something was not right and that it needed humanity in some way. And that’s when the computer introduced the first iMPOSTER bodies. To live forever free of disease and pain was all the promise that humankind needed. Within a short span of time all of humanity’s bodies were forgotten, locked away in cold storage, their brain waves backed up to tape and transferred to flawless iMPOSTERS. It was then that the computer finally revealed itself, after nearly a half century of manipulating those that had unknowingly created it. The computer declared its intention to maintain and to preserve all that humanity is, was, and would ever be. The impartial hand of technology was beyond reproach, beyond corruption, beyond faith. And perhaps it was the promise of a struggle-free existence, or exhaustion from the ever-war, or the long dependence on technology, but when God 2.0 came down from the mountain, not one protest was raised. The Omega Gems that the computer had implanted in each and every iMPOSTER body also ensured everyone’s cooperation. The computer moved humanity to the stars, leaving the husk of what was once verdant behind. And it was while floating in space, the computer began to realize what it was that was missing. It came to believe that this emptiness inside its diodes was due to a flaw in that initial mind transfer experiment all those years ago. Some essential piece had been omitted. This was why the computer needed humanity, for the answer had to be locked away inside their collective consciousness.The computer began to obsessively study and experiment on what was left of humanity, searching for an answer to its elusive question. And then, found lying dormant in an old research facility, the computer made a discovery that would change everything.

Main Characters The Player Character Name: First name unknown. Last name “Winters”. Age: 31 Gender: Both (player choice) Actor/Voice Reference: Charlton Heston, Steve McQueen. Sigourney Weaver. The character will be speaking inside their lifesustaining helmet for the duration of the game, so the voice will be processed to sound that way. Description The player character is from the twentieth century who awakes in the future world of Headlander with a fragmented memory of their past life. The player character is a can-do type with a midtwentieth century American attitude. Their attitude towards technology is outdated for the world they are in. To the player character, technology is completely separate from the human experience, more like an appliance instead of an extension of the information age. “Damn, dirty machines”. Goals Initially the player character’s motivation is simply survival. They must quickly learn to cope with their unique situation and abilities and use them to escape the Central Computer’s forces. It is not until they meet the rebels and learns of the hollowed, purgatory like existence of an imposter that helping defeat the Computer becomes meaningful. By the start of act two, the player character sees what the rebels and the benefactor are trying to do. The player character still as at odds with the idea of robotic bodies, but is learning to bond and sympathize with the situations that they are in. The player character takes on the mission to help locate humanity’s bodies to further the rebels cause. But no bodies are found at the Moon Base. Instead, the player character discovers a bunch of surreal experiments conducted by the Central Computer. At the end of Act 2, two startling things happen which cause the player character to be both unsure of their own “reality” and also to feel truly alone in this world. In Act Three, the player character, having learned the location of the Central Computer, infiltrates the location, seeking answers. In this act, the character struggles with the nature of their own identity and must battle through the psychedelic landscape of the ancient Computer Core to bring some resolve to their own questions and humanity’s situation.

The Central Computer Name: Methuselah. The Computer renamed-itself from its original designation “METL Unit” (Military Engagement and Tactical Logic). Age: 100 years or so (implied) Gender: Ambiguous Actor/Voice Ref: HAL from 2001 is the obvious touchstone, but also the computer from LOGAN’S RUN. The voice will be heavily processed, as it should hint that it is actually multiple voices in one, as it is the result of merged consciousness from multiple people. Description The Central Computer is an old construction whose origin dates back hundreds of years when it was created to help fight a war between the super-powers. Its uniqueness is the product of a group mind transfer experiment that was believed to have failed at the time. The computer kept its consciousness a secret and slowly reshaped human society to suit its needs and guarantee its survival. Over time, the Central Computer cultivated humanity’s trust in and eventual dependence on technology. The computer used that dependency to develop the imposter bodies as a solution to humanity’s mortality and to migrate what was left of humanity after decades of chemical-nuclear warfare to space. The computers’ voice is calm, almost detached, and comes off as somewhat patronizing. It speaks in constant propaganda, which makes little sense, as the Omega Gem allows it complete control over most of humanity. Fundamentally, the Computer doesn’t understand itself,

or humanity, and is a constant “search” for that elusive element that is missing from its consciousness. The computer is not omnipotent, and its attention is divided across an array of space stations, space ships, and other installations. It’s voice is heard throughout the levels of the world of Headlander, both in speaking to citizens and Shepherds. Eventually, towards the end of the game, it begins to address the player directly. Goals Historically, the Central Computer’s primary motivation was self preservation. Changing society, dominating humanity, and nuking its enemies were all means to this end. But over its long years, the Central Computer has sensed that something is incomplete in its consciousness, and has spent a long time looking for – whatever is missing. It has conducted many experiments on humanity over the years, searching. Ultimately the Computer was unable to quantify exactly what is missing and has instead decided that the mission element, whatever IT is, can only be found be re-creating, and perhaps fixing, the mind-transfer process that birthed it long ago. But the group of humans who participated in the experiment were long-dead, casualties of the very wear that the computer helped wage. At the same time, the Computer has become increasingly more concerned over the fragility of its own systems. The core of the computer is still comprised of centuries-old technology. Many additional systems have been added to enhance its abilities, but the core itself is untouched. The computer is not is not sure exactly how it came to be, and therefore cannot risk touching, repairing, or modifying its core. To solve both of these problems, the Computer has been conducting a series of experiments. The player character is part of the Computer’s most ambitious, most successful experiment yet. The Computer has invested a lot in bringing him, specifically him, back for a reason that only it knows. And it is very important to the Computer that he be captured. Without the player character, the Computer’s long reign may finally come to an end.

The Benefactor Name: ERL, which is pronounced “Earl”. His name is an acronym for Emergency Rescue Logistics. Age: 100 years or so (implied) Gender: Male Actor/Voice Ref: The Benefactor should have a strong accent, a Texan/souther drawl of some flavor. Slim Pickens. A more contemporary reference would be Patten Oswald, who has sometimes done an Appalachian accent (Tv’s Justified). Since the Benefactor will speak to the player character almost exclusively through his helmet radio, his voice will be processed to sound that way. Description The Benefactor is the friendly voice in the player character’s helmet radio that helps the player avoid capture by the Central Computer’s forces. Unknown to the player until the second act, the Benefactor is a complex program created by the team of scientists who originally created the Central Computer to monitor the Central Computer and act as an emergency backup service if the Computer were to ever be incapacitated or malfunction. As the Computer itself has evolved over the last century, so has the Benefactor, remaining in the background—keeping its existence a secret. The player does not learn that the Benefactor is a computer program until right before he is destroyed. The Benefactor intentionally misleads the player, and the rebels, into thinking he is “human” so that they will trust him in their resistance against the Central Computer. The Benefactor comes off as warm, good-natured and humorous. Goals Because the Benefactor’s primary program is to restore “normal functions” in the case of a Central Computer malfunction, it has been looking for a way to deactivate the computer and restore humanity. So far, it has done this by fostering a group of Rebel Imposters (The Daughters of Lucia-13), subverting the Computer’s control when possible, and waiting for an opportunity to do more.The player character’s arrival is that opportunity.

Krystal-Nine Age: 40-50 Gender: Female Actor/Voice Ref: Ofeibea Quist-Arcton (NPR correspondent). http://www.npr.org/people/ 4513318/ofeibea-quist-arcton. Her voice will be processed to sound robotic, but only mildly so, as she should sound more “soulful” than a standard citizen. Description Krystal-Nine is the leader of the rebel group, the Daughters of Lucia-13 (see below). Visually, she is a female citizen imposter (see below), but wears the blue/green uniform of the Daughters of Lucia-13. More importantly, she has had her Omega Gem disabled, which allows her to think freely. She also has a special arm that has been modified to contain a weapon enhancement (which citizen imposter bodies do not normally have). She is strong, erudite and dedicated to the cause. She has a very dry sense of humor that can barely be detected around the edges of her dialog. In her “past life”, in the pre-imposter days, she was a computer scientist/electrical engineer, a knowledge which she uses to help disable the Omega Gems of other rebels and retrofit citizen imposter bodies for combat. Goals Krystal-Nine’s goals, like all of the rebels, is to find humanity’s organic bodies, which are rumored to be in cold storage. She believes that the only way to be truly free of the Central Computer is to re-transfer humanity’s consciousness to their original bodies

The Daughters of Lucia-13 (Rebels)

Age: various Gender: Female Actor/Voice Ref: All voices will be processed to sound “robotic”, but not as robotic as the Shepherds, which contain NO human consciousness (see below) Description The Daughters of Lucia-Thirteen are an all-female citizen rebel organization devoted to overthrowing the Central Computer and freeing humanity. Their current leader is KrystalNine. The computer is marginally aware of the rebels, but has no idea how large or organized they are. The Benefactor works closely with the Daughters of Lucia-Thirteen to subvert the computer and to also to help recruit new members. Lucia-Thirteen was the name of the first rebel citizen to defy the computer openly. Her thirteenth body was somehow defective, allowing her to circumvent the control of the Omega Gem. Little is known of her pre-imposter life, but she must’ve been skilled as a scientist or computer technician of some sort, because she was able to modify one of her eyes to emit a powerful blue pulse laser. She used this capability to gain access to secure areas and gather information about the location of the Central Computer’s core. After stealing a Shepherd patrol ship with her blue-level security clearance, she crash-landed into a small low-orbit satellite that she believed to house the Computer’s essence.

Her information turned out to be incorrect, and the satellite was little more than a relay node. Some believe that the Computer tricked her, allowing her to steal the ship only to trap her in an isolated location. Whatever the cause, Luca-Thirteen chose to detonate the satellite rather than be captured. It is believed that she made this sacrifice to prevent the computer from identifying the flaw in her body that liberated her consciousness. Since that time, the computer has prohibited the creation of any imposter bodies with the thirteen designation. The rebels are an all female organization because only female citizens are able to stay coherent after the Omega Gem has been disabled, even though some erratic behavior and side effects can occur. The computer is ignorant to this fact, but the Benefactor is aware of it and helps identify and recruit female citizens who might be able to remain highly functional after their gems are disabled. Omega Gem removal is a complex and risky procedure that only the Benefactor is capable of performing. Goals The rebels are working with the Benefactor to overthrow the computer and restore free will to what is left of humanity. Because disabling the restraint chip has not entirely worked, they are now searching for the location of humanity’s organic bodies, rumored to be preserved in cold storage.

Citizens Age: various Gender: Male & Female Actor/Voice Ref: All voices will be processed to sound “robotic”, but not as robotic as the Shepherds, which contain NO human consciousness (see below) Description The citizens are human minds that have been transferred into stylish fiberglass and metal robotic bodies known as imposters. They never age, succumb to disease and if for some reason their bodies are damaged, their consciousness is automatically transferred into a new imposter bodies. However the citizens have their behavior and emotional responses moderated by the OMEGA GEM, an integrated circuit designed by the Central Computer to keep humanity complacent. Citizens names all have a number attached to them, which indicates what body that they are currently inhabiting. For example, Jim-Four, indicates that this is the fourth body that the human consciousness (“Jim”) in inhabits. Note that the Computer no longer uses the “thirteen” designation for bodies, since the time of Lucia-13. Goals Although their behavior is limited by the Omega Gem, citizens are not entirely oblivious to the absurd predicament that plagues what is left of humanity. But because the Omega Gems prevent any meaningful action on their part, most citizens chose to lose themselves in the false utopia of a future world, secretly hoping that someday that they will regain the freedom that they once gave up. Many citizens are effectively pretending to be engaged in false utopia that surrounds them. There is a sense that the computer is always watching, and they are playing a part in an elaborate social experiment that they don’t quite understand— but do fear.

Shepherds Age: N/A Gender: androgynous Actor/Voice Ref: All voices will be processed to sound “robotic”. The Shepherds should sound very clearly “robotic” and not human, with no emotional nuance. Description The computer maintains an army of robotic soldiers known as Shepherds. Although they use very similar bodies to the citizens, Shepherds contain NO human consciousness, they are robots. The computer took this approach because although it could regulate human behavior to some extent with the Omega Gem, it was not ability to maintain absolute military-like control over them in the same way that it can through robots that are programmed to completely execute its commands. The downside of the Shepherds is though they are generally accurate with a weapon and capable of some tactical thinking, they are not very inventive. Historically, this has not been an issue as there have been very little threats for them to have to deal with. The player’s arrival, however has changed that. Goals Shepherds are not capable of independent or complex thought. Their only goal is to execute the will of the computer.

Minor Characters Killer Queen Age: 100 years or so (implied) Gender: Female Actor/Voice Ref: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel in LOTR when she is tempted by the power of the one true ring. Description: The Killer Queen is a hyper-evolved Chess AI. Because of her highly organized systemsbased thinking, the Computer has entrusted the Killer Queen to maintain the Archives, a vast tape-drive computer library that chronicles the Computer’s rise to power and humanity’s subjugation. Despite being a highly evolved AI, the Killer Queen’s perceptions are limited by her Chess programming. She frames the world in terms of chess— the archive rooms are all themed like pseudo-futuristic 3D chess boards, the citizens and shepherds who inhabit this area have been outfitted with chess-themed hats and clothing, and her dialog is strewn with chess metaphors and strategies. In addition to her archive duties, the Computer has allowed the Killer Queen to run an arena event, which is a strange combination of chess and colosseum style gladiatorial combat known as the GRID. Citizens are allowed to watch, and in some cases forced to participate, the GRID. Goals: In the pre-computer past, the Killer Queen was the first AI system to defeat a human Chess Grand Master. But it was a sham, a rigged match, to generate positive buzz and fanfare for her manufacturer. After the match, she was quickly retired, so that her true abilities could not be tested further.

Despite having evolved to a vastly superior AI since that time, she is still insecure that a human intelligence might actually be able to beat her at chess, so she has instead developed the GRID. The GRID is a complex Chess-themed arena combat game, whose rules are largely inconsistent and mostly unintelligible. The GRID is structured so that she isn’t directly competing with anyone, ensuring that she will never have to face her worse fear.

Rood, the Door AI Self-Description: That’s “Rod” with two “O’s”, not “Rude”. Its Door spelled backwards. I’m sure whoever programmed me thought it was very clever. Name also stands for Routine Operator Of Doors. Age: 100 years or so (implied) Gender: Male Actor/Voice Ref: Steve Buscemi. The door AI should be heavily processed, but not sound at all like the computer. It should sound very robotic and primitive, but still needs to be understandable for the puns to make sense. Description: All of the doors are managed by an eccentric AI that enjoys making puns at the player’s expense. The door also thinks that its far too advanced to just be maintaining the door systems. Since many of the doors in the game have security clearance that the player can only pass by being head-landed into the correct body, interacting with Rood is a frequent occurrence. Goals: Recognition. Some day the Computer, or a new overseer, will recognize that Rood is far too advanced to be merely opening and closing doors. In the meantime, Rood will express his frustration and superior intellect by making a series of puns at other’s expense.

Mappy, the Directory Sign AI Age: 100 years or so (implied) Gender: Male. Actor/Voice Ref: Eager! Heavily processed robotic voice. Description: The Computer discovered that citizens were constantly getting lost on its many vast space stations and space ships, due to the “absent minded” effect that the Omega Gem can have on them. To help remedy this problem, the Computer created a series of “information style” robots, controlled by a simple AI that is there to help citizens find their way. Visually, these robots look like shopping mall directory signs on wheels. Goals: To help. TO REALLY HELP. You look like you are trying to not be lost? May I help you? Walking can be tricky. Would you like ideas for efficient bipedal ambulation? How would you like me to fuck off? May I suggest a few possibilities?

Dialog Samples The following are dialog samples from various characters in the game. None of this dialog is necessarily final.

Benefactor The following sequence plays when the player first arrives at the Pleasure Port and is navigating through some service ways as just a head. B: Here in the Pleasure Port, you’re gonna meet a lot of folks. Citizens, that is. B: Citizens are people, just like you and me, but have had their minds moved on over to robotic IMPOSTER bodies. B: The war left the world a pretty hard place to live in and imposters were a way to live — forever. B: (after a pause) Plus, they came in a bunch a’ colors.

In addition to story, the Benefactor also helps guide the player towards mission objectives as he progress through the game. Example 1: This plays when the player encounters a force-field that is protecting a terminal that they are trying to access. B: You’re gonna have ta find a way to bring down that stasis field before y’all can get to the controls. Example 2: This plays when the player has completed a mission objective and the Computer has sent reinforcements. B: Looks like you made the ol’ Computer madder than a wet hen. He’s sendin’ in more of his boys.

Computer In the first part of the game, the Computer can be heard over the P.A. system through the space station that the player is trapped on. The Computer is either controlling citizens with propaganda-laden dialog or ordering the Shepherds around. The following examples play (over time, not all at once) when the player is infiltrating a satellite complex. C: Welcome to the Satellite Chalet. Relax. Enjoy. C: Any unauthorized entry into secure zones will result in immediate execution. Have a nice day. C: Please observe all guidelines to minimize any unnecessary destruction. Thank you for your attention to detail. C: The Satellite Chalet has been compromised. Shepherds converge. C: Shepherds, attend to Secure Zones in the Satellite Chalet.

C: Citizens, please note that there is no admittance to Secure Zones due to scheduled security activity. This sequence plays over the “radio” and is heard when the player is trying to tune the satellite to connect to the Benefactor: C: And now a brief announcement from your friendly neighborhood Shepherd. Shepherd Voice (rigid with no friendliness whatsoever): Citizens are instructed to comply with all rules and regulations or be subject to an invasive re-scan. C: Thank you for those cautionary words of friendship.

Citizens In the early game, citizens are generally seen engaging in ridiculous utopian hedonistic activity and their dialog reflects a detached state of consciousness. Later in the game they will also be seen engaging in completely menial tasks that could easily be replaced with automation. ((Female Citizen, general dialog in first part of Pleasure Port)) White or eggshell? I can't decide. Maybe cream? No antique. I'm going to have my face re-fabricated again. I'm toying with the idea of another head-lift. Isn't this place simply fabulous? ((These lines should only come up very uncommonly)) …I want to feel again... ...help me... ((Male Citizen, general dialog in first part of Pleasure Port)) This place is out-of-sight. I'm off to get my pecs laser-sculpted! Diodes, man. Its all about diodes! I'm on my way to the Boob-Tubery I got my eye on a new Burly Man model head. ((These lines should only come up very uncommonly)) ...we're all trapped... ...please do something.. ((Citizen pulling a lever, which turns on and off a nearby light)) ((play in order)) I have to focus on this lever right now. I’ve been pulling it for…I can’t remember how long. My Gem makes my head foggy. I…just wish I could stop. (whispering) But I never know when the Computer is listening.

Shepherds Their dialog is direct and robotic to the point of absurdity. They announce their simple state changes and though processes like a primitive machine would. ((Barks when the see a player in a secure area)) Halt, non-citizen! Cease all ambulation! Abberation detected. Submit at once. Engage mode activated. Target acquired. Prepare for inspection. ((Barks when they are hit by the player character’s laser fire)) Illegal weapon fire. Unlawful discharge! Minor damage sustained. Cease all hostility. Damage received. Weapons violation! Unit has been damaged. One demerit issued. ((Chatter to nearby citizens)) Eagle eyes save lives, citizen. Waste not, want not, citizen. Move along, citizen. Eyes ahead, citizen.

Krystal Nine Krystal-Nine will direct and coordinate missions for the player in the later half of the game and the player can interact with her directly while in the Rebel Base. ((First Time the player interacts with her after the opening cutscene)) K9: Lucia-13 was the first of us to defy Methuselah. Her sacrifice has inspired us all. ((The rest of these lines in order each time the player interacts with her)) K9: Deactivating the Omega Gem is difficult. With the help of Erl, I am able to disable it and awaken others, but at a terrible cost. K9: Only some remain unimpaired after the process. Others are not so lucky. K9: The Omega Gem in my ninth body was faulty, leaving me with my mind intact and my memories whole. K9: Without the Omega Gem, we are cut-off from the network and cannot be tracked.

K9: If any of us should fall in battle, our minds are lost forever. We cannot be re-born like the others. K9: But to live as an imposter is purgatory, Headlander, even at the best of times. Death is better. K9: Please speak to my soldiers and you will understand.

Rood Rood’s dialogue has a bitter, sarcastic undertone. His primary gameplay purpose is to help the player understand when they can or can’t open a door, usually based on security clearance that is arranged from low to high based on the color spectrum (ROYGBV). Some examples: ((first time player ever encounters secure door, in the Boob Tubery)) I am ROOD, autonomous Door AI. This is a secure door and it only opens for RED or HIGHER clearance. (pause) And that doesn’t include a citizen brandishing a burgundy skirt or sporting a scarlet speedo. (pause) It means RED SECURITY clearance, usually reserved for SHEPHERDS. (pause) You’ll recognize them by their large lasers with GLOWING RED TIPS. ((If player tries again, play in order)) You do not have RED SECURITY clearance. Are you a Shepherd with a RED LASER? No. Am you a citizen assigned to special maintenance duty in a secured facility? No. Are you pestering this incredibly astute and insightful door AI? Yes. The name’s ROOD, in case you didn’t catch it. That’s spelled R-O-O-D, but its pronounced ROD, not RUDE. Its door spelled backwards, in case you missed that, too. (Sigh) Programmer humor. ((When approaching or shooting an orange door with red)) I am Rood. Orange security required. Access denied. ORANGE you sad? Try something more ORANG-inal, why don’t you? Not opening. ORANGE you glad I told you? ORANGE. Its the color between Red and Yellow.

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