A Map Concept by The Meh
Weaponry provided by: The Meh/HitmanVere
Characters, Story, Map Layout: The Meh
Creative Directors: Nightmare Voyager/HitmanVere
Time taken to create: April 19th, 2015 to February 11th, 2017
The screen begins to fade in as it zooms out from the face of a zombie, and begins to take a look at places around the map. Stacey Cadwell begins to narrate.
“The day the Angels came, we knew that we needed to train them.”
An image flashes for a few frames, of Dunes, then comes back to the map, circling around the ray of synthetic sunlight.
“The Epsilon is coming. The Change may happen. And even the Entity itself couldn’t begin to comprehend the amount of danger of that day.”
Fire flashes on the screen, as the image of Dunes had, then comes back to the map, going down the mountainous region of the map, slowly reaching Level 1 areas of the Citadel, while given some glimpses of Level 2.
“There was, however, a light of shining hope. An effervescent beam of light deep within the darkened depths of humanity. We could counteract the Epsilon, and the End, had we been able to find the Angels. Our job and our duty, all along. We may have saved Humanity once, but that was par for the course. We knew soon after that we needed to find the Angels. They would help save us all, the day the Epsilon comes.”
The camera zooms into a particularly larger-sized door, with what looks to be our Dunes group etched within it, among old runes and cracked rock, then suddenly fades to black.
The screen then fades back in to where it started, but now begins to pan upwards, slowly.
“We had found the Angels. But we needed to know that they would show their potential within the face of adversity. Thusly, we called for the prophetic Trial of Revelations.”
The screen stops panning upwards, revealing our four Dunes characters.
“Let the games begin. Light up the Citadel.”
The screen cuts to black.
Map Description: “Welcome to the Testing Grounds. Welcome to the Citadel. Bear the courage that none before you could muster as you lurk within the darkened depths of these walls. The secrets to shedding your humanity lie here; we shall guide your way to them. The weight of prophetic ruminations rumble within your hearts… do you have what it takes to become the Angels?”
TL:DR Version (General): http://pastebin.com/4YuCqncD
[Note: I most likely won’t use the names of the areas much compared to “Levels”. It’s more how I decided to write the map, more than anything. Though, officially, these areas hold those names. So, nice to keep in mind, if you do happen to read the above version.]
The Citadel | Level One: “Proleta”
You spawn into a mostly darkened room, with some slight rays of “sunlight” peering from holes within the roof of the room. You are then greeted by the Prophets with these words:
“And thus, your Trials now begin. Welcome, Angels, to the testing grounds of which you will find your fate. Within the walls of this place are secrets, items of power, which you will begin to learn to embrace. Go on and fight. The hordes wait, and they hold no patience. Let the trials begin! Light up the night!”
Shortly after, torches will light around the room, and you will find yourself in what looks to be a house, carved solely from rock. Round 1 begins. Zombies will spawn in from a barrier behind you and will spawn out from the walls as well. The room itself is not as spacious as some would like, so it would be best to leave this area before Round 5. Towards the left-hand side of the barrier will be a door that will cost you 500 points to open. Through that door, you will be brought down a set of stairs to the lower area of the house. Down here, you will find an M14 wallbuy (500 points) and Healing Elixir (aka Quick Revive; dependant on Solo or MP play, but has the same costs). Next to Healing Elixir is a possible spawn of the Mystery Box, but this is not where it is located. Another 500 point door is located next to the stairs, mainly noticeable by the fact that it is right in front of you when coming off from said stairs.
Opening said door will lead you outside… so to speak. Outside the house is a povertous, subterranean Villa, all of which have similar houses made of stone. Most are either out of reach, the doors are broken and unrepairable, or are fallen apart. You will see mostly dirty and moldy cloth hanging from the windows of the houses still standing, and alleyways in which are crowded by destroyed market carts and rubble. The character(s) will react to this, all open to the possibility that this place has been abandoned for years, and this villa was where many peasants lived… they would not be wrong in that presumption.
Heading outside the house, you will reach a long pathway between the houses - a “road”, if you may. With this, you are given two paths. To the left is a 1500 point door, a spiral staircase that circles around a darkened beam of an unknown light. This staircase would lead to Level 2 of the Citadel, and would be a… “faster route”, if preferred, but not the route that should be taken immediately, hence why it is wise to go the other direction. There is a KRM-262 wallbuy (750 points) right next to said door, however, so you could take the gun if you’d like.
Taking the path to the right, you will delve further into the villa. Going in this direction, you will find some of the houses seem to be in less disrepair than you first encountered before, yet will be only one-level houses. It is here that there will be numerous doors to buy - at least 8 of them. Most of what is within these houses will be power-ups (those doors will cost at least 1000) and parts for the Shield of the Apostasy (three parts; 250 points). Those will lie on the right-hand side of you. Yet the ones on the left-hand side will be mostly predetermined. The first door to the left (500 points) will lead you to the first Soul Machine, of which will be of importance later on. The second door (650 points) will lead you to a Mystery Box spawn. It is best to note now that each level of the Citadel will have a predetermined Box spawn for themselves… yet this one is not it.
The next two doors (250 points) are... less predetermined. The rooms will be randomized with each game between having a wallbuy for the RK5 (750 points) and the MR6 (500 points; high boost of damage that makes it more versatile than its BOIII spawn pistol counterpart), yet the last room in that row will always have a Workbench for the Shield of the Apostasy.
Past these houses, you will find a large door in front of you, with odd markings of Angels, “monstrosities”, and a symbolic language unknown to you. Looking at the door more closely, it seems that the Angels are floating above the area of the monstrosities, but still near reach. The Angels themselves look to be using both ancient weaponry and weaponry outside of their time, akin to modern weaponry, by the looks. The Angels look… familiar… as if they are perhaps reminiscent of our characters. But that information is not important to you… for now. Buying this door (1750 points) will cause it to slide outward and open slowly, a bright light penetrating into the room, brightening up the screen for a temporary few seconds, then dimming. Walking through this door leads you outside of the villa to an area… that may better explain where exactly this place is.
The door opens out to a garden-like area, bushes of about waist height all around, some beginning to shrivel and die due to lack of care. How they survived as long as they did is… mysterious, at best. A few marble obelisks are around here, akin to that of Greek architecture, one having fallen nearby. Looking into the horizons around and above from this view, you may begin to realize that this area is more of a… “porch”, or a “plateau”-like area. Looking over the area from the door, you will see what seems to be a dome-like structure around the entirety of the mountainous citadel, the endless cosmos outside of it. How such an environment is possible is very questionable, but perhaps this can be explained later on. It is also these Gardens where you should be able to find Icarus Contact and an Uzi wallbuy (1000 points), in close vicinity to the door you came through. Down the incline from the door will be the Mystery Box, to which it will always spawn here for Level One.
Looking up the mountain, you notice a dimmed beam of light reaching down from a similarly dimmed orange ball of light… perhaps, a “synthetic sun”, if you may. Walking down from the door from the steps leading out from it, making your way around to the middle of the garden, you will find a smaller, pill-shaped… machine of sorts. At the bottom of the machine rests two tubes, and reaching up from it is a helix-like pathway to the top portion of the machine, where an “object” within that spins around and causes a form of centrifugal movement within, and connected from that is a sort of antenna-like metal piece. A patch of metal at the bottom of this machine calls it by the name of “S.I.G.H.T.”, or, in a non-abbreviated form, “Synthetic Ionized Generator of Heliocentric Torque”. Essentially, this is the equivalent of the Generators from Origins. Before you approach the S.I.G.H.T. machine, the Prophets will sound:
“You should realize by now that this is no ordinary place. This place is a long way beyond your planet, created by us for a sufficient testing grounds. If you plan on being able to show us that you are who we think you are to be, then you must power up this Citadel. Activate each and every S.I.G.H.T. machine, so we all can begin to learn your true purpose for being here.”
You will then be given the prompt to turn this S.I.G.H.T. machine on in the same point dependant as Origins had with its generators with players (200-800 points). It will take 30 seconds for it to start up and complete it’s power-up processes. During this time, two… “different” kind of zombies will start spawning. They look to be nearly entirely decayed, less skin on them than any other zombie you’d usually find. The first kind of zombies, with red eyes, will have nearly no skin to their arms, but the bones of their arms are near razor sharp, and will be a danger to you during the S.I.G.H.T. activation, as they will only attack you, and have higher damage and speed. Thusly, they are named as “Knights”. The other zombies, with orange eyes, have no arms at all, yet their head grew to be the most resilient part of its body. In such, it will use its head to attack you if you get too close, yet its main intent is to attack the S.I.G.H.T. machine to stop its activation. Thusly, they are called “Brutes”. You must be able to keep both of these… “new” breeds of zombies at bay during the machine’s activation process if you aim to succeed in your goals in the Citadel.
During the activation process, an unknown bright orange substance will rise through the machine, and will make its way through the machine as mentioned above. At the end of the 30-second time, the machine will pulse around its vicinity, killing off any of the remaining zombies you had. At the same time, a bright orange beam will shoot up to the “synthetic sun” up above, which will cause it to shine brighter.
It is here that you notice a somewhat long set of stairs slide open, upwards towards the next area of the Citadel, Level 2. With this, you will hear a message, somewhat akin to the likes of Samantha’s Zombie Blood quotes in Origins:
“The first beacon is lit… art thou Apostate? Saveth thee, eternal damnation at cusp…”
The Prophets will then speak:
“Yes… you’ve been able to activate the first of three S.I.G.H.T. machines. Go on. Keep moving forward. The Second Level awaits you. There, you shall find a brighter insight as to the tragedy of this place.”
The Citadel | Level 2: “Vogue”
Rising up to Level 2, it is important to note that this portion of the map is structurally much larger than Level 1. Aesthetically, there is… generally a lot more improvement to the Citadel. Unlike the impoverished conditions that Level 1 residents had been forced to live in, Level 2 is a lot more high-standing, with ideally large marble columns (akin to Greek architecture) and marble flooring. It’d be an ideal place to live if this Citadel hadn’t failed. The state of Level 2 leaves most marble flooring cracked and some columns gone and broken away, which leaves one to a deadly drop, if unwise. Up the stairs, you will walk into a more spacious room, still outside from the mountainous region ahead. There are two paths to take, and yet all will lead to the same area. A possible Box spawn rests between the area beside the doors leading to said paths.
If one takes the left-hand path (500 points), you will open up to Level 2’s Markets, which will yield a numerous amount of perks and guns - plenty of space to gear up. If one takes the right-hand path (1250 points), you will open up to the Villa/Citadel Square, where you should find the next S.I.G.H.T. machine and the way to Level 3, among other things.
Let’s talk first on what the left-hand path will hold. Unlike Level 1’s impoverished and nearly wasted away market stands and foods, this Market area still has some carts working, and some viable fruits and foods still seem to be edible. This area itself is a mix of being both a spacious path and a tightened pathway, as the areas you walk in are somewhat tightly packed to a certain extent, but the area itself is also an expansive room, holding the main Level 2 Box spawn between the maze of carts.
Walking from the buildable cart, there is a door to the left of it, leading to what looks to be a bigger Housing Unit than what Level 1 had. Buying the door to this Housing Unit (1000 points) will take you into said house, where you will find a wallbuy for the Locus on the first floor. Going up to the second floor (500 points) will lead into a Living Room/Storage room, with the remnants of refined furniture and eccentric artistry thrown to disarray on the floor and walls. It is here where you will find both a KRM-262 wallbuy and Ephemeral Genesis.
Next to the KRM-262 wallbuy, you will notice that a large marble column has fallen into the walls of this building, looking to be from an area ahead of here. Looking past it, you may vaguely see the next S.I.G.H.T. machine. This would act as a shortcut to the next S.I.G.H.T. machine, if one is to consider taking this route. Next to said area within the wall is a stairway over to the next building (750 points), which will lead past the S.I.G.H.T machine, but will lead you to the next spiral staircase door, a Bootlegger wallbuy, and Sleight Blight. You can go either way, but it’s best to explain the other path first. Buying this door will lead you into a smaller, one-floor Cottage. In the Cottage, you can find a Bootlegger wallbuy and Spectral Vision. Not far off of the wallbuy, a pile of debris blocks the path, but can be purchased as a door for 1250 points. It is past this where you should find a large room - more commonly just called a “Cavern” or “Mine” by the group - which should be large enough to run a train in, akin to that of what Dunes had before. Within this room, you should find Slight Blight on the farthest wall to the right, next to the second spiral staircase door, among a box spawn opposite of the door.
All of that is if you take the left-hand path, which… is particularly advisable at first glance, but you would be better off buying the right-hand side door for more availability, and a more direct route around to the next Level.
Now, if you take the right hand path, you will be brought towards the other portion of Level 2, also known as the Villa. This first door leads to an arced balcony with a box spawn, to which you can nearly look off the edge to see the other homes and get a clearer view of the Synthetic Sun. You can almost nearly see a building that looks starkingly similar to a monastery, seated directly - and ominously - below the Synthetic Sun. This place will be important for us very soon.
On the wall to the left, there is an HVK-30 wallbuy (1500 points), and walking forward, you should find another door (500 points). Purchase of this door leads to the first half of the Villa (the second half having been the Market, and its surrounding areas). Here, you can find another Uzi wallbuy, Two-Faced Charade, and the second S.I.G.H.T. machine. This S.I.G.H.T machine, coincidentally enough, melds itself well to the environment surrounding it, looking as though it worked dually as a fountain, with markings of Angels and… what appears to be a sun… creating the worlds, and protecting them. They are obviously derelict now, so it is hard to tell. Anyways, activate this S.I.G.H.T. machine, and defend it like you had previously, and the pathway located in front of you will break open, and will reveal a path leading to a platform that will raise you up to Level 3.
Once again, the ominous voice from before will speak...
“The second beacon beams light upon us… you art thine salvation. Apostates, free thine chains.”
“Fantastic… you have managed to activate the second S.I.G.H.T. machine. You are doing more than you believe, making more of an impact than you know…
...move on. The platform nearby will take you to Level 3, where the religious and ruling aspects of their society still linger.”
The Citadel | Level 3: “Convala”
Rising up to Level 3, one might notice that the area it takes up is… seemingly not as large as some of the other areas we’ve seen. That is due to the fact that the third and “final level” of the Citadel is intentionally meant to be the smallest portion of the map. A miniscule portion of the populace lived in its quarters, most of which was left either to royalty or religious persons. There are five accessible areas within this, all comprised within its general building, known only as the “Temple of Coalescence”. These areas include: The Throne Room, The Armory, The Cathedral, The Kitchen, and a place only named “The Doorway”.
The platform from Level 2 rises up and leaves you at the entrance of the Temple. The door into the Temple itself costs 2200 to buy. Opening said door leaves you in the Throne Room. The Throne Room is almost in the same state as it was before the Citadel turned to ruins. The room itself is lit with torches and whatever light comes in from broken windows. Banners still run down from the walls, and the throne itself is shining bright, made of gold. Behind the throne, there is a Mystery Box and a door, which we will explain momentarily. To the left and right, there are two other doors to open, each leading to different areas, but also will lead to the same area.
The left-side door takes you to the Cathedral (1000 points). It’s safe to say that the Cathedral is more in ruins than the rest of the Temple, with the rows of wooden chairs and such having been broken and thrown about the room, the windows near its chapel having been broken, debris of the chapel and many other things thrown across its sides, banners torn or burnt… it’s generally the worst-standing statured room of the entire Temple. To the far-off left corner of the room, there is the third and final spiral staircase door, and next to it, the final KRM-262 wallbuy. A door is to the far-right side of the room as well, which leads to the Armory. Another door in the wall in the middle of the room is within here as well, with no debris lining the path to it. Likewise to the door within the Throne Room, I will explain this momentarily.
The right-side door takes you to the Kitchen (1000 points). The Kitchen is not entirely broken apart and in ruins, but it isn’t in great shape. Pots and pans are thrown about, stacked up, and generally unclean. There are shards of broken plates lining the floor, along that of an opened wall, partially broken, having become that way over time. This broken wall is surrounding that of the oven within, the wood turned to charcoal and ash, the embers out. The bricks stop you from going outside the Kitchen, but you can tell from the area outside of it that there is a bright light outside of it. To the middle-left portion of the room, likewise to all of the other rooms, another door is within this area, which will be explained very soon. Farther along that wall, another door leads to the Armory.
No matter which direction is taken, each area leads to the Armory. Entering the room, you will find a Bootlegger on the wall next to the door that enters from the Kitchen (1300 points). There is a particularly more technologically-advanced screen against the wall. You will be prompted to turn it on, and doing so will show a map of the Citadel itself, both in entirety and by each Level. Conveniently, the location of the Mystery Box will also be shown between the Levels. Unless it has gone used within each area, the Mystery Box locations stay in their predetermined spots within each Level. Behind you, if you were looking at said screen, there is another Mystery Box, to the left of… another door. Pack-a-Punch also is to the right of this door...
Enough with the extra doors, what’s their deal?
Truthfully, a passageway intersects between all areas, and opening so will lead to The Doorway. The cost of this door is 2000, shown on each door when approached, and when said door is opened, all the doors from each area will open with it.
Entering the Doorway, you will find a small spiraling staircase. At the bottom of the staircase area, you will find an AK12 on the wall (1500 points), and Western Rejack across from it. Going up the stairs leads to a large room with an open roof. The room itself is circular, and brightened mainly by the Synthetic Sun that shines brightly into the room. Around the room, there are stone murals and inscriptions, showing events which look almost similar to that of Unity and Dunes. Each of these end both at one outline of an odd symbol, and four statues that look the same as our Dunes characters, holding out stone swords. In the middle-most part of the room lies none other than the third and final S.I.G.H.T. machine. As with the last two, turn it on and go through its startup process.
When the final S.I.G.H.T. machine is finished, something particularly different will occur. Each beam link from the previous S.I.G.H.T. machines will cut off, and go into the Synthetic Sun. The Synthetic Sun will begin to be glowing brighter and brighter, up until a point with which a white light envelops the screen.
One final message sounds…
“As it was foretold, the Apostates would free this Citadel from thine evil. You… you art thine divinity. We leave thee with gifts of thine past and futures, one to which we shall return. Complete what thou hast begun. Let thineselves... Converge.”
The white light that covers the screen dissolves, and you are left to the S.I.G.H.T. machine, glowing bright-orange and humming, the Synthetic Sun shining above. Three large beams shoot out to Level 3, and four smaller ones towards the other levels.
The first beam leaves a new hole in the wall, having broken part of the mural off. Inside this hole lies the Runic Generator (1000 points per use). The second beam divides into four, and shoots itself into the statues, hitting each sword. The swords dissolve their stone covers, and the Statues respond and move, positioning themselves to give you their swords. It is here where you shall receive the Apostate’s Cudgel, which will become more important very, very soon. The statues then disintegrate, and reveal the outline of Angel Wings within the wall...
The third beam hits the symbol on the wall adjacent to all of this. The symbol now shines a brighter orange color, and the Prophets sound:
“Amazing… it is complete. The Citadel lives again, with the light you gave back to it. You do realize that makes you more powerful than you believe, yes? You made more of an impact than any of their society had. You restored the Sun, and even made the stones themselves beckon to your innate human call. You have proved yourselves in such a way that pales in comparison to what others before you had tried. But… the voyage is not over yet. We are not finished here…
...now, the real test begins.”
Considering the story of Dunes branches to Citadel, the list of characters for the next maps will be as follows. Expect this not to change much… for now:
(It’s probably good to note that I’ve more than surely edited names of upgraded weapons to make them sound more… “dramatic”, more fitting for this map.
...well, some of them, at least.
Call them “Custom” if you’d like, but the classification of it doesn’t entirely matter in the end.)
M-700 Predator [Upgraded: The Blood Dragon]
Locus (wall; Level 2) [Upgraded: Scorpio]
USR [Upgraded: Underling of the Soul Redeemer]
M14 (wall; Level 1) [Upgraded: Mnesia]
The 4th Horseman (based on Destiny weapon of the same name) [Upgraded: Essence of the Apostles]
Argus [Upgraded: The Ancient Messenger]
S-12 (version from AW) [Upgraded: 1200 Saviors]
KRM-262 (wall; all Levels) [Upgraded: The Dragon’s Glare]
Haymaker 12 [Upgraded: Heaven’s Basement]
Man-O-War [Upgraded: The Lord of Steel]
AK12 (wall; 3rd Level) [Upgraded: Athena’s Kiss]
FR4 (based on the Silvered Eos FR4 from Destiny) [Upgraded: Framed Retrogenesis]
CGB-47 (based on the Painted Suros CGB-47 from Destiny) [Upgraded: Constructed Grandiose Brainsmasher]
XL70E3 (based on the weapon of the same name from Fallout 2) [Upgraded: The Minute Man]
XABR-1337 (based on the weapon of the same name from the game Too Human) [Upgraded: As Time Dies Alone]
US-09 (based on the Unwilling Soul-09 from Destiny) [Upgraded: Undeniable Serenity]
SK5 (based on the SK5 Type-Null from Destiny) [Upgraded: Sublime Khaos]
KN-44 [Upgraded: The Kindred Never]
HVK-30 (wall; 2nd Level) [Upgraded: Hatred, Volition, Killer]
ICR-1 [Upgraded: The Iconoclastic Ruler]
Starr (Jeanne spawns with this) [Upgraded: Supernovva]
.357 Magnum (Alex spawns with this) [Upgraded: The Magnum Opus]
M1911 (Vladimir spawns with this) [Upgraded: Mustang and Sally]
Atlas 45 (Adam spawns with this) [Upgraded: World’s Fall]
M1 Irons [Upgraded: The Golden Ratio]
Hawkmoon (based on the Destiny gun of the same name) [Upgraded: Raven of Fundament]
MR6 (wall; 1st Level) [Upgraded: Chivalry and Fear]
RK5 (wall; 1st Level) [Upgraded: The Dealer’s Absolute]
Uzi (wall; 1st and 2nd Levels) [Upgraded: Uncle Gal]
Grease Gun [Upgraded: The Black Hand]
ASM1 [Upgraded: The Ancient Sin of Malice]
Bootlegger (wall; 2nd and 3rd Levels) [Upgraded: Prohibitor]
Vesper [Upgraded: The Clue of Demise]
Razorback [Upgraded: Heavy Metal Hellfire]
Weevil [Upgraded: Black Plague]
Bizon [Upgraded: The Wrath of Odin]
Light Machine Guns/Heavy Weaponry:
Type 99 [Upgraded: The Typewriter]
Pyatek (wall; Regality Sector) [Upgraded: Irons In The Fire]
Gorgon [Upgraded: Talker to the Stones] (Note: Upgraded version will have a much faster fire rate/reload than prior incarnations.)
Dingo [Upgraded: The Wolf of Desolation]
XM-53 [Upgraded: Xenobiological Martyrdom]
Gjallarhorn (...yep, this is based off of the rocket launcher everyone seems to love in Destiny…) [Upgraded: Fervor of the Iron Tomb]
(Something to note about the Gjallarhorn… no Wolfpack Rounds until it’s upgraded!)
Annihilator [Upgraded: Creatio Ex Nihilo] // Can be switched from how the gun usually shoots (Creatio) to a version that, after a few seconds of killing a zombie, said zombie will explode, killing, stunning, or damaging any zombies nearby the shot (Nihilo).
Sparrow [Upgraded: Doves / Crows] // In terms of the upgrade name, it is named as this for the two modes it can have. The default gun is named as so (the default is a tri-shot, one arrow non-explosive, the two beside it explosive), meanwhile the ‘Doves’ mode is a non-explosive variation that has a high penetration rate when shot (basically you can kill one or more zombies with this). The ‘Crows’ version is, meanwhile, an explosive variant that draws zombies towards where it was shot at. Essentially a better-executed Crossbow upgrade idea, really.
Purifier [Upgraded: The Cleansing Fires] // Two modes with this as well. Hellfire Mode is your default mode, which shoots a very powerful purple flame and engulfs the zombies within seconds. Greekfire Mode is essentially the same, yet this blue-colored fire spreads past a simple crowd and will travel until it hits the wall of the room you are in from the direction you faced in when you shot. It will stun and/or kill any zombies that come near its flames.
Ray Gun [Upgraded: Porter’s X2 Ray Gun]
Ray Gun Mark II [Upgraded: Porter’s Mark II Ray Gun]
Apostate’s Cudgel [Upgraded: Left Hand of God]:
Before entirely explaining this, I want to mention that I’ve had just this one weapon being one of the most worked-out in my mind since I began working on Citadel. This was literally the #1 weapon always on my mind. The Apostate’s Cudgel can be similar to the base versions of the swords of Shadows of Evil, but the more important version is the upgraded variants, hence why I will be talking more consideration in what the upgraded versions do, and will be talking more on them. Aesthetically, this is akin to that of a scimitar, with jagged edges on the blunter end of the sword, thus able to be used both to cut enemies down and slit the throat of any that challenge its might. The actual blade itself is made from energy stored within a crystal that connects it to the hilt. It also carries a more ethereal mist effect around it, resonating a slight smoke from it, to which the color is character-dependant (Red for Jeanne, Sky Blue for Vladimir, Purple for Alex, Pale/White for Adam). Why the color is important can be elaborated down below.
Onto the upgraded form itself, the weapon does basically combine powers similar to the Apothicon Sword(s) from Shadows of Evil, and other games, given that the Left Hand of God has attributes dependant onto whichever character you spawn in as, which I will go into explaining down below. The origins of why this weapon exists are unknown, yet the Prophets will suggest that it was created in a time before even the Entity remembers.
Onto this weapons attributes to characters:
If you spawn in as Jeanne, your sword will have a red-ethereal aesthetic to it, signifying that it has a fire power. If you hold down the buttons for a power attack, a pulse like such of Firebreak’s Heat Wave in Black Ops III will be emitted around you, killing any zombies within close proximity and stunning those close to the blast radius of the weapon.
If you spawn in as Vladimir, your sword will have a sky-blue-ethereal aesthetic to it, signifying that it has an ice power. If you use a power attack, all zombies within close proximity will be frozen within a block of ice. If any within the ice are shot, they will be dead when the ice thaws, which is within 20 seconds - more than enough to escape a hairy situation.
If you spawn in as Alex, your sword will have a purple aesthetic to it, signifying that it has a lightning power. If you use a power attack, all zombies within close proximity of you will die as if shot by a Wunderwaffe. Added, if any zombies are in close enough proximity to the zombies you shocked, the lightning will arc to them, either stunning or killing them.
If you spawn in as Adam, your sword will have a pale aesthetic to it, signifying that it has a wind power. If you use a power attack, all zombies within close proximity will be blown away as if shot by a Thundergun, and any near the blast radius will be stunned.
VCM-15 [Upgraded: The Demon Inside]: The idea behind this weapon branches from a wonder weapon idea I created in 2012 (...while I was still part of PTG… *shudders*...). Before explaining, it’s better I point out now that the un-abbreviated form of this gun’s name is “Vapor Condensed Modifier”, for any of those that are curious.
Onto the weapon itself, however. What this gun does is that, when shot, a vaporous cloud of fumes comes out from the gun. When it comes in contact with the zombies, it enters their systems and basically fries them up from the inside. The fumes contact their body, and chemically react (...”modify”) to the blood and skin. You COULD say that it’s like Nova 6, surely. But after the kill, the zombies aesthetically become more… “shriveled up”, so to speak. It’s as if any liquids within are gone from the body (basically hence its name… it should make sense now.)
The same effect comes from its upgrade variant, but what happens to the zombies is that they stop cold in their tracks, becoming erratic in behavior, as if trying to scratch their own eyes out. Seconds after, you shall see flames coming out from the eyes and mouth of the zombies, and when they die out, the zombie is left dead from all of it.
Personally, I like the concept of the weapon, but I’m still leaving opinions towards you for that.
Lifeblood Resonation Device (L.R.D., or Lord): Akin to that of Exo Zombies’ own Repulsor, but better. The waves that come out from it are a darker red tint, and lasts up to Round 15 with easy one-hits.
Rune Stones are ideally my rendition of what Black Ops III does with re-packing a weapon, giving it extra abilities. Each Rune Stone is different, and very powerful. These ancient stones were crafted by those who lived within the Second and Third Levels of the Citadel, as a way of worshipping their deities (which… were the Angels and Prophets). Most of the Rune Stones are particularly rough-feeling cylindrical-shaped rocks with each rune (mostly of the Norse alphabet, but one of the Greek alphabet), and would be placed on the front portion of the gun, as if it were the Silencer attachment (which… believe me… this is nothing of the sort). The main differentiation that can be made as to the power of the Rune Stones would be its size; the power of said stone is dependant on how big the stone is. How big these stones are is already (mostly) predetermined, and I will label them accordingly.
Each Rune Stone is able to be gotten via a machine within the Third Level of the Citadel, aptly named as the “Runic Generator “. This machine is similar to Der Wunderfizz and GobbleGum, in that whatever Rune Stone you get is entirely random; it is not similar in the fact that the Runic Generator does not move from its place. Added, you can only have one per gun (excluding the Ray Gun/Ray Gun Mark II; you will be unable to attach them to those), which, in logistics, gives you two each game, if you keep said loadout, or three per game, dependant on if you get Western Rejack and don’t grab a Ray Gun.
There are a total of 26 different Rune Stones, each corresponding to the letters of the Runic alphabet (and in terms of the one letter of the Greek alphabet I will use as well), and they are as follows:
1. Thief’s Pack (ᚠ; Small-Medium Size): This Stone will yield double the amount of points per kill with the weapon it is equipped to.
2. Bull’s Force (ᚢ; Small Size): This Stone will yield a particularly higher bullet penetration rate, at the cost of accuracy.
3. Storm Warning (ᚦ; Medium-Large Size): This Stone will yield an effect akin to Dead Wire, with which there is a slight chance of some bullets electrocuting and killing the zombie that hits it, and will stun zombies around the zombie that got shot first.
4. Divine Light (ᚨ; Large Size): This Stone will yield an effect to which there is a slight chance that a light will appear above the zombies for a short time, during which it is much easier to headshot zombies. There is an even slighter chance that some of said zombies will immediately die from said light.
5. Highwayman’s Sleight (ᚱ; Medium Size): This Stone will yield a chance of “Furious Feet” power-ups (akin to that of Dead Ops Arcade) spawning from zombies. While it does not exactly give you such powers, it will cause you to perform a speed boost immediately in whatever direction the power-up is used in, to which any and all zombies in its wake will be decimated. Coupled with Icarus Contact, you gain a more devastating and powerful boost, which gives you a flame trail that follows behind you (not that they kill… it’s just for cool aesthetic. :P).
6. Way of Salvation (ᚲ; Small Size): This Stone will yield a slight chance of some zombies becoming engulfed in a white light, giving certain areas of the map a brighter shine than others (which means you may be able to see things you couldn’t before). This effect can be useful in the EE (or just finding secrets…), but the step it is mainly useful for is still able to be done without it. This stone’s effect may also stun some zombies, but that is less likely.
7. Vulture’s Gift (ᚷ; Small-Medium Size): This Stone will yield a slightly better effectiveness if paired with Spectral Vision, in which it will drop a small quantity of bullets from each zombie. Paired with Spectral Vision, you will be able to get anywhere between half-to-full magazines of ammo back from zombies.
8. Servant of the Zion (ᚹ; Medium-Large Size): This Stone will yield an effect similar to that of Turned, with which you are given a zombie as a friendly for 45 seconds. Each kill that zombie gets will give you 100 points, and said zombie is guaranteed to leave behind a random power-up when it dies out.
9. Two-Sided Blizzard (ᚺ and ᚻ; Medium-Large Side): This Stone will yield dual effects, both in terms of its “ice”-like powers. It is possible to interchange between the effects, using the Right D-Pad button (if on controller), with which the user will turn the Rune Stone to show what effect you are using. One effect is tactical - whatever zombie it hits immediately bursts to snow/ice, and leaves any zombies within close vicinity of that zombie cut back in stamina, similar to what effects the Winter’s Howl had in later rounds - and the other effect is lethal - a circular blizzard similar to what the Ice Staff does when charged will surround what zombies are near it, and will kill them, at the cost of it only being usable once every 5-10 minutes..
10. Blood Drive (ᚾ; Medium Size): This Stone will yield a slight boost in health for 10 seconds, given that, if a zombie were to hit you, you were able to kill it with the gun this stone is attached to and survive with said boost efficiently. How much of a boost of health is given is dependant on how many times the zombie actually hit you.
11. Cold Shoulder (ᛁ; Small-Medium Size): This Stone yields effects that can be similarly attributed to the Winter’s Howl and Undead Man Walking. During the rounds up to 20, zombies shot by this have a chance of freezing on impact, and all that are shot will slow down for a short time. After Round 20, the stone loses its effect of immediate freezing, but zombies will still tend to slow down for a short time.
12. Corrupt Seedbearer (ᛃ; Medium Size): This Stone causes Blood Money power-ups to spawn, at a randomized point determinant between 500 and 5000, at a more often rate.
13. Roots of Intuition (ᛇ; Medium Size): This Stone is reminiscent in the aspect of controlling nature. There is a slight possibility that roots will shoot out of the ground under a zombie and either engulf said zombie into the ground, thusly killing them, or turning them into a friendly, akin to that of a Thrasher from ZNS’s looks and abilities, for 20 seconds, able to kill a group off easy. It’s very helpful to have if you’re the type of person that likes to have powers akin to control of zombies themselves.
14. Chasing Spectors (ᛈ; Medium-Large Size): Unlike any other Stone, this one is unique because of the fact that it’s not entirely clear what the Stone is able to do. Which means that essentially any effects that it creates are random.
Essentially, that means you can do just about anything.
That is, within realistic terms...
15. White Stag (ᛉ; Small-Medium Size): This Stone is… intriguing. That is, in the perspective that it has a small chance of spawning a literal white stag that distracts zombies for at least 10 seconds, with which it will lead zombies away from you. Unlike the Monkey Bomb, it does not kill, but is best for just simply leading them away when the zombies become problematic for you. Effective when need be, used best with crowd control.
16. Heliocentrism (ᛊ and ᛋ; Large Size): This Stone, like that of “Two-Sided Blizzard”, yields two different, and powerful, effects. One effect acts akin to that of Blast Furnace, although lasts for at least 10 seconds maximum and is more powerful. The secondary effect is an ability that is usable every 2-3 rounds, which essentially consumes a zombie’s body with… well, what is best called “holy fires”. These fires burn into its soul, making it akin to a friendly Napalm Zombie. This Zombie will urge others to it, and explode after 10 seconds of charging in power. This is a highly-effective Stone for crowd control, and knocking out groups of zombies like wildfire… no pun intended.
17. Archaic Law (ᛏ; Small-Medium Size): This Stone is better described as self-sacrificial. At the cost of most of your health for the time allotted, this Stone boosts the effective damage of whatever gun it is attached to for 30 seconds. It’s best to be used carefully, as it will only leave you with about two hits of health.
18. Torn Apart (ᛒ; Small-Medium Size): This Stone is simple in that its effect is simple. While having a slight chance of this activating, it stays for five seconds when it is activated. You would be able to tell that it activates, as it will glow brightly when it does.
Its effect causes zombies to take damage over time, and most zombies that get hit by the bullets that cause this effect will die over 20 seconds of time. The effect shows the skin of the zombie falling and flaking off each second until death.
19. Hunter’s Call (ᛖ; Medium Size): This Stone is an interesting one, and likely comparable to its brother-of-a-sort “White Stag”, to which there is a chance of an animal spawning from the body of a zombie recently killed with the weapon it is attached to. Yet, said animal will unleash the fury of nature upon the hordes, spawning either as a large fox, wolf, or jaguar (fox being least powerful, jaguar being most powerful). Alike to “White Stag”, it also lasts about 10-15 seconds.
20. Inner Reflective (ᛗ; Size dependant on character): This Stone in particular is rather… passive, yet aggressive just as well. Dependant on character, this stone will either gain or lose power at times when using said gun it is on, which can either be a hindrance or a godsend. If you are Jeanne, it’s a Medium-Large size, and gains a 1.75x boost on certain bullets. If you are Vladimir, it’s a Small-Medium size, and will give some 1.15x boosts, but also will give some 0.75x boosts. If you are Adam, it will be a Large size, and you will get a 2.25x boost. If you are Alex, you will get a Small-Medium size, and will get the same kind of boosts as Vladimir had, with a slight chance of a 0.50x boost.
Either a blessing or a curse… but it’s still important, when noting your character’s mentality and reason, of course. Probably a more preferable Rune Stone for those who want a powerful boost of power on certain characters and their weapons..
21. Will of Moses (ᛚ; Large Size): This Stone yields a very interesting power. Bullet penetration goes up, and thusly boosts the damage. You are also given a chance of activating a power that, when activated, will LITERALLY rip zombies apart. By that, I mean that you get a power that can be used for five seconds and regenerates each two or three rounds, and rips the zombies into two pieces. If you think about it, it’s a really interesting power to have for a Stone related to Moses, no? Not only powerful, but useful for wiping the high-round zombies off this plane of existence.
22. Knight of Yngvi (ᛜ and ᛝ; Medium Size): This Stone yields the ability to create an armored, and friendly, “Knight” zombie. This zombie can take up to 25 hits from other zombies before dying, and will take at least 45 seconds to die out on its own. The Knight itself can one-hit zombies up to Round 30, hence why this is a rather preferred Stone to have.
23. Blood Inheritance (ᛟ; Small-Medium Size): This Stone acts as a health regenerator. If you are close to a red screen or are on a red screen, killing zombies will return you a small amount of health, enough to give you time to wipe out zombies before they take you down.
24. Sidewinder’s Hourglass (ᛞ; Medium-Large Size): This Stone essentially acts like an EMP in aesthetic… not exactly in effect. When headshotting zombies, there is an initial 1% chance of a burst of energy being resonated from the body of said zombie, which… we will simply call a “Time Blast” (the chance to which increases exponentially when achieving consecutive headshots). While the body of said shot zombie is entirely reduced to ash, any zombies within close proximity are wiped out, and any nearby the area freeze in place for 10 seconds. Both good for wiping out hordes and getting out of a jam.
25. Begin Anew (Α; Largest Possible Size): This Stone is perhaps one of the most powerful stones to get. No holds barred, no joke.
The Stone itself gives off a bright glow, with a blue smoke coming off of it. This Stone has a random effect each round between what it does, and each effect will be listed below:
-When shot, zombies slow to walking pace for a time range of 30 seconds to one minute.
-When shot, you are given the slight chance of the zombies to revert to human form. These zombies will fight with you for a time range of one minute to two minutes.
-When shot into a crowd, there is a slight possibility of a large blast of energy being emitted, which, while killing a lot of the group of zombies, puts you into slow motion for a short time, giving you time enough to evade any incoming enemies.
Personally, I believe this Stone is perhaps one of the more preferred for any higher round attempts, given the circumstances, but this is one of the rarest Stones as well, so being able to get it is a seldom possibility… but not impossible, to any regard.
This will also hold an important use to the Easter Egg, both tactically and objectively… so, it is highly sought after.
Shield of the Apostasy: Essentially a slightly enhanced version of the Zombies Shield from Black Ops II. This shield can take more hits, and can be charged up for a more powerful hit. When planting the shield, you can also charge that, to give off a strong pulse to the ground that stuns any nearby zombies, and may also cause any in close proximity to become crawlers or die.
The Angel Wings (EE): Albeit a EE-dependant buildable, it is best to explain here what these will do. The Angel Wings act as a piece of equipment that allows double jump capabilities, with the addition of being able to hover and/or glide for about 5 to 10 seconds. They would be able to have more capabilities, but unfortunately, these wings have not reached their full potential, and henceforth have limitations. But… maybe there is a way to make them better...
Eyes of the Universe (10G): In Citadel, turn on all S.I.G.H.T. machines.
Maze of Reflection (25G): In Citadel, recourse, recollect, and reminisce.
Primordial Beasts (25G): In Citadel, fix the Soul Machines and gain the powers of the Left Hand of God.
Wings of Wax and Steel (30G): In Citadel, find the Fragments and build your wings.
The Vistas of Psychogenesis (75G): In Citadel, pass the test of the Regality Sector.
The Time of the Angels (100G): In Citadel, embrace your destiny and become the Angels.
Run, The Past Is Gone (50G): In Citadel, run from the bottom to the top within 150 seconds. (Note: Connected to the last step of the EE.)
Arsenal of Kings (20G): In a single game of Citadel, wield the VCM-15, Left Hand of God, the Lifeblood Resonation Device, the Shield of the Apostasy, and either of the Ray Gun variants.
Echoes of Future’s Past (30G): In Citadel, face the music. (Turn on all the songs, in order from 1st to 3rd Levels.)
Zombie Hurdle (5G): In Citadel, kill 5 zombies with a charged Zombie Shield hit.
Angelic Specialist (15G): In Citadel, use each special weapon and their upgraded forms at least once.
If I Were Cain… (20G): In Citadel, kill 100 zombies with the Left Hand of God.
Living Dangerously (40G): In Citadel, survive to Round 25 using only your spawn pistol, the KRM-262, and the Gjallarhorn. A masochist’s dream, reborn!
Healing Elixir (Quick Revive; 500/1500 points [located in the spawn house, Level 1])
Spectral Vision (Vulture Aid; 3500 points [located in Cottage, Level 2])
Sleight Blight (Speed Cola; 3000 points [located in Housing Unit, Level 2])
Ephemeral Genesis (Juggernog; 2500 points [located in Housing Unit (Living Room), Level 2])
Icarus Contact (Stamin-Up; 2000 points [located in Gardens, Level 1])
Two-Faced Charade (Double Tap II; 2000 points [located near S.I.G.H.T. machine, Level 2])
Western Rejack (Mule Kick; 3500 points [located in The Doorway, Level 3])
Easter Egg Songs:
Level 1: “Instinct:Extinct” by Benn
-Activate the S.I.G.H.T. machine.
-Find three carvings of angelic wings on the walls within Level 1. Locations are:
To the left of Quick Revive in Spawn, on a table
On the buildable table for the Shield of the Apostasy, and can be activated without interfering with the Shield itself
The first step going on the Spiral Staircase of Level One.
You will know they are activated as they will glow white - this effect dissipates when the song begins.
Level 2: “Sky Blue” by Devin Townsend Project
The same idea goes for this level, and the location are as follows:
-On a piece of the building adjacent to the slide over to the S.I.G.H.T. machine (you’ll have to be quick!)
-Next to Juggernog, on the wall
-On the second step of Level 2’s spiral staircase
Level 3: “Kingdom” by Devin Townsend Project
Simply activate the S.I.G.H.T. machine and wait for the sequence afterwards to end. The song will start automatically.
The Angels’ Theme: “Vale Decem” (plays when they get their wings during the end cutscene, and the last step of the EE.. in a way...)
Main Easter Egg: “The Trial of Revelations”:
Step 1: “Recourse”
“You should realize by now that this is no ordinary place. This place is a long way beyond your planet, created by us for a sufficient testing grounds. If you plan on being able to show us that you are who we think you are to be, then you must power up this Citadel. Activate each and every S.I.G.H.T. machine, so we all can begin to learn the true purpose for why you are here.”
This Step is more than likely the easiest to complete, as it requires you to run through and activate all of the S.I.G.H.T. machines throughout the map and receive the Apostate’s Cudgel, all of which we have gone over already.
Step 2: “Recollect”
“Tears within the fragments of the universe are a realistic cosmic event. They can be of a danger, or they can be of another realm, another universe. Another Cycle, a previous one. Find these, and learn what can be lost, what is already lost, and what can be gained… for the flight is not far, only its distance.”
As previously stated, four small beams of light from the Synthetic Sun had shot down towards Level 1 and Level 2. The result of their impact created four orange-lined tears within reality, distorting objects seen differently within the Citadel to recreate themselves into new forms. showing items related to each character.
The first item is related to Alex, and is located within Level 1’s Spawn room. The item itself is a teddy bear, its left eye lost and its ear torn off.
The second item is related with Jeanne, and is located near a bush within the Gardens (Level 1). The item is a hammer.
The third item is related to Adam, and is located within the Housing Unit of Level 2. The item is what appears to be a pistol, with the magazine sitting disordered next to it..
The fourth item is related to Vladimir, and is located nearby Level 2’s S.I.G.H.T. machine. This item is a row of test-tubes, the farthest one on the left having been broken.
Each character’s interaction with these items initiates a cutscene for that player. During that time, zombies will avoid the character in their cutscene. With that being said, not everyone is able to go at once with this. Turns would have to be taken, and such would have to be negotiated by players. Two people at once is possible and perhaps more preferable, though.
These are the cutscenes as they follow (in map terms, they aren’t in this specific order, but it’s just conveniently better ordered this way).
Jeanne attempts to reach her hand towards the lone hammer, but suddenly feels a surge of nausea, as she falls to her knees and her vision blurs...
Haze. Golden tinted sight turned grey and white as Jeanne hammers away at boards, constructing god-knows-what. Realizing where she is, she ceases construction.
A hand taps her side, burning against her hesitation. “Hey! No slacking. We’ve got more work to do here, so keep going!”
On the inside, Jeanne is within the heart of a battle with herself… the area surrounding the outer portions of the construction site begins to manifest around the thoughts and feelings that attempt to consume her. She knows it is not real, and yet it feels real. Reeling back slightly, she begins to think.
“I remember this… no…”
Although time looks to have ceased around her, she feels the wind pick up around her as it begins to downpour.
“I hated this more than anything. I hated carpentry and knew just as well that it was all I could do.”
The ground reaching closer to her fractures, beams of red lights shining towards a blackening sky of an almost pure form of nothingness.
“My heart and mind fought as though the world centered around me akin to the likes of a fucking tornado!”
The ground rises and falls in all around her, tornadoes and hurricanes forming as the Earth around her deconstructs.
“I don’t want this. I regretted each and every decision that fell to these years, and I dare not let myself fall to it again! Get me out of here!”
Within mere seconds, the image of the world around her reverts back into normality. The sky clears as the darkened red haze surrounding her falls back to nothing.
Jeanne, realizing herself, stands up and attempts to walk away from the site.
The hand that beckoned her before grasps her shoulder, almost crushing it. She turns to find a red Aura of pure malevolence behind her, ripping apart what matter was around it like paper into the wind.
Jeanne’s heart skips a beat in fear as the Aura looks closer towards her. The Aura speaks, in an almost whispered screaming scratch of a voice that sounds almost similar to that of her own.
“You DARE defy yourself? You DARE defy the course of your timestream, for the whim of uncertain fates abroad?”
Looking down, Jeanne sees her hand glowing of a golden fire. On a whim, she punches the red Aura away from her. A hole of pure black forms in the chest of the Aura, as everything dissipates around it.
“My fate is my own. Not the fate of the demons that decide to anchor their hands upon me.”
She begins to run, only for her sight to fade back into black.
Alex remembers this bear, and very well. Wondering how it got to such a location, he begins to pick it up. Suddenly, the air changes around him. Flashes of burning light burst from nothingness as he falls backwards. Afraid of what surrounds him, he closes his eyes.
His eyes open up to find darkness. The air burns his lungs as he finds plumes of smoke and fire surrounding him. Hundreds of bodies lay dead as the rest burn. The reality of his location shatters him. He always said he was able to evade this, but… he always lied... he was there, and this broke him.
“No… no! Not this! Not now!”
Alex reels back, and begins to run, only to bump into soldiers behind him. He attempts to kick back at them only to realize that he’s nothing more than the weakened teenager he was when they attacked Armenia once more.
The soldier looks into Alex’s eyes, and Alex looks into his. Alex always remembered the soldier that spared him from death. He always remembered the soldier’s pure green eyes, but these are different. The soldier peers into Alex’s soul with burning eyes colored purple.
“The sheer thought of your survival both scares you and delights you, doesn’t it?”
Alex looks forward, scared out of his mind. Out of the corner of his eyes, he spots an object…
Meanwhile, the soldier sheds his own skin, becoming an purple-shaded Aura that induces fear and pain upon Alex.
“You’re pitiful, Alex… oh, so pitiful. You and I both know that you should have died that day. Mercy does not live without treason within the hearts of man.”
The object, his childhood teddy bear, sits in the distance, yet his instincts tell him it is so much closer…
“Yes, yes… that’s it. Let your guilt consume you. It won’t be much longer until you are nothing.”
Suddenly, the teddy bear floats slowly to the air, forming into a shining beacon above Alex’s head. The teddy bear then impacts him, pushing into his chest and holding his body forward.
“Wha- what is happening?”
Immediately, Alex realizes why he was always so scared to look back. Why he was always scared of reliving his memories. He stands up, looks at his hands as they shimmer in a near-golden type of shine, making him feel enervated and empowered.
“The world cannot put me down… not anymore.”
The Aura begins to shriek in agony, as Alex surges forward, brighter and brighter with each step.
“YOU CAN’T DO THIS! What about the course of events? Your reality? Your timestream of doubts amid the fates abroad?”
Alex shoves back the Aura, who falls, unable to get back up.
Alex rushes to it, looking into the now infinitely-void blackened eyes it carried. Brandishing the light surrounding him into a sword, he plants it in around the area where the stomach would be for it. The Aura reels back in pain and agony. Drawing back, Alex speaks straight into the face of its dying light.
“Something you beings of hatred will never understand is humanity. We have so much resolve stored away and it can always burst to light like a fucking wildfire. I never had to use it until now because life never gave me a reason to. REALITY never gave me a reason to.”
Alex slowly begins to walk towards the Aura, preparing to deal the final blow against it.
“I strayed away from reality, but reality was always with me. My sadness and depression I had felt only opened the doors to my realism. No one - no human, no gods, and no inner demon - can change that. I did not survive so that I could carry the shadow of reality forward… I survived to carry forward the shadow… of humanity.”
Alex thrusts the manifested blade through the Aura, cutting it to bits on impact.
Bright lights surge from the ground surrounding as the air around Alex burns. The Aura dissipates and bursts as Alex falls to the ground, the pain within him rising further and further…
An unearthly scream blows across the field surrounding them, culling the fires that burned time away. The screen goes black.
A gun? Why a gun?
Reaching forward for the pistol, Adam jeers back at the sudden white and orange flashes that consume his sight. He spins around, falling farther and farther, until his eyes lined up once more to the sights that surrounded him.
Adam, astonished and cold as the wind blows around the surrounding field, looks forward to the building ahead of him. As he realizes where he is, a chill runs down his spine. “SOLDIER!”
Turning around, he sees his old drill sergeant from military school sitting atop a horse. Obedient, Adam salutes. “Sir!”
“At ease… can you tell me what the fuck you think you’re doing out here, ALONE no less?!”
Stopping himself, Adam begins to look through the haze surrounding who he thought to be his drill sergeant… he sees a scar begin to peel open and blow away on the wind from the horse and the sergeant.
“Sir… you’re not real.”
“Am I not now…? How… observant of you…”
The face of a man he used to hold higher dissolves as it reveals an Aura, pale in the serenity of sound and sight. The horse suffuses itself into the Aura as he grows to double Adam’s size.
Adam begins to run back, only for the grip of the Aura to hold him down. The Aura, with his beady blackened eyes, looks deeper into Adam’s soul.
“Oh, you poor thing… the son of a highly-honored family destroying himself over the wants he always desired. You’re pitiful. You’re weak. Because of me, you’re a shell of your own skin!”
Adam tries to break away from the cold grasp holding him down. Looking around, he finds a glow coming from his fingertips. Weak, but…
“You do know that your disdain could have been communicated? You could have said something and your words would have mattered. But no.. Now they are dead. And soon… it looks like you may be as well… tell me, how does that knowledge feel?”
Adam concentrates on the power he feels around his fingertips. As sudden it felt when the Aura grasped hold to his skin, he retorts back as Adam explodes into a tempest of light.
“Wha… what kind of power… is this? You cannot know… the damage you’re going to cause-”
Adam, projecting his voice towards every direction, screams to the Aura.
“Sit the fuck down!”
Trees blast out of the ground and the earth shakes as it is lifted from its place. The military school is reduced to nothing but rubble as everything surrounding Adam and the Aura begins to burn itself away.
The Aura, mortified, begins to plead to Adam, morphing into forms of those he knew with each sentence spoken, each word uttered, as Adam reaches further and further towards the Aura…
“You cannot do this, Adam! Stop yourself! You’re going to destroy everything you stand for, and for what? The whim of your mind? The fates abroad, as they present themselves to you? What kind of man a-”
Adam reaches to the throat of the Aura as it forms itself into his father. Realizing Adam’s hesitation, the Aura smirks.
“Tch… you could never kill your own father, could you? Your pride and doubts overshadow your morality among the fields of your own mortality… you know the better path you could have taken, yet you never d-”
Faster than Adam could see, he forms an M1911 in his hands and shoots the Aura, each shining bullet flickering in the grey linings surrounding as they find their target. The Aura, forming back to non-corporeal means, slowly dissipates as the wounds push forward from their start.
Adam walks to the Aura as he withers. The Aura chuckles quietly.
“So? What now, eh? You, my inner demon of doubt and pride… are dying. And yet, you still choose to patronize me further?”
The Aura begins to speak, weakened.
“Heh… I suppose this is what acceptance feels like… Adam, perhaps we were wrong. Perhaps we never should have doubted ourselves. Our strength is our solace, and our intelligence is unmatched. You may be following in what footsteps your old man set for you… but that’s not so bad now, eh?”
Adam reels back in his sympathy. Falling to the ground beside the Aura, he begins to weep.
“We’ve done so much wrong still. We can’t just forget… how can I forget?”
“Tears? Oh, Adam, don’t weep for me. I held you back further and further each day I lived in your heart. Your large, sympathetic, beautiful heart. You don’t need me to be your guide anymore. You are whoever you choose to be, no matter what they told you, no matter what they forced you to become. *cough* Listen, Adam… I have advice. And this time, it is for the good of both of us.”
Edging closer to the Aura, Adam leans to hear what the Aura will say. The Aura then lurches to Adam and lays his head down onto what is left of its chest.
“You are never alone, Adam… you are loved. Always, forever, eternally. Find her.”
The words burn Adam’s skin, tearing to his heart as what is left of the Aura and the world around him burns away.
As his sight begins to blacken, and the world wraps into his chest, Adam utters a word, uncontrolled by him and yet known to him as a word that he could never say. A word he could never muster to those who made it matter the most. He realizes he is not saying it to himself, but merely the figments of who he comes to find brought his adversity. He listens to the word he never could say:
Vladimir sees the glowing liquidity of the vials, knowing of their origin. Despising each and every form they took, he picks up the array of vials and, as he smashes the one farthest to the left, the world around him forms anew.
Much to his astonishment, he reels back when he notices the darkness around him; the wires and beakers and shelves all around, within good state and within disarray.
“The lab? My god… why am I here once more?”
He looks around at all the glass littered among the floor, each a representation of the experiments gone wrong. Looking back on the wall he impacted with the most recent vial, he is astonished to find a newly-formed Aura, painted in the sky-blue formality of the chemicals mixed and matched before it.
Not even a second before he can react, the Aura reaches for the shelves, grabbing chemical by chemical and beaker by beaker.
“You haven’t a clue of your intelligence, do you?”
The Aura begins mixing and matching chemicals and testing faster than Vladimir can comprehend.
“It’s so simple, and you are so, so smart. So, why the doubt? Why believe each and every experiment, each and every mixture was wrong? Science is not about the cause, but only the effect. Every mixture you create, or will create…”
Hydrogen to helium, xenon to radon, sodium to chloride… and he somehow even siphons a dash of essence within, using his blackened eye as a solvent.
The Aura hands the sky-blue mixture over to Vladimir.
“...does something wonderful. Now, drink this breath of life and I shall depart you. I’ve held you back as an overshadowing doubt and haze. To be honest with you, though, it has perhaps been the largest folly, because you and I both know you are the smartest scientist around. Go and transfer that intelligence beyond the stars. Do that for me.”
Vladimir, feeling his eyes water, nods to the Aura, as he begins to drink the acrid liquid that was created.
The Aura reels back as Vladimir gasps. The liquid burns his throat, and yet almost feels soothing, in a very wrong way. The Aura lurches forward, down on all fours, as Vladimir grabs a hold of the counter next to him.
“Acch… *gasp* yep… th-that’s it, Vlad-dimir… keep going… c-chug down the rest, let me die! Y-you have it all under control, b-believe me. Fly towards these f-fates abroad!”
Barely able to stand, barely able to feel his own skin, Vladimir grasps the beaker in his now shaking hands, and does away with the remaining liquid left within its shell.
The Aura lurches back on its knees, a now audible hissing emerging all around the lab.
Vladimir’s sight grows hazy, and the room around him collapses and burns like paper. His eyes begin to water as the blood that pumps through him begins to feel like acid, wanting to tear its way out of the body through destruction of what made him whole.
Suddenly... silence. The world pauses for what feels like a second yet the lucidity around him wants to convince him of all the eternities he is missing.
The Aura stands, now left but to the head and shoulder left of his form. The area surrounding him formalizes as a dissipation, while the protons and neutrons that were his form showed as dissipating.
The Aura, with a raspy voice, speaks. Slow, weak, and yet audible to him still.
“...formless… numbers… why do we see what others cannot? End it. Let the pain of logic become less expelled, Vladimir. Let your intelligence burst like the sun… together… again… for the convergence…”
With that, time resumes as Vladimir suddenly faints, a pure black haze engulfing his sight as he hears the final breaths of the Aura dissipate into the nameless wind of chemicals and glass flowing about the lab. For a moment, Vladimir feels as though he is drowning...
When each cutscene ends, you are given fragments to the Angel Wings. When all are complete, the character’s will fall down to their knees, their sight will go vague, then grey, and then come back to normal shortly after, as they stand back up. Said occurrence gives each character/player a new ability, with which is called the “Second Sight”. Second Sight is like a vision/premonition-based ability, that gives you the ability to outline a pathway, or any pathway possible, out of a problem when Zombies begin to surround (Left D-Pad button). Each fragment of the Angel Wings gathered will mold together into the first Wing as well. At the same time, the hilt of the Apostate’s Cudgel is now remolded… changed… yet, it feels so empty...
Just as well, each time someone uses the ability, a low but audible hum can be heard… perhaps to signal you somewhere...
Step 3: “Reminisce”
“Ah, we can see that you may not take these visions well. But we have shown you this so you may learn from these visions. The human is remarkable; they have the capability to learn from trial and error, and they learn from mistakes of which they made. And you can use this to now foresee things that can make the process easier. Use this power. Use it to locate that which will bind your wings.”
As a result of the previous step, a low audible humming can be heard in just about every area of the map. The humming is only possible because each cutscene prior activated a tone that, once it was melded together, forged itself into one entire note.
The humming becomes louder and louder the closer one gets to the main source. In the case of the source, there is one main source in Level 1, down by the Soul Machine. The second source is located all the way in Level 3, at the heart of where you the Angel Wings are being built… to which, via last step, one wing should already be constructed.
At the same time, everybody must use the Second Sight ability within close range of both the sources (so, two at each). In doing this, it causes the screen to go an ethereal orange for two minutes. When this happens, two items will appear at each spot - Level 1 holds a large bright-orange crystal, while Level 3 holds a relatively large mechanism that would be meant to bind the wings together.
When these items appear, a person with the “Begin Anew” Rune Stone must shoot the mechanism continuously for 30 seconds. The same goes for the person that shoots the bright orange crystal, yet you should use the “Chasing Spectors” Rune Stone for this one.
After 30 seconds, a large boom is heard. While the normal effect of Second Sight in this instance would last one minute, the effect will automatically end when this boom is heard. When your screen returns to normal, the items you were shooting will now show themselves as torn into this dimension. While the mechanism for the Wings was perfect… the crystal’s was not exactly perfect. The crystal itself is now fragmented into five shards… yet, they all look exactly the same in form… one of these shards goes into the mechanism for the Wings, but what are the other four meant to do? The Prophets then interject for the sake of your confusion...
Step 4: “Mind of the Enigma”
“The Soul Machines hum dimly. In a way, you might say they call for you. They need you to help them. To complete their form. The Soul Machines reward well. So make haste. Complete them, and they will help complete you with items you will desire.”
The four crystals made from the previous step act now as a powering mechanism for each Soul Machine within the Citadel. Each person must go to their own Soul Machine and insert a crystal into each one. When this is done, the Soul Machines will begin to light up, weakly. It is at this point that you are given a prompt to start the Soul Machines. The only way that they can be started, however, would be to use the Apostate’s Cudgel, as it acts akin to a key, and the conductor.
When the Soul Machines initiate their activation, every person will be bombarded by hordes of both zombies and “Knights”. You will need to kill 50 (between the two), adding up to a total of 200 zombies between all of the Soul Machines. The Soul Machines siphons their lifeblood into itself, through the Crystal, and once it is complete, the Crystal will shine a bright orange-white light.
When every Soul Machine is completed, there will be a bright orange light that shines towards the sky out of it as the Soul Machine opens around the Crystal’s pedestal. The Crystal itself pushes itself out of the Machine and forces it into the sword, now reborn to the Left Hand of God. As each character is granted their swords, the Prophets will speak, explaining the sword… in its true form.
“The Left Hand of God… is the most mysterious Sword known to anyone. It is the oddity within creation itself. We barely even know about its origins. What we DO know was bestowed as knowledge by “Him”. Apparently, the Left Hand of God was forged in the fires of time, in a place before the Entity, and before causality itself. It was born in the eternities of the Primordial Chaos. It holds within itself a power beyond the comprehension of most mortals… yet, you are able to use it in stride… what does this tell you?”
The Soul Machines morph their inner workings into fragments of machinery and waxen parts, molding together to form the final wing of the Angel WIngs.
“With the unlocking of the most powerful remnant of creation, the Angel Wings are calling to you. They realize you as worthy. So, go to them. They’ve been waiting, oh so very long…”
At this point, everyone needs to make their way to the Angel Wings, and forge the final piece onto its frame. It is here that the Angel Wings are finally complete, and are now able to be used… and, as you equip them, the Symbol on the wall mentioned prior to this is now glowing violently...
Step 5: “Icarus Lives”
“...at last, the images of angelic themes begin to consume you. Now, you begin to understand.You are finally beginning to take flight. Breach the void, and find the Regality Sector. It is now that the test of your resolve shall truly begin… where the weights on your Wings shall begin to lift the harder they choose to press. The time for realization is now!”
As another very simple step, every player must use the Left Hand of God on the aforementioned symbol on the wall, now glowing violently and in different interchanging colors. Each cut against the wall opens itself a new scar, colored to that of the player’s sword colors (elaborated in the weapon’s explanation and somewhat from Step 2). When each player cuts into the wall, the Symbol will morph and break open the wall, creating a portal to a new realm...
Step 6: “The Electric Castle”
“Ah, at last, you have found it. Within the walls of this sector, you shall put your abilities gained as Angels to the test. It is here where your potential shall shine. With each portion passed, you shall gain a more complete form to your Wings, and it will forge itself immediately within. Go forth. Cross into its fields. The key isn’t cheap, but it shall open what you intrinsically desire...”
Entering the portal, you are now taken to a plain of existence not known to any mortals. Here, the stars are different, closer, as the nebulae and supernovas only show from thought… this would happen to be the Regality Sector, the home to a Castle unbound by timely constants and human interference. Only known to the people of the Citadel as such, the Regality Sector has always shown as a test of the strength to prove who truly is, as they call, the “Apostates”. Many have tried to enter this realm, and those who did enter died after failing the tests presented to them. So many failed… and yet they only could go back one way…
The Portal back to the Citadel will remain open for the duration of this particular step, and there will be a Pytaek on a sign-like plaque for a wallbuy to the right of it. The area in front of you shows what looks to be a bridge. Colored akin to that which matches characters, it forms a kind of “Rainbow Bridge”. Uncomplete, and yet the pieces still fit.
“Yes… the Rainbow Bridge. At least, that is what the people of the Citadel would call it. We’d prefer to call it the Beacon. This bridge… it weighs your hearts as though they were on a feather, hoping to find that they will not fall from the feather into the fiery darkness below. The Egyptians and Norse adopted these ideas from us, and entirely eschewed it just the same. Will this bridge find the purity of your souls? Will you pass it in stride?
...or will you fall into the lucid briny wastes below…?”
How the Rainbow Bridge is meant to work is that there will be a randomized set of about 3 to 6 door-like barriers that you will have to buy to move forward onto the bridge. Each price will increase exponentially as time goes on, yet prices will rarely be the same. For example, you could be opening three of them with the first being 500, the second being 5000, and the third door being 10000, yet these numbers aren’t going to be exactly rigid to that type of numbering. The first one will always be between 0-1500 points, the second will always be between 1500-6000, and the third will always be between 6000-12500. It’s meant to basically exhaust your points to a certain extent.
When you reach the end of the Bridge, the door leading into the Castle will shine a symbol on it (to which looks like a trident, with a circle in its middle and a rose on its other end - this will show up on every door like it ahead of this), as the stone around it spins and breaks apart, pushing back within, then raising to the sky...
Step 7: “The Gardens of Neurogenesis”
“The human’s intuitive mind has its branch within these plains. The birth of thought itself is here. Repercussion, emotion, ideas, they all become possible here. Within these gardens, you will experience and understand the culmination of your sins and regrets. It is here that you must accept yourself as what you are.”
Through the door, is… a garden. The walls covered with vines as you find bushes alongside the walls from the door. Grass and orchids dot the path ahead, and, as you move ahead, the door reseals behind you. Another portal to the Citadel opens in its place as a result. Up ahead, you see a fountain, four paths surrounding it with the symbol from before on them, colored specific to your character.
At this point, someone with the upgraded VCM-15 must shoot it at the fountain until its peak glows golden (which should basically take 15 seconds worth of shooting). When this happens, everyone must use a power attack from the Left Hand of God on the fountain. The fountain will have a cut through to the top on each side of it where the cuts were made, as a beam shines at each door from the fountain’s peak. Each door will now glow golden, and the symbols on them will remain unchanged in color. This is a prompt that the doors are now ready to be opened by their specific characters.
When each person opens their designated door, a white light engulfs their screen as a voice speaks to them, different than the Prophets, but also… familiar to you. Speaking towards each of them, the voice says:
“...what did your Auras tell you…?”
They are then transported to their own section of the hedge maze. A Wisp, colored akin to their designated character, appears from the sky and floats down to the area in front of each player. Zombies will spawn, and you will be forced to kill them. Killing zombies will power the Wisps, causing them to lead you in the direction out of the maze, whereas… the Wisps create the paths for you.
The Wisps for each character, will speak only to that particular character. Every 5 zombie kills, the Wisps will move forward, creating the path ahead to lead you out… and will create… the interactions for each character are as follows:
“You… wrought. You saw the pain within.”
“You saw the world unfold each moment you tore into yourself. You saw the error of insecurity.”
“You witnessed the overbearing shadow of authority lurch its talons into your skin.”
“Do you regret your choices of work? Do you regret not knowing where you could have gone?”
“There was always a path… a fork in the road. You always had a choice.”
“Could you never see it? Could you never accept it?”
“Face the facts, Jeanne. Face yourself. You, dear heart, are the most important woman in all creation.”
“Without your strength of reason and intellect of life, you would not have identity. You would not be you.”
“You are… oh, so important. You are important, because you are the spark that makes humanity the most wonderful of its kind… you create. You were born to create, and you were born with an eternity of ideas… you only ever forced to ask yourself how many seconds were in an eternity.”
“Learn to see the universe, Jeanne. Learn to live the stars. You will soon know the power of creation. Per aspera ad astra.”
“You know what happened then was something that had to happen.”
“You know your survival was always meant to happen.”
“You tore your Aura apart, because it symbolized all of the guilt, fear, sadness and hatred you had for the Genocide.”
“You must realize that what you did was right.”
“Don’t regret your choice, and don’t despair over yourself.”
“You are one of the most important men in creation. The others are important, but you are more than they are.”
“Humanity is strong. Humanity endures. Humanity lives.”
“The constants reveal themselves to you because you are exactly that which you fear.”
“You felt it, you know you did. You always felt it. You felt it because it made you important, oh so very important. You endure, Alex. You are strong, Alex. You LIVED, Alex!”
“Learn to endure the supernova, Alex. Learn to live the stars. You will soon understand the powers of your prideful endurance, and your living. Per aspera ad astra.”
“There were always rules. There were always certain guidelines, certain factors.”
“They controlled your fate. They created your prideful pity.”
“Your Aura, it knew very well that you were that which made you what you never wanted to become.”
“Your Aura looked out for you more than you know. Your Aura loved you.”
“...and you loved the Aura. Now, what shall you do with it gone?”
“You’re powerful, Adam. Very powerful. The strength within your heart could burst forth like a wildfire across the entire cosmos.”
“Alex knows you’re important. He’s almost idolized you as the strongest and most important in your group.”
“But you don’t want importance. You don’t want control. We understand that you don’t want control, as you aren’t intrinsically a greedy man. But you are important.”
“You lead because you are loved, and you are strong because you love her back. You know she knows, and soon even she will realize that she knows. It is fated. With this in mind, remember always that your strength and compassion are an unparalleled cog in the internal cosmic mechanism that runs creation.”
“Learn not to control, but to feel the cosmos, Adam. Learn to live the stars. You will soon realize the powers of your own compassionate strengths. Per aspera ad astra.”
“Intelligence is not a sin. Intelligence is the secret of reality, the cardinal virtue that runs every facet of this universe.”
“You live in a universe that created so it could create. As a part of that, your race creates.”
“Creation alone cannot work. Not without the Idea.”
“Your Aura wanted to help you understand. The Universe is drowning in creativity, and you know well that you can feel it. The drowning, the sinking feeling.”
“The only reason people drown is because they cannot let themselves know the feeling of Idea. They don’t see the potential that they know is there.”
“Vladimir, you drive forward only because you know. Understand that.”
“Every riddle that we spew, every limerick we speak to hint the goals before you, you understand!”
“Together, you and the others are stronger than anything! You all are a universally constant machine! Every part of the machine works because you are its cogs, and you push the cogs for motion, for their inertia!”
“Don’t you see, Vladimir? Don’t you see? You must understand now. You are one of the most important people in the universe, because you think. You spark that which creates worlds, at the whim of a finger waved to the everlasting ebony of the stars!”
“Learn to learn within the elliptical waveforms. Learn to live the stars. You will soon reveal yourself to the intelligence of causality. Per aspera ad astra.”
As the above lines are said, each character’s vision will eschew slightly, to make the bushes around them seem to show items and people related to them. Jeanne sees the faces of her workers and bosses among nails and boards as she progresses; Alex sees smoke from inside the bushes as they form more and more into paths of fire as the faces of those he lost form out of the flames; Adam sees the faces of his parents and fellow boot camp squadron as the leaves and branches of the bushes form into guns, bullets, and explosives; Vladimir sees the bushes form into tables, phases of experiments with odd beakers and vials among shards of the periodic table.
The paths converge at the end, leading to a frail wooden version of the door that led into the Garden, to which this version is attached to a tower… both shining with light and surrounded by darkness, a prosperity of dreams fabricating around it...
Step 8: “Tower of Hope”
“Here, past the gardens, this tower stands frail, fragile, yet strong. It is this place where you must forge a path through to the top. The spaces are thin, and getting towards the top does not come cheaply. But if you are to persevere through this… you must have hope.”
The Wisps converge and blast into the wooden door, eviscerating it into tiny remains of dust and shards of wood. The passage forward reveals a set of stairs, and at its landing, a drag of wires that lead into said stairs. A portal back to the Citadel will open to the left of the Tower as a whole, with a Pytaek wallbuy (once again) beside it, so you can prepare for what’s next.
As soon as you enter the Tower, the wooden door changes, reforms from wood into a pure-energy state, then forms into metal, closing itself off. The wires surrounding the area become super-conducted with electricity, causing an activation of a mechanism in the shadows beside the door and an overloading surge of energy, to which causes the stairs to burst open from the ground-up.
As a result of the overload, your characters somehow get an overbearing sense of contentment and hope for what’s ahead, and this as such acts as though it were a buff, giving you a 1.75x boost in health. At the same time, the ground below you will soon begin to erupt in electrical current, and will kill you if you stand within it for longer than 10 seconds. To this end, this would be a prompt for you to run to the top of the Tower.
In regards to how exactly the Tower works, it’s very similar to how the Rainbow Bridge works, but with a set of 10 doors - acting as the blown-up stairs, which really are just small holes - at a random price, rigid and stuck as so for each door. The price, for that matter, is always to be between 750 and 2500.
This is essentially another simple step, surely. But, at the end of the staircase, you find a white portal...
Step 9: “Soaring The Breeze”
“It is time to reflect on the properties that make you Angels. It is here that we test your wings. We have devised a test for you that shall take you to the final portions of this puzzle. May your wings become stronger within each grace.”
The white portal takes you out of the Tower, and into an area that can only be logically classified as “The Above”. This area is a large cavern, lit by an unknown light source high above. Ahead, there are a total of 7 floating platforms to jump across, all of which require the use of the Angel Wings. Each platform is different as to how you will be forced to maneuver throughout it, and each platform will be smaller than the last. That, and each platform will dissipate after 5 seconds pass, to which anybody on them will fall. Of course, the platforms will quickly come back, as well. In any case, choosing your movements wisely would be highly advisable.
The first platform is a large rectangular one, easily able to be jump towards, and highly spacious.
The second platform is vertical, to the right. You will have to fly towards it, and you will essentially be planted there as if it were a sort of “wall jump”. After a few seconds, you will begin to slide further down, so it is advised to move quickly.
The third platform is farther in the distance, but the same as the second. You should be able to glide towards it with ease.
The fourth platform is horizontal again, yet moves quickly after 3 seconds. As close as it is, though, it wouldn’t be a huge struggle to reach, even while it’s moving.
The fifth platform spins around a circle, moving the other way after one revolution in one particular direction. A wise method of traversal would be to attempt to go to the far-side that is moving upwards in the rotation, so you can likely catch it as it spins and reach the other side.
The sixth platform is tilted either to the left downwards or the right downwards (random each game), and will cause you to slide. You can still jump slightly and somewhat negate sliding too far, but in any case, the next platform will be in close proximity of this.
The seventh and final platform is essentially a circular platform with no middle. This platform will spin you around its entirety quickly, and will rise close towards the end of the crevice to a safe platform upon contact with the player. It’s essentially a matter of balancing movement and timing with this.
After a player reaches the safe platform, the pathway of platforms will become brighter, more illuminated as the light source provided above begins to expand and open.
After all players reach the safe platform, the area high above will burst in light to reveal the stars, signifying you are still within the realm of the Regality Sector. Ahead, a red portal opens...
Step 10: “The Hour of Prometheus”
“In the time before we healed the earth, your world was engulfed in flames. Desolation and disdain swallowed the world whole, and the shell of our former home began to crumble. It is here that you will experience that. It is here that you will learn the extent of humanity’s past error. Find the pathway out. Locate the final test.”
Going through the red portal will take you to… Earth. But, this is not the Earth you know. This is a version of Earth swallowed by both the timeline the group knew and the timeline the Prophets knew. As such, a mixture of both hostile human enemies will attack you, as well as zombies. In the distance ahead of you, you can see thousands of zombies clashing with thousands more humans, yet both sides still see you as the highest threat.
With the ground littered with broken-down decimated cars, fortifications and destroyed buildings, and the sky redder than the Martian dunes, this is hell on Earth.
This step requires you to find the portal out of this place. This portal resides at a Church placed in the distance aforementioned, where the two forces clashed… which means that you will be fighting through both horde and fellow man to reach the doors of the Church. Stick together, and you should reach the church with… well, it’s still difficult, but sticking together will just make it easier.
When you reach the doors of the Church and are given a prompt to open them, doing so reveals a blue portal… surely this one will take you back...
Step 11: “The Two Gates”
“Ah… and the final prospect of your trials become a reality. It is here that you make a valuable choice, a choice that determines your worth. Through one gate, you shall find your way back to where we started. The way back to the Citadel, the version that must happen. Through the other lies a severance. A door to the eternal darkness of life after death. The fire that succumbs. If you are truly the Angels, you shall intuitively make the correct choice.”
The portal from the last step takes you into a corridor past what was seen as a wall behind the first portal, now actually seen as glass. The portal that led you back will then dissipate.
Inside the corridor lies two broken and beat-down, large Gates. Each Gate will have a randomized set of differences, making it better or worse than the other, but each tend to keep a simpler form. The First Gate tends to be mostly golden and white, almost high-stature. The Second Gate tends to be VERY beat-down, made of Stone, with vines surrounding it.
Each Gate is connected to a mechanism placed between the two. This mechanism requires you to kill 200 zombies, to which will cause each Gate to phase within and outside of creation… but to you, that will basically look like a lot of electric currents bouncing everywhere, and the gates almost burning with an immense heat.
When the aforementioned amount of Zombies is killed, the mechanism will burst apart, applying its parts to the forming of the door, and causing the symbol that you saw appear on the first door of the Regality Sector to form on one of the Gates, and, oddly enough, the Apothicon symbol of “consume” to appear on another. This will appear only for a second before the parts fall to the ground. Whichever door had the “consume” symbol is the bad Gate. If opened, this will cause the map to reset back to the beginning, forcing you to do all you have done all over again. As for the other Gate with the symbol on the first door of the Regality Sector, this will lead you back out of the Regality Sector…
As you step into the correct Gate, the world around you shakes and shimmers as you fall into what looks like a wormhole. The Prophets sound…
“Every test has a beginning, and every test has an end. This is that which is constant. You find each and every answer here, within the Regality Sector. You find the reality of reality here, within the Regality Sector. You realize the final answer…”
You reappear at the Citadel, in the Gardens of Level One… but everything begins to shake...
Step 12: “Fate of the Angels”
“...and you think the test is complete. Yet, there is one thing you have overlooked. Why do you think the Angels described in the scriptures are as they are? Why have they become what they have? An answer is more simple than you might think: They have shed their humanity. If you thought the process was simple, you have thought wrong. There is one way to make these wings become what they must, and it is the same way the biblical Angels have. Shed your humanity. Shed the fiscal weights of your sins, shed the prosperity of life you once thought was right… shed the wrong, let in the right. You would do well to make haste. For the ground beneath you is only growing lighter… and lighter…”
During the line above, the beam of synthetic sunlight as seen above you phases in and out of control, the Synthetic Sun itself wildly shimmering and growing larger and smaller, forming and reforming, losing its reality in waveforms. The S.I.G.H.T. machines can be heard audibly imploding, and you see Level One’s implode first. All beams from the machines burst with sonic speed back to the Synthetic Sun, and the Synthetic Sun pushes its energy down with an immense burst of kinetic energy across the entire area, as the quote from the Prophets ends. A mass explosion occurs within the rest of Level One, and each shortcut staircase to crumble away and fall within the newly-formed black hole behind you. The Citadel shines in a darker tint, as the Synthetic Sun is now gone, reformed into the everlasting ebony you now see below you.
It is advised that you begin running out to the Gardens as soon as you spawn back into Level 1, as a wide portion of the first half of the level will break off and go towards the black hole. Outside, towards the Gardens, certain parts of the blast of debris of Level 1 will break off and hit the Gardens, creating both unstable passage, impassable areas, and areas with which you will be required to use your Angel Wings.
Rising to Level 2, there is no general improvement to the danger around you, as parts of the map continue to fall out, and pathways being struck away. The floors of the area will give you the opportunity to use Angel Wings, which… are required for this, but isn’t fully necessary. The platform to Level 3 quickly boosts itself up, as the black hole grows, tearing apart the entirety of the second Level.
When you run to the Temple, rocks will shoot out of each side, completely destroying each room, leaving large gaps between the remainder of the floor within the Throne Room. Using the Angel Wings, you can boost your way around the area of flooring left, to the door that leads up towards the Doorway. When reaching the Doorway, the game will automatically end when all get there. The screen, instead of saying “Game Over, you survived ___ rounds”, will say “Absolution Complete, in ___ rounds”. It is at this point where you will have completed the EE. The End Cutscene will play, and your leaderboards will show after.
[Vale Decem playing]
Before they could even think, the ground beneath them shimmered and shook. It had fallen out from its shell, showing the utter blackness below. Each held on to what was left of the room they were within, a seemingly unified loss of what grip was left becoming evident. Each of them looked between themselves, and up to the stars above. They, after all this time spent surviving, all this time reflecting on their own forged fates, finally knew what to do.
Each character decides to let go at the same time, falling towards the blackness below. An acceptance of fate made, an acceptance of what was lived and experienced. The screen zooms in on the wings on Jeanne’s back…
...and suddenly, they become engulfed in a unearthly white light. Each character experiences the same, and lose control. Their fall towards the event horizon beginning to slow, they begin to form a circular positioning, using the wings to fly around the full circle. They fly faster and faster, not one falling out of form. The black hole suddenly becomes engulfed with light, as if the astral object itself were being erased, edited… or perhaps, reborn into a new star.
[Vale Decem turning to a more ambient version of itself]
The scene calms down. The Angels descend to the reborn star’s surface, as it begins to broaden out, flatten in view, and break into a darker luminescence. When they land, the Prophets become visible to them. Not in the form they knew prior, but… as themselves. Human. Yet, they still glow like they knew them to.
Stacey speaks out. “And so, it is done. This mortal coil you once perceived yourselves within has finally fallen. The veil within you is lifted. Congratulations. You have passed. You… are the Angels. The universe… has been waiting for you. Take your time to think - you’ve been through a lot.”
After what felt like an eternity, silence breaks. “What now? Where do we go from here?”, Adam asks.
“I believe it is time you learn what the future holds. And with the new serene singularity you hold within, you shall understand it. Brace yourselves: You’re about to meet your Maker...”
They are whisked away immediately after this exchange of words to a new place. The viewpoint rises to show an… “astral projection”, if you will, of a nebula most will know by one name:
The Pillars of Creation.
Creator’s Notes and Acknowledgements:
Ah… and once again, we are back at the end of another map concept.
I want to be completely honest, and in so will say this: This concept was really fun to make. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of this map. All of what I created for it really worked out in the end. It made for a good map, and one of which I will always consider up there as one of the better ones of The Unity Series. (They do say “third time’s the charm” quite a bit, no?) Of course, I know that I actively slacked in getting it out, but I can finally rest easy knowing that it’s done.
As always, I was not fully alone in the effort.
First and foremost, I’d like to thank @Nightmare Voyager (aka Nightmare Poindexter), for whom helped forge an ideal skeleton layout for the map (believe me… envisioning exactly how I wanted the layout to be was hard). Just as well in terms of bouncing ideas off of him and choosing songs, he has been a great source of help for me, my maps, and my general creative process. So, without a doubt, my condolences go to him.
Honest to god… he’s been able to catapult me to the halfway point of this story efficiently, and, for the last two years, has been one of the best creative people I’ve known. Whether or not we see eye to eye at times… I’m eternally grateful for the dedication he’s put forth for me. He’s a great person, and an even better creator. It’s such a pleasure to work with him, honest to god.
Secondly, I thank @HitmanVere, for whom gave me a few ideas from his point of view with this map, and added a few guns for me in the meantime. He also is a really good and reliable person to rely on for help with maps, and… well, as an actual custom map creator, he’s amazing. No doubt. So whatever credit I give him is honestly deserved.
Thirdly, and lastly, I’d like to thank everyone at CoDz and everyone else I’ve introduced to this series. Because, let’s face it - you guys are awesome.
In any case, without the bulk of help provided for me by the other two, though, I can’t say I know where this map would be. More than likely sitting idly within the darkened depths of cyberspace… not fun… not fun at all...
And I thank you as well, for reading this. You guys don’t know how proud I can be when it comes to the feedback received. Any and all feedback has counted quite a bit for me, and I, without a doubt, love it. I don’t know how I’d repay you past releasing this map and more, noting my thanks.
This has been The Meh.
Per aspera ad astra.
(See, this is where I’d hint my next map’s name, or, at least, an aspect of the next map… but I can’t say I can think of anything. Yet I’m writing this anyhow. Seems nearly normal that I do this, but this time, I’m stumped. It’s funny, because I usually always drop a subtle hint. I’m so used to that. Hrmm, it’s as if a wave of intuition washed over me, making me write this. Heh… good luck with that one...)