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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #5: Round 1 Match 14 Raymond Vs Cy
The results are in for Match 12. “Well, now, that was a treat, wasn’t it? Alright, everyone, get ready for the main event! Bursting into the lane, ready for her adoring fans, give it up loud and clear for…TD/MD!” The crowd went wild, then, as the star emerged, wearing a brightly-shining silver top dotted in acciaccatura symbols, blue shorts and long silver and black socks on her right and left legs accentuating the graceful form of TD/MD. Her eyes, already discolored so drastically from one another, were accentuated with asymmetric eyeshadow, gray and blue, blue dots of makeup underneath the latter left eye, and as she emerged, her left hand, clad in a blue glove with a black line through its center, stretched towards the crowd, her right in a silvery glistening glove moving towards the black headphones around her neck, blue acciaccatura symbols on either outside as other musical symbols, smaller, less prominent, dotted the rest of the thing. There was an obvious extravagance in the outfit made more impressive by its components being relatively simple: a t-shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, and gloves, really. “Whoa, talk about a tough act to follow… And that’s coming from me!” Metra Doria laughed lightly, having emerged to an immensely lively, astonished, applauding audience, applauding the avant-garde show which had led up to her. “Sound’s Garden, am I right? The people this place attracts are some of the most interesting performers I have ever known, and what we all just witnessed, I think, is a perfect preamble, a summation of everything we should aspire to be, of the power to move hearts and souls that music can have! I seriously feel like I need to give the best damn concert of my life now just to be worthy of headlining here… And of course, I can’t play everything alone. Before we start, let’s hear it for my backing band!” “My bassist, Stella Starlight, my drummer, Scott Sundquist, annnnd…” Melodically, that ‘and’ trailed until one of the stagehands from before, clad now in a totally new outfit, emerged. “Luna, on the synth!” With the band introduced to cheers, TD/MD, then, sat before a piano which the rest of the stagehands had moved onstage while the crowd’s eyes were on the star, and a cloud of smoke in their path. “So, Los Fortuna, are! You! Ready?!” The first of many songs that night began. In the chaos of these two disparate teams, both quite surprised by the realization of who they would be sharing their stages with, their independent plans, nonetheless, blended together seamlessly to tell classical comedies of ancient kings and heroes, of fighting and rejecting a tragic end, a bizarre prog rock gymnastic live weapons show tale of the human spirit at its finest. It was often that, thanks to the mishaps of the manager Thutmose, the acts before TD/MD went down in memetic legend, the stuff people spoke about often both on social media and in shady, smoky backrooms. Usually, however, they were spoken of as disasters saved by her star performance, to the point where some wondered if it was on purpose to hype her up more at some poor bastard’s extent. That night, however, a certain performance pierced the hearts of the crowd and brought about complete adoration, even matching the attention of the headliner. As her own show, grand, perfect, putting a tear in the eye of the man who sat beside Tigran Sins in a special box, drew to a close, and the crowd called for an encore, TD/MD spoke into the microphone. “Alright, Los Fortuna, I think I definitely have time for one more song, but… I haven’t forgotten who you were all cheering for earlier. In the time it’s taken, we’ve already seen to it… I’m going to welcome some people back on the stage to join me for this!” Directing her hand stage left, she declared, “‘Nureyev,’ Admiral Pineapples ‘Orpheus,’ ‘Hades,’ and all the best stagehands in the world, get back up here, the whole of you! Let’s close the night off in the best way possible!” The winner is Everyone, with a score of 79!
Masters of Funky Action
There were a record number of tie votes this match, but in the end, just barely, MFA pulled ahead in popularity by a singular vote.
After the show, Metra asked the quartet to wait for her outside her green room so they might speak in private as she dressed back down into more casual getup, the four of them and manager Thutmose conversing outside all throughout. “That was legendary,” Rudolf said first, “feel like we really moved hearts out here tonight!” “Even if only for a little while…” Admiral Pineapples agreed, looking over the Highrollers. “It was very nice to work with you, even under such strange circumstances.” “Tens of thousands… It’s still surreal,” Alexis added, “they were cheering for us almost as hard as they were for TD/MD… And I heard they usually end up laughing off the act right before the big headliner?” Cybil simply allowed a smug smile. “I was advocating for you, Alexis, so of course I knew you would defeat such superstitions…” And then, she offered the manager a frown. “Mr. Thutmose. I hope now you’ve learned a lesson about fooling around with people. It is only because we were so amazing that you still have your job right now.” “How humble…” Thutmose answered, chuckling nervously and running his hands through his hair. “Yeah, yeah, I’ll go straight now… I didn’t realize how much this was upsetting Metra, either-” “Thutmose, my boy,” a self-important voice said, announcing his presence an instant before his garish demeanor could assault the eyes of the hangers-around. Tigran Sins, in his gold-yellow checkered suit, approached, that muscular brunette right hand of his, Fox, close by, a sort of warmth on his still quite intimidating face, “you really do know how to pick ‘em. Miss Antoine, Mr. Pavlova, Admiral, and Alexis, you were… I must say, almost sort of in the league of our star.” “Not even close, really,” Fox answered, stepping forward then, a massive bouquet in his hands, a vinyl tucked neatly under his arm, “anyway, Thutmose, let us through. We need to speak with her now… That show was her greatest yet, and she needs to hear it personally from-” “TD/MD isn’t seeing anyone else tonight,” Thutmose answered, the young man standing firmer now, though all four of his companions noticed that he seemed to be shaking. “She’s exhausted after her show, and already needs to make time for others…” He moved to yoink the flowers out of his hands. “I’ll give these to her on your behalf, though, and tell her who it’s from… But she won’t be seeing you.” Like that, the warm demeanor on the intimidating-looking man’s face grew tenser again, and even Tigran seemed to grow frustrated as well, answering next, “are you certain she can’t make time? Fox really needs to speak with her in person.” “Hey, hey, you heard the twink,” Rudolf interjected, stepping in now (“Twink..?” “Yep!”), raising a bathrobe-covered arm, “let’s keep things excellent here and not freak the poor lady out. I hear she’s got a perfect pitch, ya know, so she’s gonna hear it if we’re ruinin’ her night!” Fox folded his arms, Tigran himself looking contemplative, almost stressed, before his accompaniment turned away, seemingly aware of the numbers on the meek man’s side. “Next time, then.” The pair left, and like that, Thutmose nearly collapsed into the wall, exhaling. “I just defied Tigran to his face… Hhehhhh…” He shook his head. “She should be ready by now. I’m gonna go burn these flowers… Maybe start online shopping for walking sticks, ‘cuz I feel like my kneecaps are gonna notice this…” A voice called from the inside, seemingly concurring with the manager’s point. “Coast clear? Alright, come in!” The four entered, seeing Metra sitting there casually in a black hoodie, more fit for the cool evening, with blue sweatpants covered in silver spirals, relaxing into her chair and nursing a bottle of some sports drink with the label peeled away idly. “You four have all shown me pretty definitely what you stand for tonight… You’re cool. I think I can trust you. Have a seat, alright? Let’s hang out, chat a bit. I don’t think I need to tell you there’s a lot in Sound’s Garden that needs talking-about.” For interested parties, as of this going up, there is still a day left to vote in a match between masters of lawful bastard and chaotic bastard energies, both vying to get the other thrown out of a resort. Scenario: A former speakeasy in Hotel Delmano - North Island, Downtown Los Fortuna. Late morning The Baker Street Rat Pack had a good few ideas to advance forward juggling in their heads, now that the city’s issues were rapidly beginning to juggle themselves more and more. North Island PD was still more aggressive under the galvanizing rhetoric of Council Chairman March, none of which seemed to be stopping the serial killer who ran rampant in the region, the districts west of the Wormwood seemed a hotbed of wars between gangs, unions, and the bulk of ODIN’s security forces, and that wasn’t even getting into issues which the BSRP had no relation to, but were indeed aware of. The matter most currently relevant to Cy Syntheta, however, was listening to the concerns and fleeting research of Peter “Treagon” Bequasimodo. “I just don’t get it,” Peter said to them, looking fleetingly at his laptop. “I can’t use my Stand to get out of the city, and now I try to use it to look into this ‘Institute’ here, and can't get into there either. It’s like… They have some sort of Stand User Firewall, in simple, un-hacker terms.” Cy had been sitting and chatting with the self-styled treasonous vegan, having been of the mind of late to actually do something useful, and remembering the hacktivist had been hot on somebody, something or another’s trail. “So you have a clue as to what that ‘from the Institute, Oh No,’ thing meant?” “Better than a clue,” Peter answered, “turns out it literally wasn’t even a riddle. Just a straightforward signoff.” Like that, he stylishly spun his laptop around on a nearby surface, stopping it as the screen faced Cy. “Look for yourself.”
Pezzetti di Cavallo (55, M) - Professor and Representative of School of Law, Chief Prosecutor
CaraMel Dansen (26, F) - Notable Alumnus and Representative of School of Culinary Arts, Acclaimed Confectioner
Million Dollars (37, F) - Professor of Economics, Representative of School of Business, Multimedia Producer
Willard Drankwater (108, M) - Professor of Chemistry, Representative of School of Medicine, Nobel Laureate, Oldest Man in Los Fortuna
Theodore Lloyd (35, M) - Dean and Representative of Arts College, Former Adjunct Professor
Oh No (Age Unknown, M) - Head and Representative of the Midnight Sun Parapsychological Research Institute
Venus York (47, Other) - Professor of Sociology at College of Social Sciences
“This is…” Cy was catching on quickly. “The ‘University Board’ of Midnight Sun? Hell, I knew they were kind of a big deal, but looking over these names back and forth…” “Yep,” Peter answered, “and these are the basics I could dig up on most of them… This No guy, though, other than existing? Practically a ghost. Apparently sometimes doesn’t even show for meetings in person.” “And we have definite signs this guy knows about people’s Stand abilities, and hangs out with that ‘Golden Sins’ guy you punched out? ‘Parapsychological Research,’ too… Sounds like Stands without outright saying Stands.” “Think I might have to go physical again,” Peter answered, “if an agent of Neoliberal Academia is on us, we gotta know their intention. With those types you never know if they’re with you or gonna sell you out. Think I was gonna start by checking out some Institute libraries.” “Wait,” Cy answered in turn, “you say they know about you and you’ve been trying to break in already… Then it might be too much heat on you to storm the castle. Let me take care of it.” “Oh, man, really? That’s super cool of you, Cy. If you find anything, I owe you one.” “Don’t think of it like I’m being nice to you for its own sake,” the assassin answered, “this is something that affects me, too, especially if we screw it up, and a physical infiltration is the kind of thing I’m more suited for than you… Though I will remember what you just offered.” Midnight Sun University Town - A Street Decked out for Pride Raymond “Ray” Delwyn Shimizu, meanwhile, had discovered similar information to Cy under what can be called vastly different circumstances: rather than suspicious, experience and perspective had taught him to have a cautiously optimistic approach to the clear power over the Metropolitan area the University Board held. To the Speedwagon Foundation, this Parapsychological Research Facility has always been an enigma, since it’s always been a risk to send many operatives to Los Fortuna, but I have a ‘feeling…’ A ‘feeling’ that tells me they are not going to be so dissimilar to us. I can’t help but wonder, then, like how my team is dealing with Cairo now, if SKADE can’t have its ‘talents’ assisted by some University grants and allianceship as well… Our ‘contact’ within ODIN didn’t have a bad word to say about them, so it likely won’t cause trouble with them, either. But first, Raymond knew, he could not simply walk blindly into such an alliance, much like his team had needed first to figure this Cairo out a bit more before adding their resources to their mission. A place worth starting to do such homework, then, would be in the records of their little research institute. As he walked along, Raymond soon passed by a frankly adorable-looking building, a sign out front of the place reading in bubbly letters: ‘CaraMel’s Confection & Bakery’ To that end, then, he thought, oh, tempting… Maybe I’ll stop by on the way back from the library, bring donuts or weird candies or something back to the gang. I have to imagine they’re delicious… Peering through the window, he saw the place absolutely bustling, loaded with the kind of crowd that speaks to waiting nearly an hour in line, and more going in. Urgh, and maybe there’ll be less of a line by then. After thinking that to himself, then, Raymond continued onwards, still making sure to eye every little oddity and incongruity of the area he could. Peaceful as the college town largely seemed, strange phenomena that could only amount to Stand usage also felt especially concentrated, even compared to the rest of this city. I’ve heard rumors of all number of notorious members of the Stand underworld in the region, and I’m sure I’m not the only one out here seeking this library out… or the one with the worst of intentions for it. Midnight Sun Parapsychological Institute Research Library - 1F Lobby Much to Raymond’s surprise, the place seemed… A pretty ordinary research library, all things considered. He hadn’t gotten terribly far in yet, of course, but then again, he didn’t really know what he was expecting. A receptionist with braided dark-red hair, round, spiraling glasses, and a blue vest over a short-sleeved black button-up sat at the front desk, guarding his way from a pair of doors behind him. Off to one side, gated from entry, sat a stairwell, visibly enticing, yet with a sign before it very overtly communicating: NO PUBLIC ENTRANCE. Ah, well, he could at least get an idea by looking around what sort of face they were willing to show anyone who entered. “Erm… S-sir?” The young woman at the entrance asked, seeming intimidated by his tall form. “Did you need to find something in particular? I’m, uh, I mean we… We’re not, uh.” She blinked. “What did you want again?” The sight practically made Ray roll his eyes, but he was able to let through a straightforward, “I didn’t say, actually…” Crap, he hadn’t thought this far, either. Of course a place like this would want to know why people were looking into it. Still, though, Ray was nothing if not smooth and even-faced, and in the span of the time between that ‘actually’ and opening his mouth again, he had thought convincingly of what wasn’t a lie, but didn’t actually say much of anything either. “I want to look into some cases this Institute has worked for this city. This is a pretty big place, and I know it’s a storied institution, so I thought I should get acquainted with some of them.” “R-right! Of course! So nothing in particular? Okay, cool..! I’m, uh… P-please, don’t hesitate at all if you need me…” The young woman pressed a button by her desk, and the doors clicked, unlocking from this side. As Ray began towards it, though, he was interrupted. “Oh, and one more thing!” He could practically see the ‘menacings’ emanating off of her, those adorable glasses practically shining as she spoke more clearly now. “There are two types of research library… Ones which only allow ‘reference,’ and ones which allow ‘lending’ to guests. We’re not a lending library, so don’t let us catch you taking anything out of here… Do you understand me, sir?” “…crystal clear.” This girl is a Stand User… For a moment, I almost let it slip my mind where I am. “Great!” She said, back to her somewhat nervous, bubbly demeanor. “Oh, and, uh… Don’t make too much noise either, ‘kay? I won’t be able to tell, because these walls are soundproofed, but we can’t be held accountable for what happens if you get other library patrons angry..!” There, she sounded more honest, even a touch exasperated to Raymond, as if exactly that had happened too many times to count, and she was resigned to it happening again. “I understand.” Curious as he stepped in, Raymond tested the door… Seemed it did, at least, open from the inside, so no fire hazard or Stand trap there even if it was locked externally. The library interior was hardly bustling, per se, but there were, regardless, a few faces about, all of whom struck Raymond as people it might or might not be a worthwhile idea to fuck with, including but not limited to a tall, balding, androgynous figure with an eyepatch over their forehead, a very average-looking young woman in a purple beret, a red-clad teenager in an aviator hat with a feather plume, round glasses, and long facial features, a tall twentysomething in too many coats with hair like a palm tree, a balding, dark-haired, bespectacled, bearded figure in a stupid black cap and loosely-worn red tie with simultaneously an utterly unhinged and utterly vacant look in his eye, and a blond, stubbly-haired twenty-something six-foot-something in sunglasses and a vest with shoulder sections that wriggled down his arms. Raymond thought little of the colorful characters around as he went to start picking out some reference material to sit at a desk with, but as he did, he happened to glance across the aisle, seeing there someone who he definitely knew was probably trouble: a short-haired, taller-than-him, androgynous blond with chin-length, face-covering bangs, which had an almost plastic sheen to them. They wore a form-fitting crop-top, shoulder-length cloak, jorts, leggings, and an armful of plastic bands. No way… I’ve heard of this person before! The foundation says that Cy Syntheta is a ruthless sellsword who’ll work any job. What could a person like that want in a place like this? Who are you doing research for? I smell trouble here… I’m going to need to apprehend them, dead or alive, before someone gets seriously hurt. I must say, as a swordsman myself, though, I’m almost excited… Almost. Cy Syntheta, minutes ago, had received a similar spiel for a similar non-explanation of their intentions, though theirs even vaguer, given the fact that the assassin was entering fully prepared to find information which led them to view the Institute as some sort of enemy. Their hunt for information about the hotel they occupied had led to a fascinatingly thorough history of its paranormal and criminal oddities, but nothing which referenced any of them. Nothing written about Heartache Casino where you’d expect, except a very brief mention of an assault from an ancient king when they tried to display some kind of ancient slab in the early 2010s… Nothing about us, either, when we know they definitely have something on us. Ugh. Is that on the more confidential floors..? Maybe I do need to start figuring out how to break in… And then, a moment later, their head perked up with a realization. There’s eyes on me… Someone is watching me right now, and close. Their head, then, darted across the aisles, and directly across from them stood a tall, broad-looking figure glancing their way with a clear, sneering suspicion. Everything about this guy screamed ‘fed,’ or at least something adjacent. Looks like my reputation has caught up to me again… Well, that’s just great. I’m gonna need to take this guy out then… How annoying. Hopefully, all these other guys stay out of it so I can get back to what I was doing. OPEN THE- Shhh! Open the game… Location: A public floor of the Midnight Sun Parapsychological Research Institute Library. The area here is 32 by 32 meters with each tile being 2 by 2 meters. Players are represented by their tokens with Raymond on the center left and Cy on the center right. The purple rectangles are bookshelves that are each around 2 meters tall. The brown rectangles are desks complete with chairs and lighting. The green circle is the help and resources desk. The plus signs are computer desks and the cone shapes on the bottom sides of the map are printers. Goal: RETIRE your opponent! Additional Information: They’re minding their own business, but the Institute Library is sparsely populated with a number of Stand Users among the general civilians. If you make too much noise or actively try to involve them in your fight, they’ll kick your ass, and you will be RETIRED. If you try to trick them into thinking your opponent is antagonizing them by using your own abilities to somehow try to make them look bad, they’ll kick your ass, and you will be RETIRED. On the other hand, though, as long as you’re not actively aiming for them, even the non-stand users in this area are pretty savvy people to be actively researching here in the middle of a fight; chumps, cowards, and charlatans will have already fled before they’re in any danger, leaving only people who know the score. They can generally reliably avoid being hurt, and as long as you aren’t too loud, will not under any circumstances besides aforementioned loss conditions use their various Stands to kick your ass.
“My name is ‘Kira Yoshikage.’ I can’t remember when or how I died… but one thing I can say is I feel certain I will not go to Heaven.” This parapsychological research library has some truly morbid, fascinating stories from which to draw inspiration. Take creative inspiration from paranormal knowledge in the basis and techniques of your strategy!
“I saw a book, seemingly unpopular, titled ‘The Elephant Who Lost His Nose.’ I thought to myself… Now why in the world would he lose his nose?” You’ve found your way to an absolutely fascinating source of unusual parapsychological knowledge, and as an agent of SKADE and of the Foundation alike, you aren’t going to take this opportunity for granted. Take creative inspiration from paranormal knowledge in the basis and techniques of your strategy!
Thanks to u/Kaimeera for posting all of the voice lines Here is every Madam Nazar voice line and my own/generally accepted interpretation of each one. With so many easter eggs packed into one cabinet, I believe this is Rockstar's biggest "hint dump" yet, and a clear indication they haven't given up on us mystery hunters. If I am wrong on anything or you know one I missed please let me know in the comments.
0x00408006 = ~z~Have you seen... Gavin? -Reference to the infamous NPC searching for Gavin across the world of RDR2.
0x01682558 = ~z~I see many shadowy figures, sent to kill you... -Could be a number of things. Many things come to kill you in both GTAV and RDR2, but I don't know what could be considered "shadowy", outside of the disappearing aliens in the Gunrunning easter egg.
0x02455C87 = ~z~I see a three-legged man. And a long-legged woman. And they are happy. -Lester and Georgina after the Casino Heist. The "third leg" is Lester's cane.
0x04026A1E = ~z~I see a... strange man in a tall hat. He frightens me. -The Strange Man that appears in both RDR and RDR2.
0x0BC2CA7C = ~z~I smell lupins. So many lupins, they fill the valley floor... -Lupins are flowering plants. There are many valleys and plains filled with them in RDR2.
0x0C906264 = ~z~Good, I have been waiting for you. -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x0F60D1BE = ~z~I see a man. His name is... Johnny. He sits at home, but he longs to be on the spot again. -Reference to the GTA Online mechanic, who frequently refers to himself as "Johnny on the spot" when called.
0x1B98B32A = ~z~I see bitterness, and ambition, and madness. They shall all come to this city... -Reference to Michael, Franklin, and Trevor respectively.
0x1DA394D2 = ~z~I see the heavens opening, and the rain. -Both GTAV and RDR2 have post-rain sunshine as a weather effect. Some easter eggs are also rain-sensitive.
0x1E00F616 = ~z~I see a vengeful figure from your past, and a reward for your death... -Arthur has a bounty on his head for most of RDR2. The vengeful figure could refer to Dutch or Micah.
0x2B1ABB8E = ~z~I see mists and fog. -Either a generic fortune teller voice line, or refers to the intense fog in the forested regions of RDR2.
0x3AF43DBB = ~z~I see palm trees high in the sky, and shimmering pools of warm water, and people in, oh, oh dear... -I'm not too sure on this one, but it could potentially be a reference to the tendency for cars to end up in pools around Vinewood Hills after big stunt jumps.
0x3D56B345 = ~z~You were looking for Nazar, I think. -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x4A17A267 = ~z~I see danger in your future. You must take care crossing the road... -Getting hit by cars is a common problem in GTAV, as is running over people with your horse in towns in RDR2.
0x4CE892E1 = ~z~Kifflom... -The signature saying of the Epsilon Program.
0x4F2D953F = ~z~I see numbers... one, two three. -One third of the phone number easter egg.
0x4F9C57D0 = ~z~Nazar, teller of fortunes, finder of lost things... -Madam Nazar offers the Collector role in Red Dead Online, hence "finder of lost things".
0x5AD8779F = ~z~I see a rooftop, and a briefcase, and death. No, no, no, no, no, it is not... not a rooftop... -Reference to the GTA Online mission Rooftop Rumble, which was extremely popular for money grinding in the first year of release. Despite the name, this mission does not actually take place on a rooftop.
0x5C41619D = ~z~Yes, all is clear... -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x5D6EF371 = ~z~You were looking for me, yes? -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x5F900619 = ~z~I see you in high spirits. -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x6FE9F6D6 = ~z~Too soon, too soon have you come back... -Possible reference to the player repeatedly using the machine to hear many voice lines.
0x7B74C501 = ~z~I see a web, still tangled after years of unravelling. Will you be the one, I wonder? -Reference to either the spider web easter egg, or the Chiliad mystery in general. I believe this remark is a clue that there is more to solve, and a challenge of who will be the first to do so.
0x7EC016A1 = ~z~I see a beautiful diamond. The largest in the world. Ah, it is cracked... -The grand Diamond Casino and Resort being broken into and robbed.
0x8D17F800 = ~z~I see, I see... -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x8F6A344E = ~z~I see a lazy river, flowing by a scorched town... -There is a town burnt to a crisp in RDR2.
0x26F2F1F2 = ~z~I see a ridge in the land, and a falconer, and the black smoke rising to the east... -This has to be an RDR2 reference, though I don't remember any falconers. It is possible I missed a detail, it is a very long game.
0x37C69C95 = ~z~I see the sky covered by clouds. -A cloudy sky is the loading/respawning screen in RDR2. GTA loading screens are also often cloudy.
0x40EB3A6A = ~z~I think you were meant to stop by here, yes? -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x71B9557C = ~z~Madam will be here when you return. -Generic fortune teller voice line. She indeed is confined to her glass cabinet.
0x76C62201 = ~z~I hear birds, beautiful birds singing in a cage... -???
0x78CEE40F = ~z~See you soon, I think. -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x80B3DB7F = ~z~I see great and furious judgement descending from the clouds to strike you down... -God? Lighting strikes? The Thor hammer easter egg in RDR2? The orbital cannon in GTA Online?
0x86A7C5E6 = ~z~Come closer, Nazar wishes to speak to you. -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x93CA7E4A = ~z~You were looking for me, yes? -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x94ABA9D8 = ~z~I see the meaning of a song upon a stone. One is done, two was fun... -The rhyme written on the rocks in Blaine County for the Infinite 8 killer easter egg.
0x95D1F984 = ~z~I see trees. Such tall trees. -The Tall Trees region of RDR2.
0x97B943D7 = ~z~I hear a voice calling again and again, forlorn. A relative. He wants to do something. -Reference to Roman excessively calling Niko to go bowling in GTA IV.
0x178ED0A8 = ~z~I see the ruins of a battle fought long ago... -There is a Civil War battlefield point of interest in RDR2.
0x181E4BBE = ~z~I see a man in a white shirt, and a red vest. He is afraid to go to work... -The Diamond Casino valet Felipe, who players routinely murder for fun.
0x203F9619 = ~z~Madam Nazar has a beautiful collection. And she is generous. Go, see what trophy she gives you. -Madam Nazar buys valuable collectibles from the player in Red Dead Online. Could she also unlock a trophy in the arcade trophy shelf, like the one for owning all arcade games?
0x234DC9AD = ~z~Beware, not all love is kind. Just climb the mountain, and ask my poor Jolene. -The ghost girl easter egg of the late Jolene.
0x516A5CC8 = ~z~Welcome, wanderer, would you like to know the future? -Generic fortune teller easter egg.
0x532DDEEF = ~z~Come, come... magpie. -???
0x645D35FE = ~z~I see wet ground, and figures in the dark, and the spirit of a lonely girl... -Probably the Agnes Dowd ghost easter egg in RDR2.
0x746E2173 = ~z~Ah, you have found me. Come, come, hear your fortune. -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x811A2BFA = ~z~You seek some purpose, some meaning in the chaos of this life... -Many theorize the answer to the Chiliad Mystery is some underlying karmatic "true ending" to the game. Part of Story Mode's main conflict is Michael dealing with some existential quandaries about morality and death.
0x5895B9F1 = ~z~I see thunder, and lightning. -Thunderstorm weather is present in many easter eggs across both games.
0x6233DB6A = ~z~No, no, no, no, no... You must be patient, my love... -We need to wait for more updates to further the mystery?
0x8887A74F = ~z~I see... a bright sun in a clear sky. -Another weather line, but there usually isn't anything special associated with sunny weather.
0x9276E6BB = ~z~Remember, Madam Nazar is always listening. Ask and you may receive. -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x10124A92 = ~z~At the stroke of twelve, when the moon is fat, the beast will awaken within you. -The Beast, a werewolf the player can turn into in some Freemode Events and Adversary Modes in GTA Online, as well as a secret Director Mode actor for beating him in his secret fight against Bigfoot.
0x33199ECB = ~z~Welcome to Nazar's cabinet of wonders. -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x71588BAE = ~z~I see a scorched land. A river along a border that cannot be crossed... -The border of Mexico is visible in RDR2, but cannot be crossed.
0x77702F37 = ~z~I see a secluded isle, and upon it I see, ah... it is gone. -???
0x96949B4F = ~z~Your line is tangled, but I see it now... -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0x813078CC = ~z~I see numbers... seven, six, four. -One third of the phone number easter egg.
0x5085380D = ~z~I have revealed your path. Now... you must walk it... -Potentially a hint that Nazar's sayings are a clue toward something.
0x34880013 = ~z~The future cannot be changed. Return when it has become the past... -Francis Sinclair's appearance in RDR2 introduces an aspect of time travel into the mystery. Some parts of GTAV story mode occur before online, maybe there is something to be found by going back to the beginning?
0xA0CBFA2E = ~z~Madam Nazar sees your future, shall I tell you? -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0xA76B6838 = ~z~Remember, the stars favor those who leave no stone unturned. -Much like "he was wrong to start his hunt on a Tuesday," this is as blatant as Rockstar can get at telling us there is still mystery to uncover. The unsolved Panoramic Map in RDR2 does portray star positions.
0xA84C88A8 = ~z~Your every move is watched. Be careful... avoid even the smallest misdemeanor... -Minor crimes can get you wanted in both games. Could also be another suggestion at the karmatic/pacifist playthrough theory.
0xA507B91E = ~z~The future is open to me... -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0xA3075AF7 = ~z~I see beautiful trees in an arid land... -Another line talking about trees. Could refer to trees in the desert in both games. Los Santos/California has trees grow despite desert climate because of irrigation systems.
0xA3408FC2 = ~z~Come closer, let me see you. -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0xAC37F487 = ~z~I see a door in the shape of a circle, and behind it endless opportunities opening to you, if you are able to adapt. -The circular vault door of the Diamond Casino, protecting cash, gold, artwork, and diamonds. "Able to adapt" refers to the random spawns and different approaches of the heist.
0xAC710EE1 = ~z~Let me see... -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0xB05CDEAD = ~z~Ahh, of course... -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0xB4DECB38 = ~z~I see a face beneath the ice. Yet, not the face of a man, or a woman... -The alien under the ice in North Yankton in Prologue.
0xB6FA4AA9 = ~z~I see many people bowing down before a yellow statue of a... no, no that cannot be right. -???
0xB7BEACD4 = ~z~I see an emerald covered in filth, lying on a beautiful plain... -Likely refers to Emerald Ranch in RDR2. It is a farming community, so manure and livestock are everywhere (filth) and it is indeed located in a plain.
0xB8C7E398 = ~z~Come back soon. -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0xB1172B6F = ~z~Ah, it is you. I'm glad you have come. -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0xCBF36971 = ~z~I see grizzled mountains, and hungry eyes... -Could refer to the Grizzlies region of RDR2. Hungry eyes might be that of bears or wolves.
0xCC31A50E = ~z~I see numbers... five, one, one, two. -One third of the phone number easter egg.
0xDAF70F50 = ~z~I see a man with red hair, and a red mark upon his face. He does not belong here. -Francis Sinclair. He really doesn't belong here, as he presumably time traveled outside of his own reality.
0xE08ED444 = ~z~I see many cars in a white room. No, no, no... they are all the same car. And I see great wealth. And great boredom. This is a strange vision... -Reference to car duplication glitches, a popular way to make money in GTA Online.
0xE113C9F4 = ~z~The future is open to me... -Generic fortune teller voice line.
0xED3B9610 = ~z~I see true love in your future, but only if you act quickly! -???
0xEF1DAB95 = ~z~Take care... Your next drink will go to your head... -The Online Protagonist will pass out and wake up elsewhere after enough alcohol, which is necessary for the UFO tattoo easter egg. There are some moments in RDR2 where drinks have similar effects, such as the Witch's Brew, or the drink offered at Aberdeen Pig Farm.
0xEF6F7672 = ~z~I see... snow! -Both games feature snowy weather online for the holiday season.
0xF0CA2115 = ~z~Mine is the all-seeing eye. -All seeing eyes are a common visual in GTAV, especially on the SecuroServ app and the Chiliad Mural. They've even been featured in official artwork on Rockstar's website.
0xF8E39799 = ~z~Nazar sees all... -Generic fortune teller voice line.
I’ve been playing this game for a long time and browsing the Paradox forums and Cities: Skylines reddit for about as long. I love the game and I love what the devs are adding, I’ve bought just about every DLC because it’s all been very worthwhile, especially as of late. Contrary to what many may think, I still believe there’s much potential for new game content, and I’d like to see the game expanded to its full potential. As such, I have three ideas here for future expansion packs which I think will enhance the game tremendously. My goal is to foster discussion so please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Many ideas are borrowed from the following people to increase exposure, make sure you read and comment on their original posts as well: Zerotheliger – https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...dlc-casinos-beach-and-golf-long-read.1179681/ Devan0848 - https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/maritime-dlc.1184941/ Erls - https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/city-council-dlc-proposal.1236693/ ISLAND CITIES I feel like the biggest thing lacking in the game currently is a way to spruce up the coastlines. As such, I feel the next DLC should be centered on expanding everything related to water and beaches. Despite the name “Island Cities”, most of the features in this pack can be applied to any map with a body of water. Marinas - New park buildings that dramatically increase the land value and happiness surrounding them and need to be placed connected to water. When placed, pedestrian boats will spawn from them and autonomously sail in the waters connected to it, filling the sea with life. There could be multiple tiers of marinas, earlier ones spawning fishing boats and sailboats while more expensive variants spawn whale-watching boats, houseboats, and finally yachts. Most Marina buildings have nodes that allow you to connect Boardwalks to them (see below). Boardwalks - A new network path introduced in the expansion, available for pedestrian use only but it has a few special mechanics. For one, they can be zoned on, so houses can be built connected to them though obviously the cars of the people who own the houses would have to be parked on the nearest actual road. Secondly, when built at sea like bridges, pedestrian boats launched from Marinas can park at the sides of them much like cars do on land-based roads, allowing boardwalks to function as docks as well. Promenades - New network path designed to look good next to quays and coastlines, with fancy tiling and trees lining the paths. They come in two variants: a purely pedestrian promenade, and a wider promenade still designed primarily for pedestrian use but allows cars to traverse slowly down the middle lane. Idea borrowed from the Network Extension mod. Beaches - New park designation like the ones introduced in Park Life (I know some are tired of this mechanic, but I think it’s a great way to give creators more control over their cities) designed for use on coastlines. Beach paths blend in well with the sand to connect building to building, and park buildings such as bonfires, surfing spots, dune buggy tracks and large coastal resorts increase the attractiveness of the park. Props such as tents, towels, vending machines and parasols help complete the look. Policies are included to limit littering and the hours the beach is open. Landscaping - New rocks, tropical plants, and coral reefs are added to spruce up the coast, both above and below the water (Maybe some bioluminescent coral so the water glows at night)? Sand can now be placed from the landscaping editor in-game. Owners of Snowfall will be able to do the same with snow, to designate colder areas such as mountaintops- it will still rain in snowy areas, but trees placed on snow will appear to have snow on their leaves. New Commercial Specialization - Commercial districts can now be specialized as Seaside Commercial and will cause low-density commercial to develop into surf shops, seafood restaurants and tiki bars. They will increase in attractiveness when placed close to water (and be less attractive than regular commercial when placed away from water) and bring in tourists. The Tourism specialization from After Dark will now be a purely high-density specialization that creates large hotels, and low-density buildings from that specialization will be moved to Seaside. Cargo Ferries - Cargo Ferries, or Barges, are ships designed to carry cargo over water from one point to another. This is different from Cargo Ships, which deliver cargo by water from outside the city, as Cargo Ferries would transport cargo within the city limits. This would allow players to build self-sufficient towns on islands away from the mainland without the use of bridges, and if they are using bridges, it could considerably free up traffic from commercial and industrial trucks on those roads. Cargo Ferries would require the construction of a Cargo Ferry depot, but they could use the same routes as Passenger Ferries. Garbage Barges - A new pier building unlocked around the same time as the Incinerator that will periodically have trash delivered to them, before spawning large Garbage Barges that carry it outside city limits using the same pathways used by Cargo Ships and Cruise Ships. Coast Guard - Occasionally, pedestrian boats, passenger ferries, and cruise ships at sea will experience emergencies, such as springing leaks or hitting underwater reefs. When this happens, the boat will stop in its tracks, and an icon indicating distress will appear over it. Coast Guard Stations are a coastal building that spawn Coast Guard speedboats (and possibly helicopters) to aid these ships. When a boat (or helicopter) reaches a distressed ship, the issue will be corrected, and the ship will continue on its way. If the Coast Guard does not reach the vessel in time, however, it and its passengers will despawn and seaside attractions will experience major reductions in attractiveness for a long duration. Lighthouses - Another Coast Guard building, reduces the likelihood of nautical emergencies in its large radius. Beach Housing - Concurrently with the expansion pack, a DLC pack adding Beach-themed houses as a district theme will be released, much like European Suburbia or University City. These houses are designed to compliment the buildings added by Island Cities. GOVERNANCE The Governance expansion pack is designed to expand the reach of the City government, add new policy options, make the player feel more like the mayor of a large city as well as add some assorted other features that are highly requested. This would be a larger DLC, and possibly as game-changing as Industries. Contracts - This feature could probably use a better name but I’m going with this one for now. As Mayor of the city, once you build a City Hall building (unlocked early on) you will occasionally be presented with “missions” representing requests by concerned citizens or the higher government. These contracts can either be accepted or denied with no consequences. If accepted, an objective is provided, and a reward is given if the objective is completed. These can range from simple (enabling a policy or placing a service building) to much more complicated (providing public transport between two parts of the city, creating a certain kind of district, zoning a certain number of industrial squares, etc.) but the reward scales to the difficulty of the objective. To preserve the sandbox feel of the game, these can be completely ignored with no consequences or possibly even outright disabled with mods. Government Buildings - In addition to the City Hall, a new series of Government Buildings are available to be plopped in the city. Bureau of Commerce, Department of Education, Department of Health, etc. While expensive, each building provides a slight global boost to its corresponding department, as well as unlocking powerful new policies and possibly even new building options. Homeowners Association - A new Parklife-esque district zoning type focusing on Residential buildings. This feature makes a plethora of new low-residential style houses available to for the player to plop, varying in size from about the same as the growable residential houses at lower levels, to large mansions at the higher levels. At the highest level, you unlock the option to turn the houses in the Association into a gated community, requiring you to place a gate at the entrance and prohibiting non-residents (besides services) from entering. Families in Homeowners Associations prefer Charter Schools (see below) and require a certain amount of Charter School availability in addition to other factors for the zone to level up. Notably, once a Homeowners Association has been placed, the houses it unlocks can freely be placed outside its bounds and function as homes. However, buildings that aren't from the Homeowners Association menu cannot be placed or grown within its bounds. (Thank you u/sammunroe210) Malls - Another new Parklife-esque zoning type, this one focusing on Commercial. Malls can be built as either sprawling outdoor malls, massive indoor complexes, or a combination of both. Notably, if building an indoor mall, the mall comes in “pieces” that can be assembled modularly, with each one (except the entrance) not requiring a network to connect to as long as they’re connected to another piece of the mall. This gives the player some degree of control as to the shape of the mall. Outdoor mall pieces include plazas, shops, cafes, boutiques, and other various commercial outlets that can be connected to either pedestrian path or road. Malls can be massively profitable but require lots of cargo deliveries, so good road access is a must, and can decrease the attractiveness of nearby commercial zoning. Military Bases - The final Parklife-esque district, the Military Base is unlocked when you receive a contract asking you to build a base of a certain size within the city limits. To construct one, a gate must be placed, and then you can place a variety of buildings within such as barracks, obstacle courses, shooting ranges, officers’ quarters, tank yards, naval docks, airstrips, and missile silos, as well as props such as sandbags and guard posts and the like. Military hardware and uniforms are given a generic look as in Sim City to avoid representing any real-world country’s military. Military Bases create lots of jobs and significant income, but also generate lots of crime, noise pollution, and are a definite NIMBY. Charter Schools - (Borrowed from Erls, please check out his suggestion post linked above) “Charter Schools include a new Elementary School and High School. Each School costs the same as the standard schools do, however they charge money for admission and have a reach 4x as long as conventional schools. They raise money, and are always preferred by households in Homeowners Associations, however each student in a Charter School decreases the effectiveness of a standard school on a graduated scale. Each student (in raw numbers) that attends a Charter School adds .01 % to the ineffectiveness of the standard schools. Thus, for every 100 kids in a Charter Elementary school 1% of students at a standard school are not educated. However, a multiplier of 0.1 is added based on the percentage of kids in a Charter school - Thus, if those 100 Charter kids were exactly 2% of the total elementary school body you would multiply the raw number (100) by 2% and add it back, giving you 120 - or a failing rate 20% higher.” (Free Update) Parking - Parking is the major feature to come in the free update, adding several new buildings- parking lots of various sizes, and three tiers of parking garages. So as to avoid overwhelming people, parking is not suddenly a major demand of cities, and cities will not crumble if you don't add parking lots. However, parking lots boost the happiness of Cims around themselves, and Cims will prefer to park on a parking lot rather than on a road. Parking Garages function about as you would expect, providing more parking than standard parking lots. However, parking lots have some new zoning functionality. https://i.imgur.com/VEQmay2.png (On the left is the zoning grid of an empty road, on the right is the zoning grid of a road with a single 4x4 parking lot attached. Excuse my crummy MS paint skills) Parking lots snap to the grid of roads, but they have their own zoning grids attached to them in all four cardinal directions, allowing you to place a parking lot on the road and then grow a building behind it, making creating strip malls and the like a much easier task. Furthermore, additional parking lots can be attached to the extended zoning grid of the first parking lot, allowing you to create vast, massive parking lots in any shape you like. Be aware though that at least one lot needs to be attached to a road, or else they won't function. CITIES OF SPLENDOR The third and final expansion pack idea, focused on casinos, tourism, and wealth. Many might think “But After Dark already focused on those things!”, which is true, but I feel that After Dark was created when CO had a different mindset. They likely did not know how successful Cities: Skylines would be, or how much DLC would be greenlit, so they tried to put as many highly-requested features as possible in After Dark. The day/night cycle, casinos, bike lanes, bus lanes, taxis, and more were all added, but none of them got quite as much attention as later additions did. I feel that it would be reasonable for another expansion pack to take a crack at these things, to bring them up to a higher level of polish. VIPs - A new, special, one-of-a-kind tourist that visits your city when its popularity is high, or sometimes when a special event is happening (see below). VIPs are celebrities that tend to spend more money than regular tourists and if they have a positive experience in your city, you’ll get a boost to your tourism attractiveness, so always ensure they have lots to do. Limousine depots can be placed to spawn Limousines, taxis that can carry multiple passengers and are the preferred means of transport for a VIP. (Possibly) also “VIP” roads, roads only accessible to VIPs and service vehicles to ensure they have good access to important buildings, but that might be too powerful. Events - Certain buildings are capable of hosting events that will draw a lot of people, both living in and outside of the city, to come visit them in the span of a day or so. Make sure these buildings have good road access to account for the increased traffic, and that VIPs can get there on time. A new building, the Convention Center, is the first building unlocked that is capable of hosting events, and the Match Day and Campus sports matches are retroactively considered events. Casino Strips - Another Parklife-style district that adds a multitude of Casino buildings as well as Casino/Hotel hybrids, plazas, fountains, swimming pools, arcades, and lots of neon light props. Casino buildings should come in a wide variety of styles, ranging from Monaco to Vegas. These districts can net quite a bit of income, but cause a significant crime increase. They are especially attractive to tourists and VIPs and are capable of hosting events. Golf Courses - A new park-type zoning centered around the titular sport. Ploppable buildings include several variations of holes, club house or country club buildings, driving ranges, golf cart rentals (with functional golf carts that can use pedestrian paths), as well as associated props. Golf carts are VERY expensive to keep and maintain but are extremely attractive, drastically boosting the land value around themselves. Golf Courses can host events such as golf tournaments. Movie Studios - A Parklife-style zoning district (I swear this is the last one) or alternatively a very large ploppable building. I would prefer to see it as he former, allowing you to dedicate a zone to various studios, stages, outdoor filming locations, painted backdrops, a walk of fame, and props such as cameras and lights. Movie Studios are a good way to make money and tend to attract VIPs such as actors or directors, and host events such as film premieres. Race Tracks - A Match Day-style stadium… except the ploppable building has network nodes attached to it, allowing you to place raceways that define the shape of the Race Track. Like Match Day stadiums and the event buildings introduced in this expansion, races will be held at the Race Track, and like Campus the city can even sponsor its own racer. Furthermore, raceways function as two-lane roads when they aren’t being raced on, allowing you to run them through your city- they’ll be closed of to the public when a race begins. Desert Map Type - A new type of environment to build cities in. Desert maps, obviously, are almost entirely covered in sand, although a few grass patches may be present. Functionally they’re about the same as any other map, but new props are available for it such as desert rocks, palm tree variants, and cactuses of several types. Casino City - A new building style sold in a DLC alongside the “Cities of Splendor” expansion that affects high-density residential, restyling them as colorful, grandiose buildings that would not look out of place in Monaco. I'd like to foster as much discussion as possible, so please leave your thoughts below, and I'll edit any suggestions into the post.
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A series of ideas to improve STW: The Mimic update
So STW is nowhere near as popular as BR, but that doesn't mean we should just give up on seeing this mode through! Leachers, traders, and more can be addressed with a few additions to the game. To best structure this article I made it in the form of an update, but sense this isn't real, I'm calling it the Mimic update.
These are some new tools players will start to collect post plankwood from llamas and occasionally from chests. AACannon: Only targets airborne enemies, so sheilders, takers, and flung husks will be shot down quickly. Smasher Bumper: This is a large wall like trap with spikes in front of it that can only be placed on metal and brick. It's key purpose is that it stops smashers in their tracks, should they be charging. Electro-grids: A wall trap that doesn't actually protect against husks, as they can walk through it. What it DOES stop is blaster beams, skulls, and other projectiles thrown by husks and misties. It's fairly cheap to produce as well.
-The Bomb Bag: This is a unique schematic type one can earn now for all explosive types. Clingers, impulse grenades, m40s, they can now all be crafted in bulk with these schematics. They do require a lot of gunpowder though. -Flame weapons: Runs like an RPG where it has infinite ammo but its ammo comes from its durability. Can come in a flamethrower type weapon, or a launched shot of flame weapon. Increased damage against nature husks, lesser damage against water husks.
On the topic of Leachers
Why we have this problem is beyond me, as the solution seems simple. All we need to do is use the VERY stats we're given at the end of each game (combat, building, utility) to create a new stat: Participation percentage. If Larry spends the game mining resources, fighting husks, and doing objectives, he will have more combat, building, and utility under his belt by the end. When compared to Jennifer who leached the whole game, Jennifer is going to have a much lower participation percentage. All we have to do after that is deny rewards to players whos participation percentage falls too short. This also opens up the field to "100% effort" bonuses for solo missions.
Changes to Canny Valley and Twine Peaks
I do not know why both Canny and Twine still use the same generic map generation as plankerton and stonewood. Instead Canny should have a series of Arizona like cities and towns where large patches of desert reside outside and palm trees are littered elsewhere. The gimic of Canny and Twine is that you move from an area with high wood content to an area of high stone content. This doesn't mean they need to deny area types as well: City: A Dubai like area with tons of skyscrapers. Industrial Park: Same, just more construction zones and oil wells than buildings. Suburbs: Much more arid and dry with most houses looking like Walter Whites. Forests: This is the main difference, as now this zone needs to be changed to wilderness. In canny this is a mostly desert region with a few small buildings and mine shafts.
Likewise there can be a whole slew of new special areas like casinos, nuketowns, and monster truck yards.
Twine Peaks gets its own unique areas as well, but it's still stone centered. Cities: Now much more like towns at the bases of a few mountains. Industrial Zone: This is basically an "underground lab" type zone that's mid construction. There's plenty of bunkers and lots of construction sites boaring into the earth. Suburbs: Now much more like a ski resort atop a series of mountains with lodges and buildings dotted across the area. Wilderness: Just mountains and valleys with a lodge or mine shaft every here or there.
I'm a bit hazy on the story right now and I'm finding it really hard to find answers to where the story goes. I can get the mission names but I can't actually find anything about where people are heading past plankerton. For this reason I'm simply going to create my own story following these events. *After fending off the storm from Twine Peaks, Ray turns her attention to two separate goal lines: Either establish a truly safe base of operations in Iron Archipelico, or Launch a full-scale attack on the storm in Gear Gulch. Each of these two areas can be progressed through simultaneously. Iron Archipelico is a series of islands out in the ocean. There's plenty of boats and treasure to find. By the end of the last storm shield defense (before the bonus ones) one unlocks a portal that grants access to the "Sky Station". Gear Gulch is a nice return to a grassy area with lots of hills, windmills, and large areas of real estate such as golf courses and mansions. Progress through here and ray finds key information on the mysterious history of the storm, and where it came from (however the actual result of this will be revealed in the update following this one) Sky Station is a space elevator, as one can expect, combat here is much different. Each map consists of a large area (about 1/2 of an entire map we have on any given mission) And instead we're given issues of verticality. Similar to the jump from plankerton to canny, this area is heavily reliant on metal as opposed to stone or wood. There are plenty of trees on observatory platforms and stone statues throughout the building. Storm defense: Unlike what one would expect, you start this journey on the top floor where you are actually in orbit. This stormbase has little gravity making combat unique to other areas. Each additional storm pylon is another floor down each time, with one actually being suspended in orbit on its own tethered satilite. Cities (Now command stations): These areas are super dense and can range in gravitational pull. Industrial zones: Always located near the top so low gravity. Suburbs (Now living quarters): Located anywhere throughout the building and ranges in gravity. Wilderness (now conservatory) : Always has plenty of wood and regular gravity. The bottom part of the tower is the focus of the mission, as that is currently undergoing a lot of husk attacks in an attempt to knock the tower over. Likewise these 3 new areas come with some new features as well:
Spider-Seaker: Mist monster: Jumps onto a players back and harms them, if one latches on, one is forced to remove it either through melee attacks, special abilities, or have a fellow player shoot it off. Tazzzzzer: Mist Monster: Works and looks like a slightly bigger shielder, but actively siphons off energy from players, and two can actually disable any given trap until removed. Calvary: Husk: Rides a boney stallion into players to push them back. Shoot down the horse and he's just another husk. (Smasher stoppers work on these guys too)
New Mission Types:
Sneaky: Starting in Gear Gulch, you will see the appearance of Reavers. Reavers do not attack structures and are infact blind. However they are also invincible. Missions with reavers will require one to take something or defend data in an area surrounded by reavers. They don't care much about construction noises, but will be drawn towards the sound of gunfire. Meaning players will need to rely on traps and their building skills to succeed here. If one does attract a reaver, they simply have to run away and hop on a hoverboard to lose their stalkers.
In iron archipelico, the husks appear to be getting smarter, and have actually developed a battleship to destroy your bases. The solution is simply to use a varriaty of missions specific traps (cannons) to combat the battleship from ones own fortress. Unlike most missions the solo versions of these will only have husks coming from the ship. In 4 player recommended mode, they will come from everywhere. So those are some of my ideas to build onto the game, what are your thoughts?
Before going to Aruba I, like most people of my generation (late 20s), googled the crap out of Aruba. I especially googled what life outside of the resort/hotel zone is like. While there was lots of info on Aruba hardly any of it pertained to the non-resort life. Meaning, when people on forums ask "where do the locals eat", or "where can I get a reasonably priced meal", the answers given were absolutely given by people living the high life in Aruba. $30 entrees? The locals aren't eating there. And, if the place advertises itself as "where the locals eat!" (like Driftwood does), then that's not where the locals eat. That isn't to say that none of the locals eat there, as I'm sure many do. But when people from my generation ask "where do the locals eat?" they mean "where does the working class eat?". Now that I'm back from my short trip to Aruba, I feel like I have some info to share to others of my generation who aren't looking for a 5-star Aruban experience, but who are traveling on a shoestring, want to see Aruba without paying >$100 for a two hour tour in a 4x4 with six strangers, etc. First tip: Airbnb Hotels in Aruba are plentiful, and very nice. They're not even necessarily expensive. But Airbnb has penetrated Aruba and it's great. We were lucky to stay with a local who has an attached suite, rather than simply simply renting out their condo while they're away. As a result, we had locals (like, 365 days a year-type locals) feeding us info. Airbnb also kind of forces you outside of the hotel zone: we were a good 8-10 min drive away from the Highrise area, which helps when you're trying to be adventurous and explore the neighbourhoods. Our Airbnb hosts were very attentive, provided a lot of "gear", like a cool, beach chairs, maps, coupons, flippers, etc. They warned us when something went down on the island (we were there during the recent flash flood), and had ideas about how to get around. And of course, Airbnb is cheap, often come with kitchens, which allow you to head to the supermarkets and cook using local ingredients. Which brings me to the next tip. Tip two: Supermarkets Prior to arriving, whenever grocery shopping was mentioned in anything I googled it basically always referred to the large supermarkets, and especially Super Food. We went to Superfood and found the prices comparable to grocery prices in Canada (even after the conversion. Also note, we live in Victoria, BC). Items that were packaged (like cereal) were more expensive. Fruits (like limes) were ever so slightly less. And everything else (like meat and veggies) were about the same. And while Superfood was great, we found little to no reason to return; there are plentiful mini-marts and neighbourhood markets were everything was cheaper. There was nothing we needed that we couldn't find in these markets, from groceries to sunblock to booze to personal care products. I honestly don't think you need to bother with the large supermarkets, the little neighbourhood ones will do. If you're in the high rise zone, the closest one is at the Unicasa, beside the Wendy's. If you're anywhere else, there are lots. Tip three: Beaches The Palm Beach and Eagle Beach areas are indeed much fun. There's a lot going on, people to mingle with, booze everywhere, and happy hour is easy to find. If you're anything like us, we kinda didn't love that. We wanted more spacious beaches, with calmer atmospheres. In that case, allow me to suggest three spots. The first is just off the high rise beach zone. Heading towards the lighthouse, right after the casino on the left if a parking lot that was never ever full. The only people that seemed to park there were trucks with boat trailers. Park here and find a very peaceful beach with no rocks, and soft sand. It was a fabulous spot, with all the same view and sand quality of Palm Beach without any of the buzz and crap. Second, is a short walk from the lighthouse north, across the dunes, to an oddly shaped rock I doubt you could miss. When we first arrived there were some nudists there hanging out in what is clearly a secluded and rarely frequented spot. Water was clear, and the view was spectacular. Not to mention how good water feels after a 10 min walk through the desert sand dunes in a blazing sun. Third, is Daimari beach, which I'll say more about in the next tip... Tip four: Arikok Definitely worth the time. But also not something you have to rent jeeps for or take expensive atv tours. If you dedicate a day to Arikok (like, 8 am to 5pm) you can do all you need to. I'll tell you what we did on our "Arikok day", which was probably the highlight of our trip. First, recognizing that Arikok is a desert, we woke up early and drove to the main entrance to the park. We arrived exactly at 8:00am on a day that was slightly cloudy. Bought our wrist band and promptly exited the park the way we came. Leaving the park there's an immediate right that says "Daimari" onto a gravel/dirt road. We followed that until it intersected witha paved road and a sign saying that to the right is an entrance to Arikok. Down that road is the Shete entrance to Arikok. It allows you to turn a very long hike to the Natural Pool into a short hike. Hiking from Shete to Natural pool took 45min (and I am in no way in shape). We arrived just as the first tour left, allowing us full access to the pool with not another soul around for about and hour. Then, heading up the coast from the Natural Pool we hiked the 15 min to Daimari Beach, which was easily our favourite beach of the whole island. It is isolated, strikingly beautiful, unique in that the "shelf" that has been eroded in the middle divides the beach in two, and most importantly there was shade provided by the cliffs. This was vital, since by this time the sun was out in full force. Hiking became less than safe, so, we stayed, lounging at the beach, for hours waiting for the sun to go down a bit. This was wonderful. Shaded by the cliff, dipping in the slightly wavy ocean, in the beautiful location... Daimari is an Aruban paradise. Two tour companies took people here while we were there. They jumped off the cliffs and promptly left. For us, we drank 5L of water on this hike. As soon as 3:00 rolled around, we started to pack up and began our hike out (about 55min). Now, since we spent so long at Daimari we decided to do more Arikok the next day. We drove around to the south side of the island and the Vader entrance. We easily drove our small, compact rental car up the gravel road alongside the wind turbines (very impressive), and up to the Guadiriki caves. Spent some time there and continued up to the Fontein caves and Boca Prins. After returning, it was all basically just a couple hours; less than a half day. If we had planned our hike to be an hour or two quicker we likely could have done it all in a single day. Since we didn't drive all the way through the park's main road I can't speak to the drive-ability of it all. However, I do have some car tips! Tip five: Cars The rental companies, and the Arikok website, do a fair amount of fear mongering about the quality of the road that runs through the park (IMO). If I were to speculate, it would be because the nation's economy makes a fair amount of coin off of Jeep rentals, 4x4 tours and such. So, they would have you believe that travelling into Arikok with a compact car spells certain doom for your vehicle, and the rental agenies will warn you multiple times that if you have car damage or trouble that occurs within Arikok park, you are not covered at all, even if you purchased their limited liability coverage plan. So, I was pretty worried as well about road conditions but there was no need to be. Day two we drove our little compact rental through the road that runs from the California lighthouse, along past the dunes and down the North East coast, up to the chapel. It was slow going, to be sure, as we made sure to go at little more than the speed of a quick walk or slow jog. But at that speed all the bumps become easily managable and we didn't bottom out the car once. Similarly, driving the dirt road past the wind turbines in Arikok and up to Boca Prins was more than fine. It's like driving a country road in rural Alberta, in my opinion. Take it slow and you'll be golden. As long as I'm talking about cars, a few sub tips: they don't do as many lights in Aruba. Mostly round abouts. Might wanna brush up on round about etiquette before going if you're not familiar. The map that you get at the airport has common road signs on it! And while the road system on the ground looks complicated, with many un-named roads branching off of main routes, honestly, just worry about the main routes (of which there aren't many). Parking in ample pretty well everywhere, even downtown. It's cheap for pay parking where that's needed. No right turns on red lights. And finally, they do street lights on the same side of the intersection as where you stop, rather than opposite. So, you kinda have to lean forward to see the lights if you're in a low vehicle. Tip six: Eats I can't express enough how the most mentioned places were just tourist traps. Driftwood, Smokey Joe's, Wacky Wahoos: all very expensive. That isn't to say they're bad (we thought Wacky Wahoos was fabulous), but there not "where the locals/working class eat". The best (in terms of the matchup of quality and cost and authenticity) of these more expensive places that we went, we felt, was Red Fish. The catch of the day pan fried was delicious, and the local corn bread stuff they serve all over town was the tastiest at Red Fish as well. We never got to Zeerover's, sadly. I'm bummed about that. But the point is I can't comment on it. The best recommendation I have for those who want some real eats is to explore the 4A/B route. There are a lot of neighbourhood eats along that road that are fabulous. Fermin's BBQ was a highlight, where you could get a 2 person BBQ Platter with Yuca Frita (fucking YUM) for 34 Florins (whereas all those places mentioned about are usually 50 Florins or more per dish!). Buckets of six local beers for 25 Florins. It's great. The ambiance is fantastic, the locals chatty and open for conversation if you reach out. Just don't couple blocks south east from Fermin's is a small Columbian food diner kind of thing. Delicious arepas con queso. Had some chicharrón there that was as authentic as it gets. From there, I'd stress being brave and trying the food trucks. They mostly open after dark (I imagine because being inside one of those in the day would cook you), and there are dozens on every route. Since the water on the island is pristine (by the way, the water is pristine!) we didn't worry about getting sick, and we didn't. We tried some Dutch pancakes for what felt like was a dime, more Columbian food, some of the "snack" places (essentially you pick a filling and they put it in a hot dog bun), and some delicious burgers. I couldn't even tell you where these places were since we just drove by them and pulled over when we were hungry. But they're great! At these trucks we were paying 20-40 florins a meal for two people rather than 80-120 (or 140 at Wacky Wahoos. Ouch). Be brave and you'll be rewarded. Tip seven: Shopping Much the same thing applies to shopping. Now, I'm no shopper; that's my partners deal. But we did the High Rise mall area and found all the usual high-end brands: Pandora and a thousand other jewelers, Calvin K., whatever. And downtown at the "fashion capitol of the carribbean" we found Gucci and Mango and all the European brands. Whatever. The prices weren't any better than back home, so we were left asking "why?" Well, then we started going into other stores we found kicking around a little outside these zones. The most rewarding one (at least for her)? DShop. Good prices (slightly cheaper than home) and lots of variety with good quality and unique styles. Feel free to explore the local stores rather than just stampeding the big brands. Aruba's government has done a lot to encourage the local fashion industry, and it seems to be paying off. You can buy Prada back home. Random dump of tips! The rest of my tips don't have enough substance to equate to a whole section, so I'll just dump them here. Tip the bag boys/girls at the supermarkets. Chances are they don't have a wage and only make money based on tips. If you're gonna buy cherry tomatoes at Super Food, don't put them in a bag; they have designated plastic cups for those. Whatever produce you do get there, take it to a weigh station which will print a ticket with the price for you. Cereal is absurdly expensive at Superfood, as is milk and butter. The Cherry Limeade at Save Lots is delicious! We did not love Baby Beach by any strech of the imagination. In fact, most of the South East side of the island felt like it was all the rage once upon a time, and then it was overshadowed by the North West; many abandoned businesses and homes down there, but I wouldn't make a whole day of it. Interesting to see and worth just driving around. Bring water shoes. Especially if you're going to walk out to the shipwreck because there's some coral that stings out there. For Canadians, it cheaper to pay for stuff in Florins than USD. It is easy to get cash, especially if you bank with RBC or CIBC, as they have branches in Aruba! Buy lots of sunscreen. The aloe museum is very accessible and worth the trip. I preferred the beer Chill to the staple Balashi. Sunday and especially Monday, everything seems to be closed for most of the day. English is the lingua franca pretty well all over the toursit zones, as expected. But outside of that, while Enlgish is still very present, we found Spanish more useful. So, if you know Spanish then great! Oh, and Aruba is great! Enjoy.
UPDATED: added lots more ideas from others comments Based on the posts with inspiration photos for the devs of different locations, I thought it would be good to create a bit of a list of areas that I think would be cool to see around the H1Z1 world. . . these are just some ideas that I think would be cool, maybe some of them are already there, maybe some are a bit far fetched but I think it would be a good idea to have some of these things to change the world up a bit from the same houses and buildings that we are used to seeing in these type of games... Mall: A big multilevel shopping mall, with large open areas in between shops, with escalators, small gift stands etc. Out door areas with restaurants/cafes, fountains etc. (all of this decaying and overgrown, with things trashed to show signs of riots and looting when the virus first struck) Huge baron car park, with a few random cars and shopping carts. School/University: Multiple long buildings with creepy hallways and numerous classrooms/lecture halls. Big outdoor courtyard areas between the buildings. Sports field extremely overgrown. Museum: Huge rooms with large art pieces scattered around the place, multiple levels. Long hallways. Creepy art pieces to add to the atmosphere. This could be one place that still looks pristine and new, which I think would be just as creepy as the decaying world outside. Stadium: Hugh stadium, big open interior that is very overgrown with tunnels around the edges. Massive baron car park. Underground car park: Could be part of any building, but I think it would be really creepy to have a really dark underground car park with big cement pillars. Cemetery: Pretty self explanatory. Theme park: As with the pictures that were posted of the six flags, I think a theme park could be a really cool and creepy addition to the map. Overgrown, rusted rides, rubbish scattered around the place, signs eerily swinging etc. Rubbish dump/tire yard: Big mounds of rubbish that you can walk between, rodents and feral animals crawling around. Hospital: Multiple wards, multiple levels. Long hallways, creepy curtains covered in blood etc. Mental asylum: Padded rooms, long hallways, underground tunnels with experimentation rooms etc. Prison: The devs always talk about the walking dead, so this one is kind of a given i would think. Holiday Resort: Big moldy or dried out pools, fake palm trees, pool side bars, multiple level apartment buildings, single level villas, big open lobby area with fountains etc. Traffic Jam: Either on a main road, or across a bridge, make people have to consider getting out and walking rather than taking their car. Great for fire fights between vehicles, zombies trapped in cars that bang on windows as you walk pass and scared the crap out of you. Large Factories and assembly plants: Lots of big machinery, indoor balconies looking over main open area. Parks: Playgrounds, skate bowls, water fountains etc. Very overgrown. Visual landmarks: Water towers, radio towers, wind farms, dams etc. Quarry: Construction vehicles and materials laying around. Cranes etc. Big cement pipes that you can walk through Casino: Huge multi level buildings with large open areas inside. Gaming tables scattered throughout the buildings. Big statues. Restaurants and shops surrounding. Slaughter House: Big factory style building, hanging meat carcasses, big industrial machinery. Lots of blood. Hooks etc. Mines: Really really dark and creepy. Multiple shafts, possibility of getting lost. Corn Fields: Creepy as hell, easy to get lost in without 3rd person, zombies randomly walking through. Another thing that could be done with these areas is different looking zombies at each. So for example, prisoner zombies at the prison, clown zombies at the theme park, nurse/doctor zombies at hospital, zombie zombies at the cemetery ;) So whats your thoughts? Obviously these are not things that the devs should be focusing on before other important aspects of the game, but I just thought they could be cool to add into the game later on.
What locations would you want to see in the next GTA game. What would the storyline/theme look like?
Which cities would you like to see in GTA's future? I have a couple cities/extensions that I'd love to see Rockstar add. San Francisco. I'd love to see San Fierro make a comeback, in more detail, with a slightly modern twist, (or a mid 90s to mid 2000s twist). A laid back, northern California vibe. A lot of focus on the Bay Area. I'd love to see smaller surrounding cities like Oakland, Berkeley, San Mateo, Palo Alto, Fremont, and San Jose added, too. It'd be cool to see Rockstar's take on iconic surrounding areas like Silicon Valley, and the likes. Although San Fierro is part of San Andreas, I think it's a city big enough, at least culturally speaking, to warrant it's own game, similar to Los Santos. If Rockstar was really feeling adventurous, they could extend the map way out east to include Yosemite, or as far up north to include Sacramento. Las Vegas I'm getting the obvious cities out of the way first. I'd like to see Las Venturas return as well. Preferably as it's own title game. Maybe with a late 80's to mid 90's theme going on. Think Ocean's eleven. Big casino heists, huge emphasis on gambling and casino games with other people online. 8-man heists, huge takes, vice, and unconventional sights. Think mob controlled Vegas. Doing work for wealthy mob-connected families in Vegas giving you orders poolside in their mansions in their pajamas robes smoking cigars! The map could extend to Arizona and include great sights like the Grand Canyon. Rockstar should also try to find a way to remove Las Venturas from San Andreas (that always confused me). New Jersey This would be a great city to include in any upcoming GTA game. Maybe Early 90's. Think Sopranos. Revisiting that east coast Mafia theme from GTA 3. The game could include places like Atlantic City revolving around a slightly smaller gambling culture, albeit still there -- plenty of opportunity for storyline there. Newark, and New Jersey City - corrupt politicians, mob bosses, crime, and even opportunity to tie the storyline into nearby Liberty City! Since the state is so small, you could even include cities like Trenton. Chicago I'd love to see this city added in. It's the only city next to NYC that I think could revisit that busy city hustle and bustle vibe. Picturesque skyline. Include wealthy north Chicago suburbs, include a lake and harbor culture along Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive, include heavy gang culture in south and west side Chicago, you could even include western Chicagoland suburbs as well. This would make a great location somewhere down along the line. GTA V extension - Orange County/ San Diego I'd love to see a game based in southern California really feel like a game based in Southern California. Los Angeles is obviously integral in that, but what about orange county? The map should extend further down south. Include wealth, seaside resort beach cities like Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Dana point. Perhaps even inland to include big cities like Anahaim or Aliso Viejo. San Diego would've been nice to include as well. I think the city could be integrated into a GTA series one of two ways: a.) It could be part of a GTA V extension, which would REALLY be pushing the limits, along with Orange County. b.) It could be included in it's own title. San Diego as it's own city with locations inland featured as well, along with a much anticipated inclusion of Mexico. There'd be no excuse not to include Mexico if San Diego was ever included in a GTA game! This would be amazing. Think Miami, but west coast. Think Mexican Cartel drug cartels. Miami This is another obvious one. We should add a modern twist to it, though. Revisiting Vice City with an 80s theme again would be overkill, in my opinion. I'd like to see modern day elements included. A Cuban cocaine/drug smuggling culture, nightclubs, exorbitant wealth, displays of new money, yachts, beaches. The map would have to be extended into surrounding cities as Miami would be too small to include by itself in a modern day GTA game. What did I have in mind? An extension to cities up north like Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville. to the west, include a natural scenic spot - like the Everglades national park (swamps!) and cities like Tampa (including the bay) or Sarasota. So the south, you could include the Florida Keys (islands connected by small, narrow highways) Washington D.C. For some reason, I REALLY want to see this city included. It honestly feels like it'd make a great location for a GTA game, just because of all the cultural content that could be packed into the game. Modern twist and time period for sure. Imagine House of Cards. Doing work for corrupt politicians, political scandals, big government agencies, the feds. It'd be a great opportunity to finally include a president of the GTA universe's president of the U.S. Think of the amount of satire, jokes, and references Rockstar could address in a game like this. It would be a goldmine for sure. Rockstar would have to be careful about the political lines they decide to cross, but it'd be amazing. The map could include the national mall, of course, but also surrounding areas and cities like Baltimore, Maryland, since it's so close, and even Virginia, for a nice suburban portion of the map, or even Delaware for rural. Philadelphia Another great choice for a big city with unique areas of it's own. Great second choice to Chicago, although I'd be stunned if this was included before Chicago. Because of it's proximity, I'd ideally just include this city in a title game with New Jersey. Boston This city could definitely work. A classic American city. Gritty working class crime, wealthy New England elite, and everything in between. Imagine something equestrian. Horse riding, sailing, rowing. Imagine a red-brick city. Irish Crime families. Remember the Irish crime twist in GTA IV? Imagine magnifying that into a game of it's own. McReary crime family. Irish Crime families at war with Italian crime families in Boston. Racketeering, drug trafficking, money laundering and everything else. Salt Lake City How neat would it be to have a small city included into a GTA game? Something laid back, but with a small crime element. Imagine finding our protagonist in a location - a snowy location. Think snowy mountain tops, think cabins, think snowmobiles. Maybe we're introduced to a protagonist who's laying low from crime in another major city in the GTA universe (reminiscent of San Andreas). Doing small odd jobs to make a living. A breath of fresh air. New Mexico This is my last choice for a location in the U.S. It'd be cool to include a city close to the southern border. Think Breaking Bad. Modern day desert towns, a Spanish element, cactus! Desert living, there's definitely a criminal element down there. Mexican drug cartels, and hot air balloons (Albuquerque). I think that'd be really neat. My city choices are only limited to places in the U.S. but I'd like to hear locations you guys would be interested in for upcoming GTA titles and what kind of theme would go alone with it (time period, criminal elements, storyline, etc.)?
Sights of the Southern Jungles; Rivalen's Guide to Niben Bay, Leyawiin and the Blackwood
Welcome back oh brave Tamrielic Travelers! In this volume, we continue our journeys, leaving the urban sprawl of the great Imperial City and heading south, along the River Niben, deep into the tropical heart of Nibenay, to the Blackwood and to the great city of Leyawiin. You are fortunate, my friends, for Leyawiin is from where I hail, and as a native, I can tell you much. The best way to reach the city of Leyawiin from the Imperial City is by taking a boat or barge down the River Niben. This is the best way to both take in the sights, as you can stop on either bank to see what you will and also make good time. The fishing is good too. INTO NIBENAY Nibenay as a whole is divided into four constituent counties or duchies: Bruma, Cheydinhal, Bravil and Leyawiin, each centered on a city of the same name. Additionally, the Imperial City is Nibenese in culture and character, but is considered to be set apart from Colovia and Nibenay. Most name the city and the lands directly around it the ‘Heartlands’, or the ‘Thronelands’. During the second era and other times of conflict and division, these Nibenese cities were either independent kingdoms or forged into the Kingdom of Nibenay. There are two principal areas of Southern Nibenay. The first of these are the Niben Bay, a large inland lake, which unfortunately gravitates on the city of Bravil, and is also affected by the winding ways of the Panther River. South of Niben Bay, the River Niben narrows somewhat and the terrain thickens and descends into the verdant jungles of the Blackwood. This area is thickly wooded with rainforest and travel here is much more dependant on the river, than on the Green and Yellow Roads, which run on either side of the River Niben. Find your river legs, for to traverse Nibenay is to know the river. Languages spoken in Nibenay are extremely diverse. On any day, in the trade cities of southern Nibenay, you can expect to hear any language, but most commonly Nibenese, Imperialized Jel, Ta’agra, Dunmeri, Altmeri, Colovian and of course, the Imperial Koine or Common. The character of Nibenay is chiefly notable for its commercial nature, as it is the economic workhouse of the Empire, and also for its ecumenism and cosmopolitanism, as anyone and everyone can and does come to Nibenay to make themselves a Septim or ten. Whilst the nobility, almost entirely comprised of great families of Merchant Mages, which my own family, House Mothril is a constituent element of, can sometimes be a little grasping and sometimes proud and overbearing, as a whole, the Nibenese are a cosmopolitan people happy to make newcomers feel part of the community. They are an open and welcoming people; open to all creeds, all cultures and all coins. Though the Divines comprise the most notable and powerful religious group, there are innumerable cults which call the Nibenese realm home, so those who keep a wise head and do not go out of their way to cause religious division should be fine. TO NIBEN BAY As we leave the gentle waters of Lake Rumare and proceed onto the upper Niben we pass by many historical and religiously important sites. The Western Bank of the Niben is where we end up gravitating toward, and Sure-Sail, our Argonian pilot, anchors us by the western shore for the night. Sure-Sail and his family are Argonian boat-folk from the Waterfront. Sure-Sail spent most of the first day and that evening babbling about his family and his people’s love of the river and the boat-trade. This is not an uncommon sentiment or occurrence among the Argonians of Nibenay, who love to brag about their mastery of the river and how much the “smooth skins” (pidgin-Jel for non-Saxhleel) need their skills to navigate the river. The Saxhleel call the Niben ‘Mother Niben’, and feel, probably justifiably, that they know the river best. When you begin the journey down to Niben bay, you should make sure to beware of the Daedric Shrine to Hircine which is hidden deep in the Great Forest, to the north of Bravil, and not far northeast of a local inn, known as the Inn of Ill Omen. The Shrine is allegedly the base camp for sweeping, wide ranging hunts, known as Bloodmoons, beneath the dark and forbidding boughs of the Great Forest. Beware. Another famed site is The Inn of Ill Omen, an infamous place, possessed of a macabre charm, and is said to be protected by Sithis himself. Allegedly, as the Third Era came to a close, the inn was the start of the ‘Great Treachery of Cheydinhal’, a shadowy conspiracy that brought the Dark Brotherhood onto the road to its current bleak condition. The Inn of Ill Omen is, according to rumor, a site of pilgrimage for members of the Dark Brotherhood and the Morag Tong. According to local legend, the ‘Dread Father’, as those in the shadows know Sithis, is beseeched for forgiveness by siblings of the Brotherhood, and praised and thanked by Tong members, for bringing low their heretical enemies. The Inn of Ill Omen’s most infamous incident in recent years occurred on the ‘Night of Void’s Laughter’, shortly after the great riots of Bravil in 188, which apparently saw much suffering for the Dark Brotherhood. According to Nibenese gossip, the Black Hand called an emergency meeting in the Inn. When they finished their palaver, they exited the inn to find themselves face to face with the masters of the Tong. Then, beneath a rainy, moonless sky, Tong and Brotherhood danced with blades beneath the trees of the Great Forest. Corpses littered the inn’s grounds and were strung upon the eaves of the inn, the next morning. While the publican of the Inn of Ill Omen, Uvena Ules, is willing to trade these grisly tales with a shrug, locals will not speak of this subject. Within Niben Bay are two main sites. The first, and more significant, is the Isle of the Big Head. The root of the name of this island is quite simple to see. On the island, little more than a rocky outcropping in Niben Bay, are three enormous monolithic stone heads, arranged next to one another. From this island, quite regularly, at no particularly specified interval, comes loud, unnerving, maniacal laugher, which echoes across the bay. Though it seems a jolly, manic location, there are chilling and demented undertones to the laughter as well. Keep your wits about you here and avoid too much Skooma. The other site is Bravil. It is a silly place. It was the idea of the early Septims, perhaps Tiber Septim or his direct successors, to channel most of the vice and corruption from the Imperial City into Bravil, which sits adjacent to Elsweyr, and give it more or less free reign there. Although this served to reduce the levels of crime in the Imperial City, it very soon took its toll on Bravil, which had previously been a pleasant city, turning it into a slum-ridden, skooma fuelled stinkhole. Though home to a chapel of Mara, few criminals take the time to make devotions, and the beautiful temple is visited by only the most determined of pilgrims, many of whom prefer Riften (curiously, another renowned Skooma town). It is a city of vice, o’er-run by gangs and ruled by the Skooma trade. Its hereditary counts, the Orums, even have roots in the Skooma trade. Don’t go there, unless you want Skooma. Then just get out quickly. The only reason you might have to stay for extended periods in Bravil is if you want a lot of Skooma. Then, you would be advised to stay in your room and off the streets. As we move south from the smelly locales of Bravil, we begin sailing along a stretch of land with a controversial past. This is the Trans-Niben, a stretch of land claimed and conquered, during the second era, by the Khajit of the newly formed Elsweyr Confederacy, who settled on it quite extensively. When Tiber Septim began his unifications, the lands of Trans-Niben were among the first conquered during his campaigns in the south, but it was not until he had unified Tamriel that the Trans-Niben was ceded by agreement with the Mane, into Cyrodiil. Accounts vary whether it was Tiber, one of his early successors, such as Uriel I, the great Law-Maker, Morihatha I who reorganized the Imperial Province, or even Uriel VII, who made the arrangement. Suffice to say, the arrangement was made and the land along the western bank of the Niben and Niben Bay, south of Bravil, passed back into the jurisdiction of County Leyawiin. The Khajit of Elsweyr by and large accepted this change, but not before a band of terrorists disavowed by both the Khajit and Imperials arose to cause chaos and stoke the embers of the Niben Skooma trade into wildfire. These were the Renjira Krin, who ostensibly devoted themselves to opposing the cession of the Trans Niben, the Caro and Mothril Families of Leyawiin, the Counts of Bravil and the Royal Septim, Mede and Ocato Families of Cyrodiil for their alleged ‘unrighteous tyranny’. In the Fourth Era, the Renjira Krin were pacified by both the brutality of the Emperor Antigonus Mede and also the conciliation of Emperor Attrebus Mede. The Krin finally met their vicious swansong however, when they decided to adopt the new goal of opposing the Thalmor, a pursuit in which they grossly overestimated their capacity for success. INTO THE BLACKWOOD First impressions count. This is the truth, and it is a truth that has continued, in its own way, to vex historians and scholars of Cyrodiil to this day. When the legendary Topal arrived in the bay that would later bear his name, and began to traverse the river, finding, along the way, the numerous river-tribes that would come to be called ‘Nibeneans’ in later times, he first stopped in the region we now know as the Blackwood. For better or worse, perhaps due to oversight or loss of records, this area at the mouth of the Niben is the larger part of what remains from Topal’s descriptions in his journals. Later scholars overused the earliest descriptions of Cyrodiil he gave, neglecting the later entries, which admittedly, are less plentiful than the earlier chapters. This reliance on Topal’s early chapters, led to the infamous controversy of Cyrodiil being described as a jungle. Because a verdant jungle is exactly what the Blackwood is. And that is likely what your first impression of the land will be. Graced by only two roads, the Green and Yellow Roads, Blackwood is as verdant as Valenwood, and after the Great Forest, is the principal remaining woodland in Cyrodiil. Unlike the more temperate Great Forest, the Blackwood is tropical, humid and monsoonal in nature. Blackwood’s beauty is unsurpassed and rarely equaled in Cyrodiil and its charm is unique within the Imperial Province. Rain, which is a constant element of Blackwood life, and mist are the most common elements of Blackwood’s weather. Leyawiin boasts a very large and bright lighthouse, as to ensure that the Niben mist does not let ships go astray. But be wary, oh traveler, for though Blackwood is both beautiful and bounteous in the gifts of Kynareth, it is treacherous and dangerous also. Terrible swamp creatures dwell in its depths, some unique, many common to the depths of Black Marsh; Blackwood is a place where folk have come from across Cyrodiil to test themselves since time immemorial. As we sailed further south, Sure-Sail kept as keen an eye on the riverbank and the water as he did on the condition of our vessel. Giant snakes, Ogres, Jungle Goblins and fleshflies are not unusual sights in the Blackwood. Swamp trolls, which regularly reach at least two meters in height, sometimes three, are vicious predators, monstrously strong, but also blessedly stupid. Fire is the true tonic to the Swamp Troll. Naga-folk, which are kin to typical Saxhleel, but frighteningly serpentine and bestial, even to the many Argonians of the region, sometimes lurk in the jungles and waylay travelers. ‘Ware traveler, for the Naga-folk are expert ambushers and have none of the good humor of their Saxhleel cousins. The Wamasu is a quite large, and quite uncommon creature, rather drake-like in nature, but a vicious carnivore, with lightning based abilities. Sightings of the beasts are blessedly uncommon, however. Werecrocodiles are a hidden threat that stalk the waters of the swamp by night, instilling dread within all. But most terrifying of all is the Swamp Leviathan, a legendary serpent that is covered in spines that ascends from the depths of the Topal Bay to hunt. If there are even rumors of a swamp leviathan in the area, travelers should ensure they make themselves scarce. News of a Swamp Leviathan is usually well spread on Leyawiin’s streets, and the Counts have been known to close the gates and forbid outgoing traffic, in light of Swamp Leviathan sightings. While all these beasts are terrible to behold, in the Blackwood, they have a certain significance in the lives of the region’s natives. One and all are aware of the power and danger of the swamp creatures; historically, it is not unusual for young people, especially those of tribal backgrounds, to seek a beast and bring it back as a test of strength and tribal worthiness, or among more Imperialized citizens, to bring back a pelt or corpse as an element of the trials of Imperial Knighthood. Generally, this involves killing a smaller, standard troll or Ogre, or perhaps, slaying a tribe of Jungle Goblins and avoiding the more serious beasts. However, when I was to return home and take up my place as a Knight of Leyawiin, I was the first since the early Third Era to bring back a Wamassu. It is still a memory I recall with fondness. THE TALE OF LEYAN AND JORMUNGANDR The legendary founder of Leyawiin, Leyan Mothril, an Altmeri or Ayleid (the stories vary) knight in service to the Alessians, was charged by the Alessians to find the perfect spot for a port on Topal Bay, which could also command the entrance to the River Niben. Not only was there trouble from Black Marsh and Khajit soldiers fighting over the land, but the Nibenean, Argonian, Kothringi and Khajit settlers that lived at the mouth of the River were being harassed by a Swamp Leviathan of monumental size, which no blade could harm. The chroniclers of that time, who were apparently accompanying the Alessian expedition, state that the beast was the spawn of Hircine; the Nords in the company named it ‘Jormungandr’, which is Nordic for ‘World Serpent’. But according to the ancient tale, amidst an earth shaking storm on the Topal Coast, Lady Leyan, accompanied by her mercenaries, the Nibeneans, Argonians and Khajit, cornered Jormungandr, slew the great beast and put its Daedric thralls to rout. While hailed a heroine by the commoners, the jealous Alessians could not abide an Altmer ruling a Nibenese settlement. But the timely aid of Nocturnal allowed her to not only stay miraculously beneath the notice of the Alessians, allowing her to establish her family as a power in Leyawiin, the city she founded (but was not named Leyawiin until later) and the Blackwood, but the Lady of Night also gifted Leyan with a magical blade that let her pierce the beast’s hide and move through shadow. Though the Mothril family have always been patrons of the Chapel of Zenithar, there is an extremely ancient Shrine of Nocturnal deep within Blackwood, and it may well be that the Mothrils, who for centuries thereafter, ruled as Counts- later Princes- of Leyawiin, may have once paid tribute to the Lady of Night. When the dust had settled, the mighty serpent lay dead. The tale is an interesting one, if not rather fanciful and almost certainly apocryphal, but its antiquity and popularity in Nibenay has given my family, the Mothrils, a convenient, if not popular, tale of origin with which to cement their place in the cosmopolitan, but often cutthroat fabric of Nibenay’s nobility. LEYAWIIN, THE JEWEL OF THE BAY Leyawiin is the jewel of the Topal Bay and one of the only two ports in Cyrodiil. Since the war with the Dominion has led to a far greater militarization in Anvil, which now plays host to one of the largest naval shipyards in the Empire, and greater walls, Leyawiin is the city with the more commercial flavor and is responsible for handling a greater amount of cargo. It is also one of the principal offices and the primary southern port of the East Empire Company, and is the home of my family, House Mothril of Blackwood. Although Leyawiin is a bustling port, and the hub for sea trade for the Nibenese, it is also the site responsible for the security and integrity of the Niben, and thus, both the fortifications of Leyawiin and who may enter the river are both serious matters. These are issues constantly addressed and readdressed, so as to ensure the best security on the most vital waterway of Cyrodiil. No one in Leyawiin has forgotten the terror of the Aldmeri arrival in the night outside the city, and none are willing to see that happen again, so expect tight security. Since the Fourth Era began, Leyawiin, diverse and distant from the Imperial City, has been ruled not by a Count or Imperial Duke, but by a ruler known as the Archon, often chosen from the Caro family, but other families, including the Mothrils, have held the title as well. Unlike the other cities of Cyrodiil, Leyawiin was never conquered by force of arms by Titus Mede I, but swore vassalage to him in return for maintaining many of its rights and privileges won during the Stormcrown Interregnum. This autonomy of Leyawiin has persisted, despite the presence of the Legion in the region growing immeasurably since the Great War. Leyawiin is chiefly defended by the Leyawiin guard, a contingent of the Imperial Legion organized along the lines of the other town guards of Cyrodiil and also by the Knights of the White Stallion, a chivalric order devoted to the defense of the Archons and the removal of river bandits. One thing you will notice about Leyawiin is that, excepting the Imperial City, it is surely the most diverse city in Cyrodiil, perhaps all Tamriel. As well as the ever present populations of Saxhleel and Khajit, both of whom are considered more native than migrant, Dunmer, Altmer and Bosmer, and every other race possible is found in this city. Whilst the city is built over two sides of the mouth of the Niben, the populace does not gather into differing quarters based on race, as occurs in some other cities in Tamriel. Despite the issues that have arisen between Dunmer, Khajit and Saxhleel, all of these populations, and others, are represented on both banks of the Niben. Appropriately for the only seaport of Nibenay, the mercantile heart of Tamriel, thousands of shops are to be found in the streets of Leyawiin. The city is a commercial haven. Since the city is a port, many unique goods can be found, which are unique in all of Cyrodiil, even Tamriel. The heart of Leyawiin is the Grand Bazaar, which is not one cohesive structure like in the Imperial City, but centered on the Guildhall Square, and stretching along the Harbor Esplanade, and along the river, in a chaotic jumble of market stalls. The whole affair is chaotic, unweildy and entirely without planning’ many Khajit say it ‘feels like home’, but it can be confronting to those expecting Imperial City style orderliness. There are almost no areas of Leyawiin where there aren’t stalls and markets happening, which is appropriate, since there are almost always ships coming in with new goods. What makes the Bazaar and indeed Leyawiin in general, unique is that the bazaar is largely constructed as an under-cover market, so where it is impractical to construct walled roofed structures, great swathes of the market-orientated districts of the city are arranged under tarpaulins, which makes Leyawiin, seem to some, like a city of tents and beggars, as many merchants simply sleep on the street, behind their stalls. This is not the case however; Leyawiin is a city of commerce and of trade. But not even the Saxhleel enjoy being drenched all the time, so tarpaulins are a must, so people can continue doing business at all hours. Additionally, the haphazard nature of the bazaar’s layout can make Leyawiin’s streets seem narrow and unclear- it is a good plan to get a guide. Greasing a beggar’s palm should do the trick. Sometimes the streets can be elegant, colonnaded avenues constructed by the Mothrils in ancient times, but turn a corner, and the street you are on could merely be the small walkway between the hundreds of vendor’s stalls that stretch before you. There are no maps to Leyawiin’s streets. The truth is, as most Leyawiin locals will advise, that only Zenithar can steer you in the right direction to your destination- which you will reach after the right purchases. Even though they aren’t an entirely necessary fixture- Leyawiin is already very humid, and the regularity of rain means many people who wish to wash off simply remove their shirts and stand in the downpour- Leyawiin does have a substantial bathhouse. The bathhouse, which is one of the larger structures within Leyawiin, is a massive columned structure, which sprawls over an area several city blocks in size. While it was originally built by the Mothril Princes, the bathhouse was expanded exponentially during the reign of the Akaviri Potentates, who enjoyed the comforts of the south and especially enjoyed steaming themselves in the great bathhouses of Cyrodiil and in baths they built within the elaborate palaces they built themselves. Castle Leyawiin, where the Archons hold their court, is a mighty structure, built originally by my family, House Mothril, during the First Era. Although worn by time, it retains its charm. Constructed from black marble, in tribute to old Altmeri Styles with some Khajit influenced elements added as well, the building, though centuries old and covered in moss and vines still stands out, towering over the rest of Leyawiin’s buildings. Dinner parties here have a reputation of being exciting affairs, and once, under the dour countess Alessia Caro, Sanguine (or one of his agents) was held to have appeared in the castle and caused all kinds of raucous behavior. According to rumor, during the full moon, fine Elsweyr Skooma is served to guests who have done service to Leyawiin. Another great landmark is the Great Chapel of Zenithar. The tower of the chapel looms over the buildings and jungle foliage and people of all walks of life come here to seek counsel with the god of labor and commerce to find out how to succeed in life and business. There are also, invariably, large numbers of hawkers who happen to occupy the chapel at some time or another, so don’t be surprised if your prayers are interrupted by a sales pitch. After all, the more times the peddler pitches, the more chances he or she has of making a sale. It is, however, considered poor form to drop profanities within the chapel, as irritating as peddlers may be, so keep your “Xuuth” and your “N’wah” to yourself, regardless of how you feel. Finally, the ‘Eye of Zenithar’, also known as the Great Lighthouse of Leyawiin, is the giant beacon which serves as the guide to incoming traffic hoping to trade in Nibenay and as a guide to all who would traverse the mists of Blackwood that Leyawiin is near. Since the end of the Great War, the chiefest controversy to strike the city of Saint Topal is the growing Thalmor Presence. The people of Leyawiin have played host to large numbers of Altmer, especially since many boatloads of refugees arrived at the mouth of the Niben during the Thalmor takeover. Though the Justiciars who come to the city, who have a manor in the noble district set aside for their use, claim only to be present to foster relations with their 'wayward Altmeri kin' and to reside in Leyawiin for purposes of the White Gold Concordat, the people of the city have been on edge at the newcomer's presence. This feeling is especially strong amongst the Altmeri residents, who fear their city will be the site of a repeated 'Night of Green Fire', the dreaded massacre in the streets of Sentinel. Thankfully, the vigilance of the Leyawiin guard and the Knights of the White Stallion have prevented this. Staying in Leyawiin is a diverse experience. There are many, many varied accommodations to choose from, but there are a few rough guidelines to choose from. The lowest form of accommodation is the barrel. And by this, I literally mean, a barrel on the street you decide to occupy. Pros: It’s free. Cons: It’s bloody cramped and you may have to fight a beggar for habitation rights. Court cases have been known to arise between barrel claimants, so be aware. But having spent some time living in one, it’s not an entirely bad deal, especially if you chance upon a Rum barrel, although without giving yourself time to stretch, it does get a little cramped. Be sure your barrel does not become the receptacle for stolen goods, which is unfortunately a favorite tactic of some of the local scallywags. The second level of accommodation is the Skooma Den: these are not entirely reputable establishments, most often by the docks established solely for the purpose of tourists and locals consuming imported Skooma and Moon Sugar, often brought straight across the border from Elsweyr, Black Marsh or shipped in on one of the many Ebony Ships from Morrowind. They’re cheap, but divey and patrons frequently leave these establishments devoid of both memory and a pair of pants. The third classification of accomodation is the pleasure palace. The outlook of such establishments is self evident. Gambling and prostitution are the order of the day- or night- in these dens, but rooms (with companionship) are available. These establishments can be found in every single district of the city, although some of them are certainly more reputable and classy than others. One of the most infamous and prestigious of pleasure palaces is the ‘The House of the Beautiful’, staffed by Altmer of Leyawiin’s large expatriate community and founded by a disinherited lady of House Mothril who returned to Leyawiin after being evicted by Khajit invaders and nonetheless made herself monumentally wealthy as a courtesan. The establishment is named not only for the beauty of its Altmeri courtesans (remember to use this term), but for the old Altmeri secret society which sought modernization in Alinor during the Septim Era. Many of the ladies or the families of the ladies employed here were driven from Alinor by Thalmor repression for one reason or another, but just as many are Cyrodiilic born. Allegedly, many of them had links to the group. In recent years it has become noted as a place of contention, since Thalmor officials are fond of patronizing the establishment, which has led to contention with the local populace, and at no time was this more evident than in 4E 189, during the ‘Golden Spires Massacre’. Allegedly, a pair of Thalmor Justiciars were murdered within and a large group of Thalmor Guardians arrived to drag the ladies of the house out for punishment. This evinced unchecked fury from the Leyawiin townsfolk, who impaled every one of the guardians on the lampposts of the street outside, resulting in an avenue of the eponymous ‘Golden Spires’. The fourth classification are the inns, which vary in quality and cost. They range from vast, luxurious establishments such as the Saint Topal Inn, built in hybrid Ayleid-Imperial style, and which abuts the shores of the harbor and overlooks the mouth of the River from the bay. It also has a casino. Do not expect a cheap stay. In the middle are the inns for the middle classes. These are run by peoples of all races in Leyawiin, from Khajiit taverns run by resident clan mothers, to inns and cookeries run by respected Argonian Fishwives. At the opposite end of the spectrum from the luxury establishments are small bazaar flophouses, of which there are innumerable examples. Just pay a coin and ask a city bum for a good recommendation. Additionally, at the Topal Shores, just down the coast, east of Leyawiin, is a vast noble-orientated resort, where many wealthy and powerful of Cyrodiil come to spend coin and time in leisure. Finally, if you are fortunate, or of high enough birth, you may be privileged enough to be invited to stay in Castle Leyawiin, as guests of the Archon. You might also be asked more forcefully to stay in Castle Leyawiin if you break the law. CONCLUSION So we come to the end of yet another journey and guidebook. Having sailed to the mouth of the Niben, where else does the intrepid traveler have to venture but out into the Topal Bay and thence into the trade lanes of Tamriel? Continue to venture with me, Rivalen Mothril, to see the sights of Tamriel.
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