Friday, October 23, 2015

Boss List (Binding Universe)

Hello. The author was quite sure it was still Thursday, but apparently he was an hour off. The most likely culprit is Daylight Savings Time.
In any case, this is a list of bosses in a videogame the author had been scripting, but considering it's age, likely incomplete.

Bunkerbuster: A heavy assault, antiarmor, and anti emplacement unit. Early model, fed enough weapons that it’s grown beyond the original size and firepower specifications, at the cost of gaining enough independence to be a potential hazard if allowed to develop further. The project was shelved due to lack of subtlety, precision, or low cost per unit compared to the newly developed Wraith units, and the only working prototype was kept at the main storage facility as a guard dog/building specific mascot that rarely saw combat. (But was still pleasantly intimidating, and could destroy anything else stored in that warehouse if it escaped.) Vant crossed paths with it fairly early in his rampage, and the guards only started getting really serious after he destroyed it in three minutes and consumed the remains. It was four legged, had six rocket launchers, two to each arm, one each for the shoulders, and its four claw legs had the dual purpose of allowing it to brace itself and dig through almost all materials. A head-mounted cutting laser was intended for later designs, but never implemented.

The Lords of Silence: The Twelve Lords of Silence, four of which are reserved for the Queen of Dead Echoes’ honor guard. They are all weaker, weaponless, nonsentient imitations of her. Fought twice, once when the eight deployed as a defense against airstrikes drive Vant back indoors, where they don’t have enough room to maneuver, and the second time shortly after Vant absorbs Bombshell, where he’s actually able to hit them. They get called back shortly after he starts killing them, but he still gets at least three. He is, however, incompatible with their masks and robes, as they’re designed to show absolutely no identity, and conceptually opposed to his nature as a face-stealer variant.

Rook: The leader of the elite squad of security androids native to the facility. Essentially a flying, better armored, ridiculously fast Shock Trooper, it uses rockets placed strategically around it’s body to outpace most targeting systems, including Vant’s, and has an inherent immunity to homing effects. Four working copies have been made, and trained in assistive movement, but mass production was being held off until a solution could be found to the glitch that caused them to pause when they made contact with each other. The four prototypes ambushed Vant soon after the Lords of Silence drove him back inside, but he was (predictably) able to exploit the glitch to defeat and consume them.

Yuuyel: A Machine King commando sent to investigate the facility for completely unrelated reasons, who ended up crossing paths with Vant. Vant presumed he was another guard, Yuuyel decided that the rampaging robotic abomination was probably something he was allowed to shoot, and they dueled. He was also presumed to be working with Vant from approximately the minute he made himself known, and the “shoot first, questions later” attitude of the base security only added to SRF's legal embarrassment after the fact.
Yuuyel is the protagonist of Yuuyel Mode, which follows his misadventures as he attempts to use his Covert Entry Warrant and stealth specialization to discreetly sweep the Sulieman Research Facility for highly illegal weapons, only to be mistaken for an infiltrator working with the Rogue (Vant), and shot at. Uses a rocket launcher with an underslung plasma cutter, and has a grappling hook launcher attached to each limb. The trick to defeating him is to attack his grappling lines with heat or cold, and use explosives when he tries to hide. Electrocuting them also works, but only if he’s not grounded at the time.
(Author's Note: I designed this guy well before I ever played the unfortunately-named Noitu Love series. I attribute any resemblance to Rilo Doppelori solely to the fact that both robots and rocket launchers are cool.)

Bombshell: A research subject, Bombshell was believed to be a conglomeration of severely damaged Bluefire Drone, several Type III Combat Doppelgangers with the basic machinegun loadout, and a recently shot down jet fighter. The working theory was that the Type II Artificial Wraith had attempted to repair itself with nearby materials and accidentally absorbed the not-quite-metal of a mostly dead Combat Doppelganger, which was looking for new parts to copy. It is believed to have either then shot down or merely recovered a previously crashed fighter/bomber, and proceeded to absorb it. It is known to be mostly still loyal to the U.S. military, and capable of flight, transformation between several preset modes, and generating complex ammunition types, all facilitated by the 'Bluefire' matter reorganization phenomenon. It can also apparently make generated projectiles explode into Bluefire on contact, suggesting more innovation than normally expected of a drone, and was being vetted for tampering before it was destroyed by Vant.
(Author's Note: Imagine a robot grim reaper without the scythe, wrapped in blue flames, whose cape is basically a miniature, curved/split-into-four-'petals' Blackbird plane. And the skeleton can vanish as the cape becomes a plane again. That's Bombshell, and he's a Mirror Boss to Vant.)

Tanner Hobson: An optional, hidden boss, she made a segmented whip/chain/club out of pistols, with hinges attached to the bottom of the barrel and the back of the slide. The triggers were also removed, although the trigger guard was kept for the handle. While it was theoretically possible to reload manually, she kept it loaded with magic, and designed the hinges such that they couldn’t end up pointing any of the barrels at herself with any ease. She made it with facility supplies, deducted from her own paycheck, as something of a hobby, and used the working prototype to attack Vant at least partially because she wanted to see how well it worked. Put up a reasonable fight, and ran after being disarmed. Vant was unable or unwilling to follow.

The Queen of Dead Echoes: An attempt to copy the Dead Messengers, with several misconceptions about their actual creation process. As a result, she’s powerful but quite flawed, and her weapon, Piercing Echo, was created for her and bonded to her at birth, unlike a true Dark Nature. Her actual inherent powers allow her to replicate or cancel sounds that occurred in the local area, including shockwaves, and travel at the same speed. This allows her to match velocities with supersonic projectiles, one major distinction from the Lords of Silence, and she can also produce noise rather than simply modulating silence, however they do share in common the inability to move slower than the speed of sound. Her movement abilities are shared with her weapon, which takes the form of a five pointed star that splits into psuedo boomerangs. Freeing her is Vant’s objective, although she is quite possibly the final boss.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A history of Pactmaking (Observed Universe)

This is one history of Pactmaking in the Observed universe. It may or may not be correct.

In the Observed universe, Powers are based on Pacts, not the other way around. The First True Power was something like a shared fantasy, allowing simple descriptions to evoke much more detailed scenes, providing faster, more advanced communication than would otherwise be possible. These were not always fully accurate: Lies, delusions, and the simple limits of memory and perspective could translate almost as easily as the truth. But the scenes were curious for two reasons. First, that both parties could always agree on the details when they shared one, although they almost never appeared from the perspective of an actual creature present at the event, and second, that they were not always consistently achievable, even with the exact same people and the exact same story.

There was a man, generations before the first Pact was devised, who had devoted himself to studying this phenomenon. His true name has probably been lost to the mists of time; all the myths call him some variant of Andralusia, a word meaning Wise One, but there are some hints that this meaning came into being afterwards. In any case, his work was extensive, cataloging the numerous factors that seemed to influence whether a vision would happen or not, and what visions could show. He made early forays into how it rarely hindered combat, but he was primarily concerned with how personal biases could affect visions, and more troublingly, how the factors that most influenced successful visions seemed to be the drama they involved - even if none of the people involved knew it. He posited that the visions were not truly those of humans, but that they were simply sharing the sight of things outside the world, be it angels in heaven or devils in hell.
This was by far his most controversial point, as the First True Power had long been thought a natural phenomenon, exclusive to humans, and it had also been proved that trainable human action was a necessary factor in making them possible. Nevertheless, he managed to get enough of the local church on his side that he wasn’t executed for heresy, and his theories were mostly left alone, not quite in obscurity.

Several generations later, another man would look at Andralusia’s inconclusive research into midcombat visions, and realize that not only did they rarely hinder the viewer, they also appeared to grant greater strength and motivation, even when initially triggered by paralysis or indecision. He posited that the connection to the true viewers of the visions granted some power that both parties could manipulate, and believed that this could finally prove their existence. He devised a contract, in which he would make one of two simple choices based on different stimuli, and would be given power to work with at the same time, so he could learn what was possible with it. He tried several different methods of attracting attention to it, finally succeeding with a simple but difficult game of skill (bouncing a ball against a wall), which he challenged the Observer to beat.
To his surprise and fascination, it did. In one try.
His physical performance was improved, albeit within expected parameters, and was also remarkably uniform; there were very few random or wasted movements, despite the simplicity of the instructions he had made himself susceptible to. He suspected that that simplicity was in fact the cause, and he was mostly correct; he hadn’t specified free movement otherwise, and the power he was channeling optimized his stance. Several more tests correlated this, and he realized that it was probably impossible to channel the power granted by the connection in any way not previously specified, explaining something about visions. As to the Observer’s apparent skill, he had several theories, but assumed that the most likely explanation was that they were simply some degree of omniscient.
He immediately set out to learn the limits of what was possible with his Pact, starting with whether or not he could modify it while it was still running. He learned that it was possible but very difficult to do so without also changing his physical abilities, such as picking up a weapon or tool, and that simple effects were the easiest to grant, although they could be layered to achieve more fantastic abilities fairly easily. He spent quite some time playing around with various devices and the powers they granted, but he wasn’t done yet. At this point, his suspicions of the Observers true nature were rudimentary, based solely on the fact that it hadn’t killed him during his testing despite having obvious difficulty, but his eventual confirmation that they weren’t bound by time in the same way as humans came completely by accident. He was testing a new type of movement when his Observer made him dodge several obstacles he hadn’t seen while sharing it’s sight. This was unsurprising, what was surprising was that he learned of a much less frustrating path after he had already terminated all Observation Windows, with more rewards.

He eventually figured out that he could create a clause that would improve his powers as he fulfilled simple conditions, such as collecting materials or completing challenges.
He realized fairly quickly that if he made the conditions for advancement too simple, his Observer would lose interest, having gained some experience with their psychology in the course of his studies.
And so he made his Pact enhance some aspects of new things he encountered, thus creating scaling difficulty. It worked... spectacularly.

At this point, the stories all start conflicting again, but it is known that that man known to modern historians only as the Old Soul proceeded to wreak a swath of destruction across the countryside. He then appears to have paused for a bit, possibly as the ruler of a country, and was sealed away by an unknown party for a minimum of a quarter century.
He has been freed at least once since then, usually by a greater Pactmaker. See: The Old Soul, Ouroboros Imprisonment, Historical Pactmakers

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dark Light Progression (Excelion Universe)

Hi. The author, sadly, has not the time to edit this now, but would like to point out that the classification here is flawed, due to the people who made it working from incomplete data. Enjoy a bit of fluff he wrote for Grace, who he may not have introduced properly yet.

Stage One: Extinguisher Syndrome. Prevents stage two. Physical effects are slightly enhanced strength, immunity to pain, and eyes glowing a faint purple.
Stage Two: Subject gets weaker and more brittle, due to the muscular system beginning to fragment. Subject is producing Dark Light Particles, but in levels low enough to only trigger Extinguisher Syndrome in people within roughly a foot of their exposed skin.
Stage Three: Same as Stage Two, but with the addition of Extinguisher Syndrome. Mental processes are degraded, but to a slightly lesser degree then most Stage One affectees, and Dark Light progress is halted, making this the second most common stage. Further progression at this point is rare, as anyone who reaches Stage Two and then contracts Extinguisher Syndrome eventually fights Dark Light off completely if left uninterrupted.
Stage Four: Subject is significantly more fragile, and subdermal segmenting begins to happen in force. Probably includes significant mental boosts, although the personality that surfaces due to this is usually quite a bit more simple and short term oriented than the original, although this is probably due mainly to Extinguisher Syndrome. As no one has been known to stay in this stage for more than a day, and none of the known cases were conscious at the time. Very little is known about this stage directly, mainly due to the lack of subjects, and most of what is believed is guesswork based on Stage Five.
Stage Five: If a Stage Two patient falls unconscious long enough to reach Stage Four, and then wakes up, they will almost immediately contract Extinguisher Syndrome. They then usually regress to Stage Three in a matter of minutes, but sometimes, rarely, stay in Stage Five. Stage Five is characterized by enhanced strength, which resembles telekinetic manipulation of the individual body segments more than actual musculature, most of which which has crystallized to varying degrees. Stage Five also includes more a coherent mind than any prior stage, to the point that they resemble people functioning under a large disconnect, such as the side effects of some sedatives. It should be noted that despite having fewer restraints, for good or ill, they are not stupid. They are generally quite clever, if somewhat slow to act on it, and may become more introverted than they were before their transformation. Due to Grace’s unique level of control over her individual segments, it has been proposed that she reclassified as Stage Six, with the current Stage Six being reclassified Stage Seven, but with the currently tiny sample base to have demonstrated either, the reclassification has been deemed irrelevant for the time being.
Stage Six: Only one known case exists on record; Subject Tiamat. Or Grace, as she prefers. A temporary effect only, but an incredibly powerful one. Upon activation, Grace segments completely, and the shards turn an off white as opposed to the obsidian they were. Significantly more long range telekinesis becomes available, at the cost of most precision. Interestingly, the duration of the telekinesis can apparently be consciously charged, so long as the shard is in contact with the main mass, implying that it is based on a similar principle to detached forcefields. Unlike Stage Six, which seems to at least mostly follow conservation of mass, Stage Seven seems to ignore it almost entirely, generating new shards within seconds of loss. As there is no evidence of extradimensional storage, this lends more weight to the theory that the shards are forcefield based.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Syndrome Expression (Complexes Universe)

It is late. Nevertheless, the author has found something that should have been posted ages ago, so you get an extra long post! Lucky you.

The defining aspect of a Hero is conviction. They express when a human makes the decision to stand for their morals against the entire world, if necessary, and their powers reflect this, both in that they separate the Heroes from the world and that they can change their shape, but not their own form. They tend to be honest and straightforward, but this seems to be a side effect of the expression criteria. Heroes are instinctively uncompromising, and there is a notable tendency for them to become intolerant of people they don’t like and suspicious of anyone else’s authority.

In terms of combat style, they tend to start out as sneaky melee tricksters, and end up as incredibly powerful battlefield controllers. Their learning curve is the shortest of the three, and once they figure out how to cut things by phasing tiny sections of them, they are close to unstoppable without powers of one’s own.

The defining aspect of a Rival is yearning, or perhaps desire for power. By nature, Rivals are incomplete, both physically and mentally, and can only grow when striving for something beyond their reach. The powers express when someone becomes willing to tear themselves apart, to destroy themselves in mind and body for the sake of a single goal. As soon as that decision is made, they start crafting their armor. Rival powers reflect this determination, focusing the force their armor conducts towards a single target. The oldest Rivals dismiss the idea of “mastering” Rival Complex, stating that a full suit of armor, theoretically the end of Rival development, is merely a plateau and that striving for the unachievable is the only way a Rival may truly live. This leads to restlessness, which is often misdiagnosed as an inherent effect of Rival Complex.

In terms of combat ability, they start as only somewhat mobile martial artist/gymnast melee and projectile fighters, and eventually become nigh indestructible, practically unstoppable monstrosities with very few weaknesses. Their armor also seems to have variable mass, but so far this has only appeared to manifest in the most advanced cases where Rivals completed their original armor and then added more layers, so accurate testing is difficult to say the least.

The defining aspect of an Overlord, however, is betrayal. Overlord Complex manifests in those who betray themselves to the core, who abandon someone or something that defined them, who turn away from, or more rarely, towards danger, who give or take something that they defined themselves by holding or avoiding, and who do it too suddenly to be a natural growth. Their powers focus on pushing things out of place, and their minds are instinctively more duplicitous, manipulative, and prone to holding grudges. Overlord Complex is the one that convinced people that powers have mental effects, as it’s are by far the most obvious; empathy is stunted, often severely, guilt is possible but easily suppressed, and also disconnected from the instinct to keep secrets, which is severe and reasonably constant. Conversely, there is an impulsive need to show off, to draw attention, and to display power, which was probably the biggest giveaway that the effects weren’t natural. Overlord Complex also has the most instinctive aspect of any of the powers, in one facet only; the irises glow with Overlord energy fields. Care must be taken to suppress the effect, although the urge to do so when it is discovered is significant, suggesting a built incentive for training control. It is also the only obvious aspect of any of the powers when not being actively used, as it’s pretty much always on unless consciously suppressed. Hence, tired, angry, or partially awake Overlords tend to let it slip their control, causing their eyes to flash purple.

In terms of combat ability, Overlords start out as fragile ranged combatants, and progress to become superfast, superstrong flying artillery units.