I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the Book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written. -- Atrus

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Karffin’ Mofang Membrane

This post contains spoilers for Obduction.  If you do not wish to be spoiled, move along, please.
Also, if you are looking for unbelievably quality images, don’t.  Because you won’t find them here.  My modest laptop dates to spring 2013, so I am running Obduction only on medium quality graphics.

I had a terrible thought…eventually I’m going to have to stop trusting people in this game.  Is C.W. trustworthy?  Knowing me, I’ll choose the wrong person!  Also, what if I have already made an unfixable mistake?  What if the game is the sort that’s “no going backwards, only forwards,” as my high school microbiology used to say when students had questions?  I guess we will see.

I checked in with C.W. after I got most of the power working.  He told me I should disengage that red laser beam, and then after this my task would be accessing the membrane.  I noticed in this workshop yard the button to open that door on the far left that had been locked was now lit.  I pressed the button and the door opened, granting me access to the stairs I had seen from the adjacent track.  They led up to a workstation as well as small train cars.  One set of these was blocking the door I had tried opening before I looked at the red laser beam.  Another set was on the tracks blocking the path to a door at the far end of the tracks.  Would I be able to get there?  Is there a way to move these mini trains?

Can I get back there?
I moved along to the workstations where there were two hologram devices.  One seemed like a practice hologram, a test.  The other was supporting a rock that was shining with the red beam’s lights.  Could there be hologram devices in those three rock piles I’d seen?

The tables were littered with papers and notebooks.  Unfortunately, on my computer, the notebooks cut off at the bottom.  So far this hasn’t been too devastating for my gameplay, but then again, I don’t know what I’m missing.

Something's missing
Most useful was the paper explaining how to deactivate Mofang devices.  This ability comes from Villein technology (we will learn about various creatures later), and it involves the blue laser.  Just shoot the laser at Mofang tech and it falls apart.  From the test hologram recording, Farley mentions that the hologram machines are Mofang technology.  And they have red beams of light.  It stands to reason that the giant red laser, therefore, is Mofang tech that needs to be disabled, which will then disintegrate the membrane.  Also, I should be able to dissolve those glowing rock piles.  I just need to use the blue laser, which is attached to a machine above.  The button to lower it is on the support beam behind the second table.  When I pushed it, the blue laser machine lowered to the track below.

I also found the lockdown list, which is helpful to check off everywhere I’ve been that’s necessary.  Also, there was a list of where the hologram devices were supposed to be installed—only five had been installed according to the mayor’s wishes.  But clearly there are at least three others under rock piles.  Is there yet another that I haven’t found yet?  Another very useful bit of information was written on a post-it note which gives the number code to enter Farley’s house.  Hm…there must be another way in.  Lastly I found an enigmatic document about “ambassador seeds”…is this the thing that brought me here?  But this discusses a “swap machine”—surely they haven’t been able to harness these things?  I guess I’ll find that out too.

After rifling through these notes, I moved on to the giant blue battery.  It was humming, but when I opened the control panel, the cable(?) wasn’t plugged in.  I plugged it in and looked at the paper left inside, but as of now, I’m still not sure what the information is telling me.  After I plugged in the cable I shut the lid and decided to wander around the battery.  However, I didn’t find anything to move or manipulate.  There is, however, a giant orange cable not attached to anything.  Is it supposed to be?  I can’t seem to move it anywhere, though.

How plugged in is this battery?

Since I was up here on this track, I decided to follow it.  It led to a dead end, that is, because the railroad ties had collapsed.  The path jutted to the left alongside the water tower.  The yellow hose was affixed to the water tower and it had a little lever attached to the nozzle.  I turned the lever and a few drops of water trickled out.  The pipe was broken off at the bottom, so I’m not sure what good I did, if any.  If there was any residual water in the tower, then I guess it’s in the tree now.

Now time to play with my laser car!  I returned to the workshop yard to that track where the laser had descended, and there it was waiting for me.  I nipped inside, jumped on the green seat, and acquainted myself with the controls.  When the green lever on the upper right is flipped up, I can access my laser.  It moves up, down, and sideways, and where it’s pointing can be seen on the little screen in front.  A button at the base of the screen turns the laser on or off.  When the green lever is flipped down, I can drive my little laser car, my BMW as I call it.

The task was simple.  Destroy the red laser and the three shiny rock piles.  However, the one was as yet inaccessible because the force field was not yet deactivated to allow me to get there.  I drove my little car out of its garage and found a prime location to shoot the red beam machine.  Happily, it was a quick job.  The red laser burst into glowing gold particles, and the sky was awashed in similar particles as the membrane was dissolved.

Now time to destroy some rocks!  I drove my BMW to the first pile of shiny rocks that blocked one of the tracks and obliterated it with my laser.  Then, I drove all the way out to that second pile of rocks behind the large door and smashed them, revealing another passageway leading to the force field.  It was possible to go through the force field now, but I had to get into Farley’s house first.

Farley’s House
I remembered there was still an area beyond the train yard I had not yet explored.  I ran back there, and passed the trains to find a red brick building.  Its only purpose that I have noted is giving me access to the land beyond it.  On this route, I got a better look at a very odd machine in the middle of a lake (this turned out to be the “Bleeder” which is quite an ominous name, no?).

How do I get to you?!
I moved past it, through a landscape of red rock and not much else until I came to a tunnel entrance.  Across from it was a path leading to some secret stairs that led to another area of the force field.  I entered the tunnel and came to a locked door with a panel to enter the digital key.  This must be what that post-it referred to.  I punched in 6341, and it worked!

I was now in Farley’s house.  The first thing I did was unlock the front door.  Then I had a look around, and it was a gold mine of information.  Posters, papers, notebooks…lots to look at.  One of the better bits of information is a map of Hunrath.  Not only does it give a good idea of where everything is so you can see where you haven’t been yet, but also there are faint green streaks at the edges which indicate entrances through the membrane.  This place just gets bigger and bigger.  Across from this on the table was a projector.  One slide outlined the circle and had another circle drawn in the middle by the tree.  The other slide was an overlay of a bunch of black dots, 17 in all and arranged in a symmetrical pattern.  Not sure about that.

Two other posters include one that I had to flip down from the top of the blackboard with the number 15 at a 45-degree angle.  The other shows a map-in-progress of all the worlds that are somehow linked together (including Earth!).

Then, there were several documents.  One gave a brief history of the first arrival here in Hunrath, or rather Hunrath’s first arrival here, wherever “here” is.  Another notebook discussed the three forms of seeds, and the other notebook giave detailed information about the various lifeforms that they’ve encountered.  First, were the Mofang (from Soria) with whom they were at war.  Why, I do not know.  Maybe I missed that?  Then there were the Arai beetle-like creatures I’ve already seen in Hunrath.  They come from a world called Kaptar.  And last there were the Villein, from Maray, which seem so cool on paper.  But scary also.  Their technology is admirable.  The notebooks spoke of how the people of Hunrath had been able to communicate with these creatures.  The Mofang mimic humans, the Villein use a number system (base 4 as I would come to learn…oy vey), and the Arai can understand simple commands.  I really hope I won’t have to communicate with any of them!  The last thing of note in this house was a tape recorder by the window.  It had a recorded message from Caroline which was alarming to hear…the last moments of these people here, except for C.W. who had locked himself in his vault.  Why was he still here?  And where did everyone else go?

Buggy notebooks/pads

Through the Looking Glass
Now for some further progress…at last time to enter the membrane.  Since the nearest membrane entrance to me was at the cemetery (where my mother is buried), that is where I went.  It led out onto the plateau on the other side of the damn bridge.  I had made a quick sketch of the map in Farley’s house, noting where all the membrane entrances were so that I could jot down where they went.  I soon discovered that they essentially were portals to the other side of Hunrath.  I went about trying to find all of them.  And wouldn’t you know, the only two I haven’t been able to access link to each other.  I’m talking, of course, about that path up near the control for the dam.  Where I can’t now reach because it disabled the elevator.  And because of this, I can’t access the Bleeder either.  What to do?

How do I get down to you?
Long story short, I managed to get all the rest of the entrances and I mapped them on the map.  And by “mapped them” I mean I superimposed color-coded arrows across an image of the map.  I didn’t do any GIS or anything of that nature.  Although, how cool would that be as a homework assignment? 

Example of my superior mapping skills (hardy har har)
As I continued looking for membrane entrances and exits, I found one that leads to the plateau which overlooks the third pile of laser-light rocks.  Also, it was near a track.  I just needed to take my BMW through here to blast that thing open.  However, the track was blocked by a door.  I had to find yet another membrane entrance to get on the other side of that door into the scrapyard.  The entrances to use for this task and to get into the scrapyard are the pink, purple, light green, and dark green arrows on the left.  Once I had that gate open, I drove my little car to the edge of the promontory overlooking the shining rocks and blasted them with my mighty laser!  I have two questions here: first, how do I get down there?  And second, what are these square holes?  There are so many of them and they are all question marks to me.

What are you?!
Finally, through arrow pink, I made it into the scrapyard.  It reminds me of one of the scary parts in The Brave Little Toaster with that evil magnet that wanted to destroy the appliances.  Anyway, part of the fun of this game is seeing all the objects backers made.  For instance, this pewter whale…hahahaha!  There was a ratty old chair also, and a very lovely blue vase to name a few.

The scrapyard had a fantastic view, not just of junk, but of a large portion of Hunrath.  A makeshift elevator (made of construction machinery), conveyed me down to the garage area, but inside the corrugated iron area.  I found another control panel which turned on the power to the remaining areas of Hunrath that still needed it.  Then, I went into the garage and opened the door to the fuel area, so that now more places were accessible without having to do 500 things all over again.  On the wall in the garage were a bunch of license plates.  I figured it might be useful to write down their numbers and states.  You never know in these games.  And oh how right I was!  Sometimes I am smart.

For the life of me I can't remember what the scoopy bit is called.  I'm an old lady, 30 years old and already my memory fails me.

An odd machine stood in the adjacent room, kind of like a humanoid robot thing with a bunch of arms.  In its very center was a panel of blue dots made of some kind of gel.  This robot was connected to a large calculator device.  A sheet of paper on the desk informed me that this was one of the contraptions the Villein offered other species in order to communicate with them.  Their number system is base 4, and the document provides some kind of homework assignment.  Enter the patterns shown on the form into the robot gel dots, and it should tell you the corresponding number.  I managed to obtain all the numbers for the worksheet by using the device.

It was only while writing this that I noticed these blue dots correspond to the black dots that marked the map on the projector slide.  Huh.  Interesting…Great.  Something to keep me up tonight.

The journey in Hunrath continues in the next post…


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