Last time on Gemini Rue: an unexpected segue to our good friend Delta-Six.
This time on Gemini Rue: futuristic pistol combat!
So apparently this isn’t the first time Delta-Six has attempted to escape, and ‘the Director’ is pretty sick of his shenanigans. Luckily, one of the scientists involved in the memory wipe ‘found out what the director is doing’ (mystery!) and is going to help us escape.
A computer-voice welcomes us to the rehabilitation center for OH NO SUDDEN INTERRUPTION. All of this dancing around what’s going on with Delta-Six is actually handled surprisingly well, despite my sarcasm.
‘The director’ asks Delta-Six to confirm that the mind-wipe didn’t erase his ability to speak, which is apparently something that can and has happened in the past. He goes on to say that it’s time to get back to ‘training’. There is a 100% chance that this will involve learning how to kill people, and I’m not just saying that because I played ahead and know what’s about to happen.
BUT FIRST, a quick look at the inventory reveals that our sympathetic scientist friend gave us a crudely-drawn map…for a building that we can’t move around in freely. Well done, scientist guy.
The director tells us to go pick up a handgun, thus proving that I have precognitive abilities and should be hailed as a god among mere mortals.
It turns out this is one of those point-and-click games with combat, which could prove to be really interesting or really frustrating depending on how it’s implemented. Rather than explaining the combat system using words, I have embedded a YouTube video for your edification.
As you can see, the combat system is surprisingly complex for a point and click game. I look forward to dying horribly when I have to do it for real.
The director says that the facility Delta-Six is in is designed to train people to be ‘proper citizens’ again, which is clearly a euphemism for ‘mind-controlled super soldiers’. Either that or this is future-America and gun ownership is mandatory.
We get a ‘meal ticket’, which is good for three meals and is probably a way of controlling the prisoners/test subjects/whatever they are.
After a computer-voice scans us for ‘unauthorized testing apparatus’ (i.e. guns) we’re let out into a hallway with some mystery doors.
Poking around in this area reveals some doors we can’t open. Delta-Six also refers to himself as a ‘patient’, which is interesting.
Going off to the left, we find an open door and another patient! She’s a woman, so her uniform is pink instead of blue. Gendered clothing: not just for babies!
The mystery lady asks if we know who she is (we don’t), then steals the map that scientist gave us and calls us ‘Charlie’. Uh, okay then.
The next room over has a pair of elevators, which promptly break when we press the button to call them. I’m not sure I’d trust these guys to erase my memories without accidentally killing me, but what do I know.
Our friend the director asks us to fix the elevators. Shouldn’t there be people to do that? What happens if I find a way to climb the elevator shaft and escape? Either that or this is all part of the training.
There’s a crate near the elevator controls. Attempting to interact with it prompts a fairly humorous scene where Delta-Six stands there with his hands on it for several seconds until the Director reminds us how to move things (WASD, basically).
By moving the crate it’s possible to reach what is essentially a disconnected plug on the wall. Delta-Six just reaches up and plugs it back into a thing, which makes the elevators work again. That…seems like a bad way for elevators to work.
There are five floors to choose from once we get into the elevator, which instantly triggers what I like to call Elevator Anxiety. There’s something about elevators in video games that fills me with a weird sense of indecision – I always feel as if I can somehow choose the ‘wrong’ floor and miss something, or else that I’m going to do the floors in the incorrect order. Remember last time when it was possible to go to every single floor in Hibiscus Highrise? That’s exactly the kind of situation I dislike. What if I miss something?
I tend to breath a sigh of relief when a video game elevator turns out to only provide the illusion of choice…
…which is exactly what Gemini Rue does! The Maintenance floor just leads to a pair of locked doors (I’m guessing we’ll need to escape through there at some point), which the other floors just prompt a computer voice to tell us to go to the Mess Hall. Maybe that woman who stole our map is there.
We step out of the elevator on the fourth floor and immediately get mugged for our meal ticket. That seems like something that shouldn’t happen given the number of cameras watching everything.
Weirdly, the guy doing the mugging runs away as soon as he realises he just messed with Delta-Six. Good choice, buddy! If I had a handgun you’d be in real trouble right now.
The mess hall is full of people. It looks like there are actually four uniform colours: blue, reddish-pink, green and yellow. Presumably the significance of this will be explained shortly.
Nobody is the mood to talk (actually they react as if they’ve been lobotomized), so let’s move on. The next screen features a lone girl in a yellow uniform. According to the ancient laws governing adventure-game interactivity, any lone NPC is guaranteed to be significant, so let’s go talk to her.
It seems that Delta-Six and Mystery-Girl had come up with some sort of plan to find out where the training facility/dystopian re-education camp is located. Unfortunately, Delta-Six had his memories memory-wiped and is now completely useless at everything.
The girl reveals that her name is Epsilon-Five (officially the coolest SF name ever). Delta-Six’s name is…Charlie. So we have Azriel Odin as one playable character and Charlie as the other.
Actually, it looks like Delta-Six chose the name Charlie for himself. He also saved Epsilon-Five from something in the past and had his memories erased on purpose, implying that pre-wipe Delta-Six was way more of a badass than the guy we’re currently playing as.
Delta-Six’s plan (I’m not calling him Charlie) involved getting his memory wiped in order to ‘complete a map’ – presumably the map fragment that other person stole from us? Epsilon-Five says that Delta-Six took care of her when she first arrived, so now it’s her turn to take care of him.
She then implores him not to complete his ‘final exam’, whatever that is. It would be helpful if she actually explained what’s going on, but I guess the director might be listening or something.
After that it’s lights-out time, so we head back to the second floor. There’s a separate area for men and women, presumably to stop any unwanted shenanigans going on at night. (I guess the future dystopia government is heteronormative.)
Trying every cell in sequence reveals that we live in D-6. Home sweet home! A computer voice tells us that we’ve been here for 11 days and that we have three tests remaining until our final exam, which now sounds extremely ominous. Surprisingly, there’s a terminal in the room, but it’s currently offline.
With nothing else left to do, we might as well go to sleep…but wait! There’s something under the bed. It’s a note, which I will now quote in its entirety.
Alas, our mystery admirer doesn’t include a signature. Presumably it’s not Epsilon-Five, since she only found out that we got memory-wiped a few minutes ago and also wouldn’t have been able to get into the men’s living quarters. That leaves either our sympathetic scientist friend or someone else who we have yet to meet.
With that out of the way, we’re thrust back into the role of Azriel, so I’ll stop here for now.
That was all appropriately mysterious! I have a few ideas about what’s going on with Delta-Six, but the game is doling out the hints fairly slowly at this point. Right now I’m still leaning towards ‘brainwashed super-soldiers’, and I’m also guessing that there’s more to Epsilon-Five than what we’ve seen so far.