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Cloud is Dead (Final Fantasy VII CYOA)

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Random, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Random Arcane Patron

    Random
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Chapter 1: The Hero Returns, Part VIII

    It takes some of your newfound fortitude of will to resist the temptation to just grab her stocking-clad legs, spread them wide, and pounce on the hot nurse, but eventually you make your decision. You've come this far, you don't want to risk falling back into that lazy complacency that got you in this mess to begin with. No, you have better things to do than get laid. Probably.

    You grasp her wrist and pull her hand off of your leg gently, but firmly. "I appreciate the offer, but I doubt that would do either of us much good right now."

    The cute blonde sighs. You think you're pretty good at reading people, but even so it's hard to tell whether she's sighing with relief or disappointment. "Oh well! Just seems like a shame to let a hero like you slip out of my fingers!" she says with a broad smile, standing up and trotting over to the door. You get the feeling her pride as a woman might be a bit wounded. You guess that, even if she's paid to do this, it doesn't make it any more pleasant to be rejected.

    [Lover Boy] "Wait," you say suddenly and awkwardly. "Would you like to jog a bit? I mean, I've got nothing better to do, and stuff." Smooth. Real smooth.

    The nurse stops, turning back to peer at you with a funny look. After a good while of awkward silence, she just smiles and shakes her head. "I have to get back to my rounds. But thank you for the offer. Since you're being discharged tomorrow, I guess I should say goodbye. It's been fun."

    You watch her flick her wide hips a little as she strolls out of the room, and you get the distinct impression you missed out on a great opportunity. It feels real bad, like indigestion of the soul. You doubt you'll ever see her again. The way she said the goodbye seemed almost too aware of the fact you were going to get some wacky assignment, so that just makes you even more certain that she was a plant put there by Shinra, not an ordinary nurse. You would tell yourself that at least you have your pride as a man and a soldier, but the more animal side of you considers it a load of crap.

    Still, you can't change the past, and the night isn't getting any younger. You go ahead and suit up for a jog regardless and put the evening hallways of Shinra HQ to work, finding them nearly deserted. Unlike your mad sprints up the emergency stairwell, this is just you passing the time with a light jog to keep your body moving. As you jog, you pass by one of the entertainment centers for the building and see that it's a batting cage, the kind with the mechanical pitchers. Since you have nothing better to do and you can't sleep because of all the thinking you're doing, you step inside for a spell to knock some balls around. You're pretty good at the hand-eye coordination part of the equation, but on the flip side, no matter how hard you swing at the ball, the sensors just seem to think you're hitting it too weak to get a home run. As annoying as that is, it is still fun, and you have plenty of time to think some more about your life.

    Eventually the batting cages close for the night and an employee ushers you out, clearly not paid enough for his job. Still restless, you venture on up to the shooting range on the upper floors, and find that it's still all taped off and deserted from the massacre only a few nights ago. Still, it's not like there are any automated defenses to worry about, so you climb under the tape and go to the range itself, finding that all the dead bodies have been carted off, only bloodstains remaining. It's a bit grim. You check the kiosk, and all the practice guns are gone. Someone probably confiscated them until the range got up and running again. Disappointed and not looking forward to spending the rest of the night in bed, you turn around and head back down to the 14th floor, unable to shake the feeling that you're being watched the whole way.

    When you finally get back to your room, you find a note left on your bedside table that wasn't there before.

    "My name is Janice. 22-340-1934-84"
    It's a phone number.
    Below, there's an imprint of some lipstick. Same lusty red as the kind she always wore.

    It's a small victory, but a victory nonetheless. Still, given the fact that she was most likely paid to hit on you, you can't exactly be sure that this was the product of charming her or if this is a part of her contract with Shinra. You feel a little better about what happened, anyways.

    With nothing left to do that you can really think of, you climb into bed. You only have a few hours before dawn, going by the clock. Still, you can try to rest a little bit, right?

    Your dreams are more like nightmares incestuously breeding with other nightmares.

    You're back on the floor where the gun range is. But this time, it's full of people. Soldiers. Shinra. They're from the 84th Light Infantry Division, the one they brought in to sweep and clear the HQ after the AVALANCHE attack. You watch people murdered left and right by a silver-haired man with a sword that only a SOLDIER could wield - Sephiroth. It's like the AVALANCHE assault, but a thousand times worse. AVALANCHE might have had an ex-SOLDIER, but he was nothing like this. Sephiroth was too fast, too powerful, too skilled. He could cross a hallway faster than someone could blink, and decapitate four soldiers in an instant. When he swung his sword, it wasn't stopped by the walls even though it was so long. No, he just slashed right through them as if they were paper. It's difficult to describe what it looks like to see someone move faster than bullets. It is, for lack of a better word, terrifying.

    Inevitably, he turns on you. You raise your rifle and flick it to full auto. You pull the trigger. Or at least you try to. The next thing you know, your arms are splatting on the ground, cleanly sliced right through along with your rifle. The edge of his sword, the Masamune, presses to your throat. He stares into your eyes and coldly forces the blade right through your neck. You don't die immediately. The pain of having your entire body severed away is inexplicable, the terror of knowing you are already dead and only conscious for a few more precious seconds pounding through what little blood remains in your brain. As your head flies, you are given a slow-motion view of the entire hallway. When you see your own body crumble and collapse, blood spurting out from your neck, you realize that you are just one of the dozens of bloodstains you stepped over to get to the shooting range.

    You wake up in a start, covered in sweat. Sometimes nightmares just feel so real that it takes you a few minutes to return to reality even after waking up, and this is one of those times. You got barely two hours of sleep, and it's not even dawn yet. What a waste. You feel like shit inside and out, exhausted, and you doubt you'll feel better any time soon. And yet you just can't sleep. You climb off the bed and go to get a warm shower. Maybe that'll help.

    You at least feel more awake after just standing under the water for a few minutes, and a few cups of coffee stolen from the doctor's lounge coffee machine gets you moving like a living being again. By the time you get back to your room, you find that someone left a PHS, the latest of the Shinra brand of personal phone, on your bedside table. It immediately starts ringing the second you get there. As if you needed any more proof that you were being observed at all times by Shinra.

    With nothing better to do, you answer it.

    "Hello?"

    "Westmore. Do you prefer to be called 'Maverick' or Marcus?" the voice on the other end asks, not as gruff as you're used to. Whoever it was didn't sound like a career soldier.

    "Westmore," you grunt. "They don't call me Maverick as a compliment. More of a bad joke from boot."

    "You mean boot camp? Ah. Noted. Well, listen. Heidegger told me to brief you on your new mission."

    "The one to save the world?"

    "Hahahaha. Nah. He was just ribbing you. You're gonna be on TV, Westmore. Interviews lined up for days!"

    Suddenly, it all makes sense. No wonder nobody seemed to care about you recovering from the attack. Your mission wasn't going to be of a military nature to begin with.

    "Do I have to?"

    "It's all in your contract!" the voice explained cheerfully. "I can text you the specific pages if you want."

    "No, thanks. So am I gonna be on every network?"

    "That's right. All four of them. Your name's already in the papers, you know. People wanna see the hero who took down AVALANCHE!"

    You pause for a little while. "Actually, AVALANCHE isn't completely done yet. The woman escaped, right?"

    "Oh, who cares? We got their leader in cuffs and the ex-SOLDIER they hired is dead. Both thanks to you! AVALANCHE is done for. That chick's just gonna be on the Most Wanted list for a while."

    You glance out the window of your room at the lights of the city blazing in the night. "So what kind of interviews are we talking about here?"

    "Just regular interviews with some reporters! They just take a few hours each, you can do them all one after another and get through in a single day. Shinra will provide a list of questions they are allowed to ask, of course. You'll get to see them all beforehand! And I'll coach you on them too. Besides, this stuff is all canned, we can just edit stuff out if you stammer or something, don't worry about it, my man!"

    Typical. Even the TV interviews are manufactured by committee. "And I get paid for these? I was told I get paid for these. A lot."

    "Sure thing! Six figures per appearance!"

    You whistle loudly. It becomes pretty hard to complain. But you don't really feel like being whored out by the company for a news cycle, either. Then again, hundreds of thousands of gil. But you were just starting to get your life back on track. But then again, they've got you by the balls with a contract. It seems like you're standing between fame and fortune, and pride and poverty. You hate to say it, but one of these options sounds wayyyy better than the other.

    What do you do?

    A) Just accept the interviews and get this shit over with; the money's great, you become famous, and it doesn't really impact your convictions much. If anything, you might be able to use the newfound star power to great advantage in the future for achieving your aims.
    B) Say no. Screw the money, screw the fame, screw your future. None of it matters. You just want to be a soldier. You're not going to sell your new-found soul for worldly desires.
    C) Ask him to text you the specific pages of the contract. You should try to be informed before you make any decisions.
    D) Smash the phone and call it an accident.
    E) Ask specifically how much money you're going to make off of this, then ask for more
    F) Any combination of the above, or any alternative choice you can think of

    Roll Results
    Show Spoiler
    [Lover Boy]Charm the nurse to go on a jog with you:
    Charm Roll: 1d20 + Intelligence 7 + Charm Rank 0 = 10 + 7 - 2
    TN for success: 16
    Final Result: 15
    Edge Failure!

    To Bat at the Cages:
    Athletics Roll: 1d20 + Strength 4 + Athletics Rank 2 = 8 + 4 + 4
    TN for success: 14
    Final Result: 16
    Slight Success!


    [Lover Boy] Inner nature unlocked. Gained experience towards Charm lvl. 1. Gained experience towards Athletics lvl. 3. Gained PHS.

    Character Sheet
    Show Spoiler
    Name: Marcus "Maverick" Westford
    Class: Ranger
    Profession: Major of the Shinra Co. Peacekeeping Corps, Department of Public Safety, Military Police Division
    Age: 23
    Inner Nature: X
    Dominant Inner Nature: None
    Health: Fine
    Status: Exhausted

    Characteristics:
    Strength 4 Agility 7
    Tenacity 6 Intelligence 7

    Skills:
    Discipline Lvl. 3
    Marksmanship Lvl. 2, Athletics Lvl. 2
    Hand-to-Hand Lvl. 1, Fieldcraft Lvl. 1, Bluff Lvl. 1, Stealth Lvl. 1, Academics Lvl. 1, Observation Lvl. 1, Electronics Lvl. 1, Computer Use Lvl. 1

    Inventory: civilian casual clothes, PHS
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  2. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
  3. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    C)

    What?

    We need money, let's get some!
    Also, being famous will help in our campaign of world domination.
    I mean, we want to take over the world, right? Its always like that with Codex CYOAs - its either taking over the world, getting laid, eating people, trolling them or a variation of the three.
     
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  4. Grimgravy Cipher Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
  5. skaraher Arbiter

    skaraher
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  6. a bear named spigot Arcane

    a bear named spigot
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    yeah C, let's put our intelligence and skills to good use and really dig deep into our contractual obligations before we make any big decisions.
     
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  7. Bigg Boss Arcane

    Bigg Boss
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    D

    Smash the phone and become a Luddite.
     
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  8. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    A > C

    I guess they want some sort of leverage on him before future use? Having protected him from cooties, I’m now inclined to bite that hook firmly.
     
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  9. oscar Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    oscar
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    A > C
     
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  10. Random Arcane Patron

    Random
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    Looking like the Cs have it with a side dash of A or D, will update later today/evening. Better get any remaining votes in.
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    o_0 Huh.

    I've not been on the 'Dex for a year and a half, and I came back out of sheer respect for the guy who can resurrect his CYOA after nearly 5 years. :salute:

    A) Just accept the interviews and get this shit over with; the money's great, you become famous, and it doesn't really impact your convictions much. If anything, you might be able to use the newfound star power to great advantage in the future for achieving your aims.
     
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  12. Dayyālu Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    We're kinda blessed that, opposed to the typical Codexian CYOA, we know exactly what is gonna happen if we fail to Do Something.

    I am not entirely sure that Star Powah and a healthy bank account are going to help much when the planet gets broken in half, but Nevill has a point. Stardom and propaganda work both ways, and if we are smart enough it can start a positive parasitic relationship instead of ruling us.

    We need resources and we need status. We aren't going to save the world with The Power of Friendship, we're going to save the world through Corporate Greed and Superior Firepower.

    C then A



    By the way when you are going to accept the call of your Slavic blood and play Dominions?
     
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  13. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    It might secure us a place on the escape shuttle. :M
    Need some coaching sessions from gurus first. The only way to learn the game is to play against a max level opponent willing to explain exactly how he owns you.
     
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  14. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    I agree with Dayy there.

    Besides, we won't be able to dominate the world and build our sexual harem if Emo Bishie Supersoldier blows us all to hell before that.

    Being famous is one hell of a power. I'm for C because dealing with those corporate overlord types, you need to read the fine print.

    So:

    1. Obtain money and resources. Some poon for motivation is also good, too.
    2. POWER!
    3. Save the world.
    4. Conquer the world and get all the pussy
    5. I dunno. Great Crusade?
     
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  15. Random Arcane Patron

    Random
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    EDIT: Personally I would prefer if we had one update per page, to make it easier to navigate this thread as it grows, so don't mind me just gonna get on to the next page real quick
     
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  16. Random Arcane Patron

    Random
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  17. Random Arcane Patron

    Random
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  18. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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  19. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
  20. Random Arcane Patron

    Random
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    EDIT: Whose idea was it to make pages 25 posts long?

    :outrage:
     
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  21. Random Arcane Patron

    Random
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  22. Random Arcane Patron

    Random
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  23. Random Arcane Patron

    Random
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    On second thought, let's not make that a rule and I'll just deal with it if I have to post updates twice per page.

    The Hero Returns, Part IX

    It takes a little while to mull over your options, but you decide to play it safe for the time being.

    "Could you send me the contract?" you ask. "I just want to be sure."

    "No sweat, baby!" he says, cheerful as ever. He must be absolutely positive there's no way you can wriggle your way out of the terms even if you go over it with a fine toothed comb. Your phone pings with a whole bunch of texts in a row.

    "Thanks. Give me, uh, thirty minutes to read the fine print," you say.

    "You got it! Make it quick, though, a car's already on its way to pick you up for the first interview."

    You hang up. It's not that you are totally against the interviews themselves, anyways.

    You pull up the images you were sent. It's your Shinra employment contract, the whole damn thing. It's been years since you last looked at it, and it's such a beast that you never actually read it all the way through and you've never met anyone who ever has read the damn thing front to back. Usually, one hires a lawyer for that. But you're not made of money right now and you don't have the time for it anyways.

    You take a second to try to remember where you gave up on reading it way back when. If you recall correctly with your impressive faculties... [Intelligence check passed] it was somewhere around page 284, about a quarter of the way through it. So you can skip all of that, at least, and focus on finding the specific clauses about TV appearances. You immediately start skimming. Given the time constraints, you don't bother with the fine print and just dig and dig and dig away, tapping the arrow buttons on your PHS at lightning speed.

    [Observation] But no matter how far you skim, it doesn't pop up at all. You scroll and scroll and scroll until you hit the very end of the mammoth contract, and realize you must have missed it. Panic sets in. You immediately scroll backwards, but while you're doing so, you get a call.

    "Hey, my man! Car's waiting for ya outside! Come on down!"

    You curse under your breath. You wanted to be more prepared than this, but you decide you were probably going to agree to it all anyways and decide to go do as you're told... for now.

    It's a short elevator ride down to the lobby, which is still being rebuilt from the attack, and from there you trot out the doors and down the steps to the street. The chauffeur is waiting for you, recognizes you on sight, and opens the door of the short black limo. Sitting on the far end of the back seat is a man in a perfect black suit who smiles and waves with a million-dollar grin, and the moment he opens his mouth you recognize him as the man on the phone just by his artificially 'cool' way of talking. "Hey boss, get in!"

    With nothing better to do, you oblige him. The second you're in your seat, the chauffeur shuts the door, locking you in with the guy whose name you don't even know yet. Before you can even catch your breath or lock your seatbelt, a thick pile of paper is thrust into your arms.

    "The interview questions!" the man in the suit says helpfully. "I'll coach you on them real quick before we get to the studio. Oh, and I've already forwarded your answers to the studio as well, so they'll have a teleprompter set up for you to read the answers off of in case you forget."

    "Wait. Hold on. Answers?" you ask. The fuck?

    "Yeah. The answers the Company has decided, of course. What, you're surprised? It's not like Shinra would just let you say whatever you feel like on television! It's written flat out in your contract, you are bound by the corporation's internal laws of confidentiality. Don't worry, you'll still get to talk plenty about your heroics. Just... not the other stuff, got it?" he said, straightening his tie. He grabbed a trunk behind the driver's seat and opened it up, revealing a dark suit with a red tie. "Don't worry, it's your size. That's all on file. I'll help you get dressed."

    Before you can even think of protesting, he's practically got you in a chokehold and is tearing your ordinary clothes off, replacing them with the articles of the suit piece by piece. He combs your hair, hands you a toothbrush with some toothpaste already on it and a cup of water, and while you brush just to get him off your back he's already rattling off from the list of canned questions for the interview.

    "When did you realize AVALANCHE was attacking HQ?"

    "What did you think when you saw the carnage unfold? What compelled you to go into the fray when you were, legally on vacation?"

    "How did you manage to delay the attack and force the enemy to split up? You survived a run-in on your own with the deadly and vicious female terrorist known as Tifa Lockhart. How?"

    "Later you ran up the entire emergency staircase to floor 59, correct? Where did you find the stamina for something like that?"

    "When you finally caught up with the assailants, how did you manage to stop them where half a battalion of troops and an entire building full of automated robotic defense units failed?"

    How do you respond?

    A) Read directly off of the answer cheatsheet that Shinra provided; it's not worth going off the reservation and risking retribution, legal and otherwise. Logically, you will benefit more from just playing the good boy for now.
    B) [Charm] Disregard the cheatsheet and try to be more charismatic than the canned stuff would allow. If you're gonna do an interview, you're not going to just say what some asshole in marketing thought up for you based off your debriefing and the video footage of the attack. You can do better, you can captivate the audience, and you can strike a chord with them just by being real to yourself. You still won't talk about anything classified, though.
    C) Rip up the answers Shinra gave you and don't even bother putting a filter on what you're going to say. You'll tell it all, even the part the Turks warned you not to talk about. The people have a right to know what's going on in HQ. Legions of monsters kept for experimentation breaking loose, Sephiroth coming back from the dead and assassinating President Shinra, and so on. You'll face the consequences of your indiscretion like a man.
    D) [Bluff] Try to weasel out of the interview. Maybe you can bullshit a good excuse even though you didn't manage to find anything of use in the contract?
    E) [Bluff] Fake an illness or something and bolt the first chance you get
    F) Any combination of the above, or alternatives

    Roll Results

    Show Spoiler
    Observation roll to find the relevant information in time:
    Roll: 1d20 + Intelligence 7 + Obs Lvl 1 - Exhausted status effect + passed intelligence check = 1 + 7 + 2 - 2 + 4
    TN for success: 14
    Final Result: 12
    Failure!


    Character Sheet
    Show Spoiler
    Name: Marcus "Maverick" Westford
    Class: Ranger
    Profession: Major of the Shinra Co. Peacekeeping Corps, Department of Public Safety, Military Police Division
    Age: 23
    Inner Nature: X
    Dominant Inner Nature: None
    Health: Fine
    Status: Exhausted

    Characteristics:
    Strength 4 Agility 7
    Tenacity 6 Intelligence 7

    Skills:
    Discipline Lvl. 3
    Marksmanship Lvl. 2, Athletics Lvl. 2
    Hand-to-Hand Lvl. 1, Fieldcraft Lvl. 1, Bluff Lvl. 1, Stealth Lvl. 1, Academics Lvl. 1, Observation Lvl. 1, Electronics Lvl. 1, Computer Use Lvl. 1

    Inventory: civilian casual clothes, PHS
     
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  24. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    D, E is too risky, I don't think b is good considering exhaustion.
    Not bad, an update per page. :M
     
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  25. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    A)

    Be a good boi for now.
     
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