Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Disclosure Alert: Alpha Protocol: Episode 14: Vampire: The Mike-arade

Sorry about the massive delay in posting this episode. There are quite a few reasons for the delay. Truthfully, Aldowyn finished the initial cut of this chunk of episodes almost 2 weeks ago. We were initially planning to release them last week. However, Aldowyn decided to use the clip montage for the credits that we used for the last set of videos, just with new subtitles. Since I wanted to get them out in time, knowing the Aldowyn would not be around due to Spring Break, I agreed.

However, anaphysik did not. Since he is the one who writes the descriptions and takes the videos off "unlisted" status, this caused some trouble. He tried to get into contact with Aldowyn, except Aldowyn was on break and unable to work on "fixing" the credits. So we spent all week with the episodes uploaded and ready, just unlisted.

In other words, this delay was a result of Aldowyn's laziness, anaphysik's standards?, and my haste to get these episodes out regardless of the quality of the credits all colliding in a way such that no one ended up happy and we all share equally in the blame. We deeply apologize for the delay and hope you guys are still eager to watch more Disclosure Alert. Sorry!

Also worth noting is that the posts for this week have also been in limbo, sitting here on my queue waiting to be posted. I barely remember what I said in any of them.

In this episode, we begin the second half of the Taipei hub with a mission that pisses me off in quite a few ways. Oh well, at least Krellen, from the Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines LP, was there to add some new blood to our conversation. (Spoiler Alert: Mike doesn't actually become a vampire.) Also, I should warn you that we basically spoil the entire plot to Taipei in this episode. You have been warned.

Fortunately, for the guys who asked me to stop mocking Aldowyn's play style, this week I FINALLY get to show you I listened. Unfortunately, the fact that we're in the second half of Taipei means that I still have something to bitch about. If it's not one thing, it's another around here.

I... severely dislike this section of the Taipei plot. And I'm going to be extremely transparent and upfront about it. We'll get more into it as this batch of episodes get posted.

But before that, I do like that the Omen Deng conversation does have slight variances to it. It's a decidedly minor detail, but it really does add to the sense that the game is keeping tabs on your every choice and tailoring your experience to those choices. He will comment on both hubs completed (if you did any besides Saudi Arabia) and what armor your wearing. Then again, these small touches are Obsidian's MO. Y'know, I could've sworn being Suave with Deng made him Dislike you slightly, but I guess I was wrong.

I honestly don't like Deng as either a character or a plot device. Aside from obvious similarities (for comparison) to Raidou Kuzunoha from Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner (whose outfit, by the way, looks very out of place in a bright white subway system, especially with the Chinese Secret Police symbol emblazoned on it), there's not a whole lot to his personality. He's very bland and uninteresting, and with a monotone voice that proves to be quite irritating. This is all before we get to his role in the plot to Taipei.

So yeah, as it turns out Deng is not the bad guy. When I played through this mission, I honestly did not even know I was supposed to think he's the bad guy. All I heard was that he's someone worth knowing about from Hong Shi and later on I learned that he was raised by Sung in the dossier "donated" to us by the NSB. The thought that the guy who was raised by Sung as a son would come to kill him never even occurred to me, so I was shocked when the conversation with him became a confrontation. (It makes sense for now because Deng has been somehow led to believe Mike is the one trying to kill Sung. This falls apart later, but we'll get to that when we get to it.) As we go on in the season, you'll see a theme where I confess that I didn't really understand what was going on until my second or third playthrough. I spent most of my first playthrough of the game confused. I want to blame Obsidian, but then I know that back when I first played this game I was a lot dumber than I am now, so it could very well be my fault.

Since these CSP agents are here with Deng and join him during the confrontation where he's trying to save Sung, I have to assume that these guys are also undercover, just like he is. Otherwise, this plot would make even less sense than it does already. Then again, if that's true then why is Omen Deng special. After all, how would Deng have accumulated so many double agents? Did he just hire them all once his cover was secured? Did they kill their families as well? In either case, how does China NOT KNOW that these guys are all secretly working against them. Since Deng can apparently be easily fooled in believing patently false information, I have to call his skills as an intelligence agent into question as well. (The same can be said of Thorton himself.) Why am I asking so many inherently pointless questions? Ugh. Taipei, that's why.

Until we leave Taipei, it's all downhill from here.


anaphysik said...

"Why am I asking so many inherently pointless questions? Ugh. Taipei, that's why."

Forget it, cloud; it's Republic-of-Chinatown.

newdarkcloud said...

You are a bad person and you should feel bad.

Thomas said...

Yay episodes! I was going through withdrawal symptons =D I guess this means you guys are putting out entertaining stuff

I've always assumed that Deng never told the agents the nature of his work and they thought they were involved in an operation against the government. I'm pretty sure they never hear anything to the contrary

SougoXIII said...

> I complained about having no update to DarkCloud

> Hours later a new episode is up.

Coincidence? Mostly likely. But I'll believe that it was all because of me.

newdarkcloud said...

That doesn't make sense to me, for a few reasons.

1.) These guys are intelligence agents, and apparently good at their jobs. I find it hard to believe that something that major within their own ranks slipped the net.

2.) Later on, these guys are with Omen Deng at the rally and actively trying to stop you from killing Sung. How in the hell would Deng explain that to people loyal to mainland China?

newdarkcloud said...

Guys like you and krellen are exactly what we need to get our asses in gear.

Thomas said...

The rally is easy, Deng told them he was trying to assassinate Sung or whatever and they#re stopping Michael Thornton for stopping him.

I'm not convinced they would know either, there was a long period of time during the Cold War when a chief of the British secret police was a Russian agent and he wasn't found out for years. And we have a pretty good secret service because...

Even if they are all double agents, that's not an impossible feat. During WW2 there was not a single German agent in Britain who wasn't actually a British double agent. Not one single person. (They actually hired unwittingly hired a British spy to set up their spy network for them in the first place)

2house2fly said...

Halbech wants to kill Sung because they believe his death will make him a martyr for the pro-independence movement. That's probably a good pretext for Omen Deng to try to prevent the assassination in an official capacity.

I like the twist that Omen Deng is actually on your side, but they do telegraph it a bit in his dossier. Plus, there are three ways to find out who the Real Assassin is, and two of them are you just being told who it is. The third way was great when it happened to me, but it contains the line "you cost me the Sung contract" even if Sung is dead. Like, was the contract to kill Sung AND start the riots? Seems like that plan should involve more than one person

Anyway, G22 and Heck are the good bits of Taipei, the rest is a fun side story.